Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Is Gil Student מזרע ישראל?

After writing such an article?

Here's the PDF from Mishpacha Magazine

The point is that you can think what you want about them, you can discuss it in shul between mincha-maariv, and even tell your wife what you think, but don't show the whole world how heartless you are, no matter how much you dislike the Mishpacha, or Bleich, or anybody involved here. Oh! and that whole "law and order" charade is a bit tired too.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Right now the Tzig is at a stage as far as the blog is concerned where nothing is good enough for the blog. Nothing passes muster. Everything is silly, passe' or both. Even a wonderful, glorious, derhoybene Shabbos next to the Kodesh hakodoshim biZman HaZeh is not enough to get me to write, despite the uplifting time had there by all. Do I write about Lubavitch? Satmar? Telshe? Ponovezh? Vizhnitz? Kretshnef? How about I go back to writing about my childhood in various Boro Park Yeshivos? You guys seemed to like that.

Help me.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

M'a ssalama, Jo

Jo Amar 5690-5769

Yes, I too loved that voice. The 'Het. The heavy Ayin. The Silsulim. It was a pleasure to listen to. He had a massive stroke a while ago and suffered from Parkinson's disease. That powerful voice could hardly make a sound for the final years of his life.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Behind every man....

A newspaper in Eretz Yisroel printed the bottom picture this week. Nothing strange about that. It's a delegation headed by the Mayor of Bnei Beraq, Yaakov Asher, that visted R Aron Teitelbaum of Satmar. We see some of Boro Park's finest "askonim" joined him on the mission.... Then somebody went and posted the uncensored version. That's the one on top. And there was lots of hooting and hollering about censorship, and how silly it is to black out the Rebbetzin standing in the corner of the picture. The Rebbetzin here is the daughter of the Vizhnitzer Rebbe of Bnei Beraq, may he live and be well. I have no problem with taking her out. Newspapers have rules so they stick to them. OK. But we fail to see the broader story here; how the Rebbetzin saw it her business to leave the kitchen and listen in, house dress and all. This doesn't seem like a one-time deal either, it seems perfectly normal, nobody deemed it out of the ordinary. I wonder if she added her two cents to the discussion, her being from BB and all. I dare say this scene seems refreshing to me; no gabboyim hanging over the chair smiling like fools. No mounds of fruit and silver dishes either. It's just a group of people having a business-like meeting. A heavy tablecloth, lots of seforim on a conference table with a bunch of 500 dollar chairs.

And A Rebbetzin.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

מדינה שאני

Hungarian soldiers milling about the Cheder in Seredne, Hungary, 1939

HebrewBooks has so many treasures it could make a grown man cry. The latest one comes to us from a very active and devoted reader. There's a book that speaks of the activities of the Agudath Israel in Romania after WWII, and there was much to write about. Communities were destroyed. Young adults came back to their towns only to find that there was nothing to come back to. Many - even if totally Chassidish before the war - were now drawn to the ideals of the idea, since it seemed like the only way out. I recall seeing a short video clip of an interview with an elderly Jew In Israel, where he speaks of his and his parents' deportation to Auschwitz in the summer of '44. This man is no longer religious, unfortunately, but his parents were Chassidishe Yidden, their pictures are flashed on the screen. He mentions that his father was so religious, that he was even worried that the transport from Romania to Auschwitz would arrive on Shabbos, which may lead to chilul shabbos..... The man then finishes off by saying זה שהוא נשרף בשבת זה כבר משהו אחר...... The irony is simply painful to watch. With someone like him it's easy to see how many said "G-d died in Auschwitz, c"v." This is what they tried to avoid when they organized after the war and tried to provide for the survivors.

From the sefer אגודת ישראל ברומני-ה - דין וחשבון

Which brings us to the letter here. We all know the Sighet-Satmar approach to the Agudah, Mizrachi and its satellites. This is not something that started only in post-war Palestine or in post-State Israel, it was the opinion of the Teitelbaums that they're both treif. Always were and Always will be. Not so much because of their approach to the Jewish question, (for lack of a better term) as much as not believing in what they were doing, mixing Rabbonim and Askonim and other such issues. They were not Reb Elchonon HYD, who had he survived would've most likely left the Agudah or Rav Dushinsky, who was a Agudist but anti-State, and passed away before the State came into being. You might say that in this in this sense the SR and probably his older brother the AC were like the Munkacser Rov, anti-Agudah in all aspects, and anti-anything the Agudah does, did, or will ever do. Daf Yomi is treif, Hachsharah for Kibbutzim are chazzer treyf, as is the word ALIYAH. You would think that since everything they did was treif that any cooperation would be as well. Surely a letter of admiration would be totally off limits too. Yeah, I know, Lubavitch was anti-Agudah too, but we're speaking about Sighet-Satmar now.

