Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Guest Posting From Chabakuk Elisha: His Grandmother's Cow

(Painting by Victor Brindatch)

A chossid once happened to be at the home of a certain Jew who was critical of Chassidus. This Jew criticized the concept of Rebbes, stating that these men were frauds and charlatans who, out of there desire for money & power, took advantage of simple minded Jews and manipulated them into giving them their money, thus getting rich at the expense of these unfortunate souls.

The chossid replied that this Jew reminded him of his grandmother's cow. This cow was a good cow for a number of years, it was friendly, gave them milk, was agreeable, and devoted.

But the cow thought it was unfair that it had to remain in the stable instead of in the home, and that it only got water to drink and straw to eat -- while the owners ate real food in comfort. The consolation for this cow was that every week when the owner's wife cooked for Shabbos she would dump all the leftovers in the trough, which the cow ate with passion. At least the cow would get these delicious morsels of food.

Now, it once happened that Yom-Tov followed Shabbos and the rebbetzin, busy with the Yom Tov preparations, dumped-out the leftovers, instead of pouring them into the trough.

At this point the cow was waiting for the usual delicacies, and instead, only water was brought out for it. This was very disturbing, and the cow started to think... It must be that the people were becoming greedier, and had decided to eat the leftovers themselves! All the leftover scraps, cold soup, bits and pieces and burnt crusts were surely being kept and eaten by the greedy people and not even this would be shared with the cow!

Needless to say, the cow became furious; it started braking things, stopped giving milk and became downright useless to the point that they had to rid of it.

So too, said the chossid, there are people who think like this cow. They think that theirs is the only reality, and like the cow, they can't imagine that their perspective might be incomplete. Thus, the cow couldn't imagine that its delicacies could be someone else's garbage.

The Jew in the story couldn't imagine that others do not share his greed for wealth as the most valuable material in existence.

Similarly, in many, many, areas, people cannot get past their own way of thinking to understand that there may be something higher…


At August 22, 2006 at 3:51:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the record:

It’s an old and oft-repeated story. I heard this version form R’ Y.Y. Jacobson a number of years ago.

I was going to post it in response to a question about going to Uman for Rosh HaShana…

At August 22, 2006 at 8:15:00 PM EDT, Blogger FrumWithQuestions said...

Its a good story and unfortunatly can be related to many of the Jews who are still against Chassidim today.

At August 23, 2006 at 2:06:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In fairness, not everyone criticizes based on his own flaw. If we take that tack, we will never admit that honest criticism exists, so we'll lose the chance to take it to heart.

And members of all Jewish communities are wrong at times.

At August 23, 2006 at 2:59:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We don't necessarily disagree. My point is applicable specifically to cases that fit the criteria… Is there case you have in mind?

At August 23, 2006 at 3:40:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't automatically impute wrong motives to Misnagdim. Whenever I hear certain people start to speak of "Litvaks', I know lashon hara will follow.

At August 23, 2006 at 4:19:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did I mention either Misnagdim or Litvaks anyway?

At August 23, 2006 at 5:09:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

> Whenever I hear certain people start to speak of "Litvaks',
> I know lashon hara will follow.

That's because people don't always learn on their mistakes. Some chasidim (like Kalisker for example) were very fiery towards misnagdim and "loymdim", and were scorning their attitude of gaiva and learning sheloy lishmo. However some other tzadikim advised not to be so aggressive towards that, even though it is BAD. The fact that litvishe system is even today built in such way, that it nurtures these attitudes is impossible to deny, and it is not a loshn horo, but a mere observation which anyone can notice.

The medicine for it was given long ago by Baal Shem Tov. But not everyone is willing to use it.

At August 24, 2006 at 8:43:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Yid raised these issues:
"their attitude of gaiva and learning sheloy lishmo"
"The fact that litvishe system is even today built in such way, that it nurtures these attitudes is impossible to deny."

I will now do the "impossible"; I deny.
The Litvishe and Chassidishe "systems" have both been on balance a force for good, and still are today, and I and many others recognize that.

At August 24, 2006 at 10:58:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

> I deny.
I see no point arguing. If you don't see it yourself - you'll deny it no matter what. As I said - the medicine was given long ago, but many denied it and aren't willing to use it. No offence.

At August 24, 2006 at 11:12:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of my older freinds once asked Reb Gedalya Kenig ztz"l, why such a terrible churbon happened in Europe, so mayn Yiddn killed. Didn't tzadikim say, that they revealed huge tikunim that can bring all possible good? So what happened?

Reb Gedalya answered paitently as usual and said, that yes, tzadikim reveal those tikunim. The Rash"bi, the Ari za"l, the Baal Shem Tov, the Rebbe they all did these tikunim, and made them available to the worlds. But our work is to use them! (i.e. not to push them to dusty shelves!). He said - the medicine was given long ago, and wee need it all (from all those tzadikim). But not everyone was willing to us it...


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