Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tzaddik is relative


HaModia had an insert this week preparing us for the upcoming English edition of the Reb Yitzchok Zilber's biography. It was like one of those Kupat Ha'Ir things, paid for by the Toldos Yeshurn Organization run by his son. It's a cute little thing, complete with drawings made by a artist made frum by him. (Of course, the fact that all stories of heroism, and learning and Mesiras Nefesh are told by him and was never seen by others is perfectly fine when pertaining to non-Lubavitchers. We have to believe everything he says happened. Whereas, when it comes to Lubavitcher stories even stories with multiple witnesses are suspect in snag eyes.) We've spoken about him before, and the fact that he totally reinvented himself after coming to Israel. We spoke of the Chavrusas he had, Lubavitcher Bochurim and Yungeleit, many of whom are alive today, and the fact that the Rebbe was the one that told him not to just blend into society, but to make a "career" of bringing Russian Jews closer to Torah. I guess he figured that in Israel "iz besser far biznes az m'dermont nit Lubavitch." He's right, it is better for business, if that's what you decide to make of it..........

The following is not meant to ch"v downplay him or his achievements, just to set some things striaght as far as Lubavitch is concerned. In my opinion, were it not for the fact that Lubavitch had the "monopoly" on heroism under Soviet Rule (and even managed to publish a book by Artscroll in the '80's to that fact!) - with an unorganized Breslover effort as well - nobody would care about him, because there was no NEED to put on a pedestal someone like that. Once Lubavitch began to publish their stories it made the non_Lubavitchers look bad, as if they did nothing to keep themselves Jewish. They needed a guy to counter Lubavitch so they used him, as if they too had Mesiras Nefesh people (and Essas.) The fact that Lubavitch had and still has HUNDREDS of Yidden just like him, and then some, is totally lost on some people, and the revisionism continues. "The Greatest Russian-Speaking Rabbi" they call him. That makes me chuckle. The following approbations are excerpted in the insert: "He was one of the thirty-six hidden Tzaddikim." - Rav Y Elyashiv. (Can a man named the Tzaddik be a hidden Tzaddik at the same time? Just asking.) "Teach! Be the Chofetz Chaim of the generation!" - Rav Y Hutner

Can I blame anybody? no, just myself, so I try and counter it post by post.


Friendly anonymous said...

hey, if you lost your job, I'll give you some money (just wondering where you have all this time to read lately, let alone post)

Hirshel Tzig said...

Bus rides make for good reading time. Try it, you'll like it. Once you read and formulate the opinions the writing comes easy.

U' N' said...

Tzig, yet again you're desecrating memory of a Kudoish because of your stupid pet causes; you don't even have a beef with him, nor you have any clue who the man was or what he did and here you're eager to dethrone him because you didn't like hamodia's tone - it didn't shtimm with your spoon-fed lies about soviet rule and heroism therein.

The fact is that you know absolutely nothing about the judaism under the Soviet rule, who was busy with holding monopolies, spreading PR and collecting money for dubious causes in warm US and Israel, and who was risking their lives and freedom every day right there under the regime's nose - without references to your favorite party or fearless leader du jour. You know nothing and you'll never find out because a hungarian just like you brainwashed you with some cheap vodka and sold you yet another pack of PR lies that you're so keen to perpetuate here.

Hirshel Tzig said...

oh, I guess you're 95 years old and were there, right?

I drink only Smirnoff or Grey Goose, nothing cheap there. You on the other hand probably think that GEORGI brand is heaven.....

Hirshel Tzig said...

Once again all I see is knee-jerk reactions to things I never said. I challenge you to find where I "desecrate" his name.

