Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Book Review - Holy Beggars (Guest Post)

Holy Beggars is an uneven book about uneven people – primarily the author, Arye Coopersmith, and Shlomo Carlebach – in a strange and unique place and time, Haight-Ashbury of the late ‘60s, specifically the House of Love and Prayer. The unevenness has the herky-jerky quality of a hand-held camera trying to track elusive characters and a fleeting zeitgeist. While there is credit given to editors, there is none of the polish of “as told to” a professional writer. The book awkardly shifts focus between past and present, different cities and stages of life, and many of the basic facts of Shlomo and the House are introduced along the way, in context, making it hard to plunge into.

Little is told of the author's background, but he winds up as the “go to guy” in the physical establishment and the spiritual teaching at the House. With little religious background, but with a lot of flower power, he embarks on this task, with Shlomo’s initial enthusiasm, but limited follow-through. Although the House has an energetics start and burns brightly, the experiment is bound to fail.The failures, both of the House and the personal lives of those drawn to it, are presented in a painfully honest way. AC is disappointed by Shlomo’s inability to commit, or more accurately his tendency to casually over-commit, and his inability to just show up on time. The marriages of Arye Coopersmith, Shlomo, and Zalman all fail, and their personal failures give a sense of their difficulty to partake of “Yeshuvo Shel Olom”, conventional settling of the world, and of unfulfilled spiritual seeking.Among the highlights of the book are Shlomo’s encounters with many other Eastern spiritual teachers. This was Shlomo BMochin DGadlin, without Tzimtzum of having to cover his Orthodox flank.

Also included is his long relationship with Zalman Schechter, including Shlomo’s assessment of their commonality and differences. There are especially poignant sections devoted to the author’s re-connecting with many Orthodox people in Jerusalem, who were initially drawn in and taught by the author, but left for Israel for destinations such as Breslov and Diaspora Yeshiva, and far surpassed the author in Orthodox commitment. There’s not much of Shlomo's Torah brought down, but that’s not what you want to know about; what you really want are details about Shlomo’s private life. Fear not, they are discussed in detail, objectively, fairly, and in context. Much is made of the schism in the Berkeley Aquarian New Age Minyan, as fallout from pro and anti-Shlomo factions. For those of us who did not directly participate in the magic of that time and place, and met Shlomo afterwards, this book serves as a taste, a ta’am, of wide-open possibilities and inevitable crashes. While we may think that going from Lakewood to Brisk, or from Spinka to Lubavitch, is a life-altering transition, these seekers went to the outer edge of the known universe and back in their spiritual journeys; and yes, there was sincerity and manipulation Be’Ir’Vuvyeh.

If not for Leibel Bronstein, there would be no Soviet Union,
Soviet Union was the nemesis Gashmi and Ruchani of Lubavtich
Lubavtich was the catalyst to the emergence of RaSHBaN (Reb Shlomo Ben Naftoli, Carlebach)

RaSHBaN was a big force in freeing Soviet Jewry
freeing Soviet Jewry was begining of the end of Soviet Union
end of Soviet Union engendered Lubavitch Messianic dreams
Lubavitch messianic dreams proved , well, how to say,  controversial for Lubavitch

HaYotze MiKol Zeh - If Lubavitch had chapped Leibel Bronstein early and made him into a Mashpia, history would have been a lot different...

מנאי - בעלז פון אמאל

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

For my English-speaking brethren

Last week we published A letter from Reb Shulem Foygel, Gabbai of the previous Belzer Rov, zt"l, to the latter's niece, the Rebbetzin Traneh Twersky of ניו סקווירא. The letter was chock full of Chassidishe GEFIELEN and derheren, In other words how a Chossid looks at a Tzaddik such as the BR, and especially how one looks at the said Tzaddik and Rebbe at a time of war, such as was the case in 1956. Many of my English-only speaking brethren felt left out and voiced those feelings to me in e-mails and via Google Talk. מה עשה הקב"ה? despite the fact that I did not have the time to do it myself, we did have a volunteer who took upon himself the monumental task of translating Foygel's letter, no easy task. Many of our Satmar brethren didn't take very well to the letter, and some voiced their very strong opinions about it in the comments section. What bothered them was what RSF saw as "Rebbishe Inyonim," they saw as a lack of "leadership skills," something they say that their Rebbe possessed very strongly. There was more, but there's no need to repeat all their heretical thoughts here. So now, without further ado, I present to you a free translation, somewhat literal, of the letter to Rebbetzin Twersky.

We thank Mr. Ende Tsadik for his hard work.

Translation by "Ende Tsadik" – exclusively for Circus Tent


Sunday, Mikeitz [5717/1956]

Peace and Greetings to the honor of the Rebbetzin, the Righteous and Modest, Daughter of the Sanctified, the Renown Mrs. Trana, Tlit"a

After greetings of peace and well being I hereby write to you that boruch Hashem all is in order with her uncle the Graceful Holiness (GH) the Admor Shlita and he is boruch Hashem well. The widespread reports that the GH the Admor Shlita did not lead any tishn on Shabbos Kodesh are rebbishe matters; no one can do anything about it. Although I have been with the GH the Admor Shlita for a long time and I have seen similar conduct before, now it is different. Now it happens for longer periods and it has never happened that he should not lead the Shabbos meals. It is all due to the times and not because, G-d forbid, the GH the Admor Shlita is in fear.

