Thursday, November 02, 2006

Heimish Chasidish

Heimish Chasidish (HC) doesn’t get the credit that it deserves. If you’ve been asleep and haven’t noticed, the Jewish blogosphere is almost totally dominated by Litvisher guys, who self-identify as litvish because they either are the children of Lithuanian families or were students of yeshivas that teach in the Lithuanian style of studying Talmud. These self identifying litvish are everywhere. YU is Brisk incarnate. Hesder yeshivas are all litvish. Lakewood, Baltimore, Scranton, Philadelphia, Denver, RJJ, MTJ, Mir, Telshe, Skokie, Lakewood community kollels all over the country are all litvish, litvish, litvish. Many of the newer yeshivas in Stamford, New Haven, New Jersey, the Rockaways, the Catskills, Miami, L.A., more litvish, litvish, litvish. The situation gets worse as we move along. YCT… litvish. JTS…was litvish. Bais yaakovs…litvish. Israeli finishing schools for girls… litvish,litvish,and more litvish. It seems these litvisher have the heimish chassidish crowd surrounded. For such a small Baltic country they such know how to replicate.

For my readers who have no idea what I’m talking about, the place names I mentioned in the last paragraph are the handles, nicknames and acronyms of the various yeshivas. Heimish chassidish refers to the groups of Orthodox Jews whose primary self-identification are with the chassidic families from which they come, and with the chassidic subgroups that are part of their heritage. As part of this identification they have learnt how to internalize the feeling tone, graciousness and culture so as to be similar in important respects to other Jews who came from these chasidic areas ;hence the heimish part. When you are with them it feels like you are with someone from der alter heim, the old home where these chasidim lived. To bring everyone up to snuff I should add that within Ashkenazi Jewry, ever since the arrival of Chassidus as a movement in the late 18th century, Orthodox or rather very traditional Jewish life has been divided between chasiddim and misnagdim (the opponents [of chasidim]). One of the leading mithnagdim communities was centered in Lithuania and Belarus (Lita). These misnagdim were called litvaks and their style of learning and being is litvish.

I am using HC in a minimalist way to describe any Jew who achieves a way of being Jewish that does not self identify as litvish and a misnagid but rather as a chassidish person and carries on chasidic customs, culture and ways of being in the various areas of Jewish life other than Talmudic studies; and has also internalized these ways of being to a point so that being with him feels like being with someone who acts and is the way people were in Eastern Europe. A baal teshuvah can certainly be chassidish. It takes a while before he is heimish. A person can be heimish and not frum, maybe, but that is complicating my story. A non-frum person can’t be chassidish even if he wears a shtreimel and bekishe. Within Ultra-Orthodoxy these HC groups are very important and count for a substantial percentage of the population. On the internet, they are almost invisible.

It’s not very easy to do the phenomenology of Heimish Chasidish Man because the term is now being used in a big tent sort of way. First of all, there are HC people who trained in litvish yeshivas versus others who went only to a chassidisher yeshiva. The situation is more complicated because some chassidish places have adopted litvish ways of learning. Second, there is the question of degree. It’s difficult to compare a Satmar guy in Kiryas Yoel with a college educated yuppie who self identifies as HC, but is already clean shaven, etc. And finally, litvisher guys can be haymish, they just can’t be chassidish heimish . (For a different use of heimish in terms of being heimish with see my post of 6/21. Also relevant is my exchange with the reader ‘’anonymous’’ in yesterday’s post.)

Describing HC is a bit like describing the un-Cola. I’ll take a stab. I would say the core characteristic of HC Man is that he’s not pretending to be a litvak, even if he attended a litvisher yeshiva. The phonology of his Yiddish is not litvish Yiddish but Polish or Hungarian or Romanian Yiddish. He is especially fond of and attached to the rhythms and ways of expressing oneself that are found in these European Yiddish dialects. It’s a bit like a Southern drawl. Southerners like to talk southern. Chassidish heimish like to talk in a chassidish heimish way. The language, in turn, is intimately tied to a ways of thinking and feeling. Humor and wit are built into the phonology, syntax and semantics. If you don’t believe me, listen to the Dzigen and Schumacher and Dzigen comedy tapes. There is a whole world, 500 hundred years of history embedded in Dzigan’s lilt. I giggle every time I hear Dzigen ask a question with an upward lilt and stop, leaving the listener hanging. HCers are determined not to lose those worlds. HC types daven sefard, have chassidic customs like the prohibition of gebrochets on Passover, and as we move towards charedi life have an active and deep relationship with a chassidic rebbe.

