Chabad rabbi, David Eliezrie, in his April 13, 2017 Jewish Journal opinion piece, Politico, Trump, Chabad and the new anti-Semitism, attempts to paint a picture of Politico as “anti-Semites” for their suspicions about Chabad. He goes well beyond the common knee-jerk reaction of Chabad to cry “anti-Semitism” when faced with criticism or conflict. Eliezrie paints his picture of Politico with imagery of “Chassidim tentacles,” “Jewish cabal,” “blood libel,” and “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”. Apparently Eliezrie doesn’t recognize that a criticism of Chabad, does not equal a criticism of Jews. It would be best if David Eliezrie didn’t attempt to speak for the Jewish world while attempting to defend Chabad-Lubavich, which is only one hasidc sect.
One of the more absurd claims he makes is that Chabad is apolitical, “it never gets involved in politics.”
If Politico had done the most basic fact checking it would have discovered that Chabad is unique amongst major Jewish groups — it never gets involved in politics. While others are busy with press releases on everything from immigration to who should be the US Ambassador to Israel, Chabad never says a word. Not in the US and not in the 90 countries around the world where it has centers. Chabad’s mission is Jewish education, outreach and social service. Its stays out of politics. It does not endorse anyone for any political position, even if it’s just for dog catcher in Iowa.
Many know better. They can find any of the thousands of photos of Chabad shluchim (rabbi missionaries) with politicians; from their local city councils, to governors, the President of the United States. It appears that Chabad engages politicians whenever possible, as if standard operating procedure.
However, it’s ironic that the best argument against this absurd ‘apolitical’ claim by Eliezrie came not from the so-called “anti-Semitic” critics of Chabad, but from none other than Chabad’s Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar (a major focus of the Politico article Eliezrie complains about).
And it only took only nine days.
(JTA) — Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar called on French Jews to leave their country if the far right politician Marine Le Pen is elected president next month.
Lazar, a Chabad rabbi who was born in Italy and has lived in Russia for 25 years, made the remark on Friday while attending a conference on Jewish learning near Moscow organized by the Limmud FSU asssociation.
“If Marine Le Pen is elected president of France, the Jews must leave,” Lazar said, according to a transcription of his address at the conference provided by Limmud FSU. Lazar was a keynote speaker of the event, which drew 2,500 participants — a record attendance since Limmud FSU began holding conferences across the former Soviet Union.
Apparently it’s Chabad rabbi, David Eliezrie who needs to do his fact checking.
It would be nice if Chabad could stay out of politics. “Even if it’s just a vote for dog catcher in Iowa.”
The Chabad sect is becoming better known in this Information Age for its child sexual abuse cases, attempted cover-ups, fundamentalism, extremism, messianism, corruption, alcoholism, deceptive outreach practices, and the list goes on…. Stories of Chabad malfeasance that used to be a shocking anomaly are now appearing very frequently online.
It’s wise to take a very close and critical look at Chabad, not anti-Semitic. And why should Chabad become so defensive? Do they have something to hide?