Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tish in Toldot Avraham Yitzchak


There is one problem when Shabbat starts later in the summer: The Shabbat meal begins later and one really has to hurry in order to make Kiddush and eat in order to get to a chassidic Tish. Especially when anti - Zionist groups such as the Toldot Avraham Yitzchak or Toldot Aharon don't change their clocks to (Zionist) daylight saving.

First I went with a friend to Rabbi Mordechai Machlis' Shabbatot but we were forced to leave early in order to catch a seat at the Tish of the Toldot Avraham Yitzchak Rebbe Shmuel Yaakov Kahn in Mea Shearim. His Tishes are, besides the Toldot Aharon, the most popular in the Mea Shearim neighbourhood and, unfortunately I have to say, many groups have discovered the Tishing.

We were lucky though that we came on time. The Rebbe had just made HaMozi and gave out his Challah (Shabbat bread) to his Chassidim. Most places at the Ezrat Nashim (women's side at a Synagogue) were still empty but it didn't take too long and a group (a whole seminary class) of modern haredi girls (a Sephardi and Ashkenazi mix) were streaming in and making a noise. Yelling at each other where to sit and the two teachers had enough do to with keeping the teenage girls quiet, as some of the Avraham Yitzchak women had expressed their dislike.
The group sat for about 15 minutes and as soon as the next group walked in, they left.

The second group consisted of national religious girls who were more quiet but had absolutely no idea where they were. They didn't know the name of the group and what a Tish is.
I have to say that the national religious have no idea about haredi life and not even about the Tishes they go to. Actually the girls were interested but their teachers unable to provide information, as they themselves had no clue what was going on.
Fortunately the girls found an Avraham Yitzchak teenage girl and she explained them a little what a Tish is about. The national religious girls even asked her what Yiddish is and why they speak it. What is a chassidic Tish and what does the Rebbe do ?
I expected their usual fight by coming up with the Zionism ideology but those girls didn't It is a real pity that national religious teachers are not able to teach anything about the haredi world. They just gossip but without knowing anything.

The group left after a while and more and more Toldot Avraham Yitzchak women were streaming in and thus filling the place up. At the other side stood a few chassidic women with Tichels (hankies) on their Sheitels (wigs). Maybe from Satmar ? However, they were Americans and visiting Mea Shearim.

Rebbe Shmuel Yaakov was totally uplifted and his Chassidim started singing. I love seeing when the Rebbe waves with his arms or, as last Erev Shabbat, hits with the spoon on the table in accordance with the rhythm of the songs. When he was singing his prayers, all Chassidim were quiet. Not the Avraham Yitzchak women and sometimes it was hearing the Rebbe.

The Rebbitzen walked in and said "Gut Schabbes" to all the guests from New York. It looked like you have to wear a Tichel in order to get a "Hello". Maybe I should wear one the next time.
However, the Rebbitzen was in a great mood and even kissed her guests. I heard that she doesn't speak English but at the Tish she did use a few English expressions.

Never mind the women, I always try concentrating on what the Rebbe and the Chassidim do. At almost every chassidic Tish, a Rebbe is greeting his Chassidim by shaking his hand into their direction. Almost individually by doing so row by row. It is very nice to see this kind of ceremony in the Avraham Yitzchak. Especially when the Chassidim wave back.

Rather early, at 12.45am in the morning, we left. The Toldot Avraham Yitzchak Tish usually runs until late. At least until 2.30am and finishes with the Rebbe and his Chassidim jumping up and down to a certain melody. Nevertheless, we were too tired and I wish I wouldn't work that much during the week and not be so terribly tired on Erev Shabbat.


  1. the best part of the tish are the song before kiddush...u missed it....

  2. B"H

    I like all the songs !:-))))
    Especially when the Rebbe sings and prays.

  3. Especially when anti - Zionist groups such as the Toldot Avraham Yitzchak or Toldot Aharon don't change their clocks to (Zionist) daylight saving.

    Hmmm... I fail to see the connection since everybody starts Shabbat at sunset.