Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"הסברה" to a fellow Yid and survivor

a letter from the Lubavitcher Rebbe to Elie Wiesel, 1965

The Rebbe's words are a guiding and shining light for generations, no matter what the dilemma may be. Here it is a lengthy response to a Holocaust survivor asking where G-d was during those terrible years, but it needn't be that. The love and concern for Mr. Wiesel is breathtaking, and we see how Jewish continuity is not just a slogan to the Rebbe, how the Rebbe wants Elie Wiesel the Vizhnitzer Chossid, or even just the Shomer Torah U'Mitzvos, to marry and have kids, and thus revenge the deaths of his family at the hands of Nazis Yms"h. Much time and effort was given to respond to Elie's letter, as is clearly evident. Maybe the letter is translated into English somewhere; if you have info as to the location please forward it to me. Thanks.

a letter from the Lubavitcher Rebbe to Elie Wiesel, 1965



This week Elie Wiesel went to see the Belzer Rebbe in Yerushalayim. They spoke about Der Alter Heim, and Elie asked him why he merited to survive Auschwitz - what his mission in life should be... Which is a bit strange, since 65 years have passed, 66 by now, and now he's asking?! They sang Vizhnitzer Nigunim - with the Belzer Rebbe... and reminisced. Then Elie was given a tour of the World Belzer HQ. I suppose he may have reached out to Vizhnitz and they may have turned down a request for a meeting, which is why he went to the next best things, his son-in-law, the Belzer Rov. As far as the Sigheter Yichus goes; many of today's Sigheter Chassidm don't like the fact that he's from their town, so they try and downplay his lineage, saying that he was bad as a youngster already, or that his father was from the shvache chassidim...

I remember as a youngster what happened to Rav Menashe Klein, the Baal Mishneh Halochos, when he welcomed his former cellmate in Auschwitz to his home. Elie was going to build a huge shul in Rav Klein's new settlement in Ramot 4, Jerusalem, in memory of his father, Shloime Wiesel from Sighet. Elie was honored at a dinner for the Ungvarer Mosdos and the zealots went crazy. "מנשה שהעמיד צלם בהיכל" they cried. The proof was all the quotes that Elie had made over the years and all the books he wrote about losing faith in G-d. In those days the only one who had no issue with meeting Jews of all stripes - at least in the Charedi world of American Jewry - was Rabbeinu HaKodosh m'Lubavitch, and we know what that did to his stature amongst said Charedim. The Rov was pretty holy in my eyes, and I had never seen such language used against Rabbonim until then, so I was taken aback by those claims. You might say that it was very educational for me how far some of these zealots would go to push their agenda. After all, what had he ever done to them? why did they have to berate him like that in published pashkevillen? But now it seems like others have seen that the best way to deal with such issues is to take them head on. The best way is to speak to them like human beings and show them respect, especially men of such great influence.

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

Alot of people were already against Rav Klein for other things such as allowing the Eruv in Brklyn and arguing on Rav Moshe Feinstein. He is called by many Meshane Halachos for that reason.

Jingle Belz said...

Reaching out to Elie Vizel. Belzer PR machine.

Der Shygetz said...

I think it was more his eagerness to allow use of the heter mea rabbonim that got Rav Klein into trouble.

If arguing on Rav Moshe were an aveiro, they would call Reb Yoilish nasty names too. We would also no longer have cholov Yisroel.

Anonymous said...

Arguing on Rav Moshe isn't an aveiro. Arguing on Rav Moshe when the powers that be don't want you too...

belz is right said...

Lubavitch which is keeping track distance themselves from 200 year old wrongs can for sure not befriend current wrongs
but belz is not in the hibodli business can meet whoever he wishes

Anonymous said...

Belz
"Lubavitch which is keeping track distance themselves from 200 year old wrongs can for sure not befriend current wrongs"
what are you talking about?
Where does lubavich come in the picture of the Wiezel visit by the Belzer?

Kovner said...

I don't understand why the Rebbe zt"l encouraged him to get married. Wiesel was not observant and would not observe the laws of family purity. Isn't it better that such a yid should not get married?

מענדל said...

