Sunday, December 27, 2015

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Baruch/Briskman Bonim Bonanza

Beautiful music from Baruch Levine, and a special guest appearance by Yonatan Razel.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Deans Decry Draconian Draft

Courtesy of The Partial View

I don't know why this hasn't been shared on the regular media.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

BenPakuah Born-n-Bred Beef Battle Brewing

All those who have learned Chulin, have probably thought about marketing Ben Pakuah. The Gemara says that if you Shecht the mother cow and find a live baby inside, the baby does not need Shechita. So why not produce a herd of such BP's? If they don't need Shechita, the price of beef could be brought down significantly for the kosher consumer.

See Chulin 74A

מתני' השוחט את הבהמה ומצא בה בן שמנה חי או מת או בן תשעה מת קורעו ומוציא את דמו מצא בן תשעה חי טעון שחיטה וחייב באותו ואת בנו דברי ר"מ וחכמים אומרים שחיטת אמו מטהרתו

As JS pointed out in the comments, once the animal "walks on the ground" it DOES require shechita midrabanan, so as not to have people think that animals do not need schechita.  Yet the advantage is primarily in the hind-quarter, in that we don't need to take out the gid-hanasheh, enabling the HQ to enjoy kosher status.  Also, the halachos of treifos and chailev are relaxed.

see Ben link for more details.

see link for a teshuva written by Rabbi Meir Rabi.

Monday, November 9, 2015

"Marketing Meir" Moves Me - Meir Kalmanson cuts his hair


Many of you have seen marketing wiz Meir Kalmanson's videos on youtube. His genius is apparent, as he pulls off various capers, such as high-fiving taxi hailers in NYC, jumping on a bed on the streets of Manhattan, and engaging an entire subway car in happiness.

Yet I am in awe of this man, as I recently discovered that his long hair was not an act rebelliousness, nor a show of anti-establishment resentment.


I am in awe of this man.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Na Nach Nachman NachmanMeuman

Enough sad videos coming out from the Holy Land. Time for some happiness.
Hat Tip

Thursday, September 24, 2015

"Pepsi" Portrays Penitent Player - The Season of Pepsi Meyers by Abie Rotenberg

Abie Rotenberg has hit it out of the park.

His new novel about a Jewish Yankee baseball star, who is faced with a dilemma of whether to embrace his religion or his passion for baseball, is spiritually uplifting and entertaining at the same time. The quotes from the late great Peter Lawrence Berra (aka Yogi) that begin the chapters are classics and quite apropos. I recommend it for teenagers, as it exposes them to heavy questions about the Jewish religion, answered in simplistic terms. At the same time, one will enjoy Abie's command of the game, in all its technical nuances.

Abie has tantalized his fans for decades, with his haunting melodies and stimulating lyrics on his Journeys and Dvaykus albums.

His song about Yankel was made into a motion picture, with very positive reviews.

Perfect timing, as this is the season for pennants and penance.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Dean Decries Dibarnu Dofi

The most recent edition of Jewish Action has several tributes to Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein z"l.

One interesting tidbit brought is the fact that RAL was fluent in Shas, and would often times quote the correct Daf from memory.

As part of his humility, RAL mentioned that this "sin", perhaps of haughtiness in quoting the Daf, was already inluded in Viduy, as we say...Dibarnu Dofi.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Lipa Loves Ladies Locks Long

I hear Lipa's point, as the Gemara says in Baba Basra 109B:
אמרה ליה ילתא לרב נחמן מכדי כל דאסר לן רחמנא שרא לן כוותיה אסר לן דמא שרא לן כבדא נדה דם טוהר חלב בהמה חלב חיה חזיר מוחא דשיבוטא גירותא לישנא דכוורא אשת איש גרושה בחיי בעלה אשת אח יבמה כותית יפת תאר בעינן למיכל בשרא בחלבא
Yet when you are part of a group, one must adhere to the dictates of that group.  The only problem being that if the dictates are too draconian, people leave.

Perhaps he would be taken more seriously if he changed his shirt?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Wishy-Washy Websites Waver/Waffle with Women

There has been much discussion lately on cross-currents with regard to publishing pictures of women.

I understand the arguments pro and con, but there still needs to be a modicum of normalcy in deciding whether to publish or perish.

The entire controversy erupted some time ago when Hillary Clinton was excised from the Bin Laden war room photograph. I do find it noteworthy, that as of late, both Matzav and YWN are now publishing pictures of Hillary, albeit unflattering ones.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Greatest Guitarist Goes Gracefully - BDE Yosi Piamenta

One of the greatest guitarists of the 80s and 90s has sadly passed away.

