Friday, April 9, 2010

Why can't we all just be friends?

Some people were troubled by my linking to an article and stating "And people wonder why we have no respect for snags..."

I would reprint the entire conversation, but I wouldn't want anyone to feel bad reading the the things they wrote, so instead I will merely offer a defense of my opinion.

1. I never claimed that Lubavitch was perfect. I merely claimed that in this instance, we are far more normal than others. Lubavitch accepts all manner of riffraff into its institutions, erring on the side of accepting too much rather than too little when it comes to these things.

2. In my opinion, the worlds of Lithuanian and Chagas Jewry have moved closer and closer together to the point where the only thing separating them is their clothes and their accents. And even then, not so much. Witness the increased veneration for the Godol's every breath, and the decreasing enrollment at chassidish Yeshivas, with the corresponding increase in Litvisher places of learning.

3. I don't know why some people think I have anything to do with Sean Hannity. I don't like Sean Hannity. I have never professed to like him. In fact, I have often professed the opposite.

4. Lubavitchers have nothing against Sephardim, the same way we have nothing against any Jews. Anyone who thinks we do is merely projecting their own feelings of animosity.

5. From everyone can be learned a lesson. Even a militant.

6. Point is, in this case, the people responsible for this massive Chilul Hashem are acting in a very racist manner, reminiscent of the actions of many in the south during the Jim Crow era. They are preventing their fellow Jews from attending their school, and making them feel like trash. The problem with these people is that for them, it's only a Chilul Hashem if it disgraces G-d in the eyes of their fellow Jews, not if it cause a similar reaction in the eyes of the nation. These people do not view chilonim or sephardim as being their fellow Jews, and thus they feel free to act in any which way they want in regard to them. Lubavitch, for all its many warts, is keenly aware of the way it is seen in the world, and is very quick to repair any media scandals that may come up- witness the way R. Manis Friedman was treated when his opinions on Israel were made known, or the way Weiss was immediately disassociated from Chabad.



79 comments:

Crawling Axe said...

2. I object to this. Chagas chassidim have some very lively niggunim. And Litvishe gedeilim result in more funny videos than Chagas Rebbeim.

sarabonne said...

We're normal?

The Real Shliach said...

CA: Nu, so b'chitzonius they're different.

Sara: Yes.

Arguing with Myself said...

@CA did you know that some rebbe's tisch in Williamsburg was a "Most viewed" viewed video on Youtube for like a week.
Users found it funny that all the Chassidim were bouncing in unison.
i cant find it right now, because, if I recall correctly the poster was german, therefore ungoogleable in English.

for your entertainment:
http://www.guardyoureyes.org/?p=2335

Anonymous said...

In response to #2, IMO, the worlds of Chabad and MO have moved closer and closer together, until the only thing separating them is Chabad's belief in the Rebbe (for now).

Crawling Axe said...

Why just Chabad and MO? Chabad and goyim are practically indistinguishable. Both groups wear shoes and shirts. And sometimes cuff links. Well, Chabad believes in the Rebbe — that’s the main difference.

The Real Shliach said...

Ahh yes, MO and Chabad. Aside for a little thing called Shulchan Oruch, and another minor detail known as Chassidus, why, they're practically the same thing!

sarabonne said...

Lubavitchers, the men at least tend to be a bit hairier.

Anonymous said...

I think we're coming from dif. perspectives. From my perspective, MO does keep halacha - more and more, in fact. Meanwhile, Chabad is moving further and further away from the lifestyle that Chassidus is ideally supposed to instill.

Some Chabad men may be hairier.

The Real Shliach said...

Sara: Quite.

Anon: I think it is a beautiful thing when Jews keep more and more Halacha. However, what is the modus operandi of MO? And that of Lubavitch? Just because some people do not live up these standards does not mean that an entire group has lost its moorings.

Anonymous said...

drama drama oy oy

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

First of all, darf farshtanen vos heist a frummak.

A frummak is someone who does things that are stupid and/or assur for the sole purpose of telling the world that he's a better Jew than they are. This has more to do with frumkeit than yiddishkeit of any sort.

As for lubavitch and MO, don't get me started. The only saving grace of lubavitch is that the Rebbe isn't around or they would have gone charedistani along with the rest.

The Real Shliach said...

Do you mean to say that the Rebbe would have lead Chassidus along the path of harediism? I find this hard to believe.

Zalman M-S said...

Don't use the term militant. It has totally been hijacked and polluted by the media.

If Lubavitch was perfect, Moshiach would be here.

The Real Shliach said...

Do you say that you can't learn lessons from militants?

If Norm Coleman was perfect Moshiach would be here.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

zalman: who said anything about militants?
TRS: who said anything about leading

BTW: this looks like it'll get fun so I'm subscribing. Also, anyone know where e dropped off to?

