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BS"D
March 5, '20
 
Welcome to the weekly newsletter of Igud HaRabbonim, the Rabbinical Alliance of America, in which we share news for and about members, including communal news, announcements, publications, Divrei Torah, press releases and media mentions.

In this newsletter:
• Chaplaincy Commission Update
• Purim Coronavirus Halachic Guidelines
• Two Statements on Coronavirus
• Rav Lau on Kissing Mezuzos
• Baking Matzos With Satmar
• Divrei Torah: Tetzaveh
• Upcoming Yahrtzeits 11 Adar-18 Adar
• Jewish Link of NJ: R. Dr. Glatt
• Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum, ZT’L, Director of Rabbinical Alliance of America, Remembered at his fourth Yahrzeit observance held at Maimonides Medical Center

Please let us know about your family simchos and l"a aveilus, book publications and career changes or milestones, so we can share as chaveirim our life events. Send updates to rabbi@igud.us.

Chaplaincy Commission Update

From the desk of Rabbi Leonard (Yehuda) Blank MS, BCC
Director of Chaplaincy Commission and External Affairs
Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim
917-446-2126 rablenblank@gmail.com

First and foremost, we always depend on the Aibershta for all of our concerns. However, we must do our hishtadlus which we are required to do and not depend on miracles. There is much fear and anxiety in the air about the Novel Coronavirus also known as COVID-19 to such a degree, in some areas it might even lead to some sort of panic.

Rabbi Dr. Aaron Glatt, as he mentioned in a recent major conference call sponsored by the National Council of Young Israel and Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud, as much concerns we have about the Coronavirus, we must also be concerned about Influenza. Rabbi Glatt mentioned that tens of thousands of men, women and children have died in the USA from Influenza. Future cases can be prevented by vaccinations and also proper hygiene. If someone is sick with serious colds or flu like symptoms should be in touch with his/her medical doctor about his/her medical condition and if he/she should remain home. Though, each person truly knows how ill he/she is and must decide if it is the right thing to possibly spread that illness to others. Going to the pharmacy and taking over the counter medicines might reduce one’s symptoms, but might not remove the serious cold or other serious illness that could be contagious. Coughing or sneezing must be contained by using a tissue and should be thrown away. If a tissue is not available, then one should cough or sneeze in one’s armpit and definitely not in ones hands. Washing the hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is also important for proper hygiene. Proper hygiene is also important after leaving the bathroom.

The question is how a rabbi of a shul can approach a congregant who has decided to attend minyan and is openly not well. Or perhaps coughing and sneezing away. How does a rabbi convey this Do you post some type of a poster someplace in your shul? Do you convey in a respectful way your thoughts in a dvar Torah? Or, do you feel there is enough information that is already being conveyed in the news media. I was informed by someone recently traveling on a NYC subway train hearing a recorded announcement about sneezing and coughing in one’s arm pit if there is no tissue available or cannot wait. According to the medical professionals, it is possible to have the flu and not the Coronavirus, both which can be tested by a doctor. If someone knows he/she has serious symptoms can be placing others in danger especially the elderly and those with a poor immune system if that person is not careful about exposing others to his/her illness.

Please read the information below provided by the NYC Department of Health distributed by the JCRCNY and also the letter from Rabbi Dr. Glatt. Many of our Gedolim have been quoted both here in the USA and in Eretz Yisrael what to do should one have a contagious illness regarding if someone should attend a minyan and where and how to hear the Megilah. Rabbi Yaakov Klass, Presidium Chair of the RAA/Igud wrote a meaningful letter which is also included below. And the Igud’s Vaad Halacha published Purim halachic guidelines. May we be zocheh that all cholim have a refuah shelaima.

Respectfully,
Yehuda Blank



 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 



 

Purim Coronavirus Halachic Guidelines

From the Rabbinical Alliance of Ameria/Igud HaRabbonim Halacha Commission:

1) Follow your doctor’s orders. Most people should go to shul and fulfill the Purim mitzvos as usual. However, every person’s health situation is different.

2) For the protection of the community, if you are under quarantine or showing symptoms of illness you must stay home even if that means refraining from fulfilling the mitzvos of Parshas Zachor and Purim. Going to shul may mean endangering the lives of the elderly and of children.

3) Someone in quarantine should try to pray at the same time as the community, if possible.

4) The fast of Taanis Esther should be observed as always unless you have doctor’s orders to eat or your local circumstances are so dangerous that you must eat.

