Thursday, December 29, 2016

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Motzoei Shabbos Plenary Session - Torah uMesorah 9th Annual Presidents Conference

This isn't the usual summer conference for Rebbes and Mechanchim. This is for the BaaleiBatim. In Florida. And they brought YY to speak in front of people like Reb Shmuel Kamenecki. And he was good. Starts at about 1h:42m. Or you can listen to Reb Yossel Tabak about ten minutes earlier.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Cornflakes, Potato and OvernAit Kugel

Hirshel, listen to this:

My friend was in Woodridge for Shabbos. That's near Woodbourne, in the Catskills in Upstate New York. Where the Borscht Belt once was. He walked over from his אכסניא to the holy Woodridger Ruv Reb Yitzchok Lebovitch. There is much to say about this very unique character who lives up there all year round, basically by himself. Reb Yitzchok eats a cornflakes kugel and distributes it to those at his tish. (I'm not sure who else is at his tish? during the winter, that is - HT) That corn flakes kugel is a minhag of the old Kivyashder Ruv of Williamsburg, Reb Yitzchok considers him his rebbe muvhak. He told my friend the following: My Rebbe (who was a Shapiro, einikel ben acher ben of the Rebbe Reb Hersh Mielech) heard from an alter chusid that still remembered the bnei yisoscher, that when potatoes were introduced to Eastern Europe, it was introduced as a American food, The holy בני יששכר asked that they start making a kugel out of it, in order to do birurim on that part of the world (in chabad terms חצי כדור התחתון) that needs alot of birurim. In the world of kugel - which was holy by chasidim - by the Alter Rebbe and others it's the noodle kugel. (potato kugel could not be הלכה למשה מסיני or instead of tekias shofar when RH falls on Shabbos as the Alter Rebbe said...)

So getting back to the corn flakes kugel; the Kiviashder Ruv had a sister that came to the US in the early years. Like before WW2. She was Bertsher rebbetzin, כמדומני (I think her husband was a Rokeach, זייער גרויסע מיוחסים)  - you can maybe look up the whole yichus tree in Wikipedia. Her brother the Kivyashder was by her when he arrived to the US, and he saw a new concept:  corn flakes kugel. He liked it, since corn flakes is a real American food, and this kugel will do the birur, just like the potato kugel did the birur for the Bnei Yisoschor. So who knows who gets credit for the yiddishkiet in the USA? Everybody has their person whom they credit... Satmar, Lubavitch, Lakewood, Torah VoDaas. Nobody gives the cornflakes kugel any credit. I know a big Rebbe that loves Overnight (overnait in the holy Rebbe's Rumanian tongue) potato kugel. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Students of the Lubavitcher Day School Greeting LBJ, Worcester, Ma., 1964

The man who sent me this picture made a really good observation: LBJ may have been the last Presidential candidate to campaign in Worcester...

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The vort and wedding of Reb Refoel Shmulevitz, ע"ה

Grey hat at the vort, black hat at the wedding. source
Reb Refoel was the son of Reb Chaim. That made him Reb Lazer Yudel Finkels' grandson. He passed away less than a year ago after suffering from a debilitating disease. He was married to Reb Avrohom Farbstein's daughter.

מימין לשמאל: הג"ר אברהם שמואלביץ, הגרא"י פינקל, הגר"א פרבשטיין, הג"ר דניאל פרבשטיין

מרן ראש הישיבה ר' לייזר יודל (וסב החתן) נכנס לאולם! ימים על ימי מלך תוסיף....

אבי החתן הגר"ח שמואלביץ מגיע לאולם

תמונה נדירה של רבי חיים שמואילביץ - אבי החתן - עם משקפיים

נראים הגרא"ק, ר' לייזר יודל, החתן, ר' חצקל סרנא, רבי משה חברוני ור' מאיר חדש
 - עומד אולי רבי אברהם פרבשטיין

רבי חצקל סרנא משמאל עם המשגיח רבי אלי' לאפיאן זצ"ל

Monday, December 5, 2016

"Torah Links" wants you to know that they're "ABSOLUTELY" not a Litvishe version of Chabad...

פון "מאמענט" מאגאזין

At first I thought that the interviewer was asking a loaded question, setting up the answer. But after seeing the full answer I'm not quite so sure anymore... It seems like these people would find some way to knock Chabad and their mivtzoyim. Just because. Then they kind of overstep their boundaries. Like, they're going too far is to distance themselves from Chabad. Only Torah קען באלייכטען א אידישע הארץ? Mitzvos can't do anything? What about a big shtreimel with the shpitzen blown into place using half a can of hairspray, can that באלייכט א אידישע הארץ? מי שמך לאיש Mr. Torah Links?Who told you that the point of being mekarev yidden is to גענצליך overturn a Yiddishe hartz? Who died and made you the boss of Torah and Kiruv?