קאוונער
לאמיר דיר פרעגן א שאלה. ס'קומט צוגיין א סטודענט אין קאלעדזש און פרעגט וואס פאר א חבר'טע זאל ער זיך אויסקלייבן א אידישע אדער א גוי'טע. לאמיר זיך ניט מאכן תמעוואטע מיר ווייסן גוט וואס ער זוכט טאן. נו, מיט א גוי'טע איז דאס בסך הכל א איסור דרבנן און א אידישקע איז פארבונדן מיט איסורי כרת, וואס וואלסטו עם געזאגט?
מענדל

browser said...

Kovner;you always sounded like an AM=HAARETZ,and now you confirmed it.the laws of NIDAH,have nothing to do with being married,having relations with an unmaried woman who is a NIDAH is just as forbiden
as with a married woman,therefore him not being married and having relations with singles will not change anything.
And one more thing,you are not only an AM-HAARETZbut a RASHA,what makes you so sure that Wiesel,does not keep TAHARAS HAMISHPACHA?

CHAIM.S

Anonymous said...

?"מנשה שהעמיד צלם בהיכל" He aint no menashe!...

OMG! elie weisel who writes: among other divrei minus 'my god died in sieget'!!! (rc"l) and screams "ein li chalek v'naclah b'yisruel" who lives the life of a goy for most of his life and a 'rebb"e' (ra-b'eini h'ashem) stands up for him looks in this rushe's eyes! is there no halachas on this.. or no shame anymore!!! The chazan ish z”l met ben gurion 'for a purpose..'! but didn't stand or look in his face or reffered to him with any respect not even once! but this gruber ying!

אוי לנו שכך עלתה בימינו

Jingle Belz said...

Elie Wiesel made his name and career by exploiting the Holocaust. Shame on Belz.

Anonymous said...

belz is right said...” belz is not in the hibodli business”

Anymore, But Ironically it is in reverse now! The charedim are the ones who are staying away from belz

Rupert said...

To all critics of this blog:
You want fluff pieces and feel good reporting-there are innumerable official and unofficial Lubavitcher web sites.The same old stuff e.g. press releases,new shluchim and engagements.That's one derech.
However, if you want to deal with controversial issues which may be emotionally charged then you know where to go. Reb Hirshel,Reb Schneur,Yehupitz,EJ,Peoria,and many others make this the blog of choice when it comes to a discussion based on intellect and historical fact.

Anonymous said...

Rupert said... To all critics of this blog:

rupert, reading your blogs you aint no 'soft spoken' intellect.. you write like a tam and gore like a meeid! "you belong in FM" where you will find your likes go rupert go..

Anonymous said...

elie weisel der belzer cusid wow! what a match.. I was invited to a dinner in a private home once and sat next to this character and spoke with him for awhile, I'll tell you he is no belzer cusid.. the rest of the discussion I'll rather not go into here for now..

Anonymous said...

To everyone who talks about Elie Wiesel with such condescension I can only say that you don't know what the Holocaust was and how it affected those who managed to survive.Those who are children or grandchildren of survivors know what I'm talking about.A little self restraint would be appropriate.

Kovner said...

Chaim S:
I assume that Weisel was moral enough in the early '60s not to have (constant) relations with singles.Therefore , getting married would vastly increase his transgressions.
PS Why do you call me a rosho and am ha'aretz?

Anonymous said...

You don't think in the 50's and 60's many of the fancy people in Boro Park and 5 Towns[many have already passed away] were saying the same thing as Elie Weisel? Later they grew beards and did fancy shidduchim for their children.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said... "To everyone who talks about Elie Wiesel with such condescension"

my whole family and most of the mispalilim in my shul where survivors.." all finay erliche yiden halevey far mir in mine kinder gezugt"

Anonymous said...

anon writes:"Later they grew beards and did fancy shidduchim for their children"

you ever heard of doing t'shuvah!..da?

Anonymous said...

belz is right said...bla bla bla

This belzer ‘yenikelh’ never ‘yeniked’ in belz ever, he started out in zelimer chader on bedford ave. where they had to send him home for reasons that may belong to NR to exploit, not excelling in Talmud he got into sifrei mahra”l which he also demanded his later chasidim to read and ended up reading haskalah and became a full time maskil!.. all his chasidim today are inclined and inbetted with haskalah! Beaware! chazal say: ‘da ma shtushiv’….

ps: unlike the LR which atleast had a real teacher/rebbe like his father in law the RY”Y z”l

Anonymous said...