5) Under normal circumstances, the custom to give Machatzis HaShekel with half-dollar coins should be fulfilled before or on Purim. If you cannot do so because of quarantine, you should appoint a messenger to give it to the shul collection Pushka. If none of this is possible, you can fulfill the custom of Machatzis HaShekel anytime.

6) It is a biblical obligation to hear Parshas Zachor read from a Torah. Under normal circumstances, every effort should be made to hear it. However, you are required to hear it once a year and can also fulfill it with Maftir of Parshas Ki Seitzei during the summer, and according to some with the Purim Torah reading. If you cannot attend shul for Parshas Zachor, you should read it from a Chumash on that Shabbos and make sure to listen carefully to Maftir of Ki Seitzei. (Ask the Ba’al Korei at that time to have in mind to be motzi you.)

7) Under normal circumstances, every effort must be made to hear Megillas Esther in shul. If you cannot, you can read it to yourself from a scroll with all the blessings except “Horav es riveinu.” If you do not have a scroll, you should read it from a Chumash — even without the trop (tune) — without the blessings.

8) You can give Matanos LaEvyonim by appointing someone (via telephone) as aa messenger to do it for you. You can also fulfill the mitzvah by donating with a credit card or bank transfer. Make sure to give to a legitimate charity that gives money to the poor on Purim day itself.

9) Similarly, you can give Mishloach Manos by appointing someone else to give for you or ordering a delivery from a shul or online service. Make sure the Mishloach Manos is delivered during the day of Purim.

10) Under normal circumstances, your Purim meal must consist of at least bread, wine, and meat. When sick or in danger, eat appropriate foods in proper measures based on your doctor’s guidelines. It is a mitzvah to drink even a little more wine than your usual, provided your doctor approves.



 

Two Statements on Coronavirus

Statement by Rabbi Aaron E. Glatt, MD, Director of Medical Halacha Commission Rabbinical Alliance of America Statement on Coronavirus & COVID-19

While the new novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has caused illness that has been widely covered in the news media, and the number of cases worldwide has grown substantially with 80,000+ confirmed cases worldwide in about 40 countries, there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York State or the New York metropolitan region. However, with the first case of unclear transmission in the US just described in California, we wanted to update our shul goers.

There are currently no specific recommendations for shuls, although we will continue to update the shul should new information become available.

If you have not traveled to an area where COVID-19 is prevalent or been in close contact with a traveler, and you develop respiratory symptoms, it remains likely that you have a seasonal illness like the flu rather than COVID-19.

At the present time, we urge common-sense and regular hand washing (as appropriate), with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Good personal hygiene practices, including covering coughs and sneezes are also important. To do this optimally, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue available, cough or sneeze into your elbow.

Other appropriate actions include avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently handled.

At this time, we do not have a strict recommendation against hand shaking or kissing the sefer Torah or mezzuzos for people who are not at all sick. Use common sense.

The CDC does NOT recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. Facemasks should only be used by lay people who have symptoms of respiratory diseases, and who must be in public – to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.

Most importantly, several great poskim have personally told me and clearly stated that one must stay home and not go to shul if you are sick with a potentially contagious respiratory illness.

This is a good time to remind everyone that over 30,000,000 people in the US this season have gotten flu, with between 16,000-30,000 deaths, including over 100 children. Flu vaccination is still indicated! By not getting or transmitting flu, you will not only save lives, but you will greatly help doctors who will have less patients to evaluate with unknown respiratory illnesses.

We should make sure there are alcohol-based hand sanitizers in the lobby areas. Custodial staff should be diligently cleaning our shuls and checking dispensers for hand soap and hand sanitizer to ensure that they are filled at all times.

If you recently traveled to a country with ongoing person-to-person transmission of COVID-19: As long as you are asymptomatic, you are probably not a risk to others. However, it is prudent to check your temperature twice a day and monitor for any respiratory symptoms for at least 14 days from the time you left that country. If you have any symptoms or fever, see your doctor as soon as possible, but call the office or center first so they can appropriately isolate you upon entry to the office before they evaluate you.

May our teffilos be accepted by Hashem and may this epidemic soon end.

Rabbi Aaron E. Glatt, MD



 

Rav Lau on Kissing Mezuzos

Rav David Lau, Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of Israel, advises against kissing mezuzos during this time of contagious disease



Click here if you cannot see the image



 

Baking Matzos With Satmar

Rabbi Dovid Katz, Menahel of Igud HaRabbonim, joins the Satmar Rov from Monroe at the Satmar Matza Bakery located at 322 Rutledge Street in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg section.

