What I Learned From Rabbi Levy, OB”M

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Remembering Rabbi Levy on his Yahrzeit, 22 Nissan

Rabbi Shlomo Weinfeld, Chairman, OK Executive Kashrus Vaad
“How to be strong about kashrus without compromise, to love all people, how to explain kosher requirements in a way that anyone can understand, and to be a baal tzedakah v’chessed.”

Rabbi Chaim Fogelman, OK Executive Kashrus Vaad
“When certifying a facility, you can uphold high standards, but you must be consistent; if you’re nice about it, you will prevail. Always hear all sides to a story. How to travel and live on the road without compromising even on a hiddur mitzvah. You can learn something from everyone. Oh, and the value of a good cup of coffee.”

Rabbi Kalman Weinfeld, OK Executive Kashrus Vaad
“Rabbi Levy taught me to never stop learning. Even at the age of 70, he still came back from inspections with new insights and lessons.”

Rabbi Sholom Ber Hendel, OK Executive Kashrus Vaad and Executive Rabbinic Coordinator
“Rabbi Levy truly embodied the motto ‘Kashrus Without Compromise.’ He approached kosher certification with this value and taught us all to do the same. I also learned a valuable leadership lesson from him. Though he had the final say, he assigned responsibilities and guided each of us to use our qualified judgment in making decisions.”

Rabbi Hershel Krinsky, Senior Rabbinic Coordinator
“Rabbi Levy taught me to hold strong when you know you are right.”

Rabbi Yitzchak Hanoka, Senior Rabbinic Coordinator
“Rabbi Levy taught by example the importance of being thorough, and understanding processes and systemization with regards to kashrus. He was also the embodiment of utilizing one’s ability and talent to spread goodness in the world.”

Rabbi Shimon Lasker, Rabbinic Coordinator
“When you give a hechsher, kashrus has to be on your mind all the time. When you go to sleep and when you wake up, you’re always thinking about kashrus. There is nothing you shouldn’t do to ensure kashrus – even looking through the garbage at a facility. I even witnessed Rabbi Levy do that.”

Rabbi Eli Lando, Executive Manager
“I’ve learned a lot from Rabbi Levy, OB”M; however, if I needed to highlight one specific thing, it would be his unshakable values. He always followed through on his principles.”

Rabbi Levi Marmulszteyn, Rabbinic Manager
“Do what is right, not what is convenient. Act instead of reacting. Details matter. When in doubt about anything, reexamine core principles.”

Rabbi Elisha Rubin, Rabbinic Coordinator
“You really can live a life of kashrus without compromise. He never let the fear of the consequences cause him to bend his values.”

Rabbi Aaron Weiss, Rabbinic Coordinator
“I personally was involved and witnessed many situations where Rabbi Levy was ready, without any hesitation, to give up large accounts for the integrity of kashrus. His יראת שמים, discipline, and מדת האמת continue to inspire me every day in every decision that I’m faced with.”

Rabbi Shlomo Klein, Rabbinic Coordinator
“I accompanied Rabbi Levy, OB”M, when he visited Los Angeles area facilities. I saw a master at כבדהו וחדשהו – with the utmost respect and friendliness he insisted on independently verifying every minute detail in the plant.”

Rabbi Yakov Teichman, Rabbinic Coordinator
“Do what’s right ע”פ תורה and שכל הישר and not just to follow the leader blindly.”

Rabbi Levi Y. Schapiro, Rabbinic Coordinator
“I learned from Rabbi Levy, to treat everyone with respect, hold strong to your (Torah) principles, and never to waste time; every free moment he had was always with a Sefer.”

Rabbi Sholom Ber Lepkivker, Rabbinic Coordinator
“Kashrus of the highest quality without cutting corners. A policy is a policy and cannot be changed even if you can find a loophole.”

Rabbi Yoni Rappaport, Rabbinic Coordinator
“Humility – Regardless of his position and stature he was approachable and regularly approached others. Management – Trusted his employees that they could execute what was required without micro-managing. Discipline – Never wavered from his spiritual and physical regiment. Regardless of which time zone he was in he made time for learning and always took care of his health. Principle – In all aspects of life, especially in kashrus, he stood his ground and didn’t deviate from his principles.”

Rabbi Yeshaya Prizant, Rabbinic Coordinator
“As the Mishna in Pirkei Avos 2:4 advises, Rabbi Levy, OB”M, always made decisions based on kashrus, never based on personal gain.”

Rabbi Avraham Rapoport, Rabbinic Coordinator
“Rabbi Levy showed me that you can lead a large organization and still manage your day and not be managed by it. He was involved in countless discussions and decisions every day and still found the time for כיבוד אם, intensive learning, and spiritual growth.”

Rabbi Ouriel Serfaty, Rabbinic Coordinator
“Don’t take everything you see and hear in the factory as the last word; look for where the issues might be.”

Rabbi Yankel Wilschanski, Key Accounts Manager
“His caring for his fellow Yid and employees was one of a kind. He always had a kind word to say. He is sorely missed by all.”

Rabbi Yisroel Selwyn, Legal Coordinator/Senior Account Manager
“In my role negotiating contracts, I learned that when you stand your ground in the name of kashrus, you will have siyata dishmaya. Even when your opponent seems formidable, a position based on principles will always prevail.”