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Rabbi Hackenbroch Writes

I was just learning the Pachad Yitzchak and he raises a fascinating noteworthy observation…

Excerpt from the Jewish Weekly

On a quaint little street, barely a stone‚Äôs throw away from Stamford Hill, nestled between Victorian houses is the Shaarei Mazal Tov Shul…

Walford Road Shabbaton Poster

Come and join us for an unforgettable Shabbat…

Jewish Tribune Article

Travelling Chassidim meet The Chief Rabbi…

The US article on The Travelling Chassidim 1

25 Woodside Park Young Families packed their bags and went for a fantastic Shabbaton away.

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Letter from Bushey Chasid

You enriched Shabbos beyond compare…

Another Successful Sortie into the Suburbs

Bushey United Synagogue Enjoy an Uplifting Shabbos with the Travelling Chassidim

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Joy, spine-tingling and tears

While the aromas of baking challos were wafting through every Yiddishe home and the Erev Shabbos rush was coming in, a group of Chassidim were boarding a plane to Glasgow, Scotland…

Hamodia Article

recent news that appeared in the Hamodia (10/10/2018)...

Rabbi Hackenbroch Writes

Dearest Binyomin

I was just learning the Pachad Yitzchak and he raises a fascinating noteworthy observation

If you consider every and any mitzvah that we perform. We perform the mitzvah and we hope it results consequently in a greater intensity of ruchnios with one notable exception that is hadlakos haneros

The essence of the mitzvah itself is to increase at the actual time of the performance of the mitzvah ones level of yisdishkeit and this is why we light the new candle first to emphasise this point it is the additional light that we are marvelling and celebrating not the mere fact there is light 

Without a shadow of a doubt this past shabbos our community experienced Chanukah a week early with the Travelling Chassidim Shabbos. During the course of the shabbos we were all witnesses to a heightened awareness and increased intensity of the light of yiddishleit in our kehillah

May you all be a source of light and bracha for kehillos around the world

Warmest wishes

Rabbi Pinchas Hackenbroch

Senior Rabbi, Woodside Park United Synagogue

Traveling Close To Home

By B Binet

On a quaint little street, barely a stone’s throw away from Stamford Hill, nestled between Victorian houses is the Shaarei Mazal Tov Shul - better known as The Walford Road Synagogue. I happened upon it a few years back, as I was wandering through the side roads of Stoke Newington. Its unassuming façade hides something special, which I was only about to learn this past week.

As the coordinator of Traveling Chassidim in London, I was delighted when Rabbi Avraham Citron invited us to partake in a Shabbos at his shul. I have known Rabbi Citron as my soft spoken and smile-clad neighbour, when we used to live on Forburg Road in Stamford Hill. Over the course of this past Shabbos I found out what Rabbi Citron was really up to.

As soon as we entered the foyer of the shul we were greeted with overflowing warmth by the Chairman Mr Ike Albert and fellow shul members. After concluding Mincha we gathered around the Bimah in preparation to usher in the Shabbos queen.

Chazzan Moshe Meislik with his melodious voice started the Kabbalat Shabbos service, which was peppered with song and dance. During the Lecha Dodi song the whole community broke out in a spontaneous dance. Hand in hand with the Chassidim, arms linked in a brotherly chain it was a dance of pure joy.

After davening the whole community was invited to a lavish meal with song and Divrei Torah.

Shacharis and Mussaf were led by The Traveling Chassidim. After davening the Shul’s Chairman Ike Albert delivered emotional words about selflessness, relaying a story of a terminally ill young child who gave his last wish to the Make a Wish Foundation, to help release a father of his classmate from prison. Tears welled up in our eyes as we felt the emotion in the room.

Before we even knew it, we were up to Motzei Shabbos. Guitar slung over his shoulder, Shalom Schwartz- a fellow member of Travelling Chassidim - struck an electrifying chord in our hearts when he sang a true story that demonstrates the love of Hashem to each and every one of us. We bid our farewell to the memorable Shabbos with a musical Havdalah that was followed with song and dance.

Mrs M - one of the shuls regulars related to me that she didn’t have such a memorable Shabbos in years ‘’ you should visit my daughter’s school- they need to know what a Shabbos should feel and look like!’’

For us it was not just another inspiring Shabbos that we merited to be part of, it was the start of building a sturdy bridge and a lasting relationship between the Stoke Newington Community and Chassidim from Stamford Hill.

The Travelling Chassidim - founded in the USA by Rabbi A. M. Royde of Monsey, NY - is a group of Chassidic families from London and Manchester who travel around the country. The Travelling Chassidim – a not-for-profit organisation - is part of the World of Belz institutions under the guidance and leadership of the Rebbe of Belz in Jerusalem, Eretz Israel. The group was inspired by the teachings of the late Rabbi Noach Weinberg of Aish HaTorah, especially by his innovative Project Inspire initiative. Bringing with them classic Chassidic warmth and liveliness together with the special aura of the holy Shabbat day the Travelling Chassidim form a deep connection with the host community resulting in a Shabbaton that is truly transformational memorable and – sometimes even contagious...

Shabbat poster

Chief Rabbi Meets with heads of TCUK

Devorah Rudstein

AS PART OF HIS MISSION to promote the spiritual growth of the Jewish communities under his jurisdiction, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis initiated a meeting with the heads of TCUK.

