Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Simchas Torah many years ago

Elie Wiesel tried to keep up with the Rebbe's drinking once: "[At m]y first visit to the [the Rebbe's] court...I had informed him at the outset that I was a Chasid of Vishnitz, not Lubavitch, and that I had no intention of switching allegiance. 'The important thing is to be a chasid,' he replied. 'It matters little whose." .. "One year, during Simchas Torah, I visited Lubavitch, as was my custom... 'Welcome,' he said. 'It's nice of a chasid of Vishnitz to come and greet us in Lubavitch. But is this how they celebrate Simchas Torah in Vishnitz?' 'Rebbe,' I said faintly, 'we are not in Vishnitz, but in Lubavitch.' 'Then do as we do in Lubavitch,' he said. 'And what do you do in Lubavitch?' 'In Lubavitch we drink and say lechayim.' 'In Vishnitz, too.' 'Very well. Then say lechayim.'
He handed me a glass filled to the brim with vodka. 'Rebbe,' I said, 'in Vishnitz a chasid does not drink alone.' 'Nor in Lubavitch,' the Rebbe replied. He emptied his glass in one gulp. I followed suit. 'Is one enough in Vishnitz?' the Rebbe asked. 'In Vishnitz,' I said bravely, 'one is but a drop in the sea.' 'In Lubavitch as well.' He handed me a second glass and refilled his own. He said lechaim, I replied lechaim, and we emptied our glasses. After all, I had to uphold the honor of Vishnitz. But as I was unaccustomed to drink, I felt my head begin to spin. I was not sure where or who I was, nor why I had come to this place, why I had been drawn into this strange scene. My brain was on fire. 'In Lubavitch we do not stop midway,' the Rebbe said. 'We continue. And in Vishnitz?' 'In Vishnitz, too,' I said, 'we go all the way.' The Rebbe struck a solemn pose. He handed me a third glass and refilled his own. My hand trembled; his did not. 'You deserve a brocha,' he said, his face beaming with happiness. 'Name it.' I wasn't sure what to say. I was, in fact, in a stupor. 'Would you like me to bless you so you can begin again?' Drunk as I was, I appreciated his wisdom.... 'Yes, Rebbe,' I said. 'Give me your brocha.' He blessed me and downed his vodka. I swallowed mine--and passed out."

"All Rivers Run to the Sea", Elie Wiesel, pp. 402-4
(I hope not to see the idiotic comments I've come to expect from many here....)


Anonymous said...

to tzig

are u nuts!!!

most chasidim would hv hide this story and be ashamed that their rebbe had a שייכות with an אפיקורס who proclaimed openly that he doesnt believe in god r"l

read his books and see for yr self

he does not have a דריסת הרגל by none of the erliche rebbes mamesh

oh i forgot this is 770.....

Hirshel Tzig said...

That's not what I was referring to when I expected idiotic comments, but I can add this too.

Elie Wiesel was a Holocaust survivor who may have said that he doesn't believe in G-d.I see otherwise, as did many other Gedolei Yisroel. וואס האט דאס מיט דיר? You decided that we need to excommunicate him?

Disgusted said...

Are we to infer from this episode that the Rebbe was a drunk... perhaps the way his chassidim act, drunkedness ay every turn

Again, I am happy to hear that the Rebbe spent time with Eli Weisel. Unlike the previous poster I believe ALL neshomes are important...particularly the ones who have truly suffered in the name of Yiddiskite.
However, I would have assumed that the discussions between such intellectual giants would have been more stimulating than trying to determine whether a Viznitzer chossid can cn hold his alcohol as well as a Lubavitcher

Anonymous said...

dear tzig

i see yr answear consisting of no answear


please list one erliche godel that hv any שייכות with somebody who deared to distribute books in the tousands stating with out shame that he does not belive in god

(oh yes the funny rav menashe ungar who slept out from visel tousands of dollars)

hmmm said...

Elie Wiesel may not believe in G-d (or may not believe in the G-d snag/shoproner/Yona/anonymous believe in), but he has done more to strengthen the Yiddishkeit of many Jews than all the snags visiting here.

There is no question that Elie Wiesel's life turned around because of the Rebbe. And that is the greatest Techias HaMesim.

