Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Kovner Rov, א חסיד ?



Take a look at this picture.

I don't believe I've seen other Litvishe Rabbonim with a Gartel like that.

Maybe it's just a belt.

Taken at an אסיפת הרבנים in Petersburg.

Photo courtesy of USHMM

42 comments:

avremel said...

HT

במחילת כבוד תורתו

I think it's a bit of a stretch. Reb Yitzchok Elchonon is not mentioned as having any נטי'ה to Chassidus.

Hirshel Tzig said...

Avremel
לא ראיתי אינה ראי'ה, so please back up your assumptions with some fact.

Thank You

Anonymous said...

The shulchan oruch mentions the need for a gartel, the oruch hashulchan, a litvisher ,says one should use a gartel.So though, gartel became the custom of chassidim,litvisheh yechidim wore a gartel.If I'm not mistaken the Chazon Ish wore one too

Hirshel Tzig said...

That maybe so, even Reb Chaim Brisker was said to wear one, as was Reb Boruch Ber, but not during an Asifas HaRabbonim!

Misnaged said...

I once heard from someone that R. Shimen Shkop wore one too (but I am not vouching for that).

"but not during an Asifas HaRabbonim!"

Maybe they were getting ready to daven minche ?

Re RYE's background - the emes iz - even though I am a misnaged - or should I say because I am a misnaged ? - the emes is choviv to me biyayser - I recall hearing that RYE did have some Hassidic background. I heard this from a guy who is an expert on him, who did research on him, and who has a shaychus with the Yeshive bearing his name in NY (Kurenitzer knows him). I think there is a (brief, passing and scant) mention of it in some book or sefer on him. But don't get too excited, because #1, maybe it was only like 50% or even less than that, and #2, limaaseh he didn't identify with that group.

So don't go and start claiming RIETS as a Lubavitcher or Chassidishe Yeshive now - even though interestingly it has some Chassidishe Roshei Yeshive now - but that is another topic. It's enough that they have a Chabad club. ;-)

By the way, I have to give a shtickel yasher kayach (chotsh a begrudging acknowledgement) to tzig for being at least a shtickel open minded and allowing these type of misnagdishe comments. Maybe his misnagdic roots still are manifesting themselves at times, despite his becoming a Lubavitcher. ;-)

Anonymous said...

See Rakeffet Aharon by R Rakeffet Vol 2 Page 48 RIETS father R Israel Isser was a Chossid. I also heard before that RIES wore a gartel because of this

Hirshel Tzig said...

Believe me, I'm not claiming RIETS as Chabad.

I do not have a "Misnagdic" background per se, just a non-Chasidic one.

Misnaged said...

" RIETS father R Israel Isser was a Chossid".

Vos far a Chossid ? Lubavitch ?

"I do not have a "Misnagdic" background per se, just a non-Chasidic one." (HT) - Have you ever heard the expression 'if you're not for them, you're against them' ?

Anonymous said...

We see from this that neshira (dropping out) from Chassidus is not a new thing.

Anonymous said...

"N"E" (nishmosay eiden)

On another topic, from where does that expression come from ? Lubavitchers use it alot, but it's seldom seen elsewhere. Is it a peculiarly (specifically) Lubavitcher thing, does it have other roots but was adopted by Lubavitch, or something else ?

Hirshel Tzig said...

is this all the same "anonymous"?

My ancestors did not know of Chassidus, so they were not against them.

Anonymous said...

You mean all the 'anonymous' posts on this thread ? Answer - no.

Hirshel Tzig said...

NO, the last three.

AMSHINOVER said...

in the famous photo of the netziv he has kekrizeled payos and a gartel and his beckesha closes the chassidic way

bpunbound said...

"the chassidc way"?

Hirshel Tzig said...

I don't remember the gartel part. The "Chassidic way" is incorrect, it should read the "Jewish way", that's the ways all Jews buttoned suits.

Kurenitzer said...

