Wednesday, December 12, 2012
!אשריך ר' משה לייזר
l-r: Reb Gershon Neuman, RMLZ and the Pupa Rebbe of Boro Park
Reb Moshe Lazer Zigelman, who was jailed for not willing to testify against a fellow Jew, was finally released on Monday, after spending 7 months in Federal prison. The prosecutor had jailed him for contempt, but finally released that keeping him locked would do no good. This after already spending some 2 years behind bars for his role in the Spinka debacle. At his home a little celebration was prepared for him, where he donned his shtreimel as a sign of joy. The next day Stoliner Cheder in Boro Park celebrated with RMLZ. They had davened for his release every day for months and he came to thank them for their tefillos.
First a few words about Reb Moshe Lazer himself. Being a Spinka talmid I can tell you that I've known him for close to 30 years. He's a real gentleman, and that we need more people like him, people who practice what they preach. As far as I know he was א זעקס און פופציגער that came to the Holy Land from Hungary as a boy and either he or his family were part of the מורדים who were chucked from וויזניץ by the late Rebbe once when his father was out of the country. Ask your local yenta what that was about. רעדט א פיינעם אונגאריש, אויב איך געדענק גוט. That being said, Reb Moshe Lazer's kanous was on his own cheshbon, not on yenem's. He adopted the Yerushalmi dress, more or less, but is quite "cosmopolitan," to borrow a term from the hippies. At first he had a job in the gashmius of the yeshiva, and then later, when the current Rebbe ascended to the his position after his father passed away on Chol haMoed Pesach 5747, RMLZ was asked to become gabbai. You might say it was a fine choice. Most - if not all - of his father's gabboyim were Israeli, since he lived in Israel for most of the year, so the Rebbe needed a local gabbai. Being a vareme chassidisher yid, as well as a talmid chochom you might say that he increased Spinka's stature in the world of Chassidus. I do not know when he got involved with any money matters, so I cannot comment on why he was first incarcerated, but I'd guess that he had little if any טובת הנאה from the crime that sent him to jail in the first place.
בכל אופן, what we want to discuss here is the "crime" that sent him to jail the second time, and what we can all learn from this. He was willing to sit in jail for as long as it takes, anything, really, all he asked is that he not be forced to testify against his fellow Jew. How many of us would stand up to that pressure? Not many. You don't like me speaking for you, then I'll speak for myself. I highly doubt that I'd be able to. The haters - who B"H have plenty to write about us these days - pile on him, and the Munkatcher Rov, for the little celebration the MR had for him the after he was released. They cannot relate to celebrating another Jew - or any man's - simcha, because they are miserable people. All they know is misery, and that's what they wish on others, so that their miserable existence isn't as bad in comparison. They also cannot relate to helping a fellow who has fallen on hard times, be it financial or legal. So this too is a crime. And they sure as heck cannot relate to going to jail to protect another man who may very well be guilty! A noble like act like that is BEYOND them, because they're so concerned about "justice," you see? Celebrating a brother's release from prison is now a crime somehow. I guess we tuck tail and quietly just go away? And when I say haters I don't just mean the obvious ones. You who lectured to us and told us how to care for our kids (even though you have none of your own, or you left your wife and kids when you decided that OTD is the way to go...) דיר מיינט מען אויך. Yes, there is a need for change, but spare us the righteous indignation, thank you very much.