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.

46 comments:

onAhgartel said...

Listen brother,
It's easy to blame the 'other' side,everything was rosy till 30 years ago,BUT, see,Lubavitch was also very different till about that time!!!!
It's only since a lot of meshugasen started and got worse and worse AND for some reason the Rebbe started pushing an agenda of Lubavitcher should only go to Lubavitcher yeshivas,WHICH caused the REGULAR oilem to be totally cut off from regular,normal Chabadskers.When I attended yeshiva in Litvisheh yeshivas 20 years ago there were quite a few Chabadskers.some were very good learners, some were bums.Now my kids have no shaychus to any Lubavitcher, besides THE crazy Meshichisten seen roaming the streets, screaming yechi etc.The only impressions they have of them are of a bunch of ignorant crazies.Do you blame them for thinking Chabadskers are crazy?
Lets have honest replies

Hirshel Tzig said...

1) True they were different, but the hate was there way before. Even 40-45 years in a certain Litvishe Yeshivah.

zezmir said...

HT,
As Berl said, you worry too much about the "Ma yomru hagoyim." This is the way of the world - whenever someone does something, there will be opposition. You should really not hate these people though, as surely you know the Alter Rebbe was the one that wouldn't let the Misnagdim fun amol to be put in cheirim by the Talmidei Hamaggid.
Zeh Leumas Zeh asah Elokim - we need them too, as they used to say "adank di Nodah Beyehuda mir Haben de Baal Shem Tov (Un Al-derech-zeh, Hagaon MiVilna un der Maggid)

Hirshel Tzig said...

2) The fact that there are loonies running around giving Lubavitch a bad name is a reason to laugh, not to hate.

WHAT?! said...

HT,
Even you should be smarter than to say something as stupid as your #2.
If Yiddisheit is important, you should be able to understand that it would be a problem if a movement produces a significant amount of people who are so far out of the "normal" range of Torah Jewry.

n said...

dear what, i must defend my brother ht...what do you mean 'so far out of normal jewish range' please list your perceived percentages and list the corollary deviant behavior...

Hirshel Tzig said...

I guess then we should drop Judaism completely, r"l, after all it's produced:

1) Reform
2) Conservative
3) Reconstructionists
4) Shabtai Tzvi
5) Jacob Frank
6) Zionism
7) Kaballah (a.k.a. Philip Berg)
8) Progressive Judaism
9) Michael Lerner

you get my point...

AMSHINOVER said...

see http://amshinover.blogspot.com/2005/11/no-words.html

What?! said...

N,
Let's start with Moshiachism, and we can go on from there.
HT,
I understand your point, but you are an apoligist. Seriously, if someone cares about Torah they will avoid groups that deviate from the norm. Just face the facts, you guys deviate from normative Judaism.

Hirshel Tzig said...

Amshi
I wouldn't mind as much if you toned down your posts.

what?! said...

N,
So that this does not become all about Moshiachistin, let me just ask you if you ever noticed that Lubavitch does EVERYTHING differently from the rest of Klal Yisroel.

avremel said...

what?!:
Minhogei Chabad are יסודתם בהררי קודש and are probably the most Meduyak. So let's not go there.

geveyr said...

Avremel:I'm just trying to give you a hint when debating.Don't use 'circular logic' Your previous post is a good example.You first make a statement that minhogei chabad are 'yesodom beharorei kodesh' and are the most accurate.But see the guy you were responding to is not going to accept that.(and why should he, since you as Lubab are obviously goint to say that their minhogim are the most accurate)In a debate try to use accepted facts or bring supporting evidence, not your paretisan views, since than we will not get a diologue

n said...

Dear what?
The onus is on you;
1) you:lubavitch is outside the normal range of judiasm
2) me: please define.
3) you: mechichistin, don't want to go there and you ask me to tell you how abnormal lubavitch is.
4) I disagree with your premise and again i request your perceived data..what percentage of lubavitch is doing what non jewish or deviant act?

avremel said...

