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

Posts Tagged ‘Rabbi Shapiro’

My Machberes

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Chief Rabbi Of Israel At
14th Igud Siyum HaShas

Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger

On Wednesday, September 5, more than 150 congregational rabbis, roshei yeshiva, chassidishe rebbes and leaders of Jewish religious and social organizations gathered to celebrate and glorify the study of Torah at the 5772 Siyum HaShas Convocation of the Rabbinical Alliance of America-Igud Horabbonim. The event was graced with the presence of Israeli Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger, who was the keynote speaker.

Rabbi Avraham Amar

The Siyum HaShas took place at the Sephardic Home on Cropsey Avenue in Brooklyn, the unique glatt kosher facility that serves the Jewish community in superlative fashion with Rabbi Avraham Amar as mara d’asra and Michael New as executive director.

Rabbi Saul Eisner, zt”l

The first session of the convocation opened in the synagogue sanctuary with Chomer L’Drush Homiletics – homiletics for the Yamim Noraim, dedicated to the memory of Rabbi Saul Eisner, zt”l(1932-2011), Igud executive vice president. The dedication was made possible by the generous contribution of Motty and Shoshy Vegh of Staten Island. Motty is chairman of Yeshiva Reishit Yerushalayim, where Rabbi Jay Marcus is chancellor. The dedication was shared by Rabbi Yaakov Lehrfield, rav of the Young Israel of Staten Island.

Rabbi Yaakov Spivak

Rabbi Yaakov Lehrfield

Rabbi Yaakov Klass, Torah editor of The Jewish Press and rav of Khal Bnei Matisyahu, served as chairman. Speakers included Rabbi Yaakov Lehrfield; Rabbi Aaron L. Raskin, rav of Congregation B’nai Abraham of Brooklyn Heights; Rabbi Eli Greenwald, rav of the Ohel David and Shlomo Congregation Torat Israel; and Rabbi Michoel Chazan, rav of the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn, each of whom delivered an emotional address in preparation for the Yamim Noraim.

Rabbi Yaakov Klass

Rabbi Yonason Y. Lustig

As Rabbi Abraham B. Hecht, Igud president, was escorted into the shul to hear the speakers. Rabbi Hecht was flanked by his son Rabbi Eli Hecht, rav of the South Bay Congregation in Lomita, California. Moments later, Rabbi Shaul Kassin, chief rabbi of the Syrian community, entered, accompanied by his son Jack Kassin and greatly respected community activist Jack Avital.

Rabbi Abraham B. Hecht

As the first session came to a close, Minchah was announced and led by Rabbi Pesach Lerner, executive vice president emeritus of the National Council of Young Israel. Meir Levy, beloved longtime chazzan of the Syrian community, added his melodious voice to chazaras hashatz.

Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht

After Minchah, the Siyum HaShas and dinner banquet began in the large social hall, catered by Grunwald Caterers of Pavilion 39. The Siyum HaShas and dinner were dedicated to the memory of Rabbi Meir Shapiro, zt”l (1920-1998), chief rabbi of Buenos Aries and chairman of the Igud Horabbonim, who launched the yearly Siyum HaShas by members of a national rabbinic organization. Regrettably, Rabbi Shapiro did not live to share in the joy of the Igud’s first Siyum HaShas. Rabbi Shapiro passed away on Shiva Assar B’Tammuz, 1998, the very year of the siyum’sestablishment.

Rabbi Eli Greenwald

Rabbi Herschel Kurzrock

The Siyum HaShas and dinner was made possible by the generous donation of the Shapiro family, led by Rebbetzin Pearl Shapiro and her son, R’ Pinchas Shapiro.

As the assembled washed for bread and sat in their seats, joyous song erupted as Chief Rabbi Metzger entered. The singing continued until the chief rabbi was seated on the dais.

Rabbi Yehoshua Hecht, rav of Beth Israel Synagogue, Norwalk-Westport, Connecticut, and son of the Igud president, served as dinner chairman. He called on Rabbi Yaakov Spivak to make a special presentation. Rabbi Spivak is rav and rosh kollel of Ashyel Avraham in Monsey, New York. On June 24, Kollel Ashyel Avraham held its sixth ordination celebration. Chief Rabbi Metzger was scheduled to participate but was called abroad for emergency rabbinic intervention. At the Siyum HaShas Rabbi Spivak presented the chief rabbi with a plaque in recognition of his blessings conveyed to the kollel’s new musmachim. In addition, Rabbi Avraham Hecht was given a presentation in honor of his decades of rabbinic dedication and heroic leadership. Chief Rabbi Kassin then gave his blessings to all who participated in the Siyum HaShas.