Yidden in Rumania, 1938

So the Agudah sends the Sigheter Rov a letter asking him to write a few words about the activities of the Agudah in Rumania, and he cannot stop praising them! He waxes poetic about how they saved lives. How these daughters of Israel had parents who were moser nefesh for yiddishkeit returned alone and broken in spirit and were saved only by the work of the "Kibutzim" that the Agudah in Transylvania operated. This is news! News that needs to trumpeted from the tops of tall buildings. You can appreciate what an organization does even if you disagree with what they're doing.... (huh?) I mean with OTHER things that they're doing, or with opinions they have about other activities. Yes, we can sit here and be amused at the fact that the man who would be Satmar Rebbe and Nosi of the Edah HaCharedis would be so open towards towards dialogue with the Agudah, but I see the good in it. I guess it's not for nothing that the more zealous ones didn't want to accept him when his uncle the DY passed away. They must've known about the letter. It wasn't the shidduch with the Vizhnitzer Agudist, it was the letter after WW2 that may have done him in as far they were concerned. ומסיימים בטוב.

Monday, June 22, 2009

ווי א חסיד צום רבי'ן

Why now, you ask? Why do I bring this up now? I don't know. I got them in an e-mail and liked them. I also don't get what the big deal is/was that the Rebbe welcomed him with open arms. As a kid I heard that alot; that KivYochol, the Rebbe's big "aveiroh" was being too friendly with him and others of the Israeli Government. He was coming to the Rebbe altz chossid, plain and simple. He would sit by the farbrengens, listen to every word and do the best he could under the circumstances, especially since it had been a while since he was into learning, if you know what I mean.... Yes, issues of general concern in Israel were discussed in private, but so what? How did that differ from Yitzchok Shamir visiting the Vizhnitzer Rebbe ZGZ, or DBG visiting the Chazon Ish?

Eh. why do I bother?

The photos are from 2 different visits, as is quite clear from the Rebbe having aged considerably. I wonder why they didn't have mounds of fruit and grapes, silver decanters and bechers, and fine bone china dishes....

Purim, 5731.


Mr. Abraham Herman, the Israel Council member in Washington D.C at the time, being introduced to the Rebbe.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Imagine yourself in Koretz....

מדרש פנחס

On Simchas Teyreh, in the presence of the Holy of Holies, Di Heilige Reb Pinches Koretzer.... How great and wondrous it must have been

Thursday, June 18, 2009

אידישע שטריימלאך אין אלטען ווילנא

אמאליגע אידן אין ווילנא

באקומען אויפ'ן עלעקטראנישע פאסט

לכבוד ידידי הרב הירשל שיחי'

איך האב לעצטענס באקומען דעם ביכל "פון ווילנא געטטא" געשריבען געווארן דורך חייקל לונסקי ע"ה אין יאר תר"פ. דער ספר איז זייער אינטערעסאנט, כאטש גאנץ אומיטיג, און עס איז כדאי אים צו ליינען. איטליכע זאכן וואסן איך האב געטראפן צו זיין מערקווירטיג וויל איך פאר אייך מעתיק זיין.

אויף עמ' 27 שרייבט ער "וואונדערבאר שיין איז געווען איז געווען אמאל דער ווילנער שמחת תורה אז ס'האט געהאט א שם. יונג און אלט, מיידלעך און ווייבלעך, אפילו זקנות פלעגן זיך צונויפזאמלען אין מאנסבילשער שול שמחת תורה, ס'איז געווען הפקר די וועלט..."
און בהמשך דארט עמ' 28 "עס פלעגט זיך ציען די הקפות, אפריער אלע ווילנער רבנים אין די שטריימעלעך מיט די געטליכער פנימער מיט די ווייסע בערד מיט די ספרי תורות אין די הענט ..."
און אויף עמ' 31 דערציילינדיק וואס דער גלות אפריכטער האט געזאגט פאר זיינע קינדער "אויך איך, מיינע ליבע קינדערלאך, זאג שוין צייט אייניגע חדשים דעם 70טען קאפיטל פון תהלים, ד"ה, אז איך בין שוין אלט 70 יאר און ס'איז שוין צייט מסתמא אהיים צו פארן"
די ביכל קען מען טרעפן ביי די אידיש בוך צענטער .
“Haykl Lunski” “Fun Vilner Geto”כדי אים צו טרעפן דארף מען זוכן פאר
לויט ווי איך פארשטיי איז חייקל לונסקי ע"ה געווען א פרומער איד און ספרן אין די גרויסע ווילנע אידישע (שטראשון) ביבליאטעק.

