May 28, 2024
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Rabbi Chaim Wasserman, zt”l: A Shining Rabbinic Example

It was with great sadness that I learned about the passing of Rabbi Chaim Wasserman in your newspaper. I had the privilege to meet R’ Wasserman, the rabbi of Young Israel of Passaic, in 1983. What ahavas Yisroel he portrayed! He was a shining example of what a rabbi should be.

When we met, I spoke to him regarding Bris Avrohom’s activities in the state of New Jersey, and because there was an influx of Jews from the Soviet Union in Passaic, that I was seeking a place to open a kollel for the elderly people. My vision was for the elderly to come learn each day; we would provide them with classes in Torah study as well as ESL (English as a second language). R’ Wasserman embraced me with both his hands and gave Bris Avrohom space in his shul to run the kollel for many years. Fifty people attended the kollel there daily under the leadership of Rabbi Baruch Lepkivker.

R’ Wasserman, however, wasn’t satisfied with just giving us space. He spoke to the members of his congregation and encouraged them to support the project, to pay for transportation for the elderly to go to and from the kollel, and also to provide for them with a hearty lunch.

When in 1984, the Lubavitcher Rebbe asked that in every community shul a Tanya be printed, R’ Wasserman helped Bris Avrohom bring a printing press into his shul where Tanyas were printed. Beyond that, he arranged for sponsorship of the printing, and when it was printed, we sat together and learned from those Tanyas and drank l’chaim.

R’ Wasserman immensely enjoyed the moments he met with the Rebbe. He cherished the times he went to the Rebbe and received kos shel bracha or honey cake.

R’ Wasserman often served as sandek at brissim Bris Avrohom arranged, and as mesader kiddushin at the gala weddings Bris Avrohom performed. He was a true friend of Bris Avrohom.

We will sorely miss him.

Yehi zichro Baruch.
Rabbi Mordechai Kanelsky
Hillside
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