As states across the country, most recently New York and New Jersey, begin to legalize the use and sale of recreational marijuana, we are seeing more and more challenges within our communities in both the halachic and hashkafic
spheres. In order to respond to this challenge, the Conference of Shul Rabbonim of Agudas Yisroel, at the urging of Chavrei Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky and Rabbi Shlomo Miller, organized a meeting of Shul Rabbonim to analyze this issue.
Senior Lakewood Rabbonim Rabbi Yaakov Forchheimer and Rabbi Shmuel Meir Katz participated in the conference which was held at the Beis Medresh of Yeshiva Orchos Chaim in Lakewood, this past Wednesday night, and was attended by over 100 Rabbonim from the metro area.
Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, Rav of Agudas Yisroel of Baltimore and co-chairman of the Conference of Agudah Shul Rabbonim, addressed the conference, which was chaired by Rabbi Zev Cohen, Rav of Adas Yeshurin, Chicago. Rabbi Heinemann delivered divrei chizuk and hadrachah, and addressed halachic shailos
from the participants.
Dr. Akiva Perlman and David Kohn, LCSW, CASAC, gave informative presentations regarding the challenges that the legalization of marijuana has fostered on our community.
Rabbi Avrohom Nisan Perl, director of the Commission on Torah Projects and secretary of the Conference of Shul Rabbonim, received positive feedback from the many attendees. “The job of a rav is to try to raise the ruchniyos level of his kehillah members. This asifah helps me attain this goal by being more in tune to their needs,” said one Rav who attended the conference. “The maamad tonight was many things. It was vital, impactful, bakavodik, and a tremendous kiddush Hashem. I am sure that between the well over 100 Rabbonim that were there, 10,000 or more yiddishe mishpachos were represented. The asifah began a conversation with mesinus and
koved rosh in which the Rabbonim will now be well-informed,” added another.