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November 24, 2014 / 2 Kislev, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Beis Medrash’

My Machberes

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Visiting Cemeteries In Nissan

The general custom is not to visit a cemetery during the month of Nissan, the month in which the nation of Israel was freed from slavery and in which we celebrate the Yom Tov of Pesach. Those having a yahrzeit for either a father or mother visit the cemetery immediately before or after Nissan (Gesher Hachaim 26:6, Orchos Rabbeinu 2:305, Piskei Teshuvos 429:4).

Of course, as with every rule there are exceptions. Some permit visiting a parent’s grave on a yahrzeit. The visit would be exclusively to the one gravesite. However, visiting the gravesites of tzaddikim is mostly allowed, with the specific gravesite being the exclusive destination. Consequentially, visits to gravesites of tzaddikim during Nissan are noteworthy.

Since visits to cemeteries are greatly reduced in Nissan, the international gathering of tens of thousands of Jews at the gravesite in Sanz (formerly in Austro-Hungary and today in Poland) of Rabbi Chaim Halberstam, zt”l (1793-1876), revered Sanzer Rav and author of Divrei Chaim, on his yahrzeit, 25 Nissan (this year coinciding with Tuesday, April 17) is of major significance. The assembly of so many pious Jews to pray at the gravesite is testimony of the impact the Divrei Chaim had during his lifetime, as well as the continuing influence that affects chassidic Jewry to this very day.

Local Organized Cemetery Visits

Beirach Moshe, zt”l

Satmar in Monroe: Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum, zt”l (1914-2006), late Satmar Rebbe and author of Beirach Moshe, passed away late in the afternoon of Monday, 26 Nissan (April 24), 2006, and is buried in Kiryas Yoel next to his uncle, Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum, zt”l (1886-1979), first Satmar Rebbe and author of Divrei Yoel. The yahrzeit this year is on Wednesday, April 18. Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, his eldest son and Satmar Rebbe, will conduct a l’chaim tisch after Shacharis in Kiryas Yoel and then visit the gravesite. The Rebbe will be accessible for berachos in his home at 5 Sanz Court, from 6 to 7 p.m. He will then conduct the yahrzeit tisch in the main Satmar Beis Medrash in Kiryas Yoel on Wednesday evening, beginning at 7 p.m.

Rabbi Zalman Leib Teitelbaum, Satmar Rebbe and son of the Beirach Moshe, will commemorate the yahrzeit with Shacharis in Williamsburg, followed by a Siyum Mishnayos, and then visit the gravesite at 2:00 pm. The Rebbe will conduct the yahrzeit tisch in the main Satmar Beis Medrash on Rodney Street in Williamsburg on Wednesday beginning at 6:30 pm, incorporating a siyum hashas. Thousands of chassidim will attend each event.

Sanz in New Jersey: Rabbi Yonah Landau, the renowned chassidishe historian who has brought American gravesites of tzaddikim to the attention of the observant community, organized coach buses to bring visitors from Lee Avenue at Ross Street in Williamsburg to gravesites on Sunday, April 15, and Wednesday, April 18.

The first group visited the gravesite of Rabbi Menachem Binyamin Ben Zion Rottenberg-Halberstam, zt”l (1881-1957), Voideslover-Sanzer Rebbe, who emigrated to the United States in 1922 and conducted his beis medrash in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. He was the son of Rabbi Aaron Halberstam, zt”l Hy”d (1865-1942), of Biala-Bilitz and author of Meged Eretz and Pri Noah, murdered in the Holocaust; son of Rabbi Yosef Zev Halberstam, zt”l (d. 1890), Kshanover dayan; son of Rabbi Dovid Halberstam, zt”l (1818-1893), Kshanover Rebbe; son of the Divrei Chaim. Rabbi Menachem Binyamin Ben Zion is buried in the Washington Cemetery on Deans Rhode Hall Road, Monmouth Junction (Deans), New Jersey.

