Picture of the Day: The Missionary in Teffillin

A group of missionaries took to the streets of Crown Heights Wednesday, preaching their message to Jewish men and woman walking on Kingston Avenue. Most responded with venom, asking them to leave our neighborhood, but one man – Reb Michoel Albukerk engaged them and even got one of them to put on Teffilin. How do you feel about this picture?

55 Comments

  • 1. Go Chabad wrote:

    0nly Chabad could do such a thing. Any other community would beat them up.

  • 2. A TH Michoel fan wrote:

    May this yid have a refua shleima and come back to the true source of his soul – emes yidishkeit. That is what Michoel sells, not garbage.

  • 3. CR wrote:

    You get farther with these misguided brethren with a bit of love and sheinkeit than with insults.

    When they encountered me in the subway once, touting their “messianic” brand I countered that Judaism is inherently messianic and they are offering nothing new.

    He then asked “so you are still waiting, right?”

    I countered “No, Moshiach is waiting for me. And for you!”.

    Kudos to R’ Michoel for beating them at their own game!

  • 4. Nochum wrote:

    This is amazing. When I was in Oholei Torah I went on mivtzoim on the Park Avenue tank. One Friday a thin man with a ponytail walked by and I asked if he was Jewish. He said he was, but that he believed in j—- and was the leader of a “messianic temple.” I spoke to him for about an hour about Yiddishkeit and why it is impossible for j—- to be Moshiach r”l but I felt that I was having no effect. He would try and change the subject to the conflict in Eretz Yisroel and tell me how bad he thought the Arabs were, just so I would have to agree with something he said.
    I tried to get him to put on tefillin, but he refused. He wouldn’t even wear a yarmulka! I asked him if he could just eat some kosher food and make a brocha. He said sure, and said the brocha in English. I was so happy until he finished with “…in the name of j—-.” I told him that the Tank is a shul, one of the Rebbe’s Chabad houses, and told him that he couldn’t talk like that in a shul. He left.
    I felt terrible. Did I just lose this guy?
    Two Fridays later, he came back and put on tefillin, wore a yarmulka, ate kosher, etc. This picture brought me back to that story. Good work Michoel Albukerk!

  • 5. happy wrote:

    lets just say if he is a yid the rebbe would love him with pity P.S that tefillin may change his way of thinking so i say kol hakavod

  • 6. RUVI wrote:

    ASK A ROV HE MIGHT NOT BE JEWISH AND ALSO KIDS WILL SEE HIM AND BE EVEN MORE CONFUSED

  • 7. SHMAD wrote:

    if Levi Aron was walking around the streets of Crown Heights trying to grab a child, should one invite him to put on tifilin, or SEND HIM THE HECK AWAY!!!
    These people declare that they are out to catch neshamos, mamosh to shmad!! Lets send them away!!! There goal of shamd is more horrific then what happened in Boro Park! SEND THEM AWAY!!!

  • 8. Baruch Edelkopf wrote:

    kol ha kovod rabbi putting your emotions aside and the rebbis mevtozyim first

  • 9. ch neighbor wrote:

    GO Rabbi Albekurk! He’s so amazing! He’s the right person to have around at such times.

  • 12. Zs wrote:

    Reb Michoel ..While your intentions are pure..Your actions were misguided ..I had a similar story on Shlichus and pit a lot of Koichos into one of these fellows and even got him to go to Yeshiva..I was naive and innocent..Till I spoke with R Emanuel Schochat who in my humble opinion is the only one who understands the nature of the beast and he explained to me that I was playing with fire and one is forbidden to work with them till they denounce their belief in their foreign Deities..I beg you don’t be smarter than the Shulchan Aruch and ask a Rov that is fluent IN THIS parsha.

  • 13. Kol Hakavod! wrote:

    I think that any Jew (I’m not talking about demented monsters, that doesn’t belong here) has the potential to come back. This guy has apparently been misled and is probably a Tinok SheNishba. Who knows, maybe this will will have an impact on his neshama. It’s happened before.

    Ialso beleieve that had this been in any other area, he would have either been run out, beat up as #3 suggests, or they would just close themselves up and this guy would never have had the chance to taste Yiddishkeit.

  • 16. dissapointed wrote:

    this is what happens when people learn “chassidus” without learning halacha. remember the rebbe was a shulchan aruch yid first and foremost.

  • 17. bucher wrote:

    I remember years ago I went with a shliach encountered one of these guys who agreed to put on teffilin but stubbornly insisted that when he makes the bracha all his intentions go to JC. The shliach told me it was assur to put tefilin on him.

