Thursday, May 14, 2009

R. Menachem Ziemba continued

He was world renowned as a torah scholar and master of Chassidic thought.He envisaged himself as a simple Chassid of the Rebbe of Ger. He grew up in Warsaw as a formidable scholar and Genius (GAON). He corresponded with the Rogatchover who had not a high tolerance for mediocirity. As he married at 18 the daughter of a wealthy local merchant, he was not bound down by financial worries and could study torah/talmud unhindered. His fame further spread and he attracted the attention of R Meir Simcha of Dvinsk . He authored more than 10,000 pages of torah novellae during this period. He then entered commual affairs at the request of his beloved Gerrer Rebbe.Between 1930 to 35, his father in law's store was forced to close due to the depression. Offerings of Rabbinic appointments were turned down by him at this time. This was the last massive gathering before the holocaust at Marienbad .

  • In 1935 he, together with Rabbi Yaakov Myer Biderman, brother-in-law of the Gerrer Rebbe, and Rabbi Avraham Weinberg, was appointed to the Warsaw Rabbinate, becoming one of the foremost spokesmen for Orthodox Jewry in Poland quote

  • His two active roles as halachic decisor and an active role in Agudas Yisroel.

  • He was appointed to the Warsaw rabbinate, and was at the height of his fame at the 3rd Knessiah Gedolah at Marienbad

Rabbi Menachem Ziemba (1883–1943) (Hebrew: מנחם זמבה) was a
distinguished pre-World War II Rabbi, known
as a Talmudic
genius and prodigy.
He was gunned down by the Nazis in the Warsaw
1 Biography
2 World
War II


4 Postscript
5 Works

Rabbi Ziemba was born in Praga, a suburb of Warsaw, in 1883. His father,
Elazar, died while Menachem was still a young boy and the orphan was brought up
by his grandfather Rabbi Avraham Ziemba. Rabbi Avraham had been a chassid of the Kotzker Rebbe and a
student of the
Chiddushei Harim, and
was now a follower of the
Sfas Emes of Gur.
Rabbi Ziemba
was brought up in the Gerrer chasidus by
his grandfather and remained a loyal chasid his entire life. Even years later
when he was world-renowned as a Torah scholar, Posek and master of Hasidic
thought, he still considered himself a simple Chasid of the
rebbe of Ger. When he visited Ger,
he was called by his first name and refused to sit at the Rebbe's top table, an
honour reserved for visitors of note.
As Rabbi Ziemba grew up in Warsaw, he
gained a reputation as a formidable Talmid Chacham (scholar) and dazzling
genius. He maintained a unique correspondence with the
Gaon of Rogatchov, a
fiery individual not known for his tolerance of mediocrity, nor tolerance of
younger students.
At the age of eighteen, Rabbi Ziemba married the daughter
of a wealthy local merchant. He was thus able to learn Torah unhindered for the
next twenty years, a time remembered by him as the happiest years of his life.
His fame spread further afield, attracting the attention of Rabbi Meir Simcha of
and others. He once confided that he authored more than 10,000 pages
of Torah novellae during this golden period.
When his father-in-law died,
Rabbi Ziemba found it necessary to help out in the former's store in order to
continue supporting his family. He rejected numerous offers to serve as rabbi in many towns
and cities, saying that he had more time to study while working than as a
communal rabbi.
However, at the request of his beloved Gerrer Rebbe,
Rabbi Ziemba entered communal affairs. He was appointed the representative of
Praga to the
Kehilla Council in Warsaw.
Between 1930 and 1935, the world
economic depression
affected Rabbi Ziemba. His store was forced to close. He was offered the
prestigious position of
Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, but
turned it down. After the untimely death of Rabbi
Meir Shapiro, Rabbi Ziemba
was offered the position as his successor as both Rabbi of
Lublin and rosh
of Yeshivas Chachmei
. For unknown reasons, this never came to pass.
In 1935 he,
together with Rabbi Yaakov Myer
brother-in-law of the Gerrer Rebbe, and Rabbi Avraham Weinberg, was appointed to
the Warsaw Rabbinate, becoming one of the foremost spokesmen for
Orthodox Jewry in Poland. Aside from
his newfound political prominence, Rabbi Ziemba became a
Halachic decisor
of great importance, answering questions from around the world, as well as from
Rabbi Ziemba also took an active role in the
Agudas Yisroel at
an early stage. At its first Knessia Gedola (great gathering), he was not yet
forty when chosen to serve as honorary secretary in the
Moetzes Gedolei
. At the second Knessia Gedola, Rabbi Chaim Ozer
agreed to serve as chairman of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah only
if Rabbi Ziemba would continue in his position, while the forty-five year old
Rabbi Ziemba felt himself to be too young and sought to stay in the background.
At the third Knessiah Gedolah in 1937 in Marienbad, Austria, which played witness to
the last massive gathering of European Orthodoxy before
the Holocaust, Rabbi
Ziemba was at the height of his fame.
He spoke twice to the full assemblage and
each time was greeted with hushed silence and awe.

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