Friday, November 5, 2010

Why is it that Many Good (but Chitzonius'dik) Yiddin Can't be Sovel Pnimius'dik Yidden in their Midst?


RAM said...

Is the underlying assumption of the question even true?

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

The short answer is "Yes."

(Although obviously not all of them)

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

One need look no further than what happened to the Chassidim during the first 3 generations of the movement and what happened to Rebbe Nachman and Reb Nosson at the hands of the other groups of Chassidim. The pattern continues even today.

yamamah said...

Plain and simple fear.

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

Although one needs to clarify what the subject of the fear is...

I also think an underlying motivator is jealousy.

yamamah said...

Fear of the unknown, of maybe there is something there but if I found out I may need to do something about it.

Shmuel said...

Discomfort, envy, and defensiveness.

yehudis golshevsky said...

I don't like the question. Let's invert it. Why do I, a self-styled "pnimiyusdik'e Yid," find it so easy to judge my brothers and sisters as being "chitzoniyusdik?" Where does my insufferable arrogance stem from? I'm speaking of myself, here, of course. Not about the person who posed the question.
What do you think?

yehudis g said...

p.s. The opposition against Chassidus and Rebbe Nachman in particular was rooted in things that had nothing to do with chitzoni/pnimi. Even Rabbeinu said that all of the tzaddikim who came out against him were l'shem shomayim except for one in particular.

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

Thank you for the honest reply. With Breslov, I was thinking of the particular opposition to Rebbe Noson by one Rebba who, at least the book indicates, was bothered mostly by the fact that people came to Rebbe Nosson and Breslov with problems and guidance in avodas Hashem, while people only came to him about gashmius problems.

You're right that I/we should be dan l'chaf zechus people who show opposition to their brethren who're searching for something deeper.

The truth is I know the answer. It's the sitra achra and the yetzer hara. It can be sovel form without substance and mitzvas anashim melumada, but it can't be sovel "real" Yiddishkeit, so it tries to convince people that there's something "wrong" with those who are seeking that which is real.

Which itself is a chaf zechus to those people since really it's just giving into their yetzer hara. I don't have that *particular* yetzer hara as much, but I certainly have it in other things. So l'ma'aseh, whether it's this inyan or that inyan, I"m certainly no better. This is certainly true.

But at the same time, my question comes from being bothered about one particular inyan going on now that harkens back to the behavior displayed by otherwise good and great people at the beginning of Chassidus, at the beginning of Breslov, and also the beginning of Peshischa.

yehudis golshevsky said...

It sounds like you're reading Through Fire and Water--what a powerful book. Yes, in the case of the Savraner there was jealousy. But I objected strongly to the phrasing of the question because al pi Chassidus, usually if people can't stand me, it's because there's something pretty insufferable about me!
With Reb Nosson, I don't believe that it was so, but I think that in his case (and Rabbeinu's) the human agents of opposition were playing out the heavenly opposition to bringing the great light of Breslov to the world. So the heavenly opposition was enclothed in jealousy, or in Rebbe Nachman's case in territoriality, but the real causes were transpersonal.
In contrast to this, I would accuse myself of gross arrogance if I believed that it was someone else's "chitzoniyus orientation" that made them dislike me. I always assume, instead, that I'm doing something wrong. Because a person who really generates light tends to make other people love them, not the reverse.

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

Oh, it sounds like I need to clarify. I was not asking the question because of something that's happening with me personally.

B"H, KA"H, I have no such problems. Maybe because I"m not as penimiusdik as I should be to begin with.

No, I'm referring to something that's happening to someone else.

Tzafnas Paneach said...

Sometimes it is actually the pnimiusdik people are actually chitzoniousdik people...

