Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Thoughts - belated by now - at the 75th yohrtzeit of Rav Avrohom Yitzchok HaCohen Kook - 3 Elul (5695)
חבקו"ק is the Nutreiken of Chabad, Breslov (Rav) Kook. (Recently the Dorshei Reshumos have changed it and added "Carlebach" to the mix, so the first Koof is for Kook and the second for Carlebach.) You've probably heard of that term. There are many that fit that criteria. They enjoy all three streams. They very often enjoy certain elements of each one, but enjoy as much of it of the others, so they made some kind of hybrid of the three, because one is not enough. They cannot do without all of which every group has to offer. I can appreciate that. For some people sticking to what their group does and not looking elsehwere is difficult, sometimes even for myself, so they take what they like from all groups. several charedi groups - including but not limited to Toldos Aron & Emunas Yisoroel have kind of done that too. What I'd like to discuss is what actually attracts the CHaBaKOOK'niks to davka these three. Why not Ger, Breslov, Karlin? There are several ways of looking at it and coming to conclusions.
1) There's the common thread of acceptance and Ahavas Yisroel that are very prominent in all three streams. Many of those who become ChaBaKOOK'niks are new to the Chassidic world, or maybe even new to Orthodoxy. They need places/groups that will accept them - no questions asked. All three groups answer that call one way or another. With Rav Kook it caused him lots of heartache and scorn from his peers. He loved Jews too much, but he couldn't "help" himself. There's also the love of Eretz Yisroel that burns in the hearts of most non-Hungarian Jews that people see throughout his writings and identify with. In Breslov it's the love that makes 20,000+ come to Uman every year, the fact that Reb Nachman loves you no matter what you've done in the past. You can start a new life and do what's right, and he'll shlep you out of hell once you're done on this world. The message of Hischazkus and never being meYa'esh is one that people in touch with their inner self love to see and hear, and where better to find that message than in Breslover wrtings and teachings? In Lubavitch you know the story; "bei unz iz alles ofen," they say...
2) There's the fact that you can basically come to your own conclusions regarding many concepts since all three leaders are no longer amongst the living. IOW, there's nobody to stop you from making Reb Nachman into a mantra, The Rebbe into an image on a yellow flag and Rav Kook into a vegetarian Reformer or a hard-line underground member out to eradicate every Arab in his midst.(With Carlebach there's less to distort.) Having such freedom when it comes to defining yourself is beyond value. You can say what you what when you want and nobody can stop you. Who wants to worry about being called in and reprimanded by the man you claim to represent or by his ancestors who carry on his name and legacy? This way they'll never bother you. You start your own group if the pressure from the others gets to be too much. Obviously most people don't fall into the category of breaking off and starting their own little groups, but many do fit the bill of not finding one group that meets all their spiritual needs. More and more people feel that way these days - that even their own group doesn't necessariily speak for them anymore. But for most people leaving is just not an option. They need their culture, despite all the shortcomings they see. But for the people who never really had a group/culture of their own CHaBaKOOK is a very appealing option.