Or Leyom Vav Nitzovim-Vayelech – 4 September '53
Dear Parents Amv"sh
This must be about the sixth letter I have written since my arrival. I hope you do not expect me to continue at this rate. It is only in the first few weeks that one has so much to write. At the present moment I am not thinking of changing to another Yeshivah. Since my arrival I have seen many and spoken to several people. The fact remains that a Yeshivah with every maaleh does not exist. The Chazon Ish said there was no reason why I should not learn here and even the Gerer Rebbe did not raise any objections. He has in fact several Chasidim with the full attachments learning here. The food, though different here from England, is quite reasonable. At the moment I am managing without the milk since it contains avkas cholev [milk powder] as the Chazon Ish is only matir in case of illness L"O.. ... In the Mir [Yeshivah], as I had previously heard, the crowd is more heimish but
The Yeshivah here has an exceptionally large library which is only open a few hours a day and quite a few people come in to use it. Amongst them is one regular whom if I had not seen and heard myself I could never have believed. He is not a big Lamdan but is reputed to be the biggest Boki in all of Eretz Yisroel, in fact in the world. Without the slightest trace of guzma, I have seen it myself. You can ask him how many machlokes R' Yochanan and Resh Lokish there are in Yerushalmi Maasros and he will give you the answer without the slightest hesitation. The same applies to all Bavli and Yerushalmi, all the Rishonim and all the popular Achronim such as the Nosay Kelim of the Shulchan Aruch and the Nesivos, Ktzos, Tumim, Minchas Chinuch, Or Someach etc. For fun I asked him to tell me all the Machlokes of the Tshuvos Chemdas Shlomo and R’ Akiva Eger. I had to listen for a quarter of an hour whilst he reckoned them out. This is not an exaggeration; it is unbelievable until one sees it. As he does nothing but learn and has no official position he is a pauper. Such Yieden one meets in Yerusholayim!
The weather here is bothering me far less than I expected. As long as one does not walk about in the heat it is quite comfortable. The Beis Hamedrash is large, high and airy, in fact far more suitable for learning than its Gateshead counterpart. How pleasant it is always to see blue skies while at night there is such a clear heaven and bright stars. On Shabbos here it is so pleasing to see in the Meah Shearim district (which is near the Yeshivah) all the children with Shtraamlech and long peyos. The town really is far quieter with only taxis and a few private cars. Some districts are chained off to ensure no vehicular traffic passes through and in the others when a car does go through the children and a lot of people shout Shabbos! Shabbos! It was for such an offense that R’Amram Blau (the uncle of the one who was in Manchester), who is one of the leaders of the Neturai Karta, was imprisoned for three months. He refused to sign a good conduct promise. The Chazon Ish went to visit him in jail and was only admitted the second time. All this was proclaimed on the posters which are plastered here every few days. There is a poster issued by the Government headed "The truth about military service for women" (in Ivrit) set out in question and answer form. The Edah Hacharedis answered with a similar poster with the same questions, but different answers. Well I must finish now........