Almost all of Monsey lost electricity, though many homes had power restored after Shabbos. All homes in New Square lost electricity. Makeshift generators were able to provide enough light for the sheva berachos celebration of the Squarer Rebbe’s granddaughter that took place in the main beis medrash on Monday evening, the night of the storm. Meals were served in the beis medrash as well as delivered to homes.
Nearly all of Lakewood was plunged into darkness. The National Guard was called in. Beth Medrash Govoha was powered by generators and the learning of Torah went on uninterrupted. The yeshiva’s lunchroom served meals throughout the crisis. Incrementally, power was returned. As of this writing, some parts of Lakewood are still in the dark.
Lower Manhattan was without electricity. The Lower East Side, with its high-rise apartment buildings and elderly population, was especially crippled. No light, no power, no water and no elevators left residents stranded, with many older folks in need of medication and food. Jewish volunteer organizations sprang into action. Many members climbed the dark stairways of one high rise building after another to the top floors and worked their way down to serve the elderly.
Most businesses in Manhattan were closed during the crisis and days thereafter. B&H, the electronics superstore at 9th Avenue and West 34th Street, a wellspring of livelihood for thousands of frum families, was open immediately after the crisis. In addition and most notably, B&H made thousands of electrical outlets freely available outside its establishment for charging cellular phones, giving those stranded without power the ability to communicate with the outside world.
The B&H warehouse at the Brooklyn Navy Yard was singularly spared flooding and damage.
Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok Rebbe In New York
Rabbi Shmuel Yaakov Cohen, Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok Rebbe, arrived in New York on Sunday, November 11. The Rebbe was met at the airport by hundreds of chassidim who stood in line to greet him and to kiss his hand in welcome. The large group accompanied the Rebbe to the home of Gedalia Yosef Leib Ausch at 12 Boxwood Lane in Monsey (845-352-0304). The Ausch residence serves as his first headquarters on regular visits.
On Wednesday, the Rebbe was scheduled to move to Williamsburg to be hosted at the home of Satmar’s vice president, Yitzchok Rosenberg, 105 Ross Street, suite 4-R, in Williamsburg (718-387-2184). For Shabbos Toldos, November 16-17, tefillas and tisch will be held at the Rose Castle. On Thursday, November 22, the Rebbe will travel to Lakewood for Shabbos. On Tuesday, November 27, he will come to Boro Park and stay for Shabbos. On Wednesday, December 5, the Rebbe will return to Jerusalem.