Anonymous said...

ikh hob gut gekent reb yitzhok zilber ztz"l. er iz geven a yid a tzadik vos flegt arbeten tog un nakht far yidishkayt ubeiker tzu rateven agunes mit a get. nit eyn mol fleg ikh bakumen fun im a bakoshe tsu ibertsaygn a man a mesarev tsu gebn a get un mesader a get zayn. er hot mir bavizn a harshoe fun minuy soyfer, eydim un shliekh ( kisvu utnu ) oyf rusish vos der lubavicher rebbe ztz"l hot magiye geven biksav yodoy. er hot tomid batonen az ( a khuts a por yekhidim ) di vos moyser nefesh gevezn oyf shmiras toyre un mitzves in dem sovetn-farband zaynen geven di khabatsker.

tsum badoyern hob ikh nit gezen keyn shum farbeserung nokh mayn lengern shraybn, di kavone fun velkhn iz geven nor tsu memaet zayn diburim asurim. mistome vibald ikh hob es geshribn oyf der yidisher shprakh ( un mit lateynishe bukhshtabn dertsu ) nit ale hobn es farshtanen. ikh vel nor tsugebn eyn kleynem pruv tsu miskhanen zayn mit etlekhe fun di shrayber un efsher der khoshever r hirshl vet iberzetsn khotch di algemeyne ideye.
di toyre zogt men darf melamed zkhus zayn. lomir di vos shraybn a shlekht vort vegn a godl beysroel gehen tsu andere vos hobn im gekent un nokhfregn eyder shraybn epes vos iz heder hakoved.er shraybt az er veys nit genoy ober er shtelt for az der un der yid nistome nit gehit yidishkayt ve es darf tsu zayn ( ikh vil afile nit mefaret zayn di geferlekhe verter ). farvos??? ven ale eydim zogn andersh. un afile az eyner zogt nit gut vos far a rekht hobn mir tsu onnemen dafke zayne verter un nit andere. farvos dafke shlekhte zakhn - afile shmues bealme fun nit an oyhev - zaynen emes un gute zakhn zayen ale " guzmoyes, legendes " vekayotse boze ??!!!
ikh hob nokh gekhapt a gelegnhayt alts a yung tsu zayn in di dalet ames fun hagoen reb mikhoel ber zt"l. ver kon afile batrakhtn as aza yid kon epes ton nit vi badarf tsu zayn?
tsum badoyern dos rov fun gedoyley yisroel vos hobn gehat a shaykhes mitn lubavichter rebe'n zaynen nito. eynaym rou veloy akher vi der pney menakhem ( beys zayn bruder der leyv simkhe iz geven rebe )hot gehert az a bokher hot a zog geton vos fartsveytlt dem lubavitcher rebns geoynes. er iz gevorn royt fun beyz. er hot gezogt dem bokher az er shpilt mit fayer. er hot gezogt az er hot farbrakht shoen bay dem chabad rebn un aza geoynes er hot nokh nit gezen in undzere tsaytn. er hot geheysn dem bokher er zol shraybn a briv betn mekhile.yo, layder zaynen mir a dor yosem. der tchebiner, reb moyshe ( medarf nor a kuk ton in igres moyshe un zeen di tituln mit velkhe er barshraybt der LR. zey zaynen an oysnam in zayn leksikon )reb shloyme zalman ver ruft dem LR a melekh beyisroel ( dos iz a gedrukte briv )zaynen ale nito tsu gebn a nezife tsu di ale vos zaynen farnumen mit bizuy talmidy khakhomim. fundestvegn zol di vos shraybn frier geyen tsu dem amshinover, sadigerer, reb zalmen nekhemye goldberg un umtseylike talmidey khakhomim un groyse yidn. zey veln zogn ( un shoyn gezogt ) az der mevaze zol tsugeyen tsum tsiyen hakoydesh un betn mekhile mit trern un betn dem eybershtn az zayn tshuve zol bahitn em un zayn mishpokhe fun al-dos-beyz.
un vehu rakhum yekhaper ovoyn. zol der eybershter gebn az ir ale mitn khoshevn onfirer, r hirshlen nemen tsum hartsn mayne verter un nit reyden keyn shum shlekhts vegn a yidn un bifrat vegn a godol ver er vet nit nor zayn un nutsn di tsayt af tsu lernen nokh a toysfes, nokh a rosh, tsu ton nokh a mitsve un helfn nokh a yidn un men zol zoykhe zayn tsu der geule bb"o.
yoysef doyv

U' N' said...

That Hamodia downplayed RYZ' relationship with numerous individual Jews who happened to be Lubavitch is very likely, although I won't find out since I don't read that rag. But it's in line with their policy, just like it's in line with any Chabad publication's policy to downplay or completely dismiss those not of their camp.

