Dear Rabbi Dr. Yitzchok Aharon Korff:
First, may I express my condolences on the death of your beloved uncle, Rabbi Baruch Korff,
I knew your uncle personally, and also know some of the women in Providence that he knew, and followed his career with interest.
I was touched by one quality of Rabbi Baruch Korff, the midoh of tzni’us, . If one thing could be said about him, it was that he never sought the spotlight. He always was reticent, avoiding publicity. Was it his fault that world leaders like Sadat and Nixon sought him out? Was it at his invitation that a photographer from the Providence Journal was present when he blessed Senator Orrin Hatch, a blessing seen by thousands on the pages of the Providence Journal? (You must have seen the picture—it had a Rembrandt-like quality, don’t you think? Jacob Blessing Joseph’s Sons.)
I am struck by how you yourself have incorporated the quality of tzni’us, learned, no doubt, from your late uncle. Never do you use the pages of your own newspaper for self-aggrandizement or self-promotion. Nor do you use the Advocate for the propagation of your own movement and religious organization.
By now, you must have figured out that I, too, am a descendant of a
Zhviller dynasty. Many members of my family—my father, uncles, grandmother,
cousins, are buried in the Zhviller (spelled Zviller) Cemetery
in West Roxbury. Their only sadness comes from knowing that their rebbe
is buried north, in Everett. I come from a long line of merchants, doctors,
pharmacists, revolutionaries, artists, interior decorators, writers, and
even advocates. We, too date back to the days of the Baal Shem Tov.
It is said that my ancestor, Reb Avroom Mayshe of Troyes, was a
dry cleaner to the great sage, Rashi. We have much in common.
Let me close with an idea and a suggestion that I pass on to you, free of charge. Have you thought of having some Zhviller T-shirts made up. On the front would be a likeness of yourself, the Zhviller Rebbe, and on the back, the logo could read “It’s a killer to be a Zhviller.” Please let me know what you think. If you do promote the T-shirts, I would appreciate it if you would send me one, size XL.
Reb Yechiel Michl Ingall
(formerly) Professor Dr. Michael Ingall
(formerly) Michael A. Ingall, M.D.
(formerly) Michael Ingall
P.S. Please cancel my subscription to the Jewish Advocate