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The Ninja Rabbi
By Menachem Ziegelboim

He was an expert in ninjitsu and was miraculously saved on a highway in Germany before learning Chassidus and establishing a Chabad empire in Yerushalayim * Rabbi Tamir Kastiel, Chassid of the Rebbe MH"M, publicizes the news of the Rebbe’s imminent revelation

Perhaps it is his captivating charm that explains his tremendous success in the Katamon neighborhood of Yerushalayim. He has been there for only three years now and has thus far built a Chassidic empire that would bring pride to even longtime shluchim.

Tamir Kastiel was raised in a traditional family in Ramat HaSharon. At age 13 he began studying the Japanese martial art called ninjitsu under the tutelage of his expert older brother. After serving in the army he joined his brother who had opened an institute for ninjitsu in Germany. He spent a year there and did well in business, and then returned to Eretz Yisroel.

"Ninjitsu is like karate," explains Tamir, "except it’s much more deadly. The point is to increase one’s mastery over the body by improving one’s movements and by deriving the maximum potential from the body’s strength."

Tamir didn’t spend much time in Germany. After what happened to him there he felt that he was being told to leave: "I was driving from Munich to a business exhibition in Stuttgart. It was a long trip and at some point I woke up in some village on the side of the road while the car was still moving! Till this day I have no idea how I got there, and if I fell asleep, how I didn’t end up in an accident."

Shortly thereafter he left for Eretz Yisroel. His brother had started putting on t’fillin following a discovery in Japanese scrolls which had been written 700 years before, in which it said that the principles of ninjitsu had been developed by two families "from the land of Judah," who had fled Eretz Yisroel 1400 years before and had arrived in Japan. Following his brother, he began taking an interest in Judaism and putting on t’fillin.

When he returned to Eretz Yisroel he went to the Chabad house in Hertzeliya and became a student of Rabbi Yisroel Halperin. He enjoyed the classes and soon moved on to the yeshiva in Kfar Chabad, where he married his wife, Noah [see the story of his marriage in the Miracle Story in this issue, click here], and continued his studies in the kollel at Raanana.

When you visit the Lubavitch yeshiva established in Katamon, you encounter a huge sign which says: "Yeshivas Chabad Katamon Yerushalayim, Under the Leadership of the Lubavitcher Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach. Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu V’Rabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach L’Olam Va’ed!"

I didn’t hide my amazement. Was it necessary to greet every new student with this perhaps imposing sign?

Tamir smiled and said, "It was when I was first getting involved in Yiddishkeit. One day I received a flyer that was being distributed in the hundreds of thousands by Rabbi Yigal Hoshiar. The flyer called on every Jew to accept the Rebbe’s malchus. I was very taken by this paper. I said to myself that if people were so certain that the Rebbe is Moshiach, then it must be true, and that if I didn’t join I would be losing out.

"Another thing I realized later was that when you say the truth simply and sincerely, the words penetrate the hearts of the listeners and they are accepted. That’s the reason for the big sign, which simply announces that in this yeshiva there are students who willingly accept the Rebbe’s leadership."

After the couple married, they moved to Katamon. This wasn’t an easy period in Tamir’s life. He had left the Chabad community in Hertzeliya, which had been a hothouse of Yiddishkeit, Chassidus and Moshiach for him, and had arrived in Katamon, a neighborhood with no Chabad community and where the subject of Moshiach was kept under wraps.

He wrote to the Rebbe and the answer he received through the Igros Kodesh is one he’ll never forget. The letter was to Tzeirei Agudas Chabad of Yerushalayim, and the Rebbe instructed them how to do hafatzas ha’Yahadus. Tamir saw clear direction in this answer. The Rebbe even added that he was given the ability to be mashpia and, therefore, had to use these abilities for hafatzas ha’Yahadus. Each word in the letter seemed to be written especially for him, and he displayed his great abilities in a relatively short time.

After working for a year at the Chabad house in Gilo under the shaliach Rabbi Hirsch Farber, he decided to open his own Chabad house in Katamon and to begin work. He got the go-ahead from Merkaz Tzach and got started.

* * *

Katamon borders on Pat, Gilo, Armon HaNetziv, Rechavia, and Rasko. Katamon itself is divided into two parts, Old Katamon and Katamonim, with Old Katamon bordering on the exclusive Rechavia neighborhood. It too has many well-to-do residents. Katamonim on the other hand is a lower class neighborhood with many social misfits.