Rabbi Katz stated, “that on behalf of the Igud HaRabbonim, it was a Zechus and a Kovod to join the Monroe Satmar Rov in baking the Mehudar Shmira Matzos. Watching the Rov following his holy mesorah was an act of Avodas Hashem that has given me a greater appreciation for Pesach and a deeper love for the Mitzva of Matza baking.”



 

Divrei Torah: Tetzaveh

Rabbi Ziegler - Tetzaveh 5780

 
Tetzaveh - Rabbi Ziegler 5773

 
Tetzaveh - Rabbi Kirsh 5773

 
Tetzaveh - Rabbi Ziegler 5770

 
Tetzaveh - Rabbi Ziegler 5769

 
Tetzaveh - Rabbi Kirsh 5771

 
Tetzaveh - Rabbi Kirsh 5770

 
Tetzaveh - Rabbi Ziegler 5774

 
Tetzaveh - Rabbi Pelcovitz 5743

 
Tetzaveh - Rabbi Rokeach 5774

 
Tetzaveh - Rabbi Mandel 5770

 
Tetzaveh - Rabbi Rokeach 5771

 
Tetzaveh - Rabbi Kurzrock 5769

 
Tetzaveh - Rabbi Kurzrock 5740

 
Tetzaveh - Rabbi Kirsh 5772

 
Tetzaveh – Liska Rebbe 5779


 

Upcoming Yahrtzeits 11 Adar-18 Adar



 

Jewish Link of NJ: R. Dr. Glatt

The Jewish Link of NJ, March 3, 2020, quotes Rabbi Dr. Aaron Glatt’s recommendations regarding people who are sick

          Three Westchester area Jewish day schools were closed on Tuesday after a confirmed case of Coronavirus (COVID-19)  was identified in a 50-year-old man in the community, with no known foreign travel. The patient is a parent at SAR Academy in Riverdal...

jewishlinknj.com jewishlinknj.com


 

Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum, ZT’L, Director of Rabbinical Alliance of America, Remembered at his fourth Yahrzeit observance held at Maimonides Medical Center

On February 25, 2020, Rosh Chodesh Adar, the Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim convened its monthly seudah and conference in observance of Rosh Chodesh Adar and the fourth Yahrzeit observance of Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum, ZT’l, who faithfully served the RAA/IGUD as its longstanding Menahel/Director.

Rabbi Tannenbaum served as the rabbi of Congregation B’nai Israel of Linden Heights, known as Borough Park’s 9th Avenue Shul. Rabbi Tannenbaum was also active with the Borough Park Bikur Cholim, assisting patients, physicians and Maimonides hospital staff with the objective of obtaining the best hospital stay and care for members of the local community. “We at the RAA/IGUD do not know where Rabbi Tannenbaum found the time and energy, but he balanced his professional career at the RAA/IGUD and masterfully led B’nai Israel and, with patience and love, cared for the sick at Maimonides. Since he lived near the hospital, if you could not find Rabbi Tannenbaum at his study or home you were sure to find him at Maimonides helping someone. That was the type of rabbi he was, committed to the welfare of every person he was able to help,” stated Rabbi Yaakov Klass, Presidium Chairman of RAA/IGUD and close friend of Rabbi Tannenbaum.

Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president of the RAA/Igud, opened the Yahrzeit observance by introducing and thanking Maimonides Medical Center President & CEO Kenneth Gibbs for hosting the event and for sponsoring a lavish dinner. Rabbi Mirocznik emphasized how appreciative the RAA/IGUD is for “the exceptional medical care and service that Maimonides provides the community. From the miracle of childbirth through the last breath of a person, Maimonides is there for the community. That commitment starts from the top, President Gibbs and Executive Vice-President for Patience Relations Douglas Jablon, who are committed to excellence and do not stop even once achieved. They constantly strive to raise that bar even higher. Thee is no need to wonder why Maimonides Medical Center is a world-class hospital.”

President Gibbs commented that, “we have a tradition of recognizing a Yahrzeit and celebrating the soul and life of a person. It is very important that we continue to learn from one of us who has passed and as an institution we are honored to host you this evening. We are a house of healing and we try to be a source of wellness. Our relationship to the community is central to our ability to deliver on that mission, to which we are totally dedicated. To that extent, we are in communication with the leadership of the community, and we look for and seek your support and guidance. We are united in our work to give this care and as a result of our efforts we are rated among the top ten hospitals in the country. We are committed to delivering that exceptional care on an ongoing basis daily. Douglas Jablon, who we call the Mitzva Man or Mr. Maimonides, is dedicated to delivering on that mission and he acquired that commitment from his spiritual guide and rabbi, Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum.”

