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September 2007 • Tishrei 5768 Volume 42 • Number 1

Shana Tova

In This Issue
Divrei Torah from
Rabbi Meir Goldwicht,
Rabbi Menachem Genack &
Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter

Interview with Rabbi “Anointed for War” Inside the

Charlop: The Belkin Years Military Chaplaincy
Page 7 Page 10
Divrei Chizuk from our Leaders
When we understand the secret of the ‫פתח‬,
the world has a reason to exist.

The ‫ סוד הפתח‬is found once again in Tehillim

From the ‫ פתח‬of Teshuva 122, where David HaMelech says, “I rejoice
in those who tell me we will go to the house
to the ‫ פתח‬of a Year of Hashem.” Why? Because “We stood in
your gates, Yerushalayim.” Only through the
power of the ‫פתח‬, by standing in the gate, will
Rabbi Meir Goldwicht Yerushalayim become “‫כעיר שחוברה לה יחדיו‬,
As a city connected together.”

This is what ‫ הקב"ה‬teaches Kayin: If you un-

derstand the secret of the ‫פתח‬, good, but if
not, sin crouches at the door. And by stand-
ing at the ‫ פתח‬of the ‫חורבה‬, Eliyahu wanted to
C hazal teach us: “HaKadosh Baruch Hu To ‫אמת‬, Hashem responded, “‫”אמת מארץ תצמח‬
Truth will sprout forth from the ground” (Te- teach R’ Yossei that although he was daven-
said to the Jewish people: Open for
hillim 85:12). In other words, even though ing in the ‫ חורבה‬for the sake of ‫כלל ישראל‬, and
Me a ‫ פתח‬the size of the point of a needle,
Man is full of ‫שקר‬, there will come a time despite the amazing tefillah that resulted
and I will open for you an entrance like the
when ‫ אמת‬will shine forth from the ‫שקר‬. This from his tremendous ‫ כוונה‬while davening
entrance of the ‫אולם‬.” Shortly after the Cre-
‫ אמת‬that comes from within ‫ שקר‬has special alone, in order to transform the ‫ חורבה‬into a
ation of Man, ‫ הקב"ה‬says: “If you do well, will
strength and unique brightness. Hearing ‫בית‬, it is more important to daven together
it not be lifted up? And if you do not do well,
this, ‫ אמת‬agreed to Man’s creation. However, with everyone else. This secret of the ‫פתח‬,
sin crouches at the door.” Later, one of the
‫ הקב"ה‬did not respond to ‫’שלום‬s objection, be- standing at the entrance and bringing those
arguments Korach makes to Moshe is that
cause ‫ שלום‬is found only in the Heavens, as outside to the inside, is Eliyahu’s lesson.
it is absurd that a house full of sifrei Torah
it says, “‫”עושה שלום במרומיו‬, He makes peace This lesson he also taught R’ Shimon bar Yo-
should require a mezuzah on the ‫פתח‬. The
in His Heavens” (Iyov 25:2). To put it simply, chai and R’ Elazar when they left the cave.
gemara in Berachos 3a, the first aggadeta in
our world is full of ‫מחלוקת‬. How can we, in Despite the tremendous levels of ‫ קדושה‬they
Shas, marks the first time Chazal discuss
the ‫פתח‬: R’ Yossei tells us that he once went our world of ‫מחלוקת‬, live in ‫שלום‬, if ‫ שלום‬is Continued on Page 5
into one of the ‫ חורבות ירושלים‬to daven and only found in the Heavens? The only way is
Eliyahu HaNavi waited for him at the ‫פתח‬ to understand the essence of the ‫פתח‬, and to
of the ‫ חורבה‬until R’ Yossei concluded his stand in the ‫פתח‬, aware of what goes on in-
side and what goes on outside, and bringing
prayers. The ‫ פתח‬makes an appearance in
the inside and the outside together.
In This Issue
Shabbos 33b as well, where the gemara re-
lates that Eliyahu HaNavi waited at the ‫פתח‬ Divrei Chizuk 2
The first person to teach us this secret was
of the cave in which R’ Shimon bar Yochai
Avraham Avinu, about whom the Torah In the News 3
and his son, R’ Elazar, had been hiding for
says, “V’hu Yosheiv Mipetach Ha’ohel K’chom Chomer l’Drush 4
twelve years from the Caesar, who sought to
Hayom. Vayisah Einav Vayar V’hinei Shlosha
kill them, in order to inform them that the Back to the Beit 6
Anashim Nitzavim Alav Vayar Varatz Likra- Midrash
Caesar had died and his edict was therefore
tam” (Bereishit 18:1-2). Why does the Torah
nullified. Through the many instances of the The Menahel’s 7
have to tell us that Avraham ran from the ‫פתח‬
‫ פתח‬in Chazal and in the Torah we see its Memories
when it already told us in the previous pas-
significance. Musmakhim in the 10
suk that Avraham was sitting in the ‫ פתח‬of
his tent? The Torah is emphasizing that what Limelight
In the course of things, I will try to explain
enabled Avraham to continue running, even LHREI Year 1 12
the concept of the ‫פתח‬, from one perspec-
at his old age and even after his brit milah, Teach NYS 16
tive, in particular as it relates to the concept
was the ‫ כח‬of the ‫פתח‬. Avraham’s essence is
of teshuva. Plain Talk from 17
the connection between what happens out- Plainview
The ‫ מדרש רבה‬on ‫ פרשת בראשית‬says that when side and what happens inside, which gave
RIETS Dinner 18
‫ הקב"ה‬decided to create Man, ‫ חסד‬and ‫צדקה‬ him the motivation and the energy to run
supported the idea because Man would be a even in his old age. He opened a ‫ פתח‬to way- Lifecycles 22
creature of ‫ חסד‬and ‫צדקה‬. At the same time, farers, and if not for him, HaKadosh Baruch Growth Opportunities 23
‫ שלום‬objected because Man is full of ‫מחלוקת‬, Hu says, I would not have created the Heav- for RIETS Alumni
and ‫ אמת‬objected because Man is full of ‫שקר‬. ens and the earth (Bereishit Rabbah 48).

2 Chavrusa • Elul 5767 • September 2007

In the News
Rabbi Charlop to
Retire and Assume
New Post
On May 2, 2007, Rabbi Zevulun Charlop
‘54R, Max and Marion Grill Dean of RI-
ETS, announced his retirement from the
position of Dean of RIETS-MYP, a posi-
tion he has held with distinction for 37
years. Upon his retirement in June, 2008,
President Richard Joel will name him
Dean Emeritus of RIETS and Special
President Richard Joel, Ann & Rabbi Rabbi and Mrs. Bednarsh share a mo- Advisor to the President on Yeshiva Af-
Hyman Arbesfeld ment with David Mitzner fairs, with Cabinet rank. In a statement
acknowledging Rabbi Charlop’s retire-
Yeshiva Supporters Disseminate Torah in ment, President Joel stated: “More than
guided, it (RIETS) has been embraced,
New York, Houston & Jerusalem. informed, protected and nurtured by his
loving hand and Torah vision. Under his
I n the course of a few weeks in the
spring, a popular Sunday morning
learning program was named, and a RI-
students. Today, those programs - a proj-
ect of the CJF and RIETS - serve hun-
dreds of men and women every Sunday
leadership, the Yeshiva has experienced
enormous growth, the Beit Midrash filled
with the spirit of learning. Thousands of
ETS Rosh Yeshiva was invested as the morning, drawing not only alumni but
young men have grown in Torah and val-
occupant of a new Chair. On March 18, interested students and visitors from all
ues to become rabbis, teachers, scholars
2007 Ann and Rabbi Hyman Arbesfeld over the metropolitan area. “Word spread
and communal leaders. On his watch and
‘56R dedicated the Kollel Yom Rishon and quickly and we started to attract all those
with his guidance and vision, we have
Midreshet Yom Rishon Sunday morning thirsty for YU’s brand of Torah,” notes Mr.
been blessed with a cadre of Roshei Yeshi-
learning programs in memory of Rabbi Moskowitz. The program now has an e-
va of impeccable quality and dedication.
Arbesfeld’s parents. In April, Rabbi Assaf mail base of 4,000 names and features
Innovations in learning and guidance, de-
Bednarsh ‘97R was invested as the first weekly presentations by RIETS Roshei
velopment of kollelim and reinvention of
Ruth Buchbinder Mitzner Professor of HaYeshiva, members of YU’s faculty, and
professional rabbinics curricula continue
Talmud and Jewish Law. other Torah luminaries, both men and
to this day. He has been a defining force
Kollel Yom Rishon and Midreshet in Yeshivat Rabeinu Yitzchak Elchanan,
Rabbi and Mrs. Arbesfeld were so im- in partnership with our Rosh HaYeshiva,
Yom Rishon Dedicated
pressed by the program, which they began Rabbi Lamm.”
Ann and Rabbi Hyman Arbesfeld of Kew
Gardens, NY, dedicated the popular Sun- attending, that Rabbi Arbesfeld offered
day learning programs at Yeshiva Univer- to endow the programs in memory of his President Joel announced that Rabbi
sity, in memory of Rabbi Arbesfeld’s par- parents. “It’s a perfect fit,” he says. “My Charlop will work closely with him in the
ents. The Kollel Yom Rishon, a program father always had a sefer in his hand, and selection of a successor. He will begin to
for men, was named the Abraham Arbes- he always spoke about the importance of create forums and venues for teaching
feld Kollel Yom Rishon program and the learning.” Rabbi Arbesfeld is hopeful that and mentoring rabbinical students and
study group for women was named the his gift will allow the two programs to ex- others, individually and/or in groups; will
Millie Arbesfeld Midreshet Yom Rishon pand, since, he notes, “calls are coming in work on special, timely projects which
program. from all around the country” for this type we may jointly design to be implemented
of venture. here and/or in Israel, within Yeshiva or
According to Philip Moskowitz, program without; he will continue to be involved
coordinator for the Center for the Jewish The couple has a long relationship with in the semikhah process, serving as one
Future’s Department of Community Ini- YU. Rabbi Arbesfeld, a longtime member of the Masmikhim, giving tests for ordina-
tiatives, the unique series had its begin- of the RIETS board, says he is “indebted tion and signing the diplomas; he will also
ning when Rabbi Meir Goldwicht, Joel to YU” for 11 years of education, includ- continue his special relationship with the
and Maria Finkle Visiting Israeli Rosh Ye- ing high school, college, and three years Kollel Elyon as part of the selection pro-
shiva, suggested in passing to colleagues in the semikhah program. Mrs. Arbesfeld cess, as a member of the Wexner Advisory
at RIETS that they should create special Continued on Page 9 Continued on Page 20
learning programs to re-engage former
Chavrusa • Elul 5767 • September 2007 3
Chomer L’Drush
A son of a wise man is like half a wise
man. Yishmael understood, and sent
her away. His mother [then] took for
him a wife from her father’s household
The Power of and her name was Fatima.

