Posted to Op-Ed on
|

Op-Ed: What Chabad-Lubavitch and Modern Orthodox Communities Can Teach Each Other

by Rachel Renz – YU Beacon

Oholei Torah bochurim learn Chasidus with students at Yeshiva University on a Thursday night.

I think it’s high time there was some new cultural diffusion. I don’t mean cultural diffusion on a grand scale, where one nation spreads its lifestyles and outlooks to another nation or anything of the sort. Rather, I am proposing a small-scale exchange of ideas, lifestyles, and philosophies within two sectors of the Jewish world: Modern Orthodoxy and Chabad Lubavitch.

I must first make it quite clear that I am Modern Orthodox through and through and do not think of myself Lubavitch, nor do I know any hardcore Lubavitchers who would ever consider themselves to simultaneously be Modern Orthodox. However, having grown to enjoy a close relationship with the local Chabad family in my town, along with various other Chabad experiences along the way, my respect, appreciation, and admiration for the Lubavitch community has grown tremendously. I would like to share my thoughts regarding what Modern Orthodoxy can learn from Chabad Lubavitch, as well as what Chabad can learn from Modern Orthodoxy.

There are two primary things in the Lubavitch sphere that the Modern Orthodox community lacks. The first of these is the controversial support and implementation of kiruv efforts, of attempting to bring non-religious, or rather, non-Lubavitch Jews back to religious observance. Chabad does this by intentionally seeking out places in which small (if not non-existent) non-observant communities are living, and establishing a Chabad shul. In this rather radical and certainly daring fashion, Chabadniks devote their lives to teaching other Jews what it means to be Jewish and to keep mitzvot, and they also make the world a more accessible place to those Jews who are already frum but need a place to go when travelling. I myself have been fortunate enough to have Chabad at my disposal when I otherwise would have been completely bereft of Judaism for a number of days. For example, my grandmother lives in an area where there is no Jewish population. However, there is a Chabad in walking distance which, although constantly struggling to get a minyan, has allowed my family to daven many a Shabbat when we would otherwise have just felt sorry to be in the outermost realms of galut.

The second thing Lubavitchers do extremely well is live in such a way as to make their very lives become vehicles of Torah. They see every opportunity, whether planned or spontaneous, as a Divinely-ordained opportunity to educate a fellow Jew and to help him do one more mitzvah. For example, many Chabad children will go to local public schools on Sukkot in order to make benching lulav available to less-observant students who might be going to school on yom tov.

But one should not think that Chabadniks simply plan specific events for the purpose of bringing their fellow Jews closer to Judaism. Rather, every aspect of their own personal lives is dedicated to bringing a heavenly Torah to an earthly Jew. For example, I recently attended the wedding of a dear Lubavitch friend of mine at which, beneath the chuppah, every step of the wedding was announced and explained by way of loudspeaker to the diverse crowd. Most people would object to using their own wedding as an educational tool, yet for the Lubavitch community, a wedding is all the more meaningful if it can be a teaching opportunity for fellow Jews.

Why is it that the Modern Orthodox community does not make kiruv efforts as Chabad does? I think the primary two reasons are that many members of the Modern Orthodox community are ba’alei teshuvah and therefore do not want to create any feelings of resentment or impressions of missionizing amongst family members, and that Modern Orthodox Jews do not feel the same sense of urgency toward having all Jews become shomrei mitzvot in the way Chabadniks do; we do not have a messianic drive or motivation (as will be discussed soon), and therefore there is little concern to “save the souls,” if you will, of our fellow Jews. Instead, we generally respect the decisions, however disagreeable they might be, of other Jews.

And why do we not always use our lives as vehicles of Torah? I think the answer is closely related to that given above: who would we be teaching Torah experientially to? Outside of the classroom and the home, it seems we generally do not associate with crowds of less religious people, simply by circumstance. Since we have not sought out the opportunity to teach others the ways of a religious lifestyle, we generally leave educational efforts to the professionals, our rabbis.

The preceding critique of the Modern Orthodox world and its deficiencies should not go without a reverse critique, an examination of that which Modern Orthodoxy can teach Chabad Lubavitch. In other words, what things can Modern Orthodoxy offer the Chabad outlook and way of life? Here again, there seem to be two main things to be gained.

