I chanced upon Matzav.com yesterday. As always, they had a piece on the Yohr Tzeit of R’ Schneur Kotler ז’ל, complete with pictures of him beardless. I looked further down the page, and found it was also the Yohr Tzeit of
Rav Yaakov Sapir, author of Even Sapir (A Journey to Yemen), a collection of stories of his travels through India, Australia, and Yemen”
I was flabbergasted that they seemingly couldn’t bring themselves to note that it was also the Yohr Tzeit of the last Lubavitcher Rebbe זי’’ע
I commented on the blog and asked why they didn’t report it. My comment was not published: silly censorship.
I made a further comment about kosher bourbon production in another article, and that got through Matzav’s censors.
Now, to be fair, I don’t think Chabad would ever mention R’ Kotler’s Yohr Tzeit either, but what about the Emes and Kavod HaTorah. Can’t people be civil?
The Lubavitcher Rebbe was an exalted Gaon, a Manhig, and a source of inspiration for many. How can one simply “forget” he existed on his Yohr Tzeit?
Is this what the Torah wants and advocates? Matzav call themselves the voice of “World Jewry”. Hardly. Och und Vey.
Even Yeshivah World News, which is usually more right wing than Matzav, had a feature.
Both also reported the sad Petira of R’ Neuwirth, the author of Shmiras Shabbos K’Hilchoso, which revolutionised the presentation and psak of Hilchos Shabbos in an unparalleled manner.
So as not to end on a negative. One of the Mispallelim in Elwood Shule, has his birthday today on Daled Tamuz. He is one of two emigres from Russia who devote themselves to the Shule 24/7 and are regular daily attendees. His name is Alex (aka Chanan aka Sasha) Livshiz. There was a Kibbud on the table after davening, and I asked aloud “who has yohrtzeit today”. Alex was in the middle of davening (I assume Krias Shma) and put his hand up. It transpired that it was his birthday and he had decided to wear Rabbeinu Tam’s T’fillin for the first time. I pointed out that Daled Teves is also the Yohr Tzeit of Rabbeinu Tam himself! Hashgocho Protis?
Of course, in Melbourne, it is also known widely as the Yohr Tzeit of R’ Yitzchok Dovid Groner ז’ל who devoted his entire life to building up the community and was held in the highest esteem by most, including me.