Friday, April 11, 2014

The Ponovezher Rov.

I recently had a discussion with someone about the Ponovezher Rov and his family and their relationship with my family.  (The original version of this post had a Torah discussion at the end, but it grew too long to be ancillary, so I posted it elsewhere.)  Here are some photographs.

Around 1958.  Rabbi William Z. (Bill) Novick, Ponovezher Rov, my Father zatzal, and Rabbi Leonard Oschry.  The painting on the wall is by Saul Rabino, and instead of Chasidim dancing, it shows a Litvishe Yid learning, with a glass of hot tea in front of him.  If you don't see the chut shel chesed, the Hashraas haShechina on the Rov's face, please see the Gemara about the מטרוניתא in Brachos 55a)

In my parents' home, around 1964, Rav Zvi Hirsch Meisels (Veitzener Rov, author of מקדשי השם and others,) my brother שיעבמ"צ, and Ponovezher Rov.

 At my Bar Mitzva, 1965.

In Ponovezher Yeshiva, around 1967.  Ponovezher Rov, my Father, and my uncle Yitzchak.

The next two pictures have nothing to do with this post, but I like them.
Around 1970, my parents' house, my father behind Reb Moshe.  Out of their mutual respect came my marriage to his granddaughter seven years later.

Same time, my father, Rabbi Chaim Regensberg, and the Veitzener Rov- each a great talmid chacham, each an illuy, but very different from each other.  Reb Moshe stayed at his brother in law's house, Rabbi Small.  While the olam was waiting for Reb Moshe to come, the Veitzener Rov said that he had just returned from a lengthy and very hard din Torah, and he and Reb Moshe sat together on the Beis Din.  He said that he can say eidus that there is not one se'if in the four chalakim of Shulchan Aruch that Reb Moshe does not have in his pocket.  A young (fool) Rebbi from the yeshiva spoke up said that he heard in the name of the Chazon Ish that bizman hazeh nobody has every se'if of Shulchan Aruch arois klor.  Rabbi Meisels answered, "I said I could say eidus, and I saw what I saw, so there can be two explanations.  Either that for the kavod of the Chazon Ish, Reb Moshe forgets a se'if, but when he needs it, he remembers it.  Or, the Chazon Ish didn't know Reb Moshe."

At the same event, seated next to Reb Moshe is his brother in law, Rav Isaac Small.  I am standing behind them.


  1. Git moed Rav Eisenberg

    Beautiful post. I think you have a lot to share with the people you knew and met. Your posts are a nice change to the Artscroll biographies/stories as you are blunt and honest but have obviously been fortunate to meet a lot of special people. It seems your father was also a very big talmid chochom. It would be great if you could share more of these kinds of stories and experiences on top of your more lomdishe posts.

    Btw - have you considered recording your daf yomi shiur and putting it up as a mp3/podcast on your blog? I think a lot of people would be interested in listening to your shiur.

  2. Thank you.

    Putting my shiur online is not going to happen. I need to know that what I say in my Beis Medrash doesn't go beyond the Beis Medrash. The sharp criticism I aim at the talmidim would sound harsh unless you're there and understand our relationship. I would sound like a monster.

  3. What about giving restricted access to people who read your blog? For a daf yomi maggid shiur, you have an extremely broad but also lomdishe knowledge. I'd be interested in hearing it and wouldn't be put off by the monster in you :). I think people can see from your blog that you are blunt and fairly sharp tongued in any event.