Sunday, May 17, 2009

Chummus and whitefish too!

There seems to be an inherent desire to read someone else's view about what we've experienced. Often this recap will not only tell us what we've seen but will shape our own opinion; sometimes we'll argue, but more often than not we'll think that the writer's vision is the truth, and not merely one man's interpretation.

This past shabbos was, as I'm sure you all know, a shabbaton for nearly all the bochurim currently learning issar v'heter in the holy confines of the Rabbinical College of America. Several people have asked me what I wrote about the shabbos, and until now I've had to tell them "nothing." I've explained this curious lack of commentary on the past week's day of rest by saying that in fact there really wasn't too much to write. Which is true. At the same time, of course, it is shocking to suggest that Rabbi Chaim Schapiro spoke for several hours without saying anything, so I'll try to pass on a few of the snippets I recall.

There was once a guy who came to stay at some guy's house in a foreign village for shabbos. After shabbos was over the guest was prepared to leave, but the host begged and pleaded him to stay for just one more night. The guest, being a kind and compassionate fellow, acquiesced to his host's request, and he stayed there for motzei shabbos. The same thing happened the next night, and the next night, and...

On Thursday morning the guest finally prepared to leave, and his host presented him with an itemized bill! The guest was shocked, and complained vociferously at this treatment. The host said, "Hey, you came to stay for shabbos; who asked you to stay for another five days?" The guest of course pointed out that the host had told him to stay, but the host would not budge from his position, and eventually they ended up in front of a rav.

After thinking the matter over thoroughly the rav ruled that the guest had to pay the bill. The guest was understandably shocked, but he was even more shocked when his host told him not to bother paying! The guest asked, "I don't get it. First you insist on me paying, and go to a beis din, and have the case adjudicated in your favor, and then when you finally have the oppurtunity to take the money, you say you don't want it! What gives?"

The host answered, "Look, I showed you everything our town had to offer while you were here, I also wanted to show you what kind of rav we have!"
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What's the point? The point is that as soon as a bochur is done learning he must get married. In other words, a bochur must continue learning until he gets married.

What happens after you finish smicha (in the eyes of the world)? You get to make a decision. Either you can learn in 770, or waste time in 770, or go work in a yeshiva somewhere, or go work for a Shliach, or...

In the vast majority of cases, working for a Shliach equals flipping the Rebbe's burgers. It's impossible that a bochur who's hired to do shlichus work in Wyoming (for example) is going to have shlichus work to do twenty four hours a day. You think people don't have jobs? You
think people are available to learn with you every evening? They have lives! Don't think though that you'll be bored. The Shliach will find plenty for you to do. You can babysit his kids, you can take his car in for an oil change, you can flip his burgers.

Some people say, "Oh, I'll bring a friend, and when we have nothing to do we'll learn!" Right. When it's six in the evening and you've done whatever, the first thing you're going to do is open up a bava metzia, right?

So what's a bochur supposed to do? Learn in 770 (or somewhere). And if he says, "But I know I'm not going to learn in 770!"? Tell him to learn in 770. "But I know I'm not going to!" Go learn. Very simple. Ain davar ha'omed bifnei haratzon and all that. Listen, if it's really true, you really won't learn, and you're not willing to make yourself learn, then go ahead, get a job in a yeshiva teaching. After all, in order to teach, you must learn. But to stam waste your time?
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2. Learn Rambam every day. Not Sefer Hamitzvos, that's for veiber and kind. You have to learn three or one perek. Every day.
----
3. A successful Shliach isn't someone who knows the latest sports score. He's someone who has tochen. The guy who comes to your chabad house doesn't need another friend, another drinking buddy. He wants someone who knows what he's talking about.

There's a story about the countess of Miami who used to go to Mulla Azimov's shiur. Her countess friends asked her, "How can you go to his class?His French is horrendous!" She answered, "If I wanted to hear French, I wouldn't go to Mulla. I want to hear Torah, I go to Mulla."

75 comments:

Dovid said...

Does this mean TRS is headed to 770?

The Real Shliach said...

TRS is telling all his friends that he's going to work in MN next year as a mashgiach.

le7 said...

Whitefish also? Nice.

Also the veiber comment wasn't so nice. I don't even learn Sefer Hamitzvos!

The Real Shliach said...

Well, what are you waiting for?

le7 said...

Good point.

Travel size with English?

The Real Shliach said...

Or even chabad.org

le7 said...

