Sunday, December 28, 2008

Blinded By The Light


(The Rebbe Rav Yosef Yitzchok of Lubavitch, Chanukah 5710)

It used to be that the only ones bothered by Public Menorahs were the Reform and their brothers-in-arms. They thought it would hurt their cause. After all, if you're against any public displays of religion then you need to show that you're objective and oppose your own religious displays too. There's also the fact that they're embarrassed by any public display of religion, thinking it arcane and childish. But never would you think that religious Jews would oppose something as innocent as a Public Menorah. Are they too embarrassed by public displays of their observances?! I can understand that they're uncomfortable attending such an event, but why be bothered that others do it? being that I too come from there, and never has "pushing" religion been easy for me, maybe I can explain it for them, so that they can immediately deny it....

Most of us - notice I say most, not all, there are many exceptions - have no real love of yiddishkeit and/or Hashem. We go through the motions and we do what we have to, and in these trying times it may be all that G-d could ask for, but the fact remains that we have ulterior motives. They may be positive peer pressure, pressure from parents and mechanchim, or fear of being embarrassed by misbehaving, which I guess is a Toldoh of peer pressure. Most "mishmeres haTznius" groups will agree that the best fear tactic to use against somebody they say is stepping out of line is publicizing his picture or telling his Rosh Yeshivah, because that's the last thing most people want - that people know what they're up to. I'm not speaking about women, neshomos DeBan have a totally different makeup - excuse the pun - I speak only of men.

There also is the element of shame. Many Jews, when confronted with their practices by the more "enlightened" begin to see that lots of what they do makes no sense to the naked eye. They look at themselves and see that what happens in Iran often happens in Brooklyn and Jerusalem too, so they begin to wonder. They wonder how they're any different than the radical Islamist, other than they have no access to guns so they don't use them. Yet. Others react by trying to make yiddishkeit more "normal." They dress and look normal, educate themselves and their children, and generally try not to stick out more than different that the average Western man and/or woman. Passing by a proud display of Judaism on an otherwise normal street reminds them how their brethren - and, by extension, them too - are weird, and they don't like to be reminded how weird they really are. Despite their fancy homes and cars.

These people - the ashamed ones, the ones that do it just because, and all the others - they see light and it boils their blood, because they're not vessels for the light. They see some dorky guy with a menorah on his car and a snide remark leaves their lips - a knee-jerk reaction, really, they cannot help themselves, they need to laugh and poke fun. Oh, yes, they'll tell themselves and anybody that would listen that they laugh because there's "really no mitzvah," or because חדש אסור מן התורה, but don't believe it. Those that oppose and laugh and condemn are dark characters who need to live ion their dark caves like nocturnal animals and birds. Sure, they'll lead good Jewish lives, and even support institutions in a very admirable manner, but their lives are dark, and any attempt to shine some light into their dark lives leaves them shielding their eyes, yelling at your for disrupting their dark existence. These people are blinded by the light.....

102 comments:

Crawling Axe said...

We go through the motions and we do what we have to, and in these trying times it may be all that G-d could ask for

That would be true if we had no tools to get to the level where we serve G-d with pnimiyus, with emesdike yira and ahava. But we do… And we are able… All it takes is to stop saying that “it may be all that G-d could ask for” and admit that everyone, starting from you, could do better. All it takes is a combination of idealism and realism.

Anonymous said...

well said tzig

Isaac Balbin said...

"Those that oppose and laugh and condemn are dark characters who need to live ion their dark caves like nocturnal animals and birds."

I think you are selling some people short. Yes, there are those who are motivated by other concerns and masquerade behind a halachic consideration. However, there are people who are genuinely against this because it is considered to be a practice without a halachic-come-Mesorah justification for which no Brocho should be recited. The latter are genuine and quite consistent. They also consider that it is better to sit at home and miss Tekias Shofar than hear it in an establishment which has sponsored so called "innovations to Judaism" such as the removal of a Mechitza in a Shule.

It is important that you don't paint all objectors with the one broad brush, otherwise you actually descend to the same level that they occupy.

There is also light at the other end of the tunnel.

piny said...

What a dumb post.
Fitting for the idiot who runs the blog.

Realist said...

Don't forget the poeple who are against this nonsense because it is a vaddai brocho levatolo, which the Shulchan Oruch paskens is a la'av dorayso.

Anonymous said...

Realist
Why is it different then the Shul Menorah?

Anonymous said...

Issac
When exactly does a mesora start? it had to start in the Ukraine?Lemberg? Warsaw?

Anonymous said...

This holy Takana brought the holy light of the Menorahs in millions of houses that got a little pride in there heritage that was diminished by the big Avoda Zora atmosphere that is being shoved down on everyone in these days of December, the tree was allready in many Jewish households, and the massve Menorah PR gave them a alternative. Its the work of the Chashmonem redone.

schneur said...

Being more normal, how come Chabad people no longer speak Yiddish, dress in long levush on weekdays, have peyos shel rosh, wear modern suits etc etc. Why do shluchim insist on photographing themselves with their wives and identifying their ezer kenegdo as their co- partner in shlichus. is this not also an attempt at "normalizing" their status ? Is this not an attempt to be more normal and not stick out ?
The long time Lubavitch leader in NH was on TV many years ago and I recall him telling the women who was interviwing him , look I am dressed modern , speak English and am an American .
How much more so the new paths in Lubavitch chitzonius !

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

The public menorah lightings in the street are different than shul lightings only because they look different. Halachically there is no difference, though possibly no brachah should be said if everyone will turn around and go home less than half an hour later.

Schneur, there is a difference between being normal and trying to blend in out of shame. It sounds like the shliach you mention was playing the PR game. Tzig, you should also realize that some people can act 'normal' without being ashamed of their heritage.

schneur said...

