Monday, January 20, 2014
(a taste of what I deal with)
Dear Reb Hirshel,
I am a frequent reader of your blog and of course I immensely enjoy what you write. I was wondering, if you can clarify certain suspicions I have about Chabad. I have been told, that as there isn’t really just דצח''מ in the world. There is another category called “Chossid”. This is how I understand it: just like a flower does not incorporate a דומם; when it rots, it disintegrates, so to a Lubavitcher is not כולל what other Yidden possess. He is a distinct entity. This can mean many things. It might mean that you guys just look differently. You people have decorations on your yarmulkas, straddle the gartle above your heart, wear colorful and different type of clothing (including the women, vedal), smash your fedoras, etc. However, that is only the outer trimmings, and since Chabad is all about “pnimiyus”, I am sure that it runs much deeper. Obviously, you assert that it is all about תורת חב''ד. Meaning, unlike the חג''ת/Paylisher who are more emotional, you guys are all about using the head. תורת חב''ד, from what I understand, is about bringing the Kabalistic concepts to the fore in a way that can be understood by the sechel. When a Yid has a deeper and broader understanding of the Creator and the soul(s) of a Yid, one can automatically serve הקב''ה better.
Also, the emphasis is on serving the Aibeshter, not on using the learning ח''ו to feel accomplished and to get a sipuk; therefore, a true Chossid doesn’t feel any “Yeshus”, even when he understands the Rebbe’s mamorim better than the other guy, he doesn’t feel any pride! Compare that to ‘you-know-who’, who even when they learn מוסר בהתפעלות it is all about self-interest, right? All this rhetoric is helpful to understand what makes a true Lubavitcher tick. Ok, I understand that. But just tell me one thing, does my plumber who chants three chapters of Rambam daily, or the guy behind the counter in the pizza store with his pamphlet with Steinsaltz gemara and stories from the FR, really have any understanding of chassidus? Can they convincingly make the argument that it is more than “chakira with Kabalistic terminology” (farkert from Maharal), or not?
I await your response.