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The virtual Kehilla of Orthodox Jewry of Greater Montreal

The Kneset passes the 'Jewish State Law'

The passing of the "Jewish State Law'  coming just before Shabbas Tishe b'Av

enshrining ‘national home of the Jewish people’

must bring to us reflections.Are we to be overjoyed, sad ,or a hopeful mix?

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Trump’s Shul

The following article about 'Trump's Shul' taken from the Yated was sent to us last week by a 'Jerusalem chaver-

Dr Reuven Bruner -- the 'Fitness Doctor' from Yerushalyim.

Though it is kind of old, we thought it so fantastic , we just had to share it.

 I've heard that his father had taught Donald Trump to think of 'Greatness' (which we know the Meraglim in our parsha didn't -- we were as locusts in their eyes -- how did they know), but this article ..Trump's Shul , 

Donald Trump's zechus from his father.

 

Trump’s Shul

Even today, after Donald Trump has already been inaugurated as president of the United States, many pundits are still trying to figure out how it happened. How did the man with the smallest chance of victory manage to win this election, in complete defiance of all the predictions and assessments of the experts, and all the polls that seemed to be against him? In retrospect, there are many explanations for his astounding victory, some of which are more logical, while others are less so.

There is one man, Rabbi Shmuel Wagner, who has no background whatsoever in the media or in political commentary, but who is confident that he knows of at least one reason for Trump’s stunning victory: the zechus of his father.

In an exclusive interview, Rabbi Wagner, mashgiach ruchani of Yeshivas Ohr Yerushalayim in Moshav Beit Meir, shares the incredible story of how Donald Trump’s father, Frederick Trump, built a shul for the congregation headed by his father, Rabbi Yisroel Wagner, and went on to make annual donations of funding for the kehillah and to aid Jewish families in financial distress.

The Rabbi of Trump’s Neighborhood

After Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election, several publications featured a grainy sixty-year-old photograph that depicts Fred Trump, the new president’s father, in a shul in the neighborhood of Flatbush in Brooklyn. The photograph was accompanied by a terse caption that did little to shed light on the background to this unusual picture.

Rabbi Shmuel Wagner is a son of Rabbi Yisroel Wagner zt”l, the rov of the shul in Flatbush where the picture was taken, and he reveals that there is truly an incredible story behind it.

“To give you a little background information about Fred Trump’s generous donation and his special relationship with my father,” Rabbi Wagner says, “let me take you several years further into the past. My father was born in Galicia and was a tremendous illuy. He was a prominent bochur in Belz and was very close with Rav Aharon of Belz. He was about 18 or 19 years old when World War II began. He father was engaged at the time to a daughter of Rav Shraga Feivel Willig, the rov of the city of Buchach in Galicia. When the war began, he and his kallah were both displaced from their homes, and each of them miraculously survived the war. They were reunited after the war, also miraculously, in a displaced persons camp, and they got married in Salzburg, Austria.”

From Salzburg, Rabbi Yisroel Wagner made his way to Bolivia, where he served as the rov of a Jewish community. “At first, my parents received papers for Bolivia,” Rabbi Wagner continues his account. “After he served as a rov there for two years, they came to California, in the United States, in the year 1950. That is where I was born. My father was the rov of a shul in California, but there were no suitable schools for children there, so the family moved to New York, where there were chadarim and yeshivos.”

A few weeks after the Wagner family arrived in New York, Reb Yisroel was appointed to the rabbonus of a residential area belonging to a businessman named Fred Trump, father of Donald Trump. Reb Shmuel says, “Fred owned 31 residential buildings in the area, with many apartments for rent. It was an area on the outskirts of Flatbush, near the beach. Most of the tenants in those apartments were Jews, and almost all of them were irreligious.”

A Shul in a Parking Garage

Despite the fact that most of the local residents were not frum, they took an interest in Rabbi Wagner’s shul. “There was a minyan in the shul as soon as it opened,” Rabbi Wagner recalls. “There were Jews from Europe there, and they cared about davening in a shul. The shul operated in a parking garage of one of the buildings, and my father received the position of rov through a relative.

