On Thursday, July 8, 2021, 28 Tammuz 5781, at Ahi Ezer Yeshiva Congregation, 60 rabbis from the Igud HaRabbonim/Rabbinical Alliance of America gathered together and convened its monthly Rosh Chodesh conference and dinner.
The conference and dinner were sponsored by RAA/Igud Presidium member and rabbi of the Ahi Ezer Yeshiva Congregation, Rabbi Hanania Elbaz. The Rosh Chodesh Av conference was sponsored by Rabbi Elbaz in memory of his illustrious father, HaGaon HaChacham Shalom Ben HaGaon HaChacham Chayim Elbaz, ZT’l. Rabbi Elbaz delivered a scholarly Dvar Halacha in his father’s memory.
The keynote speaker at the Rosh Chodesh Av conference and dinner was Rabbi Nissim Ze’ev. Rabbi Ze’ev, a founder of the Shas party and a 17-year veteran of the Knesset, has served on crucial Knesset committees such as the Knesset’s Foreign Relations Committee.
Rabbi Ze’ev also is the founder of Netivat Yisrael, a girl’s high school which currently services over 200 students. Rabbi Ze’ev was accompanied with his highly respected brother Rabbi Aharon Ze’ev, who is the rabbi of the Aur Torah Sephardic Minyan of Staten Island. Their father, HaGaon HaChacham Yosef Chaim Ze’ev, ZT’L was an illustrious Iraqi rabbi who served as Rosh HaYeshiva of Jerusalem’s famed Yesodai HaTorah. Famous chief rabbis, such as HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef, ZT’L and HaGaon HaRav Mordechai Eliyahu, ZT’l not only obtained their semicha (rabbinic ordination) from Rabbi Yosef Chaim Ze’ev, but also served as Roshei Yeshiva at Yesodei HaTorah.
Rabbi Nissim Ze’ev applauded the “important Avodat HaKodesh of the Igud HaRabbonim/Rabbinical Alliance of America.”
Rabbi Ze’ev emphasized how vital the support of the Igud HaRabbonim/Rabbinical Alliance of America, since its inception 79 years ago, has been for the Israeli Chief Rabbinate and how proud he is to be a member of such an important, illustrious, distinguished and renowned rabbinical association.
“The English speaking Orthodox American rabbinate is well represented by the Igud HaRabbonim/Rabbinical Alliance of America. It is important for the Israeli government, especially now under Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, to know that American Jewry and its English-speaking rabbinate fully support and stands in solidarity with the Israeli Chief Rabbinate currently headed by Chief Rabbi HaGaon HaRav David Lau, Shlita and HaGaon HaChacham, Rishon LeTzion Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef, Shlita. The rock-solid support of the Igud HaRabbonim/Rabbinical Alliance of America is crucial, as there is a serious push to abolish the Chief Rabbinate’s jurisdiction over personal identification issues such as conversion and divorce. The Chief Rabbinate’s office is the guardian of Halacha. By ensuring that proper Halachic standards and practices are in place, it unifies the Jewish nation.”
“To this I credit the Igud HaRabbonim’s administration, its Presidium, and its world-famous Beth Din. I especially credit Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president, and Rabbi Dovid Katz, director/menahel, for being in constant contact with the Rabbinate and always available at any hour of the day to take whatever steps are needed in defense of Torah, Halacha, and the Rabbinate. May Hashem Yitbarach bless the Igud HaRabbonim/Rabbinical Alliance of America to continue its important work ad biyat Go’el tzedek.”
Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht, presidium member of the Igud HaRabbonim. presented in memory of HaGaon HaChacham Shalom Ben HaGaon HaChacham, ZT’L a motion on the record to reaffirm the Igud HaRabbonim’s 79-year-old position of fully supporting the Chief Rabbinate as the guardians of Halacha, especially in areas of conversions, divorce, and kashrut.
Rabbi Hecht stated, “Halacha is what unifies the Jewish Nation and Halacha and observance of Torah and mitzvos is what connects Am Yisrael globally and universally as one people. The Israeli Chief Rabbinate, currently under the aegis of Chief Rabbis David Lau and Yitzchak Yosef, are fully committed to maintaining solid and true Ahavas Yisrael through the proper ritual practice as prescribed by Halacha, which unifies all of Israel. Therefore, we the Rabbinical Alliance of America continue our steadfast support of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate. We call upon Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his government to respect the mandate provided to the Israeli Chief Rabbinate and to allow them to continue their holy work as the guardians of Halacha for the State of Israel. In merit of continuing this sacred tradition, the Al-mighty will shine his countenance and blessings on Prime Minister Bennett and his government.” The resolution proudly passed unanimously.
Also participating in the Rosh Chodesh Av conference and dinner were Rabbi Yaakov Klass, presidium member of the Igud HaRabbonim/Rabbinical Alliance of America; Rabbi Yaakov Shulman, presidium member of the Igud HaRabbonim/Rabbinical Alliance of America; Rabbi Dovid Katz, director/menahel, Igud HaRabbonim/Rabbinical Alliance of America; Rabbi Gil Student, director, Vaad Halacha, Igud HaRabbonim/Rabbinical Alliance of America; Rabbi Moish Schmerler, administrative director, Igud HaRabbonim/Rabbinical Alliance of America; Rabbi Yehuda Blank, director of Programing, Chaplaincy Commission and External Affairs, Igud HaRabbonim/Rabbinical Alliance of America; Rabbi Aharon Ze’ev, rabbi of the Aur Torah Sephardic Congregation of Staten Island; and Rabbi Yaniv Meirov, Chazaq.