Connections: Thoughts Again after three years Avraham went

on Rosh Hashanah to see Yishmael and swore to Sarah that
he would not descend from the camel
in the place where Yishmael dwelt. He
Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter arrived there at mid-day and found the
wife of Yishmael. [The story continues
as above, but this time] she took them
out and gave them to him. Avraham
arose and prayed before the Holy One,
Blessed be He, for his son, and the

I magine the scene at the funeral of son, the one you love” (Bereshit 22:2) and house of Yishmael was filled with all
Avraham. Everyone is there. The room Avraham still did not know which son good things, with money and blessings.
is full. There is an overflow crowd stretch- of his God had in mind. (Rashi- “Whom When Yishmael returned, she told him
ing out the door as thousands of people you love,” said Avraham, “I love both of the story and Yishmael understood that
have come to pay their last respects to them.”) He loved both of his sons equally! until that moment his [i.e., Avraham’s]
the individual whose new way of thinking Had there ever been any contact between mercy extended to him, “as a father has
about God had revolutionized the world. the pained father and his beloved son all mercy upon his children” (Tehillim
those years? Did Avraham die without 103:13).
Avraham’s son Yitzhak gets up to speak. ever seeing his son again?
He looks out over the huge crowd and This striking Midrash has implications for
there, standing in the back, he sees his The Torah is silent but the Midrash fills our lives on three levels: our relationships
long lost half-brother Yishmael, probably in the gaps. The Midrash (Yalkut Shim‘oni with the members of our family, our rela-
wearing sunglasses, maybe even an ear- #95; Pirkei de-Rabi Eliezer, Chap. 30) tionship with other Jews and our relation-
ring, probably sporting a few tattoos, with states that Avraham never stopped think- ship with God.
an idling motorcycle parked out front. Yit- ing about his first born son, the one whom
zhak calls Yishmael forward and together he loved so dearly, the one whom he ban- A child may grow up and leave home, but
they engage in the burial of their father, ished from his house against his will. parents never stop thinking about their
as the Torah relates, “Yitzhak and Yishma- “Ratzah lir’ot et Yishmael beno ve-leyda child. We wonder, “What will be with
el his sons buried him” (Bereshit 25:9). et ha-derekh asher halchu bah, Avraham him? What will happen to her? What will
wanted to see his son Yishmael and know be et ha-derekh asher halchu bah?” A child
At the beginning of Chapter 25 in the path which he had followed.” is constantly on his parents’ minds even
Bereshit, Yishmael shows up at Avraham’s when the family dynamics are complicat-
funeral; in the keriyat ha-Torah for the first After three years Avraham went to see ed, as they were in the case of Avraham.
day of Rosh Hashanah (Chapter 21) Yish- Yishmael and swore to Sarah that he There was a rift in the family, a split, a
mael is expelled from his father’s house in would not descend from the camel in breakup. But Avraham did not stand on
response to a request by Sarah prompted the place where Yishmael dwelt. He ceremony. He did not say, “Where is Yish-
by her concern that his presence there arrived there at mid-day and found mael? Why is he not in touch? Why is he
would be threatening to her son Yitzhak. there the wife of Yishmael. He said to not calling me?” Rather, he is the one who
In spite of his deep discomfort, Avraham her, “Where is Yishmael?” She said to initiated the contact; he went to seek out
responds to God’s command that he sub- him, “He has gone with his mother to his son, as difficult and as complicated as
mit to the demand of his wife. At this fetch fruits and dates from the wilder- that was. Remember, Sarah was obviously
point, Yishmael disappears, only to reap- ness.” He said to her, “Give me a little very unhappy with this trip and they were
pear in the biblical text four chapters later bread and a little water, for my soul is both forced to compromise. Her compro-
at the funeral of his father. weary from the journey in the desert.” mise was that she allowed Avraham to go;
She said to him, “I have neither bread his compromise was that he would not get
What happened to him in between? nor water.” Said he to her, “When Yish- off the camel. Understand well that not
Where had he been all those years? Re- mael comes, tell him this story and say getting off the camel means not only that
member that when God had told Avraham to him, ‘Change the threshold of your Avraham could stay for only a short period
to sacrifice his son on the altar, the Torah house for it is not good for you.’” When of time; even more significant, it meant
uses the words, “Take your son, your only Yishmael came, she told him the story. that he could not hug his son!

4 Chavrusa • Elul 5767 • September 2007

There are tensions, sometimes, within murder! What could be worse! But yet, God. With all Yishmael may have been,
families, between children and parents Avraham was concerned, “ratzah lir’ot et “Yishmael understood that until that mo-
and between parents and children; be- Yishmael ve-leyda et ha-derekh asher halchu ment his mercy extended to him ‘as a fa-
tween husbands and wives and between ther has mercy upon his children.’” Rabbi
wives and husbands; between brothers David Luria, the author of an important
and sisters and between sisters and broth- “A child may grow nineteenth commentary on the Pirkei de-
ers. The relationship may not be now what Rabi Eliezer, sees this as a metaphor for
it once may have been. But the Midrash up and leave the nature of the relationship between
teaches: Don’t stand on ceremony, get on God (the “father”) and the Jewish people
your donkey and ride out into the desert to home, but par- (“his children”). Even though Yishmael did
re-establish contact. Do not wait until the not behave the way he should have (to say
funeral because we know very well that by ents never stop the least), even though Yishmael did not
then it will be too late. act appropriately, nevertheless he knew
thinking about that his father did not abandon him, that
But this Midrash is not only about the his father had rahmanut for him.
nuclear family; it is about the family of their child.”
the Jewish people. The Midrash teaches So too is the nature of our relationship
us never to give up on another Jew; never, with God. We turn to Him and say, “God,
under any circumstances, to abandon an- bah.” We too need to be concerned, we too You know us well; You know us better than
other Jew. need to be involved, we too need to care. anyone else does; You know our failings,
We are, all of us, members of one people, shortcomings and limitations. Neverthe-
Why was Yishmael banished from the of one family. less we ask You, our Father in Heaven, pay
household of Avraham? The Rabbis teach us a visit, leave us a blessing, bring good
us (Rashi, Bereshit 21:9, s.v. metzachek) Finally, this Midrash is not only about fam- health and above all else in these very trou-
that he was guilty of each one of the most ily, it is not only about the Jewish people; bling times, peace and security for Klal Yis-
heinous of sins, adultery, idolatry and the Midrash is about our relationship with rael and the world at large.” n

From the Petach of Teshuva to the Petach of a Year continued from page 2

had attained, it would now be necessary for Negah L’Negah”. The ‫ מלאכי השרת‬challenged tempt to see the positive in others, and I will
them to connect everything they had learned HaKadosh Baruch Hu, accusing Him of open for you a ‫ פתח‬the size of the ‫אולם‬.
inside to the ‫ ציבור‬outside. having double standards. You ask the Jews
that if they slaughter a bird, they cover its In an earthquake, the safest place in one’s
Shlomo HaMelech teaches us this secret as blood, but You allow the spilt blood of Jews home is in the doorway. Spiritually, as well,
well in Mishlei, “Fortunate is the man who to go uncovered. You ask the Jews not to the ‫ פתח‬is the safest place in the home, pro-
listens to Me to watch daily at My gates, to slaughter an animal and its young on the tecting the Jewish home by maintaining the
guard the posts of My doors” (8:34). To listen same day, yet You allow Jewish parents and proper balance between inside and outside.
to ‫ הקב"ה‬is to understand the secret of the children to be murdered on the same day. We are currently in a time when everything
‫פתח‬. This is the key to all blessings. You ask the Jews not to destroy a home af- around us is shaking. Nothing in our day and
flicted with ‫ צרעת‬until the Kohen diagno- age is stable. The way to live successfully in
As a nation, we learned the secret of the ses it as a ‫בית מנוגע‬, yet You destroyed Your such a world is to stay in the ‫פתח‬.
‫ פתח‬for the first time on the night we left house without asking anyone. Why do You
Mitzrayim. ‫ הקב"ה‬asked us to put sheep’s expect more of Your nation than You do of As we approach the new year, which is itself
blood—the blood of a god of Mitzrayim— Yourself? ‫ הקב"ה‬responded, “‫ריבות בשעריך‬ a ‫ פתח‬of sorts, we must accept upon ourselves
on the ‫ מזוזות‬and on the ‫משקוף‬. The idea ‫דברי‬.” Because the Jews fight constantly. to refrain from ‫מחלוקת‬, to connect that which
was to absorb the lesson of the ‫ פתח‬with What is the solution? The city of Yerusha- is without with that which is within, and to
‫מסירות נפש‬. If we showed ‫ מסירות נפש‬for the layim, the city that is ‫חוברה לה יחדיו‬, where appreciate the Torah, mitzvos, and Klal Yisra-
‫פתח‬, no more blood would be spilled. The we learn the lesson of ‫אחדות‬, the lesson of el. May we merit as a result to stand not just
more we understand the importance of liv- ‫ביחד‬, the lesson of the ‫פתח‬. in the ‫ פתח‬of the ‫סוכה‬, but in the ‫ פתח‬of the
ing with ‫ אחדות‬and refraining from involve- ‫היכל‬, and to loudly proclaim, “Se’u She’arim
ment in ‫מחלוקת‬, the stronger we show we We are approaching the ‫ימים נוראים‬. ‫ הקב"ה‬re- Rosheichem V’Hinaschu Pitchei Olam Vayavo
are. As it says in Chazal regarding the pas- quests of us one thing: open for Me a ‫פתח‬, Melech Hakavod.” n
suk, “Ki Yifaleh Mimecha Davar Mishpat understand the importance of the ‫פתח‬, even
Bein Dam L’Dam, Bein Din L’Din, Bein just a little. Don’t enter ‫מחלוקת‬, make an at-

Chavrusa • Elul 5767 • September 2007 5

Back to the Beit Midrash
chuyos correspond?,” and Rabbi Levi an-
swers, “They correspond to the ten praises
said by David in Tehilim [150].” This is
also indicated in the piyyut recited by
The Order of the Verses the Shaliach Tzibbur before Malchuyos,
“Ochila LaKeil,” in which he says, “Ashi-
in Malchuyos ra…Abiah Ranenos.”

