May 20, 2013
Rabbi Ashkenazi's Lakewood Visit

Chabad Rabbi Mordechai Ashkenazi recently met with Rabbi Malkiel Kotler and his family who lead the Lakewood Yeshiva.

Reported by COL and Matzav

A meeting was recently held in Lakewood, New Jersey, between Rabbi Mordechai Shmuel Ashkenazi, rov of Kfar Chabad in Israel, and Rabbi Malkiel Kotler, Rosh Yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, and his family.

The meeting between the member of the Chabad Beis Din in Israel and the rosh of the largest litvish yeshiva in the Diaspora was arranged, according to sources in the Israeli media, thanks to a connection that goes back decades.

Rabbi Ashkenazi is a grandson of Rabbi Meir Ashkenazi, rov of Shanghai, China, known as "the Shanghaier Rov." Rebbetzin Rischel Kotler, wife of Rabbi Shneur Kotler OBM and mother of Rabbi Malkiel Kotler, was in Shanghai during World War II. Rebbetzin Kotler is a daughter of Rabbi Aryeh Malkiel Friedman OBM.

The shidduch between Rabbi Shneur and his Rebbetzin, the sources state, came about following a bracha from the Frierdiker Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn OBM and thanks to the intervention of Rabbi Meir Ashkenazi, who did all he could to bring the shidduch to fruition.

In addition, Rebbetzin Kotler's son, R' Shrage, is married to a great-granddaughter of Rabbi Ashkenazi, the former Miriam Cohen.

During the recent meeting in Lakewood, memories and stories were shared of the times spent in Shanghai and the Herculean efforts of the rabbonim and Yidden of that period to preserve Yiddishkeit and persevere despite the daunting challenges that were ever-present.

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Opinions and Comments
Moshiach's Zeitin!
(5/20/2013 8:10:35 PM)
this was after Rabbi Kotler just visited Toronto both this year and last year and was being greeted through A fame's Lubavitcher living in Toronto.
As Rabbi Kotler during both get together's expressed his great
interest with this Lubavitcher's concerns.
as this year he memorized the Lubavitcher's 1st and last name for farther correspondence.
(5/20/2013 8:37:56 PM)
rabbi levi schapiro os manalapan smicha program
went arround after he tested the smicha boys
(5/20/2013 8:43:15 PM)
What about the bochurim who apparently died of starvation in Shanghai, because certain Rabbonim denied them food?
(5/20/2013 9:51:59 PM)
some correction is in order
R' Schneur Kotler was engaged before the war started. His kallah became a refugee in shanghai and lived in R' Meir Ashkenazi's house for 4-5 years. After the war, the Frierdiker Rebbe told R' Ashkenazi to convince the families to go thru with the marriage, despite some hesitancy from his family. They felt that since she was a young girl in a foreign place without family, she couldn't have kept her frumkeit properly, and wanted to call off the marriage. R' Ashkenazi convinced the kotler family that she kept her purity, and the marriage went thru.
I think the story that the FR was the shadchan comes from this and are not quite true.
(5/20/2013 10:25:26 PM)
Moshiach's Tzeitin...
will be when Rabbi Malkiel Kotler visits Kfar Chabad!
(5/20/2013 10:36:09 PM)
Kol Hakavod!!!
May the connection grow and grow!
(5/20/2013 10:46:35 PM)
Definitely Moshiach's Zeitin!
(5/20/2013 10:54:17 PM)
are you kidding tell the truth
lakewood has been abuzz since finding out about r' kotlers letter not to give lubavitchers food in shanghai and bochrim starved to death

