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

Newark, NJ - Lipa And Prominent New Square Rabbi Reconcile In Heartfelt Airplane Encounter

Published on: February 18, 2019 07:09 PM
Change text size Text Size  

Newark, NJ - Nearly 11 years after he was publicly censured by a group of rabbis who also cancelled what would have likely been a groundbreaking Madison Square Garden concert, entertainer Lipa Schmeltzer made peace with one of the leaders of the movement to denounce him after an encounter on a flight to Israel.

Schmeltzer was waiting at Newark Liberty Airport to check in for his El Al flight to Israel this afternoon on his way to a performance when he saw Rabbi Yosef Yisroel Eisenberger, the Skvere Dayan, standing in line for the same flight.  Izzy Bleier, a friend of Schmeltzer’s, said that he could see that the entertainer was visibly shaken.

“I asked him what was going on and he told me that he was seeing someone he didn’t want to meet,” Bleier told VIN News.

Schmeltzer pointed Rabbi Eisenberger out to Bleier, explaining that he had been the driving force behind the concert ban and other difficulties that ultimately led to his leaving New Square.

Advertisement:

“I told him to walk away, not to look at him and to just move on,” said Bleier.

But midway through the flight, Schmeltzer found himself face to face with Rabbi Eisenberger when the two found themselves as part of the same group praying Maariv together. 

Schmeltzer said that Rabbi Eisenberger greeted him warmly, returning those words with a smile of his own.  Mulling over the encounter as he prayed, Schmeltzer decided that the time had come to let go of the resentment that he had been carrying for over a decade. 

The timing couldn’t have been more appropriate, noted Schmeltzer, who observed that the encounter was taking place on Purim Katan, a day noted for its spiritual power, as well as on the anniversary of the death of his grandfather who died during World War II.

“It was a good time,” said Schmeltzer, in an interview with VIN News while still airborne.  “I said Kaddish for my grandfather who is buried in a mass grave and I knew that my father wanted so much for me to return to Skver.  I don’t know if I am ready for that yet, but meeting the Dayan on Purim Katan and on my grandfather’s yarhtzeit, it has to be a sign and I decided the time had come to make peace.”

Schmeltzer asked for a private conversation with Rabbi Eisenberger, who acceded to his request.

“I told him about the difficulties I have gone through and he quoted a biblical verse to me about letting it all go into the ocean,” said Schmeltzer.  “He said to me, ‘Lipa, I forgive you and I want you to forgive me.’  I wanted to hear it again, and he repeated his words. I told him 100 percent, I am moving on.”

The ban in 2008The ban in 2008

Schmeltzer said that before leaving Rabbi Eisenberger he asked for the opportunity to learn a mishna in memory of his grandfather, also departing with a blessing for his success inspiring the world in a positive and meaningful way.  In a more lighthearted moment, Schmeltzer said that the Dayan asked him if he was saying Kaddish for his father who passed away some time ago.

“I explained that it was my grandfather’s yahrtzeit and as a joke said that some people who missed saying Kaddish during the year of mourning have to say extra when their year is finished and he was laughing,” joked Schmeltzer.

Schmeltzer moved out of New Square years ago, settling in Airmont where he had his own synagogue that welcomed Jews of all stripes. He graduated last June from Columbia University with a dual major in creative writing and visual arts, having worked his way up the educational ladder from the very first rung by taking equivalency courses in order to gain admission to Rockland Community College, where he earned an associate degree. 

In recent months he has begun reconnecting his ties with the Chasidic community and reinvigorating his singing career with public appearances and an upcoming CD, adding to the more than 20 albums he has already released.

Having developed a passion for art, Schmeltzer has been creating paintings and sculptures often based on Jewish songs, rhythms and gimatriyas, numerical representations of words, often combining music and art when he works with elderly residents at local Jewish nursing homes.

Buoyed by letting go of negativity that has accompanied him for so many years, Schmeltzer said that the meeting was extremely powerful and meaningful to him.

“I have been dragging this baggage for close to 20 years,” said Schmeltzer.  “There has been so much pain and now I let everything go into the ocean below me.”



More of today's headlines

Charleston, SC - Patrick Caddell, the pollster who helped propel Jimmy Carter in his longshot bid to win the presidency and later distanced himself from Democrats, has... Kiev - A shopping mall in Ukraine that is located on a street named for a collaborator with the Nazis decorated a staircase with a large swastika. Images and...

