Hundreds Gather in Boro Park for Annual 19 Kislev Melave Malka

Phots: Dovber Hechtman/

A grand melave malka in Boro Park celebrated the Rosh Hashana of Chassidus with many distinguished speakers and guests in attendance, and a large sale of sefarim on Chassidus on site.

By reporter

Hundreds of Yidden from diverse backgrounds gathered on Motzei Shabbos to attend the annual melave malka in honor of Yud Tes Kislev, organized by Heichal Menachem of Boro Park. Established and spear-headed by Rabbi Yehuda Leib Altein, the melava malka was graced by Talmidei Chachamim of world renown.

The event opened with musician Yossi Cohen and the Kapelle Choir who sang chassidishe niggunim and songs in honor of Yud Tes Kislev, including pada besholom.

The evening was emceed by Rabbi Shloma Sternberg, who conducted the evening with great skill and derhoibenkeit. He spoke about what it means to be dedicated to limud hachassidus and darchei hachassidus and how to bring chassidishe atmosphere into the house.

He spoke about how to inspire children that aren’t yet up to learning chassidus, and how to teach them that the Aibershter has such a nachas in what they are doing. He brought out the message of Yud Tes Kislev, focusing on how Chassidus changed our focus from what we ourselves want, to what is ratzon Hashem?

Then Rabbi Leibel Altein, yosheiv rosh of Heichal Menachem and author of the Chassidus Mevueres series, spoke about the first maamer in the new sefer of Chassidus Mevueres about to be published, “Adam Ki Yakriv”. He said that the Alter Rebbe taught that avoda needs to be b’koach atzmo, a person needs to do the work himself, instead of having emunah and relying on the tzaddik to do it for him. In that way, a person makes it pnimius and lasting. The Frierdiker Rebbe said that this maamer is essential and should be the first maamer you learn when you start learning chassidus.

Rabbi Fishel Ostermaggid shiur in Oholei Torah, spoke beautifully, connecting Yakov and the parsha to the special day and what we can learn from him.

Following him, Rabbi Binyomin Breier, Rav of Zichron Yehuda – Vien, spoke very strongly how learning Tanya and Chassidus literally changes your day to day life. He thanked Rabbi Altein for Chassidus Mevueres, that when you learn it, it changes everything. You go into Yom Tov differently: when you learn “Atem Nitzavim” on Rosh Hashana morning everything is different, your malchiyos, zechronos, etc.

Then Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Ofen from Yerushalayim was the main guest speaker spoke and then farbrenged until 2:30 am. He spoke strongly about the importance of davening, that we need to learn at least 15 min before. Davening is about coming close to Hashem, not just saying words or asking for things we need.

The crowd then watched a video of the Rebbe with a sicha about mesiras nefesh for learning. “Sheker hachein vehevel hayofi” means that learning with mesiras nefesh when times are hard and we don’t feel a geshmak in it, even if we are not learning on a high level- that is the emes of Torah, and it is on a much higher level. The chein and yofi is the geshmak, and those are sheker: what is the true Torah? The learning with mesiras nefesh.

After the sicha, there was niggunim followed be a farbrengen into the wee hours of the night, with divrei hisorerus shared by many rabbanim and mashpi’im. In attendance were Rabbi Gavriel Zinner, Rabbi Dovid Kaplinsky, the Rav of Gur, Rabbi Sholom Charitonov, mashpia in Oholei Torah, Rabbi Yaakov Bluming, Rabbi Tzvi Altner the Rav of Linat Hatzedek, Rabbi Moshe Ostreicher, and Rabbi Rechnitzer.

Outside of the hall was a sefarim sale where hundreds of Chassidus sefarim were sold throughout the night at steeply discounted prices.


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