Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Misnagdim and Chasidim on Tisha Bav

There is a question that in a way is a joke but in a way it is sad. What is the difference between Chassidim and Misnagdim on Tisha Bav?

On Tisha Bav, Chassidim use paper booklets for Kinnos and Eicha which are usually disposed of every year because they believe they won't need them again. Misnagdim purchase these fancy leather bound Kinnos and Eicha or fancy hardcover editions with the intention that they can use them in the future.

If someone does not believe me about this phenomenon check out your local Seforim store and see what is available. Then explore shuls on Tisha Bav and see for yourself what people use.

I used to use these paper ones every year but since my Hebrew is not so good, I purchased an English edition which happened to cost me a few dollars but every year I hope that I will not need to use it.

Another interesting thing that I noticed in the difference between Chassidim and Misnagdim on Tisha Bav is the way one davens. A Halacha of Maariv on Tisha Bav eve is to daven in a slow mournful way. That had me thinking, Misnagdish shuls daven like that on a regular basis. Since they daven like this on a regular basis how can you change they way you daven to make in more mournful and slow. If you daven in a Chassidish shul, you know there is a difference and you will see many people crying and actually feeling the prayers and what is actually going on. There are plenty of Misnagdim who act in this matter as well but my point is that they act like this during the rest of the year as well. I will now ask the question of who do you think is right in this regard? I think the Chassidim have a much better understanding of the Jewish Calendar and clearly make adjustments to their Tefillah and Avodah day by day depending upon the importance of the day. Misnagdim just act the same way over and over and day after day. I am not saying that it is bad to do that, I just feel that Chassidim are better off with their method.

25 comments:

Jewish Blogmeister said...

The problem is you are lumping all shuls together. Whenever you make generalizations like that you are sure to get into trouble. For example the Yeshiva type shuls I have davened at do daven slower people cry etc. Perhaps you will find stebels that daven fast etc. There is no hard fast rule. Crying also means little if it's not sincere.

FrumWithQuestions said...

I am confused by your comment. Are you talking about davening on a regular basis or on Tisha Bav. I didn't mention in my post about the speed of davening. I just said that "A Halacha of Maariv on Tisha Bav eve is to daven in a slow mournful way". Then i said , "Misnagdish shuls daven like that on a regular basis" meaning that these shuls daven slow and mournful every day. Even when these shuls daven at a fster pace, what is said out loud is in a slow mournful way. Maybe it is just the neighborhood I live in, but I am not making a generalization. I am making a statement based on experience of davening in every type of shul across the spectrum in many different areas including Israel.

Jewish Blogmeister said...

I certainly misunerstood."Misnagdish shuls daven like that on a regular basis"meaning that these shuls daven slow and mournful every day. I have to disagree with that statement not ALL misnagdish shuls daven slow per se and ones that do don't neccesarily daven in a "mournful way every day" not sure what you mean by that.

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Interesting comparison. Nice post.

Litvak said...

You seem like a sincere and relatively open-minded person, so I am dismayed to see you spewing forth such Hassidic propaganda (esp. right before 9Av) with it's vile stereotyping of misnagdim. I guess you may have gotten it from a Hassidic leader, but just because the guy may wear Hassidic garb, doesn't mean that what he says is automatically correct.

"On Tisha Bav, Chassidim use paper booklets for Kinnos and Eicha which are usually disposed of every year because they believe they won't need them again. Misnagdim purchase these fancy leather bound Kinnos and Eicha or fancy hardcover editions with the intention that they can use them in the future."

