"Family and friends packed the courtyard of 770 Eastern Parkway on Thursday night to celebrate the wedding of young chassidic couple Yehuda Zaltzman and Mushka Rubashkin. Absent was the father of the kallah, R' Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin, the former kosher meat executive and founder of the Jewish community in Postville, Iowa, who is imprisoned on charges of bank fraud. As reported, Rubashkin was denied release for the simcha. In an email to COLlive the night before the wedding, the father of 10 asked the Chabad community and supporters of his plight to attend and fill 'the place that is left empty.'" The wedding was broadcast live from Chabad's main synagogue at 770 Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, Brooklyn "to protest" Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin "being denied attendance."
Sholom Rubashkin is serving a 27-year sentence in federal prison for bank fraud and related crimes. He wanted to attend his daughter's wedding last night but was denied, upsetting the Rubashkin family and, it appears, much of Chabad and the haredi community.
Wedding: Zaltzman - Rubashkin
The wedding of Yehuda Zaltzman of Toronto and Mushka Rubashkin of Monsey took place at Razag Hall Thursday. COLlive broadcast the Chuppah live from 770 Eastern Parkway to protest the Kallah's father Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin being denied attendance.
Family and friends packed the courtyard of 770 Eastern Parkway on Thursday night to celebrate the wedding of young chassidic couple Yehuda Zaltzman and Mushka Rubashkin.
Absent was the father of the kallah, R' Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin, the former kosher meat executive and founder of the Jewish community in Postville, Iowa, who is imprisoned on charges of bank fraud.
As reported, Rubashkin was denied release for the simcha. In an email to COLlive the night before the wedding, the father of 10 asked the Chabad community and supporters of his plight to attend and fill "the place that is left empty."
With the request of the family, COLlive in cooperation with SimchaLive.com provided a live broadcast of the chuppah where Rabbi Avrohom Osdoba, member of the Crown Heights Bais Din, was mesader kiddushin.
Walking the chosson was his father Rabbi Yoseph Yitzchak Zaltzman, Director of the Jewish Russian Community Center of Toronto in Canada and the kallah's grandfather R' Avrohom Aaron Rubashkin of Boro Park, NY.
Walking the kallah was her mother Mrs. Leah Rubashkin, today of Monsey, NY, and the chosson's mother Mrs. Chiena Zaltzman, a Shlucha in Toronto.
Honored with reciting the brachos under the chuppah were members of the committee campaigning for Rubashlin's release: Rabbi Sholom Ber Hecht, Rabbi and Rabbi Lipa Brennan.
Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin joined the occasion via phone. Many were deeply moved when he offered his blessings heard over speaker-phone through the sound system.
The wedding meal was held at the Razag hall and the joyous dancing was led by musician Choni Milecki and singer Eli Marcus.
A letter sent by Sholom Rubashkin from prison earlier this week regarding the wedding and published yesterday on MAtzav.com:
Boruch Hashem for the simchas chasunah of our children b’ezras hashem yoim chamishi, yud gimmel Shevat; we want to invite all of our mishpacha, you tiere Yidden, brothers and sisters in Klal Yisroel.
Please come to the chupah and chasunah of our children as you came together so many times before in Tefillah, with the ahavas Yisroel and achdus Yisroel you have shown to our family all through the difficult time, and see and rejoice together with these wonderful children and give them your brochos for everything they need! By coming together with unity we will all be reunited again, to serve Hashem with greater simcha with our very own geulah proti together with our geulah kloli now with Moshiach tzidkainu!
The Or Hachaim hakodosh begins with the first posuk, and asks why does the posuk use the expression of pain and say “Vayehee”, in a place where there should be “Gilah and Rinah” joy and song!? Also, why does the posuk infer that it was Paroh that sent the Yidden out of Mitzrayim when it really was Hashem Himself, who took the Yidden out of Mitzrayim !?
The Or Hachayim hakadosh answers: The reason for the tzaar (pain) is because the Yidden were going to endure hardship in this Parsha as they are chased by Paroh and the Mitzriim. And the posuk explains that this pain came because it was Paroh who sent the Yidden out. Meaning; Paroh thought that it was HIM! His permission is what made it possible for the Yidden to leave Mitzrayim when he said “Get up and Go!” Because of this, Paroh later had the idea to chase the Yidden when he realized they were leaving forever, and this is what causes the pain for the Yidden when he chased them. Had it been clear to Paroh that it was Hakodoish Baruch Hu who took the Yidden out of Mitrayim, then he would never have chased them! This is why the posuk says “Vayehee” an expression of pain, and the pain was because it was “Beshalach Paroh es ha’om,” Paroh thought that it was HE who sent the Yidden out of Mitzrayim.
This teaches, when people think that its “they” who made it “Happen”, then there is the “Vayhee” - the pain that comes with it. However, Yidden know that everything is from Hashem and therefore there is no pain and we go on to serve Hashem knowing as it says in this Parsha, “Hashem yelochoeim lochem veatem tacharishun!” As Rashi says, in the zechus of our fathers and in the zechus of our emunah we are worthy for the ness as big and “Koshe” as “Krias Yam Suf!”
