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My Machberes

Liska/Rimanover Chassunah

In the Liska Beis Medrash of Boro Park moments before candle lighting time on Erev Shabbos Vayishlach, November 30, Aleksander Sender Friedlander was ennobled by his grandfather, Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Friedlander, fifth Liska Rebbe and author of Chamudei Tzvi, with the traditional placement of a shtreimel on the head of a chassan.

Shtreimel for the Liska chassan. (Credit: Shmuel Lenchevsky)

Chassan domeh l’melech – a chassan is the equivalent of a king (Pirkei D’Rebbe Eliezer 17). Our sages declared that a chassan must be respected as a ruling king and, of course, a kallah must be honored as a reigning queen. That is why a chassan and kallah, before their wedding day, must not walk alone but be escorted. The placement of a shtreimel on the head of a chassan is traditionally performed by a person of distinction, such as a chassidishe rebbe, a rav, a rosh yeshiva or a grandfather.

Aleksander Sender, son of Rabbi Sholom Chaim Friedlander, was uniquely honored by his grandfather, a venerated chassidishe rebbe descending from a revered chassidishe dynasty.

On Sunday, December 2, chassidim gathered at the Tiferes Rivka hall in Boro Park to be part of the kabbolas panim for the chassan. Ladies gathered to welcome the kallah, Esther Miriam, daughter of Rabbi Chaim Elazar Wassertheil, Rimanover Rebbe. The chassan is also a grandson of Rabbi Avrohom Mordechai Safran, Kamarna Rebbe in Jerusalem.

The chuppah was held on a bedecked platform across the street from the wedding hall, in an open area ordinarily used as a parking lot. The Liska Rebbe, as mesader kiddushin, officiated, imbuing the joining of two chassidishedynasties with sanctity and blessing.

(L-R) The chassan; the Liska Rebbe; the Hivnover Rav. (Credit: Shmuel Lenchevsky)

Singing and dancing erupted as the chassan and kallah were escorted into the wedding hall after the meal. The mitzvah tantz honoring the kallah by the chassidishe rebbes, fathers and grandfathers included, was a picture of joy and ecstasy.

The kallah’s father, the Rimanover Rebbe, is distinguished in his outreach and community work. His doors are always open and his table is always set and welcoming. The Rimanover Rebbe was a prime disciple and close confidant of Rabbi Pinchas Menachem Alter, zt”l, (1926-1996), sixth Gerer Rebbe and author of Pnei Menachem, for more than sixteen years. The Pnei Menachem served as rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Sefas Emes Ger in Jerusalem before he was anointed Gerer Rebbe in 1992. Given his relationship with the Pnei Menachem, the Rimanover Rebbe was privy to and participated in many discussions with Gedolei Torah and Jewish leaders. When the Pnei Menachem passed away, the Rimanover Rebbe returned to the United States.

Under the chuppah (L-R): The Hivnover Rav; the Liska Rebbe; Rabbi Sholom Chaim Friedlander (father of the chassan); the chassan; and the Rimanover Rebbe. (Credit: Shmuel Lenchevsky)

The Rimanover Rebbe is a direct descendant of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Tarim, zt”l (1745-1815), Rimanover Rebbe and author of Tziyon Menachem. As prime disciple of the Noam Elimelech and Rabbi Shmelke of Nikolsburg, zt”l (1726-1778), and as mentor to Rabbi Naftali of Ropshitz, zt”l (1760-1827), the Rimanover Rebbe is considered a pillar of chassidism. Today’s Rimanover Rebbe continues his teachings.

The chassan is a great-grandson of Rabbi Yozef Friedlander, zt”l (1918-1971), Liska Rebbe and author of Tzvi Vechamid who survived the Holocaust, emigrated to the United States in1947, and established the Liska Beis Medrash in Boro Park. He is interred on Har HaMenuchos adjacent to the Belzer Rebbe, zt”l. The Tzvi Vechamid is a son of Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Friedlander, zt”l Hy”d (1874-1944), Liska Rebbe and author of Sharei Hayosher who was murdered in the Holocaust; son of Rabbi Chaim Friedlander, zt”l (1840-1904), Liska Rebbe and author of Tal Chaim; son-in-law of Rabbi Zvi Hirsh Friedman, zt”l (1890-1874), founding Liska Rebbe and author of Ach Pri Tevuah.