The Real Shliach said...

A: I did.

B: You did.

e said...

e is here.

People who think that Chabad is only what goes on in Chabad Houses on Shabbos morning might think that Chabad = MO. But Chabad is much more than Shabbos morning in Chabad houses. Does MO have anything remotely similar to farbrengens? or mivtzoim?

It's true that Lubavitchers don't live "the lifestyle that chassidus is ideally supposed to instill." But that doesn't make them MO. That sounds like an argument Jesus might have made in the New Testament while arguing with the Pharisees.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

TRS:
a-I see now.
b-No I didn't.

MK"T e: MO does have mivtzoim, or did anyway. Lincoln square saw chabad's tefillin tables and decided to take it a step further with a new idea called a "mitzva tank." THen Rabbi Riskin moved to Israel.

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

Lincoln Square vs. Chabad: http://dixieyid.blogspot.com/2008/12/should-we-teach-people-that-torah-is.html

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Don't straw-man me. If you show me MO's who care more about this world than the next I can show you chassidim who don't think there is a next.

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

Both this world and the next are a candy, for which a child is doing a mitzva. The next world is just a bigger candy.

Show me MO who do mitzvos because they want to cause Hashem pleasure. And show how this is the in accordance with MO chakirah (e.g., that we do karbonos for us, not for Hashem).

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

That's an MO chakira? Clearly we know a completely different bunch of people. BTW it's nisht azoy pashut that we do mitzvos to cause Hashem pleasure. Many (though apparently not latter day chassidim) hold that it's because of obligations of various sorts.

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

Obligations? Meaning?

Giving pleasure would be one example of G-d–centric answer. You could say yichud Kudshebrichu u’Shchintei, dira b’tachtoinim, whatever. Point being: you’re doing it for G-d, not for some sort of reward for yourself in this world or in the next.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Or we could go karaite and just believe the chumash and say we owe god for mitzrayim.

The Real Shliach said...

Modeh: Nu, so what did you say?

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

Owe in what sense? Like, what’s the metzius (ontology) of this obligation? I am a simple cynical fellow, so I am not sure what it means.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

I said if the Rebbe was still alive the heimisher goylem would not have written chabad out of their midst as much as they did. Had that been the case, Lubavitch would have gone nuts with teh rest of them instead of in their own variety of nuttiness.

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

And pre–Gimmel Tammuz, Lubavitch was nutty in the same manner as everyone else?

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

CA: the metzius (R' Yoshe Ber would say it's ontic rather than ontological) is what we say in avadim hayinu. Hayu anu uvaneinu etc.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

I started with "around" rather than "alive" because I was counting from the second stroke. In that case the nuttiness of mainstream chareidistan was not the same then and developed after the outlawing of chabad.

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

So, what would be examples of modern-day nuttiness that Chabad would also subscribe to?

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

You're shlichus would have morphed into chareidi kiruv. You would have lost the sectarian warfare and directed your cynicism solely at culture and education.

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

Why would that happen without G"T if it didn’t happen before or after G"T?

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Because chareidi nuttiness of hte sort I'm talking about started after G"T. Until very recently you could tell a 12-year-old who was getting excited by his hat that the hat as the prime rite of passage started in his lifetime.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

On second thought, lubavitch started to get written out while the rebbe was gezunt un shtark (possibly before he was born) so it wouldn't have happened to a great degree anyway.

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

I still don’t understand the logic. What’s to suggest that Chabad would participate in any kind of Chareidi nuttiness post–gimmel-tammuz if already was not participating in pre–gimmel-tammuz nuttiness? E.g., Chareidim have been mistrustful of technology for a long time (mostly likely today it’s ossur to use electricity on Shabbos because for Chareidim it was some novel and mysterious D-ux ex machina, whose working nobody knew, and therefore it made sense to ban it on Shabbos just in case... some sources say that reading Chareidi shittos of old reveals ignorance of how electricity works; and modern sources are lav davka better).

Of course, the Rebbe was also reluctant to use radio for Tanya shiurim at first, but once it started, he was its biggest fan.

dowy said...

just the title proves ur a hippie, i didnt read the rest, im still a little jetlagged.

The Real Shliach said...

I thought my shoes proved that...

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

Despite the greatness of individual leaders and followers within the various chareidi sects, they have proven time and time again that they will engage in all sorts of nuttiness if the meta group does. What saved lubavitch is that the heimish collective (oylem goylem) wanted nothing to do wiht them.

The Real Shliach said...

