Thursday, June 08, 2017

Defining-The Askan [Shtadlan of yester-year] v. the Askan of today

The word Askan/ Shtadlan, the title public servant, has referred to a person characterized by selfless love for the Jewish people who sacrifices himself for the public good. We grew up hearing stories of people ran across Europe meeting with kings and governments in an effort to avert terrible decrees against the Jewish people. All this was done at their own personal peril and their own expense. The early klal workers in this country wanted nothing more than to spread chinuch and literally were moser nefesh for that ideal.    
Every good thing can be abused. This includes public service and community service when a trust of the people with interests other than those of the public they represent. If that happens, the people who suffer the most are all of us, all of klal yisroel, because the true askanim / shtadlanim-and there many out in there in the  trenches helping others lesheim shomayim will have lost the goodwill of the public due to the indiscretions and selflessness of the abusers.

There is a tremendous pitfall in askanus, a pitfall associated with all positions of power, especially those that are based on trust. In other words, the second an askan begins to think that it’s about me not about the cause; he is doomed to failure, because when there is a conflict between the “me” and the “cause”, the “me” is going to win and the “cause” is going to lose. That means that the little guy is going to lose.

The problem is that some Askanim become so swept up with their roles and their deeds even good deeds, that they often have a hard time separating themselves from the cause. They begin to think of themselves as the cause in itself.

If askanim want to retain the goodwill of the people and continue to help them; they must understand a few points. Firstly, it’s not about me. It’s about helping people. Secondly, an Askan is there to fill a need or a void. He’s not there to create a need and then becomes a knight in shining armor who will fix it. Don’t create a need or an organization that’s unnecessary or has already been created by someone else. If you do that, you’re not an Askan, but rather opportunist and a copycat to boot.

In addition, it goes without saying that if a person’s public service will in anyway benefit his own private business, mossad or interest, that person is not an Askan, but rather an opportunist utilizing the public to further his financial or organizational goals.

One particular form of askanus is that which exists in relationship between politicians and public servants. This is especially so when individuals with personal agendas and financial interests try to become liaisons between the frum community and politicians, taking advantage of the naiveté of so many in our tzibur.

These words should not be taken as an indictment on askanus. On the contrary, it is because we feel that altruistic public services are such an integral component of preserving the welfare of our communities and ensuring the flourishing of yidishkeit  that we must weed and out and separate the true askanim / shtadlanim, the true public servants, who selflessly give of themselves and their time for the public with little thought for recognition and remuneration, from the charlatans and  opportunist who sully the ideal of askanus and sully the name of our  communities in an unforgettable, unforgivable  way.

As a prominent Rebebetzin "in the know" said "I never saw an (ex)askan, without full pockets".

Based on an article by R' A. Birenbaum

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

can you define the meaning of
1)eihr hatorah.
2) rosh yeshiva.
3) daas torah.

4) noted askan.
5) behind the scene askan.
6)protekzya askan.

VHAMVIN YOVIN.
the answer is ask Benjamin franklin.

Lakewood Capital of "Askanim" said...

we all have Lakewood to thank for the "Modern Day Asken"
basically a person with a lot of time on his hand who cannot learn all day however at the same time does not want to work a 9-5 job as he feels it is benieth his dignity to get a regular job and work so he creates some orginization so that he can Hock around and go fundraising to pay his salary and walk around like a Shaina Klei Kodesh Yid

and than there is the Askan with to much Money who is also bored with to much time on his hand and is in need of some Power and projects to keep him busy and entertained.

Anonymous said...

yeder einer hut a deah

http://thepartialview.blogspot.com/2014/06/oich-mir-blogger-new-low-for-frum-blogs.html

Anonymous said...

VIDEO!! LCSW members stealing? gas from Lakewood taxpayers. judge for yourself http://thetownwatchdog.com/shocking-video-blatant-theft-of-your-tax-dollars/ …

Anonymous said...

Please define the Noted Asken,

Yudel Shain said...

After the latest primary election, it seems there are some 2000 residents that are fed up with the system in Lakewood. [about time]

First is important to set up Askanim that have the interest of the general population in mind not themselves or......

