Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Joy

But he, Tsemakh mused, was not like that. He had never even really wept at prayers, for he considered weeping a kind of passion- he was disgusted by the man who indulged himself with tears of self-pity. From his lips came no songs of praise or thanksgiving. He knew only one melody, the melancholy Musar melody, which cut pieces of flesh from one's body. Instead of feeling joy of soul at prayers, he also yearned and trembled to worship God with joy. But his soul was suffocated as if by prison walls, with his constant admonition of himself and others. While he chastised his pupils, he also envied their daily singing at morning prayers, "With abounding love hast thou loved us, O Lord our God..."

~The Yeshiva by Chaim Grade, Volume 1, 258

3 comments:

lover of Grade's works said...

What a tortured/self-imposed existence that must have been for him!

G said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
G said...

What a tortured/self-imposed existence that must have been for him!
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What a narrow interpretation of such a viewpoint!

There is a famous story about Rav Dovid Kronglass ZT"L, the Mashgiach of Ner Yisroel:

The first time that somebody broke with tradition and sang Kabbalos Shabbos the Mashgiach was less than pleased and made his feelings known to the chazan. To paraphrase, "...you don't 'sing' davening, that is not the time for such things...".

The chazan relayed this message to some of his peers; they were very confused as to what they had done wrong and decided to approach the Rosh HaYeshiva with the issue in order gain a better understanding of the Mashgiach's position was.
--I do not know why they did not approach Rav Kronglass directly, this is how it happened-- Rav Ruderman, the Rosh HaYeshiva, explained to the bochurim that the Mashgiach came from a time and place where people did not need/use such methods, be they positive or negative, to obtain the neccessary feelings to speak with the Ribono Shel Olam. However, it was all right for the the yeshiva at present to do so.

My father knew Rav Kronglass quite well and paints a picture of someone far removed from any sort of tortured existence. It was more a matter everything having a time and a place and prayer not being either one for this type of connection.

This by no means has any baring on the person referenced in the post being this type of person, perhaps not, just that such an outlook does neccessitate an overly negative lifestyle.