Rabbi Menachem Binyamin Ben Zion assumed the additional hyphenated name of Rottenberg after his second marriage in 1913. His second father-in-law was Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Reuven Yechezkia Rottenberg, zt”l (d. 1935), Voidislover Rav and author of Sifsei Avrohom. Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Reuven Yechezkia Rottenberg was the nephew of Rabbi Yitzchok Meir Alter (Rottenberg), zt”l (1899-1867), founding Gerer Rebbe and author of Chidushei Harim. Rabbi Menachem Binyamin Ben Zion was also the maternal grandson of Rabbi Alter Meir Rottenberg zt”l, Valbromver Rav. Rabbi Menachem Binyamin Ben Zion, prior to coming to America, lived in Voidislov and, as a great-grandson of the Divrei Chaim personified Sanzer chassidus there as well as later in America.

Being that he is a direct descendant of the Divrei Chaim and that his yahrzeit is just three days removed from that of the Divrei Chaim, his gravesite is much visited year round and especially in Nissan. A l’chaim tisch was prepared near the gravesite.

Manastrich in Queens: The second Nissan cemetery visit organized by Rabbi Yonah Landau will leave on Wednesday, April 18, from Williamsburg to the Old Montefiore Cemetery on Springfield Boulevard in St. Albans, Queens. Prayers will be said at the gravesite of Rabbi Yehoshua Heschel Rabinowitz, zt”l (1860-1938), Manastricher Rebbe who fled pogroms in Russia and arrived in the United States in 1924. His son, Rabbi Gedalya Aaron, zt”l Hy”d (1880-1919) was murdered in a pogrom.

My Machberes

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Satmar Rebbe Visits Israel

Immediately after Shacharis on Monday, February 6, Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, Satmar Rebbe, taught a chapter of Tehillim to his students. At the close of the session, the Rebbe took leave and headed toward Newark Airport, on his way to Israel. The Rebbe, together with his escorts, conducted Minchah in an airport VIP room, after which he boarded the plane.

Belzer and Satmar Rebbes meet in Jerusalem, Feb. 15.

On Tuesday morning the Rebbe arrived in Israel. He was greeted by a delegation of Israeli Satmar leaders. After Shacharis, he was visited by the son of the Sadigura Rebbe, as well as by the Boyaner Rebbe, dressed in Shabbos clothing, who invited the Satmar Rebbe to his daughter’s wedding later that day.

The Rebbe then visited with Rabbi Shmuel Wosner, author of Shevet Levi. Leaving Rabbi Wosner, the Rebbe headed to the Satmar Beis Medrash in Bnei Brak for the kabbolas panim for the Meisels-Beer (Satmar-Ratzfert) wedding, for which the Rebbe came to Israel. The Rebbe was accompanied by family and a select few chassidim who make significant contributions toward supporting Satmar institutions, particularly those in Eretz Yisrael.

The wedding was that of Chanania Yom Tov Lipa Meisels to the daughter of Rabbi Meshulem Zisha Beer, Ratzferter Rebbe in Brazil; son of Rabbi Yoel Beer, zt”l (1923-1992), late Ratzferter Rebbe in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The chassan is the son of Rabbi Chaim Zvi Meisels, Bnei Brak Satmar rosh yeshiva; son of Rabbi Dovid Dov Berish Meisels, Boro Park Satmar Rav and brother-in-law of the Satmar Rebbe. Rabbi Chaim Zvi is a son-in-law of Rabbi Yisroel Hager, son of the Bnei Brak Vishnitzer Rebbe. The Satmar Rebbe is a son-in-law of the Bnei Brak Vishnitzer Rebbe.

Upon the Satmar Rebbe’s arrival at the kabbolas panim, the paperwork was immediately begun. The traditional tanaim (engagement document) was immediately drawn up, signed, and read aloud. This was followed by the preparations of the kesubah. After the chuppah, participants were taken by bus to the Ganei Atzulah Hall in Petach Tikva where the wedding meal was served. On the way, the Rebbe stopped at the Boyaner chassunah to wish mazel tov.

Satmar/Belz Meeting

Late Wednesday evening, the Satmar Rebbe traveled to the Telz-Stone neighborhood of Jerusalem, where Rabbi Yesochor Dov Rokeach, fifth Belzer Rebbe, maintains a home away from home for rest and relaxation. The much-anticipated meeting of the two rebbes included warm discussions about their chassidishe predecessors. That evening, the 23rd of Shevat, was the 118th yarhzeit of Rabbi Yehoshua Rokeach, zt”l (1825-1894), second Belzer Rebbe, and a lengthy discussion ensued regarding his minhagim.

