Sunday, August 23, 2009

No-win situation

Reb Schneur Zalman ben Reb Menachem Mendel ben Reb Levi Yitzchok ben Reb Baruch Shalom ben Admu"r HaTzemach Tzedek, N"E.

There were two recent stories about Chabad and the Holocaust that made the news. One was about Reb Zalman Schneersohn and the other about Admiral Franz Wilhelm Canaris, the man who saved the Frierdige Rebbe and whisked him out of German-occupied Poland to safety in Riga. Those of you that have been blogging for some years will know that some of the big "issues" people had with Chabad was the fact that 1) they did nothing during the Holocaust to save Jews, and 2) They never recognized that Nazi hierarchy was used to save the Frierdige Rebbe. Meaning they never tried to show their apppreciation like for instance the Mirrer Yeshivah, who AFTER 40-something years made a party for Sugihara's widow and somehow became the symbol of true appreciation and Hakoras HaTov, despite the fact that the man lived in obscurity, having lost his job at the Embassy and was reprimanded by his Government for providing the visas. I believe he was long dead by the time they made the party for him, and had lived a very sad life since WW2. (I may be mistaken.)

There are two efforts going on now in the Jewish world - or at least they were when I started writing this post a few weeks ago. One is to get Canaris the status of Righteous Gentile, and the other is to get Rav Zalman Schneersohn, first cousin of Reb Levik, the Rebbe's father, recognized for his rescue efforts during WW2, when many, many young Jews were saved (and kept frum!) from certain death. AFAIK the Canaris effort is the efforts of one Yosef Yitzchok Kamenecki, amateur historian, who got involved in the matter when BMR's book was translated to Hebrew, which was then followed by another book in Israel by another author. YYK was interviwed by Israeli TV numerous times, as the press there thought they had a real expose' on their hands. I guess he thought, with him being in Israel, that he'd show true haKoras haTov in the name of the worldwide Chabad-Lubavitch movement, and lobby Yad Vashem to make him some sort of righteous gentile there. It seems like that idea didn't fly in the Holy Land, seemingly because of Canaris' being in the Nazi hierarchy he must've been in on some of the other decisions by the Nazi regime, namely the mass murder stuff. And not only that; but now that the story was revealed, and somebody wants to do something to show appreciation, and they're told that what they're doing is selfish, because he only saved the FR, or him and a few others, so that doesn't warrant recognizing his good deeds.


Years ago there was talk on the blogs that every "Chabad House should have a picture of Canaris on the wall," and "There should be streets names after him in Chabad shtetlach." I can understand that sentiment, despite the ones raising it not being geniune, they were just trying to bash Chabad. So is the drive to honor Canaris too little too late? I don't think so. Al Gore won the NPP over a Polish woman who saved countless Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto. And she wasn't a member of the Nazi party either.(for whatever that's worth) --------------------
As far as Reb Zalman Schneerson goes; His rescue work is legendary among Chabad. There are many, many families in Chabad today that owed their lives to him, since he rescued the zeide or Bubbe, and gave them a genuine, Yiddishe/Chassidishe education in France. Reb Zalman's son in law was Reb Eli Chaim Carlebach, noted author and Rov of the Carlebach shul, and recently there was a symposium at that shul about Jews saving Jews. It seems like YV only honors non-Jews who saved Jews... and they're trying to do something about it at the Carlebach Shul. You might say they're only doing it because he's the Rav's - Naftoli Citron's - great grandfather, but then again, someone like you would find ulterior motives for any good deed or project. So here's a double no-win situation. Wiesenthal Center says that Chabad is practicing "particularism" by wanting to honor Canaris, and others say that Jews saving Jews is nothing, and therefore unworthy of praise. Or you just might say "who cares what they think?" but the story must be told either way. About Reb Zalman, I mean.

Here's a link to Kamenecki's request


Mottel said...

I believe one of the reasons Canaris is not being considered is do to YV's protocol for defining a Righteous Gentile - Canaris did not risk his life or well-being while saving the FR.

There's an amazing story with Reb Zalman blowing t'kias shofar with a group of children while in hiding from the Germans in the area . . . Unfortunately I forget the details. Of note I believe Mrs. Citron, his granddaughter, is working on coming out with a book on his character and deeds.

Not Brisk said...

Why isn't Tzig printing the letter that FR wrote to R' Avrum Kalmonovitz thanking him for his rescue efforts (and for printing Torah Ohr in Shangchay)

Anonymous said...

Who in chabad is asking fron Yad veshem ? Krinsky? Shem tov? Aronov?
Is this newly found historical facts? Was it ever mentioned by the Rebbe?
Kamniczky is more in the Berel Wein populist historian line of business, writes the books for Tzach, not in the level of Mondshine, Berel Levin and Amrom Blau first class in that field,Is he the one that is asking?

baalbatish said...

