Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Book Review - "Rav Gifter" - Artscroll (Guest Post)

Reading the new book on Rav Gifter got me thinking; I got nostalgic for a Telshe that I only know through those candles they send me a week after Chanukah - with the pictures of boys from the stone age. You see, true a Telsher might be a little stiff/rigid by contemporary standards, he might enunciate his words (diction, syntax) in a way that grates under the skin – but still, you got to give them something. At least a Telsher is a Telsher; is (or was) part of a group, a team, actually had a Rebbe that he prays that his kids should emulate. His Rebbe wasn’t just a guy who knew how to learn better than the next guy, knows a couple of blatt, Shaar Daled if you’re lucky, but nothing else. IOW: his hasogoh and depth of neshamah hasn’t changed much since he sat by Avrum Yishua’s shiur. No, R' Gifter and Telshe b’chlal, whether you believe that Reb Chaim Shtayn was really a ba'al moyphes or not, had depth, nuance, loyalty to a specific mehalach hachaim [not just being mivatel di veltvedal – even though they did some of that too]. Just take a look at R’ Gifter’s stuff on Chumash, [something that oddly that was sponsored by a graduating eighth grade class in Far Rockaway that donated their ‘yearbook’ money for the cause. VAKM”L] and you will see what I mean. It is not just a regular mussor vort recycled by Malkiel’s underpaid speech writer, if you get my drift.

Oh, yeh, the book. I will not get into if Rabbi Chee-lee Speiro was the right man for the job, particularly with the Telshers with their intellectual bend that will be reading this book. Personally, I think they should have went with Jonathan on this one, and made a book with impressive footnotes (citing which coffee room the maysah was said in) and long paragraphs. From what I understand, Reb Yonasan has his hands full, as he is already working on Artscroll’s bio of the late Philadelphia Rosh Yeshiva Zatzal, hence Rav Speero had his debut as an author of a long story. With regards to the content of the book; it did manage to capture, somewhat of R’ Gifter’s uniqueness of both being a kano'i, and someone who would cry at the sight of some flower, of some sort. It also, conveyed somewhat, that R’ Gifter was very “brayt” and wasn’t ashamed to quote explicitly from Izbitz [Reb Elya Meir, z”l, cited the Sfas Emes publicly] and how he encouraged his congregants of the Chabad of Waterbury to make the trek into Brooklyn for the farbrengens, and how he saved Artscroll gemaras from doom, etc. Yes, the book conveyed some of what Rav Gifter was all about, although it omitted his imitable form of expressing his opinions on many of his contemporaries, kiyoduah.

IMHO, the biggest problem with this book was not just that is (glowingly?) published Rav Gifter’s criticism of hayntigeh yeshivaleit – although he NEVER voiced those critiques to the fargrebteh belly-patting, balhabatim. Or how they made a big deal over some speech he gave in a college that no one heard of, to an interesting crowd…. Whatever… my main problem is simply this: They had a golden opportunity to actually inspire the readers, to grow, and to emulate R’ Gifter in some way, his ameylus, yegioh, something. Oh no, they couldn’t do that; instead they stressed over and over again, that “Max” was already from the greatest in the world in his mere twenties!!! After that, it was just all on auto pilot (or the magnet from that moshol), and no mention of any yegioh from the time he got married on…

An excerpt from the book, courtesy of Artscroll

[Disclaimer: any seeming lack of respect towards Rabbonim, Roshei Yeshiva and Mesivta Rebbis is that of the author of the post, a very strong "Yeshivaman."]


grainom said...

Many well taken points. Another major flaw, is that the story line repeatedly returns to Rav gifters final illness, and omits the actual daas torah he proclaimed unequivocally, that others were scared to say and which form the basic hashkofa for yeshivaleit to this day.

another (re)view said...

another brief review

The Bray of Fundie said...

part of the3 khasidishfication of Jewry.

Great Jews are always born...never made.

schneur said...