“The shul began with thirty members, but it experienced tremendous growth in just a few years, to the point that it came to serve hundreds of families. Many of the mispallelim were not religious, but they were very much attracted to the shul, to my father, and to the warmth that he radiated to them. They loved the experience of the shul and listening to my father’s divrei Torah. And he, with his kindhearted manner and his trademark warmth, taught them Torah and chassidus, at least to some degree.”

At some point, the shul’s membership grew to the point that the facility was no longer large enough to house the congregation. It was understood that a shul needs to have a proper building in order to function. “My father had an idea,” Rabbi Wagner recalls. “He offered to approach Fred Trump, whom he didn’t know personally, even though Trump was his landlord. He hoped that he could use his wisdom to convince Trump to give him a building for his shul. He thought that he might influence his landlord by explaining that Jews, who were Trump’s largest group of customers, need a shul near their homes. He also knew that Fred Trump was a man of faith, and he was likely to relate to the request.

“Thus, my father’s request appealed both to Trump’s emotions and to his shrewd business mind. And it worked. My father and Fred both understood that a kehillah that revolved around a shul would be a community whose members lead a proper spiritual lifestyle, and his business would benefit from that. My father managed to reach Fred Trump’s heart. Trump was very moved by the idea my father expressed and the two became close friends. Fred proceeded to donate a piece of real estate for the shul, and he even made a very generous donation so that a magnificent shul building could be built.”

“My Rabbi”

According to Rabbi Wagner, not only did Fred Trump donate the plot of land where the shul was built and cover the expenses of the construction, but he also attended the ceremony at which the cornerstone was laid. “Fred was very moved by my father’s speech at the ceremony. He was highly impressed, and he became my father’s close friend. They met again and again, and over time they developed a close relationship. Trump viewed my father as a holy man and a great sage. He used to call him ‘my rabbi.’

“As I mentioned,” Rabbi Wagner continues, “the president’s father was very devoted to his Christian faith. So in addition to the business aspect of the shul, which he viewed as a very worthwhile move to benefit his Jewish tenants, he also put his whole heart into it. Over the years, my father had an official meeting with him once a year, in addition to the many other times they saw each other. At each of those official meetings, Fred would make a generous donation to the shul. In fact, most of the funding that maintained the shul came from Fred Trump.

Rabbi Wagner adds that over time, Fred Trump’s donations grew progressively more generous. “Sometimes, my father would tell him about various Jewish families in the area who were needy, and he would give large sums to help them as well.”

What motivated a non-Jewish businessman to make such large charitable donations to needy Jews? “He was devoted to my father,” Rabbi Wagner asserts. “He admired him deeply, and he used to ask his opinion on many things. He was very impressed by the fact that my father, a chassidishe Jew from Belz in Europe, became the rov of a more modern congregation and inspired many Jews to keep Shabbos and even to become fully religious.

“In our area, there was also a Talmud Torah, a school for Jewish studies that was held after classes were over in the public schools. Fred Trump used to donate large sums to that institution as well. He was a very pleasant person with a very kind heart. Fred was also very serene and delicate. He was responsible for the beginning of Donald’s career.”

When Donald Worked in the Laundry Room

Rabbi Wagner has vivid recollections of Fred Trump’s son, a wild, blond-haired youth. “Donald’s father left him and his brother an inheritance of over a billion dollars. In effect, Fred was the one who launched his son’s business career. I still remember going to shul with my father for Shacharis early every Sunday morning. The laundry room, where all the tenants washed their clothes in coin-operated machines, was in the basement of the building. And do you know who collected the money from those machines in the mornings? Donald Trump and his brother!

“Donald was Fred Trump’s second son. I remember him from the age of about 14 or 15, with his wild shock of blond hair and his endless reserves of energy and drive. His father used to send him to collect the money from the laundry machines. Fred taught his children from a very early age to take responsibility; he gave them no breaks. Donald may have been wild as a youth, but his father raised him well.”

