The Historic Visit of the Belzer Rebbe to London

Belzer, belz, London
The massive tent set up for the special events with the Belzer Rebbe.

LONDON - The Belzer Rebbe, shlita, is in the midst of a historic visit to London, for the Chanukas Habayis of the new Belz Beis Medrash and Talmud Torah.

On Tuesday, the Rebbe left Eretz Yisrael to travel to the town of Belz, in Ukraine, in order to daven at the kevarim of his holy ancestors, prior to the forthcoming chasunah of his grandson in Sivan, iy”H. In the evening, the Rebbe traveled on to Lizensk, in Poland, to daven at the kever of the Rebbe Reb Elimelech, zy”a. On Wednesday, the Rebbe davened Shacharis in Lizensk before making his way to the airport, for his historic journey to London, in order to be present at the Chanukas Habayis of the new Belz Talmud Torah, on Lag BaOmer.

Belzer, Belz
The Rebbe affixing a mezuzah in the new beis medrash. (JDN)

The Rebbe arrived in London on Wednesday afternoon. On Wednesday evening, he davened Minchah in the Belz Beis Hamedrash on Belz Terrace, accompanied by a large crowd, after which a kabbalas panim took place for the Belz kehillah and other members of the local kehillah. Around a thousand people came to greet the Rebbe, prior to Maariv and Sefiras HaOmer.

During his visit, the Rebbe has received visits from Rabbanim and Chassidim. It is hoped that he will be able to visit all the local Belz mosdos during his stay, which will extend until the following Wednesday, iy”H.

belzer, Belz
Havdalah in the tent on Motzei Shabbos. (JDN)

During Shabbos, parashas Emor, the davening and tischen took place in a tent erected on the grounds of Yesodey Hatorah School, Egerton Road, for the special events to take place.

A committee ensured that everyone had safe and comfortable access to the events, including special priority seating for older people, both men and ladies. Some 1500 visitors from out of town came and the hachnasas orchim committee provided meals in the Yesodey Hatorah Hall for Shabbos.

Belzer, Belz
The Belzer rebbe with bow and arrow on Lag BaOmer. (JDN)

On Motzoei Shabbos, after havdalah, the Rebbe was accompanied in a festive manner to the Belz mosdos, where a hadlakah took place, in honor of the hilulah of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.

On Sunday morning, the Rebbe davened Shacharis in the new Belz Beis Hamedrash. Later that day, the historic Chanukas Habayis for the new Talmud Torah took place, with the attendance of a large crowd.

Belzer, Belz
The Rebbe giving a boy his first haircut on Lag BaOmer. (JDN)

The  program has been coordinated by a hard-working team of askanim, lead by Reb Aharon Klein, the Menahel of Mosdos Belz, London. It has been a remarkable and memorable few days.