Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Chassidisher Yid....

I chanced upon meeting a special person, and his stranded state was a blessing indeed (hashgacha pratis, or whatever your current hang up is:). We went out "to eat", but then ended up taking pictures. I saw this older Jewish man keeping his milk refrigerated in the snow, and talking yiddish on a cell phone.

Probably, he saved people during the war, but his family is definitely gezhee. What did he go through when he was looking to get hitched? I bet you his grandson would never date a non-gezehee. I am offended by this. After I took the picture I told him to his face, "I am the same as you!". He looked at me, smiled, and gave me the peace sign, "It's all about loooove" he exclaimed. OMG he asked me for my number, but because he is a big believer Keynesian economics, so I totally turned him down. Besides I'm not gezhee anyway....

Monday, December 20, 2010

This One Time at 770

This one time at 770...Everyone who knows me understands that much of my blog comes from social observations and personal experience...they are all made well aware that everything is bloggable unless it has been discuss that it is not bloggable. Most of the time everything is bloggable and even if it isn't, I have found ways to blog without blogging too much! With that said here it is...
I am really not the type to hang out at 770. In fact in the past six months I have only been their twice. Once on Yud Tes Kislev, because I promised a friends mother I would stop in for her and once to show a friend the inner workings of 770 the holy of holies. For this post we will discuss the latter.
It was a Tuesday evening and after finishing dinner with a Crown Heights outsider, she asked if I would take her to see 770. I thought to myself whats the harm I'll walk in she can oohh and ahhh and that will be that. I was sooo wrong!!! We walked in, she got her chance to oohh and ahhh...and then it happened we were spotted by a Crown Heights crazy. Yes Moshiach pin and all...she found us and we were in her sights. It was almost like a submarine bomber was about to hit us. As she walked over I prepared myself...ignore ignore ignore...and then it happened.
"Excuse me ladies are you Jewish." now my friend is not Jewish and I could already see that she was about to say no so I quickly stepped in. "Yes we are." "Oh is this your first time here." Quick on your feet Chava Leiba...don't let her get a word in..."No we are lubavitch." "Oh" says the crazy..."Well have you ever written to the Rebbe, show your friend its very easy." Ok now Im starting to get pissed shut the hell up lady and leave us alone is going through my head...and then it just came out of my mouth as she started to hand me a book of the Rebbes letters..."We go to the Ohel." I though her Moshiach pin was going to fly off...but she said gut nacht and walked away.
After all of this my friend said to me..."Why did you lie to her, I am not Jewish and you no longer consider yourself a member of Lubavitch." This was my answer...
You have to know who you are dealing with and in this case to tell the truth we start a scene in which neither of us would ever be able to get out of. My using my lubav card I was able to avoid what would have been and even more uncomfortable encounter.

I Don't Like What I See.

Those readers who know me personally, know what I look like on the outside. And no I am not going to go on about my self confidence issues or that when I look in the mirror I don't see the beauty that everyone else seems to. On the outside I am an ordinary person. I wear jeans, smoke cigarettes, and enjoy the finer things in life. Essentially I am not your normal Crown Heights factory prototype. And I often find that this scares people. They see me an automatically assume I know nothing of the frum world and they don't like what they see. However, it has come to my attention, that being frum is not about what is on the outside, but what is on the inside. One of my close friends told me not to long ago that I am the most chassidish person she knows. WHAT THE HELL ME CHASSIDISH!!! Not possible. But then she explained that although on the outside I am a normal secular girl. On the inside apparently I am Chasidish. This could be because I throw a few random yiddish words around every once in awhile, or because I can zug halacha better then most Gehzee girls.
Don't judge me from the outside...see the inside...see who I really am!

In the Land of Oz

I often refer to the Crown Heights bubble as bizzaro world. Everything is backwards in my mind. Now I will admit that I lived this bubble life for many years. And because of this it is very easy for me to criticize. I spend a lot of my time now observing the bubble and trying to see if the stereotypes I make up in my head truly exist. In many cases they do, however come in some rare cases they don't. For example I spend a lot of time talking about the Gehzees and in many cases the things I say are true, but their our those rare occurrences when I meet a Gehzee that doesn't fall into the bubble life style. Or so I think.
I have begun to realize that many of my Gehzee friends are very cool people. That is when the are not in the bubble. When we go out they are fun and hip and enjoy many of the same things I do. However once we return to the Shtetl they fall right back into the bubble as if what people think really matters. The point is be who you are, live as you want to live, cause in the long run living for others will only cause you to miss out on the life you want to live.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Fair Lady

