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Posts Tagged ‘Beis Medrash’

My Machberes

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

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.

My Machberes

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Satmar Celebration Cliffhanger

Every year the worldwide Satmar community celebrates the Holocaust rescue of Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum, zt”l (1886-1979), founding Satmar Rebbe and author of Divrei Yoel. He was succeeded by his nephew, Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum, zt”l (1914-2006), Satmar Rebbe and author of Beirach Moshe. He, in turn, was succeeded by his two sons: Rabbi Aaron and Rabbi Zalman Leib.

This year the celebrations will take place on Tuesday night, December 4, the eve of 21 Kislev.

The location of the commemoration by followers of Rabbi Zalman Leib Teitelbaum, Satmar Rebbe and younger successor to the Beirach Moshe, had until recently been undetermined. Multiple articles in the weekly Yiddish newspaper Der Yid waxed loud and rousing about the upcoming celebration, predicting that thousands upon thousands would participate. But the articles failed to identify where exactly the celebration would take place.

The followers of Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, Satmar Rebbe and older successor to the Beirach Moshe, announced early on (see My Machberes, Nov. 9) that their celebration would be held at the Williamsburg Marcy Armory, location of many major Satmar events. In fact, last year’s celebration by the followers of Rabbi Zalman Leib took place at the Williamsburg Marcy Armory, while the followers of Rabbi Aaron used the National Guard Armory in Crown Heights. (Both armories have more than 60,000 square feet available for use.)

In preparation for Satmar’s 21 Kislev celebrations last year, use of the two armories were negotiated between the controlling governmental agencies and both Satmar groups. Accordingly, whatever choice was settled in 2011 would be reversed in 2012. Use of the Williamsburg Armory was the preferred choice but followers of Rabbi Aaron, reviewing weekend traffic patterns and area parking availability, elected to use the National Guard Armory in Crown Heights in 2011 and the Williamsburg Armory in 2012.

Hurricane Sandy Interferes

Abruptly, in the midst of planning and preparation, the Northeastern U.S. was slammed by Hurricane Sandy. The Crown Heights Armory was mustered into service as an emergency shelter for victims of the superstorm. In addition, emergency equipment being used to help in the post-storm cleanup were parked there in off-hours. Every square inch of space was being used.

The Crown Heights Armory seemed unlikely to be available to Rabbi Zalman Leib’s followers for this year’s celebration. The Jacob J. Javits center in Manhattan was their second choice.

But on November 15, the Crown Heights Armory advised the group that the site would be available for the December 4 celebration and its preparations.

Bright and early on Monday morning, November 19, planners and laborers descended on the armory in order to transform its 60,000 square feet of empty space into comfortable accommodations for the thousands expected to participate in the celebration. Curtains will decorate the walls; extra lighting as well a sophisticated sound system will be installed. A temporary kitchen, bathrooms, as well as enough sinks for all to wash their hands must be in place. Hanging space for thousands of coats must be fitted in, together with the maximum seating space, all within the rules and regulations of the building and fire departments.

Work continues daily so that everything will be in place for the night of the celebration.

Celebration Publications

All participants at the Williamsburg Armory celebration will receive sefer Mishulchan Melachim Volume II, a compilation of discussions that Rabbi Aaron, Satmar Rebbe, had with chassidishe rebbes, rabbis, and roshei yeshivas who visited him at his home. Their free flowing discussions were recorded and transcribed. The conversations touched all areas of Torah knowledge, including law, customs and lore. The talks were wide and deep, revealing the Satmar Rebbe as a master of halachic development as well as of the histories of chassidishe rebbes. Originally they were distributed weekly in Kol Hisachduseiniu, published by Kollel Atzei Chaim (Satmar) in Bnei Brak. The column was titled Mishulchan Melachim (From the Table of Kings) and was well received.

The first volume of sefer Mishulchan Melachim was published last year, for the 21 Kislev 5772 celebration. The sefer contained comprehensive indexes for names and subjects. Every copy of the 10,000 that were published was eagerly grabbed up. This year’s volume is eagerly anticipated. The first volume encompassed the Satmar Rebbe’s discussions during 5769 (2008-9).