Rabbi Michoel Chazan

Rabbi Pinchas Shapiro

Rabbi Herschel Kurzrock, Igud rosh beis din, was called to be mesayem haShas, formally closing the study cycle. Rabbi Kurzrock made some introductory remarks, saying that he wished to defer the honor to the chief rabbi. In turn, the chief rabbi warmly thanked Rabbi Kurzrock and praised Rabbi Kurzrock’s leadership of the Igud’s universally respected beis din.

Rededication Of Yeshiva Chachmei Lublin in Poland (Part II)

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

The Old Yeshiva

 

      Last week’s column, mostly pictures, on the rededication of Yeshiva Chachmei Lublin, could only partially describe the joyous event. The historic yeshiva building is once again in the hands of the Jewish community, and the sounds of Torah are heard in its halls.

 

      To fully understand the significance of the building and the institution it once housed, we have to go back close to eighty years, when the venerable Rabbi Meir Shapiro decided to build a yeshiva that would set an example for all other houses of higher Torah learning.

 

      Rabbi Shapiro dreamt of a yeshiva that would cater to the most talented Torah scholars. At the first Agudah Convention, he proposed to build the yeshiva. This was the very same convention, at which he broached the inception of the now-famous Daf Yomi.

 

      To do this he set about creating an atmosphere in which the students would be able to have all their needs, spiritual and physical, taken care of. They had the best teachers to challenge them intellectually and for the first time a campus able to house and feed them adequately.

 

      During the laying of the corner stone, 20,000 people came from all over to celebrate the inauguration of the yeshiva. These included dozens of renowned rabbis, representatives of the local and federal governments and numerous journalists and donors.

 


Unveiling the Facade Of The Restored Yeshiva Chachmei Lublin

 

 

      The building, most modern of its time in Lublin, was built by funds that Rabbi Shapiro gathered on trips abroad. He traveled all over Europe as well as the U.S. where he spent 15 months visiting over 200 locales. Even with all the money he collected, the building fund had a substantial deficit and Rabbi Shapiro had to take out a major loan to cover the gap. This debt curtailed many planned projects.

 

      Rabbi Shapiro insisted that if they were going to teach the top students, they had to provide them with the best. During his trips to collect money, he also collected books and manuscripts that would eventually fill the library off the main study hall. There was also a separate room that held a model of the Beit HaMikdash so the students studying the laws of the Temple could visualize what they were learning.

 

      The yeshiva opened on June 23 1930, to much fanfare. The mezuzah on the front door was affixed, in the presence of thousands, by Rabbi Yisrael Friedman, the Chortkover Rebbe. A large banner was unfurled, depicting a Torah Scroll being held up by the hands of Yissaschar, while the hands of Zevulun placed a crown of glory on top, against a background of the Polish national flag.

 

      While many invitations went out from the office of the yeshiva to officials and dignitaries, Rabbi Shapiro felt he owed a debt of gratitude to the former great leaders of the Jewish community in Lublin.

 

      In an article in Der Jud of June 24 1924, which covered the laying of the cornerstone ceremony, Shmuel Rothstein wrote, “No pen is able to describe what we felt at that particular moment.

 

      “The enthusiasm was genuine, for everybody sensed that something of historic significance, an epoch-making event, was taking place. No wonder, then, that all those gathered were deeply moved when the initiator of the future academy, Rabbi Meir Shapiro, started his address:

 

      ‘”Today we pay tribute to Polish Jewry, to their former splendor and glory. While my friends were inviting representatives of the government and various organizations to our ceremony, I went to the old cemetery to invite the immortal Talmudic Sages of old Lublin. Their mortal remains rest in the old cemetery, but their radiant spirit is alive with us’”

 

      Rabbi Shapiro passed away in 1933, just three years after the opening of the yeshiva. As he lay dying he asked to be taken into the study hall to be surrounded by his beloved students. When they started to cry, he insisted that they sing and dance for he was going to his reward. Over 30,000 people attended his funeral accompanying his body to the new cemetery. He was later re-interred in Israel.

 

      The Yeshiva continued under the leadership of Rabbi Shlomo Eiger until the German invasion of Lublin in 1939. The Germans occupied the building, burnt the majority of the library and murdered most of the students and faculty. After the war the building was turned into a medical college.


 


(Next week: The Restoration And Plans For The Yeshiva Building)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/rededication-of-yeshiva-chachmei-lublin-in-poland-part-ii/2007/02/21/

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