Mazel Tov Rabbi Mati Kos

Rabbi Mati Kos and Rabbi Yonah

From the many thousands of young Jews that reclaimed their heritage, Mati is the first one that achieved this mark. Mati—we wish you great success, and Hashem's blessings. You are an inspiration for Jews the world over. Thank you!


By: Shmuel Ben Eliezer
Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Mazal Tov, Rabbi Mattisyahu Kos

Chag Hasmicha is a celebration honoring newly ordained rabbis. This past week saw a number of yeshivas celebrating the event, including Yeshiva University with 180 new rabbis. While every new ordination is worthy of note, one Chag Hasmicha in a small yeshiva in Monsey, N.Y., stands out.Rabbi Mattisyahu Kos has a special calling to the rabbinate. He comes from a place most people think of as being empty of Jews, or, if any are there, a place they have no business living.

Rabbi Mattisyahu Kos was born in post-Holocaust Poland under the Communist regime, at a time when religious practice was looked down upon and Judaism was a culture more then a religion. Most Jews hid or even denied their religion for fear of anti-Semitism.

In 1989, with the fall of communism in Poland, the small Jewish community started to rebound. It hired Rabbi Pinchas Joskowitch, a Gerer chasid from Jerusalem and a survivor of Auschwitz, as the first chief rabbi of Poland since the war. He was active until his retirement, when Rabbi Michael Schudrich took over.

While Rabbi Joskowitch worked with the aging community, Rabbi Schudrich worked in developing the younger generation’s religious connection through kiruv, reaching out to the Jews born after the Shoah who did not know what it was to be Jewish. One of his early students was Matti Kos, whose first encounter with Torah Judaism was through the Lauder Foundation educational programs led by Rabbi Schudrich.


ti was an amazing young man," Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser said at the convocation. "He was only a young man when I first met him, and his zeal and enthusiasm for Judaism left a great impression on me. I could tell then that he was special."

Matti became an integral part of the fledging community, and he was honored by being the first one to celebrate a bar mitzvah in post-Shoah Poland.

He continued to be active in the community and eventually started working with the Lauder Foundation in setting up the summer learning retreats and other educational programs alongside his mentors, Rabbi Yonah Bookstein and Rabbi Joseph Kanofsky. Read more

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The Battle is with ignorance

One expects already that the entire Muslim world believes that Jews planned 9-11. They have put up Jews as the source of all the worlds problems, and 9-11 is no different.

The conspiracy folks have been writing all along that all the Jews got out, and that the Mossad was in on it. Then a particularly evil crop of Muslim preachers started to parade around campuses here in Southern California, and regurgitated these lies, that the Jews were behind 9-11.

Today on, not only is there an article with these very same disgusting and abhorrent lies, it goes further, and repudiates the entirety of Jewish history and culture. The lies are not new, they are rehashed anti-Semitic garbage. What is new, is that these lies about Jewish history are now being joined with the 9-11 lies, and the lies about Jewish control of the media and the US government to form a big fat ugly lie. From Aljazeera today:

Many, perhaps even most Jewish people are descended from the Khazars, a people whose rulers converted to Judaism sometime during the 800’s AD….Now that we have established the ruthless and criminal nature of radical Zionism, one more lesson needs to be understood before we return to the five dancing Israelis of 9-11 and other related stories…..ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, UPN, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Daily News, Time Magazine, Newsweek, People Magazine, US News and World Report and countless other media and Hollywood companies all have either a Zionist CEO, a Zionist News Chief, or are owned by a media conglomerate which has a Zionist CEO.  39  Have you ever noticed how Hollywood movies always seem to portray Germans and Arabs as a bigoted fanatics or as terrorists? Now you know why!….

Scientifically and historically inaccurate, but clearly palatable to the conspiracy hungry, Jew-hating audience that Aljazeera services.

The lies are coming so fast and so strong, it is bound to trip up some Jews who are not knowledgeable about their own history.