My Machberes

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Vishnitzer/Skverer Sheva Berachos
During The Hurricane

The chassunah took place in New Square on Wednesday evening, October 24. Yochanan Hager married Margolia (Pearl), daughter of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Hager; son of Rabbi Yisroel Hager, Monsey Vishnitzer Rav; son of Rabbi Mordechai Hager, Monsey Vishnitzer Rebbe. Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, father of the kallah, is a son-in-law of Rabbi Dovid Twersky, Skverer Rebbe.

The father of the chassan is Rabbi Menachem Mendel Hager, Kiamesha Lake Vishnitzer Rav; son of the Monsey Vishnitzer Rebbe, and son-in-law of Rabbi Chai Yitzchok Twersky, Rachmestrivka Rebbe. Rabbi Yisroel Hager, grandfather of the kallah, is a son-in-law of Rabbi Elazar Meisels, zt”l (1914-1995), Uheiler Rav of Chicago and Miami.

On Monday, October 29, Hurricane Sandy unleashed its fury on the tri-state area of New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, extinguishing electricity to tens of thousands of homes. That night, the Monsey Vishnitzer Rebbe came to New Square to join the Skverer Rebbe in celebrating sheva berachos. Hurricane Sandy did not exempt New Square, where every home lost electrical power. Skverer chassidim managed to equip the Main Skverer Beis Medrash with enough generator power to illuminate the event.

Tuesday’s final sheva berachos was held in the Main Vishnitzer Beis Medrash in Monsey despite the continuing storm and its many resulting complications. The happy event lasted late into the evening.

Nadvorna/Aleksander Shidduch

On Monday, October 29, Ben Zion Leifer was engaged to the daughter of Rabbi Feivel Eiger, Rosh Yeshiva Aleksander in Boro Park; son of Rabbi Meir Eiger; son-in-law of Rabbi Avrohom Menachem Danziger, zt”l (1921–2005), Aleksander Rebbe and author of Imrei Menachem; son of Rabbi Yehudah Moshe Tyberg-Danziger, zt”l (1892–1973), Aleksander Rebbe and author of Emunas Moshe; son-in-law of Rabbi Betzalel Yair Danziger, zt”l (1861-1934), Aleksander-Lodjer Rebbe; son of Rabbi Yechiel Danziger (1828–1894), founder of the Aleksander chassidishe dynasty.

Nadvorna Rebbe

The kallah is also a granddaughter of Rabbi Meir Rokeach, Kozlover Rebbe in Boro Park; son of Rabbi Moshe Rokeach, zt”l (1898-1970), Kozlover Rebbe who emigrated to the United States in 1931 together with his father, Rabbi Mayer Rokeach, zt”l (1871-1941), Kozlover Rebbe; son of Rabbi Avrohom Yehoshua Heshel Rokeach, zt”l (1836-1890), Pshemishel Rebbe; son of Rabbi Moshe Rokeach, zt”l (d. 1883), Karover Rebbe; son of Rabbi Sholom Rokeach, zt”l (1783-1855), founding Belzer Rebbe renowned as the Sar Sholom.

The chassan is the son of Rabbi Alter Menashe Leifer, Nadvorna Rav in Williamsburg; son of Rabbi Sholmo Leifer, Nadvorna Rebbe in Boro Park; son of Rabbi Sholom Leifer, zt”l (1895-1980), Nadvorna Rebbe who emigrated to the United States in 1926 and established his beis medrash in Brighton Beach; son of Rabbi Yesochor Dov Bertcha Leifer, zt”l (1845-1906), Nadvorna Rebbe in Satmar and author of Lekutei Yesochor; son of Rabbi Mordechai Leifer, zt”l (1824-1894), Nadvorna Rebbe and author of Maamar Mordechai; son of Rabbi Yesochor Bertche Leifer, zt”l (d. 1848), founding Nadvorna Rebbe and author of Sisrei Torah.

The Williamsburg Nadvorna Rav is a son-in-law of Rabbi Yosef Rosenbaum, Kalsiher Rebbe in Flatbush; son of Rabbi Yesochor Ber Rosenbaum, zt”l (1905-1981), Strozenitzer Rebbe and author of Divrei Yesochor; son of Rabbi Isomor Rosenbaum, zt”l (1886-1973), Nadvorna Rebbe; son of Rabbi Mayer Rosenbaum, zt”l (1852-1908), Kretchnifer Rebbe who wrote kamayos; son of the Maamar Mordechai.

