Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Book Review - "Shadar" by Dovid Zaklikowski

Buy It Here

SHADAR Touching Hearts, One Person at a Time 
By Dovid Zaklikowski and Rabbi Shimon Raichik 
Hardcover: 448 pages, 300 images and documents

I just had the distinct pleasure of reading this long overdue book about the life and work of Reb Shmeel Duvid Raitchik. The Frierdiger Rebbe's shliach to California and a מקושר נפלא to the Rebbe זצוקללה"ה נבג"מ זי"ע. A man who was דבוק בה' ובמשה עבדו every second of every day. Until his dying breath. כפשוטו ממש. Maybe if he had his own publishing company it would be out earlier. It's been 21 years since his passing. And if not for Dovid Zaklikowski who knows if this would ever see the light of day. From his beginnings in the Lubavitcher Yeshiva in Otwock, to his escape to Vilna, Kobe, Shanghai and ultimately New York, no detail is lost. And then there's the whole story of his shlichus. The family history, the family trials and tribulations during WW2 - it's all there. And rightfully so, a large section is dedicated to his late Rebbetzin and her family. Even people who knew him from as far back as the 40s and 50s would have lots to learn from this book.

You might divide Rabbi Raichik, and by extension the book, into two parts: 1) his personal עבודת השם and 2) his עבודת הקודש as shliach. But in reality they were היינו הך. It was his devotion to Torah, mitzvos and chassidus that caused to be the רב פעלים that he was. That caused him to be relentless in his works, whether raising money, building mikvaos, or telling people where they had to be in Yiddishkeit. No matter how far they seemed. There were no kid gloves - yet people recognized his sincerity and emes and could not turn him down. It didn't matter who you were or how many doors were closed. Fifty years of living in California working with all kinds of people had very little zero effect on him. Because he was connected to the source. If I wrote anymore there'd be no need for you to buy the book. So click on the link and bring inspiration into your home.

article in כפר חב"ד magazine

a short clip of his words to shluchim at the כינוס השלוחים

Monday, November 12, 2018

Looks like we're heading back to the great divide of תשמ"ט

I'm no expert on Israeli Haredi politics; I'll be the first one to tell you that I get severe headaches trying to follow it. But the currect matzav is easy enough for a novice like myself to understand. The Chassidishe Moetzes, after a meeting today, says to Stay Home Tomorrow and not vote for anybody in the ירושלים mayoral runoff election between Shas candidate Moshe Leon and the secular Ofer Berkovitz. Reb Chaim Kanievski says vote for Moshe Leon, otherwise you'll be a partner in all the Chilul Shabbos etc. And if you don't you're מחלל שם שמים. The Moetzes says that they're doing it because Degel is supporting a secular candidate in Tzfas. So it's just basically all politics and spite. But why is Degel supporting secularism in Tzfas and crying over קדושת ירושלים? Beats me. All this comes after the disaster of Round 1, where Slonimer chossid Yossi Deitsch lost by a wide margin after the Degel people didn't vote for him. Not only did they not vote for him, they showed the Agudah that they're twice as strong as them, voting in 6 of their own to Agudah's 3 on the city council. The biggest punch in the gut Ger had seen in a very, very long time. And secretly you might say even some chassidim aren't crying...

Which got me thinking: for a while I thought that were there to be open lines of communication between the Lubavitcher Rebbe and some of his Litvishe detractors, things would be quite different. If the Rebbe would live in EY, as silly as that sounds, then people from EY would have a chance to see the Rebbe and not be sucked into the great web of lies and deceit created by the haters. It would make sense, were it not for the events of recent weeks. No member of the Moetzes, some of whom live minutes away from the Roshei Yeshiva, made the effort to go visit Reb Moshe Hillel Hirsh or Reb Gershon Edelstein, or any tier 2 Rosh Yeshiva to try and tell them that it's imperative that we stay home tomorrow. Conversely, no Rosh Yeshiva went to any Rebbe to convince them to change their mind about staying home, since the קדושה of Yerushalayim is on the line. I realize that here the onus was on the Roshei Yeshiva, since the Chassidim are only doing it out of spite, and what kind of case can they make? How will they convince anybody of the righteousness of their decision today? We'll leave Reb Chaim out of this for now, since Yanky Kanievski would probably not let i n to their zeide....

Some would say that it's ironic that it happened to Yossi Deitsch the Slonimer, a chossid of Reb Sholom Noach, who was a close acquaintance of the late Ponovizher Rosh Yeshiva... (and no friend of Chabad, despite having taught there in the early 40s in Tel Aviv.) The real cynics say that all the Rosh Yeshivas need to do is speak about "Shabbos" and B"K, and all (veise) Slonimer will join them en masse.... Lots to hash out here, including "is Reb Chaim really in charge here, or as the Etznikim say, it's all his eynikel Yanky?" Also, did the Satmar Rebbe had a ווייטער בליק, as his supporters say? although he did allow his people to vote in municipal elections... MK Yisroel Eichler, in his Belzer apologist way told an interviewer last week that since Chassidim don't follow sports elections are r their entertainment, but chas vesholom, there's no animosity between Chassidim and Litvishers, just like fans of one team don't HATE fans of the other team... Time will surely tell. 