The two rebbes spoke late into the night. When the Satmar Rebbe left, the Belzer Rebbe ushered him to his waiting car, a great honor among chassidishe rebbes.

Alcohol Restrictions At Flatbush Agudath Israel

Beis Medrash Beis Binyamin at 2913 Avenue L, an Agudath Israel minyan in Brooklyn, enacted alcohol restrictions in response to two occurrences that resulted in Hatzolah calls on Shabbos for alcohol-related incidents. In both cases a youth had over-imbibed and was adversely affected. The youths reportedly were from outside the shul and had been “cruising” for simchas where, traditionally, alcohol is available.

The shul issued strict guidelines, including no hard liquor of any kind to be served at a shalom zachor; only beer and wine can be served, and only from the head table by the simcha celebrant or designated person; no beer can be served to children; at all other events – aufruf, bar mitzvah, chassunah, kiddush, sheva berachos, vort, yahrzeit, etc. – the simcha celebrant must designate a responsible person to oversee all alcoholic beverages; adults who see young people drinking alcoholic beverages must admonish them as well as advise the simcha celebrant.

Bikur Cholim Milestones

Antwerp

Bikur Cholim of Antwerp was organized several years ago as an impromptu organization without any official recognition or registration and without any municipal or governmental authorization. It simply began its work of helping patients of hospitals as well as attending family members. Nor did anyone seek any endorsement from any health ministry.

Several months ago, the directors, seeking to expand their services, applied for official recognition. This, they realized, would facilitate bikur cholim volunteers in communicating with doctors and hospital staff and thereby be of greater significant service. The Ministry of Health dispatched a review committee to familiarize themselves with Bikur Cholim’s activities and functions, including training, funding, and bookkeeping. Impressed with Bikur Cholim’s mission, volunteers, productivity, and success, the Ministry of Health’s review committee quickly granted official recognition.

This will enable bikur cholim volunteers to gain greater cooperation from hospital bureaucracies on behalf of patients and their attending family members in Antwerp, as well as in Brussels, Gent, and Leuven, where large observant communities are found.

My Machberes

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Tefillin Declared Unfit

The Badatz of the Eidah Hacharedis has declared all stam (sifrei Torah, mezuzahs and tefillin) written by “SK” as unfit. (Please see the Jan. 27 My Machberes column for full details.)

 

Dushinsky Rebbe

Dushinsky Rebbe Visits New York City

Rabbi Yosef Zvi Dushinsky, Dushinsky Rebbe of Jerusalem, arrived in New York City on Wednesday, February 8. On Wednesday evening, February 13, the Rebbe will be participating in the wedding of a grandchild of his brother-in-law, Rabbi Yesochor Dov Katz, Williamsburg Dushinsky Rav.

The Rebbe will remain in the area for several weeks; a schedule, however, has not yet been released.

The Dushinsky Rebbe is the son of Rabbi Yisroel Moshe Dushinsky, zt”l (1921-2003), Dushinsky Rebbe and seventh chief rabbi of the Eidah Hacharedis of Jerusalem (from 1996 to 2003) and grandson of Rabbi Yosef Zvi Dushinsky, zt”l (1865-1948), who was Galanta Rav, Chuster Rav and later served as the third chief rabbi of the Eidah Hacharedis of Jerusalem (1935 to 1948).

 

Boyaner Chassunah

Boyaner Rebbe

On Tuesday evening, February 14, at the Royal Garden Hall in Petach Tikva, Dovid Moshe Friedman married the daughter of Rabbi Nochum Dov Brayer, Boyaner Rebbe in Jerusalem. The chassan is the son of Rabbi Dov Beryl Friedman, Chortkova Rav in Antwerp. A huge tent was erected to accommodate the huge crown. The aufruf was held at the Bernstein Beis Medrash in the Geulah neighborhood of Jerusalem. Shabbos Mishpatim sheva berachos, as well as sheva berachos on Monday, February 20, will be held in a huge tent in Jerusalem near the Boyaner Beis Medrash.

The chassan is the grandson of Rabbi Dovid Moshe Friedman, zt”l (1914-1988); son of Rabbi Dov Ber Friedman, zt”l (1882-1936), Chortkova Rebbe in Vienna; son of Rabbi Yisroel Friedman, zt”l (1854-1933), second Chortkova Rebbe and author of Ateres Yisroel and helped establish Agudath Israel; son of Rabbi Dovid Moshe Friedman, zt”l (1927-1903), founding Chortkova Rebbe and author of Divrei Dovid; son of Rabbi Yisroel Friedman, zt”l (1797-1851), founder of the Ruzhin-Sadiger-Boyan-Chortkova dynasty, a grandson of the Meseritzer Magid.

