Sunday, June 15, 2008

Big Man Good Book


Yisroel Besser seems to have another hit on his hands with his biography of Brooklyn-born Rabbi Shlomo Freifeld, founder of Sho'or Yoshuv Yeshiva. We discussed RSF and his relationship to Lubavitch here, and IIRC the conversation was an interesting one. The fact that it was published by Judaica Press and not one of the big mainstream houses, tells us something, I'm not quite sure what. Yet. I've read about 200 pages and the book, to me, has sort of a mixed message. It tends to be more open and truthful than your typical Artscroll biography, but it still gives you half a story, it picks and chooses when to be all "open." It makes mention of his connection to Rabbi Telushkin, but chooses to hide Rabbi T's identity as a Lubavitcher for the most part. Other times Besser goes the "extra mile" and mentions Lubavitch, but in that "Old Lubavitch was good, New Lubavitch is Bad" kind of way - Freifeld liked old Lubavitcher Chassidim and was proud that he shtammed from that "Old Lubavitcher" town - Nevel, but no mention of his connection to the Rebbe himself. It still makes mountains out of stories, mountains that just aren't there. Meaning: yes, the story is nice, but it doesn't make him great, just a mentsch. I guess that's Artscroll's gift to the world, or is the Hebrew Books on Gedolim that started it all? I forget.

62 comments:

Anonymous said...

>It still makes mountains out of stories, mountains that just aren't there.

In typical chabad fashion, not to mention the outright bobo mases in likuti diburim.

Hirshel Tzig said...

nice irrelevant point there. moron.

The Bray of Fundie said...

hagiographies not biographies.

Rav Yaakov Emden had a autobiography more truthful than most and "the Silver Era" was a serious autobiography. Otherwise all we get are fluff pieces with all the warts airbrushed out!

Want to know why we have such a young Gedolim deficit? I don't pretend to know the whole answer. But I submit that part of it is the counterproductive fallout of all these hagiographies.

by superhumanizing our bygone gedolim to the point that they were all qedoshim m'rekhem, the implicit message is to dehumanize all those youngsters living today who DO have challenges and setbacks in their growth.

If these institutionalized lies would stop maybe young talents with Hoikhe neshumos would not get so easily discouraged and down on themselves.

One of Rav Shlomo's great strengths was to instill his talmidim with self-esteem and big sheifos. The hagiographies , while meant to inspire big sheifos, usually have the opposite effect.

Anonymous said...

I don't care if you publish this comment but I mean this sincerely. This blog is an embarasement to Chabad. It is full of loshon hora and motzei shem ra about so many people. Remember loshon hora is true. Why is it not a sin to say the things you do about people? Is this the Will of the Heileger Bashefer? There is just so much negativity. I understand you are upset about what people say a about Chabad (as I am) but this isn't the way to combat it.

chaim said...

Why is it irrelevant and why is he a moron?
YOU claim that some of the mayses make mountains out of stories and anon told you that Likutei Dibburim is jammed packed with such things in addition to stories that most historians claim never happened.You don't have to agree, but if someone sides with most people in the know they are not morons, right?And if you criticize somebody for making mountains out of mole hills shouldn't you have said something about Lubavitchs' penchant for this same thing??

schneur said...

I think many of my Charedi brtheren are suffering from a problem of definitions.
By and large much of what you call gedolim books are not biography or history rather they are Mussar seforim , whose goal is to inspire and guide the reader. Its goal is clearly not historiography as most of the authors know nothing of Jewish history (and even less about general history) and even the BT's among them have never spent several years studtying Jewish history. A collection of stories wonderous or not is not a biography !
Rabbi Aaron Rakkefet who wrote the Silver book and a even better bio of Rabbi Bernard Revel (although his bio of his teacher the Rav falls short on many accounts) studied history and knows something (more than something !!!)about the Jews in the US.
People write bios of gedolim in Poland without knowing anything about Polish Jewish history, they write about gedolim in the USA without knowing much about the trajectory of Jewish history in the US.
You are correct there are few good and serious biographies of gedolim. In my opinion the American ones are better because the writer "bederech mimeila " knows something about America, but some of the bios about European gedolim are chaloshesh historically , but in amny cases powerful Mussar works.
Rabbi Simcha Wasserman is quoted as saying that one of the best Mussar seforim is "A ZADDIK IN OUR TIMES" about the Zaddik R. Arye Levin. This book has little history and only some bio, but yes it is a powerful inspiration.
On the other hand if you wish to read a serious biography read Marc Shapiro's fine work on the Rector of the Berlin Seminary Rabbi Yehiel Y. Weinberg. As with all scholarly works in academia, this one too is open to criticism , but in the main its a serious piece of scholarship.
On another occassion I will list serious bios of gedolim written by Charedi schoalrs usually in Lashon Kodesh , not English.

Chaim Berlin tragedy said...

People stop haggling.

It is well known that while Rav Shlomo Freifeld (RSF) always was and remained a 100% loyal and true Rav Yitzchok Hutner zt"l (RYH) talmid muvhak and chosid until the end, that of all of RYH's greatest talmidim, it was RSF who became the greatest admirer of the last Lubavitcher Rebbe, to the great consternation of many of his Yeshiva Chaim Berlin (CB) friends. It would be interesting to know if and when RSF went to have yechidus with the Rebbe and if anyone has any knowledge about this and of what was discussed between them.

In any case, RYH himself had close ties with both the Rebbes, and the last one was his personal friend -- and RIVAL -- so RSF was simply moving along a familiar pathway of his own Rebbe RYH. The love between RYH and RSF was very great. So much so that when CB left East New York and moved to Far Rockaway in the early 1960s, and when Rav Avigdor Miller ceased to be the mashgiach at CB, it was RSF who became the new mashgiach for a short time, and when CB left Far Rockaway for Flatbush, RSF remained behind and went on to build his own Shor Yoshuv yeshiva from scratch. For some reason some CB people were not happy with that, but they have long made peace with it and now support Shor Yoshuv to the hilt with Rav Naftoli Yeager, RSF's son-in-law as the rosh yeshiva, while RSF's son was sent into golus to Eretz Yisroel where he has a small Kollel in Yerushalayim.

But RSF in his lifetime was not daunted. He took upon himself to pioneer working with and mekareving people in the tumultuous 1960s and built the first REAL Baal teshuva yeshiva for BTs outside of Chabad, way before Ohr Somayach and Aish HaTorah. (Rav Noach Weinberg who established both Ohr Somayach and Aish HaTorah also studied the Chabad mehalech and game plan for Baalei teshuva very closely and came up with his own successful formulations for mekareving BTs and building up BT institutions based on the way Chabad was doing it, but not to the extent that RSF followed the Chabad model. Rav Weinberg sometimes hints at it on some of his tapes.)

RSF was also a very close life-long friend from childhood of Rav Aron Shechter (RAS). There is a huge picture of the two beardless friends seated up front in light suits in the recent CB 100 Year journal. Their bond was so close that RSF was one of the few people whom RAS would take tochacha from on matters relating to frustrations and problems with talmidim they had in common. In one case RAS had expelled a talmid and it was RSF who "dalanged" RAS on behalf of that talmid when noone else dared stand up to RAS's known scare tactics, and they can be very scary. One wonders what RSF would have told RAS regarding how Isaac Hersh was treated? Would RSF have "blessed" 16 year old Isaac Hersh being sent to incarceration in far off Jamaica by his BT father? A clear-cut case of how NOT to do kiruv! No doubt RSF's views would have led to RAS getting some more well-deserved tochacha. He is sorely missed.

RSF guided his closest talmididim to do like they do in Chabad of encouraging recent Baalei teshuva to take on changing their levush and put on long reklech on Shabbos and grow beards (for many of them this was no big deal because they were coming as hippies from the counter-culture with longer beards) and RSF was noheg himself like a Rebbe spending time with the talmidim in yeshiva as much as possible in formal and informal gatherings with the great ruach that he had.

Nowadays, under the new post-RSF hanhala they have long moved away from RSF's derech and have tried to build Shor Yoshuv up as a regular Litvishe yeshiva, which it has basically become for bochurim who do not fit the Lakewood or Brooklyn yeshivishe moulds, and they are VERy happy over there, because there is still an awareness of the need for good ruach and freilchkeit that RSF exuded and taught. They are still living off the capital of RSF's genuine heilige charisma.

RSF maintained positive links with Chabad until his last days, even though he never became a Chabadnik himself and retained his life-long 100% loyalty to his own Rebbe, RYH.

In an interesting final note, unlike other Chaim Berliners, Rav Freifeld used to like to tell over that after Rav Hutner had his near fatal stroke and was gravely ill and semi-conscious in bed in Yerushalayim for three weeks fighting for his life before he passed away, he said many things that puzzled his followers at that time, and one of the things that he supposedly said was that the (Lubavitcher) Rebbe was the "Tzadik HaDor" which RSF took in stride and would like to tell it over to a number of people, but the CB people denied it. No matter, RSF has made his mark on Jewish and Torah history in America HIS WAY.

vus nisht said...

