Saturday, November 25, 2006
What inaction brings
(Photo courtesy of HydePark)
Get to know R' Chaim Peretz Berman, son of Reb Shlaym'ke z'l - SIL of Reb Berl Powarski (son of Reb Dovid) - Grandson of the "Steipler" - a Rosh Yeshivah in Ponoviezher Yeshivah in Bnei Brak. His father Reb Shlomo Berman - a former Tomim from Achei Tmimim in Tel Aviv - was a Rosh Yeshivah in Ponoviezh for many years until his passing last year. After Reb Shlomo's passing - after being out of commission for many years - his FIL Reb Berl Powarski appointed him as Rosh Yeshivah in his father's place MiDinn Yerushah. That's pretty big Yichus, albeit Litvishe Yichus, but they've learned well how to utilize family lineage when it's important.
Now, you may ask: "Why is your face beaten and bruised Chaim Peretz?" Well, Chaim Peretz may not want to tell you, but he was ambushed by a group of thugs and had a lead pipe "pass through" his face. "Why would they do that?" you may ask, don't they have tremendous Derech Eretz for Rabbonim, Roshei Yeshivah, and Talmidei Chachomim Bichlal? Well, maybe they do as a general rule, but here there's a dispute over power and Koved, and not much gets in the way of that, even when the victim may be Koved HaTeyreh and Talmidei Chachomim. The answer here is very simple, but it needs you to "Halt Kup" for just a little bit.
The Ponoviezher Rov, Reb Yosef Kahaneman, founded the Yeshivah in Bnei Brak in 1944. He went around to all Yeshivos and convinced the best Bochurim to come and learn at his newly-founded Yeshivah. [that'll get you straight to the top, right?] As a side matter they say that when he laid eyes on a young Yoel Kahan he decided that he must have him in his Yeshivah. He went as far as coming to meet with his father, Reb Fole Kahan in Ramat Gan, but his dad would not let him leave Achei Tmimim in Tel Aviv. One of the Tmimim who did leave was Reb Shlayme Berman, father of Chaim Peretz. Reb Dovid Powarski, father of Reb Berl, was also snatched away from his Shtelle at Achei Tmimim and went to teach at Ponoviezh. (I guess in those days it was A-OK for a Mirrer Talmid to teach in Lubavitch.)
(Reb Lazer Kahaneman, Photo courtesy of Maariv online)
After the Ponoviezher Rov passed away in 1969 his son, Reb Avrohom, proceeded him as "Nesi HaYeshivah". Reb Avrohom has a son Lazer, who's the de facto head of the Yeshivah due to his father's age and illness. Lazer can be seen on the streets of Boro Park quite often, since he's in American often to raise money. Lazer has a BIL, married to his sister, who goes by the name of Shmuel Markovitz. Shmuel is the son of Reb Zvi Markovitz, who was the Rosh Yeshivah in Karlin-Jerusalem for many years and a member of the Moetzes of Degel HaTeyreh. [feh.] Reb Zvi was also the SIL of the Slonimer Rov, Reb Shabsi Yogel. Shmuel and his brother in law hate each other's guts (nice, no?) and now they say that his FIL can't stand him either, but it may be too late. Shmuel was apprently promised - as a Naden - to become Rosh Yeshivah by his FIL, and he's not about to relent on that job.
(the Yeshivah on "Hey Iyar", photo by Yiddish Wikipedia)
After each of the recent passing of Roshei Yeshivos in Ponoviezh, be it Reb Dovid Powarski, Reb Shlomo Berman, and the great one himself, there's been a new appointment of a Rosh Yeshivah. First it was Reb Chaim Peretz Berman, and then it was Reb Chaim Shlayme Leibowitz, grandson of Reb Boruch Ber of Kamienetz-Litovsk, an older gentleman who's age did not keep him from being harrassed like the others. Needless to say the Markowitz crowd is NOT happy about these appointments, they see it as an affront to their leader's claim as Rosh Yeshivah, so they terrorize him. Reb Chaim Peretz's face bears witness to what can happen when you take the other side. They terrorize old man Leibovitz, put a pipe-bomb in front of his house, and threw a tear-gas cannister that exploded while he was saying a shiur. The issue of whether or not Ponoviezher Yeshivah can hire new Roshei Yeshivah while Shmuel Markowitz's fate is decided in court (where else?) is in court and in Beis Din, and the "Kiddush Hashem" perpetuated by the "Harvard of Yeshivos" continues.
(Photo by Yiddish Wikipedia)
Are we in Lubavitch to wait around and hope that nothing of the kind happens the next time we incurr the wrath of the terrorists?!
Do we not realize that these people play by their own rules?!
FIL = Father in-law
BIL = Brother in-law
SIL = Son in-law