As children we are taught very little about love. In fact most of what I know from love comes from Disney movies. Poor distraught girl meets handsome prince in an unlikely fashion, they fall in love and marry. Unlikely love. The kind of love that is only accepted in the fairy tale world. So what happens when this type of love occurs in the real world. It either ends in love or heartache. In this day in age, especially in the Chabad world more and more unlikely matches are happening. Many of my friends have married men they love rather then men their families picked for them because of the fact that they look good on paper. Many of my friends have married the men who look good on paper suggested by their family. Both of these situations have produced divorce and loving marriages. So it is not so much about the success rate. Charles and Diana were and unlikely match and it ended in heartache. William and Kate are an unlikely match and all sources say it will end in love. No one can predict the outcome of life or love. And no one can predetermine who they love or why they love them it just happens.
Many of my friends are scared and afraid of love. They are products of parents who were put together by a matchmaker and well not because of love. They looked good together on paper or both came from the same background. Yes that's right traditionally Gehzee married Gehzee and the rest were left to fend for themselves. Now for the first time in the history of the blog I am not going to criticize the need to marry in ones kind. I think it is a great idea to marry a first cousin and have children with 11 toes. In fact the more toes the better thats what I always say. This is crazy. Who the hell marries their own just to keep the blood all the same. Now I am going to be brutally honest and expose the fact that my great grandparents were indeed related before marriage...but they came from the shtetl. WE NO LONGER LIVE IN THE SHTETL. We no longer live in a place where love doesn't exist. We must teach our children to love. And love doesn't happen on paper and love isn't about who your parents are and love isn't about who died in Siberia and love is most certainly not about who someone else chooses for you.
In this day in age mixed marriages are happening left and right. Now let me make this clear that I am not talking about the same type of mixed marriages we see in the secular world. I am talking about the union between Gehzee and non Gehzee. IT IS HAPPENING!!! The Gehzees want new blood. Well their children want new blood and to have children without 11 toes, but the parents are still struggling. The result of these unions is often a Pygmalion. Where the less elite goes through training to be more elite. In the case of Chabad...the non Gehzee becomes Gehzee. They are trained how to be socially awkward, push bugaboo strollers, and steal babies. Its My Fair Lady, Chabad style.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Duct Tape

Read the following article...respond..http://www.collive.com/show_news.rtx?id=12038&alias=rabbis-fight-hate-blogs

Friday, November 12, 2010

No Mitzvah No Moshiach

There was an old who lived in a shoe. Well actually in Crown Heights, there is an old lady who lives in a draidel. Now unlike the the wench in the shoe, this women does not have any kids, and I'm pretty sure she knows what to do. Draidel lady is quite possibly one of my most favorite Crown Heights crazies. She is a card carrying member of the tedekkah guild. The Guild is a group of older men and women who beg on the streets of Crown Heights and also in the epicenter, 770 Eastern Parkway. Now many of these men and women walk up and down the streets or around 770 asking for charity. Giving charity in Jewish culture is a huge mitzvah and it is often said that what one gives they will receive back double. I have yet to see this prophesy come true. However it often compels me to give one of these random men or women a few pennies. Thats right just a few pennies here or there. NEVER ANY MORE!!!! Most of the time these people take whatever I give them and they give me some random bracha for money or marriage. As if their brachas are really going to get me rich or married, but needlesys to say it makes them feel good to do something for few linty pennies I hand them while running to the train.
Now lets get back to Draidel lady. I once tried to give her a few pennies, thinking that like all of the other she would give me a bracha and that would be that. BUT NOOOO!!! She looked at my meager offering and asked for more. WHAT THE FUCK YOU DON'T WORK YOU SHOULD BE HAPPY WITH WHAT I GIVE YOU! Well she wasn't. So I took my linty pennies and began to walk away. As I walked she started yelling at me NO MITZVAH NO MOSHIACH! As if I would be the only Jew not to see Moshiach because I didn't hand her a five spot.
In conclusion here is my theory about the beloved Crown Heights Draidel Lady...she probably has tons of money because NO ONE AND I MEAN NO ONE who is so desperate as to ask for money on the street would turn away a linty penny. Also, I've checked with Rabbinic sources and according to them, even with out doing a mitzvah the Jew card still allows me to see Moshiach.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Okay for all of you folks out there reading this who may be Gehzee, I apologize...not for what I am going to say but for the fact that most of it is true.
I recently had the pleasure of spending a few fun ours with some Gehzee people. Now gezhee is a term that refers to people who come form a great line going back generations to some pretty amazing and pious Jews. But for the sake of keeping it simple and in the words of a very amazing friend of mine gehzee means your grandfather sat behind the Rebbe at farbragens and your great grandfather rubbed elbows with the previous Rebbe. Basically you are for lack of a better term "Crown Heights Royalty." You went to Ohel Torah (boy) or Bais Rivkah (girl). You live on Millionaires row aka President between Kingston and New York, and you can do know wrong. For the sake of not singling people out any more than I already have lets just get to the meat of this post. TEN REASONS YOU MIGHT BE GEHZEEE!
1. You go to Basil and pick at the menu.
2. You (male) are short, mildly over weight, and wear trendy glasses and custom made suits.
3. You have ten children but no one has ever seen your pregnant.
4. Its ok to wear short skirts and short sleeves, because I define tznius.
5. You go to Basil.
6. You are far more attractive than your husband.
7. You are married to a close family friend and your shidduch was made at birth.
8. You married up...meaning you married someone who lives just up the block and has a slightly larger portrait of the Rebbe above their dining room table.
9. You wear a long shaitel, designer heels, and push a bugaboo stroller.
10. Pssssh Kingston Avenue, I shop on Albany.

