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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rav Amar's Visit

This past Sunday, our community was privileged with hosting Rav Shelomo Amar, the Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel.

To anyone's recollection, this was the first visit by any Sephardic chief rabbi, sitting or former, to the Chicago area. (If anyone has knowledge otherwise, please let me know.)

The purpose of his visit, among other reasons, was to honor Rav Gedalia Dov Schwartz, the Av Beit Din of the cRc, in a ceremony in which a plaque was dedicated in the cRc Beit Din Chamber in Rav Schwartz's honor. (That gathering in-and-of-itself was special, where rabbis from all streams of the Orthodox Jewish community of Chicago and beyond gathered together in a show of Ahdut to show Kavod for Rav Schwartz. It was further enhanced by the presence of Rav Amar, Shlit"a, who spoke about the Ahdut of the community.)

After the plaque was installed, Rav Amar prayed Minha at one Sephardic synagogue. He later spoke and prayed Arvit at another Sephardic synagogue. His lecture was about not letting the Yetzer Hara get to you when Heshvan starts and the spiritual high of the holidays are over, comparing it to No'ah's drinking wine after leaving the spiritual high of the ark. He also mentioned the importance of learning Torah. His calm, easy-to-understand spoken Hebrew was welcomed by the Hamon Am.

Rav Amar had to leave to catch his flight right after Arvit, and we were all sorry he couldn't stay longer. After he left, I heard from someone who spoke with him that he will BE"H try to make a another, more prolonged visit to the city in the future.


At Wed Oct 17, 11:26:00 AM 2007, Blogger Cosmic X said...

Shalom Yaak!

I heard the following story recently about Rav Amar:

A yeshiva student saw him and blessed "shechalak mechomato levasar vadam".

Rav Amar expressed his displeasure with the student and told him that although he does know much Torah, he has not reached the level where that blessing can be said on him. He added that there are only two people in the generation that are on that level: HaRav Avraham Shapira (who recently passed away) and HaRAv Ovadiah Yosef (sheyibadel lechayim arukin).

At Wed Oct 17, 11:27:00 AM 2007, Blogger Neil Harris said...

Beautiful, thanks.

At Wed Oct 17, 12:03:00 PM 2007, Blogger yaak said...

Very nice, Cosmic, and thanks for the link on your blog.

At Sat Nov 10, 12:31:00 PM 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice, indeed, and Shas continues to support Olmert.

At Sun Nov 11, 12:16:00 PM 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the first comment, that brachah is mentioned in the Gemara Brachot 58a regarding wise gentiles. For wise Jews it is
שחלק מחכמתו ליראיו
"that has given from His wisdom to those that fear Him"
And thus it is brougth down to halachah. That was most likely what the talmid said.

At Tue Nov 13, 09:42:00 PM 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If what Cosmic X reported here is true, what Amar said is an insult to Am Yisrael. How does he know that only one (now) person is on "that level"? Perhaps perhaps he said that he only knows one person on "that level". Perhaps by hasgacha did not say what the last commenter suggested? It seems that Amar fears Oviadia Yosef rather than HaShem.

At Mon Dec 03, 01:26:00 PM 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

agreed if ovadia yosef knows the most torah while supporting olmert , its a curse not a blessing !The lubavitcher rebbe z'l would never follow such a wicked leadership with HIS daat torah.As a matter of fact lesser wicked corrupt governments he tried to bring down privetely or publiculy .

At Fri Dec 14, 12:46:00 AM 2007, Blogger Joels W. said...

On a different blog you once left this comment:

"R' Chaim Zimmerman story:
Once, my father and others went in for a Bechina by R' Chaim Zimmerman at Rav Zimmerman's home.
In the middle of the Bechina, Rav Zimmerman got a call from the Satmer Rebbe. Rav Zimmerman's son knew that those type of calls could take a while, so he (the son) offered to play one of the bochurim being tested a game of chess while they were waiting. The game was going on for a while when Rav Zimmerman came back into the room. He took a very quick look at the board, and said to the Bochur, "You win." Surprised, the Bochur asked, "How do you know?" Rav Zimmerman replied, "You move here. He moves here. You move here. He moves here. You move here. Checkmate." And he was right"

I was wondering which Rav Zimmerman you are referring to, is it the one from Skokie?


At Mon Dec 31, 01:01:00 PM 2007, Blogger yaak said...

Anonymous, please find yourself a hobby other than Shas-bashing. If you do so, Asherecha VeTov Lach.
Ashrecha - ba'olam Hazeh.
VeTov Lach - Ba'olam Haba.

At Mon Dec 31, 01:02:00 PM 2007, Blogger yaak said...


Yes, that is the one.

At Mon Dec 31, 05:48:00 PM 2007, Blogger Joels W. said...

I didn't know R' Zimmerman- a passionate Zionist had anything to do with the Satmar Rebbe.

At Mon Dec 31, 10:43:00 PM 2007, Blogger yaak said...

This is how it was told to me.
Either a) it wasn't the Satmar Rebbe, but a different rebbe or b) despite their ideological differences regarding the State of Israel, they discussed other halachic matters or c) they discussed that very matter (and that's maybe why it took so long :) )


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