Chasidus Without Context
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December 13, 2022 4:05 pm at 4:05 pm #2147385
HaLeivi: “It’s actually odd to me that in Lubavitch they call this day the Rosh Hashanah of Chasidus all the while ignoring the fact that it’s the Mezritcher Maggid’s Yahrzeit.”
Anyone who thinks Chabad ignores that 19 Kislev is the Magid’s yartzeit, has clear never been to a 19 Kislev farbrengen before….
The Magid’s yartzeit, and it’s connection to the Chag Hageulah is a focal point in all the Rebbe’s sichos on the subject as well as a cliche talking point in practically every 19 Kislev farbrengen.
Now, either go educate yourself on the topic, or find something else you already know about to rant on.December 13, 2022 4:13 pm at 4:13 pm #2147394Yabia OmerParticipant
“A warm fuzzy feeling doesn’t mean you’re getting closer to Hashem.
And shteiging for 8 hours also doesn’t necessarily bring you to dveikus with Hashem. If you learn not lishma, or you learn but you’re full of gaiva, then it’s mutav to go to a fahrbrengen. Jews have different ways to be inspired and to connect.
Let’s not all act like we’re Harav Schach here. No one is even close.December 13, 2022 4:16 pm at 4:16 pm #2147398🍫Syag LchochmaParticipant
sounds like lots of people confuse alcohol consumption with spiritually.
whateverDecember 13, 2022 4:24 pm at 4:24 pm #2147403
AviraDara: “no one thought of it as a huge holiday until present-day chabad.”
Its an ambiguous statement, but if your intention was to say that even in chabad, no one thought it was a big yom tov until “present-day”, then you couldn’t have been more mistaken; 19 Kislev has always been celebrated in chabad with seudos, yom tov clothing, no tachnun etc. This was passed down by tradition through the 7 Chabad Rebbes and generations of Chabad families.
If your intention was to say that it was never considered a yom tov in the velt, until present-day Chabad made it one, then that is also not entirely accurate. Other chasidishe kreizen also considered it a personal yom tov for them, as the taanos the misnagdim had on Chabad were also on them. The alter rebbe was picked due to his particular influence in chassidus at the time. Chabad has also always made it a point of spreading chassidus through farbrengens on 19 Kislev.
It is true, however, that there is more of a fuss nowadays in regards to 19 Kislev, but that is the case with every long-held initiative Chabad offers nowadays, the reason being that the Rebbe, in general, always brought Chabad’s ideas to a much broader scale than his predecessors. There are also a lot more Lubavitchers now than there’s ever been, so you’re obviously a lot more likely to hear 19 Kislev then if you’d live in “olden-day” Chabad.December 13, 2022 6:02 pm at 6:02 pm #2147428Reb EliezerParticipant
We need unity. The rebbe in chasidus by passing on Torah unites but for others learning Torah unites. The GRA and the Noda Beyehuda had Torah which took the place of the Rebbe. The mashel of the Dubner Maggid indicates this of saying tikun leil shevuos. When the GRA was saying the tikun, the Dubner Maggid was learning. So he was asked, why don’t you say it as the GRA? He explained that if one shows samples, it is only useful when there is merchandise in the storeroom. The GRA has the sechora, the Torah but I have to learn to acquire it first. This koach comes either from learning Torah or a Rebbe who passes on the Torah.December 13, 2022 7:51 pm at 7:51 pm #2147432Always_Ask_QuestionsParticipant
It is an interesting question to what degree Yidden were learned. Of course, it changed over time and country. Difference between Vilna in 17th century and Morocco 10th century might be more than between Lakewood and Tom’s River.
Stam, a lot of gemoras discuss various behaviors of population that are not very learned. Say, making nedorim left & right seemed to be quite popular. It seems that classicial amei haaretz were at least “culturally Jewish” – we presume that they did maaser but not sure that they did. To appreciate that – would you say about a Reformer or a socialist – you presume they keep kosher but just in case, I won’t eat there? unfortunately, not …
I think one presumption is that Am H. knows Tanach (without Rashi) but not Mishna. Thus, you should admonish people if your words have a clear support in a posuk (not just a hint0 and, presumably, they’ll listen.
