The letters of our thoughts are the ideas present in our mind before they come to realization . . . Thoughts that are, yet not felt . . . The words of the subconscious . . . of the soul . . .


Thursday, February 01, 2007

A Story of Five Nights -a Yud Shvat Photo Essay

Last week I mentioned some of the thoughts going through my mind before I left for New York . . .

Below is a recounting of the trip -I hope it was worth the wait.

Thursday Night:


  1. I understand the need for security, but when going towards the security point to have my bags scanned, I went up an escalator. Before getting on the escalator, I had my ticket and passport checked; upon getting off the escalator, before I could walk more then a foot or two forward, I had my ticket and passport checked again . . . Just in case it had changed my personality thirty seconds earlier when I had gotten onto the escalator.
  2. I sat two rows in front of the emergency exit, a friend of mine sat a row in front. Before the plane took off I began to chat with my friend prompting the lady sitting behind me altruistically offer me the option of switching seats (they were both aisle seats) so as to sit next to my friend . . . Only later that evening did I understand her sudden act of kindness -the row in front of the emergency exit does not lean back.
  3. You know it's a cheap flight if close to a quarter of those on the flight are Chassidic Jews.
  4. Don't the flight attendants get tired of saying the exact same thing every time?
  5. I still can't figure out what "Please fasten your seat belt while seated" means. How else can one put on a seat belt?

We stopped off in Detroit recently mentioned a study that 15% of Americans drink coke for breakfast. My friends seem to be part of that percentage -I went for a root beer.

Arriving in Crown Heights, I davven'd shachris in 770 and went to my host's house -I promptly fell asleep.

Total hours of sleep: Six (Three on the plane, three at the house)

Friday Night:

Shabbos was to be as expected . . . that night I attended a farbrengen with my former Los Angeles classmates. We ended past three.

Total hours of sleep: Six and a Half

Motzie Shabbos:

After making havdalah, I went to the house of my dear friend S. H. where there was a reunion of Warsaw'vians . . .
We spoke about the previous year . . .

and watched video footage from our escapades.
We laughed so much that the students from the LA yeshiva downstairs wondered what we were doing. The night was called around three or so.

Zalmy H.

Total hours of sleep: Five

The Rosh (of Los Angeles fame) on Kingston ave.

Sunday I spent the day in 770, learning and enjoying time with friends.

Sunday Night:

The night of Yud Shvat there was a class given by R' Yoel Kahn -the head mashpia (Chassidic teacher) of the Central Lubavitcher Yeshivah . . .

Followed by an L.A. Farbrengen . . .

As the night progressed I made my way to the upstairs of the Agudah Shul on Crown st. (the site of the L.A. Farbrengen) and spent time listening to Rabbi Lipsker of Philadelphia. Amongst the stories and thoughts that he gave over one stuck out in my mind (Tzigele, this one is for you):

For a while Rabbi Lipsker taught in Beis Ya'akov of Philadelphia. In the Mems (mid Eighties) he was invited to attend a conference on education hosted by many prominent non-Lubavitchers . . .
Rabbi E. Svei from the Phili. Yeshivah approached the dais and began to praise Rabbi A. Kotler for his influence on Jewish Education.
"Had it not been for Reb Aharon, there would not be a Jewish school system in America today."
Rabbi Lipsker waited for Svei to finish, then ran forward and jumped on the mike.
"Unshuldig mir, Harav Svei." He said, "Uber Ich bin a talmid fun der Lubavitcher Rebbe . . . Un Ich bin Meiche -az on di hishtadlus fun der Frierdiker Rebbe, nit harav Kotler, valt nit geven in a America kein Yiddish'n Chinuch."
(Excuse me, Rabbi Elya Svei, but I am a student of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and I must protest -for without the Previous Rebbe -not Rabbi Kotler- there would not have been any Jewish Schools in America.)
Rabbi Svei began to back track, and Rabbi Lipsker ran head over heels out of the conference . . .

A few days later Rabbi Hodakov (the Rebbe's chief secretary) called and told him that when the Rebbe had heard what had happened, he had smiled and had said,
"Yasher Keiach" (Thank you)

I fell asleep around four thirty.

Total hours of sleep: Five

Monday day I spent in the Ohel, the resting place of the Rebbe and Previous Rebbe . . .

The Rebbe at Ohel - an archival shot

Towards the evening I returned to Crown Heights.

Monday Night:

Taken from the site.

The third annual Kinnus (gathering) of the Talmidei Hatamimim (Students of the Chabad Yeshivah system) was held on Monday night in Beis Rivka's Rosa Hall. Sponsored by Rabbi Kasriel Shemtov and family in honor of their late father, it was MCed by Yossi Zaklikowsky, and featured lectures from such noted Chassidic personalities as Rabbi Avrohom (?) Sternberg, Reb Yoel Kahn, and the keynote address of the Rosh, Rabbi Ezra B. Schochet from Yeshivah Ohr Elchonon Chabad Los Angeles -given over in his inimitable style. Following the opening speeches and a special video of the Rebbe, which featured birchas habonnim on Erev Yom Kippur and special footage filmed by a crew that was hired to follow the Rebbe around on Chof beis Shvat, Nun Beis (22 Shvat, 1992), Bochurim representing Yeshivos from around the world got up to announce the special achievements and goals set by their students in honor of Yud Shvat.
The evening was filled with joyous dancing and ended in several farbrengens that lasted to the early hours of the morning.

Mottel with the (in)famous Yoni of Yin Yin Yuju Mega-stardom.

The Rosh . . .

Reb Yoel and Reb Yisroel (Rosh Yeshivah of Ohelei Torah)

The Rosh speaking to one of his former students . . .


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Sefirah said...

it must have felt like home to see the rosh there