Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rav Fish: Belzer Rebbe Cannot Concentrate Since Obama Took Office

From Rav Fish's latest (my translation):

שָׁמַעְתִּי מֵאֶחָד מִזִּקְנֵי חֲשׁוּבֵי חֲסִידֵי בֶּעלְז הי"ו שֶׁמְּסֻפָּר עַל הָאַדְמוֹ"ר רַבִּי אַהֲרֹן מִבֶּעלְזְא זצ"ל שֶׁמֵּהַיּוֹם שֶׁעָלָה הַצּוֹרֵר הַנַּאצִי לַשִּׁלְטוֹן בִּשְׁנַת תרצ"ב, הִרְגִּישׁוּ עַל הָאַדְמוֹ"ר שֶׁאֵינֶנוּ רָגוּעַ, וְהִשְׁתַּבְּשׁוּ אֶצְלוֹ סִדְרֵי הַתְּפִלָּה וְהַקַּבָּלַת קָהָל וְכוּ'. וְהוֹסִיף וְסִפֵּר שֶׁכַּדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה מַמָּשׁ קוֹרֶה אֵצֶל הָאַדְמוֹ"ר שליט"א מִבֶּעלְזְא מֵהַיּוֹם שֶׁעָלָה אוֹבָּאמָה לַשִּׁלְטוֹן, ה' יִשְׁמֹר וְיַצִּיל אֶת עַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל מִכָּל רָע.

I heard from one of the important elders of the Belz Hasidim - Hashem should guard him - that it was told over about the Admo"r R' Aharon of Belz ZT"L that from the day that the Nazi Oppressor [Hitler YM"S] came to power in the year 5692, [people] felt that the Admo"r wasn't calm and he was mixing up the order of prayers, community greetings, etc. He added and told over that the same exact thing is happening to the current Admo"r Shlit"a since the day that Obama took office. Hashem should guard and save His nation Israel from all evil.

42 Comments:

At Wed Aug 24, 10:38:00 AM 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Godwin's Law, big time.

 
At Wed Aug 24, 10:49:00 AM 2011, Blogger yaak said...

No, not really Godwin's Law.

This elder is not guilty of it as he is noting an interesting observation and comparison and is not involved with an online discussion.

Rav Fish is not guilty of it as he wasn't discussing anything with anyone else.

I too am not guilty of it as it came out of the blue and was not involved in any previous discussion. I was just noting what was written by Rav Fish.

 
At Wed Aug 24, 11:20:00 AM 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took a little poetic license. Of course the elder isn't guilty of it. Hitler was Hitler. Rabbi Fish? Yes, Godwin's Law.

 
At Wed Aug 24, 11:42:00 AM 2011, Blogger joshwaxman said...

what rav fish didn't mention was that ever since Angry Birds was installed in my Chrome Browser, i've been unable to concentrate. this doesn't bode well...

maybe this has to do with psychological impact of people saying Obama = Gog. in other words, this could be a result, rather than an indicator.

 
At Wed Aug 24, 11:44:00 AM 2011, Anonymous Assi said...

The big question is whether Obama will turn out to be the notorious Gog. Because if he is Gog, he does not have much time left unless he is reelected.

 
At Wed Aug 24, 11:54:00 AM 2011, Blogger joshwaxman said...

Here is a better, derech hateva, explanation of these events.

The previous Belzer Rebbe was born in 1877. If we take Hitler's rise to power as 1931, with the seizure of control, then 1931 - 1877 = approximately 54.

The present Belzer Rebbe was born in 1948. Obama rose to power in 2008. 2008 - 1948 = approximately 60.

Messing up the order of davening and the like might be a sign of early onset Altzheimers. This condition runs in families:

It often runs in families. Many people with early-onset Alzheimer's have a parent or grandparent who also developed Alzheimer's at a younger age. A significant proportion of early-onset Alzheimer's is linked to three genes.

