Charidee, corruption and Eretz Yisrael – Part II

If you’ve recovered from PART I, it’s time to dive into ‘PART II’ of what was really going on around the money being raised for the settlement of Eretz Yisrael.

(Read Part I HERE).

At least part of the reason figuring this stuff out is so important is because THERE IS NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN, and the main fight between all these ‘leaders’ in the Jewish community in our days also boils down to who gets the biggest slice of the financial pie, here in the Holy Land.

Whether it’s straight-up bribes, political corruption, or simply, running ‘charities’ mamash like multi-billion-dollar businesses, with all the yuck that entails, built up around media depictions of wunderwerkers…..

It’s still happening today.


So, let’s dive back into the murk, to set what other sparks of truth we can rescue.

And remember, this is all coming from the Rav. He’s the one who told us:

There was a kupah (charitable collection) for Eretz Yisrael, that the Baal HaTanya was in charge of. And there was a machloket (disagreement) about who the money was going to.

One person said it was going to the zionists, it was going into private pockets.

He was against hamaot [giving the small change]for Eretz Yisrael. There was the Kupat Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess, there was the Machazit HaShekel.

In the end, [text missing] took it all for themselves.

Not a penny got to the chareidim.

This was all ‘chareidi people’ that did this, and they took it all for themselves.

This is the true story, according to its most simple telling.


Everything in the ‘quotation style’, above, is a quote from the Rav.

Not my words.

So if all these ‘true stories’ are bothering you, please switch off now.

For everyone else – buckle in! There’s a lot of fascinating material to get through in this post.


Let’s start with a brief recap of what we learnt in PART 1:

  • After MENACHEM MENDEL of VITEBSK’s death in 1788, management of the ‘HOLY LAND FUND’ he set up passed into the hands of SHNEUR ZALMAN of LIADI.
  • By 1796, massive disputes over the management of the money had already broken out, with SHNEUR ZALMAN accusing AVRAHAM of KALISK of financial mismanagement.
  • Already then, THE HOLY FUND was split into two seperate organisations, the KOLLEL VOLYHNIA (for money from the region of Volhynia, Poland and Galicia) and the KOLLEL RASSEINI (for funds from Ukraine and Russia).
  • SHNEUR ZALMAN remained in charge of the KOLLEL RASSEINI.
  • R MORDECHAI SHAPIRO of NESHKIZ  was initially put in charge of the KOLLEL VOLHYNIA, with the agreement of the SEER of LUBLIN, and other Chassidic masters that are mentioned a lot in the biographies about R NACHMAN of BRESLOV.


  • By 1799, possibly even 1800 or later, AVRAHAM KALISKER, leader of the Chassic aliya in Tiberius, writes a letter to Rebbe Nachman bemoaning that no money is still coming through to the Jews in Israel from either of these Kollels.
  • In 1798, SHNEUR ZALMAN of LIADI is arrested on suspicion of sending funds to the Ottoman Empire (i.e. Eretz Yisrael). Tzar Peter I investigates the accusations – and finds no evidence that Shneur Zalman is sending money on to Eretz Yisrael. He is released.
  • The leadership of the KOLLEL VOLHYNIA passes to ‘YISRAEL of RUZHIN’ in 1841, aka MOSHE TZVI of SAVRAN, the big persecutor of Breslov, and especially, R NATAN of BRESLOV.
  • It then passes on to ‘YISRAEL of RUZHIN’s’ descendants, via the ADMOR of SADIGURA, and then his son, the first ADMOR OF BOYAN.


  • ‘Chabad’ / Ruzhin / Boyan / Sadigura – they all just keep marrying each other over and over again, suggesting that ‘CHABAD’ is exactly identical with the (fake name…) ‘RUZHINERs’ etc.
  • ‘BOYAN’, RUZHIN and CHABAD are directly connected to the BEILIS blood libel trial, which leads to many of the personalities involved having to ‘flee’ the places where they live, and adopting false identities and alter egos, going forward.
  • And BOYAN, RUZHIN and CHABAD are also directly connected to THEODOR HERZL, the zionists, the JEWISH COLONIAL TRUST, and what became the ANGLO PALESTINE BANK where the Nazis deposited money taken from German Jews before the Shoah, as part of the ‘Ha’Avara Agreement’ in 1933.