6 Months In!

On the cusp of my 6 month anniversary in Crown Heights, I've decided its time to get back to blogging. Thats right brace yourselves because my brain is pumping and my cynicism is just getting started.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Freedom of...

I have entered a new world. I feel like an explorer walking the shores of a new island never before touched. As I walk around this new world, I am constantly fascinated and intrigued by all I see. My senses are captivated. Suddenly, the air smells fresher, and the sounds are more beautiful than those I have ever heard before. Everything is so free. And the natives, oh the natives, never have I met such interesting people. People who say life is wonderful, live and enjoy it to the fullest. I suppose I have always known many of these people but never in such a capacity. Their support of my quest, encourages me to move forward, taking in all that I see. Eating the sweetest fruits, and drinking the strongest wines, being one with those that feel life is beautiful and meant to be enjoyed. With every part of my being I am taking the opportunity to be free.
However, when I travel back to my home, or the place that I have called home for so many years, I feel sick, hurt, and damaged. Why is it so hard for them. Why can't they love me unconditionally. Why is it not okay for me to be different. Why must I be like you. Why are you jealous of me. Why can't you see that the life I gave up is just as good or bad as the life I accepted for so many years.
There is no question that my life has changed drastically over the past few months. I have given up what was once a very comfortable thing for something that isn't quite comfortable yet. All of my life I have been a Jew. That's right my mother is a Jew and her mother, and her mother, and so on and so fourth. I am a Jew. However, I have forgotten how to be a Jew. That's right Miss Lubavitch USA can't remember how to be a Jew. This may sound extremely contradictory, and I am amazed and disheartened by it, but I have truly forgotten. For most of my formative years the only thing I knew about being Jewish was being Lubavitch. Although, my family gave me a great basis and happen to be some of the most Jewish people I know, I agreed to believe that they were not as Jewish as me or my "friends." Therefore, accepting that the only real way to be Jewish is to be Lubavitch.
This idea has caused a few nervous breakdowns over the past few weeks. The biggest one occurring last Friday afternoon after realizing that I had agreed with myself not to go to any shabbos meals and spend my weekend babysitting and doing such non sabbatical like tasks. Although I had convinced myself to be okay with this, because yes I had done it a few weekends before without any issue. I had forgotten that when I had it done it before, I had like minded people around me to hold my hand through the process. This weeks however, was cold turkey.
I was freaking out what did I do. After lighting my shabbos candles, which yes I still do, cause everyone knows that if you like shabbos candles, moshiach will come. But seriously I was crying, because all I knew was if I did not keep shabbos I wouldn't be Lubavitch and somehow not be a Jew.
I have now realized that this time, the time I spend on my journey, is not to say fuck this or I hate this! It is to learn about life and explore the world around me and my Judaism. How can I be a Jew again, and how will I define the type of Jew I am!

Friday, January 29, 2010

I Did This...

