Friday, January 31, 2014

what a gross injustice to Reb Yankelle's memory!

Think about this:

When the "Maggid Speaks" book first appeared years ago we all knew that RPK wasn't calling himself a Maggid. He was simply recording Reb Shlom Schwadron's stories. RSS would stay at his home when in the States and young Pesach'l would hear stories, some of which made it to the book. As time went by - and especially after RSS' passing - somehow he yarshened the title Maggid. Maybe it was the publishers that decided it would be better for business - I'm not necessarily pinning it on him. We recently cut down on our magazine purchases; now the only glossy magazine we buy is the Ami, so I'm not hating here. It was a conscious decision we made based on what we enjoy to read. It just so happens that last night I was looking at YWN and noticed the "story." It poshut hurt. You have the nerve to compare the two?! Rabbi Krohn's "influences on maggidus?" are you kidding me??!! Every storyteller is now a Maggid?! Every guest speaker at a Chinese auction is a Maggid?! What is this world coming to?!

We all know that Chassidim bichlal had a "problem" with some Maggidim that would come into town and reprimand simple G-d fearing folk who served Hashem as best they could. There are stories of the BeSHT where he would shout down the Maggid and chase him out town. How dare he tell off these people who live under Tsarist tyranny yet still make town to learn, daven and gemilas chasodim. Having said  that we still could learn to appreciate true maggidim like RSS, like RYG and even Reb Shabsse Yudelevitch! These were Yidden who sat and learned day and night, but also were darshonim. A Yid like Reb Yankelle was a Novardoker Talmid who had mesiras nefesh for Yiddishkeit in the shverre tzeiten. Maybe he made a few groshen from his droshos, I don't know. But he wasn't a broiled-chicken/mashed potatoes fed Yankee doodle. I realize Rabbi Krohn's is not to blame for being raised in American prosperity, but I wouldn't call myself a Maggid and a disciple of the big 3 if I was. And if it was the Artscrolls of the world who dubbed him such because it was good for business, SHAME ON THEM!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

?צו הייסט דאס נישט "אינטערפיעטה רילעישינס" שכבר נאסרו ע"י כל גדולי ישראל לדורותיהם

Notice that I'm asking, albeit with somewhat of a prejudice. Chabad gets attacked for bringing Rick Jacobs to the convention. Maybe rightfully so, I don't know the rules. the NYBOR is assur because they sit with Reform, and rightfully so. Chas VeSholom, I do not question that. This is an email sent out by the AIA, not some expose' by some zealot who doesn't like what happens there. I don't claim to know the "halachos" of interfaith, when yes and when not. In the FSU we see all kinds of meetings with leaders of other faiths. Is there some kind of rule book? Are laymen allowed to meet but not Rabbis? Is it OK to meet with other faiths but not with Reform & Conservative? In the Old Country they'd rather send to Christian schools than to Maskilish. Maybe this is similar? Notice there are no representatives of other "branches of Judaism" at this meeting.

Monday, January 27, 2014

ניגון ששמעו התמימים באוטוואצק, פולין - מיוחס להמגיד הקדוש מקוז'ניץ זצוקללה"ה

הרב הגאון ר' חיים מאיר בוקיעט והרב החסיד ר' מענדל טענענבוים ע"ה
 9 Elul, 5742 in Camp Gan Yisroel, Parksville, NY

Comments and more information on this niggun are most welcome. Sounds like a niggun they sing in Karlin.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

פון וועמען האט ער אזוי מורא?

Enlarged Image of letter

זעהט אויס אז כאטש די וועלט מיינט אז די גבאי פירט די רבי מיט די חסידים ביי די נאז איז נישט אלעמאל אזוי. דער גבאי דא  - פון וואס מ'זעהט אויף די בילדער און (טמא'נע) ווידעאס  - פירט ביד רמה. דער טאהש'ער רבי שליט"א, כאטש וואס ער איז שוין א שטיק צייט נישט געזונט, זעהט אויס - בעסער געזאגט האט אלעמאל אויסגעזעהן - ווי ער זיצט ביי די גבאי.... דהיינו אז די גבאי איז דער עומד על גביו און הייסט אים עסן, גיין, קומען - כאילו. דאס איך נאך פאר מ'רעדט פון עניני ניהול המוסדות, וד"ל. אבער יעצט ווייזט זיך אויס אז ער האט פון עפעס מורא, פונקט ווי אמאל האט -להבדיל א קאץ מורא פון א מויז. טאהש איז די לעצטע צייט געווארען א שטיקל עיר מקלט פאר עקסטרעמע עלעמענטען וועלן קענען נישט מער בלייבען וואוינען לעבן אין ארצינו הקדושה. די "טומאת הציונים" גייט זיי אזוי שטארק אהן, כאילו. איז אפשר פאר זיי שרעקט ער זיך? אבער זיי זענען בד"כ -אנטשולדיגט מיר - שלעפערס, און נישט פון זיי ווערט דאס ברויט געפוטערט... פארקערט! יעצט קען ער גיין ווייזען פאר די אומפארדעכטיגע גבירים אז ער איז גאר א שטיקל ציוני און האט גאר באזוכט די כנסת המינים פאר א שטיק צייט צוריק! און ער קען ווייזען ווי ער זיצט צוזאמען מיט די ליובאוויטשער שלוחים! אלע ווייסען דאך אז טאהש ארבעט שווער אויף צו קלייבען געלט ביי אזעלכע קוועלער וואס, שוין, וואס דארף מען רעדן שלעכטס אוי, אידישע קינדער...

