Sunday, February 8, 2009

Reb Elya Ber Un Di Vizhnitzer Minchah

(Many thanks to a devoted reader who found this picture on YWN)

The name, just like that, sends waves of Yiras HaKoved through the Olam HaTeyreh. Not for nothing do even so many Chassidishe Bachurim - who for some reason end up learning there - have some Ahavah for him. He seems to have some a special Cheyn that few others have today. I had the good fortune of davening in REBW's (we can add that to the לוח ראשי תיבות) minyan this Sunday. What, Tzig, you traveled all the way to South Fallsburg to see the Rosheshive? no, I didn't. I was in the Vizhnitzer shul davenen mincha this Sunday, something I haven't done in a long time, and something I still wonder why I did, considering that my shul had a minyan at the same time. I'm standing in the foyer, trying to gauge where the latest minyan will be, when the door flies open and in walks the Rosheshive! Looking better than ever, if I may so myself. The Hadras Ponim was working very well, even Bukoviner and Marmoresher Yidden on Phyllis Terrace could tell that here goes epes ah choshuver yid.

Vizhnitz and Satmar are for those who may not know, two of Monsey's "minyan factories," with Satmar probably the bigger and better of the pair. If you thought a minyan was the only thing you could chap here, think again. Think cellphone accessories, bread, rolls, torah tapes, "Neitra raffle" and much, much more. At any given time of day you could drink a L'chaim for a yahrtzeit or a shlishi leMilah without actually knowing who's making the party, because the man has long since gone. Men from all across the spectrum daven there, Sefardi, Ashkenazi, Lubavitch, Litvish, Chassidish, MO; you can see them all davening in one minyan. Yet, on this Sunday afternoon, other than a few Yeshivishe Bnei Torah, most of the others were Vizhnitzer Chassidim, so REBW's entrance made a shtikkel roshem. One could sense somewhat of an anxiety in the Roshshive's demeanor; it was about 10 minutes to shkiah and he had just arrived. There was no minyan yet, and the clock was waiting for nobody that day, not even him.

Der Eybershtrer takes care of that serve him and immerse themselves in his Heylige Teyreh. Within seconds of the Rosheshive's arrival there was a man standing at the door to the minyan room closest to the Rosheshive calling out "Minchah, Mincha!" Thus, we were all zoche to daven before the shkiah in the Roshshive's zechus. Me being a fargrebte Chabadsker who only thinks about the Rebbe, I finished Shemone Esrei first. By a long way. First among some 30-40 people, so I was able to observe the Rosheshive's Hanhogos during davening. I'm happy to report that there were no funny faces, extreme clenching of the fists and brow, nor was he shaking like a madman, like some people think necessary. It was a lesson in davening. KeAvda KaMei Moroh in the simplest sense, without any fanfare, except for maybe the Vilde Payos, neat, clean, yet vild, if you get my drift. When davening was over it was out the door for him, almost as if it could not happen sooner. But that's to be understood, a Rosheshive of his caliber among Bukoviner and Marmorusher peasants. But still, I learned a lesson on how to adapt to situations that are a bit different than what you're used to. All thanks to a minchah in Vizhnitz.

(Pics of REBW are hard to come by, if you have a good one please won't you share with the rest of us? Right now all that I have is his father, the Mashgiach, with his boss, Reb Aryeh Malkiel, shlita.)


Anonymous said...

You could learn many other things from him, too. Like ahavas yisroel, for example. Or what it means to be an ehrliche yid.

David said...

And for those of us who are unenlightened, would you please tell us who this Yid is?

Anonymous said...

the "peasant" thing was uncalled for

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

peasant is Yiddish for פויער, which is a common way to address those Jews. Nothing derogatory.

Anonymous said...

Reb Elye Ber IS from Maramoresh.

His family excaped from the Lita and and came to the town of


The town was heavily Viznitz. As one old man of the town once told me.

After the Rav of the town was niftar, many Rabonim came by for a shabbos 'af probeh' [for a try-out] and since that Rabbi was of the Satmar/Sighet tradition where ה' מלך is recited during shales-sides he wanted to do the same, so when he got up to recite it he closed his eyes and said it erlich and loud. But when he finised and opened his eyes the shul was empty the Viznitzer [peasants] ran out, because its not their minhag.

