Sunday, June 5, 2005

Armchair QB's


It has become increasingly popular for amateur "historians" to "Monday morning quarterback", particularly when recounting the events of WWII, and what many could've or should've done. I'd like to play "devil's advocate" (a term I wish I could avoid) on an issue that hasn't been addressed much.
The late 19th and early 20th centuries were decisive times for the Jewish people, when the course of our history changed, never to be the same. At that time the Rebbe Rashab sent emissaries to the Eastern Republics of Georgia and Uzbekistan, including Samarkand and Bukhara. Some of the more famous ones were Reb Shmuel Levitin, Reb Michoel Lipsker and Reb Avrohom Levi Slavin (speaking from memory). His son, the Rebbe Rayatz, continued this tradition.
At the time that those emissaries were dispatched to those countries large chunks of European Jewry were being torn away from their roots by every Socio-Political movement theretofore known to man. Everything from Zionism to Socialism to Communism had a large representation from all walks of Jewish life, yet nothing was done to stop this riptide. Most of the movements also were very well represented in all of the European "Torah centers", something that is very well documented, and that maybe could have been stopped by showing the learned ones the errs of their ways. I definitely believe the Rebbe would've done things differently, including instituting the programs he later did at a time where it would've been most unpopular, and in that sense the Rebbe did differ from his ancestors and predecessors.
The Eastern Republics mentioned were under no spiritual threats at that time or for decades to come, at least not until the Rise of the Bolsheviks, and had it much easier than their western brothers after that.
Could it be because they were still untainted, not affected by outside influences and were therefore salvageable? Was it because there the Shluchim could work without bother? Was there not enough manpower for the fight on both fronts?
Please do not read more than is meant into this post. Chas Vesholom for me to question the ways of the Rebbeyim. השם הטוב יכפר בעדי.

69 comments:

Kurenitzer said...

Although I am a bit confused by the post. Let me add some more "explosive" ingrediants to the cholent.
Socialism , Zionism and Anarchism etc were the result of other social and economic conditions that led to the fall of orthodoxy in many parts of east Europe (and the demise of orhthodoxy in West Europe).
Czarist persecution in the form of economic, legal, religious and educational discrimination undermined the Jewish community in Czarist Russia. Poverty and Persecution (physical safety) were the chief issues that led Jews to become Communists, Bundists, Socialists, zionist and to emigrate to other countries.
Orthodoxy by and large was unable or unwilling to deal with the new conditions of urbanization (in 1860 no Jews lived in Lodz by 1914 Lodz had over 200,000 Jews), which increased poverty and alienation.
New phenomenoms arose in the Jewish community like child labor, and Prostitution including White slavery. The later is a subject I have done much research on and except for Chief rabbi Dr. Hertz of the UK and Rabbi Ezril Hildesheimer f Berlin few other Orthodox rabbis joined the war against White Slavery and Prostituion.
Labor exploitation in the forms of new industrial plans led to exploitation of Jewish workers. Again the rabbis did nothing to aleviate the conditions of extreme poverty.. In Congress Poland many wealthy Gerer and aleksanderer manufacturers kept their plants open on Sabbath ( with a Heter , of course) thereby the owners hd an excuse not to employ Jewish workers whom they regarded as troble maers prefering Polish workers.
Again no effort by the gedolim to assidt the Jewish prolotariat.
And even after World war 1 when Reb Binyomin Mintz and other Chassidm started the Poale Aguda in Poland , the gedolim vigorously fought these frum "Communists" and only reluctantly agreed to work with them .
Jews felt hopeless , Mashiach had not arrived , so Communism , and Socialism and Zionsim offered true HOPE and the only hope for East Europe Jews.

Kurenitzer said...

Indeed the Rashab sent shluchim to the Oriental communities in Russia, But the fact is that these people had only limited influence on these communities as until WW2 we are talking about a handful of shluchim. Add to this the fact that many local klei kodesh resented these European intruders and you have problems. In addition many of the locals from Georgia and Uzbekistan studied in Lithuanian Yeshivoth and for example in the Davidtashvilli family one brotherwas a Chabad person another a talmid of radin ! Do'nt get me wrong it ws heroic of the Rashab to do what he did , but its effect was limited.

