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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘chuppah’

Broken Hearts

Friday, February 14th, 2014

My previous two columns featured letters from mothers whose daughters experienced the trauma of a wedding being called off just days before the scheduled simcha. How can parents protect their children from such painful experiences? Unfortunately, there is no magic wand, no guarantee. It’s one thing to see your children get engaged but something else again to see them under the chuppah pledging to build a true Jewish home.

I will respond to the second letter-writer first – the woman who overcame her initial skepticism about giving a person a second chance, only to discover to her dismay that the second chance didn’t work.

In biblical times the Jewish people never had a prison system. Instead, a person who broke the law – a thief, for example – was taken in by a family whose task it was to rehabilitate him so that he might reenter the Jewish community with dignity and honor. Such a person was referred to as an eved Ivri, a Hebrew slave.

Citing the Torah example of the eved Ivri, our letter-writer informed me that she wanted to give a second chance to the young man her daughter was planning to marry, despite all the negative reports she’d heard about him and some questionable behavior she herself had witnessed.

But the concept of eved Ivri has no bearing on a shidduch candidate. In one instance we are referring to a man who stole and is taken in by a family who will teach him how to live by Torah and mitzvot. Thus he’s given a second chance to become an honorable member of Am Yisrael.

A young wife, however, cannot be a “foster mother” or a policeman or a rebbe who has to discipline her husband. Husbands and wives are meant to be partners, kings and queens of their families. They trust each other implicitly and they in turn are entrusted by Hashem with the holy task of bringing forth a new generation to become part of the Jewish people.

To give people with flawed character traits and even a criminal history a second chance may work in some areas of life but to do so for potential marriage candidates is potentially suicidal. A wife is not the person to mold and reshape a man whose traits are wanting and reprehensible.

Yes, a wife can and should inspire a man to study Torah, daven with a minyan and give tzedakah, but to attempt to change his personality and character is beyond her purview. Perhaps during the dating period such a man can put up a false front and perhaps through his charisma can sell a bogus story about his past that portrays him as victim rather than a villain. His charm attracts her. She finds him magnetic. She’s in love. Once they are married, however, the truth emerges and the tribulations begin. The tragedy affects not only the young wife but their children and future generations as well.

I have heard variations of this problem from many young women who come to see me. “Rebbetzin, I met this wonderful person. He’s so good. He’s everything I ever dreamed of. There are a few problems, though, that I’d like to talk to you about. He has some nasty habits. He loses his temper easily, though he always apologizes. I discussed this with him and he promised me he will change. And once we’ll be married it will be so much easier for him to be the man I would like him to be.”

These girls are starry eyed and innocent, full of hope and idealism. They really think they can change a man, make him the perfect husband and loving father.

I hate to dash their hopes, but I have to tell them the truth. The words of the Torah speak loud and clear: “Do not place a stumbling block in front of a blind person.” Meaning if someone is blind to the consequences of her actions, it is our responsibility to enlighten her so that she can avoid disaster.

As I recently told a young woman who came to me thinking she would mold her fiancée once they became husband and wife, “Take a good look at him. What you see now is what he is, and after marriage things do not become better. If anything, they become worse. He no longer needs to romance you. He got what he wanted. If a change can be made, it must occur before the marriage. And this change cannot be just for few days or few weeks or even a few months.”

The girl’s eyes filled with tears. “I realize you’re right, Rebbetzin, but it’s so painful. It’s not the answer I wanted to hear.”

“I know,” I gently told her. “Reality is very often painful, but it is better to go through the pain now for a short while than to live a lifetime of pain.”

This young lady had not found her fiancée through the traditional shidduch approach, in which young men and women and their families are vetted and only after careful scrutiny will parents grant their permission to dating and marriage. I must add, however, that even with the most careful research, tragedy can still occur. Of course, this does not in any way absolve parents from doing their due diligence in researching potential mates for their children.

I will respond to the concerns of the first letter-writer next week.

Hashem Is The Ultimate Shadchan

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Last week I shared a letter from a mother who was grappling with the challenge of finding the proper shidduch for her daughter. This was the first shidduch in her family and she sought guidance as to how she might best go about it. The following is my response.

