Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Breslav branches

I had thought to write a comprehensive response to the recent comments which dealt with Lubavitch family issues etc., but I reconsidered this when I realized that I was really in no mood to rehash all the arguments presented. It seems that, aside from some inflammatory material served up by SZB, everyone is pretty much in agreement that gezheh as it was forty years ago is basically dead. There is a natural human desire to be superior in any social contract, and I have no doubt that in ten years from now there will be a new definition of gezheh, or spitz, or whatever it is, that will allow certain people to feel good about themselves. This reminds me of an article I recently read in the New Yorker magazine about teen pregnancy in the bible belt. It seems that there's a movement to get girls to pledge their chastity until marriage, but that this only works up to a certain point. Once more than thirty percent of a class has pledged, they
"frie" out as it were, because their lifestyle is not seen as being exclusive anymore; it has lost the charm of "us against them", and the girls lose interest. I suppose that one could apply this formula to any social group: for example, if mote than thirty percent of Lubavitchers were gezheh, then the status would lose its cache. And it would soon be replaced by a more restricted label, which would once again enable exclusivity.
The same thing, could be said about the Shluchim convention; the only way to keep people interested is by keeping the convention exclusive. If you allow everyone in, then what's the point? Gezheh has been relatively lucky; with the influx of ballei teshuvah the status has remained exclusive, allowing the people who cling to it to feel special. If the definition of gezheh were to expand, and I think it is slowly doing so, then it'll lose it's significance; there. There will be a need for a new and improved status symbol, though what form that would take I could not begin to guess at.

Wow, I wrote that I wasn't interested in writing about this, and look what happened! I was sucked in like a peregine falcon into an F-22 engine. The results were, however, slightly prettier, as evidenced by the lack of blood.
What did I really want to write about tonight? I wanted to write about this nice little argument I've been having with some breslav guys on some blog about saying na nach after you make the wrong bracha over food. The blog is called na nach nachma nachman meuman, and it can be
found at The people on the blog make the claim that one should not get involved in the nitty-gritty of Halacha, as that can lead to depression, but rather a person should just say na nach if they make a mistake, or something like that.What I don't understand is, what makes these people different from reform or conservative? All three say that you shouldn't let Halacha get you down, and rather you should just say some magical incantation
and G-d will take care of it. I mean sure, ten points for style, but negative several million for complete lack of intellect.
If they wanted to argue that it was a bad thing to be overly machmir, I could understand, but to ignore the basics of Halacha? Heck, I'm not perfect myself, but I don't claim that what I'm doing is the will of G-d! If you don't know the Halacha, ask someone; if you have to, sweat
over it. In fact, the Torah was designed to be worked at; thinking that you can just replace a part of it by uttering a mindless adage is rather infantile.


Nemo said...

So you're saying you have a "lack of blood." Was there pun intended? As in you lack gezhe blood? Ahahahaha ...

(Shoot me please, I'm overworked.)

Leo de Toot said...

Dear Mr. R.S.:
You might point out to Captain Nemo that he meant to say he's completely "submerged" in his work.
For the best in obscure literary references from Wells to "Wellsprings," affectionately yours,

The Real Shliach said...

nemo: I try to make a harmless example, and look what happens!
LdT: quite.

chenyok said...

why do you mix two totally different topics?

Nu, so they're saying shtusim, it's obvious to everyone else but them. Why draw attention to it?

The Real Shliach said...

What's your problem exactly? Explain yourself child.