Latest update: March 1st, 2012
Rosh Chodesh With The Igud
For the past twenty-one years the Igud Horabbonim-Rabbinical Alliance of America, led by its president, Rabbi Abraham B. Hecht, has been convening Torah conferences every rosh chodesh. The conferences were inaugurated by the late Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, zt”l.
At the conferences, member rabbis – who lead congregations, educational institutions and religious organization – review various Torah challenges facing the community, with two member rabbis, each a respected scholar, sharing their insights.
Immediately after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the Igud convened and heard from Rabbi Yisroel Belsky (may Heaven grant him a refuah shleima bimiheira), rosh yeshiva Torah Vodaath, Rabbi Herschel Kurzrock, Igud rosh beis din; and Rabbi Aaron Dov Brisman, chief rabbi of Philadelphia, on how to properly handle issues pertaining to widows of those killed that terrible day.
When the Indian hair sheitel and New York City water issues arose in 2004, the Igud invited leading poskim to review and present all applicable halachic perspectives. Kashrus problems are discussed in detail by, among others, Rabbi Moshe Y. Weiner, rabbinic administrator of both the Kosher Information Center (KIC-Flatbush) and the Kosher Information Service (KIS-Boro Park).
Rosh Chodesh Adar 5772/2012
The Igud convened its Rosh Chodesh Adar 5772 Torah Conference at Beis Medrash Tiferes Yechezkel-Beled, in Boro Park, on Wednesday evening, February 22, with the participation of Rabbi Yonah Metzger, chief rabbi of Israel and author of Kanfei Yonah, together with more than 100 participants. This writer, as Igud menahel and chairman, called upon Rabbi Yehoshua Yonason Lustig, Igud dayan, to lead the assembled in recitation of Tehillim on behalf of our gedolim in need of Divine intervention.
The elegantly catered dinner was provided by Binyamin Barber, widely known as Ben Barber, celebrated shirt maker and linen industry leader. Reb Binyamin, brother-in-law of the Beleder Rav, is an important community statesman who uses his many connections on behalf of the observant community.
The Beleder Rav
Rabbi Yosef Toiseg, Beleder Rav and author of Aderes Yosef, delivered warm divrei Torah to the conference. He is the son of Rabbi Yechezkel Toiseg, zt”l (1917-1972), author of Tiferes Yechezkel; son of Rabbi Yisroel Toiseg, zt”l (1889-1967), Matersdorfer Rebbe and author of Beis Yisroel; son-in-law of Rabbi Yosef Pressberger, zt”l (d. 1924), Matersdorfer rosh beis din and author of Tiferes Yosef. Rabbi Yechezkel was the son-in-law of Rabbi Shmuel Tapelinsky, zt”l, author of Kuntros Hatzevo’ah.
The Beleder Rav’s grandfather, the Beis Yisroel, devoted the eighth volume of his masterwork to insights on the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, authored by Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried, zt”l (1804-1886), Ungvarer rosh beis din and prolific author. In addition, Rabbi Bunim Yoel Toiseg, zt”l (1927-2007), son and succeeding Matersdorfer Rebbe, authored the three-volume Tiferes Bunim on the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch. In 2002, Rabbi Nachum Zvi Josephy, zt”l (1940-2003), rav of Beis Medrash Hagadol of Boro Park and vice president of the Igud Horabbonim, organized the building of the first ohel upon the gravesite of Rabbi Ganzfried. The ohel was recently expanded to accommodate the many that come to pray there.
The Beleder beis medrash is also home to Kollel Zichron Ephraim Fishel, led by the Beleder Rav. Its recent melaveh malkah dinner had the participation of leading chassidishe rebbes, rabbis, and roshei yeshiva, including the Kosover Rebbe, Burshtiner Rebbe, Chuster Rebbe, Zidichover Rebbe and the Pupa Rebbe of Boro Park. Melaveh Malkah guest of honor was Nachman Wasserlauf.
Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger
Rabbi Yonah Metzger, the sixth chief rabbi of the State of Israel, delivered a delightful explanation of perplexing wording in the megillah. Though the official position of chief rabbi dates back only to the formation of the State of Israel in 1948, the position in essence traces back to Yavneh and Pumbadisa, to Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, to Hillel and Shamai, and, ultimately, to Moshe Rabbeinu. The restoration of the State of Israel and the resulting recreation of the Chief Rabbinate is a return to the mighty glory of the Torah.
