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Mei Marom

Mei Marom

Rav Yaakov Moshe Charlop (1882-1951) was the son of R. Zevulon Charlop, who served on the beis din of the Maharil Diskin. R. Yaakov Moshe is remembered as a paragon of tzidkus, as a halachic expert, as a teacher of Torah thought possessed of a keen understanding of kabbalah, as rav of the then-new communities of Shaarei Chesed and Rechavia, and as rosh yeshiva of Yeshivos Merkaz Harav and Beis Zevul. He is perhaps most remembered as the talmid chaver of Rav Kook – a student (R. Charlap was 17 years younger than R. Kook) and colleague at the same time. He was a bridge builder. He earned the respect of Ben-Gurion and other secularists; he also pursued his relationship with R. Kook without turning his back on the very traditional Jerusalem community that had nurtured him, and which was at times skeptical (or worse) about the Torah visionary who had a high regard for Zionism.

He left behind six volumes of responsa (Beis Zevul), many works on a variety of topics, and a huge number of his discourses, grouped together as Mei Marom. The volumes on Chumash collect the sichos that he gave בעת רעווא דרעווין / at the third Shabbos meal, during the hours of heightened kedushah and insight. He invokes much kabbalistic thought, and tends to relate to the people and events of the parshah on the level of cosmic and historical forces, rather than as limited to the thoughts and actions of individuals. The way in which these talks were later committed to paper tends to be terse and cryptic. In some ways, this has been the hardest work in the series that I’ve published on Torah.org. I readily admit my inadequacy; I am not an “insider” to his deep thought, and apologize for not being able to offer anything more than guesswork as to the mechaber’s true and profound intent. The reader is both warned and encouraged to make his/her own attempt to explicate the original.

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