Thursday, October 23, 2008
Moving Right Along
Simchas Teyreh has come and gone, now the only thing we cling to is Shabbos Bereishis. It's the last remaining link to the month that irrigates the rest of the year. For some of us it's business as usual already, for others there's still a few days till normal order resumes. For some of us Simchas Teyreh is all about celebrating accomplishments, a time to reflect on all the Torah we learned throughout the year and to celebrate it. Every song and dance is all about Ashrei Mi SheAmolay BaTeyreh, the Bnei Teyreh are the real mechutonim of the Teyreh, they say. "Toras Hashem Temimoh," they sing, and they claim to see the sweetness of the Teyreh in their everyday lives. Good for them. Many most definitely do, and there's much to envy there, but that's not the point of this thread. Like many other Mitzvos and Minhogim, how we do it may not be very different, it's WHY we do that is like night and day.
Notice I haven't said anything that would make you think I'm attacking any which way of celebrating ST, I just naturally have my preference. The elitist approach of this being a Ben-Teyreh YomTiff may work when selecting students for a school, but Simchas Teyreh is all about unity. "Kosheh Olai Pridaschem", G-d says that it's difficult for him to see how his beloved children are separated by classes and levels of frumkeit. Nice orderly dancing with only a select few dancing and most not participating but just standing by may tickle your fancy, but you sure have lots of explaining to do as to why you like that. I'll take dysfunctional dancing any day. I do notice that many of you feel the need to come to Chabad for free booze, often young men - well underage. Is it that you too want the chassidishe spirit, or is it just the booze? Take it from me - just drinking without friends sitting with you is for losers. Why not have a little kiddush before Hakofes and you'll feel much better. (Not that I'm condoning irresponsible drinking, c"v.)
Ad kan when we talk of the yeshivishe/modern crowd. When it comes to the large chassidishe heyfen something puzzles me. Many of the chassidishe Rebbes wait till 12-1 o'clock in the morning till they start Hakofes. They daven maariv at the z'man and then everybody goes home and has seudas yomtiv. I'll go out on a limb and say that the meal lasts until 10 pm. What does one do all that time until the Hakofes start? In Lubavitch Hakofes would also start quite late, but there was very often a long farbrengen by the Rebbe That would fill up the time quite appropriately. I don't believe there's a pre-Hakofes tish in Skver or in Bobov, so what does "Ben-Zion Doe" or "Yankev Yossef Doe" do till the Rebbe comes in? I had a chance to go see the action in Skver, but I had nobody to go with, and I didn't want to do it by myself. Most of the guys I asked - non-Lubavitchers - said they weren't interested, and mouthed off about Skver. I guess they had bad experiences there, although Skver does do a good job with those kinds.