Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Where's the (Kosher) Beef Untervegens?
(Chabad Hong Kong Shul)
Why Lubavitch Is Good - to a traveling businessman...
When I first saw the post on Vos Iz Naies I thought: "hey! what a nice gesture on their part to report about the Rebbe and Gimmel Tammuz, they didn't have to." They usually speak about Lubavitch only when there's something exciting to report, like Rubashkin, or internal politics. Then, after some additional reading on my part, I realized that I had been quick to judge them. Not that it was a terrible post on their part - it certainly wasn't. But it DID totally miss the point of the Rebbe, and it sounded very self-serving on their part. Most of the accomplishments of Lubavitch that the author on VIN lists seem to be in the "creature comforts" realm. Be they a "geshmake beis hamedrash," or a Blaoney sandwich in Bologna, the author seems to be thankful that he needn't go without Kosher food on his travels, nor without a minyan.
What bothers me is that it seems like the only reason Chabad became acceptable among their former adversaries is that they see Chabad as a harmless group. When once people were afraid that they'd be "Farchapt" by some mashpia they now don't worry about things like that. Are they right not to worry? Is there no "threat" anymore? that depends on whom you ask. Those who take the time to delve into Toras Chabad in general and the Rebbe's Torah in particular are just as "ripe for the picking" as before Gimmel Tammuz 5754. I myself continue to see Gutte Schoireh joining being "farchapt," and I mean Gutte Schoireh. They come because they yearn for a deeper understanding of things, and they find it in Toras Chabad and in the Rebbe. Yes, it IS more difficult these days, since the impediments are much greater, VeDaL, and you don't have the Rebbe's presence to make it all feel better, but those who can see the light are warmed by it. So the question remains: why are they not threatened, and why do they see Chabad as Baloney snadwich providers?
Any thoughts? I have some.
Many people in Chabad have forgotten about the MAIN mission that Chassidus has; to spread Toras HaChassidus. What we see now, i.e. the Shlichus apparatus, is second fiddle to the main fiddle if you will. I believe the Rebbe spoke of the need to be "mekarev yidden" only because nobody else is doing it. Which is why Chabad Shluchim teaches Chassidus to those they are mekarev; that's the ultimate mission. Yet, institutions like Heichel Menachem and other groups that spread Toras HaChassidus to the masses are seen as lower down on the totem pole of Lubavitcher activities. That should not be. We've become too comfortable, going for the easy ones, the unaffiliated.