by Rabbi Arye D. Gordon.
It has been an exciting week in Los Angeles since the arrival of the Sadigur Rebbe from Eretz Yisroel on Wednesday September 10, 2014.
The Rebbe wasted no time in engaging first-hand in the Los Angeles Community. Having never been to the West Coast, the 6th Rebbe of Sadigur wanted to see what kind of a torah community has developed out here.
Following the Rebbe, HaRav Tzvi Yisrael Moshe Friedman shlita, during his stay in Los Angeles, the experience afforded me the opportunity to hear the message the Rebbe extended to our community and hear his response to what he had seen.
On Thursday morning, the Rebbe paid his first visit to Mesivta Birkas Yitzchok , a yeshiva high school that was founded in 2006 by Rabbi Sholom Tendler. HaRav Tendler, a Rosh Hayeshiva, a talmid chocham and a marbetz torah par excellence took the initiative to start a Mesivta that is constantly growing and making its mark in the Torah world.
The Rebbe who spent some of his formative years in America, is comfortable with the English language and uses it when appropriate and necessary. His message to the Talmidim? “Your time now in the yeshiva is very special. Make good use of it and don’t waste a moment.” The Rebbe concluded with wishing the bochurim a shana tova umesuka.
In the afternoon the Rebbe visited THE CHEDER, Los Angeles’s answer to the chasiddishe parents in LA looking for an elementary school that meets their needs. The CHEDER is headed by Rav Simcha Ullman who is also hosting the Rebbe during his stay. Rav Ullman introduced the Rebbe, a descendant of the Ruzhiner Chassidishe Dynasty by retelling his experience meeting the Rebbe’s father, Rav Avrohom Yaakov Friedman zt”l , and the impression it made on him.
Speaking in Yiddish, the Rebbe told them that meeting these children who are learning Torah in yiddish, so far away from large chassidishe centers, is inspiring and heartwarming. Said the Rebbe, “this time before Rosh Hashana, before the Yom Hadin, our future is uncertain. It is the tefilos of children, your tefilos that will make the difference and the scales will balance in our favor.” The children sang and then lined up to greet the Rebbe and receive some candy.
On Friday morning the Rebbe davened with the talmidim of Yeshivat Yavneh. The Dean, Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn introduced the Rebbe by relating the history of the Sadigur Dynasty and the prominence of its various Rebbes. Once again the Rebbe spoke in English and told the talmidim how impressed he was with their davening. Said the Rebbe, “we pray for the rebuilding of the Bais Hamikdash and that can only happen if we are united as one. Uniting as one includes the children as well.”
At 11:00am, the Rebbe met with the upper grade talmidim of Toras Emes and was introduced by Rav Yaakov Krause, Dean of the Yeshiva. After divrei chizuk from the Rebbe, the talmidim lined up to greet and welcome him.
Following a Shabbos of tehilos vsishbachos, the Rebbe attended seuda shlishis at the Chasiddishe Kollel, made Havdalah at the home of his host Rabbi and Rebbetzin Simcha Ullman and was the honored guest at a Melava Malka hosted by Reb Berel “Barry” and Mrs. Weiss.
Sunday morning, the Rebbe davened at the Ohr Eliyahu elementary school. Rabbi Shlomo Goldberg, Principal of Ohr Eliyahu, welcomed the Rebbe and asked that he address the talmidim.
The Rebbe spoke words of inspiration and encouragement and was then greeted by the talmidim who lined up to give the Rebbe “Shalom”. As the Rebbe has done so many times before in the other mekomos hatorah that he visited, the Rebbe stopped every third or fourth child to ask his name, ask some question, give a bracha and pat a cheek before he moved on to meet the next one.
The Rebbe’s trip made a tremendous impression on the community and Los Angeles looks forward to future visits.