Welcome, Guest! - or
Easy to remember!  »  VinNews.com

Ridgwood, Queens, NY - Thousands Attend Gravesite Of Rabbi Yaakov Joseph Zt'l On 107 Yahrzeit

Published on: July 16, 2009 12:39 PM
Change text size Text Size  
Bookmark and Share

Ridgwood, Queens, NY - Thousands are participating in prayer visits, reciting Tehillim, at the gravesite of Rabbi Yaakov Joseph, in Union Field Cemetery, 82-11 Cypress Avenue in Ridgewood, Queens, not far from Williamsburg, today Thursday, 24 Tammuz, July 16. on the 107 Yahrzeit.
Last Year
        Last year, on the yahrzeit, buses came from Williamsburg and elsewhere, bringing visitors to the cemetery. The usually quiet and tranquil spot was suddenly busy with people rushing to the gravesite of the chief rabbi. People packed the area of the tombstone. Included were many rabbis and their congregants, Chassidishe Rebbes with their disciples, and Roshei Yeshiva and their students, praying and jostling for standing room in the immediate vicinity.

NY Times article from 1902 report of the passing of Rabbi Joseph ZT’l [PDF file]

Advertisement:

          Hundreds of candles were lit, intensifying the day’s heat. Thousands of tearful prayers of supplicants were heard all day long, beseeching Hashem to answer all tefillos and ease their oppressive burdens.
        Rabbi Jacob Joseph was born in Krozhe Province of Kovno. He studied at the yeshiva in Volozhin under Rabbi Yisroel Salanter, zt"l (1810-1883), and was elected as Rav of Vilon, Yurburg, and Zhagovy before becoming Maggid and acting Rav of Vilna in 1883. A brilliant Talmudist, Rabbi Joseph was especially known for his exceptional homiletical talents. 


A Chief Rabbi Is Sought

        When Rabbi Avraham Yosef Asch, zt"l (1813- 1887), first Rav of Beis Medrash HaGadol of the Lower East Side, passed away, a new Rav was sought. There was a common consensus that organizing the many congregations in New York City under one banner was urgently needed and a decision was made by the 15 most prominent kehillos to appoint a Chief Rabbi. Requests were sent to the leading rabbis of Europe, the seat of religious Jewry at that time, for recommendations of candidates. Several outstanding applicants were considered. A delegation was dispatched to Europe and consulted with its leading rabbis for an appointment of a Chief Rabbi of towering Torah and personal stature for New York’s large and growing Jewish community. Rabbi Yaakov Joseph’s name was repeatedly suggested. 


A Chief Rabbi Is Selected

        After much careful deliberation, the position was offered to and accepted by Rabbi Yaakov Joseph, zt"l (1840-1902), then de-facto Rav of Vilna. Fifteen leading New York City observant congregations invited Rabbi Joseph to leave Vilna and serve as the official Chief Rabbi of New York City. Rabbi Joseph was offered an annual remuneration of $2,500, a princely sum in those days, a large prestigious apartment, and the allegiance of most of America’s observant congregations. In addition, Rabbi Joseph was presented with $5,000, a veritable fortune, as a signing bonus to settle debts he personally incurred on behalf of the indigent he privately sustained.
The Chief Rabbi Arrives
        On Shabbos Parshas Matos-Masei, July 7, 1888 the trans-Atlantic ship Allaire docked at Hoboken, New Jersey. After Havdalah, at approximately 10:00 p.m., the new Chief Rabbi was taken to the nearby Myers Hotel by horse-drawn carriage. The leaders of the congregations that joined in appointing the Chief Rabbi, as well as more than 100,000 people, crowded the streets for an opportunity to catch a first glimpse of him, all detailedly reported by the daily newspapers of the time. Hoboken had never before seen such a large crowd.
          The Chief Rabbi delivered his first public speech in New York on Shabbos Nachamu, July 28. Beis Medrash HaGadol at 60 Norfolk Street of the Lower East Side of Manhattan was filled to capacity, standing room only, and tens-of-thousands stood outside. Police were necessary for crowd control. Beis Medrash HaGadol, established in 1852, is still at its original location.
        Sadly, Rabbi Joseph was accorded great honor only twice during his tenure as Chief Rabbi. When he arrived in 1888, noting that more than a 100,000 people gathered to welcome him, The New York Times heralded him as an ecclesiastical giant in describing his grand arrival and royal reception.
        For months, New York City newspapers continued to report about the huge attendances for his weekly Shabbos sermons. When he passed away in 1902, more than 120,000 people participated in his funeral, the largest New York City had ever seen. His bier was carried through the streets of Manhattan and taken by boat across the East River to Queens.
        With the current continuing upsurge of travel abroad to visit burial sites of great tzaddikim across Europe, it is gratifying that many fervently observant Jews here are focusing on tzaddikim that have made great sacrifices in the United States. They literally gave their lives so that following generations would have a greater likelihood of successfully achieving full religious observance.
        Until very recently the gravesite of the former Chief Rabbi was neglected and visited by very few. An upsurge of interest in Jewish history amongst observant Jews has opened the gates to reviewing and assessing those that were here before us. The sacrifices of the Chief Rabbi, in particular, as well as the sacrifices of other great rabbis and fervent Jews, are being more fully appreciated and the Chief Rabbi’s gravesite is now visited by many throughout the year. 
        Appreciation must be given to the Committee to Visit Holy Sites in America and Canada, led by noted Jewish historian Rabbi Yonah Landau, and to Professor Marvin Schick, President of Yeshiva Rabbi Jacob Joseph, for their continued tremendous exertions in honor of Rabbi Yaakov Joseph. 
        Rabbi Landau has been actively leading groups throughout the United States and Canada to visit gravesites of Rabbis, Chassidishe Rebbes, and Roshei Yeshiva, some almost unknown today, that contributed significantly, at great personal expense, to today’s Yiddishkeit in America.
        Dr. Marvin Schick, in addition to serving as president of the Yeshiva Rabbi Jacob Joseph schools, with a current enrollment of almost 2,000 students, kindergarten through kollel, is a noted educator, author, respected community activist and prolific writer on Jewish affairs.

