HASKAMOS FROM GEDOLEI HADOR
“Every person...should join with the community in working to promote kiddush Hashem.” — Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky, shlita
Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky
23 Tammuz 5779
Rabbeinu Yonah states, “Pause and contemplate the immense scope of our obligation to sanctify the Divine Name, for the entire purpose for which Hashem sanctified us with His Torah and set us apart as His nation was to sanctify Him and to fear Him” (Shaarei Teshuvah 3:158). This shows us both the enormous value and the scope of the obligation of kiddush Hashem, for the entire purpose of our service of Hashem is to sanctify His Name and to increase His honor in the world. There is no doubt that this must be the focus of our interests and must occupy our attention at all times, so that we will act accordingly and bring honor to Hashem’s Name in all of our actions and all of our endeavors.
We must applaud Reb Shabsey Chaim Gartner and Rabbi Shraga Feivel Freedman for their sacred work in establishing a prestigious and distinguished organization that works to increase the study and awareness of these matters in our communities and schools, and to train and encourage our youth to live and act in a way that increases the honor of Hashem.
All of us are obligated to strengthen ourselves in these areas, and it is proper for this subject to be taught and studied within every community and circle of Klal Yisrael. Every person, in accordance with his own abilities on his own level, should join with the community in working to promote kiddush Hashem. I hereby express my support and encouragement for this important endeavor, and I encourage others to assist and support them in every way possible in order to promote and advance this cause, so that we will be soon blessed with the final redemption.
13 Tammuz 5779
My dear and esteemed friend Reb Shabsey Chaim Gartner has been inspired to take up a good cause. He and his friend Reb Shraga Feivel Freedman shlita, one of the distinguished Torah educators of the United States, have set out to teach the young children who learn in our schools about the centrality of the Torah and its mitzvos, and the importance of developing proper middos, fostering kiddush Hashem, and causing others to love Hashem. They have compiled many sources from the teachings of our Sages and have produced a sefer on this subject, which will take a permanent place among the texts used for study in our schools.
I support their initiative. May they be endowed with strength and be blessed with an outpouring of brachah and hatzlachah from Heaven.
Rav Boruch Dov Povarsky and Rav Chaim Kanievsky
Rav Dovid Cohen
I was approached by my good friend, Reb Shabsey Chaim Gartner, who showed me an organized educational program dealing with the concepts of kiddush Hashem. Since there are many potential pitfalls in this area for our Jewish brethren who live among the nations of the world, and various forms of chillul Hashem often arise, he has taken it upon himself to raise awareness of these concepts and of the importance of being cautious regarding such a severe infraction, for which even Yom Kippur does not atone. The material that he presented to me is based on the distinguished writings of his colleague, Rabbi Shraga Feivel Freedman shlita. Rabbi Freedman’s sefer, Mekadshei Shemecha, in both its complete and condensed versions, clarifies these matters thoroughly and sets forth the practical guidelines for proper conduct in this respect. He has certainly committed himself to a great cause, and it is proper to support and aid him for the sake of bringing merit to the community and honor to Hashem.
14 Tammuz 5779
I have been approached by Reb Shabsey Chaim Gartner, who has expressed his ambition to teach young students about the great importance of kiddush Hashem and the severity of the sin that is its reverse. For that purpose, he is preparing to publish a book on these subjects in a special style that will make it conducive for study and effective in inculcating these concepts, especially in children. It is based entirely on the important sefer Mekadshei Shemecha, authored by Rabbi Shraga Feivel Freedman shlita, whose unique stature and accomplishments are widely known. I offer him my blessing for enormous success in this endeavor and for the privilege of sanctifying the Name of Hashem.
Rav Yitzchak Scheiner
Rav Asher Weiss
18 Tammuz 5779
The mitzvah of kiddush Hashem is the greatest of all mitzvos, and the sin of chillul Hashem is likewise the severest of all sins. Many previous generations were forced to die for the sake of kiddush Hashem; fortunately, our generation’s mission is to live for kiddush Hashem and to become instruments for sanctifying the Divine Name. This imperative has become even more important in our times, with the proliferation of observant Jews, boruch Hashem, throughout the world.
My good friend, the industrious and accomplished Rabbi Shabsey Chaim Gartner, has committed himself to the worthy cause of developing programs for young children to learn the fundamental principles of causing Hashem’s Name to be beloved through our actions. I hereby declare my support for him in these endeavors; may he be successful in bringing honor to Hashem and sanctifying the Divine Name.
Monday, 12 Tammuz 5779
It is our duty to encourage and publicize a man who is engaged in the pursuit of a mitzvah, a magnificent and righteous individual who faithfully serves the community: Reb Shabsey Chaim Gartner shlita of the city of Lakewood. He has taken it upon himself to sanctify the Divine Name by publicizing and teaching about the obligations of a Torah-observant person—the mandate to create kiddush Hashem and avoid any form of conduct that will bring aspersions upon him; as Chazal state, a mistake in learning is equivalent to a deliberate sin. This is especially vital for those who live among the nations or among irreligious Jews and therefore must be extremely cautious.
This material is based on the Torah principles discussed in the sefer Mekadshei Shemecha by Rabbi Shraga Feivel Freedman shlita, which has received the approbations of the gedolei hador. I have also reviewed a portion of the sefer, and I have seen that it is good, and that both the sefer and its contents are worthy of being disseminated and publicized. I hereby declare my approval of his work. May he and his family be privileged to continue increasing the honor of Hashem for years to come, and may our redemption come soon.
Rav Amram Opman
Rav Gamliel Rabinovich
Monday, 12 Tammuz
I have been shown the sefer Mekadshei Shemecha, an extremely valuable sefer and one that is vitally needed in our generation, on the subject of kiddush Hashem, which was written by Rabbi Shraga Feivel Freedman shlita. The purpose of the sefer is to teach and illustrate that every Jewish person is obligated to avoid causing sin or chillul Hashem in any place he goes and in anything he does. This is especially true when he is in the presence of others who are not Jewish or do not observe the Torah, in such a case, a person has an even greater obligation to make sure that no temptation or chillul Hashem comes about through his actions, chas v’sholom. This has already been established as the consensus of the gedolei hador in the United States and the roshei yeshivos here.
At this time, the devoted communal activist Rabbi Shabsey Chaim Gartner shlita wishes to expand the study of this subject and to disseminate these teachings to the public. He should certainly be encouraged to do this, for it will create a great kiddush Hashem when it is understood that the Torah also teaches derech eretz, which takes precedence over Torah knowledge.
All of this is based on the fundamental principles explained in the aforementioned sefer, which has brought much merit to the community. I bless him with the brachah of a kohen that his wellsprings should continue flowing forth.