Friday, April 29, 2011

Skverrer Folklore - Oops, maybe it wasn't so...

Column "בלשון חסידים" the 4th paragraph, is the focus of our post today. I've heard this "story" ever since I was a young lad in cheder - that the Skverrer Tzaddikim had the Tanya bound from both sides, since it was "too holy" to learn, but "too holy" not to have in the bookshelf. I'm not sure what I supposed to do with that piece of info, but that was the story. Now it seems like the Skverrer Chassidim made the "fatal mistake" (as the reader who sent this to me called it) of actually printing this for all to see. I suppose it makes them look bad for being so "closed-minded?" That they're so afraid of the Tanya that they need to control their urges and bind it all around.

But it seems like the legend is not for all to see and enjoy. Once word got out some people started getting hot around the collar, it seems. The הכחשה in the column "קוראים כותבים" is of an interesting variety. Not that they didn't bind the sefer haTanya from both sides, it's just that Reb Yankev Yosef never showed it to them, since he had no such חפצים from his zeide Reb Itzikel Skverrer... Then again; maybe it was his own sefer haTanya that he showed them, not his zeides, so we may have not saved ourselves by publishing the "clarification" after all, because Skver still comes out looking bad for binding a sefer that they disagree with.

Monday, April 18, 2011

דער חסיד'ס געבעט

Received via e-mail

This Brisker guy goes to bake matzoh - he drives the whole place nuts. The water is too warm, the flour is too wet, the oven is too cool. Every chumra and then some is on this guy's list. Finally he gets a teygel of dough and it's moist, so he throws it out, followed by 23 more teyglach. After a while he gets the dough he wants, rolls it perfectly to shiur, and repeats this 15 times and produces 15 matzos, of which he decides 12 are not worthy. So he leaves with his 3 matzos and heads to the Griz's (Der Rov) house for final approval of his charred ash matzos. On the way he meets a chusid who has a box of freshly baked matzos. He says to the chusid: "nu, which chumros did you use in baking your matzos?" The chusid looks at the Brisker and admits that he had no chumros, but he says "this morning I said tehilim that Hashem should make sure I get only kosher matzos." The Brisker is so touched by the chusid's faith that he says "Gevalt, I want such holy matzos please switch with me." The chusid gladly obliges the Brisker and swaps with him. Later the Brisker tells the Brisker Rov the whole story to which the Rov replies: "the chusid davened well so he got your kosher Matzo, you on the other hand have chametz."

א כשר'ן פרייליכן פסח

Sunday, April 17, 2011

As we burn the Chometz, let's tell the people in Bnei Beraq to to cease mimicking Greek Customs...

It's terrible, putting pictures of their leaders in the crib of a newborn baby, mamesh like the - Lehavdil - Greeks and Italians with their "Saints." Where did this awful "minhag" come from?! I see the Steipler, Maran, and Reb Shmuel Rozovsky, which is a bit of a head-scratcher, since he wasn't known to be one the "Gedolim."

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Impostors Of Jewish Journalism

Guest post by Guravitzer

Ki Lo Ami should be the name of the magazine. These editors are not part of my nation, and their beliefs are not mine. Editorial slant is always discernable, most discernable in yellow journalism. Hate journalism. Fear-mongering journalism. There are impostors among us! Rise to action! Which is obviously impossible, because this is fear of thought – how is the average frum citizen supposed to take action against the thoughts of their spouse, friend or rabbi? The call to action is spurious. “It’s a story about the dangers that the Internet poses to emunas Yisrael” is their editorial summary. Locking up the internet will not remove kefira. As is the case with every journalistic call to fear, people with questions of Emunah have always existed, will always exist, and people who continue to keep Torah and Mitzvos while harboring questions of Emunah have always existed as well. The dangerous use of yellow journalism is evident throughout. “Aharon is a fraud.” “Infiltrators in our communities.” “They behave and dress like you and me.” “Pose many more dangers to society.” “Duplicitous, heretical infiltrators.” “These fifth-columnists.” “An ominous rebellion.” “These heretics are among us.” “Almost…mentally ill.” “Be forewarned: He may be the one coming to pick up your daughter tonight.”

