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Chester, NY - Menorah Candle Accident Destroys Rabbi's House

Published on: December 26, 2008 01:15 PM
By: Recordonline / VIN News
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Chester, NY - The home of Rabbi Nochum Laskin was destroyed by fire early Thursday morning. The cause was an oil candle in a menorah, according to fire investigators.

Firefighters were called to 22 Lincoln Road, in a 2 story development off Lakes Road and Wilson Road, just before 2 a.m. when they arrived, flames were already shooting through the roof.

The rabbi was home with his wife, Beatrice, at the time. He tried to extinguish the fire and was treated for smoke inhalation.

Chester firefighters transmited a 2nd alarm, and were assisted at the scene by firefighters from Monroe, Lakeside and Greenwood Lake, while Warwick and Goshen firefighters provided standby crews to cover the Chester firehouses.

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Laskin, the rabbi at Ahavas Torah in Monroe, was once principal of the now-closed Hebrew Day School of Orange County in Middletown.

Neighbors said the couple is staying with family in New Jersey.

 


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Read Comments (28)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Dec 26, 2008 at 02:11 PM Anonymous Says:

Another 'holy' fire, eh?

2

 Dec 26, 2008 at 02:01 PM Why? Says:

Why are people careless during Holidays? Do they think rules of nature don't apply during these times? Why are people not responsible? Fires can hurt people not related to you (neighbors etc).. One has to be extremely careful and think about others when doing 'Mitzvahs'. It is amazing that people are zealous and foolish regarding 'a Kosher Esrog', Best Teffilin, Mehadrin this and Mehadrin that (can you say Cholov Yishmoel?)...But when it comes to daily items and special ones, especially when it comes to others the selfish 'holier than thou' attitude kicks in, and everyone is trivial - every man for himself. Shame on those that act in this animalistic way!

3

 Dec 26, 2008 at 02:47 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Another 'holy' fire, eh?

The article does not mention any carelessness on the part of the Rabbi. One of the beautiful precepts of our Torah is to judge our fellow man favorably especially at the time of his great tzaara. Rabbi Laskin should be able to rebuild his house and have the strength to get past this great difficulty.

4

 Dec 26, 2008 at 02:39 PM bp Says:

Reply to #2:
According to your own comments, you are very selfish and act very animilistic with such irresponsible commentary.
Have you not heard of an accident ?
How about "Havei Dun Es Kol Hoodom Lekaaf Zechus"?
Why judge somebody without knowing how it happened?
Maybe he was careful and for some strange reason the candle flipped and fell off the silver foil onto something and caught fire quickly?
SHAME ON YOU

5

 Dec 26, 2008 at 02:29 PM Anonymous Says:

Omein! Whatever happened to the מצות עשה מדאורייתא to be melamed zchus?!?!

6

 Dec 26, 2008 at 02:19 PM Anonymous Says:

do anyone knows if this rabbi laskin is the chaplin of the correction in upstate ?

7

 Dec 26, 2008 at 03:29 PM yes he is the chaplain upstate Says:

and he's a 1 man kiruv machine & his sons & sons-inlaw r marbitzay tora. Nebach Nebach Nebach

8

 Dec 26, 2008 at 03:37 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

do anyone knows if this rabbi laskin is the chaplin of the correction in upstate ?

yes he is a chaplain in the prisons hes doing fine and is staying by his daughter in lkwd

9

 Dec 26, 2008 at 03:21 PM Anonymous Says:

Yes, he is the chaplain upstate. Apparently they lit the candles after returning from a wedding and went to sleep.Not very smartyou should wait up the half hour to be yotzeh and then blow them out. Can't understand why people just can't get this through their heads. B"H no one was killed

10

 Dec 26, 2008 at 04:08 PM Put in Sink= No Sakana//Midoiraisa? Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

Omein! Whatever happened to the מצות עשה מדאורייתא to be melamed zchus?!?!

I always put our menorah in the sink if leaving the house. Or line the table where the menorah is with silver foil..... BE CAREFULL (and pls remember this for future Chanukah's):>
Also, who says it is Midoraisa to Dan LeChaf Schus??? Is it from V'ahfta L'Reicha Kamocha??

