Monday, April 28, 2008

Horns of the Altar

As you are probably well aware, the reason I haven't posted anything in the last few days is because it was Pesach. And yeah, it was pretty good. On Friday night I managed to stay up until 5:15, which was good enough to fulfill Hayom Yom's request. In previous years I never made it past two or three, but thank G-d I was dumb enough this time around to make it happen. The seventh of Pesach is one of three nights when we skip the sleep, but it's pretty inferior to the other two. Actually, depending on how you look at it, it's superior. On the night of Shavous we stay up and read the Tikkun, which usually takes three or four hours. Once you've finished that it's off to the Mikve, with a quick taste of cheesecake if you're lucky. Or, if you're in Yeshiva in LA and your friend has keys to the kitchen, it's more like a whole meal at 4:00 AM, not that I have any idea what that means (wink wink). On Hoshana Raba we also stay up, this time reading Devarim before midnight and the book of Tehillim afterwards. No cheesecake on this night, but at least you get apples and honey (is this a purely Minnesota custom? I have absolutely no idea). Pesach, on the other body appendage, has no set learning schedule. Sure, you're supposed to learn, but seriously folks, does anyone actually think people are gonna learn? Now watch me get a bunch of self-righteous comments from people who claim to have spent their time wisely. As I wrote earlier, this lawlessness does have its advantages. No one need feel guilty for not completing a quota, and one is free to participate in a highly intellectual discussion, or just to crack nuts. Oh yeah, that was another problem this year. Since it was Shabbos, and nutcrackers are forbidden, we had no pecans, almonds, Brazil nuts, or any other types of nuts. Tragic when you think about it. Nevertheless, I made it, and I'm sure you're all very proud.
Moving right along to Sunday, I'm happy to report that I fulfilled R' Dovid Raskin's instructions to a "T" and did Tahalucha in rain, snow, and hail. For those of you who don't know what Tahalucha is, let me explain. Basically, the Rebbe encouraged his Chassidim (mainly Bochurim) to walk (on Yom Tov) and spread both the light of Chassidus and Chassidic joy to Shuls both near and far. As it happens, there's only one destination for us Chassidim ( mainly Bochurim {that could be a rock group [on second thought, most short phrases could, and probably have been, names of rock groups]}) (nice, I scored a trifecta), and that is Beis Yisroel in S. Louis Park. It's nearly ten miles away, and as I mentioned, we had some foul weather to contend with. Nevertheless, we persevered, and got to spend the Moshiach Seudah with our Lithuanian friends, which is always fun. Why you ask? Well, for starters, we get buzzed on Rashi wine, and Matza's last heroic gasp is always a moving experience. Rabbi Moshe Tuvia Lieff, a future Gadol Hador (I'm not joking), was as always quite welcoming.
So you're wondering why I'm not roasting these Snags on a pomegranate branch over an open pit deep in the heart of Texas? First of all, I'm not deep in the heart of anything, least of all Texas. Second of all (what's with the "of all"?), I don't have it in my heart to curse out people I know personally.
And I have it in my heart to curse out people I don't know personally? Of course. Anyway, as I've explained before, I'm not cursing out people, their personalitys, or their actions, just their excesses. I'd do the same for Chabad, but we have none.
Once again, I'm only kidding. Like Hershel Tzig before me though, I find so much Chabad-bashing in the world, and even in (especially in?) Chabad itself, that my voice added to the fray would be of little use to anyone. There are problems, sure, but why harp on them?
Continuing yesterday's biography, last night was clean up. It's one of the few times on Pesach that I wish we went to a hotel. But as I say, it's only a few times, and anyways, it's all over now, so let's get on with this real-life thing. Yeah!
(Nothing like melodrama to end a night off, right?)


s.z.b. said...

As I wrote earlier, this lawlessness does have its advantages. No one need feel guilty for not completing a quota, and one is free to participate in a highly intellectual discussion.

but of course...