Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My very own chabad.org'ing

So a mashpia was telling me how he doesn't like being a mashpia, because whenever he goes to a farbrengen all he thinks is, "Hey, what he's saying is really good! I could say that next time I farbreng!" The poor guy never gets to enjoy a farbrengen because he is constantly thinking about his own future performance. The same thing is, I'm sure, a problem of many professional athletes. They can't enjoy a sporting event because they're constantly focusing on how they can improve their own performance.
The reason I'm locquasing so much on this particular problem is because I have a similar one. Tonight I was learning a maamar which dealt with mesiras nefesh. The whole time, instead of enjoying the maamar, I was trying to figure out how I could tie it into Mumbai and the recent events there. In the end, this particular maamar wasn't conducive to being blogged, and I was left to detail the process instead of the maamar itself. So I suppose it's a bit of a let down, but I'm sure we'll all get over this disappointment relatively quickly.

Meanwhile, in other news, there was recently an argument here in Morristown regarding our peula for the shloshim of the kedoshim. One person said that we should arrange for all the Rebbe's Torah to be learned, while another maintained that we should instead all learn the same thing. It's an old argument, reminiscent of the controversy re: Rambam and Daf Yomi. I wouldn't presume to offer an opinion here, because I don't have one, but I would say that it's really impressive when people take a tragic event to heart and try to do something to mitigate the suffering, however small their efforts may be.
And, amazingly enough, I'm now able to tie in the maamar! Mesiras Nefesh, when a Jew gives his life for G-d, reveals G-d's name down here in the most powerful way possible. This is because it causes people to realize that there is a G-d in the world, and he is sanctified by this. Listen, I'm not offeing excuses here. What G-d did here was absolutely inexcusible. But at the end of the day, it would be even worse to think that just because a death was senseless it means that it was also meaningless. Because that would be the biggest insult to those who gave their lives, to say that they died for naught. I don't know why this happened; I don't ever want to be able to justify it. However, I do want to be able to say that something positive came out of it.

And you know what? That's what the kedoshim would have wanted also. You can bet that had this chas v'shalom happened to other shluchim, they would have also tried their hardest to make sure that it was not in vain.


Anonymous said...

Oy. This fight with god that people are always in. it's like "If I god forbid say that g-d is right, then he'll screw me over even more. Let me insist that g-d is bad, and then he might torture me a little less." Sheesh. That's why I can't stand religious people. you think g-d is playing these kinds of games? like god is up there in heaven saying "hmmm, he seemed to say that there was a good reason for his suffering. Gabriel! smite that guy for me just a little more. Oh that guy keeps on insisting that I don't know what i'm doing. OK. Michael, give that guy a break. Maybe just halt that cancer's growth for a few months?" please what kind of god is this that wants your games.

Anonymous said...

Like god has this big cup in heaven and is waiting until it get full of tears. and then he;ll finally get up "and the lord awoke like a sleeper, like a hero recovering from wine" and he'll make the world all good and perfect. but if we make excuses, he'll just take tears out of that cup, because apparently it's not really that bad--after all, we managed to chabad.org it. DOES YOUR GOD PLAY THESE SILLY GAMES? OR DOES HE MAYBE THINK THAT YOU SHOULD TRUST HIM. let's get back to basics. what does it mean to "trust in g-d"? On the simplest level it bloody means that you think g-d belongs in the driver's seat of the universe and you don't engage in any backseat driving.

Just like a guy said...

Wow! Impressive comments there Mr. Anonymous. So, what kind of G-d do I have? I like to think that my views on G-d reflect those of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. While your criticism may be valid, I do believe that I have a point. Complaining to G-d, while acknowledging that all his ways are pleasantness, and all his paths are peace, is a time-honored Jewish tradition, and one that is fully in keeping with current chabad theology. The Rebbe constantly stressed, over and over, that we have to cry out "Ad Mosai!?" You disagree, fine, but just know that you're arguing not with me, but with my Rebbe.
And yes, I do believe in Hashgacha Pratis. Yes, my every action is vitally important. To say otherwise is not only heretical but is also demeaning.

le7 said...

Same with professional musicians/music students: listening to music = work.

Cheerio said...

i think you need to work on the usage of this new phrase.
also - what happened to the polls? i enjoyed having to make a random and ultimately insignificant choice every now and then.

Just like a guy said...

Elishevers: and I suppose with all professions.

Cheerio: that's what evolution is all about.
And what do you mean "ultimately insignificant"?! Those polls reveal a lot!
Um, when the previous one ended last week, I didn't really feel like making a new one, but hopefully I will do so tomorrow night.

chanie said...

Mashpiim don't like their job, but ultimately they do it.
The point is to be somewhere for the sake of being there. Not for the sake of doing something else connected to it in the future.

And how do you write so normally? I can't even think what to say, and it's flowing out of you completely naturally.

Just like a guy said...

Mashoiim don't like their job? What about the famous mashal, "more than the calf wants to drink, the cow wants to nurse." I'm sure that some do and some don't like their jobs, like the rest of humanity.

My writing? Ma zeh "normally" and "naturally"? The great skill of a professional is that they make the difficult look simple. Believe you me, there I am not yet. Sure, sometimes inspiration strikes, and the words flow like magma coming down from, sweeping all before in its heedless rush to the sea. But I digress. I'll take your words as a compliment, as they were undoubtedly meant as such. For lessons, I charge, though of course the tender is negotiable.

Nemo said...

For lessons, I charge, though of course the tender is negotiable.

What do you have in mind?

Just like a guy said...

What are you offering?

Nemo said...

To change your life ;)

Just like a guy said...

Oh baby!

Dovid said...

I know exactly what you’re talking about here. I have that feeling many times when I'm learning.

It reminds me of that saying from pirkei avos:
Whoever learns in order to teach, suffices to study and to teach.
Whoever learns in order to practice, suffices to study, to teach, to observe, and to practice.

I think instead of learning Torah in order to teach, we need to learn in order to do, and derech memailah we will be able to teach as well.