Monday, February 11, 2008
For All Your Religious Needs
Who Chabad Shluchim Help
Often times the response to criticism of Chabad by Rabbinic individuals will be "If their son or daughter goes off the derech who they gonna call?" That may be somewhat of a stretch, since we can't all sit back and wait for somebody's kid to frei out r"l. It also brings in the whole "ends justify the means" ideal, not something we subscribe to. You also cannot judge people in times of distress, so the fact that they turn to Chabad in times of need means little to me, Keyodua the story with Rav Aron Kotler and the mob. I say that as a Lubavitcher; the fact that people use Chabad when it's convenient for them is proof more of peoples' weakness of character than what they believe or don't believe in. So, the fact that he looks to a Lubavitcher for help with his child means not so much to me; he just doesn't have the guts not to, he wants his child back.
The pictures that I link to are of a Seudas Yohrtzeit in Istanbul, Turkey at the home of the Lubavitcher Shliach there, who happens to be a friend of mine - not that it matters. It sems like recently the Tziyun of the Baal Smichas Chachomim has become a hotspot for grave-hoppers, and there's a substantial Aliyah LeKever on or around his Yohrtzeit. Some of the usuals include Reb Itcher Meir Morgenstern, a Breslover/Mekubel from Yerushalayim, Rav Yekutiel Abuchatzera, and others. This year the Rachmistrivker Rebbe of Yerushalayim also was there. Of course, where would Rabbonim and Tzaddikim eat the Seudah and rest up from their journey? Do they go to the local Aish or Or Someach branch, noooo. They go to our friend the shliach, and they gives them all the comforts of home, including bulkes, and gefilte fish, so that they can have the seudah mit alle pitchevkes.
It comes as no surprise that people like the Rachmistrivker and Reb Itche Meir stay there; they're not vocal opponents of what Chabad does, and have no qualms about staying there, but there is one fellow at the table that surprised me somewhat; Rav Moshe Shapira. Readers of Gil Students's Blog may know him from proclamations he made in Rav Elyashiv's name about Rabbonim who subscribe to Slifkin etc. BeNoge'ah creation and the age of the world; namely that those who do believe in evolution or that the world is more than 5768 years old are heretics and should be removed from their posts. He's somewhat of a Reb Don Segal, and is traveling to the FSU in the near future with him to lead the VLNY's annual PR trip to the FSU. Needless to say he's no fan of Chabad. He was there for another reason, a noble one actually, to view the destruction of the ancient Jewish cemetery, something that was made possible by the local Jewish community, by them selling the land to local developers ana allowing them to do with the land as they wish. In any event, I hope that Rav Shapira will go back to Eretz Yisroel and tell his friends and colleagues about the good work Chabad does, and maybe in the FSU he'll make a detour and see what they do there too.
וה' יברך את עמו בשלום