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

This is true.

machinegunfodder said...

kol hanegaim adam roeh chutz, menigas atzmo

nosson said...

from Nosson Rossman:

In the Simcha Raz biography on Rav Kook, Rabbi Aryeh Levin zt"l is quoted as saying (more or less, me paraphrasing) " There are tzaddikim who are so great that the influence they can have is so awsome that the sitra achra has to fight them by making other good people (other talmidei chachamim) oppose them in order to minimize their influence. This is what happened to the Rambam in his time, this is what happened to the Ramchal in his time and this is what is ahppening to Rav Kook in our time." I think the same thing can be said about Rebbe Nachman and the Lubavithcer Rebbe zt"l. It's all the sitra acher delaying the light of moshiach. Basically, like Dixie Yid said.

Bob Miller said...

It's hard enough to know what's really in our own hearts, much less other people's. Many Tzaddikim made a point of concealing their true inner selves from the public.

Nathan said...

machinegunfodder said...

kol hanegaim adam roeh chutz, menigas atzmo

This teaching from the Baal Shem Tov is based on a Chazal that says 'Ein adom posul ela mimumo' This applies when the person in question responds in an emotionally reactive manner, to the experience. (the reaction is caused by the person's inner identification with the event itself, thus revealing a hidden projection).

But to notice objectionable behavior, which is either halachickly or morally questionable, then this principle of Chazal would not apply. (Example, if I see someone stealing from a shop, and then give evidence that the ganav stole, this doesn't mean that I am somehow lacking in honesty due to the witnessing of the genaiva.) The Torah itself tells us quite clearly, not to hide our eyes from injustice. Or see Tomer Devora 2nd Perek, (middas Keser in the eyes)as an illustration of this.

In this case, it is the expressed intolerance and at times denigration by some people towards others who happen to be driven by their enthusiasm and yearning for penimius.

I think Dixie Yid's question was addressed by the Baal Shem Tov himself.

Please see Sefer Baal Shem Tov, Parshas Balak towards the beginning. (I'm not at home, so I can't give the exact siman inside, but if my memory is right, it should be at the beginning of the Parsha)

The explanation given pertains to 3 seemingly different issues, of which the Baal Shem, says are actually intimately connected.

Why does Klal Yisroel suffer so much in golus? Why do so many secular Jews have so much animosity towards Torah Jews, especially their leaders. The third question, why are some Torah leaders so adverse towards other Torah leaders that devote themselves to 'penimius'of the Torah? Which I believe is perhaps the question raised here by Dixie Yid. The answer to this third question, resolves the other two questions, in terms of direct cause and effect, or if you like a ripple affect.

The answer is somewhat cryptic, but I think never the less understandable. The Baal Shem uses the term 'Sheidim Yuhodin' I would translate this term as 'Jewish demons'. That the adversarial Torah leaders become possessed by these entities. My definition of this would be, in simple terms, self righteousness. Similar to what Nosson in the post above mentioned in the name of R Arye Levine, there is type of 'possession' that affects someone who is not sufficiently grounded in penimius. This lends itself to being vulnerable to 'infection' of the self righteous 'virus' or 'Sheidim Yuhodin'. This 'virus' has one criteria. How much 'yeshus' does he/she have. The more'yeshus' the more one is vulnerable. When a Torah leader holds a position of authority,it is incumbent upon them not to fall prey to this weakness.

R Chaim Volozhin comments regarding the seeming enigma of Chazal's statement 'Sonei es ha Rabbonis'.
R Chaim says, there would be no Torah leaders if they hated their job. Rather he explains that the work of a Rabbi (learning Torah and solving the mysteries of the Shailos etc etc) are the pleasure a Rav should and can experience. But the intoxicating nature of power and status that is also part of Rabbonis, he should hate.

I hope this helps clarify somewhat this question.

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...


Thank you. I very much appreciate those Torahs from the Sefer Baal Shem Tov & Rav Chaim Voloziner. I have also seen "sheidin misheidin yehudo'in" in other seforim to refer to particularly "Jewish" yetzer haras. I really hear the explanations you said for this exact situation from the BeShT. Yasher koach!

