Picture of the Day: ‘Tis the Season for Mivtzoim

Yakov Jacobson was doing pre-Chanukah mivzoim in Laguna Beach, CA, when he happened upon a familiar character who – he was surprised to find out – is a Jew! The man had never put on tefilin before, a ‘Karkafta,’ and Yakov helped him do the mitzvah for the first time in his life.


  • Concerned

    The headline is very inappropriate. A Lubavitcher run website should not be using headlines that are similar to the goyishe holidays slogans.

  • This picture is a winner!

    Seriously, it should be entered in some sort of competition for most hilarious photo, it will win!

  • eliezer

    Yakov this is an amazing photo. It should be entered into a photo contest maybe the WSJ will run it. What a great spiritual accomplishment helping to reveal the concealed G-dliness in the world hastening the Geulah Shlema Now ! I am sure your entire family is getting great nachas from all of your peulas. Please put up a picture of the Laguna Beach Yeshiva that the Jacobsons started. Ker a Velt Heint!

  • Yiddishe kop

    Most of the s. Klaus’s are Yidden! It’s honest work and brings in the dough (nuts) !

  • muttle from meziboz

    Lamplighters and the RAP. maiing us proud. we miss you in Yerushalim… Motti

  • So What

    Why be concerned? Jews wrote many of the songs associated with the holidays, and if not for one of our own, it wouldn’t even exist.

  • You gotaa love it!

    It figures! Half the xmas songs were written by Jews.

    Most of the stores that sell the toys and decorations are owned by Jews.

  • @ #8 -Concerned-

    This is truly amazing. GO YAKOV!!

    ‘Concerned’- Please stop staring at the tree and look at the forest. Happy Chanuka.

  • Shaliac in Ca.

    Ubayomin Hohem Ish Kol Hayashar Beinav Yaase….
    Somebody need to ask him who is his Mashpia? and if he asked a Rav b4 putting Teffilin on a Jew whe is with Inyonei Avoda Zarah!
    Rabbi Levitasky OBM would not let it… even in KlipoFornia…

  • higher than -5 IQ

    most incredible photo i’ve ever seen. to #24, according to you, the shluchim in india could never do mivtza tefillin c”v.

  • Aliza Kessler

    Wow. It is amazing but it’s not amazing to show this picture of Santa Clause wearing tefillin. He should have taken his santa clause outfit off. It’s disgusting to show this. But Yakov did a great a job!!

  • Moshiach Now

    Santa Clause is not avodah zara, it is a marketing tactic created to promote business merchandise flow… which has no association with goyish religious inyanim. go educate yourself.

  • AA

    #24: some “shaliac” (sic) you are. So you’re saying that if a Jew is involved with avodah zarah (and by the way, maybe you should ask a rav yourself whether dressing up as S.C. is that), then you completely write him or her off and don’t help them perform some mitzvah at least?

  • lighten up

    Santa clause was invented by Coca Cola for seasonal marketing. Though it’s very goyish it’s not Christianity rather December consumer marketing. Worse case scenario is that the bochur made a mistake but I have a funny feeling that he made the geloibter aibershter smile.

  • RG3

    You people are too serious. no wonder people want to stay away from Chabadniks… The kid got a Jew to do a Mitzvah, and you still complain???

  • bracha

    Rabbi Levitansky…who I knew well would be the first to put on tefillin on a man who was Jewish and who never had done so before… and then he’d suggest he find another job maybe… and he’s call him S Claus am sure and ask his hebrew name

  • Moishe

    Very nice pic!
    A hittel und a rekkel? Or lechol hapochos a shirt… Let’s not 4get who we represent!

  • not funny

    sorry but i dont see anything all that great about tefillin on santa clothed man. if anything this oxymoron is just a sad commentary of what is out there.This foto while funny is not in good taste(from a Jewish viewpoint)and even tho I’m not the most religious person around, I think there has to be some standard-the ENDS DO NOT JUSTIFY THE MEANS.Just my opinion.anyone agree?



  • Sarah

    #24 Please clarify: Where is the quote “Ubayomim Hohem Ish Kol Hayashar Beinav Yaase” from and what is the context it is concerning?