Any comments as to why the Rayaatz is not using the now classic Lubavitch "Rambam" menora. I recall seeing a picture of the Menora of the 7th nasi which also did not fit the Rambam design, so why the insistance of the the new style.
Perhaps if the Chabad people used a classic round Menora that Klal Israel recognizes as a Menorah midor doros more people read : Jews could identify with this act as a symbol of Achduth , but as it goes now the Menora lighting is a symbol of Lubavitch power and attempts at hegemony over Jewish public life.

Hirshel Tzig said...

any reason why you're using Schneur's name when you're not him?

Blinded By th Might said...

..and why when there is any chsidisher rebbe that lights the menora in public next to a mezuza, no lubavitsher can be found in the 10 mile radius ....and why when the skulener rebbe a baal mesires nefesh and pioneer in non-assimilating kiruv lit the menorah in his crown heights shul in public, no lubavithers attended even by accident

Hirshel Tzig said...

Lubavitchers kept his minyan going for quite some time...

Anonymous said...

There are quite a lot of people who couldn't care less about public menorah lightings by Lubavichers or Zoroastrians. What does upset them that it's being done in a name of all religious Jews (including "Welcome King Messiah" signs with a portrait of the Rebbe). If Lubavich would make it clear that they represent only their religion, few frum people would object ...

lubavitch=new christians said...

Lubavitch has parted wayS some time ago from traditional Judaism.
History repeats itself, many groups were part of us and then "branched" out.The "Cuthites" were more particular than Jews on some of their Jewish practices.Lubavitch have taken the Jewish Menora, "decided" that it looked different, and proceeded to make this their symbol.Mazel tov.Keep Judaism out of it.
Keep away from us .As long as you keep your distance you can do all the new "mitzvos" that you have now "dubbed" "mivtzoim"
Just leave Jews out of this.Or drop your pagan a'z's and be welcomed back

schneur said...

Lets move on which Rebbe has the most impressive hadlokas Neros Channukah. Who has the tastiest latkes ? Who has the nicest niggunim ?

Anonymous said...

Schneur,

I believe the answer would be the heintiger nosi hador, the Kaliver Rebbe of EY!

Anonymous said...

i was beaten in OT because i went with my father "to keap up the suklene rebbes minyen"

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

The Rambam menorah is just a design. Big deal. Chabad apparently picked it so all the shluchim doing public lightings all over the world would look similar. Besides the fact that it looks nice.
As for all the people who like to cry "new christians" today's litvishers do a lot of the things that were originally what was wrong with chassidus. The roshei yeshiva give havtachos, take kvitlach and pidyonos (they have the grace to call it a nedova) they fir tishen (e.g. Rav Hutner) and they have a very chassidish approach to hiskashrus (they call it something else but I forgot what). My main problem with chabad is the strong language they use scares people. People who understand them that is.

Gad said...

Modeh
You are in the right place!
Your comment is so assinine, it fits in so well here

schneur said...

I understand the Kaliver has a wonderful voice and has nice niggunim. Are there any Kaliver chassidim ?
In Lubavitch like in Lita there seems to have been no public hoola about ta rav, rosh yeshiva or rebbe bentching Channukah Licht. Is there any description of the Rebbe bentching in his home. Was there anyone there besides ish ubeiso ?
Does Ger make a major production of the rebbe bentching Channukah licht ?

Isaac Balbin said...

"Schneur" wrote: how come Chabad people no longer speak Yiddish, dress in long levush on weekdays, have peyos shel rosh, wear modern suits etc etc. Why do shluchim insist on photographing themselves with their wives and identifying their ezer kenegdo as their co- partner in shlichus. is this not also an attempt at "normalizing" their status ? Is this not an attempt to be more normal and not stick out ?

You are starting from an incorrect premise. Your premise is that Chabad always behaved in the same way as other Chassidim in this regard. They didn't and don't. There are pictures from the Rayatz's times of men in short suits, photographed with their wives. This is not a new innovation. One of the sons-in-law, h"yd didn't have a beard and was accepted. This does not make a person any "less". I acknowledge that in some circles it's Yehoreig Ve-al Ya'avor for such practices, however, it has never been that way in Chabad, VeHo Ra'aya.

Reb Chaim Brisker didn't hide his wife's name either. His wedding invitations simply stated his name and his wife's name. It can hardly be argued that this is some new innovation.

Peyos shel Rosh were never Universal. Even the Levush of different Rebbeim changed with time.

You might not agree with their Derech which is designed to make Judaism seem more accessible, but the reality is that they are much more successful than others because of this. Tshuvos of Achronim are full of piskei din which apply specifically to cases when one is in the presence of someone who will not understand and may feel estranged by a practice that you may employ. As long as there is a mandated halachic way, the Achronim do advise that one behave in a way which isn't the norm, but is al pi halocho, but isn't estranging.

It's always been about where one draws the line and ensuring Rabbinic approval is sought. I have no doubt that Shluchim in the main, do not cross halachic lines and seek approval for things that have not been done before.

Yes, in the context of most Chassidim who don't change an iota of their clothing style, let alone the degrees of freedom, this can appear bizarre, but it is certainly not a reason to consider Chabad outside of the pale, nor is it a reason to be derisive towards them. It is true, that sometimes one gets the feeling that Chabad always seems to want to be different. In many cases, reading Sha'arei Halocho U'Minhag is a good idea if one really wants to know the reasons for it.

In terms of who is Moshiach, and whether a Yid needs to go around trying to identify Moshiach and whether there needs to be pictures plastered Birshus HoRabbim to that effect, my personal opinion is that Yotzo Schorom BeHefseidom.

I don't care who he is. I don't need campaigns to convince me who he is. I find all of those activities, including the chanting, as something which lacks a Mesorah in our religion and deflects from the main task at hand which is meant to be Kiruv Rechokim, albeit in the case of Chabad to their particular derech.

Having said that, those who spend time worrying about payos, pictures of their wives, modern appearance etc are entirely missing the point in my view, and are firing arrows into the air. These are often hate-filled arrows.