Geveyr
Any person worth his salt who has learned about Jewish history would know that Minhogei Chabad and Nusach Chabad come from the Alter Rebbe who worked for years to establish those Minhogim. They are no less important than Minhogei HaGr"O or Minhogei Sanz. Saying that Chabad is strange because they do things differently is childish and simplistic.

Kurenitzer said...

The reasons for dislike among various factions in the Orthodox world are multi facted and I doubt this forum is the correct place to discuss them in depth which they require.
No side is innocent. The 4 groups in present day Orthodoxy MO, Yeshiva, Chassidic and Chabad share equal guilt.The only group willing to hear out others is the MO community they have Chabad rabbis working for them other rebbes like rav Asher Weiss who gives shiourim Teancek and also support Yeshivas like Lakewood. the other 3 groups are completely insular.
I grew up in a community of Chabad and MO Jews. The Chabad people mocked YU and Stern College.. Laughed at RIETS called the rosh yeshiva of RIETS - "JB" publically and I could go on and on. Other rebbes were called bepumbi a Gutte Yid they could not even be accorded their title of rebbe and this is in the 1950's when there were many erliche "gutte Yiden" from the old school.Although I was not completely MO myself , I felt the scorn with which Chabad looked at the Young Israel movement , YU, Zionism (Mizrachi) the local MO shuls etc.They even scorned Israel as just an incidental manifestation in Jewish life in the 1950's.
They saw the local MO people as sources of recruits (which they failed )and money but accorded them NO SPIRITUAL DIGNITY in the words of Norman Lamm.
The typical Lubavitch fable was that "JB" spoke at his yarzeit shiurim for 5 hours and the Rebbe hot farentfert all his kashes in 5 minutes.
So rabbosai hob nit faribel af mir but before you lambast the other sectors in the Orthodox community look at yourselves Keshot Atzmecho in the classical Jewish manner- not assign fault to others.
Try searching the political and social philosophy of your movement for the answers. Its not the theology of Chabad that is the issue its in the realm of the psychological, political and sociological.
I do not hate Chabad, I recognize their good work in day schools , college campus, publications , bringing Judaism in the streets etc etc. They deserve the full credit for the BT movement and for thier work overseas in North Africa and the other countries of the 3rd world.
The rebbe was the greatest Jewish political leader of the post World War 2 era in the Golah. He cared for Israel and the continuity of the Jewish people and religion.
Yet other groups exist and function and each one has areas where they by far excell Chabad eg Learning (Yeshiva world), Messorah (yes the Chassidim in technicolored robes) , Torah Im Derech Eretz (yes your doctors with kippot come from YU)etc.

Hirshel Tzig said...

Kurenitzer

Re:Rabbi Soloveitchik

Chabad was the only group who gave him any credence inside the Charedi world, including the Rebbe himself and the Frierdige Rebbe. "JB" was used in Litvishe and Chasidishe circles, at least in my days.

re: ModernOrthodox/RIETS

In your days there was still the old mentality, so don't use that as a measuring stick, today there are shiurei Tanya in YU. Chabad, many would say today, is the one Charedi group that does not demonize the MO's.

Let's not forget David Beger, he's a YU grad and no friend of Chabad.

What?! said...

N,
Let's first define the deviate - I define it is out of the norm.

The simple truth is that Lubavitch has it's own way to do everything (And I question HT's statement that every Chabad Hanhoga is from the Baal HaTanya).

To name a few off the top of my head:
Nusach Hatefiloh is different than everyone in hundreds of ways - not just a couple changes here or there, as well as the Seder of Mah Nishtana.
No Shalosh Seudos on Shabbos.
Where to put a Mezuzah.
Mode of dress - you can spot a Lubavitcher from miles away.
A common phenomena of abnormal and problematic Messianic beliefs.
Different Shita in Mikva.
Different Shita in the calendar for a Nidda.
Eating before Davening.
Never before heard of Mesoros / History.

If I think about it I can probably come up with many more.
The point is that it really is outside Nomative Judaism. I don't hate Lubavitch, and that's not my point - I just don't understand all the outrage if we don't think you're right.

Farblonjet said...

