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Unread 06-13-2009, 10:30 PM   #1
existwhere?
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Farbrenging

How do you decide to farbreng, as opposed to shmoozing or "bateling"?

Let's say there will be no alcohol.

Like, what do you do? Say "how about let's have a farbrengen now?"
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Unread 06-14-2009, 02:55 PM   #2
MahTovChelkeinu
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It is a difficult thing to do. I think most people who want a formal farbrengen will start with a niggun or a l'chaim. Without alchohol, I think a niggun is the way to go.

The second peace, I think, is to start talking about avodah. You have to a have a group of people that decides implicitly to keep the conversation on an avodas Hashem topic, whether the avodah is davening, a certain mitzvah, hiskashrus, shlichus, middos, whatever.
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Unread 06-14-2009, 03:31 PM   #3
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farbrengen? no mashke?

I do not go.Waiste of time for me
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Unread 06-14-2009, 05:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MahTovChelkeinu View Post
It is a difficult thing to do. I think most people who want a formal farbrengen will start with a niggun or a l'chaim. Without alchohol, I think a niggun is the way to go.

The second peace, I think, is to start talking about avodah. You have to a have a group of people that decides implicitly to keep the conversation on an avodas Hashem topic, whether the avodah is davening, a certain mitzvah, hiskashrus, shlichus, middos, whatever.
I see. Thanks.
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Unread 06-16-2009, 05:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chossidnistar View Post
farbrengen? no mashke?

I do not go.Waiste of time for me
Women/girls don't generally drink mashke every time they want to farbreng...
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Unread 06-16-2009, 12:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by shlucha14 View Post
Women/girls don't generally drink mashke every time they want to farbreng...
As a rule, they shouldn't touch the stuff either. Absolutely hepech hatznius!

See http://www.chabadtalk.com/forum/showthread.php3?t=8912 (From post #20 and on...)
Or here: http://www.chabadtalk.com/forum/showthread.php3?t=413
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Unread 06-16-2009, 12:32 PM   #7
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A very successful shaliach once described a (certain type of) farbrengen this way, and I think this is about the best description of that type of farbrengen I've heard:

You have to describe what is on your mind, and in your heart. Gather with your closest friends (or, perhaps, people who are not your immediate friends, but who you trust), and become almost a therapy group for one another (incidentally, I think that in rehab programs they use terms like "accountability partner" to describe this function of a farbrengen). The group gets together somewhat regularly, and everyone discusses their issues, and areas where they know they need improvements. THey also share their successes with one another.

This provides chizuk for all parties involved. It also aids everyone involved in overcoming their personal demons (this is the purpose of the accountability partner: if you know that you have to report your progress to someone, you'll think twice before engaging in destructive behavior). The point is that the people you're speaking to are only there to help. They're not judgmental, and they'll always pat you on the back (while giving you honest feedback) when all is said and done.

The purpose of Mashka is to open everyone up. Four lechaims is enough to open up the average man, without causing him to get silly. My understanding is that women don't need alcohol for that purpose, and that it might be counterproductive. Niggunim are also supposed to help open a person up, and make him more receptive. I imagine that this works for women as well, but I have no experience in that area.
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Unread 06-16-2009, 04:58 PM   #8
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Yeah, its also worth mentioning that there are two distinct types of farbrengen. There's the type where one person speaks and everyone basically listens; and there's the type where everyone talks.

Meshulam's description of the type where everyone talks is I think more or less correct.

The type where only one person talks can be seen on Living Torah and elsewhere where the Rebbe farbrenged. There is an advantage to this type of farbrengen in that the person can control the discussion, has the ability to really develop an idea, and can have hashpoh on others who may be less advanced in their observance. There is also a disadvantage in that only the one person is talking, so if you are not interested in the topic or the person or have a need to express yourself as well, the farbrengen is not for you.
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Unread 06-16-2009, 06:46 PM   #9
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Farbrengens of yore (not only the Rebbe's farbrengen) were, I believe, usually of the one person speaking type. At least that is the impression one gets from the literature, and what I saw.

It probably boils down to whether there is an olderchossid/mashpiah farbrenging (which was once more common), or a bunch of guys getting together.
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Unread 06-16-2009, 07:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torah613 View Post
Farbrengens of yore (not only the Rebbe's farbrengen) were, I believe, usually of the one person speaking type. At least that is the impression one gets from the literature, and what I saw.
True but until the Rebbe there was much more interaction in the Farbrengens.
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Unread 06-16-2009, 07:31 PM   #11
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In the sense of questions and answers.
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Unread 06-16-2009, 08:40 PM   #12
existwhere?
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Originally Posted by Kookoo Kabalist View Post
As a rule, they shouldn't touch the stuff either. Absolutely hepech hatznius!
OK great, girls, don't drink.