This article is not an indication of the failing of these dangerous, ominous, fraudulent, infiltrators who dress like you and me (I pity them – hopefully they have better dress sense than I do). This article indicates the failing of the Litvishe world. There are failures in every community, this article is in particular about the Litvishe failing. The vaise zoken mentioned in the article don’t fail for the reasons mentioned. There are two statements of Chazal to consider here. “A person can’t proclaim themselves wicked.” In context of forcing a divorce although Halachah states the husband must be willing, “We compel him until he states, I am willing.” The Rebbe would often remind us of the Rambam’s explanation of the legal reasoning. Every person is willing to do Hashem’s will – even if unaware. It’s subconscious. Since subconsciously the husband’s Neshama wants to do the right thing, and he proclaims that he is willing to do the right thing, the fact that he had to be compelled is irrelevant Halachically. We trust his inner Neshama, not his outward boasts. And the first statement of Chazal tells us that we don’t trust his outward boasts either – if a person declares that they no longer believe, there is room to disbelieve them. If they perform Mitzvos but declare themselves a Mumar, why shouldn’t we trust their actions? The editorial slant is therefore not only tragic, but incorrect. There is no Psak Din here about drinking their wine, which would have to be given case by case. This is whether we accept them as one of us and find the fault within ourselves, or stage them as the enemy with ourselves as innocent victims.

The Litvishe world has made a conscious decision for centuries to ignore all matters of Emunah. The books they have reluctantly written are nonsense. The Creator they speak of, the Almighty, has no logical coherence. This world has no answers to the questions – and that is the true danger. As was once said in response to a report of apikorsus, “the G-d they believe in, I don’t believe in either.” The many logical fallacies in this article demonstrate the logical inconsistencies of this world. There is almost no paragraph without such errors. Eliyahu and his declaration to stop following both Hashem and Baal has no place here. Those people held dual beliefs, this article is about people who profess no belief but follow the instructions of Hashem. A vibrant appreciation of beauty and truth of Mitzvos is declared the antidote, but beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and truth is only arrived at by questions and answers. In fact, these people have a vibrant appreciation of Mitzvos – they still observe Mitzvos! They found cultural value in Mitzvos. Perhaps more so than those that decry them in this article. To say that, “He outwardly pretends to be…observant,” is incorrect as fact, and any decent editor would catch this. He is observant of Mitzvos. Lack of Emunah doesn’t negate that and make it pretension. This is evident again in the story of a yungerman without belief watching a believing man commit an aveira – the sinner must be at risk to the editors, at the same level as the yungerman. In reality, the believer may simply have indulged his desires while still believing.

The statements of the professionals and Gedolim further illustrate the faults of this world. Contrast the story of finding comic books and declaring that reading silliness means this person can’t pursue intellectual studies, which flies in the face of reality, to the Frierdike Lubavitcher Rebbe stating for American-raised bochurim that, while intellectual and romantic novels damage a person’s Neshoma, reading political ideologies is just silliness which is easily remedied. Comic books wouldn’t even merit a mention. With all due respect to the Bais Halevi, this statement is wrong on every level: “The end proof of faith is faith, and the best someone else can do for the avowed Apikorus is to daven for him.” This is the ultimate expression of the confusion in the Litvishe world, then and now. We are maaminim bnai maaminim, that is faith, and we are commanded to know Hashem, that is theological and philosophical proof. Where the Bais Halevi ends in davening, that is only the beginning for us. Answer the questions. If you don’t have the answers, step down from your position of Godol and defer to the Lubavitcher Rebbeim in matters of Emunah just as you did in matters of Askonus. Did Reb Boruch Ber really fight for years to remove one statement of mockery from his mind? Fight fire with fire, fight mockery of us with mockery of the world and kofrim, as Chazal tell us, “all mockery is forbidden, other than mockery of avoda zara which is permitted.” As Chasidus teaches, this refers to any avoda which is zar to us. For the grand finale, the reporter passes judgment. “After all, I did not have much in common with one who has lost his last vestige of spirituality and G-dliness.” Yes, you do. Spirituality and Elokus is not determined by you, it is gift from Hashem. You both have a nefesh hoElokis. You both have a nefesh haBehamis. We are all children of One father. May He have mercy on your souls, dear journalist, dear editors, and dear publisher.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

