Sunday, January 30, 2011
Call me a panderer, but it seems like some of the best conversations here happen when they concern Belz, and that topic has also been discussed here at great length - why Belz makes for such fascinating discussion. I was actually gonna give this post some other title, especially since of you may deem the advice that the Belzer Rov, Reb Yisocher Dov, zt"l, gave a little too practical, especially since it seems to be not in accordance with Shulchan Aruch, shall we say? Two things here can be questioned by any mesivta kid here in any one of Monsey's fine institutions: 1) why he told him to daven late if he could daven early; is davening with the Rebbe שלא בזמן better than davening with an עולם of regular chassidim בזמן? It's not like he was gonna in the Lakewood or Mirrer Minyan in the shtetelle Belz... Then, if that wasn't enough, he tells him to eat before davening! How much can one man take? Of what purpose is a davening that you daven on a full stomach after the prescribed time?! Do they even daven to the same G-d, these people? Chassidim were often accused of believing in their Rabbeyim, even if what they did was not necessarily LeKatchilah according to the letter of the law. Of course Lubavitch gets the brunt of those "complaints." Is it fair to try and divert some of that criticism? The redeeming advice here - for those who need it - is where he tells him - the שנה ראשונה yungerman - to quit complaining so much, which shows you how despite it all the tzaddikim were concerned for the well-being of Yidden, spiritually and physically, and that telling a yungerman to daven with his minyan even if it's late is just as "sound" advice as telling him to look after his health.
On that note; I heard from a Yid whose father was in Budapest in 5704 and went to daven by the Belzer Rov, who davened very late, they started Shacharis in the afternoon. (!) There were thousands of people there waiting to daven with the Rov, and they were hungry, so they were served potatoes before davening. We can sit here and argue the difference between coffee, (שהכל) potatoes (האדמה) and the Lubavitcher chocolate chip cookies, if you'd like. Anything to make you people happy.