Friday, March 25, 2011

Open letter to פארוויינטע אויגן (Parental Discretion Advised)

~ GUEST POST ~ Read This First If You Haven't Yet. The drama is on. His eyes are wide open; a Heimishe yingerman’s olfactory receptor cells have picked up tantalizing scents of fresh intellectual pasture. He’s crushing for the world’s encompassing embrace.It’s not only sights and scents he’s after – after all, our protagonist has already touched another woman; a female with an open face to the world. On the other side, the cast includes his three sweet children. They are innocent girls. Their mother and community will not allow them to have a secular father. They are at stake of losing the pillar responsible for their creation. The plot: Should he abscond on his commitment to his wife, abandon his children and cripple his parents, or remain in an intellectual prison, contemplating suicide, paying hefty fees to a psychiatrist on retainer. The audience weighs in: Katla commiserates with our Yingerman. He warns that freedom is achieved only through the pain of the slave’s loss of a tooth and an eye, and that is only coupled with the consequence of discovering that Chaveirim won’t help you make pork cholent. Forward thinking Chazanteh, wary of suicidal tendencies, prods her newfound immigrant to join a refugee acclimation center. And Meyer Shimanowitz? He’s watching the game, keeping to himself, a slight smile on his face. Meanwhile… IT’S THE SUPER BOWL. Emblazed with the image of their idol, revved up fans shout as their adrenal medulla rushes to fill demand – bulging heroes plow on to define their careers; coaches are tense, shrewd marketing investors are watching stock results. Cheerleaders wave bright red pompoms in the air. It’s the most viewed event in the world; the passion, hopes, and commercial interests are huge. Now zoom in with us onto one little corner: Among the myriads of spectators, Mom, Dad, Steve, and Sheila - your all-American family - are seated at the Super Bowl. Steve’s a true fan. He eats, sleeps and thinks football. His temples are throbbing as he pumps his fists in the air while wearing the new cap and authentic NFL jersey that his mother just bought him. Dad, though, has become a skeptic. He grew up a Super Bowl fanatic and even named Steve after the great quarterback Steve Young, back when he was the league MVP in 1992. But as his hair started thinning and knowledge robbed him of his innocence, he awoke one day to discover that his Santa Claus was a sham. He sees through the Super-Bowl scam: He researched the data and logically concluded that he had been duped. “No more bullfighting for me,” he thinks as he adjusts his sound blocking headphones and buries his nose into The Confessions by Augustine. Then there is Sheila, forever the analyzer – she just observes. She sits quietly and analyzes the entire spectacle. She marvels at the agility of the athletes; she laughs at the antics of the fans, the shrewd ridiculousness of the advertising, the psychological structure of American culture, the brilliance of technology. Sheila really enjoyed the game. Last, but not least, there is Mom. She has only one thing in mind: her loving family. She adjusts her husband’s headphones. She admires her daughter’s analysis of the best advertising. Her motherly hand embraces Steve’s defeated shoulders as they trudge through the littered parking lot, while she waves to her Super-Bowl mom companions: “Cheers. What a game!” 111 million viewed the Super Bowl 2011. The Fan, The Skeptic and The Observer all watched the same event, but their game is hardly the same. The fan experiences his identity and his ego winning or losing. Our skeptic feels entrapped, forced to watch this farce. The Observer sees philosophical metaphors, business strategies, psychological insights, architectural design, etc. They might all be sitting near each other cheering in the same arena, but their ball is in different parks. Now, if you thought the point of this metaphor was to highlight the achievement of being The Observer, you are wrong. The real winner of the shpiel is our NFL mom. Being the Observer is cool – it’s definitely better than being an angry skeptic – but no one comes out better than our mommy. She is might not be the astute Observer, but she knows the ultimate truth: that bonding with her family is the true intent of the game Both the fool and the wise man play the same game, the difference is the fool may win his game while the wise man definitely wins his. And the skeptic… he remains lonely. IT’S YOUR WEEKLY TISH. There are those at the tish, there are those threatened by the tish, and there are those who analyze it – enjoying the entire spectrum of experiences, all the while shuckling along or eating arbes in the background. And then there are the Sports Moms. Oifgeklerte Yingel, Do you appreciate the naked simplicity of the Dani tribe of New Guinea? Does your mind romp over the rolling Mennonite farmlands? Do you ponder the complexity of Free Will in a deterministic universe? Won’t you then appreciate the beautiful simplicity of the Fervent Hasid? Won’t you wander through the narrow alleys of our upper-class ghettoes? Won’t you apply your knowledge of the complexity of free-will to the Rosh Hakhuel and the Rebbe? And won’t you then bond - like the sports mom – to that higher power we call ‘God’ that evolved it all into being? It’s all in your mind. Will you be a foolish fan, an angry skeptic, an enlightened observer or a connected mother? It’s yours, and your decision alone to choose whose role you play. Gandhi lived and said “You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.” Farveinter! You grapple with your commitment to the institution of marriage – but have you ever confronted your commitment to your spouse as a person? That same lack of commitment will follow you wherever your scent will lead you. You question how you can harm your parents who have done you no evil – implying that if they had done evil you would be justified to repay evil with evil – yet you claim to have found compassion for all creeds and cultures. As the wisened coarse Russians would oft say: Vu men loift geyin di beitzim mit. Katla claims we are in a culture that no slave has ever escaped from. You can take the Jew out of exile but you cannot take exile out of the Jew.But herein lies our solution. The more you remove the exile within you, the more you discover you were never in exile in the first place. By definition every culture is made up of habits and rules – most of them are foolish – and no culture has escaped the scathing wrath of its skeptics. Wise people, however, focus not on escaping cultures, rather on learning the rules to succeed through them. Your plot pivots around a theme of love. The observers know that once you learn the rules for successful marriage there is a distinct edge that our Heimishe lifestyle affords. The romance that secular writers can only fantasize about is at your fingertips. Heimishe women are focused on only one lover, if you cultivate the love between yourselves carefully, the tender glow of its warmth will comfort you deeply. Farveinter: All your knowledge of the outside world is from tourist-like visits. Sure, it would be great to live in a travel agency brochure and the fantasy that it all projects. And indeed, maybe you can live it up to a point, but as you will reach the point where you attempt to adopt it as a lifestyle, you’ll discover that it was all a mirage – and worse, that you’ve reached the point of no return. You might choose to be vengeful and determined to prove that you’ve succeeded. You might even be able to strut around promoting your success for the rest of your life. But your genetic upbringing will allow you no closure. Closure will only come with the shut of a lid, and the sounds of thumping dirt on a coffin …buried deep in the Wild West. Ultimately the gold is under your very own oven. You are not alone. If you do your networking you’ll find us; we hide under the bridges, near the pots of gold we envisioned in our dreams. No matter what your struggles are, remember; the searchers and seekers of the great vast universe are awaiting to embrace you. Meyer Shimanowitz


