Tuesday, April 27, 2010
"בפרבר פודליבצה שבעיר זו (סלוצק) נולד רבינו הגאון רבי ברוך דב לייבאוויץ בחודש כסליו תרכ"ד"
"In the village of Podlivce, in this suburb of Slutsk, was born our Rebbe the Gaon Reb Boruch Ber in the month of Kislev, year 5624"
The line was taken from the book מלאך ה' צבקות, about the life of Reb Boruch Ber Leibowitz, zt"l, Rosh Yeshivah of Knesses Beis Yitzchok Kamenetz-Litovsk. published several years ago. Ok, so they know the town, they know the month and they know the year. I would say that they probably know the day too, wouldn't you? So why would they not post it? Here's what I heard from an eynikel of RBBL just today. Reb Boruch Ber was born bein hashmoshes between the 18th and the 19th of Kislev. So what does one who was born between the yohrtzeiten of Reb Boruch'l Mezhibuzher and the Mezritcher Maggid get named? Boruch Dov (Ber)! Simple enough and very practical, if you ask me. But I guess the one who put this fine book together had a bone to pick with Chassidim, even of that generation, and even the great Chassidic Masters, and he would have none of that in his book. Which is sad really, since RBBL was such a great unifier, one who everybody of all kreizen cannot help but have respect, and they had use him when causing such strife and divide. If that's the case - that it's simple revisionism of the first degree - then it's a crime against humanity. Plain and simple. The eynikel taynes that he heard it from Karliner Chassidim decades ago.
But think about it for a moment. Nowhere in the book is there any mention of his father's connection to chassidim at all, so why would Reb Shmuel name him in their honor, dates not withstanding? Yes, he (RBBL) davened with a gartel later in life, but that was RBB only, and only after spending some years in chassidic Kremenchug. (by the way, his daughter would sleep with that gartel under her pillow for the rest of her life - azoi heilig iz dos geven ba ihr...) I doubt that most Litvishe nit-chassidim knew the yohrtzeiten of chassidic luminaries, no matter whom. Maybe they knew about Yud Tes Kislev. But according to our resident sage Reb Schneur a chossid was not allowed to stay the night in Slutsk (!) - which made Reb Cheskel Abramsky a de facto Lubavitch hater - so why would they honor the Rebbes there. OK, so this was a suburb of Slutsk, so maybe there they were allowed to spend the night...
What say you?