Friday, May 30, 2008

יעור ויסלף

(Rav Hirsh Peysach Frank, zt"l)

I have a tough time with letters like this the one about to be posted, simply because it may not fall in line with the opinions of my rabbeyim. However, the lessons we can learn from these letters are immeasurable. We need them to show how the zealots not only manipulated public opinion today and for generations to come, but they also managed to sideline important players while they were still alive. They sold the world a pack of lies, all under the guise of "Frimkeit." Another topic of interest - person of interest, rather - is Rav Hirsh Pesach Frank, zt"l, Rav of Yerushalayim. The zealots have a real problem with him, since he accepted the job as Rav of the Rabbanut Yerushalayim, but they can't deny his greatness like they do with others. So they came up with this story of how he lost 2 children to hunger - which is true, I think - and that's why he HAD to take the Rabbanut job. That would be OK were it not for the following letter, which shows what he thought of the Hungarian Kanoyim. The letter was written to his Mechutan, who was active in the Mizrachi.


'As I wind up my letter, I should let his honor know a bit of the affairs of the town [Jerusalem], though it is not my way to write such things, for we could not write enough. However ... directed us to inform his Honor. According to ... his Honor has the ability to correct things. Having heard that it will of benefit, I find myself obligated to uncover the mystery enveloping the conduct of our city.

The Gaon, our Master RA"Y Hakohen Kook (may he live) was accepted here at Rav by the majority of the Holy Community here. It is well known that the members of Kollel Ungarin are envious of our Russian and Polish brethren. Especially, so that the proceeds earmarked to the Hungarians should increase, it is not good for them that the Chief Rabbi of the Holy City be other than Hungarian. So what did the members of Kollel Ungarin do? A few of them gathered together ... At their head the old lad ... He propagandized to found Vaad Ashkenazi (Ashkenazic Council). Now this old lad is a great expert in arranging elections from all, revealed only to him. The entire electrocal process is invisible. It is difficult to describe in writing his diligence in this matter. He puts together a list of a large committee, also a steering committee. On the surface, all is lovely. On the inside, all is rotten, for from the ranks of the Hungarians and Galicians he picks ... youngsters and from the other kollelim, when he sees an old man or imbecile who won't understand his tricks, he brings him into the Vaad. So the result of the invisible election is that he is the Secretary and young fellow... the Chairman. They write and sign tens of thousands of letters to America and the entire world in the name of all the Ashkenazim in Jerusalem ... that Rav Hayyim Sonnenfeld is the Rav here, when all see and know that R. Hayyim Sonnenfeld was never, and will not be, the Rav, for he is an old, frail man for whom it is not possible to get involved in the affairs of the town. But this old lad uses him and his name as a pawn to destroy an entire city. He and his gang of empty fellows publicly, brazenly insult the Gaon Kook (may he live). The old lad got together with young writers who frequent the home of the ancient Rav Yishak Yerucham Diskin (may his light shine), for this old man is under the influence of young secretaries... They manipulate him whether way they please and obtain his signature for all their antics. In my estimation, he is not guilt at all for he cannot see writing, and signing is also difficult for him The secretaries made for him a stamp of his signature which is an exact replica and they write and sign whatever they please. Woe to a generation whose leaders are such lads, little foxes.

About six weeks ago, I spoke with Rav Hayyim Sonnenfeld, and at one point, I asked him if it right that he signs himself as the Rav of the Ashkenazim in our Holy City?... He answered me that the truth is, he himself does not sign so, but they made for him a stamp and wrote this on it. The Gaon, Our Master RAY Kook (may he live) is the Rav here. All the largest institutions are under his presidency. He is the Rav of the city and carries the burden of the community. They placed new, inexperienced people to carry the load of the community ... These sycophants and insolent fellows stroke these old men to their advantage. I wrote these things hurriedly, without order, as it does not fit my temperament to take care of such things. The upshot is, if his Honor can publicize the truth that the aforementioned elder sages – without disparaging them – are not communal leaders and one cannot pay attention to their signature. The affairs of the Jerusalem community, general and specific, temporal and spiritual are neither the domain of the elder sages nor their followers, who as a rule are simple folks who have put on a cloack of hypocrisy, announcing that they are zealots of the Lord. They use the names of the elders sages to blind peoples eyes, while anyone discerning sees that their aim is not truth, They employ smut sheets to stir up controversy in Israel.

His honor should let me know if any benefit may come of my words, which are but a drop of the sea of what should be known... '


Anonymous said...