Buy It Here

More From Lunski Here

Lunski ביי דער ארבעט

אמר הירשל:
ס'שווער צו וויסן וואס גענוי ער מיינט ווען ער זאגט אז "ס'געווען "הפקר" די וועלט," ווייל מ'איז ח"ו ניט חושד ווילנער אידן אויף מעשים אשר לא יעשו. נאר וואס? מן הסתם מיינט ער אז אין הנהגת ביהכ"נ, וואס איז ווילנא איז געווען גאנץ "יעקיש," האט מען שמחת תורה נישט אזוי נאכגעקוקט. מ'האט אריינגעלאזט די נשים און בנות אין בית מדרש און זיי זענען געשטאנען דערביי, צוקוקענדיג ווי די מענער און קינדער פרייען זיך מיט די הייליגע תורה. נישקשה. אויך איז זיכער געווען גענוג און נאך פלאץ אין שול, אזוי אז די נשים זענען געווען נישט ממש אין די ד' אמות פון די מאנסבילער. כנלענ"ד
אבער איין זאך זעהט מען יא: אז שמחת תורה איז געווען פרייליך אויך אין ווילנא, און אויך פאר די נשים איז וויכטיג געווען זיך אנטייל נעמען מיט די שמחה. דהיינו, נישט ווי היינט וואס מאנכע ישיבה'לייט ווילן טייטשן אז נאר די וועלכע האבן געלערענט תורה און געהארעוועט אין תורה, און גוט פארשטאנען תורה זענען מחותנים מיט'ן תורה און מיט איר שמחה'דיגן טאג

ווען עס קומט צו די שטריימלעך ווערט מיר אביסאלע שווער. ס'טייטש אז אזא גרויסע גרופע אידן זענען שבת קודש און אין די ימים טובים געגאנכען אנגעטוהן אין די בגדים פון די חסידים? אין מתנגדישען ווילנא? איי, וועט איר מיר געבן צו פארשטיין אז רבי הירש לייב, די וואלאזשינער ראש ישיבה, זיין איידים ר' רפאל, ר' מיכל פון נאווארדוק און אפילו רבי משה מרדכי זיינען אלע געגאנגען שבת און יום טוב אין שטריימלאך, וועל איך אייך זאגן אז ניט דאס מיינט חייקל. חייקל, קוקט אויס, האט געמיינט די חסידים. פארוואס מוז מען אזוי זאגען? זיייער איינפאך. גיט א קוק אויף די נעקצטע אויסצוג, דארט וואו ער רעדט וועגן דעם וואס ער זאגט שוין אייניגע חדשים קאפיטל ע' ווייל ער איז שוין אלט 70 יאר. וואו נאך סיידען ביי חסידים איז פאראן אזא מנהג? און ביי חסידים גופא, כאטש אז מ'זאגט אז דער מנהג שטאמט פון בעל שם טוב אליין, איז דוקא ביי חב"ד ליובאוויטשער חסידים דאס אן אנגענומענע זאך. אברהם טווערסקי האט זיך אפילו אפגערעדט אז ביי די 119 יאר וועט ער דארפען זאגן קאפיטל קי"ט, א חשבון פון 176 פסוקים. קוקט אויס אז נאר אין ליובאוויטש איז דאס א זאך. נו, שוין, קוקט אויס אז אויך אין ווילנא, נאך מיט איבער 100 יאר צוריק, איז ליובאוויטש געווען א כח

Litvishe Shtreymlach in Circus Tent

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"!מאך דא ארץ ישראל"

