Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Spiritual Currency

Yisrael Feller

“I’m the lawyer, the agent, serving as an advocate between you and your Father in Heaven,” Rav Dovid Chaim Stern tells those who seek his counsel. The work he demands isn’t easy, but Rav Stern, the mekubal of Bnei Brak, is ready to pour out his tefillos and bestow his brachos in exchange for spiritual “deals” he makes with his chassidim around the world.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

When Rav Dovid Chaim Stern of Bnei Brak comes to Boro Park, the home of his host Reb Aryeh Wald looks like a beis medrash for the ingathering of the exiles. Rav Stern has no court or kehillah, and his adherents run the spectrum of Torah Jewry: chassidim from Monsey, Litvaks from Lakewood, businessmen from Manhattan and the Five Towns, and Sephardim with roots in Aleppo. They don’t daven in the same style shuls or send their children to the same schools, but when their mentor visits America, they all join together under one roof for a few short days of spiritual elevation. Rav Stern is not only a rebbe for chassidim. He unites thousands both in Israel and around the world, likely because of his multifaceted affiliations. He is Hungarian-born, but he grew up among the giants of the litvishe community and was personally nurtured by the Chazon Ish. At the same time, Rav Stern is fully proficient in chassidic Torah and the esoteric world of Kabbalah; 40 years ago he received an endorsement of his enormous powers of tefillah from the Beis Yisrael of Gur zy”a. Yet he combines chassidus with the Torah of his rebbi muvhak, Rav Yechezkel Levenstein ztz”l, his mentor from the time he was a bochur in Ponevezh. (In fact, the shiurim of Ponevezh rosh yeshivahRavDovidPovarsky that were prepared for publication are based onRavStern’s notebooks from yeshivah.)

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you