CBT,


“RSF's son was sent into golus to Eretz Yisroel where he has a small Kollel in Yerushalayim.”

He was not sent into galus, he was goleh himself.

He was slated to be the next Rosh Yeshivah, and did not want the position. So he went off to E”Y.


“RSF was also a very close life-long friend from childhood of Rav Aron Shechter (RAS)… Etc…”

Another cheap shot. Did you really feel it was necessary to write an entire seemingly out of place paragraph simply to take another cheap shot at RAS?
Yes, the fact that RSF and RAS were close friends is true. The fact that RSF had the koach to sway the decisions of RAS might also be true. But RSF had many close friends who he was mashbia who were gedolim. So why write this about RAS? Are you that desperate to trash him?
When will you realize that the reason why your alma mater has not treated you the way you feel you deserved is because you are an oisvurf?


“RSF guided his closest talmididim to do like they do in Chabad of encouraging recent Baalei teshuva to take on changing their levush and put on long reklech on Shabbos and grow beards”

RSF got that minhag from RYH. RYH would often encourage his talmidim to change their levush at a time when langeh reklech were generally reserved for Rabbis of stature.

Hirshel Tzig said...

anonymous is a "moron" because he compares apples to oranges, if you will. We're talking a biographer, not the man himself. And we're talking about taking an actual story and inflating it, making a "tremendous" story out of it where there is none. Also, because instead of answering the charge he turns the tables and says "but you do that too!" that's moronic in my humble opinion.

gevezener snag said...

there is a big difference when someone like the Rayatz or any other tzadik tells stories that came down bekabolo from rebbe to rebbe etc - then you accept it bekabolas ol the same way you accept chazal when they seem to be "over the top" or incredible etc. by the way anyone who read the rebbes reshimos could see that the Rayatz put a lot of hishtadles to write accurately and if the smallest detail contained a sofek he would give both versions even if it wouldnt make much difference to the story itself. people who accuse him of opposite of emes not the biggest ohavim of the rebbe or lubavitch.
my attitude would be the same if r aryeh levin or the brisker rov would tell a story which was passed fun dor tsu dor - i would accept it even if its miraculous. artscroll bigraphies are not written by gedolim. everyone knows that they are not based on kabolo and there is no virtue of having kabolas ol and believing them. someone mentioned rabbi aron rakeffet. if you listen to his tapes you will se 2 things. 1. he hithnks artscroll biographies are ludicrous and have very little historical value. if he hears a story told by one of the rebbes ( ger, lubavitch, etc ) about their parents, grandparents vechulu, he usually displays much neemonus to these stories.
so in the nutshell i agree that it is moronic to bring the likutey diburim which are accepted by people who believe in the tzidkus of the rebbe Rayatz to be of a holy source and compare them to artscroll biographies.

Anonymous said...

BOUGHT THE BOOK AND THE GREATNESS IS THAT THEMAN WAS A MENTSCH THROUGH AND THROUGH...COMLPETELY. GREAT READ,

yank said...

i knew rav freifeld, he was s super normal sweet jew. magnetic personality and real ahavas yisroel. even spent a shabbos there before becoming religious.

Anonymous said...

Didn't read the book yet, as it isn't out in stores here (Israel) yet, but enjoyed this week's excerpt in Mishpacha. Looking forward to reading it in full, based on the above and the author's previous book.

The Bray of Fundie said...

what was the authors previous book?

Anonymous said...

"Warmed by their Fire"

Chaim Berlin tragedy said...

vus nisht: You seem to think that you know everything about Yeshiva Chaim Berlin (CB), its personalities and its history and that you have the monopoly on what may or not be said on certain topics and that when you disagree with some comments, that you then have the right to call people "oisvurfs" since you presumably worship RAS like some Lubavitchers worship the Rebbe. Neither is acceptable and it is high time that it is seen that RAS-worship is just as bad, if not worse than being a Meshichist. Just that CBers like to make fun of Lubavitchers when they are victims of the exact same machleS (in the plural! Too many to extrapolate on for now.)

Indeed, that is a great problem with RAS since he has turned 80 he has become more entrenched and hardened in his tyrannical ways, this is no chidush so don't get mad when a spade is called a spade, and RAS has veered off into behaviors that he would have never done since the days of the Rav Shlomo Carlebach (RSC) machlokes 30 years ago.

IT IS HIGH TIME THAT RAS RETIRED following the example of his Rebbe Rav Hutner (RYH) who retired to make way for RAS when RAS was younger.

RYH also spent his last decade working on completing his Sefer Pachad Yitzchok and RAS must now take time to work on completing the Sefer Avodas Aron he started. All the chidushim he has said, in ma'amarim and gemora shiurim deserve his attention and he should stop making bad decisions in behalf of the yeshiva and let others run the show while he works on his magnum opus for posterity. But no, he prefers sending 16 year olds to jail in Jamaica or ruining a sheitel macher across from CB or making life hell for Lipa and now in the MODIAH he is involved with rabbonim in checking the kashrus of OIL. Give us all a break, and cut out the tear-jerking nonsense and let's see a new dor. The old Satmer Rebbes would go to Miami, Florida or Palm Springs, California for months each year, it did not make them less choshuv, why can't RAS do the same and take the lachatz off the necks of everyone in CB?

If you cannot see how this dictatorship (because that is what it is in a nutshell) poses a danger to everyone in CB, how anyone and any talmid can get abused by him with that proverbial sudden "knock on the door in the middle of the night" and be either thrown out on the street, the CB mesivta recently tossed out a bunch of boys with RAS haskoma (suprise, surprise), or worse as if it was the KGB calling as happened in the Isaac Hersh case, whose father Michoel Hersh does not make a move without clearing it with RAS first, and how CB was then dragged through the mud for the events surrounding the Isaac Hersh drama and how it set CB back by a long way (events which were not of my making.)

Hey, why don't you focus on the REAL oisvurf here Reb Michael Hersh who still sits up front in CB breathing down RAS's neck as RAS smiles at him every Shabbos? You need to take off your self-serving blinkers and stop your knee-kerk defenses of the indefensible and that calling others by a thousand evil names and curses will never make that go away.

You are fighting "the enemies of the state" like a retarded communist. Try to wake up and smell the coffee that there is something terribly rotten in the state of Denmark!

You seem to also think that you know the inside story about everything in CB and you equate RAS with CB as an "alma mater" -- get this buddy: RAS is NOT CB nor does he embody all of the "alma mater" because the sum of the 100 year plus yeshiva is greater than its parts and RAS is just *one* (albeit big) part of it and *not" its whole, something that you and RAS seem to miss out on al pi Louis the XIV who said "I am the state" -- and guess what happened a few years later? The People revolted against such abuses of power, just as people are walking away from CB and moving anywhere, Lakweood, Monsey, Yerushalayim, anywhere because they just can't take the crazy self-importance and meshugasen anymore. If you think that this is me making things up, you are really in trouble.

Or perhaps you believe in RAS, the same way that dyed-in-the-wool Lubavitchers equate Chabad with the Rebbe which is just not the same thing as any sane and intelligent and objective person knows. Well, let me tell you, things are not so freilich in Crown Heights either after the Rebbe left this world.

Stop wasting cyber-space with threats because they will not stop free speech. If you persist in having tantrums and issuing insults instead of debating like a mentsch, you will definitely regret what will be stated next.

The Bray of Fundie said...

Don't you think it's presumptous to suggest how RAS spend his remaining years?

RYH magnum opus has enduring historical significance. Do you really think that Avodas Ahron has the same cache?

Although with Long Beach and Philly as cautionary tales it is smart for a Roshashiva to have his transition team in place pre-need. I will grant you that.

The Bray of Fundie said...

BTW people move to Lakewood and Yerushalayim due to the attractiveness of those places not due to the repulsiveness of CB.

Are Torah Vodaas, Mir OP or Torah Temimah doing any better?

Didn't Torah Temimah open a branch in Lakewood HoIr a few years back?

Chaim Berlin tragedy said...

Bray of fundie asks: "Don't you think it's presumptous to suggest how RAS spend his remaining years?"

The problem is that around RAS and CB the atmosphere has become so confining and oppressive that it is "presumptious" to say or do *anything* within ear-shot and eye-shot of RAS because of the huge shadow he casts wherever he goes.

