I thought I’d seen just about everything, but this just goes from the sublime to the ridiculous. Oh, and if you are wondering whether I’d call out a Tallis that had a Magen Dovid or something woven in the same way on the back, I would do so, if the purpose wasn’t decorative.
In my opinion, and I know this is shared by others in the main Yeshivah Shule in Melbourne, the sign up the back has passed its use by date. Indeed, I heard Rabbi Telsner last week in a speech refer to the Lubavitcher Rebbe as Nishmoso Eden נ׳׳ע … given he is a Meshichist, my ears were sensitised. The final decision rests with Rabbi Chaim Tzvi Groner in my opinion, and it’s time the Shule was normalised to look like Shules always looked, without placards etc.
On my sole visit to 770, I didn’t go downstairs because that Minyan, the main minyan, is just surrounded by placards. Chabad agonise about putting a Tefilla on a wall as it’s not considered Minhag Chabad. Enough of this. If he turns out to be Moshiach, it doesn’t bother me. If it turns out that he’s not, then it doesn’t bother me. In the meanwhile can we give all this constant advertising and chanting a rest? If someone really feels that removing these things is tantamount to a cutting off of their Hiskashrus (connection) to the Rebbe and/or not recognising him as their Manhig, I’d suggest that they concentrate on being a proper Chassid and not being part of all this Chitzoniyus (external stuff) which you are more likely to find in the non-Jewish world, or on bill boards daily in Meah Shearim.
Move on. Bring Moshiach, but move on.
3 thoughts on “Pure Tipshus (stupidity)”
It’s been about 22 years. If people can’t see that this is cult-like behaviour after thinking about it for five minutes then they never will and you are wasting your breath. There are other Shules in Melbourne.
I completely disagree with you and find your use of the word ‘cult’ a pejorative. Chabad are a widely respected movement who are correctly credited with putting Torah and Mitzvos into Reshus HoRabim (out of the home). Those are the words of the Rav. Having an obsession with bringing Moshiach is perfectly Jewish, and was expressed by others, such as the Chafetz Chaim, by literally having a packed suitcase under his bed, so he could be at the ready as soon as the Geulah arrived. There are three categories in my opinion. Those who internalise the concept but externalise it through their continued actions; those who do likewise however rely on chanting and signs and badges as well; and finally the looney ones who imagine that they are getting Kos Shel Bracha from someone deceased. The third category need psychiatric help, and I found them derided even at 770 by others as the ‘crazy Tzfatim’. It is the second category that my article was addressed to. I believe the time has come to lose the Chitzoniyus (outward symbolism) of the campaign and concentrate on its message both internally and externally. None of this means they are a cult in any shape or form.
As to other Shules, let me just say, that if there wasn’t an imperative to perform certain Tefillos with a Minyan, I am more likely to daven at home. I like the atmosphere of a Chassidic Shule. British/German style operatics and formalism are not my taste. Litvishe minyanim don’t do anything for me and I certainly don’t want to hear Byron and poetry, and LGBTQI etc on an almost weekly basis in a sermon. I’d rather hear a nice vort with a relevant message to living in this world. But, I am admittedly eccentric in this regard so I accept that others may well, and have, chosen to go elsewhere.