Rabbi Wagner will never forget the respect that his father, Rabbi Yisroel Wagner, received from Fred Trump. “His respect for my father was incredible. He was a fine person with a generous heart. I have no doubt that that zechus helped Donald Trump, who was always very respectful of his own father and obeyed him in everything.”

The son of “Trump’s rabbi” shares another interesting anecdote, from about two years ago. “My mother, who passed away about ten months ago, was called ‘the rebbetzin’ by Fred Trump. Two years ago, we celebrated her ninetieth birthday here in Eretz Yisroel. In honor of the occasion, we sent an invitation to Donald Trump. We wrote to him about my mother, and we told him that we had known his father and we remembered him from his childhood. We asked him to write us back with a happy birthday message for my mother. To our surprise, he remembered the shul, and he sent us a very warm message, along with a picture inscribed for my mother.”

Trump’s Faith

During the election campaign in New York, Donald Trump told the Jews of the city that his father had built a shul there. He remembered the location well, and he recalled the work that his father had sent him to do in the residential buildings of the Jewish neighborhood.

Rabbi Wagner, did you ever meet Fred Trump?

“I was very close with my father, and I helped him with everything having to do with the shul. I learned in the Mirrer Yeshiva in Brooklyn, but every Sunday I davened with my father in the shul, at his request. On a few occasions, I also joined him when he went to meet with Fred Trump.”

What did Fred say?

“Well, as I said, he was a man of faith. He used to tell us over and over, ‘I believe in G-d.’ He also used to say that in his eyes, my father was the epitome of what a religious clergyman should be like. Fred was a very moral person, and he worked hard to teach his children to be responsible, moral, and hardworking.”

In terms of Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential elections, Rabbi Wagner has no doubt as to the reason. “This is certainly the reason for Donald Trump’s zechuyos,” he asserts. “This explains his shocking victory in the elections in the United States. I have no doubt of it. His father had the zechus of paying for a shul to be built and maintaining it for years. He gave money to many struggling Jewish families, and he gave great honor to the rov of the shul and to Jews in general. Donald has zechus avos, and that is what has brought him to the White House.”

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Toshe Rebbe yahrzeit , Miracles right here at home

 The 27th of Av is the yahrzeit of the holy Toshe Rebbe ztz'l who in his time helped make Montreal known as a 'holy ' city (even though he established Tosh as a seperate community just North of Montreal).This year Rabbi Yisrael Besser published a book in his honor and wrote an excellent article for the Mishpacha magazine.We asked the good people at Mishpacha magazine access to the article he wrote for them .

We are very thankful to them.

Be inspired !

In heaven they keep a ledger

In Heaven, They Keep a Ledger

For the Tosher Rebbe ztz”l, the needs of every Yid, no matter how geographically or spiritually distant, rested on his heart, mind, and the margins of his siddur
Photos: JDN

Four years ago, at the end of Chodesh Av, the Tosher Rebbe, Rav Meshulam Feish Lowy, was niftar, and I did my job, writing a tribute to the deceased tzaddik. But that’s not what formed the backdrop to my newest book, The Tosher Rebbe: The Life, Leadership and Legacy of Rabbi Meshulam Feish Halevi Lowy.

That article spawned something else — a miracle that came about through this very magazine.

The story I’m about to tell doesn’t really make sense, even in retrospect, but it comes from a world in which things don’t have to add up, where logic and strategy are at most a means of hishtadlus, nothing more. Results comes from another realm.

The Rebbe was niftar, and his radiant face graced our cover.

People read it, they mourned the loss, perhaps they related a story or two.

Life went on. The sun set, and somewhere, another sun rose.

But there’s a woman with whom we were in contact at the time, a tireless and determined activist for the cause that had galvanized the wider Orthodox world — freedom for Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin. There had been a conveyor belt of breakthroughs, new findings, evidence of prosecutorial misconduct, petitions, Latin words that we’d never heard but sounded like the portent of good tidings. This time, it was for real. A thousand more signatures and Obama will have to react.

Again and again, we got our hopes up, only to taste failure and rejection. Again and again, we were left looking to the inmate himself for strength.