Rabbi Dov Ber zt”l was the son-in-law of Rabbi Yitzchok Friedman, zt”l (1839-1917), Boyaner Rebbe; son of Rabbi Avrohom Yaakov Friedman, zt”l (1819-1883), Sadigera Rebbe and author of Emes LeKaakov; son of the founding Ruzhiner Rebbe.

Rabbi Nochum Dov was declared third Boyaner Rebbe on Chanukah, 1984, succeeding his maternal grandfather, Rabbi Mordechai Shlomo Friedman, zt”l (1890-1971) second Boyaner Rebbe who emigrated to Palestine in 1927; son of Rabbi Yitzchok Friedman, zt”l (1839-1917), first Boyaner Rebbe; son of Rabbi Avrohom Yaakov Friedman, zt”l (1819-1882), Sadegura Rebbe; son of Rabbi Yisroel Friedman, zt”l (1896-1840), Ruzhiner Rebbe.

Rabbi Nochum Dov is the son-in-law of Rabbi Meshulem Zysha Heschel, zt”l (1930-2003); son of Rabbi Avrohom Yehoshua Heschel, zt”l (1888-1969), Kapitchnitzer Rebbe. Rabbi Mordechai Shlomo was one of four sons and the only one to have survived the Holocaust.

 

Sadigura Rebbe

Sadigera/Lubliner Chassunah

On Wednesday evening, February 8, in front of the Sadigura Beis Medrash in Bnei Brak, Aaron Ber Friedman married the daughter of Rabbi Avrohom Naftali Eiger of Zurich, a direct descendant of the Lubliner chassidishe dynasty as well as of the venerated Rabbi Akiva Eiger, zt”l (1761-1837), chief rabbi of Posen and prolific author. The wedding was then celebrated by thousands in the Keser Harimon Hall.

The chassan is the son of Rabbi Yisroel Moshe Friedman, Sadigura Rav of London and only son of Rabbi Avrohom Yaakov Friedman, Sadigura Rebbe in Israel and member of the Council of Torah Sages.

The aufruf took place at the Sadigura Beis Medrash in Golders Green in London on Shabbos Bo. A second aufruf was celebrated in Bnei Brak, on Shabbos Beshalach, at the Sadigura Beis Medrash with the participation of the Sadigura Rebbe. Shabbos Yisro Sheva Berachos were held at the Sadigura Beis Medrash in Jerusalem. The Sadigura Rebbe came for Shabbos and led the tefillas and tisch.

 

Gravesite Of Rabbi Boruch Ber Leibowitz Found

Rabbi Boruch Ber Leibowitz, zt”l

Renowned as a Talmudic genius, Rabbi Boruch Dov Ber Leibowitz, zt”l (1864-1939) studied at various yeshivas and became an outstanding student and disciple of Rabbi Chaim Soloveichik, zt”l (1853-1918), Brisker Rav. “Reb Boruch Ber,” as he was respectfully called by his thousands of students, succeeded his father-in-law, Rabbi Avrohom Zimmerman, zt”l, who became Halusker Rav in 1890. Reb Boruch Ber was elected Slabodka Rosh Yeshiva in 1904.During World War II the yeshiva had to flee to Minsk, and then to Kremenchug in Vilna. The yeshiva moved to Kaminetz in 1926. Reb Boruch Ber died on Friday, November 17, 1939 (5 Kislev, 5704).

My Machberes

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Editor’s Note: A photo Rabbi Tannenbaum included in last week’s My Machberes, of a meeting in Jerusalem between the Satmar and Belzer Rebbes, was, unfortunately, not authentic. The picture was obviously Photoshopped. Such a meeting did not take place. We regret our oversight in publishing it.

