Avodah Mailing List

Volume 02 : Number 119

Sunday, January 10 1999

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Sun, 10 Jan 1999 00:29:56 -0600 (CST)
From: mshulman@ix.netcom.com (Moshe Shulman)
Re: Ein Don Yechidi Elo Echod..

>Mostly to R. M. Shulman:
>How does any chassidishe rebbe avoid getting "carried away"?  Does the Beis din
>serve as a check?
>Think of all the leaders of klal Yisroel, think of Shaul, didn't shmuel give him
>mussar?  and Dovid, didn't Nosson give him mussar?  Chezkiyahu, didn't Yeshaya
>give him Mussar?  Who gives the rebbes Mussar?  Are they infallible when Dovid
>and Chezkiyah weren't?  Please clarify.

This is an interesting question. Could you explain to me what the Gemara says
(San. 110) Kol HaMaharhar achar Rabbo k'ili maharhar acher hashachinah.

In a more serious vein, Rebbes who have gone outside the acceptable have
spurned serious conflict. For example, Tzanz - Sadagura that occured over 100
years ago. 

Moshe Shulman mshulman@ix.netcom.com    718-436-7705
http://www.pobox.com/~chassidus         Chassidus Website

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Date: Sun, 10 Jan 1999 00:30:37 -0600 (CST)
From: mshulman@ix.netcom.com (Moshe Shulman)

> Do you know what you are trying to say? You are throwing out the ikkar of
>Chassidus and taking the tufil. ALL the concepts of chassidus go back to the
>Baal Shem Tov. If not then they are not chassidus. You can't point to a true
>'new concept' of chassidus since then, as there were none. The 'new' things
>you can point to are all chitzoniyus issues.
>This is placing the Baal Shem on par with God.  No human can create an
>absolutely perfect system.

? Maybe you can explain yourself. No one says that anything in this world is
perfect. It is whether something can be called 'chassidus' or not. This issue
was settle at the chasanah at Istilah where the 'new' Pershischa chassidus was
challenged before the zakan haadmorim of the time the Apter Rov.

>(To my Chabad friends here: After
>discussing this topic for a while with our Litvisher friends, I understand why
>the Alter Rebbe modified the Baal Shem Tov's approach to try to appeal to
>So I guess by your earlier definition, the Baal HaTanya's modifications are
>really just external errors, because after all, the original system was

The Baal HaTanya's derech was quite controversial and is ONLY followed in
Lubavitch today. Even those who learn Tanya reject the derech of chassidus it
recommends. The differences are discussed in a famous letter from Rebbe
Avraham Kalisker. The main point being that the Baal HaTanya took a part of
the chassidishe derech that was mean for a small group and tried to modify it
for the masses. 

Moshe Shulman mshulman@ix.netcom.com    718-436-7705
http://www.pobox.com/~chassidus         Chassidus Website

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Date: Sun, 10 Jan 1999 00:31:25 -0600 (CST)
From: mshulman@ix.netcom.com (Moshe Shulman)
Re: Chasidic dynasties

>    Please allow me to quibble with your history.

OK let me add some minor corrections.

>Sighet till the middle years of the century."  I conceed that you are
>correct, except that I thought that the Yismach Moshe was a talmid of the
>Chozeh.  But it was my impression that the Yismach Moshe's sons left

He was. He was brought to Lublin by his son in law Rebbe Aryeh Leibish of
Vishnitza. He never was in Lizensk (although I believe that he said later he
had charutah that he didn't go to Lezensk when the Rebbe Reb Elimeilech was
aline as he was Rov in Shinova which was nearby.)

>    You write that "The most famous Sanzer rebbe (R. Chaim Halberstam) was
>already niftar sometime close to mid-19th century."  To be exact, it was
>1876, but it did not really become a hereditary dynasty until then, since
>that is when his son, the Shinover, took his place.   In any case, the
>hereditary kesher was pretty weak; when he died in 1898, most of the
>Shinover's chasidim did not follow his son,  but to the extent they stayed
>in Sanz they followed his nephews in Bobov and Gorlitz.

