Wednesday, August 23, 2006

What I'm reading now




by Osher Bergman (his grandson) Bnei Brak, 5766.


חלק א discusses the first part of his life, from his childhood in Vaboylnik through Kletsk, Slutsk, Novardhik, Lunenitz, (a Chassidishe Yeshiva run by the Karliner Rebbe hy"d) to Vilna in the beginning of WW2, to then-Palestine, where he was a ר"מ in not-so-illustrious Yeshivos until the Ponovizher Rov brought him to BneiBrak.

- To be honest, the book is not the typical, dime-a-dozen, Litvishe biography available these days, just by the mere fact that he lived such a long and unique life and he didn't have the same Rabbeyim nor go to the same Yeshivos as most others. There are also so many different time periods discussed - including 2 world wars - something not often found with people who have passed away recently. The amount of pictures and documents that they've assembled is nothing short of amazing!

Then there's "Chassidishizatzye" of the man, where every breath he took was בלתי לה' לבדו, including every puff of the cigarette he smoked. "מרן זצ"ל אחוז בשרעפיו" is the caption of the picture where the man sits back and enjoys a long puff of the nicotine-laced stick. Every good conversation, including a good joke or story with friends and old acquaintances, where even a child can see that, is automatically turned a heated Torah discussion, "ריתחא דאורייתא" is the caption of that picture... And then they try and say that ?חסידות האט ניט אויפגעטאן

There's also the fact that all the later Gedolim in Eretz Yisroel had formed what amounts to be a little בראנזשע of their own, a group of friends and like-minded people who decided what's right and wrong in Yiddishkeit and who should or should not be accepted. Some names that come to mind are the Steipler and the Brisker Rov, with whom the protagonist (Thank you Nathan Kamenecki!) enjoyed a very warm relationship. The same goes for the United States, where the powers that be were all Yeshivamates in Lithuania.

If not for the fact that he made himself persona non grata to so many people the book would be quite believable! Now all we can do is sit back and await the publishing of Vol 2, where the Bnei Brak days will be discussed. It's sure to be worth the wait! -

15 comments:

eli said...

Gee, H, you must be suffering from extreme boredom...

zezmir said...

I'm curious - In what way did he differ from the mainstream of his time?

Anonymous said...

The FRierdiger Rebbe smoked too.

Hirshel Tzig said...

Eli

why is reading about a contemporary Jewish man make me guilty of boredom, extreme or otherwise?

Hirshel Tzig said...

the FR smoked too, yes, we know. What's your point? do you get mine?

eli said...

H,
I guess you finished reading anything of value

wondering said...

(Thank you Nathan Kamenecki!)

Did you take away his semicha now ?

Anonymous said...

Hirshel,wheres the pride ? How could you hold that book in your hand let alone announce to the world that this is what your reading . This is the man who directly caused the Rebbe extreme pain.In addition ,you know what the Rebbe said about those who "made the macloikes with the Sukkah". Shame on you Hirshil.

Hirshel Tzig said...

wondering

oh please, are you his lawyer now? and isn't it acceptable in "academic" circles to omit titles completely?

Hirshel Tzig said...

anonymous

I really don't understand the problem you have with my reading the book. I understand that you don't like the man, but what's wrong with reading about him? How else do you expect to know the history of the times?

Anonymous said...

Got to commend you for your unbiased honesty. This work happens to be from the few masterpieces that were published recently, happy reading

n said...

I've got an exclusive for you, i know someone who as a bochur lived in his house,lives in boro park...

wondering said...

" Hirshel Tzig said...
wondering

oh please, are you his lawyer now? and isn't it acceptable in "academic" circles to omit titles completely?"

Neither he and you are part of the academic world. Last I heard neither of you attended college or were a professor. Or did you just accept a position at some college ?

To me it's just elementary derech eretz - if someone is 30-40 years older than you and is a Rosh Yeshiva or Ram, not to strip him of his title.

Anonymous said...

The only one that attended college was the Rebbe MHM.

Hirshel Tzig said...

anonymous

is that what they taught you?