And the current and previous Belzer Rebbes are related. Before one begins defaming Obama as being Gog, or another Hitler, perhaps a bit of consideration for derech hateva (and sechel!) are in order for this unnamed elder, and by Rav Fish.

kol tuv,
josh

 
At Wed Aug 24, 12:34:00 PM 2011, Blogger yaak said...

Perhaps a bit of consideration for Kavod Tzaddikim are in order to prevent such wild assumptions.

 
At Wed Aug 24, 12:42:00 PM 2011, Blogger joshwaxman said...

which tzaddikim? do you mean the Belzer Rebbes?

if it is public knowledge that they did and are messing up the order of prayers, community greetings, etc., then it is public knowledge. it does not seem to me to be a "wild assumption" that such deviations in behavior, at similar ages, of related people, could be the result of mental deterioration. nor do i think it is a pegam in their kavod. it is an unfortunate occurrence, sure, but alas, such things happen in this world.

it is due to a lack of even considering such a thing that people begin to construct "wild" delusions about Obama being Gog / the next Hitler. one first creates an Olam HaSheker, out of false piety. then one believes the Sheker and works from there.

(in fact, in this, it seems a bit similar to the previous subject we crossed keyboards about.)

kol tuv,
josh

 
At Wed Aug 24, 12:54:00 PM 2011, Blogger yaak said...

It is most definitely a pegam in their kavod to say they have alzheimers when they don't.

And also, did you forget the Mishna in Berachot 5:5?

המתפלל וטעה, סימן רע לו.

ואם שליח צבור הוא, סימן רע לשולחיו, מפני ששלוחו של אדם כמותו.

אמרו עליו על רבי חנינא בן דוסא, שהיה מתפלל על החולים ואומר, זה חי וזה מת.

אמרו לו, מנין אתה יודע.

אמר להם, אם שגורה תפלתי בפי, יודע אני שהוא מקבל.

ואם לאו, יודע אני שהוא מטרף.

 
At Wed Aug 24, 01:08:00 PM 2011, Blogger joshwaxman said...

yes, that is if it happens ONCE.

if someone continuously does this, and exhibits OTHER signs of confusion, and at the same age, more or less, that his relative did, then it does seem to be a sign of a cognitive disorder.

Chazal say that Rabbi Yochanan lost his mind. They said that Rav Yosef lost his learning as a result of a severe illness. They did not pretend that this was not lost, and continue on anyway.

BTW, how do you know that he is one of the tzaddikim, more than you are? You seem like a pretty righteous individual to me. Is it because he inherited a rabbinic position as a Rebbe that one may not say anything people might consider negative?

 
At Wed Aug 24, 01:32:00 PM 2011, Blogger yaak said...

You know nothing of the situation and yet you continue to say "alzheimers", while someone close to the situation says it's due to Obama. I prefer to believe the one closer to the situation - not some Monday morning NFL analyst.

I refuse to respond to such silliness of your "BTW".

 
At Wed Aug 24, 01:42:00 PM 2011, Blogger joshwaxman said...

"someone close to the situation" says it is Obama? how close is he to Obama to know that Obama is Gog / the next Hitler? what does he know of politics, and of kabbalah?

what does the Belzer Rebbe himself say? does he blame Obama?

that someone who is close to the situation is also quite possibly TOO close to the situation. a Belzer chassid might well be unwilling to even consider the possibility of early onset Altzheimers, for either Rebbe. (Or, say, autism.) because, as you say, people in that circle will consider it a "pegam" in the "kavod" of the Rebbe.

how do you know, BTW, that the other fellow was a talmid chacham and a tzaddik? because he was related to a famous one, set himself up as a famous one, and everybody ate it up? this is relevant as it pertains to the gemaras referring to the bizayon to a(n established) talmid chacham?

 
At Wed Aug 24, 02:01:00 PM 2011, Blogger yaak said...