'דף השבוע חגיגה י:א ג

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Looks like Moshe Elias, באבוב'ער אויסערן מיניסטער, in the background with Dr. Bernard Lander, probably pre-Touro College days, and the late Bobover Rov.

תודה למשלח

Monday, January 20, 2014

Readers Write...

(a taste of what I deal with)

Dear Reb Hirshel,

 I am a frequent reader of your blog and of course I immensely enjoy what you write. I was wondering, if you can clarify certain suspicions I have about Chabad. I have been told, that as there isn’t really just דצח''מ in the world. There is another category called “Chossid”. This is how I understand it: just like a flower does not incorporate a דומם; when it rots, it disintegrates, so to a Lubavitcher is not כולל what other Yidden possess. He is a distinct entity. This can mean many things. It might mean that you guys just look differently. You people have decorations on your yarmulkas, straddle the gartle above your heart, wear colorful and different type of clothing (including the women, vedal), smash your fedoras, etc. However, that is only the outer trimmings, and since Chabad is all about “pnimiyus”, I am sure that it runs much deeper. Obviously, you assert that it is all about תורת חב''ד. Meaning, unlike the חג''ת/Paylisher who are more emotional, you guys are all about using the head. תורת חב''ד, from what I understand, is about bringing the Kabalistic concepts to the fore in a way that can be understood by the sechel. When a Yid has a deeper and broader understanding of the Creator and the soul(s) of a Yid, one can automatically serve הקב''ה better.

 Also, the emphasis is on serving the Aibeshter, not on using the learning ח''ו to feel accomplished and to get a sipuk; therefore, a true Chossid doesn’t feel any “Yeshus”, even when he understands the Rebbe’s mamorim better than the other guy, he doesn’t feel any pride! Compare that to ‘you-know-who’, who even when they learn מוסר בהתפעלות it is all about self-interest, right? All this rhetoric is helpful to understand what makes a true Lubavitcher tick. Ok, I understand that. But just tell me one thing, does my plumber who chants three chapters of Rambam daily, or the guy behind the counter in the pizza store with his pamphlet with Steinsaltz gemara and stories from the FR, really have any understanding of chassidus? Can they convincingly make the argument that it is more than “chakira with Kabalistic terminology” (farkert from Maharal), or not?

 I await your response.

וַיֹּאמֶר נָקֵל מִהְיוֹתְךָ לִי עֶבֶד לְהָקִים אֶת שִׁבְטֵי יַעֲקֹב וּנְצוּרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לְהָשִׁיב וּנְתַתִּיךָ לְאוֹר גּוֹיִם לִהְיוֹת יְשׁוּעָתִי עַד קְצֵה הָאָרֶץ – ישעיהו מ"ט ו


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

If you're in New Orleans this weekend you can get two דרשות for the price of one.....

"This Shabbat at Anshe Sfard:

 This Shabbat, we will have a special program in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend. After the conclusion of services, Rabbi Polsky will speak briefly about "The Moral Message of the Exodus." After Rabbi Polsky's discussion, we will be privileged to hear from Rev. Martha Orphe. Rev. Orphe is the pastor of First Street Peck Wesley United Methodist Church, one of the organizations we are partnering with this weekend. Rev. Orphe will speak about the meaning of the Exodus in the civil rights movement. After Rev. Orphe's presentation everyone is invited to our delicious buffet Kiddush Lunch. We hope you will join us for what will be the perfect kickoff to MLK weekend."

It used to be that you needed to be Avi Weiss to do things like this. Or before that it was A.J. Heschel. All that Jewish guilt that they do well and prosper, whereas their African-American brethren wallow in poverty and despair. Now YU musmakhim do it too. אשרינו שזכינו. Maybe Rabbi Weinbeger can do some positive influencing at YU. I wonder if the right Rabbi has a Rabbinic advisor with whom he discusses issues such as this? It may be a totally independent shul. Or, even if the shul does belong, there is no real oversight. Who knows.

'דף השבוע חגיגה י:א ב

יאללה, רבינו!

Who says being frum and chassidish can't be fun and kosher?