I just finsihed reading the book and many thoughts came to mind.
But most important was in light of the fact that Rav Gifter was American born and had some understanding of the American scene and seems to have graduated Yeshiva College (the book does not mention this only that he studied in some place called Yeshivath R. Yitzchok Elchonon)one wonders if the personality he became enabled him to contribute the most he could have to American Jewry.
At one point the book mentions that while at Waterbury he thought of studying Arabic at Yale University a time when the university was a center of Atheism and Godlessness as portrayed by William Buckley in his famous book God and man at Yale.I am atad suprised by this revealation.
What I am driving at is what would Rav Gifter contributed to American orthodoxy had he become a rosh yeshiva at RIETS and a counterpoint to the rav, and used his English and secular knowledge to sway the hundreds of young men at RIETS.He more than Europeans like Rabbonim Gorelik, Lifshutz, Cyperstein and others coulddo. Gifter could have really influenced things at YU.
He certainly lacked the philosophical secular knowledge of the rav(the book becomes a joke when in a footnote the author states that case Western Reserve offered hima position as a professor based on 1 public speech he gave at their school. Now even a 9th grader knows thats a bad joke.)but he probably knew more about American culture than the Rav .
Instead rav Gifter decided try to transplate the world of Telz as he saw it to the US with a great deal of obscurantism .
The book in my opinion does a good job in portraying the man in relation to his family and the lamdam vas hot gehorevet in lerenen and the rosh yeshiva who cared about his disciples.
But if fails to focus on Rav Gifter as the public leader. What did he think about Zionism and Israel ? What was his position on college , secular studies and Modern orthodoxy ?How did he relate to Cleveland"s rabbis for example to rav Israel Porath Z"L?There are other issues of public policy the book fails to mention.(The yavneh Seminary is not mentioned even once in the book are we to beleive that he ahd no imput or interest in female education ?)
Finally the book mentions his warm devotion to the memory of his rebbi Rav Moshe Soloveitchik, but what sort of relationship did he have with the rav (who is mentioned in passing once or twice)Even the final pages with the munkatcher area disappointment as all he says is a drash.
There is mroe to mention and discuss but for now that's it.

reader1 said...


I am not sure that Rav Gifter had any interest in YU once he was able to experience the college-less learing of Telshe. He was quite intolerant of them, in fact. I don't doubt that he was offered a professorship, based on his erudition and total command of the English language.

schneur said...

No university , certainly not Case Western Reserve would offer anyone a position as a professor based on 1 lecture and knowledge of English. Would Lehavdil a Yeshiva like Telz offer the position of Magid shiur based on a fellow's knowledge of Hebrew and Aramaic and 1 shiur he delivered to a group of Baalebatim ? If you answer that question thoughtfully , you will see what I mean. After all tens of millions of Americans know English. Rav Gifter and I say this with all due respect had no doctorate. Perhaps he was offered an adjuncts position to lecture on Talmudic law from time to time but that"s hardly the same as being offered a professorship.
I guess until we see the offer in print its a TEIKU.
The book does mention that he did agree to 1 student to attend YU. In a tape. I heard the Rosh yeshiva mock YU by stating you call YU a college , McGill is a college and then named a few others, but Yeshiva College is not a college. he did not explain why not ?I suspect he was indulging in a rhetorical flourish. In fact Rav Gifter never denied he was at YU unlike some other of his contemporaries . But thats my point the book itself never clearly defines Rav Gifter's attitude to YU (although it alludes to it at several points) or to Rabbi Soloveitchik.
I wonder how much the Rebbetzin was invovled in determining the choices rav Gifter made in the USA. The book also avoids mentioning a more poative attiude Telz had towards modernity in Independetn Lithuania of the Inter War period. The school system YAVNEH they sponsored had a full secular program throughout Lithuania for boys and girls.. the teachers college they supported also taught secular studies and Modern hebrew. An echo of that is that in the women's seminary YAVNEH even in recent days the 2 senior rebbetzins Ausband and the late rabbanit Soretzkin both lectured in Sefardic Modern Hebrew and girls were tuaght shiure Daath.
Haneeman the organ of Zeeire Aguda in Lithuania was in Hebrew not Yiddish and had secular poetry and articles about men like R. Tagore the famous Indian poet and philosopher .As an American Ben Tore of a certain age told me when going over the journal, today this would not even be entertained...
Clearly the Telzer were influenced by the German rabbis who were in Lita during the First World war.
In Belz the rebbe was screaming aginst the idea of classes and grades in chedorim , while in Telz a sophisticated system of graduated shiurim was in place. In the early days when they decided they needed a mashgiach ruchni guess who got a "call" yup -rabbi Abraham Isaac Kuk.
Don't tkae my words out of context the yeshiva was hardly a center of secular thought , and was front row in fighting all the various isms of the time. but it did sponsor organs and schools that were more representative of Torah Im Derech eretz than what was called the Good old Timre religion.

graionom said...

