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Rabbi Herbert Bomzer Passes Away

Rabbi Herbert Bomzer Passes Away

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Published by: yadmoshe on Feb 17, 2013
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Rabbi Herbert Bomzer passes away

One of the most active Orthodox rabbis in conversions in the USA Guest post by RaP Two English-language Charedi newspapers, see below, have published tributes on the passing of Rabbi Herbert Bomzer (see his Wikipedia biography at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Bomzer ). None of the papers make any mention of the fact that Rabbi Bomzer was probably the “main address” for thousands of converts to Orthodox Judaism in North America in the 50 years of his active rabbinate. His conversions were fully recognized by the RCA and in turn by the Chief Rabbinate in Israel. He was known to have fairly high standards and to charge high fees from prospective converts submitting to his conversion requirements Late in his career, Bomzer was targeted and constantly criticized by the controversial kiruv rabbi Rabbi Leib Tropper of the Eternal Jewish Family (EJF) in America and Rabbi Nochum Eisenstein head of Vaad HaRabanim Ha’OlaMi Le’inYanei Geirus based in Israel Tropper and Eisenstein were critical of Bomzer’s role in the conversion of Jamie Black Aguiar the wife of missing billionaire and former EJF supporter Guma Aguiar. On this blog, mostly during 2009, there were a number of important posts relating to the opposition of Rabbis Tropper and Eisenstein in their abrasive manner in confronting Rabbi Bomzer. Particularly, a controversial and disputed latter against Bomzer’s conversions and using the case of Guma Aguiar’s wife, was produced by Rabbis Tropper and Eisenstein (see:“R' Bomzer censured by Vaad for Conversion” http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2009/01/r-bomzer-censured-by-vaad-for.html [January 12, 2009]), that was subsequently disputed as being a photoshopped forgery (see: “Rabbi Bomzer's ban signatories – retract [and ‘Statement of Clarification’]” http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2009/02/rabbi-bomzer-ban-signatories-retract.html [February 18, 2009]), a diplomatically-worded letter of support in Bomzer’s favor, and rebuking Tropper and Eisenstein’s style, that was also published on this blog signed by two prominent rabbis whom Tropper and Eisenstein had claimed as supporters but instead pleaded for the disputes to stop. Some of the posts that dealt with the subject of Bomzer vis a vis Tropper-Eisenstein-EJF-Va’ad, are at: * “Update on EJF and Aguiar” (http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2009/02/update-on-ejf-and-aguiar-rap.html [February 5, 2009]). * “Is it slander to say R' Bomzer is controversial?” (http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2009/05/is-it-slander-tosay-r-bomzer-is.html [May 11, 2009]). * “Rabbi Bomzer defended” (http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2009/02/rabbi-bomzer-defended.html [February 2, 2009]). * “Mondrowitz abuse case & R Bomzer” (http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2009/09/mondrowitz-abuse-case-rbomzer.html [September 9, 2009]) Now here are the latest obituaries in the near-official American Charedi news organs:

From the Yated Ne’eman, 5 Adar 5773 | February 15, 2013 (page 54): “From Here & There RABBI CHAIM ZEV BOMZER Z”L

Rabbi Chaim Zev (Herbert W.) Bomzer z”l, who served for over four decades as rabbi of the Young Israel of Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn, passed away on Friday at the age of 84. Rabbi Bomzer was a maggid shiur for over 50 years at Yeshiva Yitzchok Elchonon of Yeshiva University. He also served as a chaplain for the New York City Department of Corrections at Rikers Island.” From the HAMODIA, 3 Adar 5773 | Wednesday, February 13, 2013 (page D18): “Daily