The difficulty of finding the right shidduch is all too acute in our Jewish world. I have traveled in every continent, and parents and young people all over share this concern.

Time and again I have said and written that when in a quandary we must always turn to our holy books and search for answers.

Our father Abraham was the first Jewish parent who was overcome with this challenge. In his old age he called Eliezer, ­the executor of his estate, and instructed him regarding his last will and testament. Abraham was the wealthiest man of his generation, so it was only natural that he would take great caution in arranging his will.

Amazingly, it was not his money, his real estate, or his livestock that concerned him. The one concern he had was that a shidduch be found for his son Yitzchak. He instructed Eliezer in precise terms, leaving no room for misunderstanding. He charged him with the awesome responsibility of finding Isaac’s wife. Nothing else mattered to Abraham – a lesson our money-obsessed generation would do well to learn.

This priority of finding the right shidduch is one of the pillars on which our people stand. Abraham’s teaching is so deeply engraved on our hearts that to this day when a child is born we pray that G-d will grant that he or she will one day go under the chuppah, the marriage canopy.

While finding the right shidduch for your child is the most critical responsibility parents are charged with, you are far from the only one who is worried.

You are treading on familiar ground; our parents and grandparents throughout the generations shared your concern.

In your letter you wrote that you have been told by shadchanim and other so-called knowing people that the fact your parents are not observant may be a major problem for your daughter in her search for a shidduch.

Sometimes I think to myself that if Rivkah Imeini were alive today she would have a tough time finding a shidduch – after all, she was the daughter of Besuel, a degenerate, corrupt man, and the sister of Laban, an immoral scoundrel in every way. Who would ever think of marrying such a girl? And this holds true not only for Rivkah but for Rochel and Leah as well. In fact, I could write a megillah about the giants of our people who came from difficult and dysfunctional families and yet became leaders of Am Yisrael.

Additionally, we’ve had sages and great women who were descendants of converts and they too became Torah leaders. Surely it would be impossible, given our contemporary standards, for any of them to find a shidduch today. Who would accept them? Who would even look at them?

In our fractious, money-grubbing society, a man is measured by standards our forefathers were not familiar with. They valued the souls, the hearts, the middos of potential shidduch candidates, not their outward appearance or their wealth or popularity.

Do not worry about your parents’ lack of observance. Your children are standing on solid ground. Their exemplary character traits, devotion to Torah, and commitment to our people all speak loudly and clearly for them. No, your parents’ lack of observance will not hold them back from finding their spouses. The young man Hashem has chosen for your daughter is waiting in the wings. He’s there. Just daven and ask Hashem to send him soon, without grief or aggravation.

I would, however, like to clarify why it is that some sincere, observant families object to making a shidduch with someone whose grandparents are not shomer mitzvot. It’s not because of snobbish elitism or delusions of grandeur. It’s simply based on their fear that when the grandchildren will visit Grandma and Grandpa and witness the violation of kashrus, Shabbos, etc., it will have a damaging effect on them.

In your case, though, that does not apply. Baruch Hashem, it is you and your husband who will be the loving Grandma and Grandpa. While your daughter’s future children may visit Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa, it is unlikely they would stay over on Shabbos or be invited for non-kosher dinners.

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Missed the boat? Readers think not…
See Chronicles of Nov. 16

Dear Rachel,

As I was reading the letter written by “Missed the boat,” I was taken back in time to when our second to youngest daughter fell in love with a young man whom she met at a summer job. She was eighteen years old at the time and certainly didn’t need to rush into marriage.

She also had two still single older siblings and was sensitive to their feelings. At first we all thought that over the course of the following winter the young twosome’s ardor would cool, but that didn’t prove to be the case.

We couldn’t even be upset at our daughter because she was a good girl and up front about her relationship, and the boy who courted her was a serious and decent young man whose parents were casual friends of ours.

Extended family members chimed in with their varied opinions, but Grandma said it best: You can’t let a good thing go in this day and age when shidduchim are not so easy to come by. Grandpa agreed but for different reasons: It’s not healthy to date for so long. Let him do right by her and marry her.

I believe that in our particular situation, having more than one older sibling helped ease the discomfort, for it couldn’t be said or thought that the older was taking her time, etc. Obviously this was all about the younger, not the older. Still, the kallah-to-be sought her siblings’ whole-hearted approval before making it official and made sure that they played an active role in all the preparations for the big day.

