Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This morning I...

I was recently thinking about this whole blogging thing, particularly as regards my autobiographical posts. Do people want to read my every move? Is it time to sign up for twitter? The one major issue is that normally I'm in Yeshiva, so my feed wouldn't be too interesting. But even without that consideration, or if someone is willing to sponsor an iPhone with service, there still remains the fundamental premise of the whole endeavor, and that is that someone is interested in my every movement. If I was Barack Obama for example, then I would understand people wanting to know what I ate for breakfast, but guess what? I'm not the President. Wow, it's weird to write that. No one cares that I had half a bowl of chassidishe rice crispies for breakfast this morning. And yet there are time when it could come in handy. For example, I don't think anyone's ever twittered a smicha test. That would be really cool. Even a live feed of a farbrengen would be great.
Which brings us to the next stop on our program. Today was the 24th of Teveth. The Yahrtzeit of the Alter Rebbe. He passed away in Piena and is interred in Haditch. I was going to bring down what I said last year on this day, but I didn't really say anything too brilliant. However, I did notice a nice short post from last year that never got commented on, so I figure no one read it and will therefore enjoy it now. So, without further ado, let's bring it back to my birthday last year, the 12th of February 2008:

Today the Shluchim of YHSTC had another spectacular Shiur from Rabbi Nachman Wilhelm, and I'd like to share a nice vort that he said at the end. Kosher fish must have both fins and scales. The truth is, however, that all fish that have scales also have fins, so what's the point of the Torah mandating the fins? The Alter Rebbe says that we can look at the particular functions of these two body parts for the answer. A fin is something that is used to go upward, to go higher, and this is representative of Torah study, a discipline that plumbs the depths of the human intellect and simultaneously soars aloft to bask in the rays of G-d's own knowledge. A scale is a cover, a protection. We see this in Tanya, where the Alter Rebbe writes that a person builds up a chain mail with their Mitzvos, particularly Tzedaka.
So the answer is; when someone only has fins, only has Torah (like a misnaged), then they're suspect. But if someone only has good deeds, then they're all right.

66 comments:

chanie said...

Interesting. But I don't think that only Torah is what makes a misnaged. Misnagdim have ma'asim tovim, as well.

The Real Shliach said...

Where's the emphasis placed? Lubavitch tries to get people to put on Tefillin. Snags try to get them to learn a blatt Gemara.

LE7 said...

Twitter is a funny idea. You need a cell phone to do twitter? Should I sign up?

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

I like your cracks at misnagdim. Does ahavas yisrael only apply to the unaffiliated or is it because we're all one family so we can diss each other?

Nemo said...

What the heck is a chain mail?

Nemo said...

And then comes Wiki to the rescue. Tell me, was this a translation or is it your word?

Crawling Axe said...

Also, a live fish swims ustream.

Moideh Bemiktzas, “Senatori boni viri. Senatus mala bestia.”

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

What language is that? Google translate claims that it's Serbian and only translated the word mala. I tried some languages I think are related to serbian and got worse results. Then I tried latin and got "boni Senators are green. Senatorial jaws are gamey." (some of that was pieced from a translator and a dictionary and Italian)

The Real Shliach said...

LE7: No, you can do it from anything that connects to the internet.
Modeh: You want the truth?
Nemo: Next time, just ask John Mccain.
Crawling Axe: Explain yourself child.
Modeh: Valiant effort that.

Crawling Axe said...

Dude. I understand not learning English in school, but Latin?.. Anyway —

“Senators are nice people. The Senate is an evil beast.” — Julius Caesar.

Crawling Axe said...

Actually, that should probably be “senatores”.

Mea culpa.

The Real Shliach said...

Now it all becomes clear.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

It does. I know so little latin that I trust online translators before my sketchy knowledge. Now I know better because my translation was closer to accurate. That's what you get for being neheneh from the Catholic church.

The Real Shliach said...

You mean with Latin? What does the church have to do with Latin?

Crawling Axe said...

I think it’s safe to say that Julius Caesar was not much of a church-goer.

Church Latin is slightly different from Classical (Roman) Latin. But mostly in pronunciation. (As I was told… obviously I haven’t personally studied Church Latin.)