That Rav later had a small shull in Boro Park.

Reb Elya Ber's wife if from a viznitzer chasidishe family of that town.

Maybe my facts are not so correct but there is a sure connection to Viznitz and REBV

Yosef 718

tzibaleh said...

excellent writing my dear enlghtened tzig "von uberland"!

is it that i know the place? maybe. but you're vivid humorous description caused me to "halten zich bay di zayten"

An Ailemesher said...

R, Elya Ber reminds of what R. Yoel Kahn use to look like when he was younger, especially his deep probing eyes.

שניאור הקטן said...

נו, ווער האט א בילד פונעם ראש ישיבה, שליט"א? איי, ווען די ראש ישיבה וואלט זיך אריינגעווארפען אין תורת החסידות וואלטען מיר אלע געלאפען צו אים

Moshe Goldberg said...

Tzig, heres a couple of 'hanahagos of the Rosh Yeshiva.
1) If you looked carefully you woulde have noticed that when he davens Shmone Esrei he is VERY carful that all his payis are behind his ears.
2) He sits in Shomer Shabbos in BP for over an hour every week on wed. night at around 11 o'clock, to chop as many amens and AYSR's as possible. Its not only wed. nights though.
3) He goes to the mikva very often.
4) He puts on many diff. types of teffilin every day, and wears the shel yad for many hours.
5) He wears a black tie that is worn ONLY untied. ie. just a loop with tie hanging down.
6) He pops may tumbs during shiur.
7) R'shmuel Birnboum called him the R' Akiva Eiger of this Dor.
8) Most people that ever heard a shiur from him are either very dizzy at the end, or in a total state of shock that such Goen lives in our days.
9) He stays up the whole purim night learnig with a 'ah brenn'. then davens vasikin.
10) He has poor vision and refuses to get glasses. He cant see the clock on the wall during shiur.

The lessons to learn from him are many, besides how to adapt to a situation. (It is well known that he had a very unusualy hard life).
His love for other jews is undescribable. And his simchas hachayim is amazing. He's very open about the aveirah of going on the internet to "type in things and noone knows who you are"(bloggers), and the gehinom that bloggers are going to get one day.

Just to leave you off with a good taste in your mouth. When I learned in SF your rebbe died (or so say some), and there were a few bachurim that went in to CH "for the show" (and the trip). That week in his shmuez the Rosh Yeshiva spoke out against the oilam "going to the "bais avodah Zara even for a joke". And openly spoke about Shlita as the Shabtzai Tzvi of the dor.

k'chal-y-ridiculous said...

i remember hearing REBW speaking by the last siyum hashas- epes vegen churban beis hamikdosh- and shalosh aveiros if i recall correctly- i think his father was only niftar a short time before so it seemed like a "coming out speach" and beyond the box seats, i think very few people understood what he was saying.
your report of his minchah (vos er davent miten shtender) comes as quite a shock from someone who judged him based on hearing one drashah. for were you to have asked me at the end of that siyum which two rabbonim seemed to represent polar opposites i would've replied in a flash -the sanz-klausenberger dayan that made the hadran, who, probably much to the chagrin of the organizers, began with the maaseh of the Alter Rebbe learning with R'Avrohom der Malach "meimosai koren es shema- me-eimah darf men leinen de shema". he seemed to radiate simcha (as opposed to the misayem). whereas REBW who's droshah/pilpul seemed to fly over most everyones head (eg the litvishe next to me asked me to explain bshas maaseh) bichotzoniyus seemed to care less about the point of the drashah rather more about making a point... i mean no disrespect, that is you have to be a special person not to view the opportunity to speak in front of 50k+ people as an opportunity to uplift oneself but rather to uplift 50k+ people. (bderech meyein shbemeyin- der eibishter is dan tzadikim noch machshovah hakedumah)
and after hearing ve azoi er davent mincha... vichatosi ani azker hayom- you have changed my opinion- REBW (in my mind) really cares about the churban!! (really really)
ps i never shared my "negative" sentiments.
pps- tzig, you're not only good for loshan horah! keep it up

Anonymous said...

