Thursday, December 21, 2006

"I Dread To Say It"

(Picture by Angela Craggs)

Smashed Hat commenting on "What Is Chassidus?":

The Lubavitcher Rebbe zatzal in "The Essence of Chassidus," writes that Toras HaBaal Shem Tov is actually a revelation of the pnimiyus, or innermost essence of being. Thus, it applies to both the "great and small," learned and unlearned.

As far as the specific practices emphasized by the Baal Shem Tov go, each group seems to have at least some of them: outreach, chesed, neginah, brotherhood, hisrachakus from secularism and chokhmos chitzoniyos, and even mystical contemplation (although this has, alas, fallen by the wayside in many groups with the exceptions of Breslov and maybe Toldos Aharon).

I am amazed that this question is so perplexing to most Jews today. Maybe -- and I dread to say it -- this is because Chassidus / Toras HaBaal Shem Tov has actually been played out. We are now in the very painful zone of uncertainty, waiting for the next gilui: when the one who answered the Baal Shem Tov's question "eimasai kaasi mar?" brings us all to the next level, b'rachamim!


At December 21, 2006 at 8:33:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At December 21, 2006 at 8:35:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Smashed Hat: What leads you to believe that it actually has been played out?

At December 21, 2006 at 3:39:00 PM EST, Anonymous moshe said...

I was always wondering: will moshiach be chassidish?

At December 21, 2006 at 7:45:00 PM EST, Anonymous Space Cadet said...

Let me volunteer an opinion, and we'll see if Smashed Hat agrees:

1. Too much outer form, not enough inner light;

2. Creativity has petered out;

3. Conservative tendencies succeeded in keeping the movement "in line," but soon neutralized the dynamic individualistic spirit -- for better or worse.

Rabbi Nachman saw that this was already happening in HIS day, and said that when the Baal Shem Tov passed away, he removed his light, as well. However, he went on to say, his task would be to leave behind a light that would flicker until the Moshiach: "Mien fierl vet tluyen biz Moshiach vet kumen!"

At least we can see that it is still flickering...

Happy Chanukah!

(What do you say to that, O Hat-Smashed Chassidic Brother?)

At December 21, 2006 at 7:57:00 PM EST, Anonymous Smashed Hat said...

A tip of the cyber-hat to you, Space Cadet!

But I thought you were contemplating the Ein Sof somewhere north of Walden Pond.

For a person like you this could be a she'eiloh of bittul Torah!

At December 21, 2006 at 7:58:00 PM EST, Anonymous Space Cadet said...

"Bitulo shel Torah, zeh kiyumo!"


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