Perhaps shneur can offer us a comprehensive review of the "zealots" who left YU after it became a college. Rav Nosson, Rav Avigdor Miller, Rav Gifter and I believe there were several more. Its an issue that needs a comprehensive view.

Anonymous said...

it is a shame that his works are not printed, he was a real Talmid Chochem, he knew much more then Yeshiveshe Ried.
He participated in all Torah periodicals in the early years.

Anonymous said...

yisroel besser would have been a much better choice for an author..

Twistelton-Twistelton said...

"(the book becomes a joke when in a footnote the author states that case Western Reserve offered hima position as a professor based on 1 public speech he gave at their school. Now even a 9th grader knows thats a bad joke.)"

Probaly means was offerd to deliver lectures on a semi permenant basis or so. Which the authors, haveing zero knowlege of College wrote as " offered a profesership"

OrthodoxJew said...

what a joke!!! this is not a book review , this is a rambling litany of confusion and stupidity

grainom said...

derech agav, isnt it interesting that the infamous mishpacha magazine has called respected judges that are frum, "court jews" which is pejorative, based on shylock...

Anonymous said...


They didnt make it up. Rav Gifter said he was offered the position in a university on one of the tapes that are online but he declined because he was to busy with Telz

Anonymous said...

reader1: Outside of certain quarters, the ability to speak the language of the country in which one was born does not qualify one for a professorship.



Anonymous said...

Putting the picture of his mother with no Shietel and father with no Yarmulke in the book, is not a honor for a Odem Godol as Rav Gifter, I don't believe that the concept of honesty in journalism is more important that Kol Hatorah Kulo.
I am not denigrating his parents chas vesholem they were probably very noble folks. But Rav Gifter did put on for his kids Shietels and Yarmulkes and that was his way of life that he yearned for and struggled for in his youth.

anon321 said...

Sorry,but honorary prof. is not the same as a professor on the college faculty.You can't become a real professor without getting a Ph.D.unless you're an artist, writer,or world reknown personality.I know it's very important for frum people to pretend they're on the same intellectual level as secular intellectuals because the frumme suffer from an inferiority complex stemming from their lack of secular education.Anyone who's been in graduate school knows that academia is totally different than "learning."It just is. However, I heard it said that using enough upper case letters will" bishas hadchak" get you the much sought after faculty appointment...

schneur said...

I have never heard of an academic position called honorary professor. There are positions called instructors, lecturers, assistants, professors, emeritus prof but never heard of honorary professor.
I guess it must be a position like Honorary rosh yeshiva they have in Lakewood , Brisk, Ner Israel and Philly.

schneur said...

So lets get to tachlis. What was Rav Gifter's attitude towards Chabad and Lubavitch.
Firstly let me offer condolences on the petirah of Rav Kazen the rav of the Lubavitcher shul in CH. I understand he was a chashuve Yid.In the book we learn that Rav Gifter was rav of a Nusach Ari shul in Baltimore , probably these were chaside hanusach or hageza , not what Rayaatz called Chasede chabad ( who studied dach and were mekusher). Yet I wonder how rav Gifter faired there ?
In the bio there are a number of letters back and forth to the president of his shul in Waterbury CT. The president was a son or grandson of Rav Hillman the mechaber of Beth rebbe. Rabbi Hillman (a Kopuster) was also in America for a number of years.So that is it for the book. But did rav Gifter ever correspond with the Rebbe , did he ever comment on the Rebbe's special issues (School Prayer, Shtochim, Miyhu Yehudi, Outreach Mashiach)
Were there ever any Lubavitcher bachurim in Telz in the early days ? He seemed ready to comment on Yu, what about Lubavitch ? The inquiring reader wants to know,

schneur said...

I don't claim that I have read everything written about Rav Yoshe Baer Soloveitchik, but in the course of the last 30 years I have read a lot about his life and his philosophy. He too like rav Gifter delivered lectures at secular colleges like Columbia, Rutgers, Princeton and probably others(some of which in my opinion he should have skipped). I can not recall the claim made that on the basis of any of these lectures he was invited to join the faculty of any of these universities. this despite rav Soloveitchik's Ph.D disseration on Hermann Cohn which Dr. Arthur Hyman told me can be understand by maybe 3-5 people in our days, and his numerous philosophical publications.
I am unaware of any rosh yeshiva who was also an academic.
As an aside there is a story (probably not true) that when Rav Ruderman came to Baltimore he met the famed orientalist William F. Allbright of Johns Hopkins U. and after speaking to him about Bible, Hebrew etc mistook him for a young rav. I am sure the story is nonsense but it shows Allbright's knowledge in Judaica.

