On Monday evening, 22 Teves 5778 hundreds gathered to celebrate the 9th Chag HaSmicha of the Kollel Ayshel Avraham Rabbinical Seminary. As in years past, this renowned kollel, under the aegis of HaGaon HaRav Yaakov Spivak, Shlita of Monsey, New York has seen the finest of rabbinic figures pass through its portals.
A palpable electricity filled the Beis Medrash of the King David Center in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, as the Musmachim of the 9th Smicha class of the Kollel along with their families and a panoply of Choshuva Rabbonim excitedly assembled for this august occasion.
The long and hallowed tradition of Kollel Ayshel Avraham, (that was named after Rabbi Spivak’s late father, R’ Avraham Spivak, Z” L, who was moser nefesh for Klal Yisroel and Torah), is to provide an opportunity for Yeshiva men to study for the Rabbinate as well as actively engage in such time-honored vocations as the chaplaincy, kashrus, kiruv rechokim work and educational innovation; among many other fields of endeavor.
This special Smicha class was organized by Rabbi Yechiel Malik, a Vice President of the Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim; and Director of the Orthodox Jewish Division of the New York State Chaplains Task Force. Rabbi Malik sought the Smicha program of HaRav Spivak from Kollel Ayshel Avraham Rabbinical Seminary, a well-established and highly acclaimed Torah citadel to help professionalize frum Chaplains and to mold them into Rabbonim. The goals of Rabbi Spivak, Rabbi Malik and the Igud HaRabbonim are to produce a highly sophisticated Rov who understands and services the needs of the Jewish Community. The program consist of a period of intense learning in order to create a highly sophisticated Orthodox Rabbi prepared to meet the challenges of the contemporary Jewish Community.
“Rabbi Spivak has taught us many lessons about what a Musmach should be, ” stated Rabbi Moshe Schmerler, President of the Ayshel Avraham Rabbinic Alumni Association.
With great humility and sincerity, the esteemed Rosh Kollel Rabbi Spivak said, “Surrounding me here tonight are some of the most talented people in Chinuch and Rabbanus. You are looking at people who have tremendous abilities. Beyond that however, these are people who are Heavenly inspired from Hashem Yisborach to lead Klal Yisroel with compassion, strength, courage and true emunah and bitachon. ”
Rabbi Spivak then presented the smicha ordinations to Rabbi Zelig Friedman, Rabbi Avrohom Malik, Rabbi Emmanuel Kohn, Rabbi Binyamin Chaim Gutman, Rabbi Yochanan Zehnwirth, Rabbi Yoel Friedman, Rabbi Eliezer Lipschitz, Rabbi Mordechai Meisels, Rabbi Shaul Roth, Rabbi Yechezkel Blau, Rabbi Joseph Aaron, Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum, Rabbi Michael Fine, Rabbi Moshe Rudich, Rabbi Shmuel Schwartz, Rabbi Akiva Homnick, Rabbi Shmuel Russel, Rabbi Yeshayahu Levy, Rabbi Dovid Honig and Rabbi Glenn Ackerman.
Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, the Executive Vice President of the Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim, who graciously served as master of ceremonies, introduced Reverend Marcos A. Miranda, the founder and President of the New York State Chaplain Task Force. Rabbi Mirocznik thanked Reverend Miranda for collaborating with Rabbi Malik and helping to develop the Orthodox Jewish Division of the New York State Chaplains Task Force. Rabbi Malik praised Reverend Miranda for being sensitive to the needs of the frum community. Reverend Miranda stated how he felt it a great honor and pleasure to be there among the assembled honored scholars. He also told the assemblage that the New York State Chaplain Task Force has over 2500 members and represents over 11 different faith groups. “We are here to serve and we will always stand by our Jewish brothers and sisters and all humanity, ” he added.
Rabbi Mirocznik then acknowledged the prominent Rabbonim and esteemed guests who were present. They included Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht, Presidium Chairman of the Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim; Rabbi Yaakov Klass, Shoel U’Mashiv of Kollel Ayshel Avraham Rabbinical Seminary, Presidium Member of the Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim; the Admor MiSambur; Rabbi Benyomin Tzvi Malik, the Sambur Rov; Rabbi Shmelka Friedman the Moreh Zedek in Puppa and Hisachdus HaRabbonim; Rabbi Sholom Ber Shuchat, Dayan Igud HaRabbonim Bais Din; Rabbi Ezra Friedlander; Rabbi Meyer Laufer; Rabbi Dovid Katz; Rabbi Tzvi Berkowitz from the Rockwood Park Jewish Center, Howard Beach, New York; HaRav HaChacham Aharon Zeev from the Aur Torah Sephardic Congregation, Staten Island, New York; HaRav HaChacham Avraham Amar from the King David Center; Rabbi Chaim Yaakov Unger, Khelas Toras Moshe of Borough Park; Rabbi Yosef Salamon, Vice-President Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim; Rabbi Shlomo Braun; Rabbi Homnick from Lakewood, NJ; and Rabbi Tzvi Pollack, Grossvarden Rov.
With sincere emotion in his voice, Rabbi Malik charged the musmachim, “Don’t think that now that you graduated you do not need to do more. Always make yourself approachable. Always show compassion, strength and leadership with your Torah knowledge and then proceed to transmit that knowledge to others freely.
Rabbi Mirocznik then introduced the first honoree of the evening, Rabbi Avraham Mordechai Salomon. Rabbi Solomon is a graduate of Kollel Ayshel Avraham, and an honored member of the Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim. Rabbi Salomon, he said, besides being a beloved chaver is also a psychologist for HaMaspik of Kings County and a therapist in private practice.
Presenting the auspicious award to Rabbi Salomon was Rabbi Naphtali Tessler. Rabbi Tessler said, “Most of us here are familiar with the work that Motti does. He does tremendous acts of chesed throughout the community and beyond.”
The second honoree of the evening was Rabbi Avraham Mayerovitz. He is a beloved member of the Rabbinical Advisory Board of the Orthodox Jewish Division of the New York State Chaplain’s Task Force; a graduate of Kollel Ayshel Avraham, and an honored member of the Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim.
Also recognized for his diligent efforts to assist Klal Yisroel was Rabbi Duvi Honig, the founder and President of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce.
As the 9th Chag HaSmicha of Kollel Ayshel Avraham concluded, a mother of one of the musmachim commented, “Tonight not only do the families of all the musmachim shep enormous nachas, but HaSahem Yisborach is also shepping nachas, with the knowledge that these new Rabbonim will be leading the flock with constant Yiras Hashem and Ahavas Torah. ”
By: Fern Sidman and Chava S. Spivak