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I love chabad

There I said it, and I think the hate is crap, so they believe the rebbe is moshiach and they have the cult thing going on. I am pretty sure that if other Chassidic groups had as much public attention and allowed outsiders to come in, they would also receive as much flack. Put the messianic stuff aside and you have what is possible the single most important and influential group of Jews that has existed in ages.

For all the hating that goes down with chabad, people love to use them. Everyone has mooched, stayed at or had something to do with chabad when they were stuck. Countless people break down in the middle of nowhere, cant find kosher food, a place to daven or stay for shabbos and who comes to the rescue? Then you have the college campus phenomena which Wolfson/Aish enterprises is just starting to realize is a good thing, it seems like it took the snags 40 years to figure out that kids on campus were thirsting for some sort of torah Judaism.

Chabad is so accessible that its easy to hate them, its also easy to hate em because they speak English and therefore we can get the other foot in the door and comprehend what is flying. Other Chassidic sects are just lumped together as Haredim and no one really knows much about them. Ask almost any Jew regardless of their affiliation and they would recognize the Rebbe, I doubt they could pick any other big Rabbi out of a lineup. I sure as hell dont know what the Satmar Rebbe looks like.

To me its pretty obvious that the Jewish world is jealous of chabad. In general chabadnicks are the coolest of the frum Jews and they invite coolness. Just look at the folks becoming frum through chabad, sure they go through their crazy BT stage just like anyone else, but unlike other groups, chabad doesnt discourage artistic or intellectual pursuits hence many chabadnicks go to college and live within both the secular and frum worlds to me they are modern orthodox Chassidim, so hard to find in a world of frummies that want to make everything assur.

Might I add that no other frum group has the balls or connections to pull off something like the chabad telethon.

{ 191 comments… add one }
  • Chaya March 10, 2010, 10:07 PM

    1. We love you too :). Thanks for the post… as a Lubab, I take it personally.

    2. One thing I don’t like in your post is the line “to me they are modern orthodox Chassidim”. We don’t want to be Modern Orthodox. Chabad is trying to remain super frum in a modern world-without changing who we are.

    • Heshy Fried March 10, 2010, 10:19 PM

      Unlike other Chassidic sects chabad has different levels. There are modern chabad and left wing chabad as well as super frummy right wing, but in CH notice it is more modern.

      • YY March 10, 2010, 11:02 PM

        I think at least in Israel, Breslov has the same thing. A lot of the dati leumi people are into Breslov. Some even describe themselves as Chabakuk — Chabad-Breslov-Kook.

      • C March 14, 2010, 12:40 AM

        I hear you-there are many different levels of observance within Chabad Chassidim. However, Chabad itself is not a modern movement at all.

      • Menachem December 29, 2011, 11:12 PM

        Left wing chabadnicks? Really? I honestly didn’t think such a person existed; it almost seems a laughable oxymoron, like “gay Republican” or something, though I must admit my exposure to them (while exceedingly positive) has been limited.

        Anyway, thanks for this great article; I landed here after searching for “I love Chabad,” and I agree with you wholeheartedly. 🙂

  • Phil March 10, 2010, 10:35 PM

    Every sect has modern chassidim these days, I think Chabad is simply more tolerant to it than most other groups, Breslov might be a tie.

    Overall, Chabad outreach is amazing, but the big Lubavitch communities such as CH are unfortunately different story completely. We invite people in, treat them really well until they become full fledged members. Then, they started getting treated like crap unless they’ve got big $$$.

    Sad but true.

    • Heshy Fried March 10, 2010, 10:49 PM

      I don’t think I have ever met a normal Bresslover

      • YY March 10, 2010, 11:13 PM

        Breslov is not a chassidic group composed entirely of weirdos! How would that even be …possible? There really aren’t that many Breslovers in the U.S., so it’s easy for one or two people here and there to skew people’s perceptions of a group. The other thing is that since unlike some groups Breslov is not a hierarchical group (R’ Nachman didn’t believe in hereditary dynasties), so anyone can say I’m a Breslover and there’s no one to say they’re not.

        R’ Lazer Brody and Shalom Arush certainly have the same tolerance and openess to everyone that Chabad has. Actually, it seems like half the letter R’ Brody responds to are from his Noahide readers. One of his recent posts involved someone who had bad-mouthed Breslovers in the past for being weird and for leaving their families for Uman on Rosh HaShana, but realized the error of her ways. I see what she’s saying, since the book Garden of Peace — R’ Arush’s marriage manual — really is amazing; all married men should read it.


      • Phil March 11, 2010, 9:55 AM

        Back in my Yeshiva days in L.A, one of my metalhead buddies was a Breslover. I couldn’t believe it the first time I went to his house, his dad was there in this silk beketshe with long peyos while my buddies room was filled with Ozzy, Maiden and Motley Crue posters.

        Breslov opened a center in a Sephardi area of Montreal, so most Breslovers here are of Morrocan origin, kind of funny when they all make the yearly Uman pilgrimage to Russia.

        • YY March 11, 2010, 2:20 PM

          That’s a funny story. Wonder how he turned out.

          In Israel there are a lot of Sephardic ba’alei teshuvah who became Breslovers. In fact, R’ Shalom Arush, who runs a BT yeshivah and a growing outreach empire based on his books, CDs and website, is himself a Moroccan ba’al teshuvah.

          At least one of the sons of Baba Sali (the Moroccan-born miracle worker) was known to study Rebbe Nachman’s works and recommend them to his children. Some sephardim are very chassidic-friendly. In fact when Baba Sali first made aliyah from Morroco, he decided to move to another city when he met some Israeli misnagid rabbi who talked bad about the Besht.

          • Phil March 11, 2010, 2:44 PM


            I still correspond with him by email. I know he still hangs out at mosh pits on the Sunset strip, but sends his kids to Jewish schools, so I’m assuming he’s modern orthodox.

            Funny thing is he lives right next to our ex-rosh yeshiva, who still can’t stand him and pulls faces every time he sees him.

    • feivelbenmishael March 10, 2010, 11:49 PM

      Well duh. Isn’t that how ALL of society works?
      Anyways your just supposed to be batul anyways.

    • ghottistyx March 11, 2010, 12:13 AM

      How about the fact that once you get sucked in, you’re expected to grow the “Schneerson” beard and wear a black hat? Like at first, they’re all open-minded to all walks of life, allow you to dress or act however you want, but it’s all just a carrot-on-a-stick (that and the free booze).

      • Heshy Fried March 11, 2010, 1:34 AM

        If you get sucked in that’s your problem, I have been hanging around chabad for 15 years and no one has sucked me in yet.

        What about in the yeshiva world where you get sucked in or any other world where they make you join the cult after a while.

      • Phil March 11, 2010, 9:58 AM


        The beard and black hat thing still gets to me. I’ve lived in a big Lubavitch community for over 25 years, and still get “the looks” for not having a full beard, wearing jeans and davening without a hat and jacket.

        Fortunately, many people are smart enough to see past those petty issues, but many are stuck on them as if they were laws given at Sinai.

        • feivelbenmishael March 11, 2010, 10:55 AM

          They were… weren’t they?

        • ghottistyx March 11, 2010, 11:01 PM

          Well, you know the old joke: How do you know that Ya’akov Avinu wore a black hat? The passuk says “Va’Yeitze Ya’akov…” WOULD YA’AKOV AVINU LEAVE THE HOUSE WITHOUT A BLACK HAT?

  • Zvi Lampert March 10, 2010, 10:38 PM

    I absolutely agree with your post.
    I’ve been saying it for years.
    You could have thrown in a joke or two…

    • Heshy Fried March 10, 2010, 10:55 PM

      Could have but I wanted to write my first chabad post without talk of drunken lubbies, great free food, free beds in the middle of nowhere and of course the beautiful women – I saved it for the comments.

      Oh and don’t forget the 11am shachris on shabbos and the poking fun at snags for their holier than thou attitudes.

      • Zvi Lampert March 10, 2010, 11:11 PM

        11 AM? When I lived in Brooklyn if I ever missed the 2PM shacharis at Munkacz I could still make the 4:00 at 770.
        And yes, having played at literally hundreds of Lubo weddings, the Chabadske chicks are hotties.

  • Chaviva March 10, 2010, 10:42 PM

    I feel the same as you on a lot of this. I look at Chabad as I look at Wal-Mart.

    Sam Walton was an amazing man who said and did some amazing things and built an excellent business on his values and morals. Then? His kids came in and bastardized his image, his brand, and his vision.