  • SoCal shliach

    No question – cry.
    To put on tfillin on any Jew is a tremendous thing.
    But to publicize this picture affects the honor of lubavitch and the Rebbe
    And if the above needs explaining u guys are farther off than I thoight

  • to # 31

    santa claus was NOT invented by the coca cola company. but santa certainly WAS/IS used in coke’s marketing schemes.

    that said, i love this picture. the irony of it is too beautiful for words. yasher koach to yakov jacobson!!! i hope you have a very MERRY time doing more mivtza tefilin!!!

  • RE : 42. SoCal shliach

    42. SoCal shliach wrote:…..“And if the above needs explaining u guys are farther off than I thoight””

    I think the more appropriate word you guys are nuts !

  • sum guy

    If a jew is standing waist high in sewage – do you put him on teffilin right where he’s standing, or do you first tell him to come out of the dreck – and THEN, you put him on teffilin?
    Answer: First, let him step out of the dreck – THEN, you put on the teffilin!

  • santa

    high and mighty shluchim and shpitz lubabs get over yourselves the guy is just dressed up for a seasonal job. he is a yid and deserves to put tefilin!

  • Coke and Klaus

    To #43 – the current image of Santa Klaus was invented by the Coca – Cola company as a marketing ploy – my mother was one of the people that helped with the trademark and copyrite for them…. The general concept of Santa Klaus is based on “Saint Nicholas” and Kristkringle….

  • MJ

    I heard from Rabbi Sholom Jacobson that when he visits Sholom Rubashkin in prison that the head chaplain is a priest whose mother is Jewish and they put tefillin on him!

  • Simcha Claus

    Suppose this story went a bit differently:

    This bochur was out looking for Jews to put on Tefillin and he decided not to ask the fellow in the red and white costume. Shortly after, he found out the guy is Jewish and had never put on Tefillin before…

    All you people who are kevtching would still be kevetching “How could you skip this guy??? Maybe he’ll never have the chance to wear Tefillin again!”

    And the Shliach from SoCal would be saying “Rabbi Levitansky would have been the first to offer Simcha Claus the chance to put on Tefillin!!”

  • Milhouse

    There is nothing at all Christian about a guy in a red suit who lives in a toy factory at the North Pole and drives a reindeer sled! There is not even the faintest taint of avodah zarah about this character; he is entirely secular, and good clean fun. And of course dressing up as him gives good parnossoh to thousands of people, many of whom are Jewish. So there’s nothing inappropriate about this story; the bochur has nothing to be ashamed of.

  • Benyamin

    To put a holy tefilin on the guy dressed in this tuma? Are you guys out of your minds completely??? What a hillul HaShem!!

  • yochi and pia naiditch

    If you ask me, i think the real problem here is not what santas wearing, but what this young man is. i mean no hat and jacket? what do you think this is? hehehehahahahah love you yaakov. shkoyach. keep on doin the Rebbe’s M”HM avoda!
    p.s. thinking about forgiving you for not picking up my phone calls.
    p.p.s. stop looking at the negative side of things 8, 14,24,26, 37 , 38….. did you do mivtzoyim today???????????? hehehehe

  • ak

    The avodah zarah comment is slightly extreme…yes it is a non jewish marketing tool, but i wouldn’t call it avodah zara… he practically looks like a zaidy

  • tis the season to get fat

    *hahahaha! jewish santa come join us to light the menorah and spin the driedel!!!!*

  • menachem baba mendell

    this is a beautiful example of outreach for our jewish community :) goooo YAAAAAKOV babaaa

  • love you yaakov!

    knowing yaakov since he was born, he did this totally out of tmimus to help another yid. however, at minimum he should have had him remove the hat. none of us (i hope!) would have our kids take a picture with shmata klutz bec “it’s not christian, it was only made by coca cola”. it’s not appropriate to have tefillin on something that is construed as connected to such a klipah as dec 25th. i’ve put tefillin on Jewish men who thought R”L that they are catholics , and gently asked them to remove the thing hanging from their necks and they agreed. if they wouldn’t i couldn’t put tefillin on them with such an open symbol of a avoida zora faith.

  • Shannon Doll

    Laughing out Loud @ Nicolas Klausenberg and his elf. I love it. Thanks so much for this.

  • A Shanda

    I pray that the tefilin will forgive the bochur for the disgrace caused to them. The Satmar Rebbe’s opposition to mivtzah tefilin was in no small part based on his fear that one day it will come to this.

  • nice guy

    I was at a menorah lighting in Krakow last year and we had a guy dressed as simcha nick that came and danced by the menorah lighting. Of course it was his choice not like he was hired or anything. Was great fun everyone got a good laugh and definately a kiddush hashem.