This woman had another approach. She was all in on the effort to fight for freedom, but she would say, with a certain confidence and conviction, that she didn’t believe the answer lay in a strong defense: Sholom Mordechai would get out, she assured us, but it would come through the Justice Department, through a pardon rather than a successful legal argument.

After the Tosher Rebbe was niftar, she told me how she knew. She and her husband were close as family with the tzaddik, and they’d been mazkir Sholom Mordechai Halevi ben Rivkah before him. He told them that the happy ending would come through chaninah, through pardon.

To her, the only question was who and when — but never if.

It was strange, because the Tosher Rebbe hadn’t spoken much in the years before his passing, and it seemed unlikely that he had articulated this message.

But not long after the Rebbe’s passing, she called me with an idea. There was a particular senior legal figure whom she thought would be part of the final chapter, based on some cryptic words she’d heard from the Rebbe. She wanted me to send this person the magazine with the picture of the Rebbe, because she believed that the tzaddik’s countenance would serve as a “reminder” to him of his mission.

Inwardly, I was skeptical. The official in question — former attorney general Michael Mukasey — was no longer in the position of influence as he’d once been, and I didn’t see how he could help. But she pushed, and, since I grew up in a home filled with sippurei tzaddikim, I did as she asked. In my heart, though, I thought I was humoring her.

Mukasey had actually appeared in this very magazine, so we took the opportunity to send him some extra copies, as a routine courtesy. And into the yellow envelope went one more magazine, the one from September 2015 with the Tosher Rebbe on the cover.

About two years later, it was Mukasey who played a major role — perhaps the most major role of all — in mounting the call for justice to be served, initiating the letter signed by a cross section of respected legal figures upon which the president based his eventual commutation.

There are many heroes — tzaddikim and rabbanim and askanim who are remembered for the good in this story; in Heaven, they keep the ledger, and that which is reported here isn’t significant. From my vantage point, though, I saw one more moifes wrought through the departed tzaddik, his words vindicated just as they’d been when he was alive.

When the opportunity to do the book arose, I was intrigued. At one point, several months after I started the project, I met with the current Tosher Rebbe shlita. In his gracious manner, he asked me several personal questions, including what chassidus I am affiliated with.

I told him the truth: that after a long period of being immersed in the Torah, stories, and impressions of his father, I felt myself to be a Tosher chassid. “What does it mean to be a Tosher chassid?” he asked.

I remembered the story with the magazine and the Justice Department and so many others like it and I shrugged. “I don’t know.”

Because as much as we know about the revered Rebbe of Tosh, there is so much more that we don’t know. The current Rebbe seemed to appreciate the answer.

“If you know that you don’t know, then you are indeed connected to Tosh,” he said.

The book is complete, and although I know more than when I started the project, it’s still very little. Most of the Rebbe’s story will never be told.

As the book goes to print, b’ezras Hashem, I share one more story, heard just recently from a very special medical askan in Montreal named Reb Aron Friedlander, whose organization, Refuah V’chesed, helps so many people.

One Thursday night, he had a dream. (I know, it starts like a million other stories you don’t believe, but keep reading.)

In his dream, he saw the Tosher Rebbe, gone for several years, who made a request: He asked Reb Aron to help arrange a PET scan for someone.

That was it. The Rebbe didn’t even name the person.

That Sunday night, an unfamiliar woman phoned Rabbi Friedlander and asked him if he would join her at a meeting with the doctor the next morning, a regular service provided by Refuah V’chesed. Reb Aron came to the meeting, expecting to hear the options and help the woman and her family decide on a proper course of treatment.

The doctor recommended surgery, but there was a problem. He was leaving on vacation for several weeks, and it wasn’t wise to wait.

“I would love to fit you in before I go,” he told the woman, “but I can’t do the surgery without a PET scan and there are no slots available for the test before my scheduled trip.”

The doctor called in and asked his secretary to try to arrange for an earlier scan, but she came back into the room and reiterated that there were no available slots. The test wouldn’t happen before the doctor went on vacation and the surgery would have to wait for a month.

