Sunday, December 30, 2012

Local Learning Lures Lipa

Fascinating article that Lipa Schmetzer has enrolled in college. Yet what puzzles me is that Lipa notes how college is a ticket to Parnassa, yet he is making a fine Parnassa already without it.

Part of this Medina Shel Chessed conundrum is how we relate to the great Melting Pot. It is not easy to keep out unwanted influences, even in the secluded Chassidic areas as noted by R. AHARON HERSH FRIED in this landmark article in Hakirah.

Gerry Albarelli is a non-Jew who taught “English” (i.e.
secular studies) at the Satmar cheder in Williamsburg for five years and
wrote a book about his experiences. In the book, Albarelli talks
about his relationship with Mendy, the fifteen-year-old brother of a
boy he had undertaken to tutor at home. Mendy would come home
from yeshivah, often join in the tutorial sessions meant for his younger
brother, and always insist on walking the teacher to the subway.
Albarelli relates:

Then there are the questions that Mendy asks, walking me
to the subway, week after week. He asks these questions as
though everything depended on the answers:
“How they know the weather?”
“What means geology?”
“Who was Con Edison?”
“Thomas,” I say, “Thomas Edison.”
“No,” he insists, politely embarrassed by my ignorance.
“Con, Con Edison.”
Albarelli, Gerry, Teacha! Stories from a Yeshiva, Glad Day Books, 2000
(P.O. Box 112, Thetford, Vt. 05074)


  1. Looks to me Like Lipa is Learning remotely, not Local!

  2. Yet what puzzles me is that Lipa notes how college is a ticket to Parnassa, yet he is making a fine Parnassa already without it.

    He may not need it but he is role -modeling for others. Besides he may be looking for alternative ways to support himself. How many decades can a grown man be the class clown even if people are willing to pay him good money to be the class clown.

    He fiefs uhn mainstream khasidic conventions. His glasses, his outfits, his co-opting of non-Jewsih tunes. He consorts with Lubavitch, Zionist Soldiers and NOW (*SHUDDER*) with higher secular education.

    1. Perhaps I shouldn't have posted this, as I try to discuss ideas here, not people.

      My feeling is that many in the Chassidic world at times feel that they were denied a secular education.

      For most this works, as it keeps them within the fold and they are able to find parnassa elsewhere, but for others, they relish the opportunity to become part of modern society.

      I purposely posted the picture above which was Lipa's visit to Rav Elyashiv ZTL post the Big Event ban.

      I recall him being quoted that he wouldn't be using secular music anymore. Yet I don't think that is has been the case, considering his latest Oorah concert singing Oorah Style (see link on my Gangnam Style post).


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