To Serve As Chaplain
Together with Douglas Jablon, vice president of Patient Relations & Volunteer Services at Maimonides Medical Center, and Rabbi Yitzchok Fleischer, bikur cholim pioneer, the chief rabbi presented an Avodas Hakodesh Award from the Igud to Rabbi Michoel Chazan, chaplain of the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, in recognition of his major achievements in chaplaincy training and certification for Orthodox rabbis. Graduates of Rabbi Chazan’s efforts reside across America.
Kosher Law Enforcement In Poland And New York
In Krakow, Poland, 17 trainees were awarded certificates last month on their successful kashrus seminar completion. The seminar was conducted by Rabbi Dov Landau, kosher certification officer in Bnei Brak, and Rabbi Mordechai Yosef Shudrich, chief rabbi of Poland. This was the first such event since before the Holocaust and is an indication of the increase in kosher food production in Poland.
At the same time that kosher food production in Poland is being enhanced, the New York State Kosher Law Enforcement office remains without a staff of experienced kashrus agents. All of its kosher enforcement officers were dismissed for budgetary reasons. Chief Rabbi Metzger expressed concern that New York’s prominence as a producer of kosher food will be tarnished and that the state will suffer a loss of revenues, production and jobs. The chief rabbi called for the strengthening of New York State’s Office of Kosher Law Enforcement and the reappointment of all of the discharged losher law officers.
Insuring Our Yeshiva Rebbes
Rabbi Metzger also encouraged Albert (Shmuel Noson) Kahn to continue his efforts at promoting life insurance for family breadwinners. To date, more than half of all yeshiva rebbes and teachers are covered with term-life insurance policies directly due to the campaign led by Albert. The Beleder Rav, who is personally familiar with the tireless bikur cholim work of Mrs. Kahn at Mt. Sinai Hospital, gave his blessings for spectacular success.
The Kobersdorfer Rav
Rabbi Leibish Koenig, a student of Rabbi Yosef Rosenbloom, rosh yeshiva Shaarei Yoshe, and ybc”l of Rabbi Menashe Klein, zt”l (1924-2011), serves as Kobersdorfer Rav. Until the dissolution of the Austro Hungarian monarchy in 1918, Kobarsdorf was in Hungary. Today it is in Austria. The last Kobersdorfer Rav there was Rabbi Shimon Goldberger zt”l Hy”d, uncle of the present Kobasdorfer Rav.
The current Kobersdorfer Rav is the son of Rabbi Chaim Yeshaye Koenig, Yoka Rav and author of responsa Chukei Chaim; son of Rabbi Shlomo Koenig, zt”l Hy”d (d. 1944), Yareh Rav and later Yoka Rav. The present Kobersdorfer Rav represents the tenth generation of rabbis descending from Rabbi Meir Asch, zt”l (1670-1744), Eizenstadter Rav and author of Panim Ma’eros. Yoka was a village in Hungary, not far from Pressburg. The Kobersdorfer Rav is also the grandson of Rabbi Yehuda Leib Goldberger, zt”l Hy”d (d. 1944), Siksa dayan.
A pillar of the Igud, the Kobersdorfer Rav delivered chidushei Torah and presented the chief rabbi with the most recently published (number 7) of his father’s sefer Chukei Chaim. The Kobersdorfer Rav is one of the founding Torah lecturers of Irgun Shiurei Torah, having given shiurim every Monday through Friday during the Irgun’s embryonic first four years. He continues to head a vibrant kollel in his shul. Some of its members serve as dayanim on local basei din. The recent melaveh malkah dinner for the beis medrash had the participation of leading area rabbis. Boruch Mordechai Minzer, renowned master optician and ba’al chesed, was the guest of honor.
A Candidate’s Visit
The conference was visited by David Storobin, Esq., Republican candidate in the upcoming special election on March 20 for the New York State Senate seat representing the 27th district, which includes Bensonhurst, Brighton Beach, Flatbush, Mill Basin and Sheepshead Bay, all with a considerable constituency of Orthodox Jews. Mr. Storobin spoke with many rabbis individually and shared his strong support of family values. He is a member of an Orthodox shul and received the blessings and best wishes of the rabbis.
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