The first is Modern Orthodoxy’s value and emphasis on intellectual pursuits and secular learning. Having the Rav zt”l as our role model of a Torah u’Madda life par excellence, I don’t hesitate to say that a world of Divine origin cannot be fully appreciated by even the most devout Jew without intellectual contemplation – without an appreciation for the vastness of God’s creations, be it scientifically, metaphysically, mathematically, historically, literarily, musically, or artistically. I think there is also an underlying belief among the Modern Orthodox that if Judaism is a legitimate path, it must be capable of “holding up” to modern science and the like. We should be able to thrive in the modern world, not despite our Judaism, but rather because the modern world can enhance our Judaism through new discoveries in medicine, literature, mathematics, and so forth. I personally had the privilege to spend this past summer learning in a summer kollel whose theme was “Halacha and Art,”and I can vouch for the fact that had I not fully grappled with art in both halachic as well as secular frameworks (no pun intended), I could not have gained as much Torah learning as I did from this program.

The second thing that Modern Orthodoxy has to offer the Lubavitch world is a de-emphasis on Messianism, a more subtle approach to what “moshiach” might mean or who he or she might be. While it might only be a small fraction of the Lubavitch community that believes the past Rebbe zt”l to be moshiach, the centrality of Yimot Hamoshiach in the Lubavitch community seems to me to be a preoccupation. In my opinion, we should live in the here and now, not because we do or do not think there might eventually be something grander, a “great equalizer” as they say, but because we believe we are living here and now for a reason. We should believe our present lives are meaningful and purposeful, however mysterious, sometimes tragic they are. Although Lubavitchers’ emphasis on moshiach has no doubt contributed to their adamant desire to educate and inspire less-observant Jews throughout the world and has helped them create a better Jewish world all around, I think Chabad would gain a great deal more credibility by moving away from their emphasis on Messianism.

There are many misconceptions on the parts of both Chabad and Modern Orthodox communities, including underestimations of the others’ commitments, either to Jewish theology, halachic observance, or intellectual commitment. I think some Lubavitchers see the non-Lubavitch, or at least the non-Haredi/Chasidish, as less religious Jews who must be brought back into Yiddishkeit, and that, conversely, many Modern Orthodox people view Chabad as a group of rather patronizing and intellectually-stunted fanatics, and this conception of the other is equally unfair and inaccurate. Let us all make a collected effort to be open-minded to various approaches to Torah, and let us adopt “kol Yisrael arevim zeh lazeh” as a call to intellectual and spiritual reconsideration.

32 Comments

  • 1. itzik wrote:

    this article is just silly. the author clearly doesnt understand what hes writing about and though im sure he means well and is serious, it comes off goofy and naive.

  • 2. Lubavitcher in Houston TX wrote:

    Believing in the imminent coming of moshiach is a basis of jewish faith, not focusing on moshiach is like saying “lubavitchers take shabbos way to seriously”.

    After WW2, moshiach was somewhat lost in the jewish vernacular, and the Rebbe wanted to bring it back. I understand that some people are still uncomfortable talking about it. But, as jews, this is who we are.

    About secular studies, like you said our focus is on bringing awareness to every jew. If someone has a specific gift and can bring more yidden closer by pursuing it than ‘kol-hakavod’, if not then we simply don’t have the time.

    I live out here in Texas and see every day how THOUSAND of yidden are being lost. If the rebbe thought 40 years ago that the issue was urgent, how much more so today.

  • 3. Kiryas Melech Rav wrote:

    while I might not agree with he understaning of the way we view interacting with academia, most of the artice is written very well. It does seems the author is uninformed about two important points that are connected and it may be partially our fault in not getting the rebbe’s message about Moshiach out there;
    I qoute:
    1)“we do not have a messianic drive or motivation (as will be discussed soon), and therefore there is little concern to “save the souls,” if you will, of our fellow Jews. Instead, we generally respect the decisions, however disagreeable they might be, of other Jews.”
    2)”The second thing that Modern Orthodoxy has to offer the Lubavitch world is a de-emphasis on Messianism, <snip> the centrality of Yimot Hamoshiach in the Lubavitch community seems to me to be a preoccupation. In my opinion, we should live in the here and now, not because we do or do not think there might eventually be something grander, a “great equalizer” as they say, but because we believe we are living here and now for a reason. We should believe our present lives are meaningful and purposeful, however mysterious, sometimes tragic they are. <snip>
    The emphasis on moshiach is NOT in order to escape the current uncomfortable reality, but rather to live the present to its fullest.
    another way of describing hwo the author thinks we should live is the rebbe’s many talk on ‘Mach do eretz yisroel’.
    how ever together with that we need to realize that the fullest expression of living in the rpesent is accomplishing what we need to achieve. in other words bring moshiach into the here and now.
    this medium does not allow for proper devlopment od these ideas, I do hope the point is clear.

