Thursday, January 29, 2009
Is it all about the peyos?
I'm about to apologize for something I haven't done and may not do at all. I'm about to apologize for not caring about Jews in harm's way. How do I know this? after almost four years you just know what to expect, and I expect to be slammed for not caring about Jews. The issue I have is why they pick and choose their causes, as I guess we all do, but I'm not here to criticize myself... Currently - and for some years now - the Hatzoloh cause is that of the few Teimener Yidden remaining in that forsaken country, for some strange reason. It's safe to say that despite Satmar's efforts to help these Yidden they also hurt them by scaring them from going to Israel. So, the poor souls are left there to their own devices, at the mercy of the local Muslims, and await the occasional Satmarer Chossid who's allowed to visit them and bring them whatever he's allowed to bring in. Don't get me wrong; I don't intend on knocking the Hatzoloh work that Satmar does. I live in Monsey and I see many of those families, although I will say that they seem to be having a hard time acclamating to the community, peyos and Hungarian hats not withstanding.
I know all about Satmar and the Iranians. Rav Tov/Tiv, yeah. But I doubt that anybody in Satmar gets all warm and fuzzy when they speak of Iranian Jews. Mention Yemenites, however, and he'll get all excited! Firstly about the past, and also about the present. He'll get excited that the Tziyonim cut their peyos off, and how the Yemenites were the holiest Jews in the world. Why? because they sported long peyos! Then he'll be proud of the fact that many Teymener Mishpoches live in Satmar enclaves, wear traditional Satmar garb, and speak the Satmar dialect of Yiddish. No small feat, there's no doubt about that. So I wonder; I wonder if these Jews in trouble in a far away land were not as aesthetically similar to the Satmars would anybody care? would the Satmorim care? Would they be able to pull together such a list of Rabbonim from across the spectrum? Most of them looked dazed and unsure of why they're there. It's not they're gonna rile up their chassidim and congregants and demand better protection for the Teimonim, "so why I am here," Rabbi X is thinking to himself. Is it all about the peyos?!