When I arrived in the afternoon, the neighborhood was completely quiet despite the ten thousand families there. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel Street, where the yeshiva is, is a quiet street with bungalows.

There used to be a nice Chabad presence in the neighborhood. After Katamon was captured from the Arabs, a wealthy Jew bought the old Iraqi embassy building and opened a Chabad shul there. With the passing of time and fewer Chabad families, the building today houses a number of shtiblech.

The neighborhood has a shul which is run by Rabbi Avrohom Chaviv, who focuses his activities on French speaking people, along with his brother Yitzchok. There are a few Chabad families in the neighborhood. Until two years ago the neighborhood was under the leadership of the Chassid Rabbi Eliezrov, a’h.

"It all began at the initiative of Rabbi Shlomo Shmeida who did a lot of work here before I arrived," explained Tamir. "He worked devotedly and also began a registration drive for a nursery school.

"The first project I did in the neighborhood was to continue the preparations for the opening of the nursery school. Those who know what’s involved in opening a school will understand that this project in my first year of work here was a big thing."

Despite the great difficulties, the Chabad house worked on registering the neighborhood children as Tamir looked for a suitable place for the school. The opening of a school is dependent on two factors: registering enough students and finding suitable quarters. Without the requisite number of students the municipality won’t approve a building, and without a building the parents won’t register their children. Tamir had to deal with these two problems and it wasn’t simple.

He began searching for a building the first week. "I walked from street to street looking for a building. Whenever I passed someone I asked whether they knew of a suitable building. I finally found a building which had housed a nursery school and I asked the municipality for it. Their answer was delayed.

"Shortly thereafter I heard that another building which had housed a nursery school in the nearby neighborhood of Pat, was available and I asked for that building, too. Throughout this time I received encouraging answers from the Rebbe through the Igros Kodesh.

"When I arrived at the office of one of the municipal officers responsible for buildings, he said to me with a smile, ‘I heard you know ninjitsu and I realize that if I don’t give you a building you’ll break my desk, right?’ I said ‘right!’ with a big smile, and that’s how our friendship began, in the course of which he received several ninjitsu lessons."

Preparations continued with difficulties. A few days before school was to begin, they learned that the building that was offered to them was not available. Tamir remained undaunted and he wrote to the Rebbe. The answer he received was clear, ‘the merit of the children helps him.’ Tamir realized he still had a chance and he wrote another letter to the Rebbe saying that since there were two suitable buildings available, he was asking that the two buildings be used for future Chabad schools. Once again he received a clear answer, ‘whoever adds, is added to.’

A week before the new school year when he still didn’t have either building, Ramir received a phone call from the education department of the city. "How many nursery schools do you need, one or two?" Tamir remembered the Rebbe’s bracha and answered, "two."

"How many children are registered?" asked the official.

"Fifty children."

At the time there were only 25 children registered, a number which would make it hard to obtain even one building.

"After I got the buildings, city workers came and stripped them, leaving not even one chair behind. Time passed and I had to get the place fixed up. At the same time we made superhuman efforts to obtain suitable nursery school equipment, the proper teachers, and to register another twenty-five children – all in one week!"

One week later the two Chabad schools opened in Katamon with fifty children. Tamir got the money he needed from a loan he received from the Reshet and from gifts he received at his son’s bris and pidyon ha’ben at that time.

Although Tamir and Shlomo Shemeida overcame the difficulties involved in opening the schools, each year there were new problems. I visited them in the final days before school began this year and preparations were at their height, along with the difficulties.

In addition to the nursery schools, the education ministry gave numerous benefits to the nursery schools opened by the Dor Shalom movement. If that wasn’t enough, Shas also opened its own nursery schools and received tremendous benefits. Workers from the Misnagdic organization Lev L’Achim visited all the parents who had children in the Chabad schools and besmirched Chabad and tried to convince them to remove their children from the schools.

"Despite the quarrels, the enticements and the difficulties, we had a nice registration and this year too both schools are full," said a satisfied Tamir. "It’s all thanks to our yeshiva boys who, along with boys from Tzfas, went from house to house and convinced the parents to continue sending us their children."

Tamir thinks that the reason the parents want their children in Chabad schools is because they want authentic Judaism. "The parents want their children in religious schools. They want a melamed. They want separate programs for boys and girls, and they want the best Torah atmosphere."

How do you explain that?

"I imagine that when they see what’s going on in the street, they fear for their children."