We expect better journalism from מאמענט - you guys come out looking juvenille.

AND as far as Torh Links is concerned, I'd refer them to their mission statement. See below.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Democratizing Xenophobia in Outremont

From a Liberal Ivory Tower

Seems like we've arrived. We're now a part of the greater minority community. At least in Canada. In NY we're not. They need to be nice us because if not they're xenophobes. I'm not sure that's where we wanna be, our needs are simply different.

Monday, November 28, 2016

זכרונות של הרב יצחק טובי' ווייס - גאב"ד העדה החרדית‎

Memoirs from the current Rov of the Edah HaCharedis, HaRav Yitzchok Tovia Weisz. Rav Weisz was a friend of Lubavitch and had many interactions with them. He is currently was married to the widow of haRav uriel Zimmer o"h. Most of what is brought here is "in-line" with Lubavitcher sources, although it does lose a bit of the flavor when put into the drippy Jerusalem Heimishe style. Also, surprisingly, there is much respect shown here to the Rebbe, זצוקללה"ה נבג"מ זי"ע

Friday, November 25, 2016

About the Chassidim of Outremont and the Goyim who want "their neighbourhood back"

Apparently they don't like shuls in their Outremont (Quebec) neighborhood and they've been working hard to stop the opening of new ones. The old ones they can't shut down. At first they made some local ordinance, but then they were convinced to make a community-wide referendum. That didn't work out. The referendum passed. So no more shuls there. I'm not really בקי in Montreal or Canadian politics, but I was of the opinion that many of those who were for the ban on new shuls were also very Liberal and loved their French Canadian PM Trudeau. I asked: who is for this referendum, is it the Liberals or Conservatives And is all about keeping Jews out? Also, did any national politicians speak out?

Here's what I received via email: "It's not a Liberal Conservative issue, no one spoke up. (no national politicians.) No it's definitely to block Jews.  It's an upper class French white neighbourhood - business titans - government ministers, they wouldn't be happy with any ethnic group. The tensions are not as explosive as Monsey or Lakewood. It's as if Hasidim moved to White Plains - you would have the same situation. Outremont doesn't want any Mosques or Buddhist temples either."

  See Here
  And Here
  Here Too

Montreal Hasids threaten lawsuit over ban on new houses of worship
Old article about tensions in Outremont
CBC Article
More Reading
Globe and Mail: Just call them anti-Semites

So I guess there are two ways to approach this. 1) You can accept the fact that you're not wanted and either move on  - we're not talking a 100 miles away, just a few blocks) or make due with the shuls that you have. If you're a Vizhnitzer and the main shul is כלל חסידי just hum the Vizhnitzer shtiklach to yourself when you need to. That's what you would do if you lived in any other town and you couldn't make your own style minyan. If you're a Mendelist and the Vizhnitzer shul is either Monsey or the other Bnei Berakker then just stay home. Just kidding. Basically all of the shtreimlach can daven together. Maybe they'll rotate; one week Vizhnitzer guy is baal tefillah and the next week a Vizhnitzer and the next week a Belzer. The Satmarer are pretty easy going when it comes to such issues. מ'איז אין גלות און מ'טאר נישט אנרייצען די גוים. If they don't want us here or want us to sit quietly we do as they say. We're the minority and we're guests here. That's the old-time approach, before we became very comfortable here in North America. The previous generation would've done that. Maybe for the wrong reasons, but that's how it would be done.

2) You can לערן זיך פון די גוים and demand you rights. Make referendums. If that doesn't work out go to court. If the first level court won't side with you take it to the next level. Eventually you'll win. Maybe. And along the way you'll make lots of enemies - who may hate you anyway! Because you're different and make their neighborhood look bad. But now they have good reason to. But in the end you'll be able to daven with the other Vizhnizers and Sanzers who have the same Rebbe as you. SO that when your Rebbe comes to Outremont he'll have his shtiebel to daven at and won't have to go the other guys. Until what? Until he passes away (c"v) and then his sons fight? I'm not chas vesholom wishing death on any Rebbes. I guess the Lubavitchers avoided the issue by staying in the old neighborhood?

