Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Book Review - "Shadar" by Dovid Zaklikowski

Buy It Here

SHADAR Touching Hearts, One Person at a Time 
By Dovid Zaklikowski and Rabbi Shimon Raichik 
Hardcover: 448 pages, 300 images and documents

I just had the distinct pleasure of reading this long overdue book about the life and work of Reb Shmeel Duvid Raitchik. The Frierdiger Rebbe's shliach to California and a מקושר נפלא to the Rebbe זצוקללה"ה נבג"מ זי"ע. A man who was דבוק בה' ובמשה עבדו every second of every day. Until his dying breath. כפשוטו ממש. Maybe if he had his own publishing company it would be out earlier. It's been 21 years since his passing. And if not for Dovid Zaklikowski who knows if this would ever see the light of day. From his beginnings in the Lubavitcher Yeshiva in Otwock, to his escape to Vilna, Kobe, Shanghai and ultimately New York, no detail is lost. And then there's the whole story of his shlichus. The family history, the family trials and tribulations during WW2 - it's all there. And rightfully so, a large section is dedicated to his late Rebbetzin and her family. Even people who knew him from as far back as the 40s and 50s would have lots to learn from this book.

You might divide Rabbi Raichik, and by extension the book, into two parts: 1) his personal עבודת השם and 2) his עבודת הקודש as shliach. But in reality they were היינו הך. It was his devotion to Torah, mitzvos and chassidus that caused to be the רב פעלים that he was. That caused him to be relentless in his works, whether raising money, building mikvaos, or telling people where they had to be in Yiddishkeit. No matter how far they seemed. There were no kid gloves - yet people recognized his sincerity and emes and could not turn him down. It didn't matter who you were or how many doors were closed. Fifty years of living in California working with all kinds of people had very little zero effect on him. Because he was connected to the source. If I wrote anymore there'd be no need for you to buy the book. So click on the link and bring inspiration into your home.

article in כפר חב"ד magazine

a short clip of his words to shluchim at the כינוס השלוחים

Monday, November 12, 2018

Looks like we're heading back to the great divide of תשמ"ט

I'm no expert on Israeli Haredi politics; I'll be the first one to tell you that I get severe headaches trying to follow it. But the currect matzav is easy enough for a novice like myself to understand. The Chassidishe Moetzes, after a meeting today, says to Stay Home Tomorrow and not vote for anybody in the ירושלים mayoral runoff election between Shas candidate Moshe Leon and the secular Ofer Berkovitz. Reb Chaim Kanievski says vote for Moshe Leon, otherwise you'll be a partner in all the Chilul Shabbos etc. And if you don't you're מחלל שם שמים. The Moetzes says that they're doing it because Degel is supporting a secular candidate in Tzfas. So it's just basically all politics and spite. But why is Degel supporting secularism in Tzfas and crying over קדושת ירושלים? Beats me. All this comes after the disaster of Round 1, where Slonimer chossid Yossi Deitsch lost by a wide margin after the Degel people didn't vote for him. Not only did they not vote for him, they showed the Agudah that they're twice as strong as them, voting in 6 of their own to Agudah's 3 on the city council. The biggest punch in the gut Ger had seen in a very, very long time. And secretly you might say even some chassidim aren't crying...

Which got me thinking: for a while I thought that were there to be open lines of communication between the Lubavitcher Rebbe and some of his Litvishe detractors, things would be quite different. If the Rebbe would live in EY, as silly as that sounds, then people from EY would have a chance to see the Rebbe and not be sucked into the great web of lies and deceit created by the haters. It would make sense, were it not for the events of recent weeks. No member of the Moetzes, some of whom live minutes away from the Roshei Yeshiva, made the effort to go visit Reb Moshe Hillel Hirsh or Reb Gershon Edelstein, or any tier 2 Rosh Yeshiva to try and tell them that it's imperative that we stay home tomorrow. Conversely, no Rosh Yeshiva went to any Rebbe to convince them to change their mind about staying home, since the קדושה of Yerushalayim is on the line. I realize that here the onus was on the Roshei Yeshiva, since the Chassidim are only doing it out of spite, and what kind of case can they make? How will they convince anybody of the righteousness of their decision today? We'll leave Reb Chaim out of this for now, since Yanky Kanievski would probably not let i n to their zeide....