The Tzanzer Rov's sons (except Rebbe Shalom Lazer of Ratsport) were all
Rabbanim in various cities and towns, and became Rebbes after their father

>    You write that "Ger is started as an independent chasidus by R. Yitzchoq
>meier (the Chidushei haRim), a talmid-choveir of the Kotzke- who broke with
>the Chozeh (to follow the Yid and then R.S. Bunim) and should thus be
>assigned to the first half of the

The relationship between the Chozeh and the Yid HaKodesh is a bit difficult to
clarify. While the Yid HaKodesh was a Rebbe in Pershischa, he seemed to try
and keep his position as a talmid in Lublin.

>century."  Sorry, old boy.  First of all, the Chiddushei HaRim basically
>took over the Kotzer's chasidim when the Kotzker died in 1858; when the
>Chiddushei HaRim died in 1867 or 1867, it was not at all settled that the
>Gerer chasidim would follow his grandson and oldest surviving male
>descendant, the Sfas Emes.  In time, they did, but for a while, Reb Henoch
>of Alexander was a rival for the loyalties of the Gerer Chasidim.

Rebbe Henoch WAS the Rebbe after the Chiddushei HaRim. The Sefas Emes was too
young and did not want to take over. He later did.

>be off by one generation either way) sons became tzadiqim."  The Ryzhiner's
>sons became rebbes after him, but the first Vishnizer was not one of them.

All except one (whose name will remain unmentioned by me.)

>sons became rebbes after him, but the first Vishnizer was not one of them.
>Vishnitz was started by Reb Menachem Mendel Hager of Kossov, who was a
>student of Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk.  (The Rizhiner family name was
>Friedman)  By the way, even though the Ryzhiner was a great-grandson of the
>Maggid, his following was not inherited but acquired through his own
>abilities and his status as a talmid of Reb Moshe Leib of Sassov.

Some notes on this: 1. Rebbe Mendel Viznitzer the first of the Viznitz
line was a son-in-law of the Rishiner. 2. Rebbe Mendel Kossover was never in
Lizhensk. His father Rebbe Koppel Chasid was a talmid of the Baal Shem Tov.
Rebbe Mendel Kossover's son Chaim once went to Lublin. 3. I have found no
association of the Rizhiner and MLS. He was raised by his brother Avraham
after his father died.

Moshe Shulman mshulman@ix.netcom.com    718-436-7705
http://www.pobox.com/~chassidus         Chassidus Website

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Date: Sun, 10 Jan 1999 10:23:31 +0200 ("IST)
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@math.tau.ac.il>

Josh writes

>> Apropos infallibility, apart from the Beit Din HaGadol in the Lishkat
>> haGazit to whom we are required to listen to whatever they say

Listing to the Sanhedrin has nothing to do with infallibility.
Chatam Sofer explicitly says that he assumes, based on probability,
that over the years they made mistakes.
We are still required to listen to them.

Eli Turkel

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Date: Sun, 10 Jan 1999 10:31:09 +0200 ("IST)
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@math.tau.ac.il>
praying for others

Given the discussion of chassidut I have a general question on the
efficacy of praying for others. What is the basis for this.
Either the individual deserves the reward/punishment or not.
Some examples

1. Does saying kaddish for a parent help the parent.
   This is a question mainly when the the parent was not religious and
   so we can't say that the son's actions are due to the influence of
   the parent.

   Can one say Kaddish for a stranger (i.e. does it help?).

2. Saying Tehiilim for someone's health. There are groups of people
   who have lists of sick people.
   Does this make any sense?
   I assume that for a relative or rebbe it makes sense but how about
   a stranger?

3. What good does the blessing of rebbe have for his chasid?
   Rav Moshe Feinstein seemed to be uncomfortable with the idea that
   people came to him for blessings.

Just a general comment - with all the recent discussion of rebbes I
find that many roshei yeshiva are becoming more like rebbes.
People go to them for blessings and ask their opinion about marriages
business opportunities etc. All the thing that litvaks made fun of
chassidut seems to have infiltrated the litvak world as well.

