Thursday, May 1, 2008

Vilna's Meddling

בעל ה"דרכי תשובה" זצ"ל

A short point about the Tzemach Tzedek Controversy: Kamenetsky is baffled as to why the Vilna drucker (Romm and Family) would bother to meddle in a Tshuveh of the Tzemach Tzedek. Why would it matter to him what the T"T thinks of the GR"A. I was made aware of something that we partially discussed here, and that makes another point about the drucker. The Darkei Tshuveh was printed in Vilna and was given an Haskomoh by Reb Shlomo Hacohen, the Rosh Beis Din of Vilna, as well as Reb Yitzchok Elchonon of Kovno. You might wonder why the DT was printed in far-away Vilna when there plenty of good printing houses closer to Munkacs? And why are all the Haskomos from Litvishe Rabbonim, were there none in Marmarosh/Galicia/Hungary that could give him an approbation?

A smart man once told me the following: There were two traveling salesman who were employed by the Romm family who would travel around to the bigger cities that had printing houses and would look for good material that they could get for their press. They chanced upon Munkacs at the time that the Darkei Tshuveh was being prepared for publishing. Being a shtikkel talmidei chachomim (after all, every Baal Agoleh in Di Lita was a Boki B'shas...) they immediately the novelty of the work and saw that it would one day become a "hit." People who know tell me that the Darkei Tshuveh is the Mishnah Berurah of Yoreh Deah, and that it's brought by even such non-chassidic contemporaries as Harav Yosef Sholom Ben Chaya Musha לרפו"ש. (This too serves as further proof that DK's claims about there being a lack of learning among chassidim is ridiculous.)

There are many proofs that the DK was meddled with by the publishers. These are facts that have been known ever since the first seforim arrived back in Munkacs, and the stories are retold by the current Munkacser Rebbe. The man I heard it from heard it from the Kossover Rebbe. The point is this is not some Chabad conspiracy. The DT was too nice of a person to make a tumult out of it, and the changes were allowed to go on without him making them change it. One of the proofs is a reference made in the Dt to a yarchon of the Volozhiner yeshivah, which we can safely assume was never seen by the DT. The people in Vilna went through the manuscripts and put in things they felt were necessary, it's that simple. I was told that if I call go to the Munkacser Rebbe and ask for the story and proof that he'd be very forthcoming, but I'm not that brave.


Leiny said...

Some points*
Kaminetzky never claims that chasidim cannot learn and one sefer would not prove anything,anyway! He claims that what bothered R'Chaim Volozhiner most about chasidim was their lack of making Torah learning as great a priority as they did in the Yeshiva world to which The Alter Rebbes response was his first sefer was on Hilchos talmud toiro to show that they do take it seriously.
You also write that we can 'safely assume that the Darkei Teshuva did not see a periodical put out by the Volozhiner yeshiva'.Why do we need to assume so?Who says he did not?
Rav Elyoshiv is not a contemporary of the Darkei teshuva as you state (probably because you don't know what the word means).
Lastly, you apparently forgot that you've discussed the Darkei Teshuvos haskomos from Lutvishe rabbonim about half a year ago.

Anonymous said...

i have heard a story that when the darchei tshuva was a shabbos in satmar the status quo rov of satmar (not orthdox and not nelog)who had made a sefer came to the tish friday night and no one was mekarev him so in middle of the week he went into the to darchei tshuvah and he said if i am good enough that you bring me in your sefer so i should be good enough to sit by your tish the darcei tshuvah aplogised and said he did not know that he was brought in his sefer anybody know if this story is true

Hirshel Tzig said...


1) Our contemporary, not the DT's contemporary.

2) I mentioned it about three times (that we discussed it before)


Anonymous said...

The Yeshiva world was at his infancy by Reb Chaim himself, so whats your point?

Anonymous said...


just a few points.

Munkatch had a Large and beautiful printing press. If of am not mistaken the קונטרס הספיקות was first published in Munkatch.

Which brings me to a 2nd point.
It irks me to no end when Chasidishe people respond to the canard that Chasidim especially the talmimidim of the Besht were not learned.

to point out that while the Kunteres Hasfeikos [the brother of the ktzois who was Rav of Sighet]was not Chasidish, his children and einiklech where גאונים אדיריםand Chasidim and eventually even Admorim I will just name 3 דברי גאונים, a classic sefer on choshen Mishpat basic for Batai-Din. ע"י הגאון חיים ארי' כהנא first published in Munkatch (if my memory is correct)

The the great גאון ר' יודאלע מודערןwho was a talmid of the Chasam Sofer who almost took him for a son-in-law a chasid of the Yismach Moshe and member of the Kahana family in Sighet wrote the פרי הגן on מסכת גיטין

Then the אורחות חיים by הגאון נחמן כהנא who's sefer is a sort of משנה ברורה on אורח חיים the sefer so impressed the בעל האדרת .. (yes rub your eyes) that he wrote extensive notes on the sefer. Reb Nachman was the son in law of the first Sapinka Rebbe. And became the Sapinker Rebbe when his father in law was niftar. Hence 2 Sapinker Dynasties. [his grandson Reb Nachman השני lived in Benei Brak a Great Gaon and בן בית of the Chazon Ish as he related in the sefer דעת כהן on הלכות נדה , Hirshel! you would have a blast reading the letter he wrote the the Staipeler about the famous fight about the Mikvah in Benei Brak where he writes to him that he too had many disscusions in halacha with the Chazon Ish....]

[So much for the trash of the DREK Nadler and the Sapinka Rebbes, not speak of the גאונות of the חקל יצחק]

So please never ever respond or give any credance to the canard.


Minkatcher Ainikle said...

Oh comon the Minkatcher Ruv is not that scary. Be brave Tzig.