Rabbi Aryeh Malkiel Kotler

Lakewood Yeshiva Bans Smoking

The roshei yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha (BMG) of Lakewood have issued a wide-ranging prohibition forbidding smoking of any kind in any of the facilities of BMG, though smoking by BMG’s students has been banned for quite some time. Students include those married as well as those unmarried. The extended ban by Rabbi Aryeh Malkiel Kotler, Rabbi Yeruchim Olshin, Rabbi Yisroel Neuman, Rabbi Dovid Schustal and Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon now includes everyone, every type of smoking, in every facility. Further, the ban also includes electronic smoke. Additionally, the ban specifically forbids all smoking in public. The prohibition has been enthusiastically received.

 

 

 

Serdehaly/Toshnad Chassunah

On Tuesday, February 7, Mordechai Katz will marry the daughter of Rabbi Eliyahu Yitzchok Brisk, Toshnad Rav in Monsey, in Ateres Chaya Sarah Hall on South Madison Avenue in Monsey. The chassan is the son of Rabbi Asher Anshel Katz, eldest son of Rabbi Chaim Leib Katz, Serdehaly Rav in Boro Park. Rabbi Asher Anshel is the son of Rabbi Yehoshua Katz, zt”l (d. 1985), Sombotheily Rav; son of Rabbi Asher Anshel Katz, zt”l Hy”d (1881-1944), Serdehaly Rav and author of Ule’ashar Omar; son-in-law of Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Ehrenreich, zt”l Hy”d (d. 1944), Shomloyer Rav and author of Lechem Shlomo. Rabbi Chaim Leib is also a grandson of Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Pollack zt”l, Woodkerter Rav.

The kallah is the granddaughter of Rabbi Yehoshua Brisk, zt”l (1932-2010), Toshnad Rav in Netanya; son of Rabbi Aaron Zvi Brisk, zt”l (d. 1960), Tashnad Rav who immigrated to Natanya; son of Rabbi Mordechai Brisk, zt”l Hy”d (1886-1944), Toshnad Rav and author of Maharam Brisk; son of Rabbi Yehoshua Brisk, zt”l (d. 1914), Toshnad Rav; son of Rabbi Moshe Shmuel Brisk, zt”l (d. 1879), Nir’arad Rav; son-in-law of Rabbi Shimon Lieberman, zt”l, Shenya Rav; son of Rabbi Yitzchok Yehuda Lieberman, zt”l, Shenya Rav; son of Rabbi Shimon Lieberman, zt”l, Mahd Rav.

The celebrations begin with the Shabbos Beshalach aufruf, February 3-4, at the Serdehaly Beis Medrash in Boro Park, followed by a royal kiddush. In order to accommodate the large number of guests who will arrive to partake in the special Shabbos, chassunah, and sheva berachos, a special hachnassas orchim committee was formed to organize lodging. The Shabbos Yisro Sheva Berachos will be held at the Toshnad Beis Medrash in Monsey.

Nikolsburger Chassunah

On Sunday, January 29, Yitzchok Dov Jungreis married Tziporah Friedman, daughter of Rabbi Alexander Zusha Friedman, at the Ateres Chaya Sarah Hall in Monsey. The chassan is the son of Rabbi Mordechai Zev Jungreis, Nikolsberger Rebbe in Boro Park and Woodbourne. The simcha began with the aufruf on Shabbos Bo and continues with sheva berachos through Shabbos Beshalach. In order to accommodate a larger participation of chassidim, family, and friends, the tefillos, tisch and kiddush, led by the Nikolsberger Rebbe, were held at Beth El Hall on 15th Avenue in Boro Park.

Nikolsburg in Boro Park

The Nikolsburger Rebbe, a long time rebbe at Yeshiva Chaim Berlin where he continues to infuse his students with a passion for Torah and Yiddishkeit, established his beis medrash at 4912 16th Avenue, where he also conducts an evening kollel. The beis medrash exerts a magnetic pull and the Nikolsburger Rebbe has developed a lively following. Very much in the spirit of Rabbi Yeshaye Steiner, zt”l (1852-1925) – Keresturer Rebbe lovingly renowned as Reb Shayaleh Kerestirer – there is always a bounty of heimishe food on the tables in the beis medrash where the idiom “no one goes away hungry” rules. The Nikolsburger Rebbe has had much success with chassidishe youth-at-risk.

Immediately prior to the summer of 2010, the Nikolsburger Rebbe of Boro Park formally met with the dedicated administration of Woodbourne’s B’nai Israel Synagogue and, with their enthusiastic support, assumed summer leadership of the Woodbourne Shul. Though the shul had not been fully utilized for years, the board’s resilience in its maintenance is recognized as an important part of the shul’s successful transformation.

