Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Frying Pan to Fire

(L-R: Reb Leibel Raskin (partially hidden), Reb Shlomo Matusoff, Reb B Gorodetzky, and TL"Y Reb Sholom Eidelman)

Reb Shlomo Matusoff lived from birth to adulthood under Soviet rule, no matter what commenter U N says. As a young Bocher he was arrested and imprisoned - together with a dozen other Bochurim - for studying Torah, mostly Gemorroh, Rashi, Tosfos by the way. After surviving the war years in faraway Uzbekistan - as did many other Chassidim and Nit Chassidim - he managed to escape the Soviet Union and arrive with hundreds of other Lubavitcher families to the D.P. Camps of Poking, Germany to await his final destination. Some waited a few years, but in the end they came אל המנוחה ואל הנחלה. However, Reb Shaym'ke, instead of traveling with the others to the relative comfort of Israel or the United States he was dispatched to far-off Morocco in 1950. He was in essence the first Shliach of the Rebbe, and he saved thousands of Moroccan children from Shmad. His passing this Sunday leaves a great void in the Lubavitcher/Shlichus family.

When I see people knock the institution of Shlichus, or I see other organizations touting their accomplishments, I think of people like Reb Shlomo and lbc"l Reb Sholom Eidelman ZG"Z and Reb Laibel Raskin O"H and laugh. I laugh at bitter old people like the Natchalnik who obviously got his daily dose direct from the Kremlin, and still can't shake it from their collective memories. They seem to have a whole different view of reality, sort of like the Arab view of the world, that everything we see is really a sinister Zionist plot, with all the buttons being pushed by the Mossad, which in this case would be the powers that be at Chabad. The International Chabad movement got all its people together and came up with this big conspiracy about how they survived all those years under Lenin and Stalin, when in reality it was really the Litvishe and Peylishe who did all the work. We just never see or hear from them, because they shun Koved and publicity, מה שאין כן the Chabad PR monsters.

So while the rest of your (and mine) Zeides and Bubbes were learning about stocks and bonds and Cobalt China and Mom's knishes Reb Shlomo was learning about donkies and Chumus, about Hashkavot and Mimuna. He was traveling from town to town in Morocco and setting up Chadorim and learning Torah with Yiddishe Kinder. Sefardishe Kinder. Thousands upon Thousands of Jewish children were saved from Shmad and the secular Alliance Schools that were offering a "better life" to these impoverished children if only they'd forget about being Jewish. Most children raised in Morocco in the last 50 years were Talmidim of Chabad schools. Living in Morocco meant constant uneasiness - if not fear - about being Jewish in a Muslim land, and there were times when their lives were in very real danger. Yet, with Hashem's help and the Rebbe's blessing they managed to raise a family there that puts most Gezha Crown Heights families to shame. Yes, the Matusoff children were sent away at a very young age, and yes they didn't merit to see the Rebbe as often as they liked, but it was worth it. Unlike other times when writing about such personalities I'll refrain from making comparisons to others.

ת נ צ ב " ה


Anonymous said...

Tzig, you are again shamelessly abusing memory of the dead to prove your nonsensical points and score some more brownies with your avid readers. Nothing is beneath you - fabrications, lies, distortions; same methods as those used by those who tortured the subject of your post and thousands other less fortunates who never made it to warmer grounds.

If you think that RSH"M, forged in the Soviet Union, with a stamp of GOST on his back, is somehow keen to your deranged yellow-pinned vomitorium, you're deluding yourself. He never got a good dose of CH reality - he didn't even see his Rebbeim until much later in his days, and even then he chose, or was chosen to depart to warmer grounds and worship from afar. That's a great segulah for ehrliche kinder - to move as far from the epicenter as you can, and some were able to do so better then the others.