Who cares how close he is to Obama? What's important is how close he is to the Belzer Rebbe Shlit"a, which you are not. As I said, having alzheimers is no pegam. Calling someone who doesn't have it an alzheimers patient is though. Your calling people who are considered tzaddikim by all the gedolim "non-tzaddikim" is also a huge pegam. You should quit while you're only a little bit behind.

 
At Wed Aug 24, 02:06:00 PM 2011, Blogger Devorah said...

Quoting Josh: ""Before one begins defaming Obama""

Are you seriously defending this man?

Gog or not-Gog, he doesn't need your support, would you have also defended Hitler ym""s in the run-up to WW2? Given him the benefit of the doubt when all around you the signs and warnings were so obvious?

Please explain why you feel the need to defend Obammy and attack Rav Fish and Rav Aharon.

Not normal !

 
At Wed Aug 24, 02:10:00 PM 2011, Blogger joshwaxman said...

"Who cares how close he is to Obama? "

because the assertion made is that it is due to Obama, not that it is due to any random non-Alzheimer's cause. and you seemed to say you would prefer this scenario.

do you really think that mental illness or cognitive disorders are not considered a pegam in the Chassidic community? how easy is it for someone whose relative has one of these to get a shidduch?

(also, do you think it is a pegam to call someone Gog / the next Hitler when [/if] he is not?)

i also don't think the Gedolim are necessarily able to discern whether someone is a tzaddik or not. it is Hashem who is bochen klayos valeiv. even Yitzchak Avinu was fooled by Esav; and even Rav Elyashiv was fooled by Rabbi Tropper. I think, for instance, that Rav Batzri is either fooling himself or only fooling others, yet the Gedolim seem to endorse him as the real deal, diagnoser and expunger of dybbuks.

at the end of the day, though, this conversation is not going anywhere.

 
At Wed Aug 24, 02:16:00 PM 2011, Blogger joshwaxman said...

"Are you seriously defending this man?"

No.

I am defending the president of the US, and giving him the benefit of the doubt. And decrying the approach of labeling whoever we do not like as Gog. (i also don't think the Malchus shel chesed is the evil empire of Magog.)

I disagree with Obama strongly on political matters. But I objected when people labeled George Bush Gog. And similarly, if people were to label Glenn Beck Gog, I would object. And similarly, if people label Obama as Gog. The next president in line will also be labelled Gog.

"Given him the benefit of the doubt when all around you the signs and warnings were so obvious?"

the signs and warning were so obvious in the time of George Bush as well. the problem is that we live in the moment and forget history.

 
At Wed Aug 24, 02:26:00 PM 2011, Blogger Devorah said...

I don't think you understand Alzheimer's. A person with this disease will not be able to discern when it began, such as to say "since Obama took office". Such a statement implies cognizance of time and events, something an Alzheimer's sufferer would not have.

It really bothers me that someone as smart as you are cannot see the forest for the trees. Your president [Barry aka Harrison J. Bounel] has been proved to be a liar and a fraud so many times during the past few years, and yet you still defend him. Harrison J. Bounel is just another name he used to use.... google it.

And presumably Rav Fish and the Belzer Rebbe also have genuine birth certificates and can be trusted to speak the truth, unlike Barry aka Harrison.

 
At Wed Aug 24, 02:31:00 PM 2011, Blogger joshwaxman said...

"A person with this disease will not be able to discern when it began, such as to say "since Obama took office"."

it was the 'elder', meaning some random though important elderly Belzer chassid, not the Belzer Rebbe himself, who said this. that 'elder' does not have the disease. he witnessed the Rebbe messing up davening and offered this conclusion.

 
At Wed Aug 24, 02:41:00 PM 2011, Blogger Devorah said...

ok, I'll go along with the doubt that the Rebbe's davening problems are caused by Obama..... but you need to concede that whatever the case, Obama is an extremely dangerous man, and doesn't need to be defended by you or anyone else. For America's sake, if not the world's, he needs to be impeached, and the sooner the better.

