Thursday, May 1, 2008
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.