Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Radziner Catastrophe

Rav Yakov Leiner of Radzin, zt"l

The Levaya on 54th Street today

A Reader writes:

A terrible thing happened today, the Radziner Rebbe, Rav Yakov Leiner passed away at 46 years old. He was a great historian, yad'an and lamdan. He lived in absolute poverty, with 11 kids. He told me that when he became bar mitzvah his father gave him the Lubavitcher siddur and said "this is our nusach." It was almost in shreds but he davened in it every day. There were over 1000 people there today at the levaya. I can't explain to you my deep pain and tza'ar. I don't know where to put my mind, what an unglick. Every day I stayed after davening at the Radziner shtiebel on 54th street and spoke to him. He knew "everything," and I mean everything. He was a true scholar and yerei shomayim. He was a kanoi for Izhbitza but extremely warm and "liberal" in outlook of life. By "liberal" I mean in ahavas yisroel, he couldn't stand any kano'us against tziyonim or the like. He learned in Lakewood and Rav Yeruchem Olshin gave such a moving hesped! R' Olshin spoke like a true chosid about the dynasty, about Izhbitza, about what RAK held of his Zaide the Radziner Rebbe. I could send you and exclusive recording how a "Litvak" is maspid ah Chasidishe Rebbe.

Listen To Rav Olshin's hesped here.

The Reader Continues:

He (RYO) cried like a baby...
The groyse niftar spoke to me a few days ago about the chasidic movement and the matzav of it today .. He (RYL) was very partisan for chasidus, then he said to me ....You want to know of a real gadol who is truly so.. its Harav Olshin. After the levaya I repeated to Rav Olshin. His Rebbetzin is Bokshin from Monsey. Reb Aron Schechter's son is also an eydim there.


Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...


Did you know R'Yaakov Leiner, Radziner from 54st?
I'm in shock.Just read YeshivaWorld. Massive heart attack this morning and the levaya took place already. Only just 47.Was good friend with Homnick and roomate in Lakewood, I believe.
Really scary

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 4:58:00 PM

Blogger Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

Did not know him, but heard alot about him from a good friend of his. I also hear Rav Yeruchem Olshin was maspid really nicely, almost like a chossid!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 5:10:00 PM

Anonymous Maybe A Litvak said...

you mean RYO sounded unprepared?
Nebach, it wasn't a kuntz this time

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 6:04:00 PM

Blogger Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

no, I mean with the greatest respect for the niftar and his heilige zeides.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 6:06:00 PM

Anonymous Twistelton-Twistelton said...

RYO grew up in the neighborhood of the Radziner in BP. So he probaly knew the old Rebbe.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 7:16:00 PM

Anonymous Shmilu said...

Sorry to nitpick, what did you mean by :"Rav Yeruchem Olshin was maspid really nicely, almost like a chossid!".

Did you mean that R'Yeruchom was maspid like a chosid: i.e someone from a chasidic backround would have?If that's pshat, (and without having a whole flare up, cuz the inyan of hesped by chasidim came up on your blog and there were fireworks)I thought chasidim are not maspid (they get around that "by telling stories" which is basically the same thing with a different name.Whatever)
Obviously,I'm taking license to considering "chasidim" as follows of Chabad (In Lubavitch, they are the only real "chasidim".Others are Peylishe,Eylemishe etc and you are a Lubavitcher therefore...)
If you meant that R'Yeruchom was maspid as a chosid/follower of Rabbi Leiner z'l?Well,I do believe that it was the other way around.Rabbi Leiner was R'Yeruchoms talmid(though, harbeh lomadeti merabosai "Umitalmidei yoiser mekulom".Still that would than make Lubavicher chasidim actually The Rebbes,no?.Veulay, chasidim are makpid to call themselves "chasidim" and not "talmidim" so as not to insinuate chas vesholom that they can teach their rebbe anything.It could also be that they are very careful about being truthful....).

