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New York - Chasidic Father And Son Learning Talmud Prominently Featured In NYC Mayor’s State Of The City Address

Published on: January 10, 2019 05:55 PM
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Mayor Bill de Blasio delivers his sixth State of the City address at the Symphony Space in Manhattan on Thursday, January 10, 2017. (Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)Mayor Bill de Blasio delivers his sixth State of the City address at the Symphony Space in Manhattan on Thursday, January 10, 2017. (Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

New York - One day after announcing a new initiative intended to provide city residents with additional paid days off so that they can spend more time with their loved ones, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s State of the City address opened with a narrative delivered by a Chasidic man from Borough Park and footage of him learning Talmud with his 12 year old son.

The nearly six minute long video was shown at the start of the annual speech, delivered this morning at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Symphony Space on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  Highlighting the city’s diversity, the video showed several New York City families, including that of Alexander Rapaport, executive director of the Masbia soup kitchen.

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Rapaport appears several times in the video, first with his son Nochum, a seventh grader at the Bobover Yeshiva Bnei Zion. 

Alexander Rapaport learning Maseches Makos with his 12 year old son.Alexander Rapaport learning Maseches Makos with his 12 year old son.

As the clip shows Rapaport and his son sitting at the table engaged in an animated Talmudic discussion, the camera pans up to reveal a neat row of identically framed photographs of all seven of the Rapaport children sitting atop the china cabinet.  In a voiceover, Rapaport talks about the importance of a close knit family structure.

“Your family is everything for you,” says Rapaport.  “What for others might be rough and tumble, but for Chasidic families, New York is the best place to live in.”

Rapaport elaborated on some of the challenges of running a soup kitchen, a job that involves long hours and emergencies that can interfere with family time.  The video captures Rapaport sitting in his dining room with several of his children and his wife, Toby.

“I try to fill in,” says Mrs. Rapaport.  “Sometimes I have to be mom and dad. Sometimes I literally have to call him home. ‘That’s it. The work day is over.  The sky will not fall down, I promise.’”

In a VIN News interview, Rapaport said that the footage of him and his son immersed in the intricacies of the tractate Makos, analyzing the process of determining financial damages against someone who bears false witness in a prenuptial agreement, came about quite by accident. 

Full video below

The film crew had originally intended to capture footage of the family at Masbia and sharing conversation at home, but while the photographers were setting up for the shoot, Nochum Rapaport seized the moment, taking advantage of an opportunity to study Talmud with his father.

“He has been learning the entire first chapter by heart and was desperate to learn with me, so he snuck in a Gemara and we started learning page after page,” said Rapaport.

“They saw how animated he was and it made quite an impression on them.”

The Rapaports were not the only Jewish family to be part of the mayor’s State of the City address.  NYPD chief chaplain Rabbi Alvin Kass delivered the opening invocation, the yarmulke on his head adorned with an NYPD shield.

Rabbi Kass described New York as “the city of immigrants par excellence,” and referencing the words of poet Emma Lazarus engraved on the Statue of Liberty noted “the homeless and the tempest tossed have provided the energy, the dynamism and the creativity that has made New York City the veritable capital of the world.”

NYPD Chief Chaplin Rabbi Alvin Kass before Mayor Bill de Blasio delivers his sixth State of the City address at the Symphony Space in Manhattan on Thursday, January 10, 2017. (Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)NYPD Chief Chaplin Rabbi Alvin Kass before Mayor Bill de Blasio delivers his sixth State of the City address at the Symphony Space in Manhattan on Thursday, January 10, 2017. (Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


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Read Comments (16)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jan 10, 2019 at 06:13 PM Anonymous Says:

Big Kiddush Hashem. Blasio 2020 We are the people of the BOOKS Not Walls and Guns

2

 Jan 10, 2019 at 07:27 PM sad Says:

Deblaz would do anything to push his far left agenda, he has nothing but contempt for us, and Rappaport love publicity even at the expense of his families privacy

3

 Jan 10, 2019 at 07:52 PM Mark Levin Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Big Kiddush Hashem. Blasio 2020 We are the people of the BOOKS Not Walls and Guns

Sorry, we don't want to be the USSR#2!

Take your socialist ideals and put them in a very dark place.

4

 Jan 10, 2019 at 08:02 PM triumphinwhitehouse Says:

1 is a city worker and 1 schnors off city contracts hardly real representatives of us

5

 Jan 10, 2019 at 08:04 PM Anonymous Says:

Political theatrics. Give the impression of being supportive, then stabbing us in the back. This mayor has a heavy hand in trashing morality in our community, and is now looking to strip us of our hard earned money for his stupid support of non-citizens, etc. I wish him out of government and away from politics. He is a menace with a business suit.