So Tzig.......
All the blame on the 'menagdims' side,eh?
Grow up child, it takes two for tango.
Kurenitzer:While the Rebbe will go down in history as one of the most influential Jewish leaders in the post World War generation, he will also go down as a person whose many followers pushed an agenda of him being 'alive, forever and ever' the (second coming)Messiah and a (almost at the very least)a deity.Not seen since Shabtai Tzvi.
The time has come to understand this two pronged legacy:A leader of the baal teshuva movement and at least in the eyes of many a leader of a bizarre cult.While I understand that it may be a distortion of his followers we know from the world of business that the CEO i.e the rebbe takes credit and blame.Is it fair to ascribe to him all the sucesses OF THE movement with no blame??

farblonjet said...

What,
Many Lubavitcher minhagim do come from the Ba'al Hatanya, unfortunately many of the newer ones do not.sleeping in the sukka, shalosh seudos, lechatchila on bread, not eating before davening are all clearly NOT from the Ba'al Hatanya, since he explicitly rules against them in his shulchon Oruch Harav.
One of the stranger so called 'minhogim' is fressing before davening.Why?Well the Lubab, came up with a good halachik excuse:It's brought down in halochah that a sick person who cannot wait to daven is allowed to eat before davening it is also brought down that somebody who is very hungry has the din of 'choleh',so, eureka!!!since in chabad they daven so late(I beleive the standard time in the rebbes minyan was 10 weekday and 10:30 shabbos)every one is very hungry!!Brilliant, no?Well........not at all. Why can't you daven earlier and than people won't be hungry?Because you need to study chassidus for a long time before davening to be in the correct 'frame of mind'.Wonderful!!So get up an hour earlier, like many other chasidim do in what is known as 'far toogs" and than you will a)follow proper halocho b)be able to learn before tefilla.
All this is besides the fact that many Lubab learn nothing before davening, but still fress and daven very late and the whole premise that you can have a wholesale heter of calling a whole tzibbur 'cholim'
so much for the New MINHOGIM (osiyos gehinom)

avremel said...

Farblonjet
you're no better, you place all blame on Lubavitch/Rebbe.

Hirshel Tzig said...

Readers:
the poster Farblonjet is the poster child for hot-blooded Misnagdim who think that Lubavitchers have horns. He has no knowledge of Chabad, the AR, The Rabbeyim, and therefore yakks like a 10 year-old.

zezmir said...

Listen guys,
There are a couple essential points that get in the way here:
1. Acceptance of the legitimacy of Chassidus.
2. Acceptance of the legitimacy of the Chabad Derech.
3. Acceptance of the legitimacy of the subsequent nesiei Chabad.

If there are arguments about these points than mer redden nisht tzunoif. End of story.

zezmir said...

And BTW, based on "What?!'s" standards, the GR"A himself was quite devient from normative Judaism,

Anonymous said...

Zezmir
who are you to decide? the Gedolei Yisroel said differently.

zezmir said...

Anon,
HUH?

Anonymous said...

what huh?

zezmir said...

Anon,
I
d o n ' t
u n d e r s t a n d
w h a t
y o u
a r e
t r y i n g
to
s a y

farblonjet said...

Tzig,
Don't be a demagogue.
Answer my points.Tell me that the Rebbes legacy is not also of leaving behind a bunch of mindless zombies (not all Lubavitcher, but a significant portion including 'rabbis')
Btw,I happen to know Lubavitch intimately, they have no horns but do have many mindless zombies in their midst.Though I'm in no way a Lubab, my family tree traces Lubavitcher ancestors till the Mahara'Sh at least.That's why I'm farblonjet.Chabad today unpalatable, yeshivish...probably most palatable for me and unfortunately I'm not going to join any of the purim party chassidisen anytime soon

n said...

What?...I can only say what to you!! what do you say to zezmir? Because Chabad has some variation from your subculture within yiddishkeit you deem chabad non normative...Why focus on the .005 % of variation (that is still within the context of yiddeishkeit of course) of one subgroup...every group...litvaks, chassidim, m/o, sefardim, etc..have subgroups, sometimes sub sub groups that are relatively at odds over some tiny percentage of each others overall yiddishkeit....so how can you say lubavitch is outside the normal range of yiddishkeit? either you have an ax to grind or you fell into the trap that lubav is deviant just becuase this concept is promoted in certain circles

What?! said...