If, as you later explained that because he showed "the greatest respect for the niftar and his heiligeh zeides"
I don't get it Were you taught that non chasidim have no respect for choshuveh yidden?Would it be expected that Rabbi Olshin would not show the greatest respect unless he was maspid "like a chossid"
Man, you have me totally mixed up!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 7:20:00 PM

Anonymous Yankle said...

"I also hear Rav Yeruchem Olshin was maspid really nicely, almost like a chossid!"

Whopping OXYMORON!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 7:40:00 PM

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...


I meant like a chossid would be maspid his Rebbe, not like a Lubavitcher Chossid. That means with the greatest respect and admiration.

Maybe A Litvak said...

How come, during the hesped, after he mentioned the Gadlus in chasidus, he started stuttering and fuhmfering

Anonymous said...

I once had a long talk with the niftar zt"l about different Gedolim and of course he was fiercely devoted into chasidus and in particular Izbitza Pashischa, then he said to me "you want know a real Godol? Its HaRav Alshin!"

seems like כמים פנים אל פנים

ווי להאי שופרא דבלי בארעא

gevaldingeshrigen said...

"Reb Aron Schechter's son is also an eydim there."

Which son, rMzs or rNzs??

Maybe A Litvak said...

I would assume Nosson; the more chasidish one

shmuel grainom said...

you redeemed yourself by posting the audio of maran shlita being maspid the rebbe zt"l.

as he referenced in the begining of the hesped the radziner and amshinover rebbes zt"l impacted his life........

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

redemption is good.

Chaim Berlin tragedy said...

A true Chaim Berlin tragedy because Rav Yakov Leiner was be'etzem a Chaim Berliner having learned in its mesivta many years ago and was in its bais medrash for a few years in his most formative teens. The Leiner family, Rav Yakov's father and zeide, the great Radziner Rebbes, who were all held in the highest regard by Rav Yitzchok Hutner (RYH) who knew them personally.

Rav Yakov Leiner was a gentle giant both physically and in ruchnius. Even though we came from vastly different backgrounds he was always extraordinarily polite and intellectually curious enough to maintain a friendly manner with me whenevr we met either in the old days in CB or in later years on the streets of Boro Park or Flatbush or at simchas of mutual friends, and he had such a geshmak from my verbal antics that he was never put off by my jokes about this and that!

He was truly a lovely and towering mentsch who had the tzinzenes hamon hidden in his heart from which all he met him and who he sought out could nurture in his daled amos.

In Chaim Berlin yeshiva he had many, many good friends among past top talmidim and probably all the rebbeim and roshei yeshiva, and how could anyone not like this genuine meyuchas who was destined to be a genuine rebbe, walking in the midst of the good ol' CB "college crowd" in those days, quite a situational irony.

We met at a chasune a few weeks ago and we sat one row apart, he leaned over and reminded me exactly when we met decades ago and he inquired about some things from me that we still shared now. I am closer to this tragedy than many people from CB even know about and I can truly say that to my mind Rav Yakov Leiner represents what is the best that the Chaim Berlin yeshiva could ever offer to the world and it is now truly a tragedy that he is gone forever!

It has been so painful to write all this, but this is my small tribute to a great and heilige Jew.

Baruch Dayan Ha'Emes, and may he be a meilitz yosher for his dear family and gantz Klal Yisroel! It can truly be said of him, coming so close after the parsha of Nadav and Avihu, that this true tzadik nistar is mechaper on the dor.

Maybe A Litvak said...

"was a gentle giant both physically and in ruchnius."

Defenitely a Chaim Berliner

"the best that the Chaim Berlin yeshiva could ever offer to the world"


bpunbound said...

Tak'e, A te'iera Yid. A friend for, let's see, about 35 years. When we knew him as Jake ;-).

Down to earth and a pleasure to get together with and connect to. You know what I mean, connect?

Who connets with anyone anymore? He really had the other person in mind when he spoke to you.

Ach, Chaval...we walk around, day to day (I should say run around), and don't realize or stop to realize the gems der eibeshter planted in hidden corners of our world.

Ner Yisroel said...