Anonymous said...

RE; Chabad gifter
there are letters in Igrois Kodesh of the Rebbe to Rav gifter, but in the later years when Rav Shach started with the anti Chabad crusade, he joined it.

schneur said...

So what does the Rebbe tell the rosh yeshiva in these letters ?
I recall reading a claim that some parts of teh Shiure Daas are based on Chabad seforim. Is there any truth to this ?

Anonymous said...

1. shneur stop with your inane ramblings already everyone knows what rav giftr held about the lr.
2. i heard rav gifter say the case western story. he said that he was asked to come and speak about rabbinic-talmudic law not any title of proffesor.
3. what do you think he thought of the Rov, puhleaze.
4. he never, ever quoted any chasidic sefarim in yeshiva, certainly not izhbitz gibberish. when he spoke to a less learned crowd he always told them what they were holding by hearing and may have told over a chasidic vertel.
5. jonathon would have made another boring as heck snorer. all his books are unreadably boring, they called him mike, m.sherer and lt. bernbaum. the only smi-readable book of his is reb yaakov, which was really written by noson k.

An Ailemesher said...

The Telzer Shiure Daas quote from Tanya.

I haven't read the book but I have seen letters written by R Gifter to Louis Ginzberg with great respect.

I'm surprised that art scroll would publish a picture of a woman.

Anonymous said...

in vol 12 page 390 the Lubavicher rebbe replies him on a question on Teshuvas Tzemach Tzedek, and the he asks for info on a conference of young rabbis.

Anonymous said...

rav gifter was NEVER a "fan" of the rebbe to put it "in a nice way"
I never knew that there is letters printed in igros kodesh but if in fact it is printed it must be what I heard from the rosh hayeshiva zal
The rosh hayeshiva sent a letter requesting a mareh makom from the tzemach tzedek (I believe it happened twice) Although he never agreed with Lubavitch he did know that the rebe would know the mareh makom

In fact there is a letter from him where he writes (to a talmid) that the gaons cherem on lubavitch was because he saw with his ruach hakodesh what would become of it in our day!!!!!
by the way the chofetz chaim said to reb elchan Zal that the cherem was NOT on chasidus in general but rather only on lubavitch. (some say that he said brelov also but that is questionable....)

Anonymous said...

Putting the picture of his mother with no Shietel and father with no Yarmulke in the book, is not a honor for a Odem Godol as Rav Gifter

im not sure what you are trying to imply.
His parents were shomrei shabbos and probably there is a yarmulka even though you dont see it.
Even if there is no yarmulka in the picture that doesnt say much as many frum yidden in america in those days didnt wear yarmulkas outside (the picture is from about the 1930's)

pitputim said...

"Putting the picture of his mother with no Shietel and father with no Yarmulke in the book, is not a honor for a Odem Godol as Rav Gifter"

Why? I guess the Torah shouldn't have mentioned Terach, who was an idolater. What is wrong with people?

Which Boaz today would have married Ruth? And from there Moshiach.

Anonymous said...

Rav Giftert ZL said "eyn zach veys ich ven R Mendale is Gigayngen in Gimnazyeh is R Leyzer Shach Gizesn Barn Shtender un zach giplogkt af di Gemoro". I have 9 letters to me biksav yodoy.( I gave copies to his son R zalmen but he's not up to putting out the THOUSANDS of letters. Gey farshtey) I have never met a man with more NESHOMO than him

Anonymous said...

In fact there is a letter from him where he writes (to a talmid) that the gaons cherem on lubavitch was because he saw with his ruach hakodesh what would become of it in our day!!!!!"
then why did Rav Gifter take a job in a Nusach Ari shul? would he take a job in a monastry? or he did not care for the Gra's cherem till Liezer Shach rehashed it and put in the front burner?
Why does he quote the Tzemach Tzedek the 3rd Lubavicher Rebbe in his torah? was he in cherem or not?
There was no Chabad yet (lubavich for sure not)in the era of the Gra, what are you idiots talking about?
Can someone start rodeph people generations earlier for what he sees thru Ruach Hakodesh will happen with their children 200 years later, the Gra was a ish halacha, did he have a source for that in Hilchos Nidie veCherem?
why didn't he put in cherem reb Chaim Valoizhiner since generations later they produced Saul Liberman,Ginzburg,YU? or why did the Gra not put in Cherem Reb Mendel Shklover for his disciples that became messianic missionaries in Yerushaliem?
The Yeshiveshe velt are more into sheer nonsense then chasidim.

