Saturday, August 30, 2008

Did we "make" it yet?



(Ed. note: The ad pictured here appears on COL for quite some time now. I have not been able to blog as often as I wish lately due to lack of time.)

If the ad/picture to your left will allow it, the picture should display the name Zundel Berman Books. Although not owned by old man Zundel anymore I'm sure his nephew, the current owner, paid a pretty penny to keep the old name intact. I'd go as far as saying that most people may not know that Z no longer works there, which leads me to the point of the story here.
There was a time way back when the name "Zundel Berman" was synonymous with Snag. Before you say "there he goes again with the Snag talk" hear me out. Some Lubavitchers dub every non-Chossid - from the MO guy to Reb Chaim Kanievski - a "Snag." I'm not that uncouth; I realize the differences, me being extremely observant and noticing the nuances when it comes to things like that. Which makes me wonder: when did the term "snag" come into use in Dor Hashvi'i Chabad? Did it come together with the Chabad Talis and Surdut/Sirtuk? Maybe Schneur can answer that.

Why do I single out Z? Although I usually refrain from the heavy Loshon HoRah Z is special and deserves some of the negative attention he'll get here. He's special because the dislike for Chabad that this man has running through his veins is unlike anything I've ever seen. You'd think a man with a good business would be past that and wouldn't run around on his bike tearing down Chabad signs in Boro Park like some young hothead in Williamsburg does. You'd also think that a grown man in his 60's with grandchildren wouldn't walk half a mile to daven in a shul that he's never davened in just because he heard that some Lubavitchers moved in there and plan to "take over the shul." And I don't mean just daven there, he went there to stir up trouble and "save" the shul by any means necessary, even if it meant time and money spent for the cause, just so that the darn Lubavitchers shouldn't get their hands on it. A guy like that seems to have it in for Lubavitch. Maybe he had a Lubavitcher melamed back in Yerushalayim as a kid that rubbed him the wrong way. Who am I to judge? The Lubavitchers have gone on to bigger and better things, but the memory of Zundel and his antics at the old shul in Boro Park live on in infamy for those who witnessed it.

Some of us in Chabad are always wondering whether or not we're accepted among the true Jews of Lakewood and Bnei Beraq. It bothers us and we try hard to change that perception that we're different and not authentic. We look for every little sign that maybe the tide has turned and things have begun to change. Be it a no-name Rav or Rosh Yeshiva who makes an appearance at a Chabad event, or a Chabad yeshiva class that gets farherred at the home of a prominent Rav, those of us who care get very excited over events like those. So if a prominent seforim seller like Zundel, to whom Chabad is like a red kerchief for a raging bull, although no longer under his ownership, chosses to advertise on a Chabad site like COL just so that Lubavitchers and their centers should shop there, this is cause of muted celebration.

IN NO WAY IS THIS AN INTENTION TO C"V HURT THE BERMAN BUSINESS. I, MYSELF, WAS A FREQUENT CUSTOMER WHEN I LIVED IN BROOKLYN AT BOTH THE BP AND CONEY ISLAND AVE STORE. THEY HAVE A GREAT SELECTION AT UNBEATABLE PRICES. HANDS DOWN.

31 comments:

snag said...

Hirshel, sorry, but this post sounds pathetic, like you're so desperate for non-Lubavitch approval.

Genug shoin mit Zundel too. Don't begrudge an old snag his way of life. Don't you believe in freedom of religion ?

Zundel is a good man, you should give him credit for following through on his beliefs.

I am reminded of a story, I think it's brought down in the famous book 'A tzaddik in our time' about R. Aryeh Levine zt"l. R. Amram Blau was imprisoned and R. Aryeh came to visit him. R. Amram refused to look at him, saying 'ossur lihistakeil bifnei rosho' as RAL was friendly with tzionim. R. Aryeh's reaction ? He praised R. Amram for being faithful to his beliefs even at great cost, even though it might offend people who might be able to help extricate him from the bad situation he was in.

Similarly, you should praise R. Zundel shlita. At least in this matter (if what you write is correct) he was not a phony who looks to see which way the wind is blowing before acting.

schneur said...

I can give you a hint about Snag as long as I was interested in Lubavitch ( until the mid 1970) I never heard the word. Only when Hashem created the internet and these sites did I hear about Snags.Probably created the same time Lubavitchers were given a horoah to wear zeidene Kapotes (surduten) and join the Men of Silk club.

snag said...

"So if a prominent seforim seller like Zundel, to whom Chabad is like a red kerchief for a raging bull, although no longer under his ownership, chosses to advertise on a Chabad site like COL just so that Lubavitchers and their centers should shop there, this is cause of muted celebration."

Maybe there should be a new yomtov of דידן נצח??

Anyway, sorry to rain on your parade Hirshel, but that is like saying that since some frum blogs have J4J ads on them, that is cause for celebration.