ר' אברהם'ס יארצייט

[ A Guest book review on his biography - by Schneur, in honor of Reb Avrohom's 20th Yohrtzeit, 10 Nissan. ]

with the Rebbe, zy"a, 5750

Every once in a while an important and unusual book appears on the scene. We are familiar with books that are biographies of famous Rabbonim and gedolim.These have become common place in our days. These are published in Hebrew and English. While they are at times criticized for playing with history, they do an important service in serving as Mussar seforim and showing how great Jews lived their lives and devoted themselves to Avodath hashem. Lubavitch has also been blessed with many biographical studies both of the 7 Rebbes and of individual chassidim. Most of these have appeared in Hebrew and have not been fully appreciated by the reader not at ease with Hebrew. The book under review is a first it is written in an excellent English and portrays an important personage in 20th century Lubavitch history. Years ago a friend of mine who is a devout Bobover chasid told me that as a teenager older Bobover chassidim told him to go over to 770 during Yamim Tovim and see how the elder Lubavitcher "hoben farbracht". The older Chosid referred to these men as the talmidei haBesht. Indeed they were such! Indeed these men were the talmidim of the Rashab and many of them spent years in the Soviet Union where they practiced Judaism under the worst of conditions.

Rabbi Avrohom Drizin, known as Avrohom Mayorer, was an unusual chosid indeed; that he was not only a chosid of all 3 Lubavitcher Rebbes in the 20th century, but also excelled in all 3 areas of Jewish service. If the Rebbe stressed an inyon Reb Avrohom was there to implement this inyon. Indeed he was a major league lamdan who served as a Rosh Yeshiva in the Central Lubavitcher Yeshiva in Nevel. He was a devoted Oved hashem and chasid. he spent long hours at prayer and studying chassiduth. He was also as mentioned mekushar to the Lubavitcher Rebbes of his time. In the years of persecution in the Soviet Union , he also excelled in gemillas chassadim, practicing "Eys La'asos lashem hefeiru torasecho". He became a pillar of chessed, and gemmillas Chesed to the Chabad community in the Soviet union. He was not a "zaddik in Peltz" but cared about his fellow man and Jews. But his service was not limited to the spiritual and personal level, for years he acted as the director of the Lubavitcher yeshivos in the Soviet union and made sure these schools and their students had food, and the proper material items needed for their survival. This at great personal cost. In fact Reb Avrohom was a one man communal institution representing Chabad in the Soviet Union.


At a farbrengen in Israel, 1950's

Later Reb Avrohom came to Israel where he helped build the yeshiva in KFAR CHabad, and in fact helped build Kfar Chabad itself serving in many executive and spiritual positions. In the US Reb Avrohom became the symbol of a true Chabad chasid, someone devoted to the Chabad community, to his Rebbe and to the legacy of Chabad. This volume explores all these facets of Reb Avrohom's life and much more. We learn about his family back ground and his home town of Mayor in White Russia, We learn about the social and cultural conditions that shaped his early personality and that sent him to study in the Lubavitcher yeshiva in Lubavitch. We aslo learn about his father in law, Rabbi Zalman Moshe HaYitzchaki who was a "farzaitike" Lubavitcher chasid whose farbrengungs are legendary. Though not a Tamim, Reb Zalman was a fiery chasid completely mekushar to the Rabbeim. The book written by a grandson of Reb Avrohom, is finely edited, well illustrated and well footnoted. All facts are well documented. Though the book is written by a grandson, there is little attempt made at portraying him as a super man . He was a man who lived in difficult times and though never compromising his Jewish and Chabad beliefs, coped with the reality of various situations. And the author does not hide this. I also think the book portrays the life of the White Russian shtetel in a manner that an American reader can understand what exactly was going on in those times. The religious and political forces at work and how this affected the general Jewish community and the Chabad community. I think every reader will read with fascination the chapters dealing with Reb Avrohom's life under Communism . His leadership role, his messiras nefesh and the miracle of being able to stay one step ahead of the authorities . It seems that Reb Avrohom was always inspired and led by the thought of how would the Rebbe act, how would he want him to behave; and Reb Avrohom was adept at receiving these moral and spiritual instructions from the Lubavitcher Rebbes.