Should I assume that there were no hard feelings to speak of? I can only say that there was no outward indication of any, and for that I am most grateful.

What became more complicated with time was that one of the older siblings was eventually skipped over and over, and that was hard on everyone. Despite that, she was a good egg, a doting aunt to her nieces and nephews, and she never blamed anyone for her loneliness or frustrations.

You were right on, Rachel, when you said, “thirty is hardly the end of the world.” My daughter who married past that age would back you up. She is today, baruch Hashem, blissfully happy and Hashem has blessed her with beautiful, delightful children of her own.

Relieved Empty Nester

Dear Rachel,

I read the letter written by Missed the boat with great interest. Years ago I lived near a chassidic family whose firstborn, a male, got engaged, married and divorced in quick succession. The next one up was a girl who was getting to be “of age” and there was much hope that her older brother would soon find the zivug meant for him.

Well, if pairing zivugim is said to be hard work, trying to find a shidduch for someone who had already been married can be at least three times as difficult. The point I’m getting at is that these parents saw no sense in holding up the rest of their brood, and a good many of them were married off before the oldest finally found his match.

Of course this is somewhat of a different case since he had already gotten married once, but it was painful regardless.

A nosy bystander

Dear Readers,

If the reaction via incoming mail is any indicator, it would seem that “younger skipping older” on the way to the chuppah is not all that uncommon — at least if one leaves the chassidic sect out of the equation. So why are the latter so adamantly opposed to such practice?

I posed the question to a chassid who seemed surprised at my naiveté and explained that the Torah’s injunction to honor one’s father and mother – kabed es avicha v’es imecha – encompasses the command to respect one’s older siblings. (This is not his personal view but is brought down by the Talmud.)

According to the Arizal, each sibling from the firstborn down is a link in the chain that connects their souls to their parents and from them to G-d, and thereby the mitzvah to respect parents extends to all older siblings.

‘That Which You See And Hear’

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

As promised last week, in keeping with the dictum of our sages that “ayn doma” – there is no comparison to that which you hear and that which you see – I am sharing excerpts from a diary my daughter kept during Superstorm Sandy.

Sunday Morning:

I’m on my way to give a lecture in Connecticut and the car radio fills the air with ominous talk about Frankenstorm. What does this mean? I wonder apprehensively as I observe the growing lines at gas stations. My stomach is filled with knots. I want to get home to my children…. My husband is out of the country and, quite honestly, I do not relish facing Frankenstorm without him. My friend’s family lives a few blocks away and she graciously offers to have us move in. My husband and I decide that this is the best option. We had gone through hurricane Irene and, thank God, our community made it through with minimal damage but still, I feel relieved to sit this one out with friends.

Sunday Evening:

We pack up some belongings and leave. I lock up and kiss the mezuzah, wondering what the next few days will bring. I cannot help but whisper a silent prayer for our safe return.

We are welcomed into my friend’s home with warm smiles and hot drinks. It is not always easy to give graciously, but they do. And sometimes it can also be difficult to receive. Our host family helps us feel instantly at home. Even the children, all teens, open their hearts and make us feel as if it is the most wonderful thing in the world to have two families living under one roof.

Monday Morning:

We aren’t sure exactly when Sandy is supposed to begin. It has been hard to sleep. Things seem so normal outside. We listen to the news and wait. Each report brings us closer to the dreaded moment. Dire interviews with experts about what could happen add to the pounding of my heart.

Monday Afternoon:

The wind begins to howl. I watch trees sway violently in all directions. We know that the direct hit is soon coming. We live on Long Island. The storm promises to send shocking waves and a surge of water…. Only God knows what will be. We are being told the destruction can be of biblical proportions. I am afraid.

I take out my book of Psalms and begin to pray. The children find their prayer books and we are all reaching out to God. We are astounded to read the Psalm of the day: “Save me God for water has come up to my soul!” cried King David. I feel incredibly connected. The voice of King David becomes my voice. I seek a lifeline and hold onto his timeless words.

Monday Evening:

The time of the surge has come. I hear the sound of ferocious wind. We gather together in one room.