who allowed r' ashkenazi to give mechila and a large check from kotler on behalf of lubavitch
(5/20/2013 11:17:36 PM)
Why to be proud???
It is known that R' A. Kotler gave so much Tzaar and agmas Nefesh to the Frierdiker Rebbe, WHY? And also was against our Rebbe...Why?
(5/20/2013 11:34:36 PM)
Bochurim Died in Shangai
R' Shmuel Dovid Raichik ran the Chabad Yeshivah in Shanghai. Despite being a strong ohev yisroel, he confirmed the story of the Lubavitch bochurim's deaths due to R' Ahron Kotler refusing them food which he distributed on behalf of the Federation/ the Joint.
(5/21/2013 12:09:26 AM)
To all the tzadikim posting here
It is so special that Rav Ashkenazi and Rav kotler met. Why can't you just appreciate that now? Why do you always feel an urge to bring in bitterness ? Do you have a hava Amina that the Rebbe would want you to do so?? True soldiers of the Rebbe focus on ahavas Yisrael and achdus Yisrael. Yasher koiach to COL for this beautiful an heartwarming article!
(5/21/2013 1:59:19 AM)
To # 9 Letter Abuzz?
What letter was revealed?
(5/21/2013 2:32:15 AM)
Enough with sunas chinom!
The story of bochurim starving to death because of lack of food in Shanghai is not true.ONE bochur was unfortunately nifter.His name was Chanowitz and he had been a sickly bochur back in his home town Vilna.Shanghai was full of refugees and various diseases typical of hot and poor places at a time and place that medicine was not as advanced as today.The Mirrer yeshiva also lost a number of boys to illness.
Vehoemes vesholom aheivu
(5/21/2013 2:35:44 AM)
Reb Aharon zt" l and Vaad Hatzalah
Reb Aharon zt" l together with Rav Avraham Kalmanowitz created the Va'ad Hatzala to rescue as many jews as possible from german soil , which btw included thousands of chassidic and secular jews! The Va'ad Hatzalah's efforts led to the creation of the War Refugee Board. So, along with the thousands saved directly by the Va'ad Hatzalah, another 100,000 to 200,000 Jews were saved indirectly through the War Refugee Board. I heard directly from an Atler Mirrer presently living in Montreal that food and clothing was offered to the Chabad Bocherim as it was to all others who seeked it. They declined saying that our rebbe takes care of us, so to speak we don't need it!
(5/21/2013 7:32:02 AM)
father and uncles from Shanghai
My uncle was one of those who passed away in Shanghai by a condition which was aggravated by starvation and Yibadel L'Chaim Tovim,my father wrote letters to America during that time. He did not write a bad word about The Kotlers and L'hefech, kept a good relationship with R' Rischel after the war. From the letters I have been reading the story is not as clear as we tend to paint it. It also seems like the Freierdiker Rebbe wanted to keep these details quiet. Should we be the ones, in a generation that needs yeshuos, to keep machlokes going?
(5/21/2013 8:33:03 AM)
What about the rashag
Did he distribute funding to vaad hatzala? As sad as this episode is its important to know the whole story.
(5/21/2013 8:41:17 AM)
shangchaier einekel
NOBODY died from hunger. Show me his grave. Mind u R' Kotler didn't want the Mirrer hancholo to share $ with Lubavitchers. Yes they were hungry but NOBODY died from hunger. Ask my zeide.
(5/21/2013 9:18:42 AM)
R' Schneur Kotler OBM was not like his father
R' Schneur did not hate lubavitch. In this way he was not like his father.
(5/21/2013 9:43:44 AM)
agree to 9 to 11
"memories and stories were shared of the times spent in Shanghai" I wonder if these memories included the names of the tmimim who perrished
(5/21/2013 9:57:34 AM)
why the FR cried?
The rebbe did not go to r' kotlers levaya because he said that kotler caused the FR to cry... because of his withholding the $$$ that was supposed to go to Lubavitch.

Perhaps r' askenazi got a direct horoah that it is OK what r' kotler did...
(5/21/2013 10:35:17 AM)
ridiculous assertation
To assert that any Chabad bochurim died from starvation would be a terrible blot on the Chabad community in America at the time.After all they gathered the funds necessary to rescue the Rayatz ZTL even though he was in enemy territory they certainly would have been able to gather money to feed fifty or so bochurim if they were starving. They would have found the way to get them the money if for some reason the Vaad hatzala wouldn"t helpThe a ccusation is beyond absurd.
There are some in Crown Heights who live on their own island.Most of us live with Lakewood ,Satmar and other types of Yidden and are not looking to perpetuate machlokes..
(5/21/2013 10:52:56 AM)
To# 17
Yes he did and if you only logo in the fredike rebbes Igris cheleck ä and å and if you continue to read through ç you will find the incredible pain he was in because they refused to send money to lubavitch. You don't need to speculate just read it
(5/21/2013 11:17:37 AM)
Machon Mishnas Reb Aharon
To #9 Where is this so called 'letter× you are referring to ? I work in the Publishing house that prints Reb Aharon's Seforim and have seen or heard of just about every manuscript related to Reb Aharon from the war years etc.! If you have no basis to your aqusations then why bother making them? This shows a lack of understanding on your part!
(5/21/2013 11:48:15 AM)
with #10 and those that are concerned with the kavod of our Rebbeim.

We chassidim cannot and should not play judge nor lawyer for something which is way above our head. We cannot and should not think that we can forgive and forget about the agmus nefesh and shfichas damim of our Rebbeim and their holy chasidim.

If this was truly a meeting "lishma" then it should be kept quiet and not "advertised" as a "break through" in relations between the Kotler family and Lubavitch.

The Rebbeim will take care of themselves!

(5/21/2013 11:51:57 AM)
The facts
There IS a letter from the Vaad Hatzolo directing that money be given to all the yeshivos "except Chabad" as per specific instructions of R'A' Kalmanowitz - NOT R' Kotler. A copy of the actual letter was posted a few years ago on . R' Kotler was certainly no friend of Chabad, and was definitely an enemy of the FR, but it seems this particular instruction was from Kalmanowitz.
(5/21/2013 12:23:23 PM)
why is the chasheevus of everyone measured by their relationship with Chabad?
(5/21/2013 1:33:02 PM)
Here is the letter reporting the ban on Chabad:
(5/21/2013 2:23:17 PM)
are you kidding
yes r' a kotler was responsible for deaths of hunger

the rebbe had many opportunities to straighten this out ( confirm with r' groner r' krinsky and others and the rebbe declined)
(5/21/2013 4:29:08 PM)
Utilize your energy!
When are we going to be sick and tired of being sick and tired???I×m referring to our matzav in this DARK Golus!Alle Yidden take your precious time and energy and FOCUS on your personal inventories as far as YOUR personal Avoidas Hashem and visualize Moshiach in OUR days!It's in ALL of our hands!
(5/22/2013 10:49:37 AM)
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