I do not fear the Muslim press that lies and distorts reality. Nor am I afraid of evil preachers of hate that circulate lies about 9-11, and Jewish control of the media. What does frighten me is Jewish ignorance.

Fighting Jewish ignorance seems to be a crucial step in this clash of civilizations that we are witnessing today. So arm yourself with some good history books, and lets do battle with ignorance.


Reb Matisyahu’s “YOUTH”

thast meCross posted from

Debate is more Jewish that bagels and knishes. It is the fountain that we drink from. So it is as no surprise that Jews disagree on the new Reb Matis album. Some are elated and some feel betrayed. Some agree with the flat-worlders in New York [some people were hurt by that, it is meant as a joke. They just think the world ends in Jersey. No really, folks, JK, please its a joke :-)] that feel that the Youth album should have sounded just like the last one. Some out here in the West understand that musicians can only grow and diversify their audience, by constantly reinventing their sound and being creative.

But we are talking about a young Chasidic Yid, with a brilliance and creativity unlike any Jewish musician in decades. Think Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, and not The Chevre. No offense meant to any Jewish musicians, a group I sometimes fall into. But Reb Matis is something far larger and universal.

So here is the Official West Coast Long Beach Jewish Campus Rabbi Review of the new album, that regardless of what we all think, is going to be the number one album in the country very soon. Yup, you heard it here. Youth will be number one, so it really doesn’t matter much what us heebs think. Reb Matis has put together, with the help of creative group of musicians and producers, one of the most listenable albums in years.

YOUTH! Is not a Jewish album in the way that Avraham Fried is Jewish. Matis said it himself, if one was listening at Jewlicious@TheBeach, during the Shabbat Afternoon Panel discussion, Jewish Music in the Age of Matisyahu. Allow me to paraphrase Reb Matis because we couldn’t record on Shabbat. He said “I make music. The Jewish themes are an extension of who I am, but my music is not Jewish music.â€? And in a recent interview he said “I never aimed for the Jewish community. I aimed for a mainstream audience, because that’s the world that I come out of.â€? He said it. Then everyone gets all their knickers in a twist that its not Jewish enough. Reb Matis has wanted to become a major superstar his whole life.

There are music purists out there that feel betrayed because it doesn’t have that “this was mixed by a seventh grader at Emerson Middle School sound.â€? It is very popular oriented. He brought in Ill Factor, a hit generator who knows how to bring some serious sound. He used a major producer, who has produced big movers and shakers of music. So of course, his album won’t sound like it was mixed on someone’s laptop. We all loved Shake of the Dust. That was cool. This is cool too, just in a different way.

I love the song Jerusalem. So catchy, so about what is right now the most contested city. Reb Matis, sing it brother, and sing it loud.! As for each other song, well, I will spare you my notes. Enough to say, it was worth the 14.99 I paid at Virgin Megastore in Orange. Well Well worth the money. And his fans in California love it. Now here are some more sophisticated reviews from people who actually do this for a living…. From the With his band’s third album, the Brooklyn-based singer revisits his bread-and-butter themes of spirituality, fidelity and the search for fulfillment with a clean, studio-produced sound. The disc certainly offers variety. There are moments of pure Bob Marley (â€?What I’m Fighting Forâ€?), hip-hop (â€?Jerusalemâ€?) and Phil Collins-esque moral solitude (â€?Late Night in Zionâ€?)….. You don’t come to Matisyahu for nuance, but in some ways he is a welcome relief from the oiled honeys and faux punk bands on MTV.
And read this great interview here!


More to Purim than the bottle. . .

basrtThere is more to Purim that meets the bottle. Purim is so much fun. But don’t miss out on the important mitzvahs of giving tzedaka, giftbaskets and making a whole lavish feast!

There are four basic mitzvahs: Megillah, Tzedaka, Mishloach Manot, Seudah i.e. Hearing the Megillah read, giving to the needy, sending food baskets to friends and family, eating a lavish meal. I have listed all the details below!. Purim is a blast, try not to get drunk, but rather stay awake and enjoy the celebration.

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