Kurenitzer said...

May I just add that on a micro level there were rabbonim baale chesed etc , but they lacked the resources or the ability to see the big picture in terms of acting as leaders in the fight against Jewsih poverty , and persecution.

In addition the gevrim were mekayaam bemloo Mi shyesh lo hameah .... And they by and large could care less even if they were big chassidim ...

Hirshel Tzig said...

Sorry about the confusion.
Kurenitzer, I too am a bit confused. You failed to answer why the same people who did FORESEE a problem somewhere far away with the education of Jewish youth did not SEE the problem RIGHT IN THEIR BACKYARD, or rather do something about the problem they did see. The Jews in the oriental lands were probably no better off economically than their Ashkenazi brethren, sans the Czarist persecutions and pogroms. Much was accomplished in those lands you seem intent on diminishing the accomplishments. Just take a look at settlements like Nachlas Har Chabad in Israel and you'll see whatwas accomplished.

ce said...

Kurenitzer,
I didn't think the matzav was quite as bleak as you portrayed it there. Sure, things weren't great by any stretch of the imagination, but there was a flip side to that coin as well- no?

One things that is clear to me, is that throughout (recent?) history the main-stream Jewish leadership has not generally risen to the task they faced. They seem to consistently leave their heads buried in the sand as real problems festered. I'm not saying that I would have done a better job, but with the benefit of hindsight, we see numerous issues that were not addressed properly.
The interesting point that our host makes, is that within the context of poor general leadership, there are examples of efforts that WERE made by individual leaders. And that point is well taken. HT - thanks.

Hirshel Tzig said...

CE, you do not address the point of the question. Flattery will get you nowhere.

ce said...

HT,
Sorry for not anwering your question, but if you're asking me to propose the reasoning behind devoting shulchim to one area as opposed to another - the only thing I can say is... I dunno.

Lipa said...

What is significant about "settlements like Nachlas Har Chabad?"

ce said...

Kurenitzer,
You hit on something that I've always wondered about:
How rich WERE the so called "gevirim" that you refer to there? I've seen & heard plenty of stories about the "kaarge gevir," but as we all know, a gevir is not a technical term.
If I only have a crust of bread, I may consider a guy walking with $10 in his pocket a gevir - but is he really so wealthy?

Hirshel Tzig said...

Lipa, it's full of Bukharian immigrants who were educated by Chabad.

lipa said...

Sorry for my ignorance, but how many families are talking about?
And how old is this settelment... when did this community begin?

n said...

heshy,
good going....not flattery, good question. this blog needs a greater audience of intelectuals to explain this reality (i'm not knocking the current ten blog particpants!) I imagine that this question is prompted from this goy pseudo professor/author who posits that the friediker rebbe didn't do enough or anything to help yidden in europe...I saw a post on col.org.il that i beleive had a link to try and answer this particular allegation. Your question holds. Much of our daily connection to Lubavitch is intertwined with self loving nostalgia about the past. acknowledging this doesn't diminish the accomplishments and the personages of our tzaddikim. The reality of the time in general was total social upheaval, we really didn't have a base of operation, no real resourses/gelt, a local built up community of support, intact infrastructure. The world was very chaotic for us jews. The question is more of a real question if we assume that we possessed power, control, resourses, some level of homogenousness in our makeup nationally. We had none of this. these were uncontrollable and unmanageble times...

ce said...

N,
Good post! I second the motion.

Hirshel Tzig said...

Lipa
I'll try to get some numbers for you, I don't have them at the top of my head.

Anonymous said...

CE,
the flattery continuuuuuuues....

ce said...

I would, however, say that Mark Rigg's book (professor of military history, I believe), that N referred to, was actually a pretty good book. The first 3/4 of the book is just a recount of the rescue effort, and Ich ver nisht nispoel from his last chapter, where he lists his conclusions, but Lubavitch will have to develop an articulate & intelligent response for the "guy in the street."