Anonymous said...

you should have klopped on the bima "kinder aroess" before publishing aza artikel!!

Firm Stand said...

Meyer, awsome, it's just Gevaldig. your post should be reprinted and farshprait all over.

Yet I"m not sure if farveinter can grasp these simple ideas coming from a regular (oifgiklerte) haimishe yingerman.

Of greater importance I think that besides for the intelectual response we should give farvaiter a dose of practical ADVICE.

From the entire letter you can see that this guy has no guts no baitzim, come on he kissed this vaibel on her cheek what a weakling if you are already kissing enjoy yourself.

When it comes to divorcing all he is afraid of is his children and his wife, he has no sense of self, ZERO confidence cannot take a stand GROW up be a MAN.

Therfore here is my humble advice to this young man

#1 if you havent kissed a woman vi sedarf tzi zain to enjoy it and you really feel that you need this pleasure please go ahead do not deprive yourself treat yourself, go practice. (BTW the easiest target would be your wife)

#2 I think you should also practice being divorced for at least 1 entire month. which means, you start with seting up an acount for your wife and PAY her ALIMONY more than half of your paycheck should go to her and she should spend all the money on herself. also you get to sleep in a hotel outside of the house. she does not make for you supper nor does she do your laundry etc. you also get the kids for every other shabbos without her, she gets to go on vacation when you have to diaper those cute girls and make there hair and prepare breakfast and wake up early shabbos morning give them a shabbos party listen the parsha from school, and bribe them when they fight and whine all shabbos the whole deal. oh and then one night a week you get the kids from after school till the next morning, you get to listen to all the stories from school, you get to make/buy supper, bath them, put them to bed and send them off to school.
#3 and this depends on your wife, she can dress up one night and come visit you in your hotel pretending as if she is that hot wild divorced vaibel you met, you can talk to her about your divorced wife she will listen to all your woes and troubles etc.

If you need me or anyone to hold your hand while you do the practicing you should know we are a huge group of supporters and no we are not NORMAL, but hey frvainter are you normal?

Hob a LECHTIGEN Shabbos

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

you're probably right...

Anonymous said...

Firm Stand
Hey Man
you figured it out good,

she'aleh der katz said...

Hirshel is going yellow....
I"m sure there are many similar cases but the actual farveinteh oygen is a made-up to the editor letter which is common in small publications

Anonymous said...

Reb author, you rock!

Firm stand: brutally realistic.

בר-נש said...

סופער+ -- אויסגעצייכנט, ר' מאיר. גיט זיך פון מיינעטוועגן א גוזמא קלעפ אין דער פלייצע.

"שטאנדהאפטיגער שטעל": איר מיינט נישט, אז איר פרעזענטירט דאס מציאות מיט אביסל א צו ברוטאלן "טוויסט"?

Dr. Yontev Feel Good said...

When did Hirshel become an alte Yente vos farnemt zich mit vaybershe zachn?Can you put a posting when the Doctor gives you ah refueh for your krenk?Where's that Belzer blog now that we desperately need one?Hirshel,what's your favorite soap opera for afternoon relaxation?Let's talk about it over coffee.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

Dovy In Jersey

this is a family blog. No links to that blog. sorry.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

Dr. Yontev

I LOL'ed when I read your comment.


like whatever said...

