Sign In Forgot Password

Rabbi's Blog: Sunrise, Sunset - Remembering Yossele Rosenblatt z'l

06/14/2023 11:31:22 AM



Dear OZ family,


Today, the 25th of Sivan, is the 90th Yahrzeit of the most famous Chazan of all time, Yossele Rosenblatt, who served Ohab Zedek in the 116th Street location as well as at its current location on 95th Street. The Bimah at the center of our sanctuary has a place in history, as Yossele Rosenblatt sang from that very spot. Please click HERE for article from David Olivestone on this momentous yahrzeit. David is no stranger from the very same Bimah. He was our Ba’al Tokeya for many years before he and his wife Ceil fulfilled their dreams of Aliyah. Another important Ohab Zedek historical event took place just about the time of Chazan Rosenblatt’s passing.


Chazal say that before the sun sets on one leader of our people, the sun of the replacement begins to rise. The very first example of this in the Midrash is of Sarah and Rivkah. The passing of Sarah was not devastating to Yitzchak because the love of Rivkah filled his heart with what was missing by Sarah’s passing. Examples continue with the rising sun of Osniel ben Kenaz before the sun set on Yehoshua. Shmuel and Eli are also an example of this phenomenon, and it continues in Chazal that Rebbi Yehudah Hanassi was born at the time of Rabbi Akiva’s passing. This even continues with the lore that teaches that Rashi was born just as Rabbenu Gershom died.


Ohab Zedek took a great blow with the untimely passing of its world renowned Chazzan. But unbeknownst to the congregation at the time, God rose the sun of a child born the same week that Yossele Rosenblatt passed away to uphold Ohab Zedek during very difficult times. I saw minutes of OZ board meetings from back in the 70’s when the shul considered merging with another congregation on the West Side, the sticking point being, which one would close its doors permanently. Others wanted to sell the shul and run to a better area while we could still get money for the building. 90 years ago this week, Murray Zucker was born. Murray came to the shul in 1957 and immediately got involved. He put his foot down at those meetings and said the building will not be sold. He and his wife, Veronica (she should be well), would do all they needed, to maintain the shul until better times, and better times did indeed come. It behooves us to remember the name Murray Zucker alongside Yossele Rosenblatt in the Ohab Zedek Hall of Fame.


I am happy and proud to announce that our daughter Mindy, and her husband Rabbi Yoni Zolty, and their son Shalev, will remain on the West Side as Rabbi Zolty was just appointed to be the Rabbi of Ramath Orah on 110th Street. It is a great Nachas to have a grandchild in the neighborhood and they will be completing their very successful tenure together at Lincoln Square Synagogue, shortly. This Shabbos is Mindy’s last Drasha at the shul and the Rebbitzen and I have been invited to hear her. I will be davening at Hashkama and I will deliver a short Drasha just before Kriyat Hatorah in the main service. We will try to return in time for the Milestone Kiddush to congratulate all the graduates.


May the memories of Yossele Rosenblatt and Murray Zucker be a blessing.


Stay well and healthy.

Rabbi Allen Schwartz


 PS: Please take 45 seconds to back Israel's entry into the Visa Waiver Program by clicking HERE


Rabbi Allen Schwartz

Congregation Ohab Zedek

118 West 95th Street | New York, NY  10025-6604

Phone 212.749-5150, ext 200



Sat, September 30 2023 15 Tishrei 5784