As far as your antagonizing him against the "Poilishers" and "Litvishers", in the oilom hoemes Reb Shloimo z'l is sure trying all titsdekues to shut up Tzig and whoever else wants to piggyback they own hateful antisemitic agenda on this yid's path in life. Him and all those who managed it through years of hell in the Soviet Union or elsewhere did it not for some stupid political allegiance to a ghost of a person they never saw, but because they believed in yiddishkeyt then untainted by the ilk of the owner of this blog. So did those who unfortunately weren't "lucky" enough to make it to the Tashkent and New York frontlines and had to remain behind and sometimes even fight the German enemy with more then prayer.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

I wish I understood what you were saying, but I don't.

Anonymous said...

U"N- Apparently he would come in to Crown Heights for the Kinnus Hashluchim, so he must have known who the Rebbe was and what modern Lubavitch is all about.

Mottel said...

Tzig why even give credence to our resident 'umni'?
He may profess to have inside information to the CCCP, but he doesn't know a thing about Chabad at those times. Perhaps if he would read the autobiographies of the Yidden then, or speak to those still with us, he would have a clearer picture.
Unfortunately his bitter hate prevents him from even expressing himself clearly, so hadrah kushia l'duchta.

Anonymous said...

Not to take anything away from Rav Matusi or the good work of Chabad in reaching out to Moroccan Jews, but Tzig, what you wrote, isn't true. you wrote, "Most children raised in Morocco in the last 50 years were Talmidim of Chabad schools."
To the best of my knowledge, the largest network of schools in Morroco was the Ozar Hatorah network. In its heyday it had more than 100 schools. Ozar Hatorah was started in the late 1940's by Rav Avrohom Kalmanowitz of the Mirrer Yeshiva in conjunction with Isaac Shalom, a syrian philanthrpist from Brooklyn. It was initially run by a Gerrer Chosid named Rabbi Yitzchok Meir Levi. Either way, I think that you are making a mistake and unintentionally doing some historical revisonism of your own

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

I'm glad you mentioned Otzar HaTorah. I was going to add that but don't have the info. You need to bring more facts other than to just tell me that they existed and whom they were founded by.

Anonymous said...

2 years ago on my visit to eretz yisroel i went to doven at the koisel. there i was introduced to a very nice american jew named michael koffman. michae, now probably in his seventies, moved to israel in the 70's and until recently practiced an open shabbos door policy with 30 guests every shabbos that he would bring home friday night. he took me to his place in the old city to show me the view which is apparently one of the best views of the koisel ,har habais etc.
our converstion got on to chabad. he told me that when he associates chabad with one personal episode that happened to him. after the 6 day war he had to visit morocco and for whatever reason was in the house of the shliach r matusof. after the war there was much anti israel and anti jewish histeria morocco and it was quiet dangerous to be there. michael asked r matusof why doesnt he leave until it becomes safer or at least get his wife and children out. r matusof stood up and with much emotion proclaimed. we are soldiers and a soldier has to be at his post until the general commands him to leave. our general is the rebbe and until he tells us otherwise our place is here. he also told him during the conversation that it was the connection to the rebbe that gave him the strength for mesiras nefesh in the soviet union. michael koffman told that over 3 decades later he cant forget those words and when he thinks of chabd that what chabad means to him

Anonymous said...

is it possibble to praise chabad and chabadniks without expressing hatred and disdain the rest of the froom world?
am i the only chabad sumpathizer who, in face of the 'sinas chinom'of chabad,(both towards the world and other competing chabadniks)is finding post rebbe chabad as being hard to love?

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

I don't think I expressed hatred nor disdain for the rest of the frum world. I live, shop, and work with the rest of the frum world. I even travel with them daily.

Anonymous said...

