Thursday, March 30, 2006

What Lubavitchers Do on Election Day

Great work guys!
Election Day in Israel is a day of vacation when families flock to the parks and other amusement venues or just go for a nice stroll in the neighborhood. Subsequently, Rabin Square in Tel Aviv was packed with people.
Shaliach Mendy Wilansky and Eran Spiezman of the Lubavitcher Chazon Eliyahu yeshiva located nearby decided that there could be no better time than to engage in Mivtza Tefilin. They went down to the Square and set up booths and put on Tefilin with literally hundreds of passersby.
Asked if he encountered any rejection or criticism by the crowd, they said "not at all, all were very receptive."

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A New Era?

Olmert at the Kotel before he delivered his victory speech (from

The results of the election in Israel are all but final and Kadima, led by Ehud Olmert, has emerged victorious with 28 seats. Labour obtained 20, Shas 13 and Yisrael Beiteinu 12. Likud has suffered a resounding defeat obtaining 11 (or possibly 12) seats - down from 38 in the last election under Ariel Sharon. Does this mean the end of Bibi?

I will leave it for the pundits to work out whether this is "good for the Jews" but, on first glance, maybe this new party will be a good thing. For too long Likud and Labour have been running the show with the minor parties biting at their heels. Kadima may provide a needed change on the political scene - or it may just be more of the same....

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

This T-shirt Says It Well

Someone sent this to me but I don't know where it originated from.

Just in case you can't read the line in brackets it says "Please Don't Kill Me".

Thursday, March 23, 2006

From Happier Times

This video is from Hoshana Rabbo in 5748 (1987).

This was taken in much happer times than the previous video. It is over 5 minutes long and shows the Rebbe during davening, "klapping" hoshanas, leaving shul after davening and giving out lekach. The last few seconds show 770 downstairs in readiness for Hakafos.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A Poignant Video

This video was most likely taken in 5753 (1993) when the Rebbe came out on the balcony built at the back of main shul downstairs in 770. I originally wanted to place a video on the blog as a test but when I found this it brought back poignant memories.

I visited Crown Heights for a few weeks in 1993 to see the Rebbe. As can be seen from the video the Rebbe was quite frail and the stroke had affected his right side. The Rebbe would come to the balcony for davening and they would open the curtains for a few minutes so that everyone could see the Rebbe and the Rebbe could see the olam.

On a number of occasions I was able to get a spot on bleachers high up and to the right of the Rebbe - approximately 15 feet away. There were times when he was obviously unwell and tired and the mazkirus kept the curtains open for only a few minutes or less. Other times, as in this video, he was much more in control and came out for much longer. At these times the Rebbe's eyes were quite bright and he was actively looking around and, as in this video, waving his arm to encourage the singing. As can be seen at the end of this video the Rebbe obviously and deliberately motions for the mazkirus to close the curtains. This was a sure sign to me that the Rebbe was still in charge even in his weakened state.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Still Looking for a Principal

This ad appeared in Shmais and is worded much better than the previous advertisment. Let's hope that they find someone soon.

I don't envy whoever gets the job as, between dealing with Rabbi Groner, the Executive and the parents, it will be a difficult and thankless task.

Yeshivah College Principal - Australia

Principal “Pre-eminent Orthodox Boys School” Melbourne, Australia
• Outstanding opportunity for an educator with vision and ability to assume leadership of one of Australia’s best known and most successful Jewish day school-YESHIVAH COLLEGE.
• Diverse, challenging role which will allow you to initiate and manage change and “make your own mark.”
• Junior and Secondary College with over 500 students.

Yeshivah College together with its sister school, Beth Rivkah, is one the largest Jewish Day Schools in Melbourne. We are currently looking to employ a Principal due to the impending retirement of the current incumbent. Operating under the auspices of Lubavitch, the school services both the Chabad and the wider Melbourne Jewish Community.

We are renowned for excellence in both Jewish and General Studies and your goal will be to build on and enhance this reputation. This is a senior executive role requiring an outstanding educator with a unique blend of diplomacy, consultative approach and strong leadership skills.

Reporting to the Head Shliach, Rabbi Y.D. Groner and the School Executive, you will be well supported by an experienced and professional team and responsible for building the Chinuch of the School in a Chassidishe environment.