Burech wants "sociology," well, then let him study this. Maybe he can explain to all us boors how a society like this one - meaning the society of Kiryas Joel - has been allowed to cultivate and grow with this being their opinion of law and order. How bachurim who are supposed to be ONLY in Yeshivah - which is why going to put on Tefillin with Jews during their free time is assur - think that it's quite all right to confront police officers when they don't like what the cops are doing. And we're not talking about some great injustice or danger either. What happened here was very simple: There was a Rebbishe wedding in Kiryas Joel last week, the Rebbe there married off his granddaughter. Mazel tov. As is customary Chassidim string up lights in front of the shul and the Rebbe's house, and put up signs wishing him Mazel Tov for the Simcha. In Boro Park and Williamsburg these days happen very often in places such as Satmar and Bobov. In Monsey there's a wedding once a month or more for one of the Vizhnitzer Rebbe's grandkids. The lights are meant to give the streets a more festive look, sort of a throwback to the Alte Heim when they did that just to illuminate the poorly lit or dark street. (Sort of like making the lights go off by timer because in di heim iz geven tunkel ba di shaleshudes teyreh...)

We can sit here all day and agree that the authorities and the people of Monroe - the non-Jews - are anti-Semites who wish the Satmars never came in the first place. You won't get an argument from me on this one. We can also agree that there was no real reason to come and ruin the simcha (if that actually ruins it) by coming down there and removing the lights. But I'm sure by now the good people there have enough political clout that it would've taken would be a phone call or two to some local official and the lights would be back up, pronto. Why then the need to confront the police and make a colossal chillul hashem that may have very long repercussions? I'd go out on a limb and say that this is the only way they know. Like in Eretz Yisroel; they think that the only way to do things is to scream "Nazim" at the police and burn garbage. Abi they have taynes to the Tziyonim for provoking the Arabs. I b'etzem wouldn't bother with this as a post, since discussing politics is not my thing, but the likes of Burech, staunch defenders of the activity you see here, will you make you do that, especially when they ask for Sociology... I'm also shocked that the PR savvy knakkers in KJ didn't see this for what it was, a PR nightmare on all accounts, and stop this thing, if only for the consequences!

Watch them all.

זיצן אין תפיסה איז די בעסטע זאך

די בחורים האבען נישט קיין שכל

Tough guys, confronting the cops

Well, at least we see that the womenfolk there haven't lost it completely yet, they're also appalled a the behavior of these kids. I guess just not enough to do something about it. Or maybe they're afraid for their own safety...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Missing Schneersons

HoRabboni HaChossid Reb Yehudah Leib ben Admor Reb Shlomo Zalman MiKopust, died 1930s. The kever sits in the Petersburg cemetery, forgotten and neglected. A photo of the Tziyun recently was shown on the Chabad website "Shturem." I wonder if there were any children from him and where they are today. It would be nice if one of you, who has a Sefer HaTzetzoyim handy, could look it up and see what he finds. It seems like there are several others from Beis HoRav in that cemetery, because soon after Shturem showed the picture, COL went ahead and found the following:

Rebbetzin Rivka Schneerson, died 1933, 79 years old. Rivka was the daughter of Devorah Leah, daughter of the Tzemach Tzedek of Lubavitch. Since she was born in 1854 she probably remembered her Elter zeide pretty well. Her father was Rav Levi Yitzchok Zalmanson of Velizh, and her husband was also a Schneerson., He was Rav Yehuda Leib Schneerson, Rov in Gomel and Vitebsk, and the son of Rav Yitzchok DovBer of Liadi, author of the Siddur MaHaRid. RYDS was a son of Rav Chaim Schneur Zalman of Liadi, son of the Tzemach Tzedek. A certain blogger uses this Matzeivah as "proof" that there is NO such name as Mushka, it's only Mussia. Nu, nu. The Matzeiva also includes her daughter, Mussia Blank, who passed away in 1956, and another woman, died 1967, who I was told may or may not have a non-Jewish name, so it may or may not be family. It's sad to see the negelect...

I thank the blogger formerly known as Tzemach Atlas for translating and explaining the Russian words for me.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

He wants more

The reader who sent me the material for this thread has some more questions on anecdotes brought in the book. He gets the impression that Simcha Raz is/was (is he still alive?) a Misnaged. I said "no." At least I didn't think he was. He wrote a book on Reb Nachman as well, so I didn't think he was. But now I'm beginning to think that maybe he's on to something...

But first, a video clip about Reb Aryeh

Reader: Am I crazy on these?

