Thursday, March 5, 2009

Drink that Kool-Aid

This is the fourth post I'm writing today. One was published on BB, one might be published in the future, and one is never being published. Anyway, enjoy.

What does the Rebbe want from us? The same thing he wanted from us thirty years ago. To go on shlichus. And yeah, it's hard. Really hard. You'll starve, your wife will starve, your kids will starve. It won't be pretty. So how do you do it? You have nutso mesiras nefesh. Is this really what the Rebbe wanted from us? To have nutso mesiras nefesh? Yup. He did. And don't fool yourself and say that he didn't. You don't want to go and sacrifice everything you got, fine, I understand that. No really, I do. Who wants to suffer? But please don't convince yourself that you're doing the right thing. Ok, fine, everyone has their own shlichus. But I'm really writing to myself here. I know where I'm supposed to be. I'm TRS for heaven's sake! I'm supposed to be bringing Jews closer to their father in heaven (among other shtuff)! I've been in yeshiva for way too long to give it all up now. There's a mashal said by R' Mendel Futerfas, that the army trains its soldiers for twenty years. Most of the people who wear the uniform never fire their weapons. But after twenty years, war breaks out, and suddenly, those soldiers who have been trained for years and years and years to shoot the enemy have to pull the trigger! And what happens if they don't? After all, you might think they're no different than all the soldiers before them. After all, they never shot their guns. But what's the difference? Now it's war! You don't shoot, you take all that education you got, and all the education all those guys before you got, and you throw it in the trash. The analog is obvious.

What happened by Purim? It makes no sense! Esther the Jew was the queen. Mordechai the Jew, due to the incident of Bigsan and Seresh, was one of the highest ministers of the king. And yet somehow the Jews faced the worst threat in their history, before or after then. They were faced with extinction, on one day, in all 127 provinces of the world. There weren't nowhere to go. How the heck did that happen? And there's something else which makes no sense. How is it that Esther, in order to save the Jews, did the craziest things possible? If anyone wasn't called to the king for thirty days then showing up in his presence was automatic grounds for execution. So what did she do? She showed up. And what was her value to the king? She was gorgeous. So of course she had to go fast for three days. Starvation is generally not looked upon as a good aid to beauty. And yet for some reason that's what she did. Crazy.

The answer is very simple. What did the Jews do wrong? They benefited from Achashverosh's meal. Meaning what? They placed their trust in him, in Esther, in Mordechai. They figured no one could touch them, because they had everything worked out.

The Jews are one sheep among seventy wolves. They have a shepherd who takes good care of them. Sometimes though they decide that they can take care of themselves. What do they need the shepherd for? And you know what happens when the shepherd says, "OK, you have free choice, enjoy"? The seventy wolves surround that one sheep and have a nice snack. But just before the wolves can consummate their meal, the sheep cries out to their father in heaven, and he says, "Hey, no worries, I got your back." And the wolves disappear.
So what did the Jews have to do to? They sinned by relying on nature, so they had to circumvent nature. Esther did some completely irrational things, because she had to show that the way to succeed in this world is not by following the dictates of man but rather the dictates of G-d. Mordechai didn't do the natural thing, which would have been to use his high position to try and save his people, but rather he gathered together 22,000 kiddies and taught them all Torah. Does that make sense? No sirree it does not. And yet somehow it worked.
Obviously there has to be keli in nature. G-d put in this world to make it into a better place, not to avoid it totally. And what's that keli? Esther and Mordechai show us that the keli is not nature, but rather it's Torah and Mitzvos. Because at the end of the day, that's all the Jews have.


le7 said...


Hah well I'm BT and most self-respecting FFBs would never convince me to go on shlichus because it would take away spots from their gezhe kiddies.


Real and Wright said...

The Rebbe also wanted good gashmius for all Jews.
Anyway, I hate when people use the Rebbe as excuses or the "be all and end all" proof for things.

Re: Shlichus and bochurim nowadays, check out:

Cheerio said...

i really liked the purim vort. esp. the shepherd saying "I got your back." but dude, editorially speaking, something's wrong. too many short sentences and exclamation points. i felt out of breath just reading it.

Just like a guy said...

le7: I'll ignore that comment.
RAW: humph.
Cheerio: that's how a farby sometimes is. I was pretty inspired when I wrote this, title notwithstanding.

Real and Wright said...

I'll take that humph to mean: "RAW, you win."

le7 said...

What is this? I thought all and any comments were welcome.

My comment, although maybe possibly controvesial and un-true is still as much a comment as anyone elses.

Just like a guy said...

RAW: No, I'm just too lazy to argue with you.
le7: I didn't mean it like that.

e said...

I think people ought to be free to not drink kool-aid. But i can't stand when people claim to be drinking the kool-aid and are really drinking concoctions of their own. So, good for you, for not convincing yourself that your distilled water is kool-aid.

Just like a guy said...

I'll take that as a compliment.