Thursday, July 2, 2009
Creating the Lubavitcher Talmid Chochem
Lubavitchers like to think of themselves as equal. They're all equal. No head table at events - most of the time. Rosh Yeshivos are often called by their first names and a Rosh Yeshivah will often just let it go. A friend who meets a former chavruseh of his who's now a famous mashpia or the rov of Bnei Beraq would still call him Leibel or Yossel or Mayshe. At the Rebbe's farbrengen it didn't matter if you were 90 years old, you'd often have to fight for a vantage point or a seat if you didn't have one reserved. You also don't get many accolades for doing what you're supposed to; meaning a bachur in yeshivah who learns the whole mesechta baal peh won't be called the best bachur in yeshivah and won't be groomed to be the next "Reb Akive Eiger." The same goes for yeshivos; there are better and not such good yeshivos, but there is no Yeshivah LeMetzuyonim. In other words - not to chew your eyes and ears off - it's a pretty much classless society. Which is why a recent ba'al tshuveh has no problem and getting up and darshening his boych s'vores in 770 or in public, because he too wears a hat and kapote and beard, so he's no different than anybody else... Actually the latter is an outcome more of Meshichism than of genuine Chabad, but you might say that was the nesinas mokem. ?קלאר
I'm getting off the point here. With bachurim often involved with mivtzoyim and shlichus at an early age - despite it not being b'zman sidrei haYeshivah - the chashivus of full-time learning often gets lost. Add to that the fact that many of the finer yungeleit go on shlichus and are often left teaching young kids or beginner adults and what you have is a gap that needs to be filled. Kolel is meant to last one year, maybe two. There are those that stay longer, but they're the exception. Most that are shayech to learning and don't go on shlichus go into chinuch. The main emphasis - as the Rebbe wanted - is placed on going on shlichus, meaning that every bachur yearns for that one he's married and past Kolel. It's gotten to the point that much good talent - bachurim that are really shayech to learning - are "wasted" on shlichus since they're being utilized to the fullest potential. It seems like somebody has begun to take notice, surprise, surprise, and has decided to step out of the box and do something about it. I say "out of the box" and I mean today's Chabad "box." After all, we do each have our own boxes, don't we?
Having said that, a blurb on the website "shturem" today caused somewhat of a ruckus. According to the story, and take it at face value, there is to be a Yeshivah for מצויינים founded somewhere in Europe next year. It will be a breeding ground for the next generation of Rabbonim and Rosh Yeshivah in Chabad. 14 precious bochurim will be allowed entry after a careful selection process. It doesn't sound like a very Lubavitcher idea to some, them being more equal and stuff, but I think it's a good one, considering the times we're in, and considering it's 15 years "since Gimmel Tammuz." Yes, Lubavitch is all about love and inclusion, and yes, every Jewish child - no matter his background - deserves an education similar to the average kids, but why can't there a level dedicated to those who show exceptional talent and skills? Why must we keep those who are capable of accomplishing more down with the average kids? Nobody is going to do away with the regular Yeshivah setting, rest assured of that. Mrs. Doe, your Zalmy and Mendy will get to go to Melbourne or Sydney or Kfar Chabad when he finishes Oholei Torah "zal" just like his older brothers did.
All we're asking for is that there be who to teach your sons. That there be Roshei Yeshivah in the caliber of Reb Yisroel Friedman and the brothers Kalmanson for the next generation. The way it's going now, with almost every available talent going out to teach beginners, it doesn't seem like it'll happen - al pi derech haTeva, anyway. This seems to be a private venture. Some rich man with money was convinced of the need for such a misgeres and will fund it completely, so they say. And as far as the asinine comments on Shturem complaining that trying to raise lomdim is a "misnagdishe, Litvishe" idea; all I can say is PUH-LEEZ. If you in your right mind that the biggest nachas the Rebbe could have was for a Gaon Olam in the tradition of Leibel Kaplan a"h teaching Aleph Beis to a child and then learning Gemoroh בעיון on his own late into the night, then you don't know the first thing about "unzer heilige Rebbe." For a yungerman of below-average intelligence to do it is kain kuntz nit. For a shliach who only learns Chumash Rashi to teach that to his class is מהיכי תיתי, The Rebbe wants "bacon," not "eggs," if you remember the story of the hen and the dovor achar walking along the street, and the only way to do that is to be something first and then avek gebben fun zich later.
I realize now that I sort of went off the point by first saying that it would create Roshei Yeshivah, and then saying it would create Lomdishe shluchim. Oh well, efsher lekayem shnayhem.