 
At Wed Aug 24, 02:51:00 PM 2011, Blogger joshwaxman said...

in terms of Bounel, see here:
http://www.thefogbow.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=5884&start=25

Plus, databases gets messed up info all the time. Data entry folk aren't the brightest. And tens of thousands are wrongly declared dead each year by Social Security. And that is why it is important to regularly / occasionally check one's credit report.

It is likely the agent in charge of the trust for the house. A lot of the purported lies from Obama are the the result of ignorant people committed to the conspiracy theories.

There were similar things about Bush from leftist sites, which you are less likely to have been exposed to.

 
At Wed Aug 24, 02:58:00 PM 2011, Blogger Devorah said...

I find it fascinating that you can recognize and go to great lengths to expose the Jewish shysters, but are unable to do the same with Obama.

 
At Wed Aug 24, 03:25:00 PM 2011, Blogger yaak said...

Or who he thinks are Jewish shysters but are really the real deal and he'd rather listen to haaretz than gedolim to prove his point, claiming that Rav Elyashiv was fooled by Rabbi Tropper so all rabbis blasted by Haaretz must be shysters.

ככל אשר יורוך must be referring to haaretz, I guess.

I'll admit that there are shysters out there, but not who you claim to be.

I love you Josh. I really do, but this is just shameful.

Yes, you're right. This conversation is not going anywhere positive.

 
At Wed Aug 24, 03:36:00 PM 2011, Blogger joshwaxman said...

"but this is just shameful."

i agree with you that it is just shameful.

 
At Wed Aug 24, 03:39:00 PM 2011, Blogger joshwaxman said...

but i must say, you really have the אפי' אומר לך על ימין שהוא שמאל ועל שמאל שהוא ימין part down.

;)

 
At Wed Aug 24, 03:46:00 PM 2011, Blogger yaak said...

Thanks. Even if that were the case here, I would be proud of that distinction.

:-)

 
At Wed Aug 24, 04:02:00 PM 2011, Blogger joshwaxman said...

really? what of the yerushalmi? and what of the fact that this applies only to sanhedrin?

 
At Wed Aug 24, 04:07:00 PM 2011, Blogger joshwaxman said...

and what about the gemara in Horayot 2b about how one can err in overapplying מצווה לשמוע דברי חכמים?

 
At Wed Aug 24, 04:18:00 PM 2011, Blogger Devorah said...

Now I'm having trouble concentrating. Go and daven or something.

 
At Wed Aug 24, 04:34:00 PM 2011, Blogger yaak said...

OMG, I must have had this argument 500 times.

Yes, the Yerushalmi exists and the halacha is like it.

However, the case of Hachamim - especially all of them - erring is so uncommon that it is wrong to go against them.

See Wikipedia on Emunat Hachamim.

לפי תפיסה רווחת החובה לשמוע לדברי החכמים מבוססת על ההנחה שהם אינם טועים כי הם חכמים יותר. אולם נראה שתפיסה זו זרה ליהדות, שהרי התורה מקדישה פרשה מיוחדת למצב שהסנהדרין טועים בהלכה, והציבור כולו נוהג על פיהם שלא כדין. במקרה זה יש להביא פר לחטאת עבור הסנהדרין ששגו בהוראתם, ועבור הציבור שנהגו על פי הוראה שגויה.‏[15] לפיכך, מסביר בעל ספר החינוך,‏[16] שאמנם ייתכן שהחכמים יטעו, אך הדבר אינו שכיח כל כך, ולכן מבחינה סטטיסטית מוטב לשמוע בקולם, שכן האלטרנטיבה - אנרכיה הלכתית - גרועה יותר: "כלומר, שאפילו יהיו הם טועים בדבר אחד מן הדברים, אין ראוי לנו לחלוק עליהם, אבל (עדיף ש)נעשה כטעותם, וטוב לסבול טעות אחד ויהיו הכל מסורים תחת דעתם הטוב תמיד, ולא שיעשה כל אחד ואחד כפי דעתו, שבזה יהיה חורבן הדת וחלוק לב העם והפסד האומה לגמרי".