Kol Tuv,
Eli Turkel

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Date: Sun, 10 Jan 1999 10:45:03 +0200 ("IST)
From: Eli Turkel <turkel@math.tau.ac.il>
Yerushas Ha'Nesi'us

Moshe Shulman writes

>> There are a number of sons
who were skipped over for grandsons. (Stolin and Boyan are two good examples.
BTW the later is VERY highly regarded.)

In the case of Boyan this is not true. The rebbes sons and son-in-law
were not interested in becoming rebbes because they were in business
(or education) for many years. That is the reason the grandson became
a rebbe at a relatively young age.

BTW I am curious if the Boyan rebbe's success has any connection to
the fcat that he was brought up in a relatively modern American home
(though of course chassidic).

Kol Tuv,
Eli Turkel

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Date: Sun, 10 Jan 1999 12:15:08 -0500
From: Isaiah Beilin <ibeilin@draper.com>

  To the readers:

    I thank Yosef for sending me the origional letter which helped inflame 
  many of you. Below you can reread that posting.
  Let me make it clear that I am not a Lubavicher nor if I
  were one that I could be a meshichist. I am looking at this from the
  perspective of halacha. I quoted Rav Aharon Soloveitchik and Rav Hirschprung
  as suporting them. A spin doctor tried to tell me that there was some
  and that the above two did not hold that the Lubavicher Rebbie was the
  Well, I agree with the later. What I am quoting and will continue to
quote is that
  Rav Aharon gave mareke mekomos which Dr. Berger refuses to accept and that
  Rav Hirscprung only said that it is not assur since the Rebbie claimed
that his
  dead father-in-law was the moshiach. What is there to spin away. Does
Rabbi Keller
  or Dr. Berger know how to be machriah in the shitos of moschiach. Maybe,
they have the
  word?  The gemoroh learns that the Ch. 53 in Isaiah refers to the
moshiach. Why
  spin it away?

    My Rebbie Rav Y.D. Solveitchik (z"l) loved Lubavich and Chasidus. He
had a friendship
  that went back decades and even went to visit the Rebbie. He talked very
warmly about
  the visit and was going to teach chasidus in YU but could not get an
interest. I do
  not care how many spin doctors will try to rewroite this. We can learn
from my Rebbie.
  How come Rabbi Shachter does not bring this episode in the nefesh horav?
(Maybe, I 
  missed it)

    As far as the letter below is concerned, I discussed this with Rabbi
Prus in 
  Boston(Chabad leader) and his claim is that only an ignoramice could have
written this.
  He would like to see the origional. At any rate, it is attributed to a
R.W. Why should
  Lubavich suffer from an am hooretz in chasidus. It is written in a poor
mode. R. Prus 
  admits that some of the statements resemble Chasidus. In the form that it
was written 
  it is dribble. I am amazed that the readers did not catch on. You all
don't need much to
  fight good people.

   There is a lot more to say, but how will I or anyone resolve this when
you all want to
  fight with good people. Yosef bemones the fact that it was better in the
days of the 
  Ragichover. That was what the misnagdim said in the Ragichover's days.
"it was better in
  the Alter Rebbie's days". This is an excuse. You all were trained in
Yeshivot that are
  hostile to Lubavich. I was fortunate to learn with the Rov. From him I
learned to love all
  good Jews.

    Let me add one small point. Below he says something about ahavoh and
yirah being
  diminished by learning torah. This can really be found in Talmud Bavli
"lo zocho naaseh
  lesam hamoves" or "learning lekanter" or "lo lishmo". It can be
dangerous. And, as a proof 
  based on what is going on now, it is. You use the gemoroh to pick on good

   I pray that all of you will reach your senses and stop it. If you have
something to
  accomplish figure it out , have a meeting, set up a dialogue with
Lubavich etc. Otherwise,
  leave it the real gedolim to work on. They are silent. You know why?
There is nothing to

 Shaya Beilin

On Sat, 26 Dec 1998, Harry Maryles wrote:

> They never intermingle with other mainstream Orthodox Jews whenever they 
> can help it.  They have their own schools and other social organizations 
> and socialize almost entirely amongst themselves.  We, the rest of the 
> orthodox jewish community, are considered the outside world to them.

