Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ah, The Soviet Utopia!

All photos are by Life Magazine photographer Jerry Cooke and were taken in Moscow in the spring of 1959. Glorious post-Stalin days, I presume.....


"ניטא היינט קיין פלייש, מיין ליבער פרוי"

I was quite taken aback by Reb UD's words, commenting on Circus Tent א ציג מיט זיבן ציגאלאך that Soviet children had it as good as no other children living elsewhere in free societies, "The happiest Children on Earth," as he so eloquently put it. He accused me of being ignorant about the Soviet Union, me being "born in the back seat of a Lexus," and that the infamous bread lines only started in the 80's. DeHaynu, that for 60 plus years all was well in the Soviet Union, save for the executions and the gulags, I guess. And after 30 years they figured out how to feed all those people, until something happened in the 80s. nu, nu. You guys always accuse me of suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, as if I was a prisoner in a society I was "kidnapped" to and learned to like my "captors" since I had no choice and could not leave. Beside for the fact that most of you wouldn't recognize Stockholm Syndrome if it smacked you in the face; why would you even say something like that when it could be so easily said about every frum man and woman, that they too want to join society but are imprisoned by their beliefs and by society?! Sure, you'll SAY that you either can leave if you so wish, or have no desire to, but maybe you too are suffering from the dreaded disease?


מנינים אזוי ווי אין מונקאטש און שומרי שבת........ וד"ל

So, is it safe to assume that Mr. UD is the poster child for the dreaded syndrome, since he so yearns for his childhood in the CCCP? Or is it the natural nostalgia that people have for their homeland no matter where they come from? We can infer from his words that he didn't have it so hard there, and I would also think that he grew up at the time when things began to change, so his basic needs may have been taken care of. Hence, all was well for khaver UD in the Red Heaven. Then again, maybe we were lied by both the American and Lubavitch propaganda machine who had it in their best interest to defame the great USSR so that they not look so bad. Maybe all those JEP tapes crying for Nikolai who was stuck in Russia were just marketing ploys that were used to collect money for Russian Jews that really didn't need it. Maybe all those Olomeinu articles that chronicled the hardships of the רושיסע אידן were nothing but fairy tales. Maybe Shlomo Carlebach and his crying for Russian Jewry behind the Iron Curtain was nothing but a show by a Lubavitch-trained entertainer who could spin a tall tale like nobody's business.


!שיעורי תורה פונקט ווי אין בני ברק

Stranger things have happened, my friends, I've learned lots of new ideas, such as me not being part of Judaism. Sucas as despite numerous people recounting stories they heard from RYBS about the Rebbe in Berlin they only passed each other on the street, sort of like me and my Chinese neighbors down the block. So maybe this is one more step in the re-education of Hirshel Tzig, the Tsap who still has lots to learn. Maybe we'll see the idea of בא ללמד ונמצא למד, come to life here compliments of UD and the others here who see things so differently than I do. After all, we have photographic evidence compliments of LIFE magazine that Jews could learn, daven and even buy Kosher meat if they so pleased! Forget about Stockholm Syndrome, I'm just confused now. How silly of those Lubavitchers and Novardokers and Breslovers to want to leave Russia at any cost, if only they would've known what we know now they would never have left the Motherland and come to the abyss we know as these United States! In Russia they would live Baalebatish, like the book we showed says. Ok, I'll stop repeating myself now. I need a beer, and I have just what I need in the fridge. A Blue Moon bottle, Wheat Ale, with an OU to boot. I know it can't compare to Soviet Beer, but that's all I got for now.

L'chaim!

54 comments:

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

With your taste in beer no wonder you're full of anti soviet propoganda! Baltika is much better than Blue Moon (whatever that is, I'm no feinshmecker). This reply is a much better rebuttle than all the rants in the world. Letzana achas docheh meah tochachos works for good too.

faish said...

What happened to "part two" of the Der Yid series?
I guess we have a *small* sign that you are indeed obsessed with your past, while older mature individuals have no interest in your silliness.
Same goes for your repetitive rants on Snags.
Grow up or see a therapist to make up with your family.You are a victim of serious brainwashing.You've taken this Chabad victimization waaay to seriously.
Btw, the pics are great!