Anonymous said...

i will not dear to critisize a person who suffered in auswitz and he is waek in איק eminu

however a person who is making millions by spreading tousands of books around the world proclaiming his disbelieve in god and poisening other jews who may read it

such a person is disgrace for klall yisroel and sould be מחוץ למחנה

therefore its disappinting that the rebbe of all people gave him כבוד??

Anonymous said...

i just realize the sign on the stand in front of wisel states

"friends of lubavitch"

here is a person who is a proud apikpres as he declares so in tousands of his books

and is called



Hirshel Tzig said...

The books you speak of were published 50 years ago, when the memory of his experience was still fresh in his mind. So please, stop with the self-righteousness. I guess the same excuse the Gedolim use entering the Knesset and meeting with Frei Politicians is relevant here. Maybe one of you can explain the cuddly relationship the Malbim had with Mumerim LeHachis?

Anonymous said...

can you pls explain were the malbim
had cuddly relationship with mumrim?

Anonymous said...

re wisel

his disbelieve in god was published
with out shame by the very chosid of lebovitch jacobson, many many times in the algeminer jurnal (in addition to wisels books)

and re wisel; exuses exuses etc.

dont be the laywer for apikursim....

hmmm said...

Tzig, reading the muck coming up here, I can't believe that you got out of that alive and with your head screwed on...

Anonymous said...

Did Wiesel say he is a not a 'maymin'?
I read his biography and don't remember such a thing.
However, whatever the case, this story that I have read elsewhere before sounded quite childish, the whole drinking thing and the 'fact' that Wiesel is a Vishnitzer.

read his memoirs said...

Based on the level of some of the responses – I am probably wasting my time; but- Eli Weisel has written how difficult it was to believe in Hashem in Aushwitz. Subsequently in his memoirs and in a short essay he disseminated – he distanced himself from this position and apologized, and said he hopes and prays that his early books do not lead anyone away from belief.
I would suggest – not judging someone unless “you are in his place” – and pray with all your heart and soul you and every other Jew never find themselves in “his place”.
I would also suggest that you accept his teshuva and try and not play G-d.
Eli Weisel is a ben torah who learns regularly, in fact he has had ongoing chevrusas with two Geonay Olam, one is still alive Rav Menashe Klien, I have heard that he has donated all his profits from the holocaust to his yeshivas

Anonymous said...

yimin mekareves

the rebbe was mekarev everyone

af al pih shechutu yisroel huh. and, the rebbe saw in him his good side, and used that, so he canhelp yiddishkeit and yidden. for good

schneur said...

Firstly I wonder if any of the 3 Vishnitzer rebbes would consider Reb Eli a Chasid, and if he thinks so of himself is there a that his either of the 2 Vishnitzer or the Seret-Vishnitzer ( a more moderate rebbe)record of his visiting "Rabbo".
I think one needs to connect the dots in many of the previous posts.
Weisel has done much to raise Jewish ethnic consciousness in the US (and the world). In the process he has made millions. As such he is honored by many different sorts of people from the president of the USA to abbi Menase Klein to the Lubavitcher rebbe.
Unlike people(survivors who too wrote many books about the Churban) like Primo Levi and Ka-Zetnik, our friend has CHOSEN to affiliate himself with Orthodox jewry publically despite his writings about Hashem etc. He is a regular at the 5th Ave. Synagogue and his only son attended an Orthodox day school in NYC.
Like other survivors he is tortured by his experiences and is wrestling with Belief. Would our readers here like a person whose family was murdered and himself experienced Auschwitz to just come out of the camps out and say its business as usual in re judaism. Is this what G-D wants ? Does he desire robots ? Anshe kodesh, G-D wants people not malochim to be Holy, people with bechirah chofshis with emotions and feelings , not angels.I posit that G-D wants people who wrestle with their faith, and that "wrestling" is greater than the rote religion of the tens of thousands of ORTHODOX Jews in Teaneck, CH, WH , KJ , Lakewood,and BP.(A rote religion criticized by our sainly Nevviim )
By the way if you talk privately to people who knew them more than a few Admorim who survived the War (and here i mean people who went therough the Holocaust in camps, Ghettos and partisans , not those who were in Asiatic Russia or in Shanghai or better yet in Brooklyn )had serious issues in Emunos Vedeeos, obviously they did not air these doubts as they believed in the PRAXIS part of orthodoxy more than in the Belief part.And they wanted their children and folowers to believe , but after losing their families nothing could repair their spiritual damage.