Anyone comments would be appreciated

Anonymous said...

start a new vaad everyone must pressure their rabbonim and tell them they have an achrayus for the shtut. We must help them stand up to the current leadership and tell them they are not looking out for the needs of the shtut the game is up.
Get letters from gedolim outside of Lakewood calling on the Roshei Yeshiva they must allow an official vaad hair to be formed and reckoned with.

The current system does not represent the general public and the yeshiva must look out for the youngeleit and Alumni who are being chased out of lakewood because they can no longer afford to stay.

ab said...

2000 out of a population of 90k. Seems like most people are happy.

Anonymous said...

It's not of 90k, how many went to vote?
it was a full 20%, that's a significant number.

ab said...

The other 80% are ok with the status quo. So while i may agree that the vaad doesn't represent my interests, it appears were in the minority.

Anonymous said...

20% had the guts to stand up and go against the establishment.
By the Cedarbrige mall, there were 1200 signatures against the establishment.

Arab Spring takes time, but it's happening.

Anonymous said...

What about the "Veteran" Lakewood Askan? Shenky who plops his school down in the middle of a Major Thoroufare Vine street blocking all Thru Traffic

Anonymous said...

למה אכפת להם שעושים עצרת נגד גיוס???
מה הפלג כבר ניצח?
למה אכפת להם שעושים עצרת נגד גיוס הצבא, ובעד חיזוק עולם התורה???

התשובה היא:
שהם = גדולי המועצת ביחד עם ח"כ, שולחים אלפי בחורים לשמד. גזירת הגיוס בועטת ונושכת , וגם שינו את מסורת הדורות, ולא רוצים שקלונם יושמע ברבים. וְהוּא רַחוּם יְכַפֵּר עָוֹן.

אבל גדולי התורה של אמריקה לא מפחדים לזעוק את האמת ושלחו להם את המכתב!!! ולא היה מה לענות להם. למעשה זה ממש בושה שגדולי המועצת מחזקים גזירת הגיוס עבור כסף ועוד כסף. אבל יש קהילות חשובות שמצטרפים היום ברה"ב להפגנה אדירה וזה מספיק להכניע את הסטרא אחרא..

עכשיו בס"ד הזדמנות חדשה של תחילת מהפכה!!!! למרות עשרות מליוני השקלים המושקעים בקמפיין האגרסיבי להשתיק כל קול מחאה על השיוי הקיצוני שעובר היהדות החרדית בשנים האחרונות בעקבות גזירת הגיוס. לא יעזור להם ולא ישתקו על העוול הזה. הקב"ה יעזור ויגן עלינו ׀לֹא־יִטֹּ֣שׁ ד' עַמּ֑וֹ וְ֝נַחֲלָת֗וֹ לֹ֣א יַעֲזֹֽב. השם הושיעה המלך יעננו המלך יעננו ביום קראינו ... יש סטרא אחרא, חוב גמור לעוקרו מן השורש ולבטל חידוש גזירת גיוס השמד ע"י ח"כ החרדים המסלפים תורתינו הקדושה ר"ל. הם המשכילים החדשים של דורינו שרוצים לעקור את התורה, ורגליהם לא עמדו על הר סיני!!!! יש קהילות חשובות שמצטרפים להפגנה וזה מספיק להכניע את הסטרא אחרא. ברוך השם שהפלג כבר ניצח ע"י שמקדשים שם שמים ברבים.

ד' הוא מלכנו ולו אנו עבדים, התורה הקדושה היא חיינו ולה אנו משועבדים. ובשלטון הכופרים אין אנו מאמינים - אין אנו מאמינים, ובחוקי החכי"ם {חרדים לשעבר} אין אנו חיים!!! רק בדרך התורה... באש ובמים... בלי לחשוב פעמים.

בימים אלו בצדקה מתקיפים - חרדים לשעבר, ולא מספיקים בזה, אלא גם ילדים קטנים תינוקות של בית רבן שהחלב עוד לא יבש על שפתם, מדברים דברי מחאה בגאוה ובקול שובר ארזים. דיבורים נוראיים, דברי אמת, למען כבוד ית' שמו. זה הוא הכוח של עולם התורה.