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

PART 2 will be available shortly, thanks for asking

My family and me get along just fine. Please don't pin your problems, or what you would do if your son c"v becomes a Lubavitcher, on my family. There was never any friction, not even for a minute.

I guess I should thank you for the compliment re: the pics...

Mottel said...

Modeh B'Miktsas I think you have no taste in beer. Blue Moon is a decent copy of a Belgium Witbier, not the best, but refreshing. Baltika was founded in 1990 - hardly Sovier in my books - and only the Baltika 8 tastes half decent. The rest are just generic, overproduced Pilsners or possibly non-Kosher.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

you are absolutely right. I have no taste in beer whatsoever and rarely drink it. When I do I drink Dutch, or American I just picked the first Russian one that came to my head

yoshe kalb said...

Russian beer is the reason why they drink vodka or samagonka.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

Yoshe

so they go from 5% to 40% just because beer there is no good? that makes no sense.

faish said...

"PART 2 will be available shortly, thanks for asking"

Despite a clear lack of interest by the readers.
Ok.
Am I the first to call you an idiot?

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

lack of interest on your part does not constitute idiocy on mine.

Typical Satmori.

faish said...

P...Z,
Brainwashed missionary.
Did you see how few comments you got on the subject??

faish said...

"My family and me get along just fine. Please don't pin your problems, or what you would do if your son c"v becomes a Lubavitcher, on my family. There was never any friction, not even for a minute."

I'm sure everyone here (obviously besides the cloned Lubab..)take your very *unbiased* opinion seriously.
I guess that explains your non stop droning on and on about how superior your *religion* is and how terrible the *Sakmoyrem* are.
Even Vechter can't hold a candle to you, oh special special Tzig!

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

מדשתקי רבנן שמע מינה דניחא להו

whereas you don't fall into that category...

Keep posting nasty comments and we'll get to the magic number...

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

oh boy, we got ourselves a real winner here. Another gilgul of Burech it seems.

Anonymous said...

derech agav BLUE MOON is a MOLSON beer company product. they created the brand to compete with the microbreweries. derech agav agav dogfish head beer is almost certainly treif http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/11/24/081124fa_fact_bilger

Josh said...

On our שבת טי"ש we only have good beer produced by trappist monks. Only if the monk has prayed over the beer and taken the holy water and added a bit to the brew is it even מותר to make קידוש היום on such beer. Only the band of ignoramuses Tzig attracts would think that industrial produced beer flavored water has any שייכות to בירה האמיתי.

Der Shygetz said...

BS"D

Plenty of good beer here in Ukraine and in Russia but the real Soviet style beer that remained available even into the mid-90's was DRECK!

We have all the major beers brewed under licence as well as some good local stuff (Slavutich from where they used to print sifrei koidesh; Chernigovskoe and a couple of regionals).

Beer is the drink of choice among the younger, educated set as well as students in Ukrainian cities; cheap vodka is for peasants. We even have beer available at farbrenginishen now along with better vodka.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

Beer at a farbrengen?! feh!

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

Josh

I appreciate you putting down my readers like that....

Josh said...

Your readers do not know of trappist ale.
FEH!

Avokat said...

My wife also continually longs for her utopian youth in Khust..."the Yidden never were persecuted" and "A least I learned how to pluck a chicken" and "You lazy Amerikantsi" etc, etc.

What is it about the Soviet/Ungarishe mindset anyways?

Zeide from Kluj said...

Hey! don't compare Khust to Moscow. Life was somewhat easier in the satellite countries, especially the
persecution" part.

Hyman said...

HT Im gonna try hard not to hurt your feelings, so you won't have an excuse to delete some points that are understandably very difficult for you to think about let alone address. Believe me its hard work being polite to people like you.