        May Heaven reward all those that labor to honor the New York’s first Chief Rabbi, and may all prayers at his gravesite be answered.
Who Else Is There?
        While at the cemetery, many will visit the nearby gravesites of other notable rabbis, roshei yeshiva, and religious leaders. Many came to visit their own ancestors who were buried there. Mendel Beilis, z"l (1872-1934), who was arrested and tried for ritual murder in the infamous blood libel trial in Kiev in 1911, is also buried nearby. The court personally exonerated him but the charge of blood libel against Jews was left on the books intact. Beilis later immigrated to the United States and died on Tammuz 24, the 32nd yahrzeit of the Chief Rabbi. 

  Not far from Rabbi Joseph’s grave is the burial site of Rabbi Avrohom Yosef Asch, zt"l (1813- 1887), first Rav of Beis Medrash HaGadol of the Lower East Side. In the adjoining Mount Judah Cemetery, which is within very short walking distance, are the tombstones of Rabbi Avrohom Pam, zt"l (1913‑2001), Rosh Yeshiva Torah Vodaath; Rabbi Yaakov Kaminetzky, zt"l (1890-1986), Rosh Yeshiva Torah Vodaath; Rabbi Dovid Liebowitz, zt"l (1889-1941), Rosh Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim; Rabbi Dovid Halberstam, zt"l (d. 1935), Sokolover Rebbe; Rabbi Avrohom Asch, zt"l; and Rabbi Reuven Grozovsky, zt"l (1896-1958), Rosh Yeshiva Torah Vodaath, as well as the widow, a"h, of the Chofetz Chaim, zt"l, amongst many other notables.
Beis Medrash HaGadol Of The Lower East Side
        On Thursday, June 13, 1852, Beis HaMedrash HaGadol was established at 60 Norfolk Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Its first Rav was Rabbi Avrohom Yosef Asch, zt"l (1813- 1887), who arrived in the United States in 1852. At that time the Jewish congregations of New York City and elsewhere were beginning to grow and prosper. The Rav of the shul today is Rabbi Menachem Zvi Greenbaum, son-in-law of Rabbi Ephraim Oshry, zt"l (1914-2003), Kovna Rav, author of Sheilos U’Teshuvos Mima’akim, Churban Lita, and The Annihilation of Lithuanian Jewry, and Rav of Beth Medrash HaGadol for more than 50 years.


Visiting Holy Sites In The United States
        The organization and promotion of visiting the Chief Rabbi’s gravesite is, to a large degree, the continuing intensive efforts of Rabbi Yonah Landau, Chairman of the Committee to Visit Jewish Holy Sites in America.
        Rabbi Landau published his Yiddish biography of the Chief Rabbi, entitled “Rav HaKollel.” The two-volume work was begun almost 15 years ago with a series of articles in Der Yid telling the story of the Chief Rabbi, his education in the then great yeshivas in Eastern Europe, his successive service as chief rabbi in several leading European cities, and his election to the Chief Rabbinate of New York City. Rabbi Landau continues his weekly column in Der Yid focusing on religious Jewish life here in the United States at the beginning of the 1900s.
        The articles about the Chief Rabbi were re-edited and combined with intensive and extensive new research and compiled into a fascinating two-volume book. This is the second publication by Rabbi Landau. His first, Kivrei Tzaddikim, is a compilation of his articles and letters to the editor that appeared in Yiddish newspapers discussing visits to Jewish holy sites in the United States and in Canada. 