Given the Gemara’s discussion about the

Rabbi Menachem Genack relative primacy of “Shira B’Peh” and “Shi-
ra B’Keili” [Sukkah 50/b ff.], we can now
better understand the impact of Tekios Al
Seder HaBrachos. There are Midrashic/li-
turgical indications that Tekias Shofar can
itself be a type of Shira. Tekios Al Seder
HaBrachos is now revealed as the merg-
T he Mishnah in Rosh HaShanah 32a
states, “[In Malchuyos, Zichronos,
and Shofaros], we start with verses from
the verses for Malchuyos, Zichronos, and
Shofaros, he does not adopt the phrase-
ology of the Gemara; he instead refers to
er of the two forms of Shira; indeed, the
Rambam places the Seder HaBrachos in
Hilchos Shofar and not in Hilchos Tefila!
the Torah and finish with verses from the verses from Kesuvim as verses from
[With this premise, the Rav defended
Navi.” Indeed, as any cursory examination Tehilim. The Rav explained that, from
Rashi from the Ramban’s criticism of his
of the Mach’zor will reveal, we do indeed the Rambam’s perspective, we specifically
(Rashi’s) opinion that the Seder HaBra-
start with verses from the Torah, then re- need verses from Tehilim because Mal-
chos is MiD’Oraysa: it is MiD’Oraysa only
cite verses from Kesuvim, and conclude chuyos, Zichronos, and Shofaros are said
when there are Tekios Al Seder HaBra-
with verses from Navi. The Ba’alei HaTo- qua Shira--and for Shira, one must employ
chos, generating Shira.]
safos [loc cit, d.h. mas’chil b’Torah] are the zemiros (songs of praise) composed by
perplexed by the placement of verses from David HaMelech, our nation’s “pleasant Based on the Rav’s teaching that Mal-
Kesuvim before verses from Navi, as Navi singer of zemiros” (vide II Shmuel 23:1). chuyos, Zichronos, and Shofaros are said
typically takes precedence over Kesuvim. The Rav’s approach to the Rambam is as Shira, and are not said due merely to
They answer that this anomalous order is buttressed by the Rambam’s own words in their thematic pertinence, I think we can
due to the fact that the verses found in Hilchos Tefila 7:12, where the Rambam say that the verses from Tehilim take pre-
Tehilim, Mishlei and Iyov were written emphasizes that zemiros must come from cedence over verses from Navi because
chronologically before the verses in Navi. Tehilim. It is worth noting that we em- verses from Tehilim are the prototypical
phasize this in the introductory brachah, praises; Tehilim is the most appropriate
The Rav, Zt”l, offered a different resolu- Baruch SheAmar, wherein we declare that instrument of song. [The reason that they
tion to the problem raised by the Ba’alei we will praise Hashem “through the songs do not take precedence over the verses
HaTosafos. The Rav explained that fun- of [His] servant, David.” [Indeed, the non- from the Torah is that nothing takes pre-
damentals of our faith are elucidated in Davidic origin of Shiras HaYam leads the cedence over verses from Toras Moshe.]
Malchuyos, Zichronos, and Shofaros. We Rambam to place it after Yishtabach, the
deliberately cite verses in this context so concluding brachah of Pesukei D’Zimra.] According to this, we can offer a new
as to firmly buttress these fundamentals. answer to a question posed to the Noda
The verses of Malchuyos, Zichronos, and The Rav took note of the fact that we do B’Yehuda [Mahadura Tinyana, Orach
Shofaros convey (respectively) the time- not limit ourselves to merely three verses Chaim #20]. The Noda B’Yehuda was
lessness and eternality of Hashem’s sover- of Kesuvim in Shofaros; rather, we com- asked why the verses of Navi come before
eignty, Hashem’s memory, and Hashem’s plete all of Tehilim 150. The Rav explained the verses from Kesuvim in the prayer,
self-revelation (Gilui Shechina). The that by the time we reach Shofaros, we “Av HaRachamim,” when Tosafos [loc cit]
verses from the Torah deal with the past; are so overwhelmingly inspired that Shira had explained why they should come after
those from Navi, with the future. Those bursts forth spontaneously and without those verses. If we assume that the prece-
from Kesuvim deal with the present, and bounds. Furthermore, Shofaros declares dence of Kesuvim is limited to expressions
that, said the Rav, is why they are sand- Gilui Shechina, and that generates an ob- of Shira, the ordering of verses in the text
wiched in-between the other verses. ligation to say Shira. of Av HaRachamim—a litany of petitions,
not praises—is more easily understood. n
Based on something else the Rav said, I The classification of the recitation of Mal-
thought perhaps that there was another chuyos, Zichronos, and Shofaros as Shira We are grateful to Rabbi Eliyahu Ferrel for
way to address the problem raised by the is strongly indicated by the Gemara in translating this article.
Ba’alei HaTosafos. When the Rambam Rosh HaShanah [loc cit]. The Gemara
[Hilchos Shofar 3:8] describes the order of asks, “To what do these ten verses in Mal-

6 Chavrusa • Elul 5767 • September 2007

The Menahel’s
Memories An Interview with Rabbi Zevulun Charlop
F or those who were not born yet or who
were very young during the time Dr.
Belkin z’tl served as President of Yeshiva,
tion. It caused an almost unbridgeable
divide between them. Dr. Belkin was con-
vinced that he could maintain the integrity
it would have been impossible to believe of RIETS onto itself and yet have it remain
or even imagine who he was, what he the foundation-stone and moral compass
achieved, and no less significantly, his re- of the entire university. Even while legally
lationship to the Rav z’tl. Even as the Rav RIETS and the university would be sepa-
was altogether singular - indeed sui generis rate entities, in the most critical ways they
– Dr. Belkin was, in his way, also one-of-a- would nonetheless remain together as in-
kind. Hardly ever does the likes of a Rabbi separable parts of the whole. By and large
Dr. Samuel Belkin come down the pike. I believe this was the case, and in some
very definable ways, more so than before.
Before I enlarge upon the special-ness and The advanced kollelim, the packed batei
genius of Dr. Belkin, a comment about the midrash at night, the deepening and un-
relationship between Dr. Belkin and the yielding yiras shamayim of our bnei Torah
Rav is in order. In my dealings with both of all happened after the separation. Since
them, and often times in specific circum- 1971, there has not been one student, as
stances you had to relate to them apart and far as I know, upon graduation from col-
together as one, it seemed absolutely clear lege who defected to a non-Orthodox rab-
to me that even as Dr. Belkin sought and binic seminary, where years before, such
coveted the approbation of the Rav above lamentable departures were not altogether
all other people for what he was and for uncommon. One can also attribute these
what he achieved, I gained the distinct advances to other reasons, most notably
feeling that the Rav no less sought the ap- the almost universal acceptance of a year
proval and appreciation of Dr. Belkin. They or two of intense Torah study in Israel af-
both sensed –with a genuine humility that ter completing high school. I also believe
can only be felt by those who worked in firmly, that these advances would not have
As RIETS’ long-serving close quarters and on a continual basis with been realized if it were not for the original
Menahel transitions to a them – that they both were giants; and the unabashed and uncropped protests of the
new position at Yeshiva, only approval or appreciation that really Rav. Remember, that the Rav continued to
mattered much to them would be the one give shiurim for more than 15 years after
CHAVRUSA has asked him that genuinely came from the other. the separation, and became the Rebbe of
for some recollections and the Yeshiva, no less than before, and pos-
Dr. Belkin, in his time, was the single un- sibly even more so.
perspectives on the three contested voice – save on the rarest occa-
presidents with whom Rabbi sions - who made policy for and governance I felt that this introduction was necessary
Charlop has had the privi- of the Yeshiva body politic. The first crack in before I could speak about Dr. Belkin and
this monolithic control and guidance came the kind of charisma and hold he had upon 200
lege to serve. near the end of the 60s, when Dr. Belkin the Yeshiva and upon large segments of the
was persuaded, because of the increasingly Orthodox community and beyond. It is
desperate financial plight of Yeshiva, that important to understand the state of mind
In this edition: there must be a separation for church-state that prevailed when I came to Yeshiva, to
reasons, between RIETS and the university serve in the role that I have served for more
The Belkin Era. in order to continue to receive government than three-and-a-half decades.
funding. It was then that the Rav made his
famous “I See Ghosts” speech, which he Dr. Belkin asked me to come to Yeshiva
delivered at a special luncheon appended without any notice and only three days be-
to that year’s Chag Hasemikhah celebra- fore the new year began, nearly 37 years

Chavrusa • Elul 5767 • September 2007 7

ago. Dr. Israel Miller ‘41R z’tl, certainly one
of the towering figures in the annals of Yeshi-
va history, called me at the bungalow colony
where I was spending part of the summer
with my family. He called me from Shelter
Island, where he was visiting Dr. Belkin at
his summer home, to tell me that Dr. Belkin
would like me to take over the Yeshiva. This
came to me as a thunderbolt, as I had never
spoken to Dr. Belkin about this matter be-
fore. Indeed, I had only a few conversations
with him in my entire life. I never considered
myself especially close to him; my admiration
of him was from a distance, which I believe
must have been shared by most of my class-
(l-r) Rabbi Zevulun Charlop: the Rav; Rabbi Shlomo Goren; Rabbi Dr. Belkin; Rabbi Dr. Israel Miller
mates and others who studied at the Yeshiva.
Before I accepted the position, I wanted to world, that he determined to return to Europe Dr. Belkin was selected as Dean of RIETS
know how the Rav felt about this potential with Rav Shimon. It was the great sage of and provided some stability to the yeshiva at
out-of-the-blue appointment. Dr. Belkin and Grodno who dissuaded him from returning. perhaps one of its most tumultuous and try-
the Rav were altogether alone in the rever- He presciently told him, well before World ing periods. Eventually, Dr. Belkin became
ence that students had for them. No one to- War II and Hitler MHBR, that the future of Yeshiva’s second president.
day could doubt this of the Rav; but I have Yahadus lies in America and that Yiddishkeit-
the sense that hardly anybody born in the wise, Europe is lost. In an incredible series This European orphan, who saw his father
last 45 years could imagine Dr. Belkin in that of events, he was accepted into a doctoral murdered before his eyes in a pogrom, who
same brilliant light as well. That of course is program at Brown, an Ivy League institution, learned in Radun and who received a PhD
a tragedy and great shame. without even a general elementary and high at Brown in Greek, built the Albert Einstein
school education. That alone speaks volumes College of Medicine, the Ferkauf School of
When I came back to Yeshiva as a member about the man! It was about the same time – Psychology, Stern College for Women, the
of several faculties, we recognized Dr. Bel- at most a year or two apart – that the Rav and Belfer School of Science, the Wurzweiler
kin’s greatness. He was known as an iluy, a Rebbitzen Tonya Soloveitchik zt’l came to School of Social Work and Cardozo Law
prodigy of the famed Raduner Yeshiva in Po- Boston. They sought out the European iluy, School almost literally with his own hands.
land where he attended, when he was hardly and he became a frequent Shabbos guest at He was also responsible for bringing some
bar mitzvah. Reportedly, Dr. Belkin received their home, 50 miles away. It may be apoc- of the most prominent European Roshei Ye-
semikhah at the tender age of 17 from the ryphal, but the story that made the rounds shiva to RIETS, such as the Lomza Rav, Rav
sainted Chofetz Chayim zt’l himself, pur- was that the Rebbitzen managed to get his Moshe Shatzkes z’tl; the Suwalker Rav, Rav
ported to be the youngest boy or man to clothes laundered, when she realized that he Dovid Lifschitz z’tl; Rav Mendel Zaks z’tl,
receive semikhah from that venerable sage did not tend to these matters himself. It was son-in-law of the Chofetz Chaim and the
of the 19th and early 20th century. He then during this period that the Chiddushei Rab- last Rosh Yeshiva of Radun; Rav Yerucham
came to America, passing through the Mirrer beinu Chayim Halevi was published by the Gorelick z’tl, Rav Noach Borenstein z’tl and
Yeshiva. Dr. Belkin himself told me, on those Rav’s father Reb Moshe z’tl, and his brother Rav Yaakov Lessen z’tl.
very rare occasions when he spoke about his Reb Velvel z’tl, who succeeded Reb Chaim
own history, that the famed Rav Lazer Yudel zt’l as rav of Brisk. One of the first copies to It was with a sense of awe that I accepted the
Finkel - the Rosh Yeshiva in Mir and the son reach America was sent to the Rav. position. That feeling became more acute
of the fabled Alter of Slabodka – made spe- when only four days after appointing me Dr.
cial efforts to persuade him to remain at Mir, Dr. Belkin became a RIETS Rosh Yeshiva in Belkin told me that “I have placed the des-
and not to move on to America, as was his in- his late twenties, after having been appoint- tiny of Yeshiva in your hands.”
tention. Rav Lazer Yudel promised this then ed by Dr. Revel zt’l as an instructor and then
18 year old musmakh the largest student professor of Greek at Yeshiva College and Dr. Belkin used to call me up every morning
stipend that was ever offered at Mir, home gave the shiur considered directly below Reb around 10 or 15 after 9 am, and asked me
to many of the greatest iluyim who became Moshe Soloveitchik’s. In 1940, Dr. Revel in Yiddish “Vie geit de Yeshiva - how is the
geonei HaDor. suddenly passed away at the age of 55, at the Yeshiva?” I assumed my position in 1971, in
height of his power. Incredibly, Reb Moshe the midst of the Vietnam Conflict. Yeshiva
He came to our Yeshiva when Reb Shimon Soloveitchik, who became Rosh Hayeshiva was packed. Ho Chi Minh, the Communist
Shkop z’tl was still giving shiurim. He found upon Dr. Revel’s death, was also snatched leader of the Vietnamese uprising, was the
it so difficult to acclimate himself to the new from our midst, and only 62. It was then that greatest marbitz Torah of that time. As the

