Monday, March 23, 2009
It's like 250 years of this......
רבי ברוכ'ל מונקאטשער
G-d makes us find things even when we aren't searching for them. Case in point: Friday's trip to the mall. I thought I was buying a Tallis Koton for my son, but the price for a wool size 16 Chabad was over budget. So I went upstairs and looked at books instead. "I'll get it in BP or CH," I said. There's no way I'm paying those prices here. Which may make you wonder: why get a wool Tallis Koton for a little kid when cotton is just as good and children are only mechuyav in chinuch anyway? But we take pride in our devotion to mitzvos, even when we're young, and even in 90+ degrees. I remember fondly the basketball games in the Yeshivishe camps, where many of the fine the Bnei Torah would play without Tzitzis and I would wear my five pound size 30 extra long wool ones. It instilled in me a pride I wear till this very day. That I was part of a very unique and devoted group, one that took pride in its traditions and in its devotion to Hashem and his mitzvos.
Back to the books. I was looking for something good to read. A friend had recommended the biography on Reb Aron Cohen, the Rosh Yeshiva of Chevroner Yeshivah in Geulah who was prematurely taken from us many years ago while still in his prime. He told me there were some really good pictures, you know, ones that Chassidim laugh at and wonder why they didn't censor them. I figured I had seen them all by now, whether in the biography of Reb Simcha Zissel Broyde, or in Reb Meir (Paritcher) Chodosh's biography, so when I didn't see it I wasn't disappointed, I just looked for something else to buy. Nothing else really piqued my interest; it was more of the same old stuff. Until a little book caught my eye. Could it be? That here in this store that doesn't sell Uncle Moishy DVDs, and chooses its Chabad books very carefully, that they would have a book of this caliber?! I checked the author's name again, and checked the title. There was no mistake, it was THE book!
No, I'm talking about MOAG, I'm talking about שוחרי השם בהרי הקרפטים, by Dezso Schoen, aka דוד שן, who survived the Ghettos and deportations and made it to Israel. The book is controversial because it tells it like it was when it came to Hungary/Carpathia and the goings on there from the time of the Yismach Moshe to the time it ended well over 100 years later. It gives you a very colorful description of his attachment to Chassidus, how it was a "forced" visit to the Chozeh of Lublin that got him involved in the first place. How the dayan in Ujhel accused him in a sefer that the YM gave an Haskomoh to of being a corrupt, money hungry Rov, who despite once being a Torah giant in Galicia sold his soul to the כת and became a shyster who sells amulets to the unknowing masses. The "taynes" are all there, the late davening, the abandonment of Gemoroh for Kabbalah, the excessive drinking. It's the same thing, only played by different characters in a different period. Nothing can be more reassuring than that in today's world where clueless people think they're standing up for Torah when they attack me and my Rebbe.