From the desk of Rabbi Leonard (Yehuda) MS, BCC
Director of Chaplaincy Commission
Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim
917-446-2126 July 16, 2020

For the past number of weeks, I shared personal insights of grief, bereavement, joy, happiness,emunah, faith, hope, the hand of H – hashgachos perotis, the importance of not speaking loshon harah, not having sinas chinan, caring for each other as well as ourselves, making a Kiddush H, the love of the Aibershta and the importance of Torah, Avoda, Gemilus Chasadim, chizuk and so much more. All of this and all of my wife’s inspiration and encouragement, and how she Keila Lutza bas Shalom HaKohein A”H has always been my guiding light, my co-pilot, my partner in life. However, we are presently in “the 3 Weeks”. This is Klal Yisrael” s time of our grief and bereavement. It is time to ensure our love of the Aibershta. To have in mind the essence of doing those things that will bring us closer to the coming of the Moshiach. Do we truly feel that emotional attachment to our faith, our religion where we feel that sadness of what the 3 weeks, leading into the 9 days and then Tisha B Av is about? I received a phone call from someone wanting to know if it is permissible to go boating on Shiva Assur B Tammuz. Out of respect for the person asking, I bumped up this question to a posaick. His response aside from what this day represents, it is a sakanah to go boating. Many should consider what activities might constitute a sakanah. It not unusual for Rabbonim to get such questions and no matter how insignificant a question might be, the response should always be with respect, care, understanding and with a full heart. Yet, often a rav, even with all the sefarim available, need the advice and guidance from a posaick. Rabbi Moish Shmerler Director of the RAA has been sharing with the RAA membership writings from HaRav Hershel Shachter shlita and others, Rabbi Binyamin Hammer Director of Rabbinics for the National Council of Young Israel has special shiurim for their member rabbonim, Rabbi Doniel Kramer is continuously sharing with the members of the Orthodox Jewish Chaplains Roundtable worthy articles to learn from, Rabbi Marc Dratch and the RCA has special shirurim for their member rabbonim and there are shiurim from Chasidik Rabbaim. Chaplains are often the frontline person to ask many light and often very heavy shailos. The shailos can be profoundly serious and the chaplain will often ask a posaik for the appropriate response he/she must give the patient and or family/caregiver. Often, the chaplain gives training sessions and participate in seminars to medical staff, police, fire, safety, correctional, skilled nursing rehabilitation centers, social service, community and other chaplaincy positions and settings. Often, the administration and staff of those facilities seek guidance and advice from the chaplains who they have confidence in, admire and respect. We are truly fortunate to have poskim who are familiar with the nature of what chaplaincy is about and we are fortunate to have chaplains who are familiar with halachos, minhagim and how to ask the proper shailos. This of course in addition to the many skills professional chaplains have in dealing with the emotional, spiritual, and other often serious concerns and issues of those they are giving their care to. May the Ribono Shel Olom give our rabbonim and chaplains continued wisdom to help be mezakaim Klal Yisrael as guiding lights to all who we care for. May we continue to be role models and inspire and encourage not to speak loshon harah, not to have sinas chinam, to elevate emunah, hope, faith, in times of need, in times of challenges and in times of difficulty. May we be able to bring joy, happiness meaning of life and simchas hachayim. Please remember my wife’s quote, “When things look blue, remember that tomorrow is another day and will be a brighter day”. Sincerely Yehuda Blank

Please read the special information about the forthcoming webinar with “OATHS “the New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings is collaborating with the RAA and NCYI on Wednesday July 22nd from 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM: All questions should be sent no later than Tuesday July 21st to Rabbi Blank at