Kurenitzer said...

The situation economically in East Europe was even worse than I painted it. Men hot mamash gehungert nach a stikel breyt. Sure mot everyone and not always.
The Aguda and the so called charedim were dominated by gevirim and yes some of these rich people were really rich like the Horensteins, Poznansky (Lodz) Widislavsky(Lodz) and many others I do not know or can't recall.Among the richest were some of the rebbes themselves like the radomsker rebbe and the Gerer rebbe.
The secular leaders like the Bund and the various Socialist parties at least had plans and hopes. The frum parties like the Aguda urged people to daven and say Tillim, well the youth by and large was not buying ...

Kurenitzer said...

Firstly Nachlas har chabad includes many ashkenzic families including a number of 2nd and 3rd cousins of my own. Next Chabad certainly influenced SOME people in Bukhara and Georgia but you know as well as I do that most Bukharian Jews were not touched by Lubavitch and also in Georgia and those that di first encountered Chabad in the war years and after. There are several histories of Judaism in Bukhara by the Rabin family of chachamim and they do not even mention chabad there.
Its like America ,Chabad is strong and influential, but most Orthodox Jews in America have no shaychus to chabad and most secular Jews in america never heard of Chabad.

Anonymous said...

"most secular Jews in america never heard of Chabad."

Im not so sure about that statement.

ce said...

This is a tough crowd! If you don't criticize a guy, you get attacked for flattery.
Hirshel, is this a no compliment zone?

Hirshel Tzig said...

Kurenitzer
the point of the post was not to show how much of an influence Chabad had on Bukhara, but rather to ask the question "why only there?"
Besides, how much of an influence can a few families have?

Kurenitzer said...

Anonymus. If you think that most secular Jews in America HAVE Heard about Chabad, may I repectfully offer the Brooklyn Bridge for sale at the price of $10-.
In addition these people MAY just no longer be Tinokos shenishbeu, after all they know about Chabad and about Orthodox Judaism.
Eve in place like New haven with active chabad houses etc most secular Jews (I mean secular not Conservative or active Reform Jews) have never heard of Chabad or Schneersohn or Lubavitch.I can vouch for this as i went to school there and dealt with all forms of Jews there.Sure maybe 25% have but thats about it.
These people do not read the Jewish Week listen to jewish radio progranmming or to cable Tv jewish programs etc.
Perhaps if chabad had full inserts in GQ, New republic, Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone magazines and advertised on Cable TV programs , it would change, but the Jewish week, Jewish Press etc its preaching to the choir , in the main.

Kurenitzer said...

To H.T. thats my point the few families of chabad had only limited influence.
The Rashab sent people there in Asaiatic Russia for several reasons : 1. There were requests sent to Lubavitcha and Lithuanian yeshivoth for klai Kodesh and melamdim. For example rav Yosef Eliyahu Henkin a gaon and zaddik was also a rav in Soviet Georgia, as were other Lithuanian Morim.The Radiner yeshiva sent a number of talmidim there too.
2. The klai kodesh in both these regions were by and large with certain exceptions am haratzim who did not know Gemora and had only an inkling of correct halachic practice. Thus the rashab sent klai kodesh to these regions.
No area in either eastern or even western Europe had a lack of rabbis teachers etc In fact there was asurplus of rabbonim and shochetim . Thus rabbis Elazarov and Noeh both did excellent service in upgrading the level of halachic knowledge in Bukhara.My only question is why the Rashab did not sent any rabbis in the late 19th century to the US where there were places for qualified leaders.He obviously was aware of the search for a chief rabbi for NY in the 1880's yet the Rashab's name never appears in this parsha which involved most Gedolei Lita.

Hirshel Tzig said...

Kurenitzer
in the '80's the Rashab was in his 20's, so I doubt they would consult with him. Also, he was not fond of families moving to America, with few exceptions, and would not send a family to live there.

Anonymous said...