Nikolsburger Rebbe of Boro Park and Woodbourne

Nikolsburger chassidim upgraded the Woodbourne shul. In addition, they rented a home across the street that serves as the Nikolsburger Rebbe’s summer residence. With the shul’s downstairs refurbished and turned into a large second beis medrash, the shul accommodates more than one minyan at a time. Often, a third simultaneous minyan is held outside the front doors. The last minyan for weekday Maariv was scheduled for 11:45 pm, but minyan after minyan continued well past midnight.

My Machberes

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Belz – Satmar Reconciliation

On Monday, January 17, a distinguished group of Belzer chassidim visited the ohel in Kiryas Yoel. The group approached the gravesites of Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum, zt”l (1886-1979), founding Satmar Rebbe and author of Divrei Yoel, and, his nephew and successor, Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum, zt”l (1914-2006), Satmar Rebbe and author of Beirach Moshe.

At each gravesite the group gave charity, lit candles, recited Tehillim, and read aloud a letter from Rabbi Yesochor Dov Rokeach, Belzer Rebbe in Jerusalem, seeking forgiveness, as outlined in the Shulchan Aruch, Orech Chaim 606:1 and Rambam, Hilchos Teshuvah 2:9-10.

Included in the delegation were Belzer dayanim Rabbi Moshe Shimon Bineth, Rabbi Asher Eckstein, Rabbi Mordechai Galitzky, Rabbi Shimon Wolf Klein, Rabbi Shalom Pesach Langsam, Rabbi Wolf Ber Lerner, Rabbi Tuvia Watenstein; Belzer leaders Rabbi Ezriel Hecht, Rabbi Yosef Langsam, Rabbi Gavriel Menzer, and Rabbi Moshe Yosef Moskowitz. The letter was read by Rabbi Shimon Wolf Klein, the Rebbe’s gabbai.

Belzer Delegation at Kiryas Yoel ohel.

Though no explanations were given, much unofficial speculation has been offered. There is still anger over a speech given in Jerusalem by the Belzer Rebbe on Motzaei Shemini Atzeres/Simchas Torah 1981, shortly after the passing of the Divrei Yoel. The Belzer Rebbe was 33 years old at the time and had been serving as Belzer Rebbe since 1966.

 

Belzer Rebbe, Early Years

Born in 1948, today’s Belzer Rebbe married Rebbetzin Sarah, the daughter of Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua Hager, Bnei Brak Vishnitzer Rebbe. At the time of the wedding, Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua’s father, Rabbi Chaim Meir Hager, zt”l (1887-1972), Vishnitzer Rebbe and author of Imrei Chaim, was still alive. The Belzer Rebbe resided in Bnei Brak for one year. In 1966, he moved his residence to Jerusalem, where he assumed leadership of the growing Belzer kehilla. In 1972, the Vishnitzer Rebbe passed away and Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua succeeded his father as Vishnitzer Rebbe in Bnei Brak.

Childless for several years after their marriage, the Belzer Rebbe and Rebbetzin visited the United States to seek the blessing of the Divrei Yoel and, presumably, to seek medical assistance. In 1975 they had a son, Aaron Mordechai, their only child. The two names are in honor of the child’s great-uncle, Rabbi Aaron Rokeach, zt”l (1880-1957), fourth Belzer Rebbe, as well as of the child’s grandfather, Rabbi Mordechai Twersky, zt”l (1902-1949) Bilgorayer Rav.

 

Belz-Eidah Hacharedis Differences

In 1981, the Belzer kehilla established its own beis din and kashrus certification. In effect, the Belzer kehilla seceded from the Eidah Hacharedis of Jerusalem, which was then a coalition of Toldos Aaron (today Toldos Aaron and Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok), Satmar, Dushinsky, etc. The move toward independence on the part of Belz and its then-realignment with the Agudah, Ger, Vishnitz, etc., was loudly condemned.

That year, when the Belzer Rebbe visited New York, the police, fearing violence, discouraged him from visiting Williamsburg. The Belzer Beis Medrash in Williamsburg had been ransacked and hundreds of chassidishe youths were stationed on roofs along the Belzer Rebbe’s expected route of entry. The Belzer Rebbe chose to forgo the Williamsburg visit.

