Thursday, July 15, 2010

גאליציאנער שטאלץ

I remember Daled Av as the Bobover Rov HY"D's Yohrtzeit from when I was a child. In Spinka there was a very subtle Bobover influence, especially in summer camp, where many of the counselors were Bobover bachurim and yungeleit. In cheder we had a Bobover Chossid as Menahel and he would teach lots of Kemp Shalvah songs, as well as the older Bobover nigunim. Come daled Av the Bobover boocherim would pack out and head to New York or to one of the Bobover camps to prave the Yohrtzeit. If it fell out on Shabbos it was a whole Shabbos away from us kids. Anyway. Those are my childhood memories of that day. Looking back I would say that some of us were envious of the bachurim; maybe it was for all the wrong reasons, maybe it was because they got to leave camp and not us, but maybe it was because we also wanted to go to the vaunted Bobover Rebbe. Bobov was way cooler than Spinka, in the eyes of a young kid anyway. Not that we used words like "cool" back then in Spinka, but you get my point, I hope.

One can appreciate the Bobover Roov's greatness when we look back at what he accomplished back in Galicia. If my memory serves me correctly there were dozens of Bobower Jeschiwoth spread all across the Galicianer plain. Many of these boys were sons of very simple folk and had very little potential. Many, not necessarily the majority. I once heard Rabbi Dr. Hershel Fried talk about the Roov and how he would take these "Mountain Jews" who didn't own a pair of shoes and would make "mentshen" out of them. Besides for teaching them Torah he would teach them how to speak properly, teach them how to eat using cutlery - fork and KNIFE - and how to take them care of themselves. Kind of a Kovod Ho'Odom approach, but without sacrificing the Chassidishe Levush and ideals. Yes, they were jealous of him, his cousins, especially the other Sanzer Eyniklach who had very little to show as far as accomplishing in the realm of Yiddishkeit. ב א ב ו ב is Roshei Teivos "בא אחיך במרמה ויקח ברכותיך," they said. While many of the Sanzer Rov's children were still alive and well, their brother's GRANDCHILD was building Yiddishkeit and producing feine Yungeleit, talmidei chachomim, by the hundreds. He took the zeide's broches and ran with them, so to speak.

Matzeivah recently placed at the site of the mass murder outside Lemberg/Lwow. Reb Benzion Halberstam of Bobov was one of the murdered.

The Belzer Chassidim laughed at him and called him a Mechalel Shabbos because he came to shul with shiny shoes on Shabbos morning after walking home from shul on a muddy street. "It must've been that he polished them," they said. It never ocurred to them that he had a second pair... So while Belz was losing their young men and women to the ills of the day, Bobov was building. The Bobover Roov saw past the "s'nisht inzer minheg & choodesh ooser min Hatoyreh" (in this case) and confronted the ills of the times head on. It takes a big man to recognize that what he's doing is right no matter the scorn from others. We saw some of that in RBZ's son in our days, when his son took a decimated group of survivors and restored SOME of the glory here in the United States. But In America, when all groups see themselves as belonging to the same cookiecutter Yiddishkeit/Chassides it's tough to stand out and shine. Here too Bobov was the butt of many jokes among other Chassidic groups, but here they have less to point to as far as accomplishments. Less, I said, not that they have nothing. May Hashem avenge the blood of the Kedoshim, veHu Besoychom, speedily and in our days!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for such a nice post.

No matter what the street says, the Bobover Rebbes always had respect and spoke highly of the accomplishments of Chabad, unlike the Rebbes of other groups who cursed them, until they needed them like Klausenburg who came crawling when he needed kosher food in Texas after surgery.

To give credit where due R' Naftuli Halberstam was the only noted chassidish leader to be at the levaye of the Rebbe and pay respects....

While Leible Groner spoke of the kesher between the Rebbe and R' Yoilish (later cooled when he became sick and his goons took over), Bobov is the one large group who did the right thing even when it brought scorn on themselves for not towing the line.....

By the way the Kedushas Tzion had 44 yeshivas (Rodomsk had 36) and not only saved the ruchniyus in Galicia, they helped clothe and feed thousands of Jewish children.....

The Rebbe once said that the debts the family took on were enormous and unlike Rebbes of today, they gave away their own food and clothes so another yid shouldn't suffer.

The Bobover Rebbe once said his father got as much joy when giving away his own coat as when he made a siyum sefer torah.