In addition to his beis medrash, the Nadvorna Rav of Williamsburg heads a kollel there with more than 50 participants, as well as the Tiferes Bnos girls’ school, which has an enrollment of more than 400.

Vishnitzer Shidduch

Vishnitzer chassidim in Bnei Brak were preparing for the departure of their beloved leader, Rabbi Yisroel Hager, Bnai Brak Vishnitzer Rebbe, to America for a three-week visit that would include his participation at the wedding of a grandson. Then came the news that another of the Rebbe’s grandsons had become engaged. Menachem Mendel Hager, son of Rabbi Yitzchok Yeshaya Hager, was betrothed to the daughter of Rabbi Shlomo Goldman, Zvhiller Rebbe of Union City. The chassan is also a grandson of Rabbi Paneth, zt”l, Deijer Rebbe of Jerusalem.

The kallah is a granddaughter of Rabbi Avrohom Goldman, zt”l (1933-2009), Zvhiller Rebbe, and of Rabbi Yekusiel Yehuda Halberstam, zt”l (1905-1994), Klausenberger Rebbe. Rabbi Avrohom was the son of Rabbi Mordechai Goldman, zt”l (1910-1981), Zvhiller Rebbe and author of Gedulas Mordechai.

My Machberes

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Satmar Chassunah

On Wednesday, October 17, Dovid Elimelech Halberstam will marry the daughter of Rabbi Hanoch Henach Ashkenazi, son-in-law of Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, Satmar Rebbe. Rabbi Hanoch Henach serves as the Rav of Beis Medrash Avnei Tzedek in the Atzei Temarim section of Kiryas Yoel.

Rabbi Hanoch Henach, father of the kallah, is the son of Rabbi Yitzchok Ashkenazi, Alesker Rebbe; son of Rabbi Elimelech Ashkenazi, zt”l (1916-2012), Melbourne Seagate Rav. The Alesker Rebbe is the son-in-law of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Shlomo Taub, zt”l (1901-1977), Kaliver Rebbe in Williamsburg and author of Chakal Tapuchin.

The chassan’s father is Rabbi Avrohom Halberstam, Rav of Khal Minchas Chinuch in Boro Park and Rosh Kollel Tartikov. Rabbi Avrohom is the son of Rabbi Boruch Noson Halberstam, zt”l (1922-2006), Keshaniver Rebbe in Boro Park; son of Rabbi Dovid Halberstam, zt”l, Keshaniver Rebbe; son of Rabbi Boruch Halberstam, zt”l (yahrzeit 11th Tishrei), Keshaniver Rebbe; son of Rabbi Moshe Halberstam, zt”l (d. 1915), Keshaniver Rebbe; son of Rabbi Dovid Halberstam, zt”l (1818-1893), Keshaniver Rebbe; second son of Rabbi Chaim Halberstam, zt”l (1797-1876), revered Sanzer Rebbe and author of Divrei Chaim. Rabbi Boruch Noson Halberstam’s mother, Rebbetzin Rivah Malka a”h, was the daughter of Rabbi Chaim Yitzchok Yeruchom, zt”l Hy”d (1864-1943), Altshtater Rav , murdered during the Holocaust.

Rabbi Avrohom Halberstam is the son-in-law of Rabbi Asher Aleksander Babad, zt”l (1910-1985), Tartikover Rav who lost his wife and children in the Holocaust. Emigrating to the United States in the early 1950s, Rabbi Usher reestablished his family and the remnants of his congregation, first on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and later in Boro Park. Rabbi Asher was the son of Rabbi Yitzchok Babad, zt”l, Tartikover Rav; descendent of Rabbi Yosef Babad, zt”l (1790-1874), Tarnopoler Rav and author of Minchas Chinuch, a widely studied work on the 613 commandments of the Torah. The Minchas Chinuch was a brother-in-law of the Rabbi Chaim Halberstam, zt”l (1793-1876), Sanzer Rav and author of Divrei Chaim.

