Monday, March 05, 2007

Chassidim & The Malbim

The Malbim zt"l
(Picture courtesy of

Excerpt from

"Some Chassidim were initially suspicious of the modern style of his writings and his attitude to Chassidus despite the fact that he had, in his younger years, been a disciple of the great Kabbalist of the era, Reb Zvi Ziditchover...

The Malbim's success in striking a responsive chord in Jewish hearts with his spoken and written drashos was attributed by one of the great Chassidic leaders to his heavenly motivation. The Munkatcher Rav, author of Darchei Teshuva, heard his master, the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, testify that "all of the Malbim's drashos are l'shem Shamayim."...

Despite the Chasam Sofer's endorsement of his scholarship and the Divrei Chaim's tribute to the Malbim's sacred motivations, his works were sometimes criticized by Chassidim who resented his modern innovations in explaining Tanach. In relation to these suspicions, the renowned author Rabbi Yisrael Yaakov Klapholtz of Bnei Brak, a confidant of the later Belzer Rebbe, Reb Aharon, relates a revealing story he once heard from the Rebbe about his grandfather. The Belzer Chassidim of those days complained to the Rebbe about such Malbim devices as "question marks in his commentary on Tanach." Reb Yehoshua decided to investigate their complaints by sending a trusted agent to study the Malbim. This agent spent two months in the Malbim's home and made mental notes of his host's daily schedule, down to the minutest detail. As soon as he had completed his report to the Rebbe upon his return, the Chassidim entered to hear their master's verdict.

"Out!" the Rebbe angrily shouted. "I refuse to even hear one word about the Malbim because I am convinced that he is a kadosh vetahor - a pure and saintly Jew."


At March 5, 2007 at 6:13:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

The yizkor book Sefer Zloczew stated, "The Hassidim of Ger were great opponents to the Malbim z'l and Rabbi Moshe Aharon was in the lead as one of the fiercest."

At March 6, 2007 at 6:06:00 AM EST, Blogger yitz said...

I don't know about anyone else, but the Divrei Chaim, the Munkatcher Rav, and the heilige Rebbe Aharon of Belz are good enough for me. Rabbi Nachman Bulman ZT"L used to learn from and quote the Malbim extensively! I hope the case is closed!!!
The Gerer Chassidim you mention above don't appear to include any of the Gerer Rebbes, BTW.

At May 4, 2008 at 4:00:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The chofetz chaim cherished his chumashim with the malbim's perushim..please, don't tarnish the name of the heilegeh malbim

At April 27, 2011 at 1:57:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It should perhaps be better known that R Avrohom Gurwitz of Gateshead regularly learns Malbim, both by himself and with individual bochurim.
R Avrohom also quotes him extensively in his seforim.


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