To my knowledge, the ads are mostly placed by agencies, and some of it is automatic and based on keywords. So I think you are reading too much or way too much into it.

schneur said...

Hazadik hamefursom Reb Alfred E. Neumann of KK Mad once remarked when money talks no one looks at the accent... (Rashum beseforim hakedoshim)

Hirshel Tzig said...

Schneur

would you rather they wore the green and light blue suits of the 60s and 70s??

The mandatory surdut may have been one of the best thgings the Rebbe ever did. Eyb m'meg azey reyden...

Rubin said...

I'm in awe of the intellectual depth of this blog 'bichlal' and this post 'befrat'!!

So you've stooped low enough to blog about some advertisement banner on a Lubavitch site? Yeah on this first day of 'hamelech basodeh'?

Imposter!!
You are no Lubavitcher,Lubavitch mont emmes, mont pnimiyus!You are a chitzoin shbechitoinim and a sad twister of the truth

chossid said...

Forget the goat, this blog is going to the dogs. In the past week you have managed to besmirch RBW and RZB. I am curious how you reconcile your yiddishkeit with this blatant LH, especially now that ELUL is upon us.

Hirshel Tzig said...

according to my calendar it's still 30 Av. So there.

Anonymous said...

Hershel your right, its not elul yet. we could still chap arein sime more Lashon Horah. Im so happy!!!!Yipeee!

lehachis said...

"according to my calendar it's still 30 Av. So there."

Are you going to take down this post tonight?

Anonymous said...

"according to my calendar it's still 30 Av. So there."

Yeh I know Tzig, why cant these guys leave us alone with all the lashon horah stuff. We have our own version of yiddishkite. It makes me laugh to think that they actualy think we care about that stuff.
Anyways, ksiva vchasima tova!

Anonymous said...

You say your observant, well I hope you have perfect kavanah because when you leave this world and realize that Hashem reads you blog heaven wont want you and neither will hell.

Anonymous said...

Sholom Ubrocho,

My name is Yochonon Berman, a nephew of Zundil Berman, and current owner of Z Berman Books. To classify myself, I am a Stoliner Chosid and a Shliach of the Rebbe Shlita in the city of Pinsk(Karlin) Belarus for the past 18 Years.

Although I disregarded the actions of my uncle in the past, there should be no reason you have to bring this up, when you yourself mention it in your article that my uncle sold the business. Knowing what it means to be out in the dessert to build up Yiddishkeit, I’ve treated every shliach with respect and give them wholesale prices at all of my stores.

On another note I would like to bring to your attention the contribution I have contributed to Lubavitch!

About 12 Years ago I was the first one to discover the private library of the Rayat”z ZT”L which is lying in a military archive in Russia. The Rayat”z ZT”L’s personal diaries, personal family letters, original Maimorim and the original Shu”t Tzemach Tzedek. Etc. As a chosid I did the most one can do to make sure the library gets returned to its rightful owner. (unfortunately there was politics in Lubavitch at that time)

http://chabad.info/bm/index.php?magazine=bm_&status=goto_id&id=966

http://beismoshiach.org/_pdf/488.pdf

http://beismoshiach.org/_pdf/489.pdf

I am not interested in Kovod or payback for what I did, but why bash someone or cause someone damage by not knowing the facts before writing and posting it on the internet?

Lman Hasholom Vhoemes
Yochonon Berman

Anonymous said...

Actually, the Rebbe spoke about Chassidim wearing Zydens in Tof Shin Yud already I belevie and I dont know of any times after that that the Rebbe spoke of it again B'Rabbim.
[Even though the Rebbe starting wearing Zydens fulltime from Tof Shin Nun.]

Anonymous said...

Lubavitch wears zydens?

Anonymous said...

Doesn't ZB look like Fearless Fosdick?

http://scoop.diamondgalleries.com/public/news_images/4/43142_92080_1.jpg

Anonymous said...

Just how many Moshichiasts are there? I was at a shiva minyan last week and there happened to be a copy of Bais Moshiach on the seforim shrank. The publication clearly stresses the Rebbe as MHM and as alive Shlit"a. What impressed me was the quality of the publication. I don't think a publication of such size and quality is for a few yellow flags, but rather for all ANASH. So, to answer your question of "Did we 'make' it yet?" The answer is clearly NO WAY. What CHABAD needs to do to make it" is clean house and get back to Judaism.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Tzeig,
I read Yochonon Berman's post and I think you owe him an apology. Even though you put a disclaimer at the end of your post, the bottom line is that some folks will now view the bookstore in a negative light. You have taken a chance on hurting someone's parnassah because of your childhood memories. You realize that Yochonon employs lots of other people that rely on his stores for their parnassah. Why would you take a chance on hurting so many people.