    There, I said it. It’s a lot like Jesus, too. People do what they want with someone’s life and history and words. The people, the real individual and their power and brilliance, get lost in the shuffle of what we want to think about them.

    • feivelbenmishael March 10, 2010, 11:47 PM

      Actually Yoshke was a heretic and idolotor.
      Sorry you got confused.

      • ghottistyx March 11, 2010, 12:10 AM

        Actually, we know very little about the man himself. Except for an anecdote between R’ Yehoshua b. Perachya that MAY OR MAY NOT have included Yeshua (if it did, then he would have lived 100 bce), there is little Jewish mesorah about the man himself. As for the Christian mesorah, well, much of it has been distorted. Anyone who’s read “The DaVinci Code” is familiar with this basic argument–al regel achat, that the Church has distorted his message so much over the years, that no one truly follows in his example anymore.

        Whatever Yeshua was, be him a Lamed Vavnik or simply a heretic and idolator, he was born a Jew and died a Jew. His earliest followers were Jews, who still practiced Judaism, only they believed that Yeshua was the Moshiach. It wasn’t until St. Paul that Christianity began to evolve as a separate animal altogether, one that was COMPLETELY independent of Yiddishkeit. So say what you want about Yeshua, his message, his ministry, his practice, et al., but don’t think for one second that Christianity is 100% what he wanted.

        • sergeant J March 11, 2010, 2:46 AM

          The fact that so many Jews work on the assumption that the existence of a man named Jesus that the story is based on is already a nod to the concept of “if you tell a lie big enough and long enough, it becomes truth” . Since every “proof” is based on the same shady “new testament’ story, there really is no definite proof that any of the story is true.
          As to the Chabad thing, well, I find that, at east in kiruv mode, they do give off the least racist impression of any frum groups out there.

          • Heshy Fried March 11, 2010, 10:29 AM

            Impression because they are very good with PR – you will never hear a lubbie say the N word around his guests

            • sergeant J March 11, 2010, 10:32 AM

              True enough, when most Lubavitch folks I have known feel safe around fellow frummies, for the most part, they are just as racist….

            • Phil March 11, 2010, 10:40 AM


              You haven’t been my guest yet, you’ll have to make a shehcheyanu. Most lubabs prefer shvartza.

              • sergeant J March 11, 2010, 6:34 PM

                So we are agreed, that most Lubavitch folks are just as racist as anyone else, and some even do not bother to hid it in front of guests? No need to answer, you already did..

                • Phil March 11, 2010, 7:02 PM


                  Everyone is racist to some extent, some just try to mask it more than others. Truth is that I don’t typically use the “N word” in front of my kids or guests.

                  It’s usually reserved for racist jokes with people that I know will laugh, or on occasions where I get really mad at them, like the time they threw rocks at my mom and kids or when they attempted to steal my son’s bike.

                  Personally, I prefer ape or baboon. It’s less condescending and more descriptive 🙂 🙂 🙂

                  • meyer March 12, 2010, 12:36 AM

                    how about eggplant face?

                    • dassi April 25, 2010, 8:41 AM

                      did you actually put such hateful comments in writing?!? the smileys did nothing to soften it. i am glad that you “usually” don’t use the N word in front of your kids. perhaps they will have a slight chance of not adopting all of your racists behavior.

                • DrumIntellect March 17, 2010, 11:44 AM

                  I think when you grow up in a neighborhood that is comprised of more than 50% black people and you see how friendly and nice they can be, the fear that other, more insular, Jewish groups have, dissipate. (As Yoda said, Fear leads to anger, anger to hatred, hatred to the dark side.)

                  • Phil March 17, 2010, 11:58 AM


                    I know some nice black people, and I have nothing against them. That doesn’t mean I don’t stereotype people in general based on facts.

                    I’ve seen some horrible black people too, and know that there are plenty more where they came from. That doesn’t mean that I think they are all like that.

                    Yoda was a fictional little green creature with big ears, kind of thing you don’t expect to see in real life unless you were on an acid trip. That’s about as much credence as I give to what he has to say.

                    • DrumIntellect March 17, 2010, 4:08 PM

                      There are plenty of bad folk. I’m not denying that. I just see that CH people, in general, tend to get along with people of other races because they live so closely together.

                      Sure there are issues in CH, for example, allegedly, Thursday March 11, 2010, on Kingston Avenue between East New York and Lefferts Avenues at around 6:30pm an 11 year old Jewish boy was attacked and punched in the head by a group of 12 to 14 years old black youngsters.
                      If our mayor and police departments weren’t so focused on “proving” that crime is dropping, they’d investigate these incidents and have the perpetrators face the justice they need and then crime really would go down. (IMO)

                    • Phil March 17, 2010, 4:37 PM


                      Back in my younger days, people in Crown heights didn’t get along with the blacks at all. Shmira ran around chasing black thugs and thiefs 95% of the time, and the mess culminated in the infamous Crown Heights pogrom here Yankel Rosenbaum was brutally murerded for nothing more than being visibly Jewish.

                      I haven’t been there in years, but either times have changed drastically, or your living in a bubble and seeing what you want to see.

                  • Phil April 25, 2010, 11:34 AM


                    Don’t worry, I thnk yeshiva has them well covered, they are enrolled in racism 101.

                    You need to chill out and learn how to laugh.

          • Drew Mazanec March 11, 2010, 12:45 PM

            I’m sure a Mordechai Kaplan would say the same about Moses.

            • ghottistyx March 11, 2010, 11:07 PM

              Oh yeah, finally got around to reading “Judaism Without Supernaturalism”. He doesn’t say straight out, but he pretty much takes on the classic argument of the Kuzari that says that proof of the truth of the Bible is that no one has questioned its historical veracity, though they’ve questioned other things. Yeah, based on what’s in this book, he’d totally look at Moses as portrayed by the Bible as being a archetype who’s there just to teach us a lesson, and that the Bible is not meant to be a reliable source of history at all.

              • Drew Mazanec March 16, 2010, 10:16 AM

                It strikes me as ironic that Orthodox Jews use secular higher criticism to attack the New Testament, when the same secular scholars, for the same reasons, think that Tanakh is a bunch of fairy tales.

        • feivelbenmishael March 11, 2010, 10:54 AM

          Every Jew is always a Jew.
          There are other sources about Yoshke.
          Other places in gemara, and some sefarim.

  • YU guy March 10, 2010, 11:19 PM

    Have you ever heard or read any Lubavitcher on David Berger? He is the most aidel mensche you will ever meet (I know him personally); he happened to write a book describing the theological problems he sees in contemporary Chabad.

    Yet virtually all Lubavitchers go nuts when it comes to him. They accuse him of slander, sinas chinam, you name it. They disrespect him in every way possible. He clearly shows respect to the Rebbe in his book, but the ad hominum attacks on him go way over the line.

    There’s plenty of hate in Chabad as well.

    • Sergey Kadinsky March 11, 2010, 12:01 AM

      Chabad needs an Eighth Rebbe.

      • YU guy March 11, 2010, 1:28 AM

        Sergey: theoretically, yes that might solve many of Chabad’s problems. But it also misses the point; they are all messianic to a certain extent.

        The above sentence doesn’t mean that I think that all Lubavitchers believe that the Rebbe is moshiach. Even the ones that don’t are inculcated with the notion that moshiach is really coming any second now and therefore we should do this mitzva etc… I mean, look at every single frikken sicha.

        It’s antithetical for contemporary Chabad to have another Rebbe.

        • Anonymous March 11, 2010, 4:38 AM

          … they are all messianic to a certain extent … Even the ones that don’t are inculcated with the notion that moshiach is really coming any second

          Is that bad? I mean, kind of is a thing that’s mentioned here and there in traditional texts, no?

          P.S.: Weren’t you just (rightfully) lamenting the fact, that Prof. David Berger is shown disrespect in every way possible? Well then, maybe your choice of words describing R. Schneerson’s Divre Tora as frikken sicha isn’t really going into the right direction of showing respect.

        • Sergey Kadinsky March 12, 2010, 12:03 AM

          Not really. After two centuries of being led by a living rebbe, Chabad was not adequately prepared to continue without a rebbe.

      • Super Frummy right-wing Lubavitcher April 23, 2010, 12:02 PM

        ..if it is possible to find a suitable successor. Deustch? He doesn’t respect the Rebbe anyways. Krinsky? He’s too entangled in politics. Kahn? He lacks proper so-called “political skills” . In addition to all this, all the above weren’t child prodigy’s, neither do they have Ruach HaKodesh. Better to have a Rebbe in olam haemes, then to have a “Rebbe” in olam hazeh…

        • CA July 11, 2011, 4:56 PM

          We have a Rebbe in Oilam HaZeh. What, just because a tzaddik’s guf dies his neshama is not here anymore? What sort of narishkeit?