Gute brider,
Look in Reb Yankev Kifshutz's bio of Reb Itzchok Elchonon which was published under various names in Yiddish and Hebrew. Reb Yankev was the rav's Gabe and Exec. Secy. His grandson is the famed editor of the "Holy Peg" in Monsey.
Reb Yankev writes that the Rav's father was an Amdurer chasid . Amdur was a a center of Chassiduth in Lita started by Reb Chaim Chaikel of Amdur.
Reb Yitzchok Elchonon himself was no chasid.
Many Lithuanian rabbonim wore gartlekh. Reb Baruch Ber Leibowitz amongst them.
The last chief rabbi of Moscow Reb Yehuda Leib Levin also wore a gartel.The last European communal rav of my home town NH , Rav Lazar Gorelik a real Litvak also wore a gartel in his old age.The new bio of Reb Baruch Ber features a beautiful "new" photo' of Rav Yitzchak Elchonon where we see his full levush, He was wearing a zupische (loose fitting long coat) not a surdut (tailored long coat) and a fur hat.
Me believes that it was Reb Israel Salanter and his talmid's talmid Reb Noson Nota of Slobodka who in their zeal to introduce western style levush amongst frume Yidden in DEr Lita did away with the rabbinic fur hat (replaced by top hat) the gartel, the zupiche (replaced by the surdut) the halbe shich (replaced by western style shoes or boots) peyoth shel rosh (not replaced) and beards (replaced by neatly trimmed beards)
Certainly in their old age many Lithuanian gedolim adopted kabbalistic minhogim such as the Chafetz Chaim , Reb Moshe Feinstein , reb Baruch Baer vechuli .The rashab introduced many changes in the levush of Chassidim too but obviously nothing so far reaching.
Its a shame that the yeshiva named for him does not commission someone to research and write a serious modern bio of the rabban shel Israel Reb Yitzchok Elchonon.

kurenitzer said...

The Brisker rav Reb Yehoshua Diskin told the Shinyever rav when he was in Brisk for a very interestin reason not to go to Kovna seemingly because the Kovner gedolim would not know how to accord a Chassidic rebbe the kavod he deserved. So rav Yitzchok Elchonon who was the rav at this time of Kovna was definetely not a mIsnaged. But who's counting ...

Kurenitzer said...

Looking at the picture again the rav is also not wearing the square Litvishre yarmulka. Rather a kappel more evocative of the Gerer yarmulkas worn in Congress Poland.
Years ago Panim El Panim published this photo too, with the gartel. Yasher keyach on a very intersting blog.

Hirshel Tzig said...

Kurenitzer

אהן דיר האב איך מורא ווי עס וואלט אויסגעזעהן....

Thank You!

misnaged said...

Yasher kayach freint Kurenitzer ! I concur with HT's comments immediately above. Maybe we should make a virtual Kurenitzer festschrift.

Maybe someone can collect his writings and we can make a 'kol kisvei Kurenitzer'.

misnaged said...

Now for some comments....
"the Rav's father was an Amdurer chasid . Amdur was a a center of Chassiduth in Lita started by Reb Chaim Chaikel of Amdur."

Maybe it would be interesting to compile a list of Chassidic groups that have disappeared. Amdur would be one. Another would be Levertover - I just read about them in what Kurenitzer called 'the holy peg' last week. Maybe Kurenitzer can come up with a nice list.

There are others that have almost disappeared - like Koidenov.

I have other comments I could make on what Kurenitzer wrote as well - perhaps later.

misnaged said...

"The rashab introduced many changes in the levush of Chassidim too but obviously nothing so far reaching."

Can someone please elaborate on what Kurenitzer wrote ?

Hey, I have another idea. Maybe Kurenitzer could lead a farbrengen.

Noch a zach, redendig vegen levush. There is a letter in the new (current) issue of the weekly English Hamodia related to levush - Jewish and Chassidic (first letter in letters section). I think the letter writer made some good points, but that the writer of the original article messed up somewhat, both in his original article and in his response to the letter. I would be interested to hear what Kurenitzer thinks about it when he gets back here.

Hirshel Tzig said...

Shrayb nit kein halbe verter, what does the article say?

misnaged said...

