Sunday, February 10, 2013

two VERY short anecdotes about Rav Moshe ben RYG Soloveitchik and the Lubavitcher Rebbe, זצוקללה"ה - take them or leave them



 HaRav Reb Moshe Soloveitchik was the Rosh Yeshiva in Lucerne and later lived in Zurich, Switzerland. For some 33 years, from when Rav Kopelman came to Lucerne until his passing in 5755/1995 he held no official position but gave several shiurim daily. He was a son of Reb Yisroel Gershon Soloveitchik, hy"d, eldest son of Reb Chaim. That made him the Brisker Rov's nephew, not that he needed that. You can see more of his bio in the Wiki page that I link to above. If you read any of the Brisker biography books you see him in the pictures from the Rov's visits to Switzerland. So I was speaking to a Rosh Mesivta with very strong Swiss connections today and the discussion turned to Lubavitch, it always does... We discussed Rabbonim and Roshei Yeshiva that visited the Rebbe; people you'd be very surprised to hear came to see him, often times knowing that they'd be scorned by the "establishment." Then he tells me that very often it was the mazkirim that kept more Rebbes, Rabbonim, Roshei Yeshiva, etc. from seeing the Rebbe by giving them the famous Chabad run-around that you very often hear of, that they could only see the Rebbe in 3 weeks/months from now, for whatever reason. Often times they were in New York for a short visit and could not wait that long. They also didn't know that nothing is etched in stone, even in a mazkir's appointment book, and that all it took was a little cajoling to get in sooner. So they turned around and went home without seeing what there was to see in New York. Reb Moshe Soloveitchik was one such "casualty," and he said as much to people he knew would appreciate the story, mainly a Lubavitcher Chossid from a Litvishe background. Ad Kan anecdote # 1.




















Photo courtesy of הרב מבריסק - תודה להשולח היקר והנכבד

Number 2 is a bit shorter than # 1. A Schweitzer Yid once returned from a "trip to America." America, means New York for anybody living outside the US. Upon hearing about his trip Reb Moshe asks him if he saw the Lubavitcher Rebbe.... The Yid says no. Reb Moshe is astounded! "You went to America and didn't see the Lubavitcher Rebbe?!" What else is there to see in America?! (Ok, I added that last part.) Ad Kan anecdote #2. What's ironic about this whole story is that Lubavitcher Chassidim always get blamed and labeled as being such PR crazies, always publicizing their Rebbe for the whole world. Yet we see here, and I'm sure there are many such corroborating stories, that at the same time that may have hindered that "campaign." That, and the fact that they didn't care enough about the rest of the Chareidishe world to find about who they are and whether or not a personality like RMS should be accommodated before 3 weeks hence. This is not place the blame solely at the feet of the mazkirus, but is a slightly different angle and should be taken into account somewhat. The Rebbe loved meeting people from the "outside world," and definitely would've made time for Reb Moshe had he known that he wished to see him. But this is life, and the mazkirim, knowing the Rebbe's very hectic schedule and lack of concern for his own physical well-being were afraid that seeing one more person would make hurt his health even more, so they did what they thought was right. Just remember this, the Rebbe saw people at night only, all night, several times a week, and the next day was a regular day of learning and answering letters, so another long meeting like Reb Moshe would've had would only extended his day and shortened the precious resting time that he had.

.....מ'מוז אזוי זאגען

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sometime the Rebbe for whatever reason didn't want to meet someone and the mazkirim were told to take the blame. I am not saying it was the case here but another famous Rov that wanted to meet the Rebbe was denied by the mazkir and realy the Rebbe was behind it.

חסיד said...

אותו דבר בערך קרה עם ר שלמה ברעודה כמדומני

rebcharles said...

it seems that this might be the right place to insert, "Nishtakho Teyres HaBesht"

Very hard to imagine the Bal Shem having a mazkirus, or playing games whom to meet and whom not to meet.

It seems to me that Khasidim in general are too quick to ascribe super-human qualities to their respective Rebbes.

