Monday, November 22, 2010

The saga of an American Rebbe (Part II)

So after the pogrom in Zvhill in 1919 where his Rebbetzin was killed the Zvhiller Rebbe moved to Boston. Let's just say that it may have made better financial sense to go to Boston, since there would less competition for his services there, but Boston was no place for Chinuch back then, especially not for a Meidel. Not that Ich mish zich in Rebbishe inyonim. It's tough to tell what his political affiliations were, but in today's day we look at a person like that, with beard, peyos and gebleemte bekishes and we automatically assume "hard-line conservative." Which makes the fact that he sent his sons to YU and not to YTV one that makes you wonder "WHY?" But maybe he saw what America had to offer back them and decided that YU was the best place for him. Don't ask me why, I wasn't there. I thought maybe one of you knew. But notice how no matter who they were marrying, and no matter what the rest of the wedding looked like, he insisted on the Chassidishe Minhogim, like Mitzvah Tantz.


Daughter's wedding, Rebbetzin looking at the camera


Eynikel Paul (Pinchas) Gass behind him. Chernobler Rebbe of BP, Reb Yaakov Yisroel Twerski is pictured left, with black beard.


A Mitzvah Tantz in Boston...

Imagine what these liberated American Yankees are thinking here as they watch this antiquated man doing weird things... Yes, they still enjoyed the culture back then, but they found his clinging to the minutest detail funny at best. The young ones that is. His son Rabbi Shmuel Korff is on the right, with his hand raised slightly, cigar ready and waiting. Shmuel married Nesha, the daughter of Reb Menachem Nochum Twersky of Skver/Machnivkeh, older brother of the late Reb Yankev Yosef of New Square, NY. Reb Menachem Nochum had arrived in America years earlier and was the reason why RYYT was known as the Kolorasher Rebbe until his older brother's passing in 5706. Out of respect for his older brother, they say. RMNT is pictured below sitting to the Zvhiller Rebbe's left. 2nd from left is (IIRC) HaRav Sefard, the Kinyever Rebbe. Baruch and Shmuel Korff are also pictured here, as is the Mechutan, Max Gass. The Skverrer and Kinyever lived in New York, so I would assume this was some sort of family simcheh, but the lack of shtreimel throws you off completely.

32 comments:

Mottel said...

"hard-line Conservative."
I think you mean conservative with a small 'c' - as in the ideology and not the movement.

Fed Up In Peoria said...

The manner in which you make assumptions and statements has an ugly tone.

You are making an assumption based on today's reality. The truth is you know better than that. You know that there was diversity of opinions. Agudas Harabbanim was mainly Mizrachi. etc.

"It's tough to tell what his political affiliations were, but in today's day we look at a person like that, with beard, peyos and gebleemte bekishes and we automatically assume "hard-line Conservative." Which makes the fact that he sent his sons to YU and not to YTV one that makes you wonder "WHY?""


You are also an American Yankee. You are assuming what they are think based on your prejudices.

"Imagine what these liberated American Yankees are thinking here as they watch this antiquated man doing weird things... Yes, they still enjoyed the culture back, but they found his clinging to the minutest detail funny at best. The young ones that is."

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

very nice of all of you.
I appreciate the warm words.

Anonymous said...

Sam
he is asking a legitimate question, if they are related where are the Shtriemlech? if you would know how these Rebbes work they ate related to a 10th cousin if it is from their geza,
This post is very repetitious, if someone starts out with crack then all fools go with the herd of Crack,if it is Koolaid then the herd follows with Koolaid,
Guys, please try to be a little original

Anonymous said...

Why no mitvah tantz in Lubob??

Anonymous said...

What was his relation ship with Rabbi JB Soloveitchik

Fed Up in Peoria said...

Original Anonymous, pick a handle then give advice on originality

Maybe its a melave malka.

WanderingJew said...

The picture of his rebbetzin might partly explain why their sons went to YU and not YTV.
The Mitva Tantz pic is really sad. All these oifgeklerte gevuriner Yankees smirking at an ancient chassidic relic.

Any of his einiklech are still orthodox?

Moshe said...

Wandering,
Do you want people to ask how many Lubavitcher eyniklach are Orthodox?>>>

Mottel said...

-Wandering: I think it speaks more of today's climate of historical revisionism than her personage or effect on her children.

I think the smirks are more based on your own assumptions.

russian chusid said...

Mistakes:

1)Rabbi Korf was a avad''k of Zvihl, NOT Zvihller rebbe. Zhihler Rebbe was Reb Shloime. Reb Shloimes brother was a Rebbe in Koritz.

2)His kids went to YU because all Russians are crazy about education and being intelligent- leida his wife was the boss there-no comments necessary.

3)Skvere Rabisteve did not belong to neither of them. It had belonged to BP Skverer Rebbe, because his grandfather was the bechor of R'Duvdl Skverer. AND, BELIEVE IT OR NOT R'YY Skvere asked reshus from BP skvere to be called Skverer Rebbe, and believe it or not he had let! (i am sure his Tsodik son is upset about it)

yehupitz said...

Great post. Yes there are some implied modern revisionist assumptions, but you are honest about them. I don't know why the haters do what they do. It's all a fascinating piece of pre-WW2 American Chassidic history.

