Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Long frock and all

I came to the Rosh's farbengen tonight charged with a mission: to record his every word for posterity, and provide inspirational messages for the masses.The good news is that I managed to hear lots of good shtuff; the bad news is that I didn't manage to transcribe it. The reason for this is that I sat down right next to the Rosh, and I figured he wouldn't be too pleased to see me pecking away at my iPod while he was speaking.

One thing that did stick in the hemp weave that is my memory was a statement which pretty much summed up the evening: "The truth is not negotiable- once you compromise, it's no longer true."

He also said a long vort about how the Torah starts from the letter Beis and not from the letter Aleph because the letter Aleph is the number six (trust me on this one) and Beis is nine. This is in contrast to the traditional explanation, where Aleph represents curses and Beis represents blessings. Regardless, when you count the Sefiros starting from Midos (Chesed, Gevurah, etc), the sixth one is Yesod. When you count the Sefiros beginning from Chabad (or Kesser), the ninth one is Yesod. So what's the difference? It's very simple. When you start everything from midos, from emotions, because you want, then that's what you are left with- self. Everything flows into yesod, and when the only thing is self, then that's all that gets passed down.

Chochmah, on the other hand, is very different. It's not emotions or ego. Chochmah is the spark, the first illumination that precedes comprehension, the smallest point of dawn. When you begin with chochmah, when you start your journey with nothing, then when it comes down to Yesod it remains nothing, a vessel empty of ego and self pretension, a vessel that can receive G-dliness.

This is the curse of Aleph: Aleph is I, the ego, the person who has no room in his life for anyone else but himself. The Beis, is different though. The Beis allows for someone else, is willing to listen and put others ahead of itself.

Today there is seemingly no need to listen to anyone else. Everything is written down and easily searched. There are thousands of Sefarim that have been printed, an answer provided for every question, a solution for every problem. Who needs a mashpia? Just because you're a little older and wiser, just because you saw a little more, heard a little more, felt a little more... you think you're any better? I can read any Chassidic story I want, I can learn any Sicha I want, I don't need you!

And that attitude, as they say, is just plain wrong.


le7 said...

Yeah but what if no one wants to be your friend? What if you have so much compassion you're not willing to force yourself on another pershun? Huh?

Yossi said...

thanks for sharing!

Mottel said...

I missed the Rosh's farbrengin? darn! How long is he in town for?

Just like a guy said...

le7: Huh?

Yossi: Sure thing.

Mottel: Yes you did.

Ich vais nisht.

Anonymous said...

Nice post

Anonymous said...

Your closing remarks resonated with me. It used to be that the old adage "the more you know the more you realize how little you know" rang true. Unfortunately, in our times, people who know just a little bit, already feel that they don't need to listen to anybody. To qualify: I am not refering to those who only know the first few blatt in select mesechtot (if only) but even to people that are very knowledgable. [Remember what that badchan told the Alter Rebbe]

It would be a great service for your growing readership if you actualy provide a substantive transcript of the Rosh's inspirational words. From what you have written, all it says is that one shouldn't be selfish; we need some more.

I would like to add, that it is a testimony of the Rosh's greatness that even in his time of great distress (even if the time of morning is techincaly completed) he thinks about others. This is a small glimpse of what Chasidus does for a person.

Just like a guy said...

Katsker: A. Yes. At the same time, the more things change the more things stay the same.

As I prefaced my remarks, I would have provided a substantive transcript but my choice of seat negated that possibility ( Besides, have you ever tried writing down what the Rosh is saying? It's harder than it looks.

C. Where does it say anything about being selfish? He was saying that a person should be frum.

Yitzchak said...

Paragraph3: is this the version of gematria that allows tamuz to be the gematria of melech hamoshiach?

Also, why can't anonymous snags comment anymore?

Just like a guy said...

It's the version of Gematria that loses all zeros.

Because they're pains in the rear end.

bonne said...

Ah, but such witty poets.
Thanks for posting.

Just like a guy said...

Witty? Hardly.

Yitzchak said...

The anonosnags: they were witty.

The gematria: doesn't look ike it.

Just like a guy said...


It's called Mispar Katan.

Anonymous said...

What poetry?

Anonymous said...

relax to the syntax
to the symetry of my poetry

down you plop, stay still
raindrops, on a windowsill

slow verocity
slik verbosity
brings serenity
peacefull tranquility

Yitzchak said...

TRS: the mispar katan I know has alef as one and simply drops the zeroes.

And they were witty. At least if you're a snag.

katsker:what's a verocity?

Just like a guy said...

Yes, that's what this is.

Are you a snag?

Anonymous said...

I meant to say velocity.

they stood in place
in that holy place

in their hands he placed a quater
the palms of the Yiddishe daugthers

all those in the room
made sure to make room
they all made way
as the Rebbe made way
on his way to pray

did some soul searchin'
clutching their little urchins

Mottel said...

-Katsker: Interesting rhymes. A note a poetry, and writing in general - try not to repeat the same word so often in a paragraph . . . and especially don't rhyme words with themselves.
Thus,"they stood in place
in that holy place" is a no go - since you're rhyming place with place. As well, with "all those in the room
made sure to make room
they all made way
as the Rebbe made way
on his way to pray."



bonne said...

I don't think this is the same poet/rapper? as the previous one.

Yitzchak said...

So in the regular mispar katan where alef is one, it's also 9?

As for my snagginess, I taught chumash in a chabad house last night and put tfillin on one of the people since it was before tzeis.

Just like a guy said...

No no, it made sense at the time, he had it all worked out. I'll have to ask someone else who was there and get back to you.

Exactly my point! You're obviously not a snag, yet only a snag would think it witty... and you thought it witty! What gives?

Just like a guy said...

"whoever wrote this article did not understand the rosh's vort about the beis and alef. he said that if you start counting from beis 3 letters i.e beis gimmel daled it adds up to 9. which is equivalent to the mispar kotton of emes. on the other hand if you start from alef i.e alef beis gimmel it adds up to 6 which is the equivalent of the mispar kotton of sheker."

Anonymous said...


The Alter Rebbe holds that tzays is less than 50 minutes after the shkiya, not 72 like the people that dress like Chasidim

Just like a guy said...

Katzker: What's your point?

Yitzchak said...

TRS: Thanks, now I get it.

TRS2: But I didn't mention the Rebbe once, and I put the tfillin on ashkenaz.

Katsker:It was well within R' Yoshe Ber Soloveichik's shita.

Just like a guy said...

Wait, so are you or are you not a snag?

Anonymous said...

The common English word that describes manure has the same mispar katan as sheker.

Yitzchak said...


Just like a guy said...

Well, I'm glad we've cleared that up.

Yitzchak said...

It's funny. On the one hand, I do not hate Jews, but I hate the idolatry of yeshivishkeit with a passion. Very unsnaggy on two counts. On the other hand, I don't believe in Rebbe's segulahs or unicorns.

Just like a guy said...

Nu, ayekah?