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Op-Ed: Mixed Signals

by Leib weiss

The Kinus Hashluchim is fast approaching. Once again our streets will be filled with Shluchim of all ages, from all over the globe. And once again our streets will also be filled with the same complaints, Sina, and Loshon Hora.

Once again the same issues of jealousy, self worth, and ignorance will surface. And the same childish whining along all too familiar lines will be heard. How Shluchim are insular, and how we feel excluded. How Shluchim only hire their children, and the children of other Shluchim. And most recently, how Shlichus is responsible for the local Chinuch problem, as well as for the alarming rise in our children straying from the Rebbe’s ways.

Recent articles on this website and other platforms have suggested that the focus our schools put on carrying out the Rebbe’s Shlichus has made our young people think that Shlichus is the only way to be Chassidim, and when that doesn’t pan out for our children, (of course by no fault of theirs, or ours, after all the system is rigged) our children are ill equipped to be Chassidishe yungerleit. If our schools, Chinuch, and community leaders would stop promoting Shlichus at every opportunity, our kinderlach would be far better off, and more ready to face their likely future.

I am only one parent, but maybe there is another possibility. Perhaps, when our Yeshivas stress the importance of Chassidus, the Rebbe’s Inyanim, Lubavitch Minhagim, and our children come home to a Rebbe picture in the living room, and a TV, an open laptop, goyishe magazines, throughout the rest of the house, they get mixed signals. When are daughters are lectured on Tznius, and are picked up by mothers in Tichels and just long enough skirts, and fathers in Tshirts and Jeans, maybe the lessons remain skin deep. Maybe when we insists our sons get Smicha, while running down the Rabbonim in our neighborhoods, they don’t feel a drive to follow our path. And just maybe, when our children’s Rebbeim proclaim the importance of Shlichus, and our homes are filled with belittling comments, generalizations, and rishus about Shluchim, our children are rightfully confused.

There is no question that Chassidishe Baalei Battim in the Shchunah feel disenfranchised from the Rebbe’s Shluchim. There is no question that it is difficult for the average Oheli Torah Graduate to find the perfect Shlichus within Shanah Rishonah. And there are certainly deep issues with our Chinuch. And the answers may be that we need to invest ourselves further in Chabad houses, and give moral and financial support where we can. The answers might be to better prepare our children to be able to work for existing Shluchim, or to encourage them towards jobs where they can be Duma Chayos, and help support their Chaverim who do go out. And the answer might be to take a good look at the Chinuch our children receive when they leave school, and are in our care. But it sure is a lot easier to blame the Shluchim.

The Issue is, that a few days later the Shluchim return recharged to whatever corner of the world the Rebbe sent them to. And we remain here, with the same issues, concerns, and fears. So we must either take a long hard look inward and address them, or wait for the Shluchos to come in Shvat.

31 Comments

  • 1. Teacher wrote:

    You bring about important points . However imagine if some one like rabbi Kotlarsky for example would put the same amount of koach and time and everything into our chinuch , community and housing imagine how amazing crown heights would be .

    Reply
  • 3. Berel wrote:

    a paragon of virtue
    a ray of sunshine

    a very happy person
    and a very happy op-ed
    a happy screed

    a screedfull of happiness

    none of what you write is true
    you made everything up
    it’s all in your head
    you read too many online comments

    neither I nor my friends feel disenfranchised
    nor relate our schooling woes to shluchim
    or have televisions next to our Rebbe pictures
    or goyishe magazines

    you need to get out more
    and eat breakfast daily
    who is this ‘we’ to whom you refer

    you just took a shot at the entire Crown Heights

    heal yourself, virtuous one

    Reply
  • 4. Ezzy wrote:

    Why is “Jeans” capitalized? Suggestion: next time, write dungarees. That way, you’ll sound even more in touch.

    Reply
  • 5. ahavasyisroel wrote:

    “The Kinus Hashluchim is fast approaching. Once again our streets will be filled with Shluchim of all ages, from all over the globe.”

    I agree with this part of the article

    Reply
  • 6. Choice in Life wrote:

    Leib Weiss, why would you and of course many other parents assume your child does not want to study medicine, law, dentisty, engineering etc. You are taking that choice away. I would like people to answer this question, How would the State of Israel function if all jews went down the path, you want your children to go down. Thank you.

    Reply
    • 7. Read wrote:

      He seems to say other jobs should be encouraged, as long as they are Chassidish and support the Rebbe’s Mosdos

  • 10. Anonymous wrote:

    Asah lecha Rav
    You sure need one …your letter is a mishmash of offense….
    You say we should “encourage our children towards jobs where theycan be Duma Chaya & help support their chaverimwho do go out”…
    Young couples today can barely support their own families…
    Shluchim have mechanisms in place to raise funds…
    You have insulted just about everyone in CH…
    Read #2 again.

    Reply
    • 11. What??? wrote:

      Why cant someone make a living and be a Dugma Chaya?

      and why shouldn’t the Rebbe’s Chassidim support the Rebbe’s Mosdos?

  • 12. Donn't worry wrote:

    The shluchim have the same problems you have in crown heights no different. The playing field has been finally leveled. Children off the derech, drugs, no money, internal fights, dog eat dog world, and when they leave crown heights its back again to their own duldrums of garbage.

    Reply
  • 13. Anonymous wrote:

    Dude ur like living in the past. That’s not the issue anymore. Plenty of people doing all types of jobs. Get over it. Move to Chicago or another community where U will feel part of a team.

