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Vancouver Shliach Dedicates New Sefer to Deceased Colleague

Rabbi Binyomin Bitton shared a unique bond with the late Rabbi Eliezer Lipman (Lipa) Dubrawsky, formerly educational director of Chabad-Lubavitch of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. In addition to being personal friends, they spent many long hours discussing scholarly Torah subjects across the board.

In time for the second anniversary of the latter’s untimely passing at the age of 56, Bitton, co-director of Chabad of Downtown Vancouver, has released a book of in-depth research and analysis on the opinions and Talmudic mindsets of two Talmudic sages, Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus and Rabbi Yehoshua ben Chananya, based on the unique approach and teachings of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory.

“The idea first came to me shortly after Rabbi Dubrawsky’s passing,” explains Bitton. “His first name was Eliezer, and his father’s name was Yehoshua. I felt it would be a fitting memorial for two men who dedicated so much of their lives to Torah to explain the positions of two sages whose names they bear.”

While he was not initially sure if he would have enough material for a book, Bitton’s research yielded a robust, 300-page Hebrew volume titled Rabbi Eliezer Hagadol (“the Great Rabbi Eliezer”), an honorific often used for the Talmudic sage, which Bitton says aptly describes his great friend and mentor as well.

Following a classic pattern championed by the Rebbe, the author identifies the prototypical approaches of the two first-century sages, and then goes on to apply those same underpinnings to seemingly unrelated arguments of theirs dotting the Talmudic landscape.

“The Rebbe had a unique way of learning of leshitasayhu”–the notion that the rulings of Talmudic sages on disparate subjects are related to one another–explains Bitton, “and this forms the basis of the book. The widely accepted approach to leshitasayhu is that the ruling on one particular subject evolves from another one.

“By the Rebbe, it works on a different, deeper plane: In his view, many opinions evolve from a quintessential point in which the two sages essentially disagree, and from there, their opinion evolves in numerous subjects, which at first glance may not be related at all. Accordingly, the Rebbe further explains how theapproach of each sage evolves and/or is connected to their Hebrew name, soul, place of residence, responsibilities, position and more. This, too, was incorporated in the book with regards to Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua.”

In 45 chapters, Bitton masterfully weaves common threads through the full gamut of human experience, demonstrating how the sages approached dozens of subjects that can be traced to the same fundamental axioms.

The book was released just in time for 27 Nissan, the second anniversary of the rabbi’s sudden passing in 2013. Thus, the book’s second part deals with the two sacrifices that frame the time of year: the Omer barley offering that was brought to the Temple in Jerusalem on the second day of Passover, and the two loaves brought seven weeks later on Shavuot.

Expounding upon a discourse of the Rebbe, Bitton applies the Rebbe’s principles to a number of different aspects of the two offerings—even explaining how they reflect through the Kabbalistic lens of Chabad Chassidic tradition.

“Rabbi Dubrawsky dedicated his life to learning Torah and teaching Torah every single day,” affirms Bitton, “and I truly feel that through sharing Torah with others, we can perpetuate his special life.”

3 Comments

  • 1. Moshe wrote:

    Rabbi Dubrowski was my teacher for one year in yeshiva chanoch lenaar and he was excellent.

    at the end of the year. he bought gifts for all his students. I got a mincha/maariv with a personal message written by him inside the front cover.

    It said ‘always remember to say modeh ani first thing in the morning’

    and thanks to his suggestion I am always very careful to do it.

    Thank you Rabbi Dubrowski for a wonderful year of learning you gave me in high school. May your neshoma be blessed by g-d almighty and elevated to to infinite levels

  • 2. WOWO wrote:

    I have known Rabbi Binyomin Biton for many years now, since his days in Brunoy, where he was known to be a big massmid.
    one can n trullu learn from his hasmmada, that continued in to his life, even as a busy shliach with a family, and director of mosdois.
    Kol Hakovod.
    surely the Rebbe has lots of Nachas.

  • 3. cnl wrote:

    My son was on Shlichus in Vancouver. He said that both Rabbi Dubrowsky and Rabbi Bitton were very special people. He learned a lot from them and that they were true Shluchim of the Rebbe. It’s so sad that Rabbi Dubrowsky passed away so young when he still had so much to give and teach. Hatzlacha to Rabbi Bitton and his family.

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