No, we're not discussing I.I.I. Domb's book of that name, but, rather, the transformation that has occurred with Rabbi Manis Friedman over the last few years. And in this case it's to Lubavitch's benefit that this transformation took place. Here's how I see it: Years ago RMF was the property of the Baal Tshuvah, most notably the woman BT in Minnesota, by virtue of teaching at the Beis Chana up there. Yes, there were recordings of shiurim, lectures @ Oxford when you-know-who was still OK, and who could forget "Why doesn't anybody blush anymore," But it seemed to me like he was the property of shluchim. The Tanya shiurim cassettes were produced for Baalei Tshuvah and prospects, as was the above-mentioned book, as far as I could tell, and I believe that was the line back then as well. I don't believe BC exists anymore; maybe Mayanot has something to do with that, or maybe Minnesota lost some of its exotic appeal, which is what may have been the catalyst for this change - in case any of you were wondering. I remember a ג' תמוז event way back in תשנ"ו or so, a יום עיון that was organized by היכל מנחם of BP, where Rabbi Friedman spoke about חינוך במשנת הרבי in Yiddish; (!) I think he himself was tickled by the idea that here he was in Boro Park speaking Yiddish to a bunch of Chassidim, something he didn't remember he could do! After all those years perfecting a nice Mid-Western accent he still could do a Yiddish lecture too!
But recently Lubavitch has reclaimed Rabbi Friedman for themselves, and we're to be congratulated for that! He's become a very popular lecturer in the "inreach circuit," as well as other internal Lubavitch groups, and people have begun to rediscover one of Lubavitch's true treasures! And I'm no Galitzyaner, so I have no prejudice here. I had the honor and pleasure of meeting one of his sons last Shabbos - or was it 2 Shabbosos ago? - and after we'd been talking for a while the blog came up, at which time young Friedman asked me if I'd post a video of his father's lecture. Last week he sent me this clip, and now you'll get to see it as well. I think it'll take some getting used to; that is, for Rabbi Friedman to get used to his new clientele, but he seems to be doing a very good job at it. Adam and Eve is now אדם and חוה, and G-d and Moses are now the Aybishter and Moshe Rabbeinu. If you're not used to Rabbi Friedman's style it may take a little getting used to, but I assure you, you'll enjoy it and you will be educated! The only thing non-traditional is his style.
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