Litvish people, especially those sweet on musar (traditional pietistic and ethical discourses), can be dour. It’s difficult for HC Man to be as coolly intellectual, analytical and emotionally pinched as some litvish people. I would say that although he is not as high-brow analytical as litvish intellectuals, HC Man is frequently more street smart and better in business, because his or her intelligence is infused with an emotional intelligence and with a laser beam focus on the goal, unencumbered by hyper-intellectual ideas and doubts. (I understand that others will undoubtedly differ on this last point. Where science fears to tread, bloggers trash out with ease. In fact it is a stereotype that would be impossible to prove, and which is only based on a hunch on my part on the relative distribution of wealth at the high end of Ultra Orthodoxy.) When an HCer is trained in a litvish yeshiva and there are secondary identifications, the ideal type I called HC Man begins to blend imperceptibly into some generic American yeshivish type.

HCers have inherited to a greater or lesser degree the popular and religious culture of chasidim in general and a relevant specific chassidic sect in particular. A complete phenomenology would require a working through of the idiosyncratic personality traits of each chassidic group, not the easiest of tasks. I’ll leave that task to Professor Heilman.

In the case of the less acculturated HC types there is a peculiar swagger, a mojo that is unique to chasidim. It’s not just that they wear black, any yolt can do that. They wear it with aplomb, an assurance that is truly cool. They walk, they slouch, they inhabit their space with an insouciance that is…what can I say, heimish chasidish. If you click here you’ll see a little heimish chasidish swagger from one of the two Satmar Rebbe weddings of last week , which b’’h were on two successive nights. Beautiful and inspiring.

If he were frum and if he were (more) chasidish and heimish, Kinky Friedman, hopefully the next governor of Texas, would be heimish chassidish. Eliott Spitzer whatever his origins is Litvish. If I were really mean I would say Ann Coulter is Litvish, Al Franken is HC. Since I try not to be too mean, scratch the last sentence. I mentioned these names jokingly to give readers who have never met either a litvish or HC person some small feel of what I am talking about.

The future of college educated HC people is not bright. It’s going to be hard for them to instill the values they learned from their European parents in their children, especially when the common language becomes English. I believe it will depend on second and third generation HCers achieving a deeper understanding of what is unique to their subculture and how to show these special traits to their children. Taking their American acculturated children on a trip to Jerusalem or Williamsburg, pointing at some chasidim and telling the children ‘we’re them’ might be inadequate.

I don’t feel I’ve gotten to the inner nitty- gritty of my topic, but sitting in Evanston, this hotbed of Torah and chassidus in the American heartland, it’s the best I can do right now. I know one thing, to be called heimish are words of high praise. It is an ideal worth striving for.

37 Comments:

At 8:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You only feel that way BECAUSE you're in Evanston. In New Yorm, heimishe has become synonomous with "trust me, I look/ act religious, so who needs more?" type religion, and leads to things like the Monsey kosher scandal, glatt-kosher pizza, and the like.

 
At 8:58 AM, Blogger YossiG. said...

You only feel that way BECAUSE you're in Evanston. In New York, heimishe has become synonomous with "trust me, I look/ act religious, so who needs more?" type religion, and leads to things like the Monsey kosher scandal, glatt-kosher pizza, and the like.

8:56 AM

 
At 9:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

check out the following blogs for some CH/ex-CH bloggers:

www.hassid.blogspot.com
www.hasidicrebel.blogspot.com
www.the shaigetz.blogspot.com
www.begreatfull.blogspot.com
www.jewishbisexualfemme.blogspot.com
www.rechosen.blogspot.com
www.shpitzle.blogspot.com
www.reluctantrebel.blogspot.com

 
At 9:34 AM, Blogger Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

>If he were frum and if he were (more) chasidish and heimish, Kinky Friedman, hopefully the next governor of Texas, would be heimish chassidish.

LOL You are right.

FTR Ann Coulter is as WASP as they come.

