Thursday, May 18, 2017

a tale of two ראשי ישיבה

What follows in this week's Mishpacha magazine is the usual "pick a city and insert Yeshiva's name here. How such-and-such mande such-and-such city into an oasis of Torah." [I should know. It's tough putting out riveting material every week.] So I didn't really bother reading the article, although there were some cute pictures there. The thing is, he (RYMK of Denver) does smile in many of the later pictures! But for some reason this is what they chose to put at the forefront. I guess it makes for a good read bait. I guess Rabbi Wasserman (left) was the one you went to if you wanted to go home or go lie down in middle of seder.

Am I scraping the bottom of the barrel here? Maybe.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

How DO we judge success? thoughts on the 50th anniversary of מבצע תפילין

Received via e-mail:

"We did not hear that there were some people abstaining from eating treife food or refraining from desecrating Shabbos or that they were educating their children in religious schools, not under the heretics; I only heard that they put on tefillin." These are the words of the build up to סאטמאר רב'ס condemnation (tirade) against the big התעוררות for תפילין in Israel after the miraculous 6 Day War. See "על הגאולה ועל התמורה דף ק"א, ברוקלין תשס"ו". The argument on its own is very weak; After all, did he hear how many people became נוטרי הברית after his annual שובבי"ם campaigns? since when does a התעוררות get measured by its success? He was leading an anti אגודה campaign smearing all גדולי ישראל who did not see everything going on in the Holy Land as heresy..... it was a big machloka and caused lots of infighting between frum Jews, who were thus being עובר on many איסורי תורה. (not some sins sourced in non halacha) Did he ever decide to close shop on his anti Israeli election campaign, since it got nowhere? Every year more than half a million frum Jews participate in the Israeli election and it's only growing... why does only מבצע תפילין need a consequential success statistic? All the above aside, what will we do if we will help him in his quest to find Jews that did change because of tefillin ? I think we may have done just that. Or rather we discovered it, the actual work was done by others. This פסח the Mishpacha magazine ran a long article on a popular right wing conservative talk show host, who is leading an Orthodox lifestyle, eating kosher, Orthodox schools for his kids and Shomer Shabbos, all because of his one act of putting on tefillin. It was the holy soul "Schwartzie" ע"ה,  the Chabad shliach Shlomo Schwartz at UCLA.  In Michael Medved's words "Tefillin is the key metaphor for his Judaisim." That was what started him on his path to a life of full Torah yiddsihkiet. This is not a 770 paid PR stunt. Will this story and thousands of other similar stories change a mind in that camp??? I do see that a harsh anti religious and anti Zionist Haaretz columnist who wrote an anti tefillin rant 9 years ago, did change his mind on tefillin, (See below)

 Maybe. Just Maybe our "frum" brothers will also get a הרהור תשובה.

לפני תשע שנים, כתב העיתונאי בני ציפר מאמר חריף נגד הנחת תפילין ברחובה של עיר
אלא שנראה כי מאז ציפר שינה את דעתו בעניין... הוא עצמו הגיע לא מכבר אל הכותל המערבי ונענה ברצון לפנייתו של אחד משלוחי חב"ד במקום שהציע לו להניח תפילין. התמונה שמפורסמת כאן, הינה באדיבות העיתון כפר חב"ד שמקדיש השבוע כתבה נרחבת לנושא מבצע 'הנחת תפילין' שאותו יזם והגה כ"ק האדמו"ר מליובאוויטש, לפני 50 שנים ערב מלחמת ששת הימים, ומאז ועד עתה הוא נחשב לאחת הפעילויות החשובות שמבוצעות ע"י חסידי חב"ד 

מאתר 'לדעת' פנו לבני ציפר בכדי לקבל תגובתו, ואפשר רק לברכו על המהלך וגם על תשובתו הקצרה והיא: כן, שיניתי את דעתי. אשריכם ישראל


R' Aron Lichtenstein, חדב"נ

Click Here to Listen

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Happy 12th Birthday!

The 13th of Iyar 5765 is when this blog was born. George W. Bush was President. No smartphones. We had never heard of Pashkan and we had no smartphones. Life was simple. But as much as things have changed much has stayed the same. At least this blog has. Can't say the same for everybody else.

Maybe this'll be the year?

Monday, May 8, 2017

Yeshivas Pressburg - the original YU (At least in the eyes of the אונטערלאנדער)

Shnayer Z. Leiman translates an article of the writer Greenwald, the story of his leaving Chust to go to Pressburgh, and stopping on the Rombach street to meet  the Meshumad/apikores Goldtzhier who was an idol of his. You may wanna Google his name. He describes his meeting with that professor as - you might say - a Gerer chusid describes meeting the Gerrer Rebbe, Reb Avhrom Mordechai, trembling legs..... דא לדא נקשן. He was harassed everywhere in Unterland for going to the "impure"  Pressburgh, It seems that in the holy yeshivah של מרן בעל הערוגת הבושם in Chust where only "mid-size" (younger bochurim - HT) boys attended, some boys were reading the הצפירה and writing letters (not emails on smartphones) to the editor ...... I guess Greenwald (being a real Unterlander) could not understand his Rebbe's newfound accent upon his arrival to he did not hear the פתיחה that reading treifene books is a Neveira....


