Thursday, October 28, 2010

Unconditional. Eternal.

HaRav Eliezer Don-Yichye, zt"l and his daughter Malka Tziyoni, 1926

I've often heard about the differences between different groups of frumme yidden and how they related and reacted certain events. Also, how that mindset may have contributed to the two groups having different outcomes when it came to Yiddishkeit and continuity. [I realize that may have sounded like English but was totally unintelligible, so I'll explain.] Let's use this picture as an example, shall we? Look at the Hadras Ponim on the elderly Gaon. This was a short while before he passed away, so maybe I'm defeating my own point here... But nevertheless, let's give it the "old college try" anyway. Malka - the photo tells us - had left to America thirty years before and was only now coming for a visit. I would assume that in America she assimilated like most other Jews did. I would further assume that she had "veremlach in ihr kepeleh" long before she left to America, which is why she left in the first place. Yet what do we see here? A father's love to his child, u'bifrat l'eys ziknosoi.

In Ungarin/Marmuresh things were different. Such a daughter might have been shunned forever, no matter if they hadn't seen her for 130 years. M'vult tzeyn mool gezesen shiveh. לא יזכר ולא יפקד. The kids and grandkids would never know from such an aunt or uncle that they had. I guess the point was two-fold: 1) to defend G-d's honor. 2) Not to let that child influence the others. G-d wants us to be good and to hate those that aren't, including our own children. No preferential treatment. I guess it was easier to distance a child in those parts; I'm not sure why. Maybe it was because of the constant vigilance, they always were making sure their children behaved - which left no time for loving them. Looking at it in such simplistic terms would have you believe that those who made no excuses for their own children and shunned them just they like any stranger's kid (!) were on G-d's side and stood up for his honor. But how can we realistically say that about Yidden who had mesiras nefesh for Torah and Mitzvos all their lives and for generations prior to that? The Hungarians will always tell you how their way has been tried and true and time-tested. How even after the War, when the Poylishe and Di Litvishe zennen gegangen in di eygene hoor, how they never deviated from how it was in Der Alter Heim. I grant them that, at least from what I've seen.

But how can a father be angry with a child, with his own flesh and blood? On the other hand: How can a father sit back and watch his child go off LeTarbus Ro'oh, r'l. We've come along since the 20s and 30s, mind you, and many of those who would've sent the child tzu alle di shvartz yohr realize that to lose a child and subsequent generations forever is not an alternative. But in the old days people lived in the now - they had neither the time nor the wherewithall to look that far ahead ahead. After all, a shtikkel broyt for tomorrow they didn't have either. It was every day for itself. If you think that this is a case of the teritz being better than the kashe, you may be right. I was sent a picture by a Lutziner eynikel and fell in love with it. So we're staying on track here; we're trying to solve the yeshiva OTD (both On and Off the derech) crisis once and for all, so maybe it would be good to start with loving our kids, no matter what - yet not accepting anything and everything they do. And if learning difficulties are the hand that G-d dealt you then there are places and people that can help him or her. Take it from Rav Don-Yichye, not from me. It's the only way.


Anonymous said...

Poignant rant. I am not sure what your point is, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I guess it means that Lubavitchers are all about love and Hungarians are all about hate - even their own kids.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

I guess it means that Lubavitchers are all about love and Hungarians are all about hate - even their own kids.

I guess that means you failed reading comprehension in cheder.

Anonymous said...

I see. You like him because of where he came from and who he became. At least you are consistent. His shver did go out to great Hertzel with a Sefer Torah - untill he found out that he was a mechallel Shabbos and said "pooh" a mechalel Shabbos.

Ccil said...

Why do you have this obsession with fighting some kind of holy war?You have a non stop battle with perceived enemies.Listen, ess past nisht far dir, a)as a relative newcomer to Lubavitch, is is poshut unbecoming for a newcomer to do 'battle' like an old time general.It also makes it seem strange that Lubavitch, with many chasidim and around for over two hundred years needs new guys to do battle, when the oldtimers have decided to seek a peacefire.