Yosi Piamenta was from the first Jewish artists who used the electric guitar to electrify his audience.

His performances and solo guitar licks will be sorely missed.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Bike4chai Brings Big Bucks

I find it amazing that some 400 bikers raised almost 6 million dollars for Chai Lifeline's Camp Simcha.

More amazing is that these riders give up 2 days of work, raising these astronomical amounts of money.

Kudos to them, especially for pedaling over 170 miles through 3 states, arriving at the World's Greatest Finish Line.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Awaiting Airplane Arrival Anticipation Antipathy Attribution

I recall as a youth the excitement when one saw a loved one after a long absence.

There were unabashed hugs and cheers and kisses all around.

I had reason recently to be in the airport to pick up a passenger and I noticed that Airline Arrival Anticipation is a thing of the past.

I believe that since our world is so small, since we can Skype our dear ones wherever they may be, there is no longer any excitement when we actually see them in person.

How sad. The digital revolution continues to change our world - sometimes for the worse.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Pregnancy Passul's Pure Parah

See The Partial View

What I don't understand is, if he was offered one million dollars for this potentially pure parah, why didn't he put it in it's own fence and keep it away from the bulls?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Teen Tricks Tefillin Tie-r

A Tumult has been created by the recent tying of Tefillin by a Lubavitch Shaliach on a girl.

This reminds me of a story years ago when a Lubavitcher Shaliach met a nice young Frum man in a Hillel House in the midwest. He asked him if he wants to put on Tefillin to which the polite young man replied sure.

When the Shaliach asked him if he needs help with the Brochos, he replied - Not necessary.

The student proceeded to put on the Tefillin with familiarity. The surprised Chabad representative asked him "When was the last time you put on Tefillin?

To which he got the response - This morning!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

BDE: Blogging Buddy Bray Bereaved

We are gathered here today to mourn the loss of one of the best bloggers to ever roam the Jblogosphere.

With the advent of Facebook and Twitter, pundits have long predicted the demise of blogging. Yet the era of Rishonim had yet to be lamented until the untimely halting of one of it's finest. Sadly, from this day and onward marks the time of the Acharonim.

Blogging Buddy Bray had championed the cause of Torah, fighting the Sitra Achra for close to a decade. His quick wit, charming demeanor and golden pen have laid waste to the claim that an American born and bred Yeshiva-man can't write.

His legacy includes mourning the Holocaust, as a G2er. His Havdalah consciousness has enabled his readers to navigate the differences between right and wrong, good and evil, addle-minded and level-headedness. His Yiddishisms, word-play and complete command of several languages have made him a must read for all the past 6 years.

In blog years, that is a lifetime.

The saddest part is that he has chosen to wipe away years of toil. His erudite posts will now be lost forever. I applaud his action as it is based on Teshuva, yet I mourn it's result nonetheless.

As he leaves this world of cyber-Sheker, I wish him well in the Olam HaEmes.

May his blog be resurrected soon, and may Hashem wipe away all his nemeses.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Wacky Waco Wheelers Wacked

Somebody wasn't invited and somebody stole a parking spot and now we have some-bodies.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sheva Shabbosos Semimos Sefirah Segulah

Sure Segulah to Say Sefirah...

Daven Maariv with a Minyan every day for 49 days Straight.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Rabbi Receives Rare Reward (Arthur Schneier is Knighted)

This does not belong on this blog, but since Havdala conscience blogging buddy bray has not touched this topic with his golden sceptered pen, I have opened the discussion here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Pashut Peshat: Po-shet=Push-it!

Yom Tov Duchaning of the Kohanim got me thinking about a story I heard some years ago.

Apparently, there is a difference of opinion when it comes to Duchaning, what position the Kohen's hands must be.  Should they be outstretched straight out or may they be angled somewhat.

I heard a shiur recording made by R Feivel Cohen who says that Peshat of Poshet means that the hands must be stretched straight out.

One person then asked: If an Ani on Purim is "Poshet Yad", but not to the full extent, does one have an obligation to give?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Possible Parah (Aduma) Predicts Paradise?

Hat Tip
Hat Tip II

All I can add is that this fellow reminds of Dama b. Nesina. Kedushin 31A...