How come R' Olshin didn't use the old mussar/levayah niggun? Does he normally use it or it was because it was a chasidic levaya?

Anonymous said...

what a umglick i knew the niftar from lakewood and there he explained to me the gadlus of Rav Hutner afterwards i got to know his brother the radziner rebbe shlita from beit vgan does any body if there is a fax number that you can send nichm avelim

A kopuster

Maybe A Litvak said...

"Ach, Chaval...we walk around, day to day (I should say run around), and don't realize or stop to realize the gems der eibeshter planted in hidden corners of our world."

Very poignant.

I might add, that most of us don't realiz the gem of a Yiddishe neshama- Gadlus HaAdom in this context- that we all have.

The Kotzker said that if we some one would really know what his neshama is , he would be terribly frightened.

We are letting the 'choymer' have too much significance and we must focus on the tzura more.

Anonymous said...

I read this blog regularly with groyse ha'no'ah, and never comment.
Far di tzvei bilder alein vest du zoiche zain tzu a groise oilem habeh, ihr hut a oiser'ge'ventlich'e koiach ha'bild

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

Anonymous 11:52

That's one comment and brochoh I never heard before. Thank You!

Maybe A Litvak said...

Anon11:44:00 AM

Which aspect of Rav Hutner's Gadlus was the niftar most nispoyel from?

LkwdGuy said...

How come R' Olshin didn't use the old mussar/levayah niggun? Does he normally use it or it was because it was a chasidic levaya?I have heard hespedim by RYO a number of times and I dont think he ever uses a niggun, nor for that matter do most of the roshei yeshiva that I am familiar with.

BTW, I can recall a number of other hespedim where R' Yeruchum was so tzubrochen that he could hardly speak. Specifically his hesped at R' Ahron Kreiser's levaya comes to mind. As I recall, he got up there and couldn't get a word out for a good few minutes. He seems to be a very emotional person.

Friendly Anonymous said...


Re: hagbohas tzuro al hachomer:

My teacher explains that this is the meaning in the Medrash on "vayachavosh es chamoro" that this is the same donkey that Moshe Rabeinu rode on to Mitzrayin, and the same one that Moshiach will use. This appears impossible.

Rather, the medrash is refering to their avoda in being "kovesh their chomer".

Maybe A Litvak said...

i think I saw that in Maharal
Maybe the CB's can help us out

Nonymous said...

Just lisetning to the hesped gives you yiras shamayim, Ahhh

Maybe A Litvak said...

Remember R' Nossons levaya: R' Matsiyahu used the niggun and so did others
R' Gifter was arguably the best at it re: that siyum hashas speach in the 70's.

LkwdGuy said...


Maybe that was lchvod the mashgiach who's whole life was a musser niggun. Or maybe R' Mattisyahu assumed that that's what was expected (not being around the US much at that point.)

t.p said...

For once the blog has taken on a normal tone with intellectual discussion and without hate.
The reason is R'Yankee Leiner z'l!
I knew him quite well, years ago.
Fact is I was the one who queried Tzig about the tragic death in an earlier thread.
He was a "yad'an" .He had a good handle on everything,koidesh or secular and a curiosity to learn about things he did know about.

I''ll have to vehemently argue with the poster that claimed that R'Yaakov was "partisan about chasidus"!His whole mahus was that he was not a partisan person at all!That's why, we, on this thread with such different opinions can wholeheartedly agree about how special he was.
He was the type of person you could discuss gemoreh, medrash, machshovo, Jewish history of all groups and all this with a geshmak.
Chaval al deavdin.
Tzig, I've had massive, horrible arguments with you, but the pic of R'yaakov z'l, with all his royalty,humility,compassion and intellectual curiousity, vet dich bayshteyn bezeh ubaboh!
*b.punbound, I have a feeling, I know who you are.I also feel that one of the few things we agree about is how special R'Yankel was!

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...


I think the post was already being written when you mentioned his passing, but it really doesn't matter.