  • 4. Little knowledge is dangerous: wrote:

    Who wrote this article? (I would like to get in touch with him or her).

  • 5. I have a feeling ... wrote:

    Ms. Renz’ appreciation, respect and admiration for Chabad is about to plunge after she reads the responses this article will engender.

  • 6. in appreciation wrote:

    Your editorial is presented with honesty and intellectual insight, yet you miss the fine nuance that makes Lubavitch shluchim, of the ilk you describe to have benefited from, what and who they are. The theme of Moshiach as we in Lubavitch live it, is integral to our commitment to our fellow Jew. I hear you suggesting that we somewhat still that Messianic fervor and thereby gain greater validation among our fellow Jews, yet it is the fervor and passion- the faith and the longing, that make us who we are. Actually, even those of us who do not “wave the Moshiach flag” (pun intended) pray and hope (and believe) that the Rebbe zt“l will(somehow – surely G-d can do anything)be revealed as the Moshiach. The Rebbe, the Meshaleach(the one who sends) is the vital energy that gives life to the Shliach, and out of love and deep joy the Shliach brings others the words, teachings and message of the Meshaleach, while guiding him or her in the way of peace and the wondrous pathways of shalom – the Torah Hakedosha.
    As for your first suggestion, that we take a page out of the book of Modern Orthodoxy and better integrate the secular and the holy, I believe your point re integration is a good one and the example you provide to support the idea, your own experience of a summer spent in study of the fusion of art and Halacha in a Kollel environment, truly hits the mark. Integration can and should only take place in a Torah motivated environment where the emphasis is on becoming more congnizant of the hand of G-d in creation, even as it conceals the divine.
    Finally I would like to address your comment regarding the Modern Orthodox level of involvement in Kiruv. It would be remiss not to mention the great alumni of Yeshiva University like Rabbi Bulman, R’ Ephraim Buchwald and R’ Shlomo Riskin who personify the teachings of the Rav and have become great leaders in Kiruv.
    They ”got it“. They understood why the Rav zt”l developed Yeshiva University and what his motivation was, and with that energy they went forth and taught and teach still today. There are a vast number of alumni of YU who are following in the path of R’ Soloveitchik zt”l and teaching and guiding Jews back to their heritage. Of course, kol hamarbe…

  • 7. umm wrote:

    i disagree. modern orthodoxy has nothink to offer. thats why its failing and disappearing, becoming too liberal or some becoming yshivish (not to mention it failed in chinuch, proven by the widespread ‘half shabbos’ catastrophe)..

  • 8. AA wrote:

    I also join #1 in applauding Ms. Renz for a well thought out article.

    One point, though about the centrality of Moshiach in Lubavitcher thinking:

    It’s not just a matter of “living in the here and now” vs. dreaming of a future utopia. In Chassidic thought it is explained that Moshiach, and in particular the open revelation of G-dliness that will accompany his arrival, _is_ the outgrowth of everything we are doing now. In other words, specific mitzvos, kiruv, etc., are the tactics underlying a longer-range strategy.

    So, just as you wouldn’t think much of a general who ignores the larger strategic aims for short-term gain, or of a CEO who focuses on the quarterly bottom line rather than the company’s long-term health, or a politician who can’t see past the next election…

    neither would we be doing ourselves, or the world at large, any kind of favor by jettisoning or downplaying the actual goal towards which all of our efforts are bent – that of “perfecting the world under the rule of the Almighty.”

  • 9. point of contention wrote:

    well the truth is that mod orth are far more educated(than chabad-in terms of secular)in fact so many of my friends sent their boys to yeshivot where no secular is given.Sorry, but this is the MAIN reason I wouldn’t send my kids there. I anted a well rounded education. I love Chabad and wouldn’t want to go to any other synagogue but as far as being educated, no I don’t agree at all.

