Thursday, May 11, 2006

R' Yaakov Emden, Chassidim, and the Vilna Shas



From Seforim Blog

ואינו מתגלה אלא ליחידי סגולה לא עמוד איש בליעל ורע בסודה, ולהוציא גם
ממה שנהגו מתחסדים חדשים מקרוב באו לעסוק בספר הזוהר ואר"י בקבע, ועשו תלמוד והלכות עראי וטפל, אין חפץ ה' בהם, הלא מזקנים נתבונן שעיקר למודם ותורתם לא היה אלא בנגלה בלבד, וסתרי תורה לא היה נמסרים אלא ליחיד עמוד בחצי ימיו על פי תנאי פרישות הרבה כמו שאמרו פרק אין דורשין, ואף זה לא אשכח ותני רק למבין מדעתו וחכם, והללו עשו פומבי לדבר פתאים בל ידעו מה, כסילים נעדרי דעת, השה אלוה חכמה ולא חלק להם בבינה

[Kabbalah] should only be given to a limited set of people, one who can understand its secrets, this excludes the new hassidim who spend their time reading the Zohar and the works of the AR"I, but only spend a small amount of time on the Talmud and the laws, G-d does not want them. From our ancestors we have learned that the majority of ones time should be only in the revealed Torah, the secret Torah was only for special ones, who where older [at the mid point in life] with conditions of ascetism as is described in the Talmud Haggiah, it is only given to those who can understand by themselves, however, these [the hassidim] they make public things which should be private to those who don't know anything, idiots totally lacking in knowledge, God who gives wisdom did not give them understanding."

[HT - I guess Reb Yaakov Emden was also a victim of the vicious lie campaign perpetrated by the Antis. That's no surprise, seeing what the GR"O z"l was lead to believe.]

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

See the issue of Olam hachassiduth with the cover story about hagaon Reb Yankev landau ZT"L it contains another article how the Velt is misinterpreting the Yaavetz's attitude towards the BESHT. It makes for interesting reading.

chabakuk elisha said...

HT,
It sounds to me like the same position as the Noda beYehuda. I also think that you should look at things a little less politically for a minute here...

Hirshel Tzig said...

Ok, Chabakuk

but why is that political? what did the NB base his statements on Chassidim on?

chabakuk elisha said...

H,
I'd say we can accept N"B, and R' Y"E as the real deal. We also have to look at their time and place, and what they actually supported...

The N"B opposed various Chassidic practices, and perhaps the quote of the Yaavetz supports a similar view. But remember, there were frauds as well as sincere chassidim, and not neccessarily would the Yaavetz considwer all Chassidim equal. Also, the quote was not ment to be in print necessarily, they were just notes he had written, and were later printed in the Vilna Shas, so we don't know exaclt what his view was (from here anyway).

Moreover, considering R' Y"E position on R' Yonosan and Kat Shat"z, it seems logical that he would suspect Chassidim of falling in the same trap as Shat"z, and would therefore harbor great concern.

What is very odd, is why this wasn't included in the Romm edition. I wonder if the reason for it's having been left out could be the answer...

Anonymous said...

Pesach Sheni Is the Hilulah Rabbi Meir Baal Haness, Light a candle

snag said...

CE is more realistic here.

Hirshel,es past nisht for you to have such a knee-jerk reaction to things like this.Knee-jerk reactions may be good for jerks, but not for chachomim.If you think that all Chassidim ever were all gedoilei oylam,and that all criticisms,even from gedoilei oylam,were totally based on lie campaigns,you are deluding yourself and living in a dreamworld.But,hey,it's a free country,you wanna delude yourself,that's your right.

Hirshel Tzig said...

Chabakuk

Why would you think that I didn't accept the NB and RYE? Chas Vesholom!

all I said was based on the outcome, and the fact that if not for Chassidim there probably would not be much Yiddishkeit these days, that opposition to Chassidus as a whole was a "mistake". The only reason Chassidim would be suspected of being heretics was because of the lies spread about them.

Hirshel Tzig said...

Snag

I love it when people put words in my mouth.

Sure, there are many, many foolish, stupid, and ignorant Chassidim, quite possibly the majority of them. (no different than the majority of Charedim in EIsrael being stupid and ignorant, playing into the hands of the seculars time and time again)

That doesn't change the fact that RYE and the NB were speaking of the leadership, i.e. the Baal Shem Tov and others. That leads me to believe that it was based on lies.

chabakuk elisha said...

HT,

You said: "That doesn't change the fact that RYE and the NB were speaking of the leadership, i.e. the Baal Shem Tov and others. That leads me to believe that it was based on lies."

I don't know if they were speaking of the leadership per se. It was the institution of these practices among the hamon-am that they criticized...

Hirshel Tzig said...

I don't know abut RYE and the NB, and Chas Vesholom that I speak about these two ארזי הלבנון, but the general concensus was that the המון עם didn't matter much. That's what Chassidus aimed to change.

chabakuk elisha said...

I think that's a bit of an oversimplification. Sure, there was a two-tier system, and the hamon-am were looked down upon, but that dosent mean that th eleadership was Ok with the idea of misleading th epublic with improper practices, or another Shat"Z scenario...
(Also, remember this is really early, and it's not like the Yavatz or the N"B were advocating violence)

Reuven said...

Looking at todays Chabad and the words of the Ya'avetz one can see how prophetic they were/are.
Most Lubavitchers including the serious one, put a much stronger emphasis on 'chasidut' than on 'nigleh', in fact the term a 'ba'al nigleh' is considered derogatory by Lubavitchers.
A simple test:Go into 770 check the seforim on the tables and see what minute percentage is the regular fare of batei medrash, gemarah, mishnayos, rishonim:Very little, it's mostly various Lubavitch works and a lot of Ramba'ms, which are mostly parrote daily.This is a test I did myself.

Hirshel Tzig said...

yes, reuven, everybody's a prophet, right?