Kurenitzer,I'm generally in agreement with you, back from 'that' site, however, I respectfully disagree with you about the percentage of secular jews who have heard of 'Chabad'
I cannot say it's most American jews since we would need some empirical evidence, but surely a very substantial part of secular jews have heard of Chabad, in fact the troubling part, for me at least, is that these people are the public face of Orthodoxy for secular jews

malach said...

Kurenitzer,Also there was a MASSIVE need for yeshivas in Poland (not communal rabbis)as many of the youth were leaving the fold.Novardok were the first to meet the need with 4000 talmidim in many small towns around Poland.What's interesting to note is that most Novardoker talmidim came from chassidic backrounds, since even the chasidic youth was leaving the fold, one of the few places to save the youth was the Novardoker system.
Years later Lubavitch realized the success of this 'kiruv' method and copied them

eli said...

Anonymus,
You say:
"in fact the troubling part, for me at least, is that these people are the public face of Orthodoxy for secular jews"

Can you elaborate on what you mean by that?

Hirshel Tzig said...

HMMM. 4000 Talmidim? sounds like some "new math" was used to come up with the figure. Oh! I get it, Chodakov was a Novardikker and he copied the Idea, right? in which Mikveh did you hear that?

malach said...

Tzig:What do YOU know about how many yeshivos Novardok had in Poland???
You are such a typical narrow minded Lubavitcher yold

Hirshel Tzig said...

Wow! a Novardikker calling me a Yold!
I though they called THEMSELVES yolden?
well, let's see, I did readבסופה ובסערה

Hirshel Tzig said...

הרב שלמה פיגא האסטו געקענט?

malach said...

R'Shloimeh Figgah was a feiner yid, though I did know him personally.He was of chasiddishe opshtam and his son and son in law are gerrer chassidim.
Tzig:I'm not a Novardoker follower, but in many ways they were the founders of 'kiruv' Freig dech noch.
If you keep an open mind you''ll see that Chabad in fact has emulated many of their kiruv ways (No, no Chabadsker has been seen requesting nails in a pharmacy!)
The Raya'tz said great things about R'Yoel Baranchik a Novardoker involved in chinuch in Riga, Kurenitzer will be able to tell you more

Hirshel Tzig said...

I know all about HaRav Baranchik, but were getting off the subject. Novardok was also the exception in the Yeshivah world.

Hirshel Tzig said...

Malach
you're not a Novardikker, you're not from the Malochim, but you do know that all those are better than Chabad. How come you know so much without belonging?

Avremel said...

You can always tell the "objectivity" of a writer by whether or not he's willing to give credit to his adversaries.

Let's see:
1)Ohr Somayach did kiruv first, or maybe Sho'or Yoshuv?
2)Baranchik saved Latvian Jewry
3) Lev L'achim does anti-missionary work
4) The Malochim are the "real" Chabad Chassidim
Lubavitch? they just plagiarize and destroy what others ahve built.
shame on them for claiming they do anything. :)

malach said...

Avremel, you have a point.I think that it goes without saying that Lubavitch does some good, however they claim that they are the source of all good and the crown of Judaism.This exaggeration especially in light of the dangerous activities of many of the shluchim raises many peoples ire.The 'dangerous' activities are the turning of the late Rebbe into a deity(getschkeh, bela'az)through various meshugassen such as saying he is alive, praying to him at his tomb, thanking him, igross, etc.All these things cause the good to pale in comparison.
About R'Baranchik:What you said about him is more or less what the Previous Rebbe said about him.Give your rebbe some respect!!
I have no idea what Lev Leachim do.

malach said...

All I know about Lev Le'achim is that they are a kiruv organization that broke off from R'Sholom Lifshitzs yad le'achim.This is unfortunate because R'Sholom Ber is a fine individual, one who never turned the fact that he 'shtams' from chabad,into making Yad Leachim into a Lubavitcher organization.I think what happened was Lubavitch started mixing in to Yad Leachim and forcing their way ,not R'Sholom Ber, but probably people he mistakenly brought in.
This is all my speculations

n said...

malach,
you need a lechaim...loosen up and get real..'lubavitch does some good'.????..the good that lubavitch does turns over worlds..

