Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

1 Kislev 5764 - November 26, 2003 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











HaRav Yosef Zimbal Appointed Rov of Westgate, Lakewood
by Yehuda Aryeh

On a recent motzei Shabbos in Westgate, Lakewood, a reception welcomed HaRav Yosef Zimbal as the community's new rov. Westgate currently houses two hundred families of bnei Torah. An additional seven hundred homes are being built, making it the largest chareidi development in America. There are, at present, four separate minyanim, two daf yomi shiurim, a night kollel and a mikveh is under construction.

HaRav Zimbal brings to the position many years of experience. He was a founding member of the Lakewood Kollel in Melbourne, Australia, and learned there for twenty years. The baalei batim associated with the Kollel, including Dr. Danny Lanzer, Reb Shmuel Yelen, Reb Menachem Casen and Reb Menachem Kinderman, speak in awe of the fiery kedusha that permeates Rav Zimbal's learning and shiurim. Paradoxically, they note that he is at the same time a most humble and unassuming person. The Rosh Kollel, HaRav Dovid Nojowitz, appointed him as posek and shoel umeishiv in the Kollel. Rebbetzin Zimbal was a beloved teacher and moral compass for many women in Melbourne.

At the kabolas ponim, the ksav rabbonus was read by HaRav Menachem Mark, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Ruach HaTorah in Flatbush. HaRav Mark formerly served as rosh yeshiva in Melbourne, for years leading the kehilla side by side with HaRav Zimbal.

In his address, HaRav Zimbal stressed the importance of peace in a community. Afterwards HaRav Aryeh Malkiel Kotler, rosh yeshiva of Lakewood, spoke.

He related the story of HaRav Chaim Soloveitchik, who wrote a letter on behalf of his son Rav Moshe when he applied for a position. Rav Chaim praised his son as being able to answer any "shver Rambam." Nonetheless, the town did not hire Rav Moshe, saying, "We do not mind if the Rambam stays shver, and even if it must be answered, let it be done elsewhere."

With this anecdote, Rav Malkiel stressed that a rov needs to fit his community. HaRav Yisroel Belsky, a rosh yeshiva in Yeshiva Torah Vodaas and brother-in-law of Rav Zimbal, spoke next.

With the appointment of HaRav Zimbal, Westgate has secured its prominence as a Torah community, adding another jewel to the crown of Torah in Lakewood.


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