"I recently visited the home of one of the mothers who told me that her son comes from gan and asks to make Kiddush on Shabbos, or he brings her a cup of water and asks her to wash his hands in the morning or before eating. At first the mother didn’t cooperate, but since she wanted to please him she agreed to help him. Today she covers her hair."

Besides the schools, the routine outreach programs in Katamon have expanded. The camps grew as did the Tzivos Hashem clubs. Mivtza t’fillin is also done on a large scale. Tamir brought another shaliach to the neighborhood, Doron Oren, who quickly joined in the work and is broadening the scope of their activities tremendously. Doron devotedly organizes the many Chabad house activities.

"In the past two years Doron has made connections with all the neighborhood schools, and has brought thousands of children to our programs. The Chabad camp in Katamon was the largest Chabad camp in Yerushalayim this year," says Tamir, proud of the accomplishments of the fledgling Chabad house.

However Tamir doesn’t rest on his laurels. He opened a chesed organization for the needy. Before yomim tovim he distributes food to needy families in Katamon Ches and Tes and in Pat. Before Pesach over five tons of food was distributed.

A year ago they started a soup kitchen in which hot meals are distributed daily. Those who need it come for a hot, nourishing meal. The soup kitchen serves to increase the esteem of the neighborhood’s residents.

Tamir also opened a yeshiva, which we will get to shortly, and all this in only three years! I couldn’t help but be amazed.

How did you manage to get yourself started and to expand your activities like this in only three years?

"It’s all the Rebbe’s brachos which we receive with every step we take." He also credits the shluchim who work at the Chabad house, and thanks the members of the administration who are active in everything that goes on at the Chabad house, particularly Rabbi Yisroel Halperin, and Rabbi Yisroel Brod, the director of branch support of Tzach through whom the Chabad house’s financial base was established.

* * *

Word of Tamir’s success reached a woman who lives in Ramat Gan, who attends Rabbi Mutty Gal’s classes. Her father, who had lived in Katamon, had died, leaving behind a carpentry workshop which he said should be used as a shul after he died. Hearing about Chabad’s work in Katamon, his daughter contacted the Chabad house and donated the place so that a shul could be built there.

Tamir and Shmeida cleaned it up and turned it into a beautiful shul. (Tamir relates an amusing incident about the shul. "When we removed the planks of wood from the wall, I found a kameia, a Kabbalistic charm, associated with the Chida, which the carpenter had apparently received from a tzaddik. On the kameia was written the word "Kastiel.")

Before very long, Tamir, together with the others, decided the time had come to establish a yeshiva in the neighborhood, one which would acquaint young people with Yiddishkeit. This decision was made at a farbrengen at the home of R’ Shlomo Kalisch, a supporter of the yeshiva and a member of the board of the Chabad house since its inception. Shlomo Kalisch provided the funding and that, plus a sizable donation from Rabbi Meir Gutnick, put the yeshiva on its feet.

Tamir: "Just at that time I came across a photocopy of a sicha of the Rebbe. On the page, the words, "Dear shaliach, when will you open a Yeshivas Tomchei Tmimim in your area," was written in large letters. This page, along with the resolution we had made, inspired me to open the yeshiva."

Throughout the time preceding the opening of the yeshiva, Tamir received clear answers from the Rebbe about the yeshiva. The first answer he received was to "open a Yeshivas Achei Tmimim in Rishon L’Tzion." In the letter, the Rebbe wished him tremendous success.

Tamir: "The problems we had in opening the yeshiva testified to its importance and necessity. Here too, the clear answer we received from the Rebbe in the Igros Kodesh gave us the strength and energy to push ourselves. The Rebbe’s answer was about a Chabad school in the Minchat neighborhood in Yerushalayim. The Rebbe instructed them not only not to close the classes in the school but to expand the numbers, since the neighborhood would develop and host many new residents. The Minchat area which the Rebbe was referring to in the letter, is the present day Katamon neighborhood...

On the 2nd of Iyar 5759, the yeshiva opened with only one student and four or five staff members. Three months later there were 13 students. Chabad house directors around the country who heard about the yeshiva sent their mekuravim there.

"We felt a real need to open a yeshiva which would incorporate a structured program of learning as well as full room and board," explains Tamir. "I know that Chabad houses, and people in the field have been begging for this for a long time. Baruch Hashem, we were able to open such an important institution, something which further established our work here and which will help when being mekarev young people at Chabad houses in other cities.

Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Wilschansky was extremely helpful in setting up the yeshiva. He sent shluchim to support the yeshiva and he helped both b’gashmiyus and b’ruchniyus, as did Rabbi Yehoshua Yuzevitch.

