Ah Freilichen Chanukah! – But Aren’t We Still in Golus?


menorah1By S. Friedman, Matzav.com

[Vote in poll at left of screen.] Those who have been to Yerushalayim over Chanukah have seen the minhag that the people have, which is to light their menorahs outside their homes. The reason we do not do this in chutz la’aretz is because Chazal determined that in golus, amongst so many who hate us, we should not fuel the fire by conducting our celebrations so brazenly for all to see.

Chazal knew then what it meant to be in golus, and they had the foresight to know what golus would mean for future generations as well. Trying to reassess a situation that Chazal already dealt with – trying to update it, so to speak – is never a good idea.

A new “minhag” has been spreading rapidly over the years during Chanukah, and that is the “minhag” to light a large public display menorah, and with that, an overall public celebration of the chag.  This “minhag” was never endorsed by our venerated gedolim and poskim and has no basis in halacha. Yet, some Yidden feel the need to be ostentatious about Chanukah, perhaps trying to match the popularity of other holidays being celebrated by other cultures during this time. 

Here are some of the recent news headlines associated with this new trend:

            • Connecticut: Masked Men Disrupt Menorah Lighting With Nazi Flags, Obscenities

            • Chabad Shaliach Attacked During Candle Lighting in Vienna

            • Priest Leads Mob in Attacking Menorah in Moldova, Replaces it With Cross

            • Santa Cruz Requires Rabbi to Hire Guard to Watch Menorah

            • Vandals Damage Menorah On Long Island

            • Budapest: Neo-Nazis Disrupt Chanukah Event

Who needs this?  Why have some people amongst us gone to the trouble of attracting more attention and inevitably more hate to our little nation? Can’t we be happy in our own enclave observing the chag, like Sukkos or Shavuos, without trying to draw attention? 

We live in the most tolerant country in history, but trying to push our practices into the public conscience will not promote tolerance, only resentment. The masses have their holidays that they celebrate, and probably don’t want another religion’s holiday to “crash the party.” Nothing is owed to us by the secular society we live in, and when you see a store hanging a menorah display in front, wishing their customers a “Happy Hanukah,” that is either a graceful gesture or good marketing. But for our own people to make public displays of menorah lighting, and in some circumstances even demanding it from the local authorities, is of poor taste, and, as shown in the above cases, poor judgment as well.

{Matzav.com Newscenter Editorial}


  1. I could not agree more. One thing this article fails to mention are the various lawsuits pursued by the practitioners of this new “minhag” to FORCE municipalities into allowing these public menorah displays. I believe it was two years ago when the local representative of this group threatened a lawsuit against the Seattle airport. Out of fear, the airport authority took down the gentile holiday display! I remember the OUTCRY.
    We are fortunate that we live in a country that grants us the religious freedom we have here. We must be careful not to ABUSE that freedom.

  2. What about the cars with Meniras on top of them?
    Why does Matzav mention all these menora lighting ceremonies anyways.
    There is another issue here.How can they make a beracha, there is no mitvah to light a menore besides for in a house or shul.
    This is a Lubavitch mitzvah and something that many gedolim have complained about. Why do you make it into a new minhag and leave out Lubavitch.

  3. There was an outcry over this in the late 1980’s (see the Jewish Observer from late 1989; letter from Rabbi Chaim Dov Keller). As these menorahs are generally put up by local Chabad Shluchim, they are not subject to anyone’s view of anything but there own, regardless of the consequences.

  4. We forget that our religion is different then any other religion.

    All other religions are Inclusive, they want every person and child to do their practices, that goes for the Christian religion and Islam.

    Our religion only talks to us those that were born to a certain kind of mother. The Rambam says that we discourage Geirum, we say that it’s not for you.

    Therefore we must understand that we can not publicize our practices, because it might be hurtful to those that were not chosen.

  5. Well written article, and on the button!

    It is immeasurably worse when these people actually SUE to force the Menorah’s down the municipalities throughts.

  6. “A new “minhag” has been spreading rapidly over the years during Chanukah, and that is the “minhag” to light a large public display menorah, and with that, an overall public celebration of the chag. This “minhag” was never endorsed by our venerated gedolim and poskim and has no basis in halacha.”

