Shabbos Parshas Naso – May 31, 2014

Rabbi Emanuel Gettinger

Bais Netziv http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naftali_Zvi_Yehuda_Berlin

 File:Naftali Tzvi Iehuda Berlin (ha-Natziv) 1a.jpg

I was at Buckingham Pavilion a week ago and I was Zocah to meet Rabbi Emanuel Gettinger, http://www.yiws.org/rabbis/. Unfortunately he is there for recuperation.

 I decided to daven by Buckingham Pavilion and speak about Rabbi Gettinger.  I never met him before but I consider him my Rebbe.  I have been inspired by his two sons, Rabbi Yisroel Gettinger, Rabbi at Bene Torah in Indianapolis; Rabbi Refael Gettinger, Rosh Yeshiva in Lakewood, NJ; and his son-in-law, Dr. Julius Ungar, who lives in Chicago.   When I arrived at Buckingham Pavilion I received a pleasant surprise.  Rabbi Refael Gettinger of Lakewood was visiting his father and I was able to introduce myself as the guy from Chicago.

 Rabbi Emanuel Gettinger is married to a descendant of the Netziv, through the Netziv’s son-in-law, Rabbi Refael Shapiro http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refael_Shapiro.

 When Rabbi Gettinger was engaged to his wife, Rochel Riff, the daughter of Rabbi Naftoli Riff of Camden, NJ, it was not fitting for someone to marry into the Netziv’s family unless that person was a Torah scholar.   Rabbi Meyer Bar Ilan (Berlin) the son of the Netziv and head of Mizrahi in Israel was the family representative to test Rabbi Gettinger. Rabbi Gettinger passed with distinction. I was fortunate to meet and hear Torah from Rabbi Meyer Bar Ilan’s grandson, named after his grandfather.

 In 1937 Rabbi Meyer Bar Ilan send a greeting to the Agudah convention in Europe, which was read at the convention. In his greeting, Rabbi Meyer Bar Ilan apologized for not being able to attend, and said that we should work on projects on behalf of the Jewish people together. Beautiful. Toras Netziv.

 The Gabbai of the Buckingham Pavilion Synagogue gave me permission to speak after prayer services.    The following is my speech.

 Zeh Hayon Nagila V’Nismach Bo – I rejoice this day

 This morning I was learning Daf Yomi and did not understand how Rashi explained a Passuk. I decided to look at the Torah Temima, a nephew of the Netziv, and the Torah Temima helped clarify Rashi for me. Without Rashi, the Gemora would have been difficult to comprehend.   Two weeks earlier I was at Boca Raton Synagogue and sat in Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda’s class. Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda, also a nephew of the Netziv, said a number of times that if only he realized how great Rashi was years ago, he would have focused more on Rashi.

 (Update – I was in Boca four weeks later and found out that Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda fell and needs a Refuah Shlema. I miss him greatly.)

 I have now met the father of three teachers of Torah who have given their time to me.  Additionally, Rabbi Emanuel Gettinger is married to the great grand-daughter of the famed Netziv – Rav Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin. I have written about the greatness of the Netziv elsewhere in my blog.

 Dr. Julius Ungar – I attend his classes on Chassidic thought and on Jewish history.  They are excellent.  I consider anything I write on my blog a success when Dr. Ungar e-mails me that he likes what I wrote. 

 Rabbi Yisroel Gettinger – I davened in his Shul for a number of years when I visited my daughter in Indianapolis.  Rabbi Yisroel Gettinger has the phenomenal ability to express Torah thoughts and ideas succinctly.  He translates Hebrew in a precise manner.  His Koach Hasbara (ability to articulate Torah) is unparalleled.

 Rabbi Refael Gettinger – About I year ago, I needed an explanation on a Passuk that had three Yisiv P’siks and I ended up calling Rabbi Refael Gettinger.  He is a busy Rosh Yeshiva and he gave me over an hour of his time.  We spoke Torah and about the house of the Netziv. 

 May Rabbi Emanuel Gettinger and Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda have a Refuah Shlema and may Hashem grant them the ability to teach Torah. I look forward to hearing their Torah.

 

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