The shiurim are advanced, yet appropriate for beginners. They are given by: Rabbi Avrohom Chaviv, Rabbi Uri Kanterowitz, Rabbi Shaul Rosenblatt, and Rabbi Moshe Veiner. The mashgiach is Rabbi Dovid Laufer (who has helped the yeshiva progress tremendously). Another key player in getting the yeshiva off the ground is Rabbi Menachem Segal. Rabbi Noam Yisroel Harpaz serves as the rosh yeshiva and mashpia.

* * *

Rabbi Harpaz is a special individual who has a fascinating life story. He grew up in Givatayim in a liberal home where his Jewish observance was extremely minimal. "We just about had Shabbos candles and a Pesach seider, but nothing else."

At 15 he began taking an interest in spiritual matters. His desires were positive but the direction he took was misguided. He studied yoga and meditation, and took on an extreme vegetarian diet. He went to various cults in order to fill his spiritual hunger. Givatayim at that time was the central location for these cults.

"It was 5736. My hair was down to my back and I wore torn jeans and earrings. I looked like a strange creature in the streets of the city. In Tel Aviv’s central bus station I passed by Rabbi Avrohom Lisson’s t’fillin stand, and the bachurim standing there asked me in English if I was Jewish. They didn’t even dream that I was an Israeli. I said no and walked on.

"As I walked, I was bothered by my saying no to their question. I was 16-17 years old. I didn’t know what I really wanted, but I knew that I sought spirituality and was ready to go all the way for it."

About a year later, Noam’s brother was bar mitzva. Rabbi Chaim Tzadok of Bnei Brak prepared him by coming to the house a few times a week. Each time he came he said something nice to Noam.

"At that time you couldn’t talk to me about Judaism, but it seems that each time he said something to me, it made an impression," recalls Rabbi Harpaz today, twenty-five years later.

The Shabbos of the bar mitzva, Parshas Ki Seitzei, Rabbi Tzadok came from Bnei Brak to Givatayim wearing his sirtuk and Chabad tallis. He was drenched in sweat. When he entered the house he turned to Noam and said, "Noam, come, we’re going to the beit knesset." Young Noam sat near Rabbi Tzadok during the davening. "He opened a siddur for me and showed me how to daven."

"Something happened to me at that davening. I was really into it, to the point that after the davening my mother approached me and asked what had happened to me, for all the older women said Noam was davening like a dati (religious person).

"I was drawn by the t’filla and I realized that I had to seek out Judaism. A week later I went to Kfar Chabad in order to learn what it was like to be religious. I stayed with Rabbi Zalman Gafni, and each day I went to yeshiva and learned with the bachurim.

"My breaking point came during the Chassidus class, about a week after I had arrived at the yeshiva. I spoke with Rabbi Yitzchok Elishevitz, who today is the mashpia in Kiryat Gat. He was a deep bachur who learned assiduously. He was always withdrawn and never got up from his seat or spoke to anyone while in the middle of learning. We had a deep philosophical discussion and the bottom line was that it is impossible to dance at two weddings at once, and the time had come to make a commitment.

"On the one hand I felt I was losing everything I had till that point, but I had nothing else to fill the inner void. I went outside and walked the streets of Kfar Chabad for a few hours until I went to R’ Zalman’s house. When his wife saw me she realized something had happened and she served me cookies and a drink.

"In the morning I got up as a new person. The Modeh Ani that morning was a Chabadnik’s. In one stormy night a change had taken place within me and in Cheshvan I joined the yeshiva as any other bachur."

That is the story of Rabbi Noam Harpaz, today the rosh yeshiva and mashpia of the Chabad yeshiva in Katamon. He joined the yeshiva a year ago and since then has helped the yeshiva move forward.

* * *

About twenty students learn at the yeshiva. They come from all over the country. Some of them were sent by directors of Chabad houses and some sought Judaism on their own. There are also a couple bachurim who became interested in Judaism in Thailand and were sent here to learn.

"The purpose of this yeshiva," explains Rabbi Noam Harpaz, "is to offer a second chance to bachurim who never had the opportunity to learn about Judaism. It helps them fill the gaps in their knowledge of Judaism and Chassidus."

The program is the same as any Tomchei Tmimim yeshiva. When I arrived to visit the yeshiva, the zal was full of bachurim. Rabbi Shaul Rosenblatt was giving a halacha shiur and they all sat around him.