  • Positive outlook on life

    It’s amazing how this positive, amazing thing
    brings about negativity in some people!
    As i read the comments, thinking how wonderful
    that he thought of asking the man dressed up in a santa suit
    I mean who would think…
    And thre it goes…
    Why didnt he change?
    Look at the forest, not the tree…
    I mean, what is that?????
    Look around you…stop criticizing!
    Same thing with the young girls in our community,
    Smile at them, treat them like you do the Baal teshuva’s that come in our homes…dressed untznius, and watch what comes of it
    Instead of constantly badgering

  • Doozang1

    To refer to Santa Claus as “shmata klutz”, as “love you yaakov!”wrote, reeks with the sort of bigotry which right-minded people, irrespective of race, colour or creed, hope to erradicate. That sort of comment is reminiscent of the canards aimed at the Jewish people over centuries. I am disappointed that the person who administers this site did not see fit to edit the comment.

  • mordechai yakov eliezer

    In order 2 b mikayem the mitzvah of tfillin shel Rosh it has 2 b straight being that the tad is a seperate mitzvah however I agree with #59 that in thus case bec its not actual acids zara like the thing around the neck u don’t have 2 remove the hat if u don’t have a yarmulka, however in this case it would have looked even better with a black hat like a bachur or a yarmulka.

  • Mendel Mendel

    Sorry #47, but you got it wrong. The current image and name of SC was created and popularized by the caracaturist Thomas Nast in 1863 – that’s 25 years before Coca Cola was first produced. This image has been continuously popular since Nast’s time. That CC jumped on the band wagon at some point is not relevant. And it had, and still has, religious conotations. That is reality.

  • jj

    i think this photo should be removed because it could get into the hands of jews for j and could have very bad results
    i dont want this published

  • Shliach

    Some of these comments are really far out, but the best two were Simcha Claus and that he looks like Berel Kahan!!!

    True the bochur could dress more Chassidish, but Simcha Clausenberg could have possibly lost his one and only chance to become ois karkafta if he was asked to remove his getup. So for sure Yakov did the right thing.
    Moshiach Now!

  • Belz mein shtetle Belz

    Takeh you should not use that title, that’s real avodah zora. If Yakov was a Belzer you could write Jingle Belz

  • Mashpia

    Mr. Kratzmach is definately avoda zora with true goyish and pagan roots. But id a fellow Yid needs a few bucks and has no Jewish background, and is a karkafta to boot (no pun intended) can we ignore the fact and deny him his true hritage? Would the Rebbe say get him out of the suit and then leig Tfillin with him? Who says he would want to go to all that trouble?? All naysayers, think of what the Rebbe wants, what the Rebbeim want.

  • ch-er.

    hey guys read the comments and saw the pic (obviously)

    2 things

    1) ein tachton mize, this is the greatest tachton , as we know the Rebbe wanted us to reach the low of the low, no matter who he is what he wares where he is found, yes in the S.C. costume.

    think about it, if a jew would have a massive cross and doesnt want to take it off, jut definitely is a jew , as the J. for J. that came to dollars, yes my good friend this is the Tachton, this is what moshiach had in mind telling the BeS’Th yesutzu ….. yes it is, sorry # 24 I dont and cant agree with you, and the way you speak i doubt your a shliach

    2) (on a comical note) the debate is finally over, santa clause is real and here,

    happy Chanukah to all

  • nice guy

    all u guys who have a problem with this are insane. In the 60s lubavs put tefillin on people who were without a doubt 100% ovdai avoda zarah kehalocha and the rebbe had absolutely no problem with it. Maybe do some fact checking before criticizing. This is a kiddush hashem all you ignorant morons looking for anything to criticize are the disgrace. Get off the internet and maybe do some mivtzoim for once in your lives.
    P.S. Im proud to know this fine young man =)

  • satmar chosid in cleveland

    Or maybe this Santa is smarter than you think and wanted to draw the boy in…
    (Kind of like I’ll show you mine if you show me your religion)

  • ys

    There was a little girl who used to come to shul on shabbos every week with her family. One day in December the family went to the mall and she saw Simcha Claus and she said, “Look Daddy, there’s a Rabbi.” Guess it is fitting that she used to come to the Laguna Beach shul. What goes around comes around.
    Keep up the good work Yaacov!!

