Thursday, April 6, 2006

Those Gaboyim again

(Rabbi YY Twerski of Milwaukee)

A reader writes:

Just to clarify some things that were written (to make sure that history does not become revised:

1) R' YY Twerski lived in Bobov with his father-in-law for about one year during which time he had several run-ins with the Gaboim of the Bobover Rebbe zt"l. This (thru the fine efforts of these same Gaboim) led to his estrangement from his father-in-law.(Nothing to do with anything "secular", Strictly political and cultural.

2) About a year after his wedding R' YY Twerski and the Bobover Rebbe had a "parting of the ways" and R' YY Twerski moved to Cracow where he bacame a Melamed and Tutor.

3) Approxoimately 3-4 years later (having no means of making a living in Cracow for his wife and (by now) two sons, he explored leaving Cracow to either Israel or America.

4) His Uncle, the Monistricer Rebbe, who by then had settled in New York, procured the necessary papers for R' YY Twerski to emigrate to America.5. Arriving in America in 1926 he spent some time looking for a Rabbinic position. About 11 months later he was offered the position in the "Rusishe Shul" in Milwaukee (Which had a fairly large Russian Jewish population at that time).There was nothing "secular" about his moving to either America or to Milwaukee.

Thank you.

(Rabbi BZ Halberstam of Bobov hy"d)

I thank the anonymous reader for this valuable piece of relatively unknown information. I do question his conception that it had "nothing to do with secular". I suspect that the Gaboyim maybe were passing stories on to his father in law that he was "reading books" etc. That may have lead to the estrangement, especially in light of the fact that Reb BZ Bobover fought so valiantly against the secular movements of his time.


Kurenitzer said...

Reb Ben Zion Halberstam not only fought secular movements , but he was a sworn enemy of the Agudas Israel party as well. Along with his distant cousin the saintly Koloshitzer rebbe Rav Chuna Halberstam HAYAD they also fought the Daf Yomi and other so called modern developments in Polish Orthodoxy.
I will add that gedolim of old were multi dimensional. In this case the Rebbe's daughter (not the one who married R. Twerski) amrried a young man by the name of Rav Moshele Stempel who did not come from a Bobover home, but was an illui vechuli. Stempel's father was a leading Agudist and wealthy man in Cracow Reb Feivel Stempel who in the Chasidic world was considered very modern. Stempel was also a Senator in the Polsih Sejm (Senate) representing yes ... Agudath Isarel.HaShem Yinkom Damam !

tzibaleh said...

looks like our dear tzigaleh is working his בארד off, לכבוד פסח.

,ציגאלע what about last night in BM? haven't you got anything to say?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for accepting my posting.

I know that you question that it had "nothing to do with anything secular". The real problem was that R'YY Twerski was not a Bobover Chasid in the way that these Gaboim would have liked him to be. Especially taking into account that he was the 1st Son-in-Law. Please note that my sources are irrefutable.

Source 1. Numerous face to face conversations with R'YY Twerski about this topic, some lasting more than 2 hours.

Source 2. Numerous conversations with Rebitzen Devora Leah Twerski (of Milwaukee). The basic version was the same. Slightly different spin on some of the minor points.

Source 3. Long conversations with one of the older Grandchildren of R' Benzion Halberstam (Bobover Rebbe) Z'TL. Although this grandchild was not yet born when R' YY Twerski left Bobov, he told me that he had researched this story extensively and discussed it many times with many of the older Chassidim. His version corressponded almost exactly with that of R'YY Twerski.

I might add that despite his estrangement, in the 20 years that I knew R'YY Twerski Z"TL, I never heard him speak about his Father-in-Law in anything but the highest regard and with the greatest reverence and respect.

Hirshel Tzig said...

I thank you, anonymous for this important piece of information. Someone mentioned something about his strolling with his wife in public during the Sheva Brochos, a practice not seen in Chassidic Galicia, that shocked Bobov at the time. Can that be confirmed?

Anonymous said...

I do not know whether they "took a stroll together" during the Sheva Brachos and, obviously, I can no longer sak either of them. In addition, there is almost no one alive today who would still remember their wedding which was over 80 years ago.

As an eye-witness however, I can confirm, however, that as a married couple, they took many public "strolls" together, both in New York and in Milwaukee. In fact, I accompanied them on more than a few of these "strolls".

While this [strolling with ones wife] may (or maybe not) have been frowned upon in Chasidic Galicia, the same cannot be said about Chasidic Ukraine.