Monday, January 13, 2014

"בע"כ יענה אמן" - Bakehilla's Yaakov B. Friedman brings us the inspiring story of the Lubavitcher shliach in Grodno, Belarus

חס ושלום - I don't mean to say that he's a מלאך רע, it's a שם המושאל. He's a shtarke Litvak who has taken an interest in Grodno because of its history, and is especially interested in the Lubavitcher shliach there. He has written about Grodno before, and now, after the devastating fire there, writes about Grodno and the even greater difficulties faced by shliach Reb Yitzchok Kaufman. He cannot wrap his mind around the fact that a young man would come to Grodno to spend his days with old Jews who just use him out - and basically asks him that every chance he gets. link

עיתון 'בקהילה' בכתבה מרגשת על גרודנא לאחר השריפה - שטורעם

Thursday, January 9, 2014

מאמר ד"ה "המלאך הגואל" מספר "מגן אבות" (ח"א) מכ"ק אדמו"ר הרה"ק ר' שלמה זלמן זצוקללה"ה נבג"מ זי"ע שניאורסאהן מקאפוסט - שישי בסדרה


Shalom Uvracha, 

Please find the attached Maamar of Chassidus Metzuyenes, the 6th in our series so far B”H. It is entitled Hamalach Hagoel from the Magen Avos. The Maamar involves some extremely complex issues which require much time and effort. Wishing you Kol Tuv and may we hear Besuros Tovos. 

Doresh Shelomo, Akiva Shavrick

Magen Avos 6 Hamalach Hagoel Updated Link

Monday, January 6, 2014

is it the Chabad that bothers MK Gafni? Maybe not.

MK Gafni of UTJ is upset that Chabad shluchim would be recognized as having performed National Service

I don't claim to understand Israeli politics. Never really did. As an American Jew I have a hard time understanding the Israeli Charedi mentality sometimes. I don't claim to know better, but I'm puzzled by what gets published in the frum press over there. I can understand that they're in a major bind over there - with mandatory military conscription making it impossible for most men to seek employment, but what I don't get is why they don't come out and say it! Say that you want to go to work but the Government won't allow you to. You hear it here and there from guys like Yisroel Eichler, but the Litvakkes make as if mamesh they all wanna learn in Kolel forever... But I gotta believe that when Gafni saw that Chabad shluchim would be recognized as having done שירות לאומי he blew a gasket. Here he is fighting the Government for months and months, and then these blasted Chabadskers go and pull the rug out from under him! Remember now; Moshe Gafni is an old Degel guy, brought to power by the late Ponovizher Rosh Yeshiva. He has no real love for us Chabadskers. We all and always knew they weren't חרדים. I couldn't even tell you if this was an officially-sanctioned idea, or whether it was a few politically connected guys in Chabad who came up with the idea and pushed it through. I don't even like it, truthfully; it seems like אני את נפשי הצלתי and everyone else can figure it out on their own...

Sunday, January 5, 2014

אין בעלז איז חדשים מקרוב באו...

Links to Pictures

Belz is bored of the old traditions, they're looking for new concepts. Belz  - which claims to live off the dogma that טור ב"י is their חסידות - and the conservative rigidness is the essence of their אמונה, does not appeal to the youth. Why else would they have to bring in new ideas? In Belz the chasidic gathering was called קאווע, since פארברענגען on משקה המשכר, was taboo. כ"ק מרן מהרי"ד זי"ע said, that 1 drop of משקה will leave a dent for דורות... in the link posted here you see a new concept, a בעלזער פארברענגען, the Hats are removed, and instead we have the Italian דאשיקלעך... A hand is placed on the shoulder and a מ'גייט א טענצל

אוי נא לנו כי חטאנו....

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

did we just witness the biggest זיוף of all time in RAK's new biography by א. סורסקי?


 היינט איז אנגעקומען צו מיינע הענט דעם נייעם בוך "אש התורה" באשריבן הג"ר אהרן קאטלער זצ"ל. אזוי בלעטערנדיג (אין חלק שני) האב איך מיר אנגעשטויסן (עמוד קעט) אין א בילד וואס האט אויסגערופן פארדאכטיגקייט. א בילד פון ר' אהרן מיטן סאטמארער רב זי"ע. א חידוש, קיינמאל נישט געזעהן דאס בילד און אייך אלע אויך נישט. דאס אז די צוויי גדולים האבן זיך געטראפן איז קיין חידוש. דאס אז דער סאטמארער רבי האט איהם מספיד געווען דאס ווייסן מיר אלע. אבער נעמען א (באקאנט) בילד וואו דער רבי נעמט אויף דעם מעיאר לינזי וואגנער ביי זיך אין שטוב, און פארטוישן דעם מעיאר מיט אט דעם אויבן דערמאנטער גדול, איז לדעתי א פארברעך. איצטער איז דער פראגע ווער איז דער זייפן. צו אהרן סורסקי צו גאר די לעיקוואודער מכון וואס האבן צוגעשטעלט די חומר, און געזעהן פארנייטיגקייט צו צוזאם שטעלן דאס בילד. די ערשטע צו וועם איך שרייב, איז צו אייך חברי מורשת (מורשת חכמי אמעריקע) וואס איז געשטעלט אויף 'אמת'ע יסודות, און פון דא וועט דאס גיין ווייטער.

. ובזה אשקיט סערת רוחי"

Read it and weep, folks. The best we can hope for is that Suresky didn't bother to vet his photos. Otherwise the business is bankrupt. We can just close up shop. I guess the need to win the approval of Satmar is what did them in. It wasn't enough that the SR admired RAK, they needed to create a picture of a supposed meeting that never happened, ala Stalin in Poland, for those of you who know that joke. Goes to show you.

The doctored picture

the original picture

'דף השבוע חגיגה ט:ב ג