Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The Real Test is What to Do When the Revolution Becomes the Establishment
Guest Post by my friend the revolutionary, R' Reuven Boshnack, reflecting on Rav Moshe Weinberger's Shalosh Sheudos Torah this past Shabbos:
What Rabbi Weinberger does is a revolution, and what R Moshe Wolfson and R Tzvi Meir are doing is also a revolution. The fire has gone out. These are people who are looking to restart the revolution. It's all about a reveloution.
Rebbe says that the real test is what happens when the revolution becomes the establishment.
There have been many revolutions. The Baal Shem Tov was a revolution. But after some generations Chassidus became a societal thing. For that reason, R Noson felt the fire had gone out, so he left Berdichov to go to Rebbe Nachman. The Yid broke with the Chozeh because it had become an establishment. The Kotzker broke with the world for the same reason.
Baalei Teshuva have the same struggle, when a person is accepting Yiddishkeit on himself, everything is new. But after a while, it's boring because it's become an establishment.
This could be the idea of Atika Kadisha, "ancient holy." What does "ancient holy" mean? Anicent means it's been around forever, but Kadisha means it's so real and relevant.
It's what we long for; to have the mesorah of a frum from birther, but the fire as if you just converted.
That's why the Piazcener wanted to convert- to be a jew after 40 years. Everything I do, I'm thinking, "Am I doing this because it's real? Or because I've done it before?"
You know the maaseh with Satmar Rov. The badchan imitated him davenning on Yom Kippur. At first the Satmar rav laughed, then he started to cry. The Badchan threw himself at the Satmar Rav's feet, begging forgiveness. The Satmar Rav said, "You don't understand, the one time I felt my essence is revealed is on Yom Kippur, but I see you daven like I do perfectly. So maybe once I davenned, and I've been imitating myself all this time."
Maybe once it was revolutionary, but now its become society.
How much of my life is revolution, and how much is society? How much is new and different, and how much is doing it because I've done it before?
And of course- if you keep asking youself this and it makes you crazy and paralyzed... Sometimes you just have to shut up and dance.
(Picture courtesy of teaching.zachwhalen.net)
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