An:11:13There is teshuvah for BP millionaires but not for Elie Wiesel? Cause he wears a white kipah serugah? Wow!

Anonymous said...

anon writes:"but not for Elie Wiesel? Cause he wears a white kipah serugah? Wow!"

wiesel was a sheigatz in seiget already he writes so himself! and still is.. I'm not an expert on tshuvah but I would suggest that as a starter he should refute 'in writing' his abundant apikorses that he wrote as a beginning for tshuvah.. I'm the least worried about his personal life .. I'm sure he is well enough to worry about himself, showing up in belz! From all places will not do.

Anonymous said...

Br...has no yiras smamayim...tolna leaks

anschel said...

Elie Wiesel was and is a maamin. Everyone who has heard him knows that. His words which seem to indicate the opposite were said in bitterness and sorrow in mourning the destruction of European Jewry. If he were an atheist would he have remained close to Reb Menashe,the LR,and now the Belzer?Would he davke daven in the Fifth Ave. shule as opposed to not davening at allor perhaps going to a Reform temple?He has been mekadesh hashem lifnei melochim vesorim.He has more than compensated for the supposed infractions of his youth by presenting the memory of the Holocaust in a serious and dignified way before the entire world.

meisis said...

anshil ! weisel is a meisis not a mamin thats way he mingles with those he trys to influence his apikorses

Anonymous said...

anschel: weisel in his words writes: "his god died in sieget" (af"l) let him refute that let him write with kiddish levona letters that god is: "CHAI V'KAYOM NORAH IMURIM V'KUDOSH"

Anonymous said...

Who are any of us to judge a man who lived through the gehinnom of Auschwitz and the strength or lack thereof of his faith. I'm reading some of the commentators besmirching Mr. Weisel and I can't belive that they ever knew a survivor or their story in any substantive way. Is this how we can expect the younger generation to preceive the Holocaust as: Just another nisoyon that the eidele yidden passed without nary a scratch. Is this how shallow we are today?

Anschel said...

Anon:6:07Unfortunately this is indeed how shallow the frum world is today.Me frest pizza un me zoift coca-cola un me git musser far a yid vos iz geven in oishvitz!
AF"L to those who talk this way!You think you're frimmer than the Lubavitcher Rebbe ,Rav Klein, and the Belzer Rov?Azoi?

Anonymous said...

to Anschel, guy shluf abisel in hub zise chloimus, dont worry be happy

Anonymous said...

Hirshel Hirshel, be so kind, and figure out a way to require names, pseudonyms or even numbers, which would be mandatory for all commentators at least per every discussion.

For example, it is so annoying when anon at 11:37 AM comments about anon 8:38 PM and has to explain who he is commenting about and then rehash with an unnecessary synopsis of the whole dialogue.

As well as those who start off as anonymous and half way through the comments decides to use a name and so on. It simply makes for a more logical flow of conversation.

I have seen elsewhere, that you can link your comment to the one you're discussing, so everything is easily readable.

You also might want to consider totally open ID's so one isnt forced into the limited choices you have.

A brucheh on your keppeleh.

anschel said...

anon6:49 Who's the don't worry,be happy Rebbe?I want to get in touch with him.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

anon 19:00 (???)

ironic that you ask me to require names when you comment anonymously as well...

Anonymous said...

Anon
"wiesel was a sheigatz in seiget already he writes so himself!"
where does he write it? I think he was a bocher a masmid?
Maybe he was a Shiegetz because he dared to be a Vinitzer chosid in Siget, Beasrie Demar

Anonymous said...

I see three china tea cups on the Belzer Table?
who is the 3rd cup for?

Anonymous said...

Anon
"and a 'rebb"e' (ra-b'eini h'ashem) stands up for him looks in this rushe's eyes! is there no halachas on this.. or no shame anymore!!! The chazan ish z”l met ben gurion 'for a purpose..'! but didn't stand or look in his face or reffered to him with any respect not even once! but this gruber ying! "
Did the RJT of satnmar not give noice kabulas punim for Reshoim that were in political jobs in the USA? did they not lead a Goyish life?
Besides, I believe the Chazon ish meeting with Duvid Green has too many Myths, it his hard to decipher netween the facts and the lies surronding that meeting.

Anonymous said...