Reb Aron excused himself and went to the test center in the hospital. While circulating, he saw an old acquaintance, a woman he’d worked with over the years. Knowing that he was dedicated to helping others, she’d always done what she could to help him out.

“Since when do you work in this department?” he asked.

“Today is my first day,” she informed him.

He asked her about finding time for a PET scan and she promised to check. It wasn’t easy, she came back and told him, but she’d managed to book the first slot the very next morning, which was reserved for emergencies. Rabbi Friedlander hurried to share the good news with the woman and her family.

The test took place, the surgery a few days later. By the time the doctor headed off to vacation, the woman was recuperating, baruch Hashem.

As he contemplated what had occurred, Reb Aron suddenly remembered the Tosher Rebbe and the dream: The Rebbe had asked him to arrange a PET scan. Was this what the Rebbe had been referring to?

Reb Aron called the woman and asked her if she or her family had any affiliation with Tosh.

“We never went to Tosh before, or met the Rebbe,” she told him, “but last Thursday night, my husband and I went to daven at his kever for the first time.”

This year on the 27th of Av, at the end of the long dirt road leading through Kiryas Tosh outside Montreal, a crowd will surround the Rebbe’s tziyun, asking the tzaddik to intercede for them — now, as then.

In his memory, in his honor, we share an excerpt from the forthcoming book, The Tosher Rebbe (ArtScroll/Mesorah), one that highlights the Rebbe’s essential middah — ahavas Yisrael — that of “giving oneself away” for another Jew.

May his merit stand by us all.

ONLY THROUGH AHAVAS YISRAEL

(From The Tosher Rebbe, Chapter 13)

A visitor to Tosh once asked the Tosher Rebbe to share the central avodah of his life: Which middah, the visitor asked, was it that encompassed all others?

The Rebbe didn’t want to answer the question, but the guest persisted. Out of respect, the Tosher Rebbe answered, “Nohr durch ahavas Yisrael — only through love for one’s fellow Jews.”

The Rebbe didn’t just love Klal Yisrael — his devotion was to each individual Yid, and he felt responsible to serve each one.

The Rebbe generally received people at night, and if there was a long line, it meant the Rebbe would forfeit the few minutes that he actually slept. The gabbaim asked that he make the individual conversations shorter, not allowing each petitioner to remain inside the room for so long.

“My job is to bentsh them, to give them the blessing they need — but I can’t give a brachah if I don’t know what they need and you can’t just find out a person’s real needs in a few minutes,” the Rebbe told them. And then the Rebbe added something else: “If HaKadosh Baruch Hu sent this person to me, then it’s certainly for my benefit as well, so that I might learn something — every person who comes in has something to teach me.”

The Rebbe’s family members would watch the Rebbe speaking on the telephone. He had a vast network of contacts across the world, many of them known only to him, and he remembered each pertinent detail about their lives.

The individuals who rested on his heart, mind, and the margins of his siddur — where people would take the liberty of writing their own names — were often unknown to his closest family members or gabbaim. Many of them were geographically far or spiritually distant, but in the Rebbe’s world — in that holy cloud of tefillos, candles, Tehillim, and tzedakah — they existed, and their needs and concerns were reality.

Even once the Rebbe would finally prepare for his brief rest, he would immediately rise if a Jew needed him. Reb Meilech Klein received a phone call about a choleh, a sick person, in dire danger, where every moment was crucial, and the gabbai understood that he had to inform the Rebbe right away.

The Rebbe, completely worn out after 23 hours without sleep, jumped off his chair and started to recite the entire Sefer Tehillim. By the time he’d finished the sefer, the new day had already dawned and the Rebbe refused to go back to sleep.

The Rebbe reached for the phone deep in the night and called a particular askan, waking him. After instructing him to wash negel vasser, the Rebbe instructed the askan to start working on a pidyon shevuyim case, using his contacts to get a certain person out of prison.

“Rebbe, can’t it wait until morning?” asked the sleepy askan.

“You’re a young man,” the Rebbe responded, “so let me teach you something important: If a Jew sits in tefisah (prison) for one minute, it’s already too long!”

