Friday, January 2, 2009

What is going on with Chabad?

I came across this video from a Chabad Chanukkah event in New Jersey.

As you can see, it is a Chanukkah party at Chuck E Cheese.  I am sure that the Rabbi made sure that separate Kosher food was provided. Nevertheless, I can't imagine that the Rebbe would have authorized such a thing while he was alive. Besides the fact that it is a non-kosher restaurant, there is a large rat lighting the Menorah. Did the Rabbi check if the person in the rat suit was Jewish before he made a brocha? 

The Rebbe once caused a big controversy when he announced that Jewish children should not play with toys of non kosher animals. He specifically singled out Micky Mouse and asked how a Jew could let their child play with a toy of a Sheretz.  

I see this as syptomatic of a big problem in the world of Chabad outreach.  It used to be that Chabad was about Chassidut.  Chabad chassidim were expected to be scholors in both Gemara and Chabad Chassidut.  The Rebbe would require some Chassidim to sacrafice their spiritually comfortable life in one of the Chassidic centers to go on 'Shlichus' to save Jewish souls.  Every Chassid would have prefered to stay in Crown Heights, Jerusalem etc. but they realized that the Rebbe needed them for this mission, so they went.

Today shlichut has become a substitute for getting a job.  In the world of Chabad, people fight over who will get a better shlichut (in a place with better weather, or richer people etc.).  It has gotten so bad that the new slogan is, "Shlichus-the birthright of every Chossid".  

The fact is that the vast majority of Chabad Shlichim are still doing great work.  But every year that goes by, I see more and more of these Chuck E. Cheese types.  

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