May I add a few comments to this essay .
Ozar Hatora was also there .
The Alliance did not offer a frum education, but it was far from assimilatory. It did teach about Judaism , perhaps not from a frum perspective. Frankly many of the same pupils in Chabad also attended the alliance part of the day.
You also forget to mention the JOINT which funded the Chabad schools. Im eyn kemach eyn Torah , No ?
The more I read the more I see that the local Morrocean rabbonim also deserve credit for supporting these schools.
Next I think there are some major distinctions to be drawn between the shlichusen of the "early" Chabad people and the new generation who are being sent (or better yet sending themselves) to areas where they are literally the only Shomer Shabbas Jews and there are no Minyonim, no traditional kehilla life etc.
North Africa had tens of thousands of erliche Yidden in the period we are talking about. They may not have been chassidim but they were frum etc.
How many orthodox Jews are there in many of the places Chabad sends people today. How can one raise children in such places ?If shlichus was a temporaRY thingh = GOOD, BUT TODAY ITS A LIFE TIME MISSION.Some of these people and their children will not have a minyon for years to come. "Siyatta DeShmaya" has its limits too.
I have more to say on the powerful assimilatory and accultural forces at work in todays Lubavitch, but I doubt this is the proper forum for that.

Anonymous said...

Let me also add that I admire the mesiras nefesh of someone like Rabbi Matessoff.
But don't paint a picture k"ilu those Jews who stayed in the US after the war were just into their own financial good and enjoyed good times.. These survivors many of whom were Death camp survivors (veda lemeyvin) built yeshivas , schools, and a kehilla life in a country most unfriendly to such things.
Wearing a bekishe in NY was not an easy thing in 1949! Believe me wearing a kippa in CT in the 1950's did not go shall we say unnoticed ...
It was not all knishes and investments, it was hard work to create a Jewish atmosphere even. in Williamsburg after the War.
So with all due derech eretz for Rav Matessof, others even in the old USA also deserve credit for hard work in building Yiddishkeyt.

Anonymous said...

Reading this post again shows me the problems with reality that Lubavitch has and the type of paranoia they develop amongst many of their followers.Remember, Tzig is just repeating crud he heard at farbrengens, he is a relative ,post The Rebbes passing 'hasid'.
Nobody even the biggest misnaged does not have the greatest respect for shluchim the like of R'Shloimeh Matusof.However, to now claim that he saved Morrocan Jewry is pure unadultrated nonsense.As already mentioned Otzar Hatora was a much larger presence and Morrocan Jewry was very traditional.Mechaleley shabbos were almost unheard of and the bulk of Morrocan Jewry left to Eretz Yisroel and France in the decade after he arrived.
To the poster that claimed that R'Matusof said he remained steadfast in Russia because of the Rebbe:Actually he was referring to the Previous Rebbe.The Rebbe Ramash was safely in Berlin and Paris in college for most of the time R'Matusof was holding on bemesiras nefesh back in Russia.
R'Matusof did not even know the Rebbe..
This story encapsulates the typical Lubab propoganda:Take all the credit while at the same time attacking other for not giving credit when credit is due.

Schneour:With all due respect:To even compare the 'mesiras nefesh' of Jews in America post W.W .2. to the real mesiras nefesh of the likes of R'Shloimeh Matusof is a joke.You did not need mesiras nefesh in New York after the war.
and using the example of a bekishe as if wearing one is one the foundations of Judaism is silly.Eating kosher, keeping shabbos, sending kids to yeshiva were easy!Actually with todays tuitions, expensive rents, health coverage, you need more mesirus nefesh today!

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...


1) you're a blogger's best friend, knows nothing and says alot. I arrived in Lubavitch in 1989, five years before the Rebbe's passing. In Litvak circles I'd be considered a "Talmid Muvhak," just like all those guys that learned by Reb Berel in Brisk for a year and have it perpetuated in their resumes, although Reb Berel never knew his name.

2) Reb Shlomo Matusof was sent by the REBBE to Morocco, not the Frierdige Rebbe, Berlin and Paris notwithstanding. That means that he considered the Rebbe, Berlin and Paris and all, to be worthy of sending him and his family to a far away Sefardic land. He was quite a big Chossid, maybe even a Meshichist!!!!

I love when people scream and howl at me and say nothing but lies about people they never knew, yet REALLY believe it because because that's what they decided.

