Chassidim Eating Gebrokts

Adopted from “Four Chassidic Masters” by Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski (p. 194-195):

Kavod HaTorah, honoring Torah scholars, is required even when one does not agree with them.

The chassidim of the Tzaddik of Sanz were in Pressburg on Passover, guests at the Chasam Sofer’s table. Among chassidim, it is the custom to avoid eating gebrokts (matzah that has come into contact with liquid). This is a chumrah that misnagdim have not adopted; hence, the Chasam Sofer ate Kneidlach on Passover.

When the chassidim were served kneidlach, they were in a quandary, because they had never eaten gebrokts. One chassid did not eat the kneidlach. The other reasoned, “I’m sitting at the table of the gadol hador. Who am I to be more strict than he is?” and he ate the kneidlach.

When they reported their visit to the Tzaddik of Sanz, the latter said to the Chassid who ate the kneidlach, “You have earned Olam Haba.” To the chassid who had refused to eat them, the Tzaddik said, “You had better stand near me on Yom Kippur, and I will try to elicit forgiveness for you.”

The latter’s behavior was a violation of Kavod HaTorah.

Try pulling that off today! I’ve always personally LOVED Pesach, even though it’s my Minhag to not eat Gebrokts! Because of this, it’s been very difficult for me to eat out at friends’ houses where they do eat gebrokts! It’s near impossible for me to even eat at relatives at that time of year for this very reason. And, to some I’m meikil, since I don’t consider it Gebrokts to put cream cheese on Matzah (some people do), and I consume foods like honey and Kosher LePesach Coke, which some people don’t do because of their own Mesorahs. And, some people won’t eat fruit and vegetables unless their peeled beforehand!

To say that it’s ironic that a holiday that’s meant to unite us, in fact divides us like nobody’s business, would be a gross understatement.

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