Massive, Horrible arguments? with me? I find that hard to believe. What did we argue about?

I think by "partisan" he meant that he was a staunch supporter of Chassidus and the fact that it was the correct way!

I'm glad I have SOMETHING that vet mich bayshten oyf yener velt....

t.p said...

I didn't say anything other than saying I asked about his petira in an earlier thread.

Without getting drawn into a fight of yes chassidus/no chassidus.R'Yaakov was basically the product of regular American non chasidic yeshivas like Chaim Berlin and Lakewood.His father was not particularly "chasidish" in BP terms of levush, he only put on a spodek besoif yomov.I'm not sure when R'Yaakov starting wearing chasidshe levush himself.
I would say that his chasidic style was more like R'Yitzchok Hutners and some of his talmidim like R'Shloimeh Frefeld and R'Naftoli Yeager.That's the style with some differences.
Btw the Mei Shiloiach of the Ishbitza is very different than any other chasidic seifer.The unique chiddushem and different type of thinking are very fascinating and challenging for someone who has seen or heard it(small example is his take on the Akeida)

bpunbound said...

"He was the type of person you could discuss gemoreh, medrash, machshovo, Jewish history"

and a few other things, far afield!

"one of the few things we agree about is how special R'Yankel was"

and maybe more

"small example is his take on the Akeida"

or Pinchas/Zimri?

Maybe A Litvak said...

Lkwd guy
Your first option is better than the second. He sat through forteen hsepedim before he got up to speak and almost none were in the niggun so he should have figured out how they do it in America.
Who did he listen to?
R' Binyomin
R' Elya, l'blc
R' Yosef Rosenblum
R' Elya Ber
R' Chaim Epsein
R' Shmuel Faivelsson
the talmid from Boston with the niggun (forgot his name)
4 Rosh yeshivas

Unknown said...

OK! Everyone is tzubrochen in men klugt. Men zogt shaina zachen in gitte zichronos...
Nobody mentioned the fact that he left behind a GROISE mishpocho and they need to be helped b'gashmius. Please start acting like Hungarians now. Tzedoko Tazil Mimovess. We want Moshiach now!

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

גיב אן אדרעס אוואו צו שיקען געלט, ביטע

Anonymous said...

Money can right not be sent to and made payable to:

Keren Yesomim Radzin
e/o Dr. Marvin Schick
1529-56th Street
Brooklyn N.Y.11219

Please Please don't ignore this plea imagine all 10 yosoimim looking in your eyes
ולשעות חינונם אל תעלם אזנך

Yosef 718

Maybe A Litvak said...

mMst be masysim layv
about lying in the grave

While we still have life
must avoid all forms of strife

Remember the purpose of life

Avoid all forms of sinah
Mechilah to our soynim
remove all of the kinah
merit the Ginzey Miroymim

when the eyes are filled with trerren
ich ken zich besser verren

V'hachay Yetayn ehl liboy
where a person ends bisoyfoy

dovy said...

the talmid from Boston is Hagaon Rav Nochum Eisenstein shlita, now Rov of Forest Park

Anonymous said...

does anyone know if R'Yankel ztzvk"l was a "Savage" in CB. Can anyone write a hekef about the "Savages", who they were, how they came into being, how long they lasted, where they are too.
VIchtig tzu Vissen

Keren Zavis said...

I know Rav Moshe Leiner from Bayit Vegan he was zoche to open a Radzinner Shtiebel and the Radzinner chassidus is coming back to life, we learn Sod Yesharim and get big chizuk from it. he is a descendent of Izhbitzer and has the zechus to continue the dynesty. others tried to stop him but he has Siata Dishmaya and will continue...

The Rebbe Reb Mailech said...

He's my Rebbe!

What's your email address?



Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

my email address is

Maybe A Litvak said...

