Tuesday, November 17, 2020
Friday, September 25, 2020
Thursday, September 17, 2020
The Rebbe's face is white on the bimah, in a sea of thousands in white and black. 770 is silent. It is so quiet that a paper cup falling from a table could be heard among the gathered seven thousand chasidim.
My brother Moishy pushes me closer so I have a clear view above the hats of Israelis standing on the bench in front of us. We are standing together on three milk boxes which we chained to the bench before yom tov.
There is a white light in the wordless room. The souls united creates a vacuum. All faces are glued to the Rebbe.
מן המיצר קראתי קה, the Rebbe's plaintive voice beseeching, in a low voice; a beckoning from son to father, from the vacuum to the light.
ענני במרחב קה, the Rebbe's voice is crying through the words, though all we hear are the words.
טוב טעם ודעת למדני, כי במצותיך האמניתי
The Rebbe's voice fills the room, but not a loud voice; koil demomoh dakoh, a still small voice. Others write about the exact intonation, or the exact way in which the Rebbe moved the handkerchiefs, but what I remember is the still holy voice and a room filed with the bright light of creation.
We were learning the maimorim about the world being recreated through the Shofar and now it was happening.
The sound of the shofar from the Rebbe was unlike any sound I ever heard. The pitch was low, each moment a cry from the universal soul. The sound was so low, you cannot imagine the silence required of the gathered 7000. But you could hear the still low wail of the Rebbe's shofar in every corner of 770.
And all of us can hear it today, as I hear it now as I write these words.
Yet words will never capture it.
To have seen and beheld.
Monday, August 31, 2020
Monday, August 17, 2020
Young Shia seems to be the only one who bucked the Sadiger trend and decided on his own to carve out his own little path. Even his younger brother pretty much toes the line. We usually like black sheep here at the Circus Tent, but maybe if he'd have become a Litvak or a Breslover. Stam to let your peyos hang out and try to look more generically Chassidish because you're always looking over your shoulder at the Rebbishe types with the white socks? Meh. But it seems like that's what the Sadigerrers want as well, judging from the chatter and the happenings today in Gutmacher Street.
צר לי עליך is what came to mind when it seemingly was made public that it was Shia's for the taking and not מש"י. I was hurting for him when I heard this and decided to put keyboard to web page. Here he was told all his life and was made to understand by history that it was his position to lose - and then this ambush. Personally, if I was the one advising Shia I'd tell him to play hard to to get, to say that he was not doing this to his family - that he's not worthy. He'd get back on the plane to Antwerp and sit back in Kollel. Just like in Ger in 1948. This would work wonders and would make him even more appealing to the Sadigerrers. The rest of the Rebbishe branzshe would watch and be amazed by this strange phenomenon.
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Sunday, August 9, 2020
Here's how I see it, and correct me if I'm wrong. Some 30 years ago I once walked into the tish of Reb Itzikel of Amshinov, in his apartment above the shul. If there were 25 people there it would be an exaggeration. He said Torah for a few seconds and the oylem was content with that.
The next time I was there was 20 years later, for a family simcha. I have no recollection of the then-Amshinover Rebbe. He passed away a few months ago - a victim of coronavirus.
Reb Itzikel, son of Reb Yosef (d. 5696/1936), was a nephew of Reb Shime'le of Amshinov, who passed away on the 19th of Av, 5714/1954. Reb Shime'le's son Reb Meir went up to Eretz Yisroel with his father's aron and stayed there. He passed away in 1976. The Current Amshinover Rebbe in Bayit VeGan is a grandson of Reb Meir. His mother was a daughter of Reb Meir. Reb Chaim Milikovski, father of the Amshinover Rebbe, was a Mirrel Talmid who escaped to Shanghai, as did the Amshinover Rebbe.
The young Rebbe, Reb Menachem Kalish, a grandson of Rav Eliyahu Sternbuch of Antwerp, is also a Vizhnitzer eynikel. Rav Sternbuch was a son-in-law of Reb Boruch of Seret-Vizhnitz, later in Haifa. Those in the know foresee a great and bright future for the Amshinovers of Boro Park. The young Rebbe, a son-in-law of the previous Zutchker Rebbe of Bnei Brak, had been living in Eretz Yisroel, and even started his own independent chassidishe yeshiva last Elul, but is expected to relocate to Boro Park.
I did hear, from my Chabad sources, that the current Rebbe - while a talmid in Rachmistrivka Yeshiva in Yerushalayim - learned Chassidus Chabad with a Lubavitcher mashpia.
As it should be done.