עד היכן כיבוד אב ואם אמר להם צאו וראו מה עשה עובד כוכבים אחד באשקלון ודמא בן נתינה שמו פעם אחת בקשו חכמים פרקמטיא בששים ריבוא שכר והיה מפתח מונח תחת מראשותיו של אביו ולא ציערו אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל שאלו את ר' אליעזר עד היכן כיבוד אב ואם אמר להם צאו וראו מה עשה עובד כוכבים אחד לאביו באשקלון ודמא בן נתינה שמו בקשו ממנו חכמים אבנים לאפוד בששים ריבוא שכר ורב כהנא מתני בשמונים ריבוא והיה מפתח מונח תחת מראשותיו של אביו ולא ציערו לשנה האחרת נתן הקב"ה שכרו שנולדה לו פרה אדומה בעדרו נכנסו חכמי ישראל אצלו אמר להם יודע אני בכם שאם אני מבקש מכם כל ממון שבעולם אתם נותנין לי אלא אין אני מבקש מכם אלא אותו ממון שהפסדתי בשביל כבוד אבא

He claims he turned down a million dollars and would rather donate it to the cause of the Jewish People. It seems that Hashem sends his red heifer's to special people.

May we see the coming of Moshiach in our days!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ambassador/Advisor Avner Ascends Afterworld (Yehuda Avner 1928-2015)

Yehuda Avner served as advisor/speech-writer to 4 Israeli prime-ministers. His lovely memoirs record the events of Israeli history up through the Begin years. He was a true servant of the Jewish people. The Prime Ministers, is a must read for all people interested in recent Jewish history, especially in how the White House deals with the leaders of the Jewish State.

He is pictured above at R Moshe Feinstein's residence with R Moshe Sherer, R Yaakov Kamenetzky, R Yitzchok Hutner, RMF and PM Menachem Begin.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Ferocious Flatbush Fire Feeds Frenzy

The tragic fire in Flatbush that consumed so many lives R"L is heart-rending.

Hopefully this will serve as a wake-up call for people to make sure that they have working smoke alarms that are tested on a regular basis.

I understand human nature has an intrinsic need for news that is local and affects us all, yet I wonder why various media feel the need to publish countless stories, pictures, levaya hookups etc.

I sure hope it is not for selfish (ratings) reasons.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Bi Bi Beats Barack

Barack has finally lost an election - Tweet

Monday, March 16, 2015

Sorah Schenirer's Students Swell

Tuesday, March 17, representatives from Bais Yaakov's across the country will be represented in Brooklyn's Barclays Center to honor Sorah Schenirer, founder of the BY movement. It has been 80 years since her passing.

Perhaps the 100th Yahrtzeit will be in Yankee Stadium.

Chofetz Chaim Camera Continuation

Hat Tips: The Partial View
The Partial View 2

  1. Rabbi Deutch of the Living Torah Museum says that the video of the CC was briefly posted on the internet 4 and 1/2 years ago but then taken down because of copyright issues.
  2. Also says that the famous picture of the CC is actually the butcher of Radin.
  3. National Archives had this video for over 10 years already.
  4. CC is really walking slowly, but all newsreels of olden times appear much quicker than actual.
  5. Another video of the CC is available, showing CC selling his sefarim. He expects it to come out in next few months.  He says he has this video.
  6. There is a video of R Shimon Skopp giving shiur in RIETS, but it is not being released bec some feel it is not Kovodik, as he was giving shiur in YU.
  7. Interview by NYCPhotog/Shimon Gifter.

Updated with new picture video of CC on 3/19/15

Monday, March 2, 2015

Chofetz Chaim Camera Conundrum

I have been rereading the ArtScroll biography of the Chafetz Chaim, written by Rabbi Moshe Yoshor and translated by Rabbi Charles Wengrov.

One of the puzzling things I found is that the Chofetz Chaim was camera shy, yet on page 507, in a footnote, we find the following:

Hidden in a chest drawer in his home, the Chafetz Chaim kept pictures of Rav Nachum of Hurodna, Reb Shimon Caftan, and Reb Mordechai of Lidda.  He would often take them out to look at them, and say to members of his household, "Children, you have no idea what great Jews they were.  They were concealed tsaddikim."

Monday, February 23, 2015

Cinematic Chofetz Chaim Corroborated


UPDATE: 2/24/14
I wrote to the University for information regarding this newsreel and here is their reply:

The film is silent 35mm nitrocellulose negative shot by a Fox News cameraman Hans V. Pebal. Mr. Pebal covered Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Austria for Fox News. The footage would have been shipped to Fox News headquarters on 10th Avenue in Manhattan where it was developed and edited. In 1980 the University of South Carolina was given a large part of Fox Newsreels and outtakes by 20th Century Fox. This particular film has attracted attention for many years.

Thank you,
Benjamin Singleton
University of South Carolina
Moving Image Research Collections

Wow. After all these years of debate what the Chofetz Chaim looked like, at 56 seconds into the clip, we now have cinematic evidence. Boruch Mechaye Hameisim!

other picture

picture discussion

Rare Video of the Chofetz Chaim, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Hakohen (Radin) at the The First World Congress (Knessia Gedolah) of the World Agudath Israel the first major gathering of all the different sects of Klal Yisroel which took place in Vienna starting from Elul 3, 5683 / August 15, 1923/5684 and which lasted for ten days.