  • this is very disgusting!

    would you put on teffillin in a church?
    would you put on teffilin in a buhddist temple?
    why are there 50+ excuses for doing something WRONG, and not one for doing something right?

  • ho..ho..holy!

    Hey, Yaakov! What you did for this fellow Jew was so ho..ho..holy! Rather than simply dress as a saint for couple of days but remain unchanged within, you have made him connect with G-d for a moment that lasts for eternity – true saintliness! And you also gave him the opportunity to do something truly merry-torious…

  • Every Jew in any state matters.

    What he’s doing here is more of a mitzva than your criticism and the lack of ahavos yisroel going on here. Do you really think he’d have gotten undressed just to put teffilin on? Yaakov- you did great! May the light of this chanuka bring the ultimate light with Moshiach now.

  • go to cloisters and make karkafta-s

    maybe you should go into the cloister itself and ask “ARE YOU JEWISH” and put them all on teffilin?!
    it’s not “avoida zara” it’s just “cultural”
    it’s not a “cross” it’s just two sticks going in opposite directions.
    it’s not “yoshke” it’s just a very confused guy, who happened to think he’s g-od.

  • Shoshana

    Please – a Jew can earn a living, and that’s not avoida zora faith. The great good humor of this photograph – and the delicious sense of irony of beautiful self-discovery in the most unlikely of situations – that is the real story.

  • just thinking...

    First of all to #9, it’s not nice. Le’havdil to the wonderful Klausenberg Rebbe even if we have a good sense of humor.
    This picture is a real study. If this guy is jewish indeed, Yaakov you have a great future, for you were brilliant to ask and that shows you are aware of the sad world we live in. In terms of the picture, not sure what to think… Yes ideally it would have been great for him to remove his costume, but then again would have defeated the purpose of the concept of “mivtsoim”.

  • anne

    what about the credentials were they checked — how jewish is he or perhaps it does not matter . . .

  • Enjoy seeing Kedusha everywhere!

    I LOVE the picture.

    In Tzippi Caton’s book Miracle Ride, a sick teen is in Hackensack Hospital for treatment when a Santa comes to give presents. She declines because she is Jewish. So the Santa asked her in Yiddish if she’d been a good girl this year. (I’ve so enjoyed this anecdote, I’ve been repeating since I read it.)

  • lets helpThe GUY...no quarreling!

    I want this boy to run my Chabd House!! Look at the inside of the guy…don’t judge the outside…May we see this guys pic again…after you work on him a little bit….if HaShem remembered this guy and sent you to him to remind him of his Yiddishkeit, then i’m saying Tehillim for him…and may HaShem guide you in what to tell him so you can makarev him immediately……for all of us: lets not use it as a conversation piece SAY TEHILLIM for this man! He must really need it..he didnlt meet 1 lubavitcher, he met us worldwide! It’s all hashgacha protis!!

  • Havdala

    Im ayn daas havdolo minayin? How can you compare a Yid in a SC outfit to going into to a tifla to find karkaftas? If we would all stick to the Rebbe’s teachings (in all aspects of our lives) there would be no negative (and ridiculous) comments here.
    Get back on the hiskashrus train folks.

  • Asher Elbaz

    This is beautiful! Shkoyach to a new Yid who found a New Mitzvah :)!!!!! So Min HaShomayim!

  • SoCal shliach

    Nu nu most of the commentators here takeh seem to
    Miss the entire point of those (woefully) few critics.
    Retread my post way back, there is everything commendable about
    Pitting tfillin on another yid.
    The bochur who went on mivtzoim is surely a fine chassidishe boy we are all very proud
    The issue here is the kovod of the Rebbe and the kovod of Lubavitch
    Something that the Rebbe took very seriously.
    To the “velt” whom we are empowered and instructed by our rebbe to
    Inspire and teach. This and other foolish acts are counterproductive and even harmful

  • The Origin of Santa Claus

    by Lawrence Kelemen

    a. Nicholas was born in Parara, Turkey in 270 CE and later became Bishop of Myra. He died in 345 CE on December 6th. He was only named a saint in the 19th century.

    b. Nicholas was among the most senior bishops who convened the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE and created the New Testament. The text they produced portrayed Jews as “the children of the devil”[11] who sentenced Jesus to death.

