Monday, July 7, 2008

Authority of Gedolim IV - Chassidic rebbes today - Klausenberger Rebbe - Reason for dispute between Gra & Chassidus


The Klausenberger Rebbe said: Our grandfather the Ateres Tzvi once said while fish were being prepared and they were flopping around after their heads had been cut off. "In this same manner will the chassidic rebbes dance and jump - without a head - before the coming of Moshiach." In my humble opinion in understanding the words of the sages and their mysteries - that the intent of our grandfather was positive concerning our times. These times in which we see the lowliness of the generation. A time when there are no great people to ask or seek counsel from. The question spontaneously wells up in the heart concerning the value of the chassidic movement which was founded by the Baal Shem Tov. I have personally said many time commented concerning the well known frightening letter that the Gra wrote erev Yom Kippur - how could he speak so harshly against those great tzadikim? In fact the dispute between the Gra and the Chassidim was similar to the dispute between Yosef and his brothers... They asserted that offspring that are no good - severely diminish the forefathers retroactively for many generations. And surely it has a bad impact on the future. Perhaps this was the reason for the strong opposition of the Gra and the misnagdim when they saw with ruach hakodesh up until the time of our generation. They wanted to reject chassidus because they knew how degenerate it would become in the generation just before the coming of Moshiach. In contrast the Baal Shem Tov and his followers - despite the fact that they all foresaw the degeneration in chassidus which would develop - but they also saw its benefits. In fact it is quite obvious that chassidus has in fact been the main factor in saving Yiddishkeit even in our generation - even though we are well aware of its lowly state. In fact there would be little left of Yiddisheit if it weren't for chassidus with its special clothing and the close attachment of the chassidim to the community and their rebbe. This external social cohesion is the basis of the vital strength of chassidus. The strength of chassidus has significant influence on the non-chassidic world also. This then was the intent of our grandfather's statement. He wanted to indicate the tremendous value in chassidus even just before Moshiach and that we should not fall into despair when we see the lowliness of the generation. The rebbes - even though they are mindless creations without heads - nevertheless they jump about and still have some vitality and provide social cohesion. They retain the strong spirit that sustains Yiddishkeit.


20 comments :

  1. Recipients and PublicityJuly 7, 2008 at 12:32 PM

    Hmmm, so Dr. Eidensohn: Why are you saying all this? Slamming latter-day Chasidic Rebbes in the name of the GRA who was uniquely opposed to ALL Chasidim and Chasidism and placed them in a still-binding cherem.

    Are you posting these alleged comments by the Klausenberger Rebbe ztk"l because of what I had stated in the post of Thursday, July 3, 2008 "Authority of Gedolim I – Or why RaP is wrong about the Syrian Takana" http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2008/07/authority-of-gedolim-or-why-rap-is.html in the course of citing the actions of the present Belzer Rebbe accepting a Ger in public as I posted the following, and it would be helpful to your readers to see the full article again:

    (My heading: THE BELZER REBBE & THE HUNGARIAN GER AS DISPROOF OF THE SYRIAN TAKANA.)
    ________________

    From: Mishpacha Jewish Family Weekly / Mishpacha Magazine.
    22 Sivan 5768 / 6.25.08
    Mishpacha, page 19.

    “THE LAST WORD”

    (Colored photo of the Belzer Rebbe in Yerushalayim in festive dress at the head of a tisch.
    Caption reads: “Alazar Gavriel Abramovitz to the right of the Belzer Rebbe”).

    By Itamar Adler:

    “TRUTH AT ANY PRICE

    Until recently, Alazar Gavriel Abramovitz, who just became a chassan, was better known in his native Hungary as Gabor Shoknoy.

    The chassan, whose parents are non-Jewish citizens of Hungary, was married last week, in the presence of the Belzer Rebbe and crowds of Chassidim. Inexplicably drawn to Judaism seven years ago at the age of sixteen, this ger tzedek was married in the Beis Rosen Hall of the Belzer Beis Medrash HaGadol. The Rebbe attended the chuppah, conducting the kiddushin, wearing his shtreimel (instead of a kolpik) – as he does only for simchahs of his family or close relatives. He also attended the seudah, conducting a tisch there.