with Teimaner Kinder in the Lubavitcher Yeshivah in Lod, 1950's
What comes across in the book is also Reb Avrohom's tremendous ahvas Israel to all Jews, not only chabad chasidim. I have met people from the YU community who were highly impressed by his personality when spending time with him in the Catskills during the summers. He was an ish Ha-Eshkolith, as I mentioned. But he was also a true Chasid contemplating his behavior and his person. As the author relates in a wonderful story in the preface to the book as to how when the situation called for it, he could farbreng with no one else but himself ! And yet this same person set the gold standard for farbrengungs in Crown Heights with many in attendance. But for him the quantity was of no importance it was the quality even if it was only himself. The volume also depicts Reb Avrohom's doros - his children raised under Communist persecution yet developing into proud Chabad chassdim and many serving as shluchim in various parts of the world. Reb Avrohom represented Chabad at its best. many of us are only familiar with the great Chabad Rebbes, but what made Chabad ever great is the quality of chassidim who these rebbes produced and chose to follow these rebbes in fire and water.
Although not a Rebbe , Reb Avrohom was a true Chasid.I think this volume can serve as not only a lucid account of chabad history in the 20th century but also an inspirational account for the younger generation of Chassidim of all stripes today. A few final words of full disclosure , I did have a minor role in the production of this volume and I was honored to do so. In addition my late uncle Reb Zalman Alperowitz was a friend of Reb Avrohom who was also part of the hanhola of the Lubavitcher yeshiva in Nevel serving with reb Avrohom.. As we appraoch the 20th Yarzeit of reb Avrohom on the 10th day of Nissan , we know that just as he was a devoted chosid in this world he remains so (maybe even more so) in the sublime spiritual world. I pray that many will avail themselves of this volume and read about the life and times of Reb Avrohom and be inspired as these days are not only his yortzeit, but also the birthday of the Lubavitcher Rebbe whose leadership continues to inspire the Jewish world.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What's in the Press These days

Ami Magazine, April 6, 2011 - The Impostors Among Us

I haven't read the whole thing yet, or really any of it, but based on a few of the "grabs" I can see that a ban on "Ami" is coming very soon.

Monday, April 11, 2011

אשר בחר בנו מכל העמים

A melamed with children in Bukhara, 1910

They say in the name of C.N. Bialik that he hated the Arabs because "they're similar to the Sefaradim..." say what you want about CNB; but I doubt that feeling had anything to do with his beliefs on Torah and Zionism, and whether or not he put on Rabbeinu Tam's Tefillin... I do not claim to know the answer as to why Jews were so adverse - to use a light term - to anybody that wasn't exactly like them. That goes for their fellow Jews as well, even if they were from the next town over, or right over the border. עאכו"כ if they spoke and looked differently! I would assume that it was like that with all the Gentiles as well, and maybe that's where we picked it up, much like lots of other ideas we have and things we do. Most of us brought this with us to America and to E. Yisroel, just like we brought our clothing and minhogim, although, to our credit, we don't harp as much on the backgrounds as we used to. Polish and Hungarian are known to mix and marry, which was unheard of a century ago, and in some circles you might even see an Eastern Jew marry a Western Jewess, and vice versa, and I don't speak of the newly religious crowd when I say that.

I attended a wedding of Bukharian Jews last week. It was my first time. There was lots to enjoy there - more food than you'd see at an Ashkenazi wedding that had 5 times as many people attend. Non-stop food. Both at the smorgasbord, and then later, at the meal. The music was outstanding, mostly Bukharian "songs" with a great singer and GREAT music. These guys REALLY know how to handle the instruments, especially those drums that they play, both the big bongo-like drum, and the smaller drum, the one that looks like something a baker would use to mold pies. You hold it in both hands and use mostly your left hand to drum. You need to be really quick with that thing in order for it to work properly and give you the desired sound, and these guys were just that! And you also have these long drum solos, which makes doing your job twice as difficult, sice you're holding a heavy drum in your hand and going on and on and on - all without the help of "banned substances." Sorry for boring you there, but this was the first wedding in a long time where I was actually interested in what was going on, so I thought I'd share, especially since it "inspired" this blog post.

I bring you that Bialik (ptoo!) pearl of wisdom because that's what ocurred to me at the wedding, G-d forgive me for that blasphemous thought. I have become somewhat less tolerant lately, almost as if it was against my will, as if it was a new Yetzer HoRah that I never really experienced before. So I looked around and I began to make Bialik's comparison - basically that these B'nei Avrohom Yitzchok VeYaakov were just like the Arabs, r"l. The strange customs, the style of brachot and at maariv, it all sounded so Arabic to me! I closed my eyes and saw the Muezzin calling the faithful to prayer! I know, I know, this kind of thinking is terrible, but what could I do? Mind you, I love the culture, the music, the piyutim, and lots of other things about it. The Rabbi pictured below was at the wedding, as well as a younger Rov, who other than his dark complexion looked like a regular Yeshivaman, Ashkenazi, he even had peyos behind his ears, which is rare for Bukharians, yet when he said the brachot under the chuppah and later davened maariv he sounded like that muezzin (ptoo!) again! This inherent Racism that I harbor is to be understood, I guess, since old habits die hard, they say. I would imagine that the old time shuls with the "cathedral" ceilings and with the chazzonim and their outfits would sound like a Timeh, leHavdil, to an Eastern Jew.

