Full of twaddle

There is a fellow who sits proximate to me, whose Yechi Yarmulke annoys me. Actually, its not his yechi yarmulke, it’s all Yechi yarmulkes that upset me, because I consider the implied message as non halachic bunkum. And yes, I’d be happier if there was no sign at the back of the Shule, but if it means people don’t blurt it out at every opportunity during, before and after davening, like they used to, I tolerate it.

Anyway, he’s a new comer, so today he informed me that he had “asked about me”. He was perplexed. How can someone daven at a Chabad Shule and dislike the advertising hoardings around a handful of skulls.

He then told me that he was advised that I was a Misnaged who has been thrown out of every Shule I had davened at, and that’s why I now often daven in Lubavitch.

Well I have news for this Johnny-come-lately, and for the geniuses who informed him.

I have been “encouraged” to leave one Shule only in my life. It was the nascent Beit Haroeh at Mizrachi, decades ago. Two others, Anthony Waller and David Meerkin, both fine upstanding people and friends, who now live in Israel, were also so encouraged, all by Mizrachi Board Askonim at the instigation of the infamous Rabbi Baruch Zaichyk, then Rabbi of Mizrachi. I carry that episode as a badge of honour. Quite apart from some serious halachic issues I had with Rabbi Zaichyk which I raised privately with him (and I don’t refer to the Eruv that wasn’t) he publicly imitated Mori V’Rabbi Harav Baruch Abaranok ז’’ל and that was a line that was beyond the pale for me. I revered and continue to revere Rav Abaranok to this day. I could have fought Zaichyk, especially in those youthful days, and believe me I have a dossier of properly researched material in a file which I had prepared to defend my position in the event that a need would arise. My father ע’’ה who was a lot wiser than me, told me to just stay away. I have no desire to reveal this information today and long ago took the decision not to do so. I enjoyed a good relationship with Rabbi J. Simcha Cohen ז’’לֹ and get on extremely well with the impressive Rabbi Ya’akov Sprung, both Rabbis of Mizrachi since that time.

So Mister Smart Aleck, proud wearer of the Yechi Yarmulke, your “facts” have zero credibility. I think you need to wake up and realise that there are even Chabad Shules, such as the one run by my class mate Rabbi Yossi New in Atlanta, who wouldn’t even let you in, wearing one of these skull caps.

PS. Anyway, although I don’t follow any Chassidic group, I am not opposed to Chassidism per se, Lubavitch or otherwise. I have three sons-in-law and a son who consider themselves Lubavitch! I do have different views on matters: e.g. the rabid anti-Zionism of Satmar, Meshichism of Chabad, etc but they hardly qualify someone as a Misnaged!

Author: pitputim

I've enjoyed being a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia, as well as band leader/singer for the Schnapps Band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel and later in life at Machon L'Hora'ah, Yeshivas Halichos Olam.

5 thoughts on “Full of twaddle”

  1. I am still confused exactly what the sign at the back of Yeshivah actually means compared to what it actually says. I’d be interested to know how many people do NOT doven there because of the sign.


    1. I think it means they hope God will act in an unpredictable way and choose the LR rise as Moshiach even though that’s not the plain Pshat in the Gemora or the Rambam. The Rambam also says nobody will really know how it unfolds. I think Litvaks (some of them) wouldn’t daven there but they don’t anyway. Also there are fewer and fewer non CHABAD baalebatim than the old days. I don’t think it’s the sign but it gets up my goat!


    2. There are a number of people who have left. I am not sure it was just the sign, but it was probably the last straw. These individuals would have probably left anyway as they viewed the direction that Yeshivah or Chabad here was going. Since then a number of peripheral shules have opened catering for those who were looking for an additional approach and weren’t entirely happy with either Beis Hatalmud or Adass.


  2. Not sure what the purpose of this ‘pitput’ is aside from venting your spleen on this individual. Was it not possible to inform directly?
    Nevertheless, it does raise some (minor) issues. Is this gender based? You don’t see girls wearing headbands with similar insignia (thank G-d). Is it that different from wearing different types of yarmulke – velvet, sruga(woven), or other? What would be the reaction in BHT or Adass were one to enter wearing said attire? Would these individuals be so brash as to do so or would they realise the chillul they would be causing. (Not sure if it is chillul Hashem or Lubavitch or both).
    Reminds me of the saying about a fool keeping his mouth shut. Once he opens it there can be no doubt about his status, however, as long as he exercises restraint we are kept guessing.
    If a person has certain views it’s not necessary to let all and sundry know unless they are prepared to defend that position.
    In this instance one is more likely to win friends through restraint than by ‘stuffing’ the message down their throat, so-to-speak.


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