    OK, since you bring up the question, what are the halachic sources that specifically forbid the lighting of a large public display menorah? Please cite Mishnah Berurah, or another such source.

  7. I happen to agree to your point, however I feel that the same Golus concept applies to all of us. In this weeks parsha Yakov ovinu tells his sons ‘LAMA T’SROEE’ why display to goishe world your status. When yiddishe orginizations fight for their interests in public by the media or when rebbes or Rosh yeshivas block traffic & inconvience the goyim, we are all guilty of the same ‘LAMA T’SROEE’. I am by no means a chabdnik, but in my opinion all large orginizations are constantly displaying their power and their financial & political strength to the goishe media, which Yakov ovinu said already is not the yiddishe way of golus.

  8. S. Friedman and dear posters. Your shrieking battle cry calls for a cutback in Chanukah and other Holiday observances. Your claim is that ‘your Gedolim’ did not endorse such conduct and that it is too much in the face of our Golus neighbors. First of all, Mr Friedman, you brought six headlines of proof to your claim. Lets suggest that there are a few other instances of incitement as a result of the celebrations, which did not make it to the news. Have you been out of your Dalet Amos anytime recently? The world is a pretty large place? Chabad, the trailblazers and biggest Kiruv organization in the world, has a presence which literally spans the world. Before you ventured through this article did you take the time to research how many people, Jews, assimilated Jews were positively affected as a result of the celebrations? Or is this piece about you and your feelings? Did you go through the Lubavitcher Rebbes Sichos and research his side of the story and his basis for such conduct in Halacha? I dont know who ‘your gedolim’ are but something tells me that they have done less on a global scale for Judaism and for being Mekadesh shem shomayim than the Late Lubavitcher Rebbe. Do you not care about the Jew who until this year was observing christmas rather than Chanuka? Have you mourned the colossal chilul Hashem of the Shechina in Galus? Have you cried over the pain of the Shechina in Golus? Why dont you go to Chabad.org, there you could see a video clip of the Rebbe crying over the nineteen hundred years in Galus. It seems from your post that you are ok with the Shechina in Galus? In that case ill assume that you never recited tikkun chatzos. Did your gedolim not endorse that either? Start living life outside of yourself and your ego, start learning a little chassidus, Toras Habesht and you too will see what he saw. A Freilichin Chanukah.

  9. The amount of hatred and antisemitism caused this chanukah with the menorah are immeasureable. The mosheachistin are at it strong. This comes from a void and emptyness on their part.

    People who make a chilul Hashem in house and try to spread so called kiddush Hashem outside.

  10. Channuka is a unique mitzva unlike Sukkos or Shvuos in that PIRSUMEI NISSA is the mitzvah of the day! Many jews who have forgotten their yiddishkeit (or never knew about it) have been reconnected through these efforts by Chabad.
    There are thousands (millions?) of jews out there who will be lost if we are complacent to celebrate Channuka only in our “enclaves”.

    In truth, this is an old debate. But the techniques that Chabad successfully uses have been copied over and over by other Kiruv groups who have “non-Chabad” gedolim at their helm seeking to accomplish the same results – reconnecting lost jewish souls to Yiddishkeit.

  11. Your absurd comments are the EXACT reason that the public lightings are more important than ever. They are equally important for the frum crowd as they are for the not yet frum crowd. Stop being ashamed of your yiddishkeit! It was never meant to be hidden inside. A golus mentality has unfortunately taken hold of so many of you. After so many years, how can we blame you? You’ve gotten used to golus. Chazal and the rishonim all spoke about how important it is for Torah to affect the world and prepare the world for moshiach. You needn’t look further than the last 2 perakim of Rambam, hilchos melachim. Or even aleinu where Yehoshua writes “Aleinu lshabaiach…lsaken oilam bmalchus SH-D-I or even the posuk “vrau kol basar yachdaiv…”

    The point of Torah and mitzvos is to bring moshiach and change the world – to make it into a dira btachtonim. How on earth are we supposed to prepare the world for moshiach’s imminent coming when the goyim know nothing about Torah or Hashem? The point of the lag bomer parades, the sheva mitzvos mivtzoim, the menorah lightings, and all the other publicity is to wake up all the yidden and teach them that golus must not be the norm. Stop being afraid of change. This isn’t normal. Wake up and start living with moshiach!

