Monday, December 31, 2007

Elokists included

Today, like all days, is a very special day. Exactly 18 years ago the Lubavitcher Rebbe finished saying Kaddish for his wife, the Rebbitzen. And the Chasidish Bochurim in LA finally got some sleep. See, the Rebbe's Davening would be played in the Zal for all those Bochurim who wanted to hear it. In New York, it wasn't so tough. After all, the Rebbe would begin prayers at 10:00. Yes, I understand that there was a whole goral thing going on for admittance, but even if you didn't luck out, you could still listen without too much effort. Rabbi Wolfman in Morristown told us of his days in Yeshiva, in Morristown, that he had a room mate who would Daven Shacharis, in the room, while the Rebbe was Davening Mincha, which was played over the PA in the whole campus. Later this guy became an Elokist. That's why I'm not mentioning any names. Rabbi Wolfman theorized that he went crazy because he would be Davening to G-d, hearing the Rebbe, and mix up the two. But that's just a theory. Anyway, back to those brave Bochurim in LA, so yeah, they had to be in Zal at 7:00 AM. And to hear the Rebbe Davening without going to Mikve first? Horrors. By the way, I wasn't in LA in those years. More's the pity. I was a mere tyke of two. Anyway, once the Rebbe finished up the year, those Bochurim, like CCL, could get some more sleep.

Speaking of sleep, last night I didn't get enough. But what of it? The really annoying thing was that I was falling asleep for Korbanos through the 18 Benedictions, but once I got to Tachanun I was fine. It's annoying because 1. I wouldn't have Davened the beginning so quickly,and 2. Now even if I tried I wouldn't be able to sleep.

The reason I didn't get enough sleep is because last night I picked up a book called, "The Cantonists." It's one of the most terrible things I've ever read, especially contrasted with this week's Parsha. Both featured horrible Goyim, which is something I've come to expect. The abuse that these (literally) babies went through is more than I can comprehend. Most of us would collapse after two or three birch canings. These guys took 1000 and kept their faith. But yeah, as I said, I've come to expect this kind of treatment from Goyim. After all, as the holy books say Eisav Sonei Yisrael. What's really disturbing is what the Jews did. In Egypt, the taskmasters would let themselves be beaten so as to avoid whipping their fellow Jews. In Russia, many Jews made a business of capturing children. The official community establishment itself would help these people commit their nefarious crimes. I don't have the patience to describe all the horrors that occurred in that generation, so get the book yourselves. It's important for us to know why we have to hate the whole world. Or something like that.
In other news, my friend Nissy Gansbourg, of beautiful Montreal, got engaged to a girl from Madison. How convenient. If they have the wedding in Madison, and who in their right mind would('nt), then it'll be an easy drive there for me. Nissy was a Shliach in LA when I was a Bochur, and we used to learn Chassidus every Shabbos morning. So yeah, all my friends are going.


e said...

Your polls' chasidihkeit index is plummeting. What do bochurim know of cold cuts and condiments?

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Real Shaliach: I am intrigued in your comments regarding birch canings. I'm not aware of the book you have referenced but will look for it. It interests me because I attended a "proper" English boarding school for high school where caning was a regular part of the curriculum. Teachers (who were called "masters") regularly administed canings (we called them "floggings") for all sorts of infractions e.g. late for breakfast, not completing assignments, talking after "lights out," untidiness. A really severe crime e.g. smoking, received the maximum penalty (six strokes with a bamboo cane). The point is the system worked. We are all average youths who respected our teachers, mostly behaved and have no more or less "psychological issues" than anyone else. I suppose that like your writing about whether Chassidus was necessary in another generation or not, this form of discipline would not be applicable today. (By the way, in case you're wondering, I have three fantastic children whom I respect and admire beyond all else and who are very solid citizens but I never caned anyone of them even once.) Respectfully yours, Leo de Toot.