Contrary to popular myth, there is no chiyuv to discard kinnos after tisha beAv, and not doing so is not indicative of a lack of faith in the coming of Moshiach, even though many Hassidim may propagate such foolishness. Although we are encouraged to yearn for Moshiach, we are not obligated to be delusional and assume with absolute certainty that he will come the next minute. Keeping kinnos after tisha beAv is like keeping your house and possessions without selling them without delay based on the assumption that Moshiach is coming tommorrow for certain. The fact is also that kinnos and mourning for the beis hamikdosh is not only for tisha beAv - it's something one is supposed to do year round (see intorduction to Artscroll kinnos by R. A.C. Feuer for vort from Rav Gifter z"l about this). It's not sinful to get a hardcover kinnos which will last for more than one year. You are definitely exhibiting a Hassidic bias here. Perhaps those who are getting the hardcover kinnos, are doing so because they want to understand what they are saying and observe the day better, rather than the Hassidim who say it from a booklet but don't understand what they are saying. Additionally, if the booklets can last beyond 9Av it is an aveira to discard them (bal tashchis), as they can be used again if there is another 9Av, and, as I have stated earlier, kinnos and mourning are not only a one day a year thing.

I think you owe an apology to misnagdim and I hope you will broaden your horizons and not accept Hassidic propaganda so quickly in the future.

Anonymous said...

"Another interesting thing that I noticed in the difference between Chassidim and Misnagdim on Tisha Bav is the way one davens. A Halacha of Maariv on Tisha Bav eve is to daven in a slow mournful way. That had me thinking, Misnagdish shuls daven like that on a regular basis."

They daven slowly regularly, but not mournfully. It seems that you may be confusing slow and seriousness davening, with decorum and seriousness, with an awareness that one is speaking to the Melech malchei hamelochim (King of kings), as mournful. Just because they are not clapping, shouting and jumping up and down like Hassidim, doesn't mean they are mournful. It is just that they stress being in awe of Hakodosh boruch Hu. If you were talking to an earthly king, mighty ruler or President, would you carry on like Hassidim do at prayer ? It would be considered disrespectful.


"Since they daven like this on a regular basis how can you change they way you daven to make in more mournful and slow."

Simple. On 9Av it can be made a little slower and more mournful, with a krechtz, etc.

"If you daven in a Chassidish shul, you know there is a difference and you will see many people crying and actually feeling the prayers and what is actually going on."

There you stereotyping again. With many Hassidim, the emotion is external, but lacking depth. Don't just judge based on chitzonius (superficiality).

I think you should step back and evaluate if you should continue listening to this Hassidic Rebbe or whoever else is feeding you all these stereotypes filled with hatred of non-Hassidim. Ironic, from a sect that claims ahavas Yisroel as it's hallmark. Or maybe that's only for those who agree with their sect, not for those who adamantly insist on proudly sticking to old-fashioned pre-Hassidic Judaism.

FrumWithQuestions said...

Litvak - "spewing forth such Hassidic propaganda"

I graduated YU and go to a minyan with a Brisker as the RAv

"I guess you may have gotten it from a Hassidic leader, but just because the guy may wear Hassidic garb, doesn't mean that what he says is automatically correct." As i said in my post , "If someone does not believe me about this phenomenon check out your local Seforim store and see what is available. Then explore shuls on Tisha Bav and see for yourself what people use" I have seen firsthand so no one is feeding me any propaganda. I never said there was a chiuv to discard kinnos. How is it dillusional to believe we will not have another Tisha Bav. We are taught that Moshiach is born on Tisha Bav. Paper kinnos cannot be compared to a house or furniture. I have a problem with Artscroll who makes these fancy kinnos. Artscroll could have come out with a booklet with the english but they decided to make money and make a hardcover edition. I have one so I am not going to complain but I am against the concept of how they produced it. The way of mourning during the year is to recite Tikkun Chatzos which i have never seen in a Nusach Ashkenaz siddur or in any siddur used by non Chassidim or Sefardim. I might have made a mistake by saying that the paperbound ones get discarded but what I meant to say is that they get put away in a closet that is not in view where in many of the Misnagdish shuls the fancy ones remain in public display. I don't feel I am showing any bias, I am just mentioning my observations from what I have experienced.

