Thursday, August 18, 2011
A Letter from the Zvehiller Rebbe of Boston's Mazkir to Hirshel Tzig (Part II)
Part I Here
The Mazkir continues:
Since the question came up we should tell that when The Rebbe married Sumner Redstone’s daughter she was frum, shomer Shabbos, kashrus, etc. and Mr. Redstone, who was not frum, even koshered his home out of respect and even to this day keeps a kosher kitchen for the three grandchildren, who all went to yeshiva and remain frum, a daughter and two sons, one of whom went to Mir and is now in law school and learning at Chaim Berlin. The Rebbe did agree to work with Mr. Redstone at his request in various businesses, and was very successful, and also continued as a rav in congregations at the same time. When the divorce came, partly because Mr. Redstone’s daughter became less frum not because The Rebbe became more frum, the fact is that The Rebbe unfortunately left with much less money than he had going in, in the divorce agreement giving up almost everything he had earned in return for the children to be kept in Yeshiva and a frum environment. Boruch HaShem The Rebbe has been successful at rebuilding since then.
Going back to the Chassidus; none of the late Rebbe’s sons felt worthy to be memalei mekomo, but all three wanted R’ Yitzchok Aaron to accept that, and there is a chumash from the late Rebbe that was later discovered and names R’ Yitzchok Aaron as being mamshich. One uncle, R’ Shmuel Yitzchok, was not successful at convincing him to move from Rav to Rebbe, but The Rebbe took over his position as Chaplain of the City of Boston when he passed away in 1974. But the other uncle, R’ Boruch Korff, was diagnosed with cancer shortly after the divorce from Redstone’s daughter and was successful, with the help of many other Rebbes in the family who called to get R’ Yitzchok Aaron to accept being Rebbe. The shidduch with the Shomrei Emunim’s daughter was made by the Skolier Rebbe. The Shomrei Emunim Rebbe did not go to the chasunah because it was in America and he doesn’t go to America, but the Shomrei Emunim Rebbetzin (who was the daughter of R’ Mordechai, the Zvhiler Rebbe of Yerushalayim, and a great granddaughter of R’ Shlomke Zvhiller, and a third cousin to R’ Yitzchok Aaron) did come to Boston for the chasunoh. And by the way, more on the question of how The Rebbe grew up and the frumkeit, after learning at Chaim Berlin he learned in Eretz Yisroel and received smicha at the age of 21 from the Zvhiler Rebbe, R’ Mordechai, and as it turned out twenty years later ended up marrying R’ Mordechai’s granddaughter, who is his present Rebbetzin. The Shomrei Emunim Rebbe accepts them and the grandchildren, but there is a lot of politics there and they aren’t following Shomrei Emunim hanhogos and chumros so people make a big deal out it. Some chasidim like to make stories and make splits, but the children are also close to the Shomrei Emunim Rav (the Shomrei Emunim Rebbe’s oldest son) who visits them and they visit him, and when the Shomrei Emunim Rebbetzin was niftar last year the children walked with the family and chassidim behind the Aron and The Zvhil-Mezbuz Rebbetzin sat in her home in Yerushalayim and many of the chasidim and cousins came.
The Shomrei Emunim Rebbe is not happy that his daughter wears a sheitel and doesn’t shave her head and wear a tichel, but the daughter is following our Rebbe’s shitah and in Zvhil/Mezbuz of prior generations they did not shave. (In fact, if you look at the picture of the late Rebbe’s wife on your website blog that was taken in Zvhil yet you can see that she doesn’t cover her hair – the times were different and times change, and we can’t judge by today’s standards. For example, many Rebbes, including the late Zvhil-Mezbuz Rebbe, R’ Yaakov Yisroel, used to wear ties, but today people say it’s ossur or too modern?)
By the way, the comment was correct about a daughter of the Shomrei Emunim Rebbe going to the Lubavitcher Rebbe and refusing to take the dollar. It wasn’t The Rebbetzin (who also went) but one of her sisters, and the reason wasn’t disrespect, but because they were raised that men and women don’t hand things to each other.
Lastly, I am also attaching:
- a picture of the late Rebbe’s tisch at the chasunoh of his son R’ Nuchem (the present Rebbe’s father) – there are many Rebbes there who are all cousins. In answer to one comment, it was not the norm back then for cousins who were not father/son/brother to wear shtreimelach at a relative’s simchah like it has become today;
- a picture of the present Rebbe with his cousins the late Talner Rebbe of Boston and the Zvhil-Klausenberg Rebbe of Union City;
- a picture of the late Rebbe’s ohel in Boston;
- and a picture of the late Rebbe that is almost identical to how the present Rebbe looks.
The bottom line though going back to your original posting is that we all mourn the assimilation and problems that are found in every Chassidic dynasty in every generation since the Baal Shem Tov. But as The Rebbe explains there is a strength and reassurance in the yichus that always brings einiklach back, and we pray that any yeridah is for the sake of aliyah and we know that whatever agmas nefesh the late Rebbe suffered he is having much nachas now from his grandson and great grandchildren.
I hope you find this useful and clearing up all of the confusion. If there is something we haven’t answered let me know and I will try to help.
(The first four pictures attached – each labeled starting “47”, are pictures of R’ Nuchem’s chasunah in 1947. Note the picture of the Kallah, the present Rebbe’s late mother, coming to visit and sit with the Rebbes at their table, something that was certainly accepted back then but has been erased today with revisionism)
(PICTURES TO APPEAR TOMORROW, IY"H. THAT WAY YOU'LL COME BACK TOMORROW...)