 
At 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the Jewish blogosphere is almost totally dominated by Litvisher guys"

as someone has already pointed out, there are a number of chassidic blogs. The first big jblog was hasidic rebel.

Ann Coulter is R Akiva Yosef Schlesinger brand of Hungarian, that kind of romantic extremism is not really litvish. R Yoelish was more playful than most Hungarian chassidim - Hard core hungarian chassidus is pretty austere and not big on humor. "Humor and wit are built into the phonology, syntax and semantics." is true of Poilische not ungarische. R Yoelish, the Klausenberger etc were really Poilische/Galicianer from home.

If you are yiddish speaking, you might want to check out http://katlekanye.blogspot.com/

Also, there are not many self-identifying litvishe who eat gebroks nowadays in haredi society, I would estimate less than 10% (they either aren't litvish from home, or married someone who isn't).

Minor quibbles, great post!

 
At 12:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a second generation HC (my father was a poilisher aleksander chosid), I have to agree that it isn't easy passing on the HC culture to the next generation. My wife speaks no yiddish, and neither do any of my kids (although my oldest son is trying). It doesn't help that my kids go to either MO dayschools or litvish yeshivas, both of which daven Nusach Ashkenaz, and in general deemphasize the emotional side of yiddishkeit. And neo-chassidic Carelbach-types don't cut it as HC either.

Friday night meals help though, when we sing old family niggunim. The kids - as they get older - seem to naturally gravitate towards Nusach Sfard (despite the fact that I don't push it on them) in what they view as a way to connect to Zeide.

I tried Zigen & Shumacher (they rock!) to help the older ones learn Yiddish, but they were a bit too racy for the kids, so I ended up giving the tape to my mother. She was in tears from laughing so hard!

 
At 12:45 PM, Blogger LitaLives said...

I find myself in the very uncomfortable position of agreeing with practically everything you said today. I think I must be reading your blog for too long & it's starting to affect my judgement.

Next, I'll be agreeing with you that the MO aren't nearly as "with it' as the UO.

I think I'll go lay down and take a rest.

 
At 2:01 PM, Blogger Baruch Horowitz said...

Can you also do a post on "Heimshe Litvish", or on Moderate Engaged- Yeshivish/Charedie("MEYC")? :)

 
At 2:18 PM, Anonymous anonymous from yesterday said...

Once again you put together a pretty interesting post (and some of the comments are pretty interesting too).

However, I still must take exception with some things you wrote. Due to time constraints I may be mikatzeir now, but here goes...

1) You claim that the Jewish blogosphere is Litvish dominated (I assume you deliberately said blogosphere and not Jewish internet, as Lubavitch is a big presence online, for one example). That can be debated. Even if true, perhaps it's because they don't feel free to express themselves as freely elsewhere, due to pressure from your HC friends ?

2) "Hesder yeshivas are all litvish." - Don't many of them daven nusach sfard ? If so, they are not totally Litvish, even if there learning style leans that way.

3) Stamford Yeshiva - R, Shustal is from Galicianer background, IIRC, not Litvish. I suspect similar re R, Hershkowitz. Their late mashgiach who passed away young wore a shtreimel.

"YCT… litvish."

R. Avi Weiss shtams from bobover Chassidus, FYI. YCT has on it's staff a Satmar Hassid, R. Yisoscher Katz. I think they are open to Carlebach and other such stuff too, so I wouldn't put them into the typical Litvish camp, nope.

"JTS…was litvish." R. Morais was Sepharadic. Solomon (Shneur Zalman) Schechter was of lubavitch descent.

"Bais yaakovs…litvish." Many of them daven nusach sfard I think. If so, they are not fully Litvish.

4) "a small Balkan country" - Balkan ? I assume that's an attempt at humor (or just a plain ol mistake).

5) "graciousness and culture" - in your mind those are exclusively to be found in the Hassidic world ???

6) "HC ....to describe any Jew who achieves a way of being Jewish that does not self identify as litvish and a misnagid but rather as a chassidish person .....has also internalized these ways of being to a point so that being with him feels like being with someone who acts and is the way people were in Eastern Europe."

There you go again. Depite PC disclaimers, basically you seem to be saying that only Hassidim qualify for the label 'heimish', and that only they are carrying on the way of Easten European Jewry.