Hirshel this is the best post in months.
this guy needs a kick where it hurts. "Vu men loift geyen der beitzim mit"

snagville said...

This piece is brilliant! Beyond belief. Words don't adequately cover it. Wow! I am shaking. Once again, this is why this is the best blog on the Internet. The best line was about every culture having some stupid habits and rules and you have learn to work with them. (There was one other line I enjoyed but I would rather not repeat it!) Awesome stuff.

Anonymous said...

Firm stand. Who are u to judge? How do u or anyone know what this yungerman is going thru. Do u know what it feels like to be in a jail?
If ur having questions in emunah then every thing u do feels like ur a bluffer.
(Assuming this letter is true, it may be made up, but its definitely true that such stories happen all the time)

Anonymous said...

This all or nothing concept, this zero sum approach is brilliant in keeping a flock, however small, of penguins.

LikeWhatever said...

For some reason all the apikorsim write well, its as if learning how to write is part of their 'leaving rite'. Is being able to write well part of 'apikorsus' ?
Just Wondering

Anonymous said...

di bist an emeser idyot!
the refuah that hashem gives to people like you, is called יסורים בלע"ז. this medicine comes in many forms, & i do not wish to enumerate.
Sfaykos in the one who creates you ex-nhilo every instant, is very easy for a chassidesher nincompoop like you.
Idyot ayner! when was the last time you went outside, looked around (I don't mean vee m'darf nisht kiken)
& Thought מי ברא אלה?
living like an animal with your head between your legs 24/7 does not an enlightened intellectual make.
if you track your "enlightenment" & taavos which came first, i bet you'll find that taavos breeds sfaykos & not the other way around.
I will grant you that you're only a product of today's so called "chassidesher" chinuch which has nothing to do with Chassidish OR chinuch.
uber ah bissel saychel darf men huben alayn.

Anonymous said...

the apikorsim that know how to write are writing,the maminim that know how to write write,it is no fact

LikeWhatever said...

Anon 1:58
U might be right, but I doubt yelling at such a fellow will help much.
And to next anon for some reason I don't find much good writing from the maminim. The apikorsim are writing all over the blogosphere. Where did u find?

Anonymous said...

like whatever,
see tanya perek 29

וכמו שמצינו דבר זה מפורש בתורה גבי מרגלים, שמתחלה אמרו: כי חזק הוא ממנו, אל תקרי ממנו כו׳, שלא האמינו ביכולת ה׳, ואחר כך חזרו ואמרו: הננו ועלינו וגו׳
Indeed, we find this explicitly stated in the Torah in connection with the Spies sent by Moses to scout out the Holy Land. At the outset they declared: 25 “For he (the enemy) is stronger than we,” and, interpreting the word ממנו , the Sages say: 26
“Read not 'than we,' but 'than He,'” meaning that they had no faith in G‑d’s ability to lead them into the Holy Land. But afterwards they reversed themselves and announced: 27 “We will readily go up [to conquer the Land].”
ומאין חזרה ובאה אליהם האמונה ביכולת ה׳, הרי לא הראה להם משה רבנו עליו השלום שום אות ומופת על זה בנתיים, רק שאמר להם איך שקצף ה׳ עליהם ונשבע שלא להביאם אל האר׳
Whence did their faith in G‑d’s ability return to them? Our teacher Moses, peace unto him, had not shown them in the interim any sign or miracle concerning this, which would restore their faith. He had merely told them that G‑d was angry with them and had sworn not to allow them to enter the Land. 28
ומה הועיל זה להם אם לא היו מאמינים ביכולת ה׳, חס ושלום, לכבוש ל״א מלכים, ומפני זה לא רצו כלל ליכנס לאר׳
What value did this Divine anger and oath have to them, if in any case they did not believe in G‑d’s ability to subdue the thirty-one kings29 who reigned in the Land at that time, for which reason they had had no desire whatever to enter the Land?
אלא ודאי מפני שישראל עצמן הם מאמינים בני מאמינים, רק שהסטרא אחרא המלובשת בגופם הגביה עצמה על אור קדושת נפשם האלקית, בגסות רוחה וגבהותה בחוצפה בלי טעם ודעת
Surely, then, the explanation is as follows: Israelites themselves are30 “believers, [being] the descendants of believers.” Even while they stated, “The enemy is stronger than He,” their divine soul still believed in G‑d. They professed a lack of faith in His ability only because the sitra achra clothed in their body in the person of their animal soul had risen against the light of the holiness of the divine soul, with its characteristic impudent arrogance and haughtiness, without sense or reason.

Anonymous said...

