Those not within the chassidic orbit could not comprehend, nor even begin to fathom, the inordinate amount of time chassidim devoted to their pilgrimages to their rebbes. Precious time that could have been dedicated to Torah study was viewed to have been squandered in costly and grueling treks.
As if all these matters were not enough to signal rebellion and the casting off of tradition, the final indignity was perpetrated when chassidim began to assume the role of ritual slaughterers, utilizing polished knives – something that had never been used before.
To the outsider, certainly to the misnagedopponent, all of these actions demonstrated that the chassidim sought to sever themselves from accepted tradition. It didn’t take a prophet to conjure that further down the slope they would curtail their connection to Judaism altogether.
(To be continued)
Chodesh tov – have a pleasant month!
Those interested in screening Rabbi Teller’s acclaimed documentary, “Reb Elimelech and the Chassidic Legacy of Brotherhood,” should contact email@example.com.