Monday, March 2, 2009
צוריק צו די מאמעליגע
Yosef 718 writes:
Since I know a bit about Viznitz let me give some context to the pictures you present. Historically Viznitzer chasidim who lived in Maramoresh made their anual trek over the mountains to be Rosh Hashana in Viznitz. Those treks by foot usually took 2 to four weeks of walking thru woods and enormous peaks during Chodesh Elul, they are legendary and are an integral part of Viznitz story telling and Maramoresh culture in general. These kids are wearing a symbolic representation of סאקוועס "sakves" a sort of backpack with only poor-mans-bread, called Mamalige or Korsh and little bit of Mashke as צדה לדרך. I knew one person in Boro Park who participated as a kid with a whole group of chasidim for 2 weeks in such a trek in 1929? the last time Reb Yisrol'tche Viznitzer celebrated Rosh Hashana in his home town Viznitz.
[Those mountains are described in a previous post here]
I myself heard Reb Moshe'ele the Rebbe of Viznitz describe the scene of hundreds of little lantern carrying men with "sakves on their pleitze" descending in middle of the night before slichos erev Rosh Hashana quietly down the mountainside with so much emotion, and when they arrived in the Rebbe's court many of them kissed the ground of the Rebbe's shul. Of course the more enlightened Bukovina Chasidim "oifgeklerte" poked fun of those "poshete" אמונה פשוטה אידען who behaved with such unbridled fervor and were called "Sakves Yidden". They in turn were proud of that term. These children in these pics are being taught in a Viznitzer Cheder about those chasidim. Of course to my mind those things are nontransferable, they are unfortunately just a memory that spiritually can't be transplanted in the land of Cactus and Sand [ooops milk and honey] Still, just like in Chabad its sort of a yichus to say; my grandfather is a Tomim from Otvotsk or for a Sqverer to say: My zaide is from the Ukraine [c"v not from Ungarn] in Viznitz it's big deal if your Zeide made his way to Viznitz by foot over the mountains with Sakves over his shoulders.
So here me too: My Zaide made that trek.