In this way they can have their cake and eat it too. First of all,the idea that "Mein Rebbe, mein partei is grois", therefor I must be grois too.

But at the same time, I can put my Ruchniyes on auto-pilot.

Not all khasidus is this way, some Rebbes, the minority, "muhn" , demand. BTW, "muhning" shvartze zoken or attendance at Tish, haist nisht ge'Muhnt".

HaYoitze, every Rebbishe shtoltzkeit is close to Avodah Zorah, whether that shtoltz is offensive or defensive in nature.

moshe moshel said...

This rosh mesivta wanted a donation, so he told you what you wanted to hear.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

no, Moshe. don't be a ferd. He wasn't asking me for money.

commodity trader said...

Reb Charles
"Very hard to imagine the Bal Shem having a mazkirus, or playing games whom to meet and whom not to meet."
please explain what mazkirez has to do with the price of rice in china and Nishtakcho?????

rebcharles said...

to Mr Commodity Trader

whats not to understand?

In many cases, Khasides had become moisdes, replete with mazkires ,money, power , factions, etc

Very far from the original style and intent of the Bal Shem.

But thats the age-old human story. Just about very good idea beomes co-opted and institutionalized. Not only Sefer Torah She'Be'HaiKhal, but the HaiKhal ayner alein.

It remains our job, as Sharfe Yidden, is to see it for what it is.

Akhshav Far'shtan'tuh?

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

אוכל להוסיף שאני אישית שמעתי מ"המשגיח" המפורסם הרב וולבא שהוא הי' ביחידות אצל אדמו"ר מוהריי"צ, ואף ביקש להיכנס ליחידות אצל רבינו, אלא שהשעה שקבעו לו (3:00 לפנות בוקר) לא התאימה לו (הוא היה "יקה"...)

Source: Hiskashrus

Anonymous said...

without a name this story does not mean much. As a talmid of brisk in yerusholayim I must repeat what was commonly said over the brisker rav said after seeing rmms first seichah " der meshuganeh meint ehr is moshiach" i doubt rms would argue with his holy uncle of blessed memory

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

you go on doubting, I'll believe the man who told me so. I don't think Reb Moshe didn't have his own opinions about issues.

heshy said...

Hirshel,
is this rosh mesivta a lubavitcher?

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

yes, Heshy. He is. But since I did not ask him permission to repeat this in his name, I'm sort of in a bind here.

heshy said...

Hirshel,
Don't take this in the wrong way, but ,you should make that clear in the post.Lubavitchers have many stories that would be even a greater chiddush,but as you would not feel that a negative story is very credible coming from a critic the same is true of a story like this.
So bottom line what about this story should convince the sceptics

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

skeptics choose where to show that skepticism... This is a story that he heard from his choshuv'e father who heard it from Reb Moshe himself.

heshy said...

I do believe that you ALSO find a story of turning down a Soloveichik from meeting the Rebbe to be quite astonishing.Could be true, but if the Rebbe had found out he would not be very happy

Anonymous said...

Hirshel, Do you mind if I post a name of a Choshuve person that has a son Who is a Rosh Mesivta with a Swiss connection?

You didn't get permission, but i am just guessing that it is Rav Heller.

Kovner said...

Tzig,
Can you inform us how much of a connection did David Hartman have with Lubavitch? All the bios say he learned in 770.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

A little more research is in order, Kovner. But thanks for bringing it up!

Mevakesh said...

Reb Charles
"Very far from the original style and intent of the Bal Shem."
what was the style? did the Besht have a style?
Did the Besht have a Gabai?
Did he have a Meshamesh?
Did he do audience when he was doing daily alias neshoma?
What do you know about the Besht?
Was the Besht against Yeshivahs? was the Besht against a Cheder?

Mevakesh said...