At least Rav Hutner had a sense of humor and made people laugh even in the toughest times. He was ENJOYABLE, even as he made enemies. A TRUE Gadol BeYisroel. With RAS, there is no humor, no jokes, no happiness -- in spite of that fake enigmatic paste-on smile. It is the atmosphere of a salt-mine all in the name of his mantra of "ameilus beTorah" that very few can live up to as he would like them to -- no down time time to go window shopping outside the yeshiva because chas vesholom you will see a sheitel shop with a photo of a lady's head wearing a sheitel yet (so it must be obliterated with poison letters), no time or permission to listen to "treife music" even if its Yiddishe songs, or go to a concert on chol hamoed like from Lipa (so you must sign on to false kol kores with forged signatures), because they are all "menuvolim" (oh, but classical music is ok, as if Beethoven or Chaikosvsky were less menuvalim), no time to see that maybe your kids are not interested in being yeshivish (and therefore act like a tyrant and ban anyone familiar with helping kids at risk, like Rabbi Yehuda Fine who started to deal with this problem years ago, but CB found excuses to dump him and he left NYC miserable), like with Isaac Hersh and maybe you should think of raising them more modern and of a college career that RYH allowed and that RAS despises because being a little more modern and wearing a colored shirt and sports jacket would be, oh so dreadfully "goyish", even though it would mean that you needn't send your kid to jail later on to Jamaica, no time for any fun, to let "boys be boys" as RYH once told one of his rebbeim who was complaining that some bochurim had burned down a shed in Camp Morris the CB summer camp. In such an atmosphere, that is not just inhumane but unhuman, is it any wonder that people are chafing under this tottering and crumbling regime of a senior citizen like RAS and want to jump ship and move away?

It is time to let go of the mystique and the aura and see the whole CB situation for what it is, an institution of young students run by a very cranky, unpredictable and now dangerous old man, who is NOT meant to be taken as or worshipped like a Chasidishe Rebbe (there are plenty of problematic ones) whose underlings fear and tremble as he stares them down. IT IS TIME THE SPELL OF "THE WIZARD" WAS BROKEN !!!! This is no way to run a yeshiva that wants to ensure that its students and faculty are and remain happy in MODERN DAY FLATBUSH WHICH IS NOT INTERESTED IN BECOMING THE SECOND BORO PARK/BNAI BRAK, and most of the students and their parents are not under his spell, except for the small minority of CB enforcers and "RAS storm troopers" a number of whom now patrol the Internet and act as his hit men like dear old "vus nisht" who worship him as if were some kind of Lubavitcher Rebbe, and which they would be the first to tell you is avoda zora, except that they don't see it on themselves.

CB Outsider said...

CB moved to Far Rockaway in 1964.
from a CB Insider said to CB Outsider: Shortly after RSF's demise, RYD and RBD were demanding possession of the CB priceless Nathan Isaacs Memorial Library and its relocation to PY in Israel. At the same time there was major friction between RMF (the new "Rav" of Shaar Yashuv) and its 2 Roshei Yeshiva. In stepped RAF to the rescue who bought RSF's priceless library from all the children and then gave it to RYD and PY to stop their demands to move the CB library to Israel, with the money for RSF's library agreed to be paid his son RMF to exit Far Rockaway and his rabonis.
Sholom al Yisroel.
CB kept its library, PY got RSF's library, RMF got $ and the other 2 Roshei Yeshiva got the Shaar Yashuv Yeshiva. An AHF masterstroke!
a sidenote:
I have admired Chaim Berlin Tragedy's consistently accurate description of CB history and politic in this matter and that of RSC - and no doubt we are well acqainted, but as blogs go so do true identies submerge themselves.

The Bray of Fundie said...

is it any wonder that people are chafing under this tottering and crumbling regime of a senior citizen like RAS and want to jump ship and move away?

Nonsense. It has nothing to do with this. As his Rebbee Rav Hutner, RAS always "muhned" from his talmidim. If anything he has mellowed and is less demanding and more forgiving than 20-25 years ago. Those who are not "meqabel mahrus" chaffe at a very early age and are seldom long time Berliners.

The flight to Lakewood and EY is fueled, as I have argued before, by a variety of financial, demographic and social factors that are not CB-specific.

Why can't you concede the truth of this?

As for boys being boys, while it's accurate to say that bochurim today are on a shorter leash than in RYH's era

A. Perhaps the times demand this change? Or would you prefer preservative, Brisk-like vail der Tatteh hut azoi getuhn leadership that is non-dynamic and does not adapt?

B. In CB while boys were allowed to be boys men were expected to become men. Neither RYH nor his talmid muvhak will tolerate plateuing and grooving into a rut. They demand(ed) hekherkeit, she-ifos and constant lifetime growth. The 3 dirtiest words in CB are Balibatishkeit, vaiberishkeit and, worst of all kinderishkeit.

The Bray of Fundie said...

of CB enforcers and "RAS storm troopers" a number of whom now patrol the Internet and act as his hit men like dear old "vus nisht"

ROTFL. I didn't know that you did comedy!

No one loyal enoughto RAS to be one of his "storm troopers" would be caught dead on the internet which he has roundly and consistently demonized. Heck most of the true believers won't even use a cel phone because of his k'paidas against there use!

The Bray of Fundie said...

CB tragedy..

Why didn't you keep the Boys of Am Echad thread going?

The Bray of Fundie said...

To beat a dead horse, I personally know a number of BMG yungerleit who grew up in CB who have the warm fuzzies for RAS and would be members of KGA today if

A. they could afford houses in Flatbush as they can in Lakewood and

B. If the sheer number/ critical mass of quality lomdisha yungeleit in KGA was at all compararble to those in BMG.

Remember historically BMG had at least 4 succesful (Philly, Long Beach, Scranton, Denver)OOT branches feeding it for 20-30 years since the early 60s while CB had two shvacha (Memphis, Pittsburgh) ones that folded years ago.

Once you get past a certain age your chaburah becomes more important than your Roshashiva.

Chaim Berlin tragedy said...

Since bray of fundie seems so energized, this is a small response:

You say: "If anything he has mellowed and is less demanding and more forgiving than 20-25 years ago."

You are only describing the lowering of RAS's energy level due to the natural consequnces of the aging process on any human being. However, RAS has off-set this with recent DECISIONS, made public and that is why we are discussing them, that reflect something far different: An agitated mind hell-bent on rocking the boat when he was satisfied to leave all kinds of craziness happening all around him alone in the past. It is paradoxical, but it is true that as he is aging, and seemingly "mellowing" he is at the same also firing at targets that he deems undesirable and this is very alarming and must be opposed by those who may be directly affected by his decisions and actions.

You say: "The flight to Lakewood and EY is fueled, as I have argued before, by a variety of financial, demographic and social factors that are not CB-specific."

While nothing happens in a vacuum, least of all socio-economic changes, but plenty of bochurim and their families, while having their kids in the CB yeshiva ketana and even if they let them go to the CB mesivta will under no circumstnaces allow their kids to enter the bais medrash under RAS both among college-goers and yeshiva-only people. Even if some remain in or return to CB, or many come from CB families, they do not wish to dig roots into CB any more with many young couples moving to Lakewood in particular. The point being that if RAS and CB had been able to make themselves truly attractive they would not be facing the constant brain drain that they do each year. Granted it's complicated and not one-dimensional and not just due to CB's stance, but there can be no doubt that the arrogance of CB has become to tiresome for too many people and they just walk away from it even before they ever get to it.

I am not sure what you mean in Point A about "Brisk-like vail der Tatteh hut azoi getuhn leadership that is non-dynamic" because that is EXACTLY the kind of model that RAS loves and emulates, proof is that Brisk loves the small stream of bochurim that come from CB and it's no wonder because RAS has already turned them into do-or-die we-only-follow-orders Briskers long before they get there, unlike in the days of RYH when he carried on his famous rivarly with Brisk, disliking them, and never encouraging any talmid to go there. If they had to go to EY then he would send them to Chevron yeshiva or Mir yeshiva, but never Brisk, unlike RAS who even has one of his personal devoted talmidim living in Eretz Yisroel who gives the interviews to bochurim who want to enter Rav Dovid's Brisker yeshiva, so how much more of a RAS-Brisk connection can you get and it is precisely this model that Klal Yissroel living in Flatbush is not ready for nor does it aspire to that, except for the few elitists looking for rich shvers and shiduchim.

You say: "Neither RYH nor his talmid muvhak will tolerate plateuing and grooving into a rut. They demand(ed) hekherkeit, she-ifos and constant lifetime growth."

Sorry to tell you but this is all blah-blah-blah hogwash because the only thing that counts in CB is either brains or money. If you have either one in great quantities you will be lionized and they will lick your tush, if not forget about it, you are just a number on the roster of students (they need to have filling to make the place look good after all) and maybe you will get a smile or a nod of the head from RAS. Methinks you need to grow up and not stick to one-dimensional boy-scout propaganda that befits a CB dinner pep talk and not what the CB balebatim say behind closed doors. They are just after your pocketbook and if you don't have a fat bank account they could care less if you were the Chofetz Chaim or Sara Schenirer.

