Yerida L’Shem Aliyah
by: Schvach Yid
According to the Miami New Times, Rabbi Levi Brackman’s blog, and the Life of Rubin blog, Chassidic Reggae chief Matisyahu has blown off Chabad Lubavitch – but not frumkeit – because he supposedly doesn’t want to feel ‘boxed in’. Face it, he evidently loves his fellow Jews; you know, ahavas yisroel. It’s a standard Lubavitch teaching found throughout the written teachings of the Alter Rebbe Schneur Zalman zt’l and his Chabad disciples. Plenty of this teaching is encountered in the Friedike Rebbe’s (Rav Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson) tome HaYom Yom (Daily Sayings). The report also states Matisyahu claims to enjoy kicking back with a bit of wine (kosher?; mevoshal? – these reports don’t specify).
Not that I’m such a chochom, but I’ll cut the guy a little slack. Who am I to judge? But he’s probably OK compared to others, such as Bob Dylan, who left Judaism altogether, became a ‘born again Christian’, only to return to Judaism and become somewhat of a follower of the Lubavitcher Rebbe to the extent that he would stand on line to receive a dollar from the Rebbe. Singer/poet Leonard Cohen left Judaism and so far has chosen to stay out (see his recently published collection of original poems Book of Longing - not for the derech hatznius - in which he laments his chosen loss).
Gd forbid any of these three should go the path of Madonna!
Not so fast, not so fast - Matisyahu is not gone. In the world of the Ba’alei T’shuva there exists the well recognized phenomenon of yerida l’shem aliyah – descent for the sake of assent (also called yerida l'tzorech aliyah). Don’t worry so much.