I made these choices. My parents will tell you it was because it was my need to be modest and cover a body I was always self conscience about, my own lack of self-esteem about myself as a person, or even my need to feel like a part of a group. I sought out Lubavitch. I connected with their dogma, and no matter where I could have been geographically, I would have always found a Chabad House. I cut myself off from the world. I don't know my reasons. I have many ideas as to why I did this but none that I can see as being a good enough reason to walk away from life.
As a young child I was always interested in religion. I love learning about other cultures and their religious perspectives.I suppose as I look back now if I had lived in a community where Buddhism was prevalent, I would have become a devout Buddhist. I have always looked at the world in a very idealist manner, often only looking at the good and refusing to see the bad. When I decided to be "Lubavitch" I only looked at the good and refused admittedly to not see the bad or even recognize the possibility that there was bad. I can now see the error in my ways.
When I think about God and religion, I have a hard time with the dogma that is often imposed upon myself and others as a way to honor God. Now we know from my other posts that I am in no way interested in honoring God at this time. However, there was a time in my life when I did want to honor him. "Lubavitch" taught me how to honor God. Or I should say how they honor God. I now realize that everyone needs to honor God in their own way. How am I honoring God if I am doing something that I do not agree with, do not understand, or that does not make me happy.
In Judaism we are each connected to God and have a part of him inside of us. Everything we do or say is directly connected to God. And it is for us to decide with God how our lives will play out. The only person we have to answer to is ourselves and the only being we have to answer to is God and he will essentially understand our choices. However, in "Lubavitch" there are more connections than just simply to God. One is expected to not only answer to God, but to the Rebbe and to the community. I respect both the Rebbe and the community but I do not feel that I have to answer to them. I no longer feel a connection to the Rebbe. I think his teachings are beautiful to read about but not to live by. And I now see the contradictions to the life I was living under the Rebbe's teachings. I also respect my community. However, I do not fit here and I certainly do not feel I should have to answer to them. This is not the shtetl and this is not a dictatorship. I have free choice and others cannot make my decisions for me, and no longer can I let that happen. I will respect my community but I will live my own life.
I have taken time to talk to many people from all walks of Judaism about the Rebbe and "Lubavitch." One of the hardest things for me to understand is Moshiach. As a "Lubavitcher," I was taught that the Rebbe would be Moshiach. However it clearly states that Moshiach will be a living person. The Rebbe is dead. Someone said to me recently that all "Lubavitchers" believe the Rebbe is Moshiach, as if you must think that or you can not be "Lubavitch." For years I had always understood that there are those that believe this and those that do not. However, while discussing this, I was told that those who are "anti," still believe the Rebbe is Moshiach, they just do not agree with all the craziness. IE sitting around the Rebbe's chair, which is empty to get Kos Shel Brocha. Guess what he is not there and cannot give it to you. Nor will he walk through 770. I was also told that while living, the Rebbe was a definite candidate to be Moshiach. However, I did not know we were holding elections for Moshiach, if that were the case, can we get this over with already. I believe that the Rebbe just like other great rabbaim was a tzaddik. However, I cannot connect with the controversy.
I was a young innocent child when I became lubavitch. I was brainwashed. I love Chasidus, but I have come to a conclusion that Chasidus is just the same as any spiritual work whether it be Buddhism or Jainism. It's a motivational teaching that has many good aspects but practically those teachings are simply a guide. NOT A LAW. No where does it say that living according to Chasidus is Halacha. I have now come to the realization that Chabad is a beautiful theology and commentary on life and Lubavitch is a cult. Yes there I said it and it may anger those who are close to me. But "Lubavitch" took me in and is now prepared to spit me out. All because I no longer fit in. The only difference is that I can walk away and still appreciate some of what I have learned. I have learned to be a good person, but "Lubavitch" is not the only way to be a good person. I can still be a good Jew and not be "Lubavitch."

