web analytics
October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Uncategorized
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » Uncategorized

Reb Shlomo Carlebach’s Early Years in New York

The twin brothers, Eli Chaim and Shlomo Carlebach, rowing on a summer vacation in the Catskill Mountains, probably summer 1948. Courtesy of Hadassa Carlebach and Sheina Carlebach Berkowitz.

The twin brothers, Eli Chaim and Shlomo Carlebach, rowing on a summer vacation in the Catskill Mountains, probably summer 1948. Courtesy of Hadassa Carlebach and Sheina Carlebach Berkowitz.

These vingette are excerpted from Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: Life, Mission and Legacy by Dr. Natan Ophir (Offenbacher), published by Urim Publications.

 

Arrival of the Carlebach Family in Brooklyn in 1939

On February 4, 1939, Rabbi Naphtali boarded the RMS Queen Mary from Southampton, England, and arrived in New York on February 9. Shortly thereafter, the rest of the Carlebach family set sail on the Queen Mary on March 18 and arrived in New York on March 23, 1939. Reportedly, the captain informed them: “Now you don’t know what a miracle it is that you are on my ship, but one day you will know.” In September, half a year later, the Nazis invaded Poland and no more ships took refugees to New York. This narrow escape left a profound impression on Shlomo that was later to shape his life career.

The Carlebach family settled in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, renting an apartment for $43 a month on 163 South 9th street. R. Naphtali was hired as rabbi of the Young Israel of Crown Heights on Eastern Parkway, and his total net salary for the 30 weeks that he worked in 1939 was $750. R. Naphtali suffered from a heart condition, and his wife Rebbetzin Pessia helped support the family, earning money as a bookbinder.

 

Torah Vodaas and Lakewood

Shlomo spent his teenage years studying in the haredi yeshiva, Mesivta Torah Vodaas, in the Kensington neighborhood of Brooklyn. There he was influenced by Rabbi Shlomo Hyman (1892–1945) who had come from Vilna in 1935 to teach at the yeshiva. One day in 1942, Rabbi Aharon Kotler visited Torah Vodaas. With the encouragement of R. Shraga Faivel Mendelovitz, principal of Torah Vodaas, R. Kotler began planning a kollel program. He chose the small resort town of Lakewood, New Jersey, outside the bustle of New York, as an ideal place for intensive full-time Torah learning. A building was found on 617 6th St. The program began in April 1943, shortly after Pesach, with fourteen students, some of whom had known R. Kotler from his days teaching in Kletzk in Poland. Shlomo and his brother Eliyahu Chaim, aged 18, joined this first group. Shlomo learned for six years with avid enthusiasm. In later years, Reb Shlomo recalled:

When I was in yeshiva, I was learning so much, that not only did I not buy a newspaper; I didn’t even look at the headlines! I didn’t want anything in my head but the Torah.

Chazkel (Charlie) Roth visited Lakewood and saw the Carlebach brothers studying: “Then, it was Reb Eli Chaim who joked around and always sang niggunim, while Reb Shlomo was quiet and studious.” Shlomo was considered “one of the most promising young Talmudists in the country and pronounced an illui, a Torah genius, by R. Aharon Kotler.” It is reported that a particularly brilliant classmate, Willie Low (Ze’ev Lev), stated that there were only two students in Lakewood at the time who understood R. Aharon Kotler’s class – himself and Shlomo.

…Shlomo’s disciples often stated that not only was he an outstanding student and protégé of R. Kotler, but that his mentor viewed him as his potential successor. The story is told that the Lakewood Yeshiva students had a hard time following Rabbi Kotler’s discourses and understanding his Talmudic references. Shlomo would summarize and review the class for them. According to one report:

Once a week the top class in the Mir Yeshiva would come from Brooklyn to listen to the discourse of Rabbi Aharon Kotler. It was not easy to follow the sources and reasoning, but after the class was over, there was one person who would explain and review the class for everyone else. This was Reb Shlomo.…The learning under R. Kotler established a chain of tradition for Shlomo which enhanced his reputation as a standard bearer of Orthodoxy even when he was ostracized because of his maverick style.