    And then put a menorah on your car. : )

    I felt compelled to add that the “chochomim” who have a halachic problem (really it’s an excuse) to attack these unbelievable lightings should look at what poskim of all camps say. There are many mainstream non-Chabad poskim who pasken it is mutar. See Mishna Berura 671:69 or Kaf Hachaim 671:65.

    If making a brocha in shul on a menorah is not just mutar but the halacha, where virtually everyone is already yotzei with their own menorahs, kal vchomer when there is a large likelihood that there are yidden who will not otherwise light a kosher menorah. Not only that but there are poskim of the opinion that pirsumi nisa is also by goyim so certainly there is what to be someich on even if bvadai everyone at this lighting already lit themselves.

  12. The reason that the minhag was established for us to light inside was because there was a serious danger of violence from the goyim. That was never the intention, of the mitzvah of chanukah. Pirsumei nisa was meant to be as much lchutza as possible. While we aren’t permitted to change that minhag, if there are poskim who matir lighting in public as well and these lightings are a matter of pikuach nefesh mamosh, there is I would argue even a chiyuv to establish as many of these public lightings as possible.

    There are thousands of lightings and you managed to find five or six incidents in the entire world. Well obviously there will always be a few individuals who act this way. But the attitude of society, particularly western society, is much more open to concepts of religious freedom. And now that we are able to prepare the world for moshiach by beginning the process of bringing the world to a state of yedias Elokus, we are most obligated to wake up and do our utmost. A freilechen Chanukah!

  13. Chazal were plenty aware of the possible good that can come by a more vigilant pirsum hanes. However, they said to light the menorah by one’s house, and in galus inside one’s house. CHAZAL KNOW BEST, and to make movements not endorsed by the gedolim is never a good thing! I’m not even discussing all of the clear negative outcomes of the public marches and lightings. I do recognize the advantages of such things and the pintele yiddin whose sparks are ignited as a result. However, and the end of the day, to make a decision which goes against the general mehalech that we as Yidden led by the Gedolei Hador have followed in galus is very dangerous and WRONG.

  14. thank you for your most inspiring article,it must have taken alot of time and gut renching effort.
    “Chazal knew then what it meant to be in golus, and they had the foresight to know what golus would mean for future generations as well”.how profound!
    “Can’t we be happy in our own enclave observing the chag, like Sukkos or Shavuos, without trying to draw attention?”.first of all you can be happy in your own little enclave,how would you even know whats happening out there in the world?you obviously wouldnt go on the internet against the psak of our “venerated gedolim” !?!
    i’m surprised that having sukkos set up around the world publicly,& having thousands of people bentching lulav & eating under a sukka, doesn’t bother you.after all “didnt chazal have the foresight to know what golus would mean for future generations”.
    “The masses have their holidays that they celebrate, and probably don’t want another religion’s holiday to “crash the party.”so your worried about crashing the goyims party are you? Chanukah is not just another holiday party, its a time to bring a little light back into the world.
    if there would be only 10 people like you,moshiach would have come already,problem is there are thousands like you,who sit in their little enclaves doing nothing for their brothers & sisters, to help put out the fires of assimilation etc,to reconnect to Hashem.
    sorry,you do,do something.you write negative articles about people that give of their time & effort etc,to bring the beauty of yiddishkeit & light to others.
    why dont you do something positive for a change,& maybe add a little light into the world,it will do wonders for you,no matter how farshtoped you are in your negativity.

  15. The point of the writer wasn’t that it is “forbidden” to light in a public display halachicly, rather that there isn’t a source to indeed make a large public display. So if there isn’t a mekor, why bring about all the attention (negative)?
    He’s not talking about lighting outside your house which is what poskim deal with.

  16. Spreading yiddishkeit to those unaffiliated jews is wonderful. But not when you try to reinvent yiddishkeit to make it more appealing to the masses (and yes, I agree with th writer that it is a blantan x-mas imitation).
    Classic “ends justify the means” argument that just isn’t in line with mainstream yidden’s hashkofas.