Someone here said something that many of us seem to touch upon over and over. He said: "You are a victim of serious brainwashing."
Now obviously if that is the case you would never realize it and never become 'un'brianwashed, unless you had someone kidnap you and deprogram you, sort of what Shia Hecht used to do in the old days with cult victims. (I dont know if you know about that stuff. I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of day with him when he worked on a cult vitim. The whole thing was truly amazing!)
I have to say that following your blog for a couple of months I believe that you are not brainwashed like alot of them are. I think you are part full of pride, part brainwashed, and part even willing to peak at yourself in the mirror... briefly though.
It might be a good idea to rent or get ahold of a couple of videos on cult stories and the victims. (you have my heter to even go to Blockbuster for this) Maybe after seeing some of them you will get even a small glimpe of an understanding where so many of us are coming from.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

Hymie

is this the new line of defense? claiming brainwashing? Is that the best you can do? c'mon, now, Hymele, you can do better!

Hyman said...

As I said this claim is not 'new', it is very old, and many yidden have been claiming this on this blog and other places for years, and I think you know this.

"Defense"? I have no idea what your talking about.
pointing out what many have been saying about Chabad/cult/brainwashing has as much to do with "defense" as Chabad has to do with the rest of us...
bloshon nikiya.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

The claim comes every so often, but never like this. Is this a concerted effort spearheaded by 82 Lee or some other such office?

You seem to forget that many yidden will find you just as brainwashed, if not more so, with the way you - if my assumption that you're a Sakmerer - stick to your silly customs and beliefs.

You also don't seem to get that I don't criticize Lubavitch on this blog simply so that snakes like you won't feast on it, in other words I'm afraid of the holy name of Lubavitch - and all it stands for - being disgraced by the likes of you. So please, leave the cult busting to Shea Hecht and don't quit your day job.

Hyman said...

Satmar!? HeHe, you are bad at the figuring people out thing (stick to your day job. oh, I forgot thats this blog, sorry).
I have to admit that I have been in willy about 9 times in my life. So then maybe I am a Satmar the same way you are Chabad. Which your not, since I KNOW what Chabad really is. You got I... shtam from Chabad, very much (you could stop guessing now) The way it USED to be, and is SUPPOSED to be.

As far as the brainwashed issue goes, and people saying that Im brainwashed,
a. I was the one to say that you are NOT fully brainwashed!
b. Lets be honest. How many times have you and the likes of you been called brainwashed? Probably as many times as youve been slapped around as a kid. alot, right?
I, on the other hand have never heard anyone call me brainwashed.

We dont need YOUR critcizim of Chabad to have a feast. Chabad just needs to continue doing what they are doing and this feast is endless!

Im not a snake. you are.

I actualy was somewhat succesful with cult victims. even though its not my day job. Shia has alot to offer when it comes to that.
Hes a nice guy. I know him (its been a while). Read his book ('confessions of a jewish cult buster', its very intresting. Most of his stories he wasnt even able to print. Vihamevin yavin.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

I see, another one of the "I know what Chabad really is" clowns. Very nice.

So, when was the last time you learned the whole parsha Likutei Torah and davened for 1.5 hours every day? or do you leave for the Tanya on your shelf that you never open?

Mottel said...

-Anon: I missed you mashmuyos in the article that dogfish head is treif . . . where?
-Josh: Not only do I know what a Trappist beer is, but there's a good chance I've had more of them then you. The beer, for the record, is produced by the Monks for money - nothing religious goes in there.

Hyman said...

I said I know the REAL Chabad cus I SHTAM from Chabad. I SAW the REAL Lubavitchers of yesteryear up close, and spend lots of time in CH back then. Is this something you cant understand?
I am not Lubavitch and never was.

Im not a clown. you are.
("lanaval tisnavel", King Solomon)

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

Oh, so you were one of the watchers, a food critic if you will. Ya gotta love those.

Hyman said...

I guess you can call us that. You being the "food" for the "feast".
Although its pretty stale.
Many have said it was moldy from the begining.
And it smells very fishy.
Too much wine.

"Ya gotta love those."
Huh?
whatever

UD said...