The aufruf took place this past Shabbos in Khal Minchas Chinuch in Boro Park and was followed by a gala kiddush attended by thousands. On the day of the chassunah, buses will bring guests from Bedford Avenue at the BQE in Williamsburg at 4:30, 5:15, 6:15, 6:45, 7:30, 8:15, and 10:15, returning at 7:45, 9:00, 10:15, 11:00, and after the mitzvah tantz; and from 49th Street down from 18th Avenue to Fort Hamilton Parkway at 3:45 and at 6:20 and returning at 7:45 and after the mitzvah tantz.

Satmar Rebbe

The chassunah will take place in Kiryas Yoel. The Satmar Rebbe will receive kvitlech at his home on Sanz Court prior to the chassunah from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The Main Beis Medrash in Kiryas Yoel will close at 1 p.m. for wedding preparations. Minchah minyanim will be conducted in the Ekstein Hall on the lower level of the shul building. The kabbalas panim for the chassan will take place in the Kollel Hall beginning at 5:30. The kabbalas panim for the kallah will be held on the first level of the Keren Vayoel Moshe Building starting at 5:30.

The chassan will be escorted with song and dance to the badeken ceremony beginning at 6:30. The chuppah is scheduled for 6:45 on an elevated platform in the shul’s parking lot.

The Satmar Rebbe, while still on the platform after the chuppah, will bless everyone collectively. A fleet of coach buses will be standing by to ferry all ladies to the Beis Rochel Paradise Hall where they will be served the chassunah meal. Special buses are reserved for family members. Men will come to the Main Beis Medrash where the entire middle level, including the entrance lobby, has been prepared for the serving of the wedding banquet meal. Yeshiva students will be positioned on multi-level standing bleachers where they will be served sandwiches and cold drinks. In addition, all guests will be able to partake of smorgasbord tables.

The Satmar Rebbe will rejoin the simcha at 9 p.m., at which time all tables and chairs will be moved aside. The chassan and the kallah will enter their respective meal settings at 9:15. Birchas HaMazon is scheduled for 11 p.m., followed by the arrival of the ladies to the ladies’ galleries for the mitzvah tantz.

My Machberes

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Rabbis Defend Metzitzah B’Peh

One hundred twenty-five chassidishe and yeshivish rabbis have signed a kol koreh proclamation stating there will be no compliance with a proposed New York City Department of Health requirement for parents and mohelim (practitioners of circumcision) to sign an “informed consent” document before metzitzah b’peh is performed on infant males. The message they wish to convey is that many Orthodox Jews will not be intimidated into changing any aspect of the practice of bris milah with metzitzah b’peh.

Metzitzah b’peh is the oral suction of topical blood from the open wound of the removed foreskin. Immediately prior to the suction of topical blood, the mohel rinses his mouth with wine or alcohol.

The kol koreh

Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, Satmar Rebbe, is not a signatory to the kol koreh. Instead, he issued his own statement proclaiming his readiness to defend the minutest phases of the traditional custom with his very life, if necessary, in accordance with the Talmudic dictum (Gittin 47b). The Satmar Rebbe says he will never allow the signing of any document by a parent or mohel of his flock that might even hint at any compromise.

The kol koreh has the signatures of 125 chassidishe and yeshivish rabbis and promises more signatures to come. The list includes religious leaders such as Rabbi Zalman Leib Teitelbaum, Satmar Rebbe; Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, rosh yeshiva Torah Vodaas; Rabbi Yechezkel Roth, Karlsburger Rav; Rabbi Mordechai Dovid Ungar, Bobover Rebbe; Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon, mashgiach Beth Medrash Govoha; and Rabbi Yisroel Avrohom Portugal, Skulener Rebbe.

In a separate statement the Igud HoRabbonim – The Rabbinical Alliance of America – while acknowledging views on both sides of the issue, declared its opposition to any government regulation of the circumcision rite. This echoes a similar statement issued recently by the Agudath Israel of Amerca.