8 Chavrusa • Elul 5767 • September 2007

war began to wind down, people started
leaving the yeshiva. Dr. Belkin told me that
we needed to do something to increase
enrollment. I felt that if we wanted to do
something with Yeshiva we had to be a bit
adventurous and dramatic. I offered what
must have been considered in the econom-
ic throes in which yeshiva found itself then,
the bold suggestion to appoint 3 new roshei
yeshiva in one fell swoop: Rabbi Hershel
Reichman, Rabbi Abba Bronspiegel, and
Rabbi Mordechai Willig. Rabbi Reichman
gave the chazara shiur for the Rav, and Rab-
bi Bronspiegel taught in the high school. In
this way it would give nod to the then preva-
lent tradition of promoting a high school
rebbe into Yeshiva. Rabbi Willig taught Tal-
Each one only wanted the approval and appreciation of the other.
mud at the James Striar School, assuming
my former position. They were all celebrat- were extremely tight at that time. I didn‘t In mid 1975, Dr. Belkin took seriously ill,
ed for their learning and also embodied in think he would do it, but he did it. During and relinquished his post as president, as-
their personalities and affiliations a whole Dr. Belkin’s administration, we eventually suming the title as Yeshiva’s first Chancellor.
gamut of the Torah community which we brought Rabbi Aharon Kahn as a Rosh Ye- He passed away a few weeks before Rabbi
hoped to attract. Dr. Belkin thought that shiva, who succeeded Rabbi Reichman as Dr. Norman Lamm was chosen as his suc-
my recommendation was crazy, as finances the assistant to the Rav. cessor. n

Yeshiva Supporters Disseminate Torah from page 3

served for a decade as president of the Ye- rael Kollel, delivered the Shabbat morning a renowned Torah scholar and the rabbi of
shiva University Women’s Organization, and sermon and led a Torah study session. the largest Orthodox synagogue in Harlem,
the couple’s four children are all graduates of grew up during the 1920s. She and her fam-
YU’s undergraduate and graduate schools. “We could not have been more satisfied with ily later moved to Jerusalem, where her fa-
how my mother’s memory was honored by ther assisted Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook,
Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh Invested as the the investiture and all of Yeshiva Universi- the first chief rabbi of Palestine. During her
First Ruth Buchbinder Mitzner Professor ty’s presence during the weekend,” said Ira life, Ruth dedicated herself to helping Jew-
of Talmud and Jewish Law Mitzner, a 1981 alumnus of Yeshiva College ish people throughout the world.
and a lay leader in the Houston community.
In a moving ceremony at Houston’s Unit- “I feel honored to continue the legacy of
ed Orthodox Synagogue, the investiture of In the early years of World War II, David Ruth Mitzner by teaching Torah in Israel
Rabbi Assaf Bednarsh as the first occupant Mitzner was a courier between the Russian and preparing the next generation of rab-
of the Ruth Buchbinder Mitzner Chair in and German zones, helping compatriots es- bis to lead the Jewish people,” said Rabbi
Talmud and Jewish Law at the Yeshiva Uni- cape persecution from the Nazis. He was Bednarsh.
versity in Israel campus took place on April sent to a Siberian gulag after being caught
14. The chair was established through a and served eight years of hard labor before The weekend concluded with a YU com-
$1-million gift from David Mitzner and his coming to America and establishing a suc- munity council meeting hosted by Shira
son and daughter-in-law, Ira and Mindy, in cessful real estate development business. Yoshor, vice chairman of the Stern College
honor of their late wife and mother, Ruth Board, discussing future YU involvement in
Buchbinder Mitzner. “David is the quintessential success story, Houston.
both in his career and in terms of trans-
The ceremony, attended by the extended mitting his heritage to the next generation, “The weekend was a fitting tribute to a fam-
Mitzner family and more than 400 members making sure that Judaism flourished both in ily who represents communal leadership
of the Houston community, was part of a his family and in the broader Jewish com- and philanthropy,” said Rabbi Richard C.
weekend of activities in Houston sponsored munity,” said Rabbi Bednarsh, a former Bieler ’77R, YU Senior Executive Director
by the Mitzner family. YU President Rich- Beren Kollel and Wexner Graduate fellow for Community Affairs. “Our time in Hous-
ard M. Joel presided over the investiture at YU. ton gave us a real sense of the Mitzners’
and later addressed the community; Rabbi legacy and our responsibility to perpetuate
Bednarsh, rosh yeshiva at YU’s RIETS Is- Ruth Buchbinder Mitzner, whose father was that legacy.” n

Chavrusa • Elul 5767 • September 2007 9

Musmakhim in the Limelight

“It shall be that when you draw near to the war, the kohen shall
approach and speak to the people” (D’varim 20:2) “The Mashuah Milhama aids the soldiers in three areas: preparations for war,
preparations for appeasement and preparations for prayer, a formula familiar to us from Yaakov Avinu. The Mashuah Milhamah, who
inspires the nation to approach war with bravery, remains at their side in the theater of battle. He does not return to a more peaceful set-
ting. He appeases the soldiers by telling them that HASHEM will fight for them, and allows those who are afraid to honorably remove
themselves from battle. He prays with the soldiers as well, as his stirring speech is truly a prayer.” [Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin, “Oznayim
la-Torah,” D’varim 20:2.]

Although the Lutzker Rav described that (as excerpted in the Orthodox Union’s Jew-
special kohen mashuah milhamah, in the ish Action, Summer 2007, pp. 20-28.) CHAVRUSA interviewed Rabbi Nisson
above commentary, he could also have Shulman (RNS) ‘55R CAPT, CHC, USN-
been describing the dangerous, difficult When Buchenwald (where Rabbi Lau R, a retired Navy Chaplain and former
and lonely task of a military chaplain. was a prisoner) was liberated by American Director of Placement; and Second Lieu-
army forces, Lulek (Rabbi Lau’s childhood tenant Mitchell Rocklin (RMR), US Army
Only a few short months ago, US Army nickname) is discovered by Army Chaplain Reserve, and Second Lieutenant Moshe
Specialist Daniel Agami, 25, known by Rabbi Hershel Schacter ‘41R. In full army Grussgott (RMG), US Army Reserve, two
those in his unit as “GI Jew” was laid to uniform, Rabbi Schacter got down from senior semikhah students training in the
rest with full military honors in North Lau- his jeep and stood before the pile of bodies. US Army Chaplain Candidate Program.
derdale, Florida. He was posthumously Many of them were still bleeding. Suddenly
awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star he thought he saw a pair of eyes, wide open CHAVRUSA: Tell us about the decision
and the Army Commendation Medal. An and alive. He panicked, and with a soldier’s and subsequent process for deciding to
improvised explosive device (IED) took his instinct, he drew his pistol. Slowly, carefully, train as a chaplain?
life in Iraq. Rabbi Yossi Denburg, Dean of he began to circle the pile of bodies. Then
the Hebrew Academy Community School – and this I recall clearly- he bumped into RMG: A few years ago, during my first
in Margate, FL, where Daniel was gradu- me, a little boy, staring at him from behind year of semikhah, a Jewish chaplain named
ated, recalled in his eulogy that while in the mound of corpses, wide-eyed. His face re- Rabbi Zalis came with a Christian chaplain
the army, Specialist Agami kept kosher, vealed his astonishment: in the midst of the to our SR/RTP class. Rabbi Zalis achieved
slept with both American and Israeli flags killing fields, from within that sea of blood- the rank of General and eventually retired
over his bunk, and on his rifle was engraved suddenly, a child appears! I did not move. to Israel. I didn’t decide then to join the
“The Hebrew Hammer.” But he knew that no child in this place chaplaincy, but his talk planted a seed
could be anything but Jewish. He holstered and that seed lingered and was always in
The devoted chaplains, the cadre of m- his pistol, then grabbed me with both hands the back of my mind. When Mitch joined
shuhei milhama, enabled Daniel Agami z’l to and caught me in a fatherly embrace, lift- semikhah a few years later, he pushed me
live as a Jew. The chaplains are the spiritual ing me in his arms. In Yiddish, with a heavy along since I would only consider joining
caregivers of military personnel. Consider American accent, he asked me: ‘Wie alt bist with a chaver.
this excerpt from Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau’s du, mein kindt? How old are you, my boy?” I
autobiography, “Do Not Harm the Child” saw tears dripping from his eyes… When Mitch showed me the recruitment

Moshe Grussgott is completing his studies at RIETS. He currently serves as Assistant Rabbi at Ramath Ora in Manhattan.
Mitchell Rocklin is completing his studies at RIETS. He will serve next year as Rabbinic Intern at Beth Sholom in Lawrence, NY.
Rabbi Nisson Shulman served for two years at Great Lakes Naval Training Center. Subsequently, he served in the Ready Reserve for a
total of 30 years, with special duty at Parris Island, Camp Pendleton, San Diego Naval Training Center and in Norfolk, VA, where he com-
piled resources for non Jewish-chaplains how to minister to Jewish servicemen, in the absence of Jewish chaplains. He teaches at the Isaac
Breuer College at Yeshiva University and has worked for the university in many capacities. He also has had an illustrious career in the pulpit
all over the world. Currently he serves as chaplain at the United States Veterans Hospital in Manhattan.

10 Chavrusa • Elul 5767 • September 2007

A Few Good Men

Moshe Grussgott Mitchell Rocklin Rabbi Nisson Shulman

pamphlet, I first observed that it had the Army base, and then you wait to be ac- sidering the military chaplaincy should
psukim about the Mashuah Milhama on cepted. Chaplain Candidates can choose give the candidate program a try. There
the front of the packet (in English). That when to train and which training modules are plenty of upsides, and practically no
really inspired me; I felt that joining the they would like to attend, in order to give downsides.
military in this capacity was a holy endeav- them a better idea of whether or not the
or. I have always been a patriotic Ameri- chaplaincy is for them. If they are certain RNS: For me, the decision was simple. At
can. I have always sat around the Shabbos that it is, the training gives them a head that time we had a lottery or a goral system
table supporting America’s current stance start before joining the military on a more - a voluntary draft. My number was fairly
in terms of global terror, but it was always permanent basis. low, so I had a moral obligation to go to the
an abstract discussion. I felt that it would military. My father and mother felt that we
be great to put my money where my mouth Candidates can take the basic course owe so much to America that we have to
is. for chaplains, which lasts about thirteen pay the country back in any way that we
weeks. Usually, they do six weeks of it the can.
RMR: The program that we are in is called first summer after they join. This is usually
the Chaplain Candidate Program. It offers followed by a “practicum,” which is essen- CHAVRUSA: How did your RIETS train-
a wonderfully unique opportunity for a tially a chaplaincy internship at an Army ing help you as a chaplain?
rabbinical student to consider the military post. The practicum allows a candidate to
chaplaincy, either full-time or part-time, experience the Army chaplaincy firsthand. RNS: Several ways. My close relationship
without committing to join the Army as If the candidate is happy (in my experi- with the Rav enabled me to call him at any
a regular chaplain does. It allows a pro- ence virtually all of them are), he can do time with shaylas whenever they came up.
spective chaplain to train during school. other practicums and can finish the chap- My secular and Torah training enabled
A chaplain candidate can experience the lain basic course at a later time. When a me to fit in to the large group of chap-
Army and the chaplaincy firsthand, so that candidate finishes RIETS, he then has a lains who were there. They regarded me
he can decide whether or not he will join. decision to make. He can join the military, as someone of intellectual equality or even
The Navy and the Air Force have candi- he can elect to stay out of such a commit- superiority – because of Yeshiva. There
date programs as well. ment, or he can wait some time before were 27 chaplains with me on that base
making a final decision. If he chooses to and I was the only Jewish chaplain. One
The application process for the Army is delay, he can continue to train in practi- of these chaplains later became the US
complicated, and you have to be on top cums in order to determine whether or not Navy Chief of Chaplains. He had never
of things. The recruiters help you through the military chaplaincy is for him. seen or met a Jew before he met me, even
it though. It involves meeting a list of though he grew up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
academic and physical requirements that Candidates are commissioned officers in Years later, he would call me when I was in
most RIETS students should not have a the military. They receive pay and ben- the pulpit to obtain Hebrew quotes when-
problem with. A recruiter and his assistant efits for their training in exchange for the ever he addressed a Jewish group, which
lead you through a long process of paper- responsibilities that they assume as they was often. Finally, the experience of the
work, you get a physical exam at a local train. I have no doubt that anyone con- continued on page 14