Anonymous said...

"Rav Giftert ZL said "eyn zach veys ich ven R Mendale is Gigayngen in Gimnazyeh is R Leyzer Shach Gizesn Barn Shtender un zach giplogkt af di Gemoro"
I know also a few things, that when rav shach was planing his evil with his goons, the Rebbe was or learning Gemora Tosfoth on his Shtender or giving Tzedoka to a Kline Yiddish Yingele or gave Chizuk for some Alte Yidene in Dimona Israel or some lost soul in Nebraska.

Anonymous said...

"rav gifter was NEVER a "fan" of the rebbe to put it "in a nice way"
I never knew that there is letters printed in igros kodesh but if in fact it is printed"
why don't you say the easy way out that Berel Levin with the chabad pr machine created that letter?
Btw, how was Rav Giftr sure that the Rebbe knew the Marek Mokom?
Did they teach in Sorborne teshuvas Tzemach Tzedek?

Anonymous said...

"Rav Giftert ZL said "eyn zach veys ich ven R Mendale is Gigayngen in Gimnazyeh is R Leyzer Shach Gizesn Barn Shtender un zach giplogkt af di Gemoro"
The biography that is approved by all gedolim and the family claims that he was planing to join the University of Yale,and gave a lecture in a university so whats the point of him ridiculing a other Jew,
So we have to decide,
Rav Gifter was inconsistent in his hashkofa.
Rav Gigter hated chabad, and Sina Mekalkeles es Hashirah
Rav Gifter never said it
U can choose any option, I don't pick non of the options, because I don't really care what Rav Gifters hashkofa was. I can learn his nigleh, since I read newspapers too, and I am not that pure.

schneur said...

So lets summarize until now . Rav Gifter wrote to Louis Ginzberg at JTS with great resepct and criticized the Rebbe in Berlin and Paris.
I can understand the first part as Louis G.studied in Telz and in the early days of America no one except for a few were real kanoim. . The second part is strange as rav Gifter studied at Yeshiva College (besides being in RIETS he was enrolled in the secular studies program at YC)too which even in his very strict definition of higher eductaion must have qualified as a Gymnasium . As I wrote Telz Yeshiva itself sponsored a Orthodox Gymnasium in Telz .I don't bel;eive the story with the GRA for many reasons.
Firstly before 1940 many Lithuanian gedolim were on very good terms with Chabad "leaders" and rabbonim hardly a sign of a cherum.
In fact the story represents the thinking of present day yeshiva leaders.They sensed trouble after 1950 when Chabad was on the march .They put in the GRa's "mouth" those Chassidic leaders and groups they see as most dangerous ie those that have a derech hachaim.
So that has to include Chabad and Breslov (its doubtful that the Vilna rabbinic elite even heard of rav Nachman down south in the Ukraine)and for some historical accuracy (it makes it sound better) they throw in Karliner (although many scholars believe that when the early Misnagdim refer to karliners as a generic term for Lithuanian Chasidim. they mean chassidim bichlaal and that in the vilna Minsk area means the followers of rav Schneur Zalman of Liadi.
In fact Breslov and Chabad not only have a derech hachaim but are the chief chassidic groups thats seek new followers , so why not zap them with a cherem from the GRA.
I do not doubt that the GRA and his followers put all chassidim into Cherum. But how can todays Roshe yeshiva explain that to their buddies like Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum shlit"a vechuli and other groups that give them kavod in the Aguda and Degel. can they tell the Belzer that avos avoysanu put you guys in Cherem , not really. After all a good deal of money flows from Ungarische sources to the so called lithuanian schools, and even students. So lets limit the cherem to Lubavitch and Breslov. That is who the Gra meant.
Well if so, at least they were chashuv enough for the GRA to pay attention to them.... and take a few valuable minutes from his learning schedule to deal with them.

Anonymous said...