Where do we find such self-less leaders today ???

Anonymous said...

The Bobover Rebbe once said Burich Hashem for the Lubavitcher Rebbe, he is doing the work all of us should be doing.......

The Rebbe Rebbe was one of the only Rebbes who spoke openly and honestly after the war....

The rest are made out to be malachim and re-write history about what they did to survive during the war....They are too scared that if they are honest they will lose their chassidim.....

The Bobover Rebbe's greatness lay in his ability to be honest and his ability to build up

Many of the vaise zoken brigade of Boro Park would be married to shiksas if not for the Bobover Rebbes work.

Littly is know of his work to procure visas for literally thousands of yidden....his going from factory to factory to find work for the pleitim......

Unheard of is his waking up people at 4am for years to pick up boys to learn in his yeshiva.. for taking personal loans so that people who couldn't afford it would give their children a torah education.....

Others were involved but I don't know any other Rebbe who got their hands dirty adn did it themselves......

Reb Naftuli missed the kabulas punim of his first grandchild's chasuna because he was meeting a high level politician on a klal matter....which other Rebbe misses their own einikel's chasuna so that the klal should benefit ?????

Bobov makes a chanuka tish to Celebrate the 'zeida' the Admor Hazoken's arriving home safely after Yud Tes Kislev....

When people criticise Bobov.....they should know that so little is known of the klal work the Rebbes did.....Reb Shlomo and Reb Naftuli were the Moshe Leib Sasover's of today.....

yehupitz said...

Now that is a post to be proud of!!

Why? Because it's a moving tribute, befitting an Adam Gadol. It outlines impressive parts of his life that are well known and many points that are not known to many, but would be of great interest.

Because in your style, it has just enough Avak Loshon Hara (about his detractors, the Roshei Teivos etc.) to make it geshmak to our Yeitzer Haras as well, without being mean or vicious.

Because it says something unique (non-cookie cutter) about a Chassidishe Rebbe who is not Chabad, without resorting to a shtoch even subliminally.

It provides a fascinating historical detail that I never knew (that he's descended from R Chaim Sanzer's BROTHER, and not R Chaim himself!)

About such posts I say כן ירבו.

David said...

Please the Klusenberger did not have a kesher with the Rebbe? When he was sick he didn’t send a kvitel to the Rebbe. Please get your facts straight. In any case, without the Klausenberger many Bobover Chassidim would not be frum today. Listen the Bobover Rabbe was a nice good person but to lump him together with the truly great doers, such as the Rebbe or the Klausenberger or even the Satmarer demonstrates a lack of facts regarding our history after WWII.

Anonymous said...

I am disturbed by the subtleties of the post. The author lauds only the accomplishments that he, subjectively, deems honorable. Notice: only the lower-class' attention by the BR is appreciated. NOT, the yeshiva network that produced many TC's (presumably)


Anonymous said...

Please show any evidence of a kesher between the Rebbe and Klausenburger until the time the Klausenburger got sick and relied on shluchim for his religious needs when outside NY.

The Kalusenburger was a tzadik but a sad bitter man....

Anonymous said...

I think what the previous poster is missing is the fact that unlike other Rebbes....the Bobover Rebbes main gadlus is what he did bseser, not only that he rebuilt Bobov.

He did for everyone......never playing party politics or speaking out against people of different hashkafos....

Anonymous said...


My question to you is how many hundreds of LIVES did the klausenberger or Satmarer rebbe save in Bochnia Ghetto and helped to escape to Hungary? Or did they smuggle borders back to Hungary to bury the dead and were seen giving out bread to anyone who would assist in Chesed She'll Emes, like the Bobover Rebbe!

If anything is the question How dare you lump the Bobover Rebbe who went through six years of Hitler lost his wife and children not like the Hungarian yidden who also lost their beloved families but suffered less pain time wise!

How can you lump the Bobover Rebbe who lived outside the Ghetto and risked his life every Motzei Shabbos to GO INTO THE GHETTO to eat melava malkah with the Chasidim and to be mechasek them!

How can write this about hashems prince who organized a yeshiva in the Ghetto of Bochnia in a bunker where tens of Bucharim studied under his tutelage and with Rabbi Baruch Konigiser!

How dare speak this way of a person risked his life for Daled minim when other Rebbes simply gave up on the mitzvah and his siyata dishmaya in obtaining them.