  • 10. Chaim R. wrote:

    I think it is a little sad that this article got posted here. This was written by a first or second year college kid for one of the Yeshiva University papers, not for a Chabad audience.

    Exactly why is the naive and, frankly, ignorant opinion of a college student considered Op-Ed material?

    Now, a girl who wrote for YU students is about to get trashed by a bunch of Lubabs. Like I said, this is sad.

  • 11. michigan wrote:

    the question is Modern orthodoxy or orthodox modernity. the later is more kosher.

  • 12. mendy wrote:

    naive. the author is clearly very immature.

    I am growing disheartened by this website’s postings.

  • 14. Milhouse wrote:

    “In my opinion, we should live in the here and now, not because we do or do not think there might eventually be something grander”

    Unfortunately this is not what the Torah demands of us.

    The Torah tells us that after our lives we will be asked only a few questions, and one of those few will be “tzipiso liyshuoh? – did you expect the redemption?”. “Letzapos” means to await and expect and anticipate something, e.g. when you order a present for yourself from Amazon and wait for it to arrive, and look forward to its arrival, and are disappointed every day that it doesn’t arrive. That is how we must await Moshiach.

    Chazal said “kol yemei chayecho lehovi liymos hamoshiach”; the purpose of all our days, and everything that we do, the purpose of the whole Torah and the whole creation, is to bring the days of Moshiach. This has to be a central part of a Jew’s life, whether he’s a Lubavitcher or Modern Orthodox or anything in between.

    So no, we cannot “live in the here and now”; the here and now is pointless if it’s not inspired by the grander thing that it is destined to become.

  • 15. Lubavitch College Grad wrote:

    What the author writes is lovely and well thout out. On parctical level here is the problem:

    What she suggests MO should learn from Chabad (kiruv and devotion) is right in line or at least complimentry to the Rav ZTL’s teachings.

    What she suggests Chabad learn from MO (less Moshiach centric and more knowledge in non-torah – chahmas chitzoiyos – fields) seems to counter the Rebbe ZTL’s teaching.

    Coupled with this, the (chosid) talmid/Rebbe relationship in Chabad is much less dynamic than what the Rav taught (I.e. his talmidim were allowed and even encouraged to disagree on certain mattars and be more independant).

    So what is the likelihood that a Chabad chosid will follow the authors advice?!

  • 16. a tomim wrote:

    I have been “following” this op-ed’s advice for a few years already. Ani mamin be’emuna shleima … but I am getting on with my life. Honestly Moshiach takes up as much time in my day as it takes to say this phrase. And I’m trying to finish college too.

  • 17. The Sociologist. wrote:

    OK. So where does a “half Shabbos”** Lubavitcher [L] fit into this?
    Isn’t this a designer brand of MO? MO-L. Do what the Rebbe said not to, but still wear the kapoteh etc.

    The “buddum line” is that MO-L is just one step further than “garden variety” L. And shares with MO-Plain, a stronger personal identification with the goyisheh velt, while clinging to the narrower parochial social identification.

    **October 26, 2011 11:15 pm

  • 18. thank you wrote:

    we both, as well as all jewish sects can learn from each other. this is a step forword in our understanding of others. let us learn from evryone and change if need be.
    thank you for your insight, and please read, not judge the comments.

  • 19. Avrohom wrote:

    I would like to make one clarification. The author writes, “Rather, we should live in the here and now, not because we do or do not think there might eventually be something grander, a “great equalizer” as they say, but because we believe we are living here and now for a reason. We should believe our present lives are meaningful and purposeful, however mysterious, sometimes tragic they are.”

    The idea of Moshiach as viewed through the prism of Chabad theology is not that Moshiach is an escape from the grim and depressing reality we find ourselves in, and in fact that is rarely emphasized. On the contrary, Moshiach itself provides meaning to the present. This is the concept of Dirah Betachtonim, making a dwelling place for G-d on this world, which the culmination is the era of Moshiach as it says, “U’moloh ha’orets deyoh es Hashem”, “The world will be filled with the knowledge of Hashem”, understood as a reference to the G-dly revelation on this world.