Hat Tip:

from ThePartialView blog comment by anonymous:

0:27 הג"ר אברהם צבי פרלמוטר אב"ד ורשא ונציג אגו"י בסיים
האדמו"ר ר' ישראל פרידמן מצ'ורטקוב 0:47
רשכבה"ג נשיא הדורות החפץ חיים זי"ע 0:57
מלווה בבנו מצד אחד ומצד שני נכדו הגר"א קפלן הי"ד 0:57
האדמו"ר מסוקולוב ר' יצחק זליג מורגנשטרן הי"ד 1:47
הג"ר אשר מיכאל כהן אב"ד באזל 1:57
הג"ר יהודא ליב צירלסון אב"ד קישנב הי"ד 2:05
הג"ר אלנן וסרמן הי"ד 2:22
ר' אשר מנדלסון מראשי אגו"י בפולין ונציג בסיים 2:28
הג"ר פנחס דר. קאהן אב"ד אנסבך 2:56
הג"ר טוביה הורויץ אב"ד סנוק 3:02
מורנו רבי יעקב רוזנהיים נשיא אגו"י 3:16
הג"ר אליהו יונג רב ג'ואיש סנטר ניו יורק 3:55
הג"ר מאיר דר. הילדסהיימר מברלין 3:16
הרב שפיצר נציג אגו"י מהונגריה 3:58
הג"ר יחזקאל סרנא אח"כ ראש ישיבת חברון 4:13
רבי משה בלוי מירושלים 4:28
הג"ר טוביה דר. לוונשטיין אב"ד ציריך 4:34

Update 2/25/15.  Amazing story in Hamodia...

The Orthodox community worldwide has been amazed and elated by the discovery of a rare film clip containing a crystal-clear image of the Chofetz Chaim, zt”l, and numerous other Gedolei Yisrael at the First Knessiah Gedolah in Vienna in 1923.
Breathtaking as it is, the film has raised several questions in the community. Could it be authentic? Where was it until now? How did such a treasure get unearthed? Is there more to see?
“It is definitely authentic,” said Rabbi Moshe Kolodny, archivist of the Agudath Israel of America. “We knew that there was a film, and the second half, that shows Rav Yaakov Rosenheim, has been around for a while.”
Less than five minutes in running time, the film captures parts of the Knessiah Gedolah of the Agudas Yisrael. It begins with the arrival of Harav Avraham Tzvi Perlmutter, zt”l, the Rav of Warsaw, and Harav Yisrael Friedman, the Rebbe of Chortkov, zy”a, to the Knessiah.

About a minute from the start of the reel, the Chofetz Chaim, head bowed but unmistakably identifiable, walks briskly through the gates towards the building, flanked by attendants. It is most likely the clearest likeness — and certainly the only live image — that anyone in the last two generations has seen of the hallowed tzaddik.

Later scenes show the interior of the convention and a mixture of Rabbanim, askanim and others who flocked to the scene, in an unusually vibrant image of pre-War Europe.

The story of the film’s discovery centers on the determination of Yosef March, an amateur historian from Williamsburg, and more than 30 years of work by the Moving Image Research Collections (MIRC) staff at the University of South Carolina.

About eight years ago, Mr. March was searching the vast film archive of the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., for original footage of Gedolei Yisrael. He stumbled upon a record of a film of the Knessiah Gedolah, but as per an agreement with the provider, the museum did not have permission to make the actual footage available to the public.

A few calls to the source, the University of South Carolina, yielded him access to the preserved image as well as the notes of the cameraman, Hans von Pebal. The notes, known as a “dope sheet,” give details of some of the figures shown in the film, which von Pebal presumably gleaned from bystanders.

Probably the most arresting lines read: “The famous 90-year-old Rabbi Jisroel Meieir (sic) Hakohen of Radin, also called Chofetz Chaim after his great work.”

Exciting as the discovery was, Mr. March had one problem: the Chofetz Chaim, and several others in the notes, did not appear in the footage the university showed him.

“Once I saw the dope sheet, I realized that they had the other half somewhere, and that they just had to look for it,” said March.

Looking for it was not as simple as it might seem. In 1980, MIRC received over 75,000,000 feet of news footage as a gift from 20th Century Fox. The boxes of fragile and deteriorating film contained reels of news clips ranging from 1919 to 1944.

