Pidyon Haben for 43-Year-old Man at Boro Park Kehilah
BY: Yehuda Alter
It was a morning of heightened emotion at the Dezher Kehillah in Boro Park Monday morning, as a special friend of their community finally had his pidyon haben after forty-three years.
Tzvi is a teacher at P.S. K180, the public school on 56th Street and 16th Avenue. He hails originally from Ukraine, and now lives with his family in Sheepshead Bay. Commuting to Boro Park every day, a colleague of his began bringing him to the Dezher Beis Medrash across the street for shachris every day.
Overtime, he became a close friend to the mispalelim, who would assist him with his tallis and tefillim, and to daven—after which he would dash across the street to be in his classroom at 8:00.
Recently, he mentioned that he gave his oldest child a bris and a pidyon haben, and that he himself was an only child. Which led the mispalelim to the obvious conclusion; Tzvi himself had not yet had his own pidyon haben.
Reb Shia Dembitzer relates that the community sprang into action, excited at this unique opportunity to help Tzvi with this special mitzvah, which is not all that commonplace to begin with.
Monday morning, a festive meal was prepared, and a pidyon haben with all the trappings—garlic and sugar, and jewelry adhered to a scarf worn by Tzvi—took place amid emotion and joy.
It was Tzvi who gave voice to the tremendous hashgachah in all of this: “Of all the public schools in New York City, Hashem ordained for me to teach at this very one, and become close to this community, so that I would be zoche to have this special mitzvah after all this time,” he said.
Photos by: Issac Y.