    The fulfillment of Mitsvos is a means of bringing down G-dliness into our physical world (Dira Betachtonim) in preparation of the Messianic era. This idea actually emphasizes the great cosmic impact the fulfillment of Mitsvos have, and only adds a new dimension and meaning to the fulfillment of a seemingly mundane ritual.

    (This is in fact the reason Chabad places so much emphasis on the one time fulfillment of Mitzvos, being that each Mitzvah, no matter the intention and the lack of commitment associated with it, actually has a cosmic effect and his part of bringing a G-dly presence on this world.)

    In addition the author writes, “and that Modern Orthodox Jews do not feel the same sense of urgency toward having all Jews become shomrei mitzvot in the way Chabadniks do; we do not have a messianic drive or motivation (as will be discussed soon), and therefore there is little concern to “save the souls,” if you will, of our fellow Jews.”

    The concept of saving Jews from assimilation should be on the front line of any Jewish sect independent of their association with belief in Moshiach. The reason why it isn’t, is simply because people are apathetic to causes that require much effort and leaving ones comfort zone. The reason Chabad is different is because the Rebbe was extremely non apathetic and inspired his followers to leave their comfort zones (many a time living on the brink of poverty) for issues he felt are so important and comparable to a raging fire.

    And last but not least, the Rambam states (in his Ani Maamin’s) that we await the coming of the Moshiach every day, and although he may delay, we still have complete faith in him. Living a placid lifestyle, devoid of any “Messianic fevor”, , is hardly a conducive environment to having complete faith in the imminent arrival of Moshiach up to the point of waiting each and every day for his coming (beyond the daily lip service of the 13 Ani Maamins).

  • 20. yoske wrote:

    I very much appreciated your thoughtout, reasonable article.
    What I noticed from your picture of chabad, and its contrast modern orthodox, is that there’s one underlying difference between the two groups. Which this differences is the basis for the other four differences mentioned in your article.
    That is: Judaism, which is a religion, meaning a connection between creation and its creator, is the connection/relationship defined by the creator, or by his creations? Is judaism a nice social way in life, or is it the dictums of G-d? Is it a good moral system, or is it the holy “morales” of G-d? is it a good way to raise children and families, or is it the divine will of G-d?
    Modern orthodox will tell you all the advantages and specialties and richness of judaism, which theoretically could be found elsewhere. Which in a very subtle way, could eventually lead to one following a diferrent path G-d forbid. Therefore:1) if I appreciate judaism and you don’t, that’s alright. I’ll let you live the way you like and you’ll let me live the way i like. Each one of us is following his personal interest. In fact i might even be intimidated by you, what right do i have to step on your turf?
    Thats all looking at it regarding the recipient, but likewise is in regards to the giver: A modern orthodox jew would never give his life over to go on shlichus. Why should he? Judaism never demanded him to go beyond or outside himself, on the contrary, judaism is an enjoyable religion, is all about self-expression, intellectual stimulation, about the person. If so, why should the person give himself over, away from his comforts, away from his family etc. such a Judaism I never heard of. And if that is judaism, ‘I don’t want it!’

    However, a charedi and more precisely a lubavitcher’s (here i don’t wnat to go into the fundemental diferrence between them) judaism isn’t based on himself, what he would like, enjoy etc. Rather, judaism is true. G-d created a world, and has a mission, and he picked the jews to carry it out. Its a fact, whether you like it or not.
    Therefore: when i see another jew, who’s one of mine, and he isn’t fulfilling his mission, i let him know about it, i help him find his true self. because his current life isnt his true self. a jew is a jew is a jew (immanuel shochet) and also the giver, doesn’t think twice about what he has to gain from reahing out, its not about perwsonal gain, its about what g’d says, the truth.

    i dont have time to finish this, but the point has been made, maybe ill continue later.

    feedback is warlmy welcome.

  • 21. Good writing, lacks substance wrote:

    There is nothing to learn from one another. Lubavitchers come to study torah with YU students because they are both Jews and both have a chiyuv of limud haTorah. Though chasidus may not be a central part of YU’s curriculum, and perhaps chasidus means more than just another Torah subject to the Lubavitcher, but it’s the same Torah and the two groups study it not because they are “exchanging ideas” but because they are sharing what they have in common.