OK, so now let’s take a closer look at ‘KOLLEL CHABAD’, ‘KOLLEL RASEINI’, AND ‘KOLLEL VOLHYNIA’, to see what information we can learn.

Let’s begin with Kollel Chabad.

This snippet comes from the Hebrew wiki page, HERE, and it’s the Chabad-fake-history version of what happened:

As a result of the dispute between Shneur Zalman of Liadi and Rabbi Avraham of Kalisk, Chabad’s followers in the Hasidic community in Eretz Israel were harmed and they did not receive financial support from the Holy Land’s Ma’ot Fund.

They were forced to relocate from Tiberias to Safed. As a result in 1805, the Alter Rebbe established a new fund called: “Kollel Chabad.”



Shneur Zalman seems to have been withholding funds from the chassidim in Tiberius for a number of years already, by this point.

I don’t know if his followers really were ‘forced out’ of Tiberius in 1805, or if they were just told by the Alter Rebbe to leave and move to Tsfat. At this point, no-one knows.


There’s really not a lot of info on that page about ‘Kollel Chabad’, and what they actually funded and paid for in the Holy Land.

But that ‘Kollel Chabad’ page  does give us a few more names and details to work with. It continues like this:

The Gabayim [of Kollel Chabad] were usually Chabad devotees who would travel through Jewish settlements to collect money for the activities. 

The gabaim included many of the greatest Chabad Hasidim, among them:

Rabbi Yitzchak Avigdor Orenstein [We wrote a lot about him when we were trying to figure out what was going on with the MAHARIL DISKIN in Jerusalem.]

Rabbi Avraham Haim Naha,

Rabbi Schneur Zalman Fradkin,

Rabbi Shlomo Yosef Zevin,

Rabbi Azriel Selig Slonim

Rabbi Eliezer Nance and

Rabbi Yehosef Gedalya RBG.


Strangely, they have left the first ‘big gabbai’ off this list, namely ‘JACOB of SMOLYAN’.

So, let’s start with him.

Over HERE, I found a very interesting ‘discussion’ on geni, in Hebrew, which brings a bunch of new information to light, including a discussion about a certain gabbai of AVRAHAM of KALISK, named ‘JOEL SMOLYAN’.

Here’s some relevant (machine-translated) snippets:

Since my previous book came out, another letter has been discovered by Rabbi Sursky, it’s the letter of Adm. Avraham of Kalisk, to his friend and disciple Joel Smulian.

The”new” letter was sent from Safed in 1778, a year after the Admor Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk and Abraham of Kalisk, led 300 of their followers to the Land of Israel.

The writers from Smolyan were in order: Joel; Aryeh Yehuda Leib; Yaakov; Zvi Hirsch; Mordechai.


From this we learn that Joel may not have arrived in Israel with the group in 1777, but rather he remained in Russia.*

We can also surmise, in order of the writers, that Joel was the most important among them, and indeed, we know that after the death of Abraham of Kalisk,

Joel was offered the leadership of the Hasidim of Tiberias, but he refused.


This JOEL of SMOLYAN is clearly an important dude, if he’s being offered the leadership of the Chassidic Yishuv in Tiberius… strange none of us have ever heard about him.

That snippet then continues:


In 1783, Schnor Zalman of Lyadi, who Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk put in charge of the remaining Hasidim in eastern Belarus, appointed Rabbi Yaakov of Smolyan to be the chief custodian of the collection of funds intended for shipment to Eretz Yisrael.

Only in 1786 did Joel appear as a signatory in Tiberias for the first time.


So, Joel of Smolyan appears to join, or take over from, ‘YAAKOV of SMOLYAN’ just as the argument over money starts to reach boiling point, and the HOLY LAND FUND is split into two parts, in 1786.

So now, who is ‘JOEL of SMOLYAN’ meant to be working for? Shneur Zalman, or Avraham Kalisker?

That very erudite and well-sourced discussion then continues:

In the book ” The History of Chabad…”(page 13), the way the money was collected is described.

