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June 22, 2012

Comments

Lubavitchers believe if all Jews become observant then the messiah will come. That's why they do that. It is similar to how Evangelical Christians believe Israel being established is a sign Jesus will come back soon.

> Why do the Lubavitch care if non-observant Jews do
> a religious ritual? I have no idea.

Because they believe that more Jews performing more mitzvot (commandments) means the messiah will come sooner. This is of particular concern to them because they believe the messiah is/was their leader who died in 1994, though they deny his death.

****I also don’t understand why Christian religious nuts care so much about whether some atheist woman can abort her demon-spawn.****

You really don't? Really, really? I mean really, you REALLY don't, or is this some kind of subtle Half Sigma humour? Because you're obviously not stupid.

The second time a pair of these guys asked me, "Are you Jewish?", I responded with, "Hey, you must be two of those Mormon missionaries! So, do you like Mitt Romney?"

They didn't seem to take that as a compliment.

On a couple of occasions I've had Lubavitchers ask me if I'm Jewish even though there's nothing particularly Jewish about my appearance. Most likely they ask all non-minority people they see.

"I also don’t understand why Christian religious nuts care so much about whether some atheist woman can abort her demon-spawn."

Yeah, why should anyone care, or try to intervene, whenever Group X considers Group Y non-human and kills them simply because they are inconvenient? Long as you're not a member of Group Y, there's no problem, right?

I've found a well-timed 'Heil Hitler' scatters them to the wind.

At least the Lubavitch guys are offering their ritual to people who can say no, not trying to change the law to force everyone to have babies they don't want.

MachoManMadness is right. I'll just add that *every* individual mitzvah performed by any Jew hastens the coming of the messiah. Practice, not intention, is what counts in Jewish law; so even if a completely atheistic Jew wraps tefillin just to make them go away it's a win for them.

You have a nice camera--the photos look great. The second shot had tricky lighting that it handled very well. (I get so tired of "the cell phone look" on posted photos.)

Oh, and for the trad-Christian all human life is sacred and intentional abortion is always murder. Once one understands that they genuinely believe this their uncompromising stance on the issue becomes is easy to understand.

Tsk tsk, HS doesn't know what tefillin is.

בור ועם הארץ. מיכאל.

The happiest guy in America happens to be Jewish and Chinese. Maybe that's why they don't want Asians to know about Judaism. Just like we wouldn't want to spill out our recipes on preparing tasty Chinese food so Jews would stay home in X'mas making it, which of course means less business for us.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/06/weekinreview/06happy.html

HS may very well know about tefillin, but if he hasn't encountered the irritating Lubavitcher mitzvah patrol before, he might not know that the ritual they are promoting is tefillin wrapping.

" I also don’t understand why Christian religious nuts care so much about whether some atheist woman can abort her demon-spawn. "

Oh come on.....

BTW, why not do the ceremony with them? I'd imagine that they'd be happy with the convivial good feelings. And if you arent doing anything anyway, why not help out.

Frankly, I feel left out; my mother is Jewish (making me Jewish), but I've never had a Lubavitcher
ask me the question....Guess I just look to Gentile.

Consider yourself lucky, Syon. The Lubavitchers aren't just trying to get their prey to wrap tefillin once. They are hoping that this will be the start of full Orthodox religious observance.

Oh yeah. I've got a big nose and dark hair, and I've had them ignore everyone else in the diner and go after me.

Are those images right out of the camera or did you use any "exposure" type filters in post?

Quote: "I also don’t understand why Christian religious nuts care so much about whether some atheist woman can abort her demon-spawn"

It is because many Christians believe that life begins at conception which would make abortion murder. Most civilized people are against murder.

Quote: "At least the Lubavitch guys are offering their ritual to people who can say no, not trying to change the law to force everyone to have babies they don't want"

Can't people use condoms and birth control pills when they are having sex so that conception is prevented in the first place?

Quote: "On a couple of occasions I've had Lubavitchers ask me if I'm Jewish even though there's nothing particularly Jewish about my appearance"

One thing that I have noticed is that they only seem to ask men, not women. They have even asked me if I am Jewish even though I am an Irish Catholic American male.

Do the Lubavitchers still live in close proximity to blacks in Brooklyn? If so, I wonder why we never hear of any incidents, as in the late '80's.

[HS: Yes, they still live in Crown Heights. One wonders why they don't just all move, en masse, to some place like rural Pennsylvania.]

I'm a woman, living in Brooklyn, and I am always asked if I am Jewish by the Hasidim on the Jewish High Holy Days when I'm walking around. I'm not, but I see a lot of people say yes, and then the Hasidiam blow a ram's horn at them, and they all recite something. The people who say yes seem to like it. Everybody smiles at the ends with what seems like genuine affection. And on the High Holy Days, they get a lot of takers, even in allegedly SWPL Park Slope, where i live.

the more interesting question is: why does everybody want to convert people to their own religion? Atheists want to just as much as anybody else. We're all little missionaries in our hearts. I don't have an answer except that something that is so widespread (definitely including atheists) must have a genetic basis. Jews are ostentatious that they don't want to convert non-Jews, but boy do they go after other Jews for whatever their branch of Judaism is, as illustrated here.

"One thing that I have noticed is that they only seem to ask men, not women."

Wrapping tefillin is an obligation limited to males in orthodox Judaism. Also, male hasidic and ultra-orthodox Jews limit interactions with women other than spouses and family.