6

 Jan 10, 2019 at 09:43 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Big Kiddush Hashem. Blasio 2020 We are the people of the BOOKS Not Walls and Guns

emes, yasharkoach

7

 Jan 10, 2019 at 11:02 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Big Kiddush Hashem. Blasio 2020 We are the people of the BOOKS Not Walls and Guns

As I have often told you Deblassio is an anomaly and has always respected frum Jews despite his progressive socialist koko ideas.

But that's not your typical. Just like even according to you there are some here and there Republican Jew lovers. Yet you'll say it doesn't represent the party. Well that argument is certainly true with progressives.

Cortzez and Bernie and warren are very dangerous for frum jews.

I won't dispute you if you say deblassio for prez in 2020. I hate the man ideals but respect him a lot

8

 Jan 10, 2019 at 11:29 PM Phineas Says:

Reply to #7  
Educated Archy Says:

As I have often told you Deblassio is an anomaly and has always respected frum Jews despite his progressive socialist koko ideas.

But that's not your typical. Just like even according to you there are some here and there Republican Jew lovers. Yet you'll say it doesn't represent the party. Well that argument is certainly true with progressives.

Cortzez and Bernie and warren are very dangerous for frum jews.

I won't dispute you if you say deblassio for prez in 2020. I hate the man ideals but respect him a lot

He's a horrible mayor.

9

 Jan 11, 2019 at 08:55 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Mark Levin Says:

Sorry, we don't want to be the USSR#2!

Take your socialist ideals and put them in a very dark place.

"We dont want to be USSR#2" End the RUSSIAN COLLUSION. Impeach Trump and let the Russians know that we dont....

10

 Jan 11, 2019 at 08:58 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Mark Levin Says:

Sorry, we don't want to be the USSR#2!

Take your socialist ideals and put them in a very dark place.

"USSR2" Hm?? Trump knows this? Why did he only hire people with Russian contacts? Why so many Frumme support this. 32 Indicted, all about Russia. Not Israel, France, Germany, Australis, Canada. Every Trump employee has Russian contacts. You and the others here must like USSR. I bet most of you were born there and came here in the 70's

11

 Jan 11, 2019 at 09:00 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
Educated Archy Says:

As I have often told you Deblassio is an anomaly and has always respected frum Jews despite his progressive socialist koko ideas.

But that's not your typical. Just like even according to you there are some here and there Republican Jew lovers. Yet you'll say it doesn't represent the party. Well that argument is certainly true with progressives.

Cortzez and Bernie and warren are very dangerous for frum jews.

I won't dispute you if you say deblassio for prez in 2020. I hate the man ideals but respect him a lot

What is going on today? Is it early PURIM? Educated likes DBlasio, Phineas doesnt like him.

12

 Jan 11, 2019 at 09:02 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Mark Levin Says:

Sorry, we don't want to be the USSR#2!

Take your socialist ideals and put them in a very dark place.

You dont like a KIDDUSH HASHEM? I am surprised since you have a Jewish Name. Usually the Goyishe names post against Kidush Hashem

13

 Jan 11, 2019 at 09:08 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Mark Levin Says:

Sorry, we don't want to be the USSR#2!

Take your socialist ideals and put them in a very dark place.

Sorry but the entire TORAH is socialist. Love your Brothers, Immigrants and on and on. Go learn it. You might even like it. Its a proven fact. The more education you get the more Socialist you become. This days its much easier to learn. Its on the net. This is the main reason that even the USA is becoming more and more socialist. OBAMACARE is the law now after 2 years of total Rep control. Social Medicine is next. Open borders will follow. Help wanted signs are everywhere. Shabat Shalom. If you keep Shabbat please learn some Torah.

14

 Jan 11, 2019 at 12:37 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #8  
Phineas Says:

He's a horrible mayor.

Agreed but he is good for frum Jews because he respects us.

He nebach believes in his stupidity but

15

 Jan 11, 2019 at 12:48 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

"We dont want to be USSR#2" End the RUSSIAN COLLUSION. Impeach Trump and let the Russians know that we dont....

Now again you are talking irrational and out of Hypersm.

USSR= communism and socialism ideals. Like tax the rich for mandated vacations etc

Putin is from Russia but he is not a communist nor a socialist.

16

 Jan 12, 2019 at 03:19 PM BoruchH Says:

I don't read anonymouus comments.
I was hit in head in 1991 Crown Heights Pogrom...garbage government without 'The Seven Noahide Laws.'
Boruch Hoffinger, Jerusalem

17

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