Rabbi Jonah and Fran Kupietzky
When Rabbi Jonah C. and Fran Kupietzky recently contributed $1 million to the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) of Yeshiva University, it was specifically so that at least two RIETS students could devote their time to studying the tractates of Kodoshim, a vastly complex section of the Talmud that deals with the various sacrifices of the Temple.
Rabbi Kupietzky's father, Rabbi Jacob H. Kupietzky, made the tractates of Kodoshim one of his life's missions to master, at the specific encouragement of none other than the legendary Chofetz Chaim, the 19th century Torah giant with whom the elder Rabbi Kupietzky studied at the Yeshiva in Radun. The Kupietzkys made this particular mission the focus of their generous gift to RIETS. Now, Kupietzky Scholars at RIETS can spend part of their time devoted to studying that fifth order of the six orders of Talmud, and all its Talmudic intricacies, in the Rabbi Jacob H. Kupietzky Memorial Program.
While the Kupietzkys have given regularly to RIETS to ensure that there is study of Kodoshim occurring there, this $1 million gift will cover two or three Scholars each year for many, many years into the future.
Rabbi Yona Reiss, the Max and Marion Grill Dean of RIETS, declared, "We at RIETS continue to be beneficiaries of the generosity and grand vision of Rabbi Jonah and Fran Kupietzky. In establishing the Rabbi Jacob H. Kupietzky Memorial Program for the Study of Kodoshim, the Kupietzkys pay tribute to Rabbi Kupietzky's father, a Talmudic scholar in his own right, and pave the way for a new generation of scholars to acquire mastery of the rarified texts and esoteric concepts of the Talmudic order of Kodoshim."
He continued, "We are blessed this year with a remarkable cadre of three young men who received their Yeshiva College degrees in the fields of mathematics and philosophy, and are now proudly focusing their intellectual energies upon the study of Kodoshim as this year's Kupietzky Scholars."
The Scholars are Raphael Stohl, Neal Rich, and Moshe Ariel Rosensweig. Each Scholar devotes a regular weekly seder (study period) towards the study of Kodoshim. Rabbi Reiss explained that the Scholars chosen are typically post-semicha (rabbinical ordination) students who are chosen on the basis of their scholarly erudition and proven record of excellence in Talmudic studies.
Rabbi Jonah Kupietzky, '56YC, '59R, stated, "We hope that the gift that we gave to RIETS will introduce a more intensive study of Kodoshim to the YU world, and to the yeshiva world in general, and we feel grateful to allow for the regular review of this crucial text that was so important to my father, a"h."
A special dedication will take place on April 3rd to celebrate the gift and new program. Rabbi Kupietzky will speak at the event, as will Moshe Ariel Rosensweig, who will deliver a special shiur for the occasion on behalf of the Kupietzky Scholars.
"The Talmud teaches us that those who study Kodoshim are viewed as if they are actually performing the sacrificial order in the Holy Temple," said Rabbi Reiss. "Through the munificence of the Kupietzky family, our students are able to bring the Jewish people closer to our eternal aspiration for ultimate redemption."