K'chal REBW's shmuezen are very popular and very uplifting much of the time. Balei Batim dont know what hes talking about. Yeshiva'lite love him.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

Thanks for destroying the man in my eyes. Now all I see is a small-minded yeshivishe zealot

Adult At Risk said...

Why do you repeat yourself?

Small-minded yeshivishe zealot.

Small minded = yeshivish = zealot.

I challenge you, to name yeshivish Rosh Yeshiva that is open minded and a non-zealot.

mib said...

"peasant is Yiddish for פויער, which is a common way to address those Jews."

the title doesn't wok with bukoviner yidden... most of them were german speaking & college educated with professional careers. Bukovina and Maramureş were very different culturally.

Săcel, is a small town just along the Maramureş - Bistriţa-Năsăud border. The latter is part of the Siebenberg region of Transylvania.

The town had a mix of Vizhnitz, Sighet and Spinker Chassidim.

Anonymous said...

REBW is well known as one of the greatest Gaonim around, in depth knowledge of Shas beiyun with only Torah on his agenda. He had a miserable life. His first marriage to RMOSHE SHMUEL SHAPIRA'S daughter ended -she was, and still is, emotionally distrubed. His second Rebbetzin is a heimeshe, maiden name Blum, and they have an unwell child.
He is a personification of Lulei Sorascha avadti, he made waves when he spoke two years ago in Lkwd and attacked the kiruv people and since then he hasnt been invited to speak.
I have firsthand stories of his open ruach hakodesh and how his brachos are fulfilled.
He is a big mekubal, indeed wears tefillim, different types much of the day and frequents the mikvah.
He is a gadol, He refuses to serve on the Moetzes or Torah Umesorah.

Anonymous said...

you mean there is a class of yidden which are common peasants?

shimon said...

Thanks for destroying the man in my eyes. Now all I see is a small-minded yeshivishe zealot"

An anonymous poster is all it takes to destroy someone in your eyes?
An emmeser" poyer".
Go bow down to the rebbe.

Anonymous said...

It is well-known that REBW's brachos bear fruit. He has promised and delivered countless times.

shimon said...

Anon 2:30
Maybe someone can be mazkir to R'Eleh Ber;, this poyer, Hirshel ben Tsap un Tzig lerefuas hanefesh oon tsoo kriegen a trop seychel, bsoich shaar cholei yisroel.
Thank you

Anonymous said...

He also had a child that was niftar.
He is a talmid of R' Berel Solovitchik. He and his father were very close to R'Schach. They both held R' Schach was the Gadol Haador.

Tzig, Im surprised that the fact that he was very anti Chabad is a chidush to you. A litvisher Rosh Yeshiva that is pro Chabad is almost impossible to come by. Dont you know this? Or is this one of the lies they feed you: "the litvisher R.Y.'s are pro chabad, its only a few closed minded zealots that are not"?
Actualy you come across as extremely closed minded. You saw him in Vizhnetz and you liked his beard and peyis and the way he looked when he davened. So in your tiny mind you felt that wonderful feeling of WOW! He must be great! You ran home to your computer, posted your stupid blog for some good old fashion therapy. Then someone tells you he didnt like your religion and suddenly your world is crushed. "But his beard was so nice, sob, and he looked so 'heilig' when he davened, sob."
You are like a 6th grade girl totaly reliant on your fuzzy feelings to lead your life. No wonder chabad chaped you. You were prabably easy as pickles. They probably showed you a video of the Rebbe working his hand at a farbreingin like he was 30 years old, and you were hooked for life. No coming back. On to the next victim.
How sad.
How sad it is that you will never see in REBW what the Bnei Torah see. A total Goan, Tzadik, Lamdin, and Oheiv Yisroel. You will never enjoy the simcha of those that worked hours on his shiur, and came out like new people after they were done. You will never understand the true simcha that REBW has, and that is Simchas HaTorah.

