Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Should One Wear His Gartle on the Inside or the Outside?

Baruch Hashem, R' Boruch Leff, a mechanech in Baltimore and writer for Yated,, and other publications has given me permission to post a series of pieces which quote my rebbe, Rav Moshe Weinberger, from his book Are You Growing?, which is available on Aish's website at a 40% discount here. He asked me to point out that these pieces were not written by Rav Weinberger himself, but represent R' Leff's understanding of things Rav Weinberger said in various shiurim. Enjoy!
Someone oncecame to Rav Moshe Weinberger (of Woodmere), shlita,and told him that his resolution for the year was to start wearing a gartel for davening. Rav Weinberger asked the man, “Why do you think youshould wear a gartel?” The manreplied, “Rebbe, you wear a gartel andI figured that I would begin to respect prayer more if I also wore a gartel.”

RavWeinberger responded, “Whether or not you should wear a gartel is its own subject. But don’t think you are doing teshuva just because you have decided tostart wearing a gartel. Repentancemust begin from within, not from without. If you want to work on bettering yourdavening, work on the root, the pnim, the inner self, the inner reasonwhy you don’t daven as you shouldnow. Merely putting on a gartel has nothing to do with a true path of teshuva.”
Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.


Anonymous said...

doesn't this man's repentance
"begin from within", in his wish to better "respect prayer"?

what of the sefer hachinuch's
general contention that the heart
is drawn after actions (in this
case, adding a gartel)?

thank you

צדקת עזריאל said...

Rebbe said a similar story when he spoke at YU this Elul ( - at around 19:45).

I think the message of that story was people sometimes dont recognize the parts of their lives that need to be divided by a gartel (what the gartel represents).

redsneakz said...

Anonymous: There's no real contradiction. Perhaps what Rav Weinberger said what this particular man needed to hear about his particular situation.

Anonymous said...

It's Boruch Leff here.

I believe the following answers the above issues:

In this shiur, Rav Weinberger explained that we may have all of the right external things in Yiddishkeit. We have our yeshivos, our Bais Yaakovs, our shuls, our mikva'os, our Daf Yomi shiurim, our Batei Midrash, our knee-highs and our jackets, hats, and yes, our gartels. But why do we have all of these things? What is their purpose? What is their tachlis?

Their purpose is to make us proper keilim, vessels, for the kedusha of hashro'as haShechina, the Divine Presence. But if the central work is missing, if the main avodas Hashem of pnimiyus, of genuine real growth, is lacking, if a true presence of Hashem is absent from our lives, then all the wonderful externals don’t accomplish much.

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” -Stephen Covey

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

See also Rebbe's classic "Lost Horse" story, which I wrote up here: A must read/see/hear. A video of Rebbe telling the story is also in that post.

Anonymous said...

though none address directly the
questions put, Anonymous prefers
answer #2, of the tz'deikus, which sounds interesting, & sounds like the sort of missing piece to make the entry "speak"

redsneakz, does one present a
case of hidden particularity to
make a general point??

Rav Leff, the observation about
superficiality is so obvious & so
well-known as to itself risk superficiality...
(what's more, the gartel would be
added in isolation here, & so not be a part of the everyday package
to which the man has grown accustomed)