Mendel the Sheichet said...

Funny how people annoint themselves qualified to judge what is or is not appropriate for huge Tsaddikim to do. In addition, were we there that we know how large this "glass filled to the brim" was? I'm sure those of you rushing to bad mouth are picturing huge 20 oz glasses aren't you? Also, for those too shallow to catch this for themselves, while they may have been drinking mashke, the conversation about it was obviously a figurative one that allowed for the Rebbe to give Elie Wiesel a heavy message in a light way.

Anonymous said...


I would have assumed that the discussions between such intellectual giants would have been more stimulating...

Did you read what EW said.

Drunk as I was, I appreciated his wisdom....


Either there were other things said at the time, or we don’t know the context (meaning) of the dialog.

One way or another, there was wisdom....

wanderer said...


What did you want the Rebbe to do, start yelling and chasing him out?, that would probably solve all problems, right?
Anyway, watch your mouths about holocaust survivors,
and last but not least: "Yisroel, Af Al Pi Shechata, Yisroel Hu"

Anonymous said...

so much for the snaggy farkakde kiruv rechokim-- what else should you do but draw close a lost soul? be merachik him as much as possible? bfrat a holocaust survivor! as to why no other gedolim associate with him- ha goofa kasha! dos heist mishichmo umalah gavoh mikol haam- ubikol ham iz nichlal aleh sarim afilo hasarim hachi gedolim...

yehupitz said...

I always saw this story as being about how the Rebbe was mevateil Weisel.

Anonymous said...

There was an article in the Jewish Observer back in the 70's that mentioned an encounter between Elie Weisel and the Vizhnitzer Rebbe.

Anti-anties said...

EW does not deny the existence of G-d ch"v. He goes to Shuhl, davens, has regular she'urim etc. He does not write that he is an atheist (aderaba, let those motzi'e shem ra quote chapter and verse). He does write that he has problems with G-d and is angry with Him. You can't have such complaints etc. unless you believe in Him.
A propos: after the war someone came to the Satmarer Rebbe (R"Y) and lamented that nowadays there are no more tzadikim to whom to go for a berachah etc.; they all perished in the Holocaust. He answered, go find a Jew identifying as a Jew with a number tatooed on his hand and you will have found a tzadik from whom you can ask a berachah that is effective. Vedai lamevin.

Anonymous said...

Besides the fact that whe are indeed proud to have a Rebbe kodush vethohor who loves all Jews even Reshoui'm gemurim, as Chasidos thought us that a real Tazadik loves even a real rasha, and the greater the Tzadik the more he loves singlr every Jew. And this is the Chabad view and the view of authentic Chasidos (Not the one distorted ib Vayoel Moshe)

But in this case we have a severe case of insolance and ingronce dressed up as kedushha.

Whoever knows the slightest thing about E. Wiesel, knows that the fact is that he is indeed a Shomer Torah and Mitzvos and Davens 3 times a day. (If there is no G-d, there is no point to pray? Is there? Perhaps in some frum circles, one can be a heretic in heart but still don the garb and go to minyon).

And E. W. himself said numerious times in many public and private forums, that the only reason he came back to his faith was because the Rebbe convinced him that "Hashem hu Hoelokim", so in essence the Rebbe brought back a Jew to kanfei Hashchina.

Ashreinu Shyesh lonu Rebbe kodush Kezeh.

Anonymous said...

i am not here to debate the sitho of kiruv rechokim

however those that call them self leaders and rabbies and they פארשפרייט אפירוסות hv no place among yiden and sure dont desereve to be honored by jewish leaders

case in point

years ago there was rabbi
kirshenblum who was a conservetive rabbi wich means he was spreading מינות to his flock

this conservetive rabbi found his place only in 770 at the head table,no other erliche yid deared to be מקרב this rabbi who is spreading apikurses

and even today the lubavitcher jackobsons are not ashamed to publish articles in algeminer from the conservetive rabbi berkovitz,

770 never stops to surpris....

