Friday, March 23, 2012
The price of an "open-door" policy
There's trouble, trouble with a Capital T, in Uman, Ukraine. ס'גייט גרויסע קלעפ דארט, און עס ווערט נישט שטילער. What's happening is that there are very grandiose renovations being planned for Uman, stuff like hotels, shopping centers, etc. to cater to the thousands who visit there every year, and we're not just talking Rosh Hashonoh either. There are always people there these days. A YouTube search will show you that. There's also talk that the one of the Israeli Government offices, be it the Board of Tourism or some similar office, will begin to run things there. There are very prominent Breslovers that back it and there are those - no less prominent - that oppose it. We're talking ישוב הישן types here. And some of those who oppose it made their dislike known to the project's supporters by באנוצען זיך מיט הענט, ה"י. It seems like the fact that they got a tzetel from the Edah HaCharedis BaDatz allows them to stop it at all costs. It may be hard to believe,, but not all Breslov is Na-Nachs, etc. There's a core of קנאים that see their קנאות vs. The Jewish State as part and parcel of their "Breslovkeit." And then are those, no less frum and erlich, who don't see it as an issue at all. That sometimes happens when the Rebbe passes away during the Industrial Revolution - everybody believes that this is what the Rebbe would've said or done. The question is why the BaDatz thinks it can tell people what to do in Uman. After all, this is a question that the local Rabbonim should handle, or at least Rabbonim within Breslov.
When I first began to write this piece, the idea was that the open-door policy that Breslov has is what caused this to become an issue in the first place. After all, the old-timers would never have such השגות were they to stay small and not do active outreach. It's only those that joined Breslov post-1960s that came up with this idea that the whole world needs to be in Uman by Reb Nachman. But then I realized that most of the old-timers are newcomers as well, they're just a little older than the new ones, but not by much. So it's not really that the old-timers can claim that they have the true Breslover mesorah. Besides, many of the old-timers are actually newer than the 'newcomers," if that's at all possible. Meaning, that some of those who oppose this Zionist plot to infiltrate Breslov are recent members of Breslov who may stem from backgrounds similar to the Yishuv HaYoshon folks are as such opposed to the plan. But "Breslov" in and of itself has nothing to do with this. So in essence the heading for this post kind of lost its point. But the other points remain...