This paragraph reads like a cute joke. It first contrasts RAL to Chassidim to complement RAL, implicitly acknowledging that Chassidim/Rebbes are models of devotion to G-d.The writer/translator/editor/? uses the very same catalyst of Chassidim as a footstool to catapult and exalt RAL’s pious status far beyond that of a Chosid or Rebbe, effectively disparaging Chassidim as lesser models of Yiddishkeit than RAL.

So he was more than a Rebbe and more than a Chossid? A Rebbe is not a model Jew? A Chossid is not a model Jew? Let's change our personal paradigms by word substitution in order to appreciate the silliness of the paragraph:

This was no ROSH YESHIVA leading devoted followers in the ways of MUSAR. He was himself a thorough CHOSSID, educated and living outside the world of MUSAR. Nor was he an ILUI, producing wondrous CHIDUSHIM (although there were CHIDUSHIM in his life).(OK SO FAR BUT HERE IS THE PUNCH LINE:))

He was something more, something greater. He was an extraordinary model Jew. This next one could be an editorial mix up but the Frierdiker Rebbe is dissed by omission……read on:

Halfway down the next page, where it starts "AT THAT MEETING," it attributes a life changing message coming from either the Frierdiker Rebbe or Rav Kook because they were the only ones in the room, and R. Aryeh didn’t say which one actually said it, but its logical that the Rebbe said it, yet the editor places Rav Kook’s name in parenthesis as the one who gave R. Aryeh a life changing message. I don’t get it; R. Aryeh, his long time friend Rav Kook who he visiting with, get together with the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the ICON of mesiras nefesh for a once in a life time meeting, and from this meeting R. Aryeh learns from his old time friend instead of the Rebbe? And the Rebbe taught him nothing? There is no doubt that R, Aryeh meant the Lubavitcher Rebbe. The best I could say is that this is an editor slip up.

The paragraph above describes two pious brothers, talmidim of the GRA, who wander the country side teaching Torah to children and country folk. Given that this story is:

1) placed next to the story that disses the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and
2) having read the other quoted paragraph disparaging Chassidim,
3) given that this is not the nature of the talmidim of the GRA, and
4) that the story only lists the first names of these talmidim with no other evidence,

It seems that this story is likely a fabrication in an effort to prove and promulgate that the GRA is the progenitor of Ahavas Yisroel and the true Baal Shem Tov. The upshot is that if the GRA is the true BESHT, then the Lubavitcher Rebbe has no real tradition, and is cut down at his roots. Add to that the previous story on the page; the FR doesn’t even register as a somebody with a current message since RAL ‘learned’ from Rav Kook instead of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

Ad Kan the Reader. It seems like somewhat of a stretch, even to me.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Generations of true music

I recently came across these pictures in a closed forum. They were posted by a grandson of the Charitonows who graciously allowed me to post them here. Me being a big "fan" of their neginah I jumped at the opportunity.

Reb Avrohom Charitonow - Chazzen & Shochet in Nikolayev - and wife Beila.

His son, Reb Aron. Many famous Lubavitcher nigunim are his compositions, including "Der Beinuni," and "Nigun Yud Beis Tammuz."The "shades" are due to a self-inflicted wound so as to avoid the draft. So they say, anyway. I think he was ahead of his time and knew that one day they'd be all the rage among musicians...

Reb Sholom is my personal favorite. One of his nigunnim is in my blogger profile. To say that RSC had a tremendous Koach in Neginah is an understatement. He passed away in Moscow in 5694 at a young age. His son is Reb Shamshon Charitonow of Crown Heights, zg"z. Here's the nigun, as sung by Reb Shamshon. Sorry about the quality... If this won't put a Hirhur Tshuvah in you no nigun ever will, IMHO.

Reb Mordche Hersh Charitonow, HYD, son of Reb Aron.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Years later, a sleepless night

The following 2 pages plus the commentary underneath page 2 were received via e-mail. They're from "A Tzaddik In Our Time" by Simcha Raz. (The life and times of Reb Aryeh Levin.) The reader readily admits that maybe his thinking was skewed by reading too much Circus Tent, and that there's nothing inherently unflattering in this story. He asks for y'all's opinion.

Reader continues: The Rov is distressed about a top bochur not getting his ‘deserved’ gashmius, when the top bochur was created for this; yet the regular bochur, who needs to have even more mesiras nefesh to be in yeshiva, getting far less material sustenance than a top bochur wouldn’t elicit the same tears. I would have omitted this story. It's not flattering at all to R. Isser Zalmen.