Two things with regard to what you said to machinegunfodder though.

One is that I'm only 80% sure he was talking about me. He could also have meant to explain the underlying reasons for "chitzoniusdik" Yiddin's attacks on "penimiusdik" Yiddin.

The second point is that I'm not sure you're right that what the Baal Shem Tov said was only in cases where one has a strong emotional or angry reaction at the other person's aveira. What is the basis for this ukimta? I was always taught that the BeShT said hashgacha arranges it one will only see *any* aveira if he is guilty of the same type of thing, at least on some level.

And I don't think whether one seeks justice or tries to help a victim out has anything to do with it. Where that is appropriate, one should do it. But that doesn't negate the fact that if someone sees the aveira, that hashgacha arranged that because he is indeed guilty of the same thing on some level and should take mussar from it and not judge the other person.

This approach does not imply condoning what the other person did. Sometimes we have to point out bad things out there in order to play some role in making them right. But that doesn't mean we should not also be internally aware of our own faults in that area as well.

The fact that I saw or heard about superficial good Jews treating deeper Jews very badly means that I am guilty of the same thing on some level.

But that doesn't mean that we always be silent when people do bad things.

Anonymous said...

You also mentioned:

(The second point is that I'm not sure you're right that what the Baal Shem Tov said was only in cases where one has a strong emotional or angry reaction at the other person's aveira. What is the basis for this ukimta?)

I’m not sure myself whether I’m right. But on the other hand, I don’t think this is a right or wrong answer. I would simply say this it is a ‘Libi Amar Li’ sort of ‘ukimta’. Let me try to explain. Again, sorry if I am saying things you already know.

The BeSHT taught in several places (see sources quoted above) the concept of ‘Shivas YeMei HaBinyan’. This means that the primary place of tikkun takes place in the Middos.. That the Middos give form to emotions we feel and experience in this world.. Or in other words the Middos (emotions) are the substrate of our behaviours and thought patterns.. This place is also known as Zeir Anpin. Which is the same place we are refering to as the Middos in the Sefiros, such as Chesed, Tiferes, Gevurah, etc. The BeSHT explains that each of these middos (emotions) has it own Klippa that hides its full radiance. The job of Tikkun HaMiddos is essentially the removal of these layers of Klippos, to liberate the Nitzoitsos (divine sparks).

If the Sheva Yimei Habinyon is the primary place for Tikkun, as taught by the BeSHT, then our experiences must reflect this dynamic. Zeir Anpin is distilled from the Moichin (Brains) above it.
The Middos are the expression of the Moichin (our thoughts). We can only relate to the Moichin from the perspective of balance, via the Middos. Or as the Zohar states, the Machshava (thought) gives rise to Kol (voice) which is Zeir Anpin which then gives rise to the Dibur (voice) which is Malchus.

So when a person is triggered emotionally, (as I was with this post) this is Zeir Anpin or the Middos or the voice, be it Chesed, Gevurah, etc etc, calling out to the person for attention about something resonating within that person's being, which was brought about by a person or event that triggered (either inwardly or outwardly) them. The emotion is not limited to anger (which stems from 'Gevurah') It can be emotions such as 'taava' desire(Chesed)or 'kavod'(Tefires)or 'kina' (Netzach/Hod) etc etc. These are all examples of the klippos that inhabit these parts of us. So the point is that the experience one has, at the point of causation, emanates from somewhere in Zeir Anpin. These experiences min Hashamayim that come to us,in order to integrate. This is in short,how I can explain the basis for my 'ukimpta'.

A third post will hopefully follow soon.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dixie Yid

Sorry for the confusion, I'm not too good with these internet stuff.

So it seems the second post was put up already. So here is the first that didn't make it yet. The third part will hopefully follow suit.

Here are my thoughts to your questions raised:

You mentioned:

(One is that I'm only 80% sure he was talking about me. He could also have meant to explain the underlying reasons for "chitzoniusdik" Yiddin's attacks on "penimiusdik" Yiddin.)