Speak to Moroccan Jews like Chief Rabbi Amar of Israel and Rabbi Massas of Yerushalayim, not to 2-bit snags like Yukel. I challenge you to furnish us with facts about Otzar HaTorah, their years of operation, and the scope of it. telling me that you read it once in the Yated is not enough. sorry.

The fact that he remained for decades after the bulk of Jewry left tells you what? that he was smoking nargillas? Shoteh!!! That's the greatest testament to him, that although only 20 or 30 thousand of 100+ remained still he stayed and raised generations. Your facts about there not being Mechalelei Shabbos would be right till WW2, after that it was a different story, just look at all the irreligious Sefardim in France and elsewhere.

Now go and get some lunch from Chap -a-nosh.....

Anonymous said...

"How many orthodox Jews are there in many of the places Chabad sends people today."

Shneur- It's comments like these that prove that folks like you JUST DON'T GET IT.

Anonymous said...

You 'proud' you 'arrived' in Lubavitch as a 14 year old onkooker in '89?
You hung around a bit and did not become a part till after the Rebbes death and you have remained the at the same intellectual level of the bar mitvah yingel you were.

You yourself have already proven yourself to be a person not interested in 'facts'.You yourself agree that you know nothing about Otzar Hatora.EVEN,if I was wrong about the details regarding Otzar Hatorahs role, you continue your harangue without even wanting to find out.
Keep up the Kool Aid.
(I'm reminded of one of the posts were you describe what 'brought' you to Lubavitch.The NIGGNIM.In my opinion anybody who can use that as a reason to join a chassidus is a intellectual light weight or a feeble minded bar mitva yingel.Another reason you joined:The Rebbeim.Well you knew none of them.)
I have known Lubavitch intimately a lot longer than you.In fact I'm of Chabad extraction.
You should have joined Pupa.

Anonymous said...

Just to add:
I have the outmost respect for R'Matusof!In fact I berated Shneour for EVEN trying to compare the mesirrus nefesh of being a frum Jew in New York port World War 2 to R'Matusofs mesirrus nefesh.All I wrote was that saying he saved Morroco is not true ,I also noted that he did not know The Rebbe at all at the time.
But you are apparently unable to read and even more so 'fargin' others.
Typical.Tell your handlers to check your postings, you are turning away anybody with half a brain.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

Yes, Yukel, I was told at age 4 that G-d created the world by a man with a stick, in case I tried not to believe it. I guess I should reconsider that too, eh? After all, all intelligent people scoff at the idea of religion, let alone Orthodox/Haredism. I forgot, Lakewood is full of very intelligent people who decided as adults which derech to choose.......

I'm sorry, where's the harangue? I asked you to supply me with facts so you belittle me for a life's decision I made. I never doubted anything, just tell me who these Melamdim Rabbonim and Shochtim were and when and where they operated there. I told you about Chabad's role, you just repeat Otzar Hatorah. But of you course you have no facts, you know nothing about them, but that doesn't keep from attacking me.

I'm happy for you that you're from Chabad "extraction," I guess that puts you on par with an ingrown bloody wisdom tooth on a dentists' tray, that too was of human extraction......

Anonymous said...

Lessons of Israel's Elections: Liberal Jewish Perspective
by Marc Gellman-December 2, 1988
The first lesson as I see it is that the Israeli election has brought to light, for all who were still naive to the dynamics of Jewish life, the indisputable fact that the Lubavitcher Rebbe is now by far the most Powerful Jew and by far the most charismatic Jew in the world today...

On my visit to Eastern Europe and Morocco last winter as head of the rabbinical advisory council of the UJA-Federation of Greater New York, I was astounded by the extent of the Ashkenazic Rebbe's influence in the Sephardic world. In France his power is felt through his influence in the otzar hatorah movement. In Morocco Lubavitchers run all ritual slaughtering operations and most day schools. The Rebbe's picture is in virtually every Jewish home...