Once a year, Rabbi Yaakov of Smolyan would collect it from the centers, and then the money would be sent by faithful messengers appointed by Schneur Zalman of Liadi, or via an emissary who came from the Land of Israel.

It appears that Joel was the special envoy of 1786, and his signature appears on the documents of the Tiberias community immediately after the signatures of Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk and Abraham of Kalisk. 

He signed ” Joel, son of the late Rabbi Moshe.” He becomes one of the followers in Tiberias, but continues to travel to and from Russia, until his death, circa 1817 (?).


That snippet suggests that JOEL of SMOLYAN is working for SHNEUR ZALMAN, at least, at this stage.

Another apostle in those years was Rabbi Meir of Bikhov (page 21), and it seems that there was a “alternation” between the two. Meir returned in 1789, Yoel left, returned in 1791, Meir left, etc. There are records of Meyer’s travels up to 1803. Since Joel was delayed to return in 1791, they both probably returned in the same year.


One ‘Meir Bichovsky‘ happens to be the grandson of HILLEL RIVLIN, son of BENJAMIN RIVLIN of SHKLOV, and family member and student of the ‘VILNA GAON.’

In the next post we’re going to see more evidence that the ‘KOLLEL RASSEINI’ run by Shneur Zalman seems to overlap tremendously with the secret organisation called the RASSEINI VILNIUS, run exclusively by close family members of the GRA.

Let’s continue with the snippet:

There is a mention of the sons of his brother Joseph, and of his brother’s wife, but nothing about his wife or children. Only once did his son-in-law ask that he pray for a sick family member, at the grave of Rabbi Avraham of Kalisk, and he forgot to do so.

It can be concluded that [JOEL of SMOLYAN’s] family lived in Russia.

He may have “spent” time with them in Shklov during his visits for a year or two, and may have divorced his wife (it was customary if one of the spouses refuses to move to Eretz Yisrael, it is permissible to divorce), or she may have died, and so Zvi Hirsch, Moshe, and perhaps other children, remained with relatives in Shklov.


So, just like the GRA’s relatives and students, the RIVLINs of SHKLOV, Chabad’s ‘JOEL of SMOLYAN’ is also based in Shklov.


There still exists a letter written by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi for Yoel of Tiberias, asking the Hasidic congregation to help him raise money.

According to the letter and its style, it implies that there was a special connection between them, and if indeed it was Joel, the grandson of Chaim Haikel [of AMDUR], then his uncle, Shmuel Ben Heikel [of AMDUR], not only gave up his land, but also joined Schneur Zalman in establishing Chabad, and even sat with him in prison. 

All of Joel’s descendants were Chabad followers. 

One of his descendants was the seventh Rebbe.

[Menachem Mendel Shneerson….]


We heard about Chaim Chaikin and Shmuel Chaikin before.

They were mentioned as followers of YECHIEL MICHEL of ZLOTCHOV in Mor Altshuler’s research, and were given a special mention in the anti-chassidic diatribe ‘The Breaking of Sinners’.

Here’s the snippet, from page 135 of Altshuler’s thesis:

An additional lead can be found in the list of “the leading ruffians, called by name to be hung on gallows that was prepared [cf. Esth. 8:9–10]; they alone produced the poison.”

This listing of Hasidic activists is contained in Breaking of Sinners by R. David Makov, whose opposition to Hasidism led him to compile lists of its activists so he could pursue them to the bitter end, just as Haman’s ten sons, alluded to in the foregoing quotation, had been pursued.

This list, which appears to have been assembled in the 1780s or 1790s, includes sixteen names.

Some identify persons whose connections to R. Yechiel Mikhel are known through their own writings or through manuscripts that had been in their possession:

  1. Jacob Isaac, “the Seer of Lublin,” R. Ze”ev Wolf of Zhitomir, R. Isaiah of Dunayevtsy,  R. Mordecai of Nesukhoyezhe, R. Levi Isaac of Berdichev, the Maggid R. Israel of Kozienice, R. Zusya of Annopol, and R. Samuel b. Hayyim Haika of Amdur.

Other individuals on the list are known to have quoted R. Yechiel Mikhel in their writings, though their connections to him have not yet been studied, and still others are associated with him only in Hasidic hagiography:

  1. Shneur Zalman of Lyady, R. Elimelekh of Lozansky, (R. Zusya’s brother), and  R. Menachem Nachum of Chernobyl and his son, R. Mordecai.


