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My Machberes

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Manastricher Rebbe, zt”l

The Manastricher Rebbe was imprisoned together with his son Rabbi Yaakov Rabinowitz, zt”l, later Manastricher Rebbe in Philadelphia, for the crime of encouraging children to learn Torah in yeshivas. Russian revolutionary authorities preferred that children be taught in their secular schools.

After the murder of his son and his own imprisonment, the Manastricher Rebbe intensively sought and finally received authorization to leave Russia. Arriving in the United States, the Manastricher Rebbe chose Brooklyn. His beis medrash was at Legion Street in Brownsville, Brooklyn. His son, Rabbi Yaakov, established the Manastricher Beis Medrash in Philadelphia, the third chassidishe shtiebel there.

Rabbi Gedalya Aaron Rabinowitz, zt”l

The Manastricher Rebbe was the author of Divrei Yehoshua and Toras Avos. After his arrival in America, he served as president of the Hisachdus Ho-Admorim, the organization of chassidishe rebbes. He was in the leadership of Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin as well as Yeshiva Torah Vodaath, and was recognized as the leading chassidishe rebbe in America, greatly respected by all of American Jewry. His huge funeral was reported in detail by The New York Times (April 28, 1939).

The Manastricher Rebbe was the son of Rabbi Yitzchok Yoel Rabinowitz, zt”l (1840-1885), Katikoziva Rebbe imprisoned from 1869 to 1874 by Czarist officials for the high crime of spreading Yiddishkeit; son of Rabbi Gedalya Aaron Rabinowitz, zt”l (1815-1878), Linitzer Rebbe and author of Chen Aaron who fled in 1868 to Romania; son of Rabbi Yitzchok Yoel Rabinowitz, zt”l (1793-1827), Linitzer Rebbe who succeeded his brother and also died young; son of Rabbi Gedalya Rabinowitz, zt”l (d. 1803), founding Linitzer Rebbe and author of Tshuas Chen who merited to having studied under the Baal Shem Tov.

Sacrificing The Korban Pesach, 2012

In Jerusalem a group of Torah activists assembled before Pesach to demonstrate and create familiarity with the procedures of the Korban Pesach. Citing sefer Ma’ir Einei Chachamim, where mention is made that Rabbi Israel Meir Hakohen, zt”l (1838-1933), revered author of Chofetz Chaim and Mishnah Berurah, assembled furniture items in his home to create an approximation of the ramp of the mizbeach (altar) in the courtyard of the Beis HaMikdash, and practiced running up and down the ramp. This was done in anticipation of the imminent arrival of Mashiach and the Chofetz Chaim’s readiness as a kohen to perform the holy duties required.

The Jerusalem group prepared a lamb and replica equipment to recreate the ritual of Korban Pesach. Of course they acknowledged their demonstration was not an actual sacrifice of Korban Pesach but rather a demonstration in contemplation of the arrival of Mashiach.

They went through the rituals of slaughter and the ceremonial bringing of the blood to be sprinkled on the replica mizbeach, as well as the roasting of the meat of the Korban Pesach. A kezayis (olive weight) was distributed to participants to be brought home and eaten, as was performed in the times of the Beis HaMikdash.

Specifically, the olive weight of roasted meat was not to be eaten on the evening of the Pesach night seder, at which time no roasted meat may be eaten. Absent the resurrection of the Beis HaMikdash, the sacrifice of a Korban Pesach is prohibited, as is any substitution thereof.

The event was thoroughly discussed by several Jerusalem Torah scholars who seemed to withhold their approval. They noted that Torah luminaries throughout the ages have never suggested such activities. Lacking any guidelines, the scholars were reluctant to have anything to do with the reenactment, as was evidenced by the lack of participation on the part of any leading Torah authority.

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