“We have spent the last 20 to 30 years piecing together negatives,” Benjamin Singleton, MIRC’s production manager, told Hamodia. “It’s old and brittle. Putting all of them together has been like making a giant puzzle.”

MIRC has been painstakingly working to transfer the original films, kept in old boxes and held together with rusty paper clips, to computer memory that will preserve it. They have also been piecing together different parts of the film clips to make the collection into a usable archive for scholars and the public.

However, Mr. March was persistent in his push to encourage MIRC’s team to search for the missing half.

“I couldn’t imagine that we were going to find it. I have been doing this since 1980 and it is very rare that you find more pieces after a long period of time,” said Singleton, who himself seemed touched to have been part of the discovery. “He [March] called a few times every year for a good few years. He just had faith that we would find it.”

Singleton said that a combination of the sheer mass of material and its deteriorating state made the odds of locating the missing piece “astronomical.”

“I wasn’t always so encouraging,” said Mrs. Ruchie March, a writer and translator who carried on much of her husband’s email correspondence with MIRC. “After a little while, I was getting a little frustrated, but he wouldn’t give up.”

Von Pebel worked as Fox’s cameraman covering events in Germany, Austria and other central European countries. He sent hundreds of hours of footage over his career to Fox’s office in New York, where it was edited and selected for news reels.

“It’s clear from the film and his notes that he [von Pebel] had trouble with his camera that day; these were old crank cameras,” Greg Wilsbacher, curator of the Newsfilm Collections for MIRC, told Hamodia. “Sometimes these clips do rise to the surface and when they find their way to a community that appreciates them, it is a cause for celebration. Based on the notes, we now have the whole thing.”

In recent weeks, Mr. March’s persistence bore fruit. MIRC had been alerted by his consistent calls and emails to what they were looking for.

“It was an odd quirk that when we did the digitizing of this story we only had the first half, since the negative was in two parts,” said Wilsbacher.

The clip was found in MIRC’s routine examination of unviewed films. Soon after its discovery, the footage was mailed to Mr. March, who positively identified it as what he knew had been there all along.

“I am delighted you found Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan pictured in the newly found footage,” wrote Mr. Singleton in an email to March. “It took years of sifting thousands of pieces of film to find this footage. Frankly, I did not expect to find more footage. In my experience, this almost never happens. You always believe more footage would be found in this giant haystack.”

Singleton reiterated his feelings to Hamodia, saying that “finding the film fragment showing the Chofetz Chaim after all these years was, in my view, a miracle.”

Hamodia did its best to identify each of the many Gedolei Yisrael portrayed in the film. However, we ask our loyal readers to help us in accurately identifying all of them.

Further update Feb 25...Kikar Shabbos reports that a great grandson of the Chofetz Chaim speculates that the reason this video has aired now is so that the political parties in Eretz Yisroel make peace with each other.

