Responding to a passionate letter from two revered Rebbes, Rabbanim from across the spectrum of Boro Park’s Torah community have joined in organizing a special asifah for men that will take place next Thursday night, 27 Adar I/February 27, in Ateres Chaya hall.
After a series of tragedies sent tremors through the community in the past few months, a group of 12 leading local Rabbanim and askanim gathered to discuss vital issues facing the community. During the meeting, they heard firsthand accounts from leading mechanchos regarding breaches in hilchos tznius.
When their findings were brought before the Skulener Rebbe, shlita, and the Rachmastrivka Rebbe, shlita, the two Rebbes, who were deeply moved by what they heard, took the unprecedented step of writing a stirring, joint letter to all the local Rabbanim, asking them to take action and encouraging them to arrange a community-wide gathering.
The Rebbes left the details up to the Rabbanim, who in turn decided to emulate previous gatherings that were held in Yerushalayim several years ago with the encouragement of Hagaon Harav Elyashiv, zt”l, and make an asifah for men on this subject.
Two of the primary organizers described to Hamodia what is behind the gathering.
“The purpose of this asifah is to raise awareness about the halachic aspects of this issue,” one of the organizers said. “Many families who are knowledgeable, even stringent, in many other areas of halachah are simply unaware of what constitutes daas Yehudis in this issue, and about the numerous prohibitions — including some that are possibly even mid’Oraisa — that are violated by those who sell and wear unsuitable articles of clothing. We are not referring to chumros, we are referring to fundamental, basic halachah.”
But why gather men to talk about halachos pertaining to women?
“Like kashrus and shemiras Shabbos, men have the same responsibility as women do on this issue. It is vital for men to have the knowledge they need to be able to support their wives and guide their daughters regarding the relevant halachos,” the organizer explained.
Rabbanim and Dayanim affiliated with nearly every large kehillah in Boro Park have endorsed the event, and among those who have signed a Kol Korei, shlita, are the Novominsker Rebbe; Harav Moshe Wolfson, Mashgiach Ruchani of Yeshivah Torah Vodaath and Rav of Beis Medrash Emunas Yisrael; the Mattersdorfer Rav; Harav Yosef Rosenblum, Rosh Yeshivah, Sharei Yosher; Harav Yechezkel Roth, Karlsburger Rav; Harav Chaim Eluzer Friedman, Tenka Rav; Harav Shmuel Zev Lichter, Rav of Khal Kavanos Halev; and Harav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel Bick, Mezhibuzher Rav.
The organizers expect thousands to attend. In addition to the large wedding hall and side rooms at Ateres Chaya, the large auditorium on the top floor of the same building has also been reserved.
This event is one aspect of a comprehensive effort by the organizers. A related meeting for principals of girls’ schools and camp directors is scheduled to take place on Sunday, 30 Adar I/March 2.
They are also in intensive discussions with local storeowners, as well as with potential investors about the possibility of opening up new clothing stores to provide practical alternatives to what is currently available.