Psychoanalyzing the ‘Da’as Torah’ Mindset

First, we copy a part of an essay by Rabbi Avraham Ashkenasy Shlita as is (with slight editorial changes):
The Gerrer Rebbe, the Pnei Menachem, zy”a, once recounted an incident from his childhood which illustrated the incisive approach of chassidus in Kotzk and Peshischa.
All the children of the Imrei Emes, zy”a, were giants in Torah and chassidus. The Tchebiner Rav, zt”l, said that because of the dazzling greatness of their father the Chassidim didn’t realize how great his children were. One of them, Reb Yitzchak, was particularly ingenious at cloaking his piety and sagacity with a mantle of humor which kept his true identity under wraps.
Late one Yom Kippur afternoon, right before Neila he made a remark which caused those surrounding him to break into smiles. His youngest brother, later to be known as the Pnei Menachem, was curious to know what was said at such an auspicious time, and Reb Yitzchak was forthcoming.
“Motzei Yom Kippur right after Ne’ilah we daven Maariv like every day, including the bracha of Selach lanu, in which we beg Hashem to pardon us. We were all wondering, what’s there to ask forgiveness for after such a holy day. Aren’t we clean and pure?”
“I suggested,” he said with a smile, “It’s because many people go on saying “leilah u’leilah in the Kaddish like they did all of Yom Kippur! So, we need a kapparah to absolve us of the sin of interrupting Kaddish with unnecessary words.”
The Pnei Menachem reacted in childhood innocence and wondered out loud, “What? How can you make such a joking comment of Yom Kippur?” Yitzchak smiled again and responded, “When you will get older you’ll understand!”
And the Pnei Menachem did. Decades later at a tisch when he himself was the Rebbe he explained. “After a long holy day of prayer and sanctification, people are uplifted. Some mistakenly feel they have already made it! They think they are sacrosanct like angels, holy and sublime, le’eilah u’le’eilah, way up high! But it is not true. Yom Kippur is only a beginning, an opportunity for a fresh start. Holiness doesn’t just “happen”; it requires long, hard work!”
Did you notice anything strange?
Alright, let’s see it again, this time with some parts bolded, and interspersed comments:
The Gerrer Rebbe, the Pnei Menachem, zy”a, once recounted an incident from his childhood which illustrated the incisive approach of chassidus in Kotzk and Peshischa.
All the children of the Imrei Emes, zy”a, were giants in Torah and chassidus. The Tchebiner Rav, zt”l, said that because of the dazzling greatness of their father the Chassidim didn’t realize how great his children were. One of them, Reb Yitzchak, was particularly ingenious at cloaking his piety and sagacity with a mantle of humor which kept his true identity under wraps.
Note the titles conferred throughout carefully. As for the Tchebiner Rav, when exactly did he make his statement? When they were chronologically children?! Nu.
Late one Yom Kippur afternoon, right before Neila he made a remark which caused those surrounding him to break into smiles. His youngest brother, later to be known as the Pnei Menachem, was curious to know what was said at such an auspicious time, and Reb Yitzchak was forthcoming.
“Motzei Yom Kippur right after Ne’ilah we daven Maariv like every day, including the bracha of Selach lanu, in which we beg Hashem to pardon us. We were all wondering, what’s there to ask forgiveness for after such a holy day. Aren’t we clean and pure?”
Rabbi Ashkenasy is too frightened to even introduce a Gerrer scion with his childhood name. Instead, he says: “youngest brother, later to be known as the Pnei Menachem”. His sacrilegious groveling is almost contagious.
“I suggested,” he said with a smile, “It’s because many people go on saying “leilah u’leilah in the Kaddish like they did all of Yom Kippur! So, we need a kapparah to absolve us of the sin of interrupting Kaddish with unnecessary words.”
The Pnei Menachem reacted in childhood innocence and wondered out loud, “What? How can you make such a joking comment of Yom Kippur?” Yitzchak smiled again and responded, “When you will get older you’ll understand!”
What happened to “Reb Yitzchak”? How did he lose the honorific so fast? And why is “Menachem” (pardon!) still referred to by the name of his book, although he is yet a child? With Chazal, their names are naturally given based on their deservedness at the time, as seen all throughout Mishnah and Gemara (doubtless, Chassidic Rebbes are far greater!).
The answer is simple. Since Yitzchak never became a Rebbe, while his younger brother did, he goes from “Reb” to plain “Yitzchak”. His exalted brother, in contradistinction, is never even mentioned here sans third-person splendor. It is almost as though making Rebbe is the Tachlis of our descending to this world… I guess the writer does, indeed, think so. Sad.
And the Pnei Menachem did. Decades later at a tisch when he himself was the Rebbe he explained. “After a long holy day of prayer and sanctification, people are uplifted. Some mistakenly feel they have already made it! They think they are sacrosanct like angels, holy and sublime, le’eilah u’le’eilah, way up high! But it is not true. Yom Kippur is only a beginning, an opportunity for a fresh start. Holiness doesn’t just “happen”; it requires long, hard work!”
See? the “Pnei Menachem” is called such since, when he himself was the Rebbe” decades later! It’s like with communists (um, lehavdil. I think). Those who gain political power gain more devotion to their ideas. Lenin, Mao and Che are read far, far more than the books of Marxist professors and members of the American Communist Party.
This is the overly reverent attitude toward rabbinic authority which can and has led to the ‘Da’as Torah’ delusion, and which can even lead to idolatry.

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