More of today's headlines

Jerusalem - The Israel Electric Corporation said Thursday morning that if any of its workers encountered violence in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods in Jerusalem where... Tulsa, OK - A suspect has been arrested in connection with a bomb threat at a Tulsa Jewish center. According to Tulsa Co. Jail booking reports, Christopher Jacob...

 

Total17

Read Comments (17)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jul 16, 2009 at 12:02 PM Queens Knocker Says:

Gratitude should also be shown towards Rabbi Dr. Baruch Amsel, Shlita, who has speaheaded an effort to enlighten the oilem as to the numerous Kvarim of great tzadikim in this country (for those unable or unwilling to travel to the blood soaked continent of Europe) through his site Kvarim.com

2

 Jul 16, 2009 at 12:01 PM Anonymous Says:

There was an article about RJJ z"l several years ago in one of the Jewish newspapers, saying that his kever was not taken care of for years and it was a disgrace. Several young men got together and cleaned it up so that it would not be overgrown! Now it is properly taken care of!

3

 Jul 16, 2009 at 12:19 PM Yaakov Shalom Says:

DRIVING DIRECTIONS
FROM BROOKLYN:
TAKE THE BELT PARKWAY TO PENSYLVANIA AVE. EXIT NORTH ON PENNSYLVANIA AVE TO THE JACKIE ROBINSON PARKWAY TO EXIT 3 MAKE A LEFT AT 1ST TRAFFIC LIGHT AND ANOTHER LEFT AT 2ND TRAFFIC LIGHT ONTO CYPRESS AVE, TO SECOND CEMETERY ON THE RIGHT.
FROM LONG ISLAND:
GRAND CENTRAL PARKWAY INTO JACKIE ROBINSON PARKWAY TO EXIT 3 CYPRESS HILLS STREET CONTINUE STRAIGHT AHEAD TO SECOND CEMETERY ON RIGHT.
F
FROM STATEN ISLAND AND NEW JERSEY:
VERRAZANO BRIDGE TO THE BELT PARKWAY TO PENSYLVANIA AVE.EXIT NORTH ON PENNSYLVANIA AVE TO THE JACKIEROBINSON PARKWAY TO EXIT 3 MAKE A LEFT AT 1ST TRAFFIC LIGHT AND ANOTHER LEFT AT 2ND TRAFFIC LIGHT ONTO CYPRESS AVE, TO
SECOND CEMETERY ON THE RIGHT.

4

 Jul 16, 2009 at 12:18 PM yenta Says:

R' Yona Landau deserves at least some if not all the credit

5

 Jul 16, 2009 at 12:32 PM Ben Torah Says:

Thank you Vin for reminding us about this Yurzeit & giving us the opportunity to daven at the grave of such a great tzadik
People at all time forget that you don’t have to drive more then 20 minutes from Boro Park Flatbush or Williamsburg
To daven at the grave site of Reb Yakov Yosef ZT”L I just want to mention some more Tzadikim that their grave sites
are in the same cemetery or just a block away.
Reb Shlomo Heiman
Reb Ruven Grazotzky
Reb yakov kamenetzky
The Yampolo Rebbe
The Chofetz Chaim Rebetzen
Reb Yeruchim Rebetzen
Rav pam
Rav Brus
Rav leibowitz
& many more

6

 Jul 16, 2009 at 12:47 PM Learning Says:

Hebrewbooks.org, an unbelieveable treasure of a website, also had much informtion regarding the original rabbis and authors of seforim of 18th and 19th century America. We need more websites like hebrewbooks.org and kvarim.org.

7

 Jul 16, 2009 at 12:45 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Ben Torah Says:

Thank you Vin for reminding us about this Yurzeit & giving us the opportunity to daven at the grave of such a great tzadik
People at all time forget that you don’t have to drive more then 20 minutes from Boro Park Flatbush or Williamsburg
To daven at the grave site of Reb Yakov Yosef ZT”L I just want to mention some more Tzadikim that their grave sites
are in the same cemetery or just a block away.
Reb Shlomo Heiman
Reb Ruven Grazotzky
Reb yakov kamenetzky
The Yampolo Rebbe
The Chofetz Chaim Rebetzen
Reb Yeruchim Rebetzen
Rav pam
Rav Brus
Rav leibowitz
& many more

the Tzadiks family
a grandchild of the Shnivu Rav ZY"E
Reb Nussen Nute Nutkin
and much more

FYI: in the entire you can find Kivrei Tzadikim

8

 Jul 16, 2009 at 12:42 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

There was an article about RJJ z"l several years ago in one of the Jewish newspapers, saying that his kever was not taken care of for years and it was a disgrace. Several young men got together and cleaned it up so that it would not be overgrown! Now it is properly taken care of!

it was over 30 years ago when Rabbi landau began going to the Zion, since that very first time, thousands already went there, including Chasidim and litvishe people.