We hear that cars are floating away. Water is seeping into a house with a newborn. I receive a call on my cell from a relative: “My daughter just called. Her car is filled with water to the roof. Water is gushing up her floorboards from nowhere. They are taking the children upstairs. What will happen?”

I clutch my prayer book even tighter. The emotional words of King David leap out at me. “I lift my eyes onto the mountains, from where will come my help? My help will come from God who created the heaven and earth…. Out of the depths I call to You, God!”

We hear that the water has reached the block before ours. It is coming.

I have never felt fear like this in my life.

I want to shield my children. I want to build a lifetime of sweet memories. I want to take each child’s hand in mine and stand with them under the soft canopy of the chuppah together with my loved ones. I want to giggle at bedtime stories and sing the Shema with my grandchildren cuddled on my lap.

I want to accomplish more and bring greater meaning to my days. I want to live.

The dark night is endless. We anticipate. We dread. We pray. It is one of the longest nights I can remember.

The Berachah On Kiddushin

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

In this week’s parshah we learn of the episode whereby Avraham sent his servant Eliezer to find a wife for his son Yitzchak. Eliezer met Rivka and decided that she was right for Yitzchak. After discussing matters with her parents and her brother, Lavan, Eliezer was ready to return with Rivka to Avraham and Yitzchak. Prior to their departure Rivka’s family blessed her, saying that she should become “thousands of myriad…” and may her offspring inherit the gate of its foes.

Tosafos, in Kesubos 7b, quotes Maseches Kallah that derives from this pasuk that says the following: they blessed her and recited the berachah on kiddushin. Tosafos concludes that this is not a complete drasha since the actual wording of the pasuk is that their blessing was that she should have a lot of offspring. The Gemara in Kesubos 7b says that the berachah that we recite on kiddushin is “…asher kiddeshanu b’mitzvosav v’tzivanu al ha’arayos v’asar lanu es ha’arusos v’hitir lanu es hanesuos al yedei chuppah v’kiddushin – who commanded us regarding the forbidden relationships, and forbade us the betrothed, and permitted us to be with women who have had kiddushin and chuppah.”

There is a machlokes Rishonim as to whether the berachah that we recite on kiddushin is a birchas hamitzvos or a birchas hashevach. The Rambam, in Hilchos Ishus 3:23, says that one must recite a berachah on kiddushin just as one recites a berachah on all other mitzvos. It is implicit that the Rambam is of the opinion that the berachah is in fact a birchas hamitzvos.

The Rush, in Kesubos 1:12, asks several questions on those who opine that it is a birchas hamitzvos. One point that is perplexing to him is that the wording of the berachah of a birchas hamitzvos is generally short and to the point, i.e. “…asher kiddeshanu b’mitzvosav v’tzivanu al mitzvas…” However, the wording of the berachah that we recite on kiddushin is much lengthier, implying that it is not a birchas hamitzvos but rather a birchas hashevach. Additionally, he asks why we mention in the berachah what has become forbidden to us. After all, we do not mention the fact that we may not eat from an animal before it is shechted in the berachah that we recite on the mitzvah of shechitah. So why do we mention it by the mitzvah of kiddushin?

Note: As mentioned earlier, these questions must be addressed in accordance with the Rambam’s view that it is indeed a birchas hamitzvos.

Another question that one can ask on the Rambam is based on what the Rambam writes at the conclusion of that halacha. The Rambam writes that one must recite the berachah prior to performing the kiddushin. If one does the kiddushin without reciting a berachah, he may not recite the berachah thereafter. The Rambam wrote all of the halachos of berachos in Hilchos Berachos. There, he wrote the halachos as to when one performs a mitzvah without reciting a berachah. Generally the Rambam does not repeat halachos regarding the halachos of berachos, as they relate to each mitzvah. Why then does the Rambam repeat here the halachos of when one does not recite a berachah on the mitzvah of kiddushin?

I think that the answer to both of these questions lies in the Rambam’s wording of the mitzvah of kiddushin in his Sefer Hamitzvos. The Rambam writes in mitzvah 213 that we are commanded to “livol b’kiddushin – to only have relations after kiddushin,” and give the woman either an item of monetary value or shtar. It is evident from the Rambam that the mitzvah is not simply to perform kiddushin; rather the mitzvah is to live with a level of kedushah and to only have marital relations after performing kiddushin. Perhaps we can even say that if one dies immediately after giving a woman kiddushin and did not yet live with her, he has not fulfilled the mitzvah.

