Shabbos Parshas Lech Lecha
My Bar Mitzvah Parsha – 1966
Monday – November 4, 2019:
Woke up late and ended up davening at Chodorov. I was rewarded for my tardiness. I realized that the person who was leining also leined 53 year ago at my Bar Mitzvah at Rabbi Isaac Small’s Shul on Lawrence Avenue. It was Rabbi Avrohom – Allen Isenberg who was about 18 years old at the time. He only shaved once a week as an 18 year old and now his beard is quite fully grown.
Thursday – November 7, 2019:
Left at 10:00 AM driving to Toronto with the wife and two of my son’s, Sholom and Tzvi. Arrived in Toronto at 10:00 PM.
Friday – November 8, 2019:
Went to Shul at 8:00 AM. Went to Daf Yomi. Too fast. Afterwards sat down to learn. I met Larry Gladstone. We talked for about an hour about kids and other matters. Met Avi Janowski, who is in Kollel at the BAYT. Told him my Torah. I spoke to him for another hour on Sunday and discovered he is a Green Bay Packer fan and knows everything Green Bay.
In the afternoon I set up shop at the desk and learned Daf Yomi.
Shabbos – Friday Night November 8, 2019:
Walked with Sholom and Tzvi to Shul. Got there when they were already starting Maariv. Introduced Sholom to Rabbi Korobkin.
Shabbos meal was great. It was nice being with my mother in law,. Serka’s great nephew Shimmy ate with us. He learns at Ohr Chaim in Clanton Park. Nice kid. After the meal I walked him home, stayed there for about an hour talking Torah to Mordy. I discussed the Kotzker Rebbe with him and corrected his misconceptions about the Kotzker. I had some great egg rolls.
Shabbos morning – Saturday 9, 2019 – What a great Shabbos
Woke up at 4:00 AM in the morning and learned Chumosh. I did not have my Mikros Gedolas. I found Chok L’Yisroel from the Zedi, the Holy Jew, Rabbi Yehuda Leibush Noble. My son, Tzvi Yehuda Leibush, is named after him. What Siattah Dishmaya. I learned from the same Sefer our Zedi learned from and held.
I focused on Chapter 12, Verse 2:
בוְאֶֽעֶשְׂךָ֙ לְג֣וֹי גָּד֔וֹל וַֽאֲבָ֣רֶכְךָ֔ וַֽאֲגַדְּלָ֖ה שְׁמֶ֑ךָ וֶֽהְיֵ֖ה בְּרָכָֽה:
The beginning of the Verse say I will bless you and the end of the Pasuk says, you will be blessed. The Chok has a Perush that I have only seen in the old Mikros Gedolas put out by Penimim that can no longer be found.
The bottom Perush asks: why does Chapter 12, Verse 2 say at the end of the Verse repeat that Avrohom should be blessed, when it says it 4 word earlier that he will be blessed? He answered that when earlier in the verse it says that Avrohom will have a great name and be well known, people with become jealous and cast on him the “evil eye”. The Eiyan Harah will cause Avorhom to lose his wealth, so he needed a blessing that despite people’s jealousy, the “evil eye” will not have any affect on Avrohom.
At about 6:00 AM went back to sleep. Got up at 7:15 AM and went to the BAYT for their 7:30 AM Minyan. Met Idelis who played with the Diaspora Yeshiva Band. Afterwards when to an hour long Shiur
Went upstairs to the main Shul to hear the Rabbi’s speech. Rabbi Korobkin spoke eloquently. After the speech, I finally found Frank Diament. At my last trip I was Desperately Seeking Frank, and I found him. We schmoozed for over 30 minutes about Jabotinsky, Menachem Begin, Israel, the book The Prime Ministers, CUFI. He was familiar with all of it. His father was a Beitar (Jabotinsky) member and Frank grew up being a member. I mentioned that Rabbi Shmuel Bowman talked about Christian Evangelicals at BRS about 5 years ago. Frank mentioned that Rabbi Shmuel Bowman is at the Conservatory visiting his father. I fulfilled the Chazel that says, if you mention a thought in the name of the person who said it, you bring redemption to the world and I was rewarded with the chance of being re-united with Rabbi Shmuel Bowman. My mother in law lives in the building.
It was already 12:30, very late and I walked to Yisroel and Chai’s house to visit Hudi. She was sleeping. I showed Yisroel the Chok L’Yisroel from his grandfather. I spoke over all my Torah, especially the Kotzker on Chanoch. I was smoking. It was 30 minutes of Torah discussion. Got home at 1:30 PM. Label walked me home. Had a great Shabbos meal.
Mincha at 4:45 PM.
I asked the two Gabbais if I could speak right after Mincha and right before the regular speaker for two minutes. Right before I was getting up to speak, one of the Gabbis, with his British accent that gave off a very Yekkish vibe, said that no, I cannot speak. The other Gabbai said I should be allowed to speak and did. I proceeded to praise Rabbi Shmuel Bowman, mentioned exactly what he said 5 years earlier, how much I was inspired by him, hugged him and gave Nachas to his father. I felt the entire time the Yekkish Gabbai and other were staring daggers at me.
The speaker was excellent. He is a retired professor of Jewish Studies at McGill University in Montreal.
After Davening I walked and rode with Rabbi Bowman with his father to and on the elevator and to the 6th floor. He lives on the 7th floor with my mother in law on the 6th floor. I found out the Rabbi Bowman is a Sofer STAM and a motivational speaker, besides operating his NGO, Operation Lifeshield. I asked Rabbi Bowman, what his thoughts were of the Kotzker Rebbe. Rabbi Bowman answers, Ahavas Yisroel, love of fellow Jews. I was astounded and asked him how did you know this. Most people would not answer that the Kotzker was all about Ahavas Yisroel. Rabbi Bowman told me through Rabbi Shlomo Carlbach.
Rabbi Bowman lives in Efrat, a few doors down from his good friend, Dovid Willner, my cousin. Wow.
Saturday Night – November 9, 2019:
Went to a movie at the BAYT – Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz. After the movie the Rabbi and Jordanna Leibowitz spoke. She is only 23 and was impressive. She is the granddaughter of Judy and Anshel Leibowitz, good friends and neighbors of my in laws, in Clanton Park. They had the corner home in the Cul-de-Sac. Jordanna’s father is Shlomie Leibowitz. I also saw the other brother, Hymie, whom I hadn’t seen in over 20 years. He looked the same. There were over 200 people there.
Sunday – November 10, 2019:
Davened at the BAYT. Went to the Hakomas Matzvah for Aunt Ruth Noble-Lister. Label and Yosef Lister spoke. Miriam Lister-Klein came in.
For Dinner went to Dr. Laffa in the Soby shopping center. Danny Noble form New York and Shimmy Rothman came with us for dinner.
Monday – November 11, 2019:
Left for Chicago at 10:00 AM. It was snowing and the road snow covered. It took me 13 hours and 10 minutes, I stopped every hour.