    Reply
  • 15. Adank Gut wrote:

    “encourage them towards jobs where they can be Duma Chayos, and help support their Chaverim who do go out.”

    This is against the Rebbe’s wishes. The Rebbe wants shluchim to fundraiser in their own communities. The Rebbe instructed that areas that cannot be independently self-sufficient, should not have permanent shluchim.

    To be honest, this whole article is off base. I think people have long ago internalized that shlichus is not the be all and end all of Lubavitch. Kudos to anyone on shlichus but there are so many more ways to be an ehrliche chosid and we all already know that. Look into the Rebbe’s seforim if you need guidance and let someone else worry about who public menorah is bigger.

    Reply
  • 17. Zey nisht a putz wrote:

    Why does an op-ed like this even get published? What a moronic statement: “Once again the same issues of jealousy, self worth, and ignorance will surface.” In all my years living in Crown Heights I have never heard of anyone mentioning any such thing. Stop projecting your own feelings.

    Reply
  • 18. S wrote:

    Which Crown Heights are you living in? I live here and i’ve never heard anyone blaming Shluchim. On the contrary we look up to the many Shluchim for their Mesiras Nefesh living all alone, while we enjoy the benefit’s of Crown Heights

    Reply
  • 20. to number 11 wrote:

    to number 11 the rebbe said be self sufficient didnt mean that the balei batim of crown heights cannot give tzedakah or support instutiuons. i haveinterpreted it that if a mosad or a town needs total support from merkos or crown heights than its not a self sufficient area but that by no means contradicts the responsiblilty of ch to support shluchim

    Reply
    • 21. Reinterpreting the Rebbe's Word? wrote:

      Very weak re-interpretation of the Rebbe’s words.

      You mention a “responsibility” for CHers to support shluchim. Can you let us know where you got that from?

      I supported Shluchim for decades and am proud that I am able to help them in their shlichus. At the same time, I recognize that my tzadoko to Shluchim comes after my tzdoko to local tzdokos. As Shulchan Aruch states, aniyei ircha kodmin. I’d be very surprised if the Rebbe negates this clear instruction from Shulchan Aruch.

  • 22. Shlichus in Crown Heights wrote:

    There are many people living Crown Heights who have found their shlichus mission. Heads of mosdos, class shuls, founders of block shiurim, gemachs, bikur cholim committees, chinuch evenings, community tours, kallah teachers… amazing, awe-inspiring people.

    We’re all on the same team, and the Rebbe wanted all of us to wake up with a sense of purpose wherever we may live, and whatever our day job is!

    (P.S. If you child can read English well, your child can study anything he or she chooses later in life. The lack of fifth grade social studies will not matter. Nor will the lack of high school Spanish.)

    Reply
  • 23. Millhouse LLC wrote:

    Dude, everyone MUST go on shlichus. In fact, the consequences of not going on shlichus that’s u mentioned in the article are the case and point to go on shlichus.
    But seriously, the main conclusion of ur article is that the shluchim are to blam for ur feeling inadequate. I don’t think that I need to explain why that absurd and immature. If u don’t like the culture in crown heights, do what most people do: leave.

    Reply
  • 25. What??? wrote:

    Why cant someone make a living and be a Dugma Chaya?

    and why shouldn’t the Rebbe’s Chassidim support the Rebbe’s Mosdos?

    Reply
  • 26. I too cannot understand wrote:

    I cannot understand why this article deserved any notice and how did it deserve to be printed.
    I could not even bring myself to finish reading this.
    Typical fake news!
    I have children on shlichus and no they were not hired by relatives or friends …
    I also have children that are not shluchim.
    I feel bad for you… Obviously you are not in a happy place…
    I do not wish to bash you…that will not fix anything..
    I wish you the ability to pull out of the funk you are in and hopefully you can start seeing the good in the world…. THERE IS SO MUCH GOOD!
    Realize that the world has much more good than the opposite. It’s the media and social media that has encouraged negativity. Please know that it’s really up to you to start focusing on the positive.
    Hatzlacha!!

    Reply
  • 27. Tired of this wrote:

    I get calls daily from Shluchim around the world asking for this or that project. Shluchim don’t get it. It is time to stop calling Crown Heights to pay for your Shabbaton or building campaign. Most people in Crown Heights can not help you, they need help themselves yet, for some odd reason feel obligated to support you. This got to stop. The non stop whatsapp text and emailing about this and that campaign while people in Crown Heights are trying to make ends meet. This has to stop. And now.

    Reply
  • 28. The kangeroo wrote:

    This co-op was written by a caring and brave individual.You may not agree with his view but to vile another Jew is wrong. Hamalbin pnei haveiro brabim ain lo chelek bolom chabo.

    Reply
  • 30. The kangeroo wrote:

    #25 Why do you see it as an attack on the community he expreses an opinion.Judgeing from the impolite responce one has to be brave to express his opinion.

    Reply
    • 31. bolom chabo wrote:

      we do this and we are that and we need to change is just a more inclusive form of you do this and you are that and you need to change. just because you include yourself in the slander (which too is disingenuous because by writing the lament you imply you are above it) doesn’t mean you aren’t talking smack about an entire community.

      this leib weiss (I doubt it’s a real name) has no way to know what he claims and is simply projecting his dark imaginings in public on our entire community.

      Not cool

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