You can probably get a better picture if you go through Gemora cases where Rabbis make a takanah based on what majority of people will do or accept.December 13, 2022 8:18 pm at 8:18 pm #2147439
“19 Kislev has always been celebrated in chabad with seudos, yom tov clothing, no tachnun etc. This was passed down by tradition through the 7 Chabad Rebbes and generations of Chabad families”
“It is true, however, that there is more of a fuss nowadays in regards to 19 Kislev, but that is the case with every long-held initiative Chabad offers nowadays, the reason being that the Rebbe, in general, always brought Chabad’s ideas to a much broader scale than his predecessors
Yechi, these two statements are contradictory. But it seems you agree that the last lubavitcher rebbe infalted this and other practices in chabad to a much more dramatic level.
Every year, missionaries from crown heights would come to my yeshiva on ya”t Kislev, uninvited, to a yeshiva that is not in their community. I’d spend a few minutes bashing their messianic fantasies and their arrogance in saying that their way is superior. I’d tell them, how would you feel if i came into 770 and started preaching that everyone must learn nefesh hachaim(some missionaries didn’t even know what that sefer is).
Other yeshivos weren’t as kind. They’d just throw them out or threaten to call the police if they didn’t leave.December 14, 2022 2:02 am at 2:02 am #2147562
“I thought about spending a few minutes bashing their messianic fantasies and their arrogance in saying that their way is superior.”
I corrected your post to state what truly happened 😂December 14, 2022 9:19 am at 9:19 am #2147631DaMosheParticipant
Yabia, the idea of the supremacy of D’veykus with Hashem was a radical innovation of the Besht, and was opposed by most of the leading Rabbonim of the time.
Chassidus today has almost NOTHING in common with the chassidus started by the Besht. They just hold onto a few items because of the warm fuzzy feeling.
I’ve studied the arguments between the early chassidim and the misnagdim. Some of the things the Besht taught make no sense at all, and would never be accepted today.December 14, 2022 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm #2147698
Damoshe, that’s extremely offensive. What did the baal shem tov teach that doesn’t make sense to you? You can’t dismiss half of klal yisroel, including poskim like the avnei nezer and divrei chaim, as believing in nonsense, chas veshalom.December 14, 2022 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm #2147701
Regarding dveikus, it’s nothing new. The Zohar says that mitzvos are “aitzos” to be davuk in Hashem. The ramban writes that that’s the goal of all the mitzvos too.
What the nefesh hachaim had an issue with is superficial dveikus, i.e. thinking about Hashem while learning. The baal hatanya in perek 5 makes it clear that the chasidishe mahalach in dveikus while learning is spiritual, it happens by itself, even though you don’t know it.
Thinking about Hashem, says the nefesh hachaim, has an important place in yiddishkeit, but it’s not something we do while learning, because it takes away your concentration.
The main hisnagdus, of the gaon, tzlach, etc…was regarding kabalah inyonim and curious actions lile davening late.December 14, 2022 2:45 pm at 2:45 pm #2147744DaMosheParticipant
Avira. the Besht taught that improper thoughts should not be avoided. The reason is that he believed that since the entire world is a manifestation of Hashem’s will, and Hashem is purely good, therefore everything in the world is good. This is the basis of the whole idea of klipos, hiding kernels of holiness within them.
The Besht said that if one was in middle of davening, and began having improper thoughts, one should NOT try to remove them from his mind. Instead, he should concentrate on the images, and appreciate the beauty within them. Try to acknowledge that it all comes from Hashem. Since lust is connected with love, if one recognizes that the lust comes from Hashem, concentrating on it will lead to Ahavas Hashem.
Indeed, one of his students, Leib Melamed from Brody, wrote a commentary on the Tur, and he commented that it’s praiseworthy to try and picture inappropriate images while davening, in order to elevate your love of Hashem.
