Sunday, December 9, 2012

Eskimo Chassidim!!!

I know your reaction, we have never heard of chassidim living near the north pole, and what kind of chassidim are they, and how did the Baal Shem Tov's teachings reach the far northern part of our planet.

Indeed you're right, I have never heard of any Eskimo chassidim either, and was surprised seeing them in the middle of BP, in groups of 10-20 marching down the street as if it belonged to them.

It is a beautiful Shabbat morning right at the beginning of December, the winter is starting to make its marks on the trees, the fog is undeniable, and people with bone injuries are predicting heavy rain. As a precaution I decide to take along my rain coat, and leave my head gear at home, while running to shul, after all it is late, and I expect to make it just in time for borchu.

The davening is long, did I mention it is shabbat mevorchim? of course it is. The chazon enjoyed every minute of it, The following Musaf was a feast by itself. I guess at least someone left shull with his stomach full.

By the time we finished rain droplets were already noticeable on the windows, one can tell that this will be a heavy rain. I start to compliment myself for the precautions I took, and wondered how those who don't carry with the eruv will deal with this one.

As I am heading home and the rain is bouncing off my forehead I noticed a group talking very loud, they seemed happy not minding the rain at all, they were discussing the Weberman trial with ferver, but the way they dressed was weird, they dressed like Eskimos, head to toe covered in black, it looked like a misconfigured commercial garbage bag.

This incident brought back some memories of the days I was in yeshivah, how amazing was it to sacrifice day and night learning the depths of the torah, discussing and debating the word of god, trying to understand every word our sages wrote, after all their words were measured with great accuracy, every word the Rambam wrote meant something, and trying to reconcile a conflicting statement of his was  a personal satisfaction, as the mashgiach used to motivate us daily "how could you go to sleep while there is a conflicting Rambam" no wonder the pleasure one got by reconciling it eventually.

I guess you're wondering what's the relation between the Eskimo suit and my days back in yeshivah, The relation takes me back to the first day of the zeman, every first creates a memory slot in our brains which is marked "important" people have vivid memories of their 'firsts' it was the first time I saw a person wearing a sheet like suit, all black no design, no resemblance of anything I ever saw, the best I can compare it to is a bed sheet with carved out holes for the hands, my heart was crying for this kid, how poor does a person need to be to make a suit out of a bed sheet, but suddenly I noticed another bochur wearing the same, and then another one, eventually i realized the commonality between them all was, they were chassidim, in the course of time i learned it was called a 'Challat'.

Were all chassidim poor? why are they all wearing this sheet like Challat, i can understand the theological reasons why one wears respective clothing while studying gods word, as it was explained to me, but this poor sheet (shit) of a thing!!!???? can't they afford something more presentable??? it took me many years to understand this phenomenon and eventually ended up explaining this Eskimo garbage bag as well.

Chassidim and equality.
I am not talking about the the theological equality known as "midos hishtavos" where one is expected to accept pain and joy with the same pleasure, I am referring to the hidden not so well known agenda of chassidus to make everyone feel the same, shedding all class differences within society, to the point where one can not tell the difference between rich and poor, most drive the same car, wear the same cloths, make the same style of simchas, Takonos, in other words there is no other value system besides being in the Rebbes family, or in his close circle.

Hence the Eskimo coat, which is a direct evolution of the chalet, it developed qualities which nature preferred, it grew a hood to cover the head gear, it is also water proofed to protect from rain, and has been adopted by rich and poor. You can see 2 friends walking the street on shabbat, one a millionaire, while his friend a well known beggar, both scouting proudly the evolved Challat, called  me'ill.

Equality is an amazing trait, but why do they have to make the level of equality that everyone feels equally worthless, when it could of been just the opposite. 

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