I am the grandfather of Yair Hareli aged 12 and am about to tell the story of my roots so that one day he will be able to reflect back and know where he came from.
יאיר וסבא דוד
My family came from Lithuania and their surname was Gaffanowitz. They lived in a small village for many years working in the leather trade.The village consisted of many Jews. The Jewish community was divided between “Mitnagdim” and “Chassidim”. The “Mitnagdim” looked down on the “Chassidim” as inferior Jews and no intermarriage took place between the two communities. My grandfather fell in love with a חסיד girl and wanted to marry her. This caused trouble in both communities, and the parents of both sides did not give their permission. The young couple told their parent that they would run away. Everyone agreed to meet and two Rabbis agreed to the wedding if the first son born would go to the מתנגד synagogue and the second son would go to the חסידי synagogue.
This suggestion was agreed to by all and my grandfather married the Chassidic girl.
There were פוגרומים in Europe and many Jews didn’t have money so they decided to leave Lithuania for the new world. Most of the people in that village were going to South Africa as they heard that it was a rich country and they could live freely and make פרנסה. My father and his father decided to move to South Africa and took a ship from Great Britain to Maputu which is near to South Africa and they hoped that they would get permission to enter South Africa. In Maputu my father and his father started a business buying damaged things from the ships, fixed them and re-sold them. They stayed there for a year or two and in 1914 they crossed over the border into South Africa.
My family had a farm but it didn’t work out. They brought out the rest of the family from Lithuania to South Africa and lived in Johannesburg. My grandfather got very sick and died in 1924. My father and mother got married in 1936. They lived in a small town called Viljoenskroon פוליורנסקרון. I was born on the 16th January 1940 and my sister Gloria (Golda) was born 3 years later.
My parents felt that I should go to a bigger town to learn Hebrew, get a good education and to mix with other Jewish children. In the third year of high school my life changed. I became very interested in תנועת נוער הבונים וציונות. It was at this stage that I made up my mind to make עלייה when I was older.
When I was studying law, my mother died from cancer. I was 21 years old. My father could not live on his own and moved to Johannesburg. I met my wife Marlene and we married in 1966. In 1968 Leanne, Yair’s mother, was born. In 1972 Marc was born/
After I became a lawyer, I had my own law office in Edenvale and succeeded in making enough money to allow me and my family to make עליה to Israel. Things in South Africa were not safe and I decided that this was the right time to leave, while my children were still young and would grow up in Israel. Our friends made as a farewell party מסיבת פרידה at my sisters' hotel in Johannesburg. We made עליה on the 13th February 1977 and went to אולפן בן יהודה. I changed my name to גפן and we have lived in Ramat Poleg for 29 years. My children went to school in Netanya, both served in the Israeli army and have grown up as Israelis. We have got successful children and grandchildren and it “was a dream come true”.
סבא דוד: למדתי איך לשתף פעולה עם נכדי יאיר לאחר שבילינו הרבה שעות יחד. צברתי ידע על מחשבים. גיליתי שיאיר אשף במחשבים. למדתי שהקשר בין סבא לנכד הוא הרבה יותר מיוחד מאשר אבא וילדיו. הייתה לי זכות גדולה להשתתף בתכנית הקשר הרב דורי.
הנכד יאיר: למדתי על משפחתי ועץ המשפחה של סבי מצד אמי. למדתי מהיכן הגיעה משפחתי הגדולה והמורחבת מהארצות השונות. נהניתי לעבוד ביחד עם סבי על העבודה ולהכיר אותו יותר מקרוב.
אנשים המתנגדים לחסידים.
ההתנגדות לתנועת החסידות היא מחלוקת שהתעוררה ביהדות במחצית השנייה של המאה ה-18, עם עלייתה של תנועת החסידות, ועיקרה בדור השני של החסידות. מחלוקת זו, שבמידה מסוימת נותרה עד היום, הובילה לחלוקה בין חסידים למתנגדים (ידועים בימינו כ"ליטאים"). המאבק של הקהילה היהודית הממוסדת בחסידות כלל חרמות ורדיפות, ולעיתים אף מסירה לשלטונות. שיאו בשלושה פולמוסים בולטים בין השנים 1770–1805. (ויקיפדיה)