Update 2/27/15

Update 3/1/15 from VIN

Brooklyn, NY - A Williamsburg man with a passion for rabbinic dynasties and old seforim, manuscripts, footage and photographs is being credited with inspiring archivists to locate the Chofetz Chaim film clip that has taken the Jewish world by storm this week.
Yosef March, (Pronounced Ma’arach) a self-professed history buff and an employee in the offices of Monroe Bus Company, first became interested in the footage of the 1923 Knessia Gedola while trying to locate another significant piece of Jewish history: a video clip of then General Eisenhower with the Klauszenberger Rebbe taken in 1945.
Searching the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s website approximately eight to ten years ago for the word ‘rabbi,’ March found mention of the 1923 Knessia Gedola, labeled by the Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive as “World Congress of ‘Agudas Jisroel.’”
The original search result found by March lists a clip that was just under two minutes in length, bearing the description, “Nicely dressed men, delegates from a ‘new organization of Orthodox Jews,’ gather outside the Congress building, chatting, posing, smoking. Names of rabbis and community leaders are listed on card catalogue but difficult to determine correspondence to footage.”
The footage had been purchased by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum from the University of South Carolina Newsfilm Library in April, 1992 but the actual clip was not available for public viewing.
“It came up as ‘copyright, restricted’ and the University of South Carolina held the copyright,” March told VIN News.
March reached out to Benjamin Singleton at the University of South Carolina’s Moving Image Research Collections in an attempt to find out more about the footage. Convinced that there was likely additional footage of the Knessia Gedola, March kept in touch with Singleton, reaching out to him periodically to find out if anything new had surfaced.
A dope sheet, documenting the particulars of the footage shot by cameraman Hans Von Pebal at the Knessia Gedola, turned out to be a treasure trove of information for March. The page confirms that Von Pebal shot 101 meters of footage at the Knessia Gedola, filmed on August 15th between 9 and 11 AM under bright conditions and on August 16th between 10 and 12:30 PM under variable skies. The dope sheet makes mention of the rarity of filming a gathering of this nature.
“EXCLUSIVE for Fox News and obtaint [sic]by dint of much persuasion the venerable orthodox Jews seemingly regarding it as contrary to all custom to allow them to be photographed much less filmed.”
Also listed are several of the people filmed detailed on the dope sheet as “Chief-Rabbi Chaim Schor (Bukarest.Romainia)”, “Rabbi Leo Freschner, Member of Committee of Agudas Jisroel”, “Rabbi Ehrman (Frankfurt) in conversation with Dr. Jacob Rosenheim (Frankfurt) Leader of the new movement”, “Dr. Leo Jung of New York”, “Shelly Guggenheim”, “Chief Rabbi Spitzer, delegate from Czecho-Slovakia”, “Chief Rabbi Lowenstein (Zurich)”, “Delegates from PALESTINE”, and “Dr Kirschbraun of Warsaw, Deputy in Sejm. Polish parliament.” 25 meters of footage shot on August 16th, the second day of the Knessia Gedola, was housed in a second can and is said to contain images of “Chief-Rabbi Perlmutter of Warsaw, Sejm-Deputy” and “The famous 90 year old Rabbi JISROEL MEIR HAKOHEN of Radin, also called CHOFETZ CHAJIM after his great work.”
Despite Von Pebal’s mention of the Chofetz Chaim in his documentation, he was not visible in the Fox News footage, leading March to believe that there had to be additional material from the 1923 Knessia Gedola somewhere in the university’s film vault. March kept in contact with Singleton for years, prodding him to find the additional footage.
“I kept saying to him, ‘Please don’t stop searching. You must have it there,’” recalled March. “I spoke with him many times regarding other Orthodox Jewish clips but I always brought up the question about finding the additional footage with the Chofetz Chaim in it.”
It was six weeks ago that March got the email he had long awaited.
“This extra footage was found in Fox News cans,” read the email from Singleton. “There is a shot of the interior of the Congress building. More rabbis can be seen outside.”
Singleton sent a disc of the new footage to March who was elated to see the Chofetz Chaim in the clip.
March informed Singleton of the historic find, and Singleton acknowledged that it took years of sifting through thousands of film clips to find the missing Knessia Gedola footage and that he never expected to actually find the clip of the Chofetz Chaim.
“I have been with this collection serving the public since 1989,” said Singleton. “I have identified a lot of unusual footage that hasn’t been touched for eighty years, but nothing has been as providential as the finding of the Chofetz Chaim ... Mr. March had a strong feeling that we would find more footage from this news story. It seemed unlikely to me.”
Singleton credited March for his persistence.
“ Mr. March called me often and encouraged me to keep looking,” said Singleton. “The search took years, but Mr. March never gave up hope. I still cannot believe we found this film fragment out of 20,000 feet of other old films. This is a wondrous find.”
New York Times article dated August 16, 1923 reported the event
Fox News was not the only media outlet to cover the Knessia Gedola. A New York Times article dated August 16, 1923 reported that 450 delegates, including 14 American representatives, were present on the first day of the gathering and described the previous day’s sessions.
“Remarkable addresses were made by the venerable Chofese Chaim, 92 years old, greatest authority on Jewish ethics; Chief Rabbi Wilna Oser Grobzenski, Rabbi Leo Jung of New York and Jonas Simon, a delegate from Baltimore.”
Also on the agenda for the first day of the Knessia Gedola, according to the New York Times, was the passage of a resolution “urging the national league to uphold the ideas of pacifism in accordance with President Harding’s endeavors.”
As inquiries have continued to pour into the MIRC regarding the Knessia Gedola clip, staff members have been combing the archives looking for any information regarding the 1923 footage.
A MIRC staff member explained that Fox News had cameramen stationed in most major cities, including Vienna, and would traditionally air two newsreels per week, featuring footage from all over the world. The Knessia Gedola footage, which never aired as a Fox newsreel, was one of approximately 200 stories filmed by Von Pebal and the MIRC estimated that only ten percent of the films submitted to Fox News in Manhattan were ever aired.
Most of the Knessia Gedola footage was transferred to video in the 1990’s but it wasn’t until over ten years later that the remaining film was found. The newer longer clip, which incorporates all of the Knessia Gedola footage, including the Chofetz Chaim, is the one that is currently circulating throughout the Jewish community.
March has been inundated with calls from the media asking him to describe how the Chofetz Chaim footage was brought to light 92 years after being filmed. As an amateur historian, March is grateful to have been able to play a part in bringing Jewish history to life.
“It’s very exciting to finally see footage of this much revered gadol hador and to share it with klal yisroel and, of course, it’s very satisfying that my decade-long efforts have finally borne fruit,” said March. “It is also very gratifying to have been bezras Hashem instrumental in this historic revelation.”

