I Want To Be A Rebbe

Hat tip Hirhurim:

Chakira writes: "For many people in the Hassidic world, the excesses and people magazine style lives of Rebbes seem corrupt, meaningless, venal and lacking in spiritual content. Indeed, many of my Hungarian friends began life with a cynicism of Rebbes cultivated by Der Yoelish and now continue to spew their antipathy on any einikel they can find. One prominent Rov of Satmar extraction has written a serious sefer against rebbes and their followers. Others are just completely cynical; not returning to Derech HaChasam Sofer like that Rov, but rather insulting even their own Rebbes. This latter group seems to be where the person who made this video comes from."

Binyomin Eckstein writes:

I’m trying to think what the Chofetz Chaim would say about the video. I don’t think it would be "we have to know how to laugh at ourselves or we have big problems."

I am literally nauseated by the video.

To quote from "Journey to Virtue", page 141:
"One common manifestation of this category of leitzanus is unfortunately so widespread and deeply entrenched as to require special attention. It has become routine for members of one group to make fun or belittle the practices and custons of other groups, e.g. Chassidim and Misnagdim; Ashkenazim and Sephardim… and followers of various rebbes tzaddikim and gedolim. This practice is strictly forbidden. The customs of these groups were generally instituted by great tzaddikim for profound reasons far beyond the understanding of those who deride them."

Shmuel writes: The point is not to be mevaze Talmidei Chachomim or Torah but to shine a bright light on the rebbe-centric and gashmius adoration which has krept into Yiddishkeit. Rather than being focused on Torah, chassidim seem too focused on the individual rebbes and the "malchus" aspect of their leaders.
This is what the Gra and the misnagdim found objectionable about Chassidus 200 years ago.
This threatens to enter the yeshivishe velt too unless we are attuned to it and conciously work to avoid the cult of the person and worship of materialism.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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