Sunday, November 23, 2008

2 worlds mamesh

My friends, there are times when you post something and you think "what could they possibly not like about that?!" A story such as the one we told about the Minchas Elozor seemed to fit that bill. At least when I posted it. Yes, some of you doubt the accuracy of the story, and that's to be understood, but it din't knock any one group and didn't inflate anybody's ego. All it did was tell how a Tzaddik, loved his grandchild, yearned for Moshiach and made use of the story with his grandson to show G-d how he and the Jewish people yearn for the aforementioned redeemer. I know that some have a problem with humans speaking to G-d, "telling" him what to do, but this is beseeching, not telling, so that wouldn't apply here either. Yet there are those that find issues with anything related to Chassidim and Rebbes - and not only Chabad. Here's what a recent discussion on a certain message board looked like: (I assume there's more discussion on the topic by now, this is current as of Wednesday or Thursday.) They bring the story and discuss:

(my comments in italics)

This sounds like Hagshamah. (Ed. They're being megashem the eybershter, says he. It looks like he's very familiar with hagshomoh and immediately recognizes it when he sees it...) Because the Rebbe succumbed to his emotions and committed, out of a lack of self control, what he admits was a sin and transgression, he expects God to do the same? (So Jack Shmoe from Baltimore or the Five Towns decided that he lacked self-control and should be punished for it? Does Jack not expect G-d to forgive HIM every day for his indulgences?! where do these people come off speaking this way?!)

I do not condemn the Rebbe, as I daresay that any of us might have done the same, (how understanding of Mr. Shmoe!) and the restraint of many who would not would be more indicative of self-righteousness and their lack of empathy and compassion rather than their iron discipline, but transforming transgression into a virtue seems dangerously Sabbatean. (Here we go again: I thought only the hard-core Snags were the Sabbatean alarmists, but it seems like the "rationalists" are on that bandwagon too. Since when did the ME ask that G-d turn his transgression into virtue/ he asked G-d's forgiveness, as far as I can see, but he also asked that G-d forgive his children! Are Snags that cold and that they can't see the beauty of the story and the connection and love that Jews have for Hashem and vice versa?!)

One people, two worlds." Hasidim (ya gotta love the Hasidim with the C...) and Kabbalists really do think differently from rationalists and Litvaks. (Amen, Mr. Shmoe, Amen, brother. The question is which world you're in, it sure don't sound like the Jewish one.)


Anonymous said...

Yishar Koach!
What would the chasidic world do without your 'defense', eh?

Btw, afraid to tell us where this was discussed, cuz Lubob cannot handle different opinions aka "fools paradise" (or as it's called in Lubobville "Gan Elyon hatachton" or Gan Eden hatachton)

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

no, you moron. I don't want to put anybody in an uncomfortable situation. It's a closed forum.


Anonymous said...

The forum you were unceremoniously booted from for copying without permission?
You added zero to the discussion there anyway.

While you are so busy explaining how terrible the Snags are, care to explain to us how ONLY Lubob actually got a group of people to call The Rebbe "creator" chas vesholom?
Talk about the ultimate "hagshomo"
(As far as I'm concerned the Meshichisten who claim that The Rebbe never died are just as guilty of this sin)

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

ah, yes. more incoherent gibberish from inBP.

Anonymous said...

What was incoherent?
Just because you brain is pea sized the post becomes incoherent?
Btw, nice "big" word for you.Dee Eyngleesh teacha in Spinka mustv beeen veryy good!

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

no, it becomes because it is.

Spinka had a pretty good secular studies program as chassidishe chadorim go. I guess that's the telzer influence...

now be nice or I reject your comments

Anonymous said...

I also saw that comment in the other blog - he and other commentators over-analyzed the story and missed its entire point. We speak to Hashem as we would speak to our own father - even more intimatly - for He is more loving, more caring and closer to us than any human father. I have no doubt that even the great litvishe gedolim of the past spoke to Hashem and of Hashem in this manner - Despite what the litvaks of today claim is the real "litvishe derech", I have no doubt that someone like - for example - the Brisker Rov Maharil Diskin - would have appreciated this story!

Anonymous said...

Tzig. This has little to do with Chassidim and Mitnagdim in a philosophic manner.
Todayin the US we have a whole range of people under 60 American born whose knowledge of Judaism is based exclusively on books , and those books are the Shulchan Aruch and gemora. Most of these people had parents whom I am sure were fine people but left behind the emotional attachement to echte Yiddishkayt in Europe.Here they belonged to Young Israel synagogues and became very acculturated and lost that special hergesh. In America Judaism was reduced to learning and doing Mitzvoth by rote. These people include most MO Jews the so called Yeshiva community and even some "Americane Chasidim".
On the other side we have people whose view of Judiasm was shaped by seeing how their parents acted, felt , laughed cried talked walked etc.These people tended to ahve a genuine Massorah. They saw Judaism as more than just book learning, and the book learning included Midrash, Chassidus, Sifre Mussar vechul. This people tend to be Chassidic and a few Misnagdim who come from European homes.And in the background of all of this loomed the Holocaust not Coney island !
To the first category -Rabbonim are "machinove" automated people who act in mathematical way, have no emotions etc.
The second category knows that Judaism is more than the dry letter of the law . The Minchas Elezar was a gadol in book learning , but you can see in his writings the high regard he had for minhogim and the folk.
As a rav and rebbe life was more than "farstein another teysefes", he saw the zaros of Yisroel. He wanted Mashiach more than anything and like the gedolei hachassiduth he had a varme hartz even though in klal Inyonim he was kashe kebarzel. (see Weingarten's book about the munkatcher and how he was so different in private).
But if we agree to this then the Lubavitcher Rebbe was just follwoing in the foot steps of another gadol like the mUnkatcher (and may I add the Chafetz Chaim too) and the Shinover rebbe and others.. See Heschel's book on Kotzk in Yiddish where he discussed in detail the "du" familiar relationship that the European Jew enjoyed with G-D.Rebbeim davened with Zisser Tate interspersed int their tefillos. As Heschel so aptly wrote learning is G-D speaking to us, we talk to G-D when we daven.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