"by the way the chofetz chaim said to reb elchan Zal that the cherem was NOT on chasidus in general but rather only on lubavitch. (some say that he said brelov also but that is questionable...."
BTW,when was this BTW created?
did the Chofetz Chaim care for the cherem? or he ignored it? since he quotes the Alte Rebbe in his Mishna Berura probably 100 times by name and many long quotes with no name?
If the Gra meant Lubavich of later years, then why did he sign letters with the Rebbe Rayatz of Lubavich?
So we are foced to say that the Chofetz Chaim saw with ruach hakodesh what will happen to Chabad of 770, so we are forced to say that the Gra also saw with his ruach hakodesh what will happen with Chabad on the shores of the USA.
Are these pilpulim part of the Ried in the Yeshiveshe world? Are these part of the 7 Masechtes? or it is part of the chaburas on Kodshim? I need to know because I would like to register for the next semester.

Anonymous said...

Which yeshiveh should I attend so that I can have some understanding of what happened in BP to the little ingelle A'H?It seems to me that you could be the best bocher in the beis medrash and still be totally clueless as to how G-d runs the world. Any suggestions?Did Rav Gifter ever talk about such matters? What about the shiurei daas?After twenty years in yeshiveh and kollel and someone asks you what's the reason for the BP tragedy and all you say is"I dunno?"The Russian taxi driver knows as much as the greiser yeshivisher lamdan.Maybe we should study the Moreh and Rav Saadyah and all the other philosophers.At least it would be a beginning.

Duvid said...


" since he quotes the Alte Rebbe in his Mishna Berura probably 100 times by name and many long quotes with no name?"

I"m interested to know where the Mishna berura, has "many long quotes" from Shulchan Oruch Horav that are not attributed????

N.B, you sound like a creep.After this weeks maaseh, we have to be more vigilant about anonymous creeps

Anonymous said...

Rav Gifter should thank chabad for eternity....

He grew up in public school and thanks to someone giving him the proper hadrochah he entered the religious world.

Chabad has release time where they go to hundreds of school on Wednesday and have after school activities and encourage kids to become more frum....

Rabbi Gifter when he was young always used his english name as proof to that many letters even when he was a rov in the younger years he signed and had on his stationary Max Gifter...

Copies of these letters are in the archives of the agudas harabbonim from those years on 235 E Broadway NYC that is where I saw these letters.

Moshe said...

After such a week of achdus around a terrible story, can't you take some time off from promoting hate through your supposed "guest posts" and your "anonymous" and very hateful commenters, going back and forth about 200 year old history.
Is the fan mail you get from members of your chassidus for allowing people to curse out rabbonim who don't belong to your kreiz, worth it?.Where is the yiddishe gefeel?

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...


the complaint is to me??? or to the commenters here?

I've been shocked to the core, pushing the button without reading.

Ernest said...


bnoigeah to sefiras haomer i believe there are whole paragraphs that are word for word alter rebbes shulchan aruch

(i will check later- someone showed me this some yrs ago)

side note:

it is printed in artscrolls bio of the Chofetz Chaim that he referred to the Rebbe Rashab as the Moshe Rabbeinu of our time (the story was included in the book for a different reason)

rebeb said...

A disclaimer - I have not yet read the book.
1)Rav Gifter's uncle was Dr. Samuel Sar who was the beloved Dean of Students of Yeshiva College and taught Tanach there as well.
2)Rav Gifter was a talmid of Rav Moshe Palayeff z"l when he studied in Yeshiva's high school - MTA. I don't think he was a talmid of Rav Moshe Soloveichik z"l. Furthermore, I think he left YU after high school.
3)I had it on good information that Dean Sar tried to convince Rav Belkin to take RMG as a Rosh Yeshiva when RMG was a Rov in Waterbury but this did not transpire. I don't know whether Rav Belkin was not willing - or able to do so or whether Rav Gifter was even aware of this attempt.
4)In an article RMG wrote in Talpiot - a Torah publication of YU - he cites Louis Ginsberg.

Duvid said...

I don't know why the posts author refers to the shul R'Gifter led in Waterbury as "Chabad of Waterbury".This makes it sound like it was some kind of "Chabad house".
Off course it was not even close.It was a Nusach Ari shul, originally, at least,I wouldn't be surprised if that was not the nusach that was actually followed at the time.There were many shuls like these in America, that had very little or no shaychus with Lubavitch.In Russia there were many Jews that belonged to the Chabad line that Included, Lubavitch,Kopust etc or stam Nusach Ari and they set up shuls here in America.They were no different than the Modern Orthodox shuls everywhere else, where most of the kids ended up frei.One of the few shuls today, that are descended from this type of "Nusach Ari" shul is Bnei Reuven in Chicago.Years ago it was one of the largest of the more heimishe shuls in Chicago.The vast majority of the mispalelim were very balebatish with no affiliation to Chabad (one example is Harry Maryles).The ruv, was the widely respected Rabbi Harold Shusterman, a Tora Vodaas American boy that joined Lubavitch.
Today, it has beentaken over by Lubavitch and become totally Lubavitch with the balebatishe yidden davening elsewhere.
Does anyone know how Rabbi Shusterman is? He must be over 90 today

An Ailemesher said...

