Tuesday, January 29, 2008
A Different Kind of Belzer....
Yochonon Twersky Upon his Engagement
Reb Yochonon Twersky HY"D was the son of Reb Moshe Mordche HY"D the Trisker Rebbe of Lublin. He's not to be confused with his brother the Trisker Rebbe HY"D of Warsaw who was married to Chaykele Twersky. In those days if two brothers were to be Rebbes - especially with the same title - they had the common decency to travel to another city and set up shop there. Today's Rebbes seem to thrive on the turf wars. Anyway, as we were told by some well-informed commenters here, Reb Yochonon was known as "Yochonon Aleph", not to be confused with "Yochonon Beis", another Twersky son-in-law of RYDB. He later became Rebbe in Horibishov and is featured in two beautiful photos with his Brother-In-Law Reb Aron Belzer ztvk"l wearing a Rabbonishe Peltz and "Porochesel" on his shirt KeMinhag HaChassidim.
We here read about Reb Noochem Yitzchok and his fear of marrying into the Belzer Rov's family. Part of what worried him was (Ihr Zolt Mir Antschuldigen) the fact that he and she would have to have a matching his and hers Karachat. Again, I apologize. We also read how in Belz they banned all sorts of wigs, and only the old-fashioned kerchief was acceptable headcovering for women. So much so, that even the wedding party, siblings of a son-in-law of Rav Yissocher Dov Belzer zt"l were forced to change into kerchiefs upon entering Belz. That does seem to be the case, that Belz was quite extreme in Pre-WWII Europe, and that they banned any all modernity. Why just recently, in honor of the Belzer Rov's Fiftieth Yohrtzeit, one of the publications had a very interesting list of Takonos that was on display in the Belzer Shtiebel in Munkacs, and was agreed to the by Reb YD Belzer zt"l. Suffice it to say that they would make today's Belz look like Frayakes. So, there really would be no reason to say that RNYT's fears were exaggerated were it not for the following piece of photographic evidence that recently reached the Tzig's desk.
Yochonon Twersky and wife
Yochonon seems to have been younger than Noochem Yitzchok, NY was married in 1910 at the age of 20, and Yochonon looks to have been pretty young in the 1930's, with very little facial hair even then. As a matter of fact I'm not sure he even knew his shver. Otherwise I would've told NY to Chap Ah Shmooz with Yochonon his Brother-in-Law, so that he tell him how to manage in Belz without capitulating to all the Belzer Takonos. Then again, if Yochonon was married after WWI, and after the wanderings that the Belzer Hoyf had to endure to Hungary, then maybe it would be difficult to compare the two Shvoggers and what they had to endure. Maybe once the Belzer Rov came back to Galicia he realized that times HAD changed, and that it would be difficult to put the "cat back in the bag." After all, we do see that the daughter of the Belzer Rov is seen here wearing a Sheitel and "modern" 20's clothing, not to mention doing the unthinkable with the arm on the shoulder. So I guess whoever said timing is everything knew what he was talking about; Just a few years later and Noochem Yitzchok could've saved himself lots of Agmas Nefesh, and ultimately embarrassment.