 

Total15

Read Comments (15)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Feb 18, 2019 at 07:58 PM Chaim Says:

VIN, Thanks for sharing this amazing story. We can all from Lipa. And we should all try not to ever do anything hurtful to others in the first place, this way you won’t have to worry about asking for forgiveness later on. But if you Nebech fall in, one should be ashamed to do the right thing later on.

2

 Feb 18, 2019 at 08:43 PM thegreatfixer Says:

from what i heard Rabbi Schmeltzer listened to the Rabonim and did not play wait and see if he can still go ahead and have the concert
KOL HACOVOD

3

 Feb 18, 2019 at 09:54 PM who cares2 Says:

And in other news Yankel Ferferkorn met Hillel from Shomer Shabbos and agreed to respect each other

4

 Feb 18, 2019 at 10:06 PM yamsar Says:

Reply to #2  
thegreatfixer Says:

from what i heard Rabbi Schmeltzer listened to the Rabonim and did not play wait and see if he can still go ahead and have the concert
KOL HACOVOD

What does kol hacavod mean? And whatever it means why couldn’t you write it in plain English?

5

 Feb 18, 2019 at 10:57 PM shortie Says:

LOL!
Feiyner frisher neiyes!

6

 Feb 19, 2019 at 12:01 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
yamsar Says:

What does kol hacavod mean? And whatever it means why couldn’t you write it in plain English?

Are you always this nasty or did someone not give you enough love as a child?

7

 Feb 19, 2019 at 02:05 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
yamsar Says:

What does kol hacavod mean? And whatever it means why couldn’t you write it in plain English?

You should seek professional help for your obsession.

7

 Feb 19, 2019 at 03:21 AM skverer Says:

There was a voicenote going around this week of a father of 6 kids who the mother is sick in the hospital, where he begs jews to make peace with anyone you had a fight in merit that his wife should get well, lets hope that Lipa's peace with skvere dayon will send that mother a refuah.

8

 Feb 19, 2019 at 06:16 AM thegreatfixer Says:

Reply to #4  
yamsar Says:

What does kol hacavod mean? And whatever it means why couldn’t you write it in plain English?

your correct i should have said KOL HAKAVOD if you have a question ask your LOR Local Orthodox Rabbi

9

 Feb 19, 2019 at 09:51 AM yamsar Says:

Reply to #8  
thegreatfixer Says:

your correct i should have said KOL HAKAVOD if you have a question ask your LOR Local Orthodox Rabbi

Asked my orthodox rabbi and he told me he isn’t aware of the term in American Jewish vernacular. He said it may be an Israeli expression, but we should try our best to keep it there and not bring it here.

10

 Feb 19, 2019 at 10:21 AM Anonymous Says:

to # 4
you are right we are not aloud to talk the "Tumeme language" of hebrew
only english and the 4 letter curse words and bull-----
that has now become the standard of chasidishe yiddish
sick and getting sicker

11

 Feb 19, 2019 at 11:26 AM The_Truth Says:

Reply to #2  
thegreatfixer Says:

from what i heard Rabbi Schmeltzer listened to the Rabonim and did not play wait and see if he can still go ahead and have the concert
KOL HACOVOD

That was 11 years ago, The Event still went ahead but was moved to a smaller venue due to the fallout and his career lost a lot of Chassidishe following.
Now he is returning to his roots.

12

 Feb 19, 2019 at 12:49 PM yamsar Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

to # 4
you are right we are not aloud to talk the "Tumeme language" of hebrew
only english and the 4 letter curse words and bull-----
that has now become the standard of chasidishe yiddish
sick and getting sicker

My rabbi specifically told me Hebrew isn’t the issue. It’s the culture. We have our own. They can keep theirs..

13

 Feb 19, 2019 at 02:47 PM StevenWright Says:

Reply to #9  
yamsar Says:

Asked my orthodox rabbi and he told me he isn’t aware of the term in American Jewish vernacular. He said it may be an Israeli expression, but we should try our best to keep it there and not bring it here.

And yamsar is what? Swahili?

14

 Feb 19, 2019 at 03:15 PM yamsar Says:

Reply to #13  
StevenWright Says:

And yamsar is what? Swahili?

Yes, tell me. What is it?

15

Sign-in to post a comment

Click here to sign-in.

Scroll Up
Advertisements:
Sell your scrap gold and broken jewelry and earn hard cash sell gold today!