by Rabbi Yair Hoffman
On January 30th, 1933, seven and a half months before the Chofetz Chaim passed away (September 15th, 1933), Hitler yimach shmo was appointed the Chancellor of Germany.
At that time, Rav Moshe Londinski zt”l (1862-1938), one of the three Roshei Yeshiva of the Chofetz Chaim’s Yeshiva in Radin, inquired of the Chofetz Chaim, “What will be the fate of our brethren in Germany and in Poland?” Rav Londinski pointed out that Hitler y”s had been talking about destroying the entirety of Klal Yisroel for years.
The Chofetz Chaim responded that it is impossible for someone to succeed in wiping out Klal Yisroel in all the lands of the exile and he cited the pasuk (Bereishis 32:4-9) “’If Esav comes to the one camp and attacks it, the other camp will escape.”
At that point, Rav Moshe Londinski zt”l realized that the danger was quite grave. He asked further, “If Heaven forbid, he succeeds in wiping out European Jewry, who and where is the other camp that will survive?”
The Chofetz Chaim answered, “This too is a pasuk, it is in the beginning of the Navi Ovadiah (1:17), “And on Mount Zion there shall be a remnant, and it shall be holy..”
Rav Londinski left the Chofetz Chaim’s presence with his hands shaking on the future destruction of European Jewry, but he was assured that the Holy Land will be spared and no sword of the Nazi menace would pass before it.
Indeed, the beginning of the end for the Nazis y”s was when they set their eyes on Eretz Yisroel in 1942 and planned to conquer it and murder the half million Jews living there at the time (including the author’s mother).
They even brought a German SS officer, Walther Rauff, to Libya, who would do advance work for the Einsatzkommando unit which expected to join him and help murder the Jews of the Middle East once it was under full Nazi German control.. He was the one who had pioneered the using mobile killing vans in Nazi-occupied Soviet Union. Rauff had reached Tobruk on July 20th of 1942.
Rav Yitzchok Zilberstein shlita uses this statement of the Chofetz Chaim to encourage Yeshiva bochurim and seminary girsl to remain in Eretz Yisroel during this rough period.
The author can be reached at [email protected]