On my visit to Morocco, I met an old Lubavitcher, a true tzadik, who has been serving there since he fled the Russian revolution... No other Jewish leader of our time can make that happen. No Jewish leader of our time can command that kind of dedication and support. As a high JDC official told me, "Marc, if Alexander Schindler could get Reform Jews to go to Morocco, his picture would be in their homes instead of the Rebbe's. The Rebbe is the only one who can get people to come here to Morocco and serve the Jewish people.

In Vienna a high official told me that when the CIA wants to get a message quickly into the Soviet Union they call the Rebbe! He has had people working in Russia since the Revolution and his lines of communication are always open and secure.

The Rebbe is not the head of a cult. He does not brainwash or coerce his followers. He is, rather the powerful and charismatic leader of Jews who want to do mitzvot for the Jewish people and for the leader they follow...


Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

tremendous comment!!!!
thank you very much!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The above is typical of Lubavichs' propoganda machine taken from L'Chaim a Lubab weekly newsletter.

The Liberal Jew gets most of his info wrong, fed by the p.r machine, they than use it as if the guy is objective.
Otzar Hatora is NOT a Lubavitch organization,the rabbi he refers to, maybe R'Matusof,probably not Raskin since he was quite a bit younger started serving there 32 years after the Russian revolution

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...


the comment says it's felt through HIS INFLUENCE in Otzar Hatorah, not that OHT is a Lubavitch organization. The "mistake" you found about the revolution is silly, he meant the war, big deal.

Anonymous said...

I posted that comment, copied from l'chaim.

For the facts:Otzar Hatorah was founded in '45 already, had thousands of talmidim all across Morroco and other sefardy countries such as Iran.Many of the students later went on to Yeshivas especially Sunderland in England and other yeshivas.Most of the notable Morrocan rabbis are Otzar Hatora alumnis.
Till this day they run a network of schools in France with 4 000 students.
This does not take away one iota from the holy work of R'Shloimeh Matusof.

Anonymous said...

'His power is felt through his influence in Otzar Hatorah'
He had no influence in Otzar Hatorah AND (VEOID VEHU HO'IKOR)had his own large network of Lubavitch schools.
The writer, like you, does not know the difference between a hole in the road and.....

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

How would you know whether or not he had influence? Are you Moroccan? Your Parents perhaps?

Anonymous said...

Btw, the 'rabbi' Gellman is a Reform guy who has a tv program with a galach.
I guess you could add a Chbdsker 'rabbi' and have a true trinty with holy ghosts.
Lubavitch will take any p.r even from the proverbial gutter.
A Reformer being 'meid' on your Rebbes 'gadlus'.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

more irrelevant comments

will you accept criticism from Reform Rabbis about Chabad? I guess then it's ok.

Anonymous said...

Anyone with access to google could easily find out about Otzar HaTorah.

Apparently they still exist today and are popular in France (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/863246.html).

Otzar was co founded by Isaac Shalom, a Syrian immigrant to Brooklyn, who wanted to create a religious school network that extended across the Middle East. (http://www.bh.org.il/Names/POW/Shalom.asp) Alliance (again still popular in France) schools were hardly 'anti-religious' and would today most likely be equivalent to a day school in an out of town community.

As long as no one tried to make these people drop their Maghreb minhagim, does it really matter who was the 'leader' in schools was?

Anonymous said...

Alliance or as it is pronounced in Frenchh/Hebrew 'el'iahns' was seen as an attempt at 'enlightment' i.e maskilim.It was fought aggresively in Eretz Yisroel.The heads of the movement were Maskilim.

Anonymous said...


schneur, shluchim were going to G-d forsaken places without established communitiy infrastructure way before Gimmel Tammuz.

Anonymous said...

