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Friday, April 8, 2016

Guest Post: Rabbi Zevulun Leiberman


This message is about a short-but-memorable conversation I had with Rabbi Zevulun Leiberman (of blessed memory) in year 2004 CE.  I believe that it is my duty to publicize this little story, so it should not be forgotten.

Rabbi Zevulun Leiberman, despite his Ashkenazi name, served as the spiritual leader of one of the largest Syrian synagogues in New York City for several decades, starting in year 1958 CE. 

He was also personally involved in attempting to repair almost every troubled marriage in NYC’s Syrian-Jewish community for several decades [so I was told]. 

He also taught at Yeshivah University.

Finally, he also served as an Av Beth Din for that community for several decades, even though other Rabbis in that community had the same title.


One fine day in year 2004 CE, I saw Rabbi Zevulun Leiberman and I asked him where he was coming from. 
He explained to me that he had just spent most of that day attending an agunah conference.

I asked him: Does your community really have an agunah problem?
He answered me: YES.

I asked him: How many agunot are there in the Syrian community of NYC?
He answered me: ONE.

Somehow the subject of wife-beating arose in our conversation. Rabbi Zevulun Leiberman told me confidently that since he started serving NYC’s Syrian-Jewish community in year 1958 CE, there had been exactly one case of wife-beating, and that was in 1959 CE. 

In other words, there was exactly one case of wife-beating in 46 years, and this statistic came from a Rabbi who was personally involved in attempting to repair almost every troubled marriage in NYC’s Syrian-Jewish community [of 85,000 people, at that time] for several decades.


His answers made a great impression on my mind, so great that I still remember that conversation 12 years later.  He was an extremely busy man; there were many legitimate ways he could have chosen to spend his time. 

Yet he chose to spend many hours attending an agunah conference, even though nobody paid him to attend, and even though his community of 85,000 Jews [at that time] had only ONE agunah!
Rabbi Zevulun Leiberman understood even ONE agunah is one-too-many! And he did not merely understand that as a theory; he LIVED that understanding with his actions.


In the 1990s I had a short-but-memorable conversation with a Jew who was born in Syria and moved to New York City in 1959. 

He insisted with great emphasis that when he left Syria in year 1959 CE, 99% of Jews in Syria observed Shabbat; and there was NOT EVEN ONE Jew in all of Syria who was a public-Shabbat-desecrator [Mechalel Shabbat Bepharhesia]. 

Maybe this happened because the Syrian Jews never accepted Reform or Conservative. 
There was never a Reform or Conservative Syrian synagogue; only Orthodox.
“One [New York] Times opinion editor, Matt Seaton, even admitted last year [2014 CE] that the newspaper has a policy of veering away from criticism of Palestinians.”

Final sentence of article titled: “New York Times Editor: Coverage of Israel Most Criticized Aspect of Opinion Pages” by Shiryn Ghermezian, 2015 October 14, found in: The Algemeiner.

Like all things Islamic, the Palestinians long-been have been officially above criticism in the West…”

Useful idiots for Palestine by Pat Condell, 2011 November 4 (available for free on YouTube)

Pat Condell is an atheist, who was born in Ireland around 1950 CE, and raised in England as a Roman Catholic, and educated in Church of England schools.
Please help Shurat HaDin SUE the terrorists in court:


Shurat HaDin won $9.4 million in appeal against Iran for terror victims:

Shurat HaDin successfully froze over $600 million in terrorist assets:

Shurat HaDin’s victory for Israel on FaceBook:

PS: Please check out these pro-Israel web sites:
www.camera.org * www.HonestReporting.com * www.memri.org *
 www.ActForAmerica.org * www.aish.com * www.IsraelLawCenter.org  


Mr. Cohen said...

Welcome to the world of The New York Times,
where only Palestinian victims have names,
ages, and sympathetic eyewitnesses:


Batya Medad said...

I certainly have no idea if every Syrian Jew while still in Syria was truly shomer mitzvot, because there is no way to check. But you must remember that in the rest of the Jewish world, there were always many who did not keep the mitzvot, Shabbat, kashrut, even in public long before the invention of Reform, Conservative etc. Those "religions" developed to legitimize their version of Judaism, not the opposite.
Of course it resulted in people thinking that one has a choice on how to be a "true Jew." And now there are converts and descendents of converts and "zera yisrael" who think they are genuine Jews when they aren't. That is the biggest problem of all.

Shiloh said...

Why do you delete a post that disagree's with you? Do you know why the conservative movement was started? Because of studying the Dead Sea Scrolls. Did you know that the Karaites were almost 1/2 of the Jewish world some years ago until the rabbi's used the Arabs to eradicate them. How about the opposition Sadducee's leader who actually led the revolt against Rome? He was murdered at the hands of the rabbi's. But we side with their corrupted derech out of ignorance and only rabbinical Jews are "true Jews". That is a sheer corruption of the Tanach. Please see Isaiah 29:13.

Batya Medad said...

Shiloh, your comments have been offtopic completely, and that's about the nicest I can say. Also you never read this post at all. It is totally obvious by what you've written.