1. The Greyser Yidden used to say that they lived the whole week based on the currents Parsha. It is our aveydah to learn the limudem of the Parshah to us bi'oyfen klulli and b'oyfen pruty, lifeey unzehre coychos

2. Rashi says 'lihazheer hagdolim ahl hakitanim'. The chasidim interprate it to mean that the Greyser Yiddin should be careful even regarding the kleyner zachen. The Satmar Rav said that it is a reference to Shaleshydis: even though those that 'Teyrusum uhmusum' could be yoytzeh with Divrey Teyreh, they still should be carefull to be mikayem Shalesheydis with a seudah, in the literal sense.

3. This raises the questions of why in the laws of tuhmah did the Torah want to convey the lesson of 'lehahzerh..'. What is the correlation of Shalehshydis with tumah and why punkt over here, there is a warning regarding the kleyne zachin.

4. The baley Avaydeh were carefull not to say 'iz avek a yumtuv' and a Shabbos. We must be mamshich the oyris of the heliegeh teg, to the vuchedikeh teg. One of the methods of diong this is by chapping arayn the end of the Yom Kodosh; on Shabbos via farbrenghen zich by Shalehshydis and on Yumtuv, especially Succos, via Shmeyney Atzeres.

5. The parallel between Shalshydis, ruhzin d'ruzin ans SH'A is obvious to the miayen.

6. We know that Rambam writes that any body who was by Har Sinay is guarenteed to be a maymen; we are maminim bney maminim. The obvious question is 'ay, there a lot of yiddishe koyfrim'? The answer is that the nekudas of emunah by yidden is everlasing and remains within us foreever. The only question is, in what are we believing in. The yiddishe apikorsim were strong believers in what they blieved in' much stronger than the goyim who shared those beliefs.(They chanellged the trait of emunah into others areas, similar to one who is a rachman on an achzar ends up being an achzur on a rachman, V'dal) Hence, the fakalyedeh yidden were more destructive, V'dal.

7. We spend the last day of the Chag in a time were we don't sleep in the Succoh. Only via a matzav of nisht-shlufen in der Succoh can we be mamshich the oyres of the tzeley d'memnusah, throughout the whole year. V'dal

8. Now we understand the original question re: this weeks sedrah. B'frat in the hilchos of tumah, we say lihazheer the 'Gedeylim' which is a reference to those that are independantly powerfull, ahl
hakitanim' refering to the weak (Gadal hasoymech ahl shulchan uviv is a katon). The powerful should concern themselves with the kavod of the week.

9. Now we know the corellation with Shahlehsudis, which is a bechina of 'kedantim' like we said in the # 1. V'dal V'dal V'doyk

10. This explains the moyredkeh Roshay Teyves which was previously unknown and now is nisgale. Barry is R'T of
B- brother in law
A- aydem
R- ruzin, d'
R- ruzin

Chaim Berlin succes story said...


Your writing style got me thinking. It was very familiar to me and I thought that maybe I saw it somewhere before. Then I realized that it resembles RYH.(the style, not the content) Am I right?

Maybe A Litvak said...


You are right. I made a meager attempt to mimic the unique writing style of Rav Hutner. I am not surprised that you noticed it.

Chaim Berlin tragedy said...

"Maybe a Litvak" is concocting things right out of thin air! What is he trying to say and what connections is he making?

What is this nonsense of connecting Radzin with "Barry"? To me it does not sound normal. Why not say openly what you are saying rather than beating around the bush and then we can talk tachlis. If you are saying what I think you are saying, then I say that you are 100% wrong. But first please say what you are saying clearly and logically in human speech (in keeping with "dibra Torah beloshon bnai odom") and not in roundabout allegations and accusations of magical thinking and not what I or someone else may think you are saying.

I will just say, that if you are saying what I think you are saying, then you are on a dangerous road, and all one has to retort is "Mumbai", vehamevin yavin! So let's back off from bobba-meises-speak and switch to rational, intelligent non-judgmental open and clear communications.

Say what you mean, and mean what you say!

Thank you!

Maybe A Litvak said...

CB Tragedy

Ruzin d' Ruzin was a reference to shalesheydus. Barry, if my memory is correct, got the shaleshuhdus farbrengen as part of the deal.