          Plus, even if what you said were the case, the Rebbe left himself for us in his teachings. In a sense, a histalkus would make him more present, because now we can focus what a Lubavitcher Rebbe is all about his teachings.

          People who say “Chabad should have an eight rebbe” have no clue about what Chabad is. Which is really 90% of frum Yidden, so no wonder…

          • Sergeant J July 11, 2011, 6:03 PM

            So, ummm, why did they need rebbes 2-7 again?

            • CA July 11, 2011, 7:03 PM

              Because the goal for which Chassidus Chabad was introduced into the world had to be accomplished in seven steps, corresponding to the seven spheros of creation. Each generation of Rebbeim and their chassidim fulfilled each spiritual step of the process, and the Rebbeim revealed another level of Chassidus Chabad.

              The seventh Rebbe brought this process to the final stage: revelation in the world of the concept of ein od milvado, through learning the concepts of Chassidus Chabad, corresponding to them, and through one’s awareness and behavior drawing the era when that concept will be b’gilui (i.e., the Geula). All of this is quite poshut if you open the book and start learning the ma’amorim and sichos (both the fact that this has always been the goal — see the ma’amor called On the Essence of Chassidus, and how all this is accomplished through Chassidus Chabad).

              Now, the point is that the final steps have to be done by the chassidim of the Rebbe, not by the Rebbe himself. So, this is why we currently have no physical Rebbe available to us. But he is still our Rebbe; we are still his Chassidim; his teachings (on every level, from very esoteric concepts, to specific horaos in avoida, to very practical advice about everyday life) still apply to us and still guide us specifically in our mission.

              Everything else is just commentary. But unless you know all the above “from the inside”, Chabad is just a bunch of kiruvniks wearing Bursolino hats and not trimming their beards.

      • CA July 15, 2011, 1:02 AM
    • Super Frummy right-wing Lubavitcher April 23, 2010, 11:57 AM

      It only reflects the hate that they get.

    • Yup May 5, 2010, 3:50 PM

      “Theres plenty of hate in Chabad as well.”

      Yup, particularly once you’ve gone to Chabad yeshivas–if you don’t become a full-on Chassid, some people can’t stand it. I went to a Lubab BT yeshivah, but stopped actively keeping certain chumras in my home (wife would have fried out if we remained chareidi in lifestyle). We are basically looked on like shkotzim by some in the lubavitch velt.

      Not that the yeshivish are any better–Chabad is the best chareidi group–it’s just that many rank and file Lubavs are bigots (like Phil), but simultaneously expect you to buy into the view that Jews have a nefesh haelokis. If that is true, you’d better start acting more in accordance with it, so that all that talk doesn’t come off like horse shit.

  • Zvi Lampert March 10, 2010, 11:35 PM

    I’m not Lubavitch, but Ive spent a lot of time in CH. I’ve seen some very disturbing things as well, especially among the extremist fringe. However with all the legitemate criticism, they’re still untouched when it comes to outreach and chessed.

  • feivelbenmishael March 10, 2010, 11:46 PM

    Chabad certainly hashkafically is not modern orthodox at all.
    It’s just that since were open and want to bring Chassidus to everyone you find people who identify lubavitchly but maybe arent the most uber frum in practice yet.

    • Meir March 11, 2010, 12:08 AM

      Sure it is. For instance, I have a very hard time seeing any other Chasidic group letting students participate in spelling bees in English with other (goyishe) schools, while a student at the Chabad Academy in South Carolina actually won his area (mind you, this is South Carolina, so the competition may not be so great, but still …)

      • feivelbenmishael March 11, 2010, 11:40 AM

        Okay but do you think such a thing happens in a Lubavitcher Cheder??

      • Phil March 11, 2010, 11:50 AM


        The Chabad in South Carolina isn’t mainstream Lubavitch Yeshiva. Most full fledged Lubavitchers shun secular education based on a series of letters from the Rebbe where he came out quite strongly against it unless it was mandatory by law.

        That is why the majority of Lubavitch yeshivos don’t offer secular studies at all, though a few offer them as an option, but not mandatory.

        • Meir March 11, 2010, 9:16 PM

          Oh, yes, which is of course terribly hypocritical because Schneerson himself studied electrical engineering somewhere in France.

          • Phil March 11, 2010, 9:32 PM


            I don’t think Lubavitchers or the Rebbe are hypocritical for not studying secular studies, though I don’t agree with that philosophy.

            The Rebbe knew from his experience whether or not his time was well spent in university, and was aware of the daily trials/tests today’s youth face when going to college.

            He held that children learning anything other than Torah was counterproductive up until a certain age, and discouraged it unless the government enforced mandatory secular studies.

            Many Chassidic groups share the same philosophy. Satmar here doesn’t accept a penny from the government, just so they shouldn’t have to answer to the education ministry.

      • Anonymous April 23, 2010, 12:04 PM

        Well even if this school is run by Chabad, it’s for non-Chabad kids (besides the Shluchim’s children).

  • Rivka March 10, 2010, 11:57 PM

    Wow! Love it. Love the post, love the comments. Never thought about it like Walmart before. Good analogy. Totally with feivel on the correction about Jman though. So going to share this on facebook and twitter! 😉 It’s funny, because it’s so obvious, yet so insightful and just needed to be said. Good work, Hesh.

  • Bella March 11, 2010, 12:40 AM

    Yeah, we rock!!!

  • chevramaidel March 11, 2010, 12:42 AM

    Yes, one good thing Chabad has done in the last few years is make Breslov look normal!
    Heshy, come back in fifteen or twenty years and check up on some of those hot girls. They’ll be pushing double strollers with a couple of kids hanging on, and looking all run down. And unless they’ve got money, their sheitlach (because they must wear sheitlach, no matter what) will look like something crawled up on their heads and died. Unless they’re ba’alot teshuvah – then more likely you’ll see their own graying hair, because most of the men their age are either not normal, or holding out for teenage girls fresh from Bais Rivkah.

  • ahron March 11, 2010, 12:42 AM

    in the future all Judaism will be Chabad.

  • Rebecca March 11, 2010, 1:01 AM

    I love Chabad also, and I know a lot of Chabadniks that don’t believe the Rebbe is messiah, apparently it is a very small minority of Chabadniks that actually believe that. The rest of the Chabadniks are regular people so to speak. I agree with you though I think their accessibility is what makes them so reviled by people. I myself, will never forget the time I was at a Chabad house and a non-Chabad affiliated Jew had gotten stuck in the area with a group of Yeshiva boys. He got up and gave a lecture on how terrible non-Jews are and then 5 minutes later invited me to the Yeshiva if I were ever in town. One of the men said, “Oh I see, non-Jews are terrible people yet you would invite Rebecca over when she is one of them, doesn’t that make you a ____ and a ____ and a hypocrite? What kind of Jew do you think you are?” I always thought it was funny that they included me in all events, one of the people even wanted to invite me to join the singles group. Chabad is a wonderful organization and I for one am sick and tired of the hate mongering.

  • havdla March 11, 2010, 1:45 AM

    80% of the animosity is jealousy of their success, 20% is hashkafic.

    • Heshy Fried March 11, 2010, 1:53 AM

      It seems that the good outweighs the bad by far

      • Anonymous March 11, 2010, 6:10 AM

        “It seems that the good outweighs the bad by far” – as long as you are not a convert of the non-orthodox kind …

        • Heshy Fried March 11, 2010, 11:05 PM

          But if you converted non-orthodox why do you want to be with the orthodox, makes no sense to me.

  • sheva March 11, 2010, 8:06 AM

    We can debate this all day but when it comes down to it Chabad is so sucessful because of 100% pure Ahavas Yisroel, not the i learn about Ahavas Yisroel all day and forget all about it as soon as i step out of kollel. Pure love for their fellow Jew!

  • Ed March 11, 2010, 8:36 AM

    Like Heshy, I’ve been hanging around Chabad for many years. The network of Chabad Houses is the most valuable resource out there for non-NY/LA Jews. We’re traveling East now, from LA, and we had Purim at Chabad of Mesa, and this past Shabbos (and next Shabbos) at Chabad of El Paso. Up ahead, we’ll find Chabad in San Antonio and Houston.

    When my wife had a brain tumor removed, Rabbi Levin at Chabad of Palo Alto came to the hospital and sat with me, and I wasn’t even a regular there.