The Divrei Yoel passed away on Sunday, August 19, 1979. In addition to serving as Satmar Rebbe, he also served as chief rabbi and president of the Eidah Hacharedis. The Beirach Moshe, as nephew, Sigeter Rav, and obvious successor, was not anointed as Satmar Rebbe until months later. In addition, until the first yahrzeit the Sigeter Rav chose to be called the Satmar-Sigeter Rebbe.

In 1979 the Divrei Yoel had invited Rabbi Yitzchok Yaakov Weiss, zt”l (1902-1989), Manchester av beis din and author of Minchas Yitzchok, to join the Eidah Hacharedis as rosh beis din. When the Divrei Yoel passed away, the Eidah Hacharedis appointed Rabbi Weiss as its chief rabbi. The position of president was given to the Beirach Moshe. Today, Rabbi Tuvia Yitzchok Weiss (no relation), former rosh beis din of Antwerp, is the chief rabbi of the Eidah Hacharedis; Rabbi Moshe Shternbuch is the rosh beis din, and Rabbi Dovid Soloveitchik, Brisker rosh yeshiva, is the current president.

Reportedly, the Belzer Rebbe has long sought to reconcile with his brother-in-law, Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, Satmar Rebbe. They are sons-in-law of the aging Bnei Brak Vishnitzer Rebbe, as is Rabbi Dovid Twersky, Skverer Rebbe. The old adage applies here: Those that know are not speaking, and those who are speaking do not necessarily know. Some are hinting that the Satmar Rebbe welcomes the Belzer Rebbe’s current outreach but declined to reciprocate until forgiveness was asked of the Divrei Yoel and the Beirach Moshe in accordance with the Shulchan Aruch.

Now that the Belzer Rebbe has formally, in adherence with Shulchan Aruch guidelines, asked forgiveness, many speculate that the Satmar Rebbe, who will be visiting Israel shortly, will openly meet with the Belzer Rebbe. Others maintain that Satmar will not warmly embrace Belz but will grant the same ceremonious cordiality as is given to Vishnitz, Ger, Modzitz, Boyan, etc.

Neglecting The Shul

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Neglecting The Shul

Once a regiment of Austrian soldiers visited the city of Rimanov. Lacking pro­per facilities to house the troops, the com­manding officer decided to use the main shul in the city for their quarters.

When the Jews of the city were no­tified they became fright­ened. Their only house of worship would now be desecrated. The officials of the congregation pleaded with the officer, but to no avail.

In desperation they ran to their rav, the pious saint, Rav Mandl, to inter­cede for them. While they were discussing the mater with him, one of the balebatim remarked, “There is yet a chance that the army will not use the shul.” They turned towards him and asked, “why?”

“They would be foolish if they do,” he replied. “The walls are shaky, the roof is leaking and the whole appearance of the shul is drab and dirty.”

When the rav heard this he jumped up in anguish and exclaimed: “Now I know why Hashem punished us with this frightful confiscation of our shul. If we, ourselves, have no consid­eration for Hashem’s house, if we do not re­spect it enough to keep it clean and tidy and in good order, then why should Hashem have consideration for us? He decided to turn it over to the army, for they may take better care of it.

“This I advise to do immediately,” continued the rav. “Hire carpen­ters and laborers to repair the shul. Beautify it until it becomes the holy place it was supposed to be.”

The elders of the congregation rushed away immediately and engaged workers to repair and beautify the shul. They worked continuously, day and night, until the shul was once again a beautiful place to behold.

A few days later, the general of the army arrived to inspect the shul and to put his final approval upon it. He spent many hours examining and mea­suring. Finally, he announced that the shul was too small to be used. In­ asmuch as there was no larger hall in Rimanov, they decided to move to the next town where there were larger quar­ters for the entire regiment.

 

Foretells The Future

Reb Shaul, son of Reb Yisrael Shlomo of Slobodka tells the following story of the Baal Shem Tov:

A count who was noted for his anti-Semitism, heard that the Baal Shem Tov was visiting one of the towns in his province. Having heard that the Baal Shem Tov was able to predict the future and because of it he attracted a multitude of followers, the count ordered his servants to bring the Baal Shem Tov to him, by force, if necessary.

When he was brought before the count he was asked, “Is it true that you are able to see the future? For many of my subjects swear by you.”

