Monday, January 26, 2009

We've nothing to fear when Washington near-Dec 25, 1776

I was under the impression that there'd be a farbrengen in Morristown tonight in honor of Rosh Chodesh Shevat, but unfortunately I was mistaken. Since I don't have that to post I'll instead give y'all a post I wrote a while back but never got around to posting.

Is it just me, or are my most popular posts the ones where I'm embarrassed or confused about something and come out looking really cute and cuddly (and pathetic)? Like where this older Asian women in the train station out of the blue starts talking to me. While I I'm wearing headphones and listening to Yisroel Werdyger's excellent CD. And looking in a totally opposite direction. I of course have to take them off to hear what she's saying. "Peacocks." I make a noncommittal grunt. "Eyes. Lots and lots of eyes." I said something like, "Oh, yes." Then she said something which I didn't catch, and then, "Black and white. Do you agree?" I did, and thank the good one above she picked herself up and moved away. The moral of this story is that I had no idea what to do. When the black guy approached me and asked for two bucks so he could buy a train ticket home I gave it go him. When the teenage snag/bochur walked over and asked if he could sit next to me I said, "Please do." So I know how to deal with normal people. Or at least, relatively normal people. But this? What are you supposed to say? And I'm sure that most people in my situation would do the exact same thing as I did. And I'm also sure that somewhere out there has a great line to deal with this kind of thing. I have to meet that person.
--------
All right. Enough of the past. How about the present? There are so many issues currently flying around this little corner of the blogosphere, and it seems a pity to ignore them. The question is though, which one to choose? I could follow the self-proclaimed rational and pious one's suggestion and blog the whole truth and nothing but the truth, in the form of a primal scream, but I don't think that's very practical. At the time he suggested this he refused to understand the downside to the approach, but from the heading of his blog it appears that he now understands my objections.
I could follow many people's lead and complain bitterly about Loving Leah, buy it seems to me a pointless endeavor. What do I have to add of originality? I could even go the frum satire route and reveal that one of my friends just came out of the closet, but seeing as it didn't happen I'd have a hard time justifying such a course of action. Besides, I blogged about the topic around Rosh Hashanah time. What else? I suppose I could tell everybody that thank the one above Taaruvos is going much better, or that it's seriously cold outside, but it seems to me that there isn't much more to be said on the topic.
Oh, I know, I'll write a little something about Rosh Chodesh Shevat. The first day of one of the most important months in a Chassid's year. A day that has in potential all the others. A day that marks the completion of the second ten day period of preparation for the Yom Hakadosh, Yud Shevat. Less than two weeks to my birthday. So obviously, a very important day. And what can we learn from it? How can we improve our daily service of the holy one blessed be He? Honestly, I don't know. In this long slog that is life, we sometimes don't get it. In fact, we usually don't get it. As I said to a friend of mine today, "reality lies." Because what we percieve as reality is olam m'lashon helem. This world is just a joke. It lies to us. We can't even percieve why every creation is unique, why every day is the greatest day in the history of mankind. But you know what? That's OK. Because we were put down in this world to slog. To work. Sometimes, often times, it's in the dark. But again, that's OK. Because only from the dark can you percieve the light. Only from toil can come rest.

99 comments:

Nemo said...

Why the amorphous Philadelphia reference?

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Wait. What does one sentence have to do with the other?

Nemo said...

Huh?

The Real Shliach said...

Nemo: go to the NJT waiting lounge at Penn Station and you'll get it.
Modeh: huh?

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

I meant why the incoherence? You proved you were artistic with the last post.

Nemo said...

Oh such a shlep. Even Google reveals nothing on point.

The Real Shliach said...

Modeh: what incoherence? I thought this was pretty good.

Nemo: there are a couple moving dioramas there, one of which has this phrase on it.

Rationally pious said...

Picking on me ah? I understand you are scared "Svet shatten shidduch" but I don't agree with you.

Why is it not practical? Ghost write on my blog if you want (we will give you a ghost name so you can get the recognition you so crave)

It seems attention is all you want at the end of the day, which is fine; except you should try to model for CK underwear (judging from your picture)

I like the whole dark stuff at the end. But I thought you wanted to say something original.

The Real Shliach said...

I'm not scared of getting a shidduch. If I was I would have never started this blog.
It seems like you still don't get what I'm saying. Have you ever tried writing a primal scream? It comes out contrived and false. So too with those who claim to write the truth. They come off as pretentious and unworthy of serious attention.

I don't only want attention. If I did I would walk around 770 in my boxers. I happen to enjoy attention, like any other person, but I have other reasons for writing.

What dark shtuff at the end? And what did I write that was/wasn't original?