    The story begins with Elazar Gavriel’s maternal grandfather, who was a young Jewish boy in Makov, Hungary. During World War II, his parents, fearing for his fate and theirs, left him with a local non-Jew. The child was raised as a non-Jew, married a non-Jew, and left behind non-Jewish children and grandchildren. Elazar Gavriel was one of these non-Jewish grandchildren. He possessed a great thirst for spirituality and purpose in life and felt a longing to investigate his family tree. When he discovered that his grandfather had been Jewish, he became increasingly interested.

    Through Divine Providence, he took a tour of the Makov shull, which is normally closed yearlong, just as a group of Orthodox tourists was visiting. They even included him in their minyan, not realizing that he wasn’t Jewish. He, of course, knew nothing of the laws of davening or minyanim.

    After this incident, Gavriel asked his father for permission to register for courses at the University of Budapest – his real aim being to investigate whether Judaic studies were available there.

    Wasting not a moment, and informing no one about his family background, he attended whatever classes on Judaism he could find, in Hungarian. The road to his conversion was long and difficult, but successful. Afterwards, he came to Eretz Yisrael and enrolled in Yeshivas Torah v’Emunah, a yeshiva for baalei teshuvah under the direction of the Belzer Rebbe, who has accompanied him and provided a listening ear for him at all times.

    About three months ago, he became engaged to a convert from Germany, whose entire family – her parents and five children – had converted together. The girl’s father, born Catholic, came to the conclusion about fifteen years ago that Christianity was baseless and that only Judaism held the eternal truth. They converted in Switzerland and moved to Jerusalem shortly thereafter. Since then, all of their children and their spouses have built homes of Torah and yiras Shomayaim.

    The chassan says he plans to continue learning in Torah v’Emunah and to remain a member in good standing of the Belzer Chassidim, not to mention building a bayis ne’eman b’Yisrael. – Itamar Adler”

    July 7, 2008 8:33 AM

    _______________

    So now, Dr. Eidensohn, what is so special about what the Klausenberger Rebbe allegedly said when you yourself brought up the information at "Mishpat Tsedek" that says that ALL the rabbis, that would include even you and the BADATZ and all so-called modern-day "Gedolim" unfortunately, in the days before Mashiach will be from the "eruv rav" see http://www.mishpattsedek.com/Erev-Rav.htm

    "1. THE EREV RAV WERE THE SORCERERS AND MAGICIANS OF EGYPT WHO MOSHE TOOK OUT OF EGYPT IN SPITE OF HASHEM’S WARNING NOT TO TAKE THEM ALONG.

    2. THE LEADERS OF THE GENERATION BELONG TO THE EREV RAV!

    3. THE RESHAIM ARE THE EREV RAV: THEY ALL RISE AND DOMINATE ISRAEL DURING THE EXILE!"

    _____________

    Then again, there might be an even more basic reason, that the BADATZ and the Eidah HaChareidis are still angry at the Belzer Rebbe for breaking away from them years ago and establishing his own Bais Din, and this latest comment of yours is just another salvo in that long-simmering dispute that manifests itself from time to time and that in the eyes of the BADATZ the Belzer Rebbe is just like that "Klausenberger's headless fish" of yours, and, by the way, the Klausenberger Rebbe was a great and holy Jew, but he too was from the latter-day rabbis and what he says must surely apply to himself too, so it is hard to imagine that he was negating himself and all his fellow Rebbes like that.

    Great men like to speak in hyperbole, and what you quote in his name, while quaint, is in no way a Halachic ruling or a ma'seh rav.

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  2. I do not understand RaP. The Syrian takana had to do with individuals who converted for the sake of marriage. Nobody else. They never said that converts cannot marry into their kehilla.