    c. In 1087, a group of sailors who idolized Nicholas moved his bones from Turkey to a sanctuary in Bari, Italy. There Nicholas supplanted a female boon-giving deity called The Grandmother, or Pasqua Epiphania, who used to fill the children’s stockings with her gifts. The Grandmother was ousted from her shrine at Bari, which became the center of the Nicholas cult. Members of this group gave each other gifts during a pageant they conducted annually on the anniversary of Nicholas’ death, December 6.

    d. The Nicholas cult spread north until it was adopted by German and Celtic pagans. These groups worshipped a pantheon led by Woden –their chief god and the father of Thor, Balder, and Tiw. Woden had a long, white beard and rode a horse through the heavens one evening each Autumn. When Nicholas merged with Woden, he shed his Mediterranean appearance, grew a beard, mounted a flying horse, rescheduled his flight for December, and donned heavy winter clothing.

    e. In a bid for pagan adherents in Northern Europe, the Catholic Church adopted the Nicholas cult and taught that he did (and they should) distribute gifts on December 25th instead of December 6th.

    f. In 1809, the novelist Washington Irving (most famous his The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle) wrote a satire of Dutch culture entitled Knickerbocker History. The satire refers several times to the white bearded, flying-horse riding Saint Nicholas using his Dutch name, Santa Claus.

    g. Dr. Clement Moore, a professor at Union Seminary, read Knickerbocker History, and in 1822 he published a poem based on the character Santa Claus: “Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in the hope that Saint Nicholas soon would be there…” Moore innovated by portraying a Santa with eight reindeer who descended through chimneys.

    h. The Bavarian illustrator Thomas Nast almost completed the modern picture of Santa Claus. From 1862 through 1886, based on Moore’s poem, Nast drew more than 2,200 cartoon images of Santa for Harper’s Weekly. Before Nast, Saint Nicholas had been pictured as everything from a stern looking bishop to a gnome-like figure in a frock. Nast also gave Santa a home at the North Pole, his workshop filled with elves, and his list of the good and bad children of the world. All Santa was missing was his red outfit.

    i. In 1931, the Coca Cola Corporation contracted the Swedish commercial artist Haddon Sundblom to create a coke-drinking Santa. Sundblom modeled his Santa on his friend Lou Prentice, chosen for his cheerful, chubby face. The corporation insisted that Santa’s fur-trimmed suit be bright, Coca Cola red. And Santa was born – a blend of Christian crusader, pagan god, and commercial idol.

  • Howard Jacobson

    Actually as the young Rabbi’s father, I will now weigh in. Yes, he has smicha from Rabbi Avtson in Jerusalem, where he was for 3 years. How many of you “haters” spent 3 years in Jerusalem getting your Smicha? Anyways, he was by the Rebbe and was named in the sechus of Rabbi Yakov Yehudah Hecht, ztl who among many other things was involved in saving Jews from cults. Gee, isn’t it interesting that this young Rabbi (my son) would receive a standing ovation in Heaven by Rabbi JJ Hecht as well as every Chasid who was REALLY connected to the Rebbe and his work to mecarev yidden? You haters sound like the misnagdim who bashed Chabad in the 70’s when the Rebbe started the idea to go out and out tefillin on yidden. Get over it, that was 40 years ago and now every Kiruv organization in the world imitates the Rebbe’s innovation (and acts like they came up with it themselves, Aish etc) Do your historical research about who the Rebbe really is to the Jewish people before you go bashing his brave Chassidim!

  • Howard Jacobson

    By the way, regarding Kavod, in Pirkei Avos it states that those who run after Kavod it runs away from them. Also, it states 3 things drive a man from this world and one is searching for honor! This was the furthest thing from our Dear Rebbe, who as a young boy dove into the lake to save another Jew from drowning even though he himself later said that he didn’t even swim. Imagine the Baal Shem Tov turning away from wrapping tefillin on this guy in the red suit. Hey, back 300 years ago in Poland everyone dressed just like that. So all of your criticism is just jealousy driven. Please, take your own tefillin and get into the street and start finding Jews whatever they might be wearing, funny hats, clothes, whatever…because the Baal Shem Tov taught us all that to serve a fellow Jew and get him to do even one mitzvah elevates his soul to such a high state that we can’t even imagine. Even the Baal Shem Tov’s disciple were jealous of the attention given to the poor simple Jews who could barely say Tehillim. Please, you need a refresher course on Chassidus, and I’ll be glad to help you my fellow Jew. Call me anytime I’m in the Anash.

  • Isadore

    just picture him in black. here;s aquarter get a sense of humor.except fot the red he looks just like you

  • Dana Santa Friedman

    I personally find all the comments interesting, both sides of the coin. I myself am a Jew and proud of it. I am also a professional Santa. There is no sin on bringing joy to a child. People are people no matter what their religion. While I do not put on tefilin, I do wear a red yamulka under my sticking cap. What I do find a sin is when I go back to Boro Park in my civies and no one will talk to me because they don’t think I’m Jewish, or Jewish enough, but when I grow my beard for my Santa schtickck, all of a sudden everyone acknowledges me and is friendly. Be a jew, be a mench. Wanna see a real Jewish Santa in action… Check out http://www.newyorksanta.com. oy

  • nomis101

    No wonder many in Israel believe Mashi’ach is coming soon, why bother checking his credentials….a Goy would not have agreed to partake in all that shpeel..It would not knock me off had someone discovered a proof Yasser Arafat’s Mother Spoke Yiddish.

  • Moshiach NOW!


    1. Checked if he went to MIKVEH BEFORE putting them on him
    2. MADE SURE HE had a Bris BEFORE putting them on him
    3. Made sure he was GESJCH, PART-GESJCH, or even NEW-AGE GESJCH BEFORE putting them on him. nuff said.

    Shkoyach HaBOCHUR V’TOMIM Yakov Yehudah! Sheyichye! Tizku Lmitzvot! Moshiach NOW!!

  • Dr. Laz

    Awesome! Sometimes you gotta reach to the depths to bring out a fellow Yid. Kol Hakavod.

  • Ariella

    This just makes me believe MOSHIACH is almost here!
    You are in inspiration to our community!
    Keep it up!

  • Jason F

    Such a wonderful picture & ensuing controversy! Well done, Ya’akov & nachas to your family. You guys are a massive blessing on our Torah starved little community of Laguna Beach. These grumpy old nay-sayers are just jealous. It is you, Ya’akov who should be jealous, after all – you should only be able to grow a moustache like Santa’s…

  • Anonymous

    The misnagdeem are having a field day with this photo and are using it discredit the whole concept of putting on Teffilin with other yidden.

  • Laya

    Some of you make me embarrassed to be a Jew, cause you sound So Racist.

    The Kid did a Mitzvah and you want to take that away from him?

    You need to get a life, and Some need to Grow up…
    So big deal, the Jew had on a Santa
    alfit, which he probably needed the money.
    Can some of you say you have never been shopping at holiday time, and Never saw a Jewish Santa Clause? I think you all have.
    I’m A Jewish Grandma, and Yes , I have had my kids picture taken with Santa Clause.

    Hope you all have a Warm Family Hanukkah??

    Be Well.

  • Rabbi Pinky Schmeckelstein

    This is great. It shows that we are all brothers. And that brotherhood is not harmed by symbolism that is foreign to our heritage.

  • joeshmoe

    i mean – gosh! what was yakov thinking?!? i think the S-man should have removed his costume and donned those phylacteries in his gatch’kehs!

  • howard, you-re a great father but....

    howard, i love you since the day you met our family friend laura and built a wonderful jewish home in laguna. but you’re missing the point here. yaakov meant well and he’s doing great things. but sometimes we have to take a breather and ask if this is the proper way to spread the Rebbe’s message and wake up jewish hearts. if u heard a jewish girl is dancing in a club, would you go there to convince her to light shabbos candles? some places we just don’t go. the Rebbe was very clear about this many times, and unfortunately in our zeal to reach every Jew we step over the line. this costume is connected to the most goyish of all holidays. It’s probably avoida zora, but that’s for a rov to decide. imagine a jewish kid walking thru that mall and seeing this, why shouldn’t he then go and sit in his lap and take a picture? isn’t one of the main reasons we put menorahs in malls to help yidden be proud of our heritage and religion when during this season they are surrounded with this goyish holiday and outrageous consumption? don’t you think that putting tefillin on this innocent nice Jewish man is kashering as “it’s not so bad, he’s Jewish, it’s all fun” like so many people commented above. sadly even among our own chassidim brothers and sisters too many are losing their grip on reality and have bought into this notion of mivtoyim at all costs, everything else be dammed. sorry the Rebbe begs to differ. read the sichas, letters and you can see that the Rebbe put boundaries and when we stay within them, we are bringing the revelation of the Rebbe and his teachings to the world in a way that will truly uplift them and ourselves to a higher and better place.
    This is not meant to criticize Yaakov, he’s a great kid and i love him like my own son. He meant well, and he’s always trying to do the right thing. you & leah will IY”H have much nachas from him for many years, and from your great daughters.

  • yosef mordcheh

    2 # 116 there is an issue if u r Jewish having ur children take a pic with s.c.so 2 put on teffilin with him is 1 thing but 2 take pic & simle with that is a major issue, so I wouldn’t b mfarsem that !! It does come originally from A.Z.

  • Howard Jacobson

    Somebody who raised a question if there was a Jewish girl dancing in a club if I would go do something. That is not a valid comparison. This Jewish guy was entirely tznius!!!! What a ridiculous comparison. Plus, for those of you who stay in the background afraid to come out of your Chassidic safety zone, the Rebbe sent his soldiers to the front of the battlefield to mekarev Yidden. This guy told Yakov that his father was a Rabbi and his mother was 100% Jewish. I am sure that this act of helping him to lay his first tefillin had more neshamas celebrating in Shamayim than you can all calculate.
    You probably are not truly counting just how powerful an effect it had on this Jew’s neshama and weigh it against the cost of not doing it.

  • sholom fine

    Reb Yaakov, Howard, and to the multitude of Women in your family.

    Good work.

    Happy Chanukah!!!!

    From our family to yours.

    A meaningful gift for all of us and reminder of the work to be done.

  • Digeorgia

    Hey 97. You wrote the best comment!!!!!!! How can they really be so certain about G-ds desires? Perfect!

  • Alan in Israel

    CUTE PICTURE but both BAD HEBREW AND BAD YIDDISH: The word cannot be MitzvOIM – it is either MitzvOS or MitzvOT.

  • Mike from Studio City

    Hey, that young guy putting teffilin on Santa looks just like my nephew!!

  • Savta Neshama

    I totally agree with all of the positive comments here . . . a mitzvah is a mitzvah. The young man just spontaneously asked someone randomly if he’s a jew, maybe his binah told him he was a Yid. He laid tefillin on him and performed a great mitzvah. This photo to me is beautiful, and a great example of what the Rebbe taught!!! Chag Sameach Chanukah to the young man, his mishpocha and to ALL! oh . . . and to S. Klaus too!

  • Leah

    I live out of town, and deal with a lot of non-frum people. Do you have any idea how many people I have shown this picture to? Everyone of them thought it was FANTASTIC! This picture would NOT have been special if the guy would have been wearing a tee shirt and jeans and Yakov was wearing a hat & jacket. How many pictures like that are there? Tons? and has it inspired even one non-frum person to put on tefillin? And yet, there are people who I have shown this picture to who are very inspired.

    The best comment was the person who asked if all the negative commentators have done mivtzoyim. A HUGE, HUGE yasher koach to Yakov to doing this. This picture is a sad reality of the world we live in. Stop bashing and get to work bring Moshiach yourself if you don’t like the way he did it.

    ps– It is a huge kiddush Lubavitch. I got an email from a non-Lubavitcher friend with this picture telling me how impressed she was with Chabad. Actually, the first negative comments I have seen or heard have been from fellow Lubavitchers.

  • Shliach in FL

    And I’m sure if Chabad was around in Bayis Sheni we would have been mekarev yoshkeh and saved us all a lot of heartache and pain that we’ve had to deal with for centuries.

  • Howard Jacobson

    For the goyim, SC is a tribute to their “tshuvah”….Have you been naughty or nice? And Hashem loves any person’s true repentance. Obviously, the 7 Noachide laws are consistent with the Rebbe’s efforts to reach goyim for their obligations. Don’t be so quick to call SC an avodah zora since the penimius for goyim is to take a cheshbon nefesh on their actions and try to be better people. This is 100% consistent with Torah teaching for any human being. Haha gotcha there!

  • Jordan Kagan

    Yasher Koach to Yakov. Just proves you should NEVER judge the book by the cover!

  • Ana

    # 48

    Rabbi Sholom M. Rubashkin should read to his friend
    “My Father and the Priest: A Jew is never completely lost from his people. A true unbelievable story.”
    by Chana Weisberg

  • Rap yeshiva

    If Yakov cared about what you people think there would have never been kahuna lamplighters

  • Simeon

    Hooray for Chabad!.They search for Jews wherever they may be…even under a “tree’ or coming down a chimney!