GERSHY said...

Leave the Tzig alone,please!
This "chap" has no brains.Simple as that.Ah rachmones auf ihm.

Hyman said...

Tzig, your getting killed here!
Wheres Arthur when you need him.

(Maybe his mommey didnt let him play with the computer today)

Anonymous said...

You critics are mean. You enjoy Tzig's posts , veha raya, you came bag to this blg to check it out, and then you dump on the Tzig.

Stop it.

Reb Elah Ber is the star of the Yeshvish right, far more extreme than the Moetzes. He is an emeseh adam gadol.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

Killed, Hymie? is that all you got?

Please tell me people: what is the point of taking a yid, a Talmid chochom, and making him into some uncontrollable madman?

I was not taken in by his snowy white facial hair, I have many friends who are his talmidim - some that joined Lubavitch later on, or even while in Yeshivah - and I heard good things about him even from them.

If you tell me that he has the same opinion of Lubavitch that a Naarisher 15 year old in Bnei Beraq does; does that increase in Koved HaTeyreh?

אפשר קען מען מלמד זכות זיין אויף אים, א צובראכענע איד

Anonymous said...

He is not a tzubrochene Yid. Make no mistake, he has suffered plenty, but he maleh simcha. He is an exampel of what Torah does.

Tzig, wake up- every single Litvishe talmid chacham dislikes Lubavitch. Sorry, thats the way it is.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

ah, but this is not the case!

Aye, Reb Nochum! וואו זייט איר היינט? מיר בענקען זיך נאך אייך

Hyman said...

One thing everyone knows aboute REBW is that the last thing he is is "tzubruchen".
Your tzubruchen.

Reb Nachum! I love when I hear that. Oh, and Reb Moshe, and oh of course Rav Pam. And then theres JB (as if anyone but Lubes thought his opinion counted). And I forgot how the rest of the recording goes, but the brainwashed Lubavitchers can tell it to you the exact way they were programed to 'answer'. The real chabadsker pickchim might be able to add their own knaytch here and there; the groiser lamdoim that they are, lol.

But all of us know the TRUTH, which is the guys that wrote that speech were grabbing on to straws!
Noone out the there thinks that a letter or 2 from 40 years ago, or a visit from way back who knows when, BEFORE EVERYONE SAW THE TRUE COLORS, means that any of the gedolim that you guys rant about would aprove of what 'the religion and its leader' looked like in 199o. On the contrary they would all have gone along with all the rest of the Roshei Yeshiva in deleting Chabad from judasim forever.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

ok, Hymie

no wipe the foam off your keyboard.

Anonymous said...

How can you expect any Litvishe Rosh Yeshiva to have any respect for the Rebbe, after the Rebbe bad-mouthed the Chazon Ish?

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

again with the CI? stop it now.

Anonymous said...

And Rav Ahron Kotler.

Anonymous said...

and all the bnei torah of the world.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

wow! they sold you a load of baloney, wherever it was.

Anonymous said...

No one sold us anyhting. The Rebbe said it and I heard it and saw it on video. Its there for all to see...
unless your glasses are covers with mashiach stickers.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

For the last time, Hymie: RJB. Your obsession with the Lubavitcher Rebbe zy"a is an incurable psychosis, so I won't bother with that, but there seems to be enough shreds of rationality left in you to head off a similar psychosis regarding Rav Soloveichik zt"l. First of all "as if anyone but the Lubes thought his opinion counted" Seriously. What about the thousands of Sane Orthodox (modern is a misnomer) who are the reason you have to mention him at all?
Second, why the need to talk about him as if he wasn't a rabbi, let alone a Gaon?

Hyman said...

modeh Re. RJB, could be your right. sorry.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

ahhh, a crack in Hymie's "armor."

Anonymous said...

I have it on good authority that the breakdown of leadership in American Agudah and the fight that ultimately cost Shmuel Bloom his job came from RSB's being mechabed REBW to speak at Siyum Hashas.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

RSB's being mechabed REBW to speak at Siyum Hashas.

and that's a no-no because REBW doesn't bow down to the Moetzes?

Anonymous said...

