Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hafuch ba, hafuch ba

The Rogatchover Gaon was once walking down the street when he was accosted by (insert great scholar's name here-I can't remember which one, but he was great) who said, "Mazel Tov!" The Rogatchover, already an old man at this point, said something to the effect of "Huh?" The great scholar explained, "Well, you hold that kiddushin is a peulah nimsheches, that the act of sanctifying a woman for marriage (in effect declaring that she is now only available for one man) is a continual action, i.e. it's not that you sanctify her once, you are constantly effecting kiddushin upon her. So, since you have 'just not' gotten 'married' to your wife, I said Mazel Tov!"

The person who told me the above story, Rabbi Aaron Gancz, added that as far as he knew the great scholar was being a bit facetious, because he didn't hold of the Rogatchover's great chidush here, and wanted to express that in a humorous way.

The Rebbe says in a sicha (or it could be in a footnote, I forget exactly) that the union between man and woman makes no sense whatsoever. How could it be that two opposites could come together? The Rebbe explains that for this you need a peulah nimsheches, a continuous action, to allow for this meeting of diametrical forces. And what is the practical lesson from this? A person thinks that he's gotten married and now he's done; he's fulfilled all he had to do, and now he can live the rest of his life in peace. The Rebbe explains that this isn't the case! Kiddushin is a peulah nimsheches, without continuous work on the part of the husband and wife a marriage won't last! It's not enough to put in effort in the beginning and assume that everything will continue without a problem; instead a person needs to constantly work on maintaining and improving their marriage.


Hat tip to
Dovid and Sara for inspiring this early morning post

58 comments:

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

*winkwink chosson shmues*

The Real Shliach said...

Something like that :)

Altie said...

lol. sounds like u getting ready for the wedding. good contemplation. u seem to have it right.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

So, mazal tov.

BTW, who do lubavitchers go to for the chosson shmues? Do they go to the RY like livishers or do they go to the mashpia as a substitute rebbe?

e said...

Modeh: please use more sensitive language.

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Was "the rogachover" a lubavitch chasid or something?

e said...

No, just a guy who we think is cool.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Shlomo-He was
e- insensitive?

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

His hair was pretty cool..

..though in Sefaradi rabinic circles his writings are teased for being too cryptic..

e said...

"substitute Rebbe"--the very words are blasphemous

sarabonne said...

So that's what you were talking about...

Nemo said...

What did the Rogatchover mean when he said that kiddushin is a peulah nimsheches?

The Real Shliach said...

Altie: I try.

Modeh: We have chassan classes, which encompass both halacha and hashkafa.

Nemo: That the act of kiddushin is constantly being affected on the woman-in effect, you're constantly renewing the marriage.

Nemo said...

Modeh: and then we have bad magazines for more practical pointers ...

TRS: explain ...

The Real Shliach said...

Sheesh, what don't you get? It's not a one-time thing, it's ongoing. It's continual. You are constantly causing your wife to be newly married to you.

Nemo said...

Obviously you don't understand it yourself.

It's a grand old pshetle that marriage is an ongoing thing, but what does that mean in halacha? How is a single, one-time event continual and causing your wife to be newly married to you? Why do you need this?

The Real Shliach said...

Go ask the Rogatchover.

Nemo said...

As I suspected.

This is what's wrong with Lubavitch today. People spouting things they don't understand without shame, pretending to be talmidei chachamim.

The Real Shliach said...

When did I say I was a talmid chacham?

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

TRS: Most chasidic groups (and increasingly snags as well) have chassan classes which teach halacha and hashkafa, and in addition the chassan gets a private session with the mashgiach/rebbe/whoever called a choson shmues (or shmeez for hungarians) which is mainly chizuk for cold feet and uplifting platitudes like peula nimsheches.
TRS2: getting smicha advertises you as an officially certified one. Start cramming.

sarabonne said...

Hm, methinks it's raining in Morristown.

The Real Shliach said...

Modeh: 1: That's good.
2: Quite.

Sara: Why?

Nemo said...