In honor of the memory of Rabbi Tannenbaum, Dr. Robert Frankel, director, Interventional Cardiology Maimonides Medical Center, gave a special presentation on recent developments in the field of Cardiology.

Dr. Frankel began by saying that he has been affiliated with Maimonides since his stay as a medical student some forty years ago. “I came as a student and have stayed ever since.” Dr. Frankel explained how he has personally witnessed the evolution in how “open heart surgery” is done.  How today in a span of 45 minutes he can, “do surgery which is less intrusive with a better recovery rate.” This is, “especially true when it relates to a heart valve which thank G-d a 90-minute procedure I am  able to save many lives. The oldest patient I have had was 100 years old and I am now looking at a patient who is 105 years old. This procedure is done in a Hydra Operating Room and Maimonides is one of the few hospitals with such an operating room. From the time Maimonides did the first heart transplant in America in the 1960’s,  Maimonides has been tied with 3 other national hospitals in first place for cardiology. We are blessed in that we are ranked number 2 in the country and number 1 in New York when it comes to cardiology and having the longest mortality rate. Dr. Frankel remembered Rabbi Tannenbaum, who cared for his cardiology patience and on the spiritual side collaborated with him to bring the best in medical and spiritual care. Rabbi Tannenbaum cared for the sick and was a passionate strong advocate of prevention and early detection. We cannot credit him enough for the thousands of people whom he helped and cared for. May his memory be a blessing.”

Inspector Paul Valerga, commanding officer, Community Outreach, also spoke at the Yahrzeit observance. The Inspector focused on how his division of the NYPD is focusing on tackling ant-Semitic and hate crimes.  Recently, he was charged in revamping the Clergy Liaison program which falls under his purview. “The strongest weapon in fighting hate is the Clergy who have the sensitivity and the ability to get the word out that hate is wrong and has no place in New York City.” Inspector Valerga quoted Sir Robert Peal, the father of modern policing who stated in 1826 that, “the police are the community and the community is the police.” To that end, the newly appointed Commissioner Dermot Shea has appointed a new Deputy Commissioner for Community Partnership Chauncey Parker. Deputy Commissioner Parker’s division now encompasses all the NTPD’s community partners and collaborators. Its overseas Community Affairs and will place a special emphasis on youth strategies. It will look how to keep good kids on a good path and intervene with youth in order to prevent them from going down the wrong path. This is important as to 86% of hate crimes were property damage in the form of swastikas and most of those perpetrators were the youth. Inspector Valerga commented that the assignment of youth coordinating officers is the key and they will be working with and seeking guidance from groups such the Rabbinical Alliance of America which has great relationship with the NYPD in further making this City a safe place. As a partnership together with prayer we will be successful.”

Also participating in the memorial for Rabbi Tannenbaum, ZT’l was the Hinover Rav, Rabbi Avraham Friedlander, Rabbi of Maimonides Medical Center and Rabbi of the Bais Medrash of Maimonides Medical Center, Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht, presidium member, RAA/IGUD, Rabbi Yehuda Blank, director Chaplaincy Commission and External Affairs RAA.IGUD, Rabbi Dovid Katz, Menahel/Director, RAA/IGUD, Rabbi Tzvi Mandel, who besides memorizing his father Rabbi Pinchas Mandel, also memorized his great friend Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum, and Rabbi Chaim Zev Tannenbaum and Rabbi Yitzchok Dov Tannenbaum, the sons of Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum, ZT’L. The Rabbinical Alliance of America gives a special thank you to Rabbi Yidel Feig for his help in coordinating this beautiful event.

Pictures below video and audio

Audio #1

Audio #2

Audio #3

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Audio #6  

Names in Pictures

Picture (1) Maimonides Medical Center President  & CEO Kenneth Gibbs; greeting Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president, Rabbinical Alliance of America; standing next to Rabbi Yehuda Blank, director Chaplaincy Commission and External Affairs, Rabbinical Alliance of America; Rabbi Tzvi Mandel; and Dr. Robert Frankel, director, Interventional Cardiology Maimonides Medical Center

Picture (2) Rabbi Yisroel Kahan; Rabbi Akiva Homnick; Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president, Rabbinical Alliance of America;  Maimonides Medical Center President  & CEO Kenneth Gibbs, Rabbi Joseph Salaman; Inspector Paul Valerga, commanding officer, Community Outreach; Dr. Robert Frankel, director, Interventional Cardiology Maimonides Medical Center; R’ Yidel Feig; and Executive Vice-President for Patience Relations Douglas Jablon

