Thursday, November 10, 2005

From The Mailbag...

Karen writes:
I just read your June 22 blog entry in which you compare Finale and Sibelius. I am looking to purchase one of these programs. Do you have any further opinions after using Sibelius for a few months?
I posted some thoughts earlier today and am hoping to get to part two and my conclusions soon.

Yakov Vershubsky writes:
I have finally completed the Final Structure of Lipa's website If anyone has anything to contribute, Please Email me.

I'm looking for:
Newspaper Clippings
WebNews Items
Blog Feeds
Studio Session Recordings
and anything else you think might help.

Personally, we'd suggest creating and uploading content before promoting a website. Perhaps this will motivate us to pen a Lipa post sometime soon.

Avremi G. comments on "The Rebbe's Ma'amar":
You missed the point as to why this maamar is recited. It’s not akin to a pilpul whose (noble) intention is to inspire and intellectually stimulate the listener with words of chidushei Torah – This maamer has been recited for about 100 years by Lubavitcher Barmitvah boys, so in a way it’s old news. Rather it’s an accomplishment on the part of the boy, having studied and internalized the Chassidic and kabalistic points of the Mitzvah of Tfilin. The saying of a Maamer is not a speech, rather a spiritual journey of G-dly connection and adherence. It’s a vehicle by which the boy connects to his Rebbe – as a young chosid. The Rebbe would hold on to a kerchief when saying a maamer. Chassidim speculate that he did this so as so as not to undergo “kalois hanefesh” whilst experiencing such intense spirituality. And trust me; almost no-one understood a maamer that the Rebbe said at first listen. And I’m certain he knew it. But as Chassidim we know that much ‘heavenly upheaval’ happens with the reciting of a maamer by a Rebbe – this in addition to the ‘chidushei chassidus’ that were introduced.
My response:
I think you missed my point. Perhaps my post wasn't clear. This was not a Lubavitch Bar Mitzvah, where as part of being raised in the Chabad derech, and while being taught the Chasidic/Kabbalistic conception of tefilin, the boy learned the Rebbe's ma'amar. In that case, I've got no problem with the Bar Mitzvah saying the ma'amar. It's significant for many reasons as you noted, and at worst, even if the child comprehends nothing, it's a harmless minhag.

This boy was not Chabad or from a Chabad family though. With the exception of this rebbe and a handful of kids, there were no Lubavitchers there. I don't see the significance of teaching a boy to race through a speech he clearly doesn't understand in a language none of his listeners understand; one that is not significant for him beacuase of minhag.

I've posted in the past about Chabad rabbis "getting it" in terms of knowing their audience as far as simcha speeches. In this case, IMO, this rebbe missed the boat and missed an opportunity. In a room full of not yet religious Jews, a simple meaningful D'var Torah would have accomplished so much more.