Tuesday, June 1, 2010

You can tell alot about a man by his shoes (WARNING - attack on Lubavitch follows!)


L-R: The choson and the Dinover Rebbe

So I'm cruising Col Live and I come across this story about a wedding in Crown Heights last night. Nothing very out of the ordinary there, except that the Dinover Rebbe, the younger brother of the Munkatcher Rebbe - was the mesader kiddushin, which sort of weird when the two - or either side - are not what you'd call Gezhe or Boro Park/Williamsburg families. [It turns out that the DR is related to the kallah.] I guess that's what caught my attention. So I scroll down and look at the pictures, and epes shmekt mir nisht. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing Halachically wrong here, it's just that the choson looks unkempt and not like a choson should. Then I saw the shoes, un s'iz mir nisht gut gevorren. I can understand a kallah wearing sensible or comfortable shoes, but a choson? and noch vos far a surt shoes! The only thing that bothers me maybe more is that cutesy comments on COL, where people find this cute and adorable. More reason to shake your head and wring your hands, if you ask me. This may not seem like much to many of you, but it shows how a general problem has gotten out of hand and needs to be corrected, and it won't take much work, just a little bit of paying attention.


Oy Gevald, the shoes!

I ask that you see these words of mine for what they are, meaning don't think that I'm talking down or trying to distance myself from the newly observant. What happens in Lubavitch is since there are so many Baalei Tshuveh that many of those who join don't feel like they need to conform. He can join one of the subcultures and not feel left out. Once you have that situation on your hands, where a BT does NOT want to go mainstream yoyu really have no choice but to let him be. A Skverrer or Bobover BT knows that he needs to do everything just right and not G-d forbid "beep when he needs to bop." So he makes da-n sure to do everything just so, so as not to stick out from the crowd, unless, of course, he opens his mouth which would give it all away. But if he follows the rules and customs he'll be OK, relatively speaking. I also believe that in those groups that don't have a large BT contingent that they make sure that the BTs that they have fall in line, so as not to make the rest of them look bad. If you're gonna tell people you're a Bobover make sure to look the part or they'll disown you. I'm not saying that all it is is just protecting their self image, but image is important there and it extends to all aspects of life - with geborener and gevorener. Or maybe they just care more about looks, I don't know, but the fact is that I doubt they'd find a choson with checkered sneakers cute. You may wanna disregard what I said as far as other groups, but I stand by what I said as far as Lubavitch is concerned.


In Lubavitch this is exponentially more difficult than anywhere else. In Lubavitch love's the word. You need to love everybody, so many people misconstrue that message of love and take it to mean let me do what I want and don't ever tell what to do. If I wanna put white sneakers on my kid with his Shabbos suit that's none of your business. If my husband wears blue jeans with his kapote stay out of it. Not that it's always deliberate, sometimes it's simple lack of knowledge, but it often is deliberate, and after a while you're afraid to open your mouth for fear of insulting or angering a person you don't want to hurt. Again, this isn't limited to the BT; the sneakers and the jeans are just examples. The same goes for other breaches of Charedi etiquette, and the same goes for the Gezha and other FFB. Having made all the excuses for Lubavitch there still is no excuse for what happened with Chasan Dinan. To their credit somebody did arrange the wedding and did manage to get him and her the necessary attire. He has a new hat and kapote and she has a dress, but what about the rest of him? Couldn't he be told to at least get a haircut on this auspicious day? Is that too much to ask for?! Hello????


I'll bet that never happened to the Dinover before...

This isn't meant as an attack on the choson himself. I realize he probably worked very hard to prepare himself, especially as far as the spiritual is concerned. I know that lots of hard work probably went into arranging his wedding on behalf of many people who gave of their time and money to get this very sweet couple on the road of life. Which is why you scratch your head and wonder why they missed this little point. I understand people are very lofty these days and are not into gashmiyus.... but that's as far as your gashmius is concerned. For yenem's gashmius you need to have mesirus nefesh, no less than for his ruchnius, especially when it comes to hachnosas kallah. A concerned friend is all it took here, the choson would thank him later. And I hope that concerned friend nudges them along later in life as well, with lots of understanding and love. I just hope that he doesn't decide to wear these shoes every Shabbos, that would just be too much to handle. In any case, we wish the yunge porfolk a life full of mazel and brochoh and nachas and glick and lots of money and lots of chassidishe kinder talmidei chachomim and noshim k'sheyrim ad bias goel tzedekl bb"a.