Thank you

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

yes, yehupitz, but remember: your words are worthless since you're an "apologist"
only the knee-jerk haters are objective and true..

chachacha

Josh said...

The last pic in the post appears in "Chernobyl dynasty" (Twersky- Novosellar)page 189. It's the chasana of Edel Korf in Boston. The one to the left is not the Kobriner but קיניעוו rebbe,
עיין שם עוד

Anonymous said...

Moshe
"Do you want people to ask how many Lubavitcher eyniklach are Orthodox?>>>"
how many do you know that survived and live in the USA ?

Anonymous said...

Fed Up
which Rebbe does not wear a Shtriemel on Motzei Shabos?

Anonymous said...

Russian Chosid
their is a other mistake by Hirshel,
RYY of New Square had a brother in Kishenev, thats why he called himself Kolorash

I think RYY called himself in Antwerpen after the war Skverer Rebbe, it did not start in the USA

Anonymous said...

Russian Chossid
what hat is Reb Menachem Nuchem wearing in the photo? I cant figure out
also it seems that he has a Tie or some Purechesel?

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

all Chernobler רביים in America wore ties.
עובדא!

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

there were two Skverrer Rebbes in Skver, the city, at the same time. I don't think it had anything to do with the Kishinever, who was killed in ww2.
But I could be mistaken.
The Skverrer in BP was his nephew, so he didn't have to ask him reshus

Twistelton-Twistelton said...

Firstly, a great set of posts. Much appreciated, and why we read this blog.

“AND, BELIEVE IT OR NOT R'YY Skvere asked reshus from BP skvere to be called Skverer Rebbe, and believe it or not he had let! (i am sure his Tsodik son is upset about it)”

Why would his son be upset. Do you think that if the Skvere Rebbe was called something else the BP Skver would be any bigger of Skver town any smaller!? It wasn’t like he inherited a huge Skvere following!

Fed Up in Peoria said...

The Skvere brand didn't have much value until RYYT and RDT bulit it up.
It was actually a good move for BP Skvere.

russian chusid said...

Twistelton,

You are correct, and BP Skverer was ehlrich, BUT BEING EHRLICH FOR A REBBE TODAY IS A CHIDISH.

Hershel,

There were actually 3 rebeshe hoifen in Skvira (R Moishe Don, R Duvdl, R Yisruel(bchayei oviv)) and they actually got very well along. I do not know about chasidim:)

Anonymous said...

Reb Nochum wears a beaver hat the kind which was then common in America. He also wears a tie a normal thing which almost all the Rebbis dressed like that.

The Korf who was Reb Nuchem's SIL was not a son of the Zvehiller Rebbe rather a brother or close cousin.

There usually were no politics involved when a Rabbi a refugee of the Communist regime came to the US and settled in a place which had a concentrated population of people of his hometown. Sometimes those people were the ones who signed for their affidavits to be permitted entrance to the US, so it was normal to go live among them. This was the way all Jews lived at that time they formed together Landsmanshaften and relief committees to help out each others.

RYY of Skver never asked his nephew permission to call himself by the name of Skver it was a natural thing. The story is that when RYY was on his way to America his two nephews RD & his brother RM who were old Bochurim orphans since their father past away many years earlier entered an ad into the Morgan Dzurnal announcing the arrival of the Skverer Rebbe. And since till then RYY was known as the Kolarasher they used to joke (and later they became serious about it) that they made him to be the Skverer Rebbe.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

The Korf who was Reb Nuchem's SIL was not a son of the Zvehiller Rebbe rather a brother or close cousin.

check your facts again, my friend

Shmuel was married to Nesha, daughter of the Skverrer/Machnovker Rebbe. She was born there.

Anonymous said...

ok Tzig I'll check it out.

Interesting to note that Rabbi Boruch Korff was known as "Nikson's Rabbi" he was a very big supporter for him and especially in the Watergate scandal.

He was a real Macher; In 1947 in the aftermath of the Exodus (ship) incident, he led a Stern Gang plot to pamphlet-bomb London in protest, He was arrested by the French, but released after a 17-day hunger strike.

Anonymous said...

Russian Chosid
"R Moishe Don, R Duvdl, R Yisruel(bchayei oviv)) and they actually got very well along"
I think you are mistaking.
in the Biography of RYY written by Borech Lev for Skver they have a agenda to portray Reb Duvedel as the real McCoy, and the other brothers as Rebchiklech,

Anonymous said...

Why? But why do you let those nasty vicious idiotic comments by Sam and the rest of haters post here? A real beautiful post rich in history, depicting a strange and enigmatic era, and some how those neanderthals post their primitive remarks!

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

anon 5:45pm
you're right
I deleted several of them. forever.

russian chusid said...

Anon 5:28
In Russia in comunist times they use to sell that only Lenin made the revolution, no mentioning of Trotsky shem rishoim yirkov or anybody else....:)

Please do not learn history of chasidus from propaganda books.

Anonymous said...

Russian chosid

where are you getting your information on Square?

Chuneh said...

Here is the obit for Rabbi Menachem Nochum (Nathan) Korff of Boston - father of the current Zvhiller Rebbe, it contains some interesting biographical info

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/obituaries/articles/2010/02/03/nathan_korff_91_milton_rabbi_known_for_his_generous_spirit/