Some would say that it's ironic that it happened to Yossi Deitsch the Slonimer, a chossid of Reb Sholom Noach, who was a close acquaintance of the late Ponovizher Rosh Yeshiva... (and no friend of Chabad, despite having taught there in the early 40s in Tel Aviv.) The real cynics say that all the Rosh Yeshivas need to do is speak about "Shabbos" and B"K, and all (veise) Slonimer will join them en masse.... Lots to hash out here, including "is Reb Chaim really in charge here, or as the Etznikim say, it's all his eynikel Yanky?" Also, did the Satmar Rebbe had a ווייטער בליק, as his supporters say? although he did allow his people to vote in municipal elections... MK Yisroel Eichler, in his Belzer apologist way told an interviewer last week that since Chassidim don't follow sports elections are r their entertainment, but chas vesholom, there's no animosity between Chassidim and Litvishers, just like fans of one team don't HATE fans of the other team... Time will surely tell. 

.....יתומים היינו

Reb Chaim's Letter, below:

Monday, November 5, 2018

Some people are apparently upset that SMR wasn't featured at the כינוס השלוחים banquet last night

I did not attend the banquet. I haven't been attending for some years now. I don't feel like I belong if I'm not out there on the front lines. Towards the end of the banquet I receive the following message via Whatsapp: ( NOTHING has been changed or altered)

I'm writing to you as I know you are very close to R Sholom Mordechai... So many of us here in Lakewood decided to watch the Shluchim Kinnus this year (something we don't usually do ) to see how Chabad would celebrate with RSM in their first opportunity to show appreciation to hashem for the nes he bestowed on one of their most publicly renowned Chassidim, and also to see how Chabad would celebrate the man who became a סמל of emunah and bitachon in the whole world , the kind of heroic bitachon the reminded us of the lubavitcher chassidim that risked everything in communist Russia ... But alas we have all been sorely disappointed. Watching the kinnus You would not know this nes ever happened . You would not know there's a giant of emunah amongst the crowd . How can Chabad ignore this . How could Chabad not give public thanks for the נס גלוי that happened to one of their own.. what am I missing.  Is there some kind of nefarious politics that we don't know abt ? - עד כאן

Well. I'm not sure what to do with this. It never crossed my mind that he should be featured at the kinnus, but maybe that's because he's already sort of out of our collective minds. 11 months is a long time in 2018, when news cycles barely last 12 hours. Featured as a speaker would maybe be too much, but the guy who wrote the above comment was looking for 3 minutes of "real time joy and acknowledgment" in regards to SMR. That's all. Also, this wasn't a dinner for Lubavitch; rather it was a dinner for shluchim and their baaleibatim. Lay leaders, if you will. But I hear the טענה. I did not dismiss it out of hand. It's ironic that we all live in our little realities and bubbles. I know some people were quite upset that lawyer Gary Appel thanked President Trump for what he did for Sholom Mordechai, as well as everything else he does for the Jewish people. Shluchim that work with very opinionated Liberal Jews were worried what they would say to their college students and hippies and back home. So lots of people on either side are unhappy. The basic טענה against Chabad is they don't care about kiddush hashem or doing what's right. It's all about חנפה'נען the baaleibatim. Oligarchs and Shmoligarchs. OK. I suppose that's like Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz speaking in front of hundreds of Roshei Yeshiva and telling "דעת תורה" what they should be doing. How they should be running their schools and Yeshivos. They're also quite because he gives them money?

 I'd love to hear what your opinion is on this matter. You can also add more complaints about the banquet, if you so desire. I'm sure there are more; I know shluchim themselves have plenty. After all, they don't ask for every shliach's opinion as to how to run the banquet...  In the meantime, enjoy this beautiful and heartwarming clip shown last night.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

סטוטשינער רבי שליט"א אין לעיקוואוד היינט מוצש"ק

Doing it his way... Bringing children closer to their father in heaven...

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

The "irrational" Chabad come across as the must emphatic group

Received via email: (my comments in parentheses) 


What a strange legacy the Rebbe has instilled in our דור. Being right wing on the Mideast and at the same time loving every Jew. What a kiddush Hashem! The Lubavitcher school in Pittsburgh may have upset some charedim that they consider these Jews to be "legitimate" Jews and attended funerals etc., and at the same time they generally suffer the wrath of the Jewish left for their "hardline" stances; [maybe even from some of the kedoshim that were murdered here] (may G-d have mercy on the Jwish left's misguided souls) -   How do we know those pictured here are Chabad? Look at the fat Chitas the girls are holding. (Also the emblem on the sweater, but he wasn't looking that closely,  מטעמים המובנים)

I don’t buy the NYT for more than 10 years; I just saw it in a supermarket...