Anonymous-

When's the last time you have davened in a Chassishe shul? Or even a Sefardi shul. There is very little difference between the way those two daven besides the Nusach. "
With many Hassidim, the emotion is external " Where did you get this from?? Have you ever read any of the stories about the Chassidim from the Shoah?? Have you ever been by any Chassidishe Rebbe by davening. I think you are talking out of ignorance and have never seen with your own eyes what you are talking about.

I once again want to reiterate that these are my thoughts and no one is putting them into my head. I am just showing my observations from what I have experienced. I have learned in YU, Chofetz Chaim as well as other places so
I would like you to point to me who the Chassidishe Rebbes are in these places who are feeding me information.

Rebecca said...

It doesn't really matter at this point whether I agree or disagree with your distinctions. What matters is that today is Tisha Baav. Today we are mourning the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash due to sinas chinam. How can we as "Frum" Jews know this and still have so much animosity towards eachother? How can we harp on our differences on a day like today? How can we do this with what is going on in Israel with our brothers and sisters. (and unfortunately our cousins..)
At a time like this, we must put aside those differences, no matter how much we disagree with them and come together as a unified am, for once in a really long time and perhaps then the fighting will stop. Perhaps then, mashiach will come.
Maybe it doesn't matter that you are saying kinnos with such kavannah. Maybe it doesn't matter that you are sitting on the floor and following every possible rule on Tisha Baav to the highest standard. Maybe all Hashem is waiting for is a bit of unity amongst his people. Maybe that is all it will take. Why not try it? you never know...

Litvak said...

Hello again.

FWQ - "I graduated YU and go to a minyan with a Brisker as the RAv"

Do you mean to say that Litvaks told you the thing that you started this post with ? It clearly comes from Hassidim. You have mentioned in the past listening to a certain Hassidic Rebbe from Woodmere. Perhaps it came from him or some other Hassidic person. It strains credulity to say that Litvaks spread something like that.

Re your minyan - I am assuming it's nusach Ashkenaz, am I correct ? Is it a young Brisker or one from the older generation from Europe that is the Rav ?

It seems you have a problem with the hardcover Artscroll kinnos - but that comes in both Ashkenaz and Sfard, and both Ashkenaz and Sfard daveners use it, so why are you directing your ire just at those who daven Ashkenaz ?

To believe that Moshiach is definitely coming in one minute is not required, nor wise. To hope that Moshiach is coming in one minute, on the other hand, is in order.

How can you glorify Hassidic people using kinnos with explanations, when they probably have much less understanding of what they are saying than others who uses kinnos with explanations, where they can understand them much better ? Do you prefer mechanical recitation to understanding what one is saying ?

What is wrong with kinnos being left out in view during the year ? I think that is better than hiding them, as it reminds us that we still don't have the beis hamikdosh and that the geula hasn't come yet. Where does it say that they should be hidden and locked up in a closet ?

"The way of mourning during the year is to recite Tikkun Chatzos which i have never seen in a Nusach Ashkenaz siddur or in any siddur used by non Chassidim or Sefardim."

1) Some nusach Ashkenaz siddurim have it. I just took a quick look and saw it in siddur Minchas Yerusholayim kol bo hasholem, as well as in siddur Eizor Eliyohu.

2) Tikkun chatzos is just one way to remember and mourn for the churban - not the only way. It is a kabbalistic thing, and not obligatory, so it's not in every siddur. Not everyone is awake at chatzos either. Other people are mikayem this inyan in different ways.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous-

When's the last time you have davened in a Chassishe shul? Or even a Sefardi shul. There is very little difference between the way those two daven besides the Nusach. "

I have davened in various Shuls in the recent past. I know from personal experience.

"With many Hassidim, the emotion is external " Where did you get this from?? Have you ever read any of the stories about the Chassidim from the Shoah?? Have you ever been by any Chassidishe Rebbe by davening. I think you are talking out of ignorance and have never seen with your own eyes what you are talking about."

Sorry, but you are wrong. Anyway, we are talking about the masses, not one Hassidic Rebbe now or during WWII.

