Thank God for the Internet!
Date: August 27, 2008 11:31PM
At this point in time, I have reviewed quite a few books on Amazon by Chabad Lubavitch. I panned the whole thing.
In fact, the only books I gave any good ratings to were one on Satmar and one about the Jewish Catalog. I think they are basically good works.
It may seem strange to laud Satmar but for the most part, I see them as essentially insular and despite their internal problems, they seem at least to me, as not wanted to impact the world around them with messianic pretensions like Chabad.
While I won’t give away my handle on that site, I will tell you that I am easy to find. I have been taking Chabad to task about a whole bunch of things.
First of all, I am extremely upset that I am having a lot of trouble getting a career together while the con artists in Chabad are doing very well.
I also have a problem with the fact that the Orthodox establishment, both in Israel and in chutz la’aretz (“outside of Israel”) is so entrenched in wooing politicians over to their side.
I mean, National Education Day was declared on the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s birthday years ago and most knowledgeable Jews would tell you that “learning with Lubavitch isn’t really learning.” It is really a sad commentary on the state of Jewish affairs that Chabad is seen as so vital to the needs of the Jewish community.
While the founder of Chabad, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, may have believed in his teachings, Shea Hecht told me years ago to just leave Ben Yishai but not to hook up with Chabad. And as my ex-wife’s mashpiah (“mentor”) told me, “It’s just a good lie.” Did they mean that all of Judaism is fraudulent and or false or did they mean just Chabad’s teachings? I wonder about all of this.
My contention is that if Shea still doesn’t believe in Chabad’s teachings that he is the very maisis or “intentional deceiver” that he claimed the snake in the book of Genesis was.
He is the Executive Director of the National Committee for the Furtherance of Jewish Education and the Dean of Hadar HaTorah. The latter is the BT yeshiva that Chabad has as their website says, it was he first such BT organization catering to BTs. And as such, I am hoping to take him down a few pegs.
One of the descriptions of the Tanya, Chabad’s “Bible” calls it “The central work in Jewish mysticism.” My counter was that it is such only in Chabad. The Zohar or “Book of Splendor” is the work that is generally held by Kabbalists to be the guide of touchstone of Orthodox Judaism’s mystical tradition.
You should also note that when I was at D’var 30 years ago, the rabbi who hated me the most was Uri Kaploun who was a Chabadnik. No other rabbi gave me the bad attitude that he did. And it is noteworthy that Lubavitch means “City of Love.”
Uri Kaploun is also a noted translator of Chabad’s books from Hebrew into English. He is making a good living peddling this trash and I am fed up of it.
It should also be noted that although I am upset about my suffering in the name of Orthodox Judaism and there being very little in it for me, I am not as perturbed at the rest of the Orthodox establishment as I am at Chabad. Not that I am in love with the BT movement.
And what is even more telling is the fact that Chabad tried to do the most for me, but every time they got involved (except for once), it was a disaster. I got so sick in Israel in ’95 and Chabad let me sleep in their office on the Cardo in the Old City of Jerusalem. I was mouthing off about Chabad’s being a cult, even before I hooked up with The Ross Institute and they were watching me very carefully.
My father once complained to me “Chabad can’t do enough for you.” Of course they can’t, their love is conditional on your fitting in with their overall plan for the geulah or “final redemption of the world.” Not only that but their love is based on a person’s being Orthodox. They are selective in whom they help. And they will only let you get as far as they want you to go.
Hecht used to say about me that “You’re too frye (“nonreligious”) to be frum (“Orthodox”) and too frum to be frye.” He seemed to not have any respect for me and my limits, which I was aware of early on as I was in Ben Yishai and was definitely not the most Orthodox Jew in that cult. I was simply unable to do such and Hecht saw me as “sitting on the fence” so to speak.
I also reviewed some books about Shlomo Carlebach. I found him to be very problematic. I used to get so into his music and I bombed out in his arena and went to Lubavitch. The rest is history.
At this point in time, Chabad’s influence is growing and I have been blocked by them several times when seeking aid from the Jewish community like when I went to the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty seeking aid to help me get out of the debts I accumulated when I was involved with the 8th St. Shul. The caseworker was Chabadnik and rather than give me any financial help (“you’re out of our jurisdiction”) I was given a shiur (“class”) on Chasidic doctrine about how the world doesn’t work by free flowing energy but through concretized vessels. Man, Chabadnik are so wise, aren’t they?