Dying in the name of god (in Judaism it's called "dying al kiddush hashem") is a belief that many religions have. I wouldn't be so quick to die. My dad used to say, "Once you're dead, you're going to be dead a long, long time!" Like forever, I believe.
The booklet, The Story of Chanukah, published by Chabad's Kehot publshing said, "... and even little children just like you, were willing to die (in antiquity) for this pure and holy religion." My mom had this booklet and it came into my possesion some years ago. Then I come to Chabad and find out they are really not sincere and genuine about what they teach.
Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach used to say that dying for G-d is easy, but living for G-d is hard. Also, the Torah says "Choose life that you may live." While I have issues with religious groups I can tell you that this quote from the Torah is one I can live with.
I told some people at a Bible Study 2 weeks ago that "Dying is the last thing I want to do!" See my point here? I think people should take all of this to heart.
I noticed the same thread of thought when I was involved with Chabad. I was also a member of a children's group that seemed to be used to "recruit" out of the mainstream temple. We were often reminded children should be ready to die for our religion. We would be reminded of the many children that died for their religion in the holocaust (I doubt the majority of these children chose this form of death for their religion), as well as those that died for their beliefs in the communist countries. I felt guilt that I was not willing to die but would prefer to go into hiding when (not if) the next wave of anti-Jewish sentiment occurred. I call this the fear from death. This type of fear diminishes the cause of fear itself. In this case, it makes it much easier to get the followers to die for "the cause".
In the children's Jewish education group we were also told about how the Jews for Jesus were as much a danger to us as the Nazis. I'm not making this up. I was told how they would come and convert the Jews, ruining our religion. And of course our religion was the most important thing, even above life. When not the Jews for Jesus it was the anti-Semites that would also come to get us, maybe even putting us in camps. All of this was taught by college aged kids. I had nightmares for years over the fear I would die because my mother had a certificate stating she was a convert to Judaism filed somewhere in Los Angeles.
Neshama Carlebach is Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach’s eldest daughter. She has a singing career and her website discusses how she was groomed to perform and teach following in her late father’s footsteps. The website says that she took lessons for performing since the time she was 5 years old.
I know that originally she didn’t want a Jewish music career. And currently she is working on a recording of all English songs. The title cut, One and One features a Christian choir so she is following in her father’s footsteps here too. Haneshama Lach, Shlomo’s first recording, had the choir of Father Divine on it. Father Divine claimed to be god incarnate by the way. I found out about it at the 8th St. Shul.
It is something that I heard through the grapevine that she doesn’t sing for religious reasons but for entertainment. I find it strange that a person who comes from an Orthodox background let alone the daughter of a world famous rabbi, is not motivated as I was to die Al Kiddush Hashem if necessary. I mean singing her father’s nigunnim are not like Barbara Streisand singing Christmas hits.
I have to temper my beliefs. I put a posting up telling people not to be so willing to die in God’s name. I am glad Neshama’s survival instincts are better than mine were over the years.
Chabad uses fear, including the fear from death, to keep their followers in line. Looking back on it, it makes sense after reading this following post. Jim Jones attempted to take over Father Divine's cult. We all know what happened when Jones used the fear from death with his followers...they had no fear and drank the poison. After all, their beliefs were more important than death. Their fear of losing their religion was now more important than living.