    The best comment above is that Chabad is all about Ahavas Yisroel. I read once that the Rebbe, when asked about his outreach, “Every soul is a diamond. Can one grow tired of counting diamonds?”

    Oh, one last thing. At Chabad of El Paso, the cholent is served with Mexican style hot sauce. Go figure 🙂

    • Heshy Fried March 11, 2010, 10:30 AM

      Funny I was thinking of going to Rabbi Levin for shabbos

      • Ed March 11, 2010, 10:45 AM

        You should, and tell him Ed Greenberg from San Jose said hello.

        • Heshy Fried March 11, 2010, 11:06 PM

          You know I was in SJ last shabbos – do you daven at Am Echad?

          • Ed Greenberg April 23, 2010, 2:01 PM

            I davened a few times at Am Echad, a bit at Ahabat Torah across the street, and a bunch at Chabad of SJ in Los Gatos.

  • Conservative apikoris March 11, 2010, 8:44 AM

    As a non-O, I would have to say that I don’t hate Chabad, but I’m a bit suspicious of their motives. I get the vibe of their being a yiddische version of the Borg wanting to assimilate every Jew in the universe into being a Chabad Chassid, and a right-wing O Chabad chasid at that.

    Thus, back in the days when I was trying to be frum Conservative, I would do everything I could to avoid relying on Chabad when I was in remote places. Fortunately, you’d be amazed at the amount of kosher food you can find in supermarkets in small New England towns. And I’d rather daven by myself in the woods than try to find a Chabad minyan where the liturgy is inconsistent with what I grew up with. The fact that they have the rebbe fixation and that thy’re totally right-wing on the Israeli-Arab issue also don’t help. And, of course, a people have mentioned, like all kiruv groups, of course they show a welcoming tolerant face to prospective members, but living in a frum neighborhood, I know the deal about what happens once you’re hooked. I believe the technique is known as “love bombing.”

    Now, Conservative synagogues have their own problems, but at least I know what I’m getting if I go to one.

    • Heshy Fried March 11, 2010, 10:31 AM

      Their motives are to make you into a chabadnick – nothing new

      • Ed March 11, 2010, 10:49 AM

        I think you may be tarring “them” with a very wide brush. I have never even remotely gotten that vibe. Admittedly most of my Chabad experience is on the West Coast. In all cases, I felt that their motive was to bring you back to Torah and Mitzvos, and I’ve been frequently told that every little bit helps.

        Certainly, if a person were to adopt Chassidus, the Chabad folks involved would be very fulfilled.

        Fortunately, I’m secure in my own choices, so I am not influenced much in any direction that I don’t want to take.

        Some folks, looking for a definition for their faith, might be more amenable to the Chabadnik message. And more power to them.

      • Super Frummy right-wing Lubavitcher April 23, 2010, 12:09 PM

        I’m a son of a Shliach, and i know that to be 100% untrue. That’s just propaganda from the aforementioned jealous souls…

  • RIZZO March 11, 2010, 9:10 AM

    i don’t know how anyone can really be left wing on isreal arab issues. If you give arabs their own state they will surely do more harm than the isolated yet controllable problems now. The ‘peaceful’ arabs lack the infrastructure and manpower to weed out extremeism, plus it’s in their religoin to do that.

    • Meir March 11, 2010, 9:13 PM

      For a state, wingness aside, there is the not dismissible possibility of Israel facing sanctions from Europe (and if a sanctions thing gets going, China, which doesn’t really care but also doesn’t want to piss off their oil supply) over the next, say 2 (Fayad’s state declaration deadline) to 20 years, if the status quo (or something even less democratic) continues

      Also, it’s in our religion to ‘do that’ as well, you know. We just limit it to a smaller range (Eretz Yisrael).

  • JewishAtheist March 11, 2010, 9:27 AM

    I agree that chabad is pretty cool for an Orthodox sect, although I think they manipulate people who are a little odd or a little off or a little lonely into becoming Orthodox. Not the worst thing in the world, of course.

    Chabad doesnt discourage artistic or intellectual pursuits

    I have to disagree with this. I know personally two women who gave up their potential careers in music (one singing one playing an instrument) after Chabad turned them Orthodox.

    • meyer March 12, 2010, 12:51 AM

      Not necesarily because chabad discouraged it.
      Maybe they tehmselves found better things to get busy with…
      My neighbors daughter (long-time Crown Heighters), plays like 6 instruments and is known all over Lubavitch for her musical talents.

  • MonseyMan March 11, 2010, 9:49 AM

    How can Lubavitch be real chassidim if they don’t have Payois and were don’t wear a streimel? But, you gotta love them mitzvah tanks.

    • feivelbenmishael March 11, 2010, 11:42 AM

      How can non-Lubavitcher chassidim be real Chassidim if they don’t learn our Rebbe’s Chassidus and follow our minhagim?

    • Super Frummy right-wing Lubavitcher April 23, 2010, 12:12 PM

      Since when does a shtriemel and a bekisheh make a chossid? Bin-Laden was seen wearing a bekisheh, and his Taliban hat comes from prominent shtrimel manufacterers. Oh, and by the way, they DO have payos, although they are not down to the hips…

  • Frumsatire Fan March 11, 2010, 10:15 AM

    Good post!
    I admire Lubbies for their J-dars, esp. on Sukkot when they scan the crowd for pintele yidn to offer you to shake the lulav. Hassidim are the only people who can get away with approaching complete strangers on the street and asking them if they’re Jewish – imagine how offensive it’d be if the man who does it looked totally waspy!

  • Yossi March 11, 2010, 11:18 AM

    “I love Chabad”
    awww, shucks! and we love you!

  • FrumGer March 11, 2010, 11:43 AM

    Chabaniks are the best period.

  • Bubba Metzia March 11, 2010, 1:27 PM

    Is the Yechi thing really widespread? I go to a Chabad shul (I’m not a Lubavitcher, I’ve gone there since the Conservative shul I grew up going to started playing music on Shabbat) and no one there thinks that Schneerson is the moshiach. Most of them really don’t like the ones who think that he is.

    • Heshy Fried March 11, 2010, 11:10 PM

      French and Israeli chabadnicks are notoriously yechi. The yechi crowd controls 770 and in CH they are very vocal and violent against anti’s sometimes.

      • Jude April 23, 2010, 12:14 PM


  • To 9:27 March 11, 2010, 2:00 PM

    Indeed, the Rebbe’s philosophy (generally) was not to shun talents etc. which one had learned in his previous state. Definitely said in regard to musical acheivements (provided in the new context; e.g. only women crowds/events).

    RE Those two women you speak of: had either not understood/read up on the Rebbe’s philosophy – or – they had felt (or asked their “mashpia” mentor) the temptation to fall back on their former contexts of music, would be too great a challenge. I’m sure you’ll see that as true when speaking to them next.

    As a chosid reading up on the Rebbe’s works – I know this as the Rebbe’s philosophy: Same went with the Media (radio, television) – that although there are “cons” (impure talk etc) – let’s spread light of Yiddishkeit (Tanya, Torah radio etc.; Chanukah sataliette). The list goes on.

    Ignorance is no excuse. Read up and learn!

  • D123 March 11, 2010, 4:49 PM

    I know many people who became frum through Chabad. They now have many kids who are continuing to spread the positive message and have themselves brought people back to yiddishkiet. There will always be a positive and negative side when talking about a group who is so influential and constantly in the spotlight. All the good that Chabad does was taught and demonstrated by the Lubavitcher Rebbe who was one of the greatest Tzadikim of our generation. As far as chassidus I have studied many types and chabad chassidus is the most potent.

  • Bubba Metzia March 11, 2010, 5:19 PM

    Is the Yechi thing really widespread? I go to a Chabad shul (I’m not a Lubavitcher, I’ve gone there since the Conservative shul I grew up going to started playing music on Shabbat) and no one there thinks that Schneerson is the moshiach. Most of them really don’t like those who think that he is.

    • Phil March 12, 2010, 8:52 AM


      Yechi thing is widespread in big Lubavitch communites, such as CH, Montreal, Kfar Chabad, Tzfas, etc.

      Chabad houses and shluchim are officially non yechis, as the movement’s official leadership has distanced itself from the yechis and don’t buy into that garbage. They advised their outreach dept. (aka shluchim) to do the same.

    • Bubba Metzia March 12, 2010, 8:58 AM

      Sorry about the double post. It was freezing up when I tried to post it.

  • Jason March 11, 2010, 7:08 PM


    well said.


  • dovid c March 11, 2010, 8:27 PM

    Sweet post. Chabad breaks down all boundaries.

