Thursday, January 06, 2011

Leading Rabbis from Monsey, NY visit VA 

This past Tuesday, January 4, 2011, Richmond had the distinct and rare honor to host Rabbi Moshe Green, Dean of the Yeshivah of Monsey, in Monsey, NY, one of the leading Ultra-Orthodox Rabbis in the US today. It is extremely rare for Rabbi Green to leave Monsey, or to leave NY at all, particularly since he has suffered two strokes and uses a wheelchair, and this was a tremendous blessing to the community. Despite his physical disabilities and ailments, Rabbi Green delivers a highly advanced Talmudic lecture daily in his Yeshivah (rabbinical seminary) in Monsey, NY. Rabbi Green was accompanied by his son Rabbi Abraham Green and his grandson Rabbi Jacob Flohr. The were driven by car from Monsey to Baltimore, MD, where they slept for a few hours, and continued in the pre-dawn hours to Virginia, where they participated in the daily 7:15 am prayer service at the Yeshiva of Virginia in the Near West End of Richmond. After the prayer service, Rabbi Chaim Ozer Chait, the Dean of the Yeshiva of Virginia and a former resident of Monsey, NY, introduced Rabbi Green, and Rabbi Green spoke a few words of inspiration based on the Book of Exodus from the Bible, which is the current Torah portion in Synagogues around the world. He spoke of the Israelite's freedom from Egypt leading to their service to God, and compared it to the freedom that servitude to God through Torah study and observance gives us from our own egos and desires. It was particularly noteworthy that Rabbi Green delivered his words in English, because his main language in New York is Yiddish. A video of Rabbi Green's words can be found here. He then gave individual blessings to the students and local rabbis who were present.

After breakfast, Rabbi Green was joined by Rabbi Simchah Shorr, Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivas Ohr Somayach in Monsey, and Rabbi Jacob Joseph Moskowitz, a scion of the illustrious Shotzer Hasidic Dynasty and Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivas Ner HaTorah in Monsey, who arrived by airplane together with Rabbi Chaim Hersh Freund and Rabbi Hershel Friedman, who are prominent activists who work in prison outreach. They then continued together Hopewell, VA, for the main purpose of their visit, which was to give spiritual encouragement to the Jewish inmate community at the Petersburg Federal Prison in Hopewell, VA. Among the inmates is a prominent Hasidic Rabbi from the Monsey community.

The Rabbis were accompanied by Rabbi Joseph Kolakowski, who is the Rabbi of the Nachalei Emunah Hasidic Institute of Richmond, VA, and also provides Rabbinical services to Congregation Kol Emes/Young Israel of Richmond, as well as to the Petersburg Federal Prison.

The Rabbis spent several hours with the Jewish inmates in the chapel of the prison. One of the inmates described the horrors of prison life, stating that not only is the body in prison but so is every level of his soul. As their visit ended, the Rabbis engaged in a Hasidic dance singing the words from the daily liturgy ממצרים גאלתנו ומבית עבדים פדיתנו "The Lord our God helped us out from Egypt and redeemed us from slavery", referring both to the Torah reading from Exodus and the hope that those wrongfully imprisoned should be freed. As the rabbis left, the inmates began to cry, and the rabbis wished their blessings.

After the visit, the Rabbis returned immediately to Monsey. Rabbi Friedman, who was one of the visiting rabbis, offered an interview on the popular Yiddish News Hotline "Kol Mevaser". The number for Kol Mevaser is 212-444-1100. To hear the interview, one presses 3 then 1 then 386#.

All in all, the visit was a tremendous source of inspiration both to the local community who benefited from Rabbi Green's visit and to the inmates.


Who is the prominent hasidic rabbi from monsey that is jailed in virginia?


Not prominent, it is R. Weingarten whose ex-wife encouraged her non-religious daughter to claim that he sexually abused her. the rest of the children say the father is innocent and the mother did it to get even with him. She is now in the middle of a shakedown of a second rabbi whom she married and left.


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