Sunday, December 24, 2006
Pride of Marmures
On sale here is a postcard picture of the Yeshiva in (Ober)Vishiva, Marmures, headed by Reb Menachem Mendel of Vishiva, eldest son of Reb Yisroel of Vizhnitz. 1937 was the year Reb Yisroel passed away, on 2 Sivan, one year to the day of the passing of the Minchas Elozor of Munkacs. Reb Mendele, who was considered the most Gerotene of the children, was visiting with his in-laws in New York when his father passed away, and arrived only weeks later. He thus lost any claim to the Rabistive that he may have had. His father the Ahavas Yisroel would say about him: "A shame that such a Talmid Chochom has a boor for a father!"
Supposedly the descendants of Reb Mendele, who see today that Vishiva has no real continuity, still bear some ill will towards the family of Reb Chaim Meir, a younger son, for "stealing" Vizhnitz from them. They say that since their Zayde was in America at the time the Ahavas Yisroel passsed away they should've waited for him to arrive home before crowning a successor. So some of them sit and sulk. A friend of mine who's Zeide is a Vishiver Talmid, and may or may not be featured in this picture, tells me that his Zayde sees it as a blessing that his Rebbe wasn't chosen to be "official" Rebbe.
"Imagine if he'd have become Rebbe," he says, he would then need to occupy himself with the needs of the masses, and they were many. Requests like "Rebbe, De Ki get nisht kan Millech,", Rebbe, De tuchter vil nisht melken de ki," would be his preoccupation. Although this is part of what the Baal Shem Tov wanted when he founded the Chassidic Movement, Reb Mendelle was "ah shtick Toyreh", through and through, and would much rather occupy himself with educating young men in Torah. This he could do only through staying in Vishiva and running the Yeshivah. Besides, plenty of Yidden from Marmures came to him as a Rebbe anyway, because the Vizhnitzer Hoif now located in Grosswardein, was too far away to travel to. Reb Mendelle passed away in 5701.