While our preference is for an experienced Principal, with a solid track record of success both from an educational and management/leadership perspective, we will consider candidates who currently hold the position of assistant principal or the equivalent and feel ready to take the next step.

To be successful, however you will need to be dynamic, charismatic and proactive and known for your capacity to inspire and motivate both the staff and student body.

Applications and enquires may be directed in confidence to Mr Don Wolf, Yeshivah Executive Chairman, @ Applications close April 28, 2006.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Purim with Chayalim

(Click on photos for larger view)

COL has a few articles with some great photos of Purim mivtzoim around Israel with chayalim. Great work - this is what it's all about!

The articles & photos are here, here and here.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Aussie News on Shmais

Three articles relating to Australia are on Shmais at the moment.

Mazal tov to the Greenbaums:

L'Chaim Chabad & Moorabbin Hebrew Congregation-Melbourne, Australia: Rabbi Elisha & Leah Greenbaum were thrilled to welcome a huge crowd of congregants, friends and baalebatim to hear the Megillah and help celebrate their son Mendel's upsherin.
Kids were treated to a special "popping"-themed program, while adults met, mingled and had an oppurtunity to pack their own mishloach manos to take home and share with their own friends on Purim day.

An interesting story reprinted from Kfar Chabad Magazine (which means that it could be a complete fabrication):

Rabbi Pinchas Feldman, shliach in Sydney, once told the Rebbe during dollars that in Australia the people believe that they will be the first to see the light of Moshiach. When the Rebbe asked him, “Who says?” Rabbi Feldman answered that this was a saying. The Rebbe replied, “May the Holy One accept this ‘psak din’ regarding Australia, and since they have ruled here that the opposite should happen, G-d should fulfill both decrees at once.”

Also Mazal Tov to Reb Arel and Zlata Serebryanski on the birth of a granddaughter:
SNS (and Aussie Echo) would like to wish a hearty Mazel Tov to Hendel & Shoshi (nee Muller) Serebryanski - Crown Heights - on the birth of their firstborn daughter.
May the newborn be a source of Nachas to her parents, grandparents, relatives & Klal Yisroel.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Purim in Melbourne

Chaim Herzog's Chabad of Melbourne CBD seemingly had a successful Purim party yesterday. COL reports about it here.


Melbourne's newest Chabad House, Chabad of McKinnon, had their first Purim party yesterday. From all reports it was a leibidik event with around 50 adults and children. In related news: Mazal Tov to Rabbi Levi & Chanie Kurinsky, the shluchim of Chabad of McKinnon, on the birth of a baby boy earlier today.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Politics on Purim

Thanks to Jake for this unpaid political announcement.

Happy Purim to all!!

Friday, March 10, 2006

A Purim Movie has created another of their pre-Yom Tov short movies. I like this one - see it here.

Friday, March 03, 2006

A Superabundance of Simchas

(Update!! Thanks to mzt)
This week has seen a number of simchas in our community. There have been 3 baby boys born, 3 engagements, 1 wedding and there will be 3 barmitzvahs in Yeshivah Shule this Shabbos.

Mazal Tov to Dov & Yamit Glasman, Dovid & Hanna Brook and Avrohom & Melanie Adelist who all have Sholom Zochors tonight.
Mazal Tov to Shternie Rimler on her marriage to Meir Shlomo Perline of Monsey, NY. Shternie also gets a Mazal Tov on the barmitzvah of her son last week.
Mazal Tov to the Greenwald family on the engagement of Chaim to Danielle Winderbaum of Sydney.
Mazal Tov to the Nutovics family on the engagement of Rochel to Yoseph Nerenberg of Oak Park, MI.
Mazal Tov to the Manshari family on the engagament of Shaina to Michael Helper of Johannesburg, South Africa.
Mazal Tov to the Rapp family on the barmitzvah of Shmuel.
Mazal Tov to the Rosenbaum family on the barmitzvahs of Mendel and Levi.
(If I have left anyone out please let me know)

Thanks must go to Emmanuel Althaus who has started sending out emails to notify the community of Simchas and, lehavdil, the opposite. This is a great service for our large and widespread community. Kol Hakavod Emmanuel!