Quote: "Do the Lubavitchers still live in close proximity to blacks in Brooklyn? If so, I wonder why we never hear of any incidents, as in the late '80's."

Actually there are still some incidents. Check out this link:

http://www.yourjewishnews.com/Pages/20913.aspx

Title: "Mob of black men beat Brooklyn Jew while screaming dirty Jew"

"Jews are ostentatious that they don't want to convert non-Jews, but boy do they go after other Jews for whatever their branch of Judaism is, as illustrated here."

No, only ultra-Orthodox Jews, especially Lubavitcher hasidim, go after secular or liberally religious (Reform and Conservative) Jews. As a previous commenter wrote, they think that bringing non-observant Jews back to orthodox observance will hasten the coming of the messiah, and they do not consider non-Orthodox forms of Judaism to be legitimate. Non-Orthodox Jews and secular Jews feel no compulsion to proselytize among the Orthodox, and if they were to do so, they would be poorly received.

They men can harass non-Orthodox Jewish women wearing sexy clothing: Nafka! Nisht besser fun a shicksa! Evidently their jeers are in Yiddish.
Do the UltraOrthodox try to have their women "convert" non-Orthodox Jewesses? (non PC word alert!).
A friend of mine was proselytized heavily by the Lubavitchers and spent some time with them. They made it clear if he took up with them he could get a nice Lubavitch wife of his own from their community. But if they do this regularly, how do they provide women for the existing members? Or is it a bait and switch?

" They made it clear if he took up with them he could get a nice Lubavitch wife of his own from their community."

I think its time Mike went this route.

He is successful, educated but alone and aging. Dont Jewish grandmothers live for this? I am sure they have access to an inventory of youngish girls for him.

Oh sure, their may be a language barrier, but think of the blog fodder. And besides its not good for man to be alone...

@Park Slope Pubby:

"the more interesting question is: why does everybody want to convert people to their own religion? Atheists want to just as much as anybody else. We're all little missionaries in our hearts. I don't have an answer except that something that is so widespread (definitely including atheists) must have a genetic basis."

One word: numbers. Organized religion has always sought converts, even Judaism, at times. Religion's primary function is groupness, and the more people you have in your group, the stronger it is.

Proselytizing atheists are no exception. By aggressively spreading atheism (in what is in many instances a futile endeavor) "New Atheism" has taken on many of the characteristics of a religion. They have, ironically, in ways become what they are most vehemently against:

http://jayman.blog.com/2012/04/30/hbd-and-atheism/

I am much more passive/reactionary in my atheism, which is the correct approach.

I'm not Jewish, but a Lubavitcher once asked me the question, so maybe I look that way. What I want to know is, where can I get one of those retro Zoot Suit hats?

"They made it clear if he took up with them he could get a nice Lubavitch wife of his own from their community."

Not originally from their community. He would get a "converted" wife.

"They made it clear if he took up with them he could get a nice Lubavitch wife of his own from their community. But if they do this regularly, how do they provide women for the existing members? Or is it a bait and switch?"

Non-Orthodox Jews who take up Lubavitcher Hasidism or another form of Orthodoxy are known as "baalei teshuva," Among the ultra-Orthodox, they may face heavy communal suspicion. For the most part, it is preferred that they marry other "baalei teshuva." It would be rare indeed that any of the "good families" would be pleased to have their children marry them. Even the children of "baalei teshuva" face low social status.

I say HS is better off alone than ultra-Orthodox.

I've never heard of "wrapping tefillin" and I did not know that Lubavitch Hasidim engage in such silly rituals with strangers. Next time I do to New York, I am going to approach these people and tell them I am Jewish. I want to see the ritual.

Here is a YouTube video on wrapping tefillin:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IehuRTL38gY

"where can I get one of those retro Zoot Suit hats?"

The Lubavitchers wear black fedora hats. Hats like that can be found on the internet, since brick-and-mortar haberdashers seem to have departed the earth unless you live in a haredi neighborhood. Other hasidic groups wear big round fur hats, known as "shtreimels."

[HS: I'm sure there's a place in Crown Heights that sells those hats.]

"He is successful, educated but alone and aging. Dont Jewish grandmothers live for this? I am sure they have access to an inventory of youngish girls for him."

I don't know about that. My girlfriend used to work at a company with a significant number of orthodox Jews. All the orthodox men she knew there were married when they were in their early 20s. I don't know how quick the orthodox would be to marry off a 20-something to someone twice her age. Maybe they would be willing to match him up with someone closer in age, but there probably aren't too many older single women in those communities, since they marry young and divorce is rare.

What's with the sour grapes, nebbish?

IHTG,

Several reasons. I don't care for proselytism of any variety, but I particularly dislike the way that the Lubavitchers go after vulnerable people such as homesick college kids. In that way, they operate like a cult, which I feel accurately describes at a minimum those who believe the late rebbe to be the messiah. The Lubavitchers (and all who seek to return the secular to Orthodoxy) aren't entirely upfront about what they are offering, and people who take the bait can be separated from their families and put under enormous pressure to conform, again a cult-like practice. Ultimately, I don't have much esteem for ultra-Orthodox Judaism of any variety. Non-UO's who do express such feelings are typically all about the numbers they bring. There's very little thought about the downsides of UO life, what is given up, etc. I just don't see their ascension to dominance as a positive development in Judaism.

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