Wednesday, June 21, 2017

3 minutes with Reb Yehoshua Schneur Zalman Serebryanski ע"ה

Reb Zalman was born in 1903 in Brahin, near Chernobyl, in White Russia. His father was Menachem Mendel and his mother was Nechama. His mother was the sister of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Gluskin, a Chabad Rov in Paritch, Minsk and Leningrad. His father Reb Menachem Mendel was a chasidisher yid with a very warm heart. His kindness was known throughout the community, including Samarkand, where he lived until his passing in 1942. In 1924 at the age of 20, his father suggested he go learn in the Lubavitcher yeshiva in Rostov. The Frierdiker Rebbe accepted Reb Zalman into the Yeshiva. In 1925 he attended the Frierdiker Rebbe’s Purim Farbrengen in Leningrad. It was there that he first saw the Rebbe. He was close to Rabbi Chatshe Feigin the yeshiva Mashpia. Eventually Reb Chatshe appointed him to work for him as his secretary and to administer several underground yeshivos. In 1928 he married Brocha Futerfas, sister of Reb Hendel Lieberman and Reb Mendel Futerfas. During the 1930s the couple and their three children lived in Charkov. In 1938 he was conscripted into the Russian army. In 1941 he moved his family to Samarkand. In 1949, Reb Zalman and his family were sent by the Previous Rebbe to Melbourne, Australia. Reb Zalman founded various Chabad institutions in Melbourne including a boys elementary and high school and Beis Rivka for girls. In 1967, he founded the Yeshiva Gedola, which is a thriving Lubavitcher yeshiva for students from across the globe. On Yud Shevat 1970, the Rebbe honored him with the recital of a פסוק in conjunction with the completion of Moshiach’s Sefer Torah. The Rebbe wrote that he gives him this honor because he is the Mashpia of Chasidus for Australia. A few weeks before Gimmel Tammuz, 1991, Reb Zalman said that his Shlichus had ended, and indeed on Gimmel Tammuz 1991 his נשמה returned to its maker.

  To buy the complete video click HERE or email:

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

פרסום ראשון: ה'משגיח קטן' שיקר מול האלפים בעצרת - ופוטר

  Full Story Here

This is too good to be true. Well, almost. But apparently it is. They brought in some policeman in a Yeshiva to lie to the masses. He did a number on them. Crocodile tears and all. Crying about 5 bochurim that were either forcefully or cunningly taken to the טמא'נער צה"ל. The problem is he's no Rosh Yeshiva, as they claimed he was. The Yeshiva exists, to some extent, but the bochurim are fictitious. I said my piece about the whole shindig. This just solidifies it.

  Credit: Shimon R.

Monday, June 12, 2017

נפטר געווארען דער שריד לדור דעה - הגאון הגדול ר' פישל הערשקאוויטש זצ"ל

(Youtube screen grab)

I spoke to a friend who spent time with Reb Fishele as a bochur. The man's father knew RFH from the Old Country. He always spoke very highly of him. I was the one who informed him on Motzoei Shabbos of the passing.  His first words were: He was a Yid who never stopped bemoaning the fact that chibas Eretz Yisroel was torn from the fiber of Haredi society. then he went on to more traditional statements, like the fact that he knew all Sifrei Shu"T. Big gaon in Kabbalah as well. That he worked on all 40 Sifrei Rishonim that were published by the late Rabbi Chaim Moshe HaCohen Blau. Then he made a statement that most of you would not be כלים for, so I won't repeat it. I found it very telling. That a traditional Chassidic talmid chochom gaon of major proportions was to be remembered like that, first and foremost. I guess we know why that happened. As a former talmid of his son in Spinka Cheder I suppose I benefited from him as well. At least via kli sheni.

I suppose I should post this slready. It's been weeks. I can always add on later.