Reuters Photo

This is where Asher Bochar Bonu comes in. In cheder many of us are/were taught that a Yid is only as good as what he does. We're better than the Goyim since we don't eat pork and shrimp. We're better because we don't go to the bar and blow the rent money every day. We don't kill and maim and harm other people. We were also taught that a Yid has to look and sound like us. EXACTLY so. Otherwise he's תת רמה and maybe worse. [I may have told you about being called "א גוי" by a 2-year old kid in a shopping cart in Swan Lake a few summers ago. The reason? I had my peyos behind my ears, or maybe because I was talking English on my cellphone. I forget.] But the truth is that an adult like myself having such thoughts is a lot worse than what the 2-year old was thinking. After all, what's he seen and heard already? only his daled amos, everything else is a goy. At times like that we need to remember (or maybe only I need to, since I was the one that brought this up...] that the Eybershter chose our GUFIM, we're special because of who we are, not just what we do.

Where do I stand on this subject? Iz azoi. I have a very strong sense of identity. I have a strong love for my background and for all things Hungarian. Jewish Hungarian, that is. Blue Danube and the Csárdás are not my thing. All these years in Lubavitch have not changed that, despite the fact that I've also added a love for all things Lubavitch. But at the same time I love to learn about other Jewish cultures as well, that way when I poke fun at least I know what I'm laughing about. Just kidding. I even pride my self that I'm sort of at home in many different cultures, which is not so common these days, with people afraid to peek elsewhere for fear of maybe seeing something they like there and feeling uncomfortable where they currently are. I apologize. I completely lost my train of thought on this one. I started it 2 weeks and have no idea what I was trying to say in this paragraph. Hopefully, by me putting this back to Monday, despite finishing it on Thursday, most of won't notice and won't ask for an explanation. Stuff like this happens in this line of work. Oh, and the name of the Rabbi in the second picture is Rabbi Yehoshua, he's the "Chief Rabbi" of the Bukharian Community in Queens, or maybe even in the entire USA!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cool Aish

Never you mind. They're getting plenty of flack from the black hatters who see this as a terrible affront to Moshe Rabbeinu, Pesach, kabbolas HaTorah and anything Jewish. Most frum people have a hard time swallowing this kind of new-age hip way of communicating an age-old message to the Facebook generation. The fact that Moses used email and used words like "cool" and "awesome" is like fingernails on a chalkboard to lots of people. I include myself in that group, although I understand that it has to be done if you wanna attract young people to services and lectures. In the case of Aish that kind of talk usually stays with the "kiruv" crowd, which is miniscule. Chabad, however, has crossed that line and make one big cholent out of it. Meaning all Chabad literature and media now caters to the "lowest common denominator," (for lack of a better term, no harm intended) and all of us now need to read about "Bereishit", and "Mitzvot" and "Shabbat", even when using a Hebrew siddur with only English-language instructions (not translation) in a place like Monsey. I guess that's so when they go on shlichus (or is it "shlichoot?") they should know how to say Shabbat and not Chas VeSholom - Shabbis. That "galut" talk is too old-fashioned for the Twitterers, I guess. One thing I will say for this ad: It is VERY well done.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rav Moshe Feinstein's yechidus with the Lubavitcher Rebbe, זצוקללה"ה נבג"מ זי"ע, and other interesting stories

as told by his grandson, Rabbi Mordecai Tendler, Spring Valley, NY (see page 44)

Most people who knew my grandfather, Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt"l, never saw him learn from regular seforim. He was always writing. All his learning took place in the past, before anyone who knew him in New York came on the scene. So, it was an enigma: When did he learn? On Shabbos, he did his Daf Yomi for the entire continued on week. He learned the parsha with Onkelos and Rashi, and Midrash Rabba for that parsha. Every morning, he learned two perokim from Tanach, just the words. He had, in fact, an encyclopedic knowledge of Tanach. He did no other learning, certainly not Kabbalah, the mystical, esoteric teachings. I once asked him if he had ever learned Kabbalah, and he gave me a cryptic response: "Those who talk about Kabbalah don't know it, and those that know it, don't talk about it." He never answered the question directly, but an incident that took place in 1975 can give us a clue.