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

It was an old-fashioned galach whose translator I used.

The Real Shliach said...

Ahh. Ahh. What more can I say?

LE7 said...

Funny Personal Story: When I tried to sign up for twitter they told me my name is too long. "Sorry names can only be 20 characters long." Well tell my mother that! This is discrimination!

Dovid said...

I would tune in for play by play action at farbrengens.
However with RCS limiting his conversation with you to a minimum I doubt you can ellicit enough responses from him to entertain outside of the farbrengens. Then again even failed attempts at engaging him in conversation can be entertaining.

The Real Shliach said...

LE7: So you signed up with a different name?

Dovid: You're sponsoring? And I sit right next to Rabbi Chaim, so you don't have to worry about access. Besides, I think he secretly loves the attention.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

I know something about the differences between classical and church latin. As a matter of fact some scholars suggest that Caesar didn't use either one. Obviously church latin didn't exist yet, but some suggest that classical latin was a stylized dialect and cite how crude "The Gallic Wars" sound compared to the Aenid. I wouldn't know, as my dead language of choice is Aramaic.

Nemo said...

Ugh, LE7, what was it you said the other day?

AP History was a few years ago already

(except for me, it wasn't AP, it was Jew-school Euro-history revised)

The Real Shliach said...

Dead Language? Chas V'shalom! The shluchim in the mesifta in chicago (the greatest mesifta in the history of time and space) write their signs exclusively in it.

Nemo said...

Actually, that's not true. We had a pretty liberal Jewish education for a Lubavitch school. We studied about Martin Luther, the Vatican, Catholics and Protestants ... everything but the one man that made it all happen.

The Real Shliach said...

Judas?

Nemo said...

No, a chum of his.

The Real Shliach said...

Not too chummy at the end.

Dovid said...

"You're sponsoring?"
-what?? I thought this was free...

The Real Shliach said...

Live updates are going to cost you. There's no wifi in zal, so I'll need an iPhone for its 3G.

LE7 said...

TRS: No, I just abbreviated my last name.

Nemo: Woah woah woah, mixing facebook and blogger are me? That is more dangerous than mixing beer and liquor.

The Real Shliach said...

So what's your feed called?

LE7 said...

There is nothing on there but elishevers it is.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

You're right, not dead but ancient enough to surprise the hell out of classics professors that I speak it. They're already used to Jews who can read it and all but apparently they never encountered anyone who can put on the accent and talk.

Excuse: In my last year of yeshiva I developed some maskilishe tendencies regarding the importance of learning a language before you learn in that language and most of second seder with various dictionaries, targumim and diqduq seforim. I then promptly forgot most of it but I'm still the man to go to with a teitch question

The Real Shliach said...

LE7: Will check it out.

Modeh: It's always good to shock those classic professor people out of their boxers.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Togas. Classics as in Greek minuvalim and their Roman imatators. For some reason they are the basis of western civilization more than the Saxons where we get our language, the goths where we get our clothes (chasidim particularly get theirs from the neo 'gothic' style) and the Celts where we (not we, really, but western civilization) get common law.

The Real Shliach said...

Togas: They wear nothing underneath? Shocking.

Right. Those Greeks get all the credit. Seriously though, besides feta cheese, what else have they done for humanity?

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

The Illiad, Pita, and half of Math II (not that I was zoche to have the sensible breakdown or a single qualified teacher.)

LE7 said...

My friend's dog Shlomo only eats Jewish books.

LE7 said...

Shoot wrong post.

The Real Shliach said...

Modeh: Worthless.

LE7: LOL.

Cheerio said...

i need to eat lunch. the fact that i can't think of anything to say on such a good post/comment thread is a definite sign that i need to eat.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Since when is pita worthless?

The Real Shliach said...

Cheerio: I gave you an hour. How was lunch?

Modeh: When you compare it to apple pie...

Cheerio said...

lunch was good. i'm still hungry though, so i think i'm gonna have to make some dinner.
ok. comments:
why are rice crispies chassidishe? and dont you spell it with a k?
cool vort. i like animal analogies. it's a good reason to have pets.
nemo - i'm disappointed. you didnt know what chainmail was? puleeeze!
modeh and trs - and when you compare those both to partridge farms raspberry turnovers, they're as if dust in your mouth. (great now i want raspberry turnovers..)

