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


Y.W. Editor said...

Hey Tzig!

I'm sure all of your readers would like to read this link that I'm posting as well.


Anonymous said...

Y.W. Editor

Good morning America! This has been an explosive topic all week in Lubavitch. The vast majority of people in Lubavitch utterly condemn these animals just as the animals who beat a heiligeh yid with a lead pipe should be condemned

Anonymous said...
and Mr. editor please check out this link

Anonymous said...

Ummm...we in Chabad have been reading these and similar links for days now. NOT ONE SANE PERSON sides with the hooligans! What happened in CH is not a fight for power but rather was the work of a completely illegitimate splinter group consisting of 25 nuts who acted up this time and perhaps at most an additional 50 less violent nuts and fellow travelers who engage in the same narrishkeit but do not get violent (or missed the action this time).

These nuts need to be handled by the legal system and with cherem. We real Chassidim, no matter our views on the Moshiach issue, do not stoop to violence against Jews ourselves, even against those Jews whose actions might merit a violent response. In fact, we don't even respond with violence against muggers these days.

Anonymous said...

Please go easy on your apparent simcha of 'binfol oyvecho' it's not nice and you can't crticize people who say nasty things about Lubavitch infighting if you do.
Now to some facts you messed up:It's R'SHLAYMKEH Berman not shmuel (i see that you corrected that later on)R'Shlaymkeh was eidim by the Steipler (something you alluded to by saying R'Chaim Peretz is a grandson),your caption of the photo with R'Kahaneman is R'Lazer, not R'AVROHOM the father who has not been active in years.
I don't think that Rav Kahaneman went to 'all' the yeshivas to attract bochurim when he opened during the war, since there were very few yeshivas at the time.He did however do his outmost to bring over the best maggidei shiur and foremost mechanchim,notable are Rav Dessler,R'Shmuel Rozovsky, R'Dovid Povarsky, Rav Shach, and in the yeshiva ketana top talent such as Rav Shteinman and R'Michel yehuda Lefkovitch, this all took about ten years from the founding to line up.It's notable to remark that at the time of the founding of Ponovitch people said that 'nebach rav Kahaneman has lost his mind' because of his, at the time, 'grandiose' ideas of a yeshiva with a thousand talmidim.(his wife and children had been stuck in Europe and ultimately perished, that was another reason people thought he had lost it).
Last but not least:I, as a yeshiva guy in the past, absoloutely condemns what is happening there now! It's a massive chilul Hashem and terrible example!

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

thanks for the corrections.

what do you mean "a yeshivah guy in the past"? once a yeshiva guy always a yeshiva guy!

Y.W. Editor said...

Tzig, please answer my question:

Do you condem the recent violence in Ponavez, or do you condem Ponavez all the time (even if there would be no fight going on)?

Please advise.

Anonymous said...

hirshel, you missed the real point,that the markowitz terror brigade are the Degel Hatorah/ Yeted/ original flag bearers.They believe that the powarsky family are not to be trusted with the Daas Torah. Maybe they know shas and all reb shmuels, but that is something different then Daas Torah.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...


My point was not to rehash the Ponoviezher Machleykeh, but to show where things can end up. It didn't hurt that it was happening there, I guess I did the 2 bird killing.

Markovitz does have the support of the "Peysik HaDeyr" for some reason, I think it's based on a Psak of MaRan that Yeshivah Shtelles can not be handed over BiYerusheh, which is Berman's claim to the job.

Y.W. Editor said...

Will you be answering my question?

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

condone the recent violence in Ponoviezh? Chas VeSholem! Why would I condone an act that causes such immense Chilul Hashem amongst other Issurim?!

As a side note: I was hoping to garner more of a response to such a long post...

It's disappointing sometimes, I tell ya.

Anonymous said...

that's one strong Rosh Yeshivah if he can take a beating like that and still pose for pictures later.

Milhouse said...

Of course Lubavitchers have no problem with Ponevezh per se, and will sympathise with the Kahaneman family as they try to take back their yeshivah. L's only problem was with one man whom R Kahaneman made the mistake of hiring, a mistake he and his family have come bitterly to regret, as they see what he did to the institution; indeed, it's from his taliban's grip that they are now trying to get it back, and it is those taliban that are responsible for the recent violence.

In this respect, their struggle is not unlike that of the legal owners of 770, to take it back from those who hold it by no right but those of force and inertia. Chalom Par'ey echod hu, it's the same plague in a different guise.

It's no accident that both sets of taliban have added a 14th ikkar to the classical ones: one set holds that one is required to believe in a moshiach who is not among the living, and one who denies this belief is a heretic; while the other set holds the exact opposite, that not only is there no requirement to believe as the first set do, but that such a belief is itself heresy, and one must instead believe that no such person can possibly be the moshiach. Neither version of this 14th ikkar has a place in mussar aveseinu or teyras imeseinu; therefore, in a sense, both can be considered "the religions closest to Judaism", and the fact that both use violence to impose their beliefs on klal yisroel should make us equally wary of them.

Anonymous said...

Tzig, your attempt to take people's attention away from Lubavitcher problems by reporting on trouble elsewhere is transparent, though not surprising.

How many people are involved in the Bnei Brak trouble anyway ? Maybe only a small amount.

It seems that the Lubavitch trouble is alot worse.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

c'mon Snag

Hundreds of Bochurim are involved, and in the greatest Yeshivah in the world no less!

Lubavitch has problems too, we know that.

Anonymous said...

Hundreds are involved ? How do you define involved ?

What were there - a few stink bombs and some scuffling ? That takes hundreds to pull off ? How many people does it take to light a stink bomb ?

Anonymous said...

"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?!"

That is funny. Who are you fooling with that kind of talk ?

When was the last time someone said, hey let's cross the street, I see some Litvaks coming ?

Or hey, let's get outta here, I see some koyllel guys walking toward us.

(based on a Jackie Mason joke)

Milhouse said...

Snag, how many people do you think are involved in the violence in 770? It's 20-30 bochrim, not more than that. (There are more who are happy to have these mishugoim do their dirty work for them, and then condemn it the next day; but the same is true in Bnei Brak.)

Anonymous said...

Every institution has problems.
Ponivezh has a lot of problems.
Lubavitch is not a mere institution as the Yeshiva velt is not an institution. It is many institutions
Lubavitch does not have problems
. Lubavitch is is messed up

Anonymous said...

MAny lubavichers whent to ponviz b\c the con't go to lubavich.
Out of the five sevivors of the first yeshiva there were only 2 students. my grandfather was one of them. my famliy is very colse with ponviz. and making fun of them is no JOKe!
it is b\c of rav khanmen that many have been helped!

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

a jewish teenager:

לא הבנתי אותך, מה אתה רוצה להגיד
תכתוב בעברית