This is the first I’ve heard that SAMUEL CHAIKIN of AMDUR goes to prison with SHNEUR ZALMAN, and jointly founds ‘CHABAD’ with him….

Usually, we’re told that the people who were arrested with SHNEUR ZALMAN were MORDECHAI JAFFE of LECHOWITCH and ASHER of KARLIN.

(I bet you didn’t know about that bit of the story, either… we’ll get to them in due course.)


So, the discussion continues:

I guess Joel was born either in Kobrin or in Shklov, his father Moshe moved from Karlin, to Cobrin, and then to Shklov.

Yoel probably had children born in Shklov, moved to Smolyan, had close personal ties with the leaders of the Hasidim of Eastern Belarus, who became Chabad hasidism.

His children, who remained in Russia, became Chabad followers, while he moved between the two worlds, the Chabad of Russia, and the Rassein Hasidism in Tiberias.

I’m sure if he had stayed in Russia, he would have joined the Chabad.


What we have learnt so far is that chassidim that stayed behind in chul, in Russia etc, became known as ‘CHABAD’.

While the chassidim that actually moved to Eretz Yisrael under AVRAHAM KALISKER became known as ‘RACINE / RASSEIN’ chassidim, after the big fall-out over money.

Which would explain why ‘KOLLEL CHABAD’ doesn’t really do anything, much, in Eretz Yisrael for another 30 years, until the Mitteler Rebbe starts sending his followers to Hevron, to buy some land there and create a ‘Chabad presence’.

The CHAIKIN family are also part of this effort.


The snippet continues:

[JOEL of SMOLYAN / CHAIKIN’s] grandson (? Shimon Menashe Chaikin (1798-1893), apparently came to Safed with his father Moshe.

They were sent by the Middle Admor between 1817 and 1823 to settle Hebron. Shimon Menashe lived for a time in Safed, married there and went to his destination as the Rabbi’s commandment. We don’t see Joel’s signature after 1817, so they probably never met again.


The tomb of Zvi Hirsch in the old Chabad plot on the Mount of Olives reads: “Rabbi Hasid Zvi Hirsch son of Rabbi Yoel Chaikin 1883.”…

I have at least three testimonies that indicate that Zvi Hirsch and Moshe of Shklov (Shimon Menashe’s father), as well as Yisrael Shraga and Eliyahu (who lived in Jerusalem), were brothers.


You can see one of the GENI profiles for JOEL CHAIKIN HERE.

Strange to say, there is absolutely no mention of his grandson SHMUEL MENASHE CHAIKIN, who was the (Chabad…) Rabbi of Hevron for apparently 70 years!

SHMUEL MENASHE CHAIKIN is a real person, because if you go to the Kedem Auctions website HERE, you’ll see a letter he signed on when he was in post.

And what’s even more mind-blowing, is how old this guy is meant to have been.

This snippet is from the Kedem Auctions site, who we presume should really know their stuff:

Letter signed by the members of the “Va’ad Hakelali” of the Ashkenazic community in Hebron:

R. Shimon Menashe Chaikin, R. Binyamin Rivlin and R. Meir Tzvi Hershler. Hebron, 1890.

The letter was sent to the administrators of “Pekidim Ve’Amarkelim” in Amsterdam, and contains an account of the expenditures for food and medicine for those suffering during the plague outbreak. The reverse contains a detailed list of expenses “to assist the suffering, may their troubles not return”.

R. Shmuel Menashe Chaikin (1777-1893) was a prominent disciple of the “Mitteler Rebbe” and the Tzemach Tzedek of Chabad. He moved from Slutsk to the Holy Land in the 1810s, and served as the Chabad rabbi in Hebron for over 70 years, until his passing at the age of 116.

At the time he signed this letter, he was 113 years old.


Again, it’s strange that KOLLEL CHABAD was apparently still collecting so much money for the Holy Land at this point, apparently – and yet, the rabbis of Hevron have to ask a totally different charity in Amsterdam, the PEKIDIM VE’AMARKELIM, for help with food and medicine.