"it his hard to decipher netween the facts and the lies"

This picture is worth a thousand words! so people like you will know 'for sure' the facts what a chutzpah!

Anonymous said...

Which picture?
of the SR and the reshuim politicans?

Anonymous said...

According to the Rebbes letter, the percentage of the crusade killings are the same as Hitler numbers of killings.Or maybe he means proportional it is equal, since Klal Yisroel was smaller then?
Are their legitimate historians that provide a number of Jewish genocides of the crusades?
What does the Rebbe bring as a example, Tzadik Vera Loi, why not Lomo Herieoiso Leam Haze?

Anon 555 said...

Don't mean to be disrespectful but when a person is so obese what's he spending his time with??? Really honestly.

Fed Up In Peoria said...

Bad metabolism.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

puh-leez.

the Belzer Rebbe's weight is not the issue here.

Anon 555 said...

Tzig, its my issue -- I happen to be fat and fat people always catch my attention. I'm wondering what is it that they enjoy so much that I may be missing out on.....

Anonymous said...

To kovner;
Yeish lomar, that the Lubavitcher Rebbe did not look at frayeh yidden as a catagory of people into themselves and that they will always be that way. Rather, every Yid he met was a Yid with a neshoma who is pulled to Torah. Ayy, right now he's far from it? That's just temporary.

Anonymous said...

Anon 555
they say that fat people have a sense of humor, that the lose when they lose the pounds, is it a fact?

Anonymous said...

The Belzer Rebbe's son is immense as well. It seems to be a genetic issue that is beyond their control unless they have surgery.

Anon 555 said...

hey anon why don't you give yourself some kind of a mile marker?

to answer your question, I was never skinny - born fat - 13 lbs so I can't tell you how my life would change -- for one thing I probably would have a lot more money and for a change my deriere would fit on one seat AND I wouldn't have to go sideways into my bedroom.

bpunbound said...

"Did the RJT of satnmar not give noice kabulas punim for Reshoim that were in political jobs in the USA?"

Why past tense? They can't run fast enough to t.l. the koifer/bo-el aramis that currently occupies Gracie Mansion.

As to the one-eyed gargoyles like Kovner and Anon 9:08, what Wiesel was obviously driving at was that he gave up the third grade picture of G-d that these toothless hunchback Tipshim bow to 3 times a day (maybe).

My guess is they aren't a day over 30 and have never really known a survivor and the extent of their nisyonos are awaking early to discover the flame out under the Chulent (the HORROR!). Takeh a Nisoyon!

Hirshel, onward!

Chaim Berlin tragedy said...

It's obvious: The Belzer needs $$$mucho$$$dolaros$$$ and Wiesel is the perfect entrance key to a whole strata of people for the Belzers to hit up.

Belz must be desperate but the Belzer knows how to play endless games with the outside world, with the "people from the street" (i.e. "mentschen fun di gas" - a code word for the opposite of "Anash") that the Belzer learned a long time ago from watching how Chabad does it not to be afraid of welcoming outsiders for monetary benefits.

So, "it's all about the money/donations, stupid" and it's a no-brainer.

Maybe next thing the Belzer will do is having a reception line every Sunday for famous people to take a picture with him and charge the fees of a Clinton for such "honors". Look at him, he's actually standing for Wiesel.

Wiesel must be totally bamboozled by all of this. Probably he thinks he needs all the brochas he can get after Madoff took him for the ride of his life. What he doesn't know is that the Belzer is a bigger con man than Madoff!

Anonymous said...

Chaim Berlin
are u still mad at the Belzer for stealing the tallest mountain in our capitol?

Anonymous said...

I heard that the Belzer introduced a Kina for the Shoah for chof sivan. I guess he discussed it at length with the alter visnitzer chosid Reb Lazer fun Sighet

Anonymous said...

Chaim Berlin tragedy said...
"watching how Chabad does it not to be afraid of welcoming outsiders for monetary benefits."

yes, and they will wind up being like chabad of today

Yakov Khanin said...

Just FYI. When Satmar Rebbe was about to leave Eretz Israel at the end of his visit there, chassidim begged him to remain.
- Why do you need me? - he asked.
- Well, to give brochos.
- If you see a person who has concentration camp tattoo with the number on his hand and still put on tfillin, his brocho is as good as mine.
And from that you can see, that anyone who went through Holocaust and is not religious - is just normal.