Blah, blah "good authority". BS.

I have it on good authority that REBW was asked to join the moetzes, begged to join the moetzes, and he refused so many times they got the hint to stop asking him. I highly doubt there was any issue with inviting him to speak at the daf yomi party. And for those that know what happened, know that he was treated by one of the organizers with a lot of chutzpa.

Anonymous said...

That is exactly to what I am referring. That organizer -- --- treated him with chutzpah.

Anonymous said...

Because of the way he was treated at the Siyum, I can't see myself attending another one of those events.

Anonymous said...

The Agudah is still feeling the effects of that debacle. Let RShmuel Bloom be remembered letovah for treating REBW with respect.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

so you won't go to the biggest מעמד כבוד התורה just because YOUR Rosh Yeshivah was insulted?! How Lubavitch of you!

Anonymous said...

He's not my Rosh Yeshiva, he was not insulted, he didn't give a damn. He was treated by the "daf yomi commission" שלא לפי כבודו to say it nicely. To me that's a bigger bizayon hatorah than all the kavod hatorah generated by the מעמד. I don't know how ברבים it was, I personally saw it, but that would only be more of a reason. There is כבוד שמים בכמות והאיכות in your circles כמות is what counts, but screwing with one real תלמיד חכם can negate the entire evening of כבוד התורה

אמר רבא כמה טפשאי שאר אינשי דקיימי מקמי ספר תורה ולא קיימי מקמי גברא רבה

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

what was terrible? I wasn't there. Tell the oylem here what happened. Many of us simply don't know what you're talking about!

Anonymous said...

When I was in YOEC in LA many moons ago, REBW came for a couple days to do the AARTS certification. He listened in to a shiur in chassidus, and farhered a few bochurim on the toichen afterwards. He enjoyed being there, and the RY asked him to give a shiur the day after (Friday) the review was completed. He did it b'simcha and wholeheartedly. Due to travelling time, he spent shabbos in LA at the lkwd kollel, and told everyone his hispalus with the yeshiva and the bochurim's learning (I heard it from a litvak buddy at the kollel). There was not even a hint of any anomosity. We had a little chuckle when in middle of his sthtille shmoine esrai, he motioned to the chazan to not wait for him.

Arthur said...

Hyman said
"Tzig, your getting killed here!
Wheres Arthur when you need him.

(Maybe his mommey didnt let him play with the computer today)"
Der vantz iz arois gekrochen foon zain loch noch amol mit zein tipushe un zelbe oisdruken.Nu,mistame hot er nisht besser tzu Zogen.

yechiel said...

Why do you enjoy spending time with people who could be your grandkids?

Arthur said...

Why do you enjoy spending time with people who could be your grandkids?"
Good question.Maybe because it makes me feel younger.
There's a story told that when Reb Yoichinon Gordon A"H was Gabai in 770 many moons ago someone hot em ongivintched "Reb Yoichenon,ir zolt derleben biz ah hundret un tvontzig".Being that he was ah sharfe un ah kluge Yid,his response was "Du pish in de hoisen".
Or perhaps it's because ich ken nit leiden naronim that speak about Lubavich and the Rebbe and don't have the faintest notion of what a Rebbe is and what Chassidus is all about.

Anonymous said...

Whoever stepped foot in Brisk have their own spin on things. When exactly started the anti baal teshuva ideology in Brisk? it can not be Reb Chaim or Reb Velvel since they were before the teshuva era? people were still in the frieing out trend, so did it start by the son Reb Berel ?
What is Rav Vahfogels view on Chinuch Atzmai? that Reb Aron Kotler was one of the founders. He left Lakewood as a big Bochur thats a story for itself

Anonymous said...

I herad him once speak , is there some written Shiurim available? I heard his shiurim are not nussach brisk

Anonymous said...

Tzvi are you definite that he is in that photo? it looks like malkiel

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

I said that it wasn't him. Read the caption. (Underneath the picture)

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

Can ANYBODY help with a picture of Reb Elya Ber, Please?!


Anonymous said...

(Many thanks to a devoted reader who found this picture on YWN)