Monday, June 8, 2009

2 Hazmones...

The following is the invitation to the Bobower Rebbe's son, married last week in Brooklyn. The nusach is somewhat of a piece of real poetry; notice the play on words on the cover, where the date of Ches Sivan is gracefully intertwined with the concept of basking in the glow of the Tzaddik, despite the Posuk not actually referring to the Tzaddik, but to the Holy One, blessed be he.

It seems all the graphics and nusach people wanted in on the Brochos the Rebbe would surely bestow upon them on this, a very happy and momentous occasion, but they wouldn't have it. Baila Miriam - despite the work that she put in, was not allowed to have her name mentioned for all to see. At least not the Hamon Am; maybe the Rebbe did get to see that version and pray for them....Only Naftoli Zvi made the cut, and even his mother was left out...Thus is the fate of a Lubavitcher; he wants to look up the Yotzer and follow along with the invitation, but he hasn't one in his house! No Shavuos Machzor in the whole Tzig compound. I do have one in my childhood home, tucked away in my old room somewhere, but I never brought it with me, since I did not need it. I have my RH and YK Machzor haMeforash very prominently displayed with the other Machzorim, but no Sukkos, Pesach or Shavuos. A Lubavitcher goes from Yom Kippur to the seder Amiras Korban Pesach until he says something not in the regular davenen. Other than HaNeiros Halolu and Shoshanas Yaakov. Which is why I joined Lubavitch in the first place; the easy life, the getting drunk every day on Vodka, and the putting on teffilin with goyim and women too....Which means that next time I go home I need to find those machzorim and take them home with me.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A printer's mistake ------

Yechi Adoneynee Tzaddik Doreynee

----- At the expense of these Temimus'dike kids. I mean the idea of making him "Rabbon VaAvihen Shel Yahadus Russia" seems like a טעות הדפוס to me. I can understand that some well-meaning Satmarer chossid saw this as a way of promoting his Rebbe, but did he think about what he was putting him through? Did he not know the SR's shittoh when it came to Kiruv? This "coronation" would be akin to calling the CI Rabbon VeAvihen shel Yahadus Teiman," or the BR Rabbon VeAvihen shel Yotzei Iran." Even that would not be too much, considering their work on behalf of those Jews. From what I understand, it seems like Beer HaGolah, the Mosad that claims to rescue Russian Jewry but has no proof to back up their claim, has apparently placed a Satmarer Chosid at the helm and this is the result. Why do I attack a school that once had Rav Yakov Kamenecki at its helm? Very simple. This has nothing to do with RYK. The fact remains that most of the BH kids go on to public school and leave their Yiddishkeit completely behind, smiling kids pictured here not withstanding. (You might say that if that was NOT the case there would be no need for Nechomas Yisroel, who also "saves Russian Jewry.")

Students of Beer HaGolah schools in Brooklyn

I guess we should be happy that it wasn't one of the present-day Rebbes that they proclaimed as RVSYR. That would be too much to bear. אויב שוין יא זאל זיין די סאטמאר רב, and not anyone else. However, I may still be surprised here after all. Some guy will come along here and tell me stories about how thousands of Russian Jews were helped with money from Satmarer Mosdos, and how the Satmar Bikur Cholim saved hundreds of Russian Jewish lives. How, just like the Sefardishe Satmare Kehillah in Argentina, there are large Jewish Satmarer Kehillos of Russian Jews in Monsey, Monroe and even Williamsburg. How even Beer HaGolah was supported by the SR and his devoted Chassidim by raising millions of dollars clandestinely so that nobody should know that Satmar supports Kiruv. Maybe. OK, fine. That's not the point here. In the future I would tell the one thinking up these signs to stick to the more generic Rabbon Shel Kol Bnei HaGolah, a softer, more accepted title that also has recently lost its meaning and significance due to abuse by some groups. In the interest of full disclosure I would also deem it inappropriate if the Rebbe were dubbed "Raaban Shel Yahadut Sefarad." Despite the Rebbe's efforts and accomplishments, very often more than any other Sefardic Rav.

And then there's the whole MeKabel Shvi'i thing....