Vishnitzer Chassunah

The Shabbos Shoftim aufruf of Aaron Teitelbaum, August 24-25, was celebrated in Williamsburg together with his father, Rabbi Yaakov Dovid Teitelbaum, Spinka rosh yeshiva in Boro Park, and his grandfather, Rabbi Shmuel Teitelbaum, rosh kollel Me’orer Hashachar, and son-in-law of Rabbi Chaim Moskowitz, Shotzer Rebbe in Williamsburg and son-in-law of Rabbi Mordechai Hager, Monsey Vishnitzer Rebbe.

On Tuesday, August 28, the chassan was brought under the chuppah in front of the Vishnitzer Beis Medrash in Monsey, where he met his kallah, the daughter of Rabbi Yitzchok Yechiel Mechel Moskowitz, Monsey Shotzer Rav; son of the Shotzer Rebbe in Williamsburg.

The chassan and kallah are grandchildren of the Shotzer Rebbe in Williamsburg and both are great-grandchildren of the Monsey Vishnitzer Rebbe. Shabbos Ki Seitzei Shevah Berachos were celebrated in Monsey. Motzaei Shabbos Shevah Berachos were held at the Shotzer Beis Medrash to honor the grandfather and Sunday night Shevah Berachos, honoring the great-grandfather, were celebrated at the Vishnitzer Beis Medrash in Monsey.

Yerushalayim Nadvorna Rebbe Visits N.Y.

Rabbi Meir Yitzchok Isaac Rosenbaum, Yerushalayim Nadvorna Rebbe, arrived at Kennedy Airport at noon on Sunday, August 26, and was met by a large group of chassidim. He was brought to the home of Rabbi Naphtali Zvi Rubin, Monsey Dombrover Rav, where he stayed for Shabbos Ki Seitzei until Sunday, September 2, when he proceeded to the home of Moshe Beilush in Boro Park, where he remained until Monday, September 3. This is his first visit to America after being crowned as Yerusahalyim Nadvorna Rebbe upon the passing of his father in March.

The newly anointed Yerusahalyim Nadvorna Rebbe has earned a reputation as a chassidishe personality unique to the Nadvorna dynasty. His leadership in Jerusalem is the fulfillment of his grandfather’s original aspirations. In 1947, when the Devar Chaim came to Eretz Yisrael, he had hoped to rebuild his dynasty in Jerusalem. Sixty-five years later, it is his grandson who is cultivating Nadvorna chassidus in the holy city.

The Shabbos Ki Seitzei tefillos and tisch were conducted at the Dombrover Beis Medrash in Monsey. Rabbi Meir Yitzchok Isaac is the son of Rabbi Yaakov Yisochor Ber Rosenbaum, zt”l (1930-2012), Bnei Brak Nadvorna Rebbe and author of Beer Yaakov; son of Rabbi Chaim Mordechai Rosenbaum, zt”l (1903-1977), Nadvorna Rebbe and author of Devar Chaim who survived the Holocaust and moved to Palestine in 1947, establishing Yeshiva Mamar Mordechai in Bnei Brak; son of Rabbi Isomor Rosenbaum, zt”l (1886-1973), Nodvorna Rebbe who was anointed at age 15; son of Rabbi Meir Rosenbaum, zt”l (1852-1908), Kretchnifer Rebbe; son of son of Rabbi Meir Rosenbaum, zt”l (1852-1908), Kretchnifer Rebbe, the only person authorized by his father to issue kameyos (written amulets) to chassidim petitioning for heavenly help; son of Rabbi Mordechai Rosenbaum, zt”l (1824-1894), Nadvorna Rebbe and author of Mamar Mordechai; son of Rabbi Yesochor Bertche Leifer, zt”l (d. 1848), founding Nadvorna Rebbe and author of Sisrei Torah.

Preparations For Satmar Chassunah

The first shidduch of a grandchild of Rabbi Zalman Leib Teitelbaum, Satmar Rebbe, was realized on Sunday, November 6, 2011, when Chaim Hersh (Chaim Zvi) Rosenberger was engaged to the daughter of Rabbi Asher Anshel Scher, Classoner Rav. The chassan is the son of Rabbi Yitzchok Rosenberger, Lee Gardens Satmar dayan and son of Rabbi Yehoshua Rosenberger, rav of Kiryas R’ma in Beit Shemesh and member dayan of the Eidah Hacharedis of Jerusalem. Rabbi Yitzchok Rosenberger is a son-in-law of the Satmar Rebbe and also serves as rosh yeshiva in the Satmar Yeshiva.