39 comments:

Yerachmiel Lopin said...

I agree with your posting. You hit the nail on the head when you spoke of the matter of numbers. A deeper question is whether Chabad has become so outwardly oriented that it is losing its bearings

CR said...

Yeech! I last saw shoes like that when on Mivtzoyim in Washington Square Park many years ago! VD"L

schneur said...

Not being part of contemporary Chabad , I am uncertain I understand this posting.
But the red sneakers doesn't really bother me.
Peopel should be permited self expression as long as one is not a naval birshus hatore and red shoes does not fit that category .
Now put yourself back in Warsaw in 1929 a city full of Chassidic jews Gerer, Aleksanderer, Radomsk etc, (I know there were many secualr Jews there too) with the full peylishe getup - Yiddishe hittel, bekitche, shtivel zupitsche, gartel, peyos etc etc. You have a rebbische wedding the chasan a banshak walks in with a mini Kapote, no peyos to speak of, modern shoes, a western hat, white gloves befitting an English gentlemen etc etc what did the guests and crowd think ? and did the chasan give a "dann" ?
It should be about pnimius.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

oy, Schneur.

Anonymous said...

Schneur is right,

Leroy said...

You are ALL wrong here. Pnimiyus is what matters. Plenty of Lubavitch BTs send their children for a Chabad Chinuch whereas those who join up from the Heimish world not only keep their Streimel (can excuse that) BUT DO NOT SEND THEIR CHILDREN TO THE CHABAD MOSSAD IN THEIR OWN TOWN DESPITE BEING ON THE BOARD OF SUCH INSTITUTIONS THEMSELVES. Moreover, plenty join Chabad or are even FFB gezhe, not the bit moderrn (those have an excuse) and do not send their children to the Chabad cheder despite running the town's mesivta.

Be sure to ask mechila from the chosson.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

mechillah? whatever for?

Anonymous said...

What if some non-religious or non-affiliated family member or friend bought him this pair of shoes as a present for the wedding, and the Choson not wanting to embarrass them decided to wear it regardless of the looks?

Anonymous said...

http://jewishmusicreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/63.jpg

Anonymous said...

Nice post. Tzig hit the nail on the had when he (Tzig) insinuated that if Bobov would have a high percentage of BT's they would also form their own subculture. In Chabad, if BT's where less than ten percent, maybe they would also be forced to conform.

The main and important issue that Chabad as a group must deal with is that adherence to a specific dress code is indicative of uniformity in ideological precepts. Hence, the tzugikuminers who fail to conform to the societal norms with regards to mode of dress, probably has a skewered understanding of "Hiskashrus" and the role the Rebbe plays in his life.

On a more simplistic level: if he couldn't shtel zich tzu to the relatively easy "stuff" (dress codes) he probably didn't change his mind and actions; he probably still has secular values that are miluvesh in other views. He might understand "yaphutzu" and "furatztah" in a very superficial and goyisheh/secular way, vedal. Having a large group of such people is not a good sign.

On a lighter note: I bet you the Hungarians chap pretty quickly how to play the game with the chitzoneyus. It must be a strugle for them to untuck their shirts, etc. Our hearts feel for such people.

Salute!

Mottel said...

A few points:

-Most problems with the dress of ba'alei teshuvah stems from poor education on the part of the mechanchim. No one tells them not to wear backpacks, basketball shoes on shabbos, white socks with black pants etc. IMHO it is the result of the subconscious desire of the "FFB" crowd to create a visually distinct class of ba'alei teshuva.

-Mha b'kach that he wears weird shoes. Do they look good? Not in my opinion. But it's his call. The idea of a conformist yeiddishe "levush" dating back no more the 100 years ago is a shtus.
Don't get me wrong - there's a problem wearing clothes that are ostentatious or prust . . . and these shoes may very well be over that line . . . but in all honesty the people that have a problem with those shoes aren't bothered by the read sh'bdavar - if the choson had a kasket, brown shoes or what have you . . . it would be wrong.