He had been asked by Avram Levine, who was then serving as secretary for my grandfather's organization, Agudas Rabbanim, to be mesader kedushin at his wedding. Avram Levine, who subsequently moved to Israel, where he writes for the Jewish Press, is a Lubavitcher chassid, and the wedding was to take place at Lubavitch headquarters in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Arrangements were made so that, after the chupah, my grandfather, for the first time, would meet with the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, zt"l, who, as per Chabad custom, would not be personally present at the wedding. After the chupah, my grandfather and the Rebbe spent one hour alone together. Afterwards, my grandfather told me that the first few minutes were spent on pleasantries, each asking about each other's health and families. Then they discussed questions relating to Klal Yisrael, including recent political decisions and other matters of concern. Finally, the Rebbe told my grandfather he had a question relevant to Torah. He told my grandfather that, for 50 years, he had been perplexed by a major enigma in the Zohar, the foundational work of Kabbalah. His question dealt with the Kabbalistic concept of the Yanuka, a wonder child who possesses supernatural wisdom. My grandfather did not pause for a second before giving the Rebbe an extraordinarily brilliant explanation to the question that had been posed. The Rebbe was reportedly ecstatic with the response. Their meeting ended, and my grandfather left. Later, after he told me what had happened during their meeting, I asked my grandfather if he had learned this explanation at an earlier time, but my grandfather refused to discuss the matter further. When I discussed this incident with my uncles, my grandfather's sons, we concluded that it would have been impossible for my grandfather to have responded to the Rebbe's question so quickly and with such confidence unless it was already clear in his mind from earlier study. This means he must have studied Kabbalah extensively in his earlier years.

My grandfather, of course, spent just as much time answering questions from Jews who did not have the stature of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. On one occasion, he heard from a young man who lived in the Midwest who had, nebach, just lost his father. To complicate matters, the funeral was one week before the young man was scheduled to be married. The Shabbos of his aufruf fell in middle of shiva. Because his family was close with Rav Moshe, they placed a long-distance call to New York to discuss some specific shailos regarding the groom's circumstance. The young man was very appreciative of Rav Moshe's assistance and his warm words of chizuk. A few minutes after they had hung up, the phone rang in the young man's home. A long-distance operator asked the surprised young man if he would accept a long-distance call from Moses Feinstein. Rav Moshe explained his reason for calling. "After we hung up," he said, "I realized that this Shabbos is also your kallah's Shabbos Kallah. The custom is that the choson sends the kallah special flowers for this special Shabbos. If your kallah would not get the flowers, and all her friends who come for the Shabbos Kallah would see that she does not have them, she would feel bad. I wanted to tell you that you must make sure to send the flowers, despite your situation." Rav Moshe then went on to say that the halachos of aveilus (laws of mourning) are d'rabbanan (rabbinic), but making someone feel bad is an issur d'Oriesah (forbidden in the Torah).

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

More Good Listening - Courtesy of that 1956 Igud Conference

The Ponovizher Rov speaking at that same Igud HaRabbonim Conference that we brought you Reb Mottel Gifter, Iyar, 5716. A nachas to listen to. No yelling or screaming or overannunciating words. Just good talk and a strong message b'darkei noam. What surprised me somewhat was his point that Daas Teyreh and Yiddishkeit come from Yeshivos, and the proof he brings from a story with the Kovner Rov. I would've figured that him being a Rov, that he would be of the same opinion that Reb Moshe Feinstein was said to be of, namely that the fact that Roshei Yeshiva, and not Rabbonim, became the face of Yiddishkeit in America, was a turn for the worse, to put it lightly. That was not the way it was in Der Alter Heim, said Reb Moshe, and nor should it be here. But that ship has long sailed, and there's no bringing it back. I guess being a Rov and Rosh Yeshiva, the PR favored the Rosh Yeshiva side to him after WW2.

