Monday, July 23, 2007
It's thanks to Akiva of Mystical Paths that we have this thread. He probably didn't intend for them to be used this way, at least I don't think he did. He sent me this article from the old Forverts of January 29, 1954 where there was an story announcing the arrival of the late Ponovizher Rov to Newark, NJ, and a subsequent fundraiser there for the Botei Avos Childrens' homes which were started and run by the PR. [It appears right next to the day's TV listings, not that he could do anything about it.] It's interesting to note that the announcement was placed in a Socialist anti-Religious paper, and it wasn't an issue in those days. I'd also bet that most of the Yidden there in Newark at the parlor meeting, and probably the host himself, were not Shomer Shabbos either, yet the Rov took their money gladly, and built the great institution of learning with it. Interestingly enough there's no mention of the great Yeshivah on the Hill in the Ir HaTeyreh Bene Beraq! The Harvard of Yeshivos gets no mention as part of the Rov's activities! The halls where Maran of Vaboylnik - the greatest leader the Jewish people have ever known - are not mentioned! In the spirit of the 9 days I would say that maybe the PR made separate trips for the different institutions under his auspices; so this trip was probably only for the Childrens' homes.
Or, maybe we can say that the late PR was not the radical that some people would like to reinvent him as, and maybe he was a true Ohev Yisroel. Maybe to him the biggest zechus a Yid could have - even a Mechalel Shabbos r"l - was to allow him to support institutions of Torah, and maybe that would eventually bring him back. Maybe the late Rosh Yeshivah, who used the Ponovizher Yeshivah as his pulpit, really didn't follow the spirit of the founder, although he WAS the one who hired him?! Well, what can I say? there I go again, trying to figure out what went on in peoples' minds decades ago.