LE7 said...

I feel like I am missing something key (once again).

TRS the Underwear Model? What happened?

The Real Shliach said...

You're missing in the post or in the comments?

Yeah, you've got to earn a living somehow.

LE7 said...

Who is the self-proclaimed pious and rational one and why aren't you doing what he suggests?

Everywhere I think.

Make sure to put that on your resume that you have parnosah lined up.

The Real Shliach said...

rationallypious.blogspot.com

You want to give me some examples?

Yup. It's on there now. The girls are lining up already.

LE7 said...

OKay for one: Primordial scream?

Rationally pious said...

I don’t understand why you subjectively judge how things come out and whether it is legible or not.

Why do you pick the extreme case of attention? Why do you commit the either/or fallacy? There are degrees as there are to all motives.

The whole light from dark thing, we hear this stuff at every single farbi. That is original?

The Real Shliach said...

LE7: you want to see a primal scream? Go read my latest comments on frumsatire's gay post.
Basically, rational man wants me to express myself fully. To let it all go. Raw TRS.
Rational Man: have you ever tried writing this kind of shtuff? I have. It doesn't work. Maybe greater writers than I can do it. I can't.
Re: attention: you brought it up. I responded in kind.
Re: farbie: there's something called atzmus. All the world is an expression of that. You find it a problem if I write about it?

Rationally pious said...

No you can write what you like. i just thought you were looking to be original. I like atzmus too. I thought in Chabad we don't talk about anything higher then atzilus?

So no 770 in underwear but GQ is fine?

LE7 said...

I read it and I was totally pumped for worse. What a bummer.

The Real Shliach said...

RP: I write what the muse directs me to write.
Are you kidding me? Atzilus is just part of the plumbing system. Atzmus is where it's at. You ever learned chassidus before?

LE7: I was being nice. My roommates, who heard my full comments, were shocked and awed.

LE7 said...

TRS: But we don't get to hear them? SHOCKHORROR!

Also, I always feel bad when bums ask me for money, since I never carry cash. They need to start taking credit cards.

Actually I don't feel bad, because multiple times they asked me for money for food or to take the bus. Usually I bust out either a) food, yes really or b) bus tickets. I usually get some sort of an irritated reply...

Cheerio said...

the middle section was totally awesome. i have to say - it was worth you not having a farbrengen in order for your readers to be presented with that choice piece of amusement. (but i do hope you have a farbie coming up sometime).
re: primal screams. yeah, you can't really primally scream in words. the closest you get is really raw, abstract poetry. if you want, you can join sarabonne and me in our writing group, and see what happens.
re:originality. if it's true, it doesnt have to be original. it's neccessary to remind ourselves of truth, to re orient our thinking, our perceptions. it's like shaking up a compass. it always points the same direction.
also - any lubav kid gets this feeling. you learn a sicha, a maamar, and you feel like you just keep hearing the same things over and over again. but there's always a level of comprehension, of connectivity, that wasn't reached before.

LE7 said...

Cheerio where is this writing group and may I sign up?

Cheerio said...

thursday night at mimulo's, and most definitely. my thursday night post was a result of our first. we'll just have to figure out logistics...

LE7 said...

Ahhh so I can't really join. That is lame.

The Real Shliach said...

LE7: don't get to hear what?
Cheerio: which middle section?
I'm glad someone understands what I'm talking about regarding primal screams.
I'd love to join a writer's group.
Yeah, chassidus can seem very repetitive. You have to have a really good teacher.

LE7 said...

The opinions your roommates get to hear.

Cheerio said...

LE7 - i'm totally sure we could work something out! like a phone connection thingy... we call you, tell you what we're doing, we all write, and then we call you again to read!
also, as an experience bum encounterer (this is what you learn when your elementary school carpool drives through downtown SF afternoon traffic) - the real bums do take food. they really, really do. even half eaten tuna sandwiches. the other dudes just beg money for a living. or for coke.
TRS - the middle section was the the first section, i guess. the old post. the funny bit.
also - you're totally welcome to join. like i said, thursday nights at mimulo. just show up and surprise us.

The Real Shliach said...

Oh. They're not for delicate female ears. Or for the readers of frumsatire. I am cognizant of my position as a Lubavitcher, and must temper my writing accordingly. The goal is to bring Jews closer to their father in heaven, not drive them away.
Cheerio: hmm. I'll have to figure this one out.

LE7 said...

Maybe I'll show up and surprise you. What/where is Mimulo's?

LE7 said...

Delicate female ears? Not condescending at all.

Cheerio said...

TRS - it'd be legendary.
LE7 - a truly inspiring flower shop/coffee lounge on my corner here in CH. whenever i need to get out of CH, but don't have time to go to Park Slope, i go to Mimulo's.

