By Rabbi Arye D. Gordon
The evening of Feb 19th, 2014 was to be a special one, not just for the young couple about to be married Yali Rechnitz and Shmuel Kornfeld, their parents, extended relatives and friends. It was to be a night remembered by a cross section of Los Angeles Jewry.
The simcha was enhanced by the musical participation of Simcha Leiner, Mordechai Ben David, Motty Stienmetz, the Shira choir and the amazing orchestra under the direction of Yisroel Lamm.
Over 1300 people were invited to attend a most historic wedding event for Los Angeles. I do not recall any wedding in the United States that so many Roshei Hayeshiva, Rabbanim, Askanim, prominent Community Leaders from America, Europe and Israel all came together to participate in.
Among the many Gedolim were : R’ Yisroel Belsky, Zaideh of kallah- Torah Vodaas;
Misader Kedushin, R’ Shimon Alster- Yeshiva of Cliffwood NJ; R’ Avrohom Chaim Levine- Telz/Chicago; R’ Yitzchok Scheiner-Kamenitz Yerushalayim; R’ Dovid Feinstein-Mesivta Tiferes Yerushalayim; R’ Aharon Shechter-Chaim Berlin; R’ Aharon Chodosh- Mir Yerushalayim; R’ Moshe Chodosh-Ohr Elchonon;
R’ Yitzchok Ezrachi-Mir; R’ Boruch Ezrachi- Ateres Yisroel;
R’ Elya Ber Wachtfogel- Yeshiva of South Fallsburg;R’ Eliezer Yehuda Finkel-Mir Yerushalayim; R’ Nachman Levovitz- Mir; R’ Yosef Chevroni- Chevron Yeshiva;
R’ Malkiel Kotler- Lakewood; R’ Yerucham Olshin- Lakewood; R’ Yisroel Tzvi Neuman- Lakewood; R’ Dovid Shustal- Lakewood; R’ Elya Kanarek- Peekskill; R’ Yitzchok Sorotzkin-Lakewood; R’ Avremel Ausband- Telz/Riverdale; Rav Uren Reich Woodlake – Lakewood;
R’ Yaakov Bender- Darchei; R’ Shmuel Zev Dicker-Belle Harbor; R’ Yehuda Krinsky- Chabad, R’ Shlomo Cunin – Chabad Los Angeles; R’ Berish Goldenberg- Toras Emes LA; R’ Chaim Fasman- Kollel LA; R’Yoel Burzstyn- Bais Yaakov-LA; R’ Yaakov Krause- Toras Emes LA; R’ Nechemia Langer- Mesivta Los Angeles; R’ Pinchus Gruman, R’ Boruch Gradon- Merkaz Kollel LA;
And then there were the rest of us. Jews of many stripes and colors. Jews who shared a common bond. Jews who were touched by the caring, sensitivity, tzedakah and assistance of Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz and his wife Tamar, parents of the bride. Of Yisroel Zev and, yb”lct his wife Avigail a”h Rechnitz who spent much of their days and nights assisting a multitude of people needing help with an assortment of problems. Of their parents, Rav Yaakov and Debbie Rechnitz, who raised such children that understood why they were put on this earth with the resources they had. And the many individuals who were employed by the Rechnitz family and always made sure that what had to be done to fulfill the requests for help, was done.
So we danced and sang and kvelled as we participated in their simcha. In these joyous and spiritual moments, it was our simcha as well. We all came to wish Mazel Tov and to express our hakaros hatov to Reb Shlomo Yehuda, his family, friends and associates who have assisted him in his role as a major supporter of Torah Institutions, Medical Institutions and Yeshivos all over the world.
May the Rechnitz, Kornfeld, Belsky and extended families be blessed with much nachas from the chosson and kallah, Yali and Shmuel.
Photo credits: Arye D Gordon