Saturday, September 6, 2008

A quick word of Torah

I know I promised an exhaustive analysis of the situation in Chabad, but right now I don't really have time, so I'll just write a couple of quickies that I heard from Rabi Baruch Zvi Friedman tonight.

At the Kinnus Hamechanchim earlier this year some guy got up and gave a speech about how the way to get our children connected with the Rebbe is through teaching them about his life. Obviously, he elaborated a lot on this point, but BZ didn't, and therefore I also can't. Be that as it may, the Rosh (of YOEC fame) got up to give the next speech, and said that the way to get to know and connect to the Rebbe is not through not his life. After all, do we know Moshe through the stories of his life? No, we know him through the Torah that he gave us. Do we know the Rambam through his life story? No, we know it through the Yad Hachazakah, his seminal work of Halacha, and all his other Sefarim. Do we know the Rebbe through knowing his life story? Sure, it's nice, but we can only know and connect to the Rebbe through learning his Torah.

The Rosh continued

I hear bochurim in my Yeshiva making fun of Bochurim in "snag" yeshivos, saying that they're motivated to learn only because they're told that one day they can grow up to be a Gadol Hador, or at least a Talmid Chacham. In our Lubavitch Yeshivos, they motivate Bochurim to learn by offering them (And the following is the Rosh's exact words) one thousand dollars, or three thousand dollars, or even Rachmana Litzlan an iPod! And that's fine, if you need an iPod to learn, then great. But don't you dare make fun of snag Bochurim then who learn in order to become a Talmid Chacham!

29 comments:

e said...

Listen, even if snag bochurim's learning was motivated by the highest level of lishmah, Lubab's would still make fun of it. Lubabs make fun of everything snag related, no exceptions.

The Real Shliach said...

Probably

Cheerio said...

so, in your opinion, why? aren't we the great proponents of ahavas yisroel?
(i'd apologize for being so serious minded in this comment, but hey, you started it!)

e said...

Because in Lubavitch there's this sentiment that Ahavas Yisroel does not apply to snags. Why? Probably because loving snags would threaten our superiority complex.

Cheerio said...

do we need to have a superiority complex?

e said...

Some would argue that the Lubavitch superiority complex is what gives us the "shtultz" to do all the cool stuff we do.

Cheerio said...

english, please, for this californian child of american bt's.
so you're saying we have to believe we're the best, better than the rest, in order to get anything done?
we can't just believe that we have to do what we have to do, and every other jew has a purpose, too, and sure, they could use chassidus in their lives, but who says we're superior to them?

e said...

You understood what I wrote.

I personally am against Lubavitch snot-nosedness, for the reasons you stated, as well as some others.

e said...

I really hate to agree. That means that the discussion is going to end pretty soon. Oh well.

Cheerio said...

i got the gist of it, but i really don't know the actual definition, and it's a word i've never heard before.
so if you don't want it to end, elaborate on your "other reasons". let's see what we can generate from that!

e said...

I think shtultz just means pride, but it has some nice connotations which 'pride' doesn't have.

Here is the real question: Is Chabad really THE best form of Judaism out there? There are many really cool things about Chabad, which is why I'm glad to be a member. However, I have barely any first hand knowledge about other types of Judaism. Therefore I won't claim that Chabad is THE best. I simply don't know enough to do that.

Suffers of the Chabad superiority complex believe with 100% certainty that Chabad is THE best. They may be right. The few facts which I have at my disposal imply that they are right. But I find it disgusting that they can be so certain despite their ignorance. I remember my friend saying in first grade (!) that the "poilishe" rabbeim are nobodies. How can a first grader make such statement? How can adults speak in ways that make kids think that? Are we not a tad too full of ourselves?

I think that we're cool. I just won't say that other people, whom I have never met, are less cool.

Cheerio said...

don't all yiddish words ;)

but we believe that the chabad approach is right, don't we? doesn't that also mean believing it's the best?
and can we believe it's the best and also believe that other jews have value and, as you put it, are cool, too?

The Real Shliach said...

Do we believe that Chabad is #1? Some of us do, some don't. Does it really make a difference? Do you think that any other group out there doesn't believe that it is #1?
I'm not excusing our provincialism, I'm really trying to explain that it's natural for people to want what they identify with to be the best that there is.

