Volume 47 Number 25
                    Produced: Sun Mar 20 20:09:52 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bostoner Rebbe (2)
         [Perets Mett, Nathan Lamm]
Brit Milah
         [Eitan Fiorino]
         [Yisrael Medad]
Kashrus of Yankee Stadium
         [Yehonatan Chipman]
Lubavitch and Chabad (3)
         [Martin Stern, Nachum Klafter, Shoshana Ziskind]
Thesaurus of Jewish symbols
         [Nathan Lamm]


From: Perets Mett <p.mett@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 10:39:37 +0000
Subject: Bostoner Rebbe

Yehonatan Chipman wrote:

> In MJ v47n16, Nathan Lamm writes"
> <<... there are, in fact, two Bostoner Rebbes. The original Rebbe moved
> to Brooklyn; one of his sons moved back to Boston. Thus, his eldest son
> became (after the original Rebbe's death) the "Bostoner Rebbe of Boro
> Park"... while the son who moved back...  is the "Bostoner Rebbe of
> Boston" (and Har Nof).>>
> Small correction: The original rebbe, R. Pinhas David ha-Levi Horowitz
> ztz"l, settled directly in Boston upon arriving in the United Staes; he
> took the name originally (when some old-time European Jews wented to
> crown him with the title of "Lelover," his traditional yihus) with a
> certain self-deprecating irony.  Also, the younger, living brother,
> R. Levi Yitzhak ("The Bostoner of Boston"), shlit"a, in fact speaks 
> with a Boston accent, whish he could only have acquired by having been
> born and grown up in that city.

Nathan Lamm is correct in writing that the original rebbe moved to

He settled in Boston upon his arrival in the USA in about 1914, and
moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn towards the end of his life in 1939.
Rabbi Leivi Yitschok shlito later moved back to Boston.

Perets Mett

From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 06:22:57 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Bostoner Rebbe

I find it interesting that World War I had this effect on the founding
of the dynasty. As I recall, Rav Kook was also kept from returning to
Israel by the war, and ended up in Switzerland, where he met R' David
Cohen (later the Nazir), and I remember hearing of other lasting effects
in Jewish history arising from similar circustances in 1914.


From: Eitan Fiorino <Fiorino@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 09:52:44 -0500
Subject: RE: Brit Milah

Frank's excellent question here reminds me of a similar question I have
that I've not yet had time to look into (and so I'll toss it out to m-j

There are those who hold that metzitza b'peh is an integral part of brit
mila - I guess that means that according to this view one has not
fulfilled the mitzva unless this component of the procedure has been
performed.  Now I am quite content to dismiss that view as merely a
hot-headed polemic that has no basis in halacha, but nevertheless there
may be other logical flaws in the position.

When a circumcision was not initially performed leshem mitzva, one
transforms it into a brit mila through hatafat dam brit as Frank
described (there is actually a machlochet about it, but this is
certainly the accepted halacha).  Obviously there was no metzitza of any
kind at the initial circumcision and there is clearly no metzitza for
hatafat dam brit.  In my view this is because the Talmudic reason for
metzitza (oral or otherwise) is to improve the recovery of the child and
thus it has no purpose in this situation.  But, if one wants to say that
oral metzitza is necessary for a circumcision to fulfill the mitzva brit
mila, how can hatafat dam brit suffice in transforming a circumcision
into a brit mila?  Or is it that those who claim oral metzitza is
integral would simply say that anyone who for whatever reason did not
have metzitza b'peh at the time of the circumcision has simply missed
out on his chance of ever fulfilling this mitzva - you have one chance,
either do it right or the chance is gone and there's no way to fix it.
That may be the logical extension of the hard-line position on metzitza
b'peh, which is probably not a position that any of these folks would
acknoledge that they are advocating.


> From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
> Is this practiced with adult converts?  When I became 
> observant (in my 30s), I was told that I would need a drop of 
> blood drawn because my circumcision was performed by an M.D. 
> in a hospital on the third day. I'm pretty sure Metzitzah 
> B'peh wasn't done the first time, and I remember distinctly 
> that it wasn't done the second time.
> (Since circumcision is a bigger ordeal when performed on 
> adults, I would presume that any medical benefit of metzitzah 
> b'peh would be extra relevant in that case.)


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sat, 12 Mar 2005 20:33:40 +0200
Subject: Chabad

I tried to follow up the matter of Chabadniks who did not recognize the
Rebbe Rayatz in pre-war Europe.