I don't believe that the Chafetz Chaim said that the Gra's cherem still applies to Chabad and Breslov. Anyone that has read the writings of the Chofetz Chaim would know that the statement was totally out of his style. I've seen it attributed to the Chazon Ish or the Brisker Rov, where it makes more sense. But like all sayings that have multiple attributions, it was probably said by none of them.

Schneur said...

Anonymus. The Agudas Hoabbonim is no longer on East Bdwy and as afr as I know their "archives" is also missing in action.

Anonymous said...

Rav Shusterman zt"l was nifter ten years ago. He is sorely missed in Chicago to this day.

60659 said...

while Rav Shusterman may be sorely missed, his replacement, Rav Boruch Hertz, brings much kovod and respect to Lubavitch with his integrity and knowledge of Halochoh

Anonymous said...

"Which yeshiveh should I attend so that I can have some understanding of what happened in BP to the little ingelle A'H"
it is very simple this guy is a rotzeach, and learn all hilchos retzicha in Gemora and in Rambam and stop being philosophical about it,

Anonymous said...

"N.B, you sound like a creep.After this weeks maaseh, we have to be more vigilant about anonymous creeps"
is there a big difference between a creep hiding under a pen name Duved and a creep hiding under a pen name Anonymous?

Anonymous said...

"I"m interested to know where the Mishna berura, has "many long quotes" from Shulchan Oruch Horav that are not attributed????"
what will happen if I show you all the proof?

Alexei said...

Anonymous. How do those texts help us cope with the murder of an innocent Jewish soul ?
Fascinating first you tell us to look into the Rambam and in the same breath you warn us not to be philosophical. Did you ever hear of the Moreh and the Rambam striving to understand the way the world functions and taame hamitzvoth ?

Anonymous said...

I have noting against learning philosophy especially the Moreh, I would even recommend you the Shwartz translation.In this particular incident I said not to be philosophical, it is very simple we have a rotzeach amongst us, and it his is sin that he killed a nice jewish boy. I don't think that when the Sanhedrin were judging a murder case, they called upon Keneseth Yisroel to atone for their sins.They dealt with the Murdererer with the halachic rules.

Anonymous said...

The agudas Harabonim Archives and offices are still on East Broadway I go there once a week...

grainom said...

"I"m interested to know where the Mishna berura, has "many long quotes" from Shulchan Oruch Horav that are not attributed????"
what will happen if I show you all the proof?

duvid, you are a certified am haaretz. every bar bei rav dichad yoma has come across countless quotes in the mb to the "graz"

999 said...

Okay - so please give us the address phone # and the person in charge of the Agudas Horabbonim and the archives. I and others I know would be interested in looking at the archives. How does one arrange this?

Alexei said...

Punishment aside - thats an obvious thing.
But the same Rambam also says that after a communal disaster like the one BP just experienced one(the whole kahal) ought to be mefashpesh be- Maasav and introspection is important perhaps even a fast day. The community needs a period of self searching.
By the way thanks for the MOREH reference but most of the readers of this blog are Americans and a Hebrew translation of the MOREH will be as confusing to them as the Arabic.
For an understanding of the MOREH may I suggest the ENGLISH translation by Dr. Shlomo Pines published by the University of Chicago and in print. Even with this edition "darf men halten kop"

Anonymous said...

I don't like to get technical but according to halacha a murder tragedy is only communal, by a scenario of Egla Arufa. Then the Bies Din gets involved.
It does not matter, since if Klal Yisroel feels closer to Hashem after such a unheard tragedy , then it should not be wasted, and let us all do Teshuva for our sins.
Chazal say that every day a Bas Kol goes out for a cry for teshuva...especially in a day like now that Klal Yisroel feels a inner urge to cleanse their souls

Anonymous said...

why are you attacking this guy that is willing to listen,
I would recommend him the Hilchas Pesach of Rav Katz where he points out all the torah of the Rav that got incorporated in the MB