Friday, May 26, 2017

צר לי עליכם, אחיי ורעיי תלמידי וחסידי סאטמאר הע"י

אז איר לאזט זיך אזוי פארפירן. מאסן פארזאמלונגען מאכט איר, ואין אתנו יודע על מה. אז מ'שרייט אז עס שוועבט איבער דאס יהדות החרדית אין ארה"ק א געפערליכע גזירה און קיינער ווייסט נישט פון וואס עס רעדט זיך בכלל. נישט אז מ'האלט אז ס'איז נישט קיין גזירה, נישט אז ס'איז פאראן חילוקי דעות צי די גזירה איז א שלעכטע צו נישט. מ'ווייסט פשוט נישט פון וואס ס'רעדט זיך. נישט אז מ'דינגט זיך צי ביי די שטרימפ איז גענוג כן וכך דעניער, נישט אז מ'דינגט זיך צי ס'איז געווען ניסים ביי די זעקס טעג מלחמה אדער דער ס"ם האט עס אנגעדרייט. מ'לעבט אינעם זעלבן כדור הארץ, אינעם זעלבן מדינה, אבער ס'איז כאילו ס'איז אן אלטערנאטיווער אוניווערס. ס'איז פונקט ווי נעבן דיר שטייט א מענטש און זאגט דיר: דו זעהסט נישט ווי דער פערדל מיטן גרויסן הארן אינמיטן קאפ פליהט ארום דא? אט, גענוי אזוי. "יעדער איינער" ווייסט אז מיט צווי צי וויפיל יאר צוריק איז געווען א שטיקל שעת הדחק און די חברי כנסת המינים אבען דאס ערלעדיגט. ס'איז אראפ פון סדר היום. נעקסט קעיס. מ'נעמט נישט קיין בחורים אין מילטער. סוף פסוק. נישטא קיין נייע גזירה. סטאטוס קוואו. נאר וואס? זעהט אויס די נייעס האט נאך נישט דערגרייכט די ביורא פון התאחדות הרבנים און פון די 2 - אדער דריי, אויב רעכנט מען די נייעס באריכט צייטונג - אידישע צייטונגן. זיי מיינען אז די גזירה איז נאך בתקפו.

וויזוי האט דאס פאסירט? וויזוי קען זיין אז צוויי מענטשן וואס האבען מער ווייניגער דעם זעלבן לעבנס שטייגער זעהט איינער נישט וואס דער אנדערער זעהט? וועלכע סארט בריללען קען העלפן? איז דאס דער איינפלוס פון אייער - קרי סאטמאר - אייגענעם פרעססע, און איר מיינט פשוט אז אלע אנדערע זענען פארקויפט פאר די פאר פיאסטער וואס מ'קריגט פון די דארטיגער רעגירונג? און נאר איר ווייסט דעם ריינעם אמת? איר מיינט טאקע אז חוץ אייך מיט די משוגעים פון "עץ" זענען אלע גרייט גיין אין מיליטער? אז נאר די פאר סאטמורים מיט תולדות זענען מסכים בלייבען ביים לערנען? און דאס איז נישט קיין איינמאליגע זאך. דאס גייט שוין אהן א פאר יאר אזוי וואס כמעט וואך איין און וואך אויס טראמפייטערן די קעפלאך פון אייערע צייטונגן וועגן מערכות אהין און מערכות אהער, און גארנישט. חוץפון אייך ווייסט קיינער נישט פון וואס ס'האנדלט זיך. אבער איר רעדט דאך מיט מענטשן פון מאל צו מאל פון אנדערע קרייזן אויך, פרעגט איר זיי נישט צי זיי גייען אויך צום פראטעסט? און אז זיי פרעגן וואס און וואו און דו פארציילסט זיי וועגן דעם "שרעקליכן גזירה", און זיי שטעלן אהן א פאר קעלבענע אויגן, הייבט איר נישט אהן צו טראכטן אז אפשר בין איך וכו'? און וואס איז ווייטער? ווי לאנג וועט איר זיך לאזען אזוי פארפירן?

איר זענט דאך קלוגע אידן, לאזט זיך נישט אזוי

As an aside I add an email communication I received today while writing this post: Hi again. As per Matzav today the anti medina forces have scheduled an asifa to protest drafting leidek geyers into our esteemed IDF. Rav Aaron of Chaim Berlin and Rav Eli Ber will be there. As someone who has a mesora from his father that when litvaks and Satmar Chasidim make shulem so they can not support Israel it's a bad marriage, as it is built on Sheker. As someone who put up the flag of Israel in my heimish shul in KGH stating an appreciation to Medinat Yisrael for donating $303,000,000 To support Torah, (more than Joe and Faye Tenenbaum) and as someone who is a son of a survivor of 13 camps but felt his zechus of fighting in 1948 in the milchomo hakodosha of liberating our land was his greatest achievement, and as someone who was in front of the Beis Yisroel at 5:00am for tea, and went to Amshinov as well, and was meshamesh Rav Hutner zt"l - I state today that the yeshivish chasidic world has pushed me away, and that is why I am more Chabad today than ever. I want to declare that we must protest these people for going against our medina and I hope you can arrange a demonstration against them that day. Enough is enough. Sorry to take your time venting.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Ponovezher Rov calls on Jews to prepare for the גאולה שלימה after the Six-Day war

I guess he hadn't seen the ויואל משה, otherwise he wouldn't write words like ניסים ונפלאות תשועות ונחמות, mamesh ווי די על הניסים. We all know that anybody who ever read the VM  & על הגאולה immediately was convinced. 
    בית יעקב No. 100 Elul 5727

Friday, May 19, 2017

Juuust to be sure...

