Picture of the Day: A Jew Is a Jew

Rabbi Yochanan Gordon, Shliach to Hobart, the capital city of Australia’s Tasmanian Island, puts on Tefilin with a Catholic priest who he discovered is actually Jewish.


  • very nice, but...

    we have to reach out to every Jew and awaken his neshomah, that is there regardless of his current lifestyle, or where he has sunken.

    However, everyone should know that someone who was baptised r”l cannot make a brocha until he renounces his baptism. since his idea of G-d is total kefira, he can’t say Hashem unless we know what he is referring to.

    Many years ago, a shliach was mekarev a yid who r”l was baptised. he wrote to the Rebbe and mentioned this. The Rebbe wrote back that until he goes to mikva to toivel & accept yiddishkeit as a ger tzedek (without the usual brocha a ger makes) do not give him an aliya.

  • i'm sure he knows

    shluchim like r’ yochanan i’m sure asked som1ne be4 doing what he did he looks erlich and a yerei shamayim

  • no one special

    According to comments attributed to The Rebbe, one wonders if this picture and story can bring any positive reaction.
    Makes me wonder what the psak is in Lubavitch.

  • stop this

    r’ yochanan is a shliach with the koiach of the meshaleiach he’s doing somthing nice and ur taking it away from hashliach rabbi yochnan gordon the negitivity is what brings strife more then what u’r saying that ch”v harav gordon is wrong

    • is R' Gordon infalliable?

      I’m sure R’ Yochanan Gordon is a serious, well-intentioned shliach whose sole goal is to spread yiddishkeit and the Rebbe’s work in Tasmania. I’ll be the last one to question his sincerity, yiras shmayim.

      That doesn’t make him infalliable and anyone can make an honest mistake.
      looking at the picture closely, it seems the guy is wearing the cassock, which makes putting tefillin on him even more problematic.
      how questioning this takes away from his awesome work in a pina nidachas of the world is beyond me,

  • TO #2

    Very interesting twist. Do you have any letter to back up your story?
    A yid is a yid is a yid….

  • halacha

    to #2
    The Rebbe said that because that is what the Halacha is.
    A yid is a yid is a yid.
    A yid who doesn’t keep Shabbos has no ne’emanus ie can’t be a witness or be trusted in kashrus matters and possibly can’t be counted for a minyan (depending on certain things).
    A yid who r”l baptized needs tevilah to get back into the fold because kelipah has him in their clutches.

  • HELLO????To #2

    According to what was written in #2, The Rebbe said about giving him an Alyah!!!!!!!!!! You’ve brought NO PROOF as what the Rebbe SAID, as it wasn’t about putting on Tephillian!!!!!! Love these guys that mix apples and oranges in their minds! There seems to be millions of them But, it’s nothing new.

  • Arieh

    While a yid is a yid, I am mesupak if you can put tefillin on to a person while he’s wearing vestments of a different faith/religion. Better to have him changed to more neutral clothing.

  • Yzk

    The story of the baptized Jew is that the Jew himself didn’t want to take an Aliya because he felt unworthy. I was one of the shluchim involved and saw the Rebbes answer. The Rebbe answered that although it doesn’t affect your status as a Jew you should go to the Mikva in the presence of a beis din and be mekabel Torah and mitzvot and time is of the essence. He never mentioned to the rebbe in his letter that he was baptized or that he didn’t want to take an Aliya.


    It is a clear halacha that a mishumad has categorical restrictions. No! You cannot put tefilin on with him! Look up Rambam Hil A”Z. Also see Igrois Moishe and Caf HaChaim on the matter. And how much more so when he is in priestly clothes r”l.

    He is not the first priest we found in Chabad and won’t be the last r”l. But it is wrong in his current state.

    A yid is a yid. Yes. Wonderful ignorant chabad psychobablbe. But halacha is also halacha. So first time for the yid is to be mikarev him back to the fold. Then mikva then tefilin! That is how the Rebbe would want it!

    • Ezra

      Really? Where exactly in Hil. A”Z is there this “clear halacha” that a meshumad can’t put on tefillin? Or in any of the other sources you mention? Let’s have chapter and verse, please.

  • Genug! (from a fan of the Gordon family)....

    Rabbi Gordon knows what he’s doing, for crying out loud!
    If anyone has a criticism for him, please man-up and contact him directly, instead of speculating for all the world to see in this blog!
    We in Lubavitch don’t go on and on about loshon hara, even though we (are supposed to!) work very hard at not saying loshon hara, rechilus, etc., just like all Yidden!
    SO I’m going to ask you to work on your AHAVAS YISRAEL (and study the halachos of tochachah, too!), especially today, so close to the Rebbe’s birthday, and so close to Pesach!

  • SoCal shliach

    Why do you chachomim at CH live always post these kind of pics??
    Yes, a Jew is a Jew. And this galach should have teffilin put on him, mazaltov.
    But why the offensive and infantile picture. A la the Santa Claus one a few months back!??!
    The question and indeed outrage here is the PERCEPTION how the “velt” that our Rebbe cared very much about (there are hundreds of letters and answers to this very point) will percieve lubavitch activities
    And yes, I have a copy of the famous letter of the Rebbe to one in Seattle who described himself as a “renegade Jew” and was baptised
    The Rebbe beautifully wrote there is no such thing as a renegade Jew but nevertheless he should go to a mikvah in front of a bais din and be mekabel mitzvos. Which is a clear halocho in shulchan oruch btw
    U guys do nice things, most times. Stop with the infantile provocative stuff

  • helo

    rav gordon would never and neighter would any shliach go against halacha openly i’m sure there r those that premit it

  • Close to Yochanan

    Just thought you should all know, that Yochanan actually did speak to a Rav, and furthermore, as someone who knows his personally, he would never do anything wishy washy or questioanble without Moreh Hor’ah. Before you make a judgement call, perhaps have a bit of Ahavas Yisroel and have the benefit of the doubt.

    As such, his Rav, was extremely disheartened that fellow Lubavitchers would actually post Psak dinei Halacha and apparent letters of the Rebbe, on a public website, for all to assume that a Shliach of the Rebbe would c”v do something wrong.

    If anyone has an issue, with this Rav Psak din, please speak to your own Rav before making these decisions. Lastly in general many of these issues are decided on a case by case decision. So before you assume that it is or is not ok, please discuss with your Rav.

    Good Shabbos

  • no one special

    My original question remains unanswered; who in Lubavitch issued the Psak .
    apparently, no one has the answer.

    • ask your own rav

      Whats it your business which Rav gave the psak? If you have an issue, ask your own Rav.

  • Tasmanian

    Your information is incorrect. The man with Rabbi Gordon in the picture is actually a consecrated Catholic brother (not priest) who is Jewish, made aliyah, studied at a yeshiva in Jerusalem, and then converted to Catholicism. He is what is known as a Hebrew Catholic.