How aren't embarrased to dare write about someone who with ahavah brought together a group of yidden who suffered through six years of Ghettos, concentration and death camps(Auschwitz, Birkenau, Belzec, Treblinka, Madanyek, Tresenschdat etc.) And nursed them back to life physically, mentally, spiritually!

How dare you write about a yid who was Threatened by fellow jews when he addressed them in the Chevrah Tehilim shul to hide and dig bunkers in Budapest before the nazis came in and was almost turned in to the nazis by the Hungarian Yidden "for the sin of creating panick".

Get to know some history and then decide who great men are! And what greatness is!

But you are right in one regard he would be the only person who wouldn't care if you embarrased him or wrote bad things about him!!!

Yes true some Bobovers lived in the Fernwald Dp camp and learnt and basked with the Klausenberger rebbe zt"l, but that doesn't diminish the great work of the Bobover who was active in Bari, Italy and in Rome where he set up a yeshivah and started his chasidis with Tishen and all with the yidden in Bari.

He built a trade school in NY, he brought over hundreds of NON Bobovers to the USA through his Vaad for Pidyon Sheviim!

Anonymous said...


The Bobover Rebbe was a son of R'Shloma (de ershter ruv) who was the son of R' mayer Noson The son of R' Chaim of sanz.

He was the son in law of The Divrei Chaim's son R' Shalom Lazer of Ratzferta.

yehupitz said...

anon 1:19am,

Are you saying that Tzig got this detail wrong, (or that I misunderstood him, it's hard to parse that sentence) and that the Bobover Rebbes are direct ben achar ben of R Chaim?


Anonymous said...

Kinderlach. Stop the bickering. You are beginning to sound like children in the sandbox. "My rebbe is greater than your rebbe."

Each of these rebbes accomplished a great deal for Klal Yisroel. The Bobover Rebbes ZT"L each did their important pieces, from the yeshivos in Galicia to the she'airis hapleitah after WWII. The Lubavitcher Rebbes ZT"L accomplished with their kiruv the bringing of many thousands of neshamos to Yiddishkeit. The Klausenberger Rebbe ZT"L was highly active in rescuing Yidden during and after the war with legendary mesiras nefesh. And each did much more that that. And there were others who have been chronicled as tzaddikim doing and accomplishing much.

It is not our role to judge any of them in comparison to any other. Each tzaddik has his schar awaiting him, as do each of us for the mitzvos and accomplishments we accumulate. If there is the concept of one tzaddik being greater than another, that is purely in eyes of HKB"H. Not for us. We need to see each of them in their uniqueness, learn lessons from their greatness, whether in tzedokoh, chesed, avodas Hashem, limud haTorah, midos, etc.

Is there more kedusha in a lavishly decorated Sukkah, as is done in Bobov (following a mesora from Ropshitz)? Or is there greater kedusha in a simple Sukkah, as is customary in Chabad? The answer is that the kedusha is brought in by the Yid sitting there, not by the decorations. If we enter it preoccupied with ga'avah for outdoing another, or even the thoughts of personal comfort, we might have lost the lustre of the mitzvah. Bobov and Chabad each follow their mesora, and the real kedusha lies in that, not the comparison.

Kinderlach, grow up. Focus on the aspect of מה ה' שואל מעמך

If we realize that each chassidus has its uniqueness and is special, we will be able to benefit most from what every derech of avodas Hashem can teach us.

איזהו חכם הלומד מכל אדם.

That mishna is there for you and for me.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

Tzig got which detail wrong?!

I said that the SR's sons saw their brother's grandson accomplish much. I know the Bobover yichus, believe me.

R Meir Nosson
R Shlomo of Visnitzeh and Bobov
R BenZion of Bobov
R Shlomo II
R Naftoli - R Benzion II

Bobov Insider said...

As much you folks are trying to portray the wonderful relationship our rebbe had with the lubavitcher rebbe it just reinforces his greatness in being a super diplomat in avoiding to antagonize anyone big and small,
As a former crown heights bobov resident i can attest that the following is the only reason that our rebbe and the whole bobov kehila moved away from crown heights,
as a bucher then, I heard it many times discussed among my parents who were very close confidants to our rebbe and also left CH on our rebbes guidance,
and that is:
Because of the then great need of securing the shchuna from the goiyim and since lubavitch was taken a lead in that goal, it necessitated a certain closeness to lubavitich and lubavitch started to use it as a avenue to missionize our kids into lubavitch , he felt as all other Jews who then lived in CH , that rather to create barriers and friction between yiden , our rebbe felt its better to move away altogether from a place his kehila settled in beautifully,
so defacto its not from the schwartsas we and others ran away but from lubavitch

yehupitz said...