You say: "No one loyal enough to RAS to be one of his "storm troopers" would be caught dead on the internet"

This is not true, they even have an OFFICIAL reliabale weekly Email from CB sent to all alumni online with some CB small talk news, and there are many who spend time on the Internet and while rules are given to the ignorant masses maybe, CB and RAS has a more than a few talmidim who are very advanced IT people and they are familiar with the web, they no doubt report what they need to report to RAS (like all good tattle-tellers running to tell "Big Brother" who likes to watch you all over) and there is no doubt, based on the way anyone questioning RAS on the Isaac Hersh story online got pummeled, that RAS has unleashed his cyber-patrols with their cyber-attack dogs, as you see with "vus nisht" an arrogant chutzpinyak he is the true believer devoid of an independent thought with a killer-instinct to defend the indefensible because it comes from RAS instead of thinking it through and debating the issues.

You ask: "Why didn't you keep the Boys of Am Echad thread going?"

I got tired of it and "vus nisht" was becoming a pain in the tuches, and this thread opened up a new way of discussing some broad-ranging CB and RAS topics as well to the chagrin of vus nisht and his ilk.

Chaim Berlin tragedy said...

Thank you "cb outsider" for your very observant words that I am reposting with my comments inserted within them below:

"from a CB Insider said to CB Outsider: Shortly after RSF's demise, RYD and RBD were demanding possession of the CB priceless Nathan Isaacs Memorial Library and its relocation to PY in Israel."

If this is true, then RYD had good reasons for wanting it because he is probably the only one who has the time and advanced skills taught to him by RYH and knows how to use the old texts and how to apply them, so for CB to hold on to them was was a point of shallow pride more than anything else. They also did not take such good care of that library and at one time some of the books in it were ruined by water damage, so RYD knew what he was doing trying to save them from further possible damage and oblivion.

"At the same time there was major friction between RMF (the new "Rav" of Shaar Yashuv) and its 2 Roshei Yeshiva."

This was known and in fact there was even friction before RSF passed away when he pushed out one of his top magidei shiur, Rabbi MC Hunger to make way for his (RSF's) own family. There was much bitterness over this because R MCH is a great talmid chochem and was very effective and very beloved in Shor Yoshuv. RYH then took him in and eventually he got a slot as a mesivta rebbe. Of note R MCH's brother-in-law was Rabbi Kleinkaufman who together with Rabbi Moshe Greenes were involved with and running the CB mesivta in Far Rockaway until they were unceremoniously dumped without pay by RYH in favor of R' Chaim Segal of Mesivta of Crown Heights who was given a mandate to run the new CB mesivta in Flatbush instead. The machlokes between RYH and Rabbis Greenes and Kleinkaufman was a bitter one and was never resolved. It was at that time that Yeshiva Derech Eisan was established by Rabbis Per (another CBer) and Brafman in Far Rockaway. CB's years in Far Rockaway are neither successful nor happy ones.

"In stepped RAF to the rescue who bought RSF's priceless library from all the children and then gave it to RYD and PY to stop their demands to move the CB library to Israel, with the money for RSF's library agreed to be paid his son RMF to exit Far Rockaway and his rabonis.
Sholom al Yisroel."

In such matters, RAF would never do anything effecting the fate of CB without first reviewing it with his partner RAS. They do everything together when it comes to the fate of CB, just that often, as it appears here, RAF acts as the front man or hit man for his master's voice to give cover to RAS so that RAS can look innocent when he is most definitely guilty.

The reason is interesting in this regard. RAS, while a devoted pupil of RYH also disliked RYH's quirks and eccentricities of which he had many, especially as he aged. While RAS is the good all-American born kid who does not tolerate chochmas well, RYH was the classical prankish humorous Galitzianer and sharfer Kotzker speaking his mind openly quite often with not just wise cracks to suit all moments but with a genuine interest in all sorts of very odd people, or the "funny people" as they call them. These were the nonconformists and "characters" often with lots of spunk and charisma that RYH would love to lure into being his disciples and many of them became very effective mechanchim and mekarvim. But RAS has an aversion to that side of RYH's personality and to those kind of "funny" people. He hates wise guys and he is very suspicious of people with charisma (only he is allowed to have a SCARY kosher brand of it it seems). Anyhow, the point being, that RSF exemplified and ambodied much of RYH's Galitizianer prankish side, as well as being a big talmid chochem. So while RAS may have admired RSF's Torahdikke side, and may even have laughed at his jokes, he was definitely not a fan of RSF-type wise-cracking opinionated charisma -- and it is PRECISELY that type of unconventional charisma that RSF's son RMF inherited from his father, to the chagrin of others who were more into being hunorLESS "straight shooters."

But RMF personality would have made him a great head for an insitution catering to Baalei teshuva who love that sort of thing that turns them on to Yiddishkeit, like Rav Noach Weinberg of Aish HaTorah who carries on like a Hollywood comedian but gets fantastic results as a result as BT's love that sort of thing and flock to him. So poor RSF's son, RMF, became the victim of his own personality in the eyes of RAS and his people and hence a plot to get rid of him, and no doubt by now he knows full well that RAS was NOT on his side but on the side of Rabbi Yeager, RSF's son-in-law who is directly under the thumb of RAS and noone else.

So forget RAF's tricks as Mister Money Bags (he acts more like Scrooge to those who come to him for nedovas from all over, they even have a name for him, something about "grobbe peyos"), the real master, surprise surprise, was in all probability RAS because RAF does nothing on his own when it comes to CB and "alumni" families like the Freifelds.

"CB kept its library, PY got RSF's library, RMF got $ and the other 2 Roshei Yeshiva got the Shaar Yashuv Yeshiva. An AHF masterstroke!"

In CB history there are hardly any happy endings, and what you have described is a true tragedy and nothing to write home about, see above.

"a sidenote:
I have admired Chaim Berlin Tragedy's consistently accurate description of CB history and politic in this matter and that of RSC - and no doubt we are well acqainted, but as blogs go so do true identies submerge themselves."

Thank you, much obliged.

Anonymous said...

tragedy, you are a master; did you read this book and is any of it true? was rabbi sf really so remarkeable?

The Bray of Fundie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chaim Berlin tragedy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Bray of Fundie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
LkwdGuy said...

As a regular reader and someone who married into CB and all that that entails, I enjoy and appreciate most of CBT's comments. However, I must agree with part of Chaim's (Bray) last comment. I actually gasped out loud when I read CBT's comment, not believing that someone like him would go that far. I urge the host to censor that comment and not be a party to causing more grief where there undoubtedly is already way too much.

chaim berlin tragedy (edited for content) said...

Chaim Berlin tragedy said...

bray of fundie comments quoted with responses within:

"Motti Friefeld it is pretty easy to see that he is a textbook victim of Roshashiva's-son-syndrome, and, as a result of never being able to fill his father z"l's giant shoes, basically a shever kli."

Very harsh. He could have been helped. Many times Rebbes and Rosh Yeshivas are succeeded by sons much less than they are. He was a marked man from childhood because RSF was viewed by CBers as "CB property" and RSF life's work is regarded by CBers as "their" work because in CB thinking it is "mah shekana eved kana rabbo" and thus all of RSF's kinyanim in ruchniyus and gashmiyus they regard as their literal booty from their, mind you FAILED effort, to build "Yeshiva Chaim Berlin of Long Island" as they themselves called CB when it was in Far Rockaway for four years in the 1960s, and it is why they could not be sovel to look at RMF because he may have had other ideas in his head and they were not about to invest in someone they did not like and it is also why they are 100% invested in shoring up Shor Yoshuv financially and by sending their RAM's there to give "guest lectures" every now and again to "buck the place up" and if one misses the ruthless thinking underlying all of this it is to miss the entire modus operandi of how RAS and his minions in CB work, and RAF is just a puppet as long as RAS is alive.

"I wouldn't bet on him to run a successful grocery store, much less a Yeshiva."

One does not have to "run" anything to be a Rosh Yeshiva, one only has to be it and leave the running up to others. RAF and RAS were more than happy to buy RMF off and send him packing to EY, but they would never give a dime to support him in Far Rockaway, why is that? Simple, they want there type of people, humorless and colorless drones, with high IQs preferably, who will be under their thumbs and not do anything without consulting RAS and RAF first. That is the way this dark empire works and why it is so dangerous and why most people see through it, often instinctively without even realizing it consciously, people just sense the weirdness of it all and just stay awaya. Moving to Lakewood, or even to EY, and learning with NORMAL non-spooky chevra in NJ is just a lot simpler, easier on the nervous system, and emotionally safer for your average yeshivishe yungerleit.

"If he 'had it' (and indeed he may, but low-self-esteem has prevented from actualizing it) what, genoi, has prevented from building a successsful BT Yeshiva until now?