My Machberes

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

The 33rd Satmar Yahrzeit

On Tuesday, August 14, Satmar chassidim commemorated the 33rd yahrzeit of Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum, zt”l (1886-1979), revered Satmar Rebbe and author of Divrei Yoel.

On that day, only men were permitted into the Kiryas Yoel cemetery. The same restriction applied the preceding evening. On Monday, August 13, the cemetery was open exclusively for ladies from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Men marking the yahrzeit on Monday of a close relative buried in the cemetery came before or after the restricted period. (Inside the ohel, ladies are restricted from entering the men’s side at all times, even if the chamber is empty.)

After the passing of Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum, zt”l (1914-2006), late Satmar Rebbe and successor to the Divrei Yoel, the previously monolithic Satmar community effectively became divided. Elder son Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, the Satmar Rebbe headquartered in Kiryas Yoel, and Rabbi Zalman Leib Teitelbaum, the Satmar Rebbe headquartered in Williamsburg, lead the two halves of Satmar, each of which is independent and immense.

Rabbi Aaron’s following in Williamsburg is quite large. He occupies the important pulpit his venerated great-uncle, the Divrei Yoel, founding Satmar Rebbe, established in the 1970s.

In addition to their presence in Kiryas Yoel, followers of Rabbi Aaron maintain an expanding and entirely separate school system along with a number of shuls in Williamsburg that function under his leadership. Both rebbes have widespread followings – in Boro Park, Monsey, Kiryas Yoel, Lakewood, Montreal, Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, and elsewhere.

Rabbi Zalman Leib, Satmar Rebbe residing in Williamsburg, occupies the pulpit originally established by the Divrei Yoel upon his arrival in America in 1947. The successor to that pulpit upon the passing of the Divrei Yoel was his nephew, Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum, zt”l (1914-2006), late Satmar Rebbe and author of Beirach Moshe. Rabbi Zalman Leib’s following in Kiryas Yoel is considerable and they too have established a growing school system and string of shuls there.

The Asifa and Satmar

The two brothers visited the ohel at different times and held separate yahrzeit commemorative meals. Rabbi Aaron delivered a fiery address in which he proclaimed fealty to every directive of the Divrei Yoel.

The controversy within Satmar with regard to the Asifa – the rally on the dangers of the Internet held at New York’s Citi Field in May – went public when it was reported that Rabbi Aaron not attend while Rabbi Zalman Leib did.

Rabbi Aaron declined to participate because some of the speeches were in English. Rabbi Aaron conducts himself in strict adherence to the psak din resolutions adopted at Michalowitz in 5626 (1865) that separated Hungarian Orthodoxy from other streams of Judaism. The psak din was ratified by the overwhelming majority of Hungarian Orthodox rabbis and was exactingly adhered to by the Divrei Yoel.

Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, Satmar Rebbe

One of the tenets adopted at Michalowitz was the prohibition of rabbis speaking publicly in shuls or at Jewish forums in languages other than Yiddish. Rabbi Zalman Leib, together with other leading chassidishe rabbis, felt the enormous threat to Yiddishkeit posed by unrestricted use of the Internet demands that Orthodox Jews unite to fight it. Among the chassidishe rebbes who participated in and encouraged attendance at the Asifa were the Monsey Vishnitzer Rebbe, the Skulener Rebbe of Boro Park and the Pshevorsker Rebbe of Antwerp.

The Daf Yomi Siyum and Satmar

Though agreeing with the importance of the Asifa and its message, many within Satmar, particularly followers of Rabbi Aaron, vigorously faulted Satmar’s participation. If people were permitted to attend the Asifa, they feared, many would feel they could likewise attend the Daf Yomi Siyum HaShas. They felt Satmar must adhere to its principles of separation. They noted that the Kasho Rebbe directed his students and followers to step away from the seating area during the English speeches and that Rabbi Todrus Silber, Yavushna Rav, left his seat during speeches in English, returning only when speakers spoke in Yiddish. They also pointed out that Rabbi Shlomo Leib Weinberger, Satmar Dayan, put his hands over his ears during the English speeches.

