Tuesday, January 12, 2010
So you're waiting to hear what I have to say about the Asoroh B'Teves eaters, as if it's only mine and Lubavitch's problem. OK. I can understand that. You also probably think that I'll do one of several things: 1) defend them and say that they did nothing wrong because it really is Yemos HaMoshiach and the fasts were annulled. 2) They're only a couple of meshugenes who were excommunicated by Chabad, so the book is closed on them. 3) Decide that the Vaboylniker was right along and leave Chabad once and for all. 4) I can bury my head in shame and never talk to you guys again. 5) I can blame the guys McKareved them or ignored them when they were dancing on the streets of Melbourne since G-d knows when. And the list goes on. The point is that this a terrible development, anyway you spin it. I won't ignore it, nor will I wipe my hands of it, because as a Lubavitcher I feel somewhat responsible. I feel like had we all not ignored these crazies and not allowed them to parrot sichos without understanding, that maybe this never would've happened. We gave boors like these two too much freedom, we were afraid to alienate them by guiding them, so we left them to their devices, maybe because we never believed it would go this far.
Part of the personality of machlokes is that it takes its toll where once least expects it. In the case of Lubavitch, where the machlokes is basically dormant, save for a few flare-ups here and there, the toll is that people think that what the meshugoyim do is not so terrible. The fact that there's no outcry tells the youngsters that it's OK. (The same goes for other infractions; we think that since there's no outcry that we agree to what's going on. The problem is as follows: We all know that most of the big askonim are also the ones that have issues with such matters - Leib Tropper being the most recent example - so nobody wants make it known that he has issues.) In the case of the Australian yahoos one wants to blame the establishment there for not putting its foot down long ago, for sort of encouraging them by not discouraging them. For putting politics - very petty politics, to boot - before reason and for allowing it to goon despite not really believing it. In other words Meshichism in Australia is all politics, no real belief in it. It's hard for me to point fingers when I'm 12000 miles away, but I speak to people there very often and that's the general consensus. Then there's the nutjob in Spain, who seems to be on a very long acid trip, but he too has a video camera and an internet connection, VeDal.
photo from ASJ
The mere fact that the guy with the long white beard was quoting Rabbi G at the outset of the clip, and basically used him - albeit posthumously - as the springboard for his hideous deeds, tells us that there was a Jewish soul that could've been "saved." Saved from transgressing, that is. I realize that RYDG was not well the last few years of his life, but a man with his experience should recognize a problem when he sees it or hears of it. These people should've been reined in a long time ago. There also the fact that even the cherem was posted all over is not specific - it does not name names - and from what I understand they do not plan on expelling the children from the Chabad mosdos, apparently the kids are not to blame for their parents... That tells people that they're not as serious as they should be about it. Don't get me wrong, the current Rov is a huge T"C and frum almost vi a misnaged, but it's the politics again that's rearing its ugly head. Somehow, by admitting guilt here he'll have caved to the "antis," וזאת לא יעשו, not for any reason, even if the whole Chabad will go down (or up) in flames.
So what can we do about it? I'm not sure, I never claimed to have the answers, but one thing is for sure: LOTS of Bittul will be necessary. People who cannot stand the sight of each other because of previous disagreements will have to sit down and wrack their brains. This will be the ultimate litmus test to see whether or not you care about the Rebbe, זי"ע and the future of his monumental work - and the work of the six Rebbes previous - or you just talk the talk and do what's convenient for you. The old excuse of "they hate us anyway" and "they knocked us when we started Mivtza Tefillin" won't cut either. We're talking about families that will be completely lost very soon if an end is not put to this NOW. If that's not enough motivation maybe the fact that guys like Harry and Scotty and licking their lips and jumping for joy is what will light a fire under your feet. As impure and wrong a motive as that is, it's still better than inaction. But something must be done immediately! Not next week or month or by the next kinus hashluchim have a closed session about it. ACTION NOW, before it's too late. And yes, eating on fasts (Briskers not withstanding) and saying the shem Hameforash is already just about too late.