Thursday, June 08, 2006

Can You Believe That?!

Hello, I am the Fireman Piper and this is my first post...

I am working as an English teacher with Korean students in Cambridge Massachusetts this summer. I was scrambling to get an apartment and I finally got one in the middle of last week. This meant that I had about 48 hours to figure out where I would go for Shavuot and Shabbos. Luckily enough my apartment is about a 20 minute walk from Harvard, so Chabad of Harvard was, for me at least, the logical first place to check. The rabbi was nice enough to invite me for all the meals and the Harvard Hillel was having services. Now, I am well aware that many people would only use Chabad as an absolute last resort. For many, the prevalence of those who believe that the last Lubavitcher Rebbe was Moshiach (they're called moshichists...I've invented that spelling) is a huge turnoff. It can be concidered... Its smacks of... Its kinda close to... OK fine, I'll admit it. Its idol worship.

Me: Chabadniks are so much fun though!!!

My Conscience (which has a Yiddish accent): "Nu, and I'm sure that those who vorshied de golden calf vere fun too."

Me: Its not all of them... It might not even be most of them!!!

My Conscience: "Nu, and you vould risk it?"

I can't help myself. The warmth that radiates from Chabad is, for me, incredible. They're the happy Hasidim. Well, actually, Breslovers are happy too, but they disrupt traffic, write grafitti and rework already annoying Romanian pop songs. I think that having good experiences with Chabad assuages some of my irritation with all the bad experiences I had with Satmars growing up near Kiriat Yoel. What's worse is that the shliach types, the Chabadniks that go out into the world to encourage mitzvahs and to feed cheap hungry students like me, seem to be the most likely to be moshichists. Harumpf!

So, back to last week. I had actually been at this Chabad house once before and had found that it was different than the others I had been too, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It was nicer, but that wasn't it. This is Harvard after all. It was an actual house and not a room in a basement. They stored their stuff in closets, not in cabinets and boxes next to the Muslim Brotherhood clubroom. But that wasn't it. There was something else different about this Chabad house. I was there for almost the whole of Shabbos and Shavuot and I still couldn't figure it out... Finally someone pointed out what it was and I slapped myself in amazement that I hadn't seen it before. THERE WAS NOT AS SINGLE PICTURE OF THE LUBAVITCHER REBBE IN THE WHOLE BUILDING!!!!!!!!! Not a single one. Can you believe that?! Maybe they had one hiding somewhere, but if they did I couldn't find it. I had finally found a Chabad house that didn't have one of those Rebbe pictures where the eyes follow you. I didn't ask, but I think it's a good bet that Rabbi Hirshy Zarchi of Harvard Chabad is not a moshichist. Baruch HaShem I have a place to go for Shabbos for the rest of the time I'm in Cambridge.

3 Shpeils


Blogger firepipes said...

Shabbat was good this week too. I lucked out here.

Monday, June 12, 2006 7:38:00 AM  


Anonymous Miryam said...

Ian? is that you???

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 10:59:00 AM  


Blogger BrownsvilleGirl said...

Ian's the newest punker. :)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 8:03:00 PM  

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