Purim HaMishulosh…..in Los Angeles!?!

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1020.jpg(Click HERE for photos) Purim Hamishulosh arrived in Los Angeles with a resounding Kiddush Hashem and a remarkable display of Achdus and Simcha.

What has become an annual Los Angeles Purim minhag, world renowned Askanim and philanthropists Shlomo Yehuda and Yisroel Zev Rechnitz and families hosted a Purim Chagiga and Kumzitz bringing together the greatest haimish singers of our generation.

Mordichai Ben David, Avrohom Fried, Chazzan Yitzchok Helfgott, Chazan Duvie Blonder, Yeedle, the Yungerleit of Shira Chior, Chazan Yankele Rosenblatt and the Rechnitz brothers brought the entire Los Angeles Kehilla to their feet in dance and simcha.

With Purim this year on a Friday, it was decided to give the Kehilla a feel of Purim in Yerushelayim with the Chagiga taking place on Motzai Shabbos. This years Chagiga and Kumzitz was dedicated to raising funds for the Bais Gavriel Maos Chitim Fund which distributes vital funds for struggling families in the Los Angeles Kehilla. Since the entire event was paid for by the hosts; 100% of all donations was dedicated to the fund.

On Purim day, the preparations for the Motzai Shabbos event began in earnest with First Street being closed to traffic in all directions. The stages, musical equipment and seating sections were set up. A mechitza stretching a block long was setup making it the biggest mechitza ever set up in Los Angeles history.

Men, woman and children began arriving on Motzai Shabbos from all over Southern California. Families from as far south as San Diego came to join in the Simcha. At 9PM the Chagiga was formally kicked off by Shlomo Yehuda & Yisroel Zev Rechnitz. A Tefilla for the Cholim of the Kehilla was recited by the entire crowd. The music by Shira Orchestra launched an event that with no doubt was the greatest display of Kiddush Hashem in Los Angeles history.

With the world capital of media and production a mere stones throw away, the helige niggunim of our past generations illuminated the soul that is Klal Yisroel on the streets of Los Angeles. Chassidish, Litvish, Sephardim, Mizrchai and every other make and model of the beautiful mosaic of the yiddisher neshama came together for Tzeddoka and Chesed. The numerous Bochurim  & Tzedaka groups from the east coast that were in Los Angeles for Purim joined in the Simcha.

The need for this display of Achdus and Simcha in Los Angeles was desperately needed after a year that witnessed many tragedies befall our Los Angeles family. The niggunim ranged from lebedike to the most heartwarming. A special Niggun recently composed in Los Angeles brought the entire crowd to their feet. The niggun is composed of the 12th Bracha of the weekday Shemonai Esrah. Its catchy tune and tempo has quickly made this a niggun to be reckoned with on the Haimish music scene.

The Chagiga and Kumzitz winded down early Sunday morning with a Kumzitz that was reminiscent and replete with the songs of Reb Shlomo.

Hatzolah of Los Angeles provided two ambulances and numerous support vehicles and members to ensure the health and safety of the large crowd. Police estimate the crowd at 7,500 to 10,000 but who was counting. Captain David Beudry commented that his officers were astounded that with such a large crowd there were zero incidents. The officers and general community were awed by the display of community solidarity.

(YWN – Los Angeles)




31 COMMENTS

  1. “an event that with no doubt was the greatest display of Kiddush Hashem in Los Angeles history”

    Something’s very very wrong with this statement……………

  2. Nebech, thats what we have stooped to. A kiddush hashem my friends is when yiden get together and learn and daven. When yiden perform acts of kindness for the rest of the world to see. A daf yomi siyum is a kiddish hashem. But when yidden are dancing in the streets of LA, thats not a kiddish hashem. By calling that a kiddish hashem it undermines what a true kiddish hashem really is. Its a nice sight , but kiddish hashem it is not.

  3. fun unzere ,

    seems like they were saying that there was obviously not too much other kidush haShem in LA. being that i lived in LA for short time, I find that VERY HARD to believe!

  4. I must agree with #1….
    We mortals can’t measure Kiddush Hashem…

    If we were at liberty to judge the greatest displays of kiddush Hashem, I’m sure there are numerous other one’s that took place in Los Angeles…some we probably don’t even know about….kiddush Hashem takes place when no one knows of what happened as well….

  5. Sounds amazing to have the entire kehilla together in song and simcha on shushan purim. Can we plan one in our area, with the funds going to tzedakah?
    BTW there are many types of kiddush hashem.