Avremel said...

Malach, the Baranchik line was a monkey wrench, get it?
You really sound like a 3rd grade Satmarer Cheider Yingel who was taught that Lubavitchers are GOYUM, and thatthe Kosel was bult by the TZIYOYNUM!

Kurenitzer said...

Re the bio of Reb Shmuel Weintraub mentioned in earlier blog, a 3rd edition just appeared. Many Chabad teenagers studied in his yeshiva near Pinsk as Western White Russia was cut off from Russia and many bachurim did not want to go to Congress Poland in Otwock.
But by far the best book about Navoradok is Chaim Grade's 2 volumel novel Zemach Atlas or Di Yeshiva.It is gor geheyben !

malach said...

Avremel:You love to make up 'enemies', right?
You really know very little about Satmar .Just because Lubavitch has been 'koching' about their 'fight' with Satmar, and how 'Satmarer' hate Lubavichers, does it mean it has any resemblance to the truth??
The average Satmar does not hate Lubavitch at all, they view Lubavitchers as 'Moderner', because of how they dress,especially the ladies.They know very little about Lubavitch actually.You should come once to the main Satmar shul on Rodney and see that your world of hate is one big fantasy.
Btw I'm not Satmar.
Hirshel, seems to know the 'heimishe oilem' ask him his opinion about the average Satmarer yungermans 'hate' towards Lubavitch

Avremel said...

Why do you speculate that Lubavitch had somehing to do with Yad L'achim being dumped? Could it be the Kinah of the Litvisher was just too much that they ecided after 40 years that SB Lipshitz was not good enough for them anymore because he was a Lubavitcher?

Chaim said...

The truth is a Satmerer Bochur will not be able to tell the difference between a Yehivishe bochur that has a beard, and a Lubavitcher Bochur, they are both "modern" because they wear brim-down hats.

n said...

malach, lets take a deep breath, satmar is o.k., lubavitch is ok. lets say that together 10x. o.k., i agree with you and find that satmerer today don't have a lot of lubavitch knowledge or even strong opinions. I see ambivalence, sometiems mild negativety and sometimes quite positive opinions based on what little is actually known. if thats the reality why were signs posted in Boro park this year last year inside satmer establishments ossering the tzivos hashem lagbomer parade in boro park. silly no?

Hirshel Tzig said...

n
I guess they saw it as a threat.

malach said...

'N'
C'mon, you ask 'why were there signs assering the lag ba'omer parade in Satmar'
Were there signs?Maybe, I don't know, but I have a couple of my own questions:Why is there this chabadsker parade in Boro Park to begin with, who needs it?Why don't the signs say clearly it's a Lubavitcher run event?
And the reason is knderlach.............vayl, Lubavitch are trying to 'chap' as many naive 'neshumelach' as they can, that's why they put such efforts in Boro Park.Why do they think that they need to 'teach' frum, chasidisheh jews?Go 'rateveh' the frei yidden!
Last but not least:How long has it been that the 'Hisachdus Harabonim' has been treif??27 years?more?You lubabs are allowed to call one of the most respected hechsheirim treif because of a petty fight going back almost 30 years,AND THEY MUST SEND THEIR KIDS TO YOUR DUMB,MISSIONARY PARADES?!!
(try and be objective, take a deep breath, stop drinking that chabasker kool aid for a few minutes and see that you guys are so one sided it ain't funny)

malach said...

Hirshel,
I just saw on bechadrei, that you also have this belief that the melamdim in Satmar are always hacking about the lubavitchers.
Btw, M Fulop is not the average Satmar yungerman.(he told me that once the rebbe mentioned him in a sicha, the rebbe was not pleased about something he said, if I RECALL CORRECTLY)

Kurenitzer said...

By the way the reason Chabad was machrim the CRC was not about small things. It was about the dramatic rescue of the Airplane full of jews by ZAHAL in Uganda.
The Lubavitcher rebbe called it a nes , chugim in Williamsburg said it was maase satan. The rebbe then clearly sttaed publically Lo Meyhem velo meyhomonem !!!