TRS, it was the title of the post ("Hafuch ba, hafuch ba") which kinda indicated that you were one who refuses to take concepts at face value without comprehending them.

The Real Shliach said...

Oh, I do that all the time! Actually, I was trying to think of a popular Jewish song which expressed the concept, and this was the best I could come up with.

C said...

To my understanding a peulah minsheches is the term referring to a deed that is done once, but the effects are constantly present.

With a marriage this would mean that the brachos and hamshachos that are sent down/being drawn down at the time of the chuppa don't only come once-they are present all the time in the marriage.

Spiritually, just as we prepare ourselves and our thoughts for all the above for the wedding day, we need the same preparation and frame of mind during the marriage itself to be a keli for these brachos.

Practically-just the act of a chuppa is not enough to constitute a marriage. In order to have a lasting marriage, one must work on it everyday. Otherwise, the marriage will fall apart.

Nemo-does that make sense at all? Or do you think I'm spewing garbage I haven't though about just because I'm a lubab?

Nemo said...

C- You didn't answer the question as I asked it.

And yes, this kind of deflection into a spiritual dissertation about brochos, keilim and avodah, is quite typical of many of the Lubavitcher am ha'aratzim I've met. And, to be technically clear, it's not because you're a Lubab that you're spewing garbage, it's because you're an am ha'aretz.

(I don't mean to sound condescending - I am by no means well-versed. Just another product of the Lubavitch system)

C said...

Well you do sound condescending.

Nemo said...

And for the record, what you said makes no sense.

A pe'ulah nimsheches, by definition, is an act that once done does not have to be done over. The single act draws on throughout the duration of the event, the marriage in this case.

Therefore, once someone fulfills the first kiddushin, whatever the Rogatchover meant by it being a peulah nimsheches, can be done mechanically and heedlessly, without requiring a person's effort.

I know that this was the Rebbe's vort and not yours, but it still doesn't make sense. Is it chassidish to assume that the Rebbe used the term glibly?

Nemo said...

Maybe glibly wasn't the word I was looking for. I meant that the Rebbe didn't use it in the usual, grammatical sense.

C: Well, I'm sorry then.

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Nemo: I think you're problem is you're looking at it like a Brisker, not a Lubavitcher! The Rebbe obiously wasn't making a talmudic anylisis of it at that moment. If it's "lumdus" you're looking for, go to the "Ponevicher Rav"!

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Shlomo: I assume you mean the one who was known more for his learning than his sectarian violence? Right?

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

I just realized it's the Lubavitcher Rebbe's "yahr-zeit" today, so maybe it's a bad time to be mentioning him! ..but yeah, I was speaking of Rav Eliezer (M.M.) Shach.

..it's also the yahr-zeit of Rav Shneur Kotler it seems, so maybe it's a bad time to be mentioning the Lubavitcher Rebbe! ..not that he had anything against Lubavitch or anything..

Nemo said...

As opposed to his dad who had all sorts of animosity for Lubavitch?

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Haha. I think Rav Ahron Kotler died before Lubavitch became too "threatening" a force in the Jewish world. It was just another small yet blossoming Chasidic sect in Brooklyn, but he was worried about the Lithuanian Jews of New Jersey..

Nemo said...

Supposedly, a Lubavitch buchor starved to death due to his failure to allocate funding to the Lubavitch yeshiva in Shanghai some time after WWII.

And then there's the Shlomo Carlebach controversy where R' Aharon was angry at the Lubavitcher Rebbe for stealing one of his top talmidim and driving him to do sinful things.

I'm sure some of the historians here of Lubavitch controversies can add a few more stories to paint a better picture.

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Listen, the man bit into "toisfes'n" like you bite into a reese's pieces, so.. : P

e said...

Oh! What grubkeit! To enjoy a tosfos as one enjoys a Reese's piece!

Nemo said...

To think how long it's been since I've had a Reese's Pieces. And how long it's been since I've learned a Toasafos ...

le7 said...

C: After I got razzed by Nemo on frumsatire I got engaged to a blogger. You're next!

