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March 3, '22
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:
• Divrei Torah: Pekudei
• Chaplaincy Commision Update
• Upcoming Yahrtzeits 2 Adar 2-9 Adar 2
• Jewish Press: Mayor’s Emergency Meeting
• The Clarion Call of Queen Esther
• The Rabbinical Alliance of America Prays for Peace in Ukraine

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

Divrei Torah: Pekudei

Rabbi Student – Pekudei 5782
Dirshu - Pekudei 5782
Rav Asher Weiss - Pekudei 5782
Rabbi Ziegler - Pekudei 5782
Rabbi Serebryanski - Pekudei 5782
Liska Rebbe – Pekudei 5776


Chaplaincy Commision Update

Rabbi Yehuda (Leonard) Blank MS, BCC
Director of Programming, Chaplaincy Commission and External Affairs
Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim
<><>Thursday March 3rd, 2022, Rosh Chodesh Adar Sheni ,5782<><>








Acheinu Our brothers. This brief plea for G’s mercy on all suffering Jews is often recited communally when prayers are offered for Jews, all of our brothers and sisters who are in danger. Aside from shortages of food and essential supplies, areas are without electricity and thousands who are unable to escape are in the line of fire and other acts of destruction.
The following is the English translation from the Artscroll Siddur Mesorah Publications Ltd.

“Our brothers, the entire House of Israel, who are found in distress and captivity, and remove them from distress, to relief, from darkness to light, from subjugation to redemption, now, speedily, and at a time that comes soon and let us say” Amein”


It is a difficult time especially when there is fear of serious harm, destruction and death being reported and brought to us via radio, computers and printed news. Not only do we hear about people in our own neighborhoods, subways being robbed, physically beaten, forced out of their cars, and even killed, but now we see the various types of destruction in a country whose citizens and government proclaim freedom and peace. To many watching on their computer screens, Jewish men, women and children escaping to nearby countries can be frightening. For those who are Holocaust survivors or their children, this brings back difficult memories. Those who have been a victim of trauma whether it be because of war, crime, serious illness, sudden death of a loved one, COVID -19, or fear of a forthcoming medical procedure, can bring social, emotional, and spiritual difficulties.

It is important for a rabbi, rebbetzin or chaplain to be empathetic, understanding, compassionate, kind, sincere with a golden heart, and a clear listening ear. When appropriate, a holding hand can add a sense of security and understanding. Reaching out to a recognized mental health professional for advice should always be considered. Chaplains, especially those with CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) are qualified and knowledgeable in the type of care they provide, how to minister with immense finesse and understanding. Often, a person just wants a connection to G for their prayers and concerns. I share the above because it is common to feel the need to offer advice thought to be essential even if it might not be relevant or appropriate.

Can there be hope with so many tragedies that are occurring? Is it possible to have emunah, betachen and faith, when so much evil is happening in the world around us? What can one say when a loved one is faced with a chronic illness, a life threating or life limiting illness with no cure available and if there were treatments, they are no longer effective? In Ukraine, if H wills it, peace can be found, and issues resolved. We do not know how, but only H can make it possible. In challenging scenarios including those that are health related, there are various types of hope. After all these months, there is hope that our country is finally healing from Covid. There is hope that we are now returning to a more normal way of life and a relaxation of mask mandates. What about someone who is concerned about his/her future job perspectives? What future will there be? Chaplains and rabbis cannot give false hopes nor unrealistic thoughts that are not practical or feasible. We can give encouragements and join in prayer for the future. We place our hope and faith in G. Our tears are real. They come from our inner self. Our tears join with our prayers and faith in Him.

“We trust in Him and profess His Unity” Bereishis Rabba 20

“You are G; You alone rule over all the kingdoms of the earth” Tzefania 3:20

“Know that H, He is G” Tehillim 100:3

“Trust in Him at every moment, O people! Pour out before Him your hearts.
G is a refuge for us, Selah! Tehillim 62:9

“From there you will seek H your G, and you will find Him, if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul “Devorim 4:29

From The Power of Hope the One Essential of Life and Love by Rabbi Maurice Lamm. Rawson Associates Scribner Siman & Shuster Inc. (Excerpts from this book)

“I will take you through the darkest nights- to the brightest days- and we will defeat hopelessness together” (page 151).

“One of the magical qualities of hope is its ability to silently reformulate itself to adapt to changing conditions, it defies logic; presses for life when life is impossible; turns us to the future when we are tempted to stop and wrestle with the past, and then moves us to begin that future. It makes us talk success in the presence of fear; encourages us to leap over obstacles; enables us to recoup it after we lose it; and then miraculously adjusts itself to suit our every change!” (Page 161)

“Looking for people who live on hope? Look around you.”
“Hope is natural. We all possess it. It needs only to be uncovered, not discovered.” (Page 23)

A chaplain once told a person going through a difficult and challenging time.
“Please don’t give up hope_ I am with you” That was me sharing encouragement with a Catholic patient who feared a certain operation which her mother had died during the same operation ten years before. I gained her trust, and she consented to the operation that would save her life, only if I did the following. I would come to her room in the morning before the operation to say psalms, and an inspirational prayer with her. I would remain at her bedside until it was time to be taken to surgery. I would accompany her right to the doors to the surgery area and would again wish her my blessings. The other agreement was for me greet her in the recovery room to make sure all my blessings, good will and TLC had worked and that she not only survived the operation which was a success but that she was truly alive. There is more to this story which I will share the next time. I fulfilled my promise to her. Yes, she was a Catholic patient who only wanted me even though I was a Jewish Chaplain. She did not want any other chaplain. This occured during my CPE internship at the Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan. She was just one of my many patients who were not Jewish and from all walks of life.