Why do we need to go over and over these issues all the time.Let it reast.Please

picture reader said...

The way i read the picture:
Daughter pushes her hand into her senile fathers hand long enough for someone to take a picture ,father does not show any emotion one way or another ,it can even appear that he looks away from her for any reason other then your peshetel,
But what I understand from your comments that you still have to spew hate on your own Gezza in order to be accepted into the clan you converted to,

Fed up in Peoria said...

Why do you allow these asinine comments?
I have my issues with Chabad as I do with other groups but this is ridiculous. Of course, Schneur does not want to be associated with this latrine. Everything degenerates into a Chabad bash. A shower is needed after reading the comments. Elevate the standards. We got the point that there are sick yeshiva guys out there. Don't be afraid that they will criticize you that you are censoring the comments. Censor the comments for goodness sakes.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

we read you loud and clear, Peoria.

Thanks for making your point. I will, bl"n, crack down.

Anonymous said...

NOw you know The Steipler highly praises the Hungarians because they did not accept the Modern ways and fought the Reform its in a letter in Kraina Digrisa somthing you could post here

Fed up in Peoria said...

Just to continue my rant for a second.
To make the obvious point, if this was a post about Chabad then it would be tolerable. Schneur got slung with mud and got fed up. Who knows who else doesn't come by anymore. There are many other luminaries that don't comment anymore.
There are other blogs who allow comments without approval and there is a civilized conversation.
Thanks for listening.

Fed up in Peoria said...

Just one more thing.
There should be a rule, anonymous comments should not be allowed through. It takes a sec to make up a name. if they don't have respect for the other readers then their comments should not be posted.

shmuel grainom said...

the pic says nothing. read your hero dr. tverskees book on tough love.

shimon said...

I actually don't get your whole "pshetel"

Who told you the daughter was not religous??

It was very common on those days to be dressed this way.

Also you drosho about the way it was in "Ungafren" :I"m not so sure you are right about it

shimon said...

There is a lawyer ,Don Yichyeh in Israel,he is Modern Orthodox.
I believe that Rabbi Don Yichyeh was associated with the Mizrachi

LikeWhatever said...

Tzig, Peoria is right.

We need a blog where the in depth philosophies, struggles, and evolution of the Chabad/Heimish/Yeshivish/ChassidishOilam can be discussed in a respectful manner.

Please ban all personal attacks.

LikeWhatever said...

However The Tzig is guilty as well. That reading comprehension jab was uncalled for.

Lets stay focused.

Its a picture depicting the times. A sad old Yiddele holding his Goldeneh Rendlech daughter who by now has zero jewish einiklich.
truly sad.

It might also be a futuristic Black and White picture of 2069. Maybe she wasnt accepted in the right seminary. Nebach...

Ya Never Know.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why we so readily come to the conclusion that the daughter in question was irreligous. It was commonplace for women in Lita not to cover their hair.
Moreover, I don't know what you base your belief that irreligous kids were generally ostracized by their Hungarian parents. I can tell you from observation (i.e. people of my grandparents' generation) that at the very least, siblings (survivors all) would get along beautifully despite wide degrees of religous observance.
Also, Tzig, with all due respect, you sometimes too readily conflate the religous mores of Marmorash Yidden with those living in Hungary "proper". I think we can agree that the Teyere Yidden of both these regions, while perhaps all speaking Magyar, were sometimes very different in how they viewed the world.

Anonymous said...

I think the Krainia Digrsa is a good source

Fremd said...

Please tell us more about the man in the picture. All I can come up with is that he learned in Volozhin around 20 B.C.E. and was close to Reb Chaim'n and even followed him later to Brest-Letovsk. It seems that he wrote a sefer that Reb Chaim gave a haskamah on. Try getting hold of that sefer, it would be cool.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...


I see Haskomos from Reb Yitzchok Elchonon as well the Vilner Dayan.

FYI said...

Commenter said...

Getting back to the topuc at hand, do you think its possible to bring up children showing them you love them but not accepting what they do?
How could you do that?
Maybe it would need a seperate post...