58 years ago, the South African community gathered for a memorable Yud Shevat farbrengen led by well-known personalities of that time.
By Anash.org writer
On Yud Shevat 5722 (1962), Chabad Chassidim in Johannesburg, South Africa, gathered for a farbrengen to mark the special day. The audio recording was sent to the Rebbe at the time and was now released by Chabad librarian Rabbi Sholom Ber Levin ahead of Yud Shvat – 70 Years.
The farbrengen featured several prominent speakers:
Rabbi Alter Hilowitz, rov of the Chabad Shul in Johannesburg and one of the early editors of Encyclopedia Talmudis. He was a grandson of the famed Chabad chossid Reb Avremke Zhebiner and he was a brother-in-law of Reb Shilem Kuratin.
Rabbi Yirmiyohu Alloy, a dayon and one of the senior Chabad Chassidim in South Africa. He had served as the Rosh Yeshiva of Tomchei Temimim in Glubaka, Russia.
Rabbi Chaim Ze’ev Finkel, son of the famous Mirrer Rosh Yeshiva Reb Leizer Yudel Finkel and brother-in-law of R’ Chaim Shmulevitz. He served as Mashgiach and Menhael Ruchni at the Mirrer Yeshiva in Yerushalayim and Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Heichal HaTalmud.
Menachem Porush, who served as the chairman of Agudas Yisrael, and had been a member of the Israeli Knesset. In his talk, he shares a story (1:02) from when he served as a go-between between the Brisker Rov and Frierdiker Rebbe, as well as his yechidusen with the Rebbe.
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Reb Alter Hilowitz’s father, Reb Mendel, was the rov of zhembin after his shver, Reb Avremke Zebiner, passed away.
Besides for his sister that was married to Reb Shilem (as noted in the article), his other sister was married to Reb Avrohom Boruch Pewzner.
There are many letters of the Rebbe to Reb Alter in learning, including a back and forth discussion on pshat in Tanya Perek 8.
Rabbi Alloy AH who was also the Rabbi of the Bariah shul, was one of the most well knows south african rabonim. The Fridike Rebbe said about him that he is “מופלג באהבת ישראל”. He was a decedent of Reb Zelig Dokshitzer (a chosid of the Alter Rebbe, mentioned in the siefer Beis Reby).