Thursday, April 27, 2006

Truth? What truth?

Seforim reports the burning of a biography of the Vilner Gaon, by the Klausenberger Rebbe. The reason? It includes a discussion of the GRA's opposition to Hassidut (including the famous tract זמיר עאריצים). IOW, two hundred years later, sensitivities surrounding this episode are still high. What strikes me as odd is a simple question? Does anyone deny the GRA's ferocious opposition to Hassidut? Isn't that why those of us of Lithuanian extraction (pace Lubavitch, Slonim, and Karlin Hassidim) are (proud to be) called misnagdim ('opponents')?

When I read this I thought of my friend, Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter's two articles on Orthodox revisionism, along with a more recent contribution by my colleague Dr. Kimi Caplan.

I was also reminded of a famous vort attributed to the Kotzker Rebbe zt'l, which was a variation of a remark by the Mezritcher Maggid.

שטיט אין פסוק: אמת מארץ תצמח. צו זאג'ן אז אמת ליגט (די ויילע) אין דער ערד. עולם חסד ייבנה . אל'ס וואס מענטשען בוי'ן איז אן אוהל המת אויפ'ן קבר פון אמת.
(If someone could get me the exact quote, I'd appreciate it.)


Ben Bayit said...

I can try and dig it up. I have some Kotzker materials at home (proud Polish Chassidic lineage going back to at least Kotzk (via Gur) - maybe even more).

Another quote from the Kotzker that Centrist Modern Orthodox Litvak Misnagdim perhaps should ponder a bit more is:
אין מיטלוועג פירן זיך די פערד
or - depending upon which mammal one thinks the exact quote referred to
אין מיטלוועג פירן זיך די אייזלען

Out of Step in Kfar Saba said...

not on message - can't find your email on the blog - sometimes you find something that needs blogging and this needs blogging:,7340,L-3245990,00.html

Anonymous said...

I think that in the book there contained more things besides for the fact that the gra opposed hassidus.

For example it stated simply that all the hassidic leaders of that time were amei haratzim etc.

I recall the Novominsker Rebbe writing an article denouncing the book as being factualy inacurate and containg historical revisionism.

Many historians. including "misnagdim" have critizised this author of this book.

Read this before passing any quick judgments