Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Foolish Chassidim

The Ahavas Yisroel, Reb Yisroel of Vizhnitz was known to denigrate himself in front his chassidim, even the very simple ones. Telling them what a sinner he was and how there are much better and holier Rebbes out there for them. Yet I doubt he was a man of jokes. Tzaddikim aren't as a rule. He wasn't trying to show them that he was a man of the people or that he was one of them. He also wasn't feeling guilty that he was living the high life on account of the Chassidim's money. So, what was the point of telling a young bachur that he he's part of a group of fools who supports a large family of Rabbis?

I ask for intelligent, respectful answers, please.


Anonymous said...

he was telling the truth as he saw it, as simple as that.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

so why not close up shop?

Anonymous said...

Zaddikim are not men of jokes , says who ? Punkt farkert !!! What about the Ropshitzer, the Gorlitzer, the Shinyever rebbe, the Divre Yoel, the Seret Vishnitzer Reb Baruchel, the Bays Israel of Gur (caustic humor) some Zaddikim in Russia had court jesters like Motke Chabad and Hershele Ostropoler.If the Chabad rebbes themselves were perhaps not men of humor (and I posit that the 5th and 6th rebbes had a good sense of humor)the Chashuvei Anash lived in this mode . Cynical and caustic Humor was prt of the way of the shtetel in der alte heim.was
What he said was a combination of anivus and cynical humor

Anonymous said...

Let me just add that many of the Chassidic rebbes of today that I met also had great sense of humors. The late Naroler rav was never without a gutte vort, the same about the late Radziner rebbe of BP R.Leiner, The present Naroler Rebbe also has a great sense of humor .
Perhaps some of the American born rebbes lack that . The late zaddik rav Shlomo Twerski of Denver a adam chashum meod spoke for 2 hours straight without smiling but this was not the way of most rebbes
Most old time Hungarain rabbonim I have met had keen sense of humors, Rav Vorhand of the Upper west Side, Rav Himlich shlita of Williamsburg,The Santiager rav, . I won;t even go into the great sense of humor of Russian Anash I met they are in a league of their own !

Anonymous said...

Could not agree with Schnuer more about the Russian's being in a leauge of thier own. Well said!

Anonymous said...

ילקוט פנינים בעניני התחזקות צדיקים

חסיד בא לצדיק ונתן ח"י זהובים "פדיון". לאחר שיצא הרגיש השמש בזהוב אחד, שהוא מזוייף, וביקש להחזירו.

אמר לו הגבאי:

הנח לו! הוא רימה אותנו בזהוב אחד, ואילו אנחנו רימינו אותו בשבעה-עשר זהובים...

623 בשעה של בדיחות-הדעת שאל צדיק את הגבאי שלו:

שמא יכול אתה להיות כמותי?

השיב הגבאי:

הן, רבי. הכל הייתי יכול לעשות כמותך, חוץ מדבר אחד.

אמר לו הצדיק:

אותו דבר אחד מהו?

החזיר לו הגבאי:

רבי, יכול הייתי להאנח כמותך, לפקוד עקרות כמותך, להתפלל על החולים כמותך, – הכל הייתי יכול. אבל לחפון בערב את "הפדיונות" מעל השולחן ולשלשלם לתוך הכיס בלי חיוך כל-שהוא לא הייתי יכול.

624 שאל חסיד לחברו:

מה היינו עושים, אילו לא היה, חלילה, ממון בעולם?

מה "פדיון" היינו נותנים לצדיק?

החזיר לו חברו:

חכם! אילו לא היה ממון בעולם, לא היו גם צדיקים בעולם...

625 מוֹסר נכנס אצל צדיק ודרש מאתו ממון – שכר שתיקה. אם לאו – ילך וימסור. חרד הצדיק חרדה גדולה והתחיל מדבר על לבו, שיעשה תשובה וישוב מדרכו הרעה. אמר לו המוסר:

רבי, טועה אתה. דרכי שלי ודרכך שלך שתיהן שוות.

נתרגש הצדיק וצעק:

רשע! עכו"ם!