If people could only exorcise their venom, Moshiach (and I don't care who he is) might come a tad quicker and not be tarrying.

In the same way, I don't think that Hirshel's attack against those who are motivated against public Menorah campaigns achieves much.

Learn the Sugyos, write a Tshuva and justify a practice. Milchamto shel Torah is fine, but the latent Sinoh and jealousy sets us all back.

nahare nahare upashte said...

if everyone would write in the same spirit as isaac balbin it would elevate the level of this post. too much hate puts down the blog but much more so the authors of that hate.
by the way the one that wrote that its a vade brocho levatolo really should study the subject before writing. if you want to know more about the subject you can ask and we will provide maare mekoimes to show that majority of poskim consider public menoiros no different than menoires in shul. minchas yitzchok who respectfully held that no brocho should be recited would never condone the derision and hate with which this practice is attacked.

schneur said...

Isaac Balbin:Never been that way in Chabad if never started with World war 1 you may have a point, but never started long before that my friend. Shtika kehoda. I would not bother to reply on this forum and I will not go into details in this forum .You are wrong in your survey of Chabad history. You do not take in consideration that much changed due to emigration to the US, the Stalin regime and life in WEstern Europeas well as the upheavals in jewish life caused by World War1 and 2 . Chabad in shtetlech like Bishenkowitz, Klimowitz, Nevel and even Nikolayev was not like you describe it before 1918.For example in Soviet Russia it was hard enough to wear a beard so the kapote was almost done away with. In the US no one wore long levsuh except for rabbonim and old men before 1939. If you went to White Russian shtetlech in 1939 that were not under Soviet control, I think you would be suprised what you would find among Chabad people in terms of dress and language. Which leads me to the next question, do you relaly think Lubavitchers spoke Polsih and Russian in their daily life in 1939 ?

Anonymous said...

What happened to the lakewood scoop?

Hirshel Tzig said...

SO MUCH TO SAY, so little time.

Schneur, enough with the tantzen af alle chasines already. You can't have it all. You answered your own question.

Hirshel Tzig said...

In Ger they have public Rebbe Menorah lightings but it's quick, with a Kapele singing Maoz Tzur etc. and a quick dvar Torah.

Anonymous said...

Tzig...
Last I was in Ger on Channuka (5736) we also ran in front of the Bais Yisruel zl as he bencht us

browser said...

tzigele,you realy hit the nail on the head,you are one million percent right
i must admit you described me and i would guess 95% of the so called frum chareidi jews.
enjoy your blog emmensly,keep up the good work

chaim

snag said...

I want to know why didn't Lubavitch go around lighting menoras in public, next to Xmas trees and nativity scenes, like they do now, during the time of the Alter Rebbe, the mitteler Rebbe, the Tzemach Tzedek, Maharash, Rashab and Rayatz?

Nach a zach. A few nights ago was nittel nacht. You were makpid not to learn Tayreh then. You shpei areys (at least some of you) when you pass a kloister, and in oleinu lishabeyach. But to light a menayreh next to a Yoizel boim is a big mitzveh?

Also, what is the inyan to be mechabeid politicians who push shmutz and give kovod to various people who don't deserve it at such events?

Anonymous said...

tzig, why so little time?

Anonymous said...

"Those that oppose and laugh and condemn are dark characters who need to live ion their dark caves like nocturnal animals and birds."

You are so bitter at the world for letting yourself get farchapt, and having to much pride to admit what the rest of us oppose laugh and condem.

Tzig my friend, Its time YOU come out of the cave. The majority is NOT in the cave.

Anonymous said...

Schneur
Your inconsistencies from 1 post to another is amazing when Chabad is putting on the silk caftan then you ridicule Chabad as a Silk Caftan Club. Even tough the silk kaftan is the only levush discussed in Chabad Chassidus by the Rebbe Marshab, and also the Komarner brings it in his seforim, but other levushim has nothing with chassidus more then with yekkes,the only reason that chassidim were onto levushim, that they were on the forefront agaist Haskala in Poland by the Chidushie Harim and Galicia, but as of today there is no reason for Chassidim to stick to that wardrobe, the only reason is that the Glauber bros and Daskal in Isreal should make a nice living. as a jew living in Boo park the chassidic garb does not bar nobody from entering any establishmemt or bar with the garb.
Btw. Rav Chodokov was model of a penimiusdiger chasidisher yid with a short jacket.

Anonymous said...

The Rebbe saw in 2 kisvie yad of the Rambam that the menorah was a certain way, and he wrote biurim to explain it and Rav Kafach that lived and breathed Rambam agreed to the Rebbe, So whats this discussion that the chabadniks menorah is different with something original,Whoever likes better the originalaty of the right side bow of the viznitzer hat or the skverer boots then go ahead be their guest I dont want to be to invited to that party

Anonymous said...

Its for the same reason the all williamsburgh is called out in droves to give kovod for the little meshumad Bloomberg on Lee and Rodney
The reason Metsitza Bepa

Isaac Balbin said...

What's with all the Chitzoniyos? Things weren't static even in Ruchniyos.

Did the last Rebbe daven in the same style as the Alter Rebbe? The approach to Yechidus also changed. Things have changed in Lubavitch MiDor Dor. That doesn't seem to "worry" people as much as the length of the Kapote or the Payos or the other Dvorim Chitzoniyim. Why? We are all rather petty aren't we?

I think, to loosely coin the pun, "Mir Darfen Leben Mit Der Tzeit"

I remember a very respected elter chossid, Reb Zalman Serebryanski z"l. He used to wear a grey long kapote, and that was decades and decades ago.

Schneur, you may know a whole lot more about Chabad history than I, but you will not be able to prove that Chabad has stayed static all these years, either in their approach to Ruchniyus or Chitzoniyus.