The Real Shliach said...

Shriki: R"L to eat a reeses pieces. And anyway, since when was ability to learn the mark of a man? I can name many who know how to learn and yet...

Nemo: It's said that when Aaron died they wanted to have the funeral bier driven by 770, but the Rebbe didn't allow, saying something about someone who caused his father in law such pain...

Nemo said...

Maybe if I was nicer to girls online it would happen to me too.

le7 said...

Nemo: Maybe. I was so angry with you. So maybe if you're nice...

The Real Shliach said...

Nemo: At the very least you can try.

le7: Exactly.

Nemo said...

Hey, it's a rough blog-eat-blog world out there.

The Real Shliach said...

But sometimes a star rises in the east...

Nemo said...

Le7- If anything, I should be angry with you. You were the one trashing Matisyahu, while I merely pointed out that judgment of others is not warranted, helpful, or particularly accurate.

It's funny, because I had never been on his defense before that argument. I used to argue how much he messes up Lubavitch youth who believe they are fulfilling some sort of spiritual encounter by joining the drugged up raves at his concerts.

The Real Shliach said...

Ladies and gentleman... the kinder and gentler Nemo!

le7 said...

Nu... and before that one concert I didn't understand why people didn't like him...

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Ha. It looks like I got some feedback on those Reese's pieces! I've never eaten them myself actually, due to their "OUD" status! I used them because the'ye always shown with a bite mark in them, so that's the image of biting I had in my mind..

TRS: "And anyway, since when was ability to learn the mark of a man? I can name many who know how to learn and yet"- It's a good thing to be a talmid chacham. And anyway, there are stories about his "צדקות" as well. There's whole book about him, I think. Hagiographical, but so are the Chabad books, so..

Nemo: Yeah man, calling girls "am-aratzim" doesn't get you any brownie points with them!

The Real Shliach said...

Shriki: I could also write lies about people.

e said...

Shriki: you don't eat chalav akum? I would have thought that you'd be the type to laugh at it. I mean, seriously, is there going to be any camel milk in reese's pieces?

Nemo said...

Reese's pieces are metamtem halev v'hamoach. Just look at the sort of people that eat them ... usually stoners.

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

e: Honestly man, I'm flattered that you see me as a rationalist, but I generally try to follow the halachic rulings of Ovadia Yosef, which are lenient a good majority of the time, yet in a few cases is stringent. So, while he does at times argue with his predecessors and even such early authorities as the Magen Avrahem, many times he sides with the overwhelming majority of contemporary poskim..

TRS: And Rav Scheersohn was beyond reproach, correct? I personally have always felt that to be a weak point in Chasidut, and especially Chasidut Chabad, that they see their Rebbe as incapable of wrong-doing. I think we all must admit that Rav Shach and Rav Kotler had their shortcomings in the same way that we must admit that Rav Teitelbaum and Rav Schneerson had, and I must admit that Rav Yosef and his sons are also guilty in a few areas..

The Real Shliach said...

"I think we all must admit"

You should have heard Gorelick's speech in 770 today-you would've loved it.

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Ha. I was actually thinking about walking into Crown Heights this Shabbos, but I thought "Am I really going to walk a few miles just to see Chabadnikim?" : )

Nemo said...

Shriki: perhaps chassidim are not willing to admit that their Rebbe's erred, but generally, I've found, people who complain about the chassidim's habits are more interested in foisting their own agendas rather than honestly discussing the merits of the Rebbes' opinions and actions. They tend to dismiss something that a rebbe said because they find it disagreeable on the surface level, but they make no effort to understand why a rebbe might have done as they did. Chassidim, who axiomatically follow the directives of their rebbe, make protracted efforts and even struggles to understand why the rebbe would act in a certain way, searching for meaning and justification. Their first instinct is not to dismiss opinions that do not agree with them.

Dovid said...

TRS- Oh now I see what you meant by you cryptic comment.

Shlomo- Yes "Rav Schneerson" is beyond reproach.

The Real Shliach said...

What cryptic comment?