11

 Dec 26, 2008 at 03:52 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

Yes, he is the chaplain upstate. Apparently they lit the candles after returning from a wedding and went to sleep.Not very smartyou should wait up the half hour to be yotzeh and then blow them out. Can't understand why people just can't get this through their heads. B"H no one was killed

wow, you are a disgusting person to say such things about a rav who has done so much for his community and his family...hashem should have mercy on you for even beginning to say such things about someone.

12

 Dec 27, 2008 at 07:16 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
Anonymous Says:

wow, you are a disgusting person to say such things about a rav who has done so much for his community and his family...hashem should have mercy on you for even beginning to say such things about someone.

if the facts are as this person stated or implied carelessness, which we don't know- I think he is Not a horrible person, just upset at something that appears to have been preventable.......similar to (L'havdil) smoking in bed.

13

 Dec 27, 2008 at 08:58 PM robroy560 Says:

How many times will this happen? Every year we learn of terrible situations like this.

Please be careful. Once I light, I don't leave the room - unless someone else is watching. We also keep the windows shut and drapes far away.

Many of the candles today are cheap ones may in China. I cannot begin to tell you how many "dud" ones I have had from the China garbage.

14

 Dec 27, 2008 at 08:51 PM Chuck Says:

I've known Rav Laskin all my life, and he's a shayner yid with a beautiful family. An accident is an accident, and no matter how careful you are, it's still an accident. Instead of criticizing, how about we call his shul and find out what he needs?

15

 Dec 27, 2008 at 08:38 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Why? Says:

Why are people careless during Holidays? Do they think rules of nature don't apply during these times? Why are people not responsible? Fires can hurt people not related to you (neighbors etc).. One has to be extremely careful and think about others when doing 'Mitzvahs'. It is amazing that people are zealous and foolish regarding 'a Kosher Esrog', Best Teffilin, Mehadrin this and Mehadrin that (can you say Cholov Yishmoel?)...But when it comes to daily items and special ones, especially when it comes to others the selfish 'holier than thou' attitude kicks in, and everyone is trivial - every man for himself. Shame on those that act in this animalistic way!

I would like to give you a bracha that at some point in your life you should have the opportunity to meet Rabbi Laskin. He is one of the most special, selfless, spiritual, giving people that I have EVER met.

Clearly, your post reflects some other area of your life about which you are unhappy. G-d willing you will have the opportunity to meet Rabbi Laskin, and you will realize that he shouldn't be the dumping ground of your upset.

Have A Frailichin Chanukah! All the best.

16

 Dec 27, 2008 at 09:22 PM Anonymous Says:

Thank G-d nobody was seriously injured while trying to put out the fire. May their insurance cover the damage and build for them a beautiful new home.

17

 Dec 27, 2008 at 10:12 PM chakira Says:

This is such sad and terrible news. Rabbi Laskin is a tremendous תלמיד חכם and a wonderful person. If there is any way to help him rebuild I hope VIN publicizes it.

18

 Dec 27, 2008 at 11:44 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

do anyone knows if this rabbi laskin is the chaplin of the correction in upstate ?

Yes and some prior inmates might have some thought over this tradgedy I wonder what he restricted the inmates with this chanuka....

19

 Dec 28, 2008 at 01:20 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #18  
Anonymous Says:

Yes and some prior inmates might have some thought over this tradgedy I wonder what he restricted the inmates with this chanuka....

Unfortunately what happens on the inside stays on the inside. Rabbi Laskin, wish u well in ur tzorah, it is no fun being displaced from home even on the outside. You will get a lot of help and chesed from those who do not even know u. Helping those that know only u is so important. We are one am, no matter how low we fall.

