Saturday, November 11, 2006

For whom the Kremenchuger Rabbinate?


(Reb Avrohom Sternhartz)

A Yid said...

Reb Avrohom Shternhartz ztz"l was a goen in nigle (he was the rov of Krementchug) and nistar, having an astonishing knowledge of Kabolo and Chasidus. He knew many Sifrey Chasidus beal pe (not only Breslov), and Breslover sforim he knew so well and lived them, that he was called a living "Likutey Moharan". In Krementchug there was a big Lubavitcher kehilo, together with the Breslover one. Since Reb Avrohom was the rov of the town, he was used to give a shiur in a big shul (shiur in Chasidus). A lot of Lubavitchers used to come to his shiur, (Breslovers of course were there). Being so, Reb Avrohom was bringing a lot from maymorim of the Baal haTania, together with Breslover maymorim from Likutey Halochoys during his shiur. Lubavitcher chasidim of Krementchug liked his shiurim a lot because they were very inspiring.

Once an older chabadnik visited Krementchug, who wasn't used at all to such hanhogo of the rov. He considered it bizarre, that non-Lubavitcher would give a shiur in Chasidus to such a big crowd of chabadnikes! He spoke very sharply against it, not realizing probably, that he was really speaking derogatory against the rov of the town, who by the way a tzadik in his own right. Leaving the building that chabadnik tripped on the steps, and hurt himself very seriously. Realizing that this was the result of his derogatory speech, he asked to bring him to Reb Avrohom to ask for a mechilo, which Reb Avrohom gave to him. Afterwards he got better and never spoke derogatory about the shiur any more.

A Yid said...

Hirshel Tzig: Reb Avrohom Shrernhartz ztz"l was the Rov of Krementcgug until 1936, when he was able to leave to Eretz Yisroel from the communists' regime. He was a talmid of Reb Nachman miTcherin ztz"l (in Halocho and in Chasidus). You can find some information about his biography HERE.
His more complete biography was never published. Now Reb Avrohom Shimon Burshteyn from Yerusholaim is working on a seyfer on Reb Avrohom Shternhartz's biography and collection of mesoyroys from him. He told over that last story about shiur Chasidus in Krementchug.


(a Ksav Yad of Reb Yosef Tumarkin)

According to these Breslover reports RAS became Rov in 1881 and was there till 1936. In Chabad history we read about Reb Yosef Tumarkin (no, Yigal is no relation, that's not his real name) in the times of the Tzemach Tzedek, (at least 1866) and Reb Yitzchok Yoel Rafolewich in the times of the Rebbe Rashab. This needs to be settled once and for all.

19 comments:

yoshe kalb said...

According to the Encyclopaedia Judaica Krementchug had a Jewish population of almost 30 000 at the turn of the 19th century.So I don't understand what's the problem with a big kehillah like that to have two or more rabbonim.If CH with a much smaller kehillah can have a troika (can they really?), so why couldn't Krementchug?

Hirshel Tzig said...

Yoshe

but they make it sound like he was THE Chassidishe Rov there. There were other, Oylimishe Yidden there too.

In Munkacs do we say that was another Rov because there were 60,000 Jews there? (not including the Gelilos)

yoshe kalb said...

In RAS's biography it doesn't say tthat he was THE Rov of Krementchug,it only says that he was appointed rov in Krementchug.
And yes of course there were a number of other rabbonim active in the beis din of Munkacs,but who can compare to the Minchas Elusor?

Anonymous said...

yoshe, hirshel,
I once glanced thru a racmistrivke zemiros, they quote some halachos from a rov in kremenchug a rachmistrivker chosid, so until we don't have the local city hall documents we will not in the know zone.

Hirshel Tzig said...

Yoshe

the other Rabbonim were Dayonim, not Rabbonim of the city. I had a cousin named after his Zeide, Reb Nuta Shlome Schlissel, Dayan of Munkacs.

Hirshel Tzig said...