Thursday, November 1, 2018

כ"ק אדמו"ר רבי שמריה נח שניאורסאהן זצ"ל מבאברויסק - בעל המאמר


בחבדפדיה מובא שהעומד מאחור זה אחיו רש"ב מרעטשיטשע

חדש מכתב יד!!! מאמר ד"ה שפה אחת מכ"ק אדמו"ר ר' שמריה נח מבאברויסק זצ"ל

Shalom U'vracha, 

Please find attached a remarkable Maamar from Rebbe Shmaryahu Noach of Babruisk. This Maamar is being published for the first time from Manuscript! A tremendous amount of time and effort has gone into preparing the text for publication, your financial support would be greatly appreciated. To donate via PayPal please use the link here

May we see the coming of Moshiach speedily in our days.
Wishing you Kol Tuv, Akiva.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Chabad always had Breslov's back

Breslov kind of has that approach to things; Everybody always loved us besides for a few Chernoblers in Ukraine. And they were just power hungry people. (They have a few such stories with Chabad Rabbeyim, from the Alter Rebbe and on.) But we're (Breslov) better than anybody anyway, and our chassidus is the deepest of the deep. I never quite understood that. If you're better and deeper and holier who cares what anybody else says? 

Now, all that's left to ponder is did the story really happen....

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

אדמו"ר מנדבורנא צפת זצ"ל - העברעאיש

רבי אהרן יחיאל לייפער זצ"ל בן רבי דוד מבאניא הי"ד בן רבי בערטשע מסאטמאר זצ"ל

Monday, October 22, 2018

Thursday, October 18, 2018

'תורה מחזרת על אכסניא שלה - בבא מציעא פ"ה א

Yeshiva Torah Vodaath welcomes its new Rosh Yeshiva, Harav Reb Yitzchok Lichtenstein. That's ben Reb Aron, חתן הגרי"ד סולובייצ'יק זצ"ל מבוסטון. You heard it correctly. "JB"'s eynikel is the Rosh Yeshiva at Torah Vodaas. I'm told he's a זייער חשוב'ר יונגערמאן. A big lamdan and a ירא שמים. Seems to be a trend among the young princes of the Soloveitchik clan; they're going back to being Charedi. We saw it with Reb Moshe Twersky hy"d, and I'm sure there are others. We hear that young Yitzchok went right wing already as a bochur. He published his zeide Reb Yoshe Ber's הגדה של פסח. He married into the Grozovsky family of Monsey, so he's at home in Torah Vodaath, I suppose. (Reb Reuven was RY at YTV, for those of you who may not know) And a קנאי to boot. What remains o be seen is can he bring back some of the glory of YTV? The cheder is booming, and even mesivta is doing quite well. But when it comes to Yeshiva Gedola/Beis Medrash the rooms are empty. Looks like it's not cool to say you learn at Torah Vodaath. Or maybe there are too many Harries there? Seems like they need a Gadol that's gonna sit on the Moetzes to run it. A man who's gonna make baaleibatim/gevirim feel proud to know him. A Rav Pam, I suppose. Not sure if that's what they got in RYL.

יהא בואו לברכה להרמת קרן (ה)תורה (ודעת) - אמן

Monday, October 15, 2018

Reb Aron Soloveitchik on Torah coming to America

   1975 by Hirshel Tzig on Scribd

Friday, October 12, 2018

Seeking info on one Pinchas Schneersohn, last of Berditchev

Received via e-mail:

I am trying to identify Pinchas Schneerson. In the attached photo R-L Chaya Ita Twersky, daughter of Admur Shlomo Benzion of Chernobyl. She married her mother's brother Yehoshua Elazar Chodorov son of Zalman Chodorov of Berdichev;  Sarah Chodorov daughter of Zalman Chodorov Admur of Berdichev - Married a Schneersohn, Pinchas Scheersohn - was he the husband of Sarah Chodorov? Who was his father? He was from Retchica (Belorussia - white russia) - Killed by the Fascists with wife and 3 daughters in Berdichev. עד כאן

I was thinking this was Pinchas Schneersohn, son Yehuda Leib, son of the Retchitcher Rebbe, Reb Sholom Ber, son of Reb Yehuda Leib of Kopust, son of the Tzemach Tzedek. But that Pinchas died in the Holy Land, and it didn't seem like he had three daughters. There also does NOT seem to be such a Pinchas in the ספר הצאצאים - which is the source for all things Schneersohn. But then again, the letter is from a cousin who would know about this.