Perhaps we can move onto more useful discussions, such as, what is a Chabad response to

http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol12/v12n065.shtml#12

nahare nahare upashte said...

i just cant get over how these farbissene losers redn zich ein ( convince themselves ) that the whole world thinks like them. the fact is that the majority of gedolei yisroel ( we will not name them bec they were named many times in the past ) dont have these rediculous taines. so many join chabad in all their peules from siyum horambam to public hadlokas haneiros etc etc. but its interesting that whenver there is a post that shows these things shvartz afn vais there is silence - no response and later again the broken record.
as far as thes people that think that they can learn better than the rebbe ( when r sha"y zevin, horav hirshprung, the stamer rov, r jb soloveichik etc etc said awsome things about the rebbes lomdus and yedies ) know one thing. if any godol - whther litvish chassidish or sfardish - whether belzer rebbe who told his chassidim not to eat a full shiur of koirech or komarner who said to make a brocho om rabeinu tams tefillin or the gr"o who said to make a brocho al netilas yodaim before mincha/mayerv and to make a brocho on all the other megillas or chasam soifer who ate outside of suko on shmini atzeres or r chaim brisker who dovened without a minian regularly - a lubavicher would never say that this godol was wrong. he would never make fun of him or ask his talmidim/chassidim why they follow him. it takes an am hooretz and a low life like some here who never talk halocho. never bring mekoires. they make sweeping statements - chabad is considered a different religion by everyone. why do we light public menoros when the alter rebbe or the rashab didnt do it ( can you believe these morons??? ) but whenever someone brings mekoros they are quiet only to repeat their unfounded nonsense again. tzig - is there a way you can put intellegent posts - i would love to discuss some issues with some people over here but the amaratzim are taking over. its getting real boring.

nahare nahare upashte said...

hemshech
when i said "tzig-is there a way you can put intelligent posts" - that was no reflection on what you are putting. i meant can you not post every rediculous hateful comment that has no substance but try to put more intelligent comments whethr agreeing with lubavitch or disagreeing - but of those who are ready to debate without hate and to respond to mekoiros etc

Anonymous said...

Issac
The disscusion of one Rebbe imitating his forebearers is somekind of hungarian concept that is being forced upon every event and custom and so on, most Rebbes and Gedolim have changed there hanhoge from their Rebbes or their parents, even the Kesav Sofer changed from his great father the Chasam Sofer, for instance he gave the heter for Machine Matzohs against Reb Shlome Klieger and the Sanzer, it was a major move towards modernity, he answered his critics that his fathers famous dogma Chodosh Ossor.. doesnt pertain to this discussion since its a change for the better and there is no reformer/ haskala motive behind it,

Anonymous said...

>>I understand the Kaliver has a wonderful voice and has nice niggunim. Are there any Kaliver chassidim ?

Of Course!!! Can the Nosi Hador NOT have chassidim? In a sense, we are all Kaliver Chassidim, and he is the Rebbe of us all.

Anonymous said...

I was under the impression that the previous Rebbe tucked in his tzitzis -- hence the Rebbe gave a whole sicha discussing how for certain very special individuals it was appropriate, in fact, to tuck them in. Can anyone clarify?

Fred said...

What year did Lubies start to light the Menorah in public squares?
make the car menorah parades?

Anonymous said...

Why not ask the heintige nosi hador? It is through his effots that we will be zoche to Moshiach! the fact that he is still alive PROVES this.

Nemo said...

Public menorah lighting started in 1975 in San Fransisco, Union Square.

Enrico Caruso said...

interesting to hear the blowhards crying about public menorahs...but exactlty WHO IS IT that are at this very moment are with the YIDDEN that stand at the gates to Aza..who is it that were Mezakeh them with Mitzvohs Ner Channukah, eh? Who is it that put on Tefillan with young men who might not be alive this time next week, and would have left this world as Karkafta Deloi Monoch? Eh?

Is it that talmidim of the LR or talmidim on the guy who was concerned about a possible Brocha Levatolo (according to him) on Tefillan but not worried about the Bittul Torah of reading Shelly and Byron and visits to the Berlin Opera house, eh??

Anonymous said...

>>Who is it that put on Tefillan with young men who might not be alive this time next week, and would have left this world as Karkafta Deloi Monoch? Eh?

This is an emotional argument, not an intellectual/halachic one. The reading of classics could be applied equally to the LR given his alleged education. One thing is for certain though: the heliege heintige nosi hador NEVER heard opear or read classics. That is how he can be the nosi hador.

kalmy said...

Nahare nahare
Are you trying to convince us that Lubavitchers "accept" other opinions?
If so, why are you always trying to convince people about "cholov stam'?Don't you know that many rabbonim are meikel? (today there is a new problem with 'treifa'..but let's discuss this point)it's a machloikes achroinim and even rishoinim.Generally is a sofek derrabonon we are meikel, sofek derabonon lekuleh, right?Yet Lubavitchers try to get people not to listen to their rabbonim.Is this "nahareh, naherh upashteh??

Enrico C. said...

"If so, why are you always trying to convince people about "cholov stam'?Don't you know that many rabbonim are meikel?"

Ah, meikel?? So it would be ok to me meikel as regards a safek brocho levatolo, particularly since:

1) in a case of being matzel one from karkafto deloi monoch tefillin

and

2) Yeish al mi lismoch.

or is it only ok to be meikel for chalav akum, pas akum, and hashchozos hazokon??

Oh, and the Talmid Chochom that wrote "The reading of classics could be applied equally to the LR given his alleged education", no one ever alleged the LR did this, while with his bar plugta this has already been established, even by his close talmidim

goat is a deluded hater! said...

Blinded by light??
You, are blinded by hate, Goat!
Hey, I saw you posted your drivel on the Satmar site, as if you naively wanted to hear an "opinion" on the "new" anonymous patsckvill against The Vayoel Moshe.
I saw they tore you and "yours" to pieces.
Only here you are the "brave" one.

Hirshel Tzig said...

drivel? I posted a link and a few words.

Tore? i beg to differ.

But dream on, friend.

goat is a hater said...