(In chabad, there isn't a strong emphasis on sh'shs; only farbrengens on mainly on Yom Tov. Hence, Chaim Berlin isn't into sh'shs. V'dal

Need more clarity?

anon3 said...

"Barry, if my memory is correct, got the shaleshuhdus farbrengen as part of the deal"
It wasn't Barry, it was his father Rasha"g (Reb Shmarya Gourary) who used to chazer a Maimor during SS starting bchayov shel RAYAT"Z.This is not a pchisas hakovod.Most Chassidishe Rabaim did/do say Toireh during SS.
That is if your reffering to Barry Gourry.If not then I am somewhat confused as to what your referring to.It must be rozen drozen.
I also fail to see the connecton with CB.

Maybe A Litvak said...

"This is not a pchisas hakovod.Most Chassidishe Rabaim did/do say Toireh during SS."

The minhag in chabad was for the Rebbe to say Toyreh during sh'shs?

(please, I was also tempted to use your short double s abbreviation; but I didn't)

I infered from the lack of minhag chaim berlin of having a maymer at sh'sh's that it wasn't the minhag chabad. V'dal

I appreciate feedback on the mamorim and feel free to ask me anymore hu'ures, or anything to be moysif

Kalman said...

" Barry, if my memory is correct, got the shaleshuhdus farbrengen as part of the deal."

One thing is no Maybe about you. You are such an incredible jerk.

You know so little about so many things. And are blissfully ignorant to that fact, also.

Real life exmple of the the Pisgam of der Rebbe Rashab:

A grobe der hert nish zain eigene grobkeit

Hirshel, you were able to talk to this ninny for TWO HOURS?? Whatever about?

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

no need to resort to name-calling, and no need to turn this tragedy thread into one of personal attacks.

Maybe A Litvak said...

As I said before: the Chabad history is of little interest to me (Although Kitzoys Hashulchun is of interest, thank you). I can't name the seven Rebbes; for starters.
I will respect Tzig's wishes and I will save the ad hominem's for a different day.

Kalman, as always, you have substantive hu'ures on my elaborate mamorim and I appreciate the input

Maybe A Litvak said...

Real life exmple of the the Pisgam of der Rebbe Rashab:

'A grobe der hert nish zain eigene grobkeit'

That saying is been around way before the Rashab. Even preChasidus statements are only known to you via the utterings of one of your Rebbes? nebach

Kalman said...

"no need to resort to name-calling, and no need to turn this tragedy thread into one of personal attacks"

I thank you , Hirshel, for agreeing in principle.

anon3 said...

You'r right.It was not customary in Lubavitch for the Rebbe to say a Maimer during SS.However it is the custom of Lubavitch to be yoitze SS by repeating a Maiomer of one of the Rabbeim.This used to be done by, amongst others, Reb Shmarya Gurarie (RASHA"G)one of the other sons in law of the RAYAT"Z and is still carried on to this day by Lubavitcher chassidim.
In other Chassidic courts the custom is for the various Rabbeim to say Taireh during SS.

Maybe A Litvak said...


Why does Lubavitch diverge from the other chasidim with regards to Shalosh Seudos?

Twistelton-Twitselton said...

And I remember people trying to pull a Minyan into the room where the RSAG was saying the SS Maamar!!! I never did get the total lack of respect Chabad gave him. At least as much as I saw, Which was substantial. Could you imagian the son in law of say the Satmar Rebbe walking home him self (in not the best area) at age 80? And there were only two son in laws to boot. Its not like there were ten of them running around.

Maybe A Litvak said...

Can we apply the leson of the sedra of the week to the treatment of the RSAG?

schneur said...

I knew his fatehr to say he was an erliche Yid is an understatement.A farzaitige Yid aman who was a real anov, amaatik shmuos.
I am sure the son was the same.
Zecher zaddik Livrocha

bpunbound said...

Anonymous Friday, May 01, 2009 4:05:00 PM

Can you give a clue on who is meant by "savages"??