I can only share with you an example. When I arrived in the winter there was still a bit of a war going on in Israel, and one Friday I saw how the GH the Admor Shlita was very occupied. The Rebbetzin was not there yet [i.e. they were not yet married - ET] and it took a long time till the kindling of the candles, till the GH the Admor Shlita entered to light the candles without having had anything to drink, not even some coffee. Only after candle lighting did he drink something and then davened tefilas Shacharis, because in Israel they light the candles according to the Jerusalem calculations which works out at 40 minutes prior to sunset and therefore he was still able to put on Tefilin. We are of course troubled by the GH the Admor Shlita's conduct. But we have tried different approaches and not always do we succeed because the GH the Admor Shlita will not be swayed.

This Shabbos Kodesh it was quite intense. By that I mean that Shabbos Koidesh in the evening [Friday night] they davened on time and the tish was also as usual. By contrast, Shabbos Koidesh by day it was again like the current times. First the GH the Admor Shlita sat in his room for long periods managing his [Rebbishe] affairs. Two and a half hours after the time of candle-lighting on Friday he came in to make the daytime kiddush of Shabbos, and then the tish also went on for a long time. Everything was prolonged. Sholoish seudos took several hours, to the extent that it ended when it was light outside, and by the time havdoleh was over it was properly light. This has never happened before. This was the first time. Of course we must pray for the GH the Admor Shlita's health that this shouldn't affect his health because the effort of the divine service is very intense. There is little sleep and several nights can pass and the GH the Admor Shlita doesn't wash for a meal even in the evening. I am therefore writing to you again that we are doing all we can, we try every method but it ultimately depends on the times. Of course G-d should help that it should completely quiet down when we hope that this will not occur. (translation unclear - HT)

The GH the Admor Shlita currently makes few enquiries about politics but the times are noticeable all around him. Despite that no newspapers are read one can see on the GH the Admor Shlita that Jews throughout the world are in desperate need of help. There is a midrash in Parshas Vayishlach that the shevotim relied on the powers of that elder, Yakov Ovinu. Although Yakov Ovinu did not order them to wage war on the town of Shchem, but since Shimon and Levi were fighting a battle Yakov Ovinu said that he could not allow his children to fall into the hands of the nations. So Yakov Ovinu girded himself and waged a battle. This is what we see with the GH the Admor Shlita: although he is not agreeable to wars but since they have started one the GH the Admor Shlita prays that, G-d forbid, not a single Jew should come to harm...

Now regarding the Rebbetzin's enquiry about travelling, although in previous years there was a greater danger because according to newspaper reports Nasser ym"sh was planning to start a war, G-d forbid, on the Jews and at that time there were requests from abroad, from Antwerp, that the GH the Admor Shlita should get himself a passport and leave the country for Antwerp, nevertheless the GH the Admor Shlita would not agree although there is some divided opinion on the matter. Firstly, traveling is no simple matter for the GH the Admor Shlita and it may be as dangerous as not traveling, because how would he travel? The GH the Admor Shlita absolutely refuses to travel with an airplane and it is impossible to travel by sea, especially due to changing weather conditions.

We are very pleased that with G-d's help the GH the Admor Shlita walks about the house, that now at this age, may he live many days, he should be mobile. The GH the Admor Shlita's attendants are of great benefit to the GH the Admor Shlita's well being, as they are used to him and he is used to them and should he travel they would be prevented by law from accompanying him. Generally, leaving Israel is very questionable due to the GH the Admor Shlita's health and the stress of travelling, especially at this age. Then the question arises, where does one travel to. To Europe? A few weeks ago and perhaps even now there was more panic and fear in Europe than there is in Israel.

Then there is the issue that how does one travel if no other Rebbe is travelling. For instance, your mechuten the Vizhnitzer Rebbe who has a family does not intend to travel, and likewise others, so the GH the Admor Shlita should run off? One must also be aware that there are few Belzer chasidim in Israel but nonetheless the entire Jewry look up to the GH the Admor Shlita. Should the GH the Admor Shlita abandon Israel it will break their hearts and cause great fear to all the Jews of Israel. It will be said that since the GH the Admor Shlita is leaving it is a sign that the outlook for Israel is, G-d forbid, not good. When he was in Poland etc. the situation of klal yisorel was always taken into account and he did not just think of himself despite that the GH the Admor Shlita had a family at the time. Alas he risked everything because klal yisroel was taken into consideration. When he had to rescue himself he came to Israel so now when klal yisroel in Israel needs help will he run away...? Israel is acquainted with miracles and G-d will not forsake Israel. The GH the Admor Shlita's current conduct is not because he is in a state of shock, G-d forbid. I am certain that had he  been abroad his conduct would have been no different because these are Rebbishe matters. He is informed that the world is in need of salvation and he feels for the nation of Israel and one does not flee from Israel.

One other thing, if the GH the Admor Shlita were to travel, then whichever of the great men who might follow will have an excuse that the Belzer Rov has given orders to travel. Who can take upon himself this responsibility? Trust me, I have no interest in the matter because if he were to travel then please G-d I and my family will also travel. I might even do better than in Israel especially now that during these weeks I am unable to admit people with kvitlech. Last week I admitted a few people with kvitlech, but one cannot escape the truth of the general rule that it is preferable to remain seated and not act, sit and do not seek to improve. Israel is conducive to longevity and may G-d indeed help that we should be able to welcome the Messiah with the GH the Admor Shlita speedily in our days, amen.