The Rambam, at the beginning of Hilchos Ishus, writes that prior to mattan Torah a person would meet a woman and if they both agreed to marry, they were married. After the Torah was given we were commanded not to act in that manner, but rather to first give the woman kiddushin. Hence this mitzvah is different in that its essence is not to conduct oneself without kedushah. Therefore it is not at all superfluous to mention the fact that we are forbidden to arayos, and that we are only permitted to have marital relations with a woman that has had kiddushin – for that is the mitzvah.

Bumped!

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Rabbi Feld headed out to the airport early in the morning. He was flying to the wedding of one of his congregants, Mr. Krauss, who had purchased him a complimentary ticket. Although the wedding was scheduled for late afternoon, they had booked an early flight to allow ample time.

After checking in, Rabbi Feld sat in the boarding lounge, learning his Daf. Across the lounge, he noticed Rabbi Dayan waiting for the same flight. Rabbi Feld went over and introduced himself.

“I’m heading to a wedding in Chicago,” said Rabbi Feld. “By any chance, are you also attending?”

“No,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “I was invited to give a shiur.”

As the talked, an announcement came over the loudspeaker: “Continental flight 473 to Chicago is overbooked. There is an additional flight at 12 p.m. Passengers willing to be rescheduled to that flight will be granted a free round-trip ticket to anywhere that Continental flies. Please approach one of the Continental representatives near the boarding gate.”

Rabbi Feld couldn’t believe his ears. A free ticket to anywhere Continental flies! He could get a free round-trip ticket to Israel in exchange for a few hours’ delay. He looked at his watch. Even with the later flight, he should arrive at 3 p.m., just in time to make the wedding. “Should I risk it?” he thought to himself.

While he considered the issue, he further questioned: Since the family sponsored the ticket, perhaps they would be entitled to the bonus ticket? It was their money, after all.

A few people started heading over to the flight representatives. Rabbi Feld needed to make a quick decision. He turned to Rabbi Dayan and explained the situation. “Can I take the later flight?” he asked. “If I do, who gets the ticket?”

“Whether you can take the later flight depends on what you expect Mr. Krauss would want,” said Rabbi Dayan. “The bonus ticket would certainly belong to you, though.”

Rabbi Feld decided that it would be irresponsible to risk arriving late for the wedding, despite the potential gain.

“Thank you; I’ll keep the flight,” he said to Rabbi Dayan. “Now that we have some time, though, could you please explain the reason for what you said?”

“When a person gives a gift, we evaluate his intention in giving it,” said Rabbi Dayan. “Mr. Krauss clearly bought you a ticket so that you could participate in his simcha. Therefore, you should act with it in accordance with his intention. Presumably, he would not want you to arrive late for the wedding.” (See 241:5; 246:1)

“I probably would just be able to make it, unless there were unexpected delays,” said Rabbi Feld. “Is that acceptable?”

“The same principle applies,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “If Mr. Krauss would be willing for you to take the risk in light of the tremendous gain, it would be permitted. This would likely depend on whether you were asked to be the mesader kiddushin. If you were meant to lead the wedding or take an important role in the chuppah, presumably he would not be willing to have you take any risk; if you were just a guest – albeit an important one – he would probably concede.”

“What about the bonus ticket?” asked Rabbi Feld. “I know that in some cases an agent who bought something and received a bonus must share it with the sender who paid the money [C.M. 183:6]. Here, Mr. Krauss paid for the ticket.”

“Correct, but this does not apply here for a number of reasons,” said Rabbi Dayan. “First, the bonus ticket would be issued under your name. Rashi explains that the bonus is shared because we are unsure to whom the seller intended to give it, the sender who paid the money or the agent who executed the purchase. Accordingly, when the bonus is explicitly designated to the agent, he is entitled to it.” (Rama 183:6)

“But don’t some later authorities question this ruling?” said Rabbi Feld.