I can't stand it... I tried that.

The Real Shliach said...

So travel size with English it is.

le7 said...

Where do you get one of those?

le7 said...

(I learned early on I can't learn online... it's too tempting to check my e-mail).

sarabonne said...

tochen means....?
Good post, hamburgers are delicious.

Nemo said...

Wow, missed opportunity here ...

Instead of telling you to go flip burgers for Shluchim, they should have broken the sad truth that the majority of you are going to end up living in some nice Jewish community somewhere trying to make ends meet putting food on the table. Why didn't someone think to take initiative and tell you guys to go get some job training or work in a shop on Kingston or something?

Oy, it's such a vicious and recurring cycle with Lubavitch institutions ... they think they can get by making everyone learn the hard way!

e said...

Amen Nemo.

e said...

Subscribing

e said...

Subscribing

le7 said...

Are you sure you subscribed?

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Nemo: They won't do that because when it comes right down to it you people aren't that much different than lakewood in anything but tochen. And tochen ain't all you make it out to be.

Shliach in Galt's Gulch said...

The measure of a good philosopher is if he can make a good burger. Since chassidus is often (mis)translated as "philosophy" flipping the rebbe's burgers is takeh a good thing for a bochur to do with himself.

The Real Shliach said...

Potesach es yadecha, u'masbia lchol chai ratzon.

The Real Shliach said...

le7: you can get one in CH.

Sara: tochen=toichen=substance.

le7 said...

Maybe. Really? Never saw one.

The Real Shliach said...

Yup. Not necessarily travel size, but that's ok.

le7 said...

Who are we kidding? I'm not going to use it.

The Real Shliach said...

Ve having vays to make you use it-cha cha cha cha!!

le7 said...

Yeah well I ain't working for them no more.

sarabonne said...

Revolution!

Mottel said...

Chumus is gross, whitefish is grosser.
Flipping the Rebbe's burgers aint half bad, try unstuffing the Rebbe's toilet. (for the record, no shliach I've ever worked for made me do that)

The Real Shliach said...

le7: really?

Sara: every twenty years

Mottel: you have no taste.

And I've unstuffed toilets, merely for my own comfort and convenience.

le7 said...

Yeah, I read about the scandals.

The Real Shliach said...

Huh?

le7 said...

That's why I'm not going to work for ChaCha!

Mottel said...

Chumus is gross unless something good is added to it -like schug. Whitefish is gross - it's a cheap Russian fish preferred by peasants who couldn't afford anything better (much like herring). I've never seen anyone finish the whitefish at a farbrengen - compare that to Olive dip or a good babaganoush.

le7 said...

ARE YOU KIDDING?

I eat whitefish straight from the container!!

Mottel said...

Case in point!

le7 said...

Chummus is also amazing!

le7 said...

Are you bashing my eating habits?

The Real Shliach said...

le7: those cha chas were supposed to be Russian laughter.

And as I said earlier, mottel has no taste.

le7 said...

Oh. In Spanish it's "jajaja" and in Hebrew it's "חחח"

Mottel said...

Two peasants arguing with a gourmand.
Russian laughter is Xa Xa Xa

sarabonne said...

I prefer har har har.
My moshpia cooks salmon so I haven't had to bother with the whitefish yet.
And I don't like chickpeas.

Nemo said...

Mottel - the people you farbrend with have no taste. Whitefish is unbelievable.

Anyway, if you need some chummus advice, here's a nice way to do it:

Scoop of Chummus
Capers
Crushed garlic
Any sort of pickled or marinated antipasto veggies (olives, pepperocinis, roasted peppers, artichoke hearts, marinated mushrooms, etc)

Set it up nicely and pour olive oil all over it. Enjoy with whole wheat rolls or crackers (don't forget to mop of the oil with the bread when you're done)!

e said...

Everyone: Al ta'am v'rei'ach ein l'hisvakach (Concerning taste and smell, it is not worthwhile to argue). You can all be gourmands and you can all think that everyone else is a bunch of peasants.

mottel: If we were writing in Cyrillic, it would be XAXAXA. But we're not.

Mottel said...

-E: When I read the v'al ta'am v'reiach I thought it was still Nemo's comment for some reason, and thought "Wow -that's such an E thing to say"
I wrote it in Cyrillic. In any event I feel that X in english is a useless letter it should make the Ches sound it did in ancient Greek . . . in IPA (and I don't mean the Beer - unfortunately) it does indeed make that sound. I also think that Sj should make the sound of a Shin . . . but that's another story.

e said...

yeah, don't we all want to make our own alphabets...