Thursday, January 28, 2010


No I am not going to write about A Street Car Named Desire, nor will I write about the second rate beer that I truly adore.
My car is my refuge. No, I am not a crazy car buff and I am not going to write about the specs and details of my car. However, Sine the day the state of Pennsylvania gave me the privilege of being a licensed driver, my car has been my home. Just take a look inside, it is truly lived in. The saddest day of my life had to be when my Saab, aka "Stella" kicked the bucket. My Saab was my home. I did everything in that car. For the sake of modesty lets keep all the thoughts clean. But seriously whenever I wanted to get away, I just got in my car and drove. Whether to pick up my boyfriend or go to Sheetz for a Smaggle. My car was a place where I could just let go and forget about the world around me.
Currently I drive "Bessie" my soccer mom mobile. Yes she is a station wagon fully equipped for carpool. I admit this is about as bad as driving my mothers mini van, but it works. I cherish the time in my car. I can smoke and not care about who is watching. I can wear pants and no one sees them. I can blast "goyish" music and no one hears it.
Today after watching maybe one to many episodes of "Big Love," my new favorite Mormon addiction; I had a thought about why I love being in my car so much. The episode I was captivated by was about how the child bride of the Mormon compound leader was escaping from the compound. She took down her braids and changed her clothes. I then thought about my long drives home. When I am a comfortable distance away from the "compound," I take down my hair, take off my cardigan and breathe. An acquaintance once proclaimed to me, I bet you listen to hardcore metal when you drive, I bet you head bang the whole ride home. Now this acquaintance happens to be a neighbor who is extremely frum and also happens to be a metal guitarist. The funny thing about this situation is that he is completely right. As soon as I feel that I am far enough away from what I feel is my uncomfortable place, I turn of the Uncle Moishe and Journeys tapes and blast metal and head bang for five hours before arriving home. I let loose and shed all memories of the "compound."
My car is my freedom. I takes me away to a better place, where I am happy. It keeps all my secrets and never tells a soul. I will admit I do take advantage of this freedom and often take the long way back from school to the bungalow, but any chance at freedom is worth it!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Touch Down Jesus

My first memory of arriving in Ohio, to work at Camp Chabad. Am I the only one who sees the irony?

Hi My Name is Elly And It Has Been 3 Months Since My...

1. Since my last drink?
2. Since my last cigarette?
~I wish
3. Since my last coffee?
~ make that about 3 seconds, and I am ready for my next!

I look around at my friends and I see people who are kind and loving. They take care of me and have become my family. However, while gaining these wonderful friends, I have given up my family. I don't spend time with them, and when I get the chance to see them it is often a quick "hello," followed by me running off to be with my friends. This has been the case for the past few years.
Last night I had an awful dream. I was at my grandmothers shiva.
"Hi my name is Elly and its been 3 months since my Grandmother died." Yes, I feel like I'm a recovering addict. I can't count the amount of times I "relapsed" and tried to call her on the phone. And when I woke from my dream this morning I had convinced myself that I could call her and she would take my fears away. You know sometimes you have a bad dream about a loved one and when you wake up to call and make sure they are okay. Expect in my early morning stupor, without my caffeine boost, I picked up my cell phone, dialed, and realized that no one would answer. That's right now that she is gone, I want to call her. Before she was gone, I was notorious for ignoring her calls or pretending to be busy because I just did not have the patience to talk. My friends make fun of me that I still have my call MomMom reminder in my phone. I think it's sick. Who the hell needs to schedule time to call their grandparents. But somehow the alarm going off every night at 7:45 reminding me to call is a comfort. It reminds me that I am an awful person and should have taken more time for her when she was alive. It makes me want to better myself and my relationship with my family.
My grandmothers death hit me like a train. I can honestly say that no a day goes by that I don't think about the time I spent with her in the hospital. I remember holding her hand and begging her to live. That's right I begged her not God. Yep I'm apparently a terrible person, I did not pray for her. Some of you might this why the hell would a grandchild not pray for their grandparent. But, I just couldn't justify asking God to fix something I knew he wouldn't. Why pray to someone who wont listen.
I have been told by my friends that it is okay to be mad at God. Its okay to talk to him and yell at him for what I feel he has done wrong. But for me that's like talking to the wall. If God cared she would still be here to take care of me. "If God gives life, then he is and Indian giver."
My friends also say that God is not kind he is just. How in the world is killing and innocent person just. There was no due process, and don't tell me it happened in heaven or on Yom Kippur. Sorry I'm not buying it. God sucks on this issue.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Future of Chabad...A Respone to the Article By Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