May he be blessed.

9

 Jul 16, 2009 at 01:03 PM Moshe Says:

Reply to #6  
Learning Says:

Hebrewbooks.org, an unbelieveable treasure of a website, also had much informtion regarding the original rabbis and authors of seforim of 18th and 19th century America. We need more websites like hebrewbooks.org and kvarim.org.

Why do we need them? We cannot use internet to get to them.

10

 Jul 16, 2009 at 02:51 PM yaakovshalom Says:

Its mamash not too late to go. Its literally 20 minutes from most places in the New York Area. Chazak VE'Amatz. You wont regret it.

11

 Jul 16, 2009 at 03:15 PM Grand Rebbe Says:

Rabbi Dovid Halberstam the Sokolover Rebbe who passes away in 1939 is buried in Union Field not Mount Judah as is Rav Ash.

12

 Jul 16, 2009 at 04:05 PM Anonymous Says:

The RAV HAKOLLEL zt"l was a known name by many people, but without detailed knowledge about his persona. The real interest in this gadol came from two in-depth series of his biography: in YID, from Rav Landau, and in TZEITUNG from Rav Friedman. both are Chassidic researchers per-excellence. Kol Hakuvod!

13

 Jul 16, 2009 at 02:58 PM tzvi frankliner Says:

Was just there(3 pm) nice big olem (60-70 cars) all types of klall yisruel may hashem help all the TFILLOS should be mkibel n all klall yisruel should be helped wa ever they need

Oh almost 4got thanks rabbi Landow for the cold water (as it became so hot n the humidity is geferlich today)

14

 Jul 16, 2009 at 05:27 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #13  
tzvi frankliner Says:

Was just there(3 pm) nice big olem (60-70 cars) all types of klall yisruel may hashem help all the TFILLOS should be mkibel n all klall yisruel should be helped wa ever they need

Oh almost 4got thanks rabbi Landow for the cold water (as it became so hot n the humidity is geferlich today)

how many people per car

15

 Jul 16, 2009 at 06:28 PM shlomo Says:

I was at the Rav Hakolel Tzion 16 years ago with the Rimanover Rebbe Shlit'a of b.p. we went there 5 people with the Rebbe , there was spider webs all over and the Rebbe asked us to clean the monument then we removed the big weeds and at last we put a box to light candles there and started to come very often to light candles there , this was the first box there i paid for it , when i came a few years back i realized that there are new big boxes in place.

16

 Jul 16, 2009 at 07:48 PM Anonymous Says:

I heard that the sons of rabbi frand and Dr jokobovitz from baltimore were moiser nefesh to be there

17

 Jul 17, 2009 at 01:07 AM Chasdiddshe Says:

Reply to #5  
Ben Torah Says:

Thank you Vin for reminding us about this Yurzeit & giving us the opportunity to daven at the grave of such a great tzadik
People at all time forget that you don’t have to drive more then 20 minutes from Boro Park Flatbush or Williamsburg
To daven at the grave site of Reb Yakov Yosef ZT”L I just want to mention some more Tzadikim that their grave sites
are in the same cemetery or just a block away.
Reb Shlomo Heiman
Reb Ruven Grazotzky
Reb yakov kamenetzky
The Yampolo Rebbe
The Chofetz Chaim Rebetzen
Reb Yeruchim Rebetzen
Rav pam
Rav Brus
Rav leibowitz
& many more

Don't forget not far from there is laying, the first Chasiddshe Rabbi that Stepped onto the American Shore Rabbi Eliezer Chaim Rabinowitz Rov of Yampolo he made a sefer called שיח אליעזר he came to collect money and he passed away here,if I remember clearly his son was the First Skolya Rebbe zt"l
but the first Chasiddshe Rabbi to leave here in America is laying in Buffalo.
for any Keveri Tzaddikm in the whole Untied States in Canada log onto: www.kevarim.com and special thanks for Rabbi Baruch Amsel Shilta for this site.

18

Sign-in to post a comment

Scroll Up
Advertisements:

Sell your scrap gold and broken jewelry and earn hard cash sell gold today!