Also

if there was a Lubavitcher Rov there why the need for Reb Avrohom to Chazzer the Maymer?

Itzik_s said...

Is Reb Yosef Tumarkin related to the late Rebbetzin Chitrik (Reb Yuda AH's wife, who predeceased him by many years)? I believe her maiden name was Tumarkin.

yoshe kalb said...

It seems very unlikely to me that a Breslover chossid would have been chosen to be the Av Bes Din of such a big kehillah, especially if you take into account, that nobody without some kind of connection to Chabad or Tchernobyl stood a chance for such a prestigious rabbonus (cf "Caught in the Thicket").Even in communities with a large number of Breslovers (Tcherin,Teplik,Breslov)it was a rare occurence to have a Breslover as acting Rov.
So IMHO RAS was just one of a few rabbonim in Krementchug,but definitely not the Av Bes Din.
As to why he chasert the ma'amar:Why not? He was after all a recognized ga'on in Chassidus.
BTW I once heard that the rebbe is also a descendant of Rebbe Nachman.Does anybody know more about this?

Breslover Chossid said...

A Yid more or less accurately reported what is said about Reb Avrohom in
Breslever circles; however the dates and certain other details may be a
little off. Somehere I have a bio of Reb Avrohom in an Israeli Breslover
magazine, which I will try to locate. But b'kitzur, I don't think Reb Avrohom was Rov in Kremenchug for the
entire fifty years period bli hefsek. He was a Rov in Uman for a number of
years, too.

Hirshel Tzig said...

Itzik

Reb Yudel Chitrick's wife was the daughter of Reb Aron Tumarkin, Rov of Charkov, a descendant of Reb Yosef.

Itzik_s said...

Thanks

A Yid said...

> It seems very unlikely to me that a Breslover chossid would have been chosen
> to be the Av Bes Din of such a big kehillah,

Unlikely, but not impossible.

> especially if you take into account, that nobody without some kind
> of connection to Chabad or Tchernobyl stood a chance for such a prestigious
> rabbonus

Reb Avrohom's own rebbe - the Tcheriner Rov ztz"l (Reb Nachman miTcherin who was also his maternal grandfather, being himself the talmid of Reb Noson ztz"l) was the Rov of Tcherin (originally as the Rov of the Breslover Kehilo). There is a story how he became a Rov there.

Tcherin was considered the area of influence of Reb Yakov Yisroel miCherkas ztz"l (the son of Reb Motl Chernobyler ztz"l), but it always historically had a big Breslover kehilo. When Reb Nachman Tcheriner was invited to become a Rov there, chasidim of Reb Yakov Yisroel became upset, because they held, that Reb Yakov Yisroel should be asked first to allow such arrangements, as this area was considered under his authority. Cherkaser chasidim sent a message to their rebbe complainig about the situation which violates the regulations of the city.

After some time the Cherkaser Rebe was visiting Tcherin with his talmid a Krasner Goen za"l. Reb Yakov Yisroel sent his talmid to invite the new Rov for a talk. On Motzey Shabos Reb Nachman Tcheriner came to the Cherkaser Rebbe, and he received the Tcheriner Rov joyfully and with big kovoyd.

While they were talking, Cherkaser Rebbe asked, if he had a smicho on rabonus. On this question the Tcheriner Rov answered, that that it is already 15 generations in his family, that his ancestors were serving as rabonim in various cities. (He received his smicho from his father). Hearing this, Cherkaser Rebbe called his talmid, the Krasner Goen, and asked him to test "the yungerman". Tcheriner Rov with the Krasner Goen went to another room and spent long time there in Toyro discussion.

When they returned, the Krasner Goen announced with big hispaylus - "This yungerman can be a Rov anywhere!". After that all complaints to the appointment of the Tcheriner Rov were silenced.

> So IMHO RAS was just one of a few rabbonim in Krementchug,but definitely not the Av Bes Din.

How can you know that? He was universally recognized and active poysek (not limited to Kremenchug).

yoshe kalb said...