  6. Okay, okay, so there was a small mistake in the wording in the article. I agree with all of the others – the visit of Hagaon R’ Ahron Leib Steinman and the Gerrer rebbe was probably the greatest kiddush hashem. Or, perhaps, the last Siyum hashas at the Disney concert hall.
    However, there’s a lot more written here than just those words. I was at the mesiba last night, and I feel that the Rechnitzes are tremendous baalei chesed. The simcha there was palpable and the singers were mesmerizing and inspirational. The Rechnitzes did this all with no intention of receiving a dime – just to give simcha to the community at large, which was much needed after recent tragic events in our community.
    The fundraiser was for the fund that was started a few years ago by the Rechnitzes to give every mechanech in the city $1000 before Pesach (regardless of his relationship with them), aside from the many others who benefit. If every community had such baalei batim and anshei chesed, many kollel families and mechanchim around the country would be able to breathe a lot easier!

  7. A freiliche yahr!

    Raboisai, just because you are posting comments on YWN, you don’t have to be narish. Why such kinderishe kleinikeit? It was mamash very beautiful! When it says here that it was the greatest display of kiddush Hashem, so you where there? You think that there were greater events, greater displays of Kiddush Hashem, Gevalt! so great, wonderful.

    The main point here is very clear. The Achdus, Simcha, and Kiddush Hashem were really phenomenal! The hosts, the singers, the audience/participants, everything was amazing. It was a real Yiddishe experience, an algemeiner varme Yiddisher Taam.

    Next year may we celebrate in Yershalayim together!

  8. i was there and it waas very gishmak but the mechitza ended at a certain point and the boys and girls socialized there. i was very upset that at a place of a kidush hashem there was also socializing. the gedolim are right that concerts should be assured

  9. I’m sorry, I was there last night and there was an element of Achdus, etc. However, as for this being a Kiddush Hashem, I DON”T THINK SO!

    If you call crowds of about 75 – boys and girls – in all sorts of dress, gathered around, in a circle while other were fighting a Kiddush Hashem, then I don;t waht to say. The security company had to get on their loud speakers to dispurse the crowd and then no less than 3 police cruisers showing up to detain others. I smelled pot being smoked abmong all the other ciagrettes, not to mention those that brought their own alcohol. The mechitza went only half way up the block, but it didn’t really do anything anyway.
    There is no question as to Rechnitz’s kindness, but maybe this is not he proper forum. This was most certainly a CHILUL Hashem, especially to those who expected more. I think he people at the front, near Alta Vista had a very different experience than thos at the back at Formosa.

  10. Greatest Kiddush Hashem in L.A. history might not be accurate but that is just wording of an article. I had the opportunity to be there and the unity, achdus and Simchas Purim was palpable. Like most people in the community I know the hosts, and am aware firsthand that they consult every year with our Gedolim while planning the Kumzitz. We all saw a slew of security personnel there with the only purpose of making sure adherence to the Mechizah was kept. We all saw the hosts and other Baalei Batim giving out tens of thousands of dollars to a variety of Tzedakos during the event. We can’t measure Kiddush Hashem and clearly the Ribono Shel Olam wants Daf Yomi siyumim etc..But when the Ribono Shel Olam looks down upon a city and sees all types, Chassidish, Litvish, Mizrachi etc..dancing together, saying tehilim for each others sick, giving Tzedaka to one another, singing with each other and wishing each other well, He truly smiles.

  11. I was at this event too, and it was a very enjoyable and uplifting event for many families. It is wonderful that the LA community can come together for events like this with achdus. There was a very long and mostly quite effective mechitza down most of the street, but other commentators are correct that there was some inappropriate socializing at the far end of the block. However, are we to assur every community event because some people talk and socialize around the mechitza? This happens at weddings too, and we haven’t assured them (yet). Events like these bring a community together, raise funds for tzedaka, and inspire people.

    Yasher Koach to the organizers, performers, and local LA talent of Naftali Finkel, Yaakov Rosenblatt, Duvie Blonder, and the Rechnitz families.

  12. reb mechel whats wrong with you why are you so negative every time you leave a message it is critising someone or something !!!!!!!!

  13. I have been reading these posts and it seems like everyone missed the point. The author might have possibly mischarachterized the size of the Kiddush Hashem but the point is that everyone in Los Angeles knows that the Rechnitz’s are the #1 address for all “Devorim Shebikdusha”, whether it’s Yeshivos, Kollelim, Personal Loans or Aniiyim. I don’t know if there is a Rosh Hayesiva, a Rosh kollel or a Gabbai Tzedaka that hasn’t benefited from their acts of Tzedaka. Who can take it upon themselves to write a negative comment and risk turning them off? Who can be this “Meshalem Rah Tachas Tovah”? The Rechnitz’s are not in the concert business. They’re in the Tzedaka business and this is just one of the many maasim Tovim they will do this week. If you have nothing nice to say, get off the computer and open a Sefer.