You have to respect the hungarian power,I saw once a letter from Reb Motel Selonimer writing with envy about the Hungarian power in Yerusheliem and we Lithuanians are shleppers, the problem is Rav Moshe Blau a litvak played along with them

sruli said...

Amazing eye-opener! And now the Litvaks are taking full revenge by turning the tables. They learned the lesson of the Magyars very well, and apply it full force. No doubt Rav Frank zt"l would write an identical letter today.

Anonymous said...

How authentic is this letter.
It does not at all sound like the Great Reb Hersh Pesach penned this letter.

Hirshel Tzig said...

the letter is real. The only problem is that only volumes 5 and 6 of the sefer "Malki BaKodesh" are on, and I have yet to get my hands on Volume 4, where this letter is printed. You may have qualms about the translation, but the gist is real.

Shimon said...

what do you mean? Hirschensohns Malki Bakodesh? All volumes are there.

Shimon said...

Rabbi Chaim Hirschensohn, Malki Ba-Kodesh IV (St. Louis: Moinester Printing Co., 5679 – 5682), Letter 10 (dated 18 Adar Sheni, 5681, 1921), pp. 43-44 [See Porush, pp. 236-237.]

Hirshel Tzig said...

Shimon, I see it now! Thanks for the info. As soon as I can get it as a JPEG here, I will!

shimon said...

BTW I know this letter originaly from and there is also a second part there:

Rabbeinu Tam and the Rosh on the Manipulation of Rabbis

Rabbi Yom Tov Lipmann Heller (1579-1654, author of Tosfos Yom Tov and Pilpula Charifta), in his work Ma'adnei Yom Tov on the Rosh (under the Rosh in the standard Vilna Edition of the Talmud), Berachot Chap. 4, Rosh siman 14, ot lamed ( s.v. "Vechol divreihem divrei kabalah veyeish lismoch aleihem"). Rabbi Heller discusses the reliability of the Bahag – Sefer Halachos Gedolos.
"All of the words of [Bahag] represent received tradition, and may be relied upon." [The Rosh] wrote thus as well in Chapter Eilu Tereifot siman 18. This applies where there is no contradiction [to Bahag's words] in the [Babylonian] Talmud – for in Chapter Rabbi Eliezer Demilah [the Rosh] writes in the name of the the Rif that Bahag's words should not be relied on, for they are in error; and furthermore, in Chapter Eilu Megalchin siman 3 [the Rosh] writes in the name of Rabbeinu Tam that we do not rely upon the words of Bahag, because he was blind, and sometimes his students wrote in his name what he did not instruct [them to] and what never [even] occurred to him [i.e., what he did not believe]. Cf. later in our chapter, siman 20.

Anonymous said...

R'Moshe Blau was Hungarian

Anonymous said...

Reb Hershel, please do not take everything you see in Rabbi Hirschensohns writings as Toras Emes.
Why would he be more honest than those Hungarian zealots.
He had an agenda. And, what an agenda.
He did anything and everything in his power to further his dream of a new Zionist state and his vision of its future.
He practically gave his life for it.
I find it very hard to believe that the great Gaon and Tzadik, Rav of Yerusholayim, Reb Hersh Pesach Frank, would cry his heart out to an albeit learned man but a very political one, as Rabbi Hirschenson and in a deragotary way.
So, even if it is published in Malki BaKodesh it does not verify its authenticity.

schneru said...

1. Rav Moshe Blau was not a litvishe. He was a Hungarian and responsible for bringing Rav Dushinsky another Hungarian to Jslm.
2. Its well known that during the tenure of Rav Frank as rav of Yerusholayim and Rav Romm as Moroh Horoah (and Rosh hashochtim) of Jslm their shechitah was much more highly regarded by the ANSHEI yERUSHOLAYIM THAN THE SHECHITA OF THE SO CALLED EDA HACHREDITH.
3. Many of rav Kuk's enemies were also Litvishe Yidden keyuduah.
4. The kanoim have excuses why gedolim were normal people. Thus they make up excuses for rav Frank for Rav Teichtal, and others.
The kasha is whats their excuse for their behavior ?

Anonymous said...

cont. of my post, -
anon 11:17 am----

Thank you for posting the copy of Malki BaKodesh.

Please see for yourself if you can find any other letter of Yerusholayimer Rav, Reb Hersh Pesach, written in a similair tone or words [other than the ones in Hirschensohns compilation].

I am very familiar with Toras Harav and his Sforim and this letter does not at all seem like it was penned by the Rav

schneur said...

