(R-L) Rabbi Moshe Borzikowsky, Rebbe, Los Angeles Cheder, Rabbi Yitzchok Meir Zeidman and Rabbi Moshe Yitzchok Schwartz, Maggidei Shiur; Rabbi Shloime Klein, Rav, Cong. Ohr Hachaim, Rabbi Nechemia Langer, Rav, Cong. Shaarei Torah, and Howard Gluck, Melave Malka Co-Chairman. Photo Credit: Arye D Gordon
By Rabbi Arye D. Gordon
On Motzaei Shabbos Parshas Vayigash, the 5th of Teves 5774, Ohr HaChaim, known in the community as “The Spiegel Shul” held its Annual Melava Malka. Tucked away along a row of small businesses, the storefront entrance to Ohr HaChaim can be missed if you are not alert. “The Spiegel Shul” is a Landmark on La Brea Avenue, located between first and Second Street. The fact is, that no matter where else you might daven in this neighborhood, you will always manage to catch a davening, be it Shacharis, Mincha or Maariv. It is not only the davening that draws you to this shul. Another inviting purpose to come to Ohr HaChaim is to attend one of the many shiurim offered by prominent rabbis and exceptional lecturers in the area.
Mr. Howard Gluck, a grandson of R’ Chaim Binyomin Spiegel, HY”D, who arranged the Melava Malka and who supervises many the shul’s activities, related the history of the Shul’s beginnings.
“In 1949, a group of Holocaust survivors who immigrated to Los Angeles established Congregation Ohr HaChaim in memory of Chaim Binyomin Spiegel and other family members, Hy”d, who perished in the Holocaust. For over 60 years, the shul has served the Los Angeles Community as a “Heimishe” makom tefilah and limud torah”. To this day, the family is still involved with the shul and its needs.
Under the able leadership of our esteemed Rabbi, Rav Shloime Klein, shlita, the shul has grown and continues to offer Shabbos and daily minyanim, regularly scheduled shiurim and many other learning opportunities,” he said.
In welcoming the guests, Mr. Gluck commented, “it is our hope that with the support of all of you here tonight, our Beis Medrash will continue to serve and inspire the Los Angeles Community and perpetuate the legacy of those in whose memory the shul was founded.”
Special thanks were given to many people, especially to Ronnie Mayer, President, Meir Leib Rosman, Gabbai, and Yitzchok Salzman, the shul’s ba’al koreh.
Rav Shlomo Klein then offered a dvar torah and his personal observations on the shul and its members. In commenting on the mitzvah of hadlakas haneiros, Rav Klein pointed out that Chanuka and the neiros are not a matter of quantity, but of quality.
“When talking about our beis medrash, said Rav Klein, “quantity vs. quality come to mind. In size, we are far from being the biggest in the city. But in quality, it is a great beis medrash! Young people, older people, heimishe yidden, Holocaust survivors, Jews with unimaginable faith, and they all manage to blend in comfortably with each other. Such a beis medrash gives the young people here the opportunity not just to do mitzvos, but to see how to properly do them. We welcome them all and look forward to many years of blessing and joy.”
The evening ended with dessert followed by Birkat Hamazon.