Yukel- No where did I compare being a rav in Mororcco to trying to be an erliche Yid in America after the war. Please read what I said. I am only saying and I repeat America in the 1940-1970 era was not an easy place to be frum. I was there . How old are you ?
Day schools were not popular, beards were very unusual, Kashruth was on a very low level. Even in NYC there were no more than 6-7 Yeshiva high schools. Hey how many mikvehs were there in NYC and how many females used them ???the survivors who came here had to fight to be erliche Yidden. and it was a tough fight . It was not just sitting down and fressing and investing in Wall St.
As to my critics on my coments on shluchim , I have but 1 question, Lubavitch has been openly in the kiruv and chinuch business for over 50 years in the US. What has been the results. A few thousand baale teshuva. Cities where Chabad has been active since the 1940's like New haven, Bridgeport, Providence, Worcester, Springfield are all going down hill in terms of orthodoxy.Many are in truely sad shape. Why after all Chabad has been active there with day schools. Shall we give them another 50 years of activity. Well by then these cities will have no Orthodox communities except for a small group of Chabad niks and locals who for some reason have not left.
If you don;t believe me ask people in these cities what the true Matzav is today after 50 years of Chabad activities and in many cases day schools.
What is the current intermarriage rate in the USA ? How amny kids attend Orthodox day schools outside of Brooklyn, Monsey, lakewood and Bergen County ?
Has the Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist movements closed shop in retreat from Chabad ?
Chabad has done good work on the micro level in terms of influencing individual Jews to raise their level of Jewish comfort. But there is not 1 community in the US where they have transformed the community into a kehilla of Shomrei Tora or even Shomre Masores ? Where ?
Outside of the USA, Australia-Melbourne may be the only city to fit the bill.
Instead of the shluchim coming to CH, perhaps some Ch people should visit some of the towns where Chabad has been active 50 years and see the true Matzav there I mean the matzav outside of the Chabad house , the Reform temples, the intermarriage announcements in the local papers. The crowds of Jews Sundays at the Chinese restauarnats.The Mikve wasting away. Try to find a kosher meat mkt, at best you will find a pseudo kosher shoppe in some places that certainly Anash do not patronize. The Jews active in perverse movements etc.
.See just how many people participate (not give money or receive kavod, but do Mitzvoth) in Chabad activities and how many Jews intermarry , how many eat kosher, how many use the mikveh.Kiruv can only go so far , it can not change a secualr city to a frum enviorement and the shliach and his family are the victims.

Anonymous said...


You're guilty of a typical logical flaw- mistaking a correlation for a causality.

While it may be true that assimilation continues, you cannot put Chabad as the cause for the assimilation. To prove this, one only need to look at what would be the trajectory of assimilation 60 years ago and see if it has remained constant until today. 60 years ago people didn't believe there would be Judaism left in 2007. Therefore, the fact that Judaism, in whatever form, does still exist significantly outside of New York city, shows that since Chabad began operating it has either improved significantly or had no effect whatsoever on the Jewish decline. It certainly could not have driven it into the ground.

Saying that Chabad adversely affected Yiddishkeit in America is like saying that Otzar Hatorah decimated Yiddishkeit in Morocco. No, Yiddishkeit was on the down and groups like Otzar Hatorah and Ohel Yosef Yitzchak came along and did their part to preserve what was there and could still thrive.

Your point about how the only strongholds of Frumkeit are in Brooklyn, Rockland County and Lakewood, reminds me of the famous 'New Yorker's Map of America.' It is mostly covered by New York City, with a bit of New Jersey and a little sliver of California in the far left corner. I think that you have the typical New Yorker close mindedness that cannot recognize the significance of anything besides New York. Perhaps you don't travel much...

There happen to be very large cities all over the country with strongholds of Frum Yidden. You know, those places where the gentiles don't look twice when they see a Kippah. They may or may not have been kept strong by Chabad, but they do exist and they are thriving. No, the entire city's are not Frum, and from a pessimists point of view you have to recognize that its hardly possible to make an entire city Frum. In fact, the majority of Jews in NYC and Rockland (and Melbourne) aren't even frum. That's just reality and anyone that's anyone without an ignorant New Yorker attitude could easily discern that.

