Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
Editor’s Note: A photo Rabbi Tannenbaum included in last week’s My Machberes, of a meeting in Jerusalem between the Satmar and Belzer Rebbes, was, unfortunately, not authentic. The picture was obviously Photoshopped. Such a meeting did not take place. We regret our oversight in publishing it.
Lakewood Yeshiva Bans Smoking
The roshei yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha (BMG) of Lakewood have issued a wide-ranging prohibition forbidding smoking of any kind in any of the facilities of BMG, though smoking by BMG’s students has been banned for quite some time. Students include those married as well as those unmarried. The extended ban by Rabbi Aryeh Malkiel Kotler, Rabbi Yeruchim Olshin, Rabbi Yisroel Neuman, Rabbi Dovid Schustal and Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon now includes everyone, every type of smoking, in every facility. Further, the ban also includes electronic smoke. Additionally, the ban specifically forbids all smoking in public. The prohibition has been enthusiastically received.
On Tuesday, February 7, Mordechai Katz will marry the daughter of Rabbi Eliyahu Yitzchok Brisk, Toshnad Rav in Monsey, in Ateres Chaya Sarah Hall on South Madison Avenue in Monsey. The chassan is the son of Rabbi Asher Anshel Katz, eldest son of Rabbi Chaim Leib Katz, Serdehaly Rav in Boro Park. Rabbi Asher Anshel is the son of Rabbi Yehoshua Katz, zt”l (d. 1985), Sombotheily Rav; son of Rabbi Asher Anshel Katz, zt”l Hy”d (1881-1944), Serdehaly Rav and author of Ule’ashar Omar; son-in-law of Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Ehrenreich, zt”l Hy”d (d. 1944), Shomloyer Rav and author of Lechem Shlomo. Rabbi Chaim Leib is also a grandson of Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Pollack zt”l, Woodkerter Rav.
The kallah is the granddaughter of Rabbi Yehoshua Brisk, zt”l (1932-2010), Toshnad Rav in Netanya; son of Rabbi Aaron Zvi Brisk, zt”l (d. 1960), Tashnad Rav who immigrated to Natanya; son of Rabbi Mordechai Brisk, zt”l Hy”d (1886-1944), Toshnad Rav and author of Maharam Brisk; son of Rabbi Yehoshua Brisk, zt”l (d. 1914), Toshnad Rav; son of Rabbi Moshe Shmuel Brisk, zt”l (d. 1879), Nir’arad Rav; son-in-law of Rabbi Shimon Lieberman, zt”l, Shenya Rav; son of Rabbi Yitzchok Yehuda Lieberman, zt”l, Shenya Rav; son of Rabbi Shimon Lieberman, zt”l, Mahd Rav.
The celebrations begin with the Shabbos Beshalach aufruf, February 3-4, at the Serdehaly Beis Medrash in Boro Park, followed by a royal kiddush. In order to accommodate the large number of guests who will arrive to partake in the special Shabbos, chassunah, and sheva berachos, a special hachnassas orchim committee was formed to organize lodging. The Shabbos Yisro Sheva Berachos will be held at the Toshnad Beis Medrash in Monsey.
On Sunday, January 29, Yitzchok Dov Jungreis married Tziporah Friedman, daughter of Rabbi Alexander Zusha Friedman, at the Ateres Chaya Sarah Hall in Monsey. The chassan is the son of Rabbi Mordechai Zev Jungreis, Nikolsberger Rebbe in Boro Park and Woodbourne. The simcha began with the aufruf on Shabbos Bo and continues with sheva berachos through Shabbos Beshalach. In order to accommodate a larger participation of chassidim, family, and friends, the tefillos, tisch and kiddush, led by the Nikolsberger Rebbe, were held at Beth El Hall on 15th Avenue in Boro Park.
Nikolsburg in Boro Park
The Nikolsburger Rebbe, a long time rebbe at Yeshiva Chaim Berlin where he continues to infuse his students with a passion for Torah and Yiddishkeit, established his beis medrash at 4912 16th Avenue, where he also conducts an evening kollel. The beis medrash exerts a magnetic pull and the Nikolsburger Rebbe has developed a lively following. Very much in the spirit of Rabbi Yeshaye Steiner, zt”l (1852-1925) – Keresturer Rebbe lovingly renowned as Reb Shayaleh Kerestirer – there is always a bounty of heimishe food on the tables in the beis medrash where the idiom “no one goes away hungry” rules. The Nikolsburger Rebbe has had much success with chassidishe youth-at-risk.
Immediately prior to the summer of 2010, the Nikolsburger Rebbe of Boro Park formally met with the dedicated administration of Woodbourne’s B’nai Israel Synagogue and, with their enthusiastic support, assumed summer leadership of the Woodbourne Shul. Though the shul had not been fully utilized for years, the board’s resilience in its maintenance is recognized as an important part of the shul’s successful transformation.