Your ridiculous statement about "Lubavich monopoly on heroism under Soviet rule" is a simple PR lie. It's good for business so it was perpetuated for years and years without much protest - but it's still a lie. There were Jews of all denominations and all camps being moiser nefesh under the Soviet rule, some of the greatest souls of this generation - like the Rybnitzer Rebbe z'l or Machnovke Rebbe z'l; there were poilisher and russisher chassidim and litvakes there. Many of them were shayach to Chabad (not that their Chabad had anything to do with the PR baloon that sucked you in and that you're blowing up further). But there was never a monopoly anywhere but in the imaginations of fat yankee Jews who were made feel good for donating twenty bucks for the "Soviet Jew" cause.

Your saying that "Lubavitch had hundreds of yidden just like him" is another baloney lie that's so ridiculous that Goebbels would be proud of it. He fought the Germans while being rank and file soldier of the Soviet army and managed to keep pretty much most mitzvos that he could - complete with a sukka and kashrus. Hundreds ? If there was one, there is something to be proud of, fine, but to use it to put RYZ down and make him average ? I'm sure that the Lubavitchers that takeh were moiser nefesh on yiddishkeyt would spit in your face for using their characters to attack him.

You chuckle shamelessly how they call him the Greatest Russian-speaking Rabbi. Well, actually he was - probably not the greatest, nobody has a meter - but definitely one of the greatest. And he, unlike some others, actually spoke Russian and used it in books and letters that made many people become or stay frum. Very few others can lay such a claim. Of course, real Russians like you, whose only exposure is three broken words sung in drunken stupor that you can barely translate entitle you to a different opinion.

So yeah, blame yourself and your militant ignorance and arrogance. You matched haModia.

Anonymous said...

dos vos ir shraybt, r hirshl, az reb yitzkhok zilber dermont nit lubavitch iz nit emes. ikh hob im gekent yorn lang un er hot shtendik meshabeyekh geven lubavich, zyer meras nefesh in dem sovietn- farband un der lubavicher rebn ztl. er hot gevust az ikh bin a litvak un fundestvegn er hot geredt nor mit hadres hakoved. eygentlekh, keyn shlekht vort hob ikh fun im nit gehert vegen keyn yidn

nemo said...

To be fair, Smirnoff is quite sickening.

Me said...

Hirshel will you join me for some single-malt this weekend?

Reb Moshe

Hirshel Tzig said...

Ikh bin zikher az er aleyn hut geredt mit Hadras Koved, Ober zayne Mamshikhim nit. Ba mir iz keyn sofek nit az er iz geven a Yid a Tzaddik.

Berry said...

I never get why the Lubavitcher was 'zoicheh' to get you for his public defender.
Azoi fil hot ehr gezindikt??
With 'hasids' like you who needs critics.
Peh Tzadeh shedibru boi chachomim.You.

schneur said...

Reb Yitzchak Zilber I am sure was a chashuve Yid.I recall reading about him in HAZOFE when he first left Russia, He was a cousin of Rav Teitz. But the etzem fact that the yeshiva world uses him as their Russian poster boy shows that he was sui generis in their world..
Chabad had many like him ,like Reb Zalman Leib Ostelin who also served in the Soviet army, was a lamdan atzum , was crippled in the War(his biography is a must read for anyone interested in Messiras Nefesh bepoel mamash) and there were many others, (Reb Getche Wilensky, Chazak, and others besides the gedolim of Chabad who were active in the period of 1922-1942, many of whom put down their lives for Teyre. some who died in the Soviet Union, others were zeyche to leave.
What everyone forgets is that from 1920- the end Chabad was the only ORGANIZED religious community in Russia. The so called Peylisher chassidim and the Breslover were not organized. people like Rav Abramski and rav Zimbalsit represented only themselves. Chabad was organized and had "agents: all over.
The heiliker Chofetz Chaim is quoted as saying that his biggest regrte was leaving Russia, he and the Bnai Teyre should ahve stayed and fought the Communists. In essence the Chafetz Chaim was saying he regreted not acting like ... the Rayaatz.