ולכן מיד שקצף ה׳ עליהם והרעים בקול
רעש ורוגז: עד מתי לעדה הרעה הזאת וגו׳ במדבר הזה יפלו פגריכם וגו׳ אני ה׳ דברתי אם לא זאת אעשה לכל העדה הרעה הזאת וגו׳, וכששמעו דברים קשים אלו, נכנע ונשבר לבם בקרבם, כדכתיב: ויתאבלו העם מאד, וממילא נפלה הסטרא אחרא מממשלתה וגבהותה וגסות רוחה
Therefore as soon as G‑d became angry with them, and thundered angrily: 31 “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation…,Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness…I, G‑d, have spoken: I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation...,” — their heart was humbled and broken within them when they heard these stern words, as it is written, 32 “And the people mourned greatly.” Consequently, the sitra achra toppled from its dominion, from its haughtiness and arrogance.
וישראל עצמן הם מאמינים
But the Israelites themselves i.e., as far as their divine soul was concerned had believed in G‑d all along.
Therefore, as soon as they were released from the dominion of the sitra achra, they proclaimed, “We will readily go up...” There was no need of a miracle to convince them of G‑d’s ability. All that was necessary was to divest the sitra achra of its arrogance, and this was accomplished by G‑d’s “raging” at them.
Similarly with every Jew: When the light of his soul does not penetrate his heart, it is merely due to the arrogance of the sitra achra, which will vanish as soon as he rages at it.
ומזה יכול ללמוד כל אדם שנופלים לו במחשבתו ספיקות על אמונה כי הם דברי רוח הסטרא אחרא לבדה, המגביה עצמה על נפשו, אבל ישראל עצמן הם מאמינים כו׳
Every person in whose mind there occur doubts concerning faith in G‑d can deduce from this episode of the Spies that these doubts are nothing but the empty words of the sitra achra which raises itself against his divine soul. But Israelites themselves are believers...
וגם הסטרא אחרא עצמה אין לה ספיקות כלל באמונה, רק שניתן לה רשות לבלבל האדם בדברי שקר ומרמה להרבות שכרו
Furthermore, the sitra achra itself entertains no doubts at all concerning faith. As explained in ch. 22, the kelipah in its spiritual state (i.e., when not clothed in the human body) does not deny G‑d’s sovereignty. It has merely been granted permission to confuse man with false and
deceitful words, in order that he may be more richly rewarded for mastering it.
כפיתויי הזונה לבן המלך בשקר ומרמה ברשות המלך, כמו שכתוב בזהר הקדוש
In this it is similar to the harlot who attempts to seduce the king’s son through falsehood and deceit, with the king’s approval, as in the parable narrated in the holy Zohar.33

Anonymous said...

but of course, at the end of the day, he will have to do the yelling himself as in tanya explained.

Anonymous said...

I don"t understand this whole brouhaha over some baal tava,as if he invented the wheel. The gemora has the solution
Yilbash Shechorim veyielech lemokom...

Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for someone to farentfer this guy saying "But he has ADHD"
you can't judge him.

LW said...

Hirsheleh. Sisu meyei! Bh men zeht az lo alman yisroal in s'iz nuch du yidden vus gleiben in a vort Tanya.

Maybe if this anonymous would of learnt tanya anonymously with farveinter when he was a eideler bucherl al apo v'chamuso finm mashgiach vult ois gezehn der matzav abisl andersh...

Anonymous said...

How come that in Chabad, where the Tanya and the rest of Chasidus is inculcated from early youth there are no dearth of wayward youth who abandoned the whole thing?

Why are the Chabdniks here wearing blinders as if some Tanya will save everything? Are they living in bubble or what?

Anonymous said...

The reason why there are wayward youth even though they learnt tanya is because they didn't learn it in the middle of the night in some nondescript shul on risk of getting expelled.

Anonymous said...

anon 8:37 pm, i have a better kashe. If it says: borosy yatzer ho'ra borosy toiroh tavlin, how come v'chulu?
Der entfer iz: emes iz emes, & tishbi ytaretz. But val der oks hut a taaveh, maynt nisht az we should give up on him because there is a lubavitcher somewhere that itanya didn't help yet.

Anonymous said...

Using fundamentalist rhetoric of 'emes iz emes and tishbi yetaretz' plus calling ppl oks mit tayves won't get u to far in helping them.
In english we call it burying ur head in the sand.
Instead of facing issues facing our youth head on and making change we stay stuck in our old beliefs and blame all faults on the 'oks with tayves'

itzo said...

The chazente gave him the best advice: get a therapist. But it does take courage for a chassidisher yungerman to open up to another human being.

WanderingJew said...

Is it fair for us then to encourage secular jews to become Baalei Teshuva. They are just like Farveinter, trying to run away from their present situation. Will you also say then that secular Jews should stay in their current culture?

Anonymous said...

"Using fundamentalist rhetoric of 'emes iz emes and tishbi yetaretz' plus calling ppl oks mit tayves won't get u to far in helping them."

as far as as the idea that torah is true & an atzoh found in chaza"l as well as in later sforim from geonay v'tzadikay olam, that, as a frum jew i'm afraid you can't disagree with.

of course all the wonderful comments put up by the tzig should help this poor rachmunis, get out of it.
but one has to know the bottom line. And that is the simple fact that a person is made up of 2 parts: nefesh habhamis & nefesh elokis (yetzer hora & yetzer tov).

i would like to know when the last time farveinter thought about his g-dly soul.

Anonymous said...

wandering, come on!
can't you see the difference? du kitzelt em de behamoh in du kimt aroes zayn n. elokis.