“Yes, and some suggest that an agent should share the bonus with the sender even if explicitly given to him,” said Rabbi Dayan. (See Be’er Heiteiv 183:21; S.A. Harav, Mechira #11) “However, the Rashba writes that if the agent received the bonus because he benefited the seller, everyone would agree that it belongs completely to the agent [Ketzos 183:7]. Here, the bonus ticket is not because of the initial purchase, but because you were willing to be bumped from the early flight.”

Jewish Communities Among Dozens Decimated By Hurricane Sandy

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

“It’s like a war zone,” said Rabbi Akiva Eisenstadt, surveying the damage in Manhattan Beach, a day after Hurricane Sandy swept through New York. “It’s beyond anything anyone has ever seen.”

Manhattan Beach, on the southern tip of Brooklyn, was one of several communities in the tri-state area pummeled by the storm, which caused, across the eastern coast of the country, an estimated $20 billion in property damage and left at least 55 Americans dead and 8.2 million without power.

By Wednesday, Manhattan had still only partially recovered from the super storm as much of the mass transit system that transports millions into the city daily remained shut down. Some experts estimate it will take a week or more before service returns to normal.

Simply pumping all the water that flooded New York’s subway stations and tunnels may take several days. Engineers will then have to assess the infrastructure’s structural soundness. Some fear the corrosive salt water may have also destroyed electrical switches, lights, and the power-conducting third rail.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joseph J. Lhota said Tuesday, “The New York City subway system is 108 years old, but it has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night.”

Even New York’s Stock Exchange remained closed Tuesday – its first multi-day, weather-related closure since 1888.

While most of the reports from several communities in New York City – such as Washington Heights, Midwood, Boro Park and Crown Heights – only weathered streets blocked by downed trees and power outages, others sustained a high percentage of homes with massive damage.

Shorefront areas in lower Brooklyn experienced catastrophe. “Two of my friends who lived in ranches lost everything they had,” said Ari Epstein, a resident of Manhattan Beach, where the water filled the streets up to six feet above street level. On Tuesday, after the water had receded, an oily muddy residue remained on every block. Virtually every house in the neighborhood, Epstein said, suffered extensive water damage, destroying furniture and myriads of expensive and sentimental household items. “It’s crazy, unbelievable.”

Rabbi Eisenstadt, who serves as rosh kollel of Manhattan Beach’s Community Kollel, said one waterfront house was on the market before the storm for $9.5 million. Now, “his whole property is destroyed.”

Even Hatzolah was powerless in the neighborhood. The rescue organization received at least two calls about electrical fires but could not respond, a Hatzolah member told The Jewish Press. The roads were simply inaccessible.

Sea Gate, Brooklyn sustained major damage.
(Photo credit: Dee Voch)

In nearby Sea Gate, an area that was similarly overwhelmed by water, one Jewish man survived the storm on top of a garbage truck, an official from the volunteer Chaverim organization reported. The man declined to evacuate when asked; by the time he changed his mind and started driving away, water blocked his path. Seeking higher ground, he spotted a nearby garbage truck and climbed on top of it. Freezing from the cold weather, he wrapped himself in his tallis, the Chaverim official said.

The water also filled parts of Woodmere and North Woodmere, on Long Island, where many homes were almost completely underwater and many residents had to be rescued by National Guard boats.

Summing up the conditions of the Five Towns, Gabriel Boxer, a resident of Hewlett, posted on Facebook: “The entire 5 Towns smells like salt water.”

In addition to the mass flooding and power outages, some suffered from storm-related fires. Rabbi Yossi Serebryanski said two cars exploded from downed electrical wires near his house in Canarsie, Brooklyn. Several other fires blazed on nearby blocks with fire trucks scrambling to get to them. Eventually, firemen took down several power lines to prevent further fires from erupting. Rabbi Serebryanski emptied his refrigerator and headed to relatives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

Fires also destroyed more than 100 homes in Breezy Point, Queens. Among them was the residence of Rep. Bob Turner (R-NY).

Bayswater, Queens also suffered greatly. Resident Annette Turner said she has no idea when she will be able to return home after the peninsula community was overwhelmed by water. Among the area’s victims was the Agudah of Bayswater, which was completely destroyed – just one week after the shul had finished repairing damage sustained in last year’s Hurricane Irene storm.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/my-machberes/my-machberes-40/2012/10/17/

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