Saturday, June 26, 2010

Wondering justly

I asked the following on FB but didn't get any pertinent responses, so I figured I'd go for it over here too:

What would the Rebbe say about the hordes of hippies, yuppies, and various other invasive species currently gentrifying Crown Heights?

Meanwhile, in other news, after long discussion with everyone's favorite tippler and toppler, I have come to the conclusion that when you believe in something you should just say it outright. So, without further adieu, and in the interests of spurring further commenting from our wonderful commenters:

The reason I have not attended a poetry slam in many months is because I believe it is morally and religiously wrong.

There, I've said it. Now I can go to sleep with a clear conscience.


sarabonne said...

How can you know what the Rebbe would say about something unless he's already said it?
Re.Poetry Slam: Okie dokie.

A Suede Ḥossid said...

He would probably say what he had said about everybody else: that we need to mekarev them to Yiddishkeit and bring light into their disgusting way of life (not that I have anything personal against yuppies; I just think that any way of life that is not Yiddishkeit is disgusting).

Do you believe poetry itself is morally and religious wrong? Meaning, the form of literature? Or the particular poetry read at the said assemblage? Perhaps American, rhyme-less, thoughtless poetry? Or do you object to close proximity of the (very) opposite genders except for the Holy Trinity of reasons (shidduch, kiruv, parnoso)?

Also, is there really such a thing as morally wrong but not religiously wrong? Or vice versa: religiously wrong but morally right? (Or not right in both instances but neutral.)

Perhaps it is the case... Ah, whatever. Anyways...

A Suede Ḥossid said...

Also, I think there is a very easy way to know what the Rebbe would say to something. You take a book (not necessarily Igros, any book would suffice; unless it’s for instance muktzeh on Shabbos or something) and ask a question and then randomly open it. Now, if you had opened it at an odd page, the Rebbe would find something good in what you mentioned. If you opened it at an even page, he would find something not good in what you mentioned.

Or is it vice versa? I haven’t done it in a while.

The Real Shliach said...

Sara: of course we don't know what the Rebbe would say, which is exactly why the question is open for debate. Moreover, the Rebbe was particularly known for having unexpected reactions, which makes the whole process even more fun.

Kokie do.

CA: as far as I know, most of them are not Jewish.

Poetry is not wrong. Gender mixing is wrong.

There certainly is- for example, the catholic church.

Why are you making fun of Igros?

Mottel said...

-Yuppies: Most of them aren't Jewish - some of them are. The Rebbe once spoke about a yid in India that needed to put on tefillin - and then made sure to add that the 'shpitz' chabad need not all book tickets to india that evening.
In any event, the Rebbe would probably (and this is only based on my speculation) that any 'kiruv' done be done to the standards of Chabad:
-U'mekarevan l'torah: bring them closer to torah and not vice versa.
-Men be mashpia on men, women on women.

May I say that fully support and applaud your decision to clearly say as to why you don't attend the slam!

A Suede Ḥossid said...

as far as I know, most of them are not Jewish.

And do they all keep Noahide laws?

What about Catholic church? It’s immoral but not ossur, or it’s ossur but not immoral?

I am not, chas v’sholom (not to mention challilah) making fun of the Igros Keidesh. I am a) making fun of people using it, b) stating what you said: that the Rebbe always found something potentially good and something potentially dangerous in everything. For instance, the Rebbe would say that there can even be limitations in kedusha (i.e., a dangerous aspect of something that is holy); on the other hand, the Rebbe always tried to find a way to use something even externally dangerous and not pure (like radio or Internet) for the purpose of serving Hashem or at least for drawing a lesson from (he was able to draw a lesson even from a syringe).

The Real Shliach said...

Mottel: Well yes, but what about when there is no kiruv to be done? Someone made a good point on FB, that this might be comparable to the Alter Rebbe and Napolean vs the Tsar.

Thank you.

CA: the catholic church has as its policies religious imperatives that are immoral and moral imperatives that are irreligious.

a: what's wrong with people using it?

b. I said that?

Mottel said...

Then don't do anything . . . Let's not forget though: when there was a large secular Jewish population in CH, the Rebbe said to be mashpia on the store owners to lose up on Shabbos. People did it then. The problem todat is every yukel lubavitcher is a deah zoger and can do more harm to themselves and others then good . . .

The Real Shliach said...

The problem with having this community move into ours is the danger they pose to us. When we have a lifestyle presented to us in an attractive manner, there is a great danger of our adopting it. Inaction in this case is tantamount to acceptance of that lifestyle.

The difference between now and then? Those were all Jewish. These are not. For better or for worse, the community has developed the way it has (in terms of religiousness) because it's been a ghetto. If that's allowed to change... Of course, who knows? The community as currently formulated is rather messed up, how much worse could it get?

I'm not sure what the problem of every Lubavitcher having an opinion (which by the way has been the Jewish way since the Israelites attempted to cross the sea of reeds) has to do with gentrification.

A Suede Ḥossid said...

Re: church: eh? Examples?

But also, how is that an example of something that’s immoral but not ossur or vice versa? I define immoral as damaging another human being. How’s poetry slam immoral (I understand how it’s problematic from Torah perspective). Unless you wanna say that it has a potential to create a problem bein ish v’ishtoi.

a) It’s silly. And it’s violating “tomim tihiye”.
b) Something to that extent.