As the World Turns said...

YU should open a special dept. for haredim where they could keep their levush,etc. but also take secular classes and mingle with regular MO's.
The first year would be remedial English and stam social skills which are required in the everyday world.
For those hard core hasids before the chasuneh-this might be very helpful.
Afterwards they could meet a girl they actually liked and get married and be happy.
You'd be surprised how many sfeikos in emunah would disappear if they had a choice in who they married.

WanderingJew said...

Baalei Teshuva are very much like frum 'drop-outs'. They are running away from their parents lifestyle. Call it Nefesh Elokus, call it Freedom, call it 'being understood', call it whatever you want.
Every time we grow a BT a beard or dump on his head a shtreimel we ruin them. they cant become ffb's just like we cant become goyim.
its as simple as that.

Anonymous said...

as the world turns,

I'm not so sure you're right.
i saw recently a study on this, but i don't recall where.
but i did a search & found this.

Anonymous said...

so a human being is just a biological
organism? no good side, no bad side, just stam a cholent / kishke eating machine.

WanderingJew said...

As the world turns.
We can twist and turn the data whichever way we want, however how successfull are the YU found-your-own-love marriages?
Are there less sfeikos in emunah among the MO oilem?

Is there any way to know?

Anonymous said...

c.e. said...

It should be obvious to everyone that “Farveinter” is representative of an entire demographic – so instead of addressing him individually on a random blog that he may or may not ever read, I think it’s most useful to address him as a concept, and perhaps readers who know someone in a similar situation, or who themselves may be in a similar situation, would get to read something that they find relevant. Or not.

I think the root of the problem (is bechira, but that’s a boring topic so I’ll move to a subsequent root) is a severe lack of education and maturity within the culture.

Tragically, the “system” seems to take the approach that if they treat people like mushroom by keeping them in the dark and feeding them manure, then by the time the kid wakes up it’s too late; they’ll be married and a part of a closed culture – and peering through the fence is all that’s left to those normal enough not to act recklessly and destructively. And I guess that system works fairly well as far as maintaining continuity, to a point, but it’s a pretty bad recipe for developing healthy humans.

So, here we have communities who instill in their children a first, and best, language that is almost completely useless. Right off the bat, this insures that students will have minimal opportunities to expand their minds – after all, has there been a single book above a 5th grade level published in Yiddish in three generations? Is there a sefer Lomdus in Yiddish? Unless you want to learn a Lubavitcher Sicha or Shiyurim bsefer haTanya, you’re left with teitch on Chumash, newspapers and children’s books. Ok, so he can learn in Lashon Hakodesh, maybe even English and Hebrew – but those aren’t your first and best languages, and it takes time to get good at it; by the time you can really access stimulating material it’s usually late in the game.

Now, since these students are human, they will have those moments – sometimes forever – when they will be inundated by problems, doubts, regrets, worries, uncertainty and all the existential questions that we all experience. When that happens, the individual automatically feels a sense of loneliness and alienation. Even in the best cases, his or her spouse may be unable to relate to what’s going on, or may not even know. What then?

There are friends or respected people that the individual approaches with their crisis. Friends can provide sympathy and empathy, but if they are very often in the same boat and not really able to provide really good advice. Asking respected people is a mixed bag, sometimes great and sometimes truly devastating. One can’t help but wonder if it’s worth the risk.

What’s left then? Well, there are Maskileshe bicher out there for those who really look for them – and they find them – but, sadly, that’s probably only going to add to the crisis.

I can’t solve anyone’s problems for them – I can barely deal with my own. But what I can suggest is that folks like Farveinter realize that, as they say, they may be sailors but they aren’t Columbus. Everyone must go through this eventually. Read! As they say, "the mind is a terrible thing to waste." But read books that help; books by people seeking to succeed with their Yiddishkeit, not those that failed. There is stimulating material – you can find it – but you may have to look outside your daled amos. There are many to choose from; Among them are the Maharal, Rav Kook, Rav Soloveitchik, Chief Rabbi Sacks, maybe even Heschel. Anything intellectually stimulating written to mature adults. Anything that gets your mind working and directed productively – more than anything, you get to see that there are thoughtful people that have traveled this path and can share those thoughts with you.

friendly anon said...

"There are many to choose from; Among them are the Maharal, Rav Kook, Rav Soloveitchik, Chief Rabbi Sacks, maybe even Heschel."

c.e., i'm shocked!
der alter rebbe diddn't make the list???!

c.e. said...


I didn't include any standard Chassidishe names, or generally Chareidi names either, is because:

1: Those names are easy addresses that I'm sure he is aware of and need not be mentioned.

2: I don't know of a specific sefer that I would say directly deals with the questions he's probably dealing with.

3: Usually a disaffected Chareidi becomes tone-deaf to Chareidi voices.

Anonymous said...

"Among them are the Maharal,"
this kind of Nisyoinas, can not be healed just with seforim, I still remember from a decade ago, the even hoezer problem that 1 of the biggest Maharal thinker and author had in Israel. And lately there was a scandal brewing with 1 of the leaders and thinkers in RAv Kook movement. I am not mentioning names.Don't be so simplistic, he just has to cry every morning by Veal Teviani Lidai Nisoya, and maybe Hashem will help him.

c.e. said...