The UK branch of the Travelling Chassidim, which was founded in the USA by Rabbi A. M. Royde of Monsey, NY – is a group of Chassidic families from London, Westcliff, Manchester and Antwerp who travel around the country, visiting Jewish communities for an enjoyable, uplifting Shabbos. The group was inspired by the teachings of the late Rabbi Noach Weinberg of Aish HaTorah, especially by his innovative Project Inspire initiative. The Travelling Chassidim – a not-for-profit organisation – is part of the World of Belz institutions under the guidance and leadership of the Rebbe of Belz in Jerusalem, Eretz Israel. Bringing with them classic Chassidic warmth and liveliness together with the special aura of the holy Shabbos the Travelling Chassidim form a deep connection with the host community, resulting in a Shabbaton that is truly transformational, memorable and – sometimes even contagious...  Chief Rabbi Mirvis, his finger constantly on the pulse of yiddishkeit in the UK, with his phenomenal memory and ability to keep track of what is happening throughout the shuls and communities, had heard about the successes of TCUK, and invited them to his office for a meeting.

The meeting was attended by Rabbi Shlomo Stark of Manchester, head of TCUK, Mr and Mrs Scharf, and Rabbi Binyomin Binet, London Director of TCUK. The Chief Rabbi received them very graciously in his office, showing his extreme enthusiasm about the activities of the group. He praised their efforts warmly, saying that they are doing exactly what is needed by building bridges, breaking down barriers, and dispelling misconceptions. When obviously religious – and chassidic – people spend Shabbos with their co-religionists, he said, they are creating such unique levels of unity amongst the different factions of Judaism, thus instilling true values about achdus in the host communities.

The TCUK delegates explained that they are not a kiruv group, per se, but rather a group of families who wish to share their joy of Judaism with the rest of Klal Yisrael. It must be noted that the devoted members, and their families, of this non-profit group, volunteer their time and energy, with the host communities totally free of any charge.

The very successful meeting concluded on a high note, with the Chief Rabbi thanking the delegation for making the effort to meet him and for explaining the ethos and activities of TCUK, and gave his blessing to the chassidim that they should have success in their Avodas hakodesh.

Letter from Bushey Chosid

Joy, spine-tingling and tears.

Erev Shabbos Lech Lecho- While the aromas of baking challos were wafting through every Yiddishe home and the Erev Shabbos rush was coming in, a group of Chassidim were boarding a plane to Glasgow, Scotland. The Giffnock community in Glasgow, Scotland were privileged to host the ‘Travelling Chassidim’ as part of the Nationwide Shabbat UK ’16. Before Shabbos commenced, the Chassidim visited the local Jewish school Calderwood Lodge and met the delighted kids. Rabbi Rubin spoke warmly and affectionately to the children about the upcoming Shabbos . The Shabbos was ushered in with the heart-warming song of Vzakeni legadel at candle lighting.

R’ Moshe Mordche Meislik, one of theTravelling Chassidim members led Kabbalas Shabbos.  The transfixing scene of the ‘Travelling Chasidim’ in full Chasidic garb, flanking the Tallis-clad chazan on the majestic Bimah, lent a warm aura of old-world authenticity.

In an expertly woven medley of traditional song, soulful Chassidic nigunim and lively dancing, the troupe and community heralded this momentous Shabbos!

Even recalcitrant participants soon found themselves pulled along in the spirit of Shabbos at the joyous dance around the Bimah between Kabalas Shabbos and Maariv.

Following Ma’ariv, after transferring to the beautifully prepared banqueting hall, Rabbi Rubin warmly welcomed all the assembled and invited them to partake in the Seudah.  He warmly blessed each of his children in the time honoured tradition, bringing tears to those watching.

Rabbi Rubin introduced the Shabbos Zemiros by highlighting the opportunity to express gratitude to one's spouse through the song of ‘Eishes Chayil’ prefacing Kiddush.

Rousing Zemiros enhanced the atmosphere in the packed Hall throughout the meal, as Chasidim, university students, community members and the Rabbi, uniting in song.

At the much loved hit song Ani Ma-amin (MBD) the entire hall joined hands and danced around the hall. Of course, hats were exchanged as people comically tried balancing Streimlach while continuing the spirited dance. Rabbi Rubin then proceeded to highlight the fact that it was the yartzeit of Mama Rachel and her ultimate sacrifice to her children even after her death. The Chassidim then sang the famous song Mama Rachel in her honour.

Shabbos Morning began with a shacharis led by Rabbi Rubin- known for his beautiful and deep voice. After Leining the Chassidim sang the impressive song of Lechol kehollo kadisha. The emotions were palpable in the air as one of the participants later remarked: “tear welled up in my eyes when I heard this song, it was so emotionally charged”.

At shalos seodos the community was honoured to have Rabbi Gamedze-also known as the Jewish Prince of Swaziland to be the guest speaker. The highly emotional Carlibach style Havdala was preceded by Rabbi Rubin with the children singing a famous childhood Glaswegian song.

Attendees were effusive in their outpouring of gratitude to the travelling crew, with one resident describing the ‘spine-tingling atmosphere,’ during the moving rendition of ‘A Yiddishe Mamme’ as his highlight of the Event. Evidently, this had been a highly emotional Shabbos, both in terms of Simcha (Joy) and hope.  In the words of Rabbi Rubin ‘you made them laugh and you made them cry - a true Kiddush Hashem!’

Yet, as much as the community gained from the visit, in the words of one of the travelling Chassidim, Mrs G., ‘We gained far more than we had given.’  Although the trip to Glasgow involved much time and effort on their part, ‘Seeing the devoted leadership of Rabbi and Rebbetzin Rubin and the friendliness and unity extended by the community made it a very worthwhile investment,’ adds Mrs G.

Mr Menasche Scharf the leader of the group, concurs. In his opinion, the palpable pride felt by the community towards their "most magnanimous, magnetic and charismatic Rabbi" probably explains one of Scotland’s best kept secrets in distilling tradition to such sublime finesse in a place that is so far removed from the larger Jewish communities. Certainly, there is much to be appreciated in this proud Scottish region of sprawling highlands, besides for ancient folk tunes and Scotch Whiskey."

Shabbat poster