The Biale Rebbe to Visit Passaic and West Orange: His Followers Expect Miracles
In the year since the Biale Rebbe’s last visit to New Jersey, there have been dozens of stories that followers of the Rebbe—and even some former skeptics—believe were miracles that resulted from his blessings.
The Rebbe, Rabbi Yaakov Menachem Rabinowicz, will be in Passaic from Tuesday, Junbe 30 through Friday, July 3 and in West Orange from Friday, July 3 until Tuesday, July 7. During that time literally hundreds of people will make appointments and some will stand on line for the opportunity to see him and receive advice. Some will be content merely to see his smile.
Known as the Rebbe of Biale Bnei Brak, Rabbi Rabinowicz is a son of the former Biale Rebbe, Rabbi Dovid Matisyohu Rabinowicz, z”tl. After his father’s death, Rabbi Yaakov Menachem Rabinowicz, long recognized as a scholar and experienced counselor, was pressed to assume the responsibility of guiding his late father’s followers. Already active in outreach programs in the US, he has made a name for himself in Jewish communities throughout America.
A Wedding in Rockland
One of his followers, Yosef Virtzberger, from Flatbush, recalled the winter 2014 wedding of the Rebbe’s son to the granddaughter of the Skverer Rebbe. The wedding, which took place in New Square, New York, attracted thousands, many looking forward to participating in the blessing they feel such a fortuitous event generates.
As expected, thousands of chassidim in streimels and kapotes flocked to New Square, representing the local community as well as communities throughout the world. A huge crowd of Biale chassidim arrived from Israel.
But, according to Mr. Virtzberger, there were many in attendance at the wedding who most definitely were not chassidim. There were many in knitted kippot and many with trimmed beards or no beards at all. They came from California, Florida, Manhattan, and even Bergenfield, NJ.
“These were people who had come from throughout the US, including doctors, lawyers, realtors, financiers, bank officials, and even some Modern Orthodox rabbis. Many of them stayed at the wedding from the beginning to the very end at four in the morning,” he said. “When we asked what they were doing at the wedding, they told us, ‘We are the Biale Rebbe’s chassidim.’”
One of the wedding guests was a prominent Modern Orthodox rabbi in Edison, NJ, who recalled an engaged couple in his congregation. The rabbi knew they had a problem which had been kept secret.
When they learned that the Biale Rebbe would be in the US, they decided to ask for his blessing.
“As soon as they entered the room, even before they could say a word, the Rebbe told them he knew about their problem and proceeded to discuss it with them. The couple told their rabbi about this obvious Ruach Hakodesh, and the rabbi himself quickly secured his own appointment with the Rebbe. Since then, the rabbi has met with the Rebbe many times and makes no move in his personal or public life without the Rebbe’s blessings,” said Mr. Virtzberger.
A popular New York kosher caterer was also among the guests at the Rebbe’s son’s wedding. According to Mr. Virtzberger, two years earlier, at one of his jobs, the caterer noticed a large crowd forming at the side of the hall. When he went to see what was happening, he was told that they were waiting for a blessing from the Biale Rebbe Bnei Brak.
A few months earlier, the bride’s father had asked the Rebbe for a blessing for his still-single older children. Looking at the father’s note with the children’s names, the Rebbe replied, “For the Ribono shel Olam, it’s not hard to marry them all off in one year. May He help that they all get married this year.”
The bride at the wedding was the third daughter in that family to get married that year.
“Having heard the story and actually participated in the wedding, the caterer was determined to get his own blessing from the great tsaddik,” said Mr. Virtzberger, adding that the caterer has since reported another ten miracles that he believes occurred to people who were blessed by the Biale Rebbe at that wedding.
The caterer said he waited until 4am for his turn. When he approached the Rebbe, he told him about his daughter who was then studying at university and going out with a boy of whom the family greatly approved. But the parents did not know if their relationship was going to result in marriage.
According to Mr. Virtzberger, the Rebbe looked at the names and told the father, “He’s buying the engagement ring now.”
The next day, the father learned that his daughter and the young man were engaged.
“There are countless stories that attest to the power of the Rebbe’s blessing,” said Mr. Virtzberger.
These range from a distraught pregnant couple who came to see him after having suffered several previous miscarriages to a patient who had been diagnosed with leukemia.
The couple had been informed that their unborn child would be disabled and that they should consider adoption as their only route to parenthood. The Rebbe, however, predicted that the unborn child would be born healthy and advised the couple to undertake additional mitzvoth. He told the couple he personally would attend their healthy son’s brit milah, and he did.
The patient with leukemia received a blessing that he would be cured in the merit of putting on tefillin every day.