Anon, I have no idea how your comment is relevant to the conversation.

Gedalya said...

Chabakuk Elisha,
Where have you been?
Nice to see you again.
We've had run ins but you are an unusual breed as a mekurov (i think)to Lubavitch who is capable of thinking,even on their own.
I agree with your thinking that Chareidy books and authors would not help such individuals.They actually probably got him into the pickle to begin with.The Chafreidy world is so close minded with many negative attitudes to any of your own thinking and exploring.I think the language issue is just one symptom not the problem.One can be a great thinker and good, open minded individual even when your mother tongue is Yiddish

Shmuel said...

"Anon, I have no idea how your comment is relevant to the conversation."

Most of this guys comments make no sense.I wish there was an ignore button

As the World Turns said...

Why shouldn't everyone be allowed to marry for love? You think the goyim created "love" in a studio in hollywood? Yakov loved Rochel. Dovid loved bas Sheva.If a choson shouldn't love his kalleh then why is that image used in Shir Hashirim to describe our relationship to HaShem? Why does the Lubavitcher wedding invitation spell out ahavah? Why is this primal feeling denied to the non-Lubavitch Hassidic world where the iker is the "shiddech geshlosen ?"Yes, many shidduchim are successful and sometimes there is something like love that occurs over time. Often,however, these are marriages of quiet desperation...It's easier to talk about sfeikes in emunah than it is to talk about a cold,unfeeling marriage partner.

c.e. said...

Hi - Meyer Shimanowitz pulled me out of retirement :-)

I agree that one CAN be anything he wants even if his mother tongue is Yiddish (take HT for example ;-). But, it remains an obstacle (one voiced to me by many) to overcome.

Actually, my comments above are meant as encouragement to people to overcome the language barriers and read frum intellectually stimulating material that addresses the existential questions and the struggle of life.

I'm really saying that the mind needs to be stimulated or the individual will remain frustrated; and without access to material that he can relate to, he will find it more difficult to find peace.

Unfortunately, these language barriers are placed in their way.

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

ME as an example, CE?

surely you jest!

what have I become?

c.e. said...

Just checking to to see if you were paying attention :-)

Ben Uziel said...

Individuals can somehow receive support in coping with their personal issues.
But I doubt a whole society can get help in over hauling its values and ideals. That will take decades.
Individuals need to be exposed to simple cultural and social ideas like nimussim, friendship,introspection, why am I doing this, relating to friends and siblings, jealosy , lust and the disticntion betwen that and love. Courtesy, giving and receiving, Rabbi Dessler talks about some of these. I used to laugh at Buber and I-thou but those 2 words may hold a key to how humans see each other I- thou rather tha I -it.In fact listening to many pop psychology radio shows may be helpful. Dr. Laura nd Joy Brown may provide some keys as to what values are. Of course the new person must slowly learn to see how these values relate to AUTHENTIC Torah values.
After understanding that one has issues then one can be ready to seek professional guidance and actually gain from this excersize.
I am hardly a prophet but I forsee a time in 20-30 years when tens of thousands of chasidim will be on their way out and the MO world will not even be a local stop on this trip. That is unless the chassidic world, and the Modern orthodox world unite in a effort to deal with this issue.
Friends had there been a Modern orthodox higher educational system in Poland before the War tens of thousands of young men would have remained in the fold. Had there been 10 yeshivas like lida things would have looked differently.And dreams of dreams had there been a hundred groups of Poalei Agudas israel who cared for the poor, worker and harapashne arbeter not for the gvir and rebbe and sheine yid, the bund and Communists would have been forced to look hard for new recruits. But alas the frume yidden then like now are obsessed with their middle class values and stubborness that will result in big problems in the long run.

Anonymous said...

Ben Uziel
I think that the MO in the US and Daati Leumi world has a much bigger percentage of OTD issues then the Charadie world, so I have to rely in prophecy.

hume said...

Anon, just BTW, that isn't really a proof, as we all know people mix cause with correlation often. So, even if what you say is true, it doesn't mean that this is the reason.
Just like if a guy who always eats carrots goes blind, it doesn't mean that carrots make you blind.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that Mo is only a label, it is a lifestyle.

hume said...

If we're talking about it as a "lifestyle," rather than a label (although I admit that I dont know what you mean by label vs lifestyle), does that mean that it in any way disproves the point of Ben or C.E.'s comment?

Anonymous said...

I think so, all this theories are recommending to switch to a lifestyle that is a definite failure.Coming from a lifestyle that is 90% infallible. certain people hang out with a crowd of 40 people that have certain views and smear it on the majority. It is definitly not so. We are not at a stage of poland pre WW2. For most charidem they love their Olam Hazeh with all its multiple problems( I am not talking Olam Haba)and are not ready to exchange to some slick shiksa on a screen.

Bump. said...

