In all honesty I am not ‘Anti-Chabad.’ I am in love with a Chabad woman from South Africa. In my journey of wooing her, I learned some unique things about Chabad Judaism. I just can’t see me living an orthodox lifestyle. I have dogs (most Orthodox do not have dogs). I barely remember to say a blessing before I put food or drink in my mouth, let alone a bencher for prayers afterward. I eat shrimp, crab, and lobster. I eat chicken with cheese on it. I don’t drink wine and I am allergic to some grape juice. I don’t bake challah at all. I spend Shabbat alone. I light tea candles, but doing that makes me feel like a girl and I hate that. I am the only one in my house to light them at all. I no longer drive on Shabbat. I am working on the little things. I just don’t fit in with Ultra Orthodox. It is a different world to me. As a Reconstructionist Jew I do Torah Study daily. I like to learn, not just for the sake of doing Torah study. Plus, this is a big one… Chabadniks believe the Rebbe is the ‘Messiah’ and ‘G-d.’ In my studies I’ve learned that the Rebbe doesn’t meet all of the required ‘Messiah criteria.’ The Rebbe never built a temple anywhere in Israel (He hasn’t even been there) and his paternal bloodline is not from David or Solomon. He was charismatic and compassionate, but not on any Messiah list anywhere. It is propaganda started in Crown Heights, New York; the Headquarters of the Lubavitcher movement. As for him being considered ‘G-d,’ how can anyone be the ‘Creator,’ to be born through a woman? That’s how ‘Jesus’ is considered ‘G-d’ to Christians. It is ludicrous to even consider such desecrations. Many Chabadniks have pictures of the Rebbe (that they actually pray to) in their home. To me that is idolatry. Sort of like Christian’s praying to Jesus. Chabadniks’ mission is to get as many assimilated Jews to perform mitzvahs (i.e., women lighting Shabbat candles and men wearing the tefillan). I don’t mind any of that really. To each their own. What bugs me the most is when Chassidic Jews (to include Chabad), go all of their lives not touching between genders, then some go to Israel and the men scream, spit, push, knock down, and even kick women from Progressive Jewish sects in America (they are not just blowing whistles, screaming, or turning up the sound on the men’s side to drown out the women singing and praying out loud from a siddurim or a Torah scroll) — these Progressive Jewish women are not doing any of these ‘provocative’ things to deliberately provoke anyone or desecrate the Torah — they merely want to deeply connect to G-d by bringing their traditions to the Holiest of places (to pray as they are used to praying). Still, they are abused just for wearing ritual garments men wear, singing, carrying a Torah scroll, or basically being there at all to some whom think they shouldn’t be there at all ever. I’ve seen videos of Ultra Orthodox women putting Progressive Jewish women in choke holds. Why are the Ultra Orthodox so pissed to squeeze the breath out of someone? Would the Rebbe put someone in a choke hold, knock them down, kick them, scream horrible things at them, or blow a whistle while they were praying? I don’t think he would approve. All for doing stuff a man would and it is written down to not do it at all ever? Progressive Jews out number Ultra Orthodox in America. It is not creating good relations between Jewish sects. It is exactly why my Jewish son does nothing and my sister loves Jesus. They don’t want to be bothered by Judaism as I take baby steps. My son tells no one he is Jewish. He fears he will not get into law school because the population of Jews in most law schools outnumber many other groups of people that these schools want to reflect a diverse population for Federal or State funding. For me, the bottom line is this… It is written in the Torah to not cross dress. Women across the globe wear pants. Period for. Women are not to sing or pray ouloud. Why? A man would get aroused. Aroused? Men would get a hard-on in his pants for seeing a woman singing? I went to an Orthodox cemetary for a funeral and the Ultra Orthodox women holding the keys to the gate had on such a tight turtleneck that all of us men were looking at her breasts and not paying attention to what was going on. I know I was fantasizing about her breasts. She wasn’t singing or praying out loud at all. She was holding keys and praying from her little siddur silently. That Ultra Orthodox woman at the cemetary was in her mid fifties and should have known better and should have covered her breasts with a coat, vest, etc., and she did not. What all of this means, really, is, that if you are a woman, you do not wear pants or ritual garments men would wear. You do not sing out loud, and you don’t pray out loud. Having your breast shape show is perfectly fine — I guess. I wanted to go over to her and say, ‘Cover your breasts woman! Everything else you are doing meets the criteria of an Ultra Orthodox woman. Did your husband see you leaving the house with your boobs sticking out like that? Why even wear a top at all? We see every bit of your breasts and nipples through the material.’ I was ashamed for her. Women are exempt from time-based commandments. They are not required or expected to wear ritual garments that are expected in Ultra Orthodoxy by men. Progressive women come to Israel from America and they are abused by the Ultra Orthodox because the Ultra Orthodox believe strongly that women are desecrating the Torah by going to the Western Wall (Kotel) to pray. Progressive women are arrested for wearing ritual garments and reading from the Torah. In America, Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Renewal Jews allow women to wear pants, ritual garments, and read from the Torah. I have never seen a Progressive Jews show her breasts the way that Ultra Orthodox woman did. The largest amount of Jewish populations in America are Reform and Conservative Jews. These movements are considered ‘Progressive’ or ‘Liberal’ Jews. Reform and Reconstructionist Jews allow lesbians to be rabbis. Some (not all) Reform and Reconstructionist rabbis will officiate at Interfaith marriages. In Israel, Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Renewal, and even Chabad Conversions are not recognized. American Jewry doesn’t count according to the Israeli government. The government is operated by Ultra Orthodox Laws (Halacha and Oral-Rabinnical laws). Conversions are only recognized within Orthodox Jewish sects and the Orthodox rabbis that are approved are on a list. If you convert in America and decide to go to Israel to live, your conversion will not be recognized if it wasn’t performed by an Orthodox bet din or Orthodox approved rabbi on some list in Israel. This is a problem for future marriage and legitimacy of children. The differences people seek to learn about is not only what kind of hats, kippah, or payos the men wear or what kind of head covering a woman wears. The politics around the Rebbe, American Jewish woman praying at the Kotel (and being abused while praying there) — by Chabad Jews and other Ultra Orthodox Jewish Sects — is horrifying to me. It actually makes me sick to my stomach. Just as much so as seeing a child, an animal, or the elderly being abused. It is not necessary and it is a disgrace to be doing that to another. In Judaism embarrassing another or harming another is equivalent to murder. To me and many Progressive Jews, it is desecrating G-d by bullying, verbally abusing, or becoming violent to anyone. Why? We all are made in the image of G-d. To desecrate another human being is akin to desecrating G-d. Chabad is not the only Ultra Orthodox Jewish sect behaving in this hateful manner at the kotel. There are web sites to help you understand the controversy around the Kotel and Chabad.
Womenofthewall.org, FailedMessiah.com, and ChabadMafia.com.
For the most part Chabad has a great website for Jewish learning; and like the Mormons, they do a great job of bringing ignorant, unknowing, and unaware assimilated Jews to their Chabad Houses. Most just don’t bring up the Kotel abuses or the Rebbe part. Many are genuine, kind, and acceptable. If they did bring up the nasty stuff, many American assimilated Jews considering hanging around Chabadniks would be confused or repulsed by it. To me Chabad Judaism is messianic Judaism — like ‘Jews for Jesus’ or ‘Messianic Jews’ that really are Christians doing Jewish rituals. I wouldn’t have a problem with the Ultra Orthodox (that is, those that aren’t harassing, verbally abusing, or being violent); it is the Chabadniks that worship to the Rebbe. This idol worship just needs to be clear within their hidden agenda. The agenda is this as I interpret their mission… the more Jews to do mitzvahs, the quicker the messianic age. The quicker the messianic age, the quicker these Chabadniks believe the Rebbe will come back as the so-called ‘messiah’ and Hashem. This shouldn’t be kept from unknowing participants. It is not true Judaism and to me very cult-like. It is like anything taken to the extreme. I even asked one Chabad Rabbi who the guy was in the picture hanging in his living room (when there was nothing else on the walls). I didn’t get an answer. My inquiry was ignored and I know he and his wife heard me ask about it. I thought it was their grandfather! It wasn’t until I did my homework and figured out the old man in the picture was not Santa Claus in a black and white suit, wearing a fedora — it IS the Rebbe that is idolized and worshipped. Why bother saying the shema? Do your homework before joining anything. As for the Ultra Orthodox Chabad woman I am still in love with… it is up to her to take the next move. I absolutely have done everything I possibly can do to bring us together. I will not Rebbe worship, nor will I pretend to go along with it. If I don’t meet her criteria, that’s that. I have to find a way to move on. G-d surprises us sometimes. Maybe he has other plans for me and this all was meant to be for some other reason. In closing, love one another. Be kind, gentle, and do not harm. That is living a Torah life for me.