I really love this letter. I wish this person would not be afraid to say who they are, but regardless, it’s a great response. I really recommend people reading the entire thing, it’s very intelligent. I highlighted some parts.
“This article is attacking a very small but vocal group within Chabad. We MUST make a distinction between Deifying and Glorifying. Those that Deify have no place in Yiddishkeit. There is no question that our Gedolim need to remind us of that so we don’t follow that path. However in my humble opinion, glorifying is very different.
Chabad has always and continues to send shluchim all over the world and thousands of new communities have been established since the petira. That is glorifying Chabad and its leaders.
We can all agree that glorifying an individual is wrong. In Yidishkeit it was never about the person but what he stood for. Getting and printing pictures of him at every possible event or even just doing mundane things like walking in the street etc etc is very cult like. Its even worse when u publish pictures of them with other people of so called influence. It makes us believe that because this and this person was seen with this Rav or Rebbe he is in some way a choshuve yid.
We can all agree that those that learn or do mitzvos and maasim tovim in private without the company of Geldoei Yisroel are at least as good as those that seem to have a cult like mentality that drives them to always be seen with Gedolai Yisroel.
I am talking about the Yated and Hamodia. We Litvishe are much more guilty of glorifying individual people than Chabad.
Replicating the building he lived in is a bit funny but in no way is it ELEVATING the building. Its no different than Belz building an exact replica before the war in Belz. The old Belz burned down and they built another one. They also came to Eretz Yisroel and did the same. The Ponovics Rov built an Ohel Kedoshim to replica every mosed hatorah in pre war Europe. Its a way to feel a connection and to keep the fire burning. Every time a chabadnick sees the 770 replica he reminds himself of the Rebbe and his mission in life, which ALL agree (at least today – with the explosion of kiruv in the litvishe velt) is a noble mission. Rebbes have always used a becher, a gartel, a stick from their great grandfathers. Was that also cult like or were they just holding on to memories from the past to give them chizuk.
There is not a house in Bnei Berak that does not have a large picture of R Shach on the wall. ”Einecho Ro’os Es Morecho“ is an old concept and Chabad just took it to another level by not only feeling Morecha but living with him in a 770 like building.
As for the Mishpacha to even deal with this issue is questionable. The Chida writes ”Hevei Dan Es Col Haadam Lekav Zechus” that if we see COL HAADAM-the whole person we wouldn’t have any issues judging him correctly.
Anyone who has been around the last 20 years knows that Chabad is the one to call in every corner of the world. This is not just when you are hungry in Indonesia, China or even Utah. Who do you call when someone gets arrested in Montana? Who will bring food to a Jail in Nebraska. Who will drive hundreds of miles to help a family stuck in Kansas. Who will make sure that Jews (lots of them frum) in Drug Rehabilitation centers all across America have matzos for Pesach and Shofar for Rosh Hashana.
We hear all day about the crisis of our youth and how important an issue it is today. In our world we have great organizations for kids at risk but who takes in those that are beyond risk. The sad truth is that every Rosh Yeshiva knows (and many know personally) where to send those at the end of the rope. Its Chabad treatment centers that are literally saving our boys lives. They don’t ask for your Chabad ID. They don’t ask for money if you can not afford it. Pikuach Nefesh above all.
No one can actually think this whole organization happened by accident. These are people that believe in one thing above all. Help where its needed and help in anyway possible even at the expense of personal needs and wants.
Bottom line, If we look at the whole person we will find a special person with a special neshama.
Thanks for listening. (Source CHI)