June 17, 2024
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June 17, 2024
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Nikolsburg Celebrates Past and Future

(Sponsored Content) History was made last week with the celebration of a hachnosas sefer Torah in Woodbourne. This coming Sunday there will be yet another sefer given to that famous shul of the Nikolsburger Rebbe, known simply as Woodbourne Shul, or Nikolsburg. Besides for the rarity of two sifrei Torah given to the same place within such a short period of time, these events indicate multiple significant developments both past and present. The donors of both sifrei Torah, Mr. Mordy Bistritzky and Mr. Ezra Kapnick, are students of the Nikolsburger Rebbe from their early youth in Yeshivas Rabeinu Chaim Berlin. The fact that so many years later they still feel such a connection with their Alef-Bais rebbe speaks volumes.

This is the first time since the shul reopened that a hachnosas sefer Torah took place. Why now? What new occurrence inspired two isolated people to make the massive commitment and undertaking. Sifrei Torah don’t grow on trees, you know.

If you are asking this question, you clearly haven’t been to Woodbourne lately. Come on in, any time of day, any time of year and you will see a serious shul with all the trimmings and trappings, plus.

You read that correctly!

Nikolsburg is officially open year-round! The country explodes in the summer and thousands of mispalelim enter daily. This is besides for the thousands who find a minyan in the front or newly renovated back deck and have no need to even enter. This amounts to tens of thousands of Yidden benefiting from this legendary shul. Now it is more than just a summer shul: Nikolsburg has evolved into a full-fledged kehila, neigh, a chasidus! Fear not, a Nikolsburger chasid need not conform to a certain dress code, nusach, or hashkafa. Oh no, not in Nikolsburg! A chasid is one who follows his Rebbe, and in Nikolsburg, the Rebbe welcomes everyone, values every Jew, and exudes love indiscriminately. Sure, there are those who walk into Nikolsburg and are displeased. “How can he dress like that?” they wonder. “Where’s the kavod hatefillah?” asks another. They too will soon come to know and love that things work differently here, limaila miderech hatevah. Is there any other way to describe the revolution that is Nikolsburg?

These great events coincide with the centennial anniversary of Woodbourne Shul. We are entering into the next phase. Things are moving faster now. In only a few more years, when Woodbourne is once again a year-round thriving Jewish community and Nikolsburg is its cornerstone, you, my dear reader, may just be able to say: “I remember when it all began. I was at that hachnosas sefer Torah that started it all.”

Last week, amidst the commotion, the Rebbe received a phone call. An unnamed fellow Yid languishing in the Woodbourne penitentiary wanted to let him know that the music from the celebration was heard all around the grounds. Jews and gentiles alike were swept up in the euphoric atmosphere and they began dancing. Nikolsburg affects everyone!

Come celebrate, come dance, sing, jump, cry, as we parade our victory. It wasn’t easy to open, and every step of the way was fraught with difficulties and challenges. Nikolsburg saw them all, overcame them all and emerged stronger than ever. Is that not the story of Jewish history?

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