Wrong and offensive.

7) re the Yiddish of non-Litvish Hassidim. I enjoyed what you wrote about that and the comparison of it to a Southern drawl. Geshmak ! However, just for the record, Litvish Yiddish also has a certain flavor and rhythm. It's not totally bland, though it may seem so to your ears. More subtle things are sometimes missed by people these days, in our noisy modern world.

8) Since you mentioned Oberlanders the other day, I am disappointed that they are not seen openly in this post. You seem to have acquiesced in the trend among many of them to basically join up with the Hassidic camp (though some others have joined the Litvish and other camps) and assimilate within it. That is disappointing. Does it not bother you ? I recall a fine article re the Oberlanders in the Algemeiner Journal some years ago by Zalman Alpert.....

9) re Hassidic swagger - it may be fun to romanticize that from a distance, e.g. from Evanston. However, the other side of that coin often seems to be a coarseness, pushiness, and disregard for others. It often crosses the line to aggressive and improper behavior. If you were on the receiving end, I don't think you would be singing it's praises that much.

Okay, enough for now. Your turn. ;-)

 
At 3:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

""Bais yaakovs…litvish." Many of them daven nusach sfard I think. If so, they are not fully Litvish."

Many of the non-chassidiche ones? News to me.

 
At 3:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would take it a step further and point out that heimish can apply to modern Orthodox people. A certain percentage of the HAFTR-Five Towns world fits this bill. A good litmus test is if the family does not celebrate Thansgiving, not because it is "chukas hagoyim" but simply because they don't do things like that.

 
At 4:27 PM, Blogger evanstonjew said...

Anonymous from yesterday…I am pleased to see you wrote again and that you calmed down. I will respond to some points in no particular order. (4) I meant to say Baltic. Why I said Balkan I do not know and I will correct my text. Thank you for pointing this out. (9)swagger =df. to walk or conduct oneself with a defiant, arrogant or insolent air. I didn’t say they were eidel or refined or sensitive. (8) I recently davened in Erlau in Jerusalem. I don’t know what to make of Erlau. I haven’t begun to deal with yekkes. I get excited about south German non austritt charedim. They ARE on my radar screen. If I can spin this in a more general way to interest liberal Jews I will post. (7) I agree litvish Yiddish has a definite lilt and rhythm. It wasn’t my topic.(3) of the counterexamples you cite in 1-3, I find R..Schustal the most interesting. You are right; I should have not included Stamford as litvish. I might have to weaken my Yiddish pronunciation condition. I can’t get too excited about your other purported counterexamples.

We’re back to yesterday ,(5),(6). I’ll turn the exercise around. Suppose someone is totally, totally frum. He’s a Chafetz Chaim yid, so he doesn’t talk too much…very careful what he says and what he can hear. And he’s what I called in my earlier posts a torah,torah torah person, so no small talk or too many zemiros. And he’s frugal because he’s a baal tashchis type, so everything is very simple, basic. And his wife coming from the Russian cultural sphere is a borsht/schmaltz herring /ptcha cook. Ah you say, but he’s haymish…that’s the way it was in good ‘ole Belarus. I think the word haimish carries a connotation of joie de vivre, at least etwas.

I will give you an example of a haimish litvish person I admired…Rabbi Katzman z’l who wrote for Der Yiddisher Vort and the Allgemeiner Journal, or for that matter Rabbi Shurin of the Forward. You need epes a twinkle, a sense of fun. Don’t you think? I am sure you read your Chaim Grade.

 
At 4:59 PM, Blogger evanstonjew said...

Anonymous # 2…I always thought Satmar, Klausenberg and Munkacz as galitzianer franchises who like in the Galapagos mutated into new Yiddish accents and speech patterns because they were bilingual. I don’t think I agree with your characterization of what you call hard core Hungarians as austere and not big on humor. Would you care to elaborate?

Anonymous #3…I agree Carlebach won’t do the trick. I also think people have to get past sefard /ashkenaz and find ways to recreate the personality types of old. How do you do the Dzigen type in English? No clue.

litalives…you bring warmth to my heart, and most certainly made my day. I give thanks shezawchisi lkach.

baruch horowitz…I don’t understand the concatenation MEYC .Please spell it out a little more. Also do you believe the category of heimish litvish as you understand it is large, a significant percent of bnei Torah?