In addition, the chassan is a grandson of Rabbi Avrohom Yehoshua Heshel Frankel, zt”l Hy”d (1874-1944), Hivnover Rav and descendant of Rabbi Sholom Rokeach, zt”l (1783-1855), founding Belzer Rebbe known as the Sar Sholom; Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Dravrimdiker, zt”l (1740-1810), revered Berditchiver Rebbe and author of Kedushas Levi; and Rabbi Elimelech Weissblum, zt”l (1717-1787), Lijensker Rebbe and author of Noam Elimelech.

Second Vishnitzer Rebbe Visits America

Rabbi Menachem Mendel, Vishnitzer Rebbe and younger son of Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua Hager, zt”l (1916-2012), Bnei Brak Vishnitzer Rebbe and author of Yeshoas Moshe, will be arriving in New York. This will be his first visit here since last March, when his father passed away and he was thrust into leadership by his chassidim.

The late Vishnitzer Rebbe was survived by two sons and four daughters. His older son, Rabbi Yisroel and his younger son, Rabbi Menachem Mendel, were anointed as Vishnitzer Rebbes, succeeding their father.

Rabbi Menachem Mendel’s chassidim had established their own huge beis medrash in Bnei Brak. Rabbi Menachem Mendel is the son-in-law of Rabbi Avrohom Dovid Horowitz, zt”l (d. 2004), Strassburger Rav and author of Kinyan Halacha B’Torah, later Jerusalem Badatz Dayan. Rabbi Menachem Mendel’s son-in-law is Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Katz, son of Rabbi Asher Anshel Katz, Vienner Rav. Rabbi Moshe Mordechai’s twin sons are reaching bar mitzvah, and their grandfather from Bnei Brak is coming to join in the double celebration to be held at the Rose Castle in Williamsburg on Wednesday evening, December 5. Thousands of chassidim were expected to attend.

The Vishnitzer Rebbe will publicly light Chanukah candles Tuesday evening, December 11, in Williamsburg. On Thursday, December 13, the rebbe will be lighting in the Five Towns in order to strengthen and inspire the Jewish communities of Far Rockaway and the Five Towns, which are recovering from Hurricane Sandy’s fury. On Motzaei Shabbos Mikeitz, December 15, the rebbe will be lighting in Boro Park.

Sunday, Zois Chanukah, December 16, will feature two main events. The rebbe will conduct the special Chanukah tisch in Boro Park and later lead in the Chanukas Habayis (inauguration) of the new Vishnitzer Beis Medrash for his chassidim in Monsey.

Zois Chanukah In Dinov, Poland

The town of Dinov (Dynov-Dinow) is located in the Lwow District of Poland. Jews are recorded as residing there as early as 1552. Rabbi Zvi Elimelech Shapiro, zt”l (1783-1841), founding Dinover and Munkatcher Rebbe and author of Bnei Yesoschor, established his chassidishe court in Dinov in 1825.

The Bnei Yesoschor writes that Zois Chanukah is a special day when prayers for conception and for livelihood are accepted. The Bnei Yesoschor composed a special tefillah for such supplication. Through the years, thousands have converged at his ohel. In recent years, the Bnei Yesoschor Foundation was established to facilitate Jews coming on pilgrimage to Dinov.

In recent years, for the first time since before World War II, large groups have been traveling to Dinov, especially for Zois Chanukah. Last year, bitterly cold weather did not prevent thousands from coming and celebrating. Praying, singing, and dancing continued for more than five hours at the ohel after Chanukah candle-lighting.

This year, Zois Chanukah is Sunday, December 16. With Chanukah candle-lighting on Motzaei Shabbos, many visitors will be in Dinov for Shabbos. The Bnei Yesoschor Foundation had outfitted its building and chartered additional facilities in Dinov to comfortably accommodate the many chassidishe pilgrims expected. The Motzaei Shabbos event, with the group recital of the Bnei Yesoschor’s special tefillah, promises to be something everyone on hand will long remember.

For special requests and for those unable to make the trip, kvitlech will be accepted in Boro Park (917-586-3689) and Williamsburg (347-219-1303, or by e-mail, pini3537@gmail.com).

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