Tzig,

Your ability to twist words and insert false interpretations, and your ready willingness to make up utter nonsense to ascribe it to your opponents is on par with the most ardent Hamas propagandists. Carry on - who knows, maybe they'll offer you a job. I'm sure they, too, could use a yingerman trying to do what's right.

While you don't seem to let facts get in your way, nor bother talking to those with firsthand knowledge, it would be a public service to rectify the most egregious of your lies, in regards to both what was said and the facts on the ground.

If you'll bother talking to those who grew up in the USSR in the 60s and 70s (and even those who were born in the 20s and 30s), who didn't have obvious issues with the state (such as being frum or actively Zionist - which is a separate issue altogether), they usually tell a very different story from what you're trying to regurgitate here from the old B-movie propaganda. They will tell you that hunger or unemployment were virtually unheard of; that decent food was accessible; that education, including high education of the best quality, was free and available to everyone, and so was medicine. They will tell you that 30 vacation days per year were a norm, that pregnant women got at least a YEAR of paid leave and that there was no rent to pay, no mortgages, no foreclosures, no unemployment benefits - and virtually no unemployment, and no homelessness.
Common indicators of social advancement don't lie; it's a simple and uncontested fact that literacy rate, school attendance and education rates skyrocketed while infant mortality fell by many magnitudes. Theoretical research thrived (not in all directions, of course, but in many), and much of today's technological progress was made available only through research, conducted by soviet scientists - and made available to the world, without charge. In fact, so many basic things were provided either without charge or with nominal one that it's immensely hard to explain to someone like you the kind of life in which money takes a back stage.

Now, nobody is painting a rosy picture here - despite your libelous implications. Political dissent was still persecuted - not as lethally as in the 30s-50s but still; communist propaganda, while toned down, was still pervasive; luxury goods were almost non-existent; party influence was stifling and many products were of questionable quality. Prisons were still full and the system was churning out guilty verdicts, albeit at a lower rate. Amount of prisoners per capita was still high, although nowhere as high as in the USA in the 2008 (check the numbers). All that said, from the economic perspective - given that the country was literally decimated by the war and bad management - if you don't find that impressive, that's only because there isn't much gray matter left after all the years of unrelenting, steady and unanimous propaganda.

Nobody argues that the place was a paradise. Nobody contests that it was immensely hard to be a frum Jew. Some have pulled it off, and few were imprisoned for religion in those times, but it wasn't by any means an easy fit. And many here took advantage of the situation, for various reasons and without much regard to the subjects of their efforts.

I don't think anyone remotely familiar with the facts doubts that many of those involved in the "Saving of Soviet Jewry" were obnoxious crooks with an agenda who made fortunes, politically and otherwise, on the cause. Just look at the Jackson-Vanik saga; _they_ still insist that the amendment should not be repealed even though every remotely plausible cause for it is long long gone. The whole thing was so permeated with cheap propaganda and lies, from both sides, that unless you lived through it, there is little chance to ever grasp the facts.

Their hypocrisy and cynicism so blatant that it would be funny if it wasn't so sad. While those people insist on hurting Russia economically (not that I'm a big fan of Russia today, but these are facts) by keeping it on the Jackson-Vanik list, another regime - way more bloody and still very Communist - simply bought their way out. China, which never stopped persecuting their "Jews" and which still imprisons and executes dissidents by hundreds, which killed many more then Stalin ever hoped to and never really repented, and which is an ongoing real security threat - they got off the list many years ago and nobody squeaked. So it's all BS, my friend. Just agenda, for the most part - economic one.

The fact remains : ask those old people, here or in Israel, and many will tell you that their time in the USSR was a happy one. Ask fast, as they aren't going to be here forever.

Gandalin said...

H.T., You are absolutely on target in this post. And in your responses to some of the "interesting" comments on this post, and the previous post.

Isn't it amazing how even the journalistic icons of the "free world" such as Life magazine, (owned by Henry Luce who was no communist-sympathizer, one of his editors at time was the heroic American ex-communist "refusenik" Whittaker Chambers)willingly participated in the potyomkinish sanitization and embellishment of tyranny and mass murder?