  17. Hey Misnaged, you have it all wrong. Noone is erecting Sukkos at the White House. Jews are not sticking the sukkos in the faces of the non Jews. They are erected in the privacy of their property. This has nothing to do with “shedding light on to the world”. The way we shed light on to the world is by learning Torah and davening and doing good deeds. Not by infuriating the gentiles and popping mitzvah tanks all over NYC. Jews are supposed to be on a low profile. When you think you get to do what you want and have the “es Kimpt mech” attidude, then look back to 1939.

  18. The originator of this Minhag had a Shita called “Uforatzto” meaning spread Chassidus, Yiddishkeit. Sorry, but our mainstream Gedolei Yisroel weren’t part of that.

  19. parsumei nissa, the mitzvah of the day is accomplished by publicizing the mitzvah but on the inside in our homes.
    as far as the kiruv of public lighting does the end justify the means? invite not yet frum INSIDE to see the beauty and the light.
    this practice is another wxample of being in the face of the world. certainly not what chazal suggest or endorse gor galus.

  20. We should be focused on Achdus. R”L Klal Yisroel faces many challenges from Sonei Yisroel and we should have a united front and people should not bash a practice which The Lubavitcher Rebbe encouraged. Many Yidden have been and IY”H wil be inspired by these public displays of Jewish Pride. When someone of The stature of The Lubavitcher Rebbe endorses Public Menorahs it should be recognized that the effects will be positive and is needless to say consistent with The Torah Hakadosha which The Rebbe learnt,taught and lived. Lets commit to Ahavas Yisroel and focus on the positive amongst our fellow Yidden.

  21. Firstly, a great big yasher koach to S. Friedman and Matzav for this long overdue article! I was so happy to see it. Finally, some long overdue Torah hashkofo. And how timely!

    How smart our gedolim such as Rav Schach ztvk”l were when they warned against the dangers of false messianism. The group is quite clever, they have ‘explanations’ for their behavior – but limayseh it is a departure from our holy tradition. To understand them and their behavior, we should recall that a large amount of that group, if not all of it, believe/d that Moshiach had already come, in the form of their Rebbe, and that the messianic era already started. So it is not surprising that they are acting like they are not in golus anymore, since they believe that!

    Also, the menora lightings are a massive PR bonanza for them. They appear to the world as the Jewish vanguard, they get a chance to give out kibbudim at their lightings to supporters and politicians, etc., etc.

    Those who know some history, know how dangerous false Messiahs have been for Klal Yisroel, Hashem yiracheim.

    Let us distance ourselves from that and continue avodas Hashem like our fathers and grandfathers did. In the zechus of going in the way of our avos, waiting for Moshiach in the traditional manner, and not trying to be dochek es hakeitz, chas vesholem, we should be zoche to the geuloh sheleimoh, bimheira biyomeinu, omein!

  22. Lets promote Achdus. These menorahs have inspired countless people. The Lubavitcher Rebbe who lived,taught and learned the Torah Hakadosha endorsed public menoras. Yes we are still in Golus but inspiring other Yiddin and causing them to learn more about Yiddishkeit is very important. In this time when we face so many external enemies Sonei Yisroel R”L we as Yidden should resolve to try to promote Ahavas Yisroel.

  23. I’m in argentina. Lighting menorah in soccer stadium is a mitzva deorayso or derabonon? I heard many non-Jews complaining about the intromission of Jews in the public life of this catholic country. If wouldn’t be for the protection of hakodosh boruch hu, we would be throughn out of here long time ago.

  24. To use the word dangerous is a misquote .for the gemara says(shabbos 21b) ubeshaas hasakana manicho al shulchanoi vedayo. look in Rashi & tosfos who explain why it was a sakana do to religious prohibition.( a more practical reason for not lighting the menorah outside the home bepashtus started in Europe and eastern Europe where it was too cold to leave the door open for a half a minute let alone a half hour.agav when the goyim throw rocks at our sukah do we move it indoors as well?

  25. The source is the story of chanukah. The greeks wanted to ban all public displays of yiddishkeit. In Eretz Yisroel they ALWAYS lit menorahs publicly, where there was not a fear from goyim.