Obviously, the misnagdim strongly opposed this idea. R’ Dovid of Makow, one of the misnagdim, explained something which the Gra said – the Gra came out publicly against chassidim exclaiming “Yakar!” while davening. R’ Dovid said the Gra picked this issue because Yakar has the same letters as Keri. He wouldn’t use the term straight out due to tznius, but he was alluding to the improper ideas they had during davening.December 14, 2022 4:31 pm at 4:31 pm #2147791ujmParticipant
DaMoshe: Your ideas from where you’ve “studied the arguments between the early chassidim and the misnagdim” that you’re expressing here come from the secular academics who hate Torah Judaism and invented falsehoods on all this.December 14, 2022 4:31 pm at 4:31 pm #2147797
damoshe, your’re reading too many things online.
Being ma’aleh the nitzotzos of kedushah that are in hirhurim asurim, is something discussed a LOT in chasidishe seforim, and is limited to….tzadikim. It’s a central theme of the meor aynayim of chernoble, and no one says not to avoid them; they say that tzadikim convert the “ahabah nefulah”, the fallen love, which went to a bad place (an issur) and elevate it into ahavas Hashem.
However, it can only be done by someone above their taavos, someone who is “libi chalal bekirbi,” i.e.m the tanya’s tzadik, as he explains in detail. If someone is still beset with taavos gashmius, he cannot elevate his thoughts higher than he is himself.
The arizal said on the pasuk by ervas achoso “chesed hu,” that there is kedushah in aveiros, but that they are “assurim” – tied down, unable to be accessed. It’s something that all the mekubalim talk about, before the baal shem.
The tanya does say, however, that one can elevate gashmius thoughts about devorim mutarim, such as tasty food.December 14, 2022 4:31 pm at 4:31 pm #2147798
I have no idea who that talmid is; i’ve learned from many chasidishe seforim, including the toldos, meor aynayim, tanya, noam elimelech, kedushas levi, sefas emes…and none of them say anything remotely close to that, chas veshalom.December 14, 2022 5:36 pm at 5:36 pm #2147865Yabia OmerParticipant
The posuk literally says ואתם הדבקים בה’ אלקיכם….
This is not new.December 15, 2022 9:37 pm at 9:37 pm #2148268
You just don’t understand Chabad.December 15, 2022 9:40 pm at 9:40 pm #2148270
The environment of the Chayai Adam was an outlier.December 15, 2022 9:40 pm at 9:40 pm #2148272
That’s not how chassidus started. It’s later hmm history.
That said, I agree with your point.December 15, 2022 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm #2148280
It seems cf didn’t like my post. Oh well. It was the truth.
cf?December 17, 2022 9:35 pm at 9:35 pm #2149359
No, nothing in the two statements you quoted were contradictory, but if you agreed with everything in the post until the last paragraph, then at least that’s a relief…
And no, Lubavitchers don’t learn Nefesh Hachaim; with the 250 sifrei chassidus chabad we already have on our plate that would be asking too much… Besides, most of what Nefesh Hachaim contains can already be found in Chassidus (I’ve learnt it before), and would seem redundant to an average Chabad bochur.
But if Nefesh Hachaim is what it takes for a litvishe bochur to learn chassidishe concepts, then fine with me….December 17, 2022 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm #2149372
Yechi, i know they don’t learn it, and I’m fine with that – that’s hagufah the point. I’m fine with other groups not learning my groups seforim, and i expect the same from them. No one should think that their way is superior and the only real yiddishkeit, as long as the other group has a mesorah
Chabad doesn’t grant the right for other groups to serve Hashem their way.December 17, 2022 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm #2149373
Also, the contradiction was that first you claim that yat”k was always celebrated, then you say (like i said) that the last rebbe inflated it.December 17, 2022 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm #2149377
It doesn’t matter if it’s “fine with you” what ehrliche bochurim choose to learn or not learn. Not everyone has to learn chasidus to be good Jews.December 18, 2022 12:41 am at 12:41 am #2149387
I meant CR. I think you are scared to post anything that is controversial unless it is done by the old timers like Avira and the sort.