Chavrusa • Elul 5767 • September 2007 11

Year 1
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Beach, FL, Phoenix, AZ, Rochester, NY, Skokie, IL, and West Hempstead, NY; brought Talmidei Chachamim and scholars
out to the communities to speak to nearly 900 people on a variety of contemporary issues.
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Angeles, CA, Montreal and West Hempstead, NY hosted dozens of
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area rabbis.
Mentorship Program: 8 senior rabbis mentoring a total of 16 younger
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Community Day of Learning, Miami, FL Rebbetzins’ Yarchei Kallah

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Rebbitzen Rachel Wilinsky and Reb-

Rabbi Hershel Schachter Rabbi Edward Davis and Rabbi Dale Polakoff
bitzen Karen Hochberg

Community Day of Learning, Houston, TX Yarchei Kallah Yarchei Kallah

Participants at a recent Yarchei Kallah Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm and

Rabbi Yaakov Neuberger
Rabbi Naphtali Weisz

12 Chavrusa • Elul 5767 • September 2007

Regional Rabbinic Seminar, Los Angeles, CA Community Day of Learning, Skokie, IL

(From left to right) Rabbi Shannan Gelman, Rabbi Dr. John

Rabbi Yonasan Sacks and Rabbi Elazar Muskin
Krug, Rabbi Kenneth Brander, Dr. Norman Blumenthal

Rabbinic Mentor Seminar Yarchei Kallah

Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter, Rabbi David

Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt and Rabbi Howard Zack
Wilensky, Rabbi Shalom Morris

Community Day of Learning, Phoenix, AZ Community Day of Learning, Rochester, NY

Rabbi Shaya Kilimnick, Rabbi Dr. Edward

Rabbi Ezra Schwartz
Reichman, Rabbi Mordechai Hochheimer

Chavrusa • Elul 5767 • September 2007 13

Annointed for War
continued from page 13
military helped me understand America
much better than otherwise I might have.
It works both ways. As the first Orthodox
chaplain in the navy, often what I had to do
was groundbreaking. Rav Soloveitchik was
a great help to me.

RMG: The rigor of the yeshiva day pre-

pared me for the length of the day in train-
ing. The only thing I have ever found as
strenuous as a good day of learning was
this army training. The experience of RI-
ETS, which I believe is the only place that US Navy Jewish Chaplain Shoulder Boards .
offers this, grounds oneself in Torah while form, to which he invited me. Ultimately young men had very little Jewish education
remaining open to the world. That is exact- he succeeded in changing the regulation and minimal affiliations. I felt that my pri-
ly what you need for a military chaplaincy. and Jewish chaplains now wear the aseret mary job was to attempt to halt intermar-
Since it’s a non-Jewish environment, you hadibrot with letters aleph through yud riages on the base. During my two years on
have to be strong in your own frumkeit so adorning them. post, at any given time, there were more
it doesn’t lapse or compromise. You have than 100 Jewish boys on base. (One half
to be sure when to draw the line, but must RMR: I think a better question would be of one percent of the 27,000 men on base
also be flexible in other areas. how military chaplaincy training would were Jewish.) There was only one inter-
help someone as a RIETS student and marriage during my tenure. What did I do
Our training was at Fort Jackson, SC. rabbi. The training that the military of- to try to prevent intermarriage? I mobilized
Mitch and me were the only two Jews fers cannot be found anywhere else. This girls groups (ages 16-20) from Milwaukee
there in the chaplain training among 137 is true both for general skills and religious to Chicago. (The base in Waukegan was
other students, including Protestants, a skills. The military does not teach religion, between these two cities). I made a party
few Catholic priests and one Budhist (he but it does teach you how to apply your re- for these boys once a month, which was
may be the first ever Budhist chaplain). ligious beliefs in difficult practical settings. the only time off that they had. When I
To my surprise, I became close with a few This training is difficult if not impossible took them to these parties, they made so-
of the Catholics. We have some things in to obtain in civilian schools. The environ- cial contacts with these girls. Practically,
common such as a liturgical tradition and ment is simply not there. Civilian school- these were the only girls they could date.
an Oral tradition. The chaplaincy is a Ju- ing serves the purpose of providing an edu- It solved the problem without my needing
deo-Christian environment. They really cation and practical training for a civilian to do anything. I had to find a different
love Jews there. They all acknowledge the environment. Military training does two reason each month for the Command to
Jews as the people of the Bible and were things – it provides training for a military permit me to take the boys off base. It had
always curious asking Mitch and I ques- environment, and gives soldiers unique to be a holiday celebration.
tions about Tanach. Many were learning skills that they can use for their rabbinical
Hebrew and tried to engage us in conver- practices in the civilian world as well. In the military, I had to present Judaism to
sation. The first chaplain recruiter I met the world. Non-Jews of high rank would
told me how meaningful it was when he CHAVRUSA: How does the avodah as a come to special services such as kol nidrei
walked through the Iraqi city of Ur Kas- chaplain differ from all other forms of rab- or the Pesach seder. You had to invite them
dim, in the footsteps of Abraham. Little banus you have encountered? out of courtesy. I was amazed at how little
things like that show their great respect many intelligent and educated non-Jews
for Jews. There are many other examples RNS: One major difference is the age of knew about Judaism. Today, chaplains who
I can offer. those to whom you minister. Today the all area mobilized to active duty go from base
volunteer army is largely made up of mobi- to base in places like Iraq and Afghanistan,
RNS: Once the Head of Chaplains called lized reserve units. The soldiers are there- to counsel and teach Judaism in an out-
me complaining that in his opinion, it was fore older, often family men, and the prob- reach way. In those days we also counseled
objectionable that the Tablet of the Law lems of family separation are a large part the soldiers but today’s task of counseling
pin worn by Jewish chaplains had Roman of their burden. In addition, the trauma soldiers feeling the stress of family separa-
numerals in them. He felt that the num- of battle can change personalities so that tion, of being split by distance and want-
bers one through ten should be in the many psychological problems could en- ing to remain close – is much harder than
aleph bet. He solicited my opinion on the sue. When I served, from 1956-1958, the counseling a young lonely recruit.
matter, which of course was supportive of challenges were mild by comparison. The
his sentiment. He organized a blue-ribbon soldiers I used to encounter were mostly But visiting the hospitals and helping in the
panel to meet in Washington to discuss between the ages of 17-25. Most of these life-cycle is the same challenge that you
this potential change in the military uni-
14 Chavrusa • Elul 5767 • September 2007
find in the rabbinate. But we had to head
off the day-3 circumcisions that the mili-
tary offered. I had to convince the young
couple to wait until day 8 and then it was
my responsibility to find a mohel. Civilians
helped pay for transporting and paying the
mohel. Over time, with Rav Soloveitchik’s
guidance, I found an observant Navy doc-
tor to whom I taught hilchos milah, and he
served as our mohel.

RMG: They want us to be able to physi-

cally keep up and identify with the soldiers
to whom we minister. For that reason we
undergo basic training akin to any other
soldier. We learned basic army skills like
land navigation and cartography. They put
Rabbi Hershel Schacter leads Shavuot Services in Buchenwald on May 18, 1945
us in the woods at night and told us to get
to the next point with only a compass and and selflessness. It has been a humbling think you might want to, you might as well
a map. We had to learn how to use a gas experience for me, and I have learned a try it. There is much to gain and practi-
mask and even had to expose ourselves to great deal from my peers here, particularly cally nothing to lose. The gains include an
tear gas for a few seconds. We crawled on from those with prior service. opportunity to explore a possible career or
the dirt while live rounds were fired above part-time job, excellent and useful train-
us. We learned how to march in formation RNS: Awareness of different kinds of ing, character development, and great pay
and spent a lot of time on physical condi- people; being able to deal with civilians and benefits to help out with school. More
tioning. After sitting in the Bais Midrash and servicemen on their own level; under- importantly, the military provides an ex-
for the past few years, the physical aspects standing other faiths, denominations and cellent opportunity for Kiddush HaShem,
were hard for me at first. But the rigor of religions; being able to defend Torah Juda- sanctification of God’s name, and of course
the day (typical day from 5 am to 5 pm) ism if and when necessary; a certain tol- to serve soldiers and fellow Jews in a chal-
was easier for Mitch and me. For most oth- erance. There is a lot of loneliness among lenging and rewarding setting. If anyone
er chaplains the responses were reversed. the chaplains. When I was on base near would like to speak to me about the mili-
We worked out at 5:30; each soldier was Chicago, I was able to make friends in the tary chaplaincy further, please feel free to
permitted to pray from 8 to 8:30, followed Jewish community. I befriended a Rabbi email me at
by more physical training until noon. On Shapiro, who taught at the Chicago Yeshi-
most days, the second half of the day fea- va - a great talmid chacham. We learned RMG: Ultimately, what really drew me in
tured classes on the structure of the army. together twice a week. For, in the spirit of was the aphorism b’makom she’in anashim
aseh lecha rav, it was necessary since in ad- hishtadel l’hiyot ish. There are Jews in the
Chaplains, however, do not bear arms at all dition to personal loneliness, one can also military and they really need Orthodox
and as such, had no weapons training. As experience intellectual loneliness. rabbis to help them through. There are not
men of God, chaplains are non-combatants. enough rabbis in the Army today. The Jews
But today on the battlefront, each chaplain RMG: The importance of discipline. I re- there really need an advocate in terms of
receives an armed chaplain’s assistant. alized how spoiled I was. Sometimes it’s a helping them stay observant. This is ex-
little good to be yelled at by a sergeant. It tremely difficult in the US Army, during a
CHAVRUSA: What life lessons have you deflates your ego. We could all use some very emotional and stressful time in their
learned from the military? of that. I also learned the importance of life. If you are looking for adventure as well
er teamwork; having to adapt to stressful and as a challenge, this is the way to go. Just
RMR: If anyone wants to see examples of new situations. Most importantly, you learn like with any kiruv situation, it’s not for ev-
the highest character traits, the de’ot of how to stay yourself and committed to To- eryone. Let’s just say that you won’t be able
Rambam, followed by his peers in an ev- rah while in a non-Jewish environment. to learn 3 s’darim a day while serving as a
eryday environment, I would recommend chaplain! Mitch and I tried to learn every
trying out the Army chaplaincy in a heart- CHAVRUSA: What would you tell mus- day during basic training.
beat. The dedication, loyalty, honor, humil- makhim contemplating joining the military
ity, respect, and energy that soldiers exude chaplaincy? RNS: It’s a tremendous mitzvah and there
are simply overwhelming. This is life lived is great satisfaction. It has many benefits
to the fullest. Military life requires sacrifice RMR: If you think you can do it, and you for later on – practical ones. n