Answer: He needed MONEY, as in "im ein kemach ein Torah" or as in the "Zevulun and Issacher" model that CBers use selectively to further their own ends. And once they further broke his spirit by making ash un blotte out of him, by not following the normal derech and crowning the son and not the son-in-law, his spirit and self esteeem would have gotten a lot better and stronger, like a hungry many who is fed. Tell me, is Rav Shlomo Haliwa, RAS's son-in-law and top magid shiur such a great personality? He is Sefardic, a very quiet and genuinely humble person who couldn't run anything, but he has the the IQ of a genius and the kop of a gaon. So you know what they do in CB, they SUPPORT him and they don't expect him to run anything. Just be who you are and we will help you. But when it came to RSF's son who did not even have to be a velt's gaon, just a memaleh mokom kemoso, they had other ideas, the knives were long out and probably, judging by all the support Rabbi Yeager got from them later who must have had RAS advising him how to oust RMF, and most importantly giving the "hechsher" or perverted da'as Torah run amok yet again (indeed you can see the Isaac Hersh metaphor and method for RMF too, that if you have a problem in your domain, capture/kidnap it and send it away to exile some place, an old technique for those who are unable to do what the Mafia does and just rub out people, but this method has the same results and RAS has done it too many times and that is why the Isaac Hersh case has had such traction because like those Palestinian bomb-makers, if they do it too often, eventually one of those bombs goes off in their hands and knocks them out too.) This would not be the first time RAS plays Machiaveli, it is his speciality and he could have taught thge old Italian philosopher a thing or two. I can can personally vouch for that.

"Certainly not a lack of BTs or potential new ones!"

Nisht tzum zach and you calously make it sound like BT's are floating around like insects and all one has to do is catch them. In EY he is like a fish out of water. The name Freifeld means nothing over there whereas in Far Rockaway the name Freifeld is a household legend that every frum family hears about very quickly and RMF as the scion of such a family would have to do NOTHING, just smile widely, walk down the streets and come to HIS yeshiva, get chamishi every shabbos and Yom Tov, say kiddush at the weekly get together in the hall, say over a shtikel derush and sing a zemira, like any Rebbe does and like his father did, and leave the shiurim to the boring lomdim who are emotionally immature and maybe even sick, such --------------------------------------------------- and the place may have been a TRUE continuation of RSF's legacy instead of the fake shell that touts his name but has no shaichos to RSF the man and his essence at all.

The Bray of Fundie said...

CB tragedy.

IIRC @ the Shloshim for RSF (derech agav it took place the same night Meir Kahane HY"D was assasinated) RAS gave a ma'mar @ Sho'or Yoshuv and did, in fact, coronate Motti as the new RY. I'm sure the audio tapes are obtainable so , seeing as you are such a CB historian please do your homework and check it out. I wouldn't bet the rent but this is what I recall.

Whatever happened afterwards was due to intramural machinations within the Freifeld family.

Though you are generally an interesting read (I'd add that all the Lashon Hara and motsee shem rah in your posts makes you a guilty pleasure as well!) your unbrideled hatred for RAS sometimes makes you sound like the kind of looney-tune conspiracy theorists that had JFK taking 80 bullets from 50 directions or the Mossad engineering the 9.11 attacks.

.....
Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! This comment is really beyond the pale.

Look I'm no tzaddik. J-Blogs are cesspools of Lashon Hara and I plead guilty to wading in them. Still, even among thieves there must be honor. Some things/topics are just out-of-bounds. Thatwas one of them

Tzig..Thanks for expunging the data from both mine and CB tragedy's comments (although hundreds have probably already read it and much damage has been done)and CB tragedy I appeal to you to drop your pursuit of this line like a hot potato.

BTW if you know RNJ personally(sic Yeager) and still consider him either a "dry humorless lamdan" or "emotionally sick" you are either a REALLY poor judge of people (wait I knew that already from the way you routinely trash RAS) or a premeditated liar with an ax to grind.

Ay he doesn't have his shver's or RYH level of charisma???? That's like saying that if you're not Micahel Jordan you must not know how to play basketball.

What malarkey.

Anonymous said...

CBT, please email me at ym2300@gmail.com, I have a CB question to ask you and I don't want to air it in public.

Chaim Berlin tragedy said...

bray of fundie now you sound like vus nisht in your last response.

Get this: RAS does not play by any rules which a lot of folks around him just don't get and by the time they have any inkling it's too late for them. So yes, he can go and give a hesped for his best friend, and then go back to his office and whisper instructions into the phone that go against everything he has said or written publicly. Such is the nature of this complicated duplicitous destruction machine.

RAS modus operandi is that he is outwardly meticulous and machmir on one level, but on another level, in the crevices of his ever-alert mind, he operates as if he were God himself because he has delved into too much Kabalah and he knows too much nistar for his and everyone else's good. At this time he is essentially a malfunctioning WIZARD, in the literal magical sense and that is why he is so able to hypnotize and immobilize his opponents. People are deceived into thinking that they are dealing with a "tzadik" with a long beard (it's the equivalant of the hypnotist's swinging pendulum because most folks can't get past that facial facet of RAS and remain in awe of a man capable of such an impressive "hadras ponim", to their peril) and his huge colgate smile when in fact they are dealing with one of the most dangerous rabbis in modern times. It is very simple to prove this, for example, just go ask Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach for his assessment of RAS and review all the ORIGINAL documents that have recently been published online (not by me) denouncing RAS and RAF and with rulings from Rav Moshe Feinstein the RASHKEBEHAG, and from various Batei Din that RAS as well as RAF are plain and poshut mesarvim ledin and hence they are lo tzayis dino. Not my doing. Not my loshen hora. Not my imagination. I was there when it happened though and I can give some opinion that it was a merciles and ruthless affair. Horrible. And you dare to stand here and lecture me? Very funny indeed. Are they going to take me to a din Torah? Let them try. Will I get a knock on the door at midnight? Who cares. I do not fear death, I have almost died a few times, why should fear cowards and bullies who live in luxury off the backs of Klal Yisroel's ruchniyisdikke and gashmiyisdikke work and donations.

Go on threaten me like vus nisht, do you think that will make the problems that stem from RAS bad decisions go away and that effect all those around him. Think again buddy.

For the record, RAS has tried to exile me and kill me off so many times that by now I am the walking dead, and one thing you and RAS should know, you cannot kill a dead man!

Anonymous said...

tzig you should leave up the crap posted by tragedy it shows what a bitter lowlife he is

The Bray of Fundie said...

ym2300

can I try? :)

Chaim Berlin tragedy said...

By the way, in case anyone missed the recent Wednesday, June 18, 2008 11:31:00 AM post by an anonymous, not by me, at the eralier Wednesday, June 04, 2008 thread of "The Boys Of Am Echad" I am reposting it here because of its EXTREME relevance. (In particular, I wonder who that Gadol on the Moetzes was who called RAS a "rotzyach" is, is he also a "lowlife" and a an "oisvurf" and how about all the rabbonim and askonim who finally woke up and smlled RAs's coffee, are they also "farbissen" and full of "loshen hora" and whatnot against RAS becaue all of this is out in the public domain once and for all???):


Several points are being missed here. There is a klal “Ein cholkim kavod lorav bemakom chillul Hashem”. RAS is guilty of making some bad judgments here. The horrible part is that the research about Jamaica had not been done well, and the original decision may well have been flawed and irresponsible due to lack of data. However, there were numerous efforts to provide this information to him, and he rejected them. Throughout the efforts to rescue IH, when other gedolim were already involved and pleading the case, he maintained staunch resistance. This went to the point of another gadol of the Mo’etzes calling RAS (directly) a “rotzayach”. The original mistake might be dismissed as an error, but the akshonus of keeping the status despite the evidence and pleas from numerous others (including Rabbonim, askonim, and others) is not defensible. This is the bitter taste regarding RAS that lingers on.

As far as daas Torah is concerned, not everything that a gadol says is automatically daas Torah. If a gadol asks to pass the salt, is that daas Torah? Not every decision qualifies as daas Torah. Any decision that involves other sources of influence outside of Torah cannot be considered daas Torah. Whether this is a bias based on relationship, money, secular knowledge and education is irrelevant. The input to a decision must be 100% Torah to qualify as daas Torah. From the involvement RAS had here, it was clear that other factors played a role, though I would not pass judgment. That is enough to disqualify his decisions as daas Torah.

Yes, mistakes happen. However, to defend mistakes is no longer a “shogeg”; it is a “mayzid”.

Anonymous said...

>For the record, RAS has tried to exile me and kill me off so many times that by now I am the walking dead, and one thing you and RAS should know, you cannot kill a dead man!

Your comments on the Clarbach post were pretty mild compared to this. What did he do to you in the last 6 months that turned you so bitter?

Anonymous said...

"For the record, RAS has tried to exile me and kill me off so many times that by now I am the walking dead, and one thing you and RAS should know, you cannot kill a dead man!"

Mr. Objective slips up and admits it's all personal, how surprising.

To Bray: Wouldn't Dovid be better than Chaim?

The Bray of Fundie said...

Phew!!! Sorry CB tragedy. I'll try to back off. looks like I touched a really raw nerve.

Pardon, but where genoi, did I threaten you?

You've called me a naive idiot among other things all I did was insist that an expunged comment you nade was out-of-bounds. Lakewood guy, who admires your comments, agrees with me!

