Tuesday, November 8, 2005
Lesser of two....
My friend, blogger --------- (I forgot his name!) wants to know why we cannot along. After all, aren't we cut from the same Russian-Belorussian-Lithuanian cloth? we wear the same clothes, we speak the same language, and we both purport to seek intellectual stimulation, not feeling fulfilled by what the Tzaddik learns and does.
I'll try to be coherent here, but it may take more than one thread.
The truth is that I do have more in common (sometime) with a simple, Temimisdikke Yid, who learns in his free time and knows no חכמות . A man of esteemed lineage who wears extravagant clothing does not garner his respect, the man needs to teach Torah, and work hard at it. When I see the photos of two Rebbes sitting together in a lavishly furnished room with huge silver vessels filled with fruits and cakes, I can puke, sorry. The contrast is when we see 2 of the older generation Litvishe Roshei Yeshivos sitting in a simply-furnished room with Seforim all around. If I were to need to choose who to look up to and emulate the choice would be quite easy.
So this Yeshivishe Yungerman who works for a living and spends his spare time learning, attending Shiurim, and mostly, not attending his Rebbe's einiklech's Chasunah twice a month is worthy of much respect and admiration. This was the case until the recent past, about 30 years ago.
Since then the haters have hijacked the cause. No longer was the way of life to just simply spend your time learning and spreading Torah, albeit to your community only. Somebody decided that their job was to be the policemen of the Jewish World, and to decide who can and cannot speak. They are the true "Torah Jews", only their Rabbonim and Roshei Yeshivah have Daas Torah, everybody else is either "krum" or is just ignored.
The main problem with that is that most Baalei Batim today are products of those Yeshivos and Rabbonim and are exposed to the hate. Many, to their credit, do not soak it up, but many do, especially the "frummer" ones, which is problematic. They are not naturally the zealot type but they cannot help it. Years of hearing it in their shmoozes and at Shiurim have taken their toll. For those who see Lubavitch in action it may lessen the effect but it's still there.
How then am I supposed to love them? Lehavdil, Indians and Pakistanis are also the same people, living in the same country and yet they hate each others' guts. I use them as an extreme example. We have been alienated. I'll admit that Lubavitch has no love lost for "misnagdim" and abuse the term terribly.
To sum it all up:
Gone are the days where the Litvishe Rabbonim like Harav Moshe Feinstein and Harav Y.E. Henkin were the eyes of the community, they were true leaders who let old disagreements die. The Rebbe often differentiated between "Misnagdim" and "Nit-Chassidim", the aforementioned Rabbonim were the latter. Today's leaders of the "Torah Community" are not only of lesser caliber, which can be understood, we all are, but they seem to try and make up for it in other ways. The newspapers decide public policy and decide who's in and who's out. Sort of like one-big Moshe Sherer, z"l.
The general Chassidishe Velt deserves another post, I sometimes feel more distant from them than I do from the Yeshivishe, but that's for another time, hopefully very soon.
I do not write מתוך שנאה but rather to clarify the issue.