(It's a bit absurd, girls don't drink anyway.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meshulam View Post
A very successful shaliach once described a (certain type of) farbrengen this way, and I think this is about the best description of that type of farbrengen I've heard:

You have to describe what is on your mind, and in your heart. Gather with your closest friends (or, perhaps, people who are not your immediate friends, but who you trust), and become almost a therapy group for one another (incidentally, I think that in rehab programs they use terms like "accountability partner" to describe this function of a farbrengen). The group gets together somewhat regularly, and everyone discusses their issues, and areas where they know they need improvements. THey also share their successes with one another.

This provides chizuk for all parties involved. It also aids everyone involved in overcoming their personal demons (this is the purpose of the accountability partner: if you know that you have to report your progress to someone, you'll think twice before engaging in destructive behavior). The point is that the people you're speaking to are only there to help. They're not judgmental, and they'll always pat you on the back (while giving you honest feedback) when all is said and done.

The purpose of Mashka is to open everyone up. Four lechaims is enough to open up the average man, without causing him to get silly. My understanding is that women don't need alcohol for that purpose, and that it might be counterproductive. Niggunim are also supposed to help open a person up, and make him more receptive. I imagine that this works for women as well, but I have no experience in that area.
How does it differ from spiritual group therapy?
Quote:
Originally Posted by MahTovChelkeinu View Post
Yeah, its also worth mentioning that there are two distinct types of farbrengen. There's the type where one person speaks and everyone basically listens; and there's the type where everyone talks.

Meshulam's description of the type where everyone talks is I think more or less correct.

The type where only one person talks can be seen on Living Torah and elsewhere where the Rebbe farbrenged. There is an advantage to this type of farbrengen in that the person can control the discussion, has the ability to really develop an idea, and can have hashpoh on others who may be less advanced in their observance. There is also a disadvantage in that only the one person is talking, so if you are not interested in the topic or the person or have a need to express yourself as well, the farbrengen is not for you.
Thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Torah613 View Post
Farbrengens of yore (not only the Rebbe's farbrengen) were, I believe, usually of the one person speaking type. At least that is the impression one gets from the literature, and what I saw.

It probably boils down to whether there is an olderchossid/mashpiah farbrenging (which was once more common), or a bunch of guys getting together.
Did the Rebbe ever participate in group farbrengens?
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Originally Posted by couldntbe View Post
True but until the Rebbe there was much more interaction in the Farbrengens.
Like other Chassidim would make comments to the Frierdicker Rebbe? (am I using the right Chabad lingo for this context?)
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Unread 06-16-2009, 09:17 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by existwhere? View Post
Did the Rebbe ever participate in group farbrengens?
Possibly, I don't know, and there is no one around today that would remember (though I do remember a letter where he apparantly refers to such a type of farbrengen).
Quote:

Like other Chassidim would make comments to the Frierdicker Rebbe? (am I using the right Chabad lingo for this context?)
Yes - but more like question and answer.
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Unread 06-16-2009, 09:42 PM   #14
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To the question about what separates the definition of a Farbrengen that I offered and group therapy: very little. The most successful therapy models are awfully similar to the kinds of smaller Farbrengens that were common for much of Chabad history (I differ from Torah613 about whether such Farbrengens took place before recently. I've heard stories suggesting that the model I gave above was rather common in the old country -- though I'll readily admit that the model he describes was more common).
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Unread 06-16-2009, 09:57 PM   #15
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So we are differing whether it was "usually" or merely "more common"?

Last edited by Torah613; 06-16-2009 at 11:32 PM.
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Unread 06-16-2009, 11:04 PM   #16
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So we are differring whether it was "usually" or merely "more common"?
Just that such farbrengens took place. Perhaps we don't disagree at all.
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Unread 06-17-2009, 12:08 PM   #17
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When I read various story books about the Rebbe and earlier Chassidim, I get the impression that this was the seder of yechidus:

1) Chossid would prepare for yechidus relatively privately. If he needed to be brought to the Rebbe (perhaps not a chossid, just a Jew that needed help) the other Chassidim would bring him.
2) Chossid went to private yechidus.
3) Post-yechidus, everyone would grab the chossid and try to get as much info about what the Rebbe said as possible, frequently discussing the Rebbe's advice for hours after. The helped the Chossid understand the Rebbe's words and also allowed the hashpah to spread further.
4) For years afterwards, the Chossid would remember fondly the yechidus and tell over at least portions of it at various gatherings.

Seems to me that everything except the yechidus itself could lead to the "group therapy" type of farbrengen.
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