Enrico C.
Are you not over the vodka from last nights farby with the Rebbe shlit'a?
What are you rambling about?
Just to help you out....Nobody discussed whether to make a brocho on tefillin, ok.Follow discussions, will you.

goat? said...

"I posted a link and a few words"
Ah.
Just a "service" to the "oilem" ,eh??
Nice.You are a real baal chesed!
What I meant "tore" was when the guy KJ said something about "getschkes" "kalledge"etc, etc.Something I knew you would not post.
You are blinded by hate

Anonymous said...

>>Oh, and the Talmid Chochom that wrote "The reading of classics could be applied equally to the LR given his alleged education", no one ever alleged the LR did this, while with his bar plugta this has already been established, even by his close talmidim

I am sorry, the Rebbe was in Berlin and Paris for 12 years to learn Tanya there! How can you be so delusional?

The Nosi Hador, the Kaliver Rebbe, shlit"a, NEVER went to college, he wrote dozens of seforim and touched the hearts and minds of so many Jews. THAT is a nosi! And he is the Rebbe of all of Klal Yisroel.

Anonymous said...

ya gotta love snags who think everybody else zindigt just like they do. It must make them feel better about themselves and alow them to lead snaggy, productive lives with those looooong Tzitzis strings hanging down.

duvid said...

Who read the "classics"
Rabbi J.B Soloveichik?
A)He was a very educated man, who's own son in law is a talmid chochom muflag and has a phd in English litt from Harvard.
He was not part of the Chareidy world.
Rabbi Hutner?
Who said he read the classics?
Btw,
What do Lubavitchers think the Rebbe was doing in Berlin and Paris?I don't mean this in a negative way.I cannot believe that "reading the classics" can be construed, from the Chareidi viewpoint at least, as "worse" than leaving chasidish Warsaw, the Frierdiger Rebbe to live in places such as Berlin, which actually had some world class talmidei chachomim, like R'Chaim Heller, or Paris, which was almost a "midbar" for 11 years!
One thing seems clear is that the Rebbe, at the time had no plans in becoming rebbe himself, maybe because he was the younger son-in-law, maybe because he had more modern tendencies than chasidim.
These eleven years seem to be a black hole, where nobody seems to know what they were doing.To me, what is more amazing than the Rebbe being there, after all the Rebbe was a person who did not need many friends and spent most of his time learning as he did when he was a young bochur and even as Rebbe, is what his wife did there?What could she have done there for 11 years?I think she attended some college courses, but still.This whole thing is a mystery to me

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

This is an emotional argument, not an intellectual/halachic one. The reading of classics could be applied equally to the LR given his alleged education. One thing is for certain though: the heliege heintige nosi hador NEVER heard opear or read classics. That is how he can be the nosi hador.

The rebbe's degree was in engineering. I know plenty of engineering students and even am one myself (sort of if you stretch the definition) and for the most part they avoid classics like the biggest kannoim.

Paris for 12 years
Berlin and the Sorbonne together only came out to 7. It takes some doing to take 12 years to finish a masters. Back me up Tzig? I'm only a snag who doesn't know much litvishe history let alone chabad.

Anonymous said...

Modeh,

The Rebbe was never in the Sorbonne. Second, he is reputed to have been extraordinarily well read. According to the records available to us, the Rebbe did not spend more than 6 months auditing classes in the University of Berlin. Do you know which classes he audited?

zev said...

Modeh,
"Berlin and the Sorbonne together only came out to 7"
Eh??
Btw, the Sorbonne part is quite questionable, though Lubavitch unearthed something about a year ago showing he did attend.Basically The Rebbe attended a small school in Paris. The total of Berlin and Paris was about 12 years.He left Berlin in 1933 arriving there in 1929 approx, and left France in 1941.

The Rebbe graduated from the small engineering school, but I don't know if he had a 'masters' or an equivilant.

"I know plenty of engineering students and even am one myself (sort of if you stretch the definition) and for the most part they avoid classics like the biggest kannoim."
Look this comment is just plain dumb.Please try and keep a basic level here.Thank you

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Since when is it plain dumb to avoid reading Catullus? Not only is he a minuval but he's boring to. Whatever else the Lubavitcher Rebbe was, I am pretty sure stupid wasn't one of them.

The dates sound about right from my limited knowledge, so I stand corrected on that part. As for the Sorbonne I heard it from a YUnik not a Lubavitcher, and considerably more than a year ago. What was the name of the small school and do you have a link, or better yet, a print source? Seriously, I'm interested.

Isaac Balbin said...

The Rambam read the classics.

Will you all grow up?

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Isaac,
The Rambam read Plato, Aristotle and Galen. He probably also read, Homer, Plutarch, Sophocles, and Herodotus as well. I have also familiar with these authors. THat wasn't who I was talking about. If you are familiar with the author I mentioned they are not the source text of western civilization the first batch are. I assumed that the vehemence with which people here were dicussing whether or not he read "the classics" they must have been referring to the stuff that has no toeles whatsoever. If you disagree with me singling out Catullus I will give you a link upon request. If Enrico, Duvid, et al. were discussing any of the classics listed in this comment then you're right. The Rambam read those classics and they should grow up.

Anonymous said...

To Anon. Tues 10:58 AM --

The sicha on the various customs of tzitzis - is Likkutei Sichos 33, p. 95 et al.

Here's a link, page-by-page PDF:
http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14956&pgnum=107

AND Haoro 79 there:

79) ולהעיר, שבהנהגת כ"ק מו"ח אדמו"ר ראינו, שאף שהי' לובש הט"ק, באופן שכאשר הבגד העליון הי' פתוח, היו הט"ק והציציות נראים — אמנם בכמה זמנים במשך היום הי' הבגד העליון סגור (מכופתר) ומכסה הט"ק והציצית. — אבל לא שמענו ממנו — בכ"ז.

nahare upashte said...