Rationally pious said...

TRS,

It is known that in Chabad “ret mir nisht hecher funn atzilus”

But go ahead talk away.

BTW who is a good teacher? Know any?

That will be my next blog post, thanks for the idea.

Cheerio said...

what, good teachers in lubavitch? touchy subject...

The Real Shliach said...

LE7: you really want to know?
Cheerio: that's what I'm afraid of/hoping for.
Rational Man: go learn some maamarim
Teachers? Rabbi Mendel Shapiro in LA. Rabbi Gancz in Motown/Suffern.

LE7 said...

Probably not.

The Real Shliach said...

I mean, no nivel peh or anything, but I was pretty harsh

Rationally pious said...

I learned them all. They just kept saying the same thing. it is not like you can come up with original thoughts when the subject you are learning does not make sense in the first place. Besides the community does not accept original thinkers.

Rabbi Gancz? Are you kidding me? Whatever it is a touchy topic. Good Night!

The Real Shliach said...

Harsh words you have. What can I do if you don't get the geshmak of a maamar? I feel bad for you.

You ever learned chassidus with him, or just got a knas? I'm not saying he's a good educator, but the one time I learned chassidus with him mano a mano it was amazing.

sarabonne said...

TRS...in a flower shop? with us? Hah, I could write the play about that!
We'll sip tea and dine on crumpets.

The Real Shliach said...

Stranger things have happened. What time do you people meet?

LE7 said...

I've just thought of a bunch of The Real Shliach spinoffs.

The Real Underwear Model
The Real Hipster
The Real Veterinarian
The Real Sous Chef
The Real Cellist
The Real Math Teacher
The Real Existentialist
The Real Vampire
The Real Communist

The Real Shliach said...

What about The Real TRS?

LE7 said...

Ahhhh I bet everyone is anxiously waiting for that one.

The Real Shliach said...

I'm looking for him myself.

LE7 said...

Ahh, the eternal and classic for one's true self.

Go to bed.

The Real Shliach said...

Yes boss. Even if I didn't get that last comment.

LE7 said...

Maybe that means I should take my own advice. "The eternal and classic search for one's true self."

The Real Shliach said...

Ahh. The search. Quite.

Cheerio said...

between six and sevenish.
and LE7 - i love the spinoff idea!

LE7 said...

Thanks! The muse has been striking at rather odd moments the last few days. First I wrote a blues ballad about "sin and folly" and now this brilliant idea of mine.

Crawling Axe said...

Here’s where Russian accent comes in handy. At the end, Black guy is ready to give me 2 dollars.

Like that time I made a bunch of Mormons atheist...

Crawling Axe said...

Also, I am sure you’ve heard this before, but it’s no way to stand on a boat.

The Real Shliach said...

Cheerio: way too early.
LE7: giving credit where credit is due, of course.
CA: say what?

LE7 said...

Maybe I'll make a spinoff blog.

The Real Shliach said...

Called what?
I suppose that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and if people are satirizing my shtuff then I must be doing something right.

LE7 said...

So that post you satirized of mine was actually a compliment?

Not sure yet.

The Real Shliach said...

Perhaps. I suppose. As I told everyone in yeshiva here, those who were meant to get it got it, and those who weren't have been talking about it ever since.

If you don't have enough time to take care of one blog...

LE7 said...

I think I was meant to get it and I totally didn't.

OUCH

LE7 said...

Also we have different definitions of blog care taking.

Crawling Axe said...

say what?

If you stand like that, the boat will tip over.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

It is a well-known fact golei v'yadua b'kol klal yisrael that chassidus, kabballa and similar philisophical shtuff make more sense when you are plastered. Snags mistakenly think that this means those topics are worthless and stick to gemara. Lubavitchers are smart. THey get plastered and it makes sense and they get elevated through the oilemois.

After putting myself in the right frame of mind, the post is coherent.

Crawling Axe said...

Chassidus and kabbala are anti-philosophical.

The Real Shliach said...

LE7: yes, you were supposed to. Oh well.
Re: blog care taking: I guess so.
CA: lav davka.
Modeh: that's only if you have no idea what's going on.
CA: never happened. Saying something like that is going against everything Lubavitch stands for.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Since all theses things are supposed to be beyond human comprehension if you know what's going on, something is wrong.

Rationally pious said...

Like G-D talking back. Or when you go to the bathroom and G-D turns the light on; it just happens to be the fridge.......

Ah how far people go to fool themselves. don't they realize that it only hurts them? they will never experience genuine emotion and/or commitment?