Anon
" As a talmid of brisk in yerusholayim I must repeat what was commonly said over the brisker rav said after seeing rmms first seichah " der meshuganeh meint ehr is moshiach" i doubt rms would argue with his holy uncle of blessed memory"
What year did you hear it in Brisk?
Did you hear it from AJ himself? Or from Reb Duvid?
Was Reb Moshe of Switzerland Butel Umevutol to his uncle? did he ask him permission for every move in life?
I think the Brisker Ruv was against this idolization of Gedolim that started then in benai berak...

rosen said...

"I think the Brisker Ruv was against this idolization of Gedolim that started then in benai berak."

Mevakesh, you and your intellectually challenged fellow members criticize the "idolization" of Gedolim, yet when it comes to the Rebbe you do much more.
Don't be a crock

dan said...

"All the bios say he learned in 770"
The obits I saw say he learned in Lubavitch. that would MAYBE be the yeshiva on Dean St, which was when prior to only strict Lubavitchers learning there.
I was also curious if he learned in Lubavitch and my guess was that he went to the elementary or high school, which at the time was only partially made up of lubavitch boys

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

based on his age, when he was born, and the fact that he already got smicha in 1953 from the Rav I would say that he was in Lubavitch for elementary, CB for HS and then YU.

maledictorian said...

"i doubt rms would argue with his holy uncle of blessed memory"

what a shtarke, incontrovertible (pseudo) ra'ya that the story isn't true.

Lovin it.

no matter how many (very questionable) assumptions are in you "proof", that shouldn't detract from your agenda of discrediting anything that might show the gadlus of the LR.

continue hiding your head in the sand ignoring all the true gedolim who came and wrote to the Rebbe.

GERSHY said...

The two maysehs, seem to contradict each other.
On the one hand R'Moshe homself, does not get to see the Rebbe because it needs to be booked 3 months in advance, and on the other side R'Moshe is surprised that someone who was in New York did not get to see the Rebbe??
Efsher, leyashev bedoichak, that the 2'ndmayseh took place before the second,but than Hirshel needs to told how to write maysehs with historical sequence.
On the other hand these two anonymous stories, told over by the son of a gevorener are not exactly tora misinai.I know Hirshel never believes the stories told by Snags, because he thinks they are biased.Now he wants to be believed about an unsourced story.

GERSHY said...

"no matter how many (very questionable) assumptions are in you "proof", that shouldn't detract from your agenda of discrediting anything that might show the gadlus of the LR'. "

Interesting that you don't like that fellows krummeh logic (and i don't know the relationship with the uncle to even claim an opinion)yet, you choose to believe A)an anonymous story b)from a lubavitcher C)from a fellow who has clearly sendthat his agenda is to defend Chabad?

Tell me, maledictorian, you just drank the fier koises? or you love circular logic?
Lovin' it!

Mevakesh said...

Gershy
"told over by the son of a gevorener are not exactly tora misinai"
Does Reb Moshe have a son a gevorener?? or 1 of his talmidim have a son a gevorener?
Do you read only biographies of gedolim that were written by enemies? and the enemies are not biased?

Mevakesh said...

Rozen
"
Mevakesh, you and your intellectually challenged fellow members criticize the "idolization" of Gedolim, yet when it comes to the Rebbe you do much more.
Don't be a crock"
I did not criticize anything, I just stated a fact that I saw in Shimi Muelers Bio.....
I am very glad that I have the zechus to talk to a high caliber intellectual, I am thinking what mitzva did I do to get that zechus

Mevakesh said...

Gershy
"Interesting that you don't like that fellows krummeh logic (and i don't know the relationship with the uncle to even claim an opinion)yet, you choose to believe A)an anonymous story b)from a lubavitcher C)from a fellow who has clearly sendthat his agenda is to defend Chabad?"
Your talent in research is Gevaldig.

vifel der shiur said...

