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Brooklyn, NY - Who Will Fill the Shoes of Boruch from Crown Heights?

Published on: September 16, 2008 07:44 PM
By: Haaretz
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Kievman Shoe Store Closing after 23 Years. Photo Credit: Crownheights.infoBrooklyn, NY - Boruch Kievman still can’t believe the media storm that has descended on him since rumors hatched that the legendary late Lubavitcher rebbe used to shop at the legendary, nameless shoe store Kievman manages in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood.

Today he stood at the entrance to the store, a sheepish smile across his face, and denied he was responsible for spreading the story that Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson frequented the shop, which is closing after over 80 years.

Kievman, 65, is a former Israeli, and along with his wife has been running the shop for 23 years. He says its clientele represents the area in which it is situated.

“Our clients are Lubavitch Hasidim and black people,” he says.

The store’s address has also won it a certain reputation. It sits just across the street from 770 Eastern Parkway, Chabad’s world headquarters, where the rebbe himself presided, from 1950 until his death in 1994.

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Kievman and his wife recently decided to retire from the shoe business, and held a clearance sale for all the remaining items in the store.

At the peak of the sale, one of the Chabad Web sites published an announcement claiming that the rebbe himself was wont to shop at the store.

“The rebbe never came to my store, and whoever spread that rumor didn’t hear it from me,” Kievman says. “Only one who doesn’t understand the greatness and sanctity of the rebbe, and isn’t familiar with his modest, ascetic way of life would believe a story about him coming to buy himself shoes.”

The affair raised a firestorm in the neighborhood. Some, however, have to view it as reflective of the community’s abiding yearning for the late rebbe.

One stream of Chabad faithful views the rebbe as the Messiah himself, and continues to anticipate his imminent return.

“The month of Elul raises an air of longing for the presence of the rebbe, who at this time of year was at the peak of his spiritual activity,” said an elderly Hasid emerging from morning prayer at a neighborhood synagogue.

“What may have happened,” Kievman responds, “is that one of the rebbe’s secretaries visited the store and bought a pair of shoes intended for the rebbe.”

But even that version is not acceptable to Kievman. “The most comfortable shoe is an old shoe,” he says.

A Chabad representative who was close to the rebbe said today, “For 30 years, the rebbe wore old shoes with soles full of holes. Only at age 87, two years before he fell ill, was he bought new shoes.”

Meanwhile, sales at the shop have reached the heavens.

But Kievman says the rush has nothing to do with the rebbe, and everything to do with clearance prices.



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Read Comments (25)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Sep 16, 2008 at 07:59 PM mccain palin 08 Says:

that's a nice story

2

 Sep 16, 2008 at 08:44 PM Anonymous Says:

The Rebbe never changed his hat as well.

3

 Sep 16, 2008 at 10:13 PM chabadnik Says:

Bencraft claims he sold the reebe his hats soooo we buy our hats there ps the rebbe loved and davened for All of klall yisroel yochid and klall maybe we should do that to???? A kisiva vchasima tovah leshana tovah umisukah bdevorim haniglah vnistar.

4

 Sep 16, 2008 at 10:58 PM Oy Gevald Says:

No one wants to lay claim to selling the Rebbe his smashed up hats. Hence the claim that he bought it once or twice etc.

5

 Sep 16, 2008 at 10:57 PM Anonymous Says:

Was this Kievman a Rebbe in Beis Lubavitch Talmud Torah in London in the sixties & maybe early seventies B4 emigrating to USA?

6

 Sep 16, 2008 at 11:51 PM Boruch Says:

Oy Gevald - 10:58 PM:
Please refrain from posting comments until you turn 18.

7

 Sep 17, 2008 at 12:39 AM Lock & Load Says:

You People..
STOP!!!!

8

 Sep 17, 2008 at 05:47 AM Anonymous Says:

i belive this is the same kievman from england

9

 Sep 17, 2008 at 02:50 AM berl Says:

Its was the Rebbe's double, the same one the muschaschistim claim they see at kiddush Levono and walking between the shuros at mincha, the same one they see so that they can claim that the Rebbe ZT"L ZY"A is still alive

10

 Sep 17, 2008 at 01:37 AM anonymous Says:

we have stopped, oh mighty lock & load..
You have instilled fear into our hearts with your gun toting ways..

