Rav Yissocher Frand to Address Tomchei Shabbos of Lakewood Dinner Tonight


rav-yissocher-frandWith just hours left to the annual Tomchei Shabbos of Lakewood dinner, the primacy of the shared communal achrayus toward aniyei ircha is very much on the minds of the Lakewood community. The¬†theme of this year’s dinner focused on the “you” element in the mission borne by Tomchei Shabbos. The concept successfully drove home the message in a very real way that this organization is, in fact, doing the bidding of each and every individual in Lakewood.

As one of the more active neighborhood reps noted, the warm and generous response this year from friends and neighbors he solicited indicates that people truly relate to the understanding that, ultimately, we – the Lakewood community members – are all Tomchei Shabbos.

The shul and neighborhood campaign instituted last year by Tomchei Shabbos’s indefatigable Director of Development, Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchok Trainer, solicits sponsorships for whole or partial deliveries, thereby allowing donors the unique zechus of directly providing for the needs of a struggling family while maintaining full anonymity.

Actually, this past year, says Rabbi Trainer, it was the sponsorship campaign that literally saved the organization. With large-scale donors scaling back on their past contribution levels and a simultaneous, steady increase in demand for assistance, ultimately it was the grassroots response of the hamon am that resulted in Tomchei Shabbos’s ability to balance the budget with an unprecedented annual outlay of $1,771,170.96 for fiscal year 2009!

The dinner is the zenith of the campaign and one of the inspiring highpoints on Lakewood’s calendar of events. Few gatherings can galvanize and draw together the community in a joint display of achdus as an event whose entire focus is about the commitment that we bear toward each other as a kehillah. On the nitzrachim‘s end, adversity does not differentiate between yeshivaleit, baalei batim, Chassidim or Sefardim. All are party to the parnassah declared to them min haShomayim on Rosh Hashanah. On the volunteering end, a glance at the packing and assembly lines at the Tomchei Shabbos warehouse shows the same mix of bnei Torah, businessmen, professionals and community members of every stripe working in unison for the holy endeavor of providing for Lakewood’s aniyim.

Therefore, it’s only natural that the donor base of this organization also represents the combined synergy of every facet of the kehillah. It is well known that many struggling bnei Torah who live on a shoestring budget themselves dedicate a significant portion of their maaser to Tomchei Shabbos. If Chazal tell us that aniyei ircha take precedence, then who would not want to get the most for their tzedakah money? It is this inspiration and commitment that is underscored each year at the dinner by the array of talented speakers.

This year’s dinner is dedicated l’illui nishmas Rav Shimon Newhouse z”l, known as a yedid ne’eman of Tomchei Shabbos. It is worth noting that this close yedidus between Rabbi Newhouse and Tomchei Shabbos was born at the first Tomchei Shabbos Dinner he attended in Lakewood.

Anyone who knew Rabbi Newhouse knew about his passion for the mitzvah of tzedakah, He would give often beyond his means. Another attribute of Reb Shimon’s was his unwavering emunas chachomim. The first time he attended a Tomchei Shabbos Dinner, he heard the mashgiach say that all tzeddakos are kodesh, but Tomchei Shabbos is Kodesh Kodoshim.

Immediately following the dinner, Reb Shimon made a calculation of how much his household’s total food budget was for the year, and he wrote a check for a matching amount on behalf of Tomchei Shabbos. In his typical unassuming fashion, he simply slipped the check – totaling several thousand dollars – into the Tomchei Shabbos locker in yeshiva.

This is a commitment that Rabbi Newhouse maintained ever since. At the beginning of each year, he would give the organization twelve post-dated checks dated for the first of each month. Few people are zoche to be able to continue giving tzedakah once they leave the world. Reb Shimon has the zechus that his Tomchei Shabbos checks are still being deposited on the first of each month, continuing to provide zechusim for his neshama.

The dinner will take place at Bais Faiga Hall. Rav Yissocher Frand, R”M in Yeshivas Ner Yisroel in Baltimore,¬†will serve as the guest speaker. The reception is called for 9 p.m. and the program will begin at 10 p.m. sharp.

As Tomchei Shabbos’ founder, Rabbi Yehuda Moshe Slomiuc, notes, “The Tomchei Shabbos dinner is much like a shareholders’ convention of a large corporation. It is where we come together to give our “men on the ground” our mandate and provide them with the resources they need to work on our behalf. Even for those who already made or submitted their pledges, it is of utmost importance to be at Bais Faiga this Sunday, if only for the well-deserved chizuk and recognition it provides for the Tomchei Shabbos volunteers.”

If Tomchei Shabbos is our organization, and the dinner is our event, can we even consider not being there?

{Matzav.com Newscenter Lakewood News Desk}


  1. I don’t believe there is a more worth-while
    tzedakah than Tomchei Shabbos.I wish I could
    give them a million dollars.Since I have no money I give them my time. What will you give?

  2. Kudos to Rabbi YY Trainer for his devotion and effort on behalf of Tomchei Shabbos of Lakewood; He is the behind the scenes number one man over there and we salute him!!!