As some of you know, I come, on my mother's side, from one of the most
prestigious Lubavitch families. My great uncle was R' Chodakov - the
Rebbe's right hand; one uncle is the head of Chabad in Toronto, another
the Rosh Yeshiva of Ohr Elchonon-Chabad in LA, a third, a famous
Lubavitcher author - all members of the Schochet family, my mother's

Indeed, Ii am fond of saying that I am the most meyuchas Lubavitcher and
Telzer in Chicago, as my grandfather, who became a Lubavitcher, was born
and raised in Telshe, Lithuania, was a talmid muvhak of Telshe (was
chosen, in fact to represent Telshe and the Lithuanian Agudah at the
second Knessia Gedola), and one of the select group to edit the Shiurei

So, for many years I was more than usually interested in clarifying why I
am not a Lubavitcher, prefering the Telzer legacy to the Lubavitch one. At
this juncture in history, the unfortunate developments in Lubavitch render
such soul searching unnecessary, but when I first came to Chicago - now
almost a decade ago - this issue still occupied me.

I had the good fortune, at the time, to have a Lubavitcher chevrusa here
in Yeshivas Brisk - now one of the leaders of the Meshichist faction - who
supplied me with a letter written by a certain Rabbi Wilhelm - that was an

The letter is quite long, but it deals with a paradox that every Chossid -
of any stripe - must grapple with:

The greatest connection to Hashem one can experience is that generated by
one's Emuna Peshuta: The raw, emotional, elemental dveykus in Hashem that
emantaes from "dos pintele Yid" - the "chelek Eloka me'ma'al mamash" -
that is truly the heart of every Jew.

Yet, on the other hand, there is a mitzva of Talmud Torah - to utilize
one's intellect and hone one's mind in rational study of Chochmas Hashem.

But - the more one studies, the more complex, rational and intellectual,
one's yedi'as Hashem will become. This intellectual relationship with
Hashem impedes and sullies one's emotional intimacy with Hashem grounded
in Emuna Peshuta. Ahava and yir'ah are elemental forces - and the
intellect is not a medium for such forces - if anything, it diminishes

But - Hashem gave 613 mitzvos that all must be performed, because the 248
eivarim and 365 giddim each have a mitzva that gives them, respectively,
essential spirritual life force. The mitzva that gives that chiyus to the
Mo'ach is TT. So, learn we must - but learning ruins the Emuna Peshuta.
How does one reconcile the paradox?

(Misnagdim do not place the same value, neither on Emuna Peshuta nor on
Dveykus. They therefore have little trouble with the paradox. But, for a
Chossid, this is a big problem.)

In Lubavitch, the resolution is as follows: Just as each neshama has five
parts: nefesh, ru'ach, neshomo, chaya, yechida; Am Yisroel has five types
of souls. The yechida is the part of the neshama that, in unison with the
rest of the nation, unites in oneness the neshama with Hashem (yachad).
But that, itself, is through the yechida kelallis of the generation (a
concept we discussed abortively in one of the early forerunners of our
little group) - the Nasi of Chabad in the dor.

Torah generated by the Yechida Kellalis/Nasi Ha'Dor has a unique quality:
Whether it is in nigla or nistar, it has an inherent quality of yechidus
to it - it possesses the segula to enhance the intellect of the person who
studies it without degrading his Emuna Peshuta - indeed, it enhances the
Emuna Peshuta and dveykus of the individual who studies it.

There are several ramifications of this resolution to the paradox,
including the following:

1. Lubavitchers will avoid the works of other branches of Chassidus or
Kabbalistic Schools. Even if they describe similar ideas to those of
Chabad - they are not from a Yechida, and are subject to the problem of
the paradox.