Chavrusa • Elul 5767 • September 2007 15

No Joke
TEACH NYS is a partnership
model that works
By Elliot Gibber & Sam Sutton

It could have been the opening line of a Sephardic Community Federation, New for the same project.
joke: “two rabbis and a cardinal are walk- York’s Catholic Conference and New York’s
ing outside the State Senate chamber in Association of Independent Schools to ad- TEACH NYS has been a success because
Albany, NY when they stop to talk to a vocate for tax credits, deductions and other it has:
reporter” But this was no joke. It was a tangible ways to help parents who struggle • Focused on achievable but meaningful
true partnership to press elected officials to pay tuition bills. goals;
to help poor and middle class parents • Acted in a bi-partisan fashion;
crushed by a tuition burden. Heads turned Our coalition work produced a rally sup- • Aggressively supported supportive legis-
as bearded rabbis walked through the Cap- porting education tax credits that drew lators; and,
itol with New York’s Catholic Archbishop, over 5,000 people to the Capitol on a crisp • Engaged in partnerships with otherwise
Edward Cardinal Egan and the Bishop of winter day, and secured $600 million in diverse groups.
Brooklyn. annual tax credits for families with school
aged children - a hard won compromise This is a model that can be replicated any-
As pulpit rabbis are acutely aware – more with key legislators unwilling to provide a where. School choice is among the hottest
than anyone perhaps, there is no greater tax credit for education per se. This year, domestic policy issues across the country,
topic of discussion and lament among Or- with support from Governor Spitzer, a in states as diverse as Iowa, Maryland,
thodox families – at the shul Kiddush or push was made for deduction of private Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio,
the Shabbos table – than the high (and school tuition. An open letter to the gover-
Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and more.
ever rising) costs of yeshiva tuition. Po- nor signed by leaders of faith from across
tential parts of a solution include creating New York was published during the tail
TEACH NYS needs grass roots rabbinic
endowments for day schools, community end of budget negotiations.
and lay leadership support to help advance
scholarships, and a greater focus on tze-
its cause in New York – and TEACH NYS
daka targeted to day schools, as well as ef- Pushback from the teachers unions was
looks forward to serving as a resource and
forts to see every will includes a bequest to intense, especially after the compromise
local schools. last year on the child tax credit. So you win partner to askanim and rabbonim in other
some, and you lose some – and some loss! states looking to press this issue.
The other major area everyone looks to is To compensate for thwarting this year’s
government. This has been, until recent- “help for families” campaign we were given Most people agree that there is not one
ly, an arena that Orthodox Jews ignored, millions in new monies for computer hard- solution, but everyone agrees that a con-
whether out of a misunderstanding of ware for our schools and millions more in certed and sustained long term effort is
Church-State separation, bad advice on direct reimbursements to our schools! And needed. Today is the day.
that same topic, or perhaps out of a lack of the foundation is laid for a future of more
understanding as to how to approach gov- wins. To get involved in TEACH NYS or for in-
ernment. But recently, efforts to lobby our formation of starting a similar coalition in
elected officials have yielded real results. In America today, success in the legisla- your area, please contact: Howie Beigelman
tures is dependent on broad coalitions. at the OU via, Michael
In New York, a statewide coalition called Moneyed, special interests like the teach- Tobman at TEACH NYS via Michael@
TEACH NYS brings together Orthodox ers’ unions can fight to preserve a status; David Greenfield at the Sep-
Jews (including Yeshiva’s Center for the quo for only so long when elected officials hardic Community Federation via david@
Jewish Future, the Orthodox Union and see their religious leaders, neighbors, and or reach out to the
the National Council of Young Israel), the constituents shoulder to shoulder fighting CJF office directly.

Elliot Gibber, YU and RIETS trustee is also Senior Vice President of the Orthodox Union, chair of the OU Tuition Initiative, and President of TEACH
NYS. Sam Sutton, a Yeshiva College alum, is President of the Sephardic Community Federation is Vice President of TEACH NYS and a trustee of the
City University of New York. Messrs. Gibber & Sutton are parents of either recent graduates or current students at Yeshiva.

16 Chavrusa • Elul 5767 • September 2007

Plain Talk from Plainview
for that I am particularly thankful.
I am a young rabbi, and I have made mis-
Questions for a New takes. While I have no intention of making
any more in the future, I have a hunch that
Rabbi I will. To a certain extent teaching, for me,
has come quite naturally. It is the cloak
of leader and pastor that I still wear un-
Rabbi Elie Weissman
comfortably. I thank you for your support
and understanding as I grow into it. I am
thankful to the two wonderful presidents I
have been privileged to work with. Lou and
Ken, your guidance and perspectives have
been to me essential. I am appreciative to

those who have given me advice, and so
m ani kan ha-kol kan. If I am here then referring you to one of my particularly
too just as much to those who have not.
everyone is here. The original context of stubborn if not obstinate relatives, who I
There is a great amount of Kavod that goes
this quotation is a gemara in Sukkah (Suk- promised would remain nameless (he ac-
along with being elected Rabbi of a shul.
kah 53a): b’simchat beit hashoevah amar tually couldn’t make it because tonight is
Yet most of all I am thankful to those who
kein, im ani kan – hakol kan; v’im eini kan, tennis night. But we’ll return to him later).
have had the courage and understanding
mi kan. According to Rashi, Hillel here But I am here in Crest Hollow also due
to be my friend, for that in my mind is the
speaks in the name of God. God declares to the hard work and effort of the dinner
greatest kavod of all. The kavod of a Rav is
at the midst of this moment of unbridled committee, led by Sandy Karoll and Larry
hard to earn, the kavod of earning people’s
joy and ecstasy “If I am here then all are Pollack. They put up with a lot of grief and
respect as a friend is invaluable. So to an-
here”. Yet, interestingly enough, Tosafot long hours, and a cantankerous honoree.
swer the second question, why am I here
points out that according to the Yerushal- And overall they did an amazing, and bang
in Plainview? I am in Plainview because of
mi, Hillel refers not to God, but to himself. up job. So to answer the first question, why
all of you.
If the Yerushalmi is correct, Hillel is mak- am I here in Crest Hollow? I am here, WE
ing a bold statement. If I, Hillel, am here are here, because of their immense work Why am I here in the world of avodat
than so is everyone. and dedication. So on behalf of the Young ha-kodesh, chinuch, Jewish education
Israel of Plainview (and being the Rabbi I and communal leadership?
In my mind, Hillel’s bold statement is ac- can speak on their behalf) I thank you.
tually a revolutionary moment of clarity. A I am here because I was inspired. Inspired
declaration: since I know that I am here to Why am here in Plainview? first by professional, caring, and sensi-
celebrate, my relationship with God is so tive educators. Starting specifically at the
powerful, my feeling of oneness with am This too is somehow related to a stubborn Jewish Foundation School and then the
yisrael is so keen – everyone that I need is and often unreasonable relative, who I Yeshiva of Flatbush, where I was exposed
here. What impresses me about this gemara hardly knew until I moved here to Plain- to teachers from across a wide ideological
is that at moments of happiness, of bril- view. And, depending on how the next few spectrum all of whom shared the same
liance, of closeness… Instead of becoming years go, I want to thank him. Also more goal of inspiring Jewish youth to greater
lost in frivolity, we ask a difficult and loaded particularly because Lou, Marty, and Ger- commitment.
existential question – Why am I here? ry had the forethought to take me out to
Dougie’s in order to convince me to take I again found inspiration at Yeshivat Har
So today I ask… why am I here? There are the job. I am here because of the giants Etzion, Gush, from my Roshei Yeshiva Rav
of course a number of levels to this ques- who came before me, Rabbi Aaron Shapiro, Yehuda Amital and Rav Aharon Lichtenstien
tion. Ranging from why am I here in Crest Rabbi Leon Salonge, and of course Rabbi powerfully committed, powerfully creative,
Hollow Country Club being installed to Moshe Portnoy (whose second yahrtzeit passionate about the future of am Yisrael
why am I here in this universe. I will deal we now approach) all zichronam livracha . I and the religious Zionist Ideal. It is their vi-
with one at a time. hope to live up to their examples. But I am sion that continues to inspire me. And more-
also here in Plainview because of all of you over, it is the friendships that I formed there
Why am I here at Crest Hollow Coun- sitting here and those who were unable to that continue to serve as my inspiration and
try Club being “installed”? make it as well. You have been welcoming, support. In Yeshiva University it’s easy to get
and warm. You have opened your homes caught up in the atmosphere. Every one has
This questioned is answered partially by and your hearts to me and my family, and their own local issues, complaints. But now

This article is a written transcript of Rabbi Elie Weissman’s speech at his instalation ceremony as the Rabbi of the Young Israel of Plainview..

Chavrusa • Elul 5767 • September 2007 17

as I get farther away from the time I spent has been a role model and mentor to me. I don’t know. Yet what I do know is that
there as a student, I see more clearly all that He was a friend of Rabbi Portnoy and I am once I am here, I have been given a beauti-
I had gained from my time bein kotlei beit glad that the lines of communication be- ful family to share it with. Bill Cosby once
Hamidrash. Rav Rosensweig offered me a tween the Young Israels of Plainview and said “I am not the boss in my house. I am
perspective on Lomdus, an understanding Great Neck continue. I am here also be- not sure when I lost the job, but I know
that I had never before experienced. Ask- cause of the gentle nudging of Rabbi Barry this. I’ve seen the work. I don’t want it!” I
ing nuanced often even philosophical ques- Kornblau of the Young Israel of Windsor
tions, when exploring the underpinnings am privileged to be married to a wonderful
Park, who put me in front of his congrega-
and complexity of the Halachik argument educator. A woman who cares deeply for
tion. I feel very privileged that Rabbi Ron-
leading to a broad conceptual understand- ald Schwarzberg and Rabbi Kenny Brander the Jewish people, for Eretz Yisrael, and
ing of HKBH’s Torah. From Rabbi Carmy, were able to be here today. The Center for who keeps our house a bright and deeply
my mind was opened for real to the Phi- Jewish Future has offered me such valu- spiritual place. Who puts up with so much
losophy of the Rav and to the rich intel- able guidance and assistance, whether on and inspires me every day. I do not know
lectual history of the Jewish people. From a professional or spiritual level. They have what I would do without you. I feel privi-
Rav Glickman, the critical eye necessary to truly gathered the best of YU into one leged to have a share in your home. What
explore Halacha and that what I had been place and models like Rabbi Brander and you do for our family, for Tiferet and Leba,
doing when learning a gemara in Bava Met- Rabbi Schwarzberg are an inspiration to is immeasurable. They are unique and
zia was necessary for explore psak halacha young rabbis. The Center for Jewish Fu-
and even life. growing because of you. No one stands
ture merges the best of Yeshiva University when she walks into a room, she doesn’t
I am also here because the Yeshiva of and I feel privileged to be a part of it.
get installed, she doesn’t get the aliyah for
Flatbush decided to take a chance on an chazak, yet all the kavod in the world is
alumnus with no experience, and took the Finally, Avital and I are here in this field
because of the support of our parents (who owed to her. Sheli v’shelachem shelah hu,
time to guide me, offering me mentors of
have schlepped all the way in from Florida all that I have gained is due to you. Avital.
unbelievable quality- among them Rabbi
Dr. David Eliach who we were privileged and Binghamton respectively). The path
I thank you all again for this honor. Thank
to host here in Plainview. And now at Cen- that we have chosen is complex, but we
you all those who came from Staten Island,
tral (YU’s precious secret), I am privileged were given great confidence by supportive
parents. They did not merely accept our from Florida, New Jersey and all over. And
to continue my first love education in the
classroom with incomparable students. choice, but actively assisted, advised and thank you all those from Plainview. May
guided. For this they should truly be lauded. Hashem bless us all, may He grant refuah
Why am I here in the rabbinate? And Avital and I love them dearly for it. sheleima to all those who are in need, and
may our community continue to grow and
For this I thank Rabbi Yaakov Lerner who Why am I here on earth? prosper ultimately in Eretz Yisrael. n

RIETS Tribute Dinner Honors Three Leaders

Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Semi-
nary (RIETS), an affiliate of Yeshiva Uni-
versity, honored distinguished RIETS
roshei yeshiva (professor of Talmud) Rabbi
Meir Goldwicht, and Rabbi Shlomo Ho-
chberg and Rabbi Mordechai Besser, at
a tribute dinner celebrating Torah excel-
lence on Sunday, June 10, 2007, in New
York City.

