Posted by: gruvenreuven | June 23, 2009

A Shabbos with Rabbi Manis Friedman

ShabbatonThis past Shabbos (Shabbos Shlach), the Chabad of the Mainline hosted both Rabbi Manis Friedman & Rabbi Chaim Fogelman for one of the most wonderful Shabbatons I have ever had the pleasure of attending. Everything about this Shabbos, was to perfection. The Davening, the Speakers, the Music and of course the never ending food.

Rabbi Friedman gave not 1, but 4 Shurim (Lectures) throughout the 25 hours of Shabbos:

  1. Friday night’s Shuir: Adam and Eve – The Rest of the Story
  2. Shabbos Morning Before Davening: Insights into the Prayer Neshma
  3. Shabbos Kiddush: Living vs Existing
  4. Shabbos before Minch: You are only as Happy as your Unhappiest Child

Actually, Rabbi Friedman really gave 5 Shurim as he gave a private Shuir about Dating to all the Teenagers. Reports were that he knocked their socks off.

If you are a fan of Rabbi Friedman’s lecture, most of these lectures should be familiar to you. Even so, it was a wonderful Shabbos, brining UNITY amongst the community as the many people attending were not just Chabadniks, but represented a good cross section of the entire Jewish Community of Lower Merion.

The only unfortunate aspect of the Shabbaton, was that Rabbi Friedman seemed to “upstage” Rabbi Fogelman. Rabbi Fogelman was the chazzan for Shacharis. I knew of Rabbi Fogelman from his music, and should have realized that his Cantorial chops would be equally as inspiring.

After Shabbos Rabbi Fogelman lead a Melaveh Malka Kumzits, complete with singing a Dancing.

Hearing Rabbi Fogelman live was a real treat and certainly a highlight of Shabbos for me. I was turned on to Rabbi Fogelman by Rabbi Brennen here at the Chabad of the Mainline. It was after one of our Farbrengens, Rabbi Brennen showed me Rabbi Fogelman’s “I Believe” video on YouTube. Going through the stress of these financial times, the video really struck a cord with me. As bad as things are, we need to take comfort that’s all part of Hashem’s plan.

I had the opportunity to talk with Rabbi Fogelman after Kiddush. I told him that I’m probably responsible for half the hits he gets on YouTube for “I Believe” . I watch it whenever I’m feeling stressed and need a little attitude clarity.

Sunday morning after Davening Rabbi Fogelman told me he played “I Believe” at the Kumzits for me. Way cool and MUCH appreciated!

The only downside of the Shabbaton, was purely self-centered… With everything going on, I didn’t get to finish the Book of Tehillim as I normally do on Shabbos Mevorchim (The Shabbos Before Rosh Chodesh). I came up 20 chapters short. Rabbi Friedman was too captivating to half listen and recite Tehillim. 🙂



  1. It sounds like quite an experience! I was concerned that after all the press Rabbi Friedman had received lately might taint the shabbaton in someway, but it doesn’t sound like it.

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