I wasn’t really surprised to see kalmy’s irrelevant reply to everything I wrote. Kalmy – I l give it one more chance to see if you are able to talk “tzu der zach”
1. you accuse lubavichers in encouraging others to drink cholov yisroel rather than cholov stam why don’t you have the same taine to reb moishe who in yore dea 2 simon 35 tells a yeshiva that bnei teyre should not drink cholov stam even if it means spending a lot more money. He says – rouy lebal nefesh lehachmir… af keshe yesh rak chashash issur. In a different tshuva where he is matir he says that in places where ch”y is available one should not use cholov stam.
2. nevertheless the lubavicher rebbe instructed r berl levy of OK ( a lubavicher chosid ) to give hashgocho on cholov stam for the sake of those who want to rely on that heter.
3. just think a little bit – does it make sense to compare encouraging others to accept a chumra with telling them that their rebbe /poisek is wrong ( which is being done by farbissene losers ). No one yet responded to what I wrote about controversial psokim / practices of the gr”o, r chaim brisker, other chassidishe rabbeim ( I mentioned but a few before ). Never would a lubavicher make fun of these practices or tell a talmid of these gedolim not to follow their psokim. Please respnd with seichel

Hirshel Tzig said...

to clarify:

The Rebbe and Rebbetzin lived in Berlin 1929-1933, and Paris 1933-1941. Contrary to popular belief and Misnagdic and Satmar myth LOTS of people saw the Rebbe, knew the Rebbe and spent time with him. According to yidden like Reb Chatzkel Beser ZGZ Berlin was a sheine yiddishe shtot with lots of mosdos HaTeyreh, and to a lesser extent so was Paris, despite the other attractions there.

So please let's not get so excited.

Isaac Balbin said...

Modeh B'Miktsas: So now the Rambam is really Sefardo-Hungarian and Chodosh Ossur Min HaTorah :-) ?

Come on now, surely it's a brave man that would claim that some sophisticated works have absolutely no "Toeles".

Dibra Torah Kilshon B'Nei Odom requires two things: a yedias hatorah and loshon b'nei odom. If a Rav who is cut out for it, can't relate to the Amcho and speak their language, then of course, he often finds himself limited to those who speak his language. Our world, with it's ubiquitous instantaneous communication facilities means that it is increasingly difficult to confine people to a particular daled amos of Machshovo, Dibur and Maaseh. The bottom line is that what is read should not be Ossur. This also implies an interpretation of "Seforim Chitzoni-im" which may be centric and not universal.

Having said that, there is ample evidence of Gedoley Torah who read all manner of thing. One small (and most interesting in my view) example of this can be heard here (R' Gil Perl):

http://www.yiccaudio.org/Audio/2008MemorialLecture.mp3

Anonymous said...

>>The Rambam read the classics.

The Rebbe was no Rambam.

And contrary to Tzig's representations, Berlin and Paris in the 1930s were not places of Torah. To continue with your suggestion that Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz and Lubavitch have a lot in common, the former was in Yeshiva his whole life, and would have never left Yeshiva to go there for all the money in the world.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Isaac, what are you talking about. I never thought anyone would try to convince me of all people that it's OK to read "sefarim chitzonim" All I was trying to say is that when people say "the classics" it can refer to a wide variety of Greco-Roman literature, and more broadly to a lot of other stuff. My point was simply that the authors I thought they were talking about offer no insight to lashon bnei adam and have no value whatsoever. E.G. this and anyone who didn't need to know it for other reasons (e.g. core curriculum) wouldn't read it. If you want to debate the literary merits we can do that via email so as not to take away from the other narishe machlokesin.

Enrico C. said...

Isaac,

You infered where I did not imply. I never mentioned 'classics' in my original post...the nit wit who was impressed with his Rosh Yeshiva studying the english romanticist lumped them together as 'the classics'.

as to the greeks, there is ZERO evidence that the Rebbe studied them, much less hut zich ge'veikt in them. As to others that were there at the time, the same can't be asserted.

zev said...

"According to yidden like Reb Chatzkel Beser ZGZ Berlin was a sheine yiddishe shtot with lots of mosdos HaTeyreh, and to a lesser extent so was Paris, despite the other attractions there."

R'Chatzkel is a wonderful yid.He is not from Berlin.He left Poland at the very mature age of 16!
Tzig,
Can you stop making fun of yourself?
You refer to a snippet on J.E.M where R'Chatzkel tells a story from a person he knew on the Upper West Side.Actually from R'Chazkels story, you see that Berlin was not a very "heimishe' place.What is pointed out is that the Rebbe "always wore a hat or beret" and that stood out, because everybody took off their hats when going into a bank etc (what R'Chatzkel means I believe is that nobody wore a yarmulka either when going into banks etc..)He also writes that the Rebbe had a full beard, very unusual at the time.Again proof how "heimish" Berlin was???
When the Rebbe went to see the Belzer Rebbe, RChatzkel relates, nobody knew who the Rebbe was, again proving the Rebbe kept to himself.
Tzig,
Everyone knows that Berlin, even the Orthodox there were very far from a "chasidishe,heimishe" place.Almost like someone leaving Williamsburg to Boston.Paris was much worse.
But you never seem bothered by "facts" so don't let this bother you in your "mission"

Hirshel Tzig said...

Zevel

funny how you think you know what

1) berlin and Paris were

2) what Warsaw was.

happy dreamimg!

zev said...

"as to the greeks, there is ZERO evidence that the Rebbe studied them, much less hut zich ge'veikt in them. As to others that were there at the time, the same can't be asserted."

You have "zero" evidence that the Rebbe studied them, however are "very knowledgable" about what other did!?

Chaver,
You sound silly.
I don't care if "all" the people you dislike so intensly read Greek classics or not.They were great people.I'm bothered by your childish, circular logic.

Anonymous said...

Hirsch,

With all nasty comments aside, Zev is right. There was not a thread of heimishe yidden in Berlin.

Hirshel Tzig said...

not a thread, eh?

were there Heimishe yidden in Budapest?

zev said...