My dear YID,that's why I wrote:in my humble opinion.It's just a possibility.Do you know any Breslov rabbonim outside Breslov, who occupy any major rabbonus today?

eli said...

Rav Elchonon Tauber is a Breslover and he's also the Rov of Los Angeles

A Yid said...

Reb Nachman Kenig is an active poysek in Tzfas. He is by no means limited to Breslover kehilo there. When Reb Avrohom Shternhartz ztz"l came to Yerusholaim, Eida Chareydis wanted to invite him to serve a dayon in BADA"TZ. Alas, this was spoiled by misnagdim, and what's most upsetting by some anarchyst Breslover misnagdim! But really I'm not too much into tracking where and what rabonim from Breslov are working. I know mostly what I'm interested in.

Anonymous said...

rhe tosher rebbe has a son in law a breslover chosid, that used to be the posek in Tosh in canada, now he has a yeshiva in the outskirts of Monsey, I think his family name is Katz,

Anonymous said...

to A Yid
Is the story of the Terchiner with the Cherkaser printed in a source out of Breslov circles?

was the cherkaser more tolerant on Breslov then his brothers of Tolne,Skver.. ?

was the Cherkaser more tolerant, since he was open to Chabad thru family ties and its torah?

A Yid said...

> osher rebbe has a son in law a breslover chosid, that used to be the posek in Tosh in canada, now he has a yeshiva in > the outskirts of Monsey, I think his family name is Katz,

To anonymous:

Interesting. There is also a son in law of the Tosher Rebe (I think he is a son in law, but I'm not sure), who is a Breslover, who is the son of Reb Motl Zilber from Stuchin? I think he lives now in Tosh.

> Is the story of the Tcheriner with the Tcherkaser printed in a source out of Breslov circles?

I'm not an expert of all Chernobyl sources, so I can't answer. If you are really interested you can try to contact one of the Hornostaypler Rebbes. They might know about it from their traditions.

> was the cherkaser more tolerant on Breslov then his brothers of Tolne,Skver.. ?
> was the Cherkaser more tolerant, since he was open to Chabad thru family ties and its torah?

This might be, but again, I don't know about it. Not all Chernobyler Rebbes had the same feelings towards Breslov, this is known. But one thing I know exactly - there were never any serious reason for this machloykes between Chernobyl and Breslov. This is the mesoyro that Reb Gedalya Kenig ztz"l had from Reb Avrohom Shternhartz ztz"l.

There is another tradition, that is known within Chernobyl (alas, only to real Chernobylers, who know about their past traditions, and not to today "misnagdim", like some from Skver or the like, who still start up with Breslov even without knowing any reason for it, and really having almost nothing to do with the real Chernobyl), which says, that when communists came to power and started destroying Yiddishkayt, after a while Chernobyler tzadikim in Russia came together for a meeting, and agreed that any kind of possible machloykes and fight with Breslov should be ended once and for all, because of all Yidden in Russia, Breslovers were the strongest to resist the efforts of communist evsektziya to destroy Yiddishkayt.

It was also said by the Machnovke Rebbe ztz"l. When he eventually came out of Russia (he had really hard time there) to Eretz Yisroel, he said, that from all Yiddn, only Chabadniks and Breslovers really strongly fought to resist communists, and Breslovers were the strongest.

Duvi said...

Rav Avrohom Shterenhartz was in his his day a poseik of some repute. Don't forget also Rav Aharon Kiblitscher - he received smicha Yoreh Yoreh and Yadin Yadin at his bar mitzvah! There were also the Tcheriner rov and many others.

Today there are several Chashuve poskim that are breslov- several Kenig's in Tsfat, Rav Avrohom Bloomenstiel in Baltimore, Rav Tauber in Los Angeles...

For some reason Breslov has lost a lot of esteem as a lomdishe chassidus. However, if you look at the Breslover Rebbe's writings there is an extreme emphasis on limud, in particular limud halacha.