Monday, January 11, 2010
Reb Avrohom Hirsh Kamai HyD with Yeshivah bachurim - Photo Source
You people out there seem to think that somehow Chabad has changed, deliberately so. That they've left the path of their ancestors and created a new Chabad. Which is why guys like "An Ailemisher" will announce that the fact that by two hours after Motzoei Shabbos there was no post about chof daled teves means that Chabad has no connection to Lubavitch of today. That the Alter Rebbe means nothing to Chabad. Not that it's the only "proof" you have. There also the fact that the AR says to daven shacharis for 1.5 hours daily, and no chabad minyan does that! I think that Rav Wolfson's minyan does carry on that tradition, if my memory serves me correctly. Then, of course, guys that comment here often will tell you that the focus deliberately shifted to outreach, and that no longer is emphasis placed on matters of the heart, meaning avodah and such. And the so-called list goes on. I'm not here to argue the facts, but I will you tell this much; look inward, my friends and then point fingers. Just as you righteous dudes always tell me to do.
The fact is that today's yiddishkeit is merely a shell of what it once was. Nobody would readily admit to that for obvious reasons, but a little scratching of the surface will easily attest to that fact. The fact that American Jewry is seen as a group of Novol B'reshus HaToyreh'nikkes is opgeredt, but even Europeans and Israelis are no better. Most Jews, however, have an easier time covering it up, thought, and very often that's all it takes - trappings. A young chossid who dresses just like they did in Galicia, complete with the heavy tallis under the Rezhvulke on July Shabbos mornings in New York or Bnei Beraq, is all set - he's good to go. A yungerman who lets his sidelocks grow wild is an immediate Brisker - just like the Brisker Rov, even if he never cracked a sefer. When it comes to the Lubavitcher the probing is much deeper. No longer is it good enough to look like his zeide, and even that they doubt and question, but he needs to be on his zeide's level too, both in learning and in Avodah. And he needs to do things as the "Ailimisher" guy sees fit!
I'll never forget how one evening in Boro Park there was a conversation on 18th Avenue that I was part of that still rattles me when I think about it. We had just finished davening maariv and somehow the conversation got to Chabad and the Rebbe. This man was somewhat of a hybrid; he was a talmid of Lakewood before Reb Schneur took over, was/is a chossid of a smaller Boro Park Rebbe, yet all his kids are chasidish/ch'nyokish. So this genius was going on about Chabad, and how today's Chabad was only concerned about "giving out dollars to women," but his Rebbe (RAK) knew what the "old" Chabad was all about, and that's why he opposed it so. נישטא ווער ס'זאל לאכען. The point is this: Today's oylem HaYeshivos is but a shadow, a shell, of what it once was 90% of bachurim in yeshivos would never be accepted into the Litvishe Yeshivos 70 years ago, and the ones that are accepted have lots to learn when it comes to Havonoh, Hasmodoh and so on They have no idea what it means to lose yourself in a sugyah, and to sit in the Beis Medrash from Thursday to Sunday non-stop and just learn. The same goes for the non-Chabad chassidim; don't pat yourselves on the back because of the shell, because you have the look down pat. It only goes so far, and not far enough.