I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine last night. It was about the R’ Belsky “Chabad is a Cult” comments in the Mishpacha Magazine. My friend is what we in Lubavitch call “an anti”, or Anti-Meshichist, which is someone that actively speaks against the Meshichists.
Here is my write up of what he said.
“Why do they even care?”, [Note: This is a guy who, trust me, is NOT looking to defend the Meshichists.] He continues on – “The Meshichists are OUR problem, it’s something WE have to deal with. It’s something that affects us as Lubavitchers. It affects the people we try to be Mekarav, it affects our children, our schools and our shuls. But it’s none of their businesses. So what if they think the Rebbe is Moshiach. So what? Why does it bother them? How does this impact the regular guy in Lakewood or Monsey? It shouldn’t, and they have their own problems to deal with.”
So I went on to explain that it bothers them because they think it borders on Apikorsus, to believe a person who is no longer living is Moshaich. So he continues on – “I get that, but what is it their businesses? It shouldn’t mean anything to them, they dont have anything to do with us, they never liked Chassidus, they certainly never liked Lubavitch, and what those guys do [the meshichists] isn’t any of their business.”
It’s certainly an interesting point. I have to wonder how anyone at Mishpacha didn’t think that asking Rabanim to comment on other peoples derech is not Loshan Hora? Of course it’s Loshan Hora.
Isn’t that one of the most basic tenets of Shmiras HaLashan? Don’t comment on what isn’t pertinent to you. Here is a little more from what he told me.
“Would they ask a Lubavitcher Rav in Crown Heights to comment on how Torah Temimah allowed a serial Pedophile like Kolko to ruin the lives of so many children?” Would that not be Loshan Hora? We don’t send our kids to Torah Temimah, so for a Lubavitcher Rav to give his opinion on that mess would be Loshan Hora. Is it for a Lubavitcher posek or Rosh Hayeshiva to comment on Rav Shechter of Chaim Berlin giving his Haskamah to a family to send that poor kid to Tranquility Bay??”
I’m not saying I’m perfect, trust me, I know I step over the line of Loshan Hora plenty myself. But I’m not Rav Belsky, and I am not supposed to be better then that. After thinking over what my friend said, I think he’s right. Forget about what he said, forget about having to defend ourselves, that’s not the point. The point is how on Earth its possible that Mishpacha Magazine and Rav Belsky don’t see the blatant Loshan Hora that they have spoken.
This leads me to the second part of this post, to which I want to address some of the awful comments and emails I got from the Chabad haters.
I’m always amazed to see when these emails and comments come. Often, sadly its from people who I have dealt with on other subjects in the blogpshere. Many times even fellow bloggers that I’d have thought of as friends. I thought they were better then that. To me, it’s like finding out your next door neighbor is a racist. It’s shocking and makes you take a step back.
The attitude certain people have towards Lubavitch is always disturbing. In many cases it’s something that has been bred from comments parents or teachers in yeshiva made while they grew up. I see the trends and I think it’s become cool again to knock Lubavitch. I think maybe people left us alone for a while because they felt bad for us after the Rebbe passed away and thought we were going to implode and be marginalized anyway.
I guess when that didn’t happen, and not only did we not implode but we grew in strength and numbers. I think the haters decided to try to knock us down. Maybe they think it gets them street cred to trash Chabad, that’s fine. I know a lot of the haters don’t even realize how awful they sound. It’s just words they hear repeated by other people.
The sad thing to me is that I had always thought of the Litvishe world as a group that prided itself on Shmiras Halashan. The Chofetz Chayim is frequently quoted and Middos and Loshan Hora are to them, what Ahavas Yisroel and Moshiach are to Lubavitchers. That’s why its weird to see that the biggest pushers of Shmiras Halashan are the ones who speaks so horribly about Chabad.
One last thing, it sickens me to read people write “They [chabad] always try to use the Sinas Chinam defense.” Ya, when one of the biggest names in the Litvishe world, a “gadol”, accuses me of belonging to a cult, I kinda take that personal. I kinda get upset. I just don’t understand why some people think Loshan Hara and Avahas Yisroel don’t apply when attacking Lubavitchers.