2. A non-Orthodox Jew has a ma'alah over a Talmid Chochom in that whatever
Emunah - conscious or subconscious - the non-Orthodox Jew has, it is Emuna
Peshuta. That of a Talmid Chochom is already complex and intellectual. The
Talmid chochom must, in essence, be deprogrammed before becoming a true

3. The Nasi, as the yechida kellalis, must be infallible, as the hashpa'ah
to and the dveykus of the Dor to Hashem is through him, so the /nasi is in
contact, constantly, with the Ratzon Hashem.

4. A mivtza (that is not a typo - in contradistinction to mitzva) such as
women lighting candles, learning Rambam, Moshaich, etc. is as important as
a mitzva, since the yechida kelallis of the generation has obviously seen
that this is the way in which additional dveykus will be achieved.

(Remember this is the old "new" Lubavitch theology. By this I mean, this
is not the Lubavitch of the Rogatchover, R' Zevin, R' Rivkin, R' Telushkin
or my grandfather - but Lubavitch theology of my generation - the 70's or
so. That Lubavitch was something else, that would have been far more
appealing to me. It, for all intents and purposes, no longer exists.

(But there is an even newer "new" Lubavitch theology - more pernicious and
dangerous - that of R' Butman, R' Volpe and many Meshichistin - the one
that encourages, even now, mivtzo'im - and indeed, shemiras ha'mitzvos
themselves - for the outlandish goal of giving the Rebbe - yet today! -
nachas ru'ach, and, of course, restoring him "l'matah b'guf, v'eineinu
ro'os." This is the cultish arm of Lubavitch that most worries R' Herschel
Maryles - and me. But you cannot understand where they are coming from
unless you understand the evolution of this theology.)

5. Since each Nosi is the direct hemshech of his predecessor, he is the
complete replacement - and greater than - his predecessor. This is because
he has all the gilu'im that his predecessor has - plus his. Thus, each
Nosi is the greatest human being that has ever lived.

6. Moshiach is the yechida kelallis of the entire Beri'ah me'reishis
ha'doros ve'ad acharisam. Thus, it is natural to assume that if there is a
Moshiach in every generation, it is the yechida kelallis of that


Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer
Cong. Bais Tefila, 3555 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL, 60659
ygb@aishdas.org, http://www.aishdas.org/baistefila

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Date: Sun, 10 Jan 1999 14:25:21 -0500
From: Isaiah Beilin <ibeilin@draper.com>

  In my last posting I mentioned that the real gedolim are silent. I
  realize that I was wrong. I had already stated that Rav Aharon Soloveitchik
  and R. Hirschprung did mix in and were supportive of Lubavich.

  So, let me fix up my statement. How come "no OTHER real godol" is
  involved? I am sure the answer is that the others have been pestered 
  and are quiet.

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Date: Sun, 10 Jan 1999 16:30:39 -0500 (EST)
From: Zvi Weiss <weissz@IDT.NET>
Re: Avodah V2 #118

> ------------------------------
> Date: Sun, 10 Jan 1999 00:29:26 -0600 (CST)
> From: mshulman@ix.netcom.com (Moshe Shulman)
> Subject: Re: Avodah V2 #115
> >> >> Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999 19:09:48 -0600 (CST)
> >> >> From: mshulman@ix.netcom.com (Moshe Shulman)
> >> >> Subject: Re: Avodah V2 #110
> >> >> >====> It is not that I do or don't "like" your answer -- it is that the
> >> >> >answer appears -- to a certain extent -- to be self-serving.  Rebbes
> >> >> >choose what they want to learn (and, hence what their disciples will
> >> >> >learn) based upon a "derech" -- which is sort of left
> >> >> >unexplained.  EXCEPT
> >> >> The problem here is that you look upon Chassidus as ONLY being
> >> >> some type of
> >> >> intellectual exercise. It is not. It is a method of serving HaShem.
> >> >===> It has always been my impression that one serves Hashem with their
> >> >intellect and understanding.  Are you now claiming that Avodas Hashem is
> >> >irrational (C"V)??  I see no error in asserting that one's approach to
> >> ? One serves HaShem will everything, both with ones intellect and with ones
> >> physical nature. (If someone says he has only Torah learning, even Torah
> >> learning he doesn't have.) (BTW can you give me a rational explaination for
> >> chukim?)
> >===> Please note that you did not in any manner, shape, or form answer the
> >objection above.  that one serves the Boreh with all capabilities does NOT
> >seem to support the fact that there is (or should be) an anti-intellectual
> >element or that the Avoda is irrational.  citing chukim has noting to do
> >with the issue.  though the chukim are "irrational" from our perspective,
> >their *observance* is within a very rational framework.
> Zvi, sometimes your questions just don't seem to make sense. I addressed two
> points that seemed to come out form your questions: 1. HaShem is served ONLY
> through the intellect. To which I amswered that this is not true. He is served
> in many ways. 2. That there is nothing irrational in Torah or avodus HaShem,
> to which I answered look at chukim.