The Real Shliach said...

A. Who mentioned rice crispies?

B.And who said they were chassidish?

C. Nemo may be into the fine things in life, but his education is sometimes a little lacking.

D. Excuse me? You're insulting America now?

Cheerio said...

a. you did.
b. you did.
c. sadly, that is so true. of all of us, unfortunately.
d. partridge farms turnovers are american. apple pie? came from somewhere else. hamburgers - those are american.

The Real Shliach said...

A. I hate when I forget what I wrote.
B. I meant to say Heimish.
C. Speak for yourself child.
D. Are you kidding me? Ever heard of "American as apple pie"? I rest my case.

Cheerio said...

a. ha!
b. ok - what makes rice krispies heimish? or are you implying that you weren't eating rice krispies, but (gasp) a knockoff JEWISH brand?!!
c. yes, master.
d. i like to challenge the cliched perspectives of my country!

The Real Shliach said...

A. Be nice now. I write a lot.
B. You think Yeshiva is going to shell out for the real thing? You nuts in the head or something?
C. Excellent. Obedience training is nearly complete. Hand over your wallet now and I'll pronounce you a success.
D. Like, whatever.

Cheerio said...

a. true. you're impressive.
b. in the dorm, the "Jewish" brands were always reviled.
c. like i have anything in my wallet that would be of use to you...
d. yes, there really isn't much you can say to that, is there?

The Real Shliach said...

A. Thanks.
B. Why? They taste the same for half the price (or in the case of most schools, none of the price).
C. Cash? Credit cards? Checks? I take them all.
D. I could, but I don't use nivel peh.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Hamburgers are German. As in Hamburg. What's uniquely American is that they are shorn of their origins and made accessable to all (in this case a very good thing.

c-I propose a new rule. Anyone who wants to complain about anyone else's education has to use an erudite language. That means ancient languages only spoken by scholars of some kind, or arcane tongues never designed for human comprehension. Here is a list of acceptable tongues and dialects:
Aramaic (Biblical)
Aramaic (Judeo)
Aramaic (colloquial)
Greek (classical)
Greek (Homeric)
Greek (proto-Homeric and if you know the difference you have a right to gloat)
latin (classical -- church is assur b'hanna'ah)
C++
java
PASCAL
perl
Visual Basic isn't sufficiently weird.

Cheerio said...

a. no probs.
b. they do NOT taste the same.
c. cash - zip. credit - zip. checks - dude, wrong century!
d. so just use asterisks and symbols.

The Real Shliach said...

B. Are you kidding me? I'm not talking about all the shtuff, just the cereals.
C. SO how about chocolate chip cookies? My sis and bro in law just went on South Beach...
D. OK. Next time.

Modeh: I feel like a moron.

LE7 said...

Would Esperanto or Pig Latin suffice?

Cheerio said...

b. naah... name me one jewish brand that tastes better than the (also kosher) original.
c. i think we can work something out. south beach... ugh (shivers in horror.)

The Real Shliach said...

LE7: Esperanto yes.
Cheerio: A: I never said taste better, I said taste the same.
C. You're telling me.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Do you honestly think I could carry that off myself? I just won't complain about other people's education. Though perl isn't too hard:
[code]
print "Yenem is an am ha'aretz\n";
[/code]

LE7 said...

Too bad it's been a good five years since I spoke Esperanto... maybe I'll brush up for bashing on TRS.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Esperanto is a mere pseudo-romance language and not sufficiently scholarly (just arrogance to cover up that I don't speak anything but the American jew standard. Hebrew, English bad yiddish and some Aramaic.)

The Real Shliach said...

LE7: We await with eager anticipation.

Modeh: Ahh, you're as dumb as the rest of us. A comforting thought indeed.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

אנת סכלא לאו אנא
(your a fool not I. Colloquial aramaic as per my random suggestion.)

The Real Shliach said...

I mean you're a genius. My bad.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

You know that much Aramaic too. What kind of a genius? I still can only write it in a modified Assyrian alphabet (hebrew to less pretentious souls.)

The Real Shliach said...

I was being minorly sarcastic.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Figured.