Friday, April 1, 2011

לכבוד חודש הגאולה

Jews in Iraq, early 20th Century

Hear It Here

מלך גואל ומושיע - ר' משה חוצין

לחן: בבל (עירק) מקאם: ראהוו ג'הרכא

מֶלֶךְ גּוֹאֵל וּמוֹשִׁיעַ אֵל נַעֲרָץ בְּסוֹד קְדוֹשִׁים
וּלְאֵין אוֹנִים עָצְמָה יַרְבֶּה מַחֲזִיק רִפְיוֹן יְדֵי רָשִׁים
כִּי הוֹצִיא בְּחֹדֶשׁ אָבִיב בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל חֲמוּשִׁים
הוֹדוּ לָאֵל כִּי הַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה לָכֶם רֹאשׁ חֳדָשִׁים
שְׁמוֹ יַחְדָּו נְרוֹמֵמָה עֲלֵי נֵבֶל וַעֲלֵי עָשׂוֹר
כִּי זָכַר אֶת דְּבַר קָדְשׁוֹ וַיּוֹצִיא עַמּוֹ מִמָּצוֹר
וְהוּא צִוָּה אֱלֵי עַמּוֹ קְחוּ לָכֶם שֶׂה בֶּעָשׂוֹר
לְהוֹדִיעַ כִּי הוּא יָשׂוֹר עַל אֱלֹהִים וַאֲנָשִׁים
הוֹדוּ לָאֵל כִּי הַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה לָכֶם רֹאשׁ חֳדָשִׁים
הָעָם עָשׂוּ אֶת פִּסְחֵיהֶם בִּלְתִּי פַחַד מִמִּצְרַיִם
בְּשִׁירֵי זִמְרָה וּתְהִלָּה בִּשְׁלֹשׁ כִּתּוֹת מַחֲנַיִם
אָכְלוּ אוֹתוֹ עֲלֵי מַצּוֹת וּמְרוֹרִים בְּהָעַרְבַּיִם
בִּלְתִּי מְבֻשָּׁל בַּמַּיִם וְנָא כִּי אִם צְלִי אִשִּׁים
הוֹדוּ לָאֵל כִּי הַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה לָכֶם רֹאשׁ חֳדָשִׁים
חֹסֶן יֶשַׁע יְמִינוֹ אֵל הֶרְאָה לְהוֹשִׁיעַ לָמוֹ
כִּי הִשְׁקִיף מִמְּעוֹן קָדְשׁוֹ הָעָם מִתְבּוֹסֵס בְּדָמוֹ
דַּם פֶּסַח וְדַם הַמִּילָה אֲזַי עָבַר הוּא בְּעַצְמוֹ
לְמִצְרַיִם וְאֶת עַמּוֹ הוֹצִיא מֵעַבְדוּת לְחָפְשִׁים
הוֹדוּ לָאֵל כִּי הַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה לָכֶם רֹאשׁ חֳדָשִׁים
חָזָק חוּשָׁה שְׁלַח זָרִים לִבְנֵי אֱדוֹם וּפִילַגְשִׁים
שִׂימֵם כְּמַהְפֵּכַת עָרִים עָרֵי אַשּׁוּרִים וּלְטוּשִׁים
וְתַכְנִיעַ גְּאוֹן זָרִים וּשְׁלַח לְעַם לְךָ דוֹרְשִׁים
הָאָדוֹן אֲשֶׁר מְבַקְשִׁים בְּנִיסָן רֹאשׁ הָחֳדָשִׁים
הוֹדוּ לָאֵל כִּי הַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה לָכֶם רֹאשׁ חֳדָשִׁים

על הפיוט:
הפיוט המרכזי לחודש ניסן ולחג הפסח במסורת בבל. הפיוט נכתב ע"י ר' משה ב"ר צדקה חוצין, מחכמי ומשוררי בבל במאה ה-18. יהודי בבל נוהגים להחל בשירת הפיוט הזה מיד לאחר פורים, ושירתו מבשרת את חודש ניסן העומד בפתח ואת בואו של חג הפסח. ואכן הפיוט מעורר לשמחה על חודש ניסן, ראש וראשון לחודשים, המביא בכנפיו את חג הפסח וגאולת מצרים, הגאולה הראשונה, המסמלת את הגאולה המבוקשת, שעתידה אף היא להתרחש בניסן, על פי דברי חז"ל – בניסן נגאלו, בניסן עתידין להיגאל.