Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Nine days muse

I was at a loss tonight, because I really couldn't think of anything to write. Thankfully I popped onto Hershel Tzig's site and was directed to another site which seems to think that Chabad is the embodiment of evil on G-d's green earth. I really enjoy sites like these for a couple reasons. The first is that they validate my belief in Chabad; the second is that they give me something to write about when the times they are a slow.
It's really amazing that some people spend so much of their time bashing us. Sure, I bash people when they annoy me, but I don't go around looking for people to slam. Do I wake up in the morning and think, "Who can I hurt today?" No, I wake up in the morning and think, "Man, I'm a moron, I should have gone to sleep before 3:00 AM". You understand the difference? The haters are always thinking about other people, while I constantly think about myself.
As I was reading the posts, and especially after reading the comments, I found myself formulating replies. I stopped myself and said (in the hushed tone normally reserved for visitors to the Minnesota History Center), "TRS, can't you read what they have to say? Instead of trying to fight back, just absorb their words and try to understand that they have a valid point of view." Once I stopped laughing I began to type a response. Then it hit me: You just can't argue with these people. So I stopped typing. It occurred to me that I also don't take criticism very well; after all, yesterday I made a typo, an august presence advised me of its existence, and instead of admitting my mistake like a man I made a joke of the whole affair. Where's the accountability?

This specific blog itself is actually, I must admit, quite fair in its approach. There's a great story that he brings from Rav Hutner:

There is the well known story about the bed of Sodom (also known as the Procrustean bed). If a visitor to Sodom was too short he was stretched and if he was too big for the bed his legs were cut off. Rav Hutner said, "We have such a bed in the frum world. The difference is that if someone doesn't fit his head is cut off."

Fine. So I really don't have too much of a problem with this blog. Many of the comments are off the wall, and he seems to think that all of Lubavitch waves yellow flags around, but these are quite ordinary problems. There's nothing particularly offensive about what he says. So what's my problem? I was just looking for something to write. Today's MS, you see, was a bit uninspiring. While I was making phone calls I realized that I could open a very successful business: Everyone I talk to says they're "just about" to go on vacation. I should start charging people to have me call them and then they'll magically be going on vacation! I think that this idea is worth at least five million a year, and I'm looking for some venture capital to help me start this thing.

Moving right along, it has come to my attention that we're currently in the middle of the nine days, and we're supposed to be sad that we don't have a temple. Is anyone here depressed? Does the sting of exile bite into anyone's heart?
I didn't think so. What can we do about this? I don't know. Seems to me that we've all settled into a malaise that only something really exciting can get us out of. If, for example, the sun were to have some major histrionics, most of us would take life a little more seriously, at least for the fifteen seconds we'd have before being wiped out like a bunch of Toyotas in Detroit.
The nine days, huh? Tough time. Yup.