Friday, June 5, 2009

A time to remember

RNZW of Bilka, HYD (l)

The 13th of Sivan is the Yohrtzeit of Reb Yitzchok Eizik Weisz of Spinka, HY"D, known as the Chakal Yitzchok. Me being a former Spinker Talmid I remember these things, despite having left so many years ago. I'll bet some of the Groise Chassidim totally never knew that date. Three years ago we wrote about newly-discovered photographs of the CI's son, Reb Naftoli Zvi of Bilka, HYD, who was photographed by a Nazi photographer as he waited to die Al Kiddush Hashem. Which brings us to today's topic du jour, which I know is redundant. In Hungarian Kehillos many of the old folks have Yohrtzeit during the spring months. From after Pesach till Tammuz there's a procession of old yiddelach who daven for the Omud, get maftir, and give kiddush for their deceased loves ones who were gassed during the terrible summer of '44. In non-Hungarian kehillos you don't get that, and I would dare say the remembering isn't what it should be there. Not that it's their fault; it's just that the concentration and the quick pace of the deportation and the extermination at least forced us to remember every year. The Poylishe often had no idea when the killings took place, and the Russians had their issues. The end result is that for the last decade and a half I haven't had the chance to have that saturated summer of remembrance....

RNZ and his father RYI at the levaya of his sometimes adversary, the Minchas Elozor of Munkacs, 2 Sivan, 5697.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

איך בין אין גלות אין חב"ד

......נישט איך, די בעל הגראמען

הערט'ס צו ידידים
מתנגדים און חסידים
נערים וזקנים יחד
מיינע השערות
פון אידישע צרות
איך בין אין גלות אין חב"ד

1) איך האב אויף זיי נישט קיין פאראיבל
אבער ווען איך קום אריין אין שטיבל
קומט מיר אויס דאס גאנצע התנהגות עפעס
איך קען נישט פארשטיין דעם טעם
פארוואס דתיהם שונות מכל עם
ואת דתי המלך הם עושים באהבה וביראה

אוי! שבת, יום טוב אינדערוואכען
געוואלד! וואו בין איך דא פארקראכען
און ועל כולם קען איך נישט אפילו קריטיקירען
פסח, סוכות ימים נוראים
פאר מיר איז פלאי פלאים
און מען זאגט מיר "שווייג!", ווייל דיין זיידע האט געהייסען אזוי זיך פירען

3) לעתיד לבוא אין גן עדן
וועל איך פרגען ביים הייליגן זיידן
כ'בעט דיר זאג מיר צו איז דאס טאקע געווען דיין דרך בקודש
עס כאפט מיר ממש אן א ציטער
זיי זאגען נישט אפילו וואס עס שטייט אין דיין סידור
נישט קיין "ושמרו" נישט קיין "וידבר משה" און נישט קיין תקעו בחודש

4) אין דיין שלחן ערוך פסק'נסטו להלכה
אז אויף תפלין של ראש דארף מען מאכען א ברכה
דארפסטו אבער זעהן ווי דיינע חסידים לייגען תפלין
זיי זאגן נאר אז לפי חב"ד
מאכט מען א ברכה נאר אויפ'ן של יד
זעהסטו אליין אז זיי טוהען אינגאנצען ווי זיי ווילען

5) זיידע, דו האסט געזאגט אין דיינע שיחות
אז מען דארף נישט זאגען קיין סליחות
אין עשרת ימי תשובה, און דאס האט שוין גורם געווען ממילא
און וואס זאל איך מיט זיי קריגען
עס פאסט גארנישט צו דעם ניגון
פון ראש השנה'דיגן קדיש אז מ'זאגט נישט קיין לעילא ולעילא

6) ס'איז דאך נישט מעגליך דאס איבערצוטראגן
וואס מען דארף אזוי פיל תהלים זאגען
דער יום, דאס קאפיטל וויפיל מ'איז אלט, און שבת מברכים אינגאנצען
געוואלד אידן! האט'ס רחמנות
זייטס משנה די תקנות
איך זאל נישט דארפען זאגען "אשרי תמימי דרך" ביי די הונדערט און ניינצען יאר

7) מי שמע כזאת אז אין א יום הילולא
זאגט מען תחנון אין די תפלה
איך שריי "חי וקים" און איך טוה כסדר אויף זיי האקן
געוואלד! זיי זענען דאך רחמנא ליצלן ערגער ווי די ליטוואקן

8) אהן א קיטל ביים סדר דאס ווייס איך
אבער וואס איז געשעהן מיט'ן חסל סידור פסח
אפשר איז ער אוועקגעלאפן צוזאמען מיט'ן ותערב
אדער אפשר האט ער גאר בדעה
צוזאמען מיט'ן חד גדיא און מיט'ן אחד מי יודע
גיין אויפזוכען דעם אדיר הוא יבנה ביתו בקרוב