Hirshel,
I thought I was clear in explaining why Berlin was not very heimish.For example the Rebbe having a full beard was seen by R'Chatzkels friend as very unusual.

....continue on your mission, though.Facts are not your strong points

Anonymous said...

Budapest had many heimishe yidden.R'Yoinoson Shteif was rov of the heimishe kehilla

Hirshel Tzig said...

I realize that Reb Zev, and I realize you know how to repeat yourself too. The point is there was Torah and Yiddishkeit there, albeit of a more modern nature.

As if Warsaw was all gerrer chassidim....

Hirshel Tzig said...

anonymous 1:12

how many of those heimishe yidden wore beards?

chaimshmeel said...

>>>kalmy said...

Nahare nahare
Are you trying to convince us that Lubavitchers "accept" other opinions?
If so, why are you always trying to convince people about "cholov stam'?Don't you know that many rabbonim are meikel? (today there is a new problem with 'treifa'..but let's discuss this point)it's a machloikes achroinim and even rishoinim.Generally is a sofek derrabonon we are meikel, sofek derabonon lekuleh, right?Yet Lubavitchers try to get people not to listen to their rabbonim.Is this "nahareh, naherh upashteh??>>>

I'm sorry, Kalmy, but this piece of nonsense is incredibly ignorant. First, 'cholov yisroel' is not a 'lubavitch', nor even 'chassidic' concept, it's a simple din in the SA. Yes, the book a frum Jew lives by is the Shulchan Aruch, not a 'machlokes horishonim', nor a 'yesh omrim', or some 'svoras hageonim' etc. Your post belies a painful ignorance of how halacha works, even the basics of it. R' Moshe's major chiddush of 'anan sahadei', reliant as it was on a non-existent 'mirtas', was, even 30 years ago, a major stretch. Today, when it is clear as day that the level of 'mirtas' RMF writes about in his tshuva is only a fantasy, a frum Jew wouldn't rely on his heter.
So what bothers you about Lubavitch is that they think you should keep CY.....get a life.

zev said...

I made three logical arguments which though not iron clad are logical about how "heimish" Berlin was, and how involved the Rebbe was socially.(when the Belzer Rebbe visited, nobody knew who the young man who was the only one the Belzer Ruv took off the towel to give a handshake to.It was the Rebbe).

The Tzig calls me "garbage", then challenges what I know about *Warsaw*
Lol.Warsaw had many thousands of chasidishe yidden, the greates Rebbes and rabbonim.The Frierdiger Rebbe.
*Berlin*Germany had a 30% assimilation rate.Berlin had 1 yeshiva, which was small and Y.U. style.
*Paris*
Had almost zero, a few Polish refugees who were still traditional.No yeshiva.Very few Heimishe yidden.
About the contention that the Rebbe was well known.Absoloute untruth, as the Tzig knows very well.
Keep it up, Hirshel. You have *convinced* yourself

Hirshel Tzig said...

1) The BR's visit was early in the Rebbe's stay in paris, IIRC, and the people there didn't know him. That could very easily mean the BR's people, and why should they, they were foreigners.

2) Zevel = Zev בלשון חיבה
I'm sorry if you thought I was calling you garbage

3) I realize again that you cannot compare the cities, but people did know the rebbe, as is evidenced by the testimony. He tried to hide but word always got out. The point is that he wasn't running away from Heimishe Yidden and Yiddishkeit. He was not an ex-Yeshiva bachur looking for a good time, c'v, as the misnagdim etc. would like to believe.

zev said...

Hirshel
The Belzer Rebbe came to Berlin FOR TREATMENT TO HIS EYES.That is the story R'Chatzkel tells on J.E.M.
I don't know if the Rebbe was "running away" or not.The Rebbe was not a very social person.He was a gentleman with refined European manners, who for example opened the door for the pregnant mother of a lady I know who lived in the building with the Rebbes mother.
I also realize that being son-in-law of the Lubavitcher Rebbe and living in Berlin and Paris was a bit uncomfortable, so that may explain the uneasiness.After all the other son-in-law R'Mendel Horenstein was not very chasidish, and lived in the same building with them in Paris.
You have to be honest that the Frierdige Rebbe, talking all the chassidus, did not feel very comfortable away from his daughters, especially when they were living in Paris and studying in college.I'm sure it was not something that Lubavitcher chasidim and the bnei yeshiva in Otvock were proud about or advertised.

Hirshel Tzig said...

Berlin, yes, not Paris.

zev said...

Hirshel,
I see you don't want to address the fact that one would logically assume that the Frierdigeh Rebbe was not very happy that his sons-in-law, chose to live in Paris and attend college.Especially the Rebbe, who was a brilliant young man.
You don't have to answer.
I will however see this as a sign of intellectual dishonety

Hirshel Tzig said...

fact

logically

assume


does that make sense to you?

You can assume, but don't make it into a fact.

zev said...

I see you don't want to address the issue.
You are nitpicking.
As I said you don't need to address the issue.That however would be intellectualy dishonest.

Hirshel Tzig said...

I need to address what I see fit and when I see fit. YOU need to address what I spoke about here, namely Menorahs and such.

yoshe kalb said...

Just for the record:
Berlin had a very well organized yekkishe break-away kehilloh ( "Austrittsgemeinde" ) Adass Isroel that was headed by such luminaries like Rav Hildesheimer, Rav Weinberg ("S'ridei Eish"), Rav Hoffmann ("Melamed LeHoi'l"), Rav Biberfeld and many other high-caliber Talmide Chachomim. Besides that there was a quarter - "Scheunenviertel" populated by Jews from the East with a number of shtieblach (Radomsk, Bobov, Czortkov etc).
Regarding secular literature: have a look at the index of the Lubavitch Library and judge for yourselves...

zev said...

R'Chatzkel mentioned a street name Grenadierstrasse were there were about 15 shtibelach.The Rebbe davened in the Dumbrover.Rabbi Mordche Duvid Ungars father ran the Dombrover shtiebel in C.H.