  • chosid March 11, 2010, 9:46 PM

    to me they are modern orthodox Chassidim

    This is NOT something we are proud of. It’s important to be involved with the world and we were never ones to isolate ourselves but we are most definitely not striving to be MO with beards.

  • Sam March 11, 2010, 10:15 PM

    We love you too Heshy!

    Chabad aims to be the most innovative (modern) while using that innovation as a tool to spread the totally uncompromised Torah Truth!

  • Mottel March 12, 2010, 12:53 AM

    Hesh – we love you too!

  • meyer March 12, 2010, 12:58 AM

    Everyone missed the point here!

    Chabad is what it is because of its core phylosophy, namely Chassidus.
    Chabad Chassidus is the ultimate truth and Chabad has it and all the other groups wish they had it.

  • Itzchak March 12, 2010, 5:22 AM

    I used to love Chabad and always appreciated all the fine work they did for Am Israel.
    However since the Rebbe died (as well as the period before it, esp. once he had his stroke), they seem to have lost their bearings. The waiting for the Rebbe to return in flesh is a huge chillul HaShem and seems like a backwards step (There already is a huge population of misguided souls waiting for the Messiah to return).

    • feivelbenmishael March 12, 2010, 10:20 AM

      Because everyone knows waiting for the dead to return is explicitly forbidden by our holy torah… oh wait.

  • Itzchak March 12, 2010, 10:26 AM

    I assume you understand the difference between ???? ????? and the theology that’s developed around the Rebbe, TZ’L, popping back in the flesh, or not really dying, etc…
    shabbat shalom

  • Itzchak March 12, 2010, 10:27 AM

    I wrote that in Hebrew….and the characters may not have shown up
    insert Techiyat HaMeitim where the question marks may be…

  • feivelbenmishael March 12, 2010, 10:58 AM

    I assume you understand the myriads of torah sources which allow for this possibility ??? (These question marks are intentional)

    What is disturbing is the rejection of this possibility which Halacha allows for, and other sources hint may be likely.

    Rejecting opinions which were held by Torah sages for thousands of years due to contemporary attitudes seems to be a tad more of a Chillul Hashem to me…

  • Itzchak March 12, 2010, 11:06 AM

    I’ve read most of the explanations as to how the possibility that someone can die and not really die, etc that have been offered by Chabad sources based on all sorts of pilpul and obscure mekorot.
    I’d be happy to read more if you had any to suggest.

    To base an emerging theology on those sources is disturbing and shows an extraordinary fear of accepting the obvious.
    The Rebbe for all his greatness was not the Messiach, and to try to now prove that he was and will be by basing oneself on these midrashic mekorot is an insult to most people’s intelligence.
    I take no pleasure in this, it’s actually very sad to see how an inspiring movement has gotten caught in something that does not demonstrate mental health.
    If someone was to make similar claims about their dead relative etc, the person’s mental health would be questioned for very good reason.

  • feivelbenmishael March 12, 2010, 11:40 AM

    I like it when people make blanket statements that do not address anything specifically yet restate the claim which is being contended with.

  • feivelbenmishael March 12, 2010, 11:42 AM

    “The Rebbe for all his greatness was not the Messiach”

    Prove it?

    • Zvi Lampert March 12, 2010, 12:57 PM

      Prove it?
      The burden of proof is on the side that makes the outlandish claim, not on the skeptics.
      I think Heshy Fried is Moshiach. Can you prove he’s not?

    • Prove it March 12, 2010, 1:14 PM

      He died. QED.

    • ghottistyx March 13, 2010, 12:15 PM

      I know I have posted this elsewhere, but take a look at this website:

      This site, run by Rabbi Gil Student (of “Hirhurim”), comprehensively proves that the Rebbe is NOT Moshiach. The argument is lengthy, and I don’t wish to do it injustice by summing it up.

      Pay special attention to Chapter 3, “Is the Rebbe Alive?”; 4, “Can a Dead Man be Moshiach?”; 5, “What Counter Proofs Can be Brought?”; and 6, “Is This Heresy?”

      I will sum up his answer for the heresy issue. It is mamash heresy to believe that the Rebbe is God (there are those out there who deify the Rebbe…); t0 say that the Rebbe is DEFINITELY moshiach violates Rambam’s 12th Ikkar, that we should await moshiach every day, Rabbi Student learns that part of this Ikkar is that until moshiach actually comes, we should not say that he’s already here. Finally, to say that the Rebbe could be moshiach, this is not apikorsus, but he is against it. Again, I hate to do it injustice, better read for yourself.

    • Itzchak March 13, 2010, 12:41 PM

      It has to be proven that Messiach is not here yet?
      Have you looked around the world lately?

  • feivelbenmishael March 12, 2010, 2:16 PM

    You suck at Torah.

    • ghottistyx March 13, 2010, 9:05 AM

      do you even know what QED means?

  • CA March 12, 2010, 2:45 PM

    Its always incredible to me when people say they love or hate Chabad. How can you love or hate something and have next-to-zero knowledge about it or have your knowledge limited to chitzoinius? Its like saying: I prefer this Toyota to this Mercedes. Green color has always appealed more to me.

    And yes, even all the shlichus accomplishments are chitzoinius. Now for Lubavitcher they are not (as one rabbi said, in our generation, Chassidus is another Jew putting on tefillin) but in order to realize why not, one has to learn a few miles of chassidus. And no, having Tanya on your shelf doesnt count.

  • ghottistyx March 13, 2010, 9:04 AM

    For all due purposes, Likutai Amarim (more popularly known as “Tanya”) was the first book to actually philosophically define Chassidus in a logical form. Before The Alter Rebbe wrote it down, Chassidus was pretty much like Torah SheBa’al Peh, passed down from Rebbe to student and once in a while anecdotally written down (c.f. Yaakov Yosef of Polonoye’s “Toldos” to the teachings of the Ba’al Shem Tov, R’ Nosson of Nemirov’s “Likutei Mohoron” to the teachings of Rebbe Nachman…). But the Tanya was the first actual attempt by a Rebbe to have an actual set philosophy on Chassidus.

    One of the ways that Chabad distinguished itself from other types of Chassidus was in the name Chabad. The Alter Rebbe used to say that the other types of Chassidus that existed at the time focused on ChaGaT, “Chessed, Gevurah, and Tifereth”, the lower three sefiroth (for those versed in basic Kabballah, HaMayvin YaVin); in fact, it can be said that Chassidus in general got its name from its focus on Chessed. But The Alter Rebbe was the first to formulate a philosophy whose focus was on the upper three sefiroth, “Chachma, Binah, VeDa’ath.” As such, they were the more intellectual type, directly able to answer to the Vilna Ga’on’s allegations against them being anti-intellectual.

    I don’t know the full story about the altercations between The Alter Rebbe and The Vilna Ga’on. I know that Lubobs tend to play up the fact that The Vilna Ga’on snubbed The Alter Rebbe’s invitations, and ‘Snags will defend him saying that he was too busy or something like that…I don’t know what really happened. But it wouldn’t be until The Kotzker Rebbe came along that Chassidus would face its next intellectual revolution.

    For those who have brought up Breslov before, the interesting thing is that scholars of Chassidus would consider R’ Nachman to be a rival of The Alter Rebbe. Though they didn’t physically compete against each other, the philosophies behind their branches of Chassidus were divergent. While Chabad focused on deveykus through the sechel (getting closer to God by using the mind), Breslover can be seen as being more “anti-intellectual” and being more about meditation, feeding the spirit, the proverbial “ChaGaS” philosophy. R’ Nachman’s story is actually quite a fascinating one. He did diverge from the philosophies of the Besh’t, Maggid of Mezeritch, and Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev in many ways, but whereas Chabad took it in one direction, Breslov took it in another.

    And let’s not forget that Breslov could be considered the first “Dead Chassidim”, they haven’t had a Rebbe since R’ Nachman.

  • CA March 13, 2010, 8:01 PM

    Who else are dead chassidim? Chabad has a Rebbe.

    • Dave March 13, 2010, 8:18 PM

      Not a living one. Same with Breslov. They have no live Rebbe to guide them on a day to day basis.

  • CA March 13, 2010, 8:25 PM

    Lama nafka mina whether his guf is living or not?

    1. His is the Rebbe of the current generation. I.e., he speaks to them. To their problems, their issues, their concerns, etc. Even those who havent seem him directly study his teachings (Likkutei Sichos, letters, etc.) to get guidance for their live. And his Chassidus (sichos and maamorim) is the one most applicable to our everyday lives and avoidas and yedias Hashem some could say, more applicable than Tanya.