I don't understand why we seem to be fascinated by people who grew up in heimish and chasidish homes, that go arup fuhn veg, r"l. This is nothing new, and was going on for centuries. Yet - I think this is different.

Historically, Chasidim were far more succesful in counter-balancing the influences of Haskalh vis-a-vis the Misnadisheh communities. There was many reasons for this. Mainly, (some)chasidim were raised in a "feels-good" judaism; no need to stretch your mind and kvetch the bonk, all you have to do are things that feel good, like saying tehilim and "seeing the G-dliness in everything". There was no demand on the brain to explore and to be inquisitive. IOW: in comparison to the Misnagdim, "shutting-of-the-minds" type of life was respected; if one believed every bubbeh maysah about the Besht that was "handed-down" one can be respected. Conversely, the Misnagdim demanded that each individual think on his own, rack his brain, and not to blindly follow what others told him. As a result, even though ideally this is what we are supposed to do, many became caught up by outside influences and got farchapt by the lures of haskalah.

Another reason why Chasidim faired better against assimilation was because they have group and party loyalty and membership. They actually belonged to a group, which afforded them a sense of security and a sense of placement. Hence, they were relatively more immuned from outside allures. Conversely, the Misnagdim who look at the individual, and actually require a person to to do something and one is only (for the most part) recognized based on personal accomplishments - were vulnerable to alternatives where life was much "easier". A misnagid can't just be in the same room as a Rebbe during the Yomim Noraim and get a "free pass" (and let the dancing start) or be "moser nefesh" to wait on line for a cos shel bruchoh which will grant absolution - but actually must work on his own avodah.

Obviously, it is a double edged sword, and the Chasidic life - although more comfortable - offered less personal satisfaction. Nevertheless, Chasidim were winning the battle.

In this day and age, the fight isn't against treyfah dayos, but against pure grubbeh tayvos. Hence, the Chassidic "shut your mind" approach, together with the "feel-good/talks to your heart" Judaism, can not stand against the temptations that face them when they walk in the streets - that is the streets neer their workplaces for most, and even the streets near their homes, if they live in KT. Subsequently, Chasidim realize this threat and slowly and maturely, they are comming to realize that the only eytzah is intense learning (of nighleh). This demands from everyone to reach his own capabilities. It is not enough to say "it's not for me", loy uhlaynuh, when one lives in a society where one's peers are constantly growing in their learning. Such a system (coupled with the other Chasidic maylos) will have a kiyum. Thankfully, in the Chasidim now have yeshivos for mitzuyanim and realize that a society can only be viable if we are all yearning for the best. A society in which the average yungerman can't read a blatt gemarah without a (Artscroll) study aid, and certainly doesn't know what a (non-Kook) Rahsbah looks like, is doomed to have people looking for fulfillment in other areas (besides for Chabad)

Anonymous said...

Please, why are people here writing all kind of fantasies? There are enough guys who know Rashba and Nigleh very well and are nevertheless feeling choked by the Ultra Orthodox Halachic system claiming that It's so narrow and into maddening minutiae that they feel stifled. Many of them I know personal nit only know Lomdos but are well versed in Maharal, Morah, Leibovitz, Desler, Berkoviz Soloveitchik, Nadel etc. but they still feel alienated.

No Orthodox society is immune to this problem, not ChazoIshniks, not Ponovitchers, nor MO, neither Chabad Skvere Satmaer or Ger and Belz.

Anonymous said...

chassidim today are much more open minded then misnagdim of lakewood or kiryath sefer

Anonymous said...

hey bump!
what a brilliant piece! not.

chassidim don't think for themselves??! don't learn?

if you're a bump on the tuches, go to a dermatologist.

schneur said...

Bump. I think you forgot about most of Ukrainian Chassiduth at least tens of thousands (probably many more)that disintegrated years before the Communist Revolution in large part.
I think you forgot about Chabad in White Russia that had tens of thousands of followers (if not much more) in the time of the Zemach Zedek and by 1920 was down to a few thousand loyalits and some fellow travellers
I think you forgot what was going on in Polsih chassiduth in the Inter War period from 1918-1939. Read the book by Piekasz to get some good color.
I think you forgot about the haskalah in Galicia and its karbanoth.
I think you forgot that by the late 1930's the same was happening among the Marmorasher bachurim in Hungary enough of a problem to get RYT to go to Budapest to discuss these issues.
Chassiuth started as a Revoltionary movement and then underwent institutionization and finally the stage of disintegration .
Today it has adopted the values of the group that the BESHT fought - Only Torah study, Middle class values, alliance of the rich and the Rebebs and the creation of a self serving cultue of rebbes and their relations.Basically as agroup its chizoniuth ( I stress as a group)
I do not claim to have any answers , but to say Chassidiuth is the answer to secular trends lacks any historical validity. Its track record is no better than the yeshiva world , TIDE, Chasam Sofer and a lot worse than the derech of the Sefardim.

LW said...

After all was said and done, what emerges from all these comments is that historically everything was already said and done. And no one figured out a solution yet.
We are but one lonely cycle in a long long broken washing machine. And just when its about to stop spinning something or someone will come along and give it a gezinter shtois... And we will continue spinning some more.

elye said...

was that supposed to be deep?