Nikolsburger chassidim upgraded the Woodbourne shul. In addition, they rented a home across the street that serves as the Nikolsburger Rebbe’s summer residence. With the shul’s downstairs refurbished and turned into a large second beis medrash, the shul accommodates more than one minyan at a time. Often, a third simultaneous minyan is held outside the front doors. The last minyan for weekday Maariv was scheduled for 11:45 pm, but minyan after minyan continued well past midnight.
The Shomrei Shabbos Shul on 13th Avenue in Boro Park is probably the most famous shul in America if not the world. The Itzkowitz Shul in Bnei Brak is celebrated as a minyan factory. El Al once had an aggressive advertising campaign boasting that one could daven Shacharis at the Itzkowitz Shul in Bnei Brak, fly El Al, and arrived in New York in time to daven Minchah at the Shomrei Shabbos Shul in Boro Park. Now, Woodbourne’s Nikolsburger beis medrash ranks with Shomrei Shabbos and Itzkowitz.
On Shabbos in Woodbourne, the Nikolsburger Rebbe leads tefillos and tisch in the shul. The shalosh seudos that lasts beyond the regular Havdalah and a grand melaveh malkah draw large crowds and are appreciated not only by those living nearby, but by those who drive there as well.
Another component the Nikolsburger Rebbe introduced in Woodbourne is a constant smorgasbord of cake, nosh, and drinks set out at all times. In addition, during late afternoon and evening hours, chulent and kugel (potato and noodle) are served to all takers. As in Boro Park, the Nikolsburger Rebbe generously provides physical as well as spiritual nourishment.
As more and more sefarim were being brought into the shul daily, the facility offered visitors to Woodbourne a retreat where they were able to learn their Daf Yomi, Mishnah, Gemara, Chumash, or Shulchan Aruch daily shiur, or recite Tehillim in tranquil surroundings. The opening of the shul 24/7 has had a profound effect on Woodbourne. Watching men and boys on Main Street during the summer rushing to catch a minyan at all hours was a vision of the Nikolsburger Rebbe that materialized.
Rabbi Mordechai Zev Jungreis, Nikolsburger Rebbe of Boro Park and of Woodbourne, is the youngest son of Rabbi Elazar Aryeh Jungreis, zt”l (1897-1990), Chenger Rav and author of Beis Asher; son and successor of Rabbi Asher Anshel Jungreisz, zt”l Hy”d (1875-1944), Chenger Rav; son of Rabbi Avrohom Jungreisz, zt”l (d. 1904), Chenger Rav and author of Beis Avrohom; son of Rabbi Asher Anshel Jungreisz, zt”l (1806-1873), Chenger Rav and revered author of Menuchas Asher.
Stechiner Rebbe Visits Kiryas Yoel
Shabbos Shemos was grandly celebrated in Kiryas Yoel, led by Rabbi Mordechai Menashe Silber, Stechiner Rebbe in Boro Park. Many residents of Kiryas Yoel have been inviting the Stechiner Rebbe to infuse them with the passion and zeal that radiates from the Stechiner Beis Medrash at 1437 54th Street in Boro Park, where every Shabbos is exhilarating. Watching the Stechiner Rebbe go home after davening on Shabbos is a spectacle. The Rebbe is surrounded by many chassidim, all straining to catch any word spoken. The group walks up 14th Avenue, in the middle of the street. Oncoming cars see the crowd and swerve to the right and to the left.
As news of the Stechiner Rebbe coming to Kiryas Yoel spread, residents scheduled their Shabbos activities to correspond to the anticipated Stechiner Shabbos, The Rebbe arrived on Thursday morning, January 26. That afternoon the Rebbe went from one yeshiva to another and one kollel to another. At each stop, the Rebbe delivered inspirational discourses. That evening he gave a shiur on chassidus and the week’s parshah at Beis Medrash Binyan Ariel.
The Stechiner Rebbe’s Shabbos tefillos and tisch were held at Keren Vayoel Moshe Hall, where meals for all the guests and many residents were served. Zemiros were heartily sung according to the minhag of Rozvodov and Ropshitz, interspersed with divrei Torah. The tefillos and tisch drew standing-room-only crowds. The highlight of the Stechiner Rebbe’s visit was the shalosh seudos, where listeners heard searing mussar from the Rebbe.
The home of Yisroel Dov Goldberger served as Stechiner headquarters. In addition to hosting the Rebbe, Mr. Goldberger is assuming a great share of the costs of expanding the Stechiner Beis Medrash in Boro Park. A majestic melaveh malkah was conducted at the home of Refael Eckstein where many Kiryas Yoel residents came to participate and be blessed by the Rebbe.
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