During the war in Israel there were several sirens during those few days and the GH the Admor Shlita went into the bomb shelter in the GH the Admor Shlita's basement. It made no impression on him, G-d forbid. I spent all the nights with the GH the Admor Shlita and I did not sleep at home so that the GH the Admor Shlita should be more assured and not be left alone with the bochurim. My children were slightly worried and I brought them to the GH the Admor Shlita so that they could spend the night with the GH the Admor Shlita.

As to the American bochurim, the GH the Admor Shlita tells no one what to do in respect of travel, whether to travel or not. Many bochurim have left and those who have not left it’s because they don't want to…

It will shortly be Chanukah and we hope that Jews will again merit miracles and the GH the Admor Shlita will surely bring about for klal yisroel all varieties of salvation…

From me the Gabbe,

Sholem Foigel

Monday, November 28, 2011

Comment of the Century

Here's what one reader had to say on VosIzNeias' post about the Kinus HaShluchim Banquet Last Night

"I have to admit, having watched video segments from both the Chabad and Agudah meetings, it was like watching a chassanah versus a levayah and I'll let you guess which was which. One was upbeat, positive and rejoicing in what Hashem has done for Yiddeshkeit and will continue doing, and the other was a nonstop cry of "Gevalt, Yidden!" and how we've all gone off the derech and need to do major league tshuvah. Maybe next year, the Agudah will simply cancel their convention and attend as guests of Chabad (I'm sure the shalichim will enjoy the opportunity of doing some really heavy duty outreach..." )

I chose to leave the comment as is to let you see the mood out there.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

פראפעסאר ר' וועלוול גרין ע"ה, דער אידישיסט

Professor Velvel Green, OBM, 83

נישט אלע ווייסן דאס, אבער פרופ ' וועלוול גרין, ע"ה, וועלכע איז די וואך פלוצלינג אוועק אין עלטער פון 83 יאר, איז אמאל געווען א אידישע שרייבער אויך! זיין אידיש איז געווען פונעם ניט-פרומע סארט, דהיינו אידיש האט ער געלערנט אין די שולע דארט ווי ער האט שטודירט אלץ קינד, צו אין "שלום עליכם שולע" צו אין "י.ל. פרץ שולע." דעם ארטיקל האט ער געשריבן שוין נאך דעם וואס דער שליח ורב פעלים ר' משה פעלער זאל געזונט זיין האט זיך באקענט מיט ר' וועלוול און אים מקרב געווען צו אידישקייט. דאס זעהט מען גלייך. ער גיבט זיי אריין אין טאטענ'ס טאטען אריין, און זאגט זיי אז לא זו הדרך. אידיש אהן אידישקייט איז סופו לעפר. פון דער אברהם גולומב ווייס איך נישט קיין סאך, אבער זעהט אויס אז ער איז געווען עפעס א גברא רבא אינעם וועלט פון אידיש, א שרייבער און דענקער. קיין וויקי בלאט האב איך נישט געזעהן אויף אים. ר' וועלוול מיט זיין בריייטע שמייכל וועט אונז פעלן. די שייכות און קשר וועלכע ר' וועלוול האט געהאט מיט'ן ליובאוויטשער רבי'ן איז אויך צו באמערקן, ווייל ס'איז געווען א ספעציעלע. דארט האט מען איינגעזעהן אז די רבי איז אים מקרב סיי מיט זיינע ידיעות אין עניני העולם, און סיי מיט "סתם רבי'שע" ענינים. שווער דאס אפשר מסביר צו זיין, אבער ווען איממער מ'האט געזעהן אן אינטערוויו מיט ר' וועלוול, אדער א רעדע פון אים, האט מען געוואוסט אז מ'גייט הערן גוטע זאכען, פנינים של ממש, אוצרות פונעם רבינ'ס חדר, אזוי צו זאגען. זיין זיסע שמייכל און ליכטיגע געזיכט איז געווען גענוג אויף צו באלייכטען דעם גאנצען ציממער. ס'דא נאך אסאך צו שרייבן וועגן ר' וועלוול, און אפשר קענען די חשוב'ע ליינער אויך עפעס צוגעבן, אבער די צייט איז ביי מיר קורץ און איך מוז דאס אפדרוקן
Velvel Green Yiddish

ר' וועלוול מיט אסאך יארען צוריק

an obituary by Dovid Z @

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"פון מיר דעם גבאי"