Of course, Varlam Shalamov's "Kolyma Tales" was never sold at the pro-soviet bookseller's . . .
and the Jews in America certainly never heard about the Holodomor . . . but surely they knew that Stalin's Russia was still violently and virulently anti-Semitic?

Better to join in with Pete Seeger singing the happy folk songs of those lucky Jews in Birobidjan . . .

berl, crown heights said...

ניטא היינט קיין פלייש, מיין ליבער פרוי

you only wish. my guess it went more like this:

איר האט פלייש היינט?
ניין.
מארגן וועט זיין?
ניין.
ווען?
כ'ווייס ניט, גייט אוועק און לאזט ארבעטען!

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

You know, I was gonna apply for that job, seeing as they have an endless supply of cash coming from Iran, but they said some other guy in Monsey already beat me to it! Israil Daoud Weisz, they say is his name. So there went that...


You condemn me but again make the same point, that it was just wonderful in the FSU. All they were lacking was maybe cabbage patch dolls....

You're right about China, I'm surprised the Russians never figured out that you could buy your good name back....

UD said...

Tzig, it's hard to argue with facts, isn't it. And you seem to be addicted to lying, and always do this from someone else's name. Did all you people go to the same propaganda school ?

Why don't you open your eyes and try to read slowly. Maybe that'll make you stop saying same thing over and over ...

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

Tavarisch Khaver UD:

I went to simple Jewish schools in New York, no propaganda. You on the other hand were well-trained and don't seem to be able to separate yourself from that experience. Think of it as a madrassa without the Mohammed and Koran....

You're right, I'm speaking about frum Jews having it hard. But based on the fact that so many left as soon as they could I would say lots of irreligious ones felt the same way, despite so many staying behind till today.

Mottel said...

the conversation went something akin to this:
- Опять у вас мяса нет?
- Это неправда! Мяса нет в магазине напротив. У нас нет рыбы.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

Mottel:

nye ponyemyo

Mottel said...

Woman: "What's this, you don't have any meat?'
Man: 'That's not true! There's no meat in the shop opposite. We don't have fish.'

Chnyock said...

who needs beer when you have zes un ninetziger?

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Chnyock. These people who envy lubavitchers that they can hold their liquor that's who.

Mottel said...

Chnyock - because I don't like to drink a bottle of zeks un ninetziker after a long day. Because it doesn't go well with pizza - or anything else besides herring for that matter. And because it doesn't taste good.

psol said...

We have UD's version, and we have the writings of Sharansky, Solzhenitsyn, Conquest and others that tell a far different story.

I know who I believe.

schneur said...

. Nice photos from the Gan Eden in Russia. I must say that these Yidden sat and studied not for gutte shidduchim , kavod and their picture in Yated. The learning session bayn greyesen tis is led by the Moscow rav hakellel Yuda leib levin A"H
2. All people are nostolgic about their youth. I have heard good Lubavitchers who came her after 1970 tlk oft he gutte zayten in Tashkent etc. dorten hot men nit gearbet af Purim and so forth.
Also I have heard more than a few Holocaust survivors of all stripes (Polish, Hungarian etc ) talk of the days in the KZ camps as days when they were taught the skills of living and days of meaning. Do'nt ask me what these people mean ?
I too wax nostolgic about Jewish life in NH when i was a kid in fact there was little Yiddishkayt and a lot of prostkayt with a few gor lichtige points...Although there was much more Yiddishkayt than there is today.

schneur said...