Thursday, April 6, 2017

2 letters full of love for a fellow Jew from the last REAL Vizhnitzer Rebbe

First let me thank the person who shared these letters; then some background: The first letter is a response to a bachur with some breitkeit, to say the least. ראה מעשה and he wanted to know מהיכן דנתוני. A young bachur was called up on Shabbos to serve in the "טמא'נע מיליטער זייערער" as the KJ Satmar Rebbe likes to so eloquently put it. This was during the buildup to the Six-Day War. He knew he would be there for a while - he didn't think there would SUCH great nissim - so he approached the Sereter Rebbe during the tish and asked him whether or not he should take his tefillin with him. This being Shabbos and his Tefillin are muktzah and all. The Rebbe told him to take his tefillin. The bachur was a talmid there but not necessarily such a chossid, and he saw the story unfold. He wrote the Sereter Rebbe a letter asking him why, I'm not quite sure what his arguments were. Maybe since Shabbos is an אות by itself and the tefillin he needs are for a weekday. Here is his response:

The second letter - also to this bachur - is in response to a letter he wrote about being yelled at during a tish as well. Maybe even asked to leave. Seems like he said something to his friend and the latter laughed. At that time maybe they were a still bit uneasy in Seret with the new Rebbe. This was less than 3 years after his father passed away and the transition was a bit - shall we say - unsmooth. So they accused him of laughing at the Rebbe. The young man sat down and wrote a letter explaining what happened and this is the response he received. No excuses. Torah is all about love of fellow Jew and kiddush Hashem. And this why I said what I did in the title. Because Vizhnitz was all about love of fellow Jew, not so much about hats and glasses and socks. I have always had a secret affinity for Reb Lazer of Seret, and these letters just make it so much stronger. This was his manner of leading his flock from the very beginning until his last day on earth.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Please help Jews Upstate in a farm פראווע פסח

10 Jews live in a farm upstate, sort of in an impoverished condition. For Pesach we don't really plan to do anything but we're thinking perhaps some Jews want to help us celebrate Pesachף so here it is: We are 10 people, We need wine, matzos, chicken, vegetables, two boxes of oranges, box of onions, potatoes, beets, grape juice, etcetera etcetera --- some meat for cholent on Shabbos would also be okay. Paper goods, silver foil, plastic cutlery, and those big brown sheets of paper. This is under the auspices of Isaac Schoenfeld and can be corroborated with the editor Hirshel Tzig. God bless you all have a great healthy and Kosher Pesach and thank you for providing us with a seder.

donate via paypal to:

Friday, March 31, 2017

די "סוד התקיעות" ביי אמאליגע "פוילישע" רבי'ס און ווי מ'האט געקוקט אויף א אידישע נשמה

ס'דאך דא אזוי פיל צו רעדן אויף דעם שטיקל... דאס אז מלמד זכות זיין אויף אידן בשעת די תקיעות איז דער עיקר, און אז מ'קען קיינמאל נישט פארלוירען ווערן. און נאך און נאך. מענטשען ווילען וויסן פארוואס עס האט אויסגעפעלט דער בעש"ט הק', טאמער ער האט גארנישט מחדש געווען, למעשה. אפשר אויף דעם איז דעם בעל שם טוב אראפ אויף דער וועלט. אפשר ווייל נאר ער האט געקענט אזא זאך מפרסם זיין.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

צאנזער אייניקלעך רעדן בשבח מאשין מצות


Belz in Belgium prints old interesting ads and pictures from archives.  They printed this week a full page promotion of Manischewitz matzohs.  On the left bottom you see 2 Sanzer einiklech promoting the matzohs. The Bardiuever Rebbe Reb Yitzchok Halberstam (I think Bardiuv is from the Gorlitz geza) said: my whole trip to America was worth it, just to see the high kashrus standard of Manischewitz. I would bless the Jews in Europe to have such kosher matzoh. The other einikel Reb Naftali Chaim of Grivetz said: by Manischewitz I saw everything done cautiously and in the best way possible.  If they would know this stuff would be unearthed one day and some crazy would find it would they have said that?

Sunday, March 19, 2017

הרה"ק הרבי ר' אלימלך מליז'ענסק זצ"ל חזה את עבודת דור השביעי

א מורא'דיג'ער ווארט בשם הרה"ק מהרי"ד מבעלזא זצ"ל. צו דער גילוי האט ער זוכה געווען ווייל ער איז געווען אויפ'ן ציון פון רבי'ן ר' מיילעך זי"ע