Now that I think of it, I wish I'd worn white kid gloves . . .

Mottel said...

a final point:

-Whatever the reason, using an actual choson (b'toch yemei sheva brochos) aint cool.

Anonymous said...

"IMHO it is the result of the subconscious desire of the "FFB" crowd to create a visually distinct class of ba'alei teshuva."

Give the new Daddy a medal. That was the smartest thing he ever said. Aderaba, it is the disdain that Chabad has for BT's which is the reason they allow them to ridicule themselves, while other groups respect their BT's so much more.

Salute!

Faish said...

I find it distasteful that you use an actual person and their wedding that just happened to make your valid point.

BUT,

You know (hopefully) that the main problem with Lubavitch & Co. is theological not what jeans they wear.

edited for "hak a tchynik

N.B

Your "attack" against this chosson, who for all I know may have used the shoes only for a "cute" part of the dancing is taking the frustration out on the wrong people. Many of your ffb Lubob and their rebbitzens walk around in a much more undignified way

yoske said...

Hence, the tzugikuminers who fail to conform to the societal norms with regards to mode of dress, probably has a skewered understanding of "Hiskashrus" and the role the Rebbe plays in his life.
Aderaba, it would seem to me that someone who's not concerned to wear exactly the same shoes as everyone else, as long as he knows who he realy is, has the greste hiskashrus. I don't see how you can say someone has a skewered view of hiskashrus just because he's wearing something that's not in the sociol norm. What does that have to do with G-d? If he uses toilet paper to blow his nose instead of kleenex (b'farhesya oichit!) is he also seperating himself from the klal?

Yekkishe Bekishe said...

I am a Yekke & proud of it. f you notice, the Dinover Rebbe Shlito doesn't look to worried or bothered by the situation, so why are you making an issu out of it? Maybe the Chosson gave his good shoes away to a Nitzroch? Maybe he had a problem with his feet that required him to wear those sneakers?

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

maybe so.

Anonymous said...

What kind of shoes were HEcht and HEndel wearing?

Anonymous said...

And wait when the Chosson wears a camp t-shirt at his wedding a Giants or Jets T-shirt and ECT..
It is ok?!All stuff I have seen at regular FLATBUSH BP Weddings.
It is not a Lubavitch thing as you construe it to be But this generation in general? What I have a real problem with is all the BREAK-DANCING and all the stuff they do in the Middle to be Mikayem real CHUKAS HAGOYIM

troubledjew said...

it might help if you knew who this guy is. Hes not someone who became frum a year ago. hes in his 30's, grew up frum, attended lubavitch yeshivos etc. he just never was a conformist. hes shomer torah umitzvos and im sure will keep all the applicable halachos now that hes married. im pretty sure "mendel the sheichet" has commented here before. he knows this person well and im sure can give a better defense of him. I read and like your blog but i think this is a new low for you to attack someone without knowing anything abt him

Anonymous said...

yoske. It's a "siman" to use Snag parlance, not a "sibah". Usualy, conforming in dress is indicative of conformation of ideological precepts and notions. That's just the way the world runs. This fellow needs a teacher who will explain to him in a coherent and cogent matter, what the "proper" way of hiskashrus is. If he just tries to mimic those around him (in thought) he will be lost. If he had a knowledgable teacher, he probably would have a clue about shoes. That's just the mitzeyut.

No, you are right, there is nothing inherint in wearing jeans and choo choo trains that is static to "hiskashrus".

Anonymous said...

"Give the new Daddy a medal. That was the smartest thing he ever said. Aderaba, it is the disdain that Chabad has for BT's which is the reason they allow them to ridicule themselves, while other groups respect their BT's so much more. "

Nail into hole perfectly.

Mottel said...

Let the record be clear: Snags are no better . . . most snagy ba'alei teshuvah that I've seen no longer think for themselves as will - they've almost entirely sublimated their personalities to that of "da'as torah."

yoske said...

Anon, I hear where you're coming from. It just sounded like a big inference to make from a pair of shoes, and a very specific accusation, but ken zein.

LkwdGuy said...

