Monday, December 12, 2005

Emunas Ganovim.

600 shtenders and a golden ark. Yes, I spent shabbos at the great yeshiva of Ponevez. Having earned its fine reputation as best litvishe yeshiva, it comes to no big supsrise - the boys actually sit and learn.I have never seen anything like it anywhere before. A packed beis medrash, shokeling by a gemoro (okay, maybe it was a reb chaim), and learning with such hasmodo and concentration. As if, cut off from the world, living on their own little planet with the rashbo and ritvo as their only neighbours.

Black waves of knaitshittelech screaming yeshei shemei rabo with the whole litvishe kneitch, praying to God with their lips, hands and face. Not one bucherel dares to speak while davening and during krias hatorah. Yes, you are right - it is a kalte litvishe davening indeed. Lecho dodi felt like it was a Wednesday afternoon and veshomru, oh wait, there was no veshomru. Nevretheless, nobody, and I mean nobody, was shmoozing with his neighbour or sitting on the back row discussing yesterdays game.

Rav Shach is looking down at his Empire - a proud smile across his face.

Ponevez, sounds like no place for yingele. I agree, yet there was still a small part of me that would want to be there, part of the crowd. "Yingele", a voice whispered in my head " wouldn't you love to be here?" It was right, I was a little jealous.

Not for the learning, you silly. And neither for the davening. I wanted to be there for the politics, the fights. The excitement, the gossip and the tension in the air. (For those who haven't checked hydepark lately, ponovez was freilich. To make a long and ugly story not so long and ugly; two Rabbi's fighting over who gets to say the shiur kloli, and who yarshens all the million dollar properties in Israel and abroad. Their chasidimlech started beating each other, smashing windows, slashing tires, pashkevilen etc etc.)

Action - Fighting with the police, hiring bodyguards, and spraying the ir hateire with hate graffiti. Seeing who picks what side, who joins what gang. Who suddenly changes place in shul, and who decides to switch shiur. It's fun, and exciting. Not picking sides, and not joining the fights - just to observe, keep track, and watch the 'gedoilim', fight like animals in a dog-eat-dog race.

It's cheap, dirty and disgusting, nevertheless exciting to keep up with. I am exaggerating. I wouldn't be able to stand such hypocrisy, corruption and billigkait. Isn't it fascinating how such a low form of politics can creep into the highest ranks of so called bnei teire?
Mivnei vonim shel homon, loimdei toire bivne brak. One day, the gemoro foresees, you'll see ehrliche yoidden dressed in a frak and a black shnipsel, learning toire in bnei brak. But. don't be fooled. Check their yichus.

Rav Shach is looking down at his Empire. I wonder what's crossing his mind.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me. Happy birthday dear Yingele, happy birthday to me.