I commend you for dropping that line of attack. Please resist future temptations to pursue it. That is not a threat that is a polite request fueled by (IMO) righteous indignation and a sense of fair play.

in the crevices of his ever-alert mind,

Well you may hate him but at least you respect his prowess.

Chaim Berlin tragedy said...

To the two anonymous posters who ask:

"Your comments on the Clarbach post were pretty mild compared to this. What did he do to you in the last 6 months that turned you so bitter?"

6 months? Try a lifetime. And for now, while I admit to throwing in a line or two about me personally, I am not ready to tell my full story yet, if ever, because the topics of these threads and discussions never was and most definitely is not about me or any of the posters. Time will tell. But of course, the critics and the CB true believers, many who worship RAS like some Lubavitchers worship the Rebbe as "God in a guf" will have caniptions. So be it. Personally I believe with all my heart that my cyber pen is mightier than RAS's pseudo-sword/s.

"Mr. Objective slips up and admits it's all personal, how surprising."

You are mixing things up. There is the RSC fiasco, nothing to do with me, and I tried to bend over backwards to see and EXPLAIN it from RAS, RYH and the CB perspective and why CB acted like they did, otherwise how else can the 30 year war between RAS and RSC be understood. If you or anyone has anything better to tell then do so, but making baby-ish comments from the peanut gallery adds nothing to anyone's understanding of these grave matters.

Then there is RAS's role in the recent Isaac Hersh fiasco that really opened up all the old wounds that many people carry with them aside form letting many people get a look at what is really going on here. And for anyone concerned, who may have had first hand contact with the letters of RAS against the sheitel store and his signing on to the fake Lipa ban, the Isaac Hersh story caused many others, not me, to release all sorts of additional documents from the RSC disaster online for the world to read and download. I have made extra copies of everything myself in case a Bais Din needs to see who I am dealing with.

And now we have posts about youth at risk and RSF which all relate one way or another to RAS as a pre-eminent American Agudah Torah leader.

Finally, there is everyone's personal life, including Tzig the owner of this blog and why he runs it and the way he chooses to do it, that allows for personal expression. You can't make all the people happy all the time, and when one writes one must bite the bullets, so that as the heat increases to uncomfortbale levels for some people, some will start personal insults and curses and others agree that the words are accurate. Let the chips fall where they may, since, hey, you can't make everyone happy.

Chaim Berlin tragedy said...

bray of fundie says: "Well you may hate him but at least you respect his prowess."

Umm, to date I do not believe I have used the word "hate" in regard to RAS so please stop using it.

It is more complicated than that.

And sure, when did I say that RAS is in any way less than a giant?

For all his recent open and obvious failures of judgment, he is a true velt's gaon in Torah and Avoda and I have never criticised his Torah and Avoda.

I just feel that the Isaac Hersh fiasco was the last straw (it broke my proverbial camel's back and I am in turmoil over what he did. Totally unthinkable.) And of his notorious temper tantrums, or "rampages" as they are called by his talmidim in yeshiva and screaming his head off at pupils, and it was those rampages that used to drive the even-keeled RSC up the wall as they were no way to madrich a new young dor in a bais medrash.

But now RAS does not need to rampage so much within CB because he has cowed and intimidated everyone there, so his natural instinct to rampage in his old age, like an old bull elephant not held back by his ezer kenegdo since she is not well, he takes it out on the world and that is very dangerous for anyone within firing range of him, like parents, talmdim, and balebatim who don't want to be treated the way he treated RSC or Isaac Hersh 30 years later.

Anonymous said...

"I am not ready to tell my full story yet, if ever, because the topics of these threads and discussions never was and most definitely is not about me"

I'm sure Tzig will gladly lend you his soap box for a few minutes to have your opportunity for the therapeutic venting you so desperately crave. Don't forget Tzig knew nothing about Chaim Berlin (other than what is on Wikipedia) before someone graciously gave him the RSC papers, and he's been relishing in it since.

Anonymous said...

TRAGEDY, how recent was your clash with CB, and why can't you move on with life like most other institutional victims?

"For the record, RAS has tried to exile me and kill me off so many times..."

Why didn't you just avoid him, like anyone with a brain would do after the first time?

"Exile"

?

Anonymous said...

"because he has delved into too much Kabalah and he knows too much nistar for his and everyone else's good"

RAS dabbled in Kabalah? Dream on buddy.

Hirshel Tzig said...

Don't forget Tzig knew nothing about Chaim Berlin (other than what is on Wikipedia) before someone graciously gave him the RSC papers, and he's been relishing in it since.

I take umbrage to that snide comment. I have spent time in CB on Purim and other times, and have come into direct contact with many of their graduates way before Wiki and the internet. To say that I knew nothing about them is just not true.

Let me take this opportunity to thank both CBT and BOF for their educating comments here. I know how much time it takes them, and I thank them for it. All you others too.

Anonymous said...

"For the record, RAS has tried to exile me and kill me off so many times that by now I am the walking dead, and one thing you and RAS should know, you cannot kill a dead man!"

What "power" does he have? What more can he do other than tell you not to daven there? Do you really think he's out to finish you off? Do you really think he's trying to force you to out of the neighborhood?

This sounds like
ורדף אתם קול עלה נדף ונסו מנסת חרב ונפלו ואין רדף

Either you are a masochist, or very illusioned, but something doesn't add up.

The Bray of Fundie said...

This thread is a textbook lesson in
מתוך שבחו אתה בא לספר בגנותו
It started out with such a nice title : "Big Man Good Book" and swiftly degenerated into a lashon hara fest spinning wildly out of control with no-holds-barred, no prisoners-taken, no-quarter-given nastiness.

I apologize for losing myself to this mean-spiritedness.

It is hoped that todays continuation offering

http://theantitzemach.blogspot.com/2008/06/still-not-whole-story-book-review-part.html

will turn out better with appropriate admiration given to every odom godol.

The Bray of Fundie said...

Assuming readers will allow me the last word here i'd like to be mesayem this long and winding thread by being no-etz sofo b'tkhiloso.

I started by complaining about how IMO Gedolim hagiographies arrest the development of potential future Gedolim.

I now maintain that they erode respect for current Gedolim as well. Why? because they are formulaic and pre-scripted. It's almost as if the names of the gedolim are fungible and interchangeable.

All Tzadikim behave one particular way and any ma'aseh could've occurred by any of the many different Tzadikim. Specifically, the template demands someone soft-spoken, benign and non-confrontational. When we think Gedolim we think wouldn't-hurt-a-fly, hand rubbing, "can-I-do-you-a-khesed?" asking sweethearts in the Chofetz Chaim , Rav Yaakov Kaminetky mold. We don't think roaring lion, speaking-truth-to-power revolutionaries in the Kotzker or Satmar Rebbe molds.

But make no mistake. Tzadikim and Gedolim come in many different styles and personality types. I'm no adept at Qaballah but this probably has to do with shoresh neshomas rooted in the sitra d'gvurah or the sitra d'kehsed. Being human beings after all, nature and nurture play roles as well. In any event when a contemprary Godol does not "fit" the template the uncomprehending tend to attack their credentials.

I'm not going to be a historical revisionist and claim that no one from the Chaim Berlin cheder have tough, uncompromising or *PERHAPS* even manipulative streaks in their personalities. But so what? It all depend on how the human koiakh for confrontation and manipulation is used. If it's for selfish goals then it is sitra akhra, if it to serve the Aibershter it is m'sitra d'Qedusha.

There are NO intrinsically BAD middos. They are Middos=measures and if measured and calibrated precisely all can be harnessed for Qedusha. I remind those stuck in the benign template to remember Shoul HaMelekh and Rav Zekharyiah ben Avkiloos as cautionary tales.

A Goyisher Kop anti-semite (Henry Ford) said it but it still holds much truth; "Show me a man who never made an enemy and I'll show you a man who's never made anything."

To CB Tragedy: instead of ascribing malevolent malicious "wizard-like" attributes to one you acknowledge is an odom godol why not have the courage to acknowledge that ALL midos can be harnessed to Kedusha? OTC anyone who knows this Godol knows how oisgearbet he is. This means that wheras by little folks like us rationale is something dethroned in a palace coup mounted by our untrammeled out-of-control emotions and ego-driven agendas, by Gedolim מוחין are always שולט על המדות as certainly as בני אדם were mandated to be שולט על בעל חיים.

Instead of paranoid fantasies ascribing malevolance and mean-ness where none exist we ought to expand our horizons to appreciate a wider variety of expressions of gadlus.

This doesn't mean EVERY koton/talmid/khosid must be misdabek to EVERY Godol/Rebbe/TK. Little neshomas and mediocre talents, after all, have diverse shroshim as well. But it WILL ,hpefully, help us all avoid future disgraceful explosions of zilzul and hotsoas shem rah.

Chaim Berlin tragedy said...

Judging by bray of fundie's words of Thursday, June 19, 2008 2:42:00 PM must surely have written an ArtScroll tome or two judging by the way he slavishly defends the indefensible and takes upon himself to be a spinmeister on behalf of his master's voice.

