Saturday, November 15, 2008

No, really, it was nice

It's pretty funny, walking into a Chabad House and being treated like a BT, not like the card-carrying member of the International Chabad-Lubavitch movement that I am. It's different, because instead of being the one serving, I felt like I was being served, and let me state clearly here that I never ever ever want to have that feeling again. It seems like once a year there's an article on one of the Chabad news sites about shluchim overworking the kids they hire. Sure, it's a terrible thing, but at least the kids are used to it. In Lubavitch we grow up thinking that it's our duty to save the world. This Shabbos, I felt like I was being saved. I didn't enjoy that.I felt like an outsider, as if I was visiting Chabad, not that it was my permanent residence.
Of course, I compounded the problem by doing something quite BT. The Stone Chumash usually says what the minhag for the Haftora is for Sephardim and Ashkenazim. Sometimes they'll mention the custom of Frankfurt, and I think maybe twice they say what the Lubavitch minhag is. Odd then, that this week they mention what the Lubavitch minhag is; it's odd because this week the Lubavitch minhag is exactly the opposite of what the Stone Chumash says to do. It's all explained in this post from last year. Read it.
So anyway, the guy reading the Haftora ends early, exactly as we don't do, and starts to say the Berachos. I start to think, "Should I say something? Should I not say something?" I go along this line for about a minute, and as the guy is wrapping up the third Bracha I walk over to the Shliach and mention the mistake. Now, what is he going to do? Tell the guy and go back? No. So the only reason I had for going up was to show off my knowledge. And that is a terrible reason. The Shliach, who had no idea what I knew or who I was, said that he didn't know, but the Artscroll Chumash said what it said. I felt like an idiot.
The good news, he's a really nice guy, pretty funny too, and as soon as I get a chance to shmooze with him a little he'll get it. And maybe, just maybe, I'll get it too. But the chances are much greater for the former. Oh yeah, and in case you're wondering, I did enjoy Shabbos. I really did.

In other news, I started reading Alice in Wonderland, the annotated edition. The man was a genius. And pretty sick. And I wish I wasn't so lazy, and could write like that. Nu nu.

6 comments:

Nemo said...

I had a similar experience in the not so distant past, when a recent BT, who was assisting a Shliach while on leave from Yeshiva, did the whole Chabad House maneuver on me, showing me around, trying to provoke my questioning and offering to answer any questions I have about Judaism ... To be fair, maybe he was just practicing his game.

Alice in Wonderland was a great book. I knocked it off in night seder one night in my Bnei Brak days. The man certainly had an imagination.

Anonymous said...

The author of Alic in Wonderland wrote the book while high on some pretty strong substance. Alice was his young niece whom he molested. Just giving you some background. Not everything you read is so innocent...

The Real Shliach said...

nemo: is it even possible to practice on someone who knows what they're doing?
Anon: lewis carrol first came up with the story on a rowing outing. The original alice, though many years younger than him, was not at all related. Before you make innacurate comments, and expose yourself as a fool, please consider getting your facts straight.

Anonymous said...

annotated version?

Nemo said...

What are you talking about? Lewis Carrol was the first male teacher sanctioned by the Gedolim to teach in Bais Yaakov. He was known to take many of the girls rowing and walking in the woods, supposedly telling them mystical stories, and only after his ptirah many of the abuse allegations came out*. Despite a bad reputation at home, the first immigrants to the United States didn't hesistate to name a street in their new Brooklyn enclave after him.

* You don't seriously believe Carlebach came up with the idea himself, do you?

The Real Shliach said...

anon: reading it without a commentary is like learning Gemara without artscroll.
Nemo: supposedly, he was as chaste as they come. As for R. Shlomo, well, let's just say that he made up some very nice songs.