If you only knew…
As has been said before we don’t worry about controversy or disagreeing with a viewpoint. Your post was questionable because of the comments toward a whole community or derech. It was still being discussed when you started complaining.December 18, 2022 12:51 am at 12:51 am #2149385
Nefesh Hachim is not “chasidishe” concepts. Its just that “chasidism” especialy Chabad took regular Jewish concepts from Arizal and others and called it “chasidus”. Kabalah and pnimius hatorah have been around long before Chabad.December 18, 2022 12:52 am at 12:52 am #2149386
On another note it pains me to see people who are part of Chasidishe society who are totaly not medakdek in mitzvos, are far removed from any spirituality but are able to rationalize it and feel ok with it because they speak yiddish and thier kids have curly gelled payos.
this is defenitly not what the Baal Shem Tov had in mind.December 18, 2022 2:28 am at 2:28 am #2149396
How many if you complain about chassidish customs but yet buy meat that was shected by them?December 18, 2022 9:57 am at 9:57 am #2149489PekakParticipant
Chassidishe Sh’chita has nothing to do with the shochet being chassidish. It’s about an innovation that was brought about in sh’chita knives by the chassidim and eventually became standard.December 18, 2022 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm #2149519commonsaychelParticipant
“I see a lot of bashing in YWN CR of other communities and Jewish institutions without fully understanding the full picture of the demographics within said communities and institutions. What works for Lakewood or Brooklyn isn’t necessarily helpful or realistic for other communities. What are ways we can bridge the gap and have mutual respect as frum Jews?”
written by the OP on 10/12/22December 18, 2022 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm #2149523lakewhutParticipant
Pekak they monopolized the standard to the point that people think not glatt isn’t good when it is.December 18, 2022 2:11 pm at 2:11 pm #2149546
I don’t mean to draw this into a whole back and forth, but I just want to clarify my argument.
My last statement about the Rebbe was qualifying what I said about the way 19 Kislev was celebrated by the oilam, however within Chabad nothing was changed (or “inflated” as you put it”), not in regards to minhagim, or anything. And even among the velt, Chabad was always celebrated as a yom tov for chassidus. That’s why I took issue with the way you said “19 Kislev was never a huge yom tov until present day chabad”.
It could be were both agreeing, and this whole discussion boils down to phraseology…..
My point about nefesh hachaim was that your analogy is unfair; chabad doesn’t learn nefesh hachaim we already 250 plus sefarim, whereas in the litvishe world, teachings of chassidus (or kabbalah as you call it) aren’t offered. If litvishe bochurim are learning n”h then great, but those chabad bochurim probably kept coming back to your yeshiva for the few bochurim that preffered Tanya.December 18, 2022 2:12 pm at 2:12 pm #2149551
Lakewhut, it’s not true that chasidim influenced the world to abandon non-glatt. That was a decision made by American gedolim, rosh verishon rav Moshe, who was, last i checked, not chasidishe.
It is correct, though, that “chasidishe shechitah,” along with non-gebrukts products and other chasidishe minhagim have become pretty standard. It’s important to remember, however, that there’s a reason most Brooklyn shuls are nusach sfard – I don’t think it’s inaccurate to say that most frum ashkenazi jews in the NYC area oday have some chasidishe roots.
Re, chasidus/nefesh hachaim – one can say that the nefesh hachaim teaches chasidus, insofar as chasidus is defined as toras hanistar taught as a part of avodas Hashem.December 18, 2022 2:14 pm at 2:14 pm #2149552
American, that’s really, really hateful; chasidim do a better job than other groups at retaining stragglers. Those same people who are not very enthusiastic about yiddishkeit would probably be off the derech in other communities.
Chasidishe communities learned from litvishe how to prioritize learning, establish kolellim, etc…and we learned from chasidim how to approach modernity, how to survive amid a spiritually caustic culture… our tznius standards also greatly improved with the influence of chasidim.
Chasidishe yungeleit who are into learning are VERY medakdek in halacha…check out a chasidishe kolel, the myriad sifrei halacha put out by chasidim, and you’ll see it.
Every community has its drop outs, its outliers, its mainstream and its cream of the crop. Focusing on the bottom tiers is just biased.December 18, 2022 3:34 pm at 3:34 pm #2149575
Yechi – I’ll phrase the metaphor differently. How would you feel about a litvishe bochur coming into 770 and saying that unless you learn rav boruch ber, you have no idea what learning gemara is?December 18, 2022 5:13 pm at 5:13 pm #2149574
Yechi, no, I do not agree that yat”k was ever a major day for chasidim until the last rebbe made it so. I don’t think it was any bigger than 21 kislev is for Satmar.