 
At Wed Aug 24, 04:38:00 PM 2011, Blogger yaak said...

Also there, regarding it only applying to sanhedrin:

יש המבססים עיקרון זה על המקרא, על פי הפסוק המלמד את המצווה לשמוע לדברי חכמים: "עַל פִּי הַתּוֹרָה אֲשֶׁר יוֹרוּךָ וְעַל הַמִּשְׁפָּט אֲשֶׁר יֹאמְרוּ לְךָ תַּעֲשֶׂה לֹא תָסוּר מִן הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר יַגִּידוּ לְךָ יָמִין וּשְׂמֹאל." (ספר דברים, פרק י"ז, י"א).‏[9] לפי פסוק זה חובה על האדם לנהוג על פי דברי החכמים ולא לסטות מהם. אמנם, פסוק זה עוסק בהוראות של חכמי הסנהדרין בלבד,‏[10] אך יש המרחיבים מצוה זו גם לחכמי הדורות שלאחר ביטול הסנהדרין, כדברי בעל ספר החינוך:‏[1] "ובכלל המצוה גם כן לשמוע ולעשות בכל זמן וזמן כמצוות השופט, כלומר: החכם הגדול אשר יהיה בינינו בזמנינו... והעובר על זה ואינו שומע לעצת הגדולים שבדור בחכמת התורה ככל אשר יורו - מבטל עשה זה ועונשו גדול מאד..."

 
At Wed Aug 24, 04:56:00 PM 2011, Blogger joshwaxman said...

yes, the minchas chinuch is a daas yachid that i am aware of.

 
At Wed Aug 24, 04:56:00 PM 2011, Blogger joshwaxman said...

oops, meant sefer hachinuch.

 
At Wed Aug 24, 05:02:00 PM 2011, Blogger joshwaxman said...

"OMG, I must have had this argument 500 times."

I am sure you have. And I am sure that you thought you won that argument each of those 500 times.

Look, at the end of the day, if you want to construct a false **reality** on the basis of words of contemporary rabbis, I cannot stop you.

Just like I cannot stop Muslims from constructing a false reality based on the words of contemporary imams.

And just like I cannot stop Christians from constructing a false reality based on the words of contemporary priests.

But such is a religion of falsehood. And who cares for such a religion? Not I.

Meanwhile, I don't think you **really** would follow rabbis where you believed that they were wrong. And indeed, I don't think you are saying that you would.

 
At Wed Aug 24, 05:15:00 PM 2011, Blogger yaak said...

What you call falsehood is what I call mesora.

What you call truth is what I call anarchy.

If you want to base your beliefs on anarchy, I cannot stop you.

And you bet I would follow them even if I believed they were wrong. I would question and question and try to prove my point to them, but if at the end of the day, they hold their ground, then Batela Da'ati Etzlam. I am like an ant compared to them.

 
At Wed Aug 24, 05:44:00 PM 2011, Blogger joshwaxman said...

"Eppur si muove"

let us pick an example.

let us say various gedolim say that Jews have a different number of teeth than gentiles. and they all believed it, and there was no way of persuading them otherwise.

you would really believe them, and nullify your own daas? or you would still disbelieve them, but still act as if you believed them?

 
At Wed Aug 24, 05:53:00 PM 2011, Blogger yaak said...

If all gedolim or my personal rav told me that it's something I should believe, then yes, I will nullify my own ideas.

Does this sound radical to you?

It shouldn't. It's what choosing a rav means.

And yes, one could have a different rav for hashkafa and one for halacha, but one needs to follow through. The alternative is anarchy in mesora.

 
At Wed Aug 24, 06:14:00 PM 2011, Blogger joshwaxman said...