    Your attitude is akin to not using electricity because chazal didn’t use it. Obviously that’s absurd. If it’s permited al pi halocha and needed to serve Hashem better than it is required to use it out.

    In chutz laaretz while there was a fear the chochomim established that this should be the minhag. Obviously it’s now in shulchan oruch so we can’t play games with the minhag but as an addition we should by all means fulfill the original intent of the mitzvah, especially when all the extremely positive benefits are taken into account. If even one Jew feels a bit more proud of being Jewish than the thousands of lightings are worth it. How much more so when all the stories, told and untold, of entire lives being turned around, due to these menorahs. It is not just permitted, this is a chiyuv midoraisa of vahavta laraiacha kamocha.

  26. Just thought I’d bring some sources in HALACHA ..ubehekdem-there are some Rishonim, who do not hold of lighting in a beis hakneses ie the shibolei haleket 185 tanya rabsi (siman 35)as well as some acharonim to mention a few maharam shik ( yorah deah 374)chasam sofer ..Even though the widespread minhag is to light in the Bais hakneses.one of the reasons being PIRSUM HANES Meiri(Shabbos 23 b)Beis yosef to tur 671 “kidush shmoi shemvorchim oisoi bemakheilos”.Sefer Hamanhig (chanuka 148)..”lefarsem hanes shekulam miskabtzim sham”In sefer Az nidberu from Rav Zilber ZT”L vol 6 # 75 vol 11 # 32 & 34 it says that when people gather in a city center etc. BACHUTZ it even has a maaleh over a bais hakneses in a certain manner and you even make a bracha on this menorah lighting.please sound educated not blinded with ” It was not endorsed by -Gedolim ….

  27. We do what the Chacomim told us to do and not more! Kol Hmosif Gorea.
    Putting up a Menorah other than at your home or in a Beis Haknesses (in the park or in the street) is like putting on an extra pair of Tfillin on your FOOT!
    If it is not in the place that the Halacha requires it is TIPSHUS

    Happy Chanukah:-)

  28. You know you’re doing the right thing when everyone tells you you’re wrong. It’s to me the simplest thing. Something that is absolutely mutar al pi halocha, and is needed to further the knowledge of G-dliness and Torah, must be done. The Rebbe, Nasi Doreinu, is not afraid to ruffle any feathers to do what’s needed. Thank you for the hisnagdus, it has inspired me to redouble my chanukah mivtzoyim now and in the future.

    You can sit there in your armchair finding fault or do something to bring the guelah. You don’t like the Rebbe’s methods? Fine, do something of your own. Just do something.

  29. Thinking that you’re right because everyone else thinks you’re wrong is just a lazy excuse not to engage in introspection.
    Other people also are involved in Kiruv, such as Ohr Somayach, Aish, Oorah, the College Kollels etc… Stop trying to make it seem that if you don’t do it the Chabad way then you are in a cave and don’t care about other yidden to bring them closer to yiddishkeit.
    You’re suggestions of listening to the Lubovitcher Rebbe hands down while not ackowlwedging the daas of so many gedolim is arrogant and smacks of close-mindedness on your part.
    Also, that you reference the Rebbe in present tense is just plain frightening.

  30. I am happy to say that I am very proud of my Yiddishkeit and of my mitzvah of menorah. And I am proud IN MY OWN HOME! Why do some of you say that you have to have a public display with politicians in order to show their pride?
    I think if you need “their” attention and approval then you are not proud, you are insecure.

  31. We will lose sleep over eating a Micro-bug but have no problem eating up another Jew, whole.Nice to see everyone knows the Laws,how about applying it in the Business world,because that is why these Menorahs and Yidden are battered.

  32. To the Chabad supporting posters:
    As much as you try to fool yourself that all of us might be lacking in Ahavas Yisroel, don’t let that be of comfort to you. We are by the way Torah loving yidden, soft, gentle, running chesed organizations and trying to help “ALL” yidden and loving “ALL” yidden to unbelievable extents. We don’t have a single leader like you have (had), instead our Torah leaders are great Talmidei Chachomim recognized by our last generations Gedolim and by our current Ehrlich Yidden – just as was done throught our nations history. We are also made up of most Chasidus that also do not agree with your ways. Are you accusing most of Klal Yisroel of lacking in Ahavas Yisroel. Do we all have to listen to the person that you decided to choose are your Rebbe? Do we not all have enough history of Torah Gadlus? We love you and we feel that you are misguided. Our Gedolim have taught us to take a low profile in Galus. We learn “Hilchos Golus” from Yaakov Avinu and we have a great Mesorah. It’s time for you to take off your blinders and see and embrace the rest of Yiddishkeit for what it is – especially considering that you no longer have any viable leadership.