As a young whipper snapper I heard the following from my dear father zg"z: (If I once wrote it here I apologize)

There was once a very frum yiddene who would daven and say tehillim and learn צאינה וראינה all day. She would fast and do chesed and feed the old and sick. She was there in sight doing the right and holy thing. It's just that every day she'd go missing for a few minutes. Maybe even the same time every day. Nobody could find her. So they decided they'll follow her and find out once and for all. At the usual time the old lady descended into a basement where there she had set up - נישט מיר נישט ווייניגער - a tzeylem and all other paraphernalia and proceeded to bow down and do all other services associated with that religion! The people were in shock! So they asked her: סורי נעיני, what are you doing here? You're supposed to be this big tzadekes, and here you're worshiping another Getshke?! Suri Neni had a very simple answer; And what if they're right? I need to make sure and worship their Getshke too! Just in case.

My friends, I'm not c"v comparing our brothers from Lithuania to another religion. I leave that to them to do. But it seems like their once-solid belief in their system alone is beginning to crack, or at least show signs of wear and tear. They're not JUST going to Volozhin and Vilna, they need to go to Lizhensk and Lublin, just to be sure. Like Reb Boruch Mordche going to Lizhensk to sing ואפילו בהסתרה. It's good to see. Maybe all those years in bnei Berak and Yerushalayim had some sort of effect, after all. Maybe the Roshei Yeshiva taking kvitlach had an effect. Maybe they'll believe in G-d after all. 


Thursday, May 18, 2017

a tale of two ראשי ישיבה

What follows in this week's Mishpacha magazine is the usual "pick a city and insert Yeshiva's name here. How such-and-such mande such-and-such city into an oasis of Torah." [I should know. It's tough putting out riveting material every week.] So I didn't really bother reading the article, although there were some cute pictures there. The thing is, he (RYMK of Denver) does smile in many of the later pictures! But for some reason this is what they chose to put at the forefront. I guess it makes for a good read bait. I guess Rabbi Wasserman (left) was the one you went to if you wanted to go home or go lie down in middle of seder.

Am I scraping the bottom of the barrel here? Maybe.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

How DO we judge success? thoughts on the 50th anniversary of מבצע תפילין

Received via e-mail:

"We did not hear that there were some people abstaining from eating treife food or refraining from desecrating Shabbos or that they were educating their children in religious schools, not under the heretics; I only heard that they put on tefillin." These are the words of the build up to סאטמאר רב'ס condemnation (tirade) against the big התעוררות for תפילין in Israel after the miraculous 6 Day War. See "על הגאולה ועל התמורה דף ק"א, ברוקלין תשס"ו". The argument on its own is very weak; After all, did he hear how many people became נוטרי הברית after his annual שובבי"ם campaigns? since when does a התעוררות get measured by its success? He was leading an anti אגודה campaign smearing all גדולי ישראל who did not see everything going on in the Holy Land as heresy..... it was a big machloka and caused lots of infighting between frum Jews, who were thus being עובר on many איסורי תורה. (not some sins sourced in non halacha) Did he ever decide to close shop on his anti Israeli election campaign, since it got nowhere? Every year more than half a million frum Jews participate in the Israeli election and it's only growing... why does only מבצע תפילין need a consequential success statistic? All the above aside, what will we do if we will help him in his quest to find Jews that did change because of tefillin ? I think we may have done just that. Or rather we discovered it, the actual work was done by others. This פסח the Mishpacha magazine ran a long article on a popular right wing conservative talk show host, who is leading an Orthodox lifestyle, eating kosher, Orthodox schools for his kids and Shomer Shabbos, all because of his one act of putting on tefillin. It was the holy soul "Schwartzie" ע"ה,  the Chabad shliach Shlomo Schwartz at UCLA.  In Michael Medved's words "Tefillin is the key metaphor for his Judaisim." That was what started him on his path to a life of full Torah yiddsihkiet. This is not a 770 paid PR stunt. Will this story and thousands of other similar stories change a mind in that camp??? I do see that a harsh anti religious and anti Zionist Haaretz columnist who wrote an anti tefillin rant 9 years ago, did change his mind on tefillin, (See below)

 Maybe. Just Maybe our "frum" brothers will also get a הרהור תשובה.