11

 Sep 17, 2008 at 08:18 AM Mendel Says:

The rebbi never used soap

12

 Sep 17, 2008 at 08:41 AM charne Says:

who got the rebbes cloting???

13

 Sep 17, 2008 at 08:48 AM yiddishe mame Says:

to mendel 8:18 a..m.

You dont know what you are talking about. If you did you , you would not write that comment. Thats called chutzpah. People make up stuff and you believe it. You have no close connections to say that anyway.

The fact that the Rebbe wore old shoes is true though.
The Rebbe was on a higher level b'gashmius and of course B'ruchnius.
a gutte yur!

14

 Sep 17, 2008 at 08:47 AM not a jelous litvak Says:

its amazing how in elul people can be making fun. act like adults GOD knows who you are and what you are typing and who you are. we may not be able to know, but he does. a little bit of kovod to a gadol and tzaddik. ksiva vachasima tova

15

 Sep 17, 2008 at 09:56 AM Anonymous Says:

yiddishe mame Says:
to mendel 8:18 a..m. RE: the rebbi never used soap....The Red kretchme pizza guy claims and spreads that soap news

16

 Sep 17, 2008 at 10:18 AM Anonymous Says:

From the original article:

A Chabad representative who was close to the rebbe said today, “For 30 years, the rebbe wore old shoes with soles full of holes."

So even the Rebbe's ZTZ"l shoes were holy!

18

 Sep 17, 2008 at 11:34 AM Crown Heights guy Says:

About the soap: Your bringing a reia from the red pizza guy? He must have been drunk when he said that .The kretchma guy is sublime almost never sober. dont bring me stuff that he said

19

 Sep 17, 2008 at 11:45 AM Anonymous Says:

a wonderful person who is part of the lubavitch community is closing because they would rather shop in department stores. thiis is a man who is a bal chesed who helped anyone needing shoes yet when it came to him they shop in borogh park flatbush or manhatten shame on you crown hights

20

 Sep 17, 2008 at 12:57 PM Esther Liba Says:

I agree its a shame on CH that this shoe store has to close because we rather support the department stores then a heimish jew a special jew.. Regarding the soap issue I just want to say ..That the rebbi did use soap and the moshichisten idiots are behind the soap and they will also testify that they saw the rebbi walking on Kingston this morning

21

 Sep 17, 2008 at 01:23 PM Malka Says:

The moshisten will also tell you that the rebbi walks on water, walks on air. never used soap or better never took a shower or bath..All these unemployed Zefat moshicisten idiot get out of town CH does not want you anymore. Your a liability for the nrmal chabads

22

 Sep 17, 2008 at 04:21 PM Lock & Load Says:

anonymous Says:
we have stopped, oh mighty lock & load..
You have instilled fear into our hearts with your gun toting ways..
09-17-2008 - 1:37 AM
-------------------------
Well some one has to put some Fear into
You People...
Lock & Load

23

 Sep 17, 2008 at 05:07 PM Anonymous Says:

i heard that the Rebbe bought a new hat for pesach every year...he said that he was in the Rebbe's house and there were a great number of old hats visible. The likely reason why the Rebbe's hat was in such a condition is that the Rebbe never used an umbrella, on account that rain is a simon brocha.

24

 Sep 17, 2008 at 11:40 PM Anonymous Says:

Your a liability for the nrmal chabads

The corect word is You're not your.

25

 Sep 17, 2008 at 11:37 PM Anonymous Says:

Anonymous Says:
i heard that the Rebbe bought a new hat for pesach every year...he said that he was in the Rebbe's house and there were a great number of old hats visible. The likely reason why the Rebbe's hat was in such a condition is that the Rebbe never used an umbrella, on account that rain is a simon brocha.
09-17-2008 - 5:07 PM


Was it raining on Kingston Avenue this morning?

26

 Sep 18, 2008 at 01:59 AM Anonymous Says:

charne:
the rebbe's clothes belong to Aguch as i recall. chasanim by 770 generally wear the Rebbe's kapote by the chupah, and some wear the Rebbe's shirt, shleikes, and possibly other items.

27

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