היסה אותו המוסר ואמר לו:

רבי, לחינם אתה כועס. בדוק ותוכח, שיפה אמרתי. כידוע, נחלקו רבותינו בפירוש הכתוב "ויאבק איש עמו"[7]; חד אמר: "כמלאך נדמה לו", וחד אמר: "כעכו"ם נדמה לו". ולכאורה קשה: פלוגתא רחוקה כזו, מלאך ועכו"ם, מניין? אלא, שעל אותו כתוב עצמו דרשו רבותינו ואמרו: "על עסקי ממון בא", "להונות את יעקב בא". וכשאדם בא להונות את יעקב ומתכוון לממונו, שתי דרכים טובות לפניו: אם להיות דומה למלאך, או להיות דומה לעכו"ם...

626 שאלו למתנגד:

למה נהגו החסידים לקרוא למיתת אדמו"ריהם "הסתלקות"?

החזיר המתנגד:

הדין עמהם, שהרי שנינו: "גזל אחד מחמישה ואינו יודע מאיזה גזל – מניח גזילה ביניהם ומסתלק"...[8]

627 צדיק מפורסם בא לשדליץ, ומיד התחיל העם מביא לו פקדונות ומבקש עצות וברכות מפיו. למחר נכנס אצלו הרב רבי ברוך-מרדכי, וכשראהו הצדיק נתמלא קורת-רוח, שאדם גדול כזה בא להקביל את פניו, ומפני הנימוס התענו ושאל:

למה טרח מר?

החזיר לו רבי ברוך-מרדכי:

רציתי לראות בעיני ממש, כיצד יהודי ירא-שמים לוקח כסף חינם?

Anonymous said...

The 5th rebbe of Chabad was far of being humorous, you probably meant the 4th Rebbe the Marash

Anonymous said...

give me some jokes on Ger that don't take money

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:28 -- Ger don't need jokes about them, the rebbes tell their own about other people. The efoh yossele story has been retold many times over and adapted to all kinds of occasions from witness subpoenas to tax audits.

Anarchist Chossid said...

Hirshel, ask the same questions (was he serious and “why not close the shop?”) regarding the Satmar Rebbe. The answer is as mib said it: he really believed that Baal Shem Tov’s chassidus is dead (and by him it was probably true), and he didn’t close the shop because he thought there is nothing better out there.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

I don't think the Vizhnitzer Rebbe thought it was dead. Vizhnitz very much believes in Chassidus and the Besht.

What Schneur said also is not relevant to the discussion, since I was not discussing the Rebbe's ability to crack jokes. I was asking about the self-deprecating cracks he would make.

Anarchist Chossid said...

I was just giving an example of someone saying something and believing it. Just like Satmar Rebbe believed what he said, perhaps Vizhnitzer Rebbe believed what he said. What that means is another story (I don’t know).

I agree, there is a difference between telling a joke before a shiur and saying one is a beinoni. In the first case it’s a joke. In the second, there must be a reason for one to believe so.

Anonymous said...

There is the famous chasidic story of the Lubliner and the Eizerne Kop they were constantly quareling on the Lubliners rebisteve and the masses that are coming to his court, One day the Eizerner kop told for the Lubliner if he would realy like to stop it he should proclaim from the pulpit that he is not a tzadik as people are thinking of him and he is a baal aviro, and so the Lubliner did, but the masses came even in larger numbers, till the Eizerner kop suggested that he should make a new proclamation that he is a big tzadik, the Lubliner refused to say it by claiming Doos Kain Ligner bin ich Nisht,

Anonymous said...

Besides a sense of humor I tried to say that many Rebbes were cynical, sarcastic and prone to puns
By the way add the last Kluizenberger Rebbe to the ones who displayed a cynicism and sense of humor .s and gleich vertlech.
As far as the Rashab goes "I did not know him" but in the little book recording his interactions with the grandfather of the 7th rebbe Rabbi Baruch Schneur Schneerson we see enough humor, and "gut brudershaft".

Anonymous said...

You are right. you see in the Reshimos Harabash a different personality then you see in Reb Yankel Landaus reshimois or by Rivkin.
From the Galiczaner Rebbes I would definitely put on the list Reb Yankele of Antwerpen, he was real casual bli lachatz.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I ever see the Admor of Pruzhan Stutchin so much as laugh. His devekus is simply too intense.