Picture (3) Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president, Rabbinical Alliance of America; and Rabbi Gershon Gutman

Picture (4) Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president, Rabbinical Alliance of America

Picture (5) Rabbi Yaakov Klass, presidium chairman, Rabbinical Alliance of America; Maimonides Medical Center President  & CEO Kenneth Gibbs; Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president, Rabbinical Alliance of America; Rabbi Hanania Elbaz, presidium member, Rabbinical Alliance of America; and Dr. Robert Frankel, director, Interventional Cardiology Maimonides Medical Center

Picture (6) Rabbi Hanania Elbaz, presidium member, Rabbinical Alliance of America; Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht; presidium member, Rabbinical Alliance of America; Dr. Robert Frankel, director, Interventional Cardiology Maimonides Medical Center; Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president, Rabbinical Alliance of America; Rabbi Yaakov Klass, presidium chairman, Rabbinical Alliance of America; Rabbi Yehuda Blank, director Chaplaincy Commission and External Affairs, Rabbinical Alliance of America; Inspector Paul Valerga, commanding officer, Community Outreach; Rabbi Joseph Salamon, Vice-President, Rabbinical Alliance of America; Rabbi Menachem Lichtenstein, Chairman Public Affairs, Rabbinical Alliance of America; and  Rabbi Gershon Gutman

Picture (7) Hinover Rav, Rabbi Avraham Friedlander, Rabbi of Maimonides Medical Center and Rabbi of the Bais Medrash of Maimonides Medical Center; and Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president, Rabbinical Alliance of America

Picture (8) Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president, Rabbinical Alliance of America; and Inspector Paul Valerga, commanding officer, Community Outreach

Picture (9) Rabbi Yosef  Elishevitx; ; Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht; presidium member, Rabbinical Alliance of America; Rabbi Joseph Salamon, Vice-President, Rabbinical Alliance of America; Inspector Paul Valerga, commanding officer, Community Outreach; Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president, Rabbinical Alliance of America; Rabbi Akiva Homnick; Rabbi Menachem Lichtenstein, Chairman Public Affairs, Rabbinical Alliance of America; Rabbi Yisroel Kahan; and Rabbi Hanania Elbaz, presidium member, Rabbinical Alliance of America

Picture (10) Rabbi Yitzchok Dov Tannenbaum; Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president, Rabbinical Alliance of America; Rabbi Chaim Zev Tannenbaum; and Rabbi Yaakov Klass, presidium chairman, Rabbinical Alliance of America;

Picture (11) Family, Friends and Rabbonim at the fourth Yahrzeit Observance of Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum, ZT’L

Picture (12) Dr. Robert Frankel, director, Interventional Cardiology Maimonides Medical Center

Picture (13) Hinover Rav, Rabbi Avraham Friedlander, Rabbi of Maimonides Medical Center and Rabbi of the Bais Medrash of Maimonides Medical Center

Picture (14) Inspector Paul Valerga, commanding officer, Community Outreach

Picture (15) Inspector Paul Valerga, commanding officer, Community Outreach; shaking hands with Rabbi Yaakov Klass, presidium chairman, Rabbinical Alliance of America; together with Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president, Rabbinical Alliance of America

Picture (16) and Rabbi Yaakov Klass, presidium chairman, Rabbinical Alliance of America;

Picture (17) Rabbi Dovid Katz, Menahel, Rabbinical Alliance of America

Picture (18) Rabbi Yitzchok Dov Tannenbaum; and Rabbi Chaim Zev Tannenbaum

Picture (19) Rabbi Dovid Katz, Menahel, Rabbinical Alliance of America; Rabbi Yisroel, Kahan; Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president, Rabbinical Alliance of America; and Rabbi Akiva Homnick

Picture (20) Rabbi Joseph Salamon, Vice-President, Rabbinical Alliance of America; and Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president, Rabbinical Alliance of America

Picture (21) Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president, Rabbinical Alliance of America

Picture (22) Rabbi Yaakov Klass, presidium chairman, Rabbinical Alliance of America; Maimonides Medical Center President & CEO Kenneth Gibbs; Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president, Rabbinical Alliance of America; and Rabbi Hanania Elbaz, presidium member, Rabbinical Alliance of America

Picture (23) Rabbi Tzvi Mandel; and Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president, Rabbinical Alliance of America



 

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