The opponents of compromise point to the Siyum HaShas as “proof” that compromise is a slippery slope bringing G-d-fearing Jews to Zionism. They say the invitation to Rabbi Yisroel Meir Lau, chief rabbi of Tel Aviv and former chief rabbi of Israel, is proof of that. The Vishnitzer Rebbe instructed his followers not to attend the Daf Yomi Siyum because of the honor given to the chief rabbi – this despite Rabbi Lau’s being descended from Vishnitzer chassidim and from relatives of Rabbi Meir Shapiro, zt”l, the originator of Daf Yomi.

The Power of Faith

Monday, July 9th, 2012

The power of faith is unmatched; it can lift man above adversity and help him climb the highest of mountains. It can help him overcome pain and torture. It can make him see the light in a night that is inky in its darkness. The Gaon Rav Tzvi Hirsh Levin manifested such a faith when he was a starving and poverty-stricken rav in Halberstat.

Halberstat was a small and very poor town that was proud to have the great scholar as its spiritual leader. Unfortunately, their love for him was greater than their capacity to pay his salary and he was forced to live a life of abject poverty.

He never paid any attention to his meager existence, because the opportunity to sit and study Torah more than compensated for the lack of material benefits, but his wife and children suffered greatly from deprivation.

Wife Complains

The rebbetzin, who was a good woman, could stand it no longer and her patience and stoicism finally broke down. One day, when the rav returned from the Beis Medrash, he found his wife in tears.

“Why are you crying?” he asked.

“How can I not cry?” retorted the wife. “We have no money and all the inheritance that I received from my mother is almost gone.

“I sit each day counting every coin and worrying. Every day is another worry for me while you do not care about our desperate financial plight.”

Sharp Mind

Rav Tzvi Hirsh felt very bad about his wife’s anguish sand he tried to comfort her with a smile and a little joke.

“It is not true that I do not worry about our economic plight,” he said. “You know, however, that your mother chose me for a son-in-law because I was reputed to have a sharp mind.

“What is the difference between someone who has such a mind and someone who does not? The latter takes a long time to understand while the former grasps the situation quickly.

“It takes you a long time to understand our plight and so you worry some every day. I understand it right away and I do all your worrying in a moment.”

Naturally the wife was hardly satisfied with this “answer” and she berated him for his lack of compassion.

Urges Faith

Rav Tzvi Hirsh began to remind her that a Jew must never lose faith in the Al-Mighty, but must rather always look to the heavens and anticipate aid and comfort. His wife, however, refused to listen.

“How can we expect help when there is not a piece of bread in the house and not a coin in our pockets? Who will feed the children tonight?”

“But you still have things of value left, do you not?” asked Rav Tzvi Hirsh. “Pawn the jewelry and the silverware that remain from the inheritance and buy food with the money that you get from them.”

“And what will happen when they are all gone?”

“At that time we will worry. I am convinced, however, that when we have nothing left the Almighty will surely come to our aid as He always does.”

One Spoon

The months passed and the family lived on the money that came from selling and pawning their valuables. This could only go on for so long, however, and the day arrived when the rebbetzin, once again, came to her husband with tears and said, “All that we have is now gone except for one teaspoon. What shall we do? How shall we live?”

“Will the teaspoon buy us breakfast?” asked the rabbi.

“Yes.”

“Then sell it and let us eat breakfast. Afterwards we will sit and discuss the future.”

With a heave sigh, that is what the rebbetzin did. The family sat down to eat the bread and butter she bought with the money. She, however, ate nothing. Her heart was too filled with pain and worry.

The rav saw his wife’s misery and asked gently, “Why do you not eat? Have you not learned that the salvation of the L-rd comes as the blinking of an eye? This means that just when the eyelids of a man are about to close through weakness, and he sees no help on the horizon, that is the time when he can expect the Almighty to come to his rescue.”

A Knock On The Door

No sooner had he finished saying these words when a knock was heard on the door. It was the mailman and he had a letter that came all the way from London. Rav Hirsh opened the letter with great puzzlement and read it.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/kidz/tales-of-the-gaonim/the-power-of-faith/2012/07/09/

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