Rabbi Goldwicht, who is the Joel and Ma-

ria Finkle Visiting Israeli Rosh Yeshiva and
a rosh yeshiva at Yeshiva University’s un-
dergraduate Yeshiva Program/Mazer School
of Talmudic Studies, is a prominent Israeli
scholar and educator. He is head rosh ye-
Top row, L-R: Honorees Rabbi Meir Goldwicht, Rabbi Shlomo Hochberg, and Rabbi Mor-
shiva at Yeshiva University’s Irving I. Stone dechai Besser. Bottom row, L-R: Rabbi Zevulun Charlop, the Max and Marion Grill Dean
Continued on Page 20 of RIETS; YU President Richard M. Joel; Rabbi Norman Lamm, YU Chancellor and Rosh
HaYeshiva of RIETS; and Julius Berman, chairman of the RIETS Board of Trustees.

18 Chavrusa • Elul 5767 • September 2007

...‫דרשו ד׳ בהמצאו‬

Rabbi Henoch and Sarah D. Berman Professor of Talmud, Rosh Kollel and Director, Gruss Institute
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2007 • j’’xa, hra, ’jk rut
7:30 PM


Max and Marion Grill Dean, Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2007 • j’’xa, hra, ’jk rut
Live Webcast
LIVEat The Marcos
WEBCAST & Adina Katz
8:00 PM



Lectures will be in English.

For more information, directions, and parking, please contact:
The Max Stern Division of Communal Services / CJF • 212-960-5263 or by email at

‫בברכת שנה טובה‬

Richard M. Joel Rabbi Norman Lamm Rabbi Zevulun Charlop Rabbi Kenneth Brander Julius Berman
President Rosh HaYeshiva Max and Marion Grill Dean Dean Chairman
RIETS RIETS RIETS Max Stern Division of Board of Trustees
Communal Services / CJF RIETS


Chavrusa • Elul 5767 • September 2007 19

Rabbi Charlop to Retire and
Assume New Post
continued from page 3

Board and in his participation in seminars

and other such opportunities.

Rabbi Charlop appointed most of the cur-
rent Roshei Yeshiva and initiated the Kollel
Elyon. In an interview with the YU Com-
mentator (Volume LXXI Issue 10 Final),
Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm, RIETS Rosh Rabbi Charlop at a RIETS Yom Iyun with Rabbi Kenneth Brander (l), President Richard Joel (r)
HaYeshiva, commented: “Rabbi Charlop’s
the fact that Rabbi Charlop will continue as president of the American Committee
years of service were distinguished by
to be a force within Yeshiva for many years. for the United Charities in Israel, General
ideological consistency, firm leadership,
He has contributed so much in his capac- Israel Orphans Home for Girls in Jerusa-
and an uncanny ability to reconcile op-
ity as dean and will continue to do so in his lem, and the National Council of Young
posing views in his learned and eminent
new role in the university.” Israel Rabbis. He is the editor of three
faculty. He had to deal with an often im-
novellae on Torah and Talmud by his late
patient president who had his own ideas
Rabbi Charlop graduated from Yeshiva father, the noted Rabbi Yechiel Michel
- and yet we remained not only respectful
College in 1951 and received his semi- Charlop. Rabbi Charlop was honored at
colleagues but also good and dear friends.”
khah three years later. He taught American the 2006 Chag Hasemikhah Convocation
Rabbi Lamm noted that Rabbi Charlop oc-
history at Yeshiva College and has been with the esteemed Harav Yosef Dov Hal-
cupied his position both before and after
the Spiritual Leader of the Young Israel of evi Soloveitchik zt”l Aluf Torah Award. He
he served as President of the University.
Mosholu Parkway in the Bronx since his joins Rosh Hayeshiva Rabbi Dr. Norman

ordination. Rabbi Charlop was tapped as Lamm, and Rabbi Dr. Aaron Lichtenstein
That same article in the Commentator
the Director of the Mazer Yeshiva Program, ‘59R, the occupant of the Rabbi Henoch
quoted Rabbi Michael Rosensweig ‘80R,
the largest undergraduate Jewish studies and Sarah D. Berman Chair in Talmud, as
the Nathan and Perel Schupf Professor of
program, and RIETS in 1971. In 1987 he the only three individuals upon whom this
Talmud, who also had high praise for the
was named Dean. Rabbi Charlop is the honor has been bestowed. n
RIETS menahel. “I think that Rabbi Char-
scion of a family with a tradition of rab-
lop has magnificently protected the pri-
binic leadership and Jewish scholarship. At the time of printing CHAVRUSA, no
orities of the values of the yeshiva and the
announcement has been made regard-
university. He has been an advocate of the
He has authored numerous scholarly es- ing the new RIETS Dean.
yeshiva to the university for a long time.”
says, including “The Making of Orthodox
He continued: “I think I speak for all of
Rabbis” in Encyclopedia Judaica, and “G-d
the Roshei Yeshiva in saying that we are
in History and Halakha from the Perspec-
all very comforted during this transition by
tive of American History.” He has served

RIETS Tribute Dinner Honors Three Leaders continued from page 18

Beit Midrash Program. Besser are musmakhim (graduates) of RI- ish Education and Administration. Maria
ETS. The tribute dinner also recognized Finkle, who established with her late hus-
Rabbi Hochberg, who leads the Young Is- the 25th and 50th anniversary classes of band, Joel, the RIETS Joel and Maria Fin-
rael of Jamaica Estates and is mashgiach RIETS. kle Visiting Israeli Rosh Yeshiva Program,
ruchani (spiritual advisor) of Stern College served as honorary chair. n
for Women, received the RIETS Distin- The event, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, be-
guished Rabbinic Leadership award. He gan at 4 pm with Torah presentations fol-
was recently elected President of the Rab- lowed by a reception at 5 pm and dinner
binical Council of America. Rabbi Besser, at 6 pm.
principal of Manhattan Day School, re-
ceived the RIETS Educator of the Year General chairman of the dinner was Steven
award. He resides in Kew Gardens Hills, Adelsberg, secretary of the Board of Direc-
New York. Rabbi Hochberg and Rabbi tors of YU’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jew-

20 Chavrusa • Elul 5767 • September 2007

Chavrusa • Elul 5767 • September 2007 25
Books RIETS Student Yoni and Shani Cham- RIETS Student David and Adina Les- RIETS Student Michael and Esther
bre on the birth of a son, Aryeh Moshe. sin on the birth of a daughter, Ayelet Rootman on the birth of a daughter,
Rabbi Michael Broyde ‘93R has pub- Mazel tov also to grandparents Rabbi Maytal. Devora.
lished a new edition of his book, The Allen ’86R and Alisa Schwartz.
Pursuit of Justice and Jewish Law: Rabbi Yosie ‘06R and Rachel Levine Rabbi Moshe ‘02R and Yonit
Halakhic Perspectives on the Legal Rabbi Judah ‘01R and Naomi Dardik on the birth of a son, Akiva. Rothchild, on the birth of a daughter,
Profession. The book examines the on the birth of a daughter, Hodayah Shira Gabriella.
Rabbi Aaron ‘05R and Elisheva Lev-
ethical and halachic issues raised by Cheyn. itt on the birth of twins, Simcha and Rabbi Jason and Bruriah Rozen on
the many facets of law practice and RIETS Student Erez and Debra David Rina Yocheved. the birth of a son.
provides guidance on a number of is- on the birth of a daughter, Rena. Rabbi Asher ‘96R and Rachel Lopa- Rabbi Benjamin Samson ‘60R on be-
sues that are of relevance to anyone Rabbi Zvi ‘02R and Laurie Engel on tin on the birth of a son, Gideon Bert ing honored with the 207 Zagelbaum
dealing with the secular justice sys- the birth of a son, Yaakov Noam. Shalom. “Chaplain of the Year” Award by The
tem (particularly regarding mesirah).
Rabbi Joshua ‘01R and Aviva Fried- RIETS Student Zvi and Miriam Lowy New York Board of Rabbis.
The book can be purchased at local
bookstores or online at www.Yashar- man on the birth of a son, Yehuda. on the birth of a daughter, Sara Te- Rabbi Benjamin ‘96R and Stephanie hila. Samuels on the bar mitzvah of their
Rabbi Eliot ‘75R and Ann Feldman on
the birth of a grandson, Ilan Yehuda, Rabbi Uriel ‘00R and Shani Lubetski eldest son, Amitai.
Rabbi Daniel Mann ‘89R has edited
the new book, Living the Halachic to Ari and Leah Feldman. on the birth of a son, Yehuda. RIETS Student Eitan and Rebecca
Process: Questions and Answers Beren Kollel Elyon member Rabbi Rabbi Dovid ‘02R and Meira Mintz on Schnall on the birth of a daughter,
for the Modern Jew. Rabbi Mann is Dani and Zipora Gelernter on the the birth of a son, Moshe. Chana Esther. Mazal tov also to the
a faculty member at both Yeshiva birth of a daughter, Zahava. grandparents, Azrieli Dean Rabbi Dr.
Rabbi Etan Mintz ‘05R on his mar- David ‘72R and Toby Schnall and
University’s RIETS Israel Kollel and Rabbi Mark ‘94R and Chumi Gottlieb riage to Tammy Haendel.
at Yeshivat Shvilei Hatorah. For more Rabbi Solomon ‘49R and Bertha
on the birth of a daughter, Rina Eli- Shoulson.
information about the book, please Rabbi Yitzchak Motzen ‘05R on his
go to or marriage to Susan Rudolph. Rabbi Eliezer Schnall ‘03R on his
email Rabbi Maury ‘04R and Malka Gre- marriage to Shira Hirsch. Mazal tov
Wexner Kollel Elyon member Rabbi
benau on the birth of a daughter,
Dr. David Zomick has published Re- David ‘05R and and Jenny Nach- also to his parents, Azrieli Dean Rabbi
Bayla Aliza.
joice In Your Festivals (Penetrating bar on the birth of a daughter, Liba Dr. David ‘72R and Toby Schnall.
Insights Into Pesach, Shavuot and RIETS Student Gary and Leba Gutten- Yiska.
Rabbi Marc Schneier ‘83R on being
Sukkot), Urim Press. The volume is berg on the birth of a son, Menashe. RIETS Student Asher and Rivka elected Chairman of the World Jewish
based on the meticulous notes of the Rabbi Kenneth ‘78R and Nancy Hain Nemes on the birth of a son, Tova Congress, American Section.
late RIETS Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Zvi on the marriage of their son, RIETS Menucha.
RIETS Student Ari Schwarzberg on
Dov kanotopsky ‘44R. Student Yonah Hain to Ilana Stein. RIETS Student Jeff and Aviva Ney on his marriage to Naomi Weiss. Mazal
Rabbi Isaiah ‘55R and Sara Hertz- the birth of a son, Menachem Ben tov also to his parents, Yeshiva Uni-
berg on the birth of their great-grand- Tzion. versity Center for the Jewish Future
Mazal Tov daughter, Tehilla Zaslow, daughter of Rabbi Joseph ‘99R and Ashira Jewish Career Development and
Rabbi Kenneth ‘78R and Joanne Au- their grandchildren Shoshana and Placement Director, Rabbi Ronald
Ozarowski on the marriage of their
man on the birth of a grandson, born Levi Zaslow. ‘83R and Judy Schwarzberg.
son Rabbi Shalom Ozarowski to Bry-
to their children Penina and Avraham Rabbi Gili and Chaya Houpt on the na Billauer and the marriage of their RIETS Student David and Monica
Yitzchak Braunstein. birth of twin daughters, Yemima Bra- daughter Chani to Yosef Newman. Shabtai on the birth of a son, Eliyahu
Rabbi Shalom ‘95R and Rachel Axel- cha and Bara Avigayil Ness. Mordechai.
Rabbi Chaim and Shoshana Poupko
rod on the birth of a daughter, Nomi RIETS Student Raphy Hulkower on on the birth of a daughter, Ayelet Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Eliahu Baruch
Tifara. his marriage to Miriam Ausubel. Malka. and Esti Shulman on the marriage
Rabbi Moshe ‘75R and Rachel Bomz- Rabbi Yonatan and Miriam Kaganoff Rabbi Tzvi ‘97R and Shifra Pittin- of their daughter, Chava Shulman, to
er, on the marriage of their daughter on the birth of a son, Menachem Na- sky on the birth of daughter, Tzofiya Moshe Avigdor Konigsberg. Mazal tov
Leebie to Shragie Teller. Mazal tov chum. Tikva also to Chava’s grandparents, Rabbi
also to grandparents, Rabbi Herbert Nisson ‘55R and Rywka Shulman.
RIETS Student Michael and Mira Ka- Rabbi Dale Polakoff ‘82R on being
‘51R and Leona Bomzer. plan on the birth of a son, Yoel. honored at the Orthodox Union an- Rabbi Solomon ‘49R and Bertha
Rabbi Ari ‘95R and Anita Berman on nual dinner. Shoulson as well as Rabbi Jay ‘79R
Rabbi Martin ‘75R and Yaffa Katz and
the bar-mitzvah of their son, Shlomo. and Jody Shoulson on the graduation
Rabbi Dr. E. Yechiel ‘55R and Nata- Rabbi Jonathan ‘06R and Nechama
of their granddaughter/daughter as a
RIETS Student Etan and Yonina Ber- lie Simon on the birth of a son, Dovid Price on the birth of a daughter, Na-
Doctor of Veterinary Science.
man on the birth of a son, Neche- Katz, to their children/grandchildren, vah Tovah.
miah. Esti & Avi Katz. Rabbi Moshe ‘R07 and Mirel Stavsky
Rabbi Bennett ‘66R and Ruth Rack-
on the birth of a daughter, Ora Temi-
RIETS Student David Berger on his RIETS Student Eli and Naomi Kohl on man and Rabbi Emanuel ‘34R Rack-
marriage to Talya Ladell. the birth of a son, Yisroel Akiva. man on the birth of a granddaughter
and great grand-daughter respective- RIETS Student Rafi and Malka Stohl
Rabbi Mordechai Besser ‘70R, Rosh Rabbi Moshe ‘87R and Chashie
ly, Devorah Bayla. on the birth of a son, Eliyahu.
Yeshiva Rav Meir Goldwicht, and Krupka on the birth of a daughter,
Rabbi Shlomo Hochberg ‘73R on Tehila Tova. Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Hershel and Rabbi Aaron ‘94R and Marci
being honored at the RIETS annual Chasida Reichman, on the birth of a Tirschwell on the birth of their third
Rabbi Sholom ‘82R and Shifra Kurz
dinner. Mazal tov also to Rabbi Ho- grandchild to Yehoshua and Tzippy son (and first sabra), Yehuda Yaakov.
on the birth of a granddaughter.
chberg on his appointment as the Klaver. RIETS Student Phillip and Sharona
RIETS Student Naphtali and Elana
incoming President of the Rabbinical Rabbi Yona ‘91R and Mindy Reiss on Vedol on the birth of a son, Shlomo
Lavenda on the birth of a daugh-
Council of America. the birth of a son, Yishai Refael. Binyamin.
ter, Ahuva Rachel. Mazal tov also to
Rabbi Steven ‘05R and Rachel Burg grandparents, Rabbi Stuart ‘80R and Rabbi Zvi ‘99R and Shira Romm on Rabbi Dr. Ronald ‘72R and Resa
on the birth of a son, Natan Yoel Roi. Karen Lavena. the birth of a son, Moshe Simcha. Warburg on the birth of two grand-