Your ignorance of the wide-world outside of New York is apparent from the fact that you think Crown Heightsers would be surprised at what they would find in Chabad houses out of town. Paranthetically, you don't give Crown Heightsers enough credit... they know exactly how Chabad houses run. But more importantly, what would be the first thing that any transplanted New Yorker would notice is that Chabad Houses outside of New York are bustling with activity, with kids learning a little something about Yiddishkeit, or the estranged Jews that regularly meander through. Go to any Chabad House and tell me that it's not doing work that will save some Jewish souls. There's always more that can be added on, but you will not be able to detract from what is already being done.

Sure, there is no way to conclusively prove that Lubavitches activities have made a large dent in the downward trajectory of assimilation, but to prove that it hasn't is impossible. Jewish people are multiplying over and over and with the expansion comes further estrangement, but Chabad is working to reverse that, one Jew at a time. Maybe all of the Jewish people will never become Shomrei Torah once again, but Chabad values the individual and doesn't put a quota on its fight. It keeps working and working and if you don't believe that then you should get the heck out of NYC and find out.

Anonymous said...

Chabad changed Melbourne?
News to me.
Bullied their way to communal positions and money.Opened up schools that mix frum and frei ending up with a lot of frum kids freing out.
Lubavitch is very over rated.
The shlichus system in many cases was a way of feeding them i.e a job.After all what skills has a yeshiva boy got?So you send them out on shlichus,setting them up with a job, that can pay very well if you know what you are doing AND drawing in more people and power for Lubavitch.A win win situation.Look at what happens to many of the families stuck in Crown Heights-Stuck with low end jobs ,on all kinds of goverment chazerai.The average shliach is way better off FINANCIALLY.

Anonymous said...

The Tzig is always going on and on about how many segments of the frum community supposedly 'hate' Chabad.
Well lets see some proof:Vos iz neias posted a story about some embezzelment in a the central Lubavitch youth association in Israel.It hardly got any comments.The posts about Mondrowitz and Friedman got many more.
It won't change the Tzig opinion because he thrives on it

Anonymous said...

i was very moved by arbiter's post.
it is such a contrast to see a positive person with a positive outlook on life as opposed to so many bitter people who spend their life criticising. arbiter - i dont know much about differnt jewish groups, but your words have a ring of truth to them. read in the last few days comments of people who criticise chabad and i think they just have no life - they live of bitterness. you on the other hand are blessed with fresh positive outlook on life and this outlook will merit to be the truthful one. i can tell your life is a much happier one then that of all the sad characters spitting venom every time they press a button on their keyboard. no doubt their families get part of that venom because negativity will always remain negativity.
i travel the world on business and i see everywhere the selfless devotion of chabad emmissaries always ready to give of their time and effort to help another human being. bitter negativity will dissapear but the goodness and happy disposition of chabd is growing in front of all of our eyes in a most unbelievable way.

Der Shygetz said...

I visited Morocco twice, the first time being just after R' Matusof AH left due to health reasons. Basically, Otzar HaTorah left Morocco and their kollel is now run by R' Sholom Edelman sheyichye who is the remaining Chabad shaliach and rav. (Mrs Raizel Raskin shetichye also remains and continues to run the Beis Rivka which her husband AH, whose loss I still feel, was very involved with). That is where the mistake was made regarding the Rebbe's influence over Otzar HaTorah.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...


embezzlement is boring, stories of abuse are a very hot topic, especially when it comes to a guy on the run for 20 years. To compare is ludicrous.

Anonymous said...

Curious George:

A. You know nothing about Melbourne or its rich history over the past 60 years.

B. If you would tell me that the Kollel system and all these community Kollels that spring up are just a way to give Yungerleit an income, I would totally believe you. The fact is that the Lakewood and Flatbush economy alone could only serve so many people without giving them a palpable return on their investments. So, they picked up on the Shlichus model, and they ship their guys out in groups of ten, to places where they will have local sponsors feeding them upwards of a million dollars per year (I've seen the numbers in a certain Kollel somewhere), and they thereby alleviate the financial constraints of themselves and another 10 Avreichim. And all this is at the cost of living in decent and scenic communities having Chavrusas with the locals for a few hours every evening.

