Skulen to Celebrate Motzei Shabbos Nachamu in Monroe, as Tradition Grows
A little known fact about the joyous Motzei Shabbos Nachamu events that have become so popular in camps around the Catskills is that they trace their origins to the celebration of the Skulener Rebbes who pioneered this minhag in the 1950’s.
The rebbe, Rebbe Eliezer Zusia, zt”l, and his son, Rebbe Yisroel Avrohom Portugal, zt”l, disseminated Yiddishkeit in Romania with great mesirus nefesh— enduring multiple arrests and terrible torture for this “sin.”
Their final release from the most severe prison took place Shabbos Nachamu, and upon arriving in America, they began to hold celebrations to give thanks for their salvation.
Soon this became an attraction that could go on all night. For many years, the Rebbe would hold the melave malka in the Woodbourne Firehouse, and later in the Skulener colony at the border of Woodridge and Fallsburg.
With the passing of the previous Rebbe, and the steady growth of the crowd, the Seuda was held in Kiryas Yoel last year—but the large crowd soon overflowed from the hall.
This year, the event will be held at the Beis Rochel auditorium in Monroe, in a much larger space, in order to accommodate the crowd that is expected to gather in celebration of the salvation of the Skulener Rennes, and their enduring holy legacy on American shores.