"Don’t you have a bein ha’zmanim (intercession)," I asked Rabbi Harpaz.

"We have no bein ha’zmanim," he answered firmly.

Although there are boys who come to the yeshiva with little knowledge of Yiddishkeit, for there are those who "don’t know the difference between a Chumash and a Kitzur Shulchan Aruch," they quickly get into the learning. They learn Gemara, Chassidus, and halacha, and it’s all on a deep and intensive level.

The yeshiva has a kvutza of bachurim/shluchim who learn Yoreh Dei’a and help the other students in their studies of nigleh and Chassidus. The day’s learning begins at 7:30 and ends late at night. The mesechtos learned are the same as in all other Chabad yeshivos.

In addition to the learning, the boys participate in the programs and projects that take place in the neighborhood. They recently went from door to door to register children for the nursery school, and on Fridays they set up t’fillin stands. They attend various events and help people write to the Rebbe and receive answers in the Igros Kodesh.

"We recently started a campaign in which each bachur has to make sure he has ten mushpaim in the neighborhood to meet with."

* * *

In reference to the giant Moshiach sign mentioned above, I asked Rabbi Noam Harpaz, the rosh yeshiva, on behalf of many others who wonder:

If someone comes to the yeshiva to learn Yiddishkeit, is this the message he ought to receive – Moshiach? Why not teach him to say "Modeh Ani" or other basic laws?

Rabbi Noam Harpaz: "First of all, they do learn everything, including a deep understanding of halacha, Chassidus presented in a methodical way and explained properly, and Gemara too, like any other yeshiva.

"Secondly, the only remaining avoda is to prepare others to greet Moshiach. Geula and Moshiach are the inner core of all of avodas Hashem. So when we have a farbrengen, shiurim, or talks with the students, it all revolves around Moshiach and Geula."

Does the fact that some people seem to find it hard to accept this message create any difficulties?

Rabbi Harpaz: "Concluding that people can’t accept it is an outgrowth of the inadequacies of the one giving over the message. ‘Ofen ha’miskabel’ is a rule for the mashpia not for the mekabel, because the fact is the message can be accepted, it’s just that the one giving over the message has to find the right way of doing so. If you speak words that come from your heart, they enter the heart. If you speak with emuna and bitachon, and bolster what you say with the Rebbe’s sichos and maamarei Chazal and miracle stories and practical directives, it is accepted."

"Answers through the Igros Kodesh, for example, are a supernatural phenomenon. Rational people might not accept them. For years now I’ve been giving a Chassidus class in the office of the treasury in Yerushalayim for the employees there. Officials approach me and ask me for help in understanding answers in the Igros Kodesh. I discovered that they go to the Internet site of the Chabad house of Shikun Hei in Bnei Brak, where you can write to the Rebbe and get an answer through the Igros Kodesh, and they get amazing answers.

"I can tell you that dozens of these people have since bought themselves a Chitas, changed mezuzos and t’fillin, and taken on various mitzvos according to answers they receive in the Igros Kodesh. When they don’t understand something, they bring it to me. I guess the Rebbe enters government offices even through the back door...

"We have to do our work b’ofen ha’miskabel and the Rebbe knows how to make it accepted in people’s hearts."



don’t postpone the bris to save money!

R’ Tamir Kastiel tells about how the bachurim help people write to the Rebbe: I was sitting in my office at the Chabad house one day when I got a phone call from one of the bachurim. He was visiting a hospital where he met a friend who told him that his wife needed a Caesarean section operation. The bachur was calling so that we could write a letter to the Rebbe on her behalf. On the spot we wrote the letter. The answer we got was written to a pregnant woman. The Rebbe blessed her that "Hashem complete the days of her pregnancy properly and easily."

About a week later, Ofer Avret, one of our students, was sitting in the office. He’s a mechanical engineer who learns part time and works at the Chabad house part time. The phone rang and it was the husband, who said he had had twins and he wanted the Rebbe to tell him what to name them. The bachur didn’t know that the Rebbe didn’t get involved in these matters and he wrote a letter and placed it in the Igros Kodesh.

The answer was to someone who had had twins, but one of the twins was small and the bris had to be postponed. In order to save money, the father decided to wait until both boys could be circumcised so he could make a joint celebration. The Rebbe, in his letter, negated this plan, and wrote that he should make the first bris on time while waiting for the second baby. Then as far as the name, the Rebbe said that this was up to the parents for it is a "small prophecy," and he didn’t want to mix in.