Cheerio said...

are you saying you DON'T believe that chabad chassidus is the ultimate? i'm not talking about lubavitch the culture, or lubavitch the group - i mean chabad the chassidus which we call "the words of G-d".
(i still think we're the best and coolest, for reasons ranging from sublime (chassidus) to ridiculous (i get to wear sheer stockings). but that might just be my provincialism.(and how did you lubavitch dudes acquire such sophisticated vocabularies? it has nothing to do with this conversation, but it's 3 am, and i'm curious.))

The Real Shliach said...

Is Chabad Chassidus the ultimate? I'd certainly like to think so. Breslav also thinks that they're the ultimate. I can't speak for any other group, but I imagine that they also believe that they're the cat's pajamas.
What does this all mean? Work it out for yourself.
Also, regarding our continual mockery of snags, I think that they serve as our "Blonds", much like "Aggies" are the butt of Texan jokes and "Newfies" of Canadian jokes.

And excellent vocabulary? As the saying goes, never let school get in the way of a good education.

e said...

Blonde and Aggie jokes are all fine and good, until you start to take them seriously--as we do our snag jokes.

nemo said...

Cheerio: according to you, MO is #1 because they don't wear stockings at all.

All: I wouldn't take such issue with Lubavitch superiority complex if there was some proven basis to it. If they really knew how to learn as well as, and for the right reasons as, they say they do, I'd be more welcoming to the better than thou approach. But being that many of the Lubavitchers I know aren't very Ehlich in their personal lives, and the way Lubavitch and Lubavitch philosohpy is exploited for superiority claims, and in fact can't match up to many snags in many respects, I can't sympathize with them.

A far as the issue of coolness:

While we may not be able to say conclusively who's right/better because those are things that are Bidei Shomayim, we can know if we are cooler than others because that is Bidei Adom.

Bichlal, I find Lubavitchers to be cooler.

e said...

Nemo, i did not get the frist paragraph. The sentances were jsut too long.

Re the ssecond paragraph: Lubavitch is certainly cool.
We're the only one who get have so much fun while still being super holy (e.g. travel the world, shlichut, mivtzoim, farbreng etc.). The Rebbe was able to modernize things but still keep the old-fashioned essentials.

But just because our version of judaism is a lot of fun, doesn't necessarily mean that we are THE way. A little humilty please.

Banjy said...

once again, bochurim start discussing stockings, maybe it's time to shut down the blog.

before you get mad, think about it.

Banjy said...

(that was typed badly)

Once again: when bochurim start discussing stockings, maybe it's time to shut down the blog(s)...

Before you get mad at me, think about it.

The Reformed TP said...

Get a life, Benjy.

Cheerio said...

lubavitch is unique, however. after much debate with my roommates today, that was one conclusion we reached. and unique is cool.

e said...

Cool, but not necessarily coolest. So please keep your snot-nosedness in check.

The Real Shliach said...

Wow, TP, what has happened? Do you have a temperature or something?

Nemo said...

Dude, my decision that Lubavitch is coolest isn't subjective. I'm speaking based on my expose (past and current) to other Jewish denominations.

Banjy said...

Reformed TP,

I don't think I'm as lifeless as you imagine, it's just that I have children. Before I did, maybe I thought like you, i.e., a bit more liberal than average.

But if you ever hear your children speaking that way, you get a reality check that rankles.

When your son tells you "It's ok, I'm not actually talking to girls, I'm just texting," Or anything like that, you become extreme. And you should.

The Real Shliach said...

Banjy: So I suppose TP can continue this way until he gets married?

Banjy said...

I would rather talk to TP and not about TP, but I guess you're right in general. Or you can figure, that if you think that way until you get married, you may end up marrying someone that will cause you to keep thinking that even afterwards.

the reformed TP said...

Dear Banjy,

I'm still here. Don't worry, I am an avid reader of TRS, and even when I don't always comment, I am following all the action.

You told TRS that until we get married we can discuss stockings to our hearts' content. Thus, when you told a bunch of bochurim and unmarried girls to shut down the blog because we were discussing stockings you ought to get a life--we're doing something OK fir singles!