  14. So far we have gotten different perspectives from people who were there first hand. So they have their opinion and the rest of us…who are we to judge what it was.

    I’m bothered by the rush of so many here to judge and lable a community that we don’t know all that much about. For all the erliech people that attended, I’m sure it was a true kiddush Hashem. As for the rest who were at the fringes, well they now have something positive to attribute to Yiddishkeit and who knows what future doors it may open. One can only speculate where else they might have gone but choose to go to a Jewish event. We have to stop being so critical and negative and leave an opening so that all of Klal Yisroel will feel like they have a place to be part of.

  15. To critisize such an even… Shamefulll.
    This is where jidisher hearts sing and dance toghether. There is time for everything. Purim an shushan Purim is the time to Dance and sing.

    What do u want to ban that too???

    A freilichen Shushan shushan Purim.

  16. Last night as the concert in LA started we heard the terrible news that one of the biggest baalei tzedaka in our time, R’ Benzion Dunner, was tragically taken from us in a terrible accident. This will surely hurt the Yeshivos, Kollelim and all others who benefited from his generosity. As everyone in Los Angeles knows, the Rechnitz brothers are from that same group of greatest baalei tzedaka and baalei chesed. There are only a handful of those in the entire world. So I agree. It’s not the concert that is the “Greatest Kiddush Hashem in LA”, its the way they live their lives of true tzedaka and chesed that IS the greatest Kiddush Hashem in Los Angeles!

  17. Why is everyone from LA getting so offended?

    Anyone who knows the chasadim/tzedakah that the Rechnitzes do fargins them to make whatever party they want.

    The point is that the greatest Kiddush Hashem of achdus that goes on in LA, or anywhere, is the hundreds of Yungerleit/bachurim, learning the same torah, be it in the valley, Beverly hills, chasidim, litvish, sefardiq, Persian……(and also the Torah learning all over that is supported in part by baalei batim in LA)

  18. We are all very aware that the author of this article does not actually believe that this was the greatest kiddush Hashem of all time. So we ask ourselves the obvious question, why write it? It is possible that the author wanted to express his gratitude to the Rechnitz family even if it meant writing something about their event that was a gross exaggeration, for any one of the following reasons
    1.Maybe the authors grocery bill was paid by the Rechnitz family when he was in a time of need
    2.Maybe the author received a 1,000 dollar stipend before Pesach to help out with his YomTov expenses.
    3.Maybe the author was employed by the Rechnitz family when he was in need of a job.
    4.Maybe the author is a collector that was invited into a Rechnitz house with a smile instead of having money thrown at him.
    5.Maybe the author is a Rosh Hayeshivah and appreciates the yearly donation that he receives from the Rechnitz family.
    6.Maybe the author is a young kid who has his tuition paid by the Rechnitz family.

    I can go on all day.
    we may not be able to judge what the greatest kiddush hashem in los angeles history was but what i could say is that i know a chilul Hashem when i see one. A chilul Hashem is when people scan articles so they can find something to criticize. “ATTN ALL KANOIM” Its okay to read an article and not comment.

  19. I went to yeshiva with the Rechnitz Brothers. They are literaly the “tallest” Balei Tzedaka I have ever met. They are warm, friendly and care about the KLAL. To my understanding they do everything with direction of gedolei torah. they are close to their rosh yeshivos.

    Personally I think many should try to emulate the chesed and tezdaka the Rechnitzes have done.

    Being someone originally from out of town and have visited LA I think this event was a Kiddush Hashem. The difference that such an event can make on yidden is indescribable. The gedorim in NY are not always the gedorim that are good or needed in LA.

    You are never going to control all the crowds. They took precautions. Klall Yisroel is allowed to have a simchas yom tov.

    There were venue in Lakewood that had some problems yet they did not close it down so everyone loses out. There will always be a small percentage that will deviate. Does that mean that the entire simchas purim must be cancelled everywhere?

    We have to stop being so stiff with all our chumras that we have on ourselves and demanding them on others?

    Although I disgust the scene of mingling – its better that the mingling happened at a yiddishe event vs another Hollywood Goyish event. Banning all venues will only create more at risk or off the derech kids. A middle ground must be found. There is NCSY for teenagers coming from unaffiliated homes. But what is there for FFB who are sliding?

    I wonder why everyone screams out against these problematic children when they are mingling at concert or at an event? These same people who want to ban every venue and who scream “Asur” (they are correct)yet they can never approach these children in a productive manner as they have never opened their homes before to show them warmth, compassion and love. They have no connection.

    thats all these children need.

    Open your home to these children. Show them a shabbos. Become a person who they know will listen to their tzar and not put them down. It’s called V’ahavta lrayacha Kamocha.