Twistelton-Twistelton said...

Just curious, why do you guys assume the first Anonymous poster is a snag. I am a true snag, descended from generations of snags, and I don’t agree with him. And he sounds like a Satmare or such to me. Is snag just shorthand for anything you don’t agree with?

Hirshel Tzig said...

Snag has become a shem HaMush'ol for all Lubavitch adversaries. I despise when it's misused like that, but that's an Ameratzis that many show.

Anonymous said...

i assume people will ask
what ismy objective
in exposing things in lubv that i
see is wrong?

its my believe that if i will be
מציל נפש אחד מישראל from עבודה זרה and


believing that the rebbe - god lives לעולם ועד like god as you can see on all lbvs yarmikles

or those who believe that the rebbe is god r"l

if hasem will help me to hold back one lubv person or kid from these apikursishe thinking its worth all my time i spend on this site

true my english is bad,still i think most understand my point..

Anonymous said...

Do all you people snags shoproner know that the holy of holy the Chazon Ish was in a freindly relationship with Chaim Grade the famous apikores writer,

I read all his books and the only apikorses I saw was that he wrote in the Night that he taught GOD was killed ch'v he writes what a lot of people were hinking.

hmmm said...

Shoproner, I can give you some tips on kiruv if that is what you are here to do.

Der Shygetz said...

all lbvs yarmikles
ROTFL, ShopRiter Baczi. As ridiculous as the rest of your screeds. You are as nutty as the four fruitcakes who believe that the Rebbe is chas vesholom G-d, and at least they are friendly fruitcakes, not hate filled nutters like you.

As they say in Hungarian, Saygec Arosz.

Anonymous said...


this is a bit off the topic but if you saw the cover of the Hamodia MAgazien this past week you would get a big kick out of it. They have a before adn after picture of thier Kiruv work. It's hilarious. It reminds me of the ad in the paper for losing weight where teh before picture was zoomed in alot and the after picture was teh same guy zoomed out...

Lehonas Harrabim please post it!

Anonymous said...


In his recent memoir, All Rivers Run to the Sea, Wiesel recalls the time his mother took him to seek the blessing of the visiting Rabbi Israel of Wizhnitz. The Rabbi spoke alone with the eight-year- old Wiesel for a long time before sending him out so that he might speak alone with Wiesel's mother. Wiesel remembers his mother came out sobbing from her visit with the Rabbi. The distraught boy was sure the Rabbi had discovered terrible evil in him and begged for weeks to learn from his mother what had been said. His mother never told him, but some 25 years later a cousin revealed the Rabbi's words. According to Wiesel's cousin, the Rabbi had said, "Sarah, know that your son will become a gadol b'Israel, a great man in Israel, but neither you nor I will live to see the day. That's why I am telling you now."

Anonymous said...


חו"ח the אהבת ישראל will never have called a self proclaimed apikores גדול בישראל

look in the ספרים of the rebbe מהרש"ב

his opion re apikursim

again none , never, do you have any erlicher rav publicly honor a visel a person who spread apikorses in tousands of his books around the world (aldo there are exeption and they spoke to visel privatly)

but in lubv land its topsy turvy

if the rebbe is a god-mosiach then visel can be the pope...

only in lubv land....

Twistelton-Twistelton said...

Anonymous said “Do all you people snags shoproner know that the holy of holy the Chazon Ish was in a friendly relationship with Chaim Grade the famous apikores writer”

This is not exactly true. Chaim Grade LIVED in the Chazon Ishs house as a child. In his most famous work, the semi autobiographical ‘The Yeshiva’, the Chazon Ish is extremely prominent. Allegedly the Chazon Ish said that even then he wasn’t sure if he would be able to save Grade from Minus. However, I believe the Chazon Ish refused to have anything to due with him in his later years. In any event, I am not really sure if Chaim grade was an apikorus. He certainly wasn’t a raging one.

Anonymous said...

his works are.

Anonymous said...

if this story is a lie then maybe its a lie that he met the REBBE and he had this discussion.

Anonymous said...

to Shoproner, whats a difference between Berkowitz and Eddie Koch, Bloomberg, Abe Goerges offical homosexual that were always honored for their cash, and in 770 he was honored for his Neshome(if you know what that means)

hmmm said...

