Friday, June 16, 2006
Rebbes, Rabbonim & Maggiddim
Written for CIRCUS TENT by Mikushor
in response to Whatever happened to Yiddishkeit?
I found a letter in אגרות קודש אדה"ז אדמו"ר האמצעי אדמו"ר הצ"צ, Vol# 1 -- צמח צדק letter # 9, Page# 335). It is dated circa 5603-1743, apparently as a response to questions by the Russian government. Very quickly, this was the thrust of the letter:
Jewish communities need multiple places of worship due to variant versions of נוסח התפלה & מנהגים, and each shul is essentially a different community. Then the letter discusses the need for Jewish communities to have two rabbinical roles to fill:
1) Rav / Moreh Tzeddek to answer questions of איסור והיתר and specifics of הלכה & מצוות.
2) A Maggid to preach words of מוסר, etc.
The reason for this: People may know the Halochoh, but because of their Yetzer HaRah, etc, they need to be strengthened and awakened by someone. Also, there are מצוות התלויות בלב(אהבת ויראת השם, ethical behavior, righteousness, recognition of הקב"ה, etc.) that require a Maggid to teach, inspire, encourage, etc, to elevate his community.
It is also for this reason that Chazal established the סדר התפלה, where we praise and speak of Hashem’s greatness (and to bring one to love & fear Him). But since many people don’t understand לשון הקודש, or they don’t pay attention to the words, we need Maggidim to bring this home to people.
Now, there are different schools of thought as to how this should be done, even though all Jews have the same Torah, both from a practical standpoint (נוגע למעשה) as well as from an internal standpoint (חובות הלבבות):
The approach of the Non-Chassidim is that every community needs a Rov and a Maggid, even sometimes 2 or 3 maggidim. Chassidim have a Rov in a town, but only one Maggid for an entire region. Both approaches are legitimate – having one Maggid per region creates a hardship (since people have to travel to him, or he must travel to the people in all communities under his jurisdiction), and people cannot possibly hear him steadily.
On the other hand, to succeed, this Maggid must be a paragon of virtue, and there are not many men of such perfection. So, rather than to take people who are not truly virtuous, Chassidim find it far better to find the greatest man around, and even if one cannot hear him constantly it is still far better, and accomplishes more, than listening to a far lesser man on a steady basis.
And this reflects the difference of opinion as to Tadir תדיר ומקודש איזה קדם. Chassidim hold Kodesh Kodom, while Non-Chassidim hold Tadir Kodom. And this is also why Chassidim emphasize matters of the heart (such as prayer) while Non-Chassidim emphasize the practical applications and details of practical mitzvos.
Then the letter goes on to discuss the patriotism of the Rabbeyim, etc, based on the Halochos of דינא דמלכותא דינא, and the Halochoh להתפלל לשלומה של מלכות
Note: This was a summary based on what I read last night, and some notes that I wrote down. Please read the letter for yourselves!