  20. “Laguy” surely knows that Purim in other cities and hot spots are much more of a problem. Unfortunately you can see mingling and much worse even outside of events hosted by Yeshivos. In this case, the hosts spared no expense in hiring a team of armed security guards to limit what is bound to happen at any Purim Gathering. And if it happened at this event it was not clearly noticeable.

    One must also wonder how “Laguy” can so easily recognize and identify the smell of pot.

  21. 23, “a resounding Kiddush Hashem” (lead paragraph of article) is not the same as “the greatest kiddush Hashem of all time” (your words).

    I have a plea the olam. You may feel that this is a forum to voice serious concerns, hoping that someone in a position to do something will read and take note. If you truly feel that this is this is the only way to accomplish things, please accept my apologies for offending you. But are you sure that there are no better ways, such as contacting people in charge, or writers, than to cast aspersions and to spread lashon hara and rechilus?

  22. 26 comments on this debate??? The biggest chilul Hashem is when we argue with each other in a public forum. Everybody, take a chill pill, acknowledge the simcha and beauty that happened in LA, and get back to work.

  23. honestly i did not read all the comments but when i got to the third comment i saw the bashing starting already.

    why does everything have to be an arguement? why cant everyone agree that it was a beautiful thing. there is nothing wrong with this. so stop making politics!

  24. I don’t think that people were bashing the Rechnitz brothers. I too went to Yeshiva with Yisroel Zev, and he does have a heart of gold. And a love for music that dates back to his youth. After he left the Yeshiva, we used to eagerly wait for his next visit, because he would always be mehaneh the olam with a beautiful shacharis at the amud on a Shabbos morning. He hasn’t been back for a while, but when he comes next, I’m sure the feeling will be no less. (You can hear him sing on the first Moishe Mendlowitz tape, Nogila.)

    I think that it is simply an issue of tafasta meruba lo tafasta in the language of Greatest Kiddush Hashem ever. No question that it was great Purim fun, and I’m sure atronomical sums of money were raised for great and important causes. Just don’t call a concert, “greatest Kiddush Hashem ever”

  25. I was at the event. The Rechnitz Brother’s are very special people, everyone knows that, so that is not the issue here.
    the writer above who wrote that the experience on Formosa was very different than the experience on Alta Vista was accurate, while on Alta Vista they were busy getting “tripple k” and Avraham Fried was trying to get “some reverb”……….on Formosa there was the smell of weed wafting through the air. On the other hand, I am not sure that the people mingling over there would’nt be mingling at some other place anyhow, so I am not sure. It is the same like many other things, that they are metamei tehorim and metaher temei’im……..I can see the more modern kids being uplifted by such an event, and at the same time, the more heimishe kids can get dragged down.
    So is it a reason not to do it? Maybe parents should know their kids and should know if it is to their detriment or benifit… if they can at all tell them what to do.

  26. I too was at the concert on motzei shabbos so I speak first hand when I say whatever I do.
    Everyone is busy yelling chilul Hashem, chilul Hashem. Personally, I think that being so negative and spreading public rumors (I say rumors because i personally spoke to the security guard who told me that the lapd verified that it was not pot that people thought it to be) about pot and weed are a bigger chilul Hashem than boys and girls mingling.
    Forgetting, for a minute about the chassadim of the Rechnitz’ brothers, because any chillul Hashem would not be okay even if done by baalei tzedakah or chessed, did anyone bother mentioning that the actual concert and choice of songs was batampte and completely void of modern influenced on Jewish music? How many concerts can one say this about. the songs were hartzig, and would’ve been approved by any rosh yeshiva. I’ve been at many a frum concert, and i’m never surprised when they introduce the next surprise guest and it’s a rapper!
    the rechnitz’ brothers and anyone and everyone involved in putting this beautiful concert together did everything in their capability to keep it completely frum, muttar, and separate. they hired security to enforce this as well as separate bathrooms for men and women. the mechitza was tall enough for all standard and not at all see-thru.
    it is inevitable that boys who want to mingle with girls in a crowd will do it no matter what precautions are taken (i’ve seen it happen outside of weddings at Bais Feiga in Lkwd too) but unfortunately, it is just as inevitable that yidden will critisize anything that another yid will do having had the best of intentions in mind.
    and this, in my eyes, is an even graver chillul Hashem!!

    and to all those who thought there were problems and chillul hashem, did you get up and leave or did you stay and fress soup and cotton candy for free?
    (P.S. the rechnitzes were on the alta vista side and made sure that everything going on there was k’das uch’din, whatever they were told about that was going on closer to formosa, they made sure to fix as well but they were only aware of so much from up on stage)