It seems that there was a branch called the "Mlachim" (angels) who
stemmed from the Tzemach Tzedek's family rather than the Rashash as the
third Rebbe was a son-in-law/nephew of DovBer (if I understood
correctly.  family interconnnections are not my specialty).

Yisrael Medad


From: Yehonatan Chipman <yonarand@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 16:49:22 +0200
Subject: Re:  Kashrus of Yankee Stadium

In MJ v47n20, Dov Teichman wrote: 

<<Regarding Sporting events and theaters and the like, I know many
Orthodox Jews go, yet all I have seen who write on the matter forbid it
<SNIP> R. Moshe in Igros Moshe Yoreh Deah 4:11 says anyone attending
theaters and sporting events is transgresses the prohibitions of Moshav
Letzim and Bitul Torah.  Are there any poskim who allow going to
Baseball games? or any other sporting event or theaters for that

The old Hirschian school of "Torah im derekh eretz" definitely
considered participation in cultural events -- theatre, concerts,
reading "good" literature, etc. -- as a normal part of Orthodox Jewish
life, I think with the caveat that the event was on a serious cultural
level.  This included, I believe, opera, at which there were also solo
female vocalists.  But I've never seen actual tesuvut on the subject,
although I think I saw something to that effect in Rav S. R. Hirsch's
"Nineteen Letters."  And have heard like things from my former
mother-in-law, who grew up in the frum community of pre-war Hamburg.

I've never heard anything about ball games one way or another.  About
movies, I once heard it told that the late Rav J. B. Soleveitchik ztz"l
answered a query abot going to movies during Sefiart Haomer, that it as
much permissible as it is any other day of the year (an answer that of
course can cut both ways: equally permitted, or equally forbidden).

This question is not one which can be answered with a simple yes or no.
It raises far broader issues, such as: a) overall cultural orientation;
b) bittul Torah, i.e., how one uses one's time; c) sexual tzeni'ut, an
issue that presents itsehf today regarding theater (and films) in a way
that it did not in Hirsch's day, to rather understate the case.

Yehonatan Chipman


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 09:06:17 +0000
Subject: Lubavitch and Chabad

on 10/3/05 4:04 am, Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...> wrote:
> Nathan Lamm wrote:
> "Lubavitch" was merely one of a number of Chabad groups (that is,
> descendants of the Alter Rebbe) existing at the same time. It was the
> only one to survive the Holocaust"
> I know that there was a big dispute between the last Rebbe and his
> brother-in-law but could we have a bit more explanation on this?  What
> other Chabad group existed outside those that viewed the Rebbe Rayatz
> not their Rebbe before WW II?

Nachum was actually slightly inaccurate, the other Chabad dynasties
effectively disappeared after the Russian revolution, mainly because of
the failure to produce a male descendant not because of persecution per
se. A full, but rather tendentious, history of the Chabad dynasties,
Leadership in the HaBaD Movement, has been written by Avrum M. Ehrlich
(Aronson, 2000).  While followers of the movement will find many of his
comments offensive, especially the section on the emergence of the last
rebbe, it still contains much useful information on how the present
situation came about.

Martin Stern

From: Nachum Klafter <doctorklafter@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 08:36:11 -0500
Subject: RE: Lubavitch and Chabad

>> Nathan Lamm wrote:
>> Lubavitch" was merely one of a number of Chabad groups (that is,
>> descendants of the Alter Rebbe) existing at the same time. It was the
>> only one to survive the Holocaust"
> Yisrael Medad wrote:
> I know that there was a big dispute between the last Rebbe and his
> brother-in-law but could we have a bit more explanation on this?  What
> other Chabad group existed outside those that viewed the Rebbe Rayatz
> not their Rebbe before WW II?

The 3rd Rebbe of the Habad Dynasty was Menachem Mendel Schneerson (same
name as the 7th Rebbe z"l, who died in 1994 in NYC).  Rabbi Menachem
Mendel is referred to as the "Tzemach Tzedek," after the title of his
renowned multivolume halakhic work.  He was actually one of the most
prolific scholars of Jewish history, with tens of thousands of pages of
his writings published.  (According to Habad oral tradition, he wrote
much more than this but many of his writings were lost in a fire.)