But hey. I live in Rockland County. I have no right to talk about others.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

a Machnivker walk through old Tzfas

I say Machnivker not because I don't acknowledge his claim to Belz, but rather because I belive it's the Chernobler in him that allowed for him to take the tour and see the sights and hear the sounds, and yes, smell the scents of the holy city.

from here

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

"I'm asking for a friend"

Moderated by the very talented @srulibesser

I've never had the pleasure of listening to R' Elefant, but he makes זייער א גוטען איינדרוק. Seems like a calm and collected man of discipline, without the Yeshivishe shtick. They say he's a Gerrer Eynikel by mariage, by way of Farbstein, Heine, for those in the know.

Monday, November 21, 2016

אבידה גדולה שאין לה תמורה! הגאון החסיד ר' אלימלך צוויבל ע"ה

There isn't much someone like me can say about Reb Meilech. Yes, I spent some time at the Yeshiva in Morristown and attended his farbrengens, but there was so much that the average bochur / yungerman didn't "get" about Reb Meilech. How BEYOND any of us he was. 

Despite being the kindest, most gentle man you'll ever meet I was afraid to approach him, such was the awe one (me) felt for him. But even that average guy can know that Reb Meilech cannot be replaced. That he was a חד בדרא ממש. His vast knowledge of ALL facets of Torah. ALL means ALL, not just Yeshivishe mesechtos or popular topics in Halochoh or Aggadah. ALL means ALL of Torah. Nigleh, Chassidus, Kabbolloh. And most of all his Chassidishe bittul.  He was in his own mind a simple Jew, a chossid of the Rebbe. Nobody special. He did all he could to avoid the spotlight. You had to twist his arm and beg him to come farbreng in places like BP or Monsey. He simply didn't believe that anybody wants to hear what HE has to say. He just sat in his office and learned. And during seder chassidus he sat in the beis medrish and learned. That's all. Thankfully he did agree to work on חסידות מבוארת these last few years, and they say that there is much Chiddushei Torah from him, written anonymously or under pseudonyms in various קובצים.

[You might say that Lubavitch is at a disadvantage because of people like him... i.e. that the velt doesn't realize and recognize what Chassidus is.]  You won't see obituaries on YWN and VIN because וואס פארשטייען זיי אין א מיילעך צוויבל? But here and there - especially during farbrengens in Yeshivah "נאך משקה", and if the situation called for it - he'd reveal a little bit. Like repeating קצות word for word by heart. They just don't make yidden like that anymore. Here was a bochurel from a Galitzyaner home who "by mistake" fell into Lubavitcher Yeshiva in Lod, because they lived nearby and his father, a Bobover Chossid, wanted a "Chassidishe Yeshiva." but he became one of the greatest. If that's not a lesson in Hashgochoh Protis what is? I'm rambling. Sorry. חבל, חבל מאד, על דאבדין. 

Below we see Reb Meilech (during his sheva brochos, perhaps?) with his wife's zeide, his shver's father, the venerable Karliner Chossid Reb Avrohom HaCohen Blesofsky o"h.

COL beings המבשר article
תמונות מחייו
פרופיל - מיוחד בדרא
Neve Chabad
An obituary from,

Sunday, November 20, 2016

נפטר געווארען דער גרויסער מנגן ר' בנציון שענקער ע"ה

I too was lucky enough that my choshuv'e father zg"z raised us with Modzitzer nigunnim as well as Reb Ben Zion's own tapes. The ones he made in Eretz Yisroel on the cheap. And I try to pass that over to my children, as much as that's possible...I was surprised to see, however, that the levaya was not as well attended as it should be. But that's another story. I guess people didn't know or were just too busy. Agudah convention and all...I never did attend one of his זיצען, at least that I can remember. He has a great zechus and Modzitz probably owes their existence to him. Anyway, so we'll do what we try and do here at Circus Tent, we'll try and bring something unique. First two pictures of RBZS receiving a dollar from the Lubavitcher Rebbe זצוקללה"ה נבג"מ זי"ע on 2 Cheshvan 5751. Then we bring you 2 recordings - possibly unknown - of RBZS singing at different ocassions. I believe the Modzitzer Rebbe Reb Shmuel Elya (d. 5744) is also heard on the first second recording (named: Modzitz Fastag) as well as the baal menagen Fastag. Those who are a bissel bakant with Modzitzer Niggunim will recognize that some of the shtiklach that were composed - or at least recorded - for one piyut are interchanged here. One example is ובשופר גדול sung here for melava malka zemiros.