web analytics
February 1, 2015 / 12 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Chaim Kaminetzky – Zecher Tzaddik Leverachah


Chaim Kaminetzky

Chaim Kaminetzky

Chaim was involved with several organizations, but one that primarily spoke to Chaim’s heart was Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services. The enormous compassion and vision Chaim brought to Ohel over the past three decades were indispensable assets. Chaim also expanded his activities to include the National Council of Young Israel and was elected national president in the early 1990s. At that time, the National Council, once a central voice in the world of American Orthodoxy, seemed to have faded into the background. Under Chaim’s leadership, however, the organization was restored to its place as a national and international voice of Orthodox Jewry, which it remains today.

Chaim was well respected in the political world as well, and was frequently called on for his advice and assistance with Jewish affairs. One political figure who frequently sought Chaim’s counsel was former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, who had a singular respect for Chaim. When Chaim was honored by Ohel, then-Mayor Giuliani was scheduled to be the keynote speaker. As it turned out, that night was one of the coldest of the year and the mayor was tied up in his efforts to get people off the streets and into shelters. Nevertheless, at about 11 p.m., after nearly everyone had cleared out and the lights were about to go off, there came a shout from the back of the ballroom: “Where’s Chaim? Let’s have dinner!” In strolled the mayor, who wasn’t about to miss a chance to honor Chaim. They brought out the food, and Mayor Giuliani and Chaim sat down together to a private dinner.

Professionally, Chaim was a nursing home administrator. But in that endeavor as well Chaim stood out as one of those who went above and beyond for his residents. Shortly after I met Chaim, he called and asked me to put together a band for a bar mitzvah scheduled to take place at his nursing home. Though I thought it an unusual place for a bar mitzvah, I asked no questions and booked the musicians. As it turned out, there was a 58-year-old resident dying of lung cancer who had expressed regret that he’d never had a bar mitzvah. Chaim got wind of it and made him a gala bar mitzvah celebration with all the trimmings.

Chaim’s governing philosophy was: “If anyone is unhappy, find out what it is so I can fix it. I don’t want any unhappy residents.”

* * * * *

Chaim was well known for his extraordinary culinary talents and, true to his natural inclination to take care of people, he really knew how to make a feast. This found expression in his “Pesach With the Chevrah” programs, which combined Chaim’s signature elite cuisine with five-star hotel accommodations. Chaim, together with his sons and sons-in-law, was able to convert an entire hotel into a Yom Tov paradise while adhering to strict halachic standards. What Chaim most enjoyed about the Pesach programs, however, was having the opportunity to bring together his extended family and dear friends for Yom Tov and serve them in grand style – or “Chaim Style.”

For a typical Pesach he hosted more than a thousand guests but, true to his nature, refused to sit down to his own Seder until he had personally checked on every table to make sure all his guests were happy.

Chaim’s love for Torah and Yiddishkeit was boundless. When it came to performing a mitzvah, he did that “Chaim Style” as well, sparing nothing. A perfect example was Chaim’s sukkah. Walking through its threshold was like passing from Kansas into the Land of Oz; adorned with fountains, chandeliers, dancing monkeys, waterfalls, a fish tank, and even a scale model of the Beis HaMikdash, it had to be seen to be believed. And as if all that weren’t enough, he also had an elevated train circumnavigating the perimeter.

When it came to standing on principle, Chaim was a fearless warrior. But at the same time he was most definitely a “softy” as his emotions were always close to the surface and he was never far from tears. But no reminiscence of Chaim could possibly be complete without reference to his impish sense of humor. There were certain lines he used that were uniquely his – “Chaim-isms,” if you will. For example, if you ever used the expression “chas v’shalom” in his presence he would quickly retort, “I know his brother, Oliver.” Think about it.

About the Author: Ira Heller is a singer/performer and an attorney practicing law in New York City. He can be contacted at singer721@aol.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Chaim Kaminetzky – Zecher Tzaddik Leverachah”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Historic Jewish U.S. Civil War period restaurant tokens.
Jewish Money in the Civil War to be Shown in Jerusalem
Latest Indepth Stories
Eli Weiss

Shepherding in the Shomron isn’t your usual kind of shepherding – despite his business-minded beginnings, Eli has discovered that a strong ideological impetus powers the job.

Resnick-013015-Pilot

I said to myself, “This story has got to be told. We’re losing this generation of World War II and if we don’t listen to them now, we’ve lost it.”

Eller-013015

His entire existence was about spreading simcha and glorifying G-d’s name on a daily basis.

IRAN-US-POLITICS-MILITARY

An Israeli strike could theoretically damage Iran’s nuclear program; only US can terminate program

At some point we need to stop simply defending and promoting Israel and start living in Israel

“We Jews are the only people who when we drop a book on the floor pick it up and kiss it.”

Though Zaide was the publisher of The Jewish Press, a big newspaper,I always remember him learning

Speaker Silver has been an extraordinary public servant since his election to the Assembly in 1975 and has been an exemplary leader of that body since 1994.

He spent the first leg of his daylong visit to the French capital at Hyper Cacher.

Drawing Congress into the Iran nuclear debate is the last thing the White House wants.

Great leaders like Miriam and like Sarah Schenirer possess the capacity to challenge the status quo that confronts them.

Obama’s foreign policy is viewed by both liberals and conservatives as deeply flawed

Many journalists are covertly blaming the Charlie Hebdo writers themselves through self-censorship.

Why does the Times relay different motivations and narratives for jihadists in Europe and Israel?

More Articles from Ira Heller
Jacob W. Heller, z"l

My father took Yeshiva University debating into the national spotlight when he competed in the individual National Collegiate Debate finals.

Chaim Kaminetzky

I’ve always wondered what factors determine whether one gets a z”l suffix (zichrono leverachah) or a zt”l (zecher tzaddik leverachah) after he’s passed on. I know of no objective standard, or of any official sanctioning board that makes these decisions. In my understanding, the term zt”l is exclusively reserved for luminaries who have benefited their generation with their exemplary deeds and accomplishments.

What is it about a diamond that makes it the most valuable gemstone known to man?

The irony doesn’t get any better than this.
Barack Obama is supported by multitudes of Americans so eager to demonstrate their “liberal” benevolence that they gave him their votes on faith, before they had any substantial knowledge of who the man really is. Enter into the picture the images of Obama’s beloved minister of 20 years, Jeremiah Wright, spewing his hateful venom to his delirious mass of followers.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/chaim-kaminetzky-zecher-tzaddik-leverachah/2012/12/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: