Two Rebbeim Survive Potential Disaster Situation

On the evening of Monday, October 24, just after 9 p.m., Rabbi David Aryeh Yakob was driving as he normally does on Monday evenings from his Williamsburg home to a Queens shul, Moshe Raya Mehamina in Forest Hills, as part of the chavrusa program. Things went awry for Yakob when his car ended up affixed atop of the new cement bike lane barriers recently installed along Queens Boulevard throughout Forest Hills and Rego Park. Both he and a passenger, another chavrusa rebbe, disembarked unharmed. Once FDNY arrived on scene, the vehicle was lowered from its hoisted perch without a single scratch. Such is solely the working of Hashem. “When one is a shaliach, a messenger, for a mitzvah, no damage or harm will come to him,” remarked Rabbi Naftali Rosenbaum of Hatzalas Doros Bukhara, visionary and director of the chavrusa program, Chavruta.

Chavruta pairs Bukharian men of all ages with a chavrusa learning partner from Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Tens of dedicated chasidic men leave their families for the opportunity to spread Torah in Queens with enriched learning.

Rabbi Menachem Shimon Friedman, another Chavruta teacher, saw the accident and reached out for advice. It was decided that the FDNY was best suited for this task. Upon further inquiry it has been learned that the DOT had not informed the MTA of their plan to install these barriers, leaving bus drivers up in arms as the infamous boulevard is once again a subject of concern. Neighbors are worried that emergency vehicles will not be able to promptly respond. Local New York City Council Member Lynn Schulman was informed of the mishap, which has now been recorded in four separate instances and has assured me that steps are being taken to install better markings, at a minimum. State Senator Leroy Comrie, Chairman of the Committee on Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions, which gives the senator oversight over the state’s 150+ public authorities such as the MTA, Port Authority, and NYCHA, will be taking a hands-on approach together with Schulman in this effort.

By Shabsie Saphirstein