Monday, March 10, 2008
My, how we've grown!
Most of you should know by now about the grandiose Bar Mitzvah of Sholom Rokeach last week. Belz seems to do that alot these days, go all the way with their Simchos. The Belzer Rebbe supposedly told people not to publicize the events until the week of the Simcha, yet the publicity it generated and received is hard to top. Anyway, no Belzer with a shred of self-respect was seen on the street in Boro Park. If, for some reason, he couldn't make it, then he was holed up in his house, not daring to show his face. the event was covered by a horde of media people, frum and non-frum, Jewish and Non-Jewish, and every move was scrutinized, including why the Boocher sat on 4 plastic chairs, when all he's the main event... The Belzers were quick to respond that it was the youg lad himself who asked for a stack of chairs, being that he couldn't see what was going on!!!
What is it about Belz that has seen the exponential growth happen in the last 50 years? Is it all about the legacy of Belz that attracts all those people? Is it the charismatic personality of the Belzer Rebbe Shlita? Many would say that he banished and was merachek almost as many old Belzers as later joined Belz. Those who left felt that due to his personality Belz may not have a Minyan of Mispalelim very soon, and that all would leave. they also saw the previous Belzer Rov as irreplaceable, the fact that he a nephew not withstanding. Yet, 40 years later, it seems like he's the one who has the laugh, with thousands upon thousands attending his Tishen, Yomim Tovim, and Simchos. It would to me, the unaffiliated one, that they love and respect him tremendously, which would make think that it's a Bechinah of Kemayim HaPonim el HaPonim. Otherwise I see no reason for the growth. Some would say that it's not him they're there for, but for "Beis Belz," the fact that Belz must go on. Maybe.
One thing we know; He does as he pleases, and I mean that in a good way. No Gabbai or Eltere Chossid tells how he should do things. He kept those he liked and threw out those he saw as a threat to his Rebbistive. People said he was crazy, that he'd be nothing without them, but he had the last laugh, and nobody questions him, at least not on the surface, and he does as he pleases. The examples are countless, starting from the unthinkable; the talk against the Satmar Rov and the break away from the Edah HaCharedis. I need Rabbonim, you say? I'll make my own Beis Din, complete with womb to tomb services, anybody who's born here can die here 120 years later without ever having to leave. His joining with Degel HaTorah awoke the wrath of many, especially in Lubavitch, but even more so his FIL, the Vizhnitzer Rebbe, Shlita. After the attack last week on Mercaz HaRav word spread that the Belzer Rebbe attended the Levayas. That won him brownie points. Then the pictures of his visit to one of the wounded in Sha'arei Tzedek Hospital began to surface. That scored tons of points. Some Belzer ruined the good feelings by announcing that he was there visiting his mother anyway, not that he made a special trip. Whatever. It still shows that he's following his heart/gut feeling, and all these steps add up. Even I was impressed.