This is partcularism and it's sick.

feter said...

"Why isn't Tzig printing the letter that FR wrote to R' Avrum Kalmonovitz thanking him for his rescue efforts (and for printing Torah Ohr in Shangchay)"

Any links?

Anonymous said...

Feter/ Not Brisk

who said there are letters like this?, all the chabad sources are open to the public u can find it as easy as Tzig

chesky said...

You are such a stupid Tuchus.
You think R'Zalman Schneerson was saving Jewish kids to give them a Chabad chinuch? You think he was like your guys?He was saving Jews,and was not interested in their affiliations and most of the kids he saved are not Chabad.R'Zalman didn't even like your Shlit'a.
You should get a life, you and your ilk turn me off from todays Lubavitch .
Typical of a pig like you to make R'Zalman INTO A SMALL MINDED PERSON LIKE YOURSELF

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

I may be a tuchus and a pig, but you're an illiterate moron who has a 0.5 second attention span, which is why you can't understand a sentence in the English language.
Please, stay away from computers and such devices, you may harm yourself and others.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

It usually takes at least 20 comments before the tone gets this nasty. Must be elul in the air.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

I can understand nasty if it's in response to something I actually said! But now we get nasty in response to sheer fantasy!

Fech said...

All of us can use the tefilos and some divrey chizuk at this time, no?

Anonymous said...

was reb zalmen a chabadnik bichlal?

shlomo said...


he wasn't a Bobower, if that's what you mean, it took a chochem like his son to beocme one..............

Anonymous said...

much clairvoyance
source of annoyance

afraid of snags
of getting the bag

calm and collected
serene and respected

a large heart
that sets him apart

always there
have no fear

a shoulder to cry on...

zalman said...

I'm confused about the lineage.

R' Baruch Schneur (the Ravash) was the father of Reb Leivik. If R' Leivik had a brother, Menachem Mendel, than that would make Reb Schneur Zalman Schneurson the Rebbe's cousin (- R' Leivik's nephew).

schneur said...

Yasher kayach for the piece on Rabbi Zalman Schneersohn.
He was a leading rav and askan both in the USSR , France and to a lesser extent in the USA.
Elsewhere I have written about his relationship with official Chabad. Its well known that he and his family had trouble adjusting in the US and had parnossah issues.
I always wondered why a large chassidus like Chabad and this was true eevn before 1980 (Chabd had yeshivas in Brooklyn, Montreal, New Jersey etc) could not find a job for R. Zalman (whom you rightfully celebrate as a great personality)like a bochen, shoel umashiv, mashgiach etc. Yet there was nothing for him.
I wonder why men like R. Zalman Schneersohn and R. Avrohom Mayorer and others were never allowed to take positions in Lubavitch and the leadership was centered in men who in many cases knew little about Chabad messorah and had even less knowledge of the 5th Shulchan Aruch.
Was there room in Chabad for only 1 person of stature ?

schneur said...

Canaris was one of the leading figures of Nazi Germany. In assiting the "rescue" of the rayaatz he was executing a diplomatic or strategic task approved by higher ups. To give canaris such an honor would be like honoring Stalin for allowing over a million Polish to enter the USSR in 1939 ansd 1941 where most survived. Should stalin be honored. Should the criminals Admiral Horthy of Hungary and Marshal Antonescu of Rumanis be honored as they "saved" hundreds of thousands of Jews too. How about Mussolini, even the Pope did save some Jews like the Chief rabbi of Rome Zolli who converted in 1945 in gratitude.
Forgive my tone , but before Lubavitch talks about the Holocaust they should institute some Holocaust studies program in their schols. Almost every Lubavitcher I have ever spoken to is completely ignorant of basic facts about the Holocaust. Pergaps if this changed thye would see that that honoring Canaris is just absurd.

Mottel said...

-Schneur: interesting that you mention R' Avraham Mayorer - it would seem that he, unlike R' Zalman, achieved a greater celebrity status in Chabad.
Re:Holocaust History - I don't think Chabad is any worse then most any other Chareidi group (not that that's saying all too much). I can tell you that in my personal life, many of my friends are indeed well versed in Holocaust history (then again, I did spend a year with a dozen other bochurim in Poland . . .)

Anonymous said...

schneur said...
Yasher kayach for the piece on Rabbi Zalman Schneersohn....

I always wondered why a large chassidus like Chabad and this was true eevn before 1980 (Chabd had yeshivas in Brooklyn, Montreal, New Jersey etc) could not find a job for R. Zalman "

R' Zalman removed himself after 5710 from active chabad. His ainikel told me that he wasn't shayich to getting along with others, and working with others wasn't him. During WW2 on his own he did unbelievable things to save people in leon, paris, etc. but he was a 1-man show and couldn't work within an org.

