Legendary Chassidic Rebbe Admits: The Noda BiYehudah Was Correct In His Opposition to Lisheim Yichud – אדמו”ר הדברי חיים מצאנז מודה: הנודע ביהודה צדק בהתנגדותו לאמירת לשם יחוד

We are now in the period of sefira, when ספירת העומר is recited nightly. Before the actual counting of sefira some recite לשם יחוד קוב”ה וכו, which many others deliberately omit, which sort of puts Lisheim Yichud in the spotlight in Shul.

Additionally, today, כ”ה ניסן, is the yahrzeit of the legendary דברי חיים, the Sanzer Rebbe, progenitor of many Chassidic Rebbes, dynasties and individuals.

So it is a good time to discuss the unique stance in the Chasidic world that the Divrei Chaim held, in terms of lisheim yichud (as well as other matters).

As is well known, the question of whether to say lisheim yichud before a mitzvoh is an old machlokes, with various גדולי אשכנז, most prominently the towering Rav of Prague, R. Yechezkel Landau, known as the נודע ביהודה, opposing the practice (שו”ת נודע ביהודה מהדו”ק יו”ד סימן צ”ג as well as מהדו”ת או”ח סימן ק”ז), and, מאידך גיסא, Chasidim supporting and saying it.

However, what is less well known, is that the Divrei Chaim, despite being a great Chasidic leader, actually said that the Noda BiYehuda was correct in the matter (as stated in שו”ת דברי יציב או”ח סימן ס”ה, in the last sentence on the linked page, as per commenter below), and, based on that, his followers do not say lisheim yichud before sefira (although they do say הנני מכון או הנני מוכן ומזומן וכו). That is the minhag to this day in Sanzer Chasidic circles, such as the large Chasidic dynasties of Sanz, Bobov, Klausenberg, etc.

Interestingly, we even have a report of a specific verbal formulation the Divrei Chaim used to express this iconoclastic (among Chasidim) opinion of his, supporting the Noda BiYehuda. The Klausenberger Rebbe, R. Y.Y. Halberstam, the דברי יציב, reported that he heard that from his father, that the Divrei Chaim remarked in Yiddish ‘Reb Chatzkele iz gerecht geven’ (R. Yechezkel Landau was correct – in his stance against lisheim yichud recitation). That was related (43:10-) in a shiur some months ago given by Rav Asher Weiss, a prominent Rav, who is the poseik of Shaarei Zedek hospital in Eretz Yisroel.

May we be zoche to be מודה על האמת if we err, and reach the proper conclusions in תורה ויראת שמים.

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3 Responses to “Legendary Chassidic Rebbe Admits: The Noda BiYehudah Was Correct In His Opposition to Lisheim Yichud – אדמו”ר הדברי חיים מצאנז מודה: הנודע ביהודה צדק בהתנגדותו לאמירת לשם יחוד”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I don’t think you need Rav Asher Weiss to substantiate this. The Klausenberger wrotes this himself in the דברי יציב חלק א סימן סה.

    http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=15079&st=&pgnum=145

    See as here as well

    https://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/835875/rabbi-isaac-rice/lshem-yichud-the-noda-byehudah-turns-sinners-into-chasidim/

  2. Treasures of Ashkenaz Says:

    Thank you for the comment.

    Re your first link from דברי יציב, actually I was looking for that when preparing the post, but had trouble locating it. Perhaps I should add it to the above text now.

    Yes, it is true that the general information is not new, but it is not so well known to the general public, so I thought it worthwhile of additional attention.

    For me, what I gained from R. Asher Weiss (in addition to his general very informative shiur – although I have issues with some things he said in it, including his taking a different position than the דברי חיים and the דברי יציב ultimately), was his reporting of the actual language, or actual quote (or close to it presumably/hopefully) in Yiddish that the Divrei Chaim used in expressing his concurrence with the נודע ביהודה. Hearing that actual quote passed down from perhaps 150 or more years ago is powerful, and makes it more real. Makes you feel like you were there in a way.

    • Treasures of Ashkenaz Says:

      Another thing I wanted to bring to people’s attention was that it is not just an interesting historical tidbit about a famous Rebbe from over a century ago, but that it is something that is alive and well in practice now, למעשה, affecting the הנהגה of a large and influential segment of the Chasidic world to this very day.

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