    This is not as much the case with other Rebbeim and tzaddikim in general. Even though its crucial for me to study Chassidus of Rebbe Rashab, it is not as applicable to me personally. His opinions, for example, on education of children or Eretz Yisroel are again not as applicable.

    2. Tzaddikim really live for the most part in ruchnius. This is true on multiple levels. Physical histalkus only liberates their neshama to some extent. This is what some people mean when they say that the Rebbe is alive. For more details listen to the shiur in this post. The rabbi giving it is anti-mishichist.

    • Itzchak March 13, 2010, 9:26 PM

      It’s fine to have a dead person’s teachings/example serve as your rebbe….the critical difference is saying that he’s the planet’s Messiach.

      • CA March 13, 2010, 9:50 PM

        A Moshiach is someone who brings about Geulah (including all the physical simanim of it listed by Rambam, but most importantly the spiritual component of geulah: gilui haetzem Elokus in this world).

        If, directly due to the actions of the 7th Lubavitcher Rebbe (i.e., his influence on the world through his Chassidus and directives), Geulah happens, he will become (post-factum) a Moshiach. Note that for this he doesnt even need to be resurrected as a part of tchiyas hameisim (which is another possibility how he can be a Moshiach).

        Saying that the Rebbe is Moshiach needs to be examined carefully. According to Halacha, if someone violates a kings command, he is liable to death penalty. So, do the people who say that the Rebbe is Moshiach think that Jews who give teddy bears to their kids are chayav misa? I really doubt it. I think in most cases whats meant is that he is a potential Moshiach.

        Now, for many of these people its so obvious that geulah will happen through the revelation of Chassidus Chabad (and other things that the Rebbe did), that they say the Rebbe is Moshiach in the same sense that someone says we won even though there are still a few seconds left until the end of the game (but the score is 100:0!).

        • Itzchak March 14, 2010, 1:08 AM

          Even on this basis, “If, directly due to the actions of the 7th Lubavitcher Rebbe (i.e., his influence on the world through his Chassidus and directives), Geulah happens, he will become (post-factum) a Moshiach” there is no way that anyone with his eyes open will conclude that it’s only a few seconds away and it’s all because of the 7 Lubavitcher Rebbe. Not to take anything away from Chabad’s wonderful work, their zenith was decades ago when the Rebbe was in full power (and alive).

          • CA March 14, 2010, 3:10 AM

            You probably think I was talking about bochrim going on mivtzoim putting on tefillin on people and giving out Shabbos candles and shluchim giving iLearn classes to students whose parents are Reform Jews.

            First of all, the spiritual effect of that neither you nor I know (the Rebbe didnt advocate this just because it was a neat idea*).

            Second of all, I am not talking about the above at all. I am talking about Chassidus Chabad. Revelation of davka Chassidus Chabad is a catalyst for bringing geula its that spark that converts gasoline into fire. You only need a small spark, btw. Or a right catalyst.

            In order to appreciate what I am talking about here, one needs to learn a maamor called On the Essence of Chassidus (Inyonei Toras HaChassidus). The simple idea is that geula = ein od milvado. Chassidus teaches one that ein od milvado, how it is so, and what it means. And teaches one to live on such a level that for him (the chossid) ein od milvado. This one chossid, living on this level, becomes a spark which is bringing closer the explosion of ein od milvado bgilui.

            Plus, there is the concept of gilui haetzem, which only Chassidus Chabad has access to.

            • CA March 14, 2010, 3:11 AM

              *here we also need to drop the popular snaggish notion that the Rebbe = chassidish rosh yeshiva. I.e., its all happening within realm of seichel anushi, and the Rebbes campaign is no different from a rosh yeshiva giving advice to his talmidim to the best of his abilities/vision.

          • feivelbenmishael March 14, 2010, 12:28 PM

            This comment was heretical.

  • CA March 13, 2010, 8:36 PM

    The thing about Chabad is that unlike other groups, it is about Chochma, Bina and Daas. The Rebbe = his teachings (for the most part).

    That is why it is comic when people who havent studied the sichos and maamorim of the Rebbe (and barely read until the end of the first perek of Tanya) think they know what Chabad is and have an opinion on it. On what do you have an opinion? On the levush? That might work with other groups, the whole essence of whose Chassidus is levush (minhogim, etc.). With Chabad, if you dont learn its Chassidus in depth, you dont know what it is.

    Now, in the current generation, for the Rebbe, the deepest expression of Chassidus Chabad was a Jew putting on tefillin maybe the only time in his life. Chabad is more expressed in a Chabad House than in 770. But to understand how it is so, one needs to spend a lot of time learning Chassidus of the Rebbeim, from Alter Rebbe to the Rebbe.

    • Rivka March 14, 2010, 3:08 AM

      CA, when hesh says he loves chabad, I doubt he is talking about the chassidus. Even if he has studied chabad chassidus and enjoys doing so, I think that his post is coming from a social standpoint. He loves all the things listed above: the openness of the shluchim and the stylish dressing women… That has little to do with chassidus. 😀

      • CA March 14, 2010, 3:12 AM

        Thats my point. What Chabad is is Chassidus. Not the levush, the openness, the atmosphere, the kiruv, etc. This is whats unique about Chabad vs. other movements.

        • Rivka March 14, 2010, 3:21 AM

          If that’s the case, then I love chabad too. But you know, there are so many things I hate about chabad. And unlike many people here, it isn’t the meshichist garbage. Sure, some meshichistim are, to put it mildly, very confused, but that isn’t really what drove me away from Lubavitch society. If I am gonna rant, I guess I better do it now. Heshy, kol hakavod for creating this space.
          1. As mentioned above, they are very open and accepting to you until you attempt to be one of them and everything becomes strict. Strict with the food, the dress, even the language. I was told my cereal isn’t kosher “for her.” I was told I had to wear knee socks even with long skirts in the summer. I was told I must place a negel vasser near my bed at night. ETC as if it was halacha! They have no concept!
          2. Despite the strictness, there is great contradiction when it comes to two things: zman tefillah and girls learning. For me, seminary was supposed to be a time when I could finally learn chassidus, and instead, I was exposed to girls my age who were completely immature and had no interest in learning. They were just there as part of the system. To get a shidduch. and it’s just appalling, the complete disregard for zmanei tefilah that some (many-most) chabad guys have.

          OK so I ranted and raved… and I say, yes, CA, really, chabad is about the chassidus, and sure, I still love the chassidus and should probably learn it more often. But don’t expect me to associate with chabad society. 😛

          • CA March 14, 2010, 3:38 AM

            I hear you with everything you said except nigleh vassar. There is a clear basis for doing it. If nothing else, because Rebbeim did it this way. As well as washing holding a towel.

            Everything else you mentioned is nonsense (i.e., I agree with you). Everywhere youll have a system, youll have brainless morons. I think its especially a big problem with girls (not as an insult to girls, but a sympathetic nod to those girls with the brains who have to drift through the system).

            But, as I have learned myself, dont mistake people brainlessly following the strict rules with the validity of these rules. Look for the source and judge for yourself.

            Dont associate with the society. Associate with the Rebbe and the Chassidus. Use the society as a crutch to be closer to both.

          • Phil March 14, 2010, 10:00 AM


            Zmanei tefillah are disregarded by many imposters that pose as chassidim, though I know of some tzadikkim that don’t follow them either. The Rebbe’s minyan started at 10:00 AM every day, kind of late, but still before the end of zman tefillah in Brooklyn to the best of my knowledge. The Tosh rebbe used to daven shachris in the afternoon.

            The hypocrisy of those that show up for shachris at noon is unbelievable. Here are guys that think that their hats and jackets or maybe the mikvah water still dripping from their beards make it OK.

            The Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, page 1, halacha 1 states:
            “A person should get up before dawn to be ready to daven when the sun rises, to fulfill the passuk: a-ira shachar”. He then continues, that this is referring to a “simpelton”. “But one that calls himself a Chassid, gets up at midnight, reads tikun chatzot, then learns niglah all night long until dawn, then davens shachris”.

            • feivelbenmishael March 14, 2010, 12:33 PM

              errrrr…. we don’t pasken like ALOT of things which are written in AR SA…

              Also davening late isnt hypocrisy.
              You don’t see snags doing it because they just decide not to daven if they missed.. It is the tortured jew who decides to daven.

              How dare anyone make cheshbonos about what exactly is going on in any given person’s head.

            • CA March 14, 2010, 12:57 PM

              The Rebbes minyan may have started at 10, but the davening started much earlier with Chassidus, mikveh and (yes) breakfast. (Not necc. in that order.)

