Readers Respond

Two weeks ago we ran Greer Fay Cashman's opinion piece Chabad takeover. We received some strong responses. Here are just a few.

chabad 88.224 (photo credit: Courtesy)
chabad 88.224
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Two weeks ago we ran Greer Fay Cashman's opinion piece Chabad takeover. We received some strong responses. Here are just a few. NIMBY As a shaliah [emissary], one of the most hurtful things we find is people who would fight against Chabad tooth and nail in their home town yet are suddenly 'glad of our services' when they go abroad and use us as a hotel. We have many wonderful visitors who do not take advantage, but many shluchim also get people like the author of this article who admits how useful Chabad is for kosher food abroad yet doesn't want them in her neighborhood. The double standard and the readiness to 'use' these people who go [to these places] with such mesiras nefesh (selflessness) makes me sick. You can't have your cake and eat it. And you know what? Because a shaliah loves every Jew, they'll continue to entertain you for shabbat, although they know what you really say behind their backs. Mordechai Wallenberg UK PACK SOME TUNA FISH You write: "While many of us, especially those who eat kosher, are delighted to come across Chabad Centers when travelling abroad, there is a limit to how much we can take on our home turf." I have never encountered anything so outright selfish. You can't tolerate Chabad, but you are delighted to saddle all of the poor Jews living abroad with them, just to provide you with kosher food. Next time you travel, pack some tuna fish. Yochanan Illinois, USA STRONGER THAN THE SWORD All of this gossiping among Jews makes me sick. I am not a Chabadnik but I see the beautiful things that they do all over Eretz Israel. You should be ashamed of yourself. Have you ever stopped to think that the reason the Arabs are strong is because they don't talk trash about each other the way we Jews do. When you talk trash about a Jew you talk trash about yourself. Esther MONOLITHIC JUDAISM Thank you for your sweet words. Chabad is not about learning or growing, but about taking over. What would Chabad offer to Sephardim, Lithuanian Jews, Galitzian Jews or others? The same brand of Chabad Judaism? Is Chabad aware of our rich Jewish past? Or did Jewish history only have Shneur Zalman and the Tzemach Tzedek? Why is every Chabad dvar torah only composed of the "word of the Rebbe?" Was he as great as the Vilna Gaon or Yehuda Hehasid? In Russia, people suffered a lot from the personality cult of Stalin only to start developing a personality cult of a no-longer-living rebbe. If you are learned people, you should know full well what the author of the article is speaking of. And if you sincerely don't, please learn Hovot Halevavot, Mesilath Yesharim, Shaarei Teshuva and others to develop some sensitivity and respect for other Jews. Ja MUSIC TO OUR EARS Like all organizations, Chabad has some points that we can disagree with. However, the unbelievable good that Chabad has done all over the world, especially in Thailand, India, New Orleans and elsewhere, far outweighs any complaints that you can have about an individual with loud music. I am not a follower of Chabad, but I surely want them around when I am travelling for pleasure or business. By the way, Rami in Venice, Italy is the biggest mentsch I have ever run across. Rubin USA REBBE REPLACEMENT? I have tremendous respect for what the Rebbe started and the good work his hassidim have accomplished. Still, Chabad has become very arrogant. In my community and in others where I have friends, the hassidim feel that they are the only ones who know how to "save Jews" and God forbid you get in their way. They have even fought among themselves in my city. I feel that a lot of this arrogance and mashiah-meshugas [craziness] is due to not having a strong leader since the Rebbe passed away. Shelly USA SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS... Substitute "Jews" for "Chabad" and you have classical paranoid antisemitism. Anthony Australia