 
At 5:17 PM, Anonymous Berthold in Arizona said...

Dear Evanston Jew: You owe me a goodly amount of sleep--I recently discovered your blog, and stayed up a couple of nights reading it from start to end. I enjoyed all of it and learned a great deal. I like your calm and tolerant tone, which is so refreshing in the Jewish blogosphere.
I cannot stand the Comment section--often it sounds like a pack of dogs nipping at your heels and barking.."Think like me! Think like me!..".
Since you are desribing various Jewish groups, how about a post about the Yekkes! After all it is clear that the Creation, in its intelligence and rational organization, bears the Yekke stamp...(smile)

I wish I had you as a neighbor and could come over on Shabbes afternoon for a great discussion....Thanks for the gift of your blog.

Berthold in Arizona

 
At 7:06 PM, Blogger Baruch Horowitz said...

"I don’t understand the concatenation MEYC .Please spell it out a little more."

I meant "moderate-yeshivish". I was trying to be humorous.

"Also do you believe the category of heimish litvish as you understand it is large, a significant percent of bnei Torah?"

Hard to tell. I think we are more polarized today, but there definitely exist many layers in the charedie and Orthodox communities, even if their voices aren't the loudest.

You might like this article, and I quote the last 3 paragraphs:

"People need to be comfortable with themselves, secure in their own skin, in order to find their place in the community. Dr. David Pelcovitz often speaks of the resilience of human beings, the inner strength people have that carries them through difficult times. Dr. Abraham Twerski is renowned for stressing the importance of self-esteem and positive self-image.

As long as we're comfortable with who we are and what we want to be, and as long as we don't feel pressured or compelled to be someone or something we're not ready to be or don't want to be, we can be in the Center, the Right, the Left – or anywhere else on the spectrum.

And please, let's leave the labeling to clothing and food, not people"

http://www.jewishpress.com/page.do/18267/%3Ci%3EBlack_Hat%2C_Gray_Hat%2C_No_Hat%3C%2Fi%3E__Reflections_on_Orthodox_Factionalism_.html


Also, you mentioned that my e-mail didn't work. You need to delete "REMVOE SPAM" from the address.

 
At 5:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hesder Yeshivot are changing. Many of the newer, smaller ones have a chassidic leaning. You can't call it HC, because it's doesn't come to them through massoret, but it's a movement that is developing. Examples are the Hesder yeshiva is Ramat Gan and Tzfat.

 
At 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anonymous # 2…I always thought Satmar, Klausenberg and Munkacz as galitzianer franchises who like in the Galapagos mutated into new Yiddish accents and speech patterns because they were bilingual. I don’t think I agree with your characterization of what you call hard core Hungarians as austere and not big on humor. Would you care to elaborate?"

The Hungarians are extremists; theUnterlander too have elements of austerity, shtrengkeit, etc. The appeal of the Brisker Rav to the hardcore ingerische community is instructive. In yerushalayim, there is a lot of cross-pollination between Lithuanian kitzonim and Hungarian ones. The edah is pretty much an entente cordiale between these groups. In general, in the US too, Hungarians are very happy with and respectful of austere Litvish types who are medakdikim or a bit extreme in adherence to halacha, keep all sorts of shitas etc. They also will make common cause with anyone who is extreme on tznius issues and similar. With people like R Yoelish this was mixed with romanticism and humor; among the common folk, much much less so (he influenced satmar a bit, but not others)

I've heard that in Rav Dushinsky's yeshiva it was considered improper to greet the rosh yeshiva in the street. If you saw him coming, you were supposed to cross the street to the other side - that was considered nimusi. They used to smack even older bochrim a lot. And so on. Very ungeshtrengt, and quite rigid, almost military. Rav Dushinsky was an Oberlander, but this approach was more or less the way it was across Hungary.

As far as language goes, it is hard to tell, b/c Hungarians in the US are famous for speaking an impoverished yiddish, very limited vocabulary etc

 
At 8:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But to paraphrase R Dessler, the kitzonius is mashpia on the pnimius of the Hungarian soul. :)

 
At 10:35 AM, Blogger Bob Miller said...