and that my friends is why Schneur is the sage of Circus Tent.

Most of the time....

fakewood inc. said...

i must say that was a great piece

Anonymous said...

Well put
It reminds me also an article of Shloma Shamir in A J years ago about all the brisker and Chazon Ish minhagim by the seder that kids coming back from Israel are bullying their parents as if they are a Mispachas Geirim with no Mesorah

Anonymous said...

I suppose the Chofetz Chaim was also guilty of "crude hagshomoh" when demanding (SIC!!!) Moshiach; see ChCh al hatorah, parshas Behar (and elsewheres there are even more daring, sharp words in his demands).

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 8:57 --

That reminds me also of a piece in HaPardes I believe, from Rav Simcha Elberg z"l (Ed. of H, and Nasi Agudas Harabbonim of America) - regarding the Bnei Brak-er's having "far'chmuriteh" hanhagos, even when the Chazon Ish etc. - were makil. The ikar was they should be "hamechunah 'Bnei Brakers'/Chazon Ish'niks"..

I remember reading this article once, b'moi einei.

Anyone can find the article?
(possibly on, where they have [all?] HaPardes articles).

Anonymous said...

Please explain what about inBP's comments was incoherent.
Was it the part where he ripped the Lubobs or the part where he revealed your uncerimonious exile from the other forum?

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

what's incoherent is how he goes off on tangents and makes everything personal. He never addresses the topic at hand.

Are you his lawyer, by any chance?

Do you also have trouble sticking to the point?

I was booted from the forum, yes. Do I sit and cry over it? no. I was sent a discussion that addressed something I posted, so I believe I'm entitled to discuss it, right?

Anonymous said...


Always thought provoking! And, as suggested, the main drivers of this "uprooting" were the post-war yeshivos that "remade" their talmidim in their image. Witness the large, LARGE percentage of smooth faced, Nusach Ashkenaz davening "Yeshive Lait" (with a Breita YisgaDEIL Ve'YikaDEISH thrown in for good measure to seal their credentials..) who Leig Tefilin K'Minhag Sefard and whose zeides wore Shtreimelch. It can't all be blamed on the Holocaust! Their was some premeditation involved.

BTW, could have done without the sourcing from Heschel...the same ideas (the personalization and familiarity towards G-d) are found in many, many Ma'sois of the B"ESHT.

Anonymous said...

Baby Boomer,
But then on the other hand you have the many descendants of Yekkes ( especially Viennese ) and Oiberlander Yiden who fill the parentches of just any Rebbe.
But I think this phenomenon was discussed some months ago on this blog. Let everyone just go where he thinks he can serve the eibershter in the best possible manner.

Anonymous said...

Very few people changed their nusach to Ashkenaz from Sfard, the focus in the Yeshiva World was never on that.
Also very few people before the war wore shtreimels.In fact if you see pictures from pre war Poland many people did not have beards!I'm talking about frum people obviously.In many pics of chasidishe rabunnim from that period you''ll see shaven people standing
around them.
There has been a lot of rewriting of history to fit into todays right wing agenda in both the Yeshiva and Chasidic worlds.
I found it funny that Baby Boomer "accuses" the Yeshiva World in "forcing" people to change their customs, something that is not true , while Chabad are very active in this exact point, making sure people, even Sephardim change to Nusach Ari and the other Lubavitcher customs.
Why not check Lakewood out before you state incorrect facts?There are hundreds of Chassidishe bucherim and Yingerlait, ,representative shuls and shtiebelach of almost every chasidic group plus many Sephardim with their shuls.
What does Crown Heights have besides Lubavitchers?How many non Lubavitch boys study in Lubavitch yeshivas?
Why is inaccurate talk so cheap?

Anonymous said...

The cause for the Yekkes migrating to Chassidus is basically because of all the fun made of them for doing what they should - following Halacha - without looking for the easy way out - whether for themselves or for others!

It is easy to help a Baal Tshuvah when he follows your Mesorah. Try to teach a BT to follow his ancestral Mesorah & you'll see the sparks fly! People refuse to realize the importance of what Horav Breuer Z"tl once told the Shoproner Rov - Horav S. Posen, son of one of the Dayonim of Frankfurt where the Zman Mauzoei Shabbos was 35 minutes - Z"tl, who was pressuring that the Rav should sign a Kol Korei setting the Rabbeonu Tam Zman for Mauzoei Shabbos as the standard for NYC. The Rav told Rav Posen, "ich vill nischt ein Mechallel Schabbos von dein fater machen!" (I don't want to make your father a Mechallel Shabbos).