What does this mean, its a quote from the Kotzker.

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  • #592530
    WIY
    Member

    Donkeys walk in the middle of the road. People need to choose a side.

    What do you think this means?

    #699338
    Sacrilege
    Member

    I think it means when there is an issue you should take a side and have an opinion. There is no great chochma to say that you are neutral and not taking sides, any donkey can do that.

    Awesome quote.

    #699339
    WIY
    Member

    Sacrilege

    That’s good. I like your explanation that could be it. I had a similar understanding but a little different.

    #699340
    Sacrilege
    Member

    What was your take on it?

    #699341

    i think sacrileges interpretation is good

    also perhaps, if donkeys use the middle, stay to the side to keep away from donkeys (people who bray and talk without Chochma about nothing)

    #699342
    WIY
    Member

    Sacrilege

    I understood it to mean that there are people who want the best of both worlds. They want to “tantz by both chassunas.” Meaning some people want the Ruchniyus and the Gashmiyus but they don’t really go together, to excel at one means to sacrifice the other and you have to decide which ones most important to you and clearly pursue that. Don’t be wishy washy mixed up trying to do both. (I’m not saying one shouldn’t have gashmiyus, just that one needs to have their priorities straight)

    #699343
    says who
    Member

    WOW, We can use more of this in the CR.

    #699344
    chesedname
    Participant

    i would assume Sacrilege got it right.

    where is this quote from? i would like to see it.

    #699345
    yes-its-me
    Participant

    see shut meshiv dovor vol 1 responsa 44 that in some areas the middle way is the very wrong one. [if you asked sombody a question in emuna and he says “he’ve mesunim bedin” he’s in a bad way]

    #699346
    theprof1
    Participant

    Sacrilege and WellInformed have put it exactly. The satmar Rov ztzl Rabbeini Yoel said. By us at home (Hungary/Romania) animals walked in the middle of the road. Menschen walked on the sides. Same concept.

    #699347
    theprof1
    Participant

    Chesed I think the Kotzker quote is in the sefer Siach Sarfei Kodesh but since the sefer has no real order, it’s very hard to find.

    #699348
    Sacrilege
    Member

    WIY – Oh I like yours!

    #699349
    mw13
    Participant

    I’m with Sacrilege. A useful quote to know…

    #699350
    WIY
    Member

    Sacrilege

    Thanks, and I agree it is an awesome quote.

    #699351

    Thanks for posting the quote, and thanks everyone for your interpretations – this is a great topic

    #699352
    Sacrilege
    Member

    We had a teacher in HS who was the granddaughter of R’ A. Miller ztz”l and she had tied a current events issue into her lesson. So a girl in class said she didnt know about that because she doesnt follow the news (yes, super greasy BY) so my teacher said “It doesnt make you frum to have your head buried in the sand, you have to know whats going on.”

    IDK, this kind of reminded me of that.

    #699353
    WIY
    Member

    pascha bchochma

    You are welcome.

    #699354
    mw13
    Participant

    “It doesnt make you frum to have your head buried in the sand, you have to know whats going on.”

    Another great quote. Didn’t we used to have a whole thread for this?

    #699355
    2qwerty
    Participant

    WIY,

    I dont agree with your second part about mixing Ruchniyus and Gashmiyus.

    To aquire great Torah knowledge you need to give up Gashmiyus but otherwise its fine to mix those two together.

    Its our goal to bring Ruchniyus into our every day lives to uplift our Gashmiyus.

    #699356
    World Saver
    Participant

    The Kotzker did not mean mixing ruchnius and gashmius. The first explanation is closer to what he meant but not exactly. If you read some books on the Kotzker, you will have a better understanding of what he meant by gaining a better grasp of his Derech. He was very against doing things because everyone does it or because this is what I did yesterday, or this is what my Rebbe told me to do. The whole difference between an animal and man is the intellect. Always know what you are doing and do your own actions because YOU understand this should be done. (Many of the Kotzkers points are hard to understand unless an effort is made to understand it, and it can take some time..).

    #699357
    WIY
    Member

    2qwerty

    Maybe I wrote too briefly. However I disagree that “To aquire great Torah knowledge you need to give up Gashmiyus” gashmiyus is here so that we should elevate it and grow closer to Hashem. This beautiful world was not created so that we should not touch anything of it and subsist on bread and water. There is a Rambam which isnt as widely known as I wish it were, which says that if a person dies not having tasted all of the delicious fruits that Hashem created for mans benefit he will have to give din vcheshbon. We are supposed to have and use gashmiyus but not to the point where it derails us from our purpose in life.

    #699358
    WIY
    Member

    World Saver

    Ok good to know.

