Thursday, October 26, 2006

Reb Avrohom Barnetzky ע"ה

With great sorrow we report the passing of Rabbi Avrohom Barnetsky, ob'm. In his youth, Reb Avrohom was a student of Tomchei Temimim of Otvotsk, and he served as a מלמד in Lubavitcher Yeshiva in Brooklyn for sixty years. He had been employed in the Yeshiva back when it was located on Bedford and Dean and then when it moved to Ocean Parkway. Hundreds took part in his Levaya that passed by the Yeshiva on Ocean Parkway.

Boruch Dayan Ho'Emes.


Students lovingly remember

[I always knew that there's a Chossid, a Melamed named Rabbi Barnetzky, but I never knew him, having never learned in Lubavitcher Yeshivah of Ocean Parkway. Reb Avrohom was the 1st (?) Bochur to travel to Tomchei Tmimim in Otwock, Poland from America. (I imagine it had something to do with Reb Yisroel Jacobson o"h, and his work amongst the Yeshivah Bochurim of his day.) From a few of his former students I heard that he was the epitome of devotion when it came to his students. Please, if you know more about him share it with the rest of us. - HT]

I guess the haters will now say that the fact that his kids ended up in Lakewood, and not Lubavitch, is a statement, and that he somehow renounced Lubavitch? Is that what we're supposed to believe?


Anonymous said...

You starting again with your broken record about hate??
R'Avrohom apparently sent his sons to BMG.One became in charge in the office and I believe was instrumental in bringing the BMG Roshei Yeshiva to R'Yossel Gutnicks chasenah (there are pics)another predeceased him iirc, another eidim was/is? rosh kolel in Yam Hatalmud. torah temimahs kolel.His kids are NOT haters and shame on you for implying as much

Anonymous said...

What is to be understood from his kids ending up in Lakewood is that it was understood that the level of learning in Lubavitch is not very high.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...


relaaax. Read what I said again. Nowhere did I imply that, on the contrary, I hear that they're very warm to Lubavitch.

Anonymous said...

Some tidbits:

R'Barnetzky a”h was inspired by Rabbi Jacobson to study Chasidus Chabad and became a Lubavitcher Chosid.

I believe, became a rebbe in Tomchei Temimim in 1942. For a while he practiced shchita in Baltimore and lodged with the famous Chabad chasid and Baltimore Rav, Reb Avraham Elye Axelrod.

[ RB told me that in the early 1940's he was at the Americana hotel in the Catskills. He met Harav Moshe Feinstein, Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsy and Rabbi AE Axelrod. Someone came to Reb Moshe and needed a p'sak. Reb Moshe wanted three rabbonim to act as a beis din. He said to Reb Yaakov, there is the Reb AE the Lubavitcher yiras shamayim, let’s ask him to be the third rav for the beis din.]

RB told me he remembers upon his return from Otwock, Poland, he grew a beard. While walking in the Brooklyn streets cars stopped and honked their horns, laughing at him for wearing his beard.

There is info about him in the sefer Zichron livnei Yisrael, where Rabbi Jacobson relates various issues about him.

I’m going to shiva, if I hear more I’ll bli neder relay it.

(received via e-mail)

Anonymous said...

What do you mean 'he grew a beard'?
I'm curious if that means he shaved in Otwock?
I don't think it's implausible, in the Lubavitcher yeshiva on Dean st asnd the yeshiva in Montreal there were boys who shaved.I know of two :Sam Melamed, still without a beard, used to be in the council and Weisman the lawyer, learned chavrusa with Aizik Shvei z'l in Montreal.It was different once.Chaim Gutnick grew a beard only when he married of his daughter Pninah to Pinchas Feldman for example

Anonymous said...


I also was surprised initially at the Loshon "grew a beard", but I doubt that in Otwock they allowed Bochurim to shave. The answer is probably that 1) either it simply didn't grow before, or 2) that he continued to grow his beard.

Aussie Echo said...

Re "grew a beard": Rabbi YD Groner (Australia) relates the story that in the 1930s an 40s it was very unusual to see a beard especially on a young man. When a bochur returned to America from yeshiva in Europe some of the men in his shul laughed at this man. One of the older chassidim berated them for doing this.

What this story always meant to me is how lucky we are to be able to practice yiddishkeit without societal pressures on the way we dress or behave. I am old enough to remember the time in Australia when yamulkas and beards were very uncommon.

Anonymous said...

was in a local (Lakewood) store buying some hot take-out.

I heard an earth-shattering noise. I looked out the window and saw a guy getting off a Harley Softail. He walked in, an obvious old-school biker. Leather vest, exposed arms covered with gang tattoos and prison tats. One of those long moustache/beard combos that are unique to bikers.

I'm waiting on line, he's standing next to me.

He turns to me and asks in his smoked out voice "Hey, is all this food kosher"?

"Yeah, it is" I answered.

"You know, my father always dreamed that one day Lakewood would be the way it is today. He grew up here, and he told me that one day I would see it become the Jewish community that it now is".