See letter below. Any and all would be greatly appreciated. You can email me at neveler@gmail.com

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

We mourn the passing of Reb Shmuel Knopfler, שבת פ' בראשית, כ"ז תשרי

This past Tuesday we were notified of the very sudden and untimely passing of a friend of the blog, Reb Shmuel Knopfler. It came totally out of the blue. I hadn't heard from Shmuel since before the new year, but that wasn't necessarily a surprise. There were ups and downs in our stream of contact. Then suddenly I see a message on whatsapp:

[11:09 AM, 10/9/2018] Sam Knopfler: Hi Hirshel
[11:09 AM, 10/9/2018] Sam Knopfler: This is David, Sam's Son
[11:10 AM, 10/9/2018] Sam Knopfler: Sam passed away on שבת 😭

Imagine the shock.

Shmuel was unabashedly Zionist and made sure everybody knew about it. Every good thing that happened in the Holy Land warmed his heart. Every "Shabbat Shalom" from an irreligious person in Israel was the realization of biblical prophecies. Every Ani Maamin" sung by a חיל was the advent of moshiach. And we all should know about it. I never got to meet him in person but we had mutual friends and acquaintances, and the sudden passing of any Jew is always shocking. We did have several phone conversations, though. I would like to take this opportunity to ask him מחילה if I ever did not treat him with the proper respect.


More Here

Here is what a search of our blog came up with.

Friday, October 5, 2018

POTD - דער אלטער רבי און דער ראש ישיבה ... און זיין אידענע

Rav Hutner's daughter was married in Rabbi Weberman's shul in Far Rockaway. He later moved to Miami where he lives today. Those wedding photos were taken in some room in that shul or perhaps in a rabbinical residence or office area on the premises. 


Thursday, August 23, 2018

Ever hear of the Yabloner Rebbe?

The lecture is quite fascinating in and of itself, in its entirety, but the smetene, if you will, starts at about 1 hour 14, when the discussion starts about Kfar Chassidim in the Holy Land, and the Yabloner Rebbe. But if you wanna hear all about early Orthodoxy in Los Angeles, then by all means.

  See more about him

Thursday, August 16, 2018

in 1957 there would not be 10 people who believed in הקב"ה were it not for ------------

 These words were said in פרשת בא, תשי"ז. Many of  you may have heard it over the years, but figured it was hearsay, or exaggerated to a certain extent. But here it is. שווארץ אויף ווייס.

"מי אני ומה אני to admonish the Jewish people." But I cannot be silent, being that I am the only one - there is nobody else to assist me. If not for the Satmar Rov saying it again and again, reprimanding the Jewish people, "there would not be a minyan of Jews who believe in G-d." 

Now, if you ask a Satmar talmid he'll tell you that the Rebbe zichroyne livruche means to say that all Jews who did not believe like him didn't believe in G-d fully, because they were tainted by heresy. Namely ציונות. So it's not such a major statement. Kind of like the vort from Reb Chaim Brisker: נעבאך אן אפיקורס איז פארט אן אפיקורס. I suppose we can count the Brisker Rov and his sons, and Reb Amrom Bloy in his minyan, since they were all still alive. Other than that all the few hundred Edah'nikkes and Toldos Ahron'ers would also not have been clean and pure. Yossel Ashkenazi doesn't make the cut, in my opinion, either. Nor does any of the tier 1 gedolim who lived in Eretz Yisroel in 1957. Like the Tchenibner Rov and the Gerrer Rebbe. You can assume that he waited until the passing of the Chazon Ish a few years before, and the Belzer Rov the previous summer, to make such a statement, otherwise the world would be up in arms. So to be fair let's say that he's only counting those who were alive at the time. Those who passed away already didn't need him to teach them right from wrong. There would less than ten true G-d fearing Jews alive in 1957 were it not for him making his points over and over again. The late Ponovizher Rosh Yeshiva (d. 2002 2001) like to say that he always looked over his shoulder to see what the Satmar Rov was saying, to keep him from going overboard in his quest to juggle the issues that Haredi Jewry faced in the Holy Land. But it seems like that didn't suffice for the SR.