Where did all the money go, that was meant to be helping these Chabad chassidim ‘settle’ Hevron?!

Here‘s a snippet about the PEKIDKIM VE’AMARKELIM organisation in Amsterdam – it’s very hard to track down info about them, today:

The Pekidim and Amarkalim (officers and treasurers) formed an international organization whose purpose was to coordinate the fundraising to support impoverished Jews in Palestine.

The organization maintained close contacts with the leaders of the Jewish communities in the cities of Jerusalem, Hebron, Safed and Tiberias.

The archive, which contains 10,100 incoming letters, is a very important source for the early history of the Jewish settlement in Palestine in modern times

The link to access that archive is now broken….. What does that tell us?


While you are pondering all this, here’s another snippet that might shed more light, as we continue to ‘follow the money’.

It’s from THIS article written by a Jewish-Russian prof of Judaic Studies for The Forward, which explains a little more of what was happening with at least some of the money being paid to the Chabad Rebbes, at the time SHMUEL MENASHE CHAIKIN was writing to Amsterdam asking for help to weather the plague that had hit Hevron:

The town of Lubavitch became world-famous as the center of Chabad, a position it has held since 1813. The Polish owners of the town specially invited the second Chabad rabbi, Rabbi Dov-Ber Schneerson to settle in Lubavitch.

The Rabbi’s presence attracted business and Chassidim to the town.

The third rabbi, Rabbi Menachem-Mendl, built up an elaborate net of Chabad communities and prayer groups in Belarus, Northern Ukraine and southern regions of “New Russia” like Ekaterinoslav and Cherson.

Chabad always had a strong organization with a strict discipline.

They instituted an effective system of collecting money through the voluntary pidyon-nefesh.

It was a type of tax that Chassidim paid to the rabbi and his family.

The responsibility to collect money fell on the Chabad emissaries, who visited Chabad communities every month.

The rabbi’s family would invest the money in various businesses that contributed to the economic health of Lubavitch.


I’ve written a lot about pidyon nefesh from the Rabbenu / Rav / Breslov perspective over the years….

I’ve never seen it described in these terms before.


(I have a theory, BTW, that the successful ‘fundraiser’ MENACHEM MENDEL of VITEBSK initially sent to Vilna and Brody, by the name of SHLOMO ZALMAN VILNER, is one and the same as ‘SHNEUR ZALMAN’. )

‘RIVLIN’ is just an anagram of ‘VILNER’.

Ok, back to the snippet:


*The researcher Mor Altshuler found that Yoel was married to the sister of Rabbi Meshulam Faybush Halevi Heller….”


MESHULAM FAYBUSH HALEVI HELLER was a leading student of YECHIEL MICHEL of ZLOTCHOV – as all these people actually were.


Last snippet:

The book “Rabbi, Leader and Doctor” contains a written testimony from Rabbi Shmuel Heller of Safed, about the marriage of Moshe of Kubrin to Rabbi Haikal.

It is a fact that he was the grandson of Rabbi Meshulam Feibush Halevi Heller, and it is a fact that the above was JOEL of SMOLYAN’s brother-in-law.

It makes sense that he knew the details he dictated because Joel was a member of his family, via marrying his great-aunt…

Is Joel Chaikin, who we know was the father of Zvi Hirsch, the son of Moshe of Kubrin and the father of Moshe of Shklov?

Is he Joel of Smolyan / Shklov / Tiberias / Dobryanka?


We also mentioned R SHMUEL HELLER of TSFAT before, on the post about ABRAHAM PERETZ being the B-I-L of LEVI YITZHAK of BERDICHEV.

Here’s the relevant snippet:

If you go HERE, you’ll see a handwritten letter from one ‘SHMUEL ben ISRAEL PERETZ HELLER’ – who became the Rav of Tzfat in the 1830s, talking about the pogrom that happened in Tsfat.

I have never heard of this pogrom before – apparently many Jews were raped and murdered, and ‘R YISRAEL of SHKLOV’, head of the perushim in Tsfat, had his eye gouged out by Arabs….


Read more HERE.


That’s interesting, but it’s not even the most interesting thing.

I think this R SHMUEL HELLER of TSFAT is our ABRAHAM PERETZ’s grandson….

