Friday, February 29, 2008
Buy It Here
Second from the left is the Heiliger Vizhnitzer Rebbe, The Ahavas Yisroel zt"l. The Rebbe in the middle is Reb Alter Dzikover HY"D, his son-in-law. Next to him is the "Damesek Eliezer," Reb Lazer'el Vizhnitzer who died in Tel Aviv, childless, in 1946. Reb Lazer'l was the one went back to Vizhnitz after WWI, when his father had moved to Nagyvarad/Grosswardein/Orodea during WWI and never returned to Vizhnitz. They say it was because he couldn't bear to see how so many of his Chassidim had removed their beards and worse. When he was asked why it was better in Grosswardein, an Oberlandishe city where men shaved their beards as well, he answered: Zeyere Tattes Hub Ich Nisht Gekent.... Reb Lazer had a large Yeshivah with a dormitory and food served, an unknown commodity in other yeshivos in Europe.
They also say that the Ahavas Yisroel moved away from Bukovina so as to save his own family from the winds of the day, the array of movements that were so popular among the youth of that period. Which again brings to mind the "Ani Es Nafshi Hitzalti" approach we discussed recently. I was once talking to a Vizhnitzer/Kosover Yid, and the discussion got to Vizhnitz, and whether or not they too were part of the "save your yourself first, and worry about others later" brigade. I was under the impression that the Vizhnitzers were not part of them, that they had genuine love for every Yid, and that they wouldn't abandon their own to the elements like that. This Vizhniter Yid held Davka Farkert. "Yes, he loved every פויער that came to him, and would even kiss him on his forehead like a father to his son. But when it came to saving his own there was no compromising for the sake of others." In other words, once he saw that his own children were at stake he upped and left and never looked back.
Some here would say that it's nothing more than abandonment of people that believed and trusted in you, and they say the same thing - even more so - when it comes to Rebbes leaving Poland/Hungary during the Holocaust. We tend to forget about those people, the huddled masses that were so loyal to Rebbes because today's different, everybody a gavra far zich. Then again, were it not for the Vizhnitzer Rebbe leaving Bukovina there might have not been a Vizhnitz today, and were it not for the Belzer Rov zt"l leaving Budapest in 5704 there would probably not be a Belz today. That may not sound all that important to you, but it was to the Rebbes, and to what they saw as their mission in life - building for the future. That's the underlying theme when it comes to Belz; the Rov gave that as his reason for leaving even as the Jews there begged him to stay and be the Tzaddik who's Maygen on them. So too with Vizhnitz; in Marmures the Rebbe had simple, frum people who never were fodder for Haskoloh etc., and that's where he could build for the future, even at the expense of the Bukoviner Yidden.
Azoi Halt Ich.
The Picture is thanks to ASJ.