Monday, December 12, 2011
Guest post by Korakh the Blogger
(read this first)
I recently saw a vort from Rav Yisshukher Ber, the Belzer Roof* that really resonated with me. He was commenting on the famous Midrash about Rivkas rough pregnancy. You know, the one about Esav trying to exit the womb as she passed Houses of Pagan Worship and Yaakov trying to exit the womb as she passed Houses of Torah Study.
Now Amramowitz the Younger tradition teaches that the pre-natal womb is the ultimate House of Torah Study. בהילו נרו עלי ראשי alludes to in-utero primordial infinite vision and Torah Study when the fetus absorbs the entire Torah taught by an Angel. Accordingly, the Belzer Roof asks a striking question: Why would Yaakov ever want to leave this rarefied academic environment? How could the Yeshivos of Shem and Ever be anything other than a comedown for one currently studying from an actual angel?
He answers that if your fellow student is Esav then it's worthwhile studying from an inferior Rebbe in order to escape Esav's corrupt society.
Today I am a Belzer! This is exactly the ethos that inspired my movement. Even if we posit for a moment that Amramowitz the Younger was my intellectual superior (a dubious proposition indeed, you'll never hear any of that tiresome and transparently fake humility from me!) I urged my followers to flee from the "Rav comparable to an Angel of the L-rd of hosts" to escape the corrupt society that surrounded them, a society built on cronyism, elitism and tyrannical conformity. As our in-utero Patriarch taught us, I split because I decided that if I had to share a Khavrusaschaft with an Ahron and the other it's -who-you-know cronies then it was no longer worthwhile studying from a Moshe.
As for those of you living in 5772 reading this I'd like you to consider this: In your youth were you גולה למקום תורה ? Well maybe now it's time to be גולה ממקום תורה . Think about it; sure your current community is a bastion of Torah. It is chock full of Shiurim, Yeshivas and learned and erudite Magidei Shiur and poskim. But perhaps the ethics there are less than pristine. Maybe a lot of shenanigans and chicanery occur there that would not play well in the Jewish out-of-town hinterlands that, admittedly, can't compete in terms of Torah scholarship. But...so what? To disassociate from contemporary Esavs it's worthwhile to leave the nurturing womb of the big Torah communities.
Even before seeing this vort from the Belzer Roof I always considered Yaakov my role model. He was never one to accept the status quo (especially about the Kehuna). He never meekly submitted to authority openly defying or cleverly circumventing his father, older brother, brother-in-law, men and angels.
בא קרח והעמידן על אחת...כי כל העדה כולם קדושים
Those who cannot tolerate equality would have all their "inferiors" be their slaves
*(not the current one who bears, and I do mean bears, his name)