Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Large crowds expected to mourn rebbe in Monsey today 

Large crowds are expected to gather in Monsey today to mourn Yisroel Avorhom Portugal, the rebbe of the Skulen Hasidic dynasty in Brooklyn, who died on Monday. He died at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore at the age of 95, according to media reports.

A funeral will be held in Brooklyn at 11 a.m., followed by burial in Monsey at 2 p.m.

A procession is expected to begin at 4 Blueberry Hill Road and continue to the Viznitz Cemetery on Route 306, where the rebbe will be buried. 

Heavy traffic is expected throughout the area today as people travel from Brooklyn to Monsey to attend the ceremony. Many will be taking buses from the funeral in Brooklyn. Those driving from Brooklyn to Rockland are being asked to park at Palisades Credit Union Park, where shuttle buses will be available.

Portugal became the leader of the Skulener Hasidim after his father died in 1982. The Skulener synagogue is in Boro Park, where the funeral will take place.

According to the Jewish Press, Portugal was born in Romania, in what is now Moldova, and immigrated to the United States with his father, Rabbi Eliezer Zusia Portugal, in 1960 after surviving the Holocaust death camps and an imprisonment by Romanian authorities for teaching Torah. The United Nations and U.S. officials intervened on their behalf to have them released.

Portugal was a prolific composer, carrying a tape recorder with him to record melodies as they came to him. He also headed Chasid L'Avraham, a charity organization founded by his father that helps orphans and disadvantaged children with housing, food, clothing and education.


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