So I ask my many Satmar friends here: did the SR mean this in a literal sense? that all those who are tainted by ציונות - vote in elections, take Government money, etc. - do not believe in G-d? and if he wasn't being literal what else falls into that category? What else did he say that he didn't REALLY mean?

Sunday, August 12, 2018

The FULL story of the release of the Skulener Rebbe זצ"ל

I've heard it said that with this story justice was finally done to the כבוד of the Lubavitcher Rebbe who is the one who deserves the most credit for the Skulener Rebbe's release. The Skulener Rebbe's yohrtzeit was Friday, Erev Rosh Chodesh Elul. Our friends in Satmar over the years have tried - and have been successful - in covering it up. Thanks to the opening of the JDC digital archive to the public Dovid Zaklikowski was able to bring to light the evidence for it. You wouldn't know from the subtitle of the story, though. Almost as if they published the story but didn't want that to be the main point... With very special thanks to the family of Rabbi Binyomin Eliyahu Gorodetsky, the unrelenting activist, who headed Chabad-Lubavitch in, among other places, Israel, Europe, and North Africa... the JDC's archive has this entire Parsha closed... nothing is available on it online...

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Shenanigans at 500 Bedford Avenue...

Received via e-mail:

Hirshel: in the "נישט געזונטע יארען", after the stroke in תשכ"ח, the house of the Rebbe Reb Yoelish of Satmar, situated at 500 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, was considered a den of אינשי דלא מעלי, (certified by the ברך משה in his first Torah given to his new chasidim) ליצנות was rampant. Reb Mottel Zilber פון סטוטשין interprets this מושב ליצים as העכערע ענינים... (he should be hired by the Reb Mendel Vizhnitzer שוואנצונעס Co.) obviously the Satmar Rebbe himself was part of the mood ----- ליצנות was the commerce of the day. Before davening and after davening. There was always time for a good shmooz. This Shabbos I chanced upon a pamphlet on שמירת עינים. Most of it is quotes from the רבי ז"ל. I'd say that the editor of this pamphlet isn't the sharpest tool in the shed. They put in a story of Reb Mordeachai Duved Kohn a משמש in the early years. In the next room of Reb Yoelish's chamber there was a hangout of the guys, and some woman who was apparently the Rebbetzin's friend would also spend time there. The hangout tuned into raised voices of laughter, so much so that it was heard in the other room. So much so that Reb Yoelish had to walk in on them and rebuke them, being shocked that there was mingling and laughing going on with an אשת איש. I don't think there was another Rebbe in those days that had that casual an environment next to a Rebbe's חדר... I can't imagine R' Shaye Unger laughing and being casual with neither a male and definitely not a female, with the Skverrer Rebbe in close proximity. 

(with apologies for the פארדרייטע pictures, etc.)

Friday, August 3, 2018

ירחי כלה תשמ"א בקרית גן ישראל, פארקסוויל נ.י. 12768 - חלק ב

הרה"צ ר' אפרים אליעזר הכהן יאללעס זצ"ל במשרד הקעמפ

מימין: הגאון הרב מאיר גרינבערג אב"ד פאטערסאן, הרב יאללעס, הגה"ח ר' שלום מרזוב ע"ה (עם הטו"ת), הגאון ר' יצחק רייטפארט שליט""א, הגה"ח ר' חיים מאיר בוקיעט ע"ה

מימין עומד הר"ר אברהם יצחק שמטוב שי' מנהל הקעמפ ומארגן הירחי כלה, נואם הגה"ח ר' ישראל פרידמאן שליט"א ר"י אהלי תורה, משמאל יושב הרב אליהו עקיבא ליפסקער ע"ה, רב הקעמפ 

הגאון רבי יצחק רייטפארט שליט"א נואם

Historic Revelation!

New book published that has images of the original מצבות of The Rebbe Chaim Schneur Zalman of Liadi, son of the Rebbe Tzemach Tzedek, and his son Reb Yitzchok Dober, aka מהרי"ד, author of the סידור מהרי"ד, also Rebbe in Liadi. The matzeivos were destroyed in 1930 and the text of the Matzeivos was not known. Reb Chaim Schneur Zalman was also the first shver of the Rebbe מהר"ש. His daughter passed away a short while after the marriage. There is talk about a קפידא from one of the other brothers who wanted מהר"ש for a son-in-law...