I misunderstood you then. I thought you were saying that the Bobover was descended from the SR's brother.

Anonymous said...

There is a letter to Klausenberger Rebbe on his wedding in Igros Kodesh and that was years before

Russian Chusid said...


YOu are contradicting yourself. According to you, how can R'Benzion be such a ohev isruel (which he definatly was) and such a kanoi at the same time?According to you it can not work.

ej said...

I agree with all those who have praised your post.Outsiders and quasi outsiders need much more understanding of chasidus from within to make sense of the chasidisher world. All the rest, the badmouthing of or by Lubavitch will amount to nothing. The details, that only those who are within the chasidisher world have a chance of ever knowing, are the valuable commodity.

Two of dozens of possible examples.An anonymous blogger just said sort of bederch agav "The Kalusenburger was a tzadik but a sad bitter man." Is this true? If it were my blog I would follow up and try to pin this down.It is important to know the effects of the camps on such a heroic personality. Tzig said "the other Sanzer Eyniklach (who) had very little to show as far as accomplishing in the realm of Yiddishkeit." Yes,no, maybe...I've heard this more than once, but I would like some more details how everyone is so certain.In a post as rich in details as this, every other sentence is worthy of a separate post.

Anonymous said...

When anyone wants to express anything at all about Tzanzer eineklach, is there an idea of just how many there are, and who they are? Among the existing chassidus of today, this will include nearly everyone of them. How about Twersky families of Chernobil (BP and Bnei Brak) who descend from Reb Shayele of Cherchoiv - Krakau? How about the Twerski family of Hornesteipel - Milwaukee who descend from Reb Mottele (SIL of Divrei Chaim) and Kedushas Tzion of Bobov? There are members of the Halberstam family who are roshei yeshivos, maggidei shiur, rabbonim, dayanim, sofrim, as well as those with secular education and training that do much for the Klal. Many accomplish much for Yiddishkeit (as do many others who are not Tzanzer eineklech). These generalizations are neither accurate, nor should be welcomed by anyone with a decent amount of intelligence. One can extol the virtues of anyone without knocking or downing others.

Haven't we learned the lessons of the second churban beis hamikdosh of sin'as chinom? A little achdus goes a long way. Since this thread began with discussion about Bobov, was the message of achdus by Reb Shloimele ZT"L not a hallmark of his? What will it take for us to hear it?

Russian Chusid said...


Great 2 posts!Our Tsigele, LOVES generalizing. Tsanzer kinder did a lot for yidishkeit in Galitsia-some b kamus and some b'eichos. And Rpshitser kinder did not???RBTZ saved a lot of bucherim- thats great, but lets say Ropshitser kinder were mechayei yiden with their dovening.How do you know what acomplished what? So, it is not healthy to generelise.
like by a Stmarer everybody are tsiyonim, and vice versa...
Tsigile, you conversion process did not even start... :)

David said...

Anonymous Friday, July 16, 2010 12:48:00 AM:
Please, it’s ridiculous to judge the Klausenberger rebbe by how big was his kesher with the Rebbe. He was a great man with or without a kesher to the Rebbe. As to you next spurious claim that he was a bitter man, you obviously were indoctrinated by Satmar. Many of you Bobover only read the Satmar rags so it’s to be expected. The one who maybe was bitter was the Bobover who even in the heim did not stay in town when the Klasusenberger came. Clearly there was some jealousy toward his much greater cousin. I would add that Bobov has the unique distinction of building his Chasidus on shalom. Of course this is a laudable achievement, but he did so because he had no alternative. He could not compete with the great rebbes of his generation. Don’t get me wrong I do believe that the Bobover rebbe was a great person, but please some perspective is called for.

David said...

Anonymous Friday, July 16, 2010 1:12:00 AM:
Your argument regarding the amount of people that the Klausenberger and Satmarer did or didn’t save would have been much more accurate had you only mentioned the Satmar rebbe. The fact that you included the Klausenberger rebbe proves that you are not objective and do not know history (besides for the history indoctrinated by Bobov). No one did more for Yiddishkite immediately following WWII than the Klausenberger rebbe (even a Bobover Chasid admitted that the Klausenberger rebbe was the most instrumental leader in the DP camps, read Kos Tanchumah). Moreover, The Klausenberger suffered as much as anyone (maybe not as long as everyone but that is an irrelevant point). Besides for his time in concentration camp he lost his entire family of eleven children and his wife.

