Sunday, April 5, 2009

Zev Katz live! (part 1)

Rabbi Zev Katz came to Farbreng in beautiful S. Paul, MN, for the eleventh of Nissan. Here's a rough version of the first part of his remarks.

The Rebbe went to the ohel, before going he said he wanted to give out a dvar malchus. When it was time for the pamphlet to be given out Leibel Groner told Zev Katz to announce that the Dvar malchus was not ready for giving out, because it wasn't back from the binders. In fact the Dvar Malchus was ready but the Rebbe hadn't eaten that day, and the mazkiros didn't want him to have to stand up for another several hours, so they figured the Rebbe could go to his room for a sort while to rest a little and then give out the Dvar Malchus. And so it happened.

A few weeks later was the 50th anniversary of 28 Sivan. Everyone in 770 was ecstatic. Before the Rebbe went to the ohel he told those in charge of these things to arrange for another Dvar Malchus. After the Rebbe came back to 770, before Mincha, the Rebbe was stopped by some chassidim who wanted to give a brocha, and so they did. The Rebbe spoke a sicha, thanking the chassidim for their bracha, and after Mincha Leibel Groner again told Zev Katz to announce that there'd been a delay in the binding. 

(The Rebbe once told Zev Katz's father, also the gabbay in 770, on a Rebbe you don't have to have rachmonus, but it's overdone.)

After Zev katz made his announcement that the Dvar Malchus was not ready, the Rebbe told him, "It's a shame to make an interuption, better let's continue with what we left off." The Rebbe finished off the sicha, and the Dvar Malchus somehow showed up...
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By the Rebbe there were no breaks. There was no retirement.

Once the Rebbe came home and the Rebbitzen was siting on the back porch. The Rebbe sat down for a few minutes, then got up and said, "I was yotzeh dacha."
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The Rebbe never accepted any gashmius. A person once came with a beautiful silver pitcher to give to the Rebbe when he was giving out matzos. The Rebbe said, give it to one of my institutions.

The rebbe does accept some gifts. Gifts having to do with Torah and mitzvos.
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The Friediker Rebbe settled in Riga after being exiled from Russia, and a year later went to Warsaw where there was a lubav yeshiva, chassidim, etc.

When Zev Katz three years old he went to yechidus by the Friediker Rebbe with his father and grandfather. The Rebbe showed him his tzitzis, Zev was asked to identify them, and he did so, running over and kissing them. His grandfather, a poilishe yid, shook the rebbe's hand, but Zev's father didn't want his son doing the same. The Friediker Rebbe noticed, so the father said, "I want him to grow up to be a chassid." the Friediker Rebbe said, I hope so.
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Chatche Faigin once tried to stop a poilishe chassid, whose custom it is to shake a Rebbe's hand, from shaking the Friediker Rebbe's hand. The Friediker Rebbe said, a year ago when my life in danger all these Jews davened I should stay alive. I won't remain indebted to anyone.
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The Rebbe Rashab had a chassid who moved to Paris in 1905, which at that time was a big move, big change, etc. Paris was none too frum. The Rashab sent him a letter demanding that he do for yiddishkeit in Paris. The Friediker Rebbe knew this chassid and told his father, no way he's shayich for this! The Rashab told him, I want that this chossid should accomplish. 

The chassid needed time to respond to the letter, thought he couldn't do it.