Anonymous said...

Respected hechsherim of the CRC. In many cases this organization actually relies on the OU or Ok for their field hashgochas and just piggy backs on their hechsherim.

Anonymous said...

I thought the cheirim was emplyed after the Hisachdus refused to condemn the activities of varios Satmar chassidim who beat up and cut off the beard of P. Korf / M. Wechter?

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to note that the Hisachdus HaRabbonim has NEVER had a problem with a hechsher, EVER. Every other hechsher including the "Heilige" ones have, but not the Hisachdus, no siree, eberything is just fine, never any problems.:)

Avremel said...

Malach
The leshonos you use just prove s the point. You speak like a Bochurel from Paler or Chaim Berlin. GROW UP.

Anonymous said...

The parade was very clearly announced as an event produced by Tzivos Hashem. Judging from the thousands of "neshumelach" that joined it was needed in Boro Park.

The Anti-malach said...

By the way, for those who do not know, Avremel and Hirshel are brothers

Avremel said...

says who?

b said...

acheinu col bays yisroel?

Anonymous said...

Lubavitch is trying to chap neshomos in BP thru devious tactics - do iz emes. Lag baomer parades without showing on the signs that Lubavitch is behind them and same with simchas beis hashoeivahs there with dancing and music on the outskirts of BP. Some BP Chassidim fallen arein, they don't realize they are Lubavitcher events. Last Sukkos at the simchas beis hashoeivah, Lubavitch had a mini-sukkah on a truck there with a sign in it with a picture of the Rebbe declaring him melech hamoshiach and many non Lubavitcher kids were shtupping into there to eat in the Sukkah, without realizing that it it was a sukkah of avoida zara moshiachism.

Fekete said...

So, once you eat in the Moshiachisten's Sukkah you become Areingechapt? and when you dance there you become areingechapt?
You're a bunch of paranoid little kids who are afraid of losing your grip on the community.

malach said...

And once you sit in a church you become areingechapt???...........yes!
The posters announcing the lag ba'omer parade were and are specially designed so they do not seem Lubavitch and make no mention of Lubavitch(to the genius who said 'tzivos hashem ' is mentioned:do you think people know what it stands for?)
They are trying to 'chap' as many young kids as they can.
Imagine Satmar arranging a lag ba'omer parade in Crown Heights, with no mention of which movement is behind it, giving prizes to kids, hoping to eventually win the over to their 'religion'. How many Lubavitchers would send their kids?Why is it that only Lubab are allowed to use these devious tactics?

hmmm said...

Tzig, why are you assuming that nothing was done in Russia simply because the efforts were not succesful? Almost every graduate of Tomchei Tmimim was sent to a city in some function to strengthen Yiddishkeit. That this effort was succesful in Gruzia beyond measure is a tribute to Gruziner Yidden, and that it was unsuccesful in Russia is a tribute to the Rishus of Zionists and Socialists/Communists.

Hirshel Tzig said...

hmmm
I realize what you're saying, but I need to disagree. The Tmimim that were sent there were sent after the Bolshevik revolution, when the teaching of Torah was forbidden. I'm referring to the times when Torah was allowed to be studied but the youth chose not to learn!

n said...

to malach, satmar and others...put us out of business...do something good for someone other than yourself or group...

hmmm said...

Severe mistake. Tomchei Tmimim was founded 20 years before the Revolution with the express purpose of creating Talmidim who could combat Haskalah, Zionism, socialism etc. Those qualified and semi-qualified etc ended up in towns where they became the influence of Chasidus in that town. Read through the Rebbe Rashab's letters and other history to get a glimpse of this. We know more about this from after the Revolution because then it had to be done with Mesiras Nefesh and without being hired as Klei Kodesh - they were entirely under the FRs authority.

Hirshel Tzig said...

hmmm
I do hear your point. I wonder if much was done to try and influence the youth and show them the err of their ways, like is done today?

hmmm said...