9) פארוואס האבען עפעס די מענטשען
פארטריבען דעם יהי רצון פון ראש חדש בענטשען
און איך מוז דאס אלץ צוקוקען, מקבל זיין בעל כורחה
ווי קומט יום טוב שיר המעלות
ווי זאגט מען לכה דודי אהן א טלית
און וואס פאר א מחותן איז דער חצי קדיש צווישען כגוונא און ברכו

10) פארלאזען אזעלכע טייערע אוצרות
נישט קיין פייט און נישט קיין יוצרות
און פארוואס זינגט מען נישט דעם י-ה קלי אתיצבה לקראתך
כ'וואלט געווען אזוי צופרידן
אדרבה, זאגט מיר אידן
וואס פאר א ניגון ער אויף ויאתיו כל לעבדיך

11) פרייטאג צו נאכט'ס זינגט מען ביי חסידים
מנוחה ושמחה אור ליהודים
כל מקדש
און י-ה רבון און מען זינגט מה ידיות
אבער ביי זיי הערט מען נישט קיין קול
ס'איז שטיל ווי ביי אוהב עמו ישראל
זאגט מיר, איך בעט אייך, וואס איז דאס עפעס פאר א מין חסידות

12) וואו איז פארהאן אזא גזירה הרחקה
נישט אויפהענגן קיין נוי סוכה
און אז איך קוק מיך צו קויפן אן אתרוג, ווייס איך גארנישט וואס איז מיט אים
געוואלד געשריגען זיסע טאטע
ווי קען מען אים האלטן מיט'ן פיטם למטה
ווען אויפ'ן אתרוג איז נישט פארהאן קיין זכר פון א פיטם

13) איך קען מיט זיי נישט האלטען קיין מלחמה
איך וועל נאך מאל נעמען א נקמה
כל תלמיד חכם שאינו נוטר ונוקם אינו ת"ח
עס וועט זיין א נקימה און א נטירה
פאר'ן לשם יחוד פון די ספירה
פאר אלע שינויים וואס איך לייד זיך אהן פון זייערע דרכים

14) בקרוב ממש, גאר אינגיכען
וועו מען מקבל פנים זיין משיח'ן
און פרייטאג צונאכט'ס אויפ'ן הר הבית וועלן זיך צוזאמען קומען אלע צדיקים, אלע קדושים
און משה רבינו וועט זיין בראשם
און ר' שלמה אלקבץ וועט זינגען לכה דודי לקראת כלה

15) אזוי ווי א מחוצף בין איך תמיד
וועל איך באלד צודארפען צו דעם עמוד
און צוזאמען מיט'ן הייליגן חזן דאווענען בהתלהבות
און אויפ'ן הויכען קול וועל איך געבן א קוועטש
לפני כל חסידי ליובאוויטש
פון אלטען רבי'ן, צו דער ושמרו בני ישראל את השבת

If I don't see nice, to-the-point comments here I promise I'll take it down. It took too much time for it to sit here and gather dust. A good start would be to comment on the inaccuracies in the rhymes.

Monday, June 1, 2009

A dilemma for the ages

Warning! Knowledge of Lubavitcher minhogim, as well as the minhogim of the rest of Klal Yisroel is mandatory for you to understand the rhymes here. Not to mention advanced, spoken, Galicianer Yiddish. The grammen are the work of a scion of 2 Chabad Rabbeyim; the Alter Rebbe and his son the Mitteler Rebbe, who lived in a Mid-Atlantic U.S. Chabad community until very recently, and was subjected to their customs and Nusach Hatefilloh, despite not being raised amongst Lubavitcher Chassidim. He asks his zeide, the Alter Rebbe, why he did this to him, why is he making him omit all those wonderful Piyutim and Yotzros that he so loves to say? You might say hilarity ensues, it's just that those words are not very appropriate in this case. What you do get is a look into the mindset of some of the Yungeleit and Bachurim from other kreizen who join Lubavitch and later find out about all the differences in nusach and minhogim. Not me, of course, other people.

Ich bin in Golus in Chabad...

tachanun on a Yohrtziet, no selichos during AYT, too much Tehillim-zogen...

Again with the Piyutim and the Pizmonim....

He'll defy his zeide and not listen to him, he says....