===> First of all, I never stated that Hashem is served *only* through
intellect.  What I *did* state is that I do not see a support for an
*anti-intellectual* approach.  Secondly, as I stated previously -- the
OVERALL context of Chukim is not irrational -- it is the specific Chok
that we do not understand -- which is NOT the same as championing

> That chassidus cannot be learned from a sefer, does not make it 'irrational'.
> Was Torah sh'baal peh 'irrational' because there was no sefer one could learn
> that would teach him what it was? In fact, every sefer that tries to give some
> idea, will always point out that one has to become part of a group around a
> Rebbe.

===> Torah She'b'al Peh was "learned" intellectually even though it was
oral.  You have, however, appeared to present a POV that specifically
"demotes" the value of intellect.

> >> >===> That misses the point.  If you are willing to accept any literature
> >> >simply because it is in a "preferred class", there is an inconsistency.
> >> The problem is that you thing 'liturature' = 'chassidus'. That just is not
> >> true.
> >===> Works by a great Talmid Chacham who appears to have had a pretty
> >strong knowledge of Chassidus (or are you going to now assert that those
> >who were not "accepted" are shown "l'mafrei'a" to have been ignorant of
> >Chassidus, as well) -- seem to be more than just "literature".  Again, you
> >appear to develop a self-serving formulation that allows you to
> >arbitrarily "classify" items without a strong basis.
> Again you seem to be arguing that any specific sefer can define what is
> chassidus. Or that by learning sefer X one can then discuss intellegant
> what Chassidus is about. Just not true.  The FACT is, that if we take R.
> Tzudok as an example, his life PROVES the error.  He was NOT born in a
> chassidic family.  What happened is that at some time in his life he needed to
> travel to Rabbanum to get a heter meah Rabbonim.  He ended up in Izbitze, and
> became a chasid.  From his life we see that one cannot be a chasid unless one
> has a Rebbe, and learns from him. Unless you go to a Rebbe and are part of the
> 'group' there are things you won't get from looking in seforim. (there are two
> Torah's in m'or v'shamash on this inyan. One in Parshas Kadoshim and the other
> in Reah.)

===> So, the next step is not only to "devalue" the person's works but to
"devalue" the PERSON since if that person does not fall into your
definition, then that person "obviously" is not "knowledgeable" in
chassidus...  Your "conclusion" is only "correct" if you first accept what
it is that you have sought to prove -- indeed, now I can see why you have
a problem with "intellectual" -- there is a certain amount of "rigor"
required -- which you can dispense with when you are not concerned with
such "minor" issues.  I do no see ANY proof that R. Tzadok was not an
"expert" in chasiddus -- only that for you to admit as much would force
you to invalidate much of what you have been asserting.