I oppose the vitrial expressed by Farblonget - He has an axe to grind.
I do say, however, that you guys are caught in a trap of being unable to look objectively. It is not only a minor variation here or there. You guys do EVERYTHING differently, but expect us to think of you as the only true way, and that every other frum Jew is wrong.
And Zezmir, don't confuse the issue. I don't accept or not accept any of those points. Rather, do you accept the legitimacy of other leaders?

Anonymous said...

Zezmir
I meant to say that you need not accept the 3 givens you mentioned because Gedolei Yisroel said differently.

Hirshel Tzig said...

Farblonjet
you've lost your way, come on home, boy.
As far as the Minhogim you mentioned:

Shalosh Seudos, not washing, is from the Rashab.

If, as you claim to be, you can trace your lineage back to Chasidei HaMaharash you should know that the Shulchan Aruch is not the final word of the Alter Rebbe.

CP? said...

Farblonjer, are you related to SSD?

zezmir said...

Anon,
Who are, and what did "Gedolei Yisoel" say?

zezmir said...

R' What?!,
The point I am trying to make about those 3 points is that if we all accept those 3 points than clearly we must assume that those Rebbes knew a little Torah, and were fully aware of the situation.
Thus, we rely on them as authorities who had a good idea of what they were doing.
If we disagree on those points, then it's a non-starter, because there is no common ground for a conversation.

AMSHINOVER said...

less prust


http://amshinover.blogspot.com/2005/11/choose-wisely.html

Anonymous said...

why bring up Berger now?

Anonymous said...

HT - 'Let's not forget David Berger, he's a YU grad and no friend of Chabad.'

The fact is that Rabbi Dr. Berger shlite used to support Lubavitch until the Messianic issue arose, with many of them believing that the deceased Rebbe was Moshiach. As a misnaged, I must say that I don't view him as a real misnaged. He has been very careful not to attack the Rebbe. Some Lubavitchers are so obsessed with and blinded with hate for him, that they have trouble evaluating him accurately.

Other misnagdim - some with us and some in the aylem ho'emes in a high profile way publicly actively opposed the Rebbe many years before he was niftar - not so Dr. Berger.

Misnaged

Hirshel Tzig said...

I brought up Berger because kurenitzer brought up YU and he's a grad. They've also translated his book to Hebrew now.

Hirshel Tzig said...

What can we say, they beat us to it. Imagine how good it would've been if Lubavitch had joined the Agudah and "fought" them from the inside? Maybe they could've set some policy as well.

n said...

berger should do tshuva..he writes in an inflamatory manner and takes the anectdotal observations about lubavitch that may or may not be true and broadcasts them as established movement wide facts...for example paraphrased from the book: berger saw someone davening from a siddur and there was a picture of the rebbe on the inside cover, Berger had a verbal exchange with the guy and concluded that all of lubavitch deify the Rebbe, and daven to him as G-d and instead of G-d. How can a professor of christianity authoritatively write about a jewish topic...who from the frum velt gave him a haskama for his trashy output against lubavitch?

Anonymous said...

I would dare say that most people who rush and accuse Lubavitch of such "factual" behavior have problems with Emunah, at least when pressed on the issue. That's why they'll tell you that you shouldn't learn Chassidus nor "ask questions", because it'll open a pandora's box.

Anonymous said...

Berger is a big talmid chochom and scholar and a big baal middos too. It's not for nothing that recently he was the head of the Association of Jewish Studies. If his colleagues thought his work was so shoddy would they have elected him to lead their professional group ? You guys can delude yourselves that anyone who questions anything Lubavitch related is some type of hater, nut, or apikayres ch"v, but it just ain't so.

Anonymous said...

so everybody is a talmid chaochom now, everybody that is besides for the Rebbe.

avremel said...

when it comes to Chabad everybody is a Talmid Chochom, don't ya know?!