I don't have all the stuff in front of me, but I think the essence is azay. The article was about the history of the streimel. It said that it is 'traditional Jewish levush'. The letter writer said that he was in the Hermitage museum in Russia and saw the Czar's hat there and it was like a streimel. Therefore, he said, that streimlech were high-class clothing of the nobility, hence high-status, which were copied among Yidden for Shabbos. If you want to know more, gei kayf di itztiker aysgabe and also get a copy of the original large feature article from the Hamodia magazine about two weeks ago. Even before hearing of the letter someone showed me the original article and I saw that it was a combination of some fact with a good portion of bobbeh maasehs. One example of special interest to you would be that it stated that Lubavitch adopted bent-down hats (fedoras) around 1850. That is way-way off. I don't know if that style of hat even existed anywhere in 1850. Ober zicher the tzibbur wasn't wearing it by the Tzemach Tzeddek.

misnaged said...

Mistama it was written by a chagas Chassidishe typ, vos leigt a grayse dogeish ayf dos, so it's not surprising - but still, mir darf zogen di emes, nisht bobbeh maases.

Hirshel Tzig said...

Oh, I saw that article! it has Rav Elyashiv there. Also, the shtreimel on the box at the beginning of the piece is the Frierdige Rebbe's, which they didn't write. They probably meant 1950?

misnaged said...

If you see the context of the article, you can see that they definitely didn't mean 1950, because it basically says that after a gezeiras halevush in the 1840's and the events surrounding it, the chagas Chassidim kept the streimel and Litvish and Lubavitch went with the bent-down hat (aka fedora). That is way off - The tzibbur of Litvaks and Lubavitchers weren't wearing fedoras in 1850. There is more baloney there too. Ayen shom.

Hirshel Tzig said...

The Spektors were Amdurer Chassidim? According to Alfasi's החסידות the last Amdurer Rebbe was Reb Shmuel, a son of Reb Chaim Chaikel, so I guess that's why Reb Yitzchok Elchonon didn't continue the traditions, because there was no Rebbe to go to!

Anonymous said...

"I guess that's why Reb Yitzchok Elchonon didn't continue the traditions, because there was no Rebbe to go to! "

You really think that's the whole and only reason ?? Maybe that was a factor, but he is not the only case of a great mitzuyan leaving the Chassidishe machaneh. Did all the other Amdurers at that time leave Chassidus ? I doubt it.

Hirshel Tzig said...

At that time there were few Big Yeshivos. A Chassidishe Bochur had nothing to gain by leaving his Rebbe and joining a "litvishe" Yeshivah.

Maybe the Amdurer kids either went to other Rabbeyim or stopped seeing Rebbes, no?

Kurenitzer said...

Koidenov still has a rebbe. Rabbi Yankev Erlich in Bnai Brak. He is a scholarly serious yungerman destined to be a great rebbe.
He has a BM in BB and does much out reach work. he comes to the US every year or so. His grandfather is the revered Naroler rav shlit'a who once rsided in CH.
Koidenow also has a BM in TA and is in a din Tore with Chabad over control of a Bm in Jslm.
Obviously there are no Koidenower Chassidim of the Old school left, but a few Americans are still connected.

Kurenitzer said...

I think from the time of the petirah of the Maharash and the other sons of the ZZ Chassiduth in Russia including the others in the Ukraine and Vohlin was losing most of the youth.
There were no yeshivoth , few seforim and the rebbes were remote from the Anash. Most rebbes prayed alone in daven shtiber , never seen by the chasidim.The Rashab certainly changed all of that with the "help" of the Bais rebbe and Reb Bichovski. they gave Chabad a yeshiva a myth and biography and seforim . But even so Chabad lost most of its youth. The Yeshiva world in its Salanterian incarnation had a Western orientation , a new "critical" derech in learning , an new system of luife - Mussar that made the students feel like an elite . The yeshivas also encouraged publications and some primative form of organizations and associations.And de facto they were not that opposed to many manifestations of haskola as opposed to the haskola as a movement and its leaders.
Thus I think many Chabad teenagers were sent to these yeshivas. Rather than TTL which was considered frum. Indeed it was only the pashute Yiddn (Proste in the lashon of the RaChal) who sent their kids to TTL because they unlike the middle class chasid was concerned with frumkeit not status, kavod and shidduchim.
Its not a suprise that most upper middle class Chabad families except for the Gourary's are no longer seriously represented in Chabad, as are not most of the Chabad rabbinic familes with a few exceptions. Reb Yitzchok Elchonon was an earlier represenative of this movement away from a "mystical" movement that no longer had mystical leaders to a world of learning that still had serious intellectual leaders.

avremel said...

am I the only one that thinks that Kurenitzer just underhandedly criticized Chabad, and 3 generations worth to boot?

