Thursday, September 22, 2005
......The more they stay the same
(למצולמים אין קשר לכתבה)
Jacob Mark in his classic work גדולים פון אונזער צייט believes that in near future generations the terms "Chossid" and "Misnaged" will be all but forgotten. Jews will live in peace and harmony, and will build communities of Torah and Chesed. He could not have been more wrong.
Misnagdim vs. Chabad, the fiercest rivalry since the times of Reb Yaakov Emden and Rav Yonoson Eibshitz, will seemingly exist as long as Chabad does, which basically means until Moshiach. It has existed through the worst of times, as in Soviet Russia and the Far East, with some exceptions, and through the best of times, as in post WW2 America and Eretz Yisroel. Who to point the balme at is somewhat of a argument, but here's my take.
My father may he be well, learned in Telzer Yeshivos for his entire adult life.
At that time there were very few records of Jewish music available, with Chabad, Modzitz amongst others out there, and Carlebach hadn't started doing his thing. Some of the Chassidisher Bochurim at the Shabbos table in Yeshivah innocently started a Chabad nigun. The Mashgiach, a young 20-something American-born man, who had recently "Charedified" after leaving RIETS, was livid. He would not have it. This singing must stop at once!
Sounds like a harmless story? think again.
In 5720, at the time of the story, there had been very little controversy regarding Chabad. Aside from the first Farbrengen I don't think there was something that the haters could sink their teeth in. Yet this young NOBODY found it neccessary to inform CHASSIDISHE BOCHURIM that Chabad is Treif! For him it was to be part and parcel of every Bochur's education under his care, because it was, for him, a lesson in life, something you need to always remember. Now of course every Chabad Bochur gets somewhat of a similar education, but we'll leave that for another time.
If you want to know what's wrong with American Charedi Torah Orthodox Jewry? You needn't look any further. It's American-born boors like him who shape the ideals of today's Jews through aspousing nothing but hate for others who don't just watch the waves of assimilation wash away generations of Jews, but rather stand and fight. These people of questionable backgrounds are the "leaders" and "Gedaylim" of the next generation.
I yearn for the simpler times.