Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Why couldn't they all be like him?!


I've always admired Reb Chaskel Besser. An old-time Peylishe Yid, a scion of a very distinguished family, he always seemed like the perect example of a Torah-diplomat who never allowed the young and even old Askonim and Rabbonim inflame passions amongst the Agudah faithful. He's a true treasure, and, unfortunately, today's so-called "askonim" have much to learn, with all due respect to their accomplishments.

In the video soon to be released where people speak of their recollections of the Rebbe, he's the most fascinating personality to watch. His respect, reverence, and even love for the Rebbe, that's right, love, a true אהבה, is clearly evident. The Rebbe reciprocated and showed him the respect due to an Askan of his caliber.

How then did the Agudah take the turn that it did, banishing Rabbi Soloveitchik (although he left and joined Mizrachi) and anybody that a certain Rabbi didn't like, and propping up and creating the new age Gedolim that we have in the Agudah today? Does he think that the Rosh Yeshivah of Philadelphia (may he have a Refuah Sheleima) really has his finger on the pulse of the Jewish People? Does the Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivas Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin, a kid from the Young Israel of East New York, know how to take on the crises that befall Klal Yisroel?

I won't go as far as to say that he should've been there to stand up for the Rebbe's Kovod, because I have no knowledge of what might have been had he not been there. One thing's for certain, he must have nerves of steel to sit in at those meetings and hear some of the gibberish spoken there.....

they book is available at EBAY and is a great read.

Some great pics there too.

:)

29 comments:

avremel said...

Tzig:

Chaskel Besser was a true friend of Bais HaRav and should always be remembered as such. Your thoughts about him not "standing up for the Rebbe's Kovod" are out of line.

Kurenitzer said...

As a Lubvitcher chasid (you) I can understand your sympathy for Reb Besser.
Rav Joseph Baer Soloveitchik was never thrown out of the Aguda , in numerous places the Rav mentions hisideological decision after the end of the War to join the National Religious party.By the way the rav and Rav Aaron Kotler coperated in the foundation of the Chinuch Atzmoi, a network of schools not supported by Lubavitch who se schools remained part of the Mizrachi zerem in Israel.
As an aside when you write of the lack of responsibility of the main line charedim to our Sefardoc brothers in Israel you conviently forget about the millions of dolars and toil with which the charedim ie rav AAron in the US built a school system for sefardim in the most part.This system educated tens of thousands of boys and girls probably more students in 1 year than Kfar chabad had in 20 years. (re Sefardim)
The gedolim of the Aguda are in the same league as the present day "gedolim" in Lubavitch. You no longer have Shmuel Levitins or Keselman's or Mendel Futterfasses, so too the Yeshiva world no longer has any Reb Moshe's or Hutners or Gifters etc. Its a matter of yeridas hadeyres.
Certainly you will agree that Rabbi Sherer was as effective a lay leader as any and certainly accomplished as much as Rabbi Beser in askonus.

Hirshel Tzig said...

Kurenitzer
you're all over the place here. try and stick to one topic, we'll have plenty of time to discuss other topics later.

Hirshel Tzig said...

I didn't say he was thrown out, I said he left because he felt alienated from the new blood there.

Chinuch Atzmai was started years after the Aliyah from North Africa, many had been lost by then.

The problem is the Gedolim in the Agudah don't see themselves as such, the Lubavitchers reden zich nit ein that their influencing the whole world. They may try to, but only in a small way.

Hirshel Tzig said...

their=they're

Anonymous said...

Kurenitzer
Bemechilas Kvodchem, but you're doing something that Lubavitchers are sometimes guilty of: namely conveniently choosing when other people's accomplishments are worth mentioning. You knock the Peylisher and the Agudists, and yet when it comes to chiding Lubavitch you use them as examples.

Anonymous said...

"During a conversation I had with Rabbi Chaskel Besser, shlit"a (founder of the One Jerusalem and a true elder statesman of the Jewish people), he told me that the difference between the Chasssidic and Lithuanian personality made the difference between the person who came out of the Holocaust with his faith intact and the one who didn't. The Chassid, connected to G-d viscerally, with a fire that burns despite evertything generally survived with his faith intact. The Lithuanian, whose connection to G-d was primarily through the intellect, could not tolerate the cosmic enormity of the injustice perpetrated against our people by the Nazis and was either shaken or broken by questions such as, "how could G-d do this to us?" This was an illustration, not a sweeping generalization, G-d forbid. There were plenty of non-Chassidic Jews who also emerged from the Holocaust with their faith intact."
(reprinted from bestinjewish.blogspot.com)

Anonymous said...

"Chinuch Atzmai was started years after the Aliyah from North Africa, many had been lost by then."

What ? Vos redst du ??

CA started in the early 1950's, when the NA aliya took place.

Anonymous said...

1) What's going on here ? HT speaking so highly of a Chagas (Radomsker) Chossid ?? Or is that okay as a horaas shaah, since he speaks so highly of 'The Rebbe' ?

2) "the Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivas Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin, a kid from the Young Israel of East New York" -

What kinda cheap shot is that ? What's that supposed to mean ?

Hirshel Tzig said...

how many were lost till they started it?

HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS

Hirshel Tzig said...

"the Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivas Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin, a kid from the Young Israel of East New York"

It's not a cheap shot, it's a description of the man, saying that although a very nice man, is not what you'd call a "Manhig".

Hirshel Tzig said...

Since when is it a problem to speak highly of a Radomsker Chossid? Have you seen me attacking them here?

chicago said...

The thread started with some questions posed, can any of you ADD sufferers here answer them without going off on a tangent?!

Kurenitzer said...

