Successors of Vizhnitzer Rebbe of Monsey Ask that Their Pictures Not Be Taken Or Published

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The eight new Vizhnitz-Monsey Rebbes have issued a statement expressing their wish to follow in the ways of their father, the previous Vizhnitzer Rebbe of Monsey, Rav Mordechai (Mottel) Hager zt”l, who recently passed away, requesting that people not take photos of them or publish pictures of them in newspapers and elsewhere. Rav Mottel was adamant about his picture not being taken or published.

The Vizhnitzer Rebbe of Monsey, who was 95, led his large chassidus from his home in Kaser Village in Monsey, NY, adjacent to the large Vizhnitzer Bais Medrash. The rebbe was born in 1922, a son of the fourth rebbe of Vizhnitz, Rav Chaim Meir Hager, the Imrei Chaim.

The rebbe raised 14 children, 8 sons and 6 daughters.

His son, Rav Pinchos Shalom Hager zt”l, Viznitzer Rov in Borough Park, passed away during his father’s lifetime, and was succeeded by his son.

The eight successors of the Rebbe are Rav Yisroel Hager, Rebbe of Vizhnitz Monsey; Rav Menachem Mendel Hager, Rebbe of Vizhnitz Kiamesha Lake; Rav Yitzchok Yochonon Hager, Rebbe of Vizhnitz Williamsburg; Rav Eliezer Zev Hager, Rebbe of Vizhnitz Yerushalayim; Rav Dovid Hager, Rebbe of Vizhnitz London; Rav Aharon Hager, Rebbe of Vizhnitz Montreal; Rav Boruch Shamshon Hager, Rebbe of Vizhnitz Beit Shemesh; and Rav Yaakov Yosef Hager (son of Rav Pinchos Shalom Hager zt”l), Rebbe of Vizhnitz Borough Park. They have all asked for their pictures not to be taken or published.

{CB Frommer-Matzav.com Newscenter}

10 COMMENTS

  1. Excellent. I wish this was the policy of all Rabbanim, Rebbes, & Rosh Yeshivos. All this in your face picture taking has gotten completely out of control. It has become a total lack of Kavod Hatorah r”l. It is also a total lack of kavod habrios. Not every krechtz, frown, laugh, etc… has to be publicized for the entire world to see. Aren’t the Talmidei Chachomim aloud some privacy? Some tznius? Where is the common basic derech eretz?!

    • The Navi Yeshaya says, והיו עיניך ראות את מוריך Your eyes should see your teachers and Rabbis. If you don’t see them physically, at least you should look at their photos to be able to constantly have a picture of your mentors in your mind.
      Yosef Hatzaddik visualized the image of his father Yaakov Avinu at a crucial moment of his test.

      • While, according to the Shitos that pictures of people are permitted and thus there certainly is a good need for pictures of Gedolay Torah, at the same time, Mr. Finally is 1,000% correct that the picture taking has gone way, way, way overboard from what is appropriate and (using his words) “completely out of control.” Getting shots of every single move and facial expression of someone is obviously very much not respectful – very much not Kavod HaBriyos and thus certainly not Kavod HaTorah.

  2. While your points ( to commentators 1 and 2) are legitimate , what better way to decorate our homes and classrooms than with these pictures? Let our children see the hadras panim and aspire to their greatness. Of course, like everything else, it needs to be done with balance. If a specific gadol makes a request though, we must honor it.

    • (Mrs. Malky: I am giving you here the same reply I said above to Mr. Anonymous)

      While, according to the Shitos that pictures of people are permitted and thus there certainly is a good need for pictures of Gedolay Torah, at the same time, Mr. Finally is 1,000% correct that the picture taking has gone way, way, way overboard from what is appropriate and (using his words) “completely out of control.” Getting shots of every single move and facial expression of someone is obviously very much not respectful – very much not Kavod HaBriyos and thus certainly not Kavod HaTorah.

  3. Well, Finally, post #1, what will all the magazines then do? Our seforim shelves will have to refilled anew with the seforim we removed to make room each week for all those papers and magazines! Oy, a bruch!

  4. The chacham Tzvi was also adamant about not having his ( painted) picture plastered everywhere. The point is we should focus on H”Bh…and not Tzadiqim. For the same reason Moshe is not mentioned in the Hagada.

    • Excellent observation. I further heard that this is one of the reasons why Hashem would absolutely not allow Moshe Rabaynu to lead Klall Yisroel into Eretz Yisroel [or to even just enter Eretz Yisroel (not being a leader) in any way or form at all]: that if Moshe Rabaynu would have continued living on and on and on, the people would have, begun to think that he was some kind of “god.” This is also one of the reasons why no person is allowed to know where he is buried, for if people knew, they would become excessively obsessed with such a shrine and thus, Chas V’Shalom, make him into an idol that they would worship.

      Even according to the Shitos that pictures of people are permitted, it is still obvious that when we look at a picture of a Gadol B’Torah, we must look at it no differently than the way we look at pictures of other scenery. When we look at (for example) a picture of a beautiful mountain or a beautiful lake or a beautiful tree or a beautiful flower or a beautiful butterfly or a beautiful deer, we keenly realize that ALL of these things are CREATIONS of G-D, and we thus feel and express more intensive praise of Him for creating these things. So too when we look at a picture of a Gadol — and, of course, ANY human being, and certainly a Gador B’Torah, is an infinitely higher level of a creation than mountains and plants and animals — we must keenly remember that he is merely a CREATION of G-D, but he is obviously NOT, (Chas V’Shalom) in any way or form G-D Himself!!!!!!!!!!!! And we must not only “remember” this, we must also “ACT” in that way that shows our keen realization of this.

    • (Continuation of previous remarks)

      Furthermore, please see the commentary of Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch, ZT’L, at the beginning of the second Aliya of Parshas Va’eira (Exodus, chapter 6, verse 14). He explains there that the reason why the Torah interrupts the narrative of Hashem’s instructions to Moshe Rabaynu regarding his mission to Pharaoh, and (in that interruption) gives a detailed genealogical table of the beginning of the descendents of our ancestor Jacob up to Aharon and Moshe, is this point. For now, the mission of Moshe to Pharaoh (wherein Pharaoh & Mitzraiyim will be severely punished and forced to allow Am Yisroel to leave) is going to have brilliant astounding success. So there was the inclination to, Chas V’Shalom, begin to think that Moshe was some kind of “god.” Therefore, the Torah interrupts the narrative with the genealogical information of Moshe’s family to glaringly stress that he was NOT any kind of “god”!! Instead, he was a regular human being, who was physically born from his father and his mother, just like you and me!

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