Franciscan Friars, Third Order Regular
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Why was a abbey adage a abiding accumulation for my father, a arresting Chasidic rabbi?

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Ten canicule afterwards my father, Clergyman Chaim Grosz, of adored memory, anesthetized away, I accustomed a ample manila envelope with a admirable agenda central from a Catholic abbey in New Jersey. The advanced of the agenda had a woman alleged “Mary Queen of the Missions”. The central had a preprinted anatomy in which the abbey was activity to say a Abiding Accumulation for the body of Chaim Grosz, his name anxiously handwritten.

The Mary Queen of the Missions card

How could a Abiding Accumulation be said for him? My father, a arresting Chasidic rabbi, was built-in in January 1944 in Hungary. Miraculously, he survived actuality abandoned to Bergen Belsen, and aback it was absolved 18 months after in April 1945, my ancestor still advised little added than a newborn. His mother, father, and ancestors survived the camps, but they were physically and emotionally broken. Like best of the survivors of the Holocaust, they were clumsy to acknowledgment to their homes, and while cat-and-mouse for acknowledged permission to emigrate, were beatific en masse to DP camps (Displaced Persons camps.)

The agenda with my father’s name

My ancestor and his ancestors sojourned briefly to a DP affected in Italy aloof afore they came to the United States. My father’s ancestor was a acclaimed Rabbi. Like best Chasidic Hungarian Rabbis, my grandfathering wore a connected atramentous bathrobe and a annular abbreviate hat fabricated of beaver, and as was the custom for a “man of God,” he absolved with his easily bound abaft his back. And so, ambagious my grandfathering for a priest, the old Italian women would blitz at him and advance to kiss him in their religious fervor.

Franciscan Friars, Third Order Regular - perpetual mass cards
Franciscan Friars, Third Order Regular – perpetual mass cards | perpetual mass cards

My grandfathering went to abundant lengths to abstain this situation, activity so far as to change his clothes and to do aggregate he could to blitz his abandonment out of Italy. What would he anticipate of this Abiding Accumulation agenda that was beatific on account of my father, a begat of a Chasidic dynasty?

As the “next of kin” and the executrix of his estate, I was beatific the card. But I didn’t acquaint anyone about it; it didn’t accomplish sense! I alleged the abbey attractive for answers. The secretary who answered the buzz had a collapsed Boston accent. She didn’t apperceive annihilation about it but promised that she would get the “Father himself” to alarm me. O Ancestor who art in Heaven? What did my ancestor do?

My father, of adored memory

Ten canicule later, I got the call. The priest explained that the abbey had had some acknowledged problems and aback they went to court, they acclimated my father’s case as acknowledged antecedence – and they won! My father’s case…

My throat bankrupt up and my eyes got wet cerebration about “The Case.” In the mid-1970’s, my grandfathering had a affection advance and he could no best airing to synagogue. Jewish law prohibits active on Shabbos and there was no “eruv,” the aeriform bound band that would accept accustomed him to be pushed in a wheelchair breadth he lived. There was artlessly no way he could get to abbey on the angelic Sabbath and his abject cries were heartbreaking.

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Franciscan Friars, Third Order Regular – perpetual mass cards | perpetual mass cards

So my ancestor apparent the botheration by transforming our ancestors allowance into an bogus synagogue, a shteibel which is Yiddish for “room.” One day a week, we absent out on the allowance that adumbrated that we were a nice American family. Added Holocaust survivors, anxious for Chasidic appearance prayers as able-bodied as the accepted Slivovitz and herring additionally came. All told, there were maybe 15 old men, some with numbers tattoos on their accoutrements and some without, but all were aching in some way by the war. They would appear on Friday nights and Saturday mornings not so abundant to adjure to God, but to see anniversary other, adhering to anniversary added in their reminiscences about a way of activity that no best existed.

But this was not to last. Afterwards three weeks of these weekend gatherings, the neighbors absitively to put a stop to it and they alleged Cipher Enforcement.

My backward grandfather, acid aravot

The burghal of Miami Beach capital to aing bottomward these Friday night and Saturday day adoration groups. To the burghal officials, this was absolutely a zoning issue. We lived in a distinct ancestors residential breadth – the law acutely declared that we could not ascendancy adoration casework in our home – case closed.

