Monday, April 21, 2008

There is no other way


Mottel commenting on Circus Tent:Should These Boys Be Home For Pesach?

I have a story for you:

Many Chassidishe Yidden sent their children to the Tomchei Temimim yeshivah network in Poland. A Gerer chosid sent his son, Leibish, to learn in Chabad, and much to his chagrin, found his son was no longer able to spend time with him on Shabbos. The bochur would daven b'arichus on Shabbos, run home and eat quickly -making kiddush on challahs (apparently there were two different standards in hashgocha on wine) eat the now cold food (I can't recall if he trusted the shechita on the meat or not), and would then run off to farbgreng etc.The father one week told his son that he didn't understand him -the boy had no olam hazeh and no olam habah -the food was cold, he didn't have time to take a nap, or to chap a shiur before mincha. etc.The son turned to his father and said,"Tateh, du bist doch a beheimah." The father was furious. He went to R' Chatshe Feigan and made very clear that he was not happy with the direction that his son's education had taken. R' Chatshe calmed the father down, promising that he would speak to the bochur. When he did, he said told him that he would could never say such a thing about his father, but ended saying,"Ober trachten meg men."

Tzigele, it's mesiras nefesh, it's kabolos ol, but pesach is about those inyunim -mitzad echad matzoh has no ta'am (as a opposed to wine, or even matzo ashirah) mitzad sheini, it must be eaten -not just swallowed . . . a geshmak in kabolos ol. I know a shliach who's bechor learns in a cheder out of town. The boy, now 13, has come home for a few days, then gone off to help bochurim make a seder out of town -he's been doing this for the past few years. Now that is mesiras nefesh -uber vi ken es zayn anderesh? Ad Kan From Mottel.

I always had a problem with the outreach work of Lubavitch, not Chas Vesholom that I felt it was wrong, I just couldn't get used to doing it myself. I guess my Ungarishe Neshomoh never really went away. As a bochur I'd go with a friend or older bochur to the Russian neighborhoods in Brooklyn and do things like give out shabbos candles and chanukah candles, but it wouldn't come easy. The same goes for Friday afternoons putting on tefillin with yidden; once I'd be there it was easy, but it was never my thing. I guess that makes me predisposed to NOT doing outreach. Old habits die hard, they say, and the Yetzer HoRah always finds excuses why NOT to do what you're supposed to. Of course there can always be Yenikas HaChitzonim, and mivtzoyim/outreach is no different, especially since the nisyonos can be much greater, but that shouldn't deter one from doing what needs to be done. By now most bochurim that traveled the world to make sedorim for yidden are home, enjoying Pesach with their families, and maybe even asking a belated Mah Nishtanoh?

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps we should print the 10 commandments in back of the Tanya just as a reminder.

snag1 said...

"I always had a problem with the outreach work of Lubavitch..... I just couldn't get used to doing it myself....it wouldn't come easy"

You have a pintele snag within you.

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Hirshel Tzig said...

A Pintele Snag, I like that!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of "snag", there's this little schteck

http://www.col.org.il/show_news.rtx?artID=37592

Mottel said...

Tzig, I'm glad you liked the comment . . .
Regards from Ulm, Germany and a Gutt Moed.

Lutziner said...

"The boy, now 13, has come home for a few days, then gone off to help bochurim make a seder out of town -he's been doing this for the past few years."

You're joking, right?

friendly anonymous said...

Why are you ignoring the impact on the younger children when they see their older siblings, who are visiting from yeshiva for Pesach, learning for hours in shul, davening with a chiyus, etc., things that they won't see if their brothers are in Germany, etc.

Anonymous said...

good point friendly, consider thought that not all bochurim go away, in fact many who are away from home all year 'round and have been so since under the age of 10/11 tend to go home, it's the ones who live in EY or Crown Heights who tend to leave for the Sedarim, although there are exceptions of course. Furthermore, as was mentioned earlier, most bochurim leave for the sedarim and then return home for the rest of Pesach.

baalbatish said...

You mean, seeing their brothers davening after 9:00 until 11:00. Going to ball games, following the Rangers, smoking, barely opening a sefer etc.

Anonymous said...

What other d'Oraisus will a bochur that calls his father a beheimo, be oiver.... in the name of frumkeit?

Mottel said...

Let's see here:
Lutziner -as a translator (he speaks the local language, the bochurim do not).

friendly anonymous: They see that their brothers go off to help a shliach (what about the amoliger bochurim that went off to Yeshivah for years, spending yom tov in yeshivah? How did their siblings learn?) Besides, as mentioned, there is chol homoed, achron shel Pesach etc.

Baalbatish: I have some choice words of my own for you -after an eleven hour return flight and no sleep last night . . . but I'll use the Circus Tent standard: Moron.

Anon: Dieing al kiddush hashem in the Holocaust for one. Umni. It was said out of temimus -as opposed to the l'shem yichud said before shaving every day by others . . .

Anonymous said...

I am curious if you are allowed to THINK that the Rebbi is a baheimo also?

baalbatish said...