Mottel said...

Alphabets? Dude, I make languages!

le7 said...

Just learn Esperanto like me! (Okay like I did in 9th grade).

Mottel said...

Esperanto has been criticized for not properly possessing it's own linguistic culture . . .
I was by Zamenhof's kever in Warsaw btw (there's also a street named after him)

C said...

My comments on the post:

1-http://frustratedwithblogger.blogspot.com/2007/06/shabbat-shalom_08.html

2- I didn't go on shlichus after seminary because I wasn't interested in being taken advantage of by some shliach. TG where I am now I am treated really well, and they do not ask me to help around the house and such. If I do it is because I want to, but they never ask.

3-This past week's Pirkei Avos: "Holecch V'aino Oseh, Schar Halicha BiYado" (though I may have quoted that wrongly). Basically, even if you're not learning in 770, at least you're there.

Would I be interested in a guy who "goes to 770" but doesn't learn? No! But for his own sake, at least he is there...

Now I shall read all the other comments, and maybe blab a little more.

C said...

And chummus is delicious!!! I lived of the stuff on Birthright. So good with apples.

The Real Shliach said...

Nemo, finally something I agree with.

Mottel: which languages have you made up?

C: yup.

e said...

@TRS #Mottel: None. He only mangles existing ones. (Did I use the twitter punctuation properly?)

@C: Chummus with apples? Never heard of that. I'll try it when I get home. Do you eat peanut butter with apples?

C said...

e-It's delicious!
Yup! I was introduced to the combination in seminary when food was boring :).

le7 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
le7 said...

Also, e., why are you using twitter notation in blogger?

e said...

le7: Because it's convenient. Is there a rule against it?

The Real Shliach said...

le7: who said you're not supposed to help around the house?

Anonymous said...

Just for the record, R' Gerlitzky's "Chazon Eliyahu" BT yeshiva in Tel Aviv, is on Rechov Zamenhof. Quite a birur for a freier, huh?

Just wondering, Is he famous enough that several cities in the HolyLand have streets after him, or is TA the solo?

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Why am I not getting any outraged replies? Is chummus that much more interesting than hashqafa? (hint: it's a yes or no question and the right answer begins with a Y)

Mottel said...

-e hashtags are for a subject - if you're treating me as a subject, perhaps it would better be #@mottel -as I @ would refer the ubiquitous mottel to me. I've made up several languages through out my time spent writing fantasy (here's a link to something I wrote for Everway back in July 2000 - though it doesn't contain any foreign words, it's used with the mythos of the worlds I created etc..

le7 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Real Shliach said...

Anon: huh?

Modeh: Y.

Actually, did you write anything that would require a reply?

le7: oh. No, that's a good thing. Sometimes.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

When I help out the local shliach it isn't nearly as bad. For one thing I don't work for him and he isn't giving me a bed so I don't have to. I can walk home. I even got away with telling his five year old a story about the rebbe in Berlin.

@TRS: What did I say that wouldn't cause any tomim to yelp in outrage. I (a)compared you to lakewood
(b) said tochen ain't all it's cracked up to be.

e said...

@mottel Thanks for the crash course in Twitterism

That is one heck of a story. Sheesh. You were publishing stuff online, while in my house we were still using an Apple 2 e!

nice!

e said...

Modeh: I'm outraged. On an unrelated note, could you mosey over to the most recent TRS? Your input is needed.

The Real Shliach said...

Modeh: a: I've been compared to worse.

b: perhaps I agree?

Cheerio said...

whoa.
i have been missing this.
chummus on apples? shudder.
(i know that its pathetic thats all i have to say but i'm getting back into blogging slowly!)

le7 said...

NOOO chummus on cold chicken! It's the best.

Leo de Toot said...

Dear Mr. R.S.
That Nemo - he's the man!! LdT

Nemo said...

[charmed]

The Real Shliach said...

le7: my sources tell me that you'll love the kinnus hashluchos-officially that's the big food there.

Nemo: you should be.

le7 said...

I don't love chummus...

The Real Shliach said...

Ok, then you won't love it.

le7 said...

I like it. So I'll like it.

The Real Shliach said...

Excellent.

sarabonne said...

I like honey and avocados. Not together, but either one on everything.