Let me ask you, sincerely, if you think the Hassidic way is so great, why aren't you davening in a Hassidic place ? It seems to me that you (as many these days) have a case of 'the grass is greener on the other side' syndrome. It's a free country, you know. If you think the Hassidic way is so superior, why don't you join them ? I suspect that if you did that and took a closer look, the grass there would look less green to you.

I am not saying that Litvaks are perfect. Of course not. But neither are Hassidim. Most Hassidim today are far from the Hassidim in the romanticized Hassidic tales you may have read. There is room for improvement in both camps, but we must be honest if we want to be able to improve things and not think things on the ground are the same as in the romanticized and embellished story books.

FrumWithQuestions said...

Litvak-

How many times do I have to say it that these are my thoughts. No one has put anything into my head. I am a free thinker that speaks to Rabonim on all sides. I don't live in Woodmere and I have only heard Rav Weinberger Shlita speak three times. Once at a Chaim Dovid concert at his shul, once at a Simcha Beis Hashueva in his shul, and once when he came to my minyan to speak.

My minyan was nusach Sefard but the chevra over the past two years has changed and the Rav felt since the majority of the minyan davened Ashkenaz the minyan should change to Ashkenaz as well. He gave a detailed shiur which I did not agree with about why and how we should change before we changed.

"It is a kabbalistic thing, and not obligatory, so it's not in every siddur" If this is the case according to you, you have not looked up in the Shulcan Aruch what it says. In no way is it something only Kabbalists do. Would you consider Rav Kook a Kabbalist? The Ashkenazi siddurs that do have it in there are usually old ones as the Rav of my minyan stated on Tisha Bav because it has fallen out of practice.
I believe Artscroll prints Nusach Sefard because a large # of Ashkenazi Jewry davens that Nusach and they do it for that reason only. How come Artscroll does not have a siddur for Sefardim?

Anonymous -

Before you comment, please answer the questions adressed to you which you have not done. You have not stated when the last time, if you even did, daven by a real Chassidic Rebbe.

"Let me ask you, sincerely, if you think the Hassidic way is so great, why aren't you davening in a Hassidic place ?"

Unfortunately, the neighborhood I live in, the shuls are not Chassidic at all which is why I do not daven in one. If you read my previous posts, I daven in a minyan with no talking. Originally the minyan was in the middle (not litvish, not chassidic) with influence from both. As I said before unfortunalty this is changing and moving more to the dry, boring Litvish way.

I don't appreciate your comments about "fairy tales" of Chassidic Rebbes. First of all they have these stories about Litvish Rav's as well. I am assuming you are getting so angry because you are probably one of those talkers in shul who have no respect for any Rabbis. I say that because of your irresponsible comments talking on ignorance. And the grass is green on both sides as long as the Torah is followed properly on both sides. The Hardcover Kinnos only started recently by the Litvish world as a money maker which is why I have a problem with it. How come all of a sudden after a tradition of Kinnos going back since they were institutes someone decided to change this tradition and turn it into a business? HOw come no one came up with a fancy edition in the 50's, 60's, 70's, etc. Why in 2000??

FrumWithQuestions said...

Rebecca -

"How can we as "Frum" Jews know this and still have so much animosity towards eachother?"

Its kind of hard to sit still and not say anything when people are clearly doing things wrong in front of your face. Why should you stay silent? If you stay silent these wrongdoings will spread until people don't know the difference. Many people who grew up in the Frum world have become so desensitized to what is authentic Judaism and what is not is sickening. This is not animoosity, it is about people being wrong and no one saying anything.

Litvak said...

"My minyan was nusach Sefard but the chevra over the past two years has changed and the Rav felt since the majority of the minyan davened Ashkenaz the minyan should change to Ashkenaz as well. He gave a detailed shiur which I did not agree with about why and how we should change before we changed."

Congratulations on the change. Davening the nusach of Rashi and Tosfos and and the nusach of your forefathers is a great idea !