.....יתומים היינו

Reb Chaim's Letter, below:

Monday, November 5, 2018

Some people are apparently upset that SMR wasn't featured at the כינוס השלוחים banquet last night

I did not attend the banquet. I haven't been attending for some years now. I don't feel like I belong if I'm not out there on the front lines. Towards the end of the banquet I receive the following message via Whatsapp: ( NOTHING has been changed or altered)

I'm writing to you as I know you are very close to R Sholom Mordechai... So many of us here in Lakewood decided to watch the Shluchim Kinnus this year (something we don't usually do ) to see how Chabad would celebrate with RSM in their first opportunity to show appreciation to hashem for the nes he bestowed on one of their most publicly renowned Chassidim, and also to see how Chabad would celebrate the man who became a סמל of emunah and bitachon in the whole world , the kind of heroic bitachon the reminded us of the lubavitcher chassidim that risked everything in communist Russia ... But alas we have all been sorely disappointed. Watching the kinnus You would not know this nes ever happened . You would not know there's a giant of emunah amongst the crowd . How can Chabad ignore this . How could Chabad not give public thanks for the נס גלוי that happened to one of their own.. what am I missing.  Is there some kind of nefarious politics that we don't know abt ? - עד כאן

Well. I'm not sure what to do with this. It never crossed my mind that he should be featured at the kinnus, but maybe that's because he's already sort of out of our collective minds. 11 months is a long time in 2018, when news cycles barely last 12 hours. Featured as a speaker would maybe be too much, but the guy who wrote the above comment was looking for 3 minutes of "real time joy and acknowledgment" in regards to SMR. That's all. Also, this wasn't a dinner for Lubavitch; rather it was a dinner for shluchim and their baaleibatim. Lay leaders, if you will. But I hear the טענה. I did not dismiss it out of hand. It's ironic that we all live in our little realities and bubbles. I know some people were quite upset that lawyer Gary Appel thanked President Trump for what he did for Sholom Mordechai, as well as everything else he does for the Jewish people. Shluchim that work with very opinionated Liberal Jews were worried what they would say to their college students and hippies and back home. So lots of people on either side are unhappy. The basic טענה against Chabad is they don't care about kiddush hashem or doing what's right. It's all about חנפה'נען the baaleibatim. Oligarchs and Shmoligarchs. OK. I suppose that's like Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz speaking in front of hundreds of Roshei Yeshiva and telling "דעת תורה" what they should be doing. How they should be running their schools and Yeshivos. They're also quite because he gives them money?

 I'd love to hear what your opinion is on this matter. You can also add more complaints about the banquet, if you so desire. I'm sure there are more; I know shluchim themselves have plenty. After all, they don't ask for every shliach's opinion as to how to run the banquet...  In the meantime, enjoy this beautiful and heartwarming clip shown last night.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

סטוטשינער רבי שליט"א אין לעיקוואוד היינט מוצש"ק

Doing it his way... Bringing children closer to their father in heaven...

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

The "irrational" Chabad come across as the must emphatic group

Received via email: (my comments in parentheses) 


What a strange legacy the Rebbe has instilled in our דור. Being right wing on the Mideast and at the same time loving every Jew. What a kiddush Hashem! The Lubavitcher school in Pittsburgh may have upset some charedim that they consider these Jews to be "legitimate" Jews and attended funerals etc., and at the same time they generally suffer the wrath of the Jewish left for their "hardline" stances; [maybe even from some of the kedoshim that were murdered here] (may G-d have mercy on the Jwish left's misguided souls) -   How do we know those pictured here are Chabad? Look at the fat Chitas the girls are holding. (Also the emblem on the sweater, but he wasn't looking that closely,  מטעמים המובנים)

I don’t buy the NYT for more than 10 years; I just saw it in a supermarket...

Thursday, November 1, 2018

כ"ק אדמו"ר רבי שמריה נח שניאורסאהן זצ"ל מבאברויסק - בעל המאמר


בחבדפדיה מובא שהעומד מאחור זה אחיו רש"ב מרעטשיטשע

חדש מכתב יד!!! מאמר ד"ה שפה אחת מכ"ק אדמו"ר ר' שמריה נח מבאברויסק זצ"ל

Shalom U'vracha, 

Please find attached a remarkable Maamar from Rebbe Shmaryahu Noach of Babruisk. This Maamar is being published for the first time from Manuscript! A tremendous amount of time and effort has gone into preparing the text for publication, your financial support would be greatly appreciated. To donate via PayPal please use the link here

May we see the coming of Moshiach speedily in our days.
Wishing you Kol Tuv, Akiva.