New York’s warmest, sunniest day in weeks was the perfect backdrop for the blazing kiddush Hashem at BHI’s chanukas ha’bayis. Tens of rabbanim and professionals, among hundreds of other community members, thronged the Business Halacha Institute’s spacious new offices on Brooklyn’s Ocean Avenue.
Many attendees enthusiastically related how much they benefit from BHI’s guidance in dinei mamanus. They readily shared their appreciation for the confidential phone and e-mail hotline, the free shtaros that are both halachically and legally binding, the weekly newsletters with real-life case studies in Hebrew and English, and the informative chaburos and training seminars.
In an atmosphere charged with complete dedication to halacha, Rav Chaim Kohn, founder of BHI, reaffirmed its mission: to create a forum for all monetary halachic issues, and to make it accessible and applicable to the full spectrum of Torah Jews. His words resonated strongly amongst all those present.
The highlight of the morning was the kvias mezuzah by renowned posek and Flatbush rav, Rav Feivel Cohen, and the Novominsker Rebbe, who then addressed the assemblage. He praised BHI’s innovative undertaking, specifically in the thorny area of e-commerce on Shabbos. He then acceded to Rav Kohn’s request for a berachah and bentched him that he should always be zocheh to rule with the highest standards of emes.
Rav Mechel Steinmetz, the Skverer Dayan, recognized just how crucial BHI’s activities are to our generation. Aside from the assistance to those already in the business world, BHI offers classroom materials designed to cultivate fiscal maturity in young people and an understanding that the business world is not a free-for-all.
In a timely message, Rav Avraham Schorr pointed out that the very day of BHI’s chanukas ha’bayis was the yahrzeit of the Chiddushei HaRim, zt’l, and then recounted a little-known incident that had involved one of his chassidim. Apparently this chassid was responsible for transferring large sums of cash, and was eventually caught pilfering quite a bit of it. When the anguished community wondered how a chassid could fall so far, the Chiddushei HaRim explained that this particular taavah, the temptation for money, isn’t that great a factor in youth. As we get older, and have more financial obligations, there is a definite danger of turning mercenary. Rav Schorr underscored the importance of preparing our children to make the right choices.
The dayanim of BHI also derived chizuk from the words of Rav Yonasan Katz, Rav of Paltishan-Skvere, who expressed his admiration for the avodas ha’kodesh of Rav Kohn.
By noon, remnants of the beautiful brunch were cleared up, and the newly inaugurated offices of BHI buzzed with renewed vigor. The illustrious crowd that had graced the event was a glorious manifestation of kavod haTorah. And now, in the professionally appointed offices and beis hora’ah, the dayanim and staff of BHI are ready to reach out even further, to fill with clarity the gaps created by distance and technology.
Although Brooklyn-based, BHI materials are easily accessible, so you don’t have to brave New York’s icy sidewalks to take advantage of BHI’s guidance. In addition to the Beis Hora’ah hotline and e-mail options, and the weekly newsletters, there are weekly shiurim in Flatbush, Passaic, Montreal, Toronto, Monsey, and Lakewood. Alumni of the Choshen Mishpat intensive study program currently hold positions in Miami, Chicago, and New York.
May Hashem derive much nachas from His children’s adherence to His word, and in turn bestow His berachah upon them!
The Business Halacha Institute can be reached at 718-233-3845 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The address is 1937 Ocean Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11230. v