I understand the parameters of choosing a rav differently. and the parameters of Emunas Chachamim differently, as we have discussed in the pasy. (and also, that there is often no such thing as psak in hashkafa. and also, there is a difference between halacha, hashkafa, and reality / history. one cannot pasken reality.)

But, if these **were** the parameters of what one were required according to halacha, then I would no longer care what was required according to halacha. Just as I don't care what the Karaites require, or the Christians require. At least I hope I would be courageous enough to no longer care.

If all the Gedolim insisted that a child molester had been reformed, and you were convinced otherwise -- after trying debate with no success, would you leave children in his care? Really?

 
At Wed Aug 24, 06:46:00 PM 2011, Blogger Daniela said...

I don't like the "reductio ab hitlerum" pseudo-argument, but i don't like the "reductio ad pedophilum" either. May be you might try to bring more consistent arguments than the fact than such people can not, supposedly, and according to a person who is questioned by various gedolim, be cured (...even cancer can be cured). Oh by the way, I suppose you had a much better shidduch for the poor orphan? So why did you not suggest this boy?

PS For the record I dislike Obama pretty strongly, but I don't think he is like hitler.

 
At Wed Aug 24, 06:53:00 PM 2011, Blogger yaak said...

I'd be mahmir for myself even if they are meikeil since this deals with safeik pikuah nefesh.

But if they insisted, I'd get out of dealing with the case somehow.

Yes, gedolim make mistakes. And from the story you mentioned, the gadol admitted so. I never said that they're infallible. In 99.9% of cases, however, they'd be right and I'd be wrong. That's why it's important to listen to them even if convinced otherwise.

 
At Wed Aug 24, 07:12:00 PM 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is really interesting and quite revealing !

I have a GUESS based on tanack terrible things Obama might do down the road but I can't take the HUGE LEAP to call him Gog !

It is amazing how some find it so easy to take that HUGE LEAP or similar leaps -bordering on tanack interpretation recklessness.

 
At Wed Aug 24, 07:18:00 PM 2011, Blogger joshwaxman said...

"I'd be mahmir for myself even if they are meikeil since this deals with safeik pikuah nefesh."

If you were convinced that someone was a con-artist, based on an investigation by a DA and testimonies of dozens of Jews burned by him, yet the Gedolim honored him, would you host him in your house for people to visit, without telling them of the strong suspicions against him, and indeed recommend him? Or is the line pikuach nefesh, and this does not meet it?

I don't think, BTW, that Gedolim and rabbanim are required to have ruach hakodesh into such matters to be Gedolim and rabbanim. But if one insists upon it, then this is (IMHO) a proof by contradiction. They are wrong in a good many things, especially in all of this mystical end-is-nigh stuff. Just as they were wrong about the dybbuk. I wonder what will happen in 50 years. Will you say that the Shomrei Emunim Rebbe, and the masses of other rebbes, were wrong? (no, you will have a teretz in hand.)

 
At Wed Aug 24, 08:39:00 PM 2011, Blogger yaak said...

In yet another case you're attempting to back me into a corner with:

who's forcing me to host this guy that I'm convinced is a con-artist?

If, in fact, great rabbis tell me to host him, I'll respectfully decline. If - for some strange reason - they force me to do so, I'll need to ask a she'eila whether or not I may warn people that he is a con-artist.

BTW, to convince me that someone is a con-artist, I would need absolutely irrefutable proof, especially in light of gedolim honoring him.

Why wouldn't I say that these rabbis were wrong in 50 years if they were wrong? Don't we all agree R' Akiva was wrong about Bar Kochba?

Also BTW, I enjoy you trying to be mehadeid me and I hope you enjoy me being mehadeid you in this argument. Since you find my views abhorrent and I find your views abhorrent, I find no reason to continue this conversation any longer, so I'm going to close the thread.

Kol Tuv.

 

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