I nod, starting to get interested.

"I'm Jewish too. When I was younger I went to yeshiva. Then I joined the Marines, went to Vietnam and that was the end of it. I came back to the states and I was wild for a long time. I was in and out of prison, I don't remember a few years of my life. But you know, the stuff you learn when you're a kid stays with you. Hey, you know Hamafkid es chavero?"

My jaw almost hit the floor. This was probably the last person I expected to be quoting a Mishnah.

He went on. "Hey, you ever hear of the Kapishnitzers? My father was a Kapishnitzer chossid. When my mom died, my brother Ari called me up to tell me about it. I work on a fishing boat and we were fishing off the Alaskan coast at the time. I still made it my business to get to the funeral. When I got there a Rosh Yeshiva was speaking, I don't know his name. I remember my brother telling me "You got the beard already, now all you need is the tzitis!

I got two grown kids , both cops, nice kids, but they ain't Jewish. I want to say Kaddish for my father, but that brings up too many questions that I can't answer to my children. Is it possible for me to ask someone to say kaddish for him?"

I replied "Sure, just give me the date he died, and in what year".

He did.

I told him I'd get it done.

He went on" I'm tired of being on the outside looking in. I want to get back into yiddishkeit. It's where it's at. I see these Jewish kids hanging out, trying to be like the goyim, I went to slap them silly. Yeah, kids will be kids but you never know what you got until it's gone.

Then he said again "My father always told me that one day Lakewood would be like this. He was right".

I said "Too bad he isn't here to see it".

He looked at me with watery eyes.

"Maybe he does see it, you know? Maybe he does."

There was much more to the conversation, but those words made a big impression on me coming from him.

PS: If you were one of the guys standing around listening to our conversation, please don't out me. :)
posted by Shtender at 6

Anonymous said...

I posted the above from a blog hayom.blogspot.Lakewood guy who is positive, even if he is critical sometimes.Why can't you learn from him? If I did not know better I would say he is the chusid and you are the Lutvak.C'mon STOP all the hate garbage .

Anonymous said...

Nice shtikkel there from Lakewood.

The old response would've been to throw someone like out of the store, after all the man married a Shikse and had 2 Mamzerim! It's good to see that Lakewood is learning about Ahavas Yisroel.

Anonymous said...

How do u know what the old response would've have been?Because you heard some silly tales when you were a chaider yingel?

Anonymous said...

R'avrohom was born on the lower east side during the first world war.His mother who came from the town of Brisk requested a brocho from R'Chaim Brisker upon leaving for America and he gave her a brocho that all her children will remain torah jews:At the time there was a great fear that the kids would cease to be Toradik.He learned in R'Chaim Berlin (probably before rav hutners time and I'm not sure they even had a mesivta then)Rav Jacobson was mashpia on him and some others Hecht,Greenberg to go to Otvock from 1938 till just before the war.
I heard this last night on Shaul Shimon Deutschs Liozna program, he was his fifth grade rebby on Ocean Parkway more than 30 years ago

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

Thanks, 'Mous. The last shtikel there was unnecessary.

How do I know that they'd throw that guy out of the store? ער איז דאך א פושע, מ'מוז אים ארויסווארפען!

Anonymous said...

Yeah. great hesped on Liozna radio show last night.

It was said that the niftar even once hit a home run when he had a white beard already, to get a talmid to learn better !

Limayseh if he stammed from Brisk, what's the big surprise if his descendants went to Lakewood ?

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...


FYI Brisk was full of Chassidim, with many shtiblach. The Shochet was even a Chossid, imagine that!

Anonymous said...

What part was 'not necessary'
About Shimmy Deutsch?

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...



Anonymous said...

"FYI Brisk was full of Chassidim, with many shtiblach. The Shochet was even a Chossid, imagine that! "

Full of Chassidim ? Like where ? Belz ? Bobov ? Ger ? Cracow ? Warsaw ? Satmar ? Lubavitch ?

There was only one shochet in Brisk ???

Anonymous said...

If you cannot accept even a story from Shimmy Deutsch you are proving yourself to be another partisan 'crybaby' Lubab.I thought you were a bit better, but you are not.Poor brainwashed idiot is all I can say for you.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...


all I said was that I wished you didn't mention his name.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I don't understand what's your problem with the Liosner.Is he doing anything bad? I hear that he helps a lot of people and that's exactly what the Rebbe wants.If there are people who accept him as a rebbe, then he is one and he's no worse than some shluchim. It wouldn't be the first time, that somebody starts out independently (cf Staroshelye, m'lochim etc).Good luck to him and good riddance.

Anonymous said...