There was a danger then in actual association with someone who was already farsamt, i.e. either a farbisene Zionist, socialist or whatever. The Frierdike Rebbe was nearly killed by Zionists, and that was only for throwing Zionists out of Yeshivah! So there was a physical danger, and a physical danger. The ideas were so new, so tempting, offered economic advantages, opened new vistas.

So I believe the effort of those who remained true were to strengthen those who were still innocent, and catch those who were still soft or giving up on their isms.

We would have to do more detailed study on it to have a clear picture of who was targeted and who not, but there is no question that action was taken on a large scale, and had as much success as possible. In Gruzia, it had undoubted success.

In Poland it seemed to be less extreme, and the Frierdike Rebbe did start programs like Tiferes Bochurim, which the war put an end to.

Kurenitzer said...

I think TTL was established as a Chassidic response to the Modern Lithuaanian yeshivas which were becoming important in White Russia and Lithuania and attracted many students from the Ukraine. With the closing of Volozhin in the 1890;s other schools took up the slack . Schools like Telzh,Slobodka (Kovna),Mir , Slutsk and smaller yeshivos were bebinning to attract many bachurim from Chabad families . Other Chabad bachurim fell on the way side to Zionism and Socialism (and I will say Lehavdil between the 2 ideas),. The day and age of Yoshvim and bachurim studyng in the kluiz was over in Lithuania and Reisen by the end of the 19th century)And the Chofetz Chaim records this fact in his writings. In Poland it ended much later (after World war 1) and in Galicia it continued in some form until 1939.
The Rashab was intuitive enough to sense that if he did not start a yeshiva to train Pirche Chassidim he would lose the youth to either the new yeshivoth or to the street.
In addition the Rashab was against the social conditions in the new yeshivoth such as short clothing, no beards, lack of stress on avoda etc. TTL was to be the vanguard of Yiras Shomayim in White Russia.

Kurenitzer said...

It would be an exageration to state that Lubavitch had great success in Soviet Georgia. At the time of the emigration to Israel there were about 80,000 Georgian Jews in Georgia and again I think few had any direct connection with Lubavitch. Of course there were small groups that had contact with Lubavitch. Most Georgian Jews were hardly what we call Shomer shabbes . They were shomre hamesorres and by the 1960's the youth , as all the youth in the USSR was becoming more culturally asimilated as well. Granted that intermarriage though rare was starting even there.
Again the several histories of Georgian Jewry usually deal with Chabad in several paragraphs .
The fact that Georgain Jews as well as the Bukharian Jews managed to maintain their religion better than the Ashkenazi Jews is the result of a confluence of factors with Lubavitz not being the main reason.
The Mountain Jews in Southern Russia also maintained their religion even though they had no contact with Lubavitch at all.
The main reasons were strong and extended family structure rather than the nuclear family of the European Jew. The stress on ritual in the home also helped and in general in the muslim areas the war against religion was not fought as ferociously as in Europe where the Communists were fighting a powerful opponent the Russian Orthodox church = Czar supporters.

Hirshel Tzig said...

Kurenitzer
Your view on the establishment of TTL is way too simplistic. The problem at the time was not as much that Bochurim were going to Lithuanian Yeshivos than Bochurim not going to Yeshivah at all, or leaving the fold completely. Also, the continuity of Lubavitch was only going to happen if the youth was going to be educated B'derech Chabad.
On the claim you make, there are some notable Bochurim like Rav Ruderman, (Kotler?) who came from Chabad families and went to the Lita to learn, but how many more can you claim? (I'm not contesting it, I'd just like for you to inform us)

hmmm said...

kurenitzer, you show a complete lack of familiarity with the subject you're posting on. At the very least read the declared intention of TT.

Anyways, going to a Lithuanian Yeshivah was a guarantee of having contact with Haskalah, so the issue is one and the same.

Chabad is always relegated to a few paragraphs in a history book. Who cares? And what the state was in the Sixties does not affect the state in the Twenties.