    But it’s not the writer’s fault since she is merely expressing the way anybody would see it when two groups come together. She’s also just a kid writing for an audience not to knowlegable about either group in their language (“cultural understanding”, as if it were some Hispanic group learning from a Pakistani group).

    Sorry to the auther for making you sound silly, but I do feel your message will give the wrong impression. Good writing though, A+ for the grammer and coherence but next time invest some effort by reserching the core beleifs and philosophies of MO and of Chabad instead of simply repeating what the media sais about them. Talk to a Chabad rabbi. Or interview a knowlegable Modern Orthadox rabbi who is familier with their philosiphy and that of Rav Salvaichick. It would add substance to your good writing skills.

    Example: You suggest Chabad learns the importance of being observant for the sake of the present and not for a futer messianic era. Actually, according to chabad chassidus, it is the very here and now in galus where mitzvos are so important. Soon it will be to late.

    Example: You suggest Chabad be open to the arts and sciences. A central teaching of chassidus involves “bichol drochecha doeihu”

    You need to dig up the teachings of chassidus and of the Rav zt”l and you will see that it’s really part of the same beleif – to make a home for God in our lives during our shour stay here on earth.

  • 22. אברהם  wrote:

    I would like to make one clarification. The author writes, “Rather, we should live in the here and now, not because we do or do not think there might eventually be something grander, a “great equalizer” as they say, but because we believe we are living here and now for a reason. We should believe our present lives are meaningful and purposeful, however mysterious, sometimes tragic they are.”

    The idea of Moshiach as viewed through the prism of Chabad theology is not that Moshiach is an escape from the grim and depressing reality we find ourselves in, and in fact that is rarely emphasized. On the contrary, Moshiach itself provides meaning to the present. This is the concept of Dirah Betachtonim, making a dwelling place for G-d on this world, which the culmination is the era of Moshiach as it says, “U’moloh ha’orets deyoh es Hashem”, “The world will be filled with the knowledge of Hashem”, understood as a reference to the G-dly revelation on this world.

    The fulfillment of Mitsvos is a means of bringing down G-dliness into our physical world (Dira Betachtonim) in preparation of the Messianic era. This idea actually emphasizes the great cosmic impact the fulfillment of Mitsvos have, and only adds a new dimension and meaning to the fulfillment of a seemingly mundane ritual.

    (This is in fact the reason Chabad places so much emphasis on the one time fulfillment of Mitzvos, being that each Mitzvah, no matter the intention and the lack of commitment associated with it, actually has a cosmic effect and his part of bringing a G-dly presence on this world.)

    In addition the author writes, “and that Modern Orthodox Jews do not feel the same sense of urgency toward having all Jews become shomrei mitzvot in the way Chabadniks do; we do not have a messianic drive or motivation (as will be discussed soon), and therefore there is little concern to “save the souls,” if you will, of our fellow Jews.”

    The concept of saving Jews from assimilation should be on the front line of any Jewish sect independent of their association with belief in Moshiach. The reason why it isn’t, is simply because people are apathetic to causes that require much effort and leaving ones comfort zone. The reason Chabad is different is because the Rebbe was extremely non apathetic and inspired his followers to leave their comfort zones (many a time living on the brink of poverty) for issues he felt are so important and comparable to a raging fire.

    And last but not least, the Rambam states (in his Ani Maamin’s) that we await the coming of the Moshiach every day, and although he may delay, we still have complete faith in him. Living a placid lifestyle, devoid of any “Messianic fevor”, , is hardly a conducive environment to having complete faith in the imminent arrival of Moshiach up to the point of waiting each and every day for his coming (beyond the daily lip service of the 13 Ani Maamins).

  • 23. pinchas meir wrote:

    in theory you may be right, but in reality most people who take on the collage approach, their Yiryas Shomayim becomes tainted.

    They may argue, but like its written “a coarse person doesnt see their own coarseness”.

    This is Chabad’s view. Only unique people can hack both Torah and secular education (see tanya for more info).

    This also answers those who ask why the Rebbe went to collage but discouraged others from attending.

  • 24. Sad CH Resident wrote:

    Friends and Neighbors,

    Every single negative comment is riddled with grammatical and spelling errors. Some misapprehended even the authors gender, not to mention missing her point.
    Her point is that the world is bigger than just us and we all, MO and us, have a lot to learn between the boundaries that separate us. Us? Learn? From them? Feh!

    To those who try to educate her on chassidus etc ., – the point here is not just doctrine, her point is also how do people live. A walk in 770 in the last few weeks clearly demonstrates that a lot of people need to come down the Moshiach tree just a bit. There are no keilim de tikkun anymore. And the lights of tochu look pretty dim out there.

    Furthermore, the argument that we do not need to know anything but Torah makes all of us sound like stupid peasants. Will we go to a doctor who only knows Chassidus? Good luck with that. Is life richer when you can play an instrument and able to understand astronomy for example? This is painfully obvious.

    In terms of ragging on MO frying out – seriously? Has anyone walked down Kingston lately? Chassidus and its practice in Lubavitch is not an vaccine from frying out. Thinking otherwise is delusional.

    In short, the saddest part of the comments is that most of the people commenting sound like “rather patronizing and intellectually-stunted fanatics.” Therefore, before we write comments I think it behooves us all to ask a question: read by an objective person will I prove or disprove the MO misconception of us?

    I urge all to strive for the later.

    • 25. Objective Mom wrote:

      As a spiritually seeking Jew who loves her local rabbets in from Chabad, but needs to meet whole family needs by joining a modern orthodox shul, I. Would say that seeing the thinly veiled arguments on this thread makes both MO and CHBD look bad. Why create your own self-driven Lashon Hara?
      I agree with the sad poster here who feels the poorly written arguments are safe to see. I in reading it did NOT have a stake here and felt that the author wa suggesting a lot of beauty in CHBDs approach and looking to unify a bit here. So all this backlash is not helpful. Regardless of your penchant for messianic fervor or secular pursuits in partnership with observance, etc., isn’t it in what I have learned from my beloved Rebbetzin from CHBD that one must exercise self-discipline when giving over love for Torah in order to preserve the love in learning and mitzvah and to not induce such discomfort as to put off others. Pease keep this in mind on a public message board. Unfortunately, stuff like this makes it impossible for my hubby to agree to continue in a CHBD environment, even though it has many beautiful facets I treasure.

  • 26. mamzer wrote:

    Chassidish > Lubavitch > Yeshivish > MO > O > conservative > reform > Goy > Christian> Muslim > Palastinan

    That’s where you end up when you “learn from each other”

    what a melting pot

    enough hak a chainik

    Learn a sicha a gemara anything instead of wasting energy by excercising the the ATP cycle in your finger muscles contemplating the diferences between poeple.

  • 27. Noach wrote:

    I perfer my Judiasm in the Ark. Who cares about everybody else. Tell God to get me a portable heater for the journy with enough feul. Also tell God to turn on the auto-feeder for his creatures while He is away, we will need that. And get me a couple of Texbooks on zoology while your at it.

  • 28. to #25 wrote:

    You think you are better than any other group of human beings on the planet? I would prefer a true Muslim friend who accepts me for who I am, rather than a fake arrogant Jew. There is one G-d, remember? We’re the people who put it out there. Wherever you got the message that one group is better than another, I surely would never be comfortable there. Paths are numerous in this world, my rejecting Jew, so let us simply let each of us live as we feel is best for us, as long as we are not hurting others or ourselves.

  • 29. To #24 wrote:

    Thank you for the comment. I have noticed the frequent errors in spelling and grammar from the negative comments. I’ve wondered if maybe the Yiddish language is written and spelled more accurately. Be that as it may, what did you perceive on that walk on Kingston that gave you pause to think?

  • 32. miri wrote:

    In a nutshell, a well-known saying is applicable to your article, albeit with a “twist”.

    “Not the vocation makes the man, but the man the vocation”

    In this instance, it would be:

    “Not the chassidus (or modernus) makes the man, but rather the man makes the chassidus/etc.”

    I believe I once read in an english version of michtav m’eliyahu, that in moshiach’s times, communication will be via telepathy.

    Should that ever come to pass, then all sectors of society (be they far right, far left, secular, or atheist) will finally get to see how tunnel-visioned they were, grasping at superficial trivialities, instead of OTHERS’ FEELINGS (in other words EQ versus IQ).

×

Comments are closed.