Tuesday, April 29, 2008
1930 Munkacs Is Outdated
The Great Munkacser Coverup
Let me preface this thread by saying that I have a very soft spot for the Old Munkacs, particularly the Minchas Elozor. Not that what I think matters, but you get the drift. The Rebbe was very fond of him, as was the Frierdige Rebbe, as is my Tatte, sheyichye, so I have it from all sides. The Rebbe in "Sefer HaMinhogim - Chabad" brings him all the time, even when disagreeing with him, or when the Minhog Chabad is different. The Frierdige Rebbe has countless letters to the ME, where he laments the Matzav regarding Zionsim, Mizrachi and Agudah, and the two met in Marienbad when convalescing there. Even Chana Gurary, the FR's eldest daughter, asked to buried in the Munkacser BeisOlem in New Jersey because of the great respect her father had for the old Munkacser Rov. She said that while staying in Marienbad the only person her father would make the effort and answer the telephone personally for was the Munkacser Rov, the Minchas Elozor, zt"l. I think I've prefaced enough, now on to the issue at hand.
The Minchas Elozor had a very interesting connection to the "Saba Kadisha," Harav Shlomo Eliezer Elfandri, zt"l, a Sefardic (Iraqi) Mekubal who later lived in Israel and died at a very old age, maybe 110 or so. Harav Elfandri was anti-Zionist enough so that the Rov could "hold" of him. In 1930 the ME made a trip to Israel which was made into a sefer, Mas'os Yerushalayim. If I remember correctly part of the reason for his trip to Israel was to see the SK, and if IIRC the SK passed away while the ME was there. It seems like all those years of bashing Rav Kook and the Mizrachi was enough to buy himself lots of enemies, much like the Satmar Rov did. These people now have exposed the censorship that has taken place in the future editions of Mas'os Yerushalayim, seemingly because the words there were simply too harsh and made the ME look bad. They also have some theories as to whether or not there was really as close a relationship between the ME and the SK, as the Munkacser said.
Another issue discussed there, and one of those that was touched up in later editions, is what to do about the Slabodker/Chevroner Bachurim that recently arrived in Yerushalayim. Only a year before many Bochurim were slaughtered by the Arab mobs, and they - along with all Jews in Chevron - were evacuated to Yerushalayim. It seems like the zealots weren't happy that these modern boys were walking their holy streets, and they voiced their displeasure to both the ME and the SK. It's interesting to note that many of these zealots were descendants of the "Perushim," and were from those same areas in Lithuania as the Bochurim were, but they weren't happy with the changes that happened back in Di Lita, especially in Slabodka, where Maalos Ho'Odom was high on the list of priorities. According to Mas'os Yerushalayim they were to be left alone, on the SK's orders, since they would otherwise fall into the "net" of Rav Kook and his minions. While on the topic they get in some underhanded jabs at Reb Moshe Mordche Epstein, Ayin Shom VeTimtzoh Nachas. All in all the thread makes even a big believer rethink his attitude towards the ME, which is sad. It goes to show you one thing: it doesn't take very much to "mach kalt" one's Emunas Tzaddikim/Chachomim, not much at all.
In the second (newer) print Rav Kook's name is omitted.