אורות גליון 6

An historic letter from Reb Shulem Fogel, legendary gabbai of the previous Belzer Rov, zt"l to the "Iron Lady of New Square," Rebbetzin Traneh Twerski, o"h, wife of RYY of Skver, and mother of the current Skverrer Rebbe shlit"a. Traneh was the daughter of Reb Pinches (Pinye'le) Ostiller, HY"D, who was married to a sister of the Belzer Rov, a daughter of Reb Yisocher Dov of Belz, zt"l. This was the time of '56 Sinai Campaign and she was concerned about her uncle's well-being. It seems like she wanted him to leave Israel and travel to Europe until it all blows over. Reb Shulem writes that the Ruv's family was sacrificed in Poland during WW2 for Klal Yisroel, and that during the war the Ruv always thought about the Klal, and not about his personal well being. Yes, I know, many of you don't read Yiddish and feel left out. Believe me, I do it out of love, of Yiddish, that is. I bear no ill will to you non-Yiddish speakers and readers. I did give you a basic idea as to the contents of the letter, so cut me some slack, will ya?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Luzer Twersky modelling for some British clothes manufacturer. Are they actually British? I cannot tell, the website they list in the pic doesn't seem to be clickable, so it's hard to glean any info from there. Luzer is a Rebbishe kind, his father is a Rebbe in Boro Park, and he decided to take a different path, a path not associated with Religious Jews, which is rare for Rebbishe kinder. Rebbishe kinder seem to be stuck in the rut that was created for them and they don't really get out much, even in a permitted way. [The only other time in recent memory was Reb Nachman Yosef Twersky, who left Rachmastrivka in Yerushalayim to join the Army of Lubavitch. And boy, did he ever get it over the head! And Lubavitch too!] Luzer is no longer with us ideologically, but he keeps his beard and peyos so that he can get acting jobs that call for a beard and peyos...  Those are his own words. For a long time that seemed to be wishful thinking, the agents weren't calling him, but no it seems like he made the big time! I dare say he does quite a good job here!

And lest you think that I only attack non-Chabad, read this and weep!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Rebbetzin Bassie Azimov ע"ה - an appreciation

(L-R; R' Bentzion Shemtov, Rebbetzin Bassie, o"h and יבלחט"א her husband R' Shmuel (מולע) Azimov

Received via e-mail: "On an August Paris afternoon, a troubled young man rang the bell of  Rebbetzin Bassie Azimov. He had met her two years before in New York, but how things have changed.  They were cousins but he could not recall how. He had fallen in with a hard crowd but had finally willed his way to 28 Rue de Vinaigriers."Who are you?" from the French window on the second floor.  "Ari Brisk," was the answer. "Who are you?" she asked again, looking at me. "What happened to you?" Two minutes later she opened the front door, admonishing him while inviting him upstairs. Rabbi Mulle (Shmuel) Azimov was on the phone but the harsh words did not stop. To Ari's dismay, she had drawn a bath, placed all his clothes from the dirty knapsack to wash, and was cooking a meal fit for a king- all this with harsh words, but softened by the smell of fried shnitzel. Events took a turn for the good.Years later he'd recall this parodox- it stayed with him.

He is not the only one; there are hundreds, perhaps more.

The Jewish revolution of Paris which she spearheaded with her husband was to the curious eye a wonder, yet there were reasons. She lead her life not in the shadow of what her father, the inimitable chosid R' Bentche Shemtov, had gone through, but as the embodiment of mesiras nefesh for the Rebbe's mission with dignity at every moment. Her favorite story of the Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka being the long walk across Paris "in the cold winter" she'd emphasize, describing the trek for milk and butter for the Rebbe in pre-War Paris.From five thirty in the morning until one o'clock the next, every day, she taught, lectured Principal a school, guided couples, suggested shidduchim, cooked, and all this while studying chassidus every day, sichos, one after the other. Long before igros bibliomancy, she'd approach a problem through a sicha, "the sicha always brings a solution." Their house was simply a sanctuary for the light of the Rebbe's chassidusת and that luminescence has lit many. I resided there for several months years ago, always considered her greatly, but her light as a chosid was beyond greatness, her family and the many who knew her now see...

I'd say it was her total bittul to the Rebbe which allowed her to saunter from an elevated perch, and touching others, allowing chassidus to flow through her for there was nothing else.She referred to the Rebbe as "dem Rebben" not der Rebbe, implying a belonging of chosid to Rebbe. The Rebbe was familiar and available but more important was the urgency of the Rebbe's call. There was work to be done, and, arguably, no shluchim have done that work as the Azimovs. I once ate at their Shabbos table when a guest, new to traditional Judaism, began asking questions about feminism and Judaism when Bassie interrupted her with a very strong lecture about the state of women today in light of promiscuity in modern culture. I felt embarrassed for the woman; Bassie was being too strong. To my astonishment the woman became a full ba'alas tshuveh, within a few months. She was persistent and more importantly lived the Rebbe's truth in heroic fashion, all this  with a life threatening illness that she harbored for years.The involvement of the Rebbe during her trying sickness, entailed daily updates and guidance. For years she ate butter and told me that when she was unable to digest food, the Rebbe had recommended butter, and it had been the only food which she had been able to digest the following years. Bassie never for a moment compromised. Perhaps therein is the secret, how one is imbued with that special spirit to be an infinite chosid of "dem Rebben."

Ad kan the email.

HT says: Rebbetzin Bassie Azimov passed away in Paris last week at the age of 67. She was the daughter of the Chossid Reb Bentzion Shemtov of London and the wife of Reb Shmuel (Mulle) Azimov, shliach to Paris. She and her husband were responsible for the tremendous "revolution" of Yiddishkeit in Paris that goes on until today. What has been accomplished in France hasn't happened anywhere else in the world. Hundreds upon hundreds, if not thonsands of families that lead complete Torah lives. Some thrird generation already. All were introduced to Yiddishkeit by Reb Mulle and his Rebbetzin. The love and respect, and even reverence that people who came in contact with the Azimovs have for them is nothing short of amazing. All their mushpoyim and mekurovim are like their own children, and at the levaya they cried as if their own mother had passed away. No matter where you stand on the Chabad politics you respected Mulle and his wife because they demanded respect. Not they demanded it, it was their work and accomplishments that demanded it for them. They themselves asked for nothing. When you saw that she had passed away you were saddened, because you knew that there is nobody that can replace her. You also cried for her husband, a tzubrochene man physically, who suffered a stroke some years ago, and who now suffers so much more upon his mate. May the Eybershter give him lange, gezunte yohren, and may their children know only joy and happiness מכאן ולהבא עד עולם

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Is Areivim out of touch?

