Monday, July 30, 2012

On the Klausenberger Rebbe's wedding

This is a report in the Le Mars Globe Post of Le Mars, Iowa of all places, from August 25, 1924, of the wedding of the Sigheter Rebbe's allegedly 15 year old daughter to none other than the future Klausenberger Rebbe. At least it seems that this must be them.


  1. Representatives of the various Christian churches appeared at the synagogue celebration.

    Interesting. In those days Hassidim were more ecumenical?

  2. I think that one has to read newspaper reports with a grain of salt. When, for example, was the last time that The New York Times reported on an event in the Jewish community accurately?

    Maybe some chassid lied/exaggerated to a reporter who then reported the lie/exaggeration as fact. I'm not saying that it's for sure a lie (maybe the dignitaries had to show up as a sign of respect -- and the chassidim couldn't say no). I just suggest that you not automatically trust everything a newspaper article has to say.

  3. How in the world to you come across this? And where did you get a copy of this newspaper?

  4. The Le Mars Globe Post is notable for being owned, published, and edited by the Starzl family, i.e. the father and grandfather of famed transplant surgeon Thomas Starzl. Starzl's father, Rome Starzl, was an early science fiction writer. His grandfather John Starzl was a German-speaking immigrant from the Czech-Austrian border who was charged with and acquited of sedition in 1917 for publishing an editorial critical of some elements of US military policy.

    In other words, it's not entirely surprising that the paper would report on events from Central Europe, or that its interests would be broader than one might expect from a small town Iowa newspaper.

  5. Two questions:

    1. Why are the expenses estimated in pounds, rather than in dollars?

    2. What does the word "rabbis" mean? If it simply means uys who know how to lern, as today, it would be surprising if there were only 70 out of 10,000. Does it perhaps mean Admoirim?

    1. "...says the Westminster Gasette of London".

  6. The wiki article says that the Klausenberger married in 1921. Maybe the the above report is referring to this union - בתו העסה, נישאה לבעל אחותה דבורה לאה לאחר שזו נפטרה - הרב חיים יצחק אייזיק הלברשטאם. (taken from the hebrew wiki page on the Atzei Chaim). Or maybe even to the Klausenberger's grand father R' Boruch (b. 1829) son of the Divrei Chaim who married the daughter of the Yetev Lev.

    1. The Klausenberg rebbe was a son in law of the Atsei Chaim of sighet. Who was the brother of the Satmar rav.
      Very interesting! Keep up the good work.

  7. I find this report fallacious in light of it's questionable proclamations, or at least highly questionable.

    1) The wedding was on March of 1924 (Yes, the Wiki page is incorrect. A copy of the original wedding invit. can be found in the Rebbe's bio. 'Lapid Aish' pg. 76). Why did it take almost half a year (!) for this "wedding of the century" to make it to the paper?

    2) The overall manner of the article's composition gives off a very offensive feeling. Jealousy, perhaps? Anti-semitism too?

    "as the few hotels were immediately overcrowded" - how many hotels do you think were in Mormorash exactly or for that matter, any of the surrounding villages? Think they could've housed even half of the "10,000 Jews from Russia Poland and Austria"? Hmm, doubt it.

    "representatives of the various Christian churches ... appeared in full number" - sure, the Fathers and Priests were invited to sit with the Atzei Chaim and his father in-law (the Ratzferter Rav) together with other Torah giants of the time.

    "no fewer than ... had to pay with their lives for the general satisfaction of the party" - ever saw this language written when kings, queens, emperors and any member of the elite society held banquets for every time it struck their fancy, or anytime the people deemed it necessarily to host a sacrificial slaughtering of "Homeric" quantity?

    The rest too - about the liquor - to "quench the thirst of the guests" gives off a very negative impression on their intent of how they wanted to present this event to the ignorant public.

    If this was all indeed true, isn't it a bit odd that it's not documented in Jewish sources (scholarly ones, not only the "Mormorosh Times" per se)? Or maybe it is, simply not from the bit that I have read about the Rebbe.

    I'm just sayin', to echo Baruch's words, this report as any other ought to be taken with a grain of salt.

  8. Ovadya, if only Hamodia and Mishpacha published in those days we would have had a more accurate report including a tear count and no mention of xians chas vcholilo. As it is we must unfortunately deal with the terrible truths told about us.



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