Monday, November 19, 2007
Chassidim of Torah
Mayn Leben's Geshikhte is a book of memoirs published in 1928 in Petach Tikvah written by a Sheychet from Bessarabia/Moldova named Reb Pinches Dov Goldenstein who somehow became somewhat of a Lubavitcher Chossid. (To be a Lubavitcher Chossid living that far away from Lubavitch was somewhat uncommon, being that there plenty of Rebbes nearby, but there were many others.) By that I mean that it doesn't seem like Lubavitch and Chassidus Chabad became part of him, but rather he traveled to the Lubavitcher Rebbes when necessary instead of traveling to the Tolner or Tchernobler, or Trisker Rebbe who were all geographically much closer to him. It also doesn't seem to play that much of a role later on in life, meaning there's no mention of the Rebbe or Chassidus. He writes of the time he traveled to Lubavitch to consult with the Tzemach Tzedek about his Parnossoh, since he was just finishing his Shechitah training and wanted a blessing to get a shtelle somewhere. Years later he traveled to the Rebbe MaHaraSH and was there during the week of Sheva Brochos for one of the children.
At that time he once hid in the Rebbe's house to observe the Rebbe the Tzemach Tzedek's behavior and his daily schedule, and saw that all he does is sit and learn! He sits locked up all day bent over Seforim and when he needs his meals to be served he bangs on the table and the Meshamesh brings his food. The same happens when he's done, the MaSHBaK comes and removes the dirty dishes. There were no Tishen and there were no Seudos, thus there was no Shrayim to be had. The only time you saw the Rebbe was when he said Chassidus, or if you were lucky enough to get a Yechidus, otherwise the Rebbe was locked in his room learning and writing Tshuvos and Maamorim. The Maamorim were profound and difficult, especially if you were just hearing it in person. It was almost as if the simple Yid, the one who Chassidus was made for, had nothing to find in Lubavitch, the HQ for the torchbearers of the derech HaBaal Shem Tov !!
When Reb Pinchos Goldenstein traveled home he went on foot, not having the money for a ride in a wagon. In his native Rumania he met a group of Chassidim who were returning from a trip, possibly from their Rebbe and hitched a ride with one of them. They asked him where he was coming from, and he told them "from Lubavitch." Chabadsker? What do you want with the Kalte Litvaks those Chabadskers, the big Farshteyers that they are, and the Tiffe Chassidus that they're into. Do they know how to drink like us? come with us to Tolne or Trisk and we'll show you how it's done. He politely declined their offer, but we can learn alot from that little anectode. Chassidus Chabad wasn't originally formed for the Anoshim Peshutim, or at least they had a difficult time "making it" there. The AR was the only one who wouldn't belittle the Lomdim. Besides for the Chadorim the AR set up and maintained, which required that you be Boki in all realms of Torah, there was also the added Chassidus, the AR's Torah that you had to learn and know. That doesn't allow for simple folk. The Mitteler Rebbe's Chassidus only made it more difficult. So we can see from that how throughout the generations Chassidus underwent another transformation, at least as far as making it less difficult to become a Chossid.
Food for thought when you sit down to your next Farbrengen.......