The issues of recovering from great loss and potential legislative danger were on the mind as the Rabbinical Alliance of America met on Sunday, April 7, 2019 for its Rosh Chodesh Nisan conference and seudah. Hosted by Congregation Beth Tikvah of Canarsie, where the esteemed Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Serebryanski serves as rabbi, the conference attendees prepared for Pesach with highlights of this year’s Pesach kosher concerns, a eulogy for the great Rav Chaim Kanievsky ZTVK”L, and a warning about the religious dangers of proposed Daylight Savings Time legislation.
Rabbi Serebryanski offered a moving eulogy for the Torah giant of our generation, HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, ZTVK”L, whose recent passing was mourned by millions of Jews around the world. Rabbi Kanievsky’s towering genius, renowned diligence and personal piety remain an inspiration for all. He seemed as if he was from an earlier generation, demonstrating the Torah mastery of a sage from centuries past. His memory will continue to inspire people to greater levels of personal achievement and interpersonal care. In the spirit of the upcoming holiday, Rabbi Serebryanski also gave a scholarly discourse on the laws of Pesach, which was well received and enjoyed by the rabbis in attendance.
At the request of Rabbi Yaakov Klass, presidium chairman of the Igud Harabbonim, Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president of the Rabbinical Alliance of America presented a resolution —which passed unanimously — calling on the United States Congress to stall the bill that would make Daylight Savings Time permanent across the United States.
Rabbi Mirocznik explained, “that key Orthodox organizations, such as Agudath Israel of America and the Orthodox Union, have already expressed the grave concern that the Jewish community has over passage of legislation that would make Daylight Savings Time permanent in America. The crucial concern is that such a change would force many Jews to have to make the impossible choice between prayer and work, between G-d and man, between religious obligation and family obligation. Jewish law mandates that daily morning prayers be recited with sunrise. The result of establishing daylight savings time permanent would make sunrise later, at times too late to allow for prayer and attending work on time. The impact would be felt the most severe in the winter when sunrise in some places in the United States would be after 9AM, making morning prayers extremely difficult. Additionally, workers who want to pray individually or with the mandatory quorum of ten may not be able to do so or face possible hostile reprisals at the workplace for doing so. Devout Jews risk being fired due to this legislation. In essence, if the legislation establishing permanency of Daylight Savings Time would become the law of the land it would have a chilling effect on the practice of religion, a fundamental right guaranteed by the United States of America’s constitution as set forth in the First Amendment. By passing this resolution, the Rabbinical Alliance of America joins the lobbying efforts of our sister organizations and contributes our voice and opposition to the legislation that would establish the permanency of Daylight Savings Time in the United States. We pray that defeat of this proposed legislation is a win for religious freedom and liberty for the faith-based community.”
Rabbi Eli Eleff, Managing Director, OU Kosher Community Relations, gave the annual pre-Pesach shiur on Hilchos Pesach., that covered all aspects of preparation for Pesach, practice for Pesach as well as post Pesach transition. Rabbi Eleff provided updates on the latest changes in kosher for Pesach food supervision to help rabbis anticipate and manage the questions they receive from congregants.
Rabbi Avraham Amar, Menahel/Director of the Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud Harabbonim in Israel opened the conference with the recitation of Tehillim and the memorial prayer for the victims of the terror attacks in Israel. Rabbi Amar also gave an update on the Igud’s activity plan of having rabbis and congregations in America partner with a sister rabbi and congregation in Israel.This program will foster relationships designed to help spread love, appreciation, and unity between the Israeli and American Jewish communities.
Rabbi Yehuda Blank, director of chaplaincy and external affairs of the Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud Harrabonim gave a chaplaincy update and discussed some upcoming events, including a collaborative event which is being planned with Torah U’Mesorah.
Rabbi Mirocznik also addressed the recent terror wave in Israel, noting the tragedies that had happened in Bnai Brak and Hadera. He said, “the Rabbinical Alliance of America calls upon the Israeli government take all necessary steps to secure its residents from terror. We also encourage Israelis not to back down and cave into fear from the terrorists and their supporters who delight in death and destruction. Israelis should not feel a need to curtail their spirit for life and living but rather should continue engaging in their activity with pride and happiness.”
Rabbi Mirocznik also called upon Jewry worldwide to stand in solidarity with Israel, the true beacon of peace and democracy in the Middle East. He called upon all peaceful people of all backgrounds to add their voice to the condemnation of the senseless violence and to send the message that terror, death and destruction has no place in the free world. Rabbi Mirocznik added that, as Jews, we must strengthen Torah study and the performance of mitzvos and good deeds in memory of the terror victims. Let us try to make this world a better place for all people.
The Rosh Chodesh Nisan conference was sponsored by Rabbi Yaakov Klass, presidium chairman of the Igud Harabbonim, Torah Editor of the Jewish Press and Rav of Kahal Bnei Matisayhu of Flatbush, and by his highly respected brother Mr. Arthur Klass, director of development of the Jewish Press. They sponsored the meal in memory of their grandfather, Rabbi Simcha Kirschner, whose 73rd yahrzeit will be observed on the 19th of Nisan. Rabbi Kirschner was a principled Jew from the old school. In those days in America it was not uncommon that if you did not work on Shabbos you would be fired. Rabbi Kirschner got a weekly pink slip and went from job to job due to his refusal to abandon Shmiras Shabbos.
Rabbi Kirschner was known as a Shas Yid and is considered to be among the pioneers of those who built Torah in America. He was a founder and builder of Torah institutions, such as the world-renowned Chevra Shomrei Shabbos Anshe Sfard Shul located on 13th Avenue and 53rd street in Borough Park. Rabbi Kirschner’s name is inscribed as the fourth name on the original memorial tablet in the shul. Rabbi Kirschner was also a founder of both the Rabbi Shlomo Kluger Yeshiva, which later incorporated into Yeshivas Chasan Sofer, and Yeshiva Toras Emes, which later merged with the Kamenetz Yeshiva.
PICTURES AFTER VIDEOS
Names In Pictures
Picture (1) Group picture of a few of the rabbis in attendance at the RAA Rosh Chodesh Nisan Seudah and Conference
Picture (2) Rabbi Avraham Amar, Igud Harabbonim Menahel/Director in Israel being greeted and welcomed by Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice of the Rabbinical Alliance of America
Picture (3) Rabbi Eli Eleff, managing director, OU Kosher Community Relations
Picture (4) Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice of the Rabbinical Alliance of America
Picture (5) Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Serebryanski, Rabbi of Congregation Beth Tikvah
Picture (6) Rabbi Avraham Amar, Igud Harabbonim Menahel/Director in Israel