    The Hungarian ger being discussed would also be welcomed into their kehilla. He did not convert for the sake of marriage. He got engaged years after he converted. So where is your contradiction that you found between the behaviour of the Belzer Rebbe and the Syrian chachamim? You keep bringing this debate into a continous circle.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Recipients and PublicityJuly 7, 2008 at 1:33 PM

    Some prosaic reasons why the Belzer Rebbe is being implicitly disparaged:

    See the Wikipedia article about the present Belzer Rebbe, Yissachar Dov Rokeach (II) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yissachar_Dov_Rokeach_%28II%29 and this in particular that proves that Rabbi Eidensohn has an agenda and that he still refuses to accept the reality that there are great living rabbis and even rebbes who do not go by the "rules" of the BADATZ nor do they pay any heed to nonsensical anti-Halachic (actually, anti-Torah "takanos" of the Syrian rabbis against accpeting geirim into their community.)

    Anyhow, here is what Wikipedia says about the Belzer Rebbe and his dispute with the Eidah HaChareidis at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yissachar_Dov_Rokeach_%28II%29#Feud_with_the_Edah_HaChareidis

    "Feud with the Edah HaChareidis

    As Belz began to establish itself as an independent and successful group, it began to attract some negative attention, particularly after Rabbi Yissachar Dov's decision to accept money from the state. One group, the Edah HaChareidis, a coalition of several movements known for its strictness and traditionalism even among haredim, took particular offense at the "renegades'" disregard of what had earlier been a largely unchallenged status quo. This was compounded by Rabbi Yissachar Dov's willingness to participate in Israeli politics by encouraging his followers to vote, and sending emissaries to join haredi political parties. These disagreements turned from mere hostilities into a full-blown feud following Rabbi Yissachar Dov's announcement in 1980 that Belz was going to split from the Edah HaCharedis.

    Prior to the split, Belz had been the only non-Eidah member that accepted and supported the authority of the Badatz, the Edah's rabbinical court, whose authority touched all matters of everyday haredi life, including kashrut certification. Early in the year, Rabbi Yitzchok Yaakov Weiss, the head of the Edah HaChareidis, issued a decree forbidding followers from sending their children to schools funded by state money. This represented a serious threat to Belz's moderate approach, which benefited greatly from state assistance.

    In response, Rabbi Yissachar Dov decided to cut his community off from the Edah HaCharedis and establish his own system of religious services, including kashrut certification. While Belz maintained that it was only interested in certifying food for its own community, the move was met with rancor by the Edah HaCharedis, particularly the Satmar Hasidim, who were both outraged at Rabbi Yissachar Dov's defiance and concerned about Belz as potential economic competition.

    This led to a large delegitimization campaign against Rabbi Yissachar Dov. Later in the year, when he visited the United States, he was assigned a security detail by the FBI in response to multiple death threats. The conflict in Israel, initially confined to insulting posters, gradually escalated to a series of particularly offensive pranks and, ultimately, physically violent clashes between followers. It should be noted that neither Rabbi Yissachar Dov nor Rabbi Weiss were ever involved in any of these activities, which are largely considered to have been the work of radical activists within both camps. Despite the opposition, Belz persevered, and tempers gradually cooled. While Belz and the Edah HaCharedis remain distant and implicitly hostile towards each other, the feud has, for all intents and purposes, ended."

    _____________

    But has it?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Recipients and PublicityJuly 7, 2008 at 1:41 PM

    To Bartley: Umm, are you missing my words or what? My question is would any Syrian rabbi do what the Belzer Rebbe did on such scale and with such openess?

    The Syrian's keep hiding behind the "spin" that, sure, they would welcome geirim too, but for anyone who really knows them inside out, and I know many of them very well, it's pure baloney to say they or their rabbis would do what the Belzer Rebbe did, and it's essentially a lie for public consumption to cover up their 1930s style "Syrian aryanism and racism" and it's only after some arms have been broken and it's forced own a few throats that they swallow a bitter pill from time to time, but these exceptions only prove the rule that the Syrian rabbis concocted and have stood by a GENERAL takana (and it's understood as such, and few people finesse it the way you would like to) that the door is shut to geirim who contemplate joining them unless they fall on the Syrians like a hot meteor that they could not ignore in their midst.