לפני תשע שנים, כתב העיתונאי בני ציפר מאמר חריף נגד הנחת תפילין ברחובה של עיר
אלא שנראה כי מאז ציפר שינה את דעתו בעניין... הוא עצמו הגיע לא מכבר אל הכותל המערבי ונענה ברצון לפנייתו של אחד משלוחי חב"ד במקום שהציע לו להניח תפילין. התמונה שמפורסמת כאן, הינה באדיבות העיתון כפר חב"ד שמקדיש השבוע כתבה נרחבת לנושא מבצע 'הנחת תפילין' שאותו יזם והגה כ"ק האדמו"ר מליובאוויטש, לפני 50 שנים ערב מלחמת ששת הימים, ומאז ועד עתה הוא נחשב לאחת הפעילויות החשובות שמבוצעות ע"י חסידי חב"ד 

מאתר 'לדעת' פנו לבני ציפר בכדי לקבל תגובתו, ואפשר רק לברכו על המהלך וגם על תשובתו הקצרה והיא: כן, שיניתי את דעתי. אשריכם ישראל


R' Aron Lichtenstein, חדב"נ

Click Here to Listen

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Happy 12th Birthday!

The 13th of Iyar 5765 is when this blog was born. George W. Bush was President. No smartphones. We had never heard of Pashkan and we had no smartphones. Life was simple. But as much as things have changed much has stayed the same. At least this blog has. Can't say the same for everybody else.

Maybe this'll be the year?

Monday, May 8, 2017

Yeshivas Pressburg - the original YU (At least in the eyes of the אונטערלאנדער)

Shnayer Z. Leiman translates an article of the writer Greenwald, the story of his leaving Chust to go to Pressburgh, and stopping on the Rombach street to meet  the Meshumad/apikores Goldtzhier who was an idol of his. You may wanna Google his name. He describes his meeting with that professor as - you might say - a Gerer chusid describes meeting the Gerrer Rebbe, Reb Avhrom Mordechai, trembling legs..... דא לדא נקשן. He was harassed everywhere in Unterland for going to the "impure"  Pressburgh, It seems that in the holy yeshivah של מרן בעל הערוגת הבושם in Chust where only "mid-size" (younger bochurim - HT) boys attended, some boys were reading the הצפירה and writing letters (not emails on smartphones) to the editor ...... I guess Greenwald (being a real Unterlander) could not understand his Rebbe's newfound accent upon his arrival to he did not hear the פתיחה that reading treifene books is a Neveira....


Thursday, April 6, 2017

2 letters full of love for a fellow Jew from the last REAL Vizhnitzer Rebbe

First let me thank the person who shared these letters; then some background: The first letter is a response to a bachur with some breitkeit, to say the least. ראה מעשה and he wanted to know מהיכן דנתוני. A young bachur was called up on Shabbos to serve in the "טמא'נע מיליטער זייערער" as the KJ Satmar Rebbe likes to so eloquently put it. This was during the buildup to the Six-Day War. He knew he would be there for a while - he didn't think there would SUCH great nissim - so he approached the Sereter Rebbe during the tish and asked him whether or not he should take his tefillin with him. This being Shabbos and his Tefillin are muktzah and all. The Rebbe told him to take his tefillin. The bachur was a talmid there but not necessarily such a chossid, and he saw the story unfold. He wrote the Sereter Rebbe a letter asking him why, I'm not quite sure what his arguments were. Maybe since Shabbos is an אות by itself and the tefillin he needs are for a weekday. Here is his response:

The second letter - also to this bachur - is in response to a letter he wrote about being yelled at during a tish as well. Maybe even asked to leave. Seems like he said something to his friend and the latter laughed. At that time maybe they were a still bit uneasy in Seret with the new Rebbe. This was less than 3 years after his father passed away and the transition was a bit - shall we say - unsmooth. So they accused him of laughing at the Rebbe. The young man sat down and wrote a letter explaining what happened and this is the response he received. No excuses. Torah is all about love of fellow Jew and kiddush Hashem. And this why I said what I did in the title. Because Vizhnitz was all about love of fellow Jew, not so much about hats and glasses and socks. I have always had a secret affinity for Reb Lazer of Seret, and these letters just make it so much stronger. This was his manner of leading his flock from the very beginning until his last day on earth.