In response to the following article...http://www.crownheights.info/index.php?itemid=23907
Ok...Lets begin,
1.This article is completely grammatically incorrect...yes I admit that I don't pay attention to my own grammar but this is awful.
2."horizontal expansion - opening more Chabad Houses and sending out more rabbi-emissaries - or it will begin focusing on vertical expansion.By vertical I mean affecting the world media, governments, the broader culture and the non-Jewish world - areas where Chabad has had little to no influence."--How about inward expansion...we could avoid the Taliban tznius situation if we start focusing inward instead of outward.
3."But for all that, Chabad remains utterly unknown to the vast majority of Earth's inhabitants. With the exception of the tragedy in Mumbai, Chabad appears in the news mainly through its own press releases."... I beg to differ...what about all of the menorah lightings at government building and in Washington DC, I am sure I have seen these on the news, then again anyone who does not have access to the news would feel that Chabad doesn't have exposure because THEY CANT SEE IT!
4."From their early teens, Chabad youth are volunteering huge amounts of personal time to strangers. Rather than spending Jewish holidays in the comfort of family, young men and women travel the world to assist Chabad emissaries in staging Passover Seders and High Holy Day services. Why is the secret of such successful youth motivation not being exported?"...I am all for community service during the teenage years. My highschool required it and I feel it is very important. However, NO teenager should be pulled away from their family especially during the holidays. I have spent numerous holidays away from my family many of the participating in Chabad meals and helping shluchim, I don't regret this, but I wish I had the family time back. I also feel that if Chabad was focused more on the teen family relationship and less on sending kids away for whatever reason (possibly because they have too many kids), fewer teenagers would be "frying" out.
5."Low birthrates are decimating Western countries. The New York Times Magazine devoted a cover story last summer to “Disappearing Europe,” exposing how the deplorably low birthrate in France, Russia, Britain and Scandinavia means that the people of Europe are quite literally disappearing, the principal reason being the high cost of modern living. But Chabad continues proudly with large families, insisting that scarce resources be put into raising kids rather than buying Prada handbags."...Speechless...utterly speechless...I suggest all of the women wearing Tory Burch boots and pushing bugaboo strollers while their kids hang out of them and run down Kingston Ave like banshees, reevaluate their priorities so Chabad can make a blanketed statement like this and now sound like hypocrites. ... See More
6."So why isn't Chabad publishing treatises on how parents can learn to love having children more than prospering careers?"...Career...What's that?

7."And how often do we see Chabad men stringing women along for years without marrying them? Chabad men and women look forward eagerly to the commitment of marriage. So where is the advice for a world in which the culture of womanizing and increasing female commitment-phobia leads to so many lonely singles?"...Where do I start...I've been strong along, and so have many of my friends and ironically enough by Chabad men. I don't see why its a problem to get to know your spouse before you marry them? Can someone explain this one to me?
8."Chabad uniquely raises women who are strong-willed but uniquely feminine and nurturing. That's saying a lot in a culture where the original feminist dream of women being taken seriously for their minds has sadly ended in the exploitation of female sexuality to sell cars and beer."...I have a brain, I was not raised Chabad. I respect my body and myself and I am extremely strong willed AND last time I checked, I am not using my sexuality to sell cars or beer. I have seen many Chabad women who are not strong-willed, feminine or nurturing, specifically nurturing. Yet another blanketed statement.
9."Chabad has answers to so many of these modern dilemmas. Yet it continues to be known only for the most practical outreach rather than its formidable wisdom. Want to buy a mezuza? Go to Chabad. But want a more spiritual life? Deepak Choprah is your man."...WHAT? I could have gone to Deepak Choprah...Why didn't anyone tell me this? Why in the World would they put this statement in the article do they seriously want us to have pity on them because people want their help and not necessarily to learn Tanya? Isn't the whole goal of Chabad to bring Jews closer to Judaism...if that is the truth than we should be happy with putting up mezuzas.
10. "While Christian evangelicals have taken over the airwaves, attempting to convince us that the solution to the disintegration of marriage is opposition to gays, Chabad continues to operate shofar factories and erect Hanukka menoras. These things are profoundly important, but not to the exclusion of promoting Chabad as a profound collection of ideas that can rehabilitate one's family and rejuvenate one's spiritual life."...Since when do we compare ourselves to Evangelicals and what in the world does opposition of gay marriage have to do with shofar factories. This whole paragraph doesn't make sense and should have never been published, at least not in the current format.
11."Even Chabad's greatest admirers praise it for its outstanding work rather than its outstanding wisdom."...Then stop concentrating on putting up mezuzas and start concentrating on teaching spirituality...you can't have your cake and eat it too! But I promise cake tastes better if you make a bracha!
12."THE SAME is true with politics. True, Chabad is not a political movement, nor should it be. But should Chabad really have no say when it comes to school choice, the tuition crisis and how not one dollar of religious parents' hard-earned tax money can go to even the secular departments of parochial schools? And does Chabad really have nothing to say about the genocide in Sudan?"...Does Chabad have anything to say about anything...I'm sure if the people of Crown the Heights had something to say about any of this they would. Clearly they have enough time to complain about how not tznius their neighbors are...(see last weeks crownheigts.info article.) then they should have enough time to complain about the above stated issues. ... See More
13."Part of the problem has been the failure on the part of modern Chabad to create, with some exceptions, notable writers and thinkers, which is curious given the rebbe's towering reputation as an intellectual. The movement has become focused on creating fund-raisers rather than orators, builders rather than writers, outreach professionals as opposed to philosophers, and rabbis who know how to put together a minyan as opposed to keeping a marriage together."....HALLELUJAH, we are finnally saying that somewhere we may have made a little bit of a mistake and should have been educating our children to be productive members of society would will be givers and not takers. (yes Mama, I stole that line from you!)
14."Both are, of course, extremely important. But a movement that focuses only on horizontal expansion risks becoming ossified in more-of-the same predictability. Innovative thinkers and charismatic teachers will not arise in Chabad so long as there is thought-conformity in the movement. Yes, Chabad is an halachic movement, and it is to be expected that its intellectuals always conform to the norms of Jewish law. But a thinker must also be allowed broad leeway in challenging conventional norms rather than fearing ostracization for doing so. After all, the rebbe himself was arguably the most broad-minded Hassidic rabbi of all time. Sixty years later, let's embrace his example."...Are we finally admitting how important it is to embrace the "different" Lubavitcher, the boy who doesn't want to learn in Yeshiva, but can write or play music, or the 28 year old girl who isn't married but is an amazing lawyer.
My comments may offend but, well I speak my mind. I will be honest this is the worst written article I have read in a long time. Maybe if we embraced the boy who writes not learns this article would have been better written and made more sense. I was appalled by the first half of the article but toward the end I changed my mind! Clearly something is starting to make sense if Chabad is writing about the need for educated young men and women, and not just Torah educated at that!