The Rebbe became involved with a particular pidyon shevuyim case, but the gabbaim discouraged him, feeling that the inmate deserved to spend some time in prison. “When the great tzaddik, Reb Moshe Leib of Sassov, traveled all over to raise money to release Yidden from captivity,” the Rebbe asked them, “do you really think those people were the most upright members of society? For whom do you think the mitzvah of pidyon shevuyim was given?”

This cause of pidyon shevuyim was a constant thread that ran through the Rebbe’s life: It was a special mitzvah to him, because the Jew who ends up in legal trouble often loses his friends in the process. Along with his dignity and reputation, he might well be forgotten — but not in Tosh.

Over the years, millions of dollars streamed out of the Rebbe’s room and, instead of going to help his own mosdos, they went to assist anonymous, forgotten Jews, giving them a second chance.

The Rebbe heard about a particular Jew, a very prominent and respected businessman, who’d ended up in prison just before Shavuos. Over the years, this individual had donated generously to many mosdos, but Tosh had never been a beneficiary.

But this Jew’s suffering was the Tosher Rebbe’s problem. The Rebbe got involved, and learned that it would take two million dollars to get the inmate released on bail and home for Yom Tov. The Rebbe started to raise the money, calling the different mosdos who’d benefited from the donor. One agreed to lend the Rebbe money, but only if he would offer collateral.

The Rebbe didn’t hesitate, offering… Tosh itself. The main shul, the yeshivah buildings, the homes, and even the sifrei Torah. It was an especially joyous Yom Tov for the Rebbe, who was thrilled that the person had been released for Yom Tov — and also, that for these few days, he’d merited to give away all that he had for the mitzvah.

If there was a word that caused the Rebbe to react with distaste, it was the term anash, an acronym for anshei shelomeinu: “our” people, sometimes used by chassidim to denote people “within the group,” those connected with the mosdos. To the Rebbe, there was no inner circle or priority list when it came to helping others.

A visitor to Tosh insisted on gaining entrance to the Rebbe on Taanis Esther, one of the Rebbe’s busiest days of the year. The gabbaim asked him to come back after Purim, but he maintained that he couldn’t leave his family again, and this was the only time that worked for him.

Eventually he was granted his audience with the Rebbe, who sat with him for a long while. After he left, a frustrated gabbai complained to the Rebbe.

“We don’t know who he is, we never saw him before, he’s not connected to us at all, yet the Rebbe treats him as if he lives in Tosh and is a personal friend. It’s unfair to the others, so many locals and steady chassidim who have been waiting their turn,” the gabbai said.

The Rebbe spoke gently and calmly. “There is only one place in the world. The Ribbono shel Olam is Mekomo shel olam, He contains every other space within Him. That’s all there is. If He brought this man into my presence, then He wants him here, and then it’s takeh very personal and heimish to me.”

Never did the Rebbe’s elevated levels lift him into a sphere in which he couldn’t see the most trivial needs of the people around him.

One Leil Shabbos, after a long tish, the chassidim filed by to receive shirayim from the Rebbe’s hands: The gabbaim had placed a huge tray of nuts there, which the Rebbe distributed to the passing chassidim. Eventually, all the nuts were given out, but a few children hadn’t yet received any.

One boy stood there for a moment, disappointed, and headed home after the tish without the shirayim. As he walked, he heard footsteps approaching from behind him, the hoiz-bochur running with a handful of nuts. “This is from Rebbe, he sent it especially for you,” the bochur said.

One Leil Shabbos, the Rebbe came into the tish and he noticed that a visiting dignitary, a respected rav, was seated in the chair usually reserved for the Rebbe’s eldest son-in-law, Rav Daniel Avigdor Fish. The Rebbe realized that his son-in-law would soon arrive at the tish, and there was a good chance the guest Rebbe would be uncomfortable as he realized that he was sitting in the wrong place; someone might even embarrass him, and this was unthinkable to the Rebbe.