              Of course, some (a lot?.. I personally did not do a study) people misuse this and just wake up late and daven late. Nu. Its better to daven late, but takeh daven to Hashem, then wake up at 6 am and mumble words. How do we know the former daven to Hashem and the latter most likely not? Because the former learn about Hashem through Chassidus Chabad, and for the former, Hashem is unreachable, and Torah is used as a crutch to elevate themselves.

              • CA March 14, 2010, 12:58 PM


                • Itzchak March 14, 2010, 1:03 PM

                  Just to understand, you believe that only those people who study Chabad Chassidus have any real understanding of HaShem and their avoda in Torah is only a crutch?

                  • CA March 14, 2010, 1:07 PM

                    Tell me in which other branch of learning/avoida do you have access to the Essence of Hashem?

                    What does only a crutch means? If you cant reach Hashem himself, then Torah becomes about elevating yourself and earning a place in oilam haboh. Its a natural consequence.

                    • Itzchak March 14, 2010, 1:27 PM

                      And from this I imply that your belief is that only those who study Chabad Chassidus know of the essence of HaShem.

                      I’m curious. Have you spent any time learning Torah HaRav Kook and Torat Rav HaNazir?

                    • Phil March 14, 2010, 1:30 PM


                      Religious Sephardim are more in touch with Hashem’s essence. They learn the Zohar, it’s commentaries as well as works from the Ramchal and the Arizal, both of who’s teaching much of the Tanya is based on.

              • Phil March 14, 2010, 1:06 PM


                That was 15+ years ago. Today, I think the Rebbe’s minyan is still in effect, just preceeded by 1/2 hour of yechi hakafos.

                What’s with the narrow minded attitude? Are you saying that none of the gedolim today know how to daven, while these donkeys still sipping their pre-davening coffees at lunch time do?

                • CA March 14, 2010, 1:13 PM

                  Know to daven to whom? I dont put much trust in the gedeilim label. And I dont really know or care. We are talking about regular people here, right?

                  Look, there is a famous story about saving the kings prince with a crowns jewel, which is ground up, dissolved in a drink; the drink is poured into the princes lips, most of it ends up on the floor, but the few drops save the king. Alter Rebbe himself gave this moshol about how teachings of Baal Shem Tov are lying on the ground (in that story literally), but so what? The prince will be saved.

                  So, Chassidus Chabad is in the same state. You have a bunch of nutcases attracted to it like flies to a fly trap. And you have people misusing its concepts, etc., etc., etc. But if for 100 mishigoyim and people davening late, there is one chossid whos been taught how to properly reach Hashem, its worth it.

                  While elsewhere, what do you have? Two scenarios: 1) ice cream under kosher supervision, 2) chollent.

                  Call me close-minded.

                  • Itzchak March 14, 2010, 8:29 PM

                    Come to Eretz Israel…there is a lot more than kosher ice cream and cholent.
                    Though the Kosher Ice Cream here is definitely a messianic sign…

                    • CA March 14, 2010, 8:34 PM

                      There is a story of a Polish rabbi visiting the community of Frankfurt. After spending Shabbos in it, he was walking on a street next to the sign which said Ice cream under rabbinic supervision. The rav of the German community asked the Polish rabbi: So, what do you think of this community? The rabbi pointed to the sign and said: This.

                      (I.e., it was a very cold community, with all the passion for Yiddishkeit sucked out of it.)

                      I observe ice cream under kosher supervision daily in the local community.

                      On the other hand, there is also chollent.

                    • CA March 14, 2010, 8:35 PM

                      There is a story of a Polish rabbi visiting the community of Frankfurt. After spending Shabbos in it, he was walking on a street next to the sign which said Ice cream under rabbinic supervision. The rav of the German community asked the Polish rabbi: So, what do you think of this community? The rabbi pointed to the sign and said: This.

                      (I.e., it was a very cold community, with all passion for Yiddishkeit sucked out of it.)

                      On the other hand, there is also chollent.

                • Itzchak March 14, 2010, 1:34 PM

                  I wouldn’t restrict that to religious Sephardim. Anyone seriously engaged with Torah deeply must learn Zohar, Arizal, Ramchal and Rav Kook (and the Nazir).
                  Any many do. The extraordinary study of that and more that is going on today all over Israel is really encouraging.

                  • CA March 14, 2010, 2:20 PM

                    In Kabbala Hashems Essence is unreachable by definition. Sifrei Kabbala talk about the Light.

                  • Yochanan March 15, 2010, 11:45 AM

                    Unless your from a certain group of Yemenites that think the Zohar is a forgery and ‘Avoda Zara.

                • feivelbenmishael March 14, 2010, 9:25 PM

                  Why do people throw around the label “narrow minded” as if it were some sort of proven trump card?

                  What is wrong with being narrow minded?

                  Hashem is narrow minded.

                  • Phil March 14, 2010, 9:32 PM


                    “Hashem is narrow minded”.

                    That’s the most narrow minded comment I’ve read all week.

                    • feivelbenmishael March 14, 2010, 10:34 PM

                      Hashem doesn’t have a biased illiberal viewpoint from which he is unwilling to sway?

  • HannahBanana March 13, 2010, 9:11 PM

    I don’t think I *can* put the “messiah stuff aside.” While I think their outreach programs are super, how is believing that some day, someone is going to walk along and fix EVERYTHING for you, as if he’s a deity, separate them from polytheists? To say, “I worship only HaShem… oh, and this other dude, too” is to fall victim to the allure of polytheism. Not to mention the fact that the concept of a moshiach is antithetical to the basic moral structure of the Torah, and was, I believe, a later influence on our culture from our many poly neighbors. I think the Chabad are great. They are now what the Lubavitch used to be; open and inclusive. But I am a monotheist. I don’t worship “HaShem, and…” If the world can be made into a better place it is through my hands, and not to wait for someone to just do it for me so I can worship HIM.

    • Rivka March 14, 2010, 3:06 AM

      Hannah, are you disagreeing with the Rambam who states that it is an Ikar of our faith to believe in the coming of moshiach? You seem to state that believing in moshiach is against Torah. That’s news to me. Many many Rabbanim and Morim speak about the coming of moshiach and have nothing to do with the chabad movement. The concept of moshiach is a basic part of our belief system. It is not antithetical to monotheism at all. Moshiach isn’t a G-d figure, he is a king on earth figure, like david etc etc. Clearly, we will still serve G-d when moshiach comes, as moshiach is just G-d’s messenger.

      • ghottistyx March 14, 2010, 11:37 AM

        I believe she’s taking a strict “Torah SheBichtav” stance. There are plenty of concepts that were not mentioned in the Torah, and thus some scholars would say were only added on to Judaism later. Moshiach, while spoken about in the Nevi’im achronim and Daniel, is not mentioned in the Torah. Same goes with Olam Haba. Oh, and Yerushalayim being the intended City of God , while POSSIBLY hinted in the text, it is never said straight out (which is why, for example, the Rastafarians can say that the chosen City of God was in Africa, and the Samaritans have their Har HaGerizim…)

        To really take the argument to the furthers, some can even argue that Judaism wasn’t even originally a monotheism. Yes, plenty of secular Bible critics consider the Jews of the Bible to have believed that other spirits existed, or some would say that our God is simply a unity of many (a misunderstanding of Kabbalah may even support this view…to say that Jews are actually Taoists). One proof offered is that the words in Hebrew that are used for God, Elohim and Adonoi, are plural. The literal translation of those words from Hebrew are “The Lords” and “My Masters”. The word “Adonoi” is used as such when Abraham was greeting his 3 guests, he refers to them as “Adonoi”.

        A proof that I find slightly sketchier is “Lo YiHiyeh LeCho Elohim Acheirim Al Pannai…” One non-mesoratic way of reading that is that there WERE other Gods that existed, and ours was saying not to worship them. I remember when I first heard this one in my World Civ. class, I (who consider myself atheist) was the one who jumped up and said “that doesn’t mean anything. Yes, there were many other Gods who were worshiped in the world at the time, but that doesn’t mean they REALLY existed! It just means that God was saying don’t believe in them!”

        Anyway, it’s true, Rabbinic Judaism is a far cry from the literal translation of the Torah SheBichtav. This may not be a bad thing (anyone here hope that “Ayin Tachat Ayin… is followed literally?). There are groups, such as Kara’im who take a literalist stance. While it is thanks to them that we have the Torah as intact as it is (The Ben-Ashers, who even the RamBam cited as the most accurate sofrim out there, were Kara’im and were criticized by Sa’adya Ga’on for such), I find their belief system in general to be too nebulous to be followed. They say that where there’s a safeq, you need to follow YOUR OWN interpretation, and that makes a lot less sense to me than Rabbinic Judaism, which at least has delved into the matter deeply at some point.

