Friday, August 3, 2012

א מופת פון פריערדיקען רבי'ן - Rabbi J.J. Hecht's Yohrtzeit today



Rabbi Hecht's untimely  - so to speak - passing on this day in 5750 shocked us all. See how he tells the story of he was saved from the draft during WW2 by a brochoh from the Frierdige Rebbe of Lubavitch. He also goes on to say that by extension every other Rabbi in the USA was thus exempt... And yes, you guys who know who you are can get in your daily fill of Lubavitch bashing by listening to the last 2 minutes of his speech here, which pertains to the story of ה' טבת. What a fiery speaker!

18 comments:

pitputim said...

Very fiery, I hadn't heard him before, but know a few JJ's named after him. Remind me of fire and brimstone of R' Y. D. Groner ז’ל
Ironically, his Mechutan (I think it was his Mechutan), R' Chaim Gutnick ז’ל was another incredible speaker, but was softly spoken. R' Gutnick was the master of the pregnant pause. Those were the days ...
I must get a copy of R' Chaim Gutnick's speech at my nieces Bat Mitzvah---a master piece.

bat mitzva said...

Pitput, please post it!

Yanover said...

halevai by di tzyoinim baheint!

menachem said...

its sad to see grown ups having the same childish view of masiach as its some type of color war!!!

boropark said...

Why are you looking to stir the hornets nest?.We've had some peace lately...
Since you asked so nicely:The story with the army letting him off was cute, though he'd garner my respect if he had actually served in the Army against the Nazis, like Meyer Birnbaum, author of Lieutenant Birenbaum.The rest of the fiery speech has very little toichen, despite the fiery screaming and hand gestures.Classic Lubavitch fluff.
As to the Hey Iyar book trial:Can any sane Lubavitcher once and for all tell me what would've happened if they lost the case?
As far as I see it nothing!
In the greater scheme of things, that is (Hirshel, look up that word.Hint: it does not mean a family dispute or inter chasidic court case)
Was Judaism somehow in jeopardy?

leo said...

Hey Iyar :) :) :)

d said...

so while my grandparents were in auschwitz he was concerned about his draft deferment?

Flatbusher said...

Boro Park
the rebbe was the tzadik hador and if that was his rotzan, then it is the rozan hashem...how can a fargrebte person ....
where did you come up with the word lubavich fluff...? is Hecht more fluff then orator in the Jewish Market?

MSL said...

He rubs me the wrong way... יחי אנחנו ... He is too sure of himself...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this, Tzig. I was there בשעת מעשה & vividly remember this speech & the oylem's enthusiastic reaction. (I think they played a recording of this for the rebetzin.)

עי' ספר השיחות תש"ד ע' 152-3 עם ביטוים חריפים, ושצריכים להלחם בעד כל בחורי ישיבות - ומונה בפרטיות "תומכי תמימים, תורה ודעת, תפארת ירושלים, ר' חיים ברלין" - ונגד "די שמד הייזער וואס לערנט ביי שעכטער אדער ווייס סעמינאריומ'ס." ע"ש.

I just heard yesterday from a former 770 bochur at the time (currently in his late 80s), that in fact there was a reason why the yeshivah bochurim were singled out by the draft board - because the authorities soon discovered that, unlike JTS or the Reform seminaries, where all students in their rabbinical schools were on the track of becoming pulpit rabbis - Orthodox, especially charedi, bochurim, were not in yeshivos primarily to become rabbis, but to learn לשמה. This is why there was a rabbinical board that was set up in order to vet the bochurim. This board was made up of representatives of all the major denominations (included were Rabbis Herbert S. Goldstein, Leo Jung, & the clerk Mr. Eigress(?); the latter would actually visit the yeshivos to inspect if the bochurinm are learning) & they were aware that there were those joining yeshivos in order to dodge the draft (e.g. the "Yavneh" yeshivah, which attracted frum men who wanted to avoid the draft.)

In Lubavitch too, there were American bochurim who joined 770, & in doing so they avoided the draft.

So in order to ensure that one got a 4-F (exemption), the bochurim were prepped to tell the board that they are studying in yeshivah to become a career rabbi. But the board was aware of this tactic, which is why they looked into if the bochur's father or uncle were rabbis, i.e. if it is the "family business." (This is the meaning in the sichah there: "די כשר'ע ישיבות מאטערען זיי מיט שאלות, אויב דער זיידע פון תלמיד איז געווען א רב, אדער זיין פאטער און אנקעל")

If after this review & hearing, the rabbinical board suspected that the student was not genuinely studying in the yeshivah to become a rabbi, they would deny his exemption & the bochur would be sent to "Whitehall" to get a thorough physical exam.

At this stage, the bochurim would make themselves פארפרומט & immature (naive). One of the tactics was to put on an extra large volene talis koton, which was an odd sight in the 1940s & would stand out when they undress for the exam. This is what J.J. is implying when he mentions putting on a new talis koton.

There was at least 1 770 bochur who joined the army: Avrohom (Freddy) Monheim, who was a 6'4" גבור עצום. He was from Vienna, & the Nazis killed his father, so he had a personal vendetta & joined as soon as he could. He fought in Europe, & after the war found his mother in a DP camp & brought her back to America in his army uniform. [Another person who joined the army then was Gershon Helman, but he would only daven in 770 & was not a yeshivah bochur. This Gershon would be one of those who would frequently go over to the רמ"ש & ask him שאלות in learning before or after davening. At that time, it was mainly those who were not ממש אנ"ש who would go over to ask the רמ"ש, since אנ"ש בפנים would not want to bother the רמ"ש too much.]

ע"כ מהתמ' הזקן הנ"ל

--ZIY

Yanover said...

For all those saying that he was dodging draft (despite the fact that he went to the draft office and THEY gave him a deferment) while the ovens were running in Auschwitz, it wasn't likely that he'd actually be liberating your grandparents. In all likelihood he'd be sent to the Pacific to fight the Japanese. Though i see your concern.

tomoshaver said...

MSL
"He rubs me the wrong way... יחי אנחנו ... He is too sure of himself..."
A real frum jew and a real chosid is sure about his god his torah and his Rebbe... if it irks you and you are skeptic u need to do big cheshbon hanefesh,

tomoshaver said...

Dee
"so while my grandparents were in auschwitz he was concerned about his draft deferment?"
would your grandparents be more happy when they would hear on the way to the crematorium that a nice chasidic shomer shabos boy ( that was very rare in the 40's)from the USA would get killed on the Normandy beaches?
You are a absolute ferd...

tomoshaver said...

ZIY
thanks for your informative comment...

82nd Airborne said...

Just stam draft related. I knew a WWII US Army vet who came to learn in my yeshiva every night. He was wounded during a battle where his battalion was using captured Nazis to pick up American wounded in the fire zone to carry them to safety, since the Nazis would not fire on their own soldiers. The Nazi picking him up realized he was a Yid so every few feet, the Nazi would stop to shake him to increase his blood loss while mumbling "shvine hundt" (pig-swine & dog). He started screaming so loudly that another American ran through the crossfire to investigate. When they learned what the Nazi was doing, they put a bullet in his head.

sammy said...

Tomashover,
You've been asked many times to *try* to make intelligent comments.
Please try harder.A lot harder.

tomashover said...

Sammy
get me on your payroll and I will write exactly as u wish.. but only 9 to 5

Anonymous said...

Another classic J.J. speech, including about the Friedike Rebbe:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-461HY1wdQ&feature=related

-- ZiY