Immediately he turned to the gabbai and asked him a favor. “Please go to my son-in-law’s home and ask him if he can lein the parshah tomorrow. I am too tired to prepare this week, and if he stays home now, instead of coming to the tish, he’ll have enough time. Thank you.”

A close chassid who saw the entire exchange understood what had really happened: The Rebbe — who leined every single Shabbos and had never once asked someone else to substitute for him — had seen a potential problem, devised a solution, and executed his plan, all in just a few seconds.

One year on Leil HaSeder, the first night of Pesach, the Rebbe was about to make Kiddush. The gabbaim were relieved, for it was already quite late, a long night following a long day. The Rebbe had been busy all day, not just with baking the Erev Pesach matzos, but also with ensuring that families had what they needed to celebrate Yom Tov happily.

The Rebbe was about to recite Kiddush when the door opened and a particular Jew entered. He was a familiar figure, an emotionally disturbed individual who often came by to eat, but the Rebbe greeted him like a visiting dignitary, hurrying to find him a seat.

The exhausted gabbaim were frustrated at this interruption, and they quickly added a chair to the table, bringing a place setting and Haggadah for the new arrival.

The Rebbe wasn’t yet content. “What about matzos for Reb Yankel?” he asked.

The gabbai said that there were no more matzos. This was true. The boxes prepared for guests were all empty, having been divided among the others, and in general, all the locally baked matzos had been distributed to the people in the shtetl, with no leftovers. The Rebbe nodded, then quickly approached his own seat, removed the matzos and handed them to the guest, and then, before the gabbai could react, he lifted his becher high and started Kiddush.

The gabbai looked on in astonishment. The Rebbe’s matzos… the Rebbe had begun his preparations 11 months earlier, davening profusely as they had cut the wheat for the matzos. The Rebbe had been involved in guarding the flour, keeping it dry, and then, once the baking season had begun, the Rebbe had invested heart, soul, and energy in each matzah.

And in a single instant, the Rebbe had given them away to another Jew — a simple Jew, who could never appreciate them — and begun reciting Kiddush.

The Rebbe didn’t often speak about himself or his wartime experiences, but if sharing personal feelings and struggles could help another Yid, then it became a mitzvah.

A chassid lost his wife, and was overcome by pain and loneliness. He came to unburden himself to the Rebbe, and the Rebbe understood that his visitor wasn’t seeking brachos or advice.

This was in the late 1990s — after the passing of the Rebbetzin, of the Rebbe’s oldest son Reb Mordechai, and of the Rebbe’s devoted gabbai, Reb Elimelech Klein — and the Rebbe opened up to the chassid. “You know what a rough few years this has been for me,” the Rebbe said. “The Rebbetzin was sick, but even though she wasn’t well, she was alive — I had a wife. Then she was gone. It was a stinging blow, but I accepted the decree of Heaven. The baal davar wasn’t content however, and he struck me again, taking my beloved son, my bechor, so suddenly. Again, I was mekabel it b’ahavah. But the baal davar came a third time, and this time he took my beloved gabbai, yet still I stayed strong, holding tight to my emunah and not to give in.”

The Rebbe and his chassid looked at each other for a long moment, sharing the pain of loss and the comfort of faith.

The Rebbe would often visit Montreal to perform bikur cholim.

On one such visit, the Rebbe told the driver that he wanted to go visit a certain older couple. As he walked up the steep staircase outside their home, the Rebbe asked the gabbaim when it had last snowed in Montreal. They answered that it had snowed three days previously, bewildered by the question.

An elderly woman opened the door slowly, then reacted with surprise when she recognized her visitor.

Overwhelmed by the honor, she asked the Rebbe and his entourage to come into the living room, where her husband was sitting in a large chair. The gentleman was clearly out of sorts, unkempt and filthy. The Rebbe accepted the hostess’s offer of a drink, and watched as she made her way through the kitchen, barely able to walk. In order to open the refrigerator, the Rebbe noticed, she needed to pull on a scarf attached to the handle, and after a few tries, she got it open.

The Rebbe sat with them for a few minutes, then asked the woman if her husband was bathed regularly. Yes, she assured the Rebbe, the nurse had come earlier that day.

