Thursday, January 19, 2012

Identity: A Year Later


Answering the question I posed a year ago, I would now say,

"I am not a chassid, but my Rebbe says that I am. That said, my Rebbe also says that he is not a chassid."

7 Comments:

At January 19, 2012 at 12:16:00 PM EST, Anonymous Eiver LaNahar said...

That must mean you both are!

In the true sense.

 
At January 19, 2012 at 12:22:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe one or both of you might be a tzaddik.

 
At January 23, 2012 at 11:13:00 AM EST, Blogger Neil Harris said...

Probably a very honest answer.

 
At January 23, 2012 at 1:29:00 PM EST, Anonymous Mochin Rechavim said...

We follow quite a similar yet different path. A little over a year ago I was coming back to Lubavitch. It was very painful and difficult to find my identity.

I grappled with the "chasid" syndrome for awhile. Learning more and more Chassidus. Watching myself grow and seeing others around me not doing what the Lubavitcher Rebbe asked of his chassidim and it effected me to my core. I could not understand how someone with a beard and chassidic garb could go against the advice, requests, and demands of their Rebbe.

Then at a farbrengen on Yud Tes Kislev I received my answer.

A Tel Aviv University professor said to the Rebbe in yechidus,"I dont dress like a chasid and I dont do all that the chassidim do, but I want to be your Chasid. How can I accomplish this?"

The Rebbe said to him,"Do more today than you did yesterday and you will be a Chasid."

If you dont do more today? If you can still be b'simcha right after you fall short then you are indeed a Chasid.

The words of a Tzaddik, a Rebbe are cryptic and when your Rebbe says he is not a chasid it is on an entirely different level then when you say it, if I may be so bold.

A chasid needs Daas. Daas gives you confidence to know where you stand and where you must go spiritually.

Who is a Chasid? One who goes above the letter of the law? One who burns his nails?

A Chasid is one who has hiskashrus to his Rebbe.

You are a chasid, and so am I.

-Long Beach Chasid

 
At January 23, 2012 at 3:16:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Mochin Rechavim: It is great to hear from you again, LBC! Thank you so much for your comment. It really meant a lot to me.

 
At January 24, 2012 at 3:05:00 PM EST, Blogger Alice said...

I am not, but I'm pretty sure you are. : )

 
At February 2, 2012 at 4:37:00 AM EST, Blogger Yitz Jacob said...

I once mentioned to a really special tzaddik here in Israel that I wanted to learn l'shmah.. he said to me, "of course you're learning l'shmah" and it made me realize a whole different perspective along the lines of Rebbe Nachman's story the Sophisticate and the Simpleton.

Don't over-complicate your life. If simply, you are learning Torah because you want to learn Torah, it's l'shmah -- there's no benefit to trying to find the nuance in the exact definition of l'shmah -- that's not being simple.

If you want to be a chossid, and your actions revolve around that goal. you're a chossid. Yeah, you could play a lot of intellectual games about what exactly a 'Chossid' means.. but your dancing around the ikar, the simple heart of the matter.

but, a better question: does the title "chossid" change anything?

You're still *you* either way. Just keep trying to be the best you.

(Like Reb Zusha said, I'm worried about whether or not I was a good Zusha.)

 

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