Hirshel,
You did not post my comment about how good you are at dodging.What gives??

Anonymous said...

Would Dante's Inferno be considerd a "classic"?
How about the "classics" and the not so classical in the library stuck in Russia?

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Yoshe kalb, that is the "small YU type place" anon mentioned. I don't know what happened to my last comment but here is the relevant part:
Greek classics /= english romanticists /= naturalist poetry /= the french theater /= The German Opera /= the Russian novel.
Bitte. Anyone who wishes to hock about literature please identify the genre era or tradition you are referring to. In our terms that would be miktzoa, tekufa, and derech respectively.

yungerman said...

not getting to off topic, here in the Conejo valley CA , all the Refrom & conservative congregations, lit public menorahs in the local shopping centers:)

Isaac Balbin said...

Modeh BeMiktzas:

I never thought anyone would try to convince me of all people that it's OK to read "sefarim chitzonim"

I said the opposite. For some, Seforim Chitzoni-im means anything which isnt talmud torah kipshuto. It clearly does not mean that!

As to Berlin/Paris and whether the Rayatz was "happy" about that situation. Apparently he did pay for the University fees and on the other hand it is alleged that members of the Althaus family heard the Rayatz in very heated conversation about this matter. I don't have hard evidence for that, but on the latter matter I've been meaning to check its veracity and never got round to it (not that they would tell me anyway :-)

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Oh. You didn't? So that "sefardo-Hungarian" remark wasn't sarcastic? THis may sound convoluted but i thought you thought that i said something against sefarim chitzonim and you rushed to their defense.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Oh and tzig, maybe you should just turn off comment moderation because in a commendable nod to free speech you let everything by anyway so if you turned off modding you could greatly increase the speed of shtus.

Anonymous said...

Issac
The alleged disapproval of the Rayatz has 1 source Shimmy Deutsch its as genuine as the coins of the Chashmonim in his so called museum.

Anonymous said...

Duvid
What a chutzpa and ferdiskiet to write on the Rebbe 12 years are a black hole in his life,
Can I ask you on Rebbes that most of their lives were traveling jet seting to expansive vacations even prewar gedolim, while the rebbe was sitting in his cubicle talking to yidish kinder for nights after nights plus Suffering along the plight of Russian Jewry even July and August when the New Yorker tzadikim were in Sharon Springs,Saratoga , White Lake and the lovely Swiss Alps or Teves and Shevat, when all the tzadikim were in Palm Dessert and Miami and wrote tens of thousands letters as the Moreh Nevuchim of our genaration. Giving Full shabos afternoons farbrengens on Rambam,Zohar Rashi Al hatorah while most people were burping from the chulent effect.You can folow almost all his life and see his multifaceted life he led that was unique in Jewish history.
Did you ever see the deep kabala discussions he had with his great father in the years of Paris and Berlin, or his reshimos from those years a smorgasboard of Bavli, Yerushalmi,Midrashim , kabala and chassidus, or the letters that his father begs him to stop with the taniesim.
Not too many yungeliet like these were walking on the holy strrets of Warsaw,or Grossveirdin and not even in Belz or Gur,
The rebbes that didnt produce that amount of torah have rather a black hole in there resumes

Anonymous said...

Dear Hershel!

Would you care to update your post about the great display of achdus at the Shloyshim party for Bombay victims? I have heard that it failed to live up to the expectations :)))

Hirshel Tzig said...

Is that a good thing? Should we be happy?

Isaac Balbin said...

Anonymous:
In respect of the source of that story, Rabbi Deutsch doesn't quite "make" the claim. He refers to information from the Althauses. There is a difference. Efshar Livreooray. Whether you will get the information though is a different story. Perhaps you have to find the right moment when someone has had a few.

Modeh Bemiktzas:
My comment about you seemingly saying that the Rambam had become Hungarian and adopted the misused "Chodosh Osur Min HaTorah" was actually saying that one cannot claim that the Rambam didn't read such things, and if they were Ossur he never would have done so. To make those things Ossur, one would either have to claim the Rambam was Hungarian and/or somehow treat those as Seforim Chitzonim. I know he wasn't Hungarian, and I don't believe those fall under the rubric of Sforim Chitzonim. You can try and be mechalek between classics if you wish, but see my post about dibroh torah kilshon bnei odom. In the context, I think that it was to our great benefit that many leaders were exposed to western thinking, learning and culture. It is no secret that it was their ability to relate to others which stood them apart. In this regard, of course, the last Lubavitcher Rebbe was one of a number who fell into this category.

At the end of the day, my comment was that condemning those who engaged in the reading of classics is a futile adventure, especially as there is ample evidence that many greater than all of us did so. I gave a link to the Netziv. Did anyone listen to that fascinating lecture?

An Oloh Tmimo was one of our Avos. The other two dealt with Olom Hazeh in very real ways. Manhigim, at least some of them, need to live in Olom Hazeh in my view.

Be well.

Anonymous said...

Issac
I know that he claims a source, he has a source for everything,the problem is that you can not ask these people.He knows that someone heard thru the door of rebetzin Chanas dealings with the FR about her sons future its all on the verge of fiction but as long its negative and sponsored by the Rebbes enemies he is the beacon of truth and no facts will change it

Chabad Historian said...

"Hirshel,
I see you don't want to address the fact that one would logically assume that the Frierdigeh Rebbe was not very happy that his sons-in-law, chose to live in Paris and attend college.Especially the Rebbe, who was a brilliant young man."-zev

According to a My Encounter with a certain Prof. Shochat, the Rebbe didn't want to go, but the Frierdiker Rebbe instructed him to. (It could be that the whole reason that the FR wanted him to go is connected to the story about when the Rebbe was mekarev a fraieh student in the University (i think Sorbonne. And yes, there is evidence that the Rebbe studied there [, including the testimony of his classmate's]).