 You may not get to see this fine publication; it may be Monsey-area only. I didn't see last week's issue, where they mentioned Shlomo and Meir Kahane's Yohrtzeits, so I don't know what it was exactly that they wrote. But my son ZG"Z (= zol gezunt zein) brought this to my attention. He knows by now what gets my goat, I guess. What strikes me as really weird about this is the fact that I'm sure that an organization like Areivim - "From Crisis to Control" - is not a very rigid operation when it comes to saving at-risk youth. Meaning that they'll allow things like watching sports and maybe even non-Jewish music at their centers/functions - if they have any. I'm sure that Carlebach is just fine too. Now I know that allowing it doesn't make it right, but being that Shlomo was active in saving at-risk and lost youth you'd think that they would cut him some slack. Also, if you teach kids that people like SC and Kahane are not "true gedolim" will that make them wanna come and be helped by an organization like yours? Aren't you then like the Mesivta Rebbi or principal that he so dislikes?? That's all besides for the fact that Shlomo and Kahane resonate very strong with OTD and AR youth. I assume that there were complaints about them, but complaints can be handled in several different ways. Writing a childish retraction like the one here is just that, childish.

The Cover. Notice how they only use Rabbeinu Tam's zman for מוצש"ק.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

"???וואו זענען זיי ווייטער אזוי פארקרומט געווארען"

דער שטיקל וועלכע האט ביי אונז געהויבן די אויגענברעמען איז דארט - אויף עמ' 2 צום סוף - ווי דער סאטמאר רב רעדט וועגן דעם דרך הלימוד און פרעגט "וואו זענען זיי ווייטער אזוי פארקרומט געווארען,?" מיינענדיג אז די היינטיגע ליטאים, ובתוכם כנראה זיין זון ר' חיים, זענען אוועק פון דעם אמת'ען דרך, דער דרך וואס די בית הלוי אליין איז נאך געגאנגען דעראין. דאס אז ר' חיים האט מחדש געווען א נייעם דרך דאס ווייסען אלע, אבער איך גלייב אז די בריסקער קינדער היינט וואלטען אייך געזאגט אז ס'איז באמת נישט קיין שינוי פונעם דרך אבותינו, און ס'איז מיוסד אויפ'ן אלטען, אויסגעטראטענעם דרך

זקניך ויאמרו לך

Friday, November 18, 2011

(לרגל היא"צ ה-85 של מרן מהרי"ד מבעלזא זי"ע (מעדנים לחסידי סאטמאר

די סאטמורים דא רעדן זיך איין אז איך האב עפעס קעגן זיי, און אז איך טשעפע זיי מיט זייערע רביים. דאס אז איך בין "מעלה" אטא דער קובץ וועט אייך אוודאי איבערצייגן אז ס'איז סתם א בלבול

בעלזא בתפארתה - נגד ציונות

Thursday, November 17, 2011

ייחוס שוורצמאן

I've made a little shtink about Reb Berel Shvartzman and his pedigree and the fact that the "MSM" really did very little homework when it came to eulogizing him, even in the weekend editions, when they had some time to do the research. That's beside for the fact that they basically ignored his second wife and kids, as if to say that his only claim to fame was that he was once married to a Kotler...  I also called them out for not mentioning his Chabad connection. I do that sometimes. So I went digging and found some stuff. Some of it known and some not so much. It's actually quite easy if you just look, which goes to show you that sometimes we could care less. It seems to me that today's tributes don't focus enough on the details of the niftar's life, which may be why they didn't find out about his ancestors. Or maybe it was enough to them that his kids were eyniklach of RAK...

In 5704 Reb Berel's zeide was niftar, The Mechaber of משאות בנימין, that isand the periodical "התבונה" had an article about him. It seems like his elter zeide was niftar only 5 years prior to that, and was 105 (!) at the time of his passing. Based on what they say here we see that from his father's side Reb Berel came from a very choshuve Litvishe family. He was a talmid of Volozhin and a choshuve Rov in Russia. Der zeide was a mekurev of the Aderes, Reb Yitzchok Elchonon and many others. No real mention of Chassidim.  Which goes to show you that they really didn't do their homework; they could have shut up those darn Lubabs once and for all by showing all these bonafide Litvaks in his yichus briv! But when it comes to Reb Berel's father they have little to say. All they say is that he's a Rov in Tel Aviv. They could've said that he was a Talmid of the Slabodka Yeshiva, which was the line of the week when it came to all the newspapers...Now, I admit the information is choppy, but I have heard from his (distant, somewhat) relatives that Reb Berel's father was a Rov who sat on all the Agudas Chabad meetings in Tel Aviv, and was considered a "Chabad Rov." I will not jump the gun here and say that it was an intentional omission by HaTvunah, even though they were a publication for Mussarnikes, maybe they were limited in space and could only write about the niftar.