Kurenitzer:

all that just to bring out the last 2 lines?

was the whole Koidenov piece necessary?

Din Torahs had to be mentioned?

Anonymous said...

Kurenitzer is an expert in such history type things. You want to muzzle him and make this a totally and only propaganda website ?

avremel said...

what I heard was theories, and by his own admission, not history.

I don't want to muzzle anybody





















except maybe you.

Anonymous said...

Ahhhhh - azah varemkeit...... :)

Kurenitzer said...

1. The Koidenover Beth Medrash Din Torah was even written about in KFAR CHABAD magazie several years ago. Zey megen schreiben und ich tor nit ???
As the Boyaner rebbe was want of saying - Machlokes iz schlecht ober chilue Deoth iz nit.
The shul in question has a complex history in the last 50 years and the fight is not just for power etc. Thats we have a Besdin and a din . Do we not ?

Kurenitzer said...

Avremel. You are reading into my comments ideas that are Lo doben veloyaaren.
My grandparents and so on were chassidim of generation 4-6 of Chabad if not earlier.
What I mean is that without a background in Dach, and Nistor what could a bachur'l appreciate in a Chassidic rebbe who in East Europe was chiefly a Poel Yeshuoth ? On the other hand a bachurl could appreciate a mashgiach like Reb Yeruchem or a rosh yeshiva like Reb Naftoli Tropp.
Frankly did anyone in the US apreicate many of the chashuve admorim who lived in the US before the War but werre chiefly POel Yeshuoth like the Old Novominsker or the old Skolyer rebbe ??
That is why the Chagas chasidim took losses to the yeshiva world until 1939. There were Gerer bachurim who learnt in Lita. Why do you think the Lubliner rav created his yeshiva ?
I had no intention of criticizing the last 3 Chabad rebbes in any manner and a plain reading of the text does not show any such criticism. If anything my criticism was aimed at the Karliner cheder of Chassiduth in Lithuania , Polesia and White Russia.

avremel said...

Kurenitzer

Your knowledge in these Inyonim is undisputable, and that was not the point of my words. All I meant was that bringing up the Parshah of Koidenov-Din Torah was somewhat out of place. I davened in that shul whilst learning in Yerushalayim and am I was shocked to hear that they may lose it in D"T.

Kurenitzer said...

I mentioned the Kuidenover "din torah" only to show that Koidenow once regarded as "dead" is again flexing its muscles (tiny ones). I will let a besdin decide the baaylus of the BM.
I admit that I know the Koidenower rebbe and find him very likeable and a Ish retzini.
Even though he wants the shul back , he never spoke in a negative tone about Chabad or about the zad shekeneged.
His grandfather the Naroler rav shlit"a lived in CH and has many friends among the older American Lubavitcher crowd.He took over the BM on eastern Pkwy that belonged to rabbi Moshe Schneersohn-Twersky. His father in
law and uncle rav Berish of Narol Flatbush is another good friend of Chabad.As I said chiluke deoth especially in baaylus are common and should be no cause for long tern animus. After all Yesh DIn beYisroel.
in regards to being shocked that "they may lose " The record does indicate that the BM was originally a Koidenow BM and later on was passed on to chabad. Again let the dayanim decide.

Avremele said...

Anonymous said...

We see from this that neshira (dropping out) from Chassidus is not a new thing.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 10:36:00 AM

it was believed that chassidus was NOT for bachurim. thus, many didn't become....
-----------------------------------

misnaged said...

Now for some comments....
"the Rav's father was an Amdurer chasid . Amdur was a a center of Chassiduth in Lita started by Reb Chaim Chaikel of Amdur."

Maybe it would be interesting to compile a list of Chassidic groups that have disappeared. Amdur would be one. Another would be Levertover - I just read about them in what Kurenitzer called 'the holy peg' last week. Maybe Kurenitzer can come up with a nice list.

There are others that have almost disappeared - like Koidenov.

I have other comments I could make on what Kurenitzer wrote as well - perhaps later.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 10:53:00 PM

levertov is kept alive by the bialer rebbe. they're family