At least the Shoproner has finally admitted that he came here only to make nefoshos for Sinas Chinam, that he has no interest in anything that we have to say and has no interest in examining facts and Torah. Tzig, is there any reason to keep on allowing his comments?

Hirshel Tzig said...

I was allowing it in the name of objectivity. But even that has run its course. From now on Shoproner, if you hak a tcheinik vegen "rebbe-g-d" I'll delete your comments.

The Duke of Nyirbator said...

Whoever calls Wiesel an atheist or an apikoires is an ignorant idiot who probably never read a book of his (or anyone else for that matter).

That doesn't make the other idiots who argue with those described above any less idiotic.

ידוע תדע כי ידיִאָטטען יהי' זרעך ...

Piedmont said...

Tzig, Hmmm, et al
Shoproner is not the one who has made up the Rebbe divinty story.Remember that before you blame the stick.
In fact it was unfortunately caused when somebody misspoke about a rebbe being 'atsmus umahus'.
Please don't conveniently blame Ariel Sokolovsky, as again he is repeating strong mantras that he picked up in Lubavitch.
What would a reasonable person think if he saw fall size portraits of a human being in a place that is used to worship Hashem?
What about statements made by very mainstream Lubavitchers about how the Rebbe is omnipotent (all powerful)and omniscient (all knowing)?These abilities are only in Hashems hands.Btw, how about this whole 'the Rebbe is alive forever' business:Why would he be alive 'forever' if he is 'bosor vo'dom'(before you quote any Yaakov Ovinu loh meis look up the gemorah with the Maharsho, and look up the Eishes Eliyohu discussion in the Achroinim)
Finally, peace and good shabbos to all

wanderer said...

To Anon. 9:54:00 PM:

If you look closely at the 'after picture', you'll notice a very interesting thing, the man that they supposedly were mekarev, is wearing a Moshiach pin!!
A Gutt Shabbos to all!!

hmmm said...

piedmont, to connect Atzmus Umehus Melubash Beguf to the kefirah exposed by Ariel shows a complete lack of familiarity with Chasidus. One in no way leads to another. It is not even equivalent to saying that Naaseh Adam Betzalmenu leads to Avoda Zara.

Ariel did not pick this up in Lubavitch, as he himself says. This was created by psychos. And no one is blaming Shoproner for bringing it up. He is being blamed for contributing nothing and having no interest in contributing. As Tzemach would say, he is a moron.

Alice said...

Three vodkas to a Russian- nothing.
Three vodkas to everyone else- something.

Wiesel is a beautiful and honest man. God bless him. His story brought me closer to God and his bravery is an inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Please don't conveniently blame Ariel Sokolovsky, as again he is repeating strong mantras that he picked up in Lubavitch.

Sokolovsky has already been exposed to be a "mole", planted by the misnagdim to generate hisnagdus to Chabad by means of the vile obscenities and garbage that he posts on his website etc. under the guise of being a Lub. His total "Jewish" background is from misnagdim!!!

Anonymous said...

To all Satmarer sonie yisroel mivhhukim, please don"t affiliate your twisted hashkofes with the Rebbe Reshab, the essence of the Reshabs mamorim are about Nishmas Yisroel that it never ever gets evaporated as the hungarian tieling wanted,
BTW, a couple of weeks ago there was a columm in Fridays WSJ about the Rebbe Reshab giving Yechidus for Marc Chagall, it was discussed chagal obbssesion with jesus face,
I am shocke that our Tzig didnt link to it.

schneur said...

ita amazing how al the yungeleit here on the blog have no conception of what it was to go through the Holocaust and continue to call Eli Weisel all sorts of negative titles.
Ita like criticizing a jew in Moscow in 1930 for not eating Glatt meat !

hmmm said...

Well said, Schneur.

Anonymous said...

I am with you all the way on this one, but you can not blame this yungeliet that have parents that are also survivors but kept the faith and traditions as if anything happened.

Anonymous said...

a shame that yall have bring in all this unrelated bs, instead of just soaking in the chassidus of this story.

Anonymous said...

Elie Weisel was very close with R Menashe Klein.