> >> I do follow the derech of my Rebbe and no other. I wil however learn
> >> seforim
> >> that I enjoy learning (in addition to those my Rebbe has told ME to learn.)
> >> Another point. A Rebbe will not instruct two people to do the exact same
> >> thing. For example, both my closest friend and I went to my Rebbe about a
> >> particular inyan in avodah. He was told to do one thing, and I was told a
> >> different thing. I am sure anyone who has been a mashpiah understands this
> >> idea.
> >===> Of course you follow a derech based upon your Rebbe's instruction.
> >But, now you raise an entirely different point.  Is it that the Rebbe
> >*instructs* his Talmidim what they should learn?  If so, that provides a
> >vastly different perspective.  In that case, the point is NOT whether a
> >particular author had a "big following" or not.  Instead, the reason that
> >a given sefer is "popular" is because the rebbe has made a "value
> >judgement" as to what is best for a given Talmid (or group of Talmidim) to
> >learn.  Given that the Rebbe is (a) a Talmid Chacham, himself, and (b)
> >attuned to the needs of his Talmidim, and (c) familiar [himself] with the
> >various different Sefarim (I hope) -- it makes a lot of sense that the
> >Rebbe would provide guidance in that manner.  And, at a LATER date, the
> >Talmid could do as you have done....  but, you do realize that this is a
> >bit different from how this got started.
> As with much of what you write it is neither wholly correct, nor totally off
> the mark. There are various factors which will effect what is learned, and
> also how much of it will be accepted BECAUSE IT APPEARS THERE. These are: 1.
> Sometimes a Rebbe will tell someone to learn specific seforim. I was told by
> my Rebbe seforim that I should learn, when I asked about it. (I was also told
> what I should not learn.) Sometimes it is known that certain seforim are
> recommended often enough that it is known that it is the Rebbe's choice. 2.

===> I fail to see what "Seforim from a Rebbe's ancestors" are
automatically considered "suitable"....

> Seforim from a Rebbe's ancestors. 3. Seforim that are in Beis Medrash. (Many
> of these are just donated, and may not all be accepted to the same degree, but
> some seforim would not even appear in the Beis Medrash for various reasons.
> For example in my shul you will not find seforim from Kotsk or Sadagura for a
> number of historical reasons that I will not discuss at this time.)

===> Well, obviously, I did not expect to see people learning from Seforim
that were NOT available in the Beis Midrash... ;-)

> >> To see chassidus as only an intellectual exercise of learning seforim, then
> >> you are wrong. It is a method of serving HaShem, with learning, and
> >> performing mitzvos. The Rebbe Reb Boruchel, the grandson of the Baal
> >> Shem Tov
> >> relates that his grandfather was asked that since he was against
> >> fasting what
> >> is the main purpose of his derech. He answered; 'Ahavos HaShem, Ahavos
> >> HaTorah, Ahavos Yisroel.' Is that so irrational?
> >===> I have never thought that chassidus is "only" an intellectual
> >exercise.  However, I have thought that a *part* of chassidus is the
> >learning of such sefarim.  As I recall, this began with a discussion about
> >hwo to understand "shirayim" and citations from various Chassidic sources.
> >To state that ONE source is not really "chassidus" is not really relevant
> >ot the remark cited above.
> What I stated is that the sefer in question is not taken as athoratative in
> that just because it appears there does not mean that it is accepted outside
> of whatever chassidim there may be (which I understand that there are no
> chassidim of that Rebbe in the world.) Let me give a clearer example. If in a
> Chabad sefer it says that method X is to be used in Avodus HaShem, that does
> not mean that it would be accepted by non-Chabad chassidim.

===> I think that it is not quite analogous.  It was pretty well known
that ChaBaD had developed a "counter-hashkafa" to what was known as
"ChaGaS" Chassidus.  However, it is not clear that R. Tzadok was
developing a variant hashkafa to the overall [non-ChaBaD] Chassidus.

> >===> In essence, though, it appears that there is nothing specific in
> >other works (at best, there are common elemements).  I thought that -- at
> That is true. But there are likewise some serious differences.
> >some level -- within chassidus, each person has to develop their own
> >"avodas hashem" (unless you subscribe to the concept that a person rises
> I do not know what you mean by 'develop your own avodus hashem.'
> >dispute, I believe).  Seems to me that if the goal is an individulalized
> >Avodas Hashem, one just might find some "element" in those other works and
> >not just "common stuff"....
> OK Here is your error. While each person has in essense his own avodus hashem,
> but it's source is from the Rebbe's instruction. He is the guide.