The letters from the Rebbe prove what? I'm not quite sure. They prove that the Rebbe had a place in his life, whatever that means, and that he considered himself enough a Chabadnik to be in contact with the Rebbe. That much he learned while living in Nevel, I guess. I'm not assuming that Reb Berel had a strong connection because of his mother's family, who were out and out Lubavitcher Chassidim, but I know he did! That doesn't necessarily translate into a Lubavitcher obituary, I realize that. But we are discussing his yichus, and it was a part of his life. We've seen here in comments and in e-mails that I've received that he would attend farbrengens, daven in Lubavitch in London when visiting family there, as well as a story that he had with the Frierdige Rebbe when he asked about whether or not he should do his first shidduch... Ultimately wee see that Reb Berel was lost between two worlds - meaning that despite his gadlus b'torah he never ended up "making it" like some people in the Olam HaYeshivos who didn't posess half his kishronos and knowledge. Some of you have told me privately that because of the kepeydes of either RAK or RYH, both of whom have it in for him... May his neshomoh have an aliya.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Revision Has Begun...

This magazine clip was sent to us by a relative of Reb Berel Shvartzman. I was quite surprised to see this appear in the בקהילה, which has a Chabadnik editor-in-chief, Binyomin Lipkin. It would not bother anyone if they say that he came from a Chassidic home but took another path after seeing the great ameilus baTorah in Chevron/Lakewood, but why would you deny his background and heritage? Especially after telling us that he was born in Nevel, a Lubavitcher town like no other! This is being an Umfarginer to the 10th power!

Monday, November 14, 2011

"דער דף היומי "קאוועראפ

I must admit; the amount of Kovtzim that Satmar puts out to further the Shittah is quite impressive. I'm not sure what puzzles me more, the sentence about the REAL intentions of the Agudah, or the fact that despite statements like these from him about them that the Agudah today has more respect and fear of the SR than of some of their own members and leaders... I also don't understand the need to print all this now, I guess the spread of DY in Satmar circles needs to be stopped, and this is how to do it... The situation was that a group of bachurim organized a Daf Yomi chaburah in Satmar whilst he was on vacation, and when he learned of this ordered all the city shuls closed and delivered a fiery droshoh in the big shul where he preached about the evils of the Agudah and the deviant plan that was the Daf Yomi... the Daf Yomi was created only to hide the true intentions of the Agudah, he said, which is to strengthen the hands of the Zionists, so the learning needs to stop before the Zionism sets in. I wonder if Reb Meir Shapira knew about his own true intentions. I also have this kler, based on the Satmar Rov's popularity among the Litvish/Yeshivish crowd, if they need to stop the daf now that they know the truth about the DafYomi, and whether all the learning they did went to the S"A or not... מתקוממים בימינך, they stand up against you and use your Torah as their tool to revolt against Hashem...

לכ' עורכי הקובץ הי"ו

?איך האב געוואלט וויסן וואס איז די חשבון פון דרוקען אזעלכע ווערטער

וואס טוט עס אויף, און וויזוי העלפט עס פאר'ן קומענדיגן דור, אז מ'רעדט זיך איין אז רבבות אלפי
 ישראל לערנען תורה נאר כדי צו פרעדיגן ציונות? מילא אז מ'רעדט זיך איין אז ס'איז אלץ שלא לשמה, אדער אז די מארגנים מאכען גרויסע סיומים וכדומה נאר
כדי צו גרויס מאכען די פארטיי, איז עס קינדעריש גענוג, און איך גלייב נישט אז מ'וואלט געדרוקט אפילו אזעלכע ווערטער אויף צו מפיץ זיין ברבים. אבער צו זאגען אז דער וואס עס לערנט א בלאט גמרא טעגליך שטיצט ציונות ווייל די רעיון איז צום ערשטען מאל אויפכעקומען ביי א כנסיה גדולה פון די "טריפה'נע" אגודה איז נישט מער ווי א געפערליכע קטרוג. איר דארפט איבערבעטען הונדערטער טויזענטער אידן, אשר ישנם פה ואשר איננו פה. מן הדין איז דא א חוב קדוש אויף יעדן איד נישט צו גלייבן די מוצש"ר וואס איר דרוקט אין דעם קובץ, און ווער ווייסט, אפשר אים גונז זיין מטעם די אנדערע דברי תורה וואס געפינען זיך דעראין. לאחר המעשה טראכט איך יעצט אז אפשר וואלט כדי געווען אז דיזען ווערטער זאלען געשריבען ווערן נאר אויף זשארגאן, כדי צו פארמיידען די חילול השם וועלכע קען ארויסקומען פון די פאר שורות אויף שפה"מ

Read it and weep.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

a "רשב"ן" music fest לכבוד די יארצייט היינט

Shlomo in Israel c.1958

Click here and Enjoy!