I said that tikkun chatzos is kabbalistic. Usually the term tikkun, in certain contexts, indicates something kabbalistic. The Shulchan Oruch is talking about mourning the churban in general - it doesn't mention tikkun chatzos specifically (see Shulchan Oruch Orach Chaim 1:3).

"the dry, boring Litvish way."

I see here where you are coming from. You feel the Litvishe way is dry and not spiritual. If that is true, it is a serious problem. While sometimes that may be the case however, it's not necessarily so. A Litvishe davening can be spiritual when done properly.

"you are probably one of those talkers in shul who have no respect for any Rabbis"

Sorry, but you are way off the mark there.

"The Hardcover Kinnos only started recently by the Litvish world as a money maker which is why I have a problem with it."

R. Nosson Scherman of Artscroll is a Torah Vodaas style Hassidic type Jew.

Artscroll isn't the only hardcover kinnos. There are such kinnos in loshon kodesh from eretz Yisroel. Are you against them too ? Are you against machzorim with translation and commentary too ?

"How come all of a sudden after a tradition of Kinnos going back since they were institutes someone decided to change this tradition and turn it into a business? HOw come no one came up with a fancy edition in the 50's, 60's, 70's, etc. Why in 2000??"

Maybe in the old days, people understood the meaning of the kinnos more without the commentaries. Or maybe it's just an improvement that came about now. While in the past maybe more people would be satisfied to say them without understanding, now people want to know what they are saying. Maybe it's a combination of these things.

By the way, Artscroll wasn't the first English kinnos. Artscroll started in 1976 only. It took them some time to grow into the big outfit they are today. Kinnos wasn't the first item at the top of their list to do. It took them quite a while until they got to it.

Litvak said...

"How come all of a sudden after a tradition of Kinnos going back since they were institutes someone decided to change this tradition and turn it into a business? HOw come no one came up with a fancy edition in the 50's, 60's, 70's, etc. Why in 2000??"

Are you against the Artsroll gemara too for the same reason(s) ?

Anonymous said...

litvak it seems you are missing the point a bit. Why would he be against the artscroll gemarahas? he's not saying he is against artscroll or translations for that matter. He doesnt like something that is supposed to be temporary being made so permanent. He doesn't like the statement having a leather bound kinnos makes. He is optimistic about the coming of Mashiach and would rather not have a fancy kinnos because he hopes next year he won't need them. Nothing at all to do with Gemarahas.

Litvak said...

Anonymous above - evidently you are not following the whole back and forth here. If you read what was written, you should understand better. I am not going to repeat myself a hundred times here.

Anonymous said...

actually I have been reading everything and I agree with Rebecca.

FrumWithQuestions said...

Litvak-

"Davening the nusach of Rashi and Tosfos and and the nusach of your forefathers is a great idea"

How do you know that is the Nusach they davened. Siddurim have changed greatly over the years and the evidence we have today is the differations we have today in and Nusach. It is wrong to say that the Nusach Ashkenaz today is the same as that and Rashi.

"I see here where you are coming from. You feel the Litvishe way is dry and not spiritual. If that is true, it is a serious problem" You are admitting that this is true by this statement. Because I am not "FFB" I cannot understand how anyone not religious would become religious through this world.

"R. Nosson Scherman of Artscroll is a Torah Vodaas style Hassidic type Jew"

All of Artscroll has a Litvish agenda as evidence by the seforim they put out. Look at the biographies as an example. Only the last couple of years did Artscroll begin to come up with Chassidishe Seforim. All English chassidic seforim mostly come from Feldheim, Aronson, and Targum and a few others.

"Are you against the Artsroll gemara too for the same reason(s) ?"
No, and what would be the same reason? I am not against Steinsalz either

Litvak- YOu also seem to be getting angry which is usually a sign that you are losing an argument and are running out of facts to back your claims.

Litvak said...