Motteleh,
You are right,I happen to be a moron. but what did I say that gave you that idea?

Mottel said...

Think about the truth of your words l'gabei Lubavitchers, and l'gabei all frumme yidden while your at it.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that you actually believe half the rubbish you write.

I had cousins in Lubavitch yeshivos. The guys stayed up half the night then came for chassidus at 10am for 11am shachris.

No Lubavitcher I know, reguardless how 'frum' is particular about hechserim of food and Crown Heights is known as one of the shvachest hechsheirim around.

Lets not however belittle the unbelievable kiruv that everyone else took years to wake up to, or the fact that limud hachasidus would be nearly non-existant without chabad or the Rebbe T"tl.

You got to give credit when due, but don't make out that they are saving yiddishkeit, or interested in any other form other than their own.

arbiter said...

Mottel- Having just spent Pesach with your thirteen year old friend and using him as my translator, I have to take exception to this being such a great thing.

I found that as well-meaning as this boy is, he really has no Mesorah of what a Pesach Seder should be like. He knows what it says in Hagadah Im Taamim, etc., but he has never really experience a "family" Seder to know the practices. In our "after-Seder" he displayed knowledge knew all the Shpitz Minhagim (he couldn't believe I used a stemmed glass), but he didn't know many basics. Additionally, he's a little too young to appreciate the meaning of the Seder and how to impart meaning to to others.

Frankly, I found it repulsive how he kept forcing people to stuff Matzos down their throats (there are minimum Shiurim, hello!!)and I think that there have been better translators in the history of Merkos Shlichus.

Mottel said...

And I know people like you mention, and just as many -if not more, that are unbelievable bochurim who learn b'hesmada v'shkidah, are shomer zmanim b'diyuk etc. etc.
To quote a joke told to me by a 'litvak' "How many bochurim learn in the Mir? About half . . ." -problems are universal we have our stronger bochurim and our weaker -but your claims of Lubavitcher bochurim being inferior -rubbish and assumptions.

As To hechsheirim -come now, who are you fooling? Pas Yisroel, Chalav Yisroel . . . and ver redt vegen yetzt -pesach.

About CH politics -ich mish zach nit arayn, as I don't have yedios in that area, but leave the temmimim out.

(About our agenda -which we do have to some degree ain kan hamakom.)

Mottel said...

I never said the kid is perfect -yes has more to learn, as every 13 year old does as well (Why didn't you teach him things? I tried to) But what is more, what you mention is more the result of his personality in general (shpitz etc.) and far less to do with lack of time at a family seder. Trust me.
I never knew you knew this name.

Mottel said...

Use this name (I.e. Arbiter as opposed to . . .)

arbiter said...

I didn't teach him because I was too busy selling my soul to Shpitz that by the time it came down to it I was too tired to appreciate the Seder for myself. Vu Shtait in Shulchan Oruch that you can't, L'Chol Hapachos, begin your Seder/Arba Kosos with the people that you're making a Seder for. Why must you make yourself and everyone else nervous by not eating and drinking with them? What's the Inyan of making an entirely second Seder to the detriment of eating Afikoman before Chatzos?

I don't know man, but the expectations of these kids were backwards and I, being only one man (the beloved Shliach took the liberty of separating me from my Chavrusa for Yom Tov and sending me with the company of his two kids), had not the patience nor the desire to set them straight. This, in my humble opinion, is why they should be left home to learn from their parents- so that they may answer their Fir Kashos, teach them songs, Minhagim, etc...

I'll tell you one thing: my kids won't go on Shlichus till their at least 17.

P.S. Now you know who I am...

Mottel said...

Arbiter -I knew it was you from the first word . . .

The complications of making a seder with them is just too much of a hassle -the time you spend eating and drinking should be speaking to people, singing etc. True Russians will offer you food and push you to eta nonstop but a)they always do that and b) you wouldn't be able to eat the food they have anyway, do to our chumros on pesach -and eating your own food would be even more awkward.

I never said it was an inyan for younger kids to go -I doubt I would send someone so young either, but my point about mesiras nefesh on pesahc remains.

arbiter said...

Mottel, points well taken, but, Bichlal (now that we're on the topic), I think Bochurim Sedarim should be structured differently. For example, when I was in Ukraine a number of years ago, we made quite an inverted Seder- I must've done 6-7 Koisos that night when all was said and done. People were comfortable with us, and I think that they were even receptive to some of what we had to say. We didn't seem like all-important Rabbis imported from Israel deigning to deal with a few lost Ukranian Jews, we tried our hardest to be fellow Jews assisting our friends.

While its true that we consider it important to fulfill all the Mitzvos of the Seder, we all too often forget that these people are coming for a welcoming Jewish experience. The fact is that the food sucks at these Sedarim- no one would show up just for that year after year. The least we can offer is an enjoyable, non-judgmental experience.

Personally, I find it very discomfiting sitting around while everyone else was eating.

BTW, at our first Seder no body touched the food. There was supposedly a suspicion (so your friend told me afterward) that we were trying to poison them people and that's why we ourselves weren't eating.