מעין עולם הבא

Many classics as well as rarities available there for your listening pleasure. Please try and refrain from "blaming" Lubavitch here for any of what you see as his indiscretions. However, I cannot keep you from doing it בין הסדרים in Philly or Stamford or Passaic, or at your Shabbos table on a long Friday night. You can do there as you wish. You can also discuss how R' Aron cried when he heard לולי תורתך, or how he was supposed to become the Reb'Kiveyger of that generation," and other such Yeshivishe hock. What's more interesting to note is how his music and he himself have become so popular among the Chassidishe Oylam, especially those who have a hard time conforming to the mainstream Chassidishe/Hungarian norms of today.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

פרסום ראשון ! - מצבת הגאון בעל "משנה הלכות" זצ"ל

Photos Credit: מח"ס שמחת  מלך

במרומי צפת sits the resting place of the one who made my bris, cut my hair and made me peyos, leined my Bar Mitzvah aliya, and who kissed me on di shteren after I said my Maamar at my leChaim/vort. (It was a maamar ד"ה שיר המעלות הנה מה טוב ומה נעים שבת אחים גם יחד.) I believe these are the first published pictures of the newly erected Matzeivoh. When I went with my father zg"z to invite him to my wedding - nisht heint gedacht -  he apologized that he could not attend since it took place overseas and he was not feeling well at the time. He also has a very strong connection to my shver zg"z and his father, z'l, and he was overjoyed to see me join that family. [Needless to say I have much to say about Hagaon HaRav Reb Menashe Klein, zt"l, but I have yet to find the time to do it properly. There's his connection to Lubavitch, how he was treated in the general Olam HaTorah, as well as Rabbonim, Roshei Yeshivos and Tzaddikim.] RMK asked that he be buried there, next to the resting place of HaRav Amrom Chasida, zt"l, whose tziyun he restored. His wife, the Rebbetzin nee' Frankel, was a descendant of his, as well as the Beis Shearim, lineage that the Rov adopted as his own...I hope to find the time to write. It'll have to be done in parts, and even if I do start I hope I'll be able to carry it through.

(P.S. The OFFICIAL הקמת מציבה is Sunday 16 Cheshvan)

what a view!

another angle of the matzeivoh from the back.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Still waiting.... (Penn State, etc.)

(LA Times Photos)

It's been a week since the scandal broke at Penn State. In that span of days we've heard from a certain "crusading" blogger about Meal Mart Salmonella, battered Jewish women, Reb Shmuel Kamenetzky telling people not to go to the Police when they see abuse, more abuse in the Jewish Community, Israeli Haredis being male chauvinists, the Kletzky murder trial, Reb Nosson Tzvi, but only because his mother was from his neighborhood in S. Paul, and a host of non-issues. Including a very important story about a Ethiopian Jew being named Israeli Ambassador to ----- Ethiopia.  But not a word, not one single, solitary word, about the abuse that went on there for years, not just abuse but violation! of young children by the No. 2 man in the University's Athletic Dept. (as far as I'm concerned, as well as the rest f the world.) The fact that America's very bright, non-Haredi students rioted in support of old JoePa, even though he did nothing to stop the violation of young children, also gets no mention. NOT. ONE. WORD. I guess he cares only about Jewish children being abused. Gentiles mean nothing to him. They can all go to hell, huh? Are they not G-d's children, Scotty? Imagine, just imagine if we would do that, support a Rosh Yeshiva who was fired because he did nothing by rioting and flipping over cars. I've been very patient, Mr. Rosenberg. I shall wait no longer.

You are nothing but a two-bit hypocrite, liar, ingrate - yes, ingrate, and worse.

And most of all, you're an embarrassment to your people.

ר' דן'ס הכרת הטוב

"Anatomy of a Ban," by Rabbi Nosson Kamenetzky

In one of the obituaries last week they used Reb Dun's Hakoras HaTov as an example of his exemplary middos. The anecdote they used was a bit silly, but it seems like there was something we could learn from him. {the example was him flying to Florida to attend the levaya of a woman who did "a significant favor for the Yeshiva." I think we'd all do that... This would've been alot better, but we know they wouldn't use this...] I assume that it was because Reb Yaakov was his Rebbe at YTV, as well as took his side in the YTV and subsequently, the BME um, disagreements, he had with RGS and later, his family. {I could be wrong.} Reb Natan has less than stellar words for Reb Shlomo Wolbe, who he says owed just as much to his father...

Thanks to the anonymous reader who sent in these pages. Maybe he can send in some more... It seems like another page or two would clarify the picture alot

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Rachmistrivker Lomdus

A new sefer/kuntres that transcribes the talk of the late Rachmistrivka Rebbe of Yerushalayim, Reb Yisroel Mordche Twersky, zt"l.  Some of what is discussed here, namely the idea that the Rachmistrivka Rebbe would give 6 hour shiurim in Nigleh seem a bit far-fetched. Also, I've yet to have it confirmed that the Lubavitcher Rebbe would attend these shiurim, but anything is possible. We learn new things about the Rebbe every day. The fact that they give Reb Meir Berlin the title "הגאון" tells us alot. I guess they didn't get the memo that RMB was אאוט. Why, all he got in "הרב מבריסק" was ",הרב" just like Rav Kook and Menachem Porush... and he was the Rov's uncle! Reb Noochem'tshe Rachmistrivker was known  as mamesh a fartzeitisher Rebbe, and the Frierdige Rebbe would be mazkir himself (and his family) by him, which he didn't do with many other Rebbes. I think Reb Aron Belzer was the other Rebbe he would send a kvittel to. Reb Menachem Nachum of Trisk-Brisk; Much of what is brought down here I've seen elsewhere, so it seems like הרבנים לבית בריסק had derech eretz for Rebbes, at least those וואס האבען געקענט לערנען.