As the family is preparing for simchas chasunas bonainu on Yud Gimmel Shvat, being busy with all the chasunah preparations both in realm of gashmius and ruchnius; most likely one can’t imagine what type of preparations is done in a place called Prison.
The world is compared to a wedding feast, where we receive the brocho for a binyan adai ad - with children and children’s children and so on that will continue learning Torah and doing its mitzvos. This world is a place where we are able to go from temporary existence of Creation, to become a eternal existence by connecting with Hashem who is eternal, through learning His Torah and doing its mitzvos.
There are many different parts that make up this world, and the chasuna is the part of the world where we have the “Unity” and “Life” that goes on for all generations. The chasunah is universally recognized as a “Time and place” for family members to come together, blessing and rejoicing with the chosson and kallah on their special day, giving them the brochos they need as they are united to build a house in the Yiddishe Nation.
However, for those family members trapped behind the Iron Curtain, this unity can only be experience in the spiritual sense. This is the part of the world that is more like the cemetery, where family members reside who are separated and are limited from coming to the chasuna in a physical sense. Just like a cemetery, this place called Prison is encircled by the long endless chain link fence, circling and choking off this place from the rest of the world; the Iron Curtain is topped and bottomed by shiny stainless steel barbed wire, guarded over by the ever watchful eyes of the guards who endlessly count their inmates, housed behind heavy steel doors, behind high brick walls, with small windows blocked by heavy iron bars. People who have family and children are forcibly separated and stopped from coming together with their own family, even for the short period that is so essential to the wellbeing of their children!
There are procedures that allow for inmates to be able to attend “Once in a lifetime” situations, (much less than is available in other countries for their inmates), there is the ability to allow inmates to leaved in secured fashion, and obviously these procedures were drafted by officials who saw the need for this for the health of the family and children as well as the inmate. YET these procedures are denied when requested, and of course the denial needs no explanation!!
There is much talk in the news now about children “Under 18″ who live here and who need to be taken care of, and this is about those children whose parents are not citizens of this country, yet its argued and publicized that the rational person needs to have for mercy and compassion even for “others” children. Then please ask yourself how much more so, must there be mercy and compassion for the children on one’s own citizens and countrymen!?
Truthfully there is some advantage for those who exist in this place called Prison in relation to those who reside in the place called cemetery. Because while they are limited and can only be by the chasunah in a spiritual sense, which means they are able to enjoy the nachas of their children, but they can’t share that joy with those in this world because most humans do not have the “Equipment” needed for communication with the souls. :) In this place however there are telephones, and one could theoretically use the telephone and join in by voice.
But then there is the unexplainable limitation on telephone use to the average of 9 minutes per day! And after fifteen minutes of communication the phone shuts off, and can’t be accessed for another half hour! And that is only if the 4 phones available for about 150 inmates is not being used, and the frustrating struggle for many minutes that it takes until the “Voice Recognition system” recognizes your name!
All of this also eliminates the ability to share a time with a child, talking about their day in school, or having a meaningful conversation on a topic that is bothering them, or coaching them in a area that only a parent can weigh in usefully, or share with them some exciting thing they are doing in school…
I remember going to one of the parenting classes here and the facilitator demanding from all of us to be involved in our children’s education. He said we need to communicate with the child and his teacher, we need to show we have a interest in their growth and to make sure they grow up properly. But when asked “HOW?” The facilitator refused to acknowledge and made himself blissfully ignorant of the lack the facility to be involved; caused by their own, unexplained, design which eliminates even the practical use of the telephone!
The time for this email has finished and will shut off; so to finish with the request that really means so much to me and our whole family:
PLEASE, PLEASE, TIERE YIDDEN; COME AND JOIN OUR FAMILY IN OUR SIMCHA IN ANY WAY YOU CAN, AS YOU ARE NOT RESTRICTED AND CAN USE A COMPUTER OR A TELEPHONE TO JOIN OUR CHILDREN IN THEIR SIMCHA, GIVING THEM ADDED SIMCHA, AS THEY WILL BE VERY HAPPY TO KNOW THAT AS THEY GO TO THEIR CHUPAH THERE ARE SO MANY IN KLAL YISROEL THAT ARE JOINING THEM UNDER THEIR CHUPAH. AND THIS WILL MAYBE FILL IN A LITTLE THE EMPTY PLACE IN THEIR HEART, THE PLACE THAT IS LEFT EMPTY AND READY FOR THEIR FATHER TO JOIN THEM UNDER THEIR CHUPAH.
AND WE HAVE EMUNAH AND BITACHOIN THAT THE PLACE WILL NOT BE EMPTY BECAUSE ITS NOT PAROH WHO TAKES THE YIDDEN OUT FROM BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN OF MITZRAYIM, BUT IT IS OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN WHO WILL SHOW HIS INFINITE RACHAMIN AND CHESED CHINOM TO BRING ME TO JOIN ALL OF YOU WITH GREAT SIMCHA AND WITH THE GREATEST SIMCHA OF ALL THE COMING OF MOSHIACH TZIDKAINU NOW! :)
DIDAN NOTZACH :)
Sholom Mordechai Halevi ben Rivkoh sheyichye :)
[Hat Tip: Burich.]