Tuesday, December 16, 2008
יום טוב אין דער וואכען
I just finished my Yud Tes Kislev Seudah with my Mishpoche. We set the table like Shabbos, lit two candles, without a Brochoh of course, and had a festive meal, Baked chicken and Orzo, complete with L'chaim (Carmel Young) and desert, brownies. We figured that despite the fact that the kids were taught all about the Chag HaChagim at school, that they need see it "observed" at home as well, and in a family setting, showing the importance of the day. I can see some of you jumping out of your seats already, quoting irrelevant gemoros about how adding yomim tovim is assur. Somehow you'll convince yourself that it's a concoction of the last Chabad generation, and that if Rabbonim and Geonim got along fine with Nesiei Chabad then, then it must be that Chabad did something to change it. Well, my friends, it seems like Yud Tes Kislev as been watered down some after WW2, in the old days it was more of a big deal than it is today. Imagine that! I once heard from Reb Avrohom Aron Rubashkin that in Nevel - his hometown - there was no cheder on Yud Tes Kislev, today all Chabad chadorim have school. אכשיר דרא.
You might ask what is it about this day that Lubavitchers - and many non-Chabad chassidim - make such a big deal of it. You might say that it's the אור וחיות נפשנו ניתן לנו that the Rebbe Rashab refers to that injects that holy light on this auspicious day. Contrary to what many of you may think little is made of the Misnagdic aspect of the story, other than when telling the actual story. This is not a Didan Notzach over Misnagdim, but rather a day of Hachlotos Tovos, a day when the Chassidishe Neshomoh enters one's Guf in an internal way, and when the koach is given מלמעלה to learn and understand chassidus and to follow in its ways. For me these last 2 days have been a Yom Tov in Der Vochen. Days where you can sit on a regular Tuesday, after a day's work, and sit BeDibuk Chaverim listening to vareme verter from a mashpia and singing vareme nigunim. You leave the farbrengen at 3am and you've been transformed to another world, a world where there's only good. At least for a short while you live off those Hachlotos Tovos that you made, until the time comes to recharge the batteries.