As for the 250 seforim chabad rebbes have; no one learns them all. It would be virtually impossible. Most bochurim learn likutei sichos, tanya, igros, likutei torah, and not much else – which is still a tremendous amount of learning, more than enough to confuse young people into not understanding basic yiddishkeit amid a sea of kabalistic concepts – pardon my snarkiness.
There were no indicators that the missionaries were aware of that there were bochurim in my yeshiva, or the other yeshivos that they visit, who are interested in chabad. None. They go everywhere on yat”k, simchas torah, and other times, to spread chasidus to everyone and anyone.
Most yeshivos throw them out or threaten to call the police, especially when alcohol is being offered to minors. My yeshiva is kinder, but no one was interested. they just wanted to eat their supper in peace. This has been going on for decades.
Do you agree that chabad is not necessary learning to be a good Jew? Do you think litvishe bochurim, with or without n”h, can be ovdei Hashem and bnei olam haba if they spend their lives in shas and poskim, and don’t ever think that they’re ready for kabalah(as is the case with many roshei yeshiva)?
And do you think a chabad chossid, or any chossid, is inherently superior to a litvak, because they are aware of chasidishe torah?
This is coming from someone who has spent years learning chasidishe seforim, alongside ramchal, gaon, n”h, shl”a, etc..December 18, 2022 5:14 pm at 5:14 pm #2149578
Its a better metaphor; incidentally we do learn R’ Baruch Ber occasionally, albeit not as much you’d probably like.
However, I understand the point your making. My intention wasn’t really to get into that post about “messianic missionaries” but about your 19 Kislev one, which, I felt, downplayed the significance of the day.
The problem you have with tahalucha would make for a whole separate discussion. It was something the Rebbe encouraged, and wouldn’t be easy to simply write off as “messianic missionizing”.December 18, 2022 5:14 pm at 5:14 pm #2149579
teachings of chassidus (or kabbalah as you call it)
Something is odd about this phrase, and the one that follows — which practically renders the Nefesh Hachaim a Chasidishe Sefer. I guess the יסוד ושרש עבודה is also?
Anyhow, some basic definitions are necessary.December 18, 2022 9:01 pm at 9:01 pm #2149594
Avira I am not hateful at all. I know many very choshuve chasidishe yungertleit etc.
What i meant is that is that in the non chasidish world (Note I don’t call them Litvish because lots of them have nothing to do with Lita or Litvish Yeshivos ) someone who is modern or just plain not acting frum knows that he (or she) isn’t up to par in their Yiddishkeit. I don’t think that is as much the case by the chasidishe society. It is just one big club.
But you do have a point that they could of been totaly OTD in the non chasidish world.
But then they can always come back which BH happens alot. But if they are comfortable with their status quo and just ok in their community that is unlikely to happen.
The Besh”t didn’t promote static in yiddishkeit rather reaching the masses and lifting them up.December 18, 2022 9:02 pm at 9:02 pm #2149598
No, I don’t pardon your snarkiness.
You see, your argument that chassidus is a sea of kabbalistic concepts that confuses one’s perception of judaism was the age-old claim of misnagdim of yesteryear. Most people don’t believe that anymore. They may not be inclined to learn it or think its necessary, but hardly anyone thinks it’s detrimental.
But then again, your entitled to your own beliefs, however fringe they may be…..December 18, 2022 9:03 pm at 9:03 pm #2149602
Who in here is going to start the annual thread whining about public menorah lightings?December 18, 2022 9:57 pm at 9:57 pm #2149641
amiricanyeshivish, you say, “[I]n the non chasidish world… someone who is modern or just plain not acting frum knows that he (or she) isn’t up to par in their Yiddishkeit. I don’t think that is as much the case by the chasidishe society. It is just one big club.”