Update 3/1/15

In 1937, Rabbi M. Yoshor, one of the CC's students, wrote a biography which was subsequently translated by ArtScroll in 1984 and published in two volumes. Today, it is found in one volume, available at  Translated by the late Charles Wengrov.

Chapter 58 discussed the Knessiah Gedolah, which was scheduled to begin in 1914.  Yet due to WWI, it was delayed until 1923.  The CC traveled to Vienna by railroad, but chose to ride in 3rd class.  Many Rebbes were also on that train and greeted followers at the many railroad stops, yet the CC did not want the honor and refused to greet the well-wishers until other Rabbonim (Rav Meir Dan told him that it is worthwhile to lose some Olam Haboh to satisfy the desire of all the Jews who thronged to meet him) convinced him to.

"G'dalya Bublick, editor of New York's Yiddisher Tageblatt reported in the newspaper on the fourth of Tishri (September 14), 1923:

"In the present day, there is no personage so revered and hallowed as the Chafetz Chaim...He himself is short in height - an old feeble man. His voice is low, yet youthfully fresh.  Over his face a tranquil, good smile is always playing.  There is a good-natured laughter in his eyes.  It seems evident that in all his life the aged tsaddik never flew into a rage.  Every word of his, every gesture, breathes boundless goodness and immeasurable humility.  There is not the slightest sign of envy in him.  He is the very embodiment of peace.
"No! The Chafetz Chaim never wanted to be a leader, and he has no wish to be one now.  He has only pleaded all his life: Dear Jews - be good, settled, pious, honest Jews.  He is distant from all the politics of all the parties; but when the tsaddik was told that his attendance would strengthen the Jewish religion [it's observance], he got up and came...
"He speaks so softly that the delegates in the first rows can barely catch his words.  Nevertheless, no one makes a move, even in the furthest corners of the hall.  The audience cannot hear him, but from the distance the people drink in with their eyes the gestures of the Chafetz Chaim.  They don't have to hear the words,  In their souls they hear what he wants of them, and they merge and blend with him in their emotions...

The Jewish Daily Forward on September 23, 1923, a Mr. Moskuff wrote:

"The rabbi of Sokolov, in the middle of his address, suddenly becomes silent.  His hand remains outstretched in its gesture, as if frozen.  The audience, the presidium, the journalists, the visitors in the galleries rise up all at once,  Distinguished rabbis too, devout and pious Jews all get up from their places.  A restrained, soundless agitation begins - a hubbub of reverence and awe.  The strident outcries of several ushers are heard:   Make room! Make way there! And a passageway is cleared.  People press in on one another, with bated breath, with a tremor in their hearts.  They step back. Two rows of people form in the middle of the conference hall: two rows of rabbinic delegates in elegant morning coats, with long white beards; and between these two lengths of rabbis, several rabbis come leading - no not leading they come carrying on their hands a small feeble old man, an aged bent-over human being with a short white beard, in a plain shabby long coat, with a cheap scarf around his neck...

When you see this short ninety year old sage for the first time, it makes a singular impression on you.  You feel a quiver of awe and love in your heart - a tremendous reverence and respect, beyond any limit.  When you take a closer look, you see the face of an angel, a ministering servant of God.  The Shechina, the Divine Presence, rests on that face, and you have to shut your eyes against the radiance streaming from those two small gray intelligent eyes.  When he stands on the dais, speaking, two rabbis support him under the arms.  The entire assembly stands as it listens to him.  His voice is weak, but clear.  He summons the Jewish people to unity, to harmonious peace, to goodness, to religious observance, to love and good deeds.  His short bent-over figure quivers as he talks.  The small white beard glistens from afar, like fresh-fallen snow.  Through his eyes the entire world shines with wisdom and goodness..

"So, I imagine, Hillel the Elder must have looked - the Sage in the Talmud:
"Leaving the hall, he goes between the two columns of rabbis, He walks swiftly, with alacrity, his hoary head bowed very low...
"And when he is lifted up and placed in the automobile, the entire street is darkened with people.  They press in on one another, to get a glimpse of the Chafetz Chaim.  Non-Jews take off their hats out of great respect.  Jews climb up on the car, on the wheels, on the motor.  Everyone wants to see the Chafetz Chaim, touch the hem of his poor plain kapoteh (morning coat).  Those who get very close push their trembling hands into the auto, and the Chafetz Chaim holds out his hand to give them welcome.  With his wan delicate fingers he touches the thick, coarsened trembling hands: Shalom!  There is complete pandemonium...the police are helpless.  They cannot make order.  They themselves push forward and look in wonder and awe at this singular aged short man with the velour hat on his hoary head...