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  5. I wouldn't know and neither would you. The Belzer Rebbe is a high profile person and what he does is widely followed in the chareidi world. Even his political opinions on the Arab Israeli conflict are well known beyond even the religious world.

    Contrast that with the Syrian Chachamin. Do you know what any of them have to say about any contemporary issues? Do you know whos weddings or Bar Mitzvas they attend to? I personally do not. Moreover I know that I will not find out anything about there comings or goings by picking up a religious newspaper. Not so with the rabbanim in the Syrian community.

    You are not bringing any logical proof to this debate. You are just surmising in the dark using your self made stereotype images.Of course for the purpose of debate I cannot prove that you are stereotyping. I just getting this from intuition based on your writing style thus far. However I would claim that the average person cannot even make so much as a stereotype on the Syrian rabbanim because they are that low key on most issues.

    In any rate one must bring relevant proof to a debate, not dogma. Now go ahead and prove to us that no Syrian rav has officiated at the wedding of a ger in the past years. Also please bear in mind that they do not wear streimels, so do not make a hullabaloo that they were under dressed for the occasion should you find an instance where a Syrian Rav was mesader kiddushin for a ger.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Recipients and Publicity said...

    Hmmm, so Dr. Eidensohn: Why are you saying all this? Slamming latter-day Chasidic Rebbes in the name of the GRA who was uniquely opposed to ALL Chasidim and Chasidism and placed them in a still-binding cherem.

    Are you posting these alleged comments by the Klausenberger Rebbe ztk"l because of what I had stated in the post of Thursday, July 3, 2008
    ===========================
    You have got to be kidding!

    Do you really think that I persuaded the Klausenberger Rebbe years ago to say these words justifying the view of the Gra - which could be construed as an attack on Chassidus in order that the Bedatz could score points against Belz for setting up an independent beis din by degrading chassidus and to disqualify your heart warming story how the Belzer rebbe treated a ger with kavod which I needed to do in order to refute your theses that the Syrian Takana is anti halacha because it is a manifestation of a deep seated hatred of gerim by the Syrian rabbinate. Chad gadya

    ReplyDelete
  7. RaP said...
    "Hmmm, so Dr. Eidensohn: Why are you saying all this? Slamming latter-day Chasidic Rebbes in the name of the GRA who was uniquely opposed to ALL Chasidim and Chasidism and placed them in a still-binding cherem."

    Where did you get it that the herem from the GRA is still binding?

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  8. Do you think the Klausenberger Rebbe is correct in his assessment, that this was the reason the Gra and the misnagdim -- that is, differing reaches of ruach hakodesh? Or were there, e.g., real theological disputes at play, such as panentheism, and other sociological and halachic objections?

    Note that such a reading effectively coopts the Gra and the misnagdim into the Chassidic camp, declaring (without evidence) that they would have agreed that in the present day it is a good thing, when it is quite possible that they would be just as opposed to these beliefs and practices today.

    Kol Tuv,
    Josh

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dr. Jonathan Wright MD (Harvard, Univ of Michigan):
    http://mysite.verizon.net/res003jh/lithium-orotate/id13.html

    Also consider a gluten free/low carb diet.

    ReplyDelete
  10. joshwaxman said...

    Do you think the Klausenberger Rebbe is correct in his assessment, that this was the reason the Gra and the misnagdim -- that is, differing reaches of ruach hakodesh? Or were there, e.g., real theological disputes at play, such as panentheism, and other sociological and halachic objections?

    Note that such a reading effectively coopts the Gra and the misnagdim into the Chassidic camp, declaring (without evidence) that they would have agreed that in the present day it is a good thing, when it is quite possible that they would be just as opposed to these beliefs and practices today.
    -----------------
    Excellent questions. Have you read Rav Eliach's book on the Gra which was banned by the Chasidim? Have you read the Novaminsker's attack on the book in Yeshurin? Did you read R' Katzenstein's defense of R' Eliach's book against his friend the Novaminsker?

    A number of years ago I mentioned to Rav Moshe Halberstam zt"l that I was working on the issue of chassidim and misnagdim. His response was "after all these years chassidim and misnagdim are finally getting along with each other. You have a good reputation now. Please don't rock the boat."