    I posted before on vosisneyes about a rav who told me not to put tefilin on a certain homo. Other comments wanted to know which rav would say this since it is perfectly allowed. I don’t want to give names, but the only thing I could add is that in this case it was a small community where the Rav knew who this person was so maybe there were other reasons involved. It was in a yeshiva, the guy came in and wanted to put on tefilin, the Rosh yeshiva told me I can’t, others told me it was because of his ‘orientation.’ It may have been because he was a weirdo, so a shoite is not mechuyev in tefillin.

  • 18. Dovid wrote:

    While any yid whether one who believes in yoshka or one who is a buddist we should reach out to. However when an ill yid is wearing his Jew for Yoshka shirt we should not be taking pictures of putting Teffilin on him. It sends the wrong message and they might use this as a piece saying it is accepted by Chabad. These we need to be very careful with Jews who are missionaries. Also you ask him if he is Jewish, do we know if he is halachically Jewish? Many times these Jews for Yoshka say they are Jewish because they believe in using Jewish traditions in Christianity. Never the less be very careful, and I think we should avoid missionaries.

  • 20. Uncle Mendel wrote:

    To any observer of this picture it looks like a j for j is approved. Ergo, a person can be very “Jewish” (wheres tefillin) and be a member of that horrible organization. It looks like a protective fence has been removed.

    My skin crawls.

  • 21. Andrea Schonberger wrote:

    I guess we’re supposed to feel sorry for fellow Yidden who believe in you know who–maybe getting this guy to put on teffillin is not so bad. The picture is funny however, especially with the slogan on the t-shirt.

  • 22. Actually pretty upset wrote:

    I know this man. In light of recent events, HE IS A CREEP… Never mind that surely a rov needs to be asked before donning him in holy tefillin, what kind of message are we sending our children about trusting strangers….and noch with a big J on his shirt…all smiley. This is really not ok.

  • 23. Good intentions wrote:

    Although the intentions are good the mere fact that you are publicizing this picture will give them use it for their own purposes i.e to show how they are r’l Jewish etc. Please remove the picture ASAP.

  • 24. a friend wrote:

    Michoel – your good deeds overflow.
    may the goodness you generate bring revealed goodness for you and your family.

  • 25. David wrote:

    Disgusting photo. It will confused outsiders who don’t know what is behind the story and I assure you the missionaries will use this photo for their own benefit which is a big chillul hashem.
    If you don’t get what I am saying then I feel bad for you.

  • 26. I know this man wrote:

    I agree ask a rov, I know this man. He is scary!! He sends us a postcard from every place he goes, infiltrating our mailbox with his shmutz.

  • 27. wow! wrote:

    this is the meaning of the saying take the bull by the horns
    Amazing!!

  • 28. awacs wrote:

    “Other comments wanted to know which rav would say this since it is perfectly allowed.”

    I was the one who asked on vosizneias who the Rav was. I still want to know – why should you (or the Rav, for that matter) be ashamed to say who gave a P’sak? I think it’s important to know this. Not all will agree, maybe most will disagree, but ‘torah hee – v’lilmod ani tzorich.”

  • 29. To#12 & #25 wrote:

    You are both way, way off. Wrong all the way. Is it O.K. for you guys to put on tefillin, or do you put on tefillin. If you do, it seems as though it has not done anything for you.

  • 30. To #12 from Gedaliah Goodman wrote:

    I cannot understand why YOU think YOU did the wrong thing? You don’t say why. You have a mitzvah to do, to try to help another Jew. You also have a mitzvah to help a goy to follow their 7 mitzvot. The results are not in your hand. The shlichut that the Rebbe MHM gave me , to train horses, puts me in contact with mostly goyim, and the Jews that I have to deal with are 99% intermarried. When I started in 1984 the rate was 98% intermarried.
    Yes it got worse, in Ca., N.Y., Fla., etc. The same in S.America,Europe, etc. All we can do is to do our part. Shochat, you say understands. This is not about UNDERSTANDING. This is about MEISEH. After all these many years of shlichus, miftzoim, yeshivah, etc. and still afraid of these j Jews, goyim, Jews in general. I am all alone in my shlichus, and the Rebbe MHM, asked me to get our people to join in, to make it a huge shlichus. Quess what? My biggest opposition comes from our OWN. You think the j guys are a problem, they are a walk in the park, a picnic, compared to what I have to confront. And I have to do it all alone. UNDERSTANDING, no they don’t understand. You do yours.
    Yiddishkeit is not for little boy in short pants.

  • 33. 5th Chelek wrote:

    This fat guy is a suave PR person.

    He was hoping for the chance to be publicized in this manner. A friend of Lubavitch. In tefillin. This will be useful somewhere.