 

Manhattan (1946–1951)

In 1945, the Carlebach family moved to Manhattan as R. Naphtali assumed leadership of Congregation Kehilath Jacob on 305 West 79th St. replacing Rabbi Jacob Meyer Segolovich. Originally from Danzig, R. Segolovich had founded the synagogue in 1941. After he passed away in 1944, R. Naphtali purchased the rights to the synagogue, including the lease on the building, and the Carlebach family lived on the second floor of the synagogue.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

8 Responses to “Reb Shlomo Carlebach’s Early Years in New York”

  1. Natan Ophir says:

    The footnotes were apparently omitted here because of space considerations. Whoever would like to read them please write to me at CarlebachBook@gmail.com

  2. Karen Blake says:

    Natan has done a wonderful job on his book, (Shlomo and I were extremely close)

  3. Avi Kunstler says:

    I believe at the time Torah vodaas was located in williamsburgh and not kensington (where it is today)

  4. Natan Ophir says:

    Dear Avi, Thank you for the correction. Might you know the address of Torah Vodaas before it moved to 452 and 425 East 9th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11218, where it is located today? And when did it move?

  5. Avi Kunstler says:

    Not exactly sure when they moved but chances are in r shlomos day they were on Wilson st ….then they went to south third and after many many years there (at least into the mid to late 60s (or later) to the current location

  6. Paula George says:

    it is so amazing how much the present Rabbi Naftali of Carlebach Shul looks like his grandfather, Eli Chaim

  7. Dvorah Halevi says:

    That's correct , it w as located I Williamsburgh. My great uncle was a Rebbe there at the time.

  8. Nachum Meir Grafstein says:

    gevalt

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Ebola virus particles.
New York City Hospital Testing Patient for Ebola Virus
Latest Uncategorized Stories
Shana Tova Cards

The special quality of the year 5775 (תשע”ה) is “nine months of pregnancy” תִּשְׁעָה יַרְחֵי לֵידָה

Collecting-History-logo

In 1943, Jewish Agency officials recruited her to join a clandestine military project whose ultimate purpose was to offer aid to beleaguered European Jewry.

Israeli-flag

In 19th century entire ancient Jewish communities fled Palestine to escape brutal Muslim authorities

Rabbi Yehuda Glick

Rabbi Yehuda Glick, a licensed tour guide and head of Haliba mvt for Jewish rights, has ‘sparked unrest’ by praying.

With generous support from the Egyptian Jewish community, the exiled family built a new life for itself in the Mafruza and Gabbari refugee camps near Alexandria.

Channel 2 report: IDF could re-conquer Gaza, but cost would be hundreds of IDF deaths, violence from Judea and Samaria, Israeli Arabs

Latest updates on Color Red incoming rocket alerts from The Jewish Press.com .

Not always two sides to a story: Some try to kill babies, some try to protect them

An IDF official said Sunday evening that there is no news to report about the ongoing manhunt for Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Shayer and Naftali Frenkel. According to a report on the Hebrew-language 0404.co.il website, a the official said, “We are continuing to work according to plan. This means scouring the area, arresting suspects and other […]

Israeli armor, swords and Star of David flags on display as national team wins Austria Cup

Support the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement? That might fly well on American and European university campuses, but don’t try floating the idea in the Arab world. According to Caspar Veldkamp, Dutch ambassador to Israel, Arab and Muslim countries around the world maintain rich economic ties with Israel, often facilitated by Holland. Many of the countries […]

Dutch ambassador to Israel, Caspar Veldkamp, said Tuesday that Arab and Muslim countries, many of whom do not maintain diplomatic relations with Israel, maintain rich economic ties with Israel, facilitated by Holland. Israel Radio reported in Arabic that Muslim-majority countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia, in addition to several Persian Gulf nations, all trade quietly […]

Nemmouche became a radical jihadist while serving a sentence in France in 2009 for armed robbery, TF1 reported.

PLO Chairman Abu Mazen appointed a long-time political ally, Rami Hamdallah, to build the Palestinian national unity government with Hamas. Palestinian reports said Fatah and Hamas officials agreed on the list of names that will form the government. According to NRG, the sides still have yet to agree on the future of Riad Almaliki, the […]

More Articles from Jewish Press Staff

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/uncategorized/reb-shlomo-carlebachs-early-years-in-new-york/2013/11/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: