The biggest problem I have with yesterday’s events is that I’m not surprised. I have watched over the years as the Chassidic movement has shrunk from it’s holy stature in my mind, to a bunch of zealots who place more value on dress and language that on the personal welfare of children and women. Go and take a look at any of the Jewish news blogs and you will see a daily crime blotter of mostly Chassidim convicted on charges of fraud, child molestation, rape, government scams and so on. This is not a once in a while thing, it happens every day and it’s disgusting. I find it even more disgusting that the Chassidim – whether we like it or not – is what the secular world thinks the orthodox world is made up of. To the secular world there are no divisions – they think the orthodox Jew must wear the garb, the peyos and the beard.
I know there are people out there who will argue about the close knit communities (part of the problem with cover ups) and the amazing chesed that goes on and so forth – but after the reaction of yesterday’s events by the Chassidish and frum world in general – I am beginning to see this group as a whole new religion. A man tried to murder an entire family and not one Chassidic leader has said a word, it can’t be that they do not know of this – they remain silent, just like they do whenever something else happens that tarnishes their name and our religion.
This is a chillul Hashem in the highest and I am sickened by it. Is there any hope for the Chassidim, or will they continue on their path of closed minded zealotry and claim that their form of authentic Judaism (it’s only 300 years old) will live on while everyone else becomes modernized. The non-observant Jewish movements seem a whole lot frummer than the Chassidim a lot of the time.
I am wondering if the Skverer Rebbe will even acknowledge this violence committed in his own little shtetl, or will he remain silent in hopes that it will just go away.
Notes: This post was generalizing a lot – I am sure that within the Chassidic community there are those that do not scam the government, cover up molestation charges and allow women to think for themselves, but these people fear getting killed so they stay in the closet.