The Jewish Eye
What Is Scarier Than The Russian Army?
Reb Yechezkel Levenstein, a Kelmer and a student of the Chofetz Chaim, was the Mashgiach of the Mirrer Yeshivah during their flight from the Nazis through Siberia to Shanghai. Shortly before the war began, the Jews were apprehensive and uncertain about the times ahead. Furthermore, there was great uncertainty about which enemy was the worse of two evils, the Germans or the Russians. A palpable sense of doom was felt everywhere. The yeshivah students had already heard ominous rumors about the vicious behavior of the Russians, and their hatred of everything religious.
R' Levenstein gave a shmues shortly before Rosh Hashanah of 1939, which was also shortly before the official beginning of World War II. R' Chatzkel was aware that he was facing a beis hamedrash filled with bnei Torah with great fear in their hearts, but he was not pleased with the source of the fear. He said, "It is not because of the Russians that you need to fear. It is only the Yom HaDin that you need to fear." The absolute conviction in R' Chatzkel's voice helped instill emunah and bitachon in the heart of each person present, and fortified them for the difficult times ahead. (Reb Chatzkel)
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