Bray of fundie's selective use of divrei chazal and Torahdikke notions reminds me of RYH's old saying that "tell me a chazal and I will tell you one against it"! Because quoting chazals and divrei Torah is like a two-edged sword and when you give you must expect to get back. Nothing is a one-way street and not all the roads lead to RAS's "Rome" lehavdil!

If RAS would avoid mercilessly crushing people, as he did with the open public cases of RSC and many others in the past too numerous to mention, and in very recent times going out of his way to crush the sheitel macher store on his block, Lipa and his concert, and worst of all Isaac Hersh in face of his own fellow-Gedolim opposition, all abominable cats of harshness and cruelty that go beyond the pale of HUMAN DECENCY (have you not heard of derech eretz kadma leTorah?), then there would be no need for anyone to express what he deems are "disgraceful explosions of zilzul and hotsoas shem rah."

And if RAS is indeed so great, it does not mean that he is exempt from tochacha, or that he can pick and choose where it will come from as if he was ordering his favorite tune from the band in CB on Purim, because in the days of the melachim H-shem sent nevi'im to be mochiach, and since bazman hazeh the chazal teach that the koches of nevuah have been displaced to "nashim, ketanim and meshugoyim" RAS must face the music from those who are "meshagu ledavar" against him, since he has lost the voice of the "noshim" particularly with his ezer kenegdo no longer able to help him due to her illness, and the "ketanim" in his daled amos totally freaked out by him and stunned into silence.

So nice try bray of fundie, but no cigar.

And I agree with you on one thing, let's look at the next thread on this blog...

The Bray of Fundie said...

*SIGH*

vus nisht said...

CBT,


Wow! I don’t know where to begin! So many new posts since I was last here…


You said:
“vus nisht: You seem to think that you know everything about Yeshiva Chaim Berlin (CB), its personalities and its history and that you have the monopoly on what may or not be said on certain topics and that when you disagree with some comments, that you then have the right to call people "oisvurfs" since you presumably worship RAS like some Lubavitchers worship the Rebbe.”

I know that I do not know nearly everything about CB, and I have never claimed to be a mumche in CB or its personalities.
I did not call you an oisvurf for disagreeing with me; I called you an oisvurf for not being noheg proper kavod with RAS, a gadol b’yisroel.
I in no way worship RAS in any way, on the contrary I am often perplexed by his actions. Nevertheless, he is a gadol and would never question his decisions.


You said:
“or worse as if it was the KGB calling as happened in the Isaac Hersh case”

This is a response to all of your IH remarks:
RAS certainly made some questionable decisions in the case of the IH tragedy, but he was grossly misinformed the whole way. In the end RAS was the one who had MH sign the release documents.


You said:
“Stop wasting cyber-space with threats because they will not stop free speech.”
You also said:
“Go on threaten me like vus nisht”


I’m sorry, I do not recall threatening anybody. Care to refresh my memory?


You said:
“proof is that Brisk loves the small stream of bochurim that come from CB”

Apparently, you are not familiar with the story of RAS’s einikel who went o Brisk a few years back.


You said:
“and there is no doubt, based on the way anyone questioning RAS on the Isaac Hersh story online got pummeled, that RAS has unleashed his cyber-patrols with their cyber-attack dogs, as you see with "vus nisht”

Your paranoia is limitless. I live a few hundred miles from CB, I have not spoken to RAS in a few years, and my visits to CB have become few and far between.


You said:
“"vus nisht" an arrogant chutzpinyak he is the true believer devoid of an independent thought with a killer-instinct to defend the indefensible because it comes from RAS instead of thinking it through and debating the issues.”

An arrogant chutzpinyak just because I called you an oisvurf? So what does that make you after you thoroughly trash RAS?
As for debating the issues, if I remember correctly YOU were the one to walk away from our debate on “The boys of AM Echad” thread, with your head hung low like the bazui that you are.


You said:
“They also did not take such good care of that library and at one time some of the books in it were ruined by water damage”

It was not because they did not take care of it. It was an unfortunate event that happened because of an unforeseeable leak. How exactly were they to know it would happen? Also, until the R’ Betzalel Reifman Z”L library was built, CB simply did not have a special place for these, and did the best they could to protect them. Today that library is closely guarded and locked, and even has a special temperature control to assure that it remains well maintained.




CBT, I understand that due to your skewed views of RAS, you cringe at the thought of people considering him to be a very successful Rosh Yeshiva and a gadol. But sadly for you, not many people share your sickening views.

I see that not much has changed since you attended CB back in the day. You always considered yourself to be smarter and better than everybody else, and you still do. That is what ultimately led to your downfall. You could have avoided it.

By trying to get back at RAS and CB you are digging yourself deeper and deeper. Is it not bad enough that all the people who used to know and respect you look down on you, and have come to know you for the bazui you really are? Now even people who have no idea who you are find you to be an oisvurf after the way you attempt to trash a gadol in a public forum.

Chaim Berlin tragedy said...

vus nisht: Have your say. It's a democracy in America. Your exercise in aplogetics is childish.

You don't have a clue about me or what the complicated history is between me and my family and RAS for well over 30 years and counting, so you certainly cannot judge anything between me and RAS as it would require a far higher court of appeals for which you (sounding like a trial lawyer defending the indefensible) would be disqualified given your own obvious cruel and venemous disdain for the plight of another Jew, be it me or Isaac Hersh or RSC or Rav Feivel Cohen or any of the many good people inside CB and out steamrollered and crushed by RAS over the course of his well-known bullying career now going on more than eight decades (a trick he must have picked up as a young spoiled brat of a kid growing up with the "brady bunch" type kids of other gangsters in the old Brooklyn neighborhoods he was born in, unlike me who was born to two Holocaust survivors who survived HITLER y"s), sitting as you claim hundreds of miles away and not being in touch with CB much.

Evidently responding to me makes you feel macho. Ok, that and $2-, when you get to NYC, will get you a subway ride.

By the way, as for the question if RAS is true gadol or not, the jury is still out and the verdict of Jewish history will judge him, not you nor the psychophants in CB, so it does not help that you or anyone else repeats the mantra "RAS is a gadol" when so far done too much that is far from achieving that illustrious desigantaion at this time.

A gadol cannot *demand* to be gadol, nor can a gadol be "created" like a work of Stalinist art that then others are told is "great art" when it's just a walking Frankenstein, and noone calls Frankenstien a "gadol" just because he was made by magical and extraordinary powers by anyone waving the wand over him.

vus nisht said...

CBT,

Once again you have avoided all questions aimed at you.

You are walking away without the last bit of dignity that you had left.

But I’m sure you’ll continue to babble on like a paranoid madman repeating your anti CB/RAS mantras, and the second somebody disproves you, you will begin to spew all sorts of your arrogant and false garbage.

I must admit I do enjoy your madness to a degree. Reading your paranoid and hate filled blogs is indeed an entertaining spectacle, much like watching a drunk homeless guy.

You are truly insane. That, even without the $2, will get you a free subway ride.

Cb Insider (edited by HT) said...

CBT's information is a combination of some inside information from the yeshiva (mostly from the late 70's Carlebach era), some current informatino from blogs which is partially incorrect(e.g., the Lipa and Hersh stories), and much of his own speculation. This speculation stems from a combination of both his bright mind and paranoid personality style. It is apparent that he is very angry at RAS ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
and generally bitter about life.------------------------------------------------------------------

Chaim Berlin tragedy said...

To the RAS attack dogs "vus nisht" and "Cb insider" who are reduced to barking and howling that I am "paranoid" or "insane" or whatnot and other such drivel beneath contempt, you must really be hallucinating to think that you can shut people up with such crude behavior. Shame on both of you.

The facts are that CBT has had a long and stormy relationship with CB (like many others), he is a qualified historian from two accredited universities and knows how to compile and state serious data and information accurately and objectively, who was honored by Cb over the years when he helped them a lot (in his own ways and it's all relative of cocurse), who still has very close family in CB and who knows of every mailing and Email until the present moment, who knows hundreds of people from CB from top to bottom who have told him their life histories over a long period of time and CBT's memory is excellent, so they are so patheteic in their lies and their wild attempts at a hateful smear campaign.

People like "vus nisht" who speak with such abhorant arrogance do not harm CBT but they show the world the true ugly face of the typical CBer ba'al ga'ave that is despied by many in the Torah world and who thinks he is king of the roost when he should go fly a kite like the baby he really is.

They have reverted to the standrad procedure that has been deployed by the RAS attack dog minions who have dared to question them and that is to not answer the question and issues brought forth (of course how dare "simple folk" ask questions in a dictatorship, they don't even respond to hazmonas from batei din, such so-and-sos?) but prefer to come up with all sorts of faults in those that talk truth to power, one of the most childish of techniques. This is a method used by all totalitarian-type regimes to fight any dissidents and critics and they even will have them institutionalized as happened in the former USSR.