Clearly I was referring to the classification of a great mhanig. Regarding this I wrote that the Bobover was not in the league of the Rebbe or the Klasenberger or even the Satmarer. Can one compare the Torah of the Bobover to these rebbes? Can one compare these rebbes who were great forward thinkers to the Bobover? I think that they were in a different league.

As to some of your other claims they are definitely typical Chassidishe fairytales and revisionism. Do you know the history of the Bobover immediately following the war? I suspect you would deny it all. Again I believe that he was a very special and great person, I don’t think that we can stand in judgment of any of these kodoshim, but I am calling for some perspective.

Anonymous said...


Were you thrown out of Bobov as a child ?

A bit of an ax to grind ??

Russian Chusid said...


I do not think so. He is just trying to point out mid-tone areas, since not everything is black and white.

In any case, say that Bobover did a lot, hot ernst gemeint,a sakh ofgrtyin and given a erlicher yid is one thing, but to put him in one row with giants like Satmar Roov, Lubavitcher Rebbe, Klausenberger Rebbe, Boyaner Rebbe, Kopishnitser, Belzer Zal is insane.

Anonymous said...

Looking at a Geza as Sanz that claimed to be the torchbearer of Torah and Avodah in the open, not the Ruzhiner style of all avoda and torah is bepnimius, Then where on the ladder were the 2 bobovers RBZ the 1st and Reb Shloma the 2nd? Maybe they have a place in Biush or Shetefenesht of the old? but how can you be a Rebbe in that geza? Hashem Yireh Lelavoiv and he knows the inner souls of these Rebbes, But sanz Ribbono Shel Olem is not that style. A Rebbe that is davening in a simple weekday 2 to 3 hours in the Dp Camps or in a hospital after a open Heart Surgery in a NY Hospital. Or say Torah at Shovavim for 2 hours with quoting passages of Shas Midrashim Chasidus and Kabala Or writing Teshuvahs in all 4 segments of Shulchan Orech ( if I am correct their was no Sanzer einikel from the whole Geza before the war or after the war that was in the same league as the Einikel of Klozh)Or giving shiurium on Masechtes Kesubas to the tune of 3 volumes. I believe if someone has the faintest idea what Sanz is all about he will not need big explanations. Plus the oxymoron of being a Sanzer rebbe and having your rebetzin and kids go with Peah Nochrith, do they really think that wearing and possesing all the Geblumte Bekiches with the black velvet stripes even on the bathing suit was the priority number 1 by the Sanzer Rov, or cutting the onions by the Shabbos Morning tish was priority number 1 by the sanzer rov, His war against Wigs was fire.... I am not a Sanzer chosid at all, but the difference is Zoak Ad Lev Hashomaim

Anonymous said...

today is the yurtziet dalid uv
bring up the article

Anonymous said...

I am appalled at the polar opposites of some writing appropriate accolades about the tzaddikim of the recent and previous generations and those who seek to denigrate and demean tzaddikim who accomplished and continue to accomplish much for Klal Yisroel. Someone was correct at noting that no one has the right to stand in judgment of any other Yid, let alone a tzaddik. Neither is there any acceptable rational justification to compare any two people, kal vachomer tzaddikim. It is sinful to mock the minhagim of tzaddikim, whether their minhag of levush, whether their derech of how to serve Hashem, or how to reach out to others. It is undoubted that every individual has their own G-d given assets, and they are solely responsible to channel their energy into fulfilling ratzon Hashem. If the Bobover Rebbe did not engage in mivtza'im, it was not a failure of his. Rather it was not his mission. He had other missions, which he did with considerable mesiras nefesh, and all should recognize the holiness with which he contributed so much to Klal Yisroel. Praising his mitzvos and maasim tovim in no way detracts from the praises earned by others. I struggle to understand the bitterness and misguided anger of those who use this comment section to dump garbage on others. Klal Yisroel gained so much from the tzaddikim whose mesiras nefesh benefited so many. No reason to ruin it with sour grapes.

Anonymous said...

I really liked the article, and the very cool blog