    I mentioned this to the late Rosh Yeshiva of Ner Yisroel - Rav Yaakov Weinberger zt"l and he agreed, "write about anything
    but not about chassidim and misnagdim.

    There were in fact real theological issues such as the nature of tzimtzum, the status of the Arizal, the nature of mesora, the meaning of Torah study, involvement in the world, the degree to which the world is real,what is a tzadik/rebbe, etc. All of this however has become irrelevant for most of us. The issues were never resolved. Most of us are a mishmash of chassidic and misnagdic ideas - especially Artscroll. You might also want to read Prof Nadler's book the Faith of the Misnagdim as well as R' Jonathan Rosenblum's chapter that was added to R' Betzalel Landau's book on the Gra.

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  11. I do not think that we can get any objective historical facts regarding the herem of '76 on the chassidim. There are all sorts of stories that contradict each other. Some made up or stretched by people on both sides of the dispute. All of it centered on what the GRA's intentions were. Not to mention the story about the GRA accepting an invitation to meet the Maggid of Mezritch and being stopped by some invisible force. Then there are those who claim that when the ban was lifted by Rav Haim Voluzin, this excluded Lubavitch.

    L'havdil it is sort of what people said about the OJ Simpson trial. If one was white, they said that he was guilty. If one was black, the opposite.

    The only thing that I believe is what Lubavitchers have quoted from the Tzemach Tzeddek. He said that had the GRA not put the Chassidim in herem the whole movement would have self destructed. I believe him because he is was not trying to water down the GRA's intentions. Nor was he giving all of this elu vélu feel good talk.

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  12. Bartley Kulp said...
    The only thing that I believe is what Lubavitchers have quoted from the Tzemach Tzeddek. He said that had the GRA not put the Chassidim in herem the whole movement would have self destructed. I believe him because he is was not trying to water down the GRA's intentions. Nor was he giving all of this elu vélu feel good talk.
    =====================
    As I recall Chabad does not say such a thing. The quote was attributed to the Tzemach Tzedek by Rav Baruch Epstein - Makor Baruch/Torah Temimah. There is no other source for the attribution. He is not considered the most reliable source.

    A more representative view is that of Kiddushas Levi - that the Gra was sentenced to Gehinom but was protected by the pages of gemora that he had studied. The Novaminkser refers to the Gra's actions as ma'aseh Satan.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Could you give us a full reference?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Recipients and PublicityJuly 8, 2008 at 10:04 AM

    Dr. Eidensohn/"daas torah" of July 7, 2008 5:03 PM says:

    "You have got to be kidding! Do you really think that I persuaded the Klausenberger Rebbe years ago to say these words justifying the view of the Gra - which could be construed as an attack on Chassidus in order that the Bedatz could score points against Belz for setting up an independent beis din by degrading chassidus and to disqualify your heart warming story how the Belzer rebbe treated a ger with kavod which I needed to do in order to refute your theses that the Syrian Takana is anti halacha because it is a manifestation of a deep seated hatred of gerim by the Syrian rabbinate. Chad gadya"

    He grotesquely parodies and regurgitates what he imagines I said by chucking all my individual points into one dumb "chad gadya" respsonse not worthy of further comments, and it's hard to know if he is just having some fun at my expense or deliberately miscasting my words and my intention (it's probably both) as he avoids answering anything I challenge him on.