The Real Shliach said...

Example: killing Jews.

Nu, so you define immoral your way, I'll define it Torah's way.

Why is it silly? According to the Rosh it's permissible, even if many of the practitioners are crazy.

Really? What exactly did I say?

le7 said...

I think your point about Crown Heights being a ghetto and protecting its denizens is ridiculous. You could maybe say that about Willyburg or Boro Park, but Crown Heights? I have a hard time believing that. Look around at how everyone dresses... they learned that because they live in a ghetto? I think not.

The Real Shliach said...

Think about it- if CH is so bad now, just imagine how bad it'll be when the yuppies really come marching in!

A Suede Ḥossid said...

As you said yourself, can it get much worse?

The Real Shliach said...

Did anything think President 43 could be followed by anyone worse?

sarabonne said...

I dunno, I think the neigborhood will become safer which is always nice. But then I suppose that argument holds little sway here.
Also, even if most are not Jewish, without a doubt some of them are.

The Real Shliach said...

That's true, I do always feel safer when there's more attractive korbanos in site.

And nu, if some of them are?

sarabonne said...

Nu, invite them over for a shabbas meal. Der.

The Real Shliach said...

They look like they have more money than me.



sarabonne said...

Think of it as "duh."

sarabonne said...

Wait, how does their financial status make them karbanos?

The Real Shliach said...


The fatter the purse, the more likely it is to get mugged.

sarabonne said...


A Suede Ḥossid said...

Killing Jews is immoral or ossur? One would think it’s both. I am asking an example of something that is only one thing, acc. to our views. For instance, one could say that pedophilia (above bar/bas mitzva age but younger than 18) is immoral but not ossur. But maybe not. On the other hand, eating treif is ossur but not immoral. (Again, maybe not. Some could stay it’s equal to stealing from Hashem.)

So, for you immoral = ossur (in both directions; like, breaking Shabbos is immoral)? Then what’s the point of saying “immoral and ossur”?

Rosh = Rav Shapiro? I’ve heard it’s not good acc. to “tomim tihiye”. It’s past nisht for a Jew to divine. It’s even past nisht to go to a navi or a tzaddik all the time for divination. Just be poshut in your relationship with Hashem.

But even if it’s not past nisht, it’s still silly.

You said the Rebbe could always surprise us. I think that’s because the Rebbe always saw multiple dimensions at the same time. Like all possible consequences of a given chess (or Go) move.

The Real Shliach said...

For a Catholic (at many points in history), killing a Jew was ossur but not immoral. Or the other way round, depending on how you look at it.

For a Jew, immoral equals ossur. For others? Lav davka.

Rabbi Mendy Schapiro=Rabbi Mendy Schapiro. Rabbi Ezra B. Shochet=the Rosh.

According to him, if that's what your relationship with the Rebbe is, then it's lav davka a bad thing, and it's certainly not a silly thing. He knows too many people who have received amazing answers from it.... At the same time, recall that this is the man who described Beis Moshiach Magazine as "The New Testament."

Multiple Dimensions? I'd say it's because he saw the truth. Sort of like THHGTTG Mark II.

A Suede Ḥossid said...

I don’t know why everyone (sane) is bashing Beis Moshiach. I think it’s cute.

I think if I open Igros Koidesh randomly without a question, I will also get an amazing answer. When you have a book full of letters from a Nosi HaDor, every sentence has more wisdom and answers than some people’s books.

A Suede Ḥossid said...

Anyway, the fact that people got amazing answers doesn’t answer the tomim tihiye objection. It’s ossur to keep coming to a navi to receive nevuah about everyday stuff (I am forgetting the scope of it). Nobody says it’s not real. What is said is that’s not the way a Jew should live.

The Real Shliach said...

In this case, amazing=pertinent.

Look, if the Rosh said that it's good for certain people, then that's good enough for me. Do I do it myself? Do I make fun of the campaigns in Israel? That's not the point.

e said...

I think you meant "without further ado."

Yuppies, shmuppies. I don't care. I'm not a Crown Heightser.

The Real Shliach said...

I could go into a sophisticated analysis of why I meant "adeiu", but I won't bother.

You just wish you were hip enough to live here.

e said...

1. Of course you won't Because you were dead wrong.

2. Sure. Convince yourself, fellow Lincol-Place dweller.

The Real Shliach said...

1. I've argued against greater odds before.

2. I'm trying, I'm trying.

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

CA: Now I've heard everything. My snaggy MO soul breathes a sigh of relief.

Mottel: Why should random people in crown heights be different than random people out of it? I thought you harass and improve the yiddishkeit of everyone everywhere equally?

TRS: The word you are looking for is "ethical." In contemporary goyishe pseudophilosophy immoral=ossur.

The Real Shliach said...

The question is when the random people are affecting others.

I suppose.

Anonymous said...

One must ask, what is it about CH/KT that attracts these people and why do they feel comfortable over there?

Personly, I don't give a ___ about the poetry slam or TRS's going on the lam with his fam.

The Real Shliach said...

It's cheaper than Park Slope but just a little farther down on the subway. What makes Willy attractive?

Don't worry, the feeling's mutual.

Where did I go with my family?