Why should his name be mentioned?Because he wrote a decent biography of the Rebbe sans all the Chabadsker bobbeh mayses?Because he got up and left the cesspool called Crown Heights, where on Rosh Hashona in the middle of Davening there was a fight between two factions of 'rabbis' fighting 'how alive' the Rebbe is?
Brech. Meileh a born and bred Lubab buying into the Chabadsker bobbeh maysehs about the Rebbe(how invincible he is, how he knows everything etc)and about the previous Rebbe etc,. that's all he knows, all he has been spoonfed by parents 'rabbis' veshar shoitim,BUT, somebody joining this and buying into such garbage coming from a regular frum backround???I have always held that a Lubavitcher gevorener is mochzak as a shoite gommur a regular Chabadsker is only 'tzorich bedikah acharov' generally has a din tinok shenishbah

Anonymous said...

Why should his name NOT be mentioned

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...


In Brisk there were quite a few Chasidishe Shtiblach.

Kaydenov etc.

Rav Zevin in אישים ושיטות says that Reb Chaim would send his sons to the Karliner Shtiebel to see a Varemer Davenen. The Brisker of course deny it.

The ROSH HASHOCHTIM was a Jew named Rosenberg, a (Kotzker?)Chossid.

Anonymous said...

malach, when did you change your name to vhu rachum?

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...


anybody that excites you must be certifiably brain-dead, that's why I wish his name would not be mentioned here. SSD has the נאמנות of a junkie on the street.

Anonymous said...

Shimmy Deutsch book is the most accurate depiction of the Rebbe written.There is no objective person that disputes that. (I'm just repeating the word OBJECTIVE PERSON to make it easier for you to understand that I don't refer to partisan Lubabs like you or to verified 'haters',those people are not OBJECTIVE)Therefore:You have totally undermined your credibility (and i.q)by calling him an unreliable source.Don't worry however my friend, you HAVE enhanced your prestige and credibility by the people who count most for you:Partisan Chabadskers! Maybe they''ll even forget that you are a Johnny-come-lately, you may even be granted the certificate you treasure most:Shpitz Chabad!.
Btw, to make it easier for the blog readers, can you post the long list of people, organizations etc. that Lubab have a 'problem' with?
Actually I''ll make it easy for you:EVERYONE! (unless you are non religous or leck Chabadsker teycheser for some kovod (een kuved iz gurnisht??))

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

והוא רחום יכפר עון ולא ישחית

I guess "Reliable" is relative. aye?

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...


You don't know me (and if you do and have such thoughts about me I need to rethink my friendships!) Therefore I would ask of you to stop thinking about which level of "Lubavitchkeit" I'd like to reach, shpitz or otherwise, and stick to the actual issue discussed.

Shimmy Deitsch told the Yediot in 1997 that the Rebbe's Neshomoh entered his body after 3 Tamuz. Look it up. What does that say about his ability to discern truth from fiction?

Most of his book is a platform for the Naarishe discoveries he made while writing about the Rebbe, like what JB Soloveitchik's wife looked like at age 25, and the will of some French Professor. That's very important to the Rebbe's life story, right? What other discoveries? that one brother was institutionalized? and the other was not frum? that says what exactly?

Please choose more carefuly next time.

Anonymous said...

I just read an obituary about Rav Barnetzky a.h. in this week's English Hamodia. It's really amazing how they praise his qualities as a mechanech WITHOUT mentioning even once where he was teaching!

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

I Imagine you mean this week's edition? You read it already? Doesn't it come out on Wednesday? Do you work there that you have early access?

It really doesn't surprise me that they did that, although they are better at times. It's like the New York Times and Israel, you scream at the paper and can do nothing about it.

Anonymous said...

Hirshel, today IS Wednesday! And no, I don't work there.I'd rather work for the "Yid" (like Uriel Z. a.h.). What I don't understand, is that they write at great length and with a lot of admiration (sometimes) about chassidic groups like Satmar or Toldos, who abhorr Agudas Yisroel and on the other hand write about Lubavitch only if they cannot avoid it.
I have to admit, although, that things have become better since Levaiev became a member of the board.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

Levaiev is a MOTB there?! לא ידעתי

I thought you were writing late last night, hence the question about seeing it already. But 5:49am איז שוין נאך די צייטונג? wow! אויף מיר געזאגט

Satmarer women read English, hence the pandering, I guess. That's alot of potential readers you know.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...


I read the article, and what can I say: מ'איז אין גלות

Is this the Stoliner Donn that wrote the article?

Anonymous said...

Vhu Rachum

As a non CHabad chosid who learns chabad chasidus you come off stupid.

SSD has nothing no shul no museum and no followers even his paid radio hour is done.

He knows it hut his family him ad pikky his shoger feel like jerks. Lately pickarski has been coming back to CH and begging to be accepted after all these years his.

Also about lakewood guys as a person who learned there a long time ago let me tell in 60 years of learning there are Gedolim who ever came out of there. No Shmuel Engels. no Reb CHaims and no Griz's

So u might think in your mind that in chabad they dont learn ( which is stupid because I am sure R Yisroel Friedman can learn more than Malkiel with both eyes closed. ) but lakewood its a 60 year dream. With no pressures and just learning as you say where is a another Reb Moshe another Reb Ruderman another Reb Yaakov?

30 thousand talmidim and 0

Reb Pinchas Ben Leah