Having lived for a number of years in a community with a very high number of BTs, I beg to differ with you. IMHO, the issues you discuss affect many BTs regardless of their affiliations. The fact of the matter is, many new BTs and even some long term BTs speak, act and dress in a manner that many FFBs consider to be weird.

IMO, this is a product of two primary factors:

1. A BT is usually encouraged to "fife un". It is the only way he can leave his way of life after so many years. He is indoctrinated to not give a hoot about what others say or think about him. ("Others" = his family and friends from his previous life, as well as many the he will meet in his new life.)

2. FFBs don't realize how nuanced our dress, talk and actions as frumme yidden is. It is nearly impossible for a BT to internalize everything that FFBs take for granted. A related issue is the lack of ability to weigh various considerations, especially as they relate to frumkeit. For example, I have witnessed, on at least two occasions, a BT woman singing bentching aloud in one of the local food establishments. Now, she clearly was trained by her handlers to bentch out loud and probably taught to sing it as a way of making it easier or whatever. She also was probably trained with a 'healthy' dose of 'fife un'. This led her to determine that proper (or required) course of action for her would be to sing bentching out loud in the pizza shop. Same psychoanalysis for the fellow showing up and davening mincha on shabbos in shul wearing a baby sling with his 2 month old baby in it.

I don't mean in any way, shape or form do insult or to diminish BTs. To the contrary, attempting to understand the root causes of some of these perceptions should only increase the respect and honor of BTs.

Anonymous said...

learn ahavas yisroel from the holy dinover rebbe shlita. he loves every yid equally.

Anonymous said...

this has nothing to do with b"t. the guy is ffb

Anonymous said...

There is an amazing picture this week of the radziner rebbi at the hassana of his daughter in the israely shavuah....perhaps you can post it...

Anonymous said...

"this has nothing to do with b"t. the guy is ffb"

Is this emes?

If it is the goat is a goat and should apologize to the Rebbe and every single BT who joined Chabad personally one by one.

itchiemayer said...

Some of these chassidishe weddings - there is so much dancing well into the night...it seems to me the newly married couple should be alloted proper time to "do the mitzva". My niece's wedding lasted until about 4:00 AM I am told. I can't say for sure because I was out of there by midnight!

CR said...

"Some of these chassidishe weddings - there is so much dancing well into the night..."

So, perhaps, things should start in the daytime? Yeah, I know, "sha'ha haChamishis" and all that (with an asterisk). Perhaps it is time for some hanhagos to be modified for the sake of Kovod HaBriyos, not to mention TzB"Ch.

Anonymous said...

yes its true he is ffb. hes from pittsburgh went to the achei tmimim there.

David said...

I feel somewhat uncomfortable judging him, but I would guess that he sought these shoes out. If the guy is a mufshat and he picked the first pair of shoes he found, that's a virtue. If, however, he picked them for their style, then the story of the "kop in galoshen" comes to mind and this young man should be explained a thing or two.

On a separate note, the mix of the chosson's look and the Dinover as a Mechutan makes for a very entertaining visual.

Thank you Tzig for your take.

Anonymous said...

Some of these chassidishe weddings - there is so much dancing well into the night...it seems to me the newly married couple should be alloted proper time to "do the mitzva". My niece's wedding lasted until about 4:00 AM I am told. I can't say for sure because I was out of there by midnight!

Kol haminavel es piv...

Anonymous said...

"Kol haminavel es piv..."

???

UD said...

That's a new low even for you. In your excercise in kleinkepigkeit you're not ashamed of ridiculing one of yours, and you picked the best time for it too. Tzig, this cesspool of yours spews more hate in an hour then der yid managed in the better years. Congratulations.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

a little slow on the pickup, are we UD?

coming from you I'll take that as a compliment...

Anonymous said...

is a bobova bocher with black socks (shich in zokn) geled peyus and cool glasses not werd? or maybe a KJ veteran with shtriemel and shaved beared not werd? because you see many ofe'm so what. it aint different.

Anonymous said...

Wow I went to yeshiva with this guy.Nice to see that he got married.He is not a BT and if you would know him you wouldn't be asking any questions. I hope he has a happy married life.