The Rebbe nodded, thanked them, and left the house.

In the car, he turned to the gabbaim. “She said a nurse came today. It snowed three days ago and the stairs have no footprints at all, so clearly, no one came today or even yesterday, and she doesn’t realize it. They need immediate help. Please call their son in New York and arrange for an airline ticket. I want to see him tomorrow. Tell him it’s urgent and he has no choice.”

Others saw snowy steps on a steep staircase. The Tosher Rebbe saw clues, hints to guide him in his quest to assist others.

And it’s there that true chassidus begins.

(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 774)

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104-year-old-matriarch-celebrates-birthday-at-kotel-with-400-descendants/

As the Jewish people approach the saddest day of the year,let us remember we do no cry in vain   

Tisha B'Av is a 'Moed', a time to 'meet'  again with haShem and rebuild a little more every year our Beis haMikdash

The most beautiful story this year   

104yearsold

This article went viral this week

Holocaust survivor Shoshanna Ovitz had requested ahead of her birthday that “all of her children, grandchildren and descendants come together to the Western Wall.”

On Wednesday, hundreds heeded the call, flocking to the holy site days before Ovitz’s 104th birthday.

We don’t have an exact number, but there are about 400 grandchildren and descendants here,” Pnina Friedman, Ovitz’s eldest granddaughter, told the Walla news site, as a photo of the gathering swiftly went viral.

It wasn’t easy to organize such a one-time event. We started sending out emails, messages and making phone calls. It was important for us to contact everyone. She asked us to put together a list of all the names of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren so that she could look and pray for them,” Friedman said.

 

Some of Ovitz’s descendants lived abroad and couldn’t attend, Friedman added.

“It wasn’t until we got to the middle that we realized what a big undertaking this was. Everyone had tears in their eyes. It was very moving,” Friedman said.

One of her grandchildren told Israeli journalist Sivan Rahav Meir of Channel 12 that Ovitz survived Auschwitz and was separated from her mother, who was killed, by Josef Mengele.

birthday, August 7, 2019. (Courtesy)

Holocaust survivor Shoshanna Ovitz had requested ahead of her birthday that “all of her children, grandchildren and descendants come together to the Western Wall.”

On Wednesday, hundreds heeded the call, flocking to the holy site days before Ovitz’s 104th birthday.

“We don’t have an exact number, but there are about 400 grandchildren and descendants here,” Pnina Friedman, Ovitz’s eldest granddaughter, told the Walla news site, as a photo of the gathering swiftly went viral.

“It wasn’t easy to organize such a one-time event. We started sending out emails, messages and making phone calls. It was important for us to contact everyone. She asked us to put together a list of all the names of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren so that she could look and pray for them,” Friedman said.

Some of Ovitz’s descendants lived abroad and couldn’t attend, Friedman added.

“It wasn’t until we got to the middle that we realized what a big undertaking this was. Everyone had tears in their eyes. It was very moving,” Friedman said.

One of her grandchildren told Israeli journalist Sivan Rahav Meir of Channel 12 that Ovitz survived Auschwitz and was separated from her mother, who was killed, by Josef Mengele.

 

Ovitz met her husband while the two were searching for surviving relatives after the Holocaust and married when she was in her early 30s. Before moving to Israel, they lived in a transit camp in Austria, where their first daughter was born. They later moved to Haifa, where they established their family, which grew to include two sons and two daughters — and decades later, hundreds more descendants.

   

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Erev Rosh Chdesh Av Chillul Shmo Hagodol

Av , the month of National Mourning approaches

Worldwide idiotic hate attacks, which come very close to home

The Angels of Death do their best to target the Holy Land

and Political chaos in that very same ' Holy Land'

It is a minhag Yisrael to say Yom Kippur Katan (and some actually fast too); I saw nothing more fit than to publish the 'Reason' the Y'sod  v'Shoresh havoda writes..'as children , so to speak of haShem , we need to suffer the tzar of kudshe boruch hu, of the chillul hashem we cause still being in golus............

YomKippurKatan erev rosh Chodesh Av

 

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