===> No. I stated earlier that it was clear that the Rebbe would shape the
Avodas HAshem of the Talmid (the only caveat that I expressed was the hope
that the *Rebbe* was at least familiar with the other works of Chassidus
before advising a Talmid one way or the other).

> >> >===> In the case of Haskafa: yes.  And, to so assert that it "just is"
> >> >seems to represent intellectual laziness...
> >> You do not believe that there is anything in Judaism that is true and we must
> >> believe that you cannot intellectually understand?
> >===> that is not what I said.  In matters of overall HASHKAFA, I think
> >that it is not such a good idea to assert that matters are "just so" since
> >that can end up being nothing more than intellectual sloth.  Of course,
> >there are areas of Yahadus that are "incomprehensible".
> I would contend that an insistance on alway shaving to 'know' brings two
> serious problems: 1. Gava -  the belief that one knows more then is possible.
> 2. apikorsus -  one assumes that the reason one has is in fact the correct
> one, and rejects it. With regards to this the Baal Shem Tov was quite clear
> and stated: noch alla madregos ich varf es avek en ich bin a nar en ich gleib.

===> I do not assert "having" to know -- I assert a rigorous framework
which will discourage the intellectual sloth (and dishonesty) that appears
to follow when there is no intellectual rigor asserted.  It is certainly
possible *within the framework of intellectual rigor* to retain humility
-- whcih would address both issues raised above.

> >> >> just like looking at the instruments of an orchestra. There is more
> >> >> to music
> >> >> then just instruments.
> >> >===> Certainly -- but we also find that there are those who are skilled
> >> >with MULTIPLE instruments when making music....
> >> But there are very few, and even less who can play two intruments at once.
> >===> Not at once -- but be aware and understanding of both....
> And avoid confusion? Not so easy. 

===> Depends upon one's willingness to "practice"....


> - -- 
> Moshe Shulman mshulman@ix.netcom.com    718-436-7705

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Date: Sun, 10 Jan 1999 19:16:38 EST
From: Yzkd@aol.com
Re: Avodah V2 #112

In a message dated 1/6/99 10:05:45 PM EST, weissz@IDT.NET writes:

> ==> I reviewed the Gemora in Baba Basra and it does not appear to support
> your approach.  First of all, there are different opinions as to the exact
> p'shat of the verse.

And see Mforshei Hakosuv in Mishlei.

>  Secondly, it appears that the Gemora is explaining
> that the *empirical behavior* of the Nochri giving Tzedaka is what is
> objectionable -- not the act of Tzedaka, per se.

The Gemoro says that since they regret when their wish is not filled it is a
sin, so while the receiver may benefit they did not give Tzedakah see also
Avodah Zorah 2b.

>  Finally, at the end of the  sugya, the gemara quotes that the giving of
Tzedaka is > actually the source  of *forgiveness* for the Nochri.

As there are 2 Teitchen in the Possuk, see Even Ezroh.

>  In addition, the matter of Korbonos was
> cited in connection with "municipal" Korbonos -- i.e, that were
> contributed to be offered on behalf of the government -- it does not
> appear to preclude the Nochri who wishes to be Nodaiv a Korban --
> sometihng that the Torah apparently explicitly permits.

The Torah does not make distinction between the two.

> ===> And loshon Hagemora seems to support the final conclusion that
>  Tzedaka is actually a Kappora for the Non-Jew and when the Gemora
>  discusses the propriety of accepting a "gift" right after from a Nochris,
>  it does not cite this pasuk at all.  And, as I originally posted, it
>  strongly appears that the Netziv would not support your approach since he
>  is quite clear that ALL are expected to perform acts of chesed.
As mentioned before there are different shitos in this, however Tikunei Zohar
(Tikun 6) and Arizal are the source for the Tanya's interpertation.

Why it is no Stiroh to need of Chesed and especially Lshitas HoRaN that they
are obligated in Tzedakah, is dealt in a few letters of the L. Rebbe the
Nekudoh is that anything that exists has in it a spark of G-dliness, even if
it is never revealed.

Kol Tuv

Yitzchok Zirkind

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