Picture at my father's wedding November 13, 1958. From left to right my grandfather's best friend, the Chassidic head, Rebbe of the Radziner Chassidim a sect of Chassidim, Rabbi Yerucham Leiner shaking my grandfather's hand; A member of the Rebbe's family; My father Rabbi Myer Asper/Aspes; Moshe Aspes, my father's oldest brother; Their father my grandfather Rabbi Yitzchak Yerachmiel Aspes; Rabbi Aaron Yehudah Arak, my mother's mother's brother, they were children of Hinda Renke Arak sister of a famous rabbi in their old country Rabbi Meir Arak; Pinchas Asper/Aspes, my father's next older brother; And lastly but not leastly my father's Rabbinical Teacher.
Since my background is Eastern European Jewish I decided I should start off posting on my heritage so I will. I am first generation American. My mother's natural side of her family was from the Austro-Hungarian Empire and her stepfather was a Chassidic Jew originally from Poland who a widower who married my grandmother who was widowed by the Holocaust.
My mother a hidden child in the Holocaust and her mother a survivor came to the States from Belgium. My father's side of the family came from Lodz, Poland. His father was born in London, England to parents who came from Poland and returned with him to there where he eventually married my grandmother who was born and raised in Lodz, Poland like his parents. Her family was in the textile business and so she knew Polish from having to deal with the customers. My father's parents were Chassidim from generations of Chassidim whereas my mother was not though on her side I had and have relatives who were and are Chassidim including those who are from Chassidic Rabbinical dynasties that led them.
My father born in London, grew up in Bnei Brak, Israel a place where Eastern European Jewish culture was replanted and later in the States where he moved to going with his mother and oldest brother and joining up with his father and his other older brother in the Boro Park section of Brooklyn he again was where Eastern European Jewish culture was replanted. He met my mother there as that is where she grew up on moving to the States. I picked up from my background a deep appreciation of spirituality and sensitivity expressed partly through music.
Chassidism is a pietistic movement that arose in Eastern Europe in the early 1700s. It emphasizes that one can have an immediate attachment to God no matter what their intellectual and educational state. God is right there immanent in everything and so there is holiness hidden everywhere that need only be brought out. Here are some examples of Chassidic music. If I haven't shown enough blame it on Youtube. Only kidding, Youtube.
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