LW said...

Elye. Yes it was. Sorry you missed it. But don't feel sad you probably have more important things to worry about.

Shamloi said...

As usual your comments are spot on!
Including pointing out that almost all Orthodox groups have gone through swings of the pendulum.As you point out Lubavitchs "success" in keeping yiddishkait is a figment of imagination, when in actuality, very few Lubavitchers were left by the time of the Communist Revolution.I will point out though, that Lubavitch was quick to copy other movements succesful ways of keeping or today even spreading Yiddishkait.For example the Lubavitch shlichus" system was successfully copied from Novardok that was very successful in between the Wars in Poland,Latvia etc.Novardok however, did not have the ability to keep up with the times like Lubavitch who have managed to succesfully implement shlichus and a host of other programs, though it remains to be seen if they"ll be able to gulf the cultish movement around the Rebbe and his almost deification.

One last point*:Although,I personally am not attracted to the rigid "chodosh usser min hatoireh" and the "teilung" of the Chasam Sofer, it appears to have been the most successful Orthodox movement in keeping its adherents.In fact today a vast percentage of the frimmeh in America are scions of this path, including a big percentage of Lakewood,Lubavitch and Ger and obviously the vast majority of Boro Park,Willy etc

russian chusid said...

Hate to do it, but have to agree with Shneur. Even though i do belong to a chasidus (not exactly a common one, though)i do agree that today chasidus is not a better answer then anything else existing today. With most of the Rebbes (forget about knowing Shas, poskim, kabule on their fingers-that's almost gone in past) not even being charismatic or caring for their followers, you see empty eyes by most of the bachurim-new dor!!!WITH EMPTY EYES THERE IS NO HOPE!!! THAT'S SCARY!!!

takoa said...

Actually the one group that has eyes full of hope and life are the talmidim of the Merkaz haRav and Mizrachi yeshives in Israel.Some leave but those that stay are full of spirit and energy.This is in stark distinction to the "lost' look in Brooklyn.If Yiddishkeit is true then why are we afraid of the outside world?The Rav Kook people have proven that Torah and secular culture can complement each other in a powerful way.

Dr. Yontev Feel Good said...

Will someone break out the Grey Goose and make a L'chaim?Russian Chusid agrees with Schneur! Moshiach's Tzeitn!

Anonymous said...

" it appears to have been the most successful Orthodox movement in keeping its adherents"
if you take 80 percent of yidden and throw them to the dogs,as the tielung did, them the Mivchar shbemivchurim will be great for a few years. But all other Jewish kehilas still had 1 big kehilah then obviously it looked bad. But in percentage Hungary was much worse off then other places.

Anonymous said...

I always wonder why all "Oifgeklerta" who profess to have come to a conclusion after deep thought and studying the subject matter from all angels could not find the words to bring light, and open the eyes of their partners to join them which would in fact solve 80 percent of his dilemma, and if he is a real intellectual he might even get his parents to see the light. Which brings me to conclude that they themselves have not really figured it out yet and all they feel is sexual deprivation why not learn some techniques and get their spouse excited for them and both will be satisfied. Otherwise this woman you kissed on the cheek will over a very short period of time find another one to kiss her on her cheek and you will be left to wonder maybe the woman I impregnated three times wasn’t so bad.

russian chusid said...


Actually the one group that has eyes full of hope and life are the talmidim of the Merkaz haRav and Mizrachi yeshives in Israel

like by eigel- velchi l'tsacheik...may be that kind of happiness.
Please cut this propoganda. I have enough friends in shtuchim (kedumim,tkua etc.)to know what's going on there.

Zeir sham said...

Tekea...maybe on the hilltops the r kuk people have idealism but not in the citys.

takoa said...

Russian Chusid: Why so angry all the time? Hardly a good word about anyone? Weren't the Rizhiner Kinder very much into ahavas Yisroel? What's the deal here?

takoa said...

I know they don't have idealism -that's why 30-40% of the IDF officer corps is comprised of these people and some 50% of the elite fighting units are comprised of them. Oh,I forgot, serving in the IDF is nothing compared to wasting away a day in a fake kollel. Oh,I also forgot that the whole medineh is treif. Sorry. Never mind.

Anonymous said...


maybe he is fron the skverer chasidic sect, very eingezaltzen as the skverer herring of Motzie Shabos

russian chusid said...




Ahavas isroel is a chiyuv on every yid and every chosid or misnaged-do not mix specifically Rizhin in it. Criticizing does not mean not loving. Aderabe, if you do not care you are just nice to everybody and all is good (American style). Satmarer Rebbe LOVED EY, and cared for it-that's why he took his stand so sharply.

By the way, do not mix me in the kolel business-that's another chorban the way it is going.Tzig wrote enough good stuff about it.

Anonymous said...

Russian chosid
I am a shegatz, I did not go the tish in BP, but I still remember it from a few decades ago when I was doing shabosim in the shtetel, there was no dancing by the tish, it was still 100% replica from his father.

russian chusid said...


That you can not copy...