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“If rabbanim want respect, they should learn and become real talmidei chachamim.” Those words were spoken more than three decades ago, by Rav Noach Isaac Oelbaum, who is celebrating thirty-six years at the helm of the Khal Nachlas Yitzchok shul in Kew Garden Hills. But even as Rav Oelbaum looks back upon a long and distinguished career in rabbanus, his eye is firmly fixed on the present — and, as usual, he has some sage words of advice for a new generation of rabbanim concerning the challenges they face.
As summer weddings are back in full swing, there is a cadre of rabbis who spend their evenings at simchahs you’d probably never be invited to. Every secular couple who marries in Israel also needs a proper mesader kiddushin, and these Rabbanut-affiliated and kiruv clergy spend their nights at weddings that might look more like nightclubs – to bring even the most distant couples under the canopy k’das Moshe v’Yisrael.
Aircraft that will be used in another forty years, helicopters without wings and planes without fuel were just some of the aviation innovations exhibited at the international Paris Air Show this summer. But the king of the show was Israel, with its latest military and civilian innovations — racking up contracts with other countries and topping its already bulging seven billion dollar annual exports.
He appeared one winter day in 1523 in the Jewish ghetto of Venice with a fantastic tale of exotic lands and a lost Jewish kingdom, and grandiose political plans. The historical question marks left in his wake have never been resolved. Was David Reuveni a false mashiach and a conniving rogue, or a genius ahead of his time?