I think you should remove this post and apologize. I also think that you should give Z. Berman books free advertising on this blog...but only if Yochonon agrees (after all, a man of his integrity may not want to be associated with this trash).

I'm curious Tzig, did you know he was a shliach and he leaves his business for weeks at a time to carry on his holy work? Pretty ironic too about the library he found.

Hirshel Tzig said...

I did not know he was a shliach. More power to him for that.

my name is Tzig, not Tzeig.

I was hoping he'd avertise here and pay for it, not get FREE advertising...

I don't think I hurt his business, if anything I helped, and I'm happy I did, because I see that the ZB name has done Teshuvah, just in time for Elul, too!

shua said...

Yochonon Berman,
What do you mean by the following:''As a chosid I did the most one can do to make sure the library gets returned to its rightful owner. (unfortunately there was politics in Lubavitch at that time)''

Why does trying to return an 'aveida' have anything to do with being a 'chosid'?I would think any torah Jew would try to return an 'aveida'

Also, what is this about: 'Although I disregarded the actions of my uncle in the past, there should be no reason you have to bring this up, when you yourself mention it in your article that my uncle sold the business''?

Why would it be of any interest, whether you disregarded or did not disregard what your uncle had to say?Why bring up your own family business up at all? A word to the wise is to keep your family and business private.

You should know that this Tzig does not have your best intrests at heart, he wants to get people to fight so he blogs about negativity, because he has very little talent he blogs about the silliest most assinine things.

Last and not least, your uncle Zundel is a very fine person, a Lubavitcher once told me that if in need he would rather fall into Zundels hands than into the so called chesed of Ana'sh.

lechaim said...

The Japanese have let the jailed yeshiva student write a letter
What rachmanas!

http://hamercaz.com/hamercaz/site/news_item.php?id=1077

goory said...

Y.Berman,
Though you allow every Lubab shliach wholesale prices and try and help them, expect to get "cha'i k'k" from The Lubab when you need their help.The reason is that you have the 'chutzpah' to try and represent someone other than the M"HM Shlit"a.
See what they did to the long time Stoliner shliach in Kiev

Anonymous said...

Totally off topic, but could you post about the following, which I read at: http://seforim.traditiononline.org/

"Rabbi Miller called my attention to the new book, Admorei Habad
ve-Yahadut Germanyah, pp. 103ff., where R. Avraham Abba Weingort, who
is completely trustworthy (and far removed from Habad), records the
testimony of two other reliable people from Switzerland who knew
Weinberg well. Although there is probably some exaggeration in the
details of the story they tell, they report being told by Weinberg
that he indeed gave semikhah to the Rebbe, and the circumstances of
how this came about (including requiring that the Rebbe come to some
of his shiurim at the Berlin Rabbinical Seminary).[11] I can now
better understand why the Rebbe's contact information given to the
University of Berlin was the address of the Berlin Rabbinical
Seminary.[12] From now on, whenever I am asked if the Rebbe received
semikhah from Weinberg, I will reply yes."

So did the Rebbe have smicha or not?

snag said...

1) I hope Yochonon Berman gives equal discounts to snag shluchim too.

2) Yochonon should be proud of his uncle for staying the course and staying a snag, unlike some other family members. Let's hear it for R. Zundel, a man who sticks to mesayres ovos !

Hirshel Tzig said...

Snag

Yochonon is a Karliner, next to Chabad they probably dislike the Litvaks the most. So let's not get very excited here. He's also named after Reb Yochonon Perlow of Stolin, zt"l, no lover of Misnagdim himself.

Anonymous said...

>>my name is Tzig, not Tzeig.

Someone is Maran, not Moron--but you don't care about that error. . .

Hirshel Tzig said...

nooo
Ashkenazim say Moron, Sefardim Maran. Get it?

Anonymous said...

I'll never forget the time I took a book I wrote to ZB for his opinion. It was well-done index with 278 pages and over2,500 entries (each a complete thought in and of itself) and has sold for between $20 and $45 a copy. He took one look at it and tossed it back to me and stated, with a sneer, that it worth only $5.

What a classless creep.

Milhouse said...

For what it's worth, I never heard "snag" until the mid-to-late-'80s.

Anonymous said...

"Some of us in Chabad are always wondering whether or not we're accepted among the true Jews of Lakewood and Bnei Beraq. It bothers us and we try hard to change that perception that we're different and not authentic. We look for every little sign that maybe the tide has turned and things have begun to change. Be it a no-name Rav or Rosh Yeshiva who makes an appearance at a Chabad event, or a Chabad yeshiva class that gets farherred at the home of a prominent Rav"


One simple question. I have never seen chabad at the levaya from any of the other gedolim, be it litvish or chassidish, obviously they don't consider themselves a part of klal yisroel, so why should I?

Anonymous said...

Just saying hello. Here from Texas