"Litvak-

"Davening the nusach of Rashi and Tosfos and and the nusach of your forefathers is a great idea"

"How do you know that is the Nusach they davened."

What do you think they davened ?

"Siddurim have changed greatly over the years and the evidence we have today is the differations we have today in and Nusach. It is wrong to say that the Nusach Ashkenaz today is the same as that and Rashi."

Rashi and Tosfos didn't daven nusach sfard. True that there are some variations, but they are just variations, not a different nusach. They davened nusach Ashkenaz.

""I see here where you are coming from. You feel the Litvishe way is dry and not spiritual. If that is true, it is a serious problem" You are admitting that this is true by this statement. Because I am not "FFB" I cannot understand how anyone not religious would become religious through this world."

I admit that is true in some cases, but not all. It is not inherent to the Litvishe derech to daven that way.

How did you become religious ? Didn't you say you went to YU and Chofetz Chaim ? How did you get to those institutions ?

"All of Artscroll has a Litvish agenda as evidence by the seforim they put out. Look at the biographies as an example. Only the last couple of years did Artscroll begin to come up with Chassidishe Seforim."

Artscroll is considered too Hassidic influenced actually. Overviews by R. Scherman often have significant Hassidic components.

You are also wrong in that they have put out Hassidic books for some time already. Rebbes of Ger - Sefas Emes and Imrei Emes, and the Sanzer Rav and his dynasty came out a long time before 'the last couple of years', for example.

""Are you against the Artsroll gemara too for the same reason(s) ?"
No, and what would be the same reason?"

To answer, I will just remind you what you wrote earlier "How come all of a sudden after a tradition of Kinnos going back since they were institutes someone decided to change this tradition and turn it into a business? HOw come no one came up with a fancy edition in the 50's, 60's, 70's, etc. Why in 2000??" Artscroll made a fancy gemara, with fancy binding.

Are you descended from Hassidim ? I think that if you are so convinced that the Hassidic way is correct, you should move to a Hassidic area. Maybe go ask R. Weinberger what he thinks you should do. If you hate the Litvish way so much, don't torture yourself and let it out here, just go to a place where you will be happier.

FrumWithQuestions said...

Litvak-

I got to YU because the Boyaner Rebbe Shlita was really pushing me to go there and I was upset at JTS so it was the better option. I got to Chofetz Chaim because I am living in a neighborhood where that is the only institution offering a program convenient for working people. Sometimes your better off learning than not learning at all.

Gemarah is different than kinnos. Kinnos is in a category by itself and is something that we hope we will no longer need. We will always need our Gemarrahs to help understand things better even when Moshiach comes.

I still dissagree with you about Artscroll. If you have read any of those biographies by Artscroll which I have, they place a very dry Litvish unspiritual picture of these Rebbes. If you read a different publication about the same Rebbes you will see them in a completely different light.

Litvak said...

Have you had contact with the Boyaner Rebbe recently ? Perhaps you should speak to him again re your situation.

Re Artscroll bios - the ones I mentioned above, I believe,
are basically just translations from Hebrew works by Hassidic writers - so I don't think you can really blame Artscroll for them.

FrumWithQuestions said...

I am not sure the ones that I read are translations. A situation like mine cannot be solved by asking a Rebbe a question and getting an answer. It is much more complicated than that.

Litvak said...

" A situation like mine cannot be solved by asking a Rebbe a question and getting an answer."

I understand what you mean, but I think that Hassidim might differ. Maybe on this matter you're adopting a more Litvish position. ;-)

You should have hatzlocho in working things out in a good way.

FrumWithQuestions said...

Hassidim don't look at the Rebbes for answers for everything. Hassidim look to their Rebbes as guidance, advice , and ispiration based on what we learn from the Torah. There are a few exceptions when a Rebbe can give an answer with a deeper meaning because he can see something that you cannot but you usually don't know that until something happens and then you look back and say "Oh now I know what the Rebbe meant". That's why Chassidic stories come out after the fact. Not during or before.

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