    #699359
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    ?? ?????????? ?????????? ???-????-?????, ????????? ???-????? ?????? ????????? ???-??????? ????????????–???-?????? ?????????? ????? ????????, ?????-???????? ????? ????????; ?????-????? ????? ?????, ??????

    Melachim 1:18:21

    #699360
    telegrok
    Member

    Based on my readings, the Kotzker Rebbe had a penetrating insight into human nature and his admonitions forced students (and us) to face facts honestly and without evasion. The Kotzker’s encounter with truth is brutal; there is no equivacating. The statement about donkeys in the middle and people taking sides is an example of this: confront the issue, and determine where you stand.

    #699361
    2qwerty
    Participant

    WIY,

    I was referring to:

    “This is the way of Torah: Eat bread with salt, drink water in measure, sleep on the ground, live a life of deprivation – but toil in the Torah!…” (Avos 6, 4)

    #699362
    WIY
    Member

    2qwerty

    I understood that you were coming from there but I don’t really think that it is meant literally. A person will die from malnutrition if they live off bread water and salt.

    #699363
    oomis
    Participant

    Any moron can act like a behaima and refuse to take a position on the side of an issue. Menschen choose a side and take a stand.

    #699364
    bpt
    Participant

    I’m going out on a limb here, but I thought the Kotzker might be refering to the “donkey” as in Yissoschor, who can only tread the path of Torah. The “people” are the Zevulins of the world, but need to choose a side, meaning are they going to defer to the Yissoschors, or are they going to manipulate them?

    Or, choosing a side might mean, as a Zevulin, you need to choose a profession, but make sure you choose wisely.

    Thoughts?

    (I was also mulling over the donkey of Pinchas Ben Yair, but could not delevop a trail, so I’ll go with the Yisoschor track)

    #699365
    WIY
    Member

    BP Totty

    The Kotzker seems to be contrasting regular donkeys with regular people.

    #699366
    bpt
    Participant

    I know.. but the chossid in me always tries to read between the lines (Like the R’ Nachman stories)

    #699367
    Sacrilege
    Member

    I recently came across another quote from the Kotzker:

    “I would not want to serve a G-d which I can understand”

    #699368

    Sacrilege

    That’s a good one as well. His sayings are all really deep and powerful messages.

    #699369
    Sacrilege
    Member

    Should I be embarrassed that I’ve never heard of him before?

    #699370
    oomis
    Participant

    Rav Mendel of Kotzk (The Kotzker Rebbie) was an incredibly wise and intuitive man. His sayings are spiritually deep and have great integrity.

    #699371

    sacrilege

    of course not!!

    #699372
    WIY
    Member

    Sacrilege

    He was a Rebbe in the first half of the 1800s. He is well known for his sharp and insightful remarks on human nature…

    I don’t know if girls are taught about him but any boy who had a decent Yeshivah education should have heard of him. I remember my Rabbeim quoted divrei torah or some of his sayings.

    #699373
    bpt
    Participant

    Interesting quote. I think he means to say if he can understand all there is to know about an entity, it cannot be that complex and therefore cannot be the source of creation,or anything worth worshipping.

    If I remember correctly, his general approach was quite harsh and unforgiving. He placed high demands on his followers (and himself, of course)

    #699374
    Sacrilege
    Member

    80- LOL!

    #699375
    jay11691
    Member

    I believe WorldSaver is pretty on the money: to understand a Kotzker saying completely you have to enter and understand his life view. This cannot be accomplished by randomly quoting one or two of his more famous sayings (which how most Yeshiva bochurim know of him). You have to delve deeper and truly investigate his approach.

    Just quoting a pithy saying of his and feeling satisfied is, in a sense, “walking in the middle of the road”.

    #699376
    not I
    Member

    I am a girl and I definitely heard about him!

    #699377
    Sacrilege
    Member

    not I – congrats!

    #699378
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    The Kotzker has many Vehrtlach checking true concepts taken too far. We all know of the Rambam about going B’derech Hamemutza. However, as with all great rules, this too can be overdone. We’ve all heard of those that complain about frumkeit or about learning most of the day.

    I thought of a great Mashal: one extreme is to fast, and the other extreme is to eat all your waking hours. Therefore, the middle road is to eat for 8 hours, right? Well it depends on your sights, what is your right end and what is your left end. So, one extreme is to learn all my waking hours and the other extreme is to learn a minimal amount.

    Anyhow, he is saying don’t be so proud that you think Avodas Hashem is extreme and that you are going in the middle of the road. The donkeys go in the middle of the road.

    The fact that the Satmarer Rebbe said it over is proof to my interpretation.

    #699379
    jay11691
    Member

    It is a mistake to say the Kotzker had “Vertlach”…. You must familiarize yourself with his overall views before interpreting his thoughts…..

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