The man on the phone was stunned by the Rebbe’s answer for he too had decided to postpone making the first baby’s bris until the second baby was ready!



R’ Tamir Kastiel relates, "Two and a half years ago we opened a day camp together with the local community center. One day I saw the director of the center looking upset. I asked what had happened, but he didn’t want to talk. I realized it was a personal problem and I suggested that he write to the Rebbe and ask for his bracha. He did as I suggested and opened the Igros Kodesh to a letter in which the Rebbe blessed a woman with zara chaya v’kayama (healthy children) and that the birth be an easy one. On the same page there was another letter in which the Rebbe blesses someone on the birth of a son.

I didn’t probe him to explain the answers, but I could see that he was moved. He finally decided to tell me his problem. His wife was in an advanced stage of pregnancy and the doctors had told her that the baby was not okay and that she had to abort. The doctors frightened them and they didn’t know what to do. Now that he had gotten the Rebbe’s bracha, he saw that the Rebbe related directly to the issue that was bothering him. I also encouraged him and said not to rush to listen to the doctors, and I told him the various segulos the Rebbe gave a woman in childbirth.

A few months later he called me from the delivery room and told me his wife had given birth to a son. Since that time he has been one of our biggest helpers in our educational work, both through the center and in the community at large. This past Tishrei, he and some others traveled with me to 770.


The Rebbe’s helping hand in this, too

The yeshiva was in the news recently, though the reason wasn’t exactly a positive one. Nevertheless, R’ Tamir Kastiel sees the Rebbe’s helping hand in this, too.

"Lately, all the Igros I get have to do with advertising the yeshiva or increasing the number of students. Whatever we ask, it makes no difference what the subject is, the answers always have to do with the talmidim."

So what did the newspapers and radio have to say about the yeshiva? One of the boys who learned at the yeshiva was in an accident a few years ago. Just a few months ago he received a large sum of money in compensation. When he saw how R’ Tamir was struggling financially, he offered a loan. When the time was up, the loan was repaid and shortly thereafter he offered a nice donation.

The boy’s family was furious, for they wanted his money. Why on earth did he give it to a yeshiva?! They announced that he wasn’t normal and that the yeshiva administration had fooled him out of tens of thousands of shekel ostensibly on behalf of the yeshiva, but which they actually pocketed.

"He was an outstanding student," says R’ Tamir, and Rabbi Harpaz nodded in agreement. "He was studious and kept the sedarim. He ran mesibos Shabbos for forty children and gave a weekly class in the local old-age home. He was very responsible and made steady progress. He learned here for a year and we never thought him to be insane."

The police got involved and the situation turned ugly and scandalous. Policemen visited the boys’ dormitory building in the middle of the night without a search warrant. They looked for the bachur but didn’t find him. The boy’s brother attacked one of the bachurim.

Rabbi Kastiel and Rabbi Harpaz received a summons to a police investigation a month ago. They grilled Rabbi Harpaz for four hours and Rabbi Kastiel for seven hours straight, without allowing them to eat or drink. The interrogation was deliberately intimidating with the police using threats, scare tactics, curses, lies, and defamation of their names and character.

During the investigation, the police publicized the case to all the papers, radio, and television, for the purpose of pressuring the roshei yeshiva and besmirching their name. Meanwhile, they were forbidden to talk because after all, they were in the middle of an investigation.

"We were defamed without being able to respond," complains Rabbi Kastiel. "We couldn’t say anything to the journalists who came to the yeshiva, except for telling them about the yeshiva, its purpose and goals.

"Suddenly I realized that after I had received many answers from the Rebbe about advertising the yeshiva which I didn’t do, events were orchestrated from Above so that the yeshiva got plenty of publicity – even if it was not to our liking."


Rabbi Tamir Kastiel, The Ninja Rabbi
His brother had started putting on t’fillin following a discovery in Japanese scrolls which had been written 700 years before, in which it said that the principles of ninjitsu had been developed by two families “from the land of Judah,” who had fled Eretz Yisroel 1400 years before and had arrived in Japan.



(From left to right:)
Rabbi Noam Harpaz, Rabbi Tamir Kastiel,
Rabbi Doron Oren, and Rabbi Shlomo Shemeida


Local youth join the yeshiva bachurim at a Chassidic farbrengen
with Rabbi Yeshaya Hertzel





‘Ofen ha’miskabel’ is a rule for the mashpia not for the mekabel, because the fact is the message can be accepted, it’s just that the one giving over the message has to find the right way of doing so.


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