Here’s why, a translated snippet from the HaMichlol website:

Rabbi Heller is a scion of Rabbi Yom-Tov Lipman Heller. He was born in Zlochev in Galicia. Before they immigrated to Israel, his grandfather, Rabbi Avraham Peretz, was considered one of the Seer of Lublin’s followers, and this fact also invited his grandson to meetings with the Seer – Rabbi Yaakov Yitzhak Horowitz, who imprinted a deep imprint on Shmuel Heller as a child.

Rabbi Shmuel would say that he had been blessed from the Seer of Lublin over a hundred times and even merited to be with to be with him at the Passover Seder.

The Heller family belonged to a group of Hasidim whose ideological foundation was among its main motives for immigrating to the Land of Israel.


We didn’t get anywhere near the real story of what really happened with the ‘rift’ around the SEER of LUBLIN.

The one thing I’m certain of, is that it’s not what they tell us happened.


OK, so now, who is the ‘MOSHE CHAIKIN’, possible father of that JOEL CHAIKIN / SMOLYAN, who was the main shaliach for the HOLY LAND FUND?

That would be MOSHE OF KOBRIN.



He’s the brother of ‘Aharon the Great’ Perlow of Karlin.

And the son of one ‘R YAAKOV KARLINSKY, Ha-NISTAR’.

But now, we have even more of mystery on our hands, because apparently there were two ‘MOSHE of KOBRINS’ at this time.

One was apparently the close follower of R SHLOMO of KARLIN, before becoming the close follower of R MORDECHAI JAFFE of LECHOWITCH (mentioned above, who apparently went to prison with the ALTER REBBE and R ASHER of KARLIN, in one version of the story).

And one, apparently, was not.

But, this second guy WAS the father of JOEL CHAIKIN of SMOLYAN, close follower of the ALTER REBBE whose uncle, SHMUEL CHAIKIN of AMDUR is meant to have gone to prison with the Alter Rebbe, and founded Chabad…

As usual, the more lies you unpick, the more lies you end up having to try to unpick.


This is probably going to turn into a five post monster, before we’ve tied up more of these loose ends following the money trail into Eretz Yisrael, but let’s see what else we can pick up specifically about ‘KOLLEL CHABAD’, before we end today.

Here’s another snippet from the KOLLEL CHABAD wiki page in Hebrew:

After the death of the Tzemach Tzedek of Chabad, there was a dispute over the presidency of the ‘Kollel Chabad’ of between the followers of the Maharashtra [Chabad Rebbe Number 4) and his brother, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Schneerson.


Fancy that! Another ‘charity war’….

Let’s continue.

Because guess what? There was then yet ANOTHER ‘charity war’ over the Kollel Chabad money:


In 1911, Rabbi Shmarya Noah Schneerson, the brother of Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Schneerson, established the”Special Chabad Kollel”and appointed Rabbi Chaim Eliezer Bichowski as the Gabay.

After the death of Rabbi Shmarya Noah Schneerson, in 1923, the Kollel was reunited with the main Kollel, called”Chabad-Tzedek Rabbi Meir Baal Ha Ness”, under the presidency of the Rebbe the Ritz (Chabad Rebbe Number 6).


If you click that link for CHAIM ELIEZER BICHOWSKI (probably related to the MEIR BICHOV that SHNEUR ZALMAN was using in the same capacity, 120 years earlier…) you get some more details about the second (or is it the third?) new charidee war involving the KOLLEL CHABAD.

Here’s a snippet:

The Chabad-wide dispute was over control of the Chabad Kolel.

The Admor Shalom Dubar Schneerson of Lubavitch [the 5th Rebbe] wanted the control to be with his men, who were mostly Hebron men.

And the Admor Shmarya Noah Schneerson of Bobroisk, on the other hand, tried to seize control by his men, who were mainly Jerusalem men.

On Lubavitch’s side was Rabbi Yisrael Dov Frumkin, editor of the Havatzelet, and on Bobroisk’s side was Rabbi Chaim Eliezer Biakhovsky. The dispute was of a fierce nature and lasted for several years, with mutual skirmishes.