Just a quick note Lubavitcher etc wanting to leave Russia. Yes by the 1950's they indeed wanted to leave. Until 1930 the Rayaatz was not excited to say the least about a mass emigration out of Russia. He was forced out.rather he urged Anash to stay and fight. Sure some rabbonim left but I sometimes wonder if some of these were doing it with reshus of the Rebbe.Certainly many of Anash who came to America clearly did not ask the Rebbe before 1940.. Anyway even in 1945 there were serious differences among the roshe Hamedabrim among Anash in Asiatic Russia if they should leave or not. A great many left based on some form of authorization form the Rebbe. But many others stayed(and these included some very chashuve Anash and Tmimmim) and did not leave either they died there or left after 1967-1980 and settled in the Nachlah. These are people who clearly thought that they shoudl not leave in 1945. along with some who COULD NOT leave then.Many of these people had trouble adjusting to the new Lubavitch , as they thought the concepts of the Rashab were still in full force.
So its not so pashut to say that Lubavitchers wanted to leave Russia. If they had bechira they all would ahve run, but they were after all chassidim.

Mottel said...

It's interesting to note, by keeping Anash in Russia, the FR saved them from almost certain death by German hands in Riga, Warsaw etc.

schneur said...

Mottel.
Not so fast do you know how many Lubavitcher chassidim were killed in the German occuupied area of the Soviet Union ?
Do you know how many Anash starved to death in Leningrad during the seige ?
I am not second guessing anyone , but the talk in the early 1920's was of getting a mass of Anash out of Russia to Georgia and from there to Palestine. the Rebbe vetoed that plan.
Yes with that plan many could have been saved.
Every bullet has its address. Take the hanhola of Tomche Tmimmim in Rusia, C Feigin and Ever got out to Poland and were killed. Neminov was jailed in Russia and survived, my uncle Zalman Kurenitzer remained in Russia and died in the starvation in Leningrad. Who knows

Mottel said...

-Schneur point taken.

Isaac Balbin said...

I was told that lots of "Russian" Vodka is made in Poland and rebadged.

One thing I can tell you, I had a couple of cans of Polish beer in Warsaw and they were dynamite (and tasty ... but not as good as Crown Lager)

Shmuel Grainom said...

one thing is for sure, as a community, nobody can hold a candle to lubavitch as far as drinking goes. אשריכם

Mottel said...

-IsaacL Polish Vodka, esp. Chopin and Belvedere, are very fine vodkas . . . Polish beer brings back so many good memories of my year there -Zyqiec is good, Tyski and Okocim OK are great. There happens to also be a Leżajsk beer from Leżajsk (Lezhensk) and a Warka beer that was once owned by the Vorki Rebbes

Der Shygetz said...

BS"D

We now have Polish Sobieski vodka (low range product of Belvedere firm) made under licence in Ukraine.

Pischvasser; it mamash gives me a headache.

Russian vodka is not Polish vodka relabeled. It is proudly made in Russia and ranges from dreck to excellent.

What you may have heard is that when the USSR fell and production levels of Russian vodka dwindled due to shortage of raw material and foreign currency to buy needed equipment, unscrupulous importers bought Polish (and just about any other) spirit in bulk, diluted it, and relabeled it using forged copies of Soviet era brand labels.

This was a big problem when I arrived in Russia in 1992 and persisted until about 1997 IIRC. You had to know what to look for on the label (or pay over a certain amount) to know you were getting decent stuff.

schneur said...

The picture of young men learning must be the Moscow yeshiva in the 1950's-1965 period. The students were mostly from Georgia, the curriculum was geared towards shechita, mila and safrut. The actual rebbeim were in the picture rabbis katz and Trebnik . Trebnik was the brother of the MDA of Kfar chabad , but was not a chasid. The rosh yeshivas was rabbi levin . other people involved in the yeshiva were rabbis Chanzin brother of the Rabbi david Chanzin, rabbi Israel Schwartzblatt, Rabbi Lichteroff and achron achron chaviv its founder the rav of Moscow reb Shlomo Schlieffer.
I believe 2 people were granted semicha there : rabbi israel Schwartzblatt a mighty lamdan and a pere war student in the great Litvishe yeshivos. , but lets say of strange character who later became rav in Odessaand R. Yankev Fishman who became a shochet in Perm and later "rav" in Moscow. I saw Fishman when he visited America in 1975. He looked like an old fashioned rav and clearly was a yodehe sefer. After him the Moscow rabbanus tooka sharp drop.