"The viennese German-language newspapers too have written many marveling, awe-filled articles about the Chafetz Chaim...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hakirah Helps Humbug Hoaxer

I was somewhat surprised to see that Rabbi Michael Broyde has been posting Halachik essays.  These writings have appeared on the Seforim blog and most recently on Hakirah Volume 18.

Integrity has been all over the news lately.  Those who grew up in the era of Walter Cronkite can remember the authoritative voice that garnered trust. Yet even in our liberal land of everything goes, newscasters have been held to a higher standard.  The firings of Dan Rather and recent suspension of Brian Williams prove that lying is not acceptable for those who we place our trust in.

So someone who is willing to prevaricate, and attempts to alter history to further his agenda, especially an halachik agenda, to me that is an unpardonable offense, and no longer deserves a soapbox, be it blog or periodical.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Seattle Seahawks Superbowl Stumble

Many fine articles have been published in the past week vis-a-vis the Frum community and the Superbowl.

One pointed out how Frum organizations can no longer schedule functions during this event; and Chasunahs and Vorts suffer from participation during the sacred hours that the game is played.

Another article noticed how the Atheists have their own god, and that is the hallowed Superbowl Sunday, where nothing can keep them away from their fan-dom.

A third made mention of the fact that certain publications no longer allow Superbowl food specials to be advertised.

This year, the game certainly did live up to it's moniker, keeping fans on the edge of the seat until the finale. It featured two of the strongest quarterbacks in the game, a super offense vs. a super defense, and a spectacular catch of which the likes have not been seen in recent memory.

Yet sadly for the Seahawks, the entire season and game was lost due to an incredible blunder. What an incredible Mussar can be learned from this. Just when you think you are invincible, when the Hail Mary gods have smiled upon you, remember that it is the one and only true GOD who runs the show, and this year he is smiling on the East Coast.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bochurim Begin Borsalino Boycott?

Borsalino Tip: LifeInIsrael

Years ago, when the price of Shtreimels went sky-high, one of the Chassidishe Rebbe's told the manufacturer's that if the price doesn't stabilize, he will remove his own Shtreimel. Perhaps we can do the same for the Borsalino?

Will the boycott travel across the Atlantic?

A group of Chabad bochurim in New York are trying to garner support to join a boycott that originated in Israel over the rising prices of fedora hats.

Organizers are saying that prices of the Italian made Borsalino hats have risen by $50 in the last 5 years, bringing the price of the typical Yeshiva student's hat in Israel to $274.

Petitions going around in Yeshivas in Jerusalem and Bnei Brak are threatening to stop purchasing hats if the prices don't drop. According to Makor Rishon newspaper, some 10,000 people signed.

"Borsalino is telling us that it's a luxury item and the price doesn't have to be cheap, but they know the truth - that everyone still buys it, not only a select few," one organizer said.

"It's a common product and there is no reason the price should be so high," the person added. "A manufacturer raises prices to increase profits on a product that isn't selling well, but if the masses are buying this excuse doesn't exist."

Regular consumers of the hats made of felt from Belgian rabbit are Lubavitcher chassidim, and students of Litvish and Sephardic Yeshivos. Other chassidic groups wear hats with beaver finish or a fur shtreimel.

Recently, bochurim in a Chabad Yeshiva in New York have asked their 'hanhala' administration if they would be allowed to join the boycott and start wearing a flat cap, also called a casket hat.

Borsalino tip to Daily Reyd via CoLive

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Roshyeshiva Resigns Regarding Rift (Rav Aharon Schechter resigns from Moetzes)


I am surprised that this has not been more widely reported, but several blogs are reporting that Rav Aharon Schechter, member of Moetzes has resigned his position. It seems that the Agudah position had been not to get involved in the Machlokes in Eretz Yisroel, regarding whether to sign up for the draft or not.

Rav Shmuel Auerbach has directed his students not to, while the leaders of Bnei Brak are not so vehemently opposed.

In any event, the current Yarchei Kallah sponsored by Agudah, where RSA had been invited to say a Shiur in recent years, did not invite him this year.

Regardless of whether one agrees with RSA or not, RAS feels that the Agudah should not be choosing sides.

Let us hope this is resolved soon, and that we keep the EY Machlokes in EY and off our shores.


Update: 01/15/2015 -Rift Rectified. Roshyeshiva Re-signs.

The Partial View is reporting that Shalom has been restored and the resignation has been withdrawn. link

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