18 Sivan 5779 , 21/06/2019

A Delegation of the Rabbinical Centre of Europe Visits Gedolei Yisrael

16/11/2016 15 Heshvan 5777

The delegation described the RCE’s many and varied activities to gedolei Yisrael, and received their warm brachot.

A Delegation of the Rabbinical Centre of Europe Visits Gedolei Yisrael “The battle that you are waging tirelessly to prevent assimilation among Am Yisrael, the extensive assistance that you provide to strengthen tahorah among Jews throughout Europe, including cities most people have never heard of, and your introduction of the concept of kashrus certification for foods in Europe through the EK organization that you founded and continue to operate – deserve all the appreciation and support that we can give you.” These and similar expressions of esteem were offered by leading gedolei Yisrael, shlita, when members of the RCE’s Rabbinical Council visited their homes. During the round of visits, the Rabbanim from Europe asked many halachic questions about issues that are pertinent to European Jewry, and they received clear guidance regarding these issues. They also updated the gedolim on the status of the European Jewish communities.
The delegation visited the homes of Harav Chaim Kanievsky, the Gerrer Rebbe, the Vizhnitzer Rebbe, Harav Baruch Mordechai Ezrachi, Hacham Shalom Cohen, Harav Yitzchak Zilberstein, and the Sanzer Rebbe. They also visited the Chief Rabbis of Eretz Yisrael, Harav Yitzchak Yosef and Harav David Lau.

The members of the delegation were Harav Yirmiyah Cohen, Av Beis Din of Paris, France; Harav Michael Shmerla, Av Beis Din of Strasbourg, France; Harav Yaakov David Schmahl, Dayan of the Shomrei Hadas community of Antwerp, Belgium; Harav Moshe Tuvia Weisberger, Av Beis Din of the Adas Yereim community of Budapest, Hungary; Harav Baruch Oberlander, Av Beis Din of Badatz D’kehillos Hachareidim in Budapest, Hungary; Harav Yehudah Leib Mintzberg, who serves as the RCE’s mikveh inspector; and Harav Moshe Webber, director of the Kollel Torah organization, which encompasses more than 94 kollelim for baalei batim in the Commonwealth of Independent States and other European countries. RCE Director Harav Menachem Margolin and Deputy Director Harav Aryeh Goldberg, together with RCE administrators Harav Abba Turetzky and Harav Yosef Beinhaker, also participated in the visits to the gedolei Torah.
The Rabbanim were received warmly and were given plenty of time in each of the homes of the gedolei Yisrael. In response to the request of the gedolim, the European Rabbanim gave an extensive review of the RCE’s unique activities to strengthen spiritual life and stem the tide of assimilation in Jewish communities throughout the countries and cities of Europe.

The Rabbanim also described how the RCE assists in the construction of mikva’os in many cities and far-flung towns. In recent years the RCE has overseen the building of 55 mikva’os, assisted with funding (in conjunction with the Meromim Fund), ensured that each mikveh meets the highest halachic standards, and lent ongoing professional support all through the construction process. All this has created a revolution in the standards of tahorah among Klal Yisrael.
In addition, the Rabbanim updated the gedolim on the intense efforts invested in the RCE’s EK kashrus certification, thus ensuring that kasher l’mehadrin food is available throughout Europe.
Harav Chaim Kanievsky, the Gerrer Rebbe, the Vizhnitzer Rebbe, Harav Yitzchak Zilberstein, and the Sanzer Rebbe spent quite some time perusing the album the delegation gave them showing the RCE’s construction of mikva’os in so many European countries and cities. They also spent time examining the “Hamehapech” pamphlet, outlining the activities of the network of kollelim under the Kollel Torah organization. They all said that they were extremely impressed, and they warmly blessed the European Rabbanim and the administrators of the RCE and of Kollel Torah.
In response to the questions of the gedolim, the Rabbanim described in detail the many activities that have taken place and that are being carried out in Germany, Holland, France, Ukraine, Russia, Hungary, Azerbaijan and other countries, resulting in a visible spiritual transformation in all these locales.
In addition, the Rabbanim described to the Gedolim the revolutionary growth of Torah learning that is now taking place, thanks to the efforts of the Kollel Torah organization, under the leadership of Harav Benzion Lipsker of St. Petersburg, Russia, and Harav Moshe Webber of Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine. Kollel Torah is funded by the Meromim Fund, and all its activities are under the direction and supervision of Harav Berel Lazar, Chief Rabbi of Russia, in coordination with the RCE.
Today there are more than 94 kollelim that are found throughout 22 European countries and cities. Over 1,500 men learn in these kollelim. Two years ago most of these participants didn’t even recognize Hebrew letters, but today they are learning Torah, Mishnah, Gemara and halacha in shiurim that are delivered in the kollelim, each of which is guided and overseen by the local Rav. Thanks to these kollelim, to date there have been 192 brissim and 29 kosher marriages, and hundreds of kitchens in Jewish homes have been kashered. The Rabbanim pointed out that in addition to the shiurim for men, there are also shiurim in halachah and hashkafah for women.
The initiative of Kollel Torah is the result of many years of activities by many Rabbanim and individuals throughout Europe to inspire Jewish living. Now, thanks to Kollel Torah, many shuls that had been dark and unused all week long now bustle with constant activity. The thirst for Torah learning, being taught by young Torah scholars proficient in the topics being studied, has become commonplace and has the support of the local residents.
In each home, the Gedolei Yisrael expressed their enthusiasm about the pamphlets outlining the learning in Kollel Torah, and about the quantity of material being covered and the transformation that Kollel Torah continues to bring about. The Gedolim pointed out how impressed they were with the high level of learning and classes, as presented in the curricula they were shown.

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