Monday, February 27, 2006
Anybody got an answer?
(Vilna Choral Synagogue, Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)
Maybe you can help me here. I have been grappling for quite some time trying to comprehend the cause for all the hatred towards Chassidim and Chassidus through the ages.
I have not been able to understand what caused the outrage, including excommunications, bans, public floggings, book burnings, attacks and beating, even murder, yes murder, against Chassidim. Rabbis and laymen alike were beaten, forced from their jobs and marriages, parents would sit shiva for children that defected to Chassidism, and Chassidim had to fear for their lives.
By most accounts that I have seen, it was a mistake based on incorrect information and lies that caused a majority of Gedolei Yisroel, even tzaddikim among them, to sanction any and all activities to stop the spreading of Chassidism, and that there was actually no significant difference between Chassidic and Misnagdic theology, rather, it was mostly a revolution of ruach that was so offensive!
So what possible logical reason can there have been for this behavior by Gedolei Yisroel? Since when can they take such extreme measures without hearing both sides and investigating the truth of the accusations? Does this damage anyone else's emunas chachomim as it does mine?
Anonymous Thirtysomething Emailer