On this auspicious day marking the yahrzeit of Rochel Imeinu, it is an opportune time to understand the reason Mama Rochel cries and reflect on positive change. Please take a moment to read this fascinating and inspiring explanation by HaGaon R’ Shlomo Kluger (1783-1869), author of over 115 sefarim and universally recognized and accepted as one of our greatest gedolim and poskim.
Why Does Mame Rochel Cry?
Originally, when our Matriarch Rochel visited her children in exile, she saw them adorned with theTzelem Elokim [the image of G-d – the beard], which is the Toar Yisroel [that enables one to be recognized as a Jew]. She did not fear, because she knew that there was hope for their redemption.
In the present era, however, due to our numerous sins, we have descended from the level of “Yisroel,” theTzelem Elokim has departed from us… [since many have] cut off their beards…
Now, when Rochel comes to visit her children in exile, she doesn’t recognize them at all, she suffers anguish and gives up hope…
This is the meaning of the verse, “A voice is heard on high… Rochel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, for they are not.”
She doesn’t recognize us at all. It is as if we were not her children, for we lack her appearance.
-Kehilas Yaakov, by HaGaon Rav Shlomo Kluger, Aseres Yemei Teshuva, pp. 306-607
Do it for Mama Rochel. Do it for our people. Do it for yourself.
Rabbi Moshe Wiener
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The Beard: Where Chassidim and Misnagdim AgreeThe booklet proves unequivocally that the greatest Litvish Gedolim, including the leaders of some of the most prominent Litvish Yeshivos of pre-war Europe were of the opinion that “Especially today…it is a great mitzvah for the entire Jewish people to reinforce this observance, and to refrain from trimming the beard even with scissors.” Available on Amazon.
Women and Pants: A Halachic PerspectiveThis Hebrew booklet methodically addresses the halachic concerns involved in women wearing pants, and provides a comprehensive discussion of the related practical details. Available on Amazon.