Sorry, I think I'd have to disagree with that statement. Lubavitch in general and the Rebbe in particular proved time and time again that they were not influenced by the world in general and by the chareidi world in particular. The Rebbe did so many things for which he was criticized, but did that ever stop him?

Dowy said...

ah yes but the shoes could have been confused with trying to be cool, which is thank g-d not the case, as i see from the title.

The Real Shliach said...

Because cool people never try to be friends with everyone?

Dowy said...

well if it would be cool then i guess they might

e said...

cool people can never be friends with everyone.

If a cool person is friends with everyone, then everyone is cool, then the original cool person is no longer comparatively cool.

The Real Shliach said...

Good point e, the whole point of coolness is its exclusivity.

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

Can’t you be friends with someone out of pity?

Someone with whom I worked in the lab a while ago FB-friended me. The thing is: I didn’t really like her, she didn’t really like me, and I really saw no reason for us to be FB friends. So, I rejected her. Then I saw that a bunch of people in the lab became her FB friends all at once and realized that she just discovered FB or created a new account or something. So, I friended her back.

The point of this enthralling story? Well, I suppose that sometimes you just acquiesce somebody’s presence. Having said that, I know a shliach who ignores FB friend requests, because he wants them to feel it a privilege to be his friend and simmer for a while, being wait-listed as his potential friends.

e said...

I know a shliach who rejected friend requests from his own children because he only uses fb for shlichus. I think you know him too.

The Real Shliach said...

AP-S: When it's out of pity it's not really friends, is it?

e: What a charming fellow, I wish I knew him too.

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

It’s the same one I was talking about. M. told me that he was rejected.

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

TRS: you and e should come over some time. I will join you for melava malka.

The Real Shliach said...

What, and leave le7 in the lurch?

e said...

the blogger formerly known as CA: did you realize that the initials of your new name are "PC"?

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

Come with her. I am sure she will be accommodated. And probably find the (female) company charming.

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

e, why is that a problem?

The Real Shliach said...

Well, we have been wanting to come to Boston for a weekend...

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

Excellent. You may even catch Cafe Eilat (the only restaurant in town kosher for a Lubavitcher) still open for on Motzei Shabbos (the usually are closed for summer). Plus, the City Garden is especially nice this time of year.

The Real Shliach said...

Don't get your hopes up too high. Perhaps if we have a reason to come?

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

You said it yourself: to meet the local, world-renowned celebrity. He has been an inspiration for so many of my posts, I cannot help but think that upon meeting him, your blogging slump will immediately come to termination.

The Real Shliach said...

Yes, but will my wife be interested?

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

She can start her own blog going too. Or you can write about your experiences in your joint blog. Alternatively, your wife could play with the girls.

You could also talk to him about his uncle Z., with whom you have acquaintance.

e said...

trs has an acquaintance with uncle z.?

The Real Shliach said...

Perhaps if you arrange tickets to a Red Sox game...

His Uncle Z?

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

TRS has a whole post about uncle Z., which the person I am speaking of found quite amusing. When I sent it to him, his response was: “good stuff, do you understand it all? i doubt it....”

The Real Shliach said...

Ahh, that Uncle Z.

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

Oh, that’s right, there are two of them, aren’t there? The one who writes books, and the one who doesn’t.

e said...

oh right. i forgot that there are two uncles z.

The Real Shliach said...

The one who doesn't is the one who wants us to live, right?

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

What?

The Real Shliach said...

http://therealshliach.blogspot.com/2009/05/yechi-anachnu-this-time-its-for-real.html

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

I have a friend. I had a friend. There was someone who was very sick, they went to the Baba Sali. She was spitz---the Baba Sali told her what he told her. We should all feel like she feels.

Then there was another guy, a tzugekemener, who was also sick. He was a Sephardi, he was also told to go to the Baba Sali, he said, "Li Yesh Rebbe." Now he's in har menuchos.


That’s an interesting story. When my mother was going to E"Y, I asked him if he wants to give her a pa"n. He answered: "I have a Rebbe. When M"R was alive, they weren't putting notes into some wall." I responded: "So, that's a no then?"

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

And yes, that's the one. I mean, unless he wrote a book.

The Real Shliach said...

When Moshe Rabbeinu was alive, there was no wall to put a note into.

Somehow I can't quite see him writing a book.

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

And now that there is a wall?

The Real Shliach said...

Ask Uncle Z's nephew.

A Pseudo-Chossid said...

By the way, the reason I haven't lent you Dirk Gentley yet is that the last time I saw you in person was the night that I had some tea with chocolate-covered pretzels at your place.

The Real Shliach said...

Are you saying that if I come to Boston...?

e said...

le7 can get out dirk gently from the cuny library.

The Real Shliach said...

Oh yes? PC will have to come up with a better reason for us to come to Boston then.