They are also guilty of a DELIBERATE huge mistake in logic and hoping that noone will notice, that is called in simple language "changing the subject" or as it's known in logical parlance "red herring arguments" as explained by Wikipedia:

"Red herring fallacy, a logical fallacy in which one purports to prove one's point by means of irrelevant arguments" and "In literature, a red herring is a narrative element intended to distract the reader from a more important event in the plot..."

Goodbyre red-herrings, after all RAS has banned real kidushes on Shabbos in yeshiva and all that people are allowed to eat at a big kiddush are *herring/s", some cake and flavored seltzer. No wonder they are showing signs of Yiddishe emotional deprivation, like people deprived of brain food.

cb insider said...

HT,

Editing my comment was unfair. CBT has written extensively regarding the Rosh Yeshiva and his (alleged) motivations for actions. It is only proper that people know the identity of CBT and his personal motivation to gain perspective in understanding what is behind this.

Why did you edit my post?

Hirshel Tzig said...

outing posters is not allowed. simple as that.

cb insider said...

Okay hirshel, its your blog and I accept your rules(in any case, I dont have a choice).

However, keep in mind that his identity is very relevant here. All who know him will attest to his talent and his brains, but will also plainly see him as a mechutzaf (aside from his disgusting comments directed against the Rosh Yeshiva) with a wicked mind (just look at his attempted comments regarding the Shisgal and Jeager families for starters). Furthermore, while it is not fair to judge anyone, there are obvious psychiatric issues that play into this issue.

To CBT I say the following. If you think that I am wrong then why not out yourself and let the public decide based on your reputation.

Chaim Berlin tragedy said...

To "cb insider" who says some weird things:

"Editing my comment was unfair."

How about the sending of Isaac Hersh to Tranquility Bay was that also "unfair" such callous gall and no heart, just an RAS attack dog.

"CBT has written extensively regarding the Rosh Yeshiva and his (alleged) motivations for actions"

Can you sepcify what I have said that is PROVABLY false and what the truth is please?

"It is only proper that people know the identity of CBT"

You should know that this would only work to the advantage of CBT and that you would then make him into a truly notable person, albeit notorious in CB eyes -- but to be hated by CB often means to be loved by the outside world -- in his own right something that CBT has been avoiding until now. CBT would be absolutely delighted to identify himseelf and would love to then send Tzig hundreds of original documents about his life and his interactions with RAS and CB over many years so why would anyone connected with CB want to risk that?

"and his personal motivation"

You fail to see that someone can be objective even when they may have been part of the events and you are trying the good ol' red herring technique of switching the focus away from the real issues and making CBT "the issue" when it is far from so. You will have to come up with a better solution and strategy.

"to gain perspective in understanding what is behind this."

Sure and would RAS and CB risk the damage to many innocent people such as to the family and others connected to CBT that would be directly hurt by outing CBT. Know this, CBT has considered all the options and angles and is willing and ready to be outed but has refrained from doing so out of concern for innocent lives that will be hurt by that, including talking about things in CB that for now have been off the table and that CBT has studiously avoided. But "cb insider" evidently does not care about innocent lives, he only wishes to be a RAS attack dog and continue with his public RAS worship, so be it, we'll see what happens.

"Why did you edit my post?"

Hey, you or me or CB do not rule the universe or the Internet you know.

"Okay hirshel, its your blog and I accept your rules(in any case, I dont have a choice)."

What a so and so this guy must be, I would love to meet him, I probably know him and see who he is and report back to the world what kind of person chooses to be a RAS attack dog.

"However, keep in mind that his identity is very relevant here."

So what? People would be amused that CBers are getting so worked up from the words of a small time person really. Why do they fear him so much if he has so many problems of his own? Everyone who is someone has an identity, and they are proud of it, warts and all.

"All who know him will attest to his talent and his brains,"

Thank you.

"but will also plainly see him as a mechutzaf"

Too bad, did not RYH teach his proteges to have ga'ave dekedusha and to always question authority? And who are you to judge me as a "mechutzaf" when I have the guts to do what noone else dares to do and which evidently upsets you so much that you must resort to the lowly level "outing" which I don't care about in any case, but still wish to spare innocent people in CB harm. My words have been pretty directly sustained at RAS and a little at RAF but at few others. When I talk of CB generically it's about bad middos that everyone knows they have. And even if I were to be outed, would that give my words less importance or would less people listen? Nope. All it would prove is what I have said all along that ever since the Isaac Hersh case broke out and people began discussing it online that RAS has then sent out attack teams to hit people below the belt and shut them up. But it will not work with me, because as I have said, "dead men cannot be killed" and I do not mean it in the literal sense of course, it's a moshul.

"(aside from his disgusting comments directed against the Rosh Yeshiva)"

They are are all true. Just see what he has done to so many people and still wishes to do.

"with a wicked mind (just look at his attempted comments regarding the Shisgal and Jeager families for starters)."

Oh so now I have a "wicked mind" that is funny. What I said about the Yeagers is that they had a daughter that was ill and had a complex illness that's all. What happened with the Shisgal's is true, the girls were involved in posing for Penthouse, I did not make that up, and I posited that it was just one reason why some in CB had lost respect for the credibility of the broader Feinstein family, if I am wrong disprove me but calling my mind "wicked" after you just admitted that I have "talent and his brains" is sort of a self-defeating argument. You are frustrated and shocked, I can understand that, but you will have to live with it.

"Furthermore, while it is not fair to judge anyone,"

But that will not stop you obviously.

"there are obvious psychiatric issues that play into this issue."

A truly icked tactic used by all tyrannies to silence dissent. So I am not shocked that you resort to this. You also fail to realize that we live in an open society that is accepting of all sorts of people. I am not running for president and I am not seeking any public office, so that line of attack help not help one iota. You think you are dealing with an infant and you can frighten the infant into silence by waving a stupid magical stick, but it will only repulse people more against CB and not make you or them seem more lovable in any way. Just more CB emotional brutality, what else can be expcted from them. It should be obvious I can take a lot of punishment and that I do not respond to threats. Ok, so let the readers decide. But I could talk about lots of nisht tzum zach allegations about people in CB and I don't, and about RAS's family but I have chosen not to, because those things have nothing to do with serious discussions. I have lived a fairly long life by now. My parents were both tough but tortured Holocaust survivors. Many people in all corners of the Torah world carry the same scars with them in mind and in spirit as I do and many will find in me a kindred spirit and not the "demon" you wish to bring out. Shame on you for not discussing issues but for seeking the way of being a RAS attack dog. Sure, I have gone through depressions, who wouldn't after 30 years under RAS and other terrible challenges in life, and, will this make you happy, RAS took advantage of that to knock me down even more. He kicked a man when he was down (in the metaphoric sense) and I would be glad to oblige to tell that story in detail to anyone who would care to listen. How and when and why RAS tried to openly and directly destroy my marriage. Do you want me to go and on and then this will actually land up on the front page of the NY Post? Have your way. I can live with anything after all the bizyones RAS has imposed upon me, and here for the world to see is how you an actual live RAS attack dog coming after me with the same language and technique, but guess what, THE INTERNERT IS A GREAT EQUALIZER where both the small can finally have their voices against the seemingly mighty and the way RAS wants to squelch me is the same reason the leaders of China filter out and block much of the Interent because they fear any threats and questions to their rule. But sorry, I have been abused too long. About my life in CB I never complained and never opened my mouth to RAS and suffered respectfully in silence for over 30 years like all good soldiers falling on their swords, but with the Isaac Hersh case I said enough is enough, it has gone too far, and people in my family know that I have spoken about RAS's now evident rishus in the Isaac Hersh regard many times in my home and why that is so, it is now a "pilegesh begivah" story that must be opposed and noone in CB has dared to do so but me, so be it! BUT FOR ISAAC HERSH I WILL SACRIFICE MY LIFE because what happned to him was plain and simple an abomination that gives no rest to my soul, I can identify with 100%, so that RAS and all of CB should hang their shame in and not come here faking yet again their false tzidkus.

"To CBT I say the following."

I am always listening, but who the heck are you in any case that I should listen to you buddy?

"If you think that I am wrong then why not out yourself and let the public decide based on your reputation."

See my words above that should explain things for now. You ARE wrong because you accept the will of a tottering dictatorship under RAS and will not think openly for yourself. And finally, I have had and still have a great reputation in all that I have done in my lifelong devotion to working on behalf of Klal Yisroel and I have all the hundreds of letters of support and original documentation to prove it and were my name to become public for any reason, and I say again it is a wrong move on your part, I will kindly ask Tzig to publish select letters and documents about who and what I am and what I have done and fought for for Klal Yisroel and we let Jewish, and maybe even world, public opinion decide. I have not sat on my behind and I have always been willing to face the truth.

Anonymous said...

to CBT
I share your sentiments about CB and RAS. I agree with you that the Isaac Hersh story is an abomination and would like to be in contact with you about your experiences. How could this be arranged?