Monday, 10 January 2011

Reb Volf and Art

Reb Volf was a baal chush in general and noticeably in art.

  • Anyone who studied in Montreal will remember him coming into yeshiva the night before the Lag b'omer parades to help prepare banners for the children to hold. He would draw beautiful letters in freehand and it was the only time you would see him in yeshiva without all his levushim.
  • One of his einiklach showed me some pictures he drew for them when they were kids, he seemed to like drawing pictures that included fish.
  • He was once showing me some seforim in his house and he had drawn a really beautiful design in the inside cover that included his name.
  • In a letter he once wrote to me he wrote a very elaborate b'h, not dissimilar to the way the Rebbe Rashab would write it.
If you have any other memories relating to Reb Volf and art please share in the comments.

Thursday, 6 January 2011


Reb Volf once told me the following story:

In the early years in Montreal there was a young man who helped with the development of Merkos and collecting maamad etc. When he became a choson he wanted the Rebbe (before the nesius) to be mesader kiddushin but the Rebbe declined. Reb Volf was concerned that this person would feel hurt and it may affect his future involvement in askonus for Lubavitch so he called the Rebbe and tried to explain why it would be a good idea to be mesader kiddushin. The Rebbe responded:

מיט הפחדות שרעק'ן מיר נישט און מיט חניפות נעמען מיר נישט איין איך האב געזאגט איך קען נישט קומען

And hung up the phone.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

"Where there's a will, there's a way"!

A letter the Rebbe sent to Reb Volf (and others).
To note that the letters at the bottom "חי"ק", were written by the Rebbe himself.
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מהורמ"ז שי'

Here the Rebbe writes to Reb Volf Greenglass regarding a notice sent to be printed in "HaChover" which was published in Montreal in the 1940's.
Printed in "Nelcha Beorchosov".
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Sunday, 2 January 2011

2 Cheshvan, 5702

This is the letter the Frierdike Rebbe sent each of his nine Shluchim upon their arrival in Montreal.
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Reb Volf and Neginah

Anyone who learnt in Montreal will remember how Reb Volf would be medayek in the singing of nigunim, often quoting the vort, that if you don't have a chush in neginah you can't have a chush in Chassidus, he would explain that it doesn't mean you have to have a good voice (which he didn't have) but the ability to differentiate the notes and understand the nigun. He had a repertoire of niggunim that are not usually sung anywhere else as well as original compositions of his own, the most famous of which was affectionately known as 'The Quebec'er Nigun'.

At the farbrengen of Lag B'omer 5711 the Rebbe motioned to Reb Volf and said to him 'Nu, du bist doch a baal menagen, zing a nigun.'

When I was in yeshiva I would hear rumours that Reb Volf played the violin and in the olden days would actually play at farbrengens. I was curious so I decided to ask him about it. Since he was known to to try and keep things private I can't be sure that what he told me was the whole truth, however, this is what he said. For reasons he didn't wish to share he was advised to learn music as a form of therapy so he took lessons in the violin, the lessons lasted for about 7 months after which he gave it up as he felt he didn't have the time, he said that his teacher felt that he learnt in 7 months what others would take years to grasp (the only time I had ever felt he was bragging) but since then he has never played.

If anyone has zichronos relating to neginah please share in the comments.