    Has everyone forgotten how they cozied up to Lubavitch after Gimmel Tammuz?

  • 34. chaim wrote:

    This is grate. i would do the same. and to you that say ask a rov, so every time we ask “are you Jewish” should we first call a rov? and if you say well this is different he is different. were do you draw the line? we all sum up a character differently,,,

  • 35. Thinkster wrote:

    If we just beat the crap out of them, they won’t come back.

  • 36. J.E.E. wrote:

    As someone coming from a Christian upbringing that included love for our “Jewish Brothers”, who is now 6 months into a conversion through Chabed at the age of 40, I love this picture!

  • 37. anti missionary wrote:

    it is ossur according to halocho to put tefillin on a missionary because when he sais the bracha he has jesus in mind not the hashem, if it is going to be done it should be done in a private place because by putting tefillin on him in a public place you are helping him with his dirty work because by people seeing him in tefillin they may think that you can still put tefillin on and have jesus in mind, not hashem.

  • 38. JewForJudaism wrote:

    Next time perhaps they should use posul tefillin, but if he was taken away from his avodas hasamach mem for even a few minutes, then something was accomplished.

  • 39. to #9 wrote:

    how on earth can you compare the lost neshama of another yid to a crazy murderer???? have you not learnt anything from the rebbe?? every neshama counts!! who are you to decide which ones are too far to help!??? i am purely shocked and disgusted by your comment!

  • 41. LYR wrote:

    Crownheights.info should blur the words onthe t-shirt, and a rov should be consulted as to the propper way to handle such a situatuon

  • 42. uchhhhh- disgusting wrote:

    How dare your bring yoshka into my living room?
    Albukerk, you messed up big time. Go speak to a rav. I.m sure this man was NOT thinking Hashem Echad!
    He will now use this filthy picture to “prove” to others that even Chabad agreess tha you can worship a mamzer and still be a good tefillin-wearing Jew.
    We have enough problems with crazy’s saying Yechi BEFORE modeh Ani. Why do you want smeone saying yoshke while wearing tefillin! Nebach on you and all who support this piccture. Including CH info. Shame on you

  • 43. shlomo wrote:

    it simple The Missionary equal moshichizm. and because this they allways can found connections

  • 44. questions wrote:

    i think there may be halachik questions – being that he will not do it for Hashem, rather for a”z

  • 45. whay is he holding in his hand, wrote:

    dont pave the way with good inyentions. this looks like a wolf in sheeps clothing SITUATION

  • 47. Wrong wrote:

    These people are machtee es harabim, look up what it says in the gemara about that..

  • 48. Susan wrote:

    I am humbled, even embarrassed, by the yiddishkeit shown to these people. I could not have managed it.

  • 49. Shifra Betheres wrote:

    Let their women put on burka an naqib and go proseletyse the Moslems.

  • 50. cb wrote:

    Once again I am reminded that Chabadniks ARE the professionals!! The amount of time he spent with these reshoim was that much less time they spent going after less suspecting Jews. Kol Hakavod!!

  • 51. M. wrote:

    This guy is a missionary here in Atlanta. I once approached him to try and reason with him, but it was of no use. He is certifiably crazy. He told me that he started to believe in yoshke after he had a vision of a praying mantis who told him to do so. Unfortuantly some people are just too far gone to be helped. Any discussion with him is a complete waste of time. Also, he has a website and I am sure that he will use this picture on it.

  • 52. Interested by Discussion Here wrote:

    I feel like open dialogue and winning people over is always better than the attitude of wanting to just beat them up. Let’s get rid of the “us vs them” attitude and build meaningful relationships through which we can open up that dialogue. Changing people takes a long time. I totally disagree with the approach they (the missionaries) are using to share whatever they believe because it is not dialogue-focused, but seems to be more focused on being provocative and shock value (whether intentional or not). Let’s not be like these guys in the shirts. I really like how the Rov took the time to chat to them and I hope he did not just leave it there. I love how it says that he “engaged them.” Whenever someone has a difference of opinion especially ones as serious as these ones, we should engage and not spit venom.

  • 53. Concerned Resident wrote:

    Stay away from these people. They are well funded, crazed, brainwashed and even though a person may try and get through to them, they are members of a cult like culture within their new found idolatrous faith.

    Unless you are a skilled cult buster and are very experienced with dealing with these types, the best thing is to pray for them from a far. Spending time with them is like wasting time.

  • 54. Alisa wrote:

    Today most of the so-called Lubavitcher Hassidim are Erev Rav … the Erev Rav will always use the name of a Zaddik to justify their behavior. This is the biggest Galuth when an Erev Rav commits an act of Hillul HaShem in the name of the Holy Rebbe!

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