HT, this sickens me so i have to vent

http://collive.com/show_news.rtx?id=23995&alias=teens-brave-ny-blizzard

which lubavitcher rov was mattir a mixed teenager weekend?
is this the lubavitch u signed up for, or the one i grew up in?
are there any rules, or the end justifies any means?
what next, let's have a LGBT shabbaton in 770, and we'll honor barnie frank for his contributions to society.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

which Rov was asked? do shluchim that run such programs ask rabbonim?

vifel der shiur said...

that's exactly my question. i doubt any rov was mattir it. it's do whatever u want, as long as it brings in money and publicity. B"H many shluchim are revolted by this attitude, but the guys that do this get all the attention.
L'fi ha'emes, friendship circle is one big b---- made to bring in money and attention. it has nothing to do with hafortas hayahadus or maayonos.

Anonymous said...

Ncsy does it you don't say boo.. Chabad does it in a tznius way and is kolos, besides better they see Jews then end up married to a goy chas vshalom

maledictorian said...

this is a response to gershy, but it's not addressed to him, as no doubt this is going to go right over his head (which is located about 2 feet below his shoulders).

please don't publicize your intellectual midgetry to the blogosphere. you're a busha to the litvishe velt.

1. you obviously have no idea what circular logic is if that is what you are accusing me of.

2. show me where i said that i believe the stories in the post. u can't, because i didn't. but nice try. next time, READ what i wrote before you get all emotional and start broadcasting your imbecilities.

3. and most importantly: anon built a theory out of thin air. a binyan with no yesod. that's not logic. i made a logical deduction? of course not. but as you've shown so eloquently, you're not beyond fabricating stuff out of thin air.





vifel der shiur said...

Anonymous said...
Ncsy does it you don't say boo.. Chabad does it in a tznius way and is kolos, besides better they see Jews then end up married to a goy chas vshalom"

oh, so now we are on the NCSY level?
this is the Besht, the AR... the Rebbe's desire for his chassidim? to say we are better than NCSY?
Tznius? hormone-raging teens together for a weekend?

"besides better they see Jews then end up married to a goy chas vshalom"

the same line used by reform, conservative, shlomo carlebach a"h and many others to be mattir kol dovor ossur. and the Rebbe rejected it totally. R"L this is where we sunk to.

Anonymous said...

Do you even know how the program is run or you sit on your iPad and shees judgement like an ignoramus achh I feel like I wasted precious moments of my time... You'll never understand, you just won't. Now ask yourself how can I accomplish something to bring a yid (or maybe in your case a goy thru the seven) closer to the aibeshter

GERSHY said...

"please don't publicize your intellectual midgetry to the blogosphere. you're a busha to the litvishe velt. "

Who said I"m "litvish"?

The rest of your your "response" is just malodorous hot air .

Kovner said...

Rav Heller of CH is a gevorener, and his father lived in Lugano for most of his life, and was close with RMS.

Milhouse said...

What mixing are you talking about? In what way was this event different from Pegisha, which ran for many years during the Rebbe's life, and had his approval?

Anonymous said...

after a little reaserch through the sarno|soloveichich connection i came out as follows rms was osek alot in kiruv of russian jews. At the same time the only one else invollved was chabad (vhny came later) for a few years rms was impressed by the work chabad was doing and being a mild mannered jew in the like of r als shelitah. Rms did not go for all the hock about chabad. [ in a similar way was rav avigdor miller who refused to knock chabad even when it was popular in the litvish world [ a grandson once told me godolim are not infalible my grand father made a mistake] anyways getting back to rms as time whent on rms had seen the work of chabad and how they were more involved with making the russians lubabitchers that true shomrei torah vmitzvothe he got very very turned off and told someone once its better if they stay frie like that some one else will make the fully frum than to let chabad touch them as " chabad whatever they tuch they spoil endquote

Swiss cow said...

Anon
"how they were more involved with making the russians lubabitchers that true shomrei torah vmitzvothe"
what does that mean?
No tefilin?
No Kashrus?
No shabos?
No Tefila?
No Tahras Mishpocha?
No Emuna?
Just kissing the Rebbes photo..... for whom does rabbi Lazar provide kashrus and mikvoath in russia, is it just a mikveh for a day for the photo-op then he moves on to the next city