The Shaar of the new booklet

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

הגאון ר' נטע הירש פינקל זצ"ל

הנסיך, ר' לייזר יודל
More coverage
There's more
קוקט אהער
זעה נאר
More and More
VIN Report
Levaya pics
A Meeting with the R"Y

A view of the crowd at the levaya (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

As a young high school student in Chicago


Pictured: Shoproner Rov - Reb Shimon Yisroel Posen (r, with Rabbinic, flat Beaver Hat) & and (hidden) Rav Yisroel וועלץ (l) ראב"ד דקה"י בודאפעסט, and later in Yerushalayim. Center, with uniform - Rabbi Shenkelevsky from the Joint; Standing First on the left - Reb Shemtov Meyer - Mechutin to the Tosher Rebbe, father of the Lizhensker Rebbe of Monsey.. The Two young men Standing in the center wearing caps are children of the Shoproner Rov. We need to identify the man with the Platchiker Biber hat next to Rav Woltz.

 Seated right is the Shoproner Rov, left is Rav Yisroel Woltz of Budapest, zt"l. Child standing First to the left - Reb Avraham Chaim Spitzer. Seated second to the left is Reb Avraham Steinmetz, Sitting 2nd from the right is Reb Asher Zelig Steinmetz. Man sitting First left is also seen in the First picture, albeit without his hat. If you see other people in the picture that you can name, please do so in the comments. I should put a watermark on these never-before-seen pictures, but who has time? and why should I keep them from stealing it? let them enjoy.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011

בד"ה - הגאון האדיר ר' דובער (בערל) שווארצמאן ז"ל

Yeshiva World Calls him the "father of Rav Yaakov Eliezer Shlita, who is the eldest grandson of Hagoan Rav Aaron Kotler ZATZAL, and is presently the Rosh Yeshiva of Lakewood East in Yerushalayim..." Berel Shvartzman was from Nevel. Yes, that Nevel. I was told that he was boki in Tanya and Likutei Torah. His mother was HaYitzchaki, a cousin to the famed Reb Zalman Moshe of Nevel. His family left the USSR during the 30s and Berel learned in Eitz Chaim, IIRC. [ I'm told now that he was a Chevroner.] Once during a visit by RAK to Israel he gave a shiur in his shver's (RebIsserZalmanMeltzer) Yeshiva Chevroner Yeshivah and Berel was not impressed by the shiur... And told him so... So RAK took him to America and married him off to his daughter. That marriage ended rather unfavorably, but his kids did manage to get pedigree that was more to their liking than a Neveler balagoleh... כאטש אז יעדער חסיד וואלט אנדערש געזאגט.  The frum webistes seem to not want to recognize that he had a wife and life after the divorce, and several children too... Reb Berel was married to a sister of Rav Uri Chountal's of Yerres, France, wife, who passed away a month ago.

I heard that he would say that he was Tinok Shenishbeh...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

a magyarok csinálni!

If only they could package the baloney like Alle Processing does... They would be rich! Rich, I tell ya! Imagine if Lubavitch would say this, that the Litvishe Derech HaLimud, i.e. Reb Chaim Brisker and all other Litvishe Roshei Yeshiva, was wrong, and the only real Torah learned was in Russia! But the Satmorim get away with everything. The fact that they decided to go to Lita to acquire the derech haLimud because of a Halochoh Sefer(!) that was written decades before, no matter how "Lomdish" the Biur Halochoh is, Does that make sense to anyone out there?

?!וואס ליגט אין די קרית יואל'ער וואסער

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Breslov - not for boys only!

Yoeli Roth expands into חינוך הבנות

The only difference between him and the SR, whom he hopes to imitate, is that the SR had thousands of potential children waiting to enroll in his schools. All they had to do was to be born... Roth has his work cut out for him if he wishes to have that many kids learn Sefer HaMidos by heart.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

שועלים הלכו בו - סאדיגורא

Attached are pictures of the current state of the Ruzhiner/Sadigerrer Hoyf in סאדיגורא/Chernowitz, Bukovina, Ukraine. Apparently it has become a "crack house." Woe is to the eyes that see this, and woe is to the blogger whose hands have to type up this post. How did this happen? I definitely remember seeing just a few years ago how the Sadigerrer Rebbe came to Sadigora for a Chanukas HaBayis, and that it had been either bought from or returned by the Government and renovated.It was around 3 Cheshvan, the Yohrtzeit of the Heiliker Ruzhiner, and it was attended by many chassidim from around the world, including Lubavitcher shluchim from the Ukraine. It seems like it hasn't been used since then and this is the result of the lack of use. I was thinking that they probably should've leased the building to the local Chabad Shliach in Chernowitz, which Sadigora is part of. Like Karlin being part of Pinsk. That way everybody would be happy, especially the Heiliker Ruzhiner, upon seeing that Yiddishkeit lives in his hometown and in his palace. Rabbi Glitzenshtein is a fine young man who has accomplished much there, and recently dedicated a shul that he received from the Government. Maybe he could've done the same for the kloyz! I understand that the same has happened in places like Skvira, Ukraine, where they received the shul from the Government, but due to lack of use the place falls into total disarray.

.....על הר ציון ששמם

Its majesty all but gone!

....על זה הי' דוה לבנו

The glory is no more...

On these beams they clamored צו כאפען א בליק פונעם שפיץ שטריימל פון דער הייליגער רוז'ינער....


יודעי דבר tell me that this was the home of the Heiliker Ruzhiner...