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December 21, 2014 / 29 Kislev, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Korban Pesach’

Metzora: Living Within the Community

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Last week, we had connected the laws relating to the purification of a metzora to the laws of the korban Pesach. Why would that be? In this week’s video, Rabbi Fohrman puts the pieces together and reminds us that both teach us about ‘radical separateness’ – and while each of us is an individual, we are also part of a larger unit.


Visit AlephBeta.  /  Rabbi David Fohrman

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.

Pesach: The End Of Victimhood

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

The Midrash (Shemot Rabbah 18:12) describes “leil shimurim,” the “night of watching,” the night before the redemption, as one of the glorious nights in Jewish history.

Not only did we eat the Korban Pesach, have the first Seder and prepare to depart the land of Egypt, but also it later became the night that Chizkiyahu, Chanania, Mishael, Azaria, Daniel and others were saved – and the night on which “Mashiach and Eliyahu mitgadlin” – on which they are elevated, become great – or, according to another text, the night they are mitgalim – revealed.

But what does it mean that on these days they are magnified or revealed?

It is not as if they actually appear. The Gemara says in Eruvin 43a that if a person vows to become a nazir on whatever day Mashiach comes, then he is allowed to drink wine on every Shabbat and Yom Tov because Mashiach obviously does not come on those days. Furthermore, “we have been promised that Mashiach will not come on the eve of Shabbat or Yom Tov either, because of the inconvenience” – people are busy preparing for those holy days! So how then are Mashiach and Eliyahu exalted or revealed at the Seder if they cannot come?

The Jewish people left Egypt at high noon on 15 Nissan 3,334 years ago, but Egypt did not leave us for a much longer period of time. At the Red Sea, we reacted like a nation of slaves, and throughout our sojourn in the wilderness we exhibited a slave mentality – bemoaning our fate, and glamorizing and/or understating the travails of Egypt.

We were told four days before the Exodus to take the deities of Egypt and to slaughter them on the 14th, in full sight of the Egyptians – to show our inner strength and our relief from Egyptian domination, to show we had broken away from the psychological stranglehold they had on us. It did not completely succeed.

We were ill equipped for freedom, and understandably so. Slavery, persecution, dehumanization, and extermination take their toll on the psyche. Victims do not recover instantly or easily. It takes time to wean out of our system the lingering effects of maltreatment, and until then victimization is comfortable. It becomes an excuse for every failure, every inaction, and sometimes for every misdeed.

We all marvel at Holocaust survivors who were left with nothing material and were able to rebuild, and prosper, and overcome the torments they endured. But a steep price is still paid – sometimes for individuals, and even greater as a nation. Too many people who are beaten down become comfortable as victims and uncomfortable with power.

For too long we have competed in the arena of victimhood, and love even more the sympathy that is engendered by our suffering.

There are plenty of Jews who are more comfortable with grief and mourning than with strength and the projection of power. Many proclaim at the Seder “in every generation they come upon us to destroy us” as a badge of victimhood, and not, as intended, in gratitude to God who has preserved us throughout history.

We have built dozens of Holocaust memorials across the world – which certainly serve a purpose for us but do not keep one Jew Jewish and certainly have done little to diminish the level of Jew-hatred in the world. We may think our victimhood is unique – and it is – but tell that to the Kurds or Armenians or Cambodians or Sudanese or Russians. These days, even Germans and Austrians claim to be victims of the Nazis. In this macabre competition, there are no winners.

The State of Israel was supposed to put an end to the glories of victimization – but it hasn’t entirely. The fact that the only innocent civilians in the world that are routinely targeted by random rockets are the Jews in Israel’s south – with little inclination to put a final end to it – only shows that victims talk it into themselves that victimhood is everlasting and unchangeable.

The Iron Dome system, while a technological marvel, is the ultimate defensive system. Rather than disarm and permanently disable the shooter, it attempts to shoot a bullet out of the air with another bullet. Even if it succeeds most of the time – remarkable in itself – it fails as a stable strategy because the incoming rockets still force ordinary citizen to cower in bomb shelters, lest a missile manage to sneak through. Thus, lives are still disrupted, children are still traumatized, and society is still terrorized. It is like a physician who treats the symptoms but not the disease.

It is hard to imagine another country putting up with similar attacks for as long as Israel has because it is inconceivable. Ultimately, the hand of the shooter must be stayed, or the enemy will devise ways to defeat even the Iron Dome. And that will only energize the cult of victimization.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/pesach-the-end-of-victimhood/2012/03/28/

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