  33. The score is from a COLD litvish world with little heart towards others.Kiruv is at the bottom of the to do list in Lakewood and other cold towns. Proof is in the words they use, Kiruv ” Rechokim”. The far ones ,how judgemental and distant. And when they do a little of their own distorted form of Kiruv, they claim that “We discovered Kiruv or Jews in Russia”. A sad joke

  34. Mr. Friedman:

    Thank you for presenting another opportunity to slam Lubavitchers. Having worked as a volunteered in kiruv, I can tell you that many secular Jew appreciate Chanukah more than any other holiday and if noting else the public displays are an expression of Jewish pride which they otherwise do not see demonstrated.

    BTW, having read your last paragraph,I don’t recall your public outcry at the incredibly loud sirens that go off twice every erev shabbos in our Brooklyn neighborhoods Litvish and Chsidish. When our neighbors (Jew and gentile alike)complained that the sirens, which could be heard a half mile away were too intense and violated noise codes, we were happy to defend our constitutional rights at their expense. Talk about a selective condemnation. But at least they weren’t Lubavitchers.

    S. Friedman responds:

    You are 100% correct! I an any case where a Shabbos siren might be a nuisance to the aino Yehudim whatsoever, I would say that it should be done away with. Please don’t accuse me of selective condemnation.

  35. To #37:

    I agree with you 100%. Most of these commentators have nothing better to do than complain and do nothing. The following is the Rebbe’s position on public menorahs:

    “In times past, the synagogue was the most public Jewish venue. Today, however, the reality is such that many Jews do not visit the synagogue on a daily basis. The Lubavitcher Rebbe therefore encouraged the erection of menorahs in public areas to maximize the reach of the radiance of the Chanukah lights and to publicly proclaim the timeless message of the Chanukah victory of light over darkness.”


  36. The whole tone of this article is disturbing, in addition to the accompanying ‘poll’,

    To label the public lightings “a new ‘minhag’ that has spread rapidly” while totally ignoring the source of this custom smacks of presumptuousness.

    A website editor is no match for a leader of thousands who did more for yiddishkeit then all the big ‘chachamim’ commenting above questioning his actions.

    Get off the internet and spend all your time for Klal Yisroel as the Rebbe did and maybe then you will have a right to voice your opinion!

  37. Folks…complaining about anything that Lubavitch Chassidim do or say is a futile effort. They are in a Jewish world unto themselves, decades ago having cut themselves off from the main body of Klal Yisrael.

    If the seal of the Ribbono Shel Olam is “Emes” (Truth), how can you possibly argue with a group who believe that they alone have the knowledge of Hashem’s truth in this world?

    How do Lubavitchers “know” that they’ve reached this lofty status? Because they “know” that their Rebbe was, is and will be the “Nasi,” a “malach,” a “navi,” and “Melech HaMoshiach.” In the case of the “elokists,” the aggrandizement of the Rebbe is so extreme that they believe he is the physical manifestation of Hakadosh Baruch Hu Himself (chas v’shalom), and therefore can proclaim with devoted certainty (as did Rabbi Shlomo Cunin of West Coast Chabad) that “the Rebbe runs world.”

    To Lubavitchers, the Rebbe is the ultimate Manhig of all of Klal Yisrael whether the rest of Klal Yisrael is willing to accept it or not. If we refuse to accept it we are all considered misguided and inferior in our non-Chabad derech of Yiddishkeit. Lubavitchers will admit that our gedolim are great talmidei chachomim, but insist that they are still no match for their Rebbe, the anointed of G-d. Thus, they are certain that when the Rebbe finally reveals himself, the rest of Klal Yisrael will recognize the error of our ways and all become Chabadniks.