A while later the Rashab went to Moscow with his son, and got his mail forwarded there. A letter from this chassid came, reporting his activities. He had arranged minyanim for the high holy days, and a weekly shiur in Torah ohr. More important than the shiur itself was the reminiscing about growing up. Being descendants of chassidim they rented a building for a shul and celebrated 19 Kislev properly. The rebbe was very proud, said chassidim have to do what they're told, if they do, then they get brachos. If not, then... Still in Moscow, the Rashab told his son to tell the "frozen" chassidim in Moscow about the goings on in Paris and try and inspire them.
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The Rebbe wrote a letter to the Friediker Rebbe in 1932 asking permission to publicize mofsim. The rebbe was talking about his father in law, but he was paskening on himself, how we should respond to them.
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Rabbi Lau has a brother who was Israeli ambassador to the USA in the eighties, named Naftali Lavi, who kept in touch with the Rebbe. He once called up, and said that a certain person wanted to meet the Rebbe, but he couldn't even say who it was. Fine, they arranged a meeting for this high-ranking secret person a little while later. Efraim haLevi, head of Mossad, came that night, and reported that Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, was very dangerous for the Jewish population, and therefore it was the considered opinion of the state that every Jew should evacuate. Efraim went there to check it out, and they said, we're not leaving without our rabbi. Who was he? Rabbi Pinson, a shliach. He said, until told differently, I'm sent here by rebbe, I'm not going. Efraim came to New York and tried to convince the Rebbe to make the Jews leave...

The Rebbe said, who says Israel carries responsibility for the Jews in Tunis? It's my responsibility! And I say they're okay.

Years passed, Efraim HaLevi came to speak in the central synagogue in Sydney a year ago. He finished his speech, after telling this story, and said, who was right, me or the Rebbe? The rebbe!
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There's a Jew in Boro Park, name of Moshe Wolfson, Rabbi of a big shul, Mashgiach Ruchni in Torah V'Daas, and a close connection with the Rebbe. He comes sometimes to the 19 Kislev farbie organized by Heichal Menachem, but always makes problems, whether he'll come or not, and even if comes. will he speak?

One year he was invited, and he said that normally he gives them a hard time (Leibel Altein and Yoel Kahn) but this time, he's willing to do anything, because he's a he's a baal chov, a debtor to the Rebbe.

A Lubavitcher came to a baalaboss of his, asked for a large sum, he consulted Wolfson, who said, if it has what to do with lubvitch, give. A while later it's erev rosh hashanah, wolfson comes to kivrei avos, his parents graves (in old Montefiore cemetery) and decides to also go to the ohel. Big line, but figures that they have what to do just like him, and if it's good for them it's good for him.

When he finally got into the Ohel he said, "Rebbe, when you needed me, I was there. Now, I need you. I have an older daughter, she needs a shidduch. Help her." He walked out.

Two hours before Rosh Hashanah (just a short while aftre this visit) a shadchan calls...it works out.

Wolfson says, what the Rebbe does for me...whatever I can do for you, it's nothing.
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There's a Jew from Boro Park, goes to the ohel all the time, has incredible mofsim from the rebbe.

A while ago two girls asked him to mention them by the ohel for shidduchim. Two months passed, one girl gets engaged. From the other he never hears. Two years later he hears... nothing. He asks her for her name for ohel, and she says, "The first time, I didn't believe, I didn't give you my real name. But now I'm desperate..." She gives her real name. Two months later she gets engaged.

Shows you, when there's no emes, nothing happens.

29 comments:

Nemo said...

The Central Synagogue in Sydney ought to be capitalized. (Zev Katz' son-in-law is the rabbi there.)

Nemo said...

Or not. In their logo on the upper right corner of the page they do not capitalize "central."

http://www.centralsynagogue.com.au/about_us.asp?id=273

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Come on, you don't have anything better to say than some grammar?

The Real Shliach said...

Nemo's comment can hardly be classified under the geder of grammar. Nitpicking is more like it.

le7 said...

Once the Rebbe came home and the Rebbitzen was siting on the back porch. The Rebbe sat down for a few minutes, then got up and said, "I was yotzeh dacha."


Explain please...

Anonymous said...

"Dacha" is a vacation spot (in Russian), and "yotzeh" means "to fulfill an obligation" (in Hebrew). So the sense of it was that society considers it something of an obligation to go away on a vacation every so often, and that the Rebbe's sitting on the porch for a few minutes was the extent to which he was willing to honor that tradition.

fakewood inc. said...

anon
very pompously explained we arent sipping wine and eating cheese.

The Real Shliach said...

anon: very nicely said.

fake: maybe you aren't...

fakewood inc. said...

share the love then what the heck i have been missing out this whole time. that's bs.

