A CHASSIDUS FOR THE BLOTTA (BLETTE?) THE MUD This chassidus… That chassidus… It is all about style these days White socks or black sock, Spoddek or shtreiml Trousers inside the socks or outside the socks, Peyos under yarlmelke or sideburns curled, uncurled, Peyos how long? To cheekbone, beyond ears, rolled up behind ears Long to neck or short ? In a second you can tell the dynasty from the look… Ger, Belz, Vishnitz, Breslov, Chabad-‐ It’s all about style, not substance. Yet what we need is less style We already had that in orthodoxy! Chassidus has become mainstreamed And suffers the fate thereof. When did revolution die? with the rise from poverty to middle class bourgeois Judaism? And with that wealthy chassidim bid on first editions, like the Noam Elimelech, in the hundreds of thousands, Artifacts of Rebbes like the pocket watch of Reb Nossen or the Torah scroll once belonging to the Apta Rov (people stop in Chicago to touch it) : will we start searching for other relics? (Like the head of St. Thomas Aquinas, removed by the monks at the Cistercian abbey at Fossanova, chas vechalom!) No, what is needed now is a Chassidus for the Blotta! The mud! A chassidus for the lost soul For the rational mind For the addiction to mastery For the unshakeable faith in the left hemisphere For the spiritually impoverished For the faithless For the apikorsus within For the inner Kritik For the doubting Thomas Poking his index finger in the wound to prove his belief (Now Thomas the Believer?) A Chassidus for the recovering but chronic relapser For the addicted drowning in the free fall to “rock bottom”
For those stuck at the rock bottom. Even in this mud of confusion Where the soul desires but the flesh is weak A chassidus for those who cannot open their mouths in prayer Who can no longer “daven” Who cannot “zog tillim” For those mute in prayer For those insistent on not walking out Yet paralyzed in resentment. For those torn and confused when seeing the text Buried resentments surfacing each time Crowding out the pure intent For the chattering monkey Does not let go. A Chassidus For Kafka For the fakers For the torn and confused For the failures The betrayers The deceivers The thieves The halachic showman The liar The womanizer The Madoffs A chassidus for the inner snake For the fame craving fool For the insane The bipolar The obsessive For those obsessed with the daf For those obsessed with Brisk For those suffering from OHD (Obsessive Halachic Disorder) The self bloated self aggrandizing Talmid Chochoms The writers of meaningless likutim The publishing academics, who no longer believe in their work. A chassidus for the self indulgent A chassidus for the last hope The last ditch effort. Maybe, just maybe We can resurrect the revolution
And bring back the Baal Shem Tov’s message.