“Less than a year later, the man came to the Rebbe with medical documents that reported his clean bill of health,” said Mr. Virtzberger.
He recalled a story related by the rav of a Chassidic community in Monsey, who received his first blessing from the Biale Rebbe Bnei Brak eight years ago. The Monsey rabbi had three daughters, the youngest of whom was then six. When the Biale Rebbe asked him about a son, the Monsey rabbi replied that he would love a boy. The Biale Rebbe told him to wait for the blessing.
That Friday evening, at the Biale Rebbe’s Oneg Shabbos tisch, the Rebbe took a piece of fish with a bone from his portion and sought out the Monsey rabbi. Using a play on words (“bein” in Yiddish means “bone,” and “bein” in Hebrew means “son”), the Biale Rebbe told the Monsey rabbi, “Take a bein.”
After the tisch, the Biale Rebbe suggested a few other mitzvoth the Monsey rabbi should adopt. Nine months later, the Biale rebbe received a phone call from outside the delivery room of the Rockland County hospital: It was a boy. The Biale Rebbe wished him mazal tov and told him he already knew.
“These are just a few of the miracles that people merited through the Rebbe’s blessings. It is not surprising that hundreds of people flock to his door, awaiting his advice and blessings,” said Mr. Virtzberger.
Parents throughout the world consult with the Rebbe on educational issues, as do husbands and wives who are in conflict.
“Many times, the Rebbe provides surprising advice which brings about a complete change in the entire household. Countless cases of conflict between couples are solved following the Rebbe’s instructions,” said Mr. Virtzberger.
He described helping singles find marriage partners as one of the Rebbe’s favorite “hobbies.” While many single men and women and their parents come to him for blessings and encouragement, the Rebbe often actively seeks marriage partners for them, regardless of age.
The father of 15 biological children, Rabbi Rabinowicz spearheads the Mishnas Shimon yeshiva in Beitar Illit as well as the Biale shuls and kollels in Bnei Brak, Jerusalem Beitar Illit, Modi’in Illit, Ashdod, and Beit Shemesh.
Perhaps closest to his heart is the Fund for Orphans and Widows, which functions under the Rebbe’s personal supervision and provides clothing, shoes, and personal items in the yeshiva dorms and pocket money for orphans studying in the Biale yeshivas.
“The Rebbe takes these precious souls under his wing, opening his home to them and caring for their needs as only a father would. He follows up on their learning and pairs them with private mentors. He personally sees to it that they have new clothing before each holiday. Once, when the Rebbe returned from an overseas trip before Pesach, he went straight from the airport to visit the orphans, even before he saw his own family. He gave each orphan gifts and money to buy clothing for Yom Tov, and only then did he go home,” said Mr. Virtzberger.
His days are not much different whether he is in Israel or the US. Calls constantly come in from Jews who feel the need for the Rebbe’s blessing or advice. Hundreds of emails come in, and, according to Mr. Virtzberger, the Rebbe devotes time daily to answer the questions that arrive from all corners of the world.
“He prays for each of them, either in his Beit Midrash, at holy sites, or at his ancestors’ graves. He carried the burden of the whole nation, feeling their sorrow and rejoicing with their simchas, because all Jews are his children,” said Mr. Virtzberger.
The sheer number of requests requires seven gabbais to work around the clock. “Their greatest satisfaction is to tell the Rebbe the good news of another miracle, a child who was born, or a couple that became engaged due to his holy blessing,” said Mr. Virtzberger.
Among his current projects is a new building for the yeshiva in Beitar Illit which will house a Beit Midrash and shul for Biale chassidim as well as a logistic center to aid the hundreds of orphans, widows, and needy families supported by the Rebbe.
Last year, the students in the yeshiva heard sirens as missiles and rockets were launched by Arab murderers right over the roof of their school, housed in a prefabricated structure. As the war continued, the yeshiva rented a building in Tsfat so that the students could continue to learn as they rested and recuperated from the horrors of the war.
In Passaic and West Orange, the Rebbe will be staying in private homes, where he will hold meetings. In West Orange, where he will be for Shabbat, a large crowd is expected at the Oneg Shabbos tisch on Parshat Balak at 9:15pm.
“A special part of the tisch is when the Rebbe recites the Kiddush using a special nussach, which electrifies the crowd to his holy avodah,” said Mr. Virtzberger. “It is a known fact to his chassidim that the recitation of Kiddush is a special time with potential to bring about great salvation.”
For more information or to make a personal appointment in either Passaic or West Orange from June 30 through July 7, call 917-272-4045 or email BialeBneiBrak@gmail.com.
“Now is the time. Don’t miss the opportunity,” said Mr. Virtzberger.