Even during these trying and dangerous times Jews are being Mekadeish H opening their bomb shelters to those who are not Jewish. The following is from Yeshiva World (February 28, 2022, 8:45 am)

“Throughout Ukraine, non-Jews are flocking to shelters in shuls as they believe that the Russian army will not harm shuls. According to a Yediot Achranot report on Sunday, thousands of non-Jews are sheltering in shuls. Rav Nachum Ehrentrau, Rav of the southeastern Ukrainian city of Zaporozhye, said that he welcomes everyone, Jews, and non-Jews alike, who seek shelter in the shul. “We’re in the line of fire here,” he said. “There are 350 to 400 people gathered in shul, mostly Jews, but also non-Jews who begged to shelter in the shul because we have a bomb shelter.” “It’s not an official bomb shelter – it’s a basement made out of concrete,” he added. “This is a shul, and the Russians won’t harm it.” In a message to his fellow Chabad shluchim in Ukraine, Rav Ehrentrau asked that that people keep him, his family and the Jewish kehllila in Zaporozhye in mind during their tefillos: נחום חיים הכהן בן נחמה דינה, נחמה דינה בת שינא באשה בתיה, מנחם מענדל הכהן בן נחמה דינה, חנה בת שרה, לוי יצחק בן חנה ושניאור זלמן הכהן בן נחמה דינה, ועבור כל הקהילה היהודית. בברכה לבשורות טובות. Rebbetzin Miriam Moskovitz, who is originally from Sydney, Australia but has lived in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv for over 30 years, told Yediot that she is also assisting non-Jews, along with the 30,000 members of the Jewish kehilla, where she and her husband and ten other Chabad families serve as Chabad shluchim.“A non-Jewish family came to us after their home was destroyed in the fire and they were left homeless,” she said. “The Rav invited them to the shul.” “We get requests all the time from non-Jews. A woman called us in tears in the middle of the night and begged us to bring her to the shul. We told her we’ll bring her as soon as it’s calmer and that’s what we did.” (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

I am grateful for all the opportunities to be Mekadeish H and be a part of Klal Yisrael bringing hope, faith and emunah in H. Klal Yisrael more than ever before need each other with achdus and our belief and faith in H. May our prayers for shalom be answered and may those in harm’s way be safe.

Thank you, Sincerely, Rabbi Yehuda Blank


Upcoming Yahrtzeits 2 Adar 2-9 Adar 2


Jewish Press: Mayor’s Emergency Meeting

The Jewish Press, March 2, 2022, quotes Rav Mendy Mirocznik in an article about Mayor Eric Adams’ emergency meeting on combating anti-Semitism

The NYPD reported there were 43 antisemitic hate crimes handled by their units so far this year. That’s compared to just 11 cases during this time in 2021.


The Clarion Call of Queen Esther

Go and assemble all the Jewish People!
Averting the looming devastation
The Clarion Call of Queen Esther

The Rabbinical Alliance of America – a National Orthodox Rabbinic Organization and its membership of 950 rabbinic leaders, chaplains, and educators serving throughout North America, call upon our brethren in the United States and Canada, to organize immediately, mass gatherings of Jews, assembled in prayer and repentance, beseeching the Almighty to bestow His Peace upon the people of Eastern Europe, thus averting further bloodshed and tragedy.

We call upon all, to increase in the giving of charity TZEDAKAH, and performing acts of loving kindness together with the recitation of special prayers, thus averting further catastrophe upon civilians and combatants.

We also call upon the spiritual leadership of the Jewish People in Israel to call for emergency assemblies, both at the holy KOTEL Western Wall, and at the tomb of our Patriarchs in Hebron and at Synagogues throughout the land.

In the spirit of Queen Esther, who pleaded with Mordechai the Righteous, to assemble the Jewish people of Persia to avert the impending decree of destruction.

Then as now – repentance, prayer and charity will avert the evil decree, and lead to salvation, peace, and harmony for all humankind.


The Rabbinical Alliance of America Prays for Peace in Ukraine

The Rabbinical Alliance of America—Igud HaRabbonim, representing over 950 American rabbis—prays for peace in Ukraine.

May the Everlasting who blessed our ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless, shield, and watch over the Jewish community and all the innocent people of Ukraine and protect them from the conflict that they face.

May the Source of Blessing protect them and keep them out of harm’s way, free them from death, destruction and all trouble, fear and anxiety, and may all they do be blessed. May G-d send safety and redemption to all people found in the area besieged by war.

May the Eternal have mercy on them and bring them from darkness to light and from battle to salvation, peace, hope and optimism. May the Almighty grant them strength and save them. May the Eternal listen to all the prayers of our people.

Merciful G-d, may Your compassion be with us, and remember Your covenant with our Patriarchs and Matriarchs. May you spread the covering of Your true divine peace over the innocent people trapped in the battle zone, and may it be fulfilled that they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation and they shall learn war no more. And each shall sit under their vines and their fig trees and none shall disturb them.

As Ukraine experiences warfare, the Rabbinical Alliance of America encourages all decent, peace-loving people of all faiths and backgrounds to engage in acts of charity, kindness, and benevolence. Allow us to become better people and transform this earth into a better place for all people allowing the Almighty to spread His canopy of peace on humankind. In that merit may we take our human activity of positive actions to invoke the blessings from Above and witness true peace and friendship.

And let us say: Amen


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