Rabbi Hertz Frankel, a Galitzianer by birth and Litvak by training, has served as administrator and spokesman for the Satmar chasidim for four decades. As the highest-ranking non-Satmar in a group whose doors are usually closed to outsiders, he has served as interpreter at communal functions and liaison with public officials.
But until his guilty plea in the public schools fund-diversion scheme made the front page of The New York Times last week, he was probably better known in some foreign corridors of power than in most parts of New York City outside of Williamsburg.
During the funeral last week for Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam, a weeping voice barreled over loudspeakers to tens of thousands of mourners gathered outside the main Bobover synagogue in Borough Park. From the crowded synagogue in the Brooklyn neighborhood, where a simple wooden coffin held the 92-year-old body of the Bobover rebbe, the speaker announced, in Yiddish, that Rabbi Halberstam's eldest son, Naftali, would succeed him as leader of the chasidic group.
"Mazel tov," the speaker added in a tearful undertone.
Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam, a Polish-born Holocaust survivor who revived his Bobover chasidic group in Borough Park and helped turn the Brooklyn neighborhood into one of the largest American bastions of Orthodoxy, died there Wednesday in Maimonides Medical Center. He was 92, and had been in poor health in recent years.
At 11th hour, safe streets now an issue, thanks to Giuliani; will it help or hurt Bloomberg?
Assistant Managing Editor
Rudolph Giuliani’s much-maligned comments at a Jewish breakfast Sunday, implying the city might fall into anarchy under Democrat William Thompson, have placed Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a bind.
The aura of continuing his predecessor’s tough-on-crime policies is vitally important to the incumbent’s re-election effort. Yet Bloomberg has struggled not to be seen as polarizing and divisive, the way much of the city views Giuliani’s eight-year tenure.
Rabbi Elimelech Schachter, a faculty member at the Yeshiva University rabbinical school for nearly 50 years, died Feb. 26 in Borough Park. He was 93.
Rabbi Schachter served as professor of rabbinics at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and taught at many divisions of YU, mentoring generations of rabbinical students. He was the author of “The Babylonian and Jerusalem Mishnah and wrote several rabbinic opinions and scholarly articles.
These weeks before Passover are in one coincidental way like the ancient Jews’ exodus from Egypt: everything is done in a hurry. There’s chametz to remove, boxes of dishes to shlep, food to buy, seder guests to invite, etc.
With time at a premium, who has the leisure to prepare for the spiritual purpose of Pesach — removing the chametz from us, imagining ourselves as part of the throng of ex-slaves entering an unknown wilderness? If your meals are ready for yom tov but you’re not, what have you accomplished?
If you were walking the blue-carpeted aisles of the Javits Convention Center this week, sampling the items at the 16th Kosherfest food and food service trade show, you noticed some familiar names. Empire. Osem. Gold’s. Jackie Mason — as in Jackie Mason’s Cheesecake.
And you also saw some relatively new names, like Lilly, Carol Ann, Rosie, Aunt Gussie and Steve’s Mom — women’s names.
On Rosh HaShanah will be inscribed and on Yom Kippur will be sealed how many will pass from the earth and how many will be created, who will live and who will die …
From the Rosh HaShanah liturgy
On these summer days in the late autumn of his life, on the mornings when he feels strong enough, Harold Dubow opens a siddur. Waking late in a living room on the edge of Brooklyn’s Midwood neighborhood, he takes some pills, eats a small cereal breakfast and recites Shacharit from a large-print prayerbook he keeps nearby on a small table.