This will be the fifth Shabbos conducted by the Rebbe in Lakewood. The last time was Shabbos Vayakheil, February 24-25, 2008. The first was in 1989 and that Shabbos was actually the first time a chassidishe rebbe came to conduct a Shabbos, with tefillahs and tisch, in the yeshivish community of Lakewood.
The Rebbe’s ties with the yeshivish community actually began decades earlier, when he was being raised by his father in Jerusalem. Today’s Rebbe, born in 1931, was an outstanding student in Yeshiva Eitz Chaim of Jerusalem led by Rabbi Isser Zalman Meltzer, zt”l (1870-1953), with whom he achieved a warm relationship. That connection continued with Rabbi Meltzer’s son-in-law Rav Aaron Kotler, zt”l (1891-1962), founding Rosh Yeshiva of Lakewood’s Beth Medrash Govoha (BMG), and with Rav Aaron’s son Rabbi Shneur Kotler, zt”l (1918-1982), Rosh Yeshiva BMG, and with today’s Lakewood leadership as well.
The Rebbe’s first chassidishe Shabbos in Lakewood created a bond with the Lakewood community, and many Lakewood residents began visiting the Rebbe in Boro Park, especially during the Yamim Noraim. A beis medrash, known as the Rachmestrivka Shtiebel, was established in Lakewood. Rabbi Sholom Lowy serves as the Lakewood Rachmestrivka Dayan.
Shortly thereafter, an elementary yeshiva was organized, carrying the name of Zecher Yochanon Rachmestrivka. Today, the yeshiva has more than 200 students. In 2008, property was purchased and the Rebbe set the foundation stone. The building, which will serve as yeshiva and beis medrash, is in the final phase of construction. Yonason Strasser, a major philanthropist, has acquired dedication privileges to the new building, as he has to the beis medrash and yeshiva building in Boro Park.
Klausenberger Chassunah in Israel
On Sunday, Asarah B’Teves, December 16, Rabbi Zvi Elimelech Halberstam, Sanz-Klausenberger Rebbe in Netanya, escorted his eldest grandson, Chaim Moshe Halberstam, together with a large group of chassidim, to the gravesite of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai in Meron where they prayed for blessings on Chaim Moshe’s upcoming wedding to the daughter of Rabbi Nachman Biderman, son of Rabbi Alter Elozor Menachem Biderman, zt”l (1935-2001), Bnei Brak Lelover Rebbe; son of Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Biderman, zt”l (1903-1987), Lelover Rebbe; son of Rabbi Shimon Noson Nuta Biderman, zt”l (1870-1929), Lelover Rebbe; son of Rabbi Dovid Tzvi Shlomo Biderman, zt”l (1844-1918), Lelover Rebbe; son of Rabbi Eleazar Mendel Biderman, zt”l (1827-1882), Lelover Rebbe; son of Rabbi Moshe Biderman, zt”l (1776-1851), Lelover Rebbe; son of Rabbi Dovid Biderman, zt”l (1746-1814), founding Lelover Rebbe.
The chassan, son of Rabbi Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam, Natanya Klausenberg Rav and firstborn son of the Rebbe, is a grandson of Rabbi Aryeh Leibish Halpern, Rav of Ramot Jerusalem, son of Rabbi Elchonon Halpern, Radomishla Rav.
Last week Hersh Leib Friedman was engaged to the daughter of Rabbi Pinchas Chaim Greenwald, Monsey Pupa Rosh Kollel and son of Rabbi Yaakov Yechezkel Greenwald, Pupa Rebbe. The chassan is a son of Rabbi Shaul Simcha Friedman, Rav of Khal Shemen Lamaor in Lakewood; son of Rabbi Chaim Elozor Friedman, Tenke Rav son of Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Friedman, zt”l (1907-1999), revered Tenke Rav and author of Chemed Shlomo. Rabbi Shaul Simcha is a son-in-law of Rabbi Moshe Taub, Kaliver Rebbe of Williamsburg: son of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Shlomo Taub, zt”l (1901-1977), Kaliver Rebbe of Williamsburg and author of Chakal Tapuchin. The shidduch was finalized at the home of the kallah and celebrated in the Pupa Beis Medrash.
The kallah is also the granddaughter of Rabbi Mayer Yosef Rosenbaum, Strozenitzer Rebbe in Williamsburg; son of Rabbi Yerachmiel Usher Mordechai Rosenbaum, zt”l (1926-1990), Clevelander Strozenitzer Rebbe in Williamsburg; son of Rabbi Chaim Mordechai Rosenbaum, zt”l (1905-1981), Strozenitzer Rebbe; son of Rabbi Isomor Rosenbaum, zt”l ((1886-1973), Nadvorner Rebbe; son of Rabbi Mayer Rosenbaum, zt”l (1852-1908), Kretchnifer Rebbe; son of Rabbi Mordechai Leifer, zt”l (1824-1897), Nadvorner Rebbe; son of Rabbi Yesochor Bertche Leifer, zt”l (d. 1848), founding Nadvorner Rebbe. The Strozenitzer Rebbe is son-in-law of Rabbi Sholom Krausz, zt”l (1915-2010), Udvarer Rav and author of Divrei Sholom.