1.I can write objectively about group's posative and negative acheivements because I may be the last Jew who does not belong to a party. Now writing about myself thats a different story...
The Chinuch Atzmoi was started in the early 1950's and the North african aliyah did not hit its stride until after 1956. Ask the families of the shluchim Raskin Lipsker they ran many schools there until well into the 1960's. So Chinuch Atzmoi was a direct response by the Aguda circles to the immigration from Iraq and Yemen as well as heimishe Yidden from Europe.
As such it clearly impacted on the Spiritual welfare of our Sefardic brothers. I am not taking away credit from Kfar Chabad , just painting an objective picture. In addition the Kloisenberger yeshiva in Netanya had a Sefardic division as well. For many years the rebbe's gabbe was a Yemenite talmid.
as far as Besser goes he is a fine man , and he is and was a member of the Presidium of the American Aguda for the last 30 years.As such he is a senior lay leader of the American Aguda !!! He speaks at most of the conventions. So I fail to understand whats the issue.
Clearly he is not of the Talmudic calibre of being a member of the Moetzet. Anyone who knows him sees a Talmid chochom Merchant a Peylishe radomsker chasid of the type we rarely see now , but a gadol ???

Hirshel Tzig said...

Oy Kurenitzer!

1) All of Yemeni Jewry was in Israel by 1950, meaning that all that came to Israel. As was Iraqi and Egyptian.

2) If you can give me a more specific date as to the exact founding year I'd really apprecaite it.

3) I DID NOT SAY BESSER WAS A GODOL! Please do not put words in my mouth.

4) Chinuch Atzmai was founded to compete and not be subservient to the Mamlachti Dati government school sysytems.

Hirshel Tzig said...

Chinuch Atzmai was founded in 1953.

Hirshel Tzig said...

"When David Ben Gurion declared Israel a state in 1948, he also instituted a government school system. This system was to include three streams: one for general Zionism, one for Labor-oriented Zionism, and one for the Mizrachi.



The chareidi Torah leaders established a fourth stream, modeled after the Aguda school system. But then the government wanted to reduce the four streams to two: a secular state system and a religious-state system. Such a plan would have seriously undermined chareidi educational independence. Led by Rav Aaron Kotler and the members of the Israeli Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah, a new educational organization was formed in 1953, Chinuch Atzmai.



Rav Zalman Sorotzkin was chosen to head it.



At that time the minister of education turned to Rav Sorotzkin with a complaint. "Why do you have to split off the government network?" he asked.



"Why should it bother you if we supervise your curriculum?"



"Would you ever expect a person like me to supervise your secularist schools?" retorted Rav Sorotzkin. "Can a person supervise something that he virulently opposes?"

Reprinted from www.tzemachdovid.org

Anonymous said...

a nice piece Tzig, it once again shows that they took care of their "own".

Anonymous said...

Tzig why are you always making up 'bobbeh mayses'
Let's say you are factually correct about the aliyah from Sephardic countries ending in 1950.so chinuch atsmoi was ready for them three years later, is that not at least a hotsolah for the younger kids starting school?
But the emmes IS YOUR FACTS ARE WRONG.While Yemenite jewry was done by 1950,Morrocan jewry which was far, far larger was not, not for twenty years, neither were the others

Hirshel Tzig said...

Moroccan Jewry was for the most part done, at least 60 percent of it. The point is that that was not the Kavonoh, it was to save their own hides, as is evident from the above post.

n said...

Ht, as editor in chief you gotta research what you write...the rest of us can make up our own data...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_exodus_from_Arab_lands#Morocco

Anonymous said...

"It's not a cheap shot, it's a description of the man, saying that although a very nice man, is not what you'd call a "Manhig". "

If a RY stepped foot in a YI as a youngster that passels him liaylem voed?? And what if a Chassidishe Rebbe lives in Pariz (Paris) in a not particularly frum area and goes to college there before he becomes Rebbe ? That is different ? I believe that that YI branch was frummer than others then, by the way. I think Rav Pam zt"l maybe was even the Rav there for a time.

Hirshel Tzig said...

N
1)don't pick and choose which of my words to criticize. I specifically left Morocco off the list of countries that had become bereft of Jews.
2) That still doesn't the facts about Chinuch Atzmai
3) ANYBODY can post anything on wikipedia, it's not etched in stone, ya know. I can post about HT and his millions of readers if I want to....

Hirshel Tzig said...

Anon:
we'll talk after Shabbos, iy"h

bpunbound said...

Hirshel,

Does this mean you won't need a ticket to the convention next week?


BTW, no need to mention the fact that E.S. tried to get the ARTS accreditation (without which, all government funding is impossible) pulled from Chabad Mosdos, with the acquiescence/assitance/knowledge/ignorance (take your pick) of the N. Rebbe. And only the Tzidkis of Rav Pam TZ'L, who used his influence on his talmid (directer of ARTS), saved the day (as related by Rav Pam's son).

Hirshel Tzig said...

bp
I missed that about the convention, come again?

bpunbound said...

pulling your leg, my friend

avremel said...

HT

thanks for the recommendation, I ordered the book immediately, it was even cheaper at amamzon, $6.28 including tax and shipping!

Anyway, the book is a good read, and I find it facinating at the contrast between his 2 parents, with his father going to the shtiebel and his mother to the theater!

Anonymous said...

HT said:
"It's not a cheap shot, it's a description of the man, saying that although a very nice man, is not what you'd call a "Manhig". "
Anon said:
If a RY stepped foot in a YI as a youngster that passels him liaylem voed?? And what if a Chassidishe Rebbe lives in Pariz (Paris) in a not particularly frum area and goes to college there before he becomes Rebbe ? That is different ? I believe that that YI branch was frummer than others then, by the way. I think Rav Pam zt"l maybe was even the Rav there for a time.

I konw I am a few years late, but you seemed to have missed this question HT?
It seems like a pretty stron question to me.