    • feivelbenmishael March 14, 2010, 12:34 PM

      “I think the Chabad are great. They are now what the Lubavitch used to be; open and inclusive.”

      Chabad is Lubavitch…

  • Itzchak March 14, 2010, 11:03 AM


    this it the Psak Din about the Rebbe being Messiach…
    man…these guys have really gone crazy…

  • FWPhil March 14, 2010, 11:49 AM

    Why do all Chabad related posts always end up with so many comments about the yechi thing?

    • Itzchak March 14, 2010, 12:01 PM

      It’s a sign of how toxic this whole thing has become for Chabad.
      It’s basically become associated with this craziness in the minds of many people and no longer considered a vital religious/spiritual movement that has anything to offer for intelligent, well balanced, highly functioning people. The image is more of a refuge for needy people who need to believe someone is solving everything for them.
      Nothing like a Messiach to take care of business.

      • CA March 14, 2010, 1:05 PM

        Its a sign of how far stam Judaism has become about just flowing down the river like a dead fish. A Jew nowadays wants to live in a Jewish community, follow Halacha (to whatever extent of stringency his circumstances of birth dictate), and just be left alone to live his life in peace.

        Its the typical situation described by the Rebbe in a maamor Vatoh Tetzaveh Purim has happened, Jews are content to be living in peace, and they close their eyes at the fact that we are still in exile. All the learning, all the beautiful communities are all nothing, because the purpose of the worlds existence has not been fulfilled.

        What Jew nowadays wants to hear that? Leave us alone with the whole Messiah business. Yes, we believe in his coming. Yeah, yeah, every day. When he comes, he comes. For now, leave us alone to live our lives in peace. For once we are able to live without goyim bothering us, and now you bother us?

  • Dave March 14, 2010, 4:43 PM

    I don’t feel comfortable with everything Chabad does, but they do some great online educational stuff that really helped me while I was studying for conversion.

  • Chaim March 15, 2010, 11:02 PM

    For Heshy if you ever want to get an article with a 100 comments all you have to do is mention the Rebbe/Chabad and you got your 100 comments. 🙂

    The city Lubavitch in Russia comes from the word luba which means Love.

    Also the Rebbe spoke constently of Ahavas Yisroel whether through giving Tedakah or just respecting each other the last talk that the Rebbe edited before he got his stroke talks about that and also this year is the 60th year of the Rebbe taking the mantle of Chabad Lubavich and the in a talk in 1987 he spoke that the only time you find the number 60 in the Torah is in regards to Bittul nolifiyng basicly the idea is that if something non kosher fell into a pot of kosher food then if there are 60 times the amount of kosher vs the non kosher the 60th then the non kosher part becomes nullifeid and the entire food is kosher the only thing non kosher that does not become nullified is Idolotry Avoda Zara. The reason why the 2nd bais hamikdash was destroyed was because of baseless hate which is cuased by people having an ego which that is Avoda Zarah since if you believe in G-d then aoutomaticly you would know where you stand in life and you leave space for everyone else and that was the cause of destruction so if everyone would work on lowering their ego and not thinking about themselfs then automaticly there is no issue of the avoda zara and the non kosher=bad things in this world which are less then a 60th will become nullified and Moshiach will come right away

  • Pseudo-Chossid April 23, 2010, 12:14 PM

    Anybody who thinks that Chabad should or can have a new Rebbe is either an ignoramus or a moron.

  • Anonymous December 10, 2010, 1:10 PM

    Its not necessary put down to other sects of Judaism to make a point about Chabad. In fact its probably just making Chabad look bad. If Chabad is supposed to be known for being open and welcoming to others, then it needs to maintain a level of dignity and open-mindedness in regards to different people who believe or act different ways.

  • yosef July 11, 2011, 3:21 PM

    if you believe that you have the emes derech of serving hashem then of course you will be nice and kind to those who are new to your group… But when you become part of the group then they talk about what they really believe if you believe you have the emes then you will look down on other jews pathways of serving g-d (al pi shita) by necessity -(because that is what would logically happen if you actually believe what your group teaches) Analogy: If you are driving a lambogini will you believe that your car will get you faster than a 1975 toyota of course! You will not look down on the other car –everyone drives whatever they want , but if a person is trying to drive the fastest car and want to get to a destination in the greatest speed then they will look a bit down on someone who insists on driving the 1974 T because of sentimental reasons. Dont you want to get to where you need to be? They simply believe that they have the ultimate pathway to do hashems will. They dont belive other jews are wrong chas veshalom. But as i hear often “if good is good is better not better” it seemed very wrong at the time, but mabe they are right. I dont want to miss out on the ultimate way of serving hashem. If something is emes you can dig to the core of the philosophy and ask all the questions and it will still be emes. If you dig deep enough you will see g-d staring back at you. That is why we love the torah so much. It is truth. It is g-d given. And it is flawless. Many chabad ppl i spk to are simply searching for the ultimate way of connecting to g-d. Of doing his will in the best way. They are dissilusioned with not having someone who can inequivically tell them what g-d want of them.OK you tell me follow shulchan aruch. FINE. But… What happens if i know some jews down the road who dont know what the torah is and i want to help them. How do i do it . How often do i learn torah and how often should i do kiruv. And what is more important. What if i see some immodest girls which may lead me to have dirty thoughts which is a halachik problem…. What the hell do i do?? I have seen ppl who find a all encompassing pathway in serving hashem in following the rebbes derech. But dont force it -no matterhow good it tastes. You cant swallow anything too big too fast.

  • yosef July 11, 2011, 3:45 PM

    If a person is actually looking for a way to to g-ds will then you have a choice of litvish and chasidus.
    Litvish do what is required of them and chasidim go beyond what is required of them.
    One is not required to follow the path of chasidus one IS required to follow the path of litvish (chasidim is just litvish on steroids with a lot more info and chumras and obligations) at the basic level litvish are super focused on doing what G-D wants to the best of their ability.With out any embellishments. Chasidim sees it necesary to have the enhancements. This is where we have some disagreements. One rabbi said to me that litvish worship the shulchan aruch. Of course this sounded absurd to me, but where the rabbi is coming from mabe the litvish derech was too simple for him.

    The problem begins when someone who is involved with chasidus pathway begins to become negligent with basic torah/halachik obligations.Like davening on time many litvish ppl have a hard time understanding or even respecting those who dont daven at the proper time. it is a halachik issue .Never is it personal. It is against the torah to have a personal issue.So… What is the answer? The chasidim frequently answer that they were preparing for davening with chasidus and mikva and all the rest. And this preparing for davening is actually considered davening.But… What if you just daven late without preparing like a lazy U no what…

    See the anology.
    You have a factory where the workers come from 9-5 .You have 3 types of workers. a)you have the one who will come at 9 do what they need to do and leave at 5. b)Then you have the worker that comes at 7 and leaves at 6 and works extra hard. c)then you have the worker who comes at 1pm and stayes till 10pm and does shoddy work throughout.

    a) geta a pay rise and a pat on the back
    b) gets a major promotion and a pay rise to accompany
    c)gets fired. Not doing even what the basic requirenents are.

    The best chasid will always be a litvish person who whanted to do more and became a chasid. This person will always know what is absolutely required of him and will never fall into the trap of having a farbi till 3am because he KNOWS it will ruin hios day. By definition a chasid is a frum torah jew, following his rebbes derech. Although you have guys in jackets and streimels/hats who smoke cigiarerttes and watch T.V. on shabas.
    G-d help them -these ppl are not chasidim they just look like them because they would be shunned in their community if they dont dress that way. But you have ppl who are chasidim who really want to be the best jews they can be and bring as many jews as they can to torah and mitzvois- (they would think all the better to chabad because this is what they feel to be the most meaningful) but this is not the goal I would think they let the person make their own decision as to which jewish group they want the person to join. Many shluchim send ppl to ohr sameach simply because they think it will help this particular person come to torah and mitzvois in joyful way more successfully than sending them to a chabad yeshiva.

  • Chani March 3, 2012, 11:31 PM

    Awesome Post, Heshy. Loved it… But there is another side to Chabaniks, unfortunately, the ones who you think are way up there are the actual pitt of the fruit. But your article is so true.

  • Ari Gold August 16, 2013, 7:19 PM

    Is this website legit?


  • pinchas December 27, 2014, 11:20 AM

    in cleveland it is accepting yet observant….a wonderful community!:)

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