The Real Shliach said...

Come to MN and we'll see what we can do.

Leo de Toot said...

Dear Mr. R.S.:
L d T is currently in foreign lands and therefore has an extra appreciation for the learning transmitted in your blogs. Much appreciated... Ldt.

The Real Shliach said...

My pleasure it is. I hope the foreign climes are treating you well... has the roar of the lion been heard?

le7 said...

Thanks Anon. (No one will believe me but I've got to say it to preserve my dignity: it was the Dacha that threw me off...)

e said...

(The Rebbe once told Zev Katz's father, also the gabbay in 770, on a Rebbe you don't have to have rachmonus, but it's overdone.)

I heard from my gramps that the Frierdiker Rebbe was once "complaining" about his work. Said the Rebbe that chassidim say that "Af a Rebbe darf men nit rachmonus hobn"

Responded the Frierdiker Rebbe, "ober zei zainen gor mehader in dem." ("Yeah, but the chassidim are mehader in not having rachmonus!")

"It's a shame to make an interuption, better let's continue with what we left off."

The Rebbe said, "why make a hefesek, when you can make a chibbur?" (Or maybe it was "hemshhech.")

e said...

nemo: stepping in for me, aye?

fakewood: chill out. It wasn't that horrible.

le7: it's not that unbelievable. Once you know what dacha is, the rest of the story makes sense.

The Real Shliach said...

e: Thank you. No, really.

re: nemo: but no one can replace the almighty editor...

re: fake: Everyone has different tolerances for pain.

le7: She meant that she knew what "yotzeh" meant, not dacha, and she thought that no one would believe her that she knew what the word "yotzeh" meant.

e said...

indeed, but believe i did.

e said...

that's right, I'm irreplaceable!!! yay me!

The Real Shliach said...

ani maamin b...?

and yes, of course you're irreplaceable e. Where else would we find a heretical curmudgeon with your supposed wit and possible wisdom?

Nemo said...

Eini ba elah l'faresh pshuto shel mikra ... it's not a synagogue that is central, rather it is called The Central Synagogue. And the reason that I'm being so picky is that I was once in their employ, and I thought it worthy of clarifying who and why R' Zev Katz would need to mention it (wouldn't you be proud if your SIL was the rov of one of the richest synagogues in the southern hemisphere?).

le7 said...

Wow TRS dead on you were.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

TRS: About not taking anything, what about the cadillacs? Not that I'm saying anything against him taking it, but he did take things.

fake: how can you read English Torah literature with that low a tolerance for pomposity?

le7: don't worry, we believe you

e: You are both replacable and despensable with. Remember that. *ominous glare*

The Real Shliach said...

Nemo: Actually, this all I knew. Scarily enough...

le7: Thanks.

Modeh: There's actually a very famous story that someone bought the Rebbe a brand new Cadillac and when it was presented the Rebbe said, bring me back my old one, donate the money to tzedaka, or something like that. Point is, the Rebbe didn't have things for their own sake. And you know, the misnagdim used to complain that the holy Ruzhiner used a lot of gold, and the Chassidim said, what was gold made for? for the Beis Hamikdash. In our generation, the Ruzhiner is the Beis Hamikdash. Another girsah, "what better use is their for gold?"

Re: e: who are you to give out ominous glares?

Modeh B'Mitksas said...

Re: "In our generation the Ruzhiner is the beis hamikdash." Personally I have no problem with the amount of gold the Ruzhiner used. My problem is with the fact that he counted ghosts in a minyan.

Re e: I glare at whomsoever I feel like so there. :)

The Real Shliach said...

Hey, Cunin counts the Rebbeim in his minyan...

Re: e: well, as long as you're nice about it.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Nu, so I have a problem with Rabbi Cunin too.

Of course, how could I be anything but?

The Real Shliach said...

As do many Lubavitchers.

Generally, ominous and nice aren't in the same sentence, unless of course there's a negative between them.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Or the ominous is sarcastic

The Real Shliach said...

But how were we to know that such is the case?