20

 Dec 28, 2008 at 02:11 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

do anyone knows if this rabbi laskin is the chaplin of the correction in upstate ?

yes in Otisville

21

 Dec 28, 2008 at 10:45 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Put in Sink= No Sakana//Midoiraisa? Says:

I always put our menorah in the sink if leaving the house. Or line the table where the menorah is with silver foil..... BE CAREFULL (and pls remember this for future Chanukah's):>
Also, who says it is Midoraisa to Dan LeChaf Schus??? Is it from V'ahfta L'Reicha Kamocha??

major aam haaretz---of course put the monorah in the sink if you are leaving the house who ever heard of going to sleep while the candles are burning!!!!!!

22

 Dec 28, 2008 at 12:17 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #20  
Anonymous Says:

yes in Otisville

Esteemed supervisory chaplain at Otisville. Wrote BOP policy for religious inmates. Very machmir in Hilchos BOP.

23

 Dec 28, 2008 at 01:53 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
Chuck Says:

I've known Rav Laskin all my life, and he's a shayner yid with a beautiful family. An accident is an accident, and no matter how careful you are, it's still an accident. Instead of criticizing, how about we call his shul and find out what he needs?

Everyone should take a fire safety course!

24

 Dec 28, 2008 at 03:09 PM Anonymous Says:

nebech what a loss but at least everyone was saved

25

 Dec 28, 2008 at 05:23 PM bigwheeel Says:

Reply to #2  
Why? Says:

Why are people careless during Holidays? Do they think rules of nature don't apply during these times? Why are people not responsible? Fires can hurt people not related to you (neighbors etc).. One has to be extremely careful and think about others when doing 'Mitzvahs'. It is amazing that people are zealous and foolish regarding 'a Kosher Esrog', Best Teffilin, Mehadrin this and Mehadrin that (can you say Cholov Yishmoel?)...But when it comes to daily items and special ones, especially when it comes to others the selfish 'holier than thou' attitude kicks in, and everyone is trivial - every man for himself. Shame on those that act in this animalistic way!

You know, you're too much! By calling Cholov Yisroel Cholov Yishmoel, you're trivializing it (whether you observe it, personally is immaterial), but calling religious people who observe the Mitzvot, animalistic is [way] over the top! This was clearly an accident. One of the candles could have tipped over while the Rabbi and his wife were sleeping and were unaware of the fire until it was too late!!!

26

 Dec 28, 2008 at 09:30 PM aviva Says:

i think what ever happens is for the best & Hashem has His own ways to run this world but of course i not saying it was good what happen and also i would never go to sleep with my candles burning
have a happy chanukah :)

27

 Dec 28, 2008 at 09:09 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #25  
bigwheeel Says:

You know, you're too much! By calling Cholov Yisroel Cholov Yishmoel, you're trivializing it (whether you observe it, personally is immaterial), but calling religious people who observe the Mitzvot, animalistic is [way] over the top! This was clearly an accident. One of the candles could have tipped over while the Rabbi and his wife were sleeping and were unaware of the fire until it was too late!!!

I don't necessary agree with his name calling, but there is such a thing as fire safety. Do you believe that there is a chiuv to learn how to prevent fires? Also smoke detectors that are operating properly and placed properly would give an early warning to the fire. You shouldn't always stay to fight the fire, but sometimes you can.

28

 Dec 28, 2008 at 11:00 PM bigwheeel Says:

Reply to #27  
Anonymous Says:

I don't necessary agree with his name calling, but there is such a thing as fire safety. Do you believe that there is a chiuv to learn how to prevent fires? Also smoke detectors that are operating properly and placed properly would give an early warning to the fire. You shouldn't always stay to fight the fire, but sometimes you can.

I agree with you on that point. I'm speaking of personal experience! A few years back, one Motz(o)ei Shabbos, after returning home we put the partially burned candles on and went to sleep. About an hour later I was awakened to a persistent rhythm that sounded like the phone ringing. It was the smoke detector, which was set off by the expanded flame at the end of the candle. The lesson learned is that a candle is never left unattended except the Shabbos candles which come in special [glass] containers, and are naturally more safe. Even so, the house is never left while the candles are burning. My reaction to the original poster (#5) was his name calling and prejudging!!! (not to speak of his prejudice)!!!

29

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