He helped the Rebbe's mother in 1947 when she left russia, and had a close connection to the rebbitzen. He couldn't get used to the idea of a college educated Rebbe without a shtreimel, so he quietly removed himself. He thought even less of the rashag, and the bobover was a joke to him. In essence he was real gezah russian, to whom everyone was a gornisht, and er hot alemen mevatel geven.

IMHO, out of hakoras hatoiv for his helping the Rebbe's mother, the Rebbe went to the levaya all the way to monefiore.

Mendel3 said...

RZS was a first cousin to the Rebbe's father, so maybe that's why he went till the cemetery (and was mishtatef BiKEVURAH)

Reb Zalman seemingly had dreams of being Rebbe himself.

Schneur loves to bash ChabadG7 whenever he can, but always using after the fact as his basis. Meaning he won't look at the circumstances, only at the fact. If RZS didn't have a position in CHABADG7 means Chabad is to blame, right, Schneur? He never bothers to find out why. THE same goes for Avrohom Mayorer; he never bothers to find out that RAM DID have a shtelle as Mashpia in TT in Lod but chose to leave against the Rebbe's wishes.

Also, what he wrote on the maniac's blog about RZS is nothing short of a out and out LIE.

Anonymous said...

Mendel3 said...

Reb Zalman seemingly had dreams of being Rebbe himself."

Bubbe maises. RZS had the schneerson tekifus, so he couldn't come to the Rebbe unless he was totally mivatel himself like a pure chossid and that wouldn't happen. This story of him wanting the job is a detroiter shtus, and reached the point that in the 70's they called him "rebke". He never had such delusions. BTW, he always maintained a connection with the rebbitzen CM,and used to borrow money from her from time to time.

Schneur was not around 770 during the good times, if he can so casually put RZS and RAM (drizin) in the same sentence. He never heard RAM farbreng during sukkos, or hear a shabbos morning chassidus shiur from him. I did both many times, and he was definitely in and more in. Some idiots (again the detroiter sickos) tried to be merachek him, and failed miserably. The mivakshei emes from bochurim and yungeleit who didn't have political slants were always looking for hear another shiur and farbrengen from him.

Isaac Balbin said...

Has anyone heard of Major Ernst Bloch? I cannot understand this fixation with the questionable Canaris in that context.

yontev said...

You claim that Schneour A. always bashes Chabad7 generation using after the fact as the basis.In short you claim he is "biased",right?
One sec.You are a proud dor hashvi'i Lubab,right?You fight the good fight for the dor hashvi'is honour,gerecht?
In other words you have a very "shtarkeh negiah".In plain English that is call a "bias".
Oy azoi,rebbe laiben,why should the non affiliated readers of this blog trust your "bias" more than Schneur A's so called "bias"??

I have followed Schneours comments for years already, starting from at least Mentalblog and I can tell you that his posts are almost always on the money.He is one of the few "frimmeh" who actually knows real history.Re: his so called bias,it's just your subjectivity.
Be well, but try and stop seeing everything with clouded ,one sided glasses

schneur said...

Thanks for the kind words. I see my task as trying to get the Chabad olam to think critically. That means that soemtimes I do go a bit overboard in my words, but B"H many young Chabadnikim have contacted me persoanlly, some to express distaste with me , but others to ask for more information and just to talk.
As far as Zalman Schneerson goes, as early as 1971 people in Kfar Chabad told me he saw himself as a rebbe in 1950. Barry Gourary went further and claimed that he tried to educate his son Reb Sholom Ber shlit'a as a rebbe , but things went haywire there.
Perhaps Zalman Pariser was a loner, but you would be a dreamer to believe that a loner could have saved that many Jewish children in the war years . Such efforts demanded cooperation.
Speaking of loners , the greatest of them ws the last Lubavitcher rebbe who not only could not cooperate with other Orthodox leaders, but had no other high level managers in Chabad itself.
In general the only Schneerson family member of Russian background ever granted a free pass by the Rebbe was rabbi Samuel Butman (Zalman's nephew) who the rebbe appointed Director of Zach. Of course Butman thought it meant soemthing and in the apges of the JEWISH WEEK basically proclaimed himself as the next rebbe.(Groner was not Russian , Rav Yoel Kahan was not a Schneersohn himsef). I can not help but wonder what thinks would be like if Rav Baruch Shimen Schneersohn remained at the helm in TTL in Kfar Chabad .

mib said...

Minor correction.