In the mid-70s, the Admor of Bobroisk decided to part ways with the Chabad Kolel and established the”Special Chabad Kollel”, headed by Rabbi Biakhovsky.

After the passing of the Admor of Bobruysk, the total returned to being a part of the Chabad-General Assembly.


SHMARYA NOAH SHNEERSON and the war over the Chabad succession deserves its own post.

A lot of people involved in that ‘war’, at least on the Kopust side, seem to have met an untimely death.

But if you’re wondering why the KOLLEL CHABAD just seemed to be causing so much friction all the time, remember this:

Chabad always had a strong organization with a strict discipline.

They instituted an effective system of collecting money through the voluntary pidyon-nefesh.

It was a type of tax that Chassidim paid to the rabbi and his family.

The responsibility to collect money fell on the Chabad emissaries, who visited Chabad communities every month.

The rabbi’s family would invest the money in various businesses that contributed to the economic health of Lubavitch.


I was going to stop here, but my friend, C., just sent me some more material from SIACH SARFEI KODESH, which describes the interactions between Rebbe Nachman and Shneur Zalman over Liadi.

First, here are the screenshots in the original Hebrew, then I’ll post up what she sent me in English, underneath. And then, we have another big mystery to solve, that hasn’t even been on my radar, up until now:


That red box is around the reply the Alter Rebbe makes to Rebbe Nachman, when Rabbenu asks him if it’s really true, that he has 80,000 ‘chassidim’.

The Alter Rebbe replies:

Why should this be a chiddush to you?

I have a lot of talmidim who are melamdim (teachers of) small children. And the melamdim have a lot of ‘talmidim’ (lit. students). And the melamdim want to educate their pupils to give tzedaka. 

And each of the pupils give a prutah (coin) for the tzedakah for Eretz Yisrael, that I am involved with.

And when a student gives me tzedakah – then already he is not going to speak about me or go against me.

And from this, he is already called my talmid (follower).


The reason I stuck this whole page up is because if you read on, you see that SHNEUR ZALMAN is visiting Rabbenu in Breslov, on the way to see Rabbenu’s uncle, BARUCH OF MEDZHIBOZH, in Tulchin.

Apparently, there was also a big machloket going on between BARUCH of MEDZHIBOZH and SHNEUR ZALMAN about the money being raised for the Holy Land, too. I’m  just flagging that here. For sure, it’s going to take hours of digging to even begin to unpick that part of the story.

(And while we’re mentioning BARUCH of MEDZHIBOZH, we should also mention that he tried to kill Rebbe Nachman, literally, by pushing him down the stairs. And that he also lived a very opulent life-style, that mamash reminds me of YISRAEL of RUZHIN. Who tried to kill Rav NATAN of BRESLOV, a generation later.)



This is the snippet where the Alter Rebbe is, understandably, a little paranoid that some of Rabbenu’s followers might be spies or informers for the Tzar.


And the Rav [Shneur Zalman] continued on his journey to Tulchin [where he’s going to have a big show-down with BARUCH of MEDZHIBUZH].

And Rabbenu accompanied him until outside the city, and Rabbenu sat together with him in his carriage, while Anshei Shlomenu (our people – i.e. followers of Rebbe Nachman) walked around the carriage, to accompany him.

And at this time, the Rav [Shneur Zalman] was extremely scared about informers and spies working for the authorities, who were tailing him, and when he saw how so many people were accompanying him, he asked Rabbenu:

“Maybe, there are spies here….?”

Rabbenu replied to him, and these are his words:

“But the aren’t ‘stupid’.”

I.e. that Anshei Shlomenu knew how to be careful and guard themselves, and so there was nothing for him to suspect.


OK, that will do for today.

The next post is going to be about the KOLLEL RASSEIN in Vilna, run by the Vilna Gaon’s family.

And yes, it’s just us eye-opening as all this other stuff has been, and there are just as many ‘secrets’ and dodgy people associated with that charidee project for the Holy Land too.




2 replies
  1. Hava
    Hava says:

    Becky, that was VERY interesting. Rosh Hodesh Tevet, an even more auspicious time for certain things…like the judgment of whether the Temple will be rebuilt in the then-present (or coming, I’m not sure…) year or not!

    Thank you!


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