This article meets our ever-present need to create new stereotypes and re-create old ones.
Taxonomy at its finest.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxonomy

Once we can determine the appropriate group label and description, we can begin to defend or attack whoever it applies to. We can contrast the goodness of one group with the badness of others. The possibilities are endless, and very inviting to bloggers and commenters of a certain disposition.

Mashiach will convince all our Orthodox groups (the ones that actually exist, of course) that they are partners in one great venture; let's make a start ourselves, now.

 
At 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When moshiach comes jews will be counted one by one, ultzion yeamer ish v'ish yulad ba. The endless discussion of varieties of europeans are demonstrations of ahavas yisrael.

 
At 12:26 PM, Blogger evanstonjew said...

bob miller…yes,no…no. I was more interested in the phenomenology of the type HC. I didn’t really offer necessary and sufficient conditions of membership, more like paradigmatic and more marginal instances. I try not to do what most Jewish taxonomists do ….’’You call that X (Orthodox, Jewish, MO, Charedi),as if there are essentialist, non pejorative definitions. HC is more like a rallying cry, a deeply held ideal for many religious Jews. Its analogues might be ben torah, lamdan, baalabatish, religious Zionist,and in liberal circles progressive, radical, aesthete, feminist, etc .It is something to live up to and become, not just a stereotyping label. Orthodox Jews are partners in one venture and IMHO ALL Jews are partners in a somewhat different venture. Partners but not identical. The variety is the fun of it.

 
At 12:48 PM, Blogger Bob Miller said...

So many of us are trying to synthesize an authentic-feeling identity, since our direct connections to an historically lived way of life (other than American Urban or American Suburban) have been largely disrupted. It's like assembling a greatest hits album with carefully chosen blasts from the past.

 
At 12:53 PM, Blogger evanstonjew said...

berthold in arizona...your comment was one of the sweetest things anyone has said to me since I started and I am touched. Saying my blog bears the Yekke stamp is way up there, at least for me in descriptions that bring cheer to my heart.

As for talking about yekkes... I plan to write somewhat critically about der austritt aus der geminde of S.R..Hirsch.If there was a big demand I could try my hand on the Berlin-Frankfort food fight. Southern Germany as I just said to anonymous is really specialized; before long I'll be asked to write about Bessarabia and Chisinau (Kishnev.)If you're talking phenomenology, there is the classic critique of Gershom Scholem's and a weaker response by Baruch Kurzweil.It all happened long ago...I don't know.I will write about Hanna Arendt and Martin Heidegger, though I am sure that wasn't what you had in mind.I will also try saying something about Jews in Germany today, but sadly they are not yekkes.

 
At 1:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would define heimish differently, "authentic." It means someone who is neither nouveau frum nor "harryish". His religiosity stems from a tradition of observance more or less unbroken (spending a few years in the discoteques in Budapest after the holocaust does not constitute a break in the chain). One can be heimish and Litvish (Rav Oshry z"l comes to mind).

 
At 12:38 AM, Anonymous anonymous again said...

EJ - your point re the label 'heimish' carrying the connotation of someone you would have a certain comfort level with is well-taken.

Re joie de vivre - that as well.

However, I think Litvaks can have joie de vivre too - even if it wouldn't qualify under the Hungarian guidelines for such. ;-) Galicianer joie de vivre might fall short of Hungarian standards as well. Joie de vivre doesn't need to show itself in a loud and boisterous way.

There is another important thing related to this that I want to discuss though. That is that the identification by you and others of the typical Litvak as a Yeshiva/Kollel student who is a mussarnik, is not historically accurate. Der alter Lita wasn't mostly yeshivaleit. It was mostly baalei batim.

Addditionally, even among Yeshivaleit, not all were mussarniks and not all mussarniks were dour. It is told that the Chofetz Chaim himself was talkative, at least at times, despite all his emphasis on the dangers of forbidden speech, for example.