Shluchim don't do that and you can confirm with the genius Shneur above that they're not headed to established communities that necessarily have Jewish Federations and infrastructure. As one journalist put it recently, they go to any place where this even a rumor of Jewish people. The gross majority of Shluchim are not doing well financially and they live on miracles from week to week. One guy I know has to pay $550 in rent every week and every Thursday morning he just manages to pull it off. Lubavitchers aren't going out to far out places, and even many of them that are in established communities, for the money. They go there because the Rebbe wanted to reach every single Jew wherever they may be.

While I in no way intend to put down the Kollel system, I think it needs to be pointed out that leaving the ghettoes of New York and New Jersey to reach out to other Jews is commendable and important work. I don't believe that raising funds from local supporters is pandering or that its needed to support the Lubavitch infrastructure. The majority of Lubavitch Shluchim are a far cry from being a bunch of Leidigers, they are intelligent and worldly people that if they chose could make it in real estate, law or even selling diamonds on 47th street. They don't choose Shlichus because it's an easy default; they devote their lives to something because their Rebbe taught them that living an immaterial life and helping others is the best way to live. If anyone is regretting that choice, you wouldn't know it from their faces, they all seem very excited and upbeat despite their situations.

Anonymous said...

Knowing the Manoach A"H personally, I could tell you w/o a doubt that he would be horrified to hear someone accuse him of not having Hiskashrus (or not knowing(?!)) to the Rebbe.

Anonymous said...

Dear Tzig,
I found a sefer of some letters of Rav Avrohom Kalmanowitz called Kulmus Halev. One of the chapters is devoted to Moroccon Jewry.

Even as early as the end of 1947 when letter was written, Ozar Hatorah had 15 yeshivos with over 400 talmidim.

I the second letter it shows that it had some difficulties but eventually Rav Avrohom K journeyed once again to Morocco in 1953 and made order and from then the schools seemed to have really thrived until the slow exodus of Moroccan Jewry in the late 50’s and throughout the 60’s, when Ozar Hatorah’s main area of operations moved to France.

Also, a few years ago, the Mirrer Yeshiva gave out a mini bio of Rav Avrohom K at one of their dinners. There is a fairly detailed chapter on Moroccan jewry and otzar hatorah. Many letters there about the people he sent to run schools etc.

Just one quote:

“By the end of 1948, just one year after his initial trip to Morocco, Rav Avrohom wrote a letter to his friend and European contact, Reb Yitzchak Sternbuch, saying that thus far they had already opened “twenty-eight yeshivos ketanos and twenty Talmud Torahs.” This was an amazing achievement for someone who had gone into a strange country almost alone; it was in effect a revolution of major proportions.”

(No doubt there was plenty of G-d’s work to go around and Rav Matusof and Rav Kalmanowitz’s people had enough work to keep them both busy.)

Anonymous said...


Pittsburgh may be an example of a place where Chabad established (or helped establish) a frum community.


Anonymous said...


To be fair, Pittsburgh has had Frum Yidden (and I've even heard of a handful Lubavitch Chassidim) since the end of the 1800s. Rabbi Posner came on the scene in the 40's and steadied a declining community. It really took until the end of the '80s, as I understand, for Pittburgh to really start growing by leaps and bounds.

But of course Shneur can't appreciate that because the ENTIRE city isn't Frum...

Anonymous said...

The policy be many Shluchim is that when the mekuravim get up to a certain level they are sent out of town to a real communite. The reason being that it is very difficult for them to grow in a hick town. As I heard one person say- our success is in our failure

Guravitzer said...

"I'm happy for you that you're from Chabad "extraction," I guess that puts you on par with an ingrown bloody wisdom tooth on a dentists' tray, that too was of human extraction......"

This is a classic Tzig moment, a top notch moshol. The Dubner would never have come up with this.

I will never think of the phrase " of X extraction" the same way.

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