The Baal Shem Tov had little choice but to say, “Yes.”

Drawing out his sword, the count said, “If that be the case, then tell me when will you die?”

The Baal Shem Tov realized the count intended to harm him.  If he responded by saying that he would live a long time, the count would kill him immedi­ately to show the Baal Shem Tov was a liar; and if he said that he would die today or tomor­row, he would intentionally let him live so as to prove him a liar and a charlatan.

With a prayer in his heart the Baal Shem Tov answered: “My lord, G-d will never reveal the day of death of any mortal. But this I know, the one day following my death, my lord, the count will also die.”

The count was amazed at this pro­found answer. He was afraid to kill the Baal Shem Tov for fear that his prophecy would come true and he would die the following day. The Baal Shem Tov left for home in peace.

 

Being Kind To Other People

The Chofetz Chaim (Rav Yisrael Meir HaCohen of Radin) would always point out that gemilas chesed doesn’t only involve giving money to the needy, but it also meant being kind to others. It meant in­viting guests to your home, escorting them home when it was dark, arranging the wedding of a poor bride and groom, vis­iting the sick and the bereaved and all the ­little things in life which makes the other persons happier.

Once, during a long winter night in Shevat, after praying Maariv, the Cho­fetz Chaim sat down to learn and review the Gemara. As was his custom, he placed the bottom of his long frock alongside of him, not wishing to sit on it and crease it. The Gaon became so engross­ed in his studies that he didn’t notice an elderly man stretch out on the bench alongside of him and place his head on his frock. The poor man was homeless and tired and he soon fell asleep.

Mother Knows Best

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

I am just a small-town girl whose aspirations never included the notion of traveling to exotic places. I dreamed of getting married, raising a family, and living near my parents and in-laws.

Well, as the popular Yiddish saying goes, man plans and Hashem laughs. As a young married woman, my husband and I lived in England during his tour of duty as an Air Force chaplain. Not an exotic location to be sure, and the dialects were similar. However, I spent a lot of time writing letters to loved ones (no faxes or e-mails in those days). I needed to connect with those near and dear to me. The loneliness was acute.

Upon our return to civilian life, we settled in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, where I had the privilege of raising our children in the neighborhood of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

Chabad is synonymous with kiruv, reaching out to unaffiliated Jews. I love that concept. We believe that regardless of one’s religious background, it is our Yiddishe neshamah that unites all Jews.

As the children grew, so did their wonder at where they would go on shlichus (outreach) once they finished Beis Medrash or Seminary.

Personally, I was too enthralled with the miracle of being blessed with children to even think about the day that my children would leave the nest to venture to some far- off place. Frankly, I firmly pushed the possibility out of my mind.

The years passed, and my son, Chaim Ozer, decided to become a shaliach (emissary). It was hard for me to accept the reality that he would leave for a far-off destination. I expressed my feelings to him for the whole year preceding his assignment.

At that time, my mother was quite ill. I was visiting her in the hospital when we received a call from our son. He instructed us to call a particular rabbi to find out where he was being sent on shlichus. I should have realized at the time that it was strange that he could not divulge his assignment to us, but I was too concerned about my mother’s condition to think clearly.

The rabbi was very excited to inform me that Chaim Ozer was going to be sent to a certain country, one I had expressly forbidden. I was adamant. He would not go! I knew that the Rebbe would not agree to any assignment if the parents did not give their consent.

I informed the rosh hayeshiva that I had every confidence that he would find a more suitable destination for Chaim Ozer.

A few days later we learned that he would be going to Hungary. That was fine with me.

Chaim Ozer’s year of shlichus was very successful and he was asked to return the following year. He was only 20 years old at the time, but he had made a good impression on the young rabbi and rebbetzin there.

In fact, although it was too early for our son to consider marriage, they were convinced that Chaim Ozer was the perfect match for the young rebbetzin’s sister.

We knew nothing about this scenario, as it was put on the back burner for several years until the appropriate time.

It turned out to be a wonderful idea.

For the past few years, Chaim Ozer and Racheli have been on shlichus in Las Vegas, Nevada, raising a lovely family that includes little Raizy, who is named for my beloved mother.

It would seem that Hashem concurred that “mother knows best” after all!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/mother-knows-best/2011/08/03/

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