Cheerio said...

trs- maybe one week, we'll make arrangements to accomodate your schedule.
LE7 - i want to hear the blues ballad!

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

RP: huh?
Cheerio: I'd be interested in a writing group too.

Cheerio said...

MB"M, can you come to CH? If you can get there, you're welcome. I think. I don't actually know who you are, so maybe you're an axe murderer, and that might be a bit of a downer.

The Real Shliach said...

Modeh: what are you talking about? Chagas?We're in Chabad. We know what's going on. As the Friediker Rebbe said, in tomchei tmimim you have to learn nigleh with the kabbalos ol of chassidus and chassidus with the sharpness of nigleh. If you don't understand, ask a question. Otherwise, what's the point?

LE7 said...

Cheerio if you sponsor a ticket for spring break to CH, you can hear the blues ballad. I only have one and a half stanzas so far. Try rhyming with "chitas."

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Cheerio, sure I can make it to crown heights. I'll email you. And no, I'm not an axe murderer, axes are messy. ;)

TRS: So says the guy I learn tanya with. Sure you understand it but the more you know the more you realize you don't know and it's indescribable.

And chagas don't learn chassidus. THey eat herring.

The Real Shliach said...

Nu, the more you learn of anything in Torah the more you realize you have no idea what's going on. What's that got to do with Chassidus specifically?

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Good question. He says you aren't supposed to know what's flying. Also, I find that in nigleh it is possible to know what's going on, which is why it's nigleh. It's only when you invent artificially convoluted drochim that it becomes problematic.

Snag joke: At a tish the rebbes (we're talking chagas here) say two kinds of kabballa. Raza and Razei raza. THe chassidim don't understand either so what's the difference? Raza is deep and the chassidim don't have a clue, but he says it anyway stam azoi. Razei raza is stuff that the rebbe doesn't understand either and he says it anyway stam azoi.

The Real Shliach said...

I don't mean to sound like I'm bragging, but I've found that if you learn hard enough then it is certainly possible to fully understand what a maamar is saying. I've done it. You can do it. Anyone can do it.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Could be, maybe I'm just more geared to nigleh. Actually there's no maybe about it. I am which is why I can't be more than a pseudolubab.

OK wiseguy, in tanya perek gimmel what does it mean that... see not only am I so clueless I don't know the answer, but I forgot the question too.

Anonymous said...

Get a life.

Anonymous said...

Real Shliach keep it up!

The Real Shliach said...

Modeh: hafach ba v'hafach ba, ki ain davar haomed bifnei haratzon.

Anon1: be nice to my commenters.

Anon2: thanks.

Anonymous said...

who are you real shliach?

Crawling Axe said...

Chassidus is anti-Chakirah. Not anti-seichel. Well, Chabad Chassidus isn’t…

Crawling Axe said...

I am which is why I can't be more than a pseudolubab.

Hey! That’s my title.

And a pseudo-lubab is geared towards Chassidus. What you described is a Litvak who learns a little Chassidus.

Crawling Axe said...

hafach ba v'hafach ba, ki ain davar haomed bifnei haratzon.

Like a Black Hole.

The Real Shliach said...

Anon: and who are you my dear boy?

Modeh and CA, my two Reagan loving friends, I'll let you fight this bad boy out yourselves. You know what I think.

sarabonne said...

Hm, looks like TRS found a friend

The Real Shliach said...

Sara: having an anon friend is almost as pointless as having an imaginary friend.

Crawling Axe said...

Well, at least Anon friend is real.

Of course, what makes imaginary friend non-real?

Actually, how can tzimtzum be only for us, if we are created by tzimtzum? Don’t we need to already to be there to see the concealment?

The Real Shliach said...

Learn mitzvas haamanas elokus in derech mitzvosecha.

Crawling Axe said...

Thanks. After B"L.

The Real Shliach said...

B"L?

Crawling Axe said...

For yud shvat.

The Real Shliach said...

Which year?

Crawling Axe said...

This one. Why?

sarabonne said...

I only get worried when my imaginary friend starts talking...

The Real Shliach said...

CA: you mean '29?
Sara: thad not a reason to get worried. It's time to get scared when the check he brings home doesn't bounce when you deposit it at the bank.

sarabonne said...

Your imaginary friends give you money? Gosh, I should try and come up with some new friends...

The Real Shliach said...

How else do you think I stay solvent?

sarabonne said...

I dunno, I thought being a calvin clein underwear model covered it...

Crawling Axe said...

The printout is in my car. Too lazy to look. Starts with Isarusa deleila — no. I"t — no. Etzem simply resting — no. What then?

The Real Shliach said...

Sara: once I get the gig..
CA: once you figure it out get back to me.