Friday, July 28, 2006

Jewish, Spiritual and Beautiful

Received in an e-mail from Yaacov Dovid Shulman:

"I am emailing you to announce that on my new website, visitors can download entire books of teachings by Rav Kook, R. Nachman of Breslov, and the Piaseszner Rebbe, as well as Hasidic stories and original poetry."

9 Comments:

At July 28, 2006 at 7:53:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Bob Miller said...

Thank you!

 
At July 28, 2006 at 12:10:00 PM EDT, Anonymous A Yid said...

I found there (concerining a translation of "Bney Machshovo Toyvo"):

> Translator's note: In keeping with the
> usage of the original, the generic
> pronoun "he" has been employed and not
> replaced with such formulations as "he
> or she". This doesn't, of course,
> detract from the relevance of this work
> for women

Something is wrong here. While there are definitely many good point there for women as well, there are also parts that are hardly relevant for average woman. (Where he speaks about advanced methods of hisboydedus). I wouldn't jump to conclusions, that the author meant women there! He intended this seyfer only for his talmidim! And it was published with some reluctance by Pyasetcner chasidim much later. I think one should be more careful about it.

 
At July 30, 2006 at 4:54:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Neshama said...

Ques. What is Hisbodedus?

Is it devekut? Is it a connecting to Hashem? If so, a simple woman can connect more directly and quicker than a man even while she is doing the dishes. This involves her aspect of bina and how to zero in on her object of intention, which could be even if she were praying (with soap on her hands), fervently from her heart.

This does not interpret to a value judgment.
Men and women are built differently (as Midrash Raba on Bereshit discusses) and therefore express themselves differently, using the same word but meaning very different things.

Men need to focus and to concentrate to reach inside their neshomas and bring out those certain thoughts and feelings. Rebbe Nachman provided the vehicle in so many ways for certain men to achieve this. I believe one of the methods is Hisbodedus.

Any comments?

 
At July 30, 2006 at 9:50:00 PM EDT, Anonymous A Yid said...

There is some confusion here.

Dveykus is a state or condition of attachement to Hashem. Hisboydedus is rather a practice, or process (which should lead to dveykus).

 
At August 1, 2006 at 1:18:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Yaacov Dovid Shulman said...

Response to comments of "a yid."

Thank you for your comments.

The intro only said that this does not detract from the relevance of this sefer to women--it didn't go into any details or say that men and women are equal or unequal.

Secondly, although Bnei Machshavah Tovah was written for a small elite group, about a decade later the Piaseszner Rebbe wrote a longer work, Hakhsharat Ha'avreikhim, which incorporates much of Bnei Machshavah Tovah, and which was meant for a broader distribution. (Otherwise, Bnei Machshavah Tovah is as inappropriate for an "average man" as it is for an "average woman.")

 
At August 1, 2006 at 1:47:00 PM EDT, Anonymous A Yid said...

Yaacov Dovid Shulman: So why do you need this intro at all then?

Bnei Machshovo Toyvo contains some examples of techniques, which are not present in Hechshoras haAvreychim. For example a place where Pyasetchner Rebe ztz"l refers to the Rayve"d to allow visualisation of the King and his servants.

(Accidentally or not, it bears strong resemblance of what is brought in R' Avrohom Abulafia and his school, and this connection can be interesting to research).

 
At August 1, 2006 at 1:58:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Yaacov Dovid Shulman said...

I see we are conversing in almost real-time.

The answer as to why I wrote that short explanation is that I wanted the translation to be faithful to the original--to put in "he or her" would have been dishonest (not to mention unaesthetic). At the same time, since nowadays many women find the lack of such terminology insulting, I felt comment was necessary.

I cannot guess what the Piaseszner rebbe's attitude would be to women of today studying his work. I will note, however, that in his Hakhsharat Ha'avreikhim he mentions his wife's opinion (on hashgachah, I believe) in a footnote.

Your point on visualization is well-taken. In fact, that passage is so controversial that it was left out of the "Conscious Community" version.

 
At August 1, 2006 at 2:47:00 PM EDT, Anonymous A Yid said...

> since nowadays many women find the lack of such terminology insulting,
> I felt comment was necessary

Only those strongly affected by American society, and ideas of "politically correct" and "emancipation", which usually don't bother regular Jewish women too much. I even saw somewhere a critique of being over conserned with such issues when writing texts. But of course, if you think you address that work to such kind of people, you may find it beneficial.

 
At August 1, 2006 at 2:54:00 PM EDT, Anonymous A Yid said...

> that passage is so controversial that
> it was left out of the "Conscious
> Community" version.

May be it is controversial, but the fact that Pyasetchner Rebbe ztz”l brings it, is most notable. It would be interesting to find out, if similar methods have any place in practices of hisboydedus of talmidey Baal Shem Tov, or it is Pyasetchner Rebbe’s innovation (which is really not new, but is discussed in rishoynim).

 

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