Sepharadi Philosophy Sepharadic Philosophy

Down With Double Standards

February 17, 2019

(This article initially appeared as a Facebook post on our official page. For those among us who hate the truth, I beg of you: please don’t read this. Just keep moving on.)

The Trigger Question

How would you feel if a good friend, a seemingly religious Jew – wears a Kippah and Tzitzit, prays every day, eats Kosher food, observes the Shabbat, is always kind to others – sent you an invitation to his daughters wedding? You would certainly be happy and grateful, would you not?

Would your reaction be different if it contained a message missionizing you to another faith? Perhaps one like this (Ephesians 1:17-19):

“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.”

I thought that would be your reaction. 

So then why the double standard?

Why do you – and expect me as well- treat these missionaries differently than you do others?

The Fateful Invitation

Today, I received an invitation from a family member who identifies with the Chabad-Lubavitch movement to their child’s wedding.

The English Side

On the English side, it read:

“With heartfelt prayers for the immediate redemption”.

But on the Hebrew side, it contained a Yiddish sentence:

“May we merit to meet the Rebbe here below in a body…and he will redeem us”.

The Yiddish Side

Why do I have to be silent? Why am I already wary of your reactions? Why are we bullied into accepting this as compatible with the Torah and words of our Sages?

Because these ones look a little more religious, identify with a movement that we all owe a debt of gratitude to – we all must remain silent in the face of blasphemous beliefs and ideologies?

The Offensive Purim Basket

Last year, someone who lives in this town kindly sent me three Purim baskets: one for my wife and two for my children.

Both baskets were filled with propaganda and literature trying to convince us to crown the Lubavitcher Rebbe as the King Messiah. The baskets for my children even contained literature geared to children so that mine would be influence to this sick belief as well!

Why in my very own neighborhood – was I the victim of this kind of missionary work – and unable to speak out about it?

Enough Is Enough

My friends, enough is enough. The silence of the Jewish people is deafening! We must not vilify our fellow brothers and sisters personally, but we must take a stand that they shall not contaminate the minds of our people with their nonsensical “theology”!

If someone would walk into my community with a Kippah that says “Long live Yeshua the Mashiach!” – I would ask them to leave. Why do you allow these people access to our synagogues and educational institutions? Why do you trust them in matters of Jewish law and philosophy?

I am not here to debate whether all Chabad is like this or not, or whether the last Lubavitcher Rebbe believed this or not. Many quills have been broken and much ink has spilled over this question. Passing that judgement is not in my hands.

I love my fellow Jews with my entire heart and soul. Anyone who has cared to know me personally, knows that I have tremendous respect towards the last Lubavitcher Rebbe and quote his works often. Those who will accuse me otherwise, are on a futile witch-hunt.

My Fervent Request

Rather, all I beg, beseech and demand from the Jewish community is:

Let us not have double standards. Let us not be hypocrites. Let us stand up for what is right against yet another ideology that is subtly – and sometimes not so subtly – trying to let its tentacles suffocate the pure beliefs of our people for eternity.

A more subtle article I wrote about this in the past:

Holy War: Fighting for the Sake of Unity

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  1. Thank you Rabi Yonatan. Very right , very much so. I see it happening everywhere and many thing that this is aceptable.

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