Rabbi Chaim Zev (Herbert W.) Bomzer, z”l
By Yosef Caldwell Last Friday, 28 Shvat (February 8, 2013), Rabbi Chaim Zev (Herbert W.) Bomzer was niftar at the age of 85. Rabbi Bomzer who served as Rav of Young Israel shulls for many decades, was remembered by friends, family, and kehillah members as a tremendous talmid chacham, masmid, and one who was instrumental in the growth of many yeshivos in Brooklyn. Rabbi Bomzer was born to Meshulam Shraga Feivish (Philip) Bomzer and Yetta (nee Kleinman) on August 16, 1927, on the Lower East Side…His father was from a Polish shtetl called Suchatschov, while his mother was from a northern Polish shtetl called Tarler…The young Herbert attended Yeshivah Toras Chaim for elementary school…Herbert attended Yeshiva University, where he received semichah in Yoreh Yoreh from Harav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik zt”l; he later received semichah from Harav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l, in Yadin Yadin. Rabbi Bomzer was Rav for four years at the Young Israel of Williamsburg before moving to the Young Israel of Ocean Parkway, where he served as Rav for over 40 years. Concurrently he was professor of Talmud and pedagogy at Yeshiva University for a half-century. He also held positions in several other organizations, including the Rabbinical Council of America [RCA] and the Vaad [HaRabbanim] of Flatbush [Brooklyn]…recalls Rabbi Pesach Lerner, Executive Vice President Emeritus of the National Council of Young Israel (NCYI)…‘He was most vocal and active on behalf of Eretz Yisrael and the Jews of Israel’… Rabbi Bomzer was also a noted talmid chacham. Rabbi Pesach Lerner told Hamodia, ‘He was a master of Shas; I know for certain that he learned Shas Bavli more than three times b’iyun; he was a baal korei for many years and he knew the entire Chumash by heart…I once asked him a question on an obscure Rambam; he instantly corrected me on a word, and said that my entire misunderstanding was due to the mistake in that single word!’ Rabbi Bomzer aided in founding of many yeshivos in Brooklyn, some of which had their beginnings in the basement of his Young Israel, including Yeshivah Torah Temimah, Yeshiva of Brooklyn, and the Sephardic Institute. Rabbi Bomzer is survived by his wife, Mrrs. Leona Bomzer, nee Abeles. Rabbi Bomzer passed away…one day after their 64th anniversary. His six children, and many grandchildren and great-grand-children, all bnei Torah and yerei Shamayim, and the many who grew in Torah and avodah due to his teachings and example, are surely a zechus for him now, in Gan Eden. Yehi zichro baruch.” The Charedi news site Matzav.com also had an obituary (February, Monday 11, 2013) and added: http://matzav.com/rabbi-chaim-zev-herbert-w-bomzer-zl “It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Rabbi Chaim Zev (Herbert W.) Bomzer z”l. Rabbi Bomzer was a longtime member of the Rabbinical Council of America and served for over four decades as rov of the Young Israel of Ocean Parkway, located between Kings Highway and Avenue R in Flatbush, Brooklyn. He was 84. Rabbi Bomzer received semichah from Rav Yoshe Ber Soloveitchik and Rav Moshe Feinstein, and

was an expert in geirus, presiding over conversions for more than forty years. Rabbi Bomzer, in addition to leading his Young Israel shul, was a maggid shiur for many years at Yeshiva Rabbeinu Yitzchok Elchonon of Yeshiva University, teaching more than 3,000 talmidim over the course of 50 years.The family is sitting shivah at l400 Church Avenue, between Carlyle Street and West Broadway, in Cedarhurst. Yehi zichro boruch. {Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}” While a major Chabad news blog states that rabboi Bomzer had “the approval of the Rebbe” for conversions: See, Crown Heights.ch: http://www.crownheights.ch/blog/blog.php?bid=11614 “Saturday, February-09-2013 Boruch Dayan Haemes - Rabbi Chaim Zev Bomzer OBM Rabbi Chaim Zev - Herbert Bomzer, a leading figure in the American Jewish community and expert on halachic conversion with the approval of the Rebbe, passed away Erev Shabbos. Rabbi Chaim Zev - Herbert Bomzer, a leading figure in the American Jewish community and long-standing member of the Rabbinical Council of America, passed away on Erev Shabbos. Rabbi Bomzer is widely recognized for his expertise and erudition in Halacha (Jewish Law), having received smicha from Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik and Rabbi Moshe Feinstein. A recognized expert in Orthodox conversion to Judaism, Rabbi Bomzer was given approval to conduct conversion administration from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, along with Rav Dvorkin, the Kaizmarker Rav, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, and Rabbi Aaron Soloveitchik. He has been presiding over conversions for more than forty years.” Neither the Yated nor the Hamodia make any mention of Rabbi Bomzer’s attendance at the farbrengens of the last Lubavitcher Rebbe and the guidance he would receive, nor of his connections with many other Rebbes, Rabbonim and rabbis who held him in the highest regard, and they make no mention whatsoever of that wellknow Bais Din for conversions that he ran for many long decades until the very end of his life. However the Matzav.com news blog, presumably because there are geirim in the yeshiva world that went through his geirus, while in Chabad Rabbi Bomzer is a hero of conversions.

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