Today was D-day on at Spinka HQ on 56th Street. The judge did what many of us hoped would never happen. There will be no house arrest. Arrest, yes, just not in the house. From what I hear Texas may have its first Chassidishe Rebbe as a resident...We'll try and keep you posted. UPDATE: I hear now that the SR first traveled to Massachusetts for medical tests, and will most likely then transfer to Otisville Correctional Facility in New York to spend the remainder of his sentence there.
I was at a meeting of former talmidim last Spring in Monsey. I must say that it's "ah shod" that I couldn't have had that connection with the Spinker Rebbe back when I was a talmid there. The setting was very "loose." After a speech from the Spinker Rebbe and a short overview of the situation there was Maariv, with the customary Spinka sefiras haOmer. After services each yungerman sat down and spoke to the SR, reminiscing about his time in the cheder/yeshiva, and bringing him up to date as to what's going with him at this point in time. It had been a long time since we spoke, a very long time, for whatever reason, and we spoke for a long time. It was easy going and inspiring at the same time. The SR told me then that he too learned in Tomchei Tmimim, ("Ich bin oich a Tumim")and that among other things the Gabbai Reb Yochonon Gordon passed away in his father's shul at 440 crown Street. I must say for a Tomim he sure had to brush up on his Lubavitch knowledge, but that's neither here nor there. I walked away with a new appreciation for the SR as well as for my years there, in Spinka Cheder and Mesivta. (If I already wrote about that evening here I apologize.) Obviously it's not proper for a young bucher'l to be buddy with the Rov/Rebbe/Rosh Yeshivah, but still, I can't help but think that things could've been better there, that the atmosphere didn't have so "ohngeshtrenked" all the time, that the Yeshivah could've been a lot more successful with a better Modus Operandi. Maybe I speak only for myself, I'll grant you that, but don't we all see things our way?
I realize that today is different than 10-15 years ago, when you could get away with murder in NYS, maybe sit for a few months, and certain people were "above the law." א געוויסע רבי פון ספרינג וואלי קומט אין באטראכט. But one can't keep from wondering what many of you keep on wondering when it comes to SMR: where was Misters so-and-so when we needed them? Where are all the years of connections and elbow-rubbing when you need them? Why didn't "der-un-der" speak to _____________? and why didn't _______________ use his contacts to at least stop this embarassment? I'm not pointing fingers at anybody, because I doubt there was much to do. Times are different and not everything is for sale like it was in the pre-Internet age. But I do cry for the fact that this had to happen, and that years of hard work may come to an abrupt halt, despite 2 generations of educating thousands of Yiddishe Kinder. זאל דער אייבערשטער געבן אז דער ספינקער רבי שליט"א זאל אפקומען מיט א פאר טעג און אינגיכן ארויסגיין מן המיצר אל המרחב בתוך שאר בני ישראל.
Related Reading: (Order may be mixed up. Check the dates for the proper order.)
1) Old Spinka Posts
2) More Spinka Talk on the Blog
3) Again, Spinka
4) The (Spinka) Cheder Years