After he died, which was in 1886, a number of his illustrious sons
became rebbes of and formed their own Hassidic dynasties.  I am not
aware of any real dispute at that time among these brothers, but the
history of that period has not been critically examined and mostly comes
to us from Habad hagiography.

In any case, one of Menachem Mendel's sons was Shmuel Shneerson, who
became the 4th Lubavitcher Rebbe, and is called by Habad Hassidim the
"Maharash," and acrostic for Moreinu HaRav Shmuel.  Rabbi Shmuel stayed
in the town of Lubavtich, and his brothers went to other towns.
Therefore, the name "Lubavitch" stuck for this branch of the Habad
Dynasty, which produced other charismatic and prolific spiritual
leaders, including the Shmuel's son Sholom Dov Ber (the 5th Lubavitcher
Rebbe), Sholom Dov Ber's son Yosef Yitzchak (The 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe)
who transplanted the dynasty overseas to Brooklyn, and Rabbi Yosef
Yitzchak's son, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Shneerson, who was the 7th and
apparently final Lubavitcher Rebbe as there was no successor appointed
after his death nearly 11 years ago.

[Note: Rabbi Menachem Mendel Shneerson was not the son of the previous
Rebbe, but the son-in-law. In addition, he was a direct descendant of
the earlier Rebbes. Mod]

The dynasties of the brothers of Rabbi Shmuel Shneerson, the 4th
Lubavitcher Rebbe, were not as large and did not produce the vast
literature which characterizes the Lubavitch branch of Habad.
Tragically, nearly all the descendants of those dynasties were murdered
by the Nazis, HaShem yinkom dameihem.  I am aware of one family who
descended from one of these other Habad branches, who ultimately married
into Habad Lubavitch and became a prominent family of Hassidim in Crown
Heights and elsewhere.

From: Shoshana Ziskind <shosh@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 09:20:39 -0500
Subject: Re: Lubavitch and Chabad

> Nathan Lamm wrote:
> "Lubavitch" was merely one of a number of Chabad groups (that is,
> descendants of the Alter Rebbe) existing at the same time. It was the
> only one to survive the Holocaust"
Yisrael Medad:
> I know that there was a big dispute between the last Rebbe and his
> brother-in-law but could we have a bit more explanation on this?  What
> other Chabad group existed outside those that viewed the Rebbe Rayatz
> not their Rebbe before WW II?

I've never ever heard of this concept.  The third Lubavitcher Rebbe
known as the Tzemach Tzedek did have 7 sons and the 7th son became the
4th Rebbe and the other sons I think became Rebbes but not of Lubavitch,
they splintered off I think.

I've always learned and read that there was only one Lubavitcher Rebbe
at a time. Going from the Alter Rebbe until the 7th Rebbe.  Usually it
was the Rebbe's son but in the case of the third Rebbe and the 7th Rebbe
they were the sons in law respectively of the rebbe before them.
(Incidentally they both had the name Menachem Mendel and their
respective wives both had the name Chaya Mushka.)

I have never heard about a dispute between the last Rebbe and his
brother in law, Rabbi Gurary. I think what you're referring to is his
son.  There was a problem when Rabbi Gurary's son was taking books from
the Lubavitch Library/Archives and saying they were his because he was
the only grandson (and therefore the direct heir) of the 6th Lubavitcher
Rebbe known as the Rayatz.  (Rabbi Yosef Yitzchoak Schneersohn zt"l)
There was a huge court case and the court decided that the books
belonged to Lubavitch not to one person.  We celebrate the day of the
victory by purchasing seforim and we sing a niggun which was later used
by the cucumber phone ads in NY called "didan notzach".  This issue
happened relatively recently and had nothing to do with conflicts over
who was supposed to be Rebbe.  I don't think there was any doubt at the
time that the seventh Rebbe became Rebbe that it would be anyone else.
(Of course I wasn't there but that's the impression I've gotten).

Certainly there are a lot of people who are descendants of the Alter
Rebbe who aren't necessarily Lubavitchers (maybe over time the family
has followed other chassidim or maybe their familes have stopped
following chassidic practices.)  Every year I read about a reunion of
descendants of the Alter Rebbe and certainly they don't all look like

Shoshana Ziskind


From: Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 06:16:48 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Thesaurus of Jewish symbols

I'm not sure if it's what you have in mind, but Jason Aronson published
a very good "Encyclopedia of Jewish Symbols."


End of Volume 47 Issue 25