Yes, I agree and can see where you’re coming from.. Now in hindsight, there was indeed probably around 20% doubt in the back of my mind as to his (machinegun) true intentions. (i.e.-whether the statement was focused on you personally or the question itself.

I would apply the BeSHT’s statement to this case.

20% doubt was not adequately thought through enough by me at the time of reading the post. I therefore, developed a blind spot. This blind spot let me jump to a conclusion that I could not say for sure was true. This relates to ‘Don Lekuf Schus leKol Adom’ or as the Mishna in Avos states, ‘Havei Mesunim BaDin’. The more deliberate in judgement, the less blind one becomes. Next step, tie this in with the emotional element. The more deliberate in judgement, the less reactionary one becomes.

So my ‘reaction’ to the post, which was predicated on defending somebody (yourself) from being prematurely judged, was in fact something that I was (unknowingly at the time), directly projecting outwards through my own response.
This was the same blemish or ‘nega’ to use the words of the BeSHT, which I was seeing in the other person!.

Hat Tip for your gentle Tochocha and also to machine gunner for bringing this to my attention, to be able to internalise.

Now to address your further questions, I would preface with the following:

Any ‘nega’ witnessed by a person is axiomatically a surfacing of a strong emotion. Whether the person notices the arising emotion, depends on the person’s ability to see beneath the external appearance of the event witnessed. Or to use the words of the BeSHT to ‘lehafshit atzmoi mezois hagashmius’. (please see, Parshas Bereishis-36 to 39 for starters) Sorry, if you are already familiar with these sources.

I will send a continued post shortly.

Anonymous said...

And finally the third part

You mentioned:

( I was always taught that the BeShT said hashgacha arranges it one will only see *any* aveira if he is guilty of the same type of thing, at least on some level.)

I agree, of course everything has personal meaning. That is part of the definition of Hashgocha Pratis as opposed to Hashgocha Klallis.. But if one cannot identify with the blemish or aveira on the level of Nefesh or Chush (experience/sensorial-Malchus), then one has no ‘LeMaasa’ practical way of achieving the Mituk HaDin.. It remains in the Moichin, but without a body to flow within. This relates also to the principle of ‘Du Partzufim’. So there is technically a disjunct, between the inner world (Zeir Anpin) and the external world of the phenominological (Malchus). So you must have some sort of experience/chush (that is not only moral/existential) to work with in order to rectify the ‘nega’. Having a theoretical insight alone, of what needs changing, or mussar will ‘beshorosh’ at the causal roots of the aveira not be affected. It will remain 'chitzonyiusdik'. The problem will remain embedded in the Nefesh, only to reappear in another guise through Hashgocho Pratis at some other time. The Klippos will remain stuck. This is the distinction between ‘stam Emuna’ (where one believes that all things happen to one for a reason) and ‘Emunas Chush’ (where one knows or experiences mamash this essential truth.) This after all (according to R Itamar Shwartz) was the approach of the BeSHT, to approach the 'Penimius' of the Torah through the level of ‘Nefesh’ as opposed to ‘Makom’ and ‘Zman’ which was the more prevalent derech..

So now down to tachlis. If one believes on some level, that they are guilty on some level of the ‘same thing’ as what they observed, how will they practically approach this from the perspective of Tikkun HaMiddos? Is the belief that one is somehow guilty, in itself the ‘Tikkun’? Or perhaps is it that extra bit of humility that comes with the sincere 'hodaa' acknowledgement that I am not perfect, that affects the Tikkun? Or is there something more as well?

Just food for thought. If there is something that I didn't address clearly please let me know.

chenyok said...

I think you would be well-advised not to "start" with the tzaddikim who opposed the Breslover.

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...


I've been keeping your comments in my inbox hoping for an opportunity to respond. Things have been very busy. I will try to read this more deeply soon. Thank you so much for commenting with so much thought and feeling.