22 Chavrusa • Elul 5767 • September 2007

daughters, Atara to Rafi and Miriam of his mother, Chaya Carmy Rabbi David Israel ‘96R on the loss of Aryeh (Maurice) Schwartz ‘54R,
Warburg, and Adina to Shalom and his mother, Bella Israel. on the loss of Rebbitzen Rachel
Rabbi Aaron Feder ‘55R and his
Becky Warburg.
sister-in-law, Mrs. Cecile Feder, on Rabbi Barry Konovitch ‘67R on the Schwartz, sister-in-law of Rabbi
Rabbi Nathan & Leah Weiss on the the loss of his brother, Rabbi Walter loss of his father, Rabbi Simon Kono- Gedalia Schwartz ‘49R.
birth of a great granddaughter. Feder, MD. vitch ‘46R.
Rabbi Elie ‘05R and Avital Weissman Rabbi Philip ‘59R and Lilly Schwebel
The Goldberg and Mondrow families Rabbi Yona Reiss ‘91R, Menhahel of
on the birth of a son, Noam David. on the loss of their daughter, Dr. Lana
on the loss of Rabbi Jacob Goldberg the Beth Din of America, on the loss
Rabbi Akiva ‘06R and Yael Willig on ‘46R. of his father, Harry Reiss. Schwebel, Assistant Professor of Eng-
the birth of a son, Betzalel. Mazal tov lish at Stern College.
Rabbi Sheldon ‘71R Goldsmith on Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt ‘82R on
also to Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Morde-
the passing of his mother, Rose Gold- the loss of his father, Dr. David Rosen- Rabbi Joseph Siev ‘70R on the loss
chai ‘71R and Fagie Willig.
smith. blatt.
of his mother, Pesel, wife of the late
Rabbi Michoel ‘03R and Rachel Zyl-
Rabbi Aaron Goldscheider ‘94R on Joyce Saltman on the loss of her hus- Rabbi Asher Siev ‘38R.
berman on the birth of a son, David
Netanel. the loss of his father, Rabbi Harvey band, Rabbi Kopi Saltman ‘68R.
Rabbi Kalman Topp ‘97R on the loss
Goldscheider. Rabbi Moshe Schapiro ‘98R on the
of his father Dr. Leonard Topp.
Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot ‘89R on the loss of his mother, Lucille Schapiro.
Condolences loss of his sister, Dalia Naomi Hay. Rabbi Max ‘52R and Toby Schreier on Rabbi Jeremiah Wohlberg ‘61R, Rab-
The Bonchek family on the loss of Jacob W. Heller, Honorary Trustee of the loss of Toby’s mother, Mrs. Faye bi Mitchell Wohlberg ‘68R and Rabbi
Rabbi Daniel Bonchek ‘57R RIETS Board of Trustees, on the loss Raitzik. Saul Wohlberg ‘67R, on the loss of
Rabbi Shalom Carmy ‘84R on the loss of his brother, Miles Heller. The family of the late Rabbi Moshe their mother, Mrs. Jessie Wohlberg.

Growth Opportunities for RIETS Alumni

The Global Jewish Database (The Responsa Project) at Bar-Ilan University is now available to our alumni. The largest
database of its kind, this database includes the full text of Tanach and its principal commentaries, the Talmud Bavli with
services that we now offer to Rabbinic Alumni.

Rashi and Tosafot, the Talmud Yerushalmi, the Rambam’s Mishneh Torah, Shulchan Aruch with commentaries, Mi-
drashim, hundreds of Shailot U’Teshuvot, and the Talmudic Encyclopedia, representing a period of over three thousand
There are several new & personalized free

years of Jewish literary creativity. To access the Responsa Project you will need a personal logon, which you receive by
emailing with your full name, e-mail address and graduation date. Then logon to
braryalumniportal to logon and access the Bar Ilan Responsa project, and a host of other resources including Otzar
HaHochma, which features the full text of almost 20,000 Sefarim.

The Resource and Research Center provides individual assistance in researching issues of Jewish law and thought.
Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman, Director of Rabbinic Research, will respond to inquiries concerning the above fields to as-
sist you in preparing shiurim or researching halachic issues of interest and importance to you. This service is part of
our Legacy Heritage Fund Rabbinic Enrichment Initiative, generously sponsored by the Legacy Heritage Fund Limited.
Rabbi Feldman can be reached at:

Do you have a shayla you would like addressed to one of the RIETS Roshei Yeshiva? If you e-mail RabbinicConsult@, your shayla will be delivered in a timely fashion to be answered by one of our Roshei Yeshiva. A response will
be provided within one week. A Shayla can be kept anonymous and will never be discussed with anyone but the Roshei
Yeshiva to whom the question is posed.

More and more people are raving about, the Marcos and Adina Katz YU Torah Online. Search
through thousands of written, audio, and video shiurim from the RIETS Roshei Yeshiva and faculty of the past 100

The following RIETS classes are open to Rabbinic Alumni

• Pastoral Psychology – Drs. David Pelcovitz/Norman Blumenthal – Friday mornings, 9:00 am
• Rabbinic Practicum – Taught by Roshei Yeshiva & Shul Rabbanim – Thursday Afternoons 12:05 pm
• Contemporary Halacha – Rabbi Ezra Schwartz – Thursday afternoons, 1:00 pm
•Fourth Year Halacha L’maaseh – Rabbi Daniel Stein – Thursday afternoons, 2:00 pm
• Advanced Counseling – Dr. Pelcovitz – Wednesday afternoons at noon.
• Speech Seminar – one of the biggest and most welcome additions to the RIETS curriculum is a strong stress on speech
classes, taught by experts in the field. Based upon sufficient interest, RIETS could organize such a speech classes for
Rabbinic Alumni for a nominal fee. Size would be limited to ten students per class. Please contact Rabbi Marc Penner
at if you would be interested in attending.

Chavrusa • Elul 5767 • September 2007 23

Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary
an affiliate of Yeshiva University

Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future

Max Stern Division of Communal Service
500 West 185th Street
New York, NY 10033

Richard M. Joel

Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm

Chancellor, Yeshiva University
Rosh HaYeshiva, RIETS

Rabbi Kenneth Brander

Dean, Center for the
Jewish Future

Rabbi Dr. Solomon Rybak

President, Rabbinic Alumni

Rabbi Ronald L. Schwarzberg

Director, Jewish Career Development
and Placement

Rabbi Elly Krimsky

Assistant Director, Jewish Career
Development and Placement
Editor, Chavrusa

Rabbi Levi Mostofsky

Director of Rabbinic Programming
Associate Editor, Chavrusa

Rabbi Robert Shur

Coordinator, Community Programs
Graphics and Layout, Chavrusa

Rabbi Naphtali Lavenda

Program Manager, Jewish Career Development
and Placement

Keren Simon
Administrator, Jewish Career
Development and Placement

Rabbi Zevulun Charlop
Max and Marion Grill Dean, RIETS

Rabbi Chaim Bronstein

Administrator, RIETS

Rabbi Julius Berman

Chairman of the Board of Trustees, RIETS