Sunday, January 25, 2009
Keepin' it real in Tucson
Rabbi Yossi Shemtov and the owner outside his shop
Received via e-mail:
Reb Tzig: I have a picture that I got from a friend visiting Arizona (for gezunt, of course) of Rabbi Shem Tov, the Chabad shliach here in Tucson, Arizona, posing with the owner of the pictured store on Erev Shabbos, Likutei Sichos in hand. The story - as I understood it from my friend - goes something like this: There used to be a butcher/grocer here under the "hashgacha" of a conservative Rabbi. The store recently changed hands, and now the new owner, a Sefardi Jew who my friend met last Friday in the shop, told the old owner that he didn't want to buy the place unless he got an orthodox hechsher. The man is traditional, but he has a great amount of respect for Rabbonim, we can all learn from him. So he got the 2 Rabbis here, Rabbi Becker who is a chafetz chaim Queens talmid, a more modern Rabbi, to come together with Rabbi Yossi Shemtov of Chabad of Tucson to make it kosher with a Mashgiach t'midi. On Friday afternoon the mashgiach can't be there so Rabbi ShemTov בכבודו ובעצמו was sitting there learning Likutei sichos, and at 3 o'clock Rabbi Becker was to supposed to come.
My friend took a picture of RYST with the owner. Shemtov told him he can't use the picture without also taking a picture of Becker, since he also does Hashgachah there and it wouldn't be fair to omit him from the story. Maybe tomorrow he will get one of Becker, and then maybe I can send it to you. Tzig, if only this is what this shaliach did he will be in the highest gan eden, since mesiras nefesh on Friday is something extraordinary in my view. I consider myself a chasidishe yid and a talmid chochom to boot, but I feel very little near Shemtov and Becker. What did I ever do for yiddishkiet?
The store is Faig's in Tucson.
A little background on Tucson: For a while Becker and Shemtov didn't work together but now ShemTov is very protective of Becker's Kavod. It's a shtick kedusha, this from a Chabad critic. Becker was to take over on Friday when the mashgiach is off, they both shared the responsibility on friday afternoon in the winter just that mostly non frum ppl whould have kosher meat there is a mashgiach but he can't be there on Friday late so the Rabbis themselves com, which is the real thing in my book. So my friend found Rabbi Shemtov learning Likutei Sichois. I have an audio interview with him he said he only agreed to buy it if the 2 orthodox Rabbis give a hechsher, but it takes a serious commitment from both Rabbonim to execute this. Do you think the holy satmar rebbe would sit in story Friday afternoon just that a landsman should have busor kusher. Hey Rebbetzin, where are my strokehs? it's late!
listen, Tzig, it's connected to the Mumbai thing, just a bit different. Every year 1000s of people come to Tucson for the gem show, among them dozens if not hundreds of frum Jews mostly Sefardim. For them to have this service is the same thing that the kedoshim did in Mumbai, זיין א חבר און א שיתוף פאר די שכינה הק' דאס אללעס. Here you can see Becker's shul. I would say he is a cross between Mod Orthodox and Litvish. Rabbi Becker claims that Reb Dovid Feinstein is his Rosh Yeshivah and he asks him for advice, but the shul is 100% Modern Orthodox.
אמר הציג: I guess I waited long enough for Becker's picture. I'm posting this like it is.