 
At 8:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Saying my blog bears the Yekke stamp is way up there"

um, i think he said the Creation bears the Yekke stamp, not your blog :-(

 
At 8:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Addditionally, even among Yeshivaleit, not all were mussarniks and not all mussarniks were dour."

some non/anti mussarniks were more dour than the mussarniks

 
At 5:03 PM, Blogger evanstonjew said...

anonymous/authentic...I have problems with explicating heimish by the notion of authentic, since authentic itself, a 20th century version of sincere, is rather obscure. I like your rav oshri example.He was a pulpit rav in a 'big shul'with an extraordinary background that made him a special person.

anonymous again...I agree Hungarians in general lead in the joie de vivre category, though see anonymous #2 reservations with respect to Satmar and satelites.Your point about the typical denizen of Lita is well taken, but does your viewpoint little good. The vast majority of litvish players today are members of an imagined community. They learnt how to be litvish in schools where bnei torah/ musar types prevailed. Many of their rosh yeshivas also never saw the original lita, so we have a keli shelishi.I believe the rule is ain bishul acher bishul, so a created personlity copying another created personality is far from the original, let alone 'authentic'.

berthold comments...I am embarrased for having misread berthold.I'll live. I'll rephrase it as a hypothetical...if someone were to desribe my blog as yekkish, I would consider the comment a compliment.

 
At 2:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

did not mean to embarrass you.sorry.

 
At 3:45 AM, Blogger Ben Bayit said...

I'm HC :-)

I disagree with the comments about the Hesder Yeshivot. True some of them come from BT backgrounds. But people like Rav Shapira in Ramat gan and Rav Melamed (Sr & Jr) in Beit El come from good HC stock. In any event Rav Kook was very much influenced by chassidut and I don't see Mercaz Harav as a "litvak" type of place. Chassidut did to Mercaz Harav what Litvaks did to Yeshiva Torah Vodaas. Created a vibrant and interesting blend.

oh yea- and Carpathian chassiduyot such as Satmar, et al are definitely NOT galizcainers. It's a whole separate category of Hasam Sofer descendants that became partly chassidic.

 
At 8:32 AM, Blogger evanstonjew said...

ben bayit…I am still working on the bais yaakov femme fatale issue and hope to come back with another post. I am pleased to be educated on hesder yeshivot you mention.

As for Satmar,et al and your objection to my quip describing them as galitzianer franchises that mutated, maybe, maybe not. I mentioned Munkacz. Here the Tinker to Everett to Chance yichus goes, as you know, from the Noam Elimelech to the Chozeh to the Bnei Yissaschar to downtown Munkacz.. For Klausenberg we have Noam Elimelech to the Ropshitzer to the Sanzer to Gorlitz to Rudnik and we’re home…the previous Klausenberger was a Rudniker who took a promising job in Cluj, and the rest is history. For Satmar we have the Noam Elimelech to the the Chozeh to the Yismach Moshe of Ujhel. We then go the grandson, the YetevLev to the great grandson the Kedushas YomTov to our Reb Yoel , who was the KYT’s youngest son. You will say …ahhh no, the Satmar Chasidim are Chasam Sofer descendats/disciples . The Chasam Sofer in my book is a displaced Frankforter and a talmid of the Hafla’ah who was as you know a brother of Rebbe Reb Shmelke and we are even deeper into Galitzya. Even his rebbe Rav Nathan Adler who when forced to leave Franfort, one of the great disasters in Jewish history, accompanied by the Chasam Sofer was indeed a yekke, but a talmid of the Pnei Yehoshua , a son of Cracow.. As I said, maybe, maybe not

 
At 8:42 AM, Blogger Bob Miller said...

"Evers", not "Everett".

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinker_to_Evers_to_Chance

 
At 8:51 AM, Blogger Bob Miller said...

There was a pattern of Jewish migration from southern Poland ("Galicia") into northern Hungary (including areas now in Slovakia and Ukraine) during the 1800's. My own family went this route. Prior to moving to the US over 100 years ago, my grandfather's family lived in Bardejov, where the community's rabbinic leaders were descendants of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz.

See
http://bh.org.il/swj/general.php?places=42&language=1

 
At 3:41 PM, Blogger Hirshel Tzig said...

What about a Heimish/Oberlandish/Chassidish guy who becomes a Litvisher, where does he stand?

 
At 3:59 PM, Blogger evanstonjew said...

He should sit down and let all the components settle in.LOL

Having looked at your interesting blog I doubt if you are in any doubt as to how you choose to understand yourself.

 
At 5:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 2:22 AM, Blogger Yoseph Leib said...

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