My father, who spent his aboriginal two years of activity with a rag blimp in his aperture so that no one could apprehend him cry or accomplish any array of sound, had alone one aggregate already it was removed: Bellowing. The ablaze adventurousness that had fueled his absolute actuality clicked into accessory and he was not activity to aback down. He was bombastic. Furious. This was America! This was his admired father! This was aloof a allowance in his abode breadth he was hosting already a anniversary adoration gatherings with 15 old men!

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No advocate would booty his case. This was adjoin the Burghal of Miami Beach zoning rules and the old adage “You can’t activity Burghal Hall” appeared to be true. Except Chaim Grosz didn’t get the message.

As the son of a rabbi, my ancestor was alone accustomed to go up to the fourth brand in English or civil studies. At the breakable age of 17, his accuracy was accustomed and he accustomed his apostolic allotment from one of the best admired Chasidic Rabbis in the world. Fearless as well, he absitively that if no attorneys would booty his case, he would do it himself and await on his biggy accomplishments in Talmudic law.

With the acquirement of an IBM Selectric typewriter with the drop-in brawl in Times New Roman forth with three bales of legal-size paper, I became my father’s acknowledged assistant. I abstruse words like “heretofore,” “plaintiff,” “defendant,” how to blazon in justified margins, and we relied on a acknowledged concordance for authority.

My ancestor absent the aboriginal annular because of the zoning laws that banned a abbey in a residential area. Filled with acerbity at what he perceived to be an anti-God and anti-Jewish action, he affronted the adjudicator and got a 60 day abeyant sentence.

Janet Reno, the State Attorney who became the Attorney General of the United States

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In 1979, apery himself, armed with conviction, two religious books (a massive Cipher of Jewish Law and Talmud), his nephew Heshy and my anxiously worded and typed briefs, he boxlike off adjoin Janet Reno in the Supreme Cloister of the State of Florida. Attorneys do not like “common people” apery themselves. My ancestor came able to the aerial cloister dressed in clothing and tie – clothes he did not commonly wear. He was a abbreviate annular man, no added than 5’3” in atramentous pants that were ailing hemmed. He looked like a adolescent aing to the over 6-foot Janet Reno.

The State asserted the affirmation that my ancestor created a abode of adoration in an breadth that was banned by the zoning cipher – a bald ordinance. In return, he absitively to activity them with Constitutional law. He laid out his action advertence that the Aboriginal Amendment had both abandon of adoration and the appropriate to accumulate peacefully. He again quoted the 14th Amendment which ratified the States to acquiesce peaceful assembly. The State alleged up their able attestant who would explain to the cloister what a abbey looks like.

When it was my father’s about-face to cross-examine, he hoisted up the two ample Hebrew books assimilate the attestant stand. He asked the able to apprehend in Hebrew the requirements for a synagogue, but the able could not apprehend Hebrew!

My ancestor again angry to the adjudicator and said, “Your Excellency, there is no way that this could be an able on Jewish synagogues. He cannot apprehend Hebrew, the aboriginal accent of the Jewish people.”

He continued, “Even the Founding Fathers batten Hebrew! They alike batten Hebrew at Harvard! How could a Jewish able on Jewish law not apperceive the accent in the original?”

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Perhaps the adjudicator was charmed by the “Your Excellency,” but admitting active objections from the State Attorney, he removed the expert. My ancestor explained how a abbey operates adjoin a adoration accumulation meeting: There were no dues; he fabricated no money; it occurred alone on the weekend. Furthermore, no one drove, as it was the angelic Sabbath, and so no cars were bottleneck up the swales. Finally, there were never added than 15 men. It was a religious meeting, authentic and simple, adequate beneath both the aboriginal and fourteenth amendments.

He not alone won the appeal, he was featured in the Miami Herald, and on the three account channels (ABC, NBC, and CBS) that existed then. It was a amazing victory. He went up adjoin Burghal Hall, the State of Florida, the State Attorney who became the Attorney General of the United States and the Supreme Cloister of Florida.

His case set a precedent. And this Catholic abbey in New Jersey, a Korean temple in Hawaii, a Santeria abbey in Hialeah, and hundreds of others acclimated his case as antecedence to activity their own religious and zoning battles.

I still accept the Abiding Accumulation agenda forth with his affidavit and his wallet in my assurance drop box. It’s a attestation to a man who already born, wasn’t accustomed to speak, who congenital a baby abbey to amuse his father, and concluded bringing God everywhere.

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