Ezriel said...

Don't forget the Skulener Rebbe stayed in the USSR as long as possible (till '60) continuing his Avodas Hakodesh. Also see here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yitzchok_Isaac_Krasilschikov - re Rav Yitzchok Eizik Krasilschikov - I know nothing re his doing any work in Kiruv, but the fact that a giant of his calibre and "lamdan otzum" produced seminal Torah works in a desert of Yiddishkeit and in such trying circumstances is a Peledikke zach.

What were the cicrumstances surrounding the Chief Rabbi of Moscow for many years under the USSR, Rav Levin? I know he visited America and was forced to deny any maltreatment of Jews by the Soviets, yemoch shemom v'zichrom.

Hirshel Tzig said...

The Skulener Rebbe lived in Rumania, not the USSR. That too was no cakewalk, but it wasn't Russia. The Rebbe was instrumental in his subsequent release, the journal just issued at the Chesed L'Avraham dinner has info on that.

V.E. said...

We are again rewriting history.
The implication is that Lubavitch were the only keepers of the flame.It is partially true, but the reason being was that the other frummeh made the conscious decision of fleeing.These included the large Novardoker movement and R'Isser Zalmans yeshiva in Slutzck that was transplanted to Kletzk and later became Lakewood.
The reality is that Lubavitch that had once had many thousands of chasidim before the Communists dwindled under them and before already to very few.
This includes bais horav too.

Obviously there were other yidden who were frum in Russia besides R'Yitzchok, however once they got out, their influence waned and had very little influence out of Russia.R'Yitzchoks case is unique that after he got out of Russia he succeeded in establishing such a large network and following.I don't know of any other person.
Anyway, Tzig is only looking for one thing:Downplay everyone else and raise his adopted group, so facts mean nothing, basic mentlichkait means nothing either

Roni said...

This is exactly how his "rebbe" behaved. What do you expect from a "chossid" of such a thing.

Hirshel Tzig said...

Novardok and Slutzk were Bochurim, and not all left either. It's easy for boys to smuggle across borders, it's difficult - and impossible - for families. I'm speaking of families that stayed and persevered and raised generations of Yereim U'Shlaymim. That didn't happen en masses with others.

U' N' said...

Most of those "families" that stayes and persevered and raised generations are not of original chabad stock; maybe their later offsprings got to identify with Chabad for different reasons, but that's not where it came from

Hirshel Tzig said...

so now in order to pass the Chabad Litmus Test one has to be a Chabadnik for seven geerations?

U' N' said...

One generation would be nice. Most people that were frum under the Soviet rule were "Poilish" or Litvish, not Chabad. Some of them were ingrown into Chabad, as Chabad did actively try to monopolize yiddishkeyt in FSU and they didn't see a reason to struggle against it (lack of foresight, I guess). That allow some of their offsprings to assimilate, but not all. There is a reason why many "Yotzei Rusia" are adamantly anti-Chabad, whether or not they have merit.

the Sheichet said...

Why so bothered by someone being put on a pedestal? Is it true? Is it not true? Who cares, I say. The main point is someone is inspired to be better by the story...you know what they say about people who believe that all of the Baal Shemsker maases are true...besides do we not all (i.e. Jews of all "factions") pump up the hype in our publications? How everything becomes a "Lubab/Snag" scandal is beyond me...from here you'd think that neither derech believes in Ahavas Yisroel much anymore.

I heard a story from an old chossid that when the Rebbe Rayatz's sons-in-law the Rama"sh and the Rasha"g came to the US, there was a discussion who to honor...although some thought the Rama"sh was a Tsaddik, others thought he was too modern and thus only the Rasha"g should be honored. One respected chossid stood up and said "if he isn't a Tsaddik and we honor him as one, what's the harm? But if he is a Tsaddik and we don't honor him as one, that would be much worse". The rama"sh is now better known as the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

So I think the same principle can be applied to stories like these: If Reb Yitzchok was not such a big Tsaddik and we honor him like he was, so what's the harm? But I definitely don't want to be the one downplaynig him on the chance that he was.

I've ranted enough, zei gezunt and try to be nice to each other.