Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Filling the void

(Rabbi Avigdor Miller in his younger years)

YW Editor, I gotta give you the credit here, if not for you I don't know if this topic ever comes up.

You speak of Rabbi Avigdor Miller z"l, a truly unique individual who taught Torah and Jewish thought to thousands, not to mention Jewish History. The points about him being a Misnaged are nothing but lies, and I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on that. You probably thought that his son, Shmuel, somehow reflects his views on Chassidus, yet nothing can be further from the truth. Until you quote him to the contrary my opinion will not change on that.

His time in Yeshivas Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin not withstanding.

As far as Chassidim flocking to him and 95% of them "dropping their Rebbes", I'll say this much. The fact that these Chassidim, many of whom I know personally, did flock to him is proof positive that so-called Peylishe and Hungarian Chassidus, without a unique Derech in Limud HaChassidus and Aveyde do nothing for the man searching for something to fill the spiritual void he feels.

Rabbi Miller was of the old school, nothing fancy about him, a Yid who made nothing of himself. In Eretz Yisroel he'd have a car, driver, and a houseful of MeShamshim at his beck and call. He spoke of Tikun HaMidos and of Emunah in the Eibershter, not of seams in the socks and 3 feet Shtraymlech, keeping it simple. His "lead by example" way of life didn't hurt either. He was easily accessible and could be spoken to in a down-to-earth manner, never away in Palm Springs and Miami with all the others.

If I remember correctly he was from Baltimore, a לאנדסמאן of the late RY of Telshe-Cleveland RMG, although much older. Unlike his counterpart, Rabbi Miller was not a hater, he was respectful of Chassidim and their good qualities, and from what I understood a staunch Republican too! If my memory doesn't fail me they were both educated, at least partly, by the Chossid Reb Avrom Elya Akselrod who came to America in the earlier part of the century and passed away in 5712. I guess some learned more from him than others....


Anonymous said...

I see that you went for the Republican affiliation.
Hmmm, so, HT, do your political beliefs trump your more Jewish ideological ones?

telz said...

Again the wonderful 'Chbdsker' hakoras hatov.You call the man who ran the yeshiva that kept your dad there for eight years a 'hater'.
Chabad, thank you for taking off our hands the dregs at the bottom of the barrel.If anybody in Lubavitch is reading this: Please come and be 'mekarev' more of these feeble minded and foul mouthed ingrates.Thank you

Hirshel Tzig said...

Telz (who wouldn't know Telz if it hit him in the head)

1) My father learned in Cleveland for 4 not 8 years, the other 4 were in Chicago

2) RMG was playing second fiddle at that time, not having made it to the upper echelons of the Yeshiva yet. At the time people like Reb Mottel Katz, (whose kids were thrown out with the trash by the other G'Deylim there) and Reb Peysach Sheteyn were in charge.

3) My father ZZG never really cared for him, even when learning there.

snag said...

This is another good example of the way of certain Lubavitchers. They try to find that someone at one time had a Lubavitch melamed or some other Lubavitch connection and then try to claim credit when that person gets famous,that it's from their hashpaah,even if the person had quite a few other Rebbes as well. Other times they try to indoctrinate little kids with Lubavitcher beliefs against the will of the parents who hired them as melamdim, as happened with R. Yoshe Ber Soloveitchik and in other cases.

nisht kan Telzer said...

Tzig again I thank Lubavitch for taking you off our hands.
Just want to point out your warped logic:Does it matter where in the hierarchy the so called 'hater' was?(he was at least a maggid shiur then and probably had the 'honour' of teaching(or trying at least) your Maygar papa.Does it matter if papa 'cared' for him when talking about basic hakoras hatov (and honestly, I don't think he needed pappys haskoma)
As usual you make a cynical remark about somebodys kids being 'thrown out by the 'gdeylim'' I don't know the details or even if they are true (and your track record of hating anybody who does not 'leck' Lubabs posterior does not add any credence)what I do know is that when R'Mottel died his kids were very, very young, since he was remarried after losing his first wife and kids in Europe so obviously there was no chance of them teaching in the yeshiva because they were probably below bar mitzva.
Keep up the good work, you are our poster boy for the type of foul mouthed and feeble minded ingrates (and obviously the kovod zoochers, who went to Chabad for the kovod lavished on those 'rabbis' who 'bowed' down to the Rebbe)attracted to Lubavitch.
Last but not least,while you make a swipe below the belt regarding Telz family politics, can I remind you were the previous rebbe eldest daughter is buried and why?!
Thank you and have a good day.
I'm pretty sure this wont pass the 'tzenor'

Hirshel Tzig said...


Your inferiority complex shines through again. If a kid grows up in Baltimore during WWI, where most kids go off the derech, and he has a Melamed from the old country, א פייערדיגע חסידישע איד, who embeds some love for Teyre in him, I think he can take a bit of credit, no? That's not to take the credit away from YU either. Of course Slabodka reaped the benefits of the hard work of others.

As far as the Soloveitchik anectode goes: It amazes me how a cute little story gets so much mileage. He was teaching a bright kid some Tanya, so what? I'm sure you'd agree to the current MK's in Israel who'd like to make it illegal to speak to a minor about Yiddishkeit. After all, it's indoctrination, no? or is it OK if it's Lev L'Achim?

Anonymous said...

Rav Miller was due to have yechidus with the Rebbe but canceled bc of the late hour it was scheduled-- maaseh shehayoh and this was printed as part of hesped-(to show how Rav Miller valued time and schedule)

snag said...

Hershel, what would you say if someone secretly came and taught your nine year old ilui son kisvei מרן הגה"ק רב שך זי"ע against your wishes ?

Hirshel Tzig said...

I'd say "don't waste your time, son" there are better seforim out there.

ChosidHashem said... this an article about Rabbi Kazen who learned under Rav Gifter see how positive he spoke about him