Back to my obsession. Are there any letters from or to Rabbi Frank to the Lubavitcher rebbe ?
Let me also add that the gedolei haposkim of our time like Reb Moshe ZT"L , Rav Shlomo Zalman , rav Frank, Rav Henkin, Rabbi Waldenberg, and Yiblach rav Yosef and rav Eliashev all did not agree with the Satmar position on Isreal Since Hlacha not hashkofa or Agada rules it seems clear to me that the Satmarr rebbe although entitled to his opinion, was not the rov or we are not machria like him.

Anonymous said...

Rabbi Hirschenson was considered a Maskil and he suffered much from the Prushim in Yerusholayim, so much so that he had to leave from Yerusholayim. he was quite nitter over this and he kept this bitterness with him all his life.

see below a short biography on him, from Yad Ben-Zvi.


The Hirschensohn Family:
Pioneers of Enlightenment and Modernity in Nineteenth-Century Jerusalem

The purpose of the article is to trace the activities of members of the Hirschensohn family as pioneers of Enlightenment and a modern lifestyle in Jerusalem during the second half of the nineteenth century and to indicate their central role in the struggle to shape the social character of modern Jerusalem. Emigrating to Eretz Israel from Lithuania, the Hirschensohns brought with them the strictness of Lithuanian-Jewish religious erudition, on the one hand, and open-mindedness towards the Jewish Enlightenment and moderate modernity, on the other.

In Jerusalem, they established educational institutions that engaged in teaching religious subjects while employing innovative and scientific methods that were unacceptable to traditional Jewish society. The sphere of religious learning was widened by study of the Hebrew language and its grammar, and systematic and critical study of the Old Testament, the Mishnah, the Talmud, and halakha (Jewish religious law). They looked with favor upon the transformation of ancient Hebrew into a modern, living language, the teaching of the sciences as part of Divine Wisdom, the establishment of libraries in Jerusalem, education for a productive way of life, agricultural settlement, and turning Jerusalem into a center that would combine study of Torah with science. In order to achieve their vision they had to act on their own, and in particular to be independent of the Jerusalem rabbinical establishment and the halluka monies (funds collected in the Diaspora to support the Orthodox community in the Holy Land). They therefore raised funds among enlightened Jewish circles in western Europe and established a printing shop in which they published periodicals and rabbinical literature that corresponded with their modern outlook.

The Hirschenhorns met with hostility on the part of the Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox leadership and society in Jerusalem. They were the subject of bans and ostracism, so much so that the youngest member of the family, Rabbi Hayyim Hirschensohn, was forced to leave the country for the United States, where he became a leading Orthodox Zionist rabbi.

Hirshel Tzig said...

if that were the case- if the letters were to be questioned - why then did he delete sections of the letters? It seems like the Leshonos were even stronger, too strong for print!!!

Shimon said...

Yeah, if you don't like something, just declare it a forgery. But here thing speak for themselves: the same gangsters that terorised Rabbonim like Kook, Schleisinger, Hirschensohn or Frank are today throwing stones on the windows and cars of poskim and set Yerushalaim on fire. New generation, same criminals.

Anonymous said...

Reb Hershel,
Probably as part of the deceit. It had to be presented in a way to make it seem real.

He was a brilliant person. [misguided, as you can see by his philosophies]

He was detested by all Chareidi in Yerushulayim especially the Litvishe Prushim,.

He also was not respected by any Chareidi here in America, and was embroiled in more than one religious controversy. [I've heard that his descendants left Orthodoxy ]

Anonymous said...

The Litvaks from today are also Hungarians as Lorencz read his book how he maneuvered everyone( if is true)and the Roters Grosz.

Anonymous said...

Rav Moshe Blau is a grandson of the Keren Orah, there is also some connection in his family to Reb Avrham Shag Talmid Chasam Sofer

schneur said...

Hirschenzohn was a respected member of the Agudas Horabbonim in America the organization of Old school rabbonim here. he was also a rav in NJ.
As I have written a thousand times a Litvack does not come froma Hungarian background or from a Yekkishe background or from a Sefardic background. Maybe a Hungarian can become a Yeshivishe person or the like, but a Litvack is a genetic cultural and psychological state of mind. Studying in a yeshiva for 3 years does not make a LItvack.
Of course we Yidden from Lita call ourselves Litvishe Yidden not lItvakes or Lutvakes for the mehadrin folk in Poland and galicia

Avrumik said...

A litvak nowadays doesn't mean you "shtamm" from Lita. It's the way you conduct yorself.