    Hey Doc, try answering all the points I went to the trouible of detailing systmatically instead of relying on me to surmise WHY YOU HAVE YET TO SAY ANYTHING RATIONAL AND COGENT OF YOUR OWN ABOUT THE BELZER REBBE & THE HUNGARIAN GER AS DISPROOF OF THE SYRIAN TAKANA, instead of covering up your fear of confronting the Belzer Rebbes actions by resorting to mock theater and avoidance of intellectual debate worthy of a Ph.D.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Recipients and Publicity said...
    Hey Doc, try answering all the points I went to the trouible of detailing systmatically instead of relying on me to surmise WHY YOU HAVE YET TO SAY ANYTHING RATIONAL AND COGENT OF YOUR OWN ABOUT THE BELZER REBBE & THE HUNGARIAN GER AS DISPROOF OF THE SYRIAN TAKANA, instead of covering up your fear of confronting the Belzer Rebbes actions by resorting to mock theater and avoidance of intellectual debate worthy of a Ph.D.
    =====================
    You still don't get it. Your pilpul is totally irrelevant without some sources that agree with your theses that the Syrian Takana is anti halacha and violates the Torah obligation to love gerim. I don't need to refute your pilpul.
    If what you assert is true, there should be a great many teshuvos denouncing it. Haven't found any - and you obviously haven't found any either.
    Instead of obsessing on this issue it would be much more beneficial to all concerned that you devote your consideral intelligence and energies to other issues and stop fighting windmills.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous said...

    Could you give us a full reference?
    =======================
    The page is from Shefa Chaim a multivolume set of the words of the KLausenberger Rebbe - volume 4 page 68-69

    ReplyDelete
  17. An authentic version of the Gra's attitude is discerned when listening to the Rav recount the tradition of the near miss meeting between the Gra and the Baal HaTanya, as passed on by Rav Chaim Volozhiner through to Reb Chaim. It does not jive at all with your thesis. Indeed, Reb Chaim also shared a Yom Tov table with the Rashab on Shavuos, entirely consistent with the Rav's Mesorah.

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  18. Isaac Balbin said...

    An authentic version of the Gra's attitude is discerned when listening to the Rav recount the tradition of the near miss meeting between the Gra and the Baal HaTanya, as passed on by Rav Chaim Volozhiner through to Reb Chaim. It does not jive at all with your thesis. Indeed, Reb Chaim also shared a Yom Tov table with the Rashab on Shavuos, entirely consistent with the Rav's Mesorah.
    ===================
    Could you be more expansive on what you are trying to say. What did the Rav say that doesn't jive with my thesis. What thesis are you referring to? Do you mean the Klausenberger Rebbe's view?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Recipients and PublicityJuly 10, 2008 at 8:33 AM

    Dr. Eidensohn/"da'as torah" said: "I don't need to refute your pilpul."

    What I stated was facts and not a "pilpul"!

    ReplyDelete
  20. This then was the intent of our grandfather's statement. He wanted to indicate the tremendous value in chassidus even just before Moshiach and that we should not fall into despair when we see the lowliness of the generation. The rebbes - even though they are mindless creations without heads - nevertheless they jump about and still have some vitality and provide social cohesion. They retain the strong spirit that sustains Yiddishkeit.

    Mr. Eidensohn! You have some grave apologising to do!

    The original Lashon is:

    וזה היה כוונת קדשו להראות יושר דרך החסידות אף על קודם ביאת המשיח ולא ליפול ח"ו בייאוש כשרואים שפלות הדור כי אף שהרבי'לך בלי ראש - כלומר בלי השגות, מ"מ הם קופצים - ויש בהם מעט חיות להחיות עם רב בהתאחדות ורוח התחזקות לתורה וליהדות.

    כי אף שהרבי'לך בלי ראש - כלומר בלי השגות does not translate as "The rebbes - even though they are mindless creations without heads". And מ"מ הם קופצים - ויש בהם מעט חיות does not translate as "nevertheless they jump about and still have some vitality".

    Rather, the Klausenberger is teitching up his Zeide's lashon in a figurative manner.

    הרבי'לך בלי ראש signifies the fact that they are בלי השגות = they don't experience G-dly comprehensions (Hasagos in Hasidic parlance refers to Madreigos one attains in the spiritual worlds) like the early Hasidic masters did, but rather they seem to lack any significant spiritual status,

    מ"מ הם קופצים, this signifies that they have מעט חיות, some G-dly energy (Chayus in Hasidic parlance) which they use to spiritually unite a great number of people etc. etc.

    You, though, have conflated the Mashal with the Nimshal, and mischarchterized the Nimshal.

    ReplyDelete

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