S. Butman was not appointed Director by the Rebbe... he was hired by R' Dovid Raskin.

Anonymous said...

"R. Avrohom Mayorer and others were never allowed to take positions in Lubavitch"
wasn't Reb Avrohom Mayorer, a mashpia in Israel for a few years, and he didn't want to be there and he was forced by the Rebbe? your hatred to chabad Mavirin Datoch, who from the old chabad was not employed in Chabad, Reb Peretz Mochkin? Reb Nissen? Reb Shlome Chaim?Reb Chaim Shoel ?I will not count Reb Mendel Futterfass since he is probably black listed by you kind,his hiskashrus is too strong for your intellectual wing of chabad, you and your kind are more in to deep mamorim of the Miteler Rebee

Anonymous said...

"the only Schneerson family member of Russian background ever granted a free pass by the Rebbe was"
wasn't Slonim mibies horav given a free pass?

are their schneersons from sephardic backgrounds?

Anonymous said...

"as early as 1971 people in Kfar Chabad told me he saw himself as a rebbe in 1950. Barry Gourary went further"
Did your Rebbe Horav Hatzadik Reb Barry Gourary hate Zalmen Schneersohn too? or he didn't have any valuables, so why hate him?

Anonymous said...

"Speaking of loners , the greatest of them ws the last Lubavitcher rebbe who not only could not cooperate with other Orthodox leaders"
would your shrink consider a loner a person that send close to a few 100,000 correspondence, and spoke to all kind of people for full nights a Loner? I think you need a different psychological term then loaner.

Anonymous said...

"last Lubavitcher rebbe who not only could not cooperate with other Orthodox leaders"
did he believe that all orthodox leaders are Apikorsim or the Satmarer?

The Shver said...

Kaminstki is a lone wolf in his request to honor Canaris. He convinced the city council of Kfar Chabad, a local political body to lend him their stationary. No formal group in Chabad in Israel, Beit Din Rabbonie Chabad , Aguch, Tzach, etc., nor has Merkos, Aguch etc in the US has supported his efforts.
Clearly he seized some headlines with a letter from Kfar Chabad whose job is streets, lights, city services and fixing potholes.
Canaris is unworthy candidate. He was motivated by his desire to keep good relations with the US government. The true hero is the Ernst Bloch who actually saved the Rebbe.
A Lubavitcher

Anonymous said...

I remember a fabrengen of Reb Avrom Mayorer and Reb Yoel in 770, the deep respect he had for Reb Yoels Farshtand in Chassidus, when Reb Pinchos Korf tried to criticize Reb Yoel, Reb Avrohom used on him the harshest words I ever heard.

Anonymous said...

Reb Z. Schneerson put a sign on his door in 1950 that said: : "Harav Shneur Zalman Schneerson - Lubavitch".

(That's why shneur (our shneur : ) ) heard in Kfar Chabad that he tried to proclaim himself Rebbe....
This was common knowledge (not even by "kitzoynim").

Reb Avraham Drayzin was a tziyur in 770 well into his 90s till his passing in the early nuns - davening ba'arichus 3-4 hrs. dayly in the cheder sheini and farbrenging at night.....
Who remembers him saying lechayim, farbaysing on a spoonful of plain mayonnaise and singing "tait iz der ailom".....?????
Sorry for the reminiscing...

Yom Tov Sheiny

Anonymous said...

was Z Shneersohn a chosid from the FR?

chchick said...

I'm no fan of the Detroit Mafia, but I will be dan l'kaf zchus and guess that what they were calling RZS was "Repki" and not "Rebke" after the town in the Ukraine where his father was Rov. (as in calling R' Avrohom Drizin "Mayor" after the town of Mayori).

Milhouse said...

Tzig, there's something wrong with the yichus you give for RZS; if that were his family tree then he'd be R Levik's nephew, and the Rebbe's first cousin.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

let's see.
I think Reb Mendel, his father, was Reb Baruch Shneur's brother. He was Reb Levik's first cousin, IIRC. So I added a generation by mistake.

Thanks for the "heads up."

a shliach said...

while I have full respect for r' shneur, it must be acknowledged that he seems to have been a close friend of berke and at times takes his word as fact ignoring b's likely bias against his uncle.
but obviously the rebbe was a loner, I am surpsirsed at those who dont get it.
(btw for all shneur writes about being available, he answered my emails, but the moment i questioned why he takes every word of bg as fact ignoring possible bias, all further emails were ignored)

Anonymous said...

That zalman Schneerso posted a sign zalman Schneerson-lubavitch is an outright lie. Never happened.

Anonymous said...

My grandfather and his two siblings were saved by zalman schneerson. My grandfather now has dementia and one of the few things he still remembers is that childrens home.