Living in Two Worlds is a Joke!

I like green. It's happy and vibrant. Feelings I haven't had for a long time. My world was completely black and white. And no I am not referring to the black jackets, slack, hats, and white shirts lubavitch men wear. I am mean my life has been either one way or the other. Although I have always for the past seven years, tried to straddle both the secular and religious worlds, one has always been black and one has always been white. However, unlike the Chinese ying and yang, these two worlds did not come together to create perfect harmony. In fact most of the time I had to choose one or the other for fear that they would collide and cause the war of the worlds. Therefore the religious world won and the secular world lost. I gave up friends, family, and life numerous times. My excuses were always I'm too religious to do that when I knew in my heart of hearts that yes I was too religious, but I totally wanted to do whatever fun and creative thing they were doing. I wanted to go out and see the world, I wanted to run free. But, in my world, my screwed up mixture of a world I couldn't. Because I was convince to believe that being religious meant giving up yourself and your needs and to stop having fun. Because the only fun you could have had to be related to religion. Well guess what religious fun, is not so fun. I don't want to sit around and sing songs about how great God is. Cause honestly I'm a little pissed at God for a lot of reasons. But that is an issue for another time. Listen in the word of some 1980's pop song "Girls just wanna have fun...that's all they really want." I want to have fun and well I want to have real fun. Not the kind that involves learning or praying.
-And so it goes....

Here We Go

For the past seven years, I have dedicated my life to being a proud card carrying member of Chabad Lubavitch. I walked away from my life to start a journey that I am not sure I was truly prepared for. When I look back on my journey I have so many good memories. But I also look back and have so many questions. Like why am I doing this? Why am I giving up my life for this? I love Chabad. They saw me and my family when no other Jews would. They helped us learn and gave us a feeling of connection. When I became Lubavitch it felt great. However, as I became a full fledged member my opinion began to change. What the hell was I doing. I mean these people really want me to do this? Wait what I have to do what, your want me to wear what...when I get married I have to do WHAT? All of these questions have been rushing through my head for years and now at age 22 I am going to take the opportunity to answer them...that is before I'm married with ten kids and can't even think of asking such questions.