This is a very outsider’s perspective which boggles the insiders’ minds. I guess it’s like how all members of a foreign race look alike. But I recall how the Chasidim in my Yeshiva couldn’t get over how the non-Chasidish would conflate the Eidel, soft-spoken Chunyoks in Beis Medrash with the guys who don’t know the color of its walls.December 18, 2022 9:58 pm at 9:58 pm #2149642
The Magid’s yartzeit, and it’s connection to the Chag Hageulah is a focal point in all the Rebbe’s sichos on the subject as well as a cliche talking point in practically every 19 Kislev farbrengen.
Yes, it’s true that I haven’t been to a Yat Kislev Farbrengen, but you do seem to portray the Yahrzeit as a point of the story of the Bal Hatanya’s redemption, not quite a celebration of the Maggid’s Yahrzeit itself.December 18, 2022 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm #2149647
Halevei I am not sure what you mean. Please clarify which perspective do you find boggeling.
But in any event I am totaly not an outsider not in the Yeshivish world which I grew up in (as in my username) nor in the chasidishe world which I am very familiar with from living amongst them for close to 20 years and having many many chasidish aquainteses professionally and personally.December 18, 2022 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm #2149649
If you were referring to what I called “one big club” I meant to say that their is not much distinguishment between the talmidei chachamim and the ones who are lax in their yiddishkeit.
They dress the same on Shabbos, send to the same schools etc,December 19, 2022 1:13 am at 1:13 am #2149655
Yechi, I do not think that chasidus is a sea of kabalistic ideas that confuse people. I said that a bochur learning too much chasidishe seforim – or too many intense mussar seforim like kav hayashar for that matter – can and does obfuscate basic yiddishkeit. No other group of chasidim has their bochurim (and their aleph-bais-ignorant baalei teshuvah) learn chasidus anywhere near as much as neo-chabad. In most chasidusen, they learn from shiurim, and maybe once or twice a week they’ll learn sefas emes, but most don’t learn Tanya (especially the first half) until they’re older.
Because it can be confusing. And do you want proof? Has there ever been a movement in modern day Judaism which struggled with defining the divinity of a man and his supposed status as the essence of god wrapped in a body, which permits people to pray at his grave, as the last lubavicther rebbe said? Do you know of any other group which struggles with a question of why they do mitzvos; is it because the rebbe said so or is it because G-d said to? And do you know any other group of chasidim who believe that their rebbe can hear their thoughts from the olam ha’emes, that you should pray to him, that he will answer you, that he (not his zchusim) protects you?
Any limud besides gemara, shas and poskim, is secondary, and should be kept for mussar seder. I spent 30 minutes a day on chasidishe seforim. The rest of the time I learned gemara. there’s a limit to how much you can skew gemara. There’s no limit to how much apikorsus you can make from kablalah, chas veshalom.December 19, 2022 1:14 am at 1:14 am #2149656
lost – why beat a dead horse?
Making a bracha on something without a shred of a source? why not!December 19, 2022 1:14 am at 1:14 am #2149657
american; if you go to a chasidishe chasuna, you will know right away who the choshuve people are; it may not be as clear as it is in the litvishe world (i.e., kapotes) but you can tell if you’re paying attention.
Emphasizing dress to the extent that chasidim today do is a complicated, delicate subject. I don’t pretend to be an expert, but they are basing themselves on a mesorah. What to do when someone is not receptive to that mesorah….is something that they need to fix in-house. they don’t need me telling them what to do.December 19, 2022 1:15 am at 1:15 am #2149658
also, I don’t think we can play games with making policies which protect people from going off, with the idea that they might come back; every minute, every sin done by a jew is a horrific event – if we can prevent it, we must. or at least we must not remove things which keep people from doing horrible aveiros, even if they might come back in the future; the sum total isn’t where one ends up – every mitzvah and every sin have a cheshbon, and we have responsibility to other jews to protect them from harm.
chazal did away with shofar and 4 minim, mitzvos which save the world, because maybe, one jew might be mechalel shabbos. they didn’t say, “well, it’s just one chilul shabbos, and im sure he’ll keep next week better”December 19, 2022 11:11 am at 11:11 am #2149854Reb EliezerParticipant
Avira, this is an argument between the RMA an the Taz in YD 334 where the RMA says that one gets put in cherem without regard to the consequences whereas, if I remember correctly, the Taz argues.
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