This Friday, 14th of Cheshvan, marks the birthday of the highly esteemed, well respected and beloved maggid shiur in Oholei Torah Zal, Reb Avrohom Gerlitzky. There has been a tradition for many years, that on his birthday his talmidim make it a special day, a highlight in the Oholei Torah calendar. This year was no exception.
Crown Heights residents woke up Thursday morning to find signs on cars, poles and even some shops wishing Reb Avrohom a Happy Birthday.
In the afternoon Reb Avrohom walked into the decorated classroom to the sound of a loud happy birthday sung by his talmidim. This year, the talmidim decided, that to celebrate his tireless devotion to teaching in Oholei Torah for more than 30 years, they would throw him a party of which the likes were never seen before in the Yeshiva.
The guest list included Avraham Fried, Chazzan Shneur Zalman Baumgarten and Rabbi Yisroel Shemtov, Reb Avrohom’s brother-in-law. The entertainers stayed for about 45 minutes, each singing, joking, reminiscing on their times when they were in Reb Avrohom’s class.
When they had finished the Talmidim presented to Reb Avrohom his present, a striking photo of his father, Rabbi Moshe Eliyahu Gerlitzky z”l, printed on canvas. The present carried special meaning as his father recently passed away. Once the hype had finished and everyone calmed down as the singers left, Rabbi Shemtov walked in and the farbrengen continued.
At the end of the day, it was quite an event for quite a teacher.