    Bottom line: non-Lubavitchers simply cannot argue with such single-minded, and even fanatical devotion to the belief that the Rebbe is akin to G-d (c”v). So we need to stop trying and simply ignore them.

    P.S. I love it when Lubavitch claims that Chabad and the Rebbe have done more for Klal Yisrael than all of the other Gedolim and kiruv organizations combined? I love it when they claim that “thousands” have been positively effected by seeing huge menorahs in public places. How convenient for them that neither of these claims can be empirically proven. Of course, they are the mainstay of Chabad’s juggernaut public relations campaign, and having made these non-provable claims loudly and often enough, Lubavitchers have come to believe in their own PR. Here too, they leave no room to argue.

    Having said all of this, I do hope that Chabad continues to do the good that they do in the Jewish world. I have personally benefited greatly from Chabad-run grocery stores in my many travels throughout Europe, and probably the most wonderful Shabbos that I’ve spent in 30 years was at the Chabad-run restaurant along a canal at the entrance to the Nuevo Ghetto in Venice, Italy. It was beautiful! But even as all of the guests enjoyed Chabad’s hospitality, none of us bought into the proprietor’s insistence that the Rebbe is in hiding and will reveal himself soon. In any event, we can all be grateful for the good that Chabad accomplishes…and just ignore the rest.

  38. to all who are against the public menora- I have news for you, your gedolim were against kiruv when Lubavitch were first on the front. and suddenly the ghe gedolim circles began endorsing kiruv etc. to
    when the Rebbe initiated the Chanuka campaign, thousands of Jews world over were touched and reacted positively. Hamaashe hu hoikar! there is not need for nay additional endorsement
    give a year or two and will hear some veltish organization doing it like everything else they copied from Chabad. it is simple jealousy.

  39. For all of the Chabad posters who ask of the others, “why don’t you get off your chair and do something?” and “When was the last time you got involved in kiruv?” Let me ask you:
    When was the last time you opened a gemara? When was the last time you learned anything consecutively for more than an hour besides the Rebbe’s sichos?
    How’s the tzinius in your community?
    What has your community been doing for those struggling for a parnossah during these difficult times?
    You may or may not have good answers for those questions, but the point is, kiruv is a nice thing, but only in your own minds is it the MOST IMPORTANT thing about yiddishkeit. When you have that mentality, then menorah lightings and other PR stunts become so terribly important- regardless of the negative effect on frum yidden worldwide.
    Get your priorities straight- perhaps Chabad does do kiruv better than everyone else (and perhaps not), but last I checked there were 613 mitzvos, and being great at one thing doesn’t make you better than anyone else.

  40. Why are all the Chabad people up in arms? First of all, the article doesn’t single out Chabad, and in particular, I remember that the Santa Cruz incident was actually a Modern Orthodox shul.
    Regardless, why can’t you take critism? Sometimes people write articles about bad practices in shidduchim, for example. Okay, we get the point think about, and move on. Why does something that Chabad people interpret as an “attack” on something they do turn into a “you’re all bad, we’re the only good ones” type of thing. Sheesh!
    Try the vodka doughnuts.

  41. Response to #38 –

    How could Matzav allow such kefiroh on the site? It reminds me of what notzrim say about Yoshke.

    Hashem yiracheim!

    I make a strong macho’oh against that kefiroh!

  42. #48 – No sorry, the Gedolim believed in building up Yiddishkeit first after the destruction in Europe. First you have to build a generation of true Torah jews then you can have them reach out. By sending weak kids to the streets of Manhattan, you weaken their own Yiddishkeit.

  43. 52,

    This isn’t the place for this discussion but if you learn a bit of chassidus you will learn it does not mean what you think it means.

    Bkitzur it means the Rebbe, even down to his holy guf, is 100% in tune with Hashem’s ratzon at all times. It means that what Hashem wants he does; he has no true ratzon of his own which is separate from his Creator.

  44. Response to #56 – We don’t follow the Tanya in that.

    FYI, we say in davening every day in the beginning of shacharis, Elokai, neshomo shenosato bi….Ata viroso, ata yitzarto…HKB”H, you created the neshomo, and formed it. So we say that the neshomo is a creation of Hakodosh boruch Hu, not a ‘part of Him’.