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5 years ago  ::  Jul 21, 2012 - 6:41PM #1
bar2012
Posts: 12
Hello,
While researching. Cults on the Internet, I came across Chabad.  So not being Jewish, i have a few question.

Some people say they are a Cult others say are part of the main.  What are they?

There is a site called Chabad Mafia (www.chabad-mafia.com)  which may come under hate speech, then again i don't know must about chabad.

Is Chabad a harmless cult, a sect, part of the mainstreem or a dangerous cult?  
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5 years ago  ::  Jul 21, 2012 - 8:21PM #2
LeahOne
Posts: 18,418

Judaism is not immune from cults or abusive 'religious leaders'. 


The site appears to be the result of a very 'local' situation centering around Surfside, FL. 


Chabad is a 'haredi' or ultraorthodox form of Judaism.  They are one representation, probably the most visible, of Hassidism, the mystical tradition within Judaism.


I am nowhere near 'Orthodox' - and I'm certainly not about to condemn an entire stream of my people as that site appears to. But there appears to be very little about which they and I would ever agree......


You're right - it's extremely MILD in terms of 'hate speech' sites!


Ummmm, since Judaism really doesn't have a 'creed' or such, we don't really have 'doctrinal' differences but more in 'practice'.  


So I suppose my answer would be 'Chabad is 'Jewish', but not 'mainstream'....' 


Stick around, and you'll get other answers from other posters : ))   It could take a few days...


 

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5 years ago  ::  Jul 21, 2012 - 11:20PM #3
JRoadrunner
Posts: 6,282

Jul 21, 2012 -- 6:41PM, bar2012 wrote:

Hello,
While researching. Cults on the Internet, I came across Chabad.  So not being Jewish, i have a few question.

Some people say they are a Cult others say are part of the main.  What are they?

There is a site called Chabad Mafia (www.chabad-mafia.com)  which may come under hate speech, then again i don't know must about chabad.

Is Chabad a harmless cult, a sect, part of the mainstreem or a dangerous cult?  



Define "cult."

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5 years ago  ::  Jul 22, 2012 - 5:52AM #4
river8101
Posts: 5,587

My son who was not raised orthodox and his wife who wasn't either, have joined Chabad.  They don't seem to isolate themselves, and their kids are just like any other.  Personally, it's not for me at all, or my other kids,  but they seem to like it, and their kids are like any others.



“Faith is deciding to allow yourself to believe something your intellect would otherwise cause you to reject.”
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5 years ago  ::  Jul 22, 2012 - 10:42AM #5
Pam34
Posts: 2,795

Hasidism is a pietistic movement that started back in the 1700's in Europe - the movement stressed 'heart' over legalistic studies. Since then, there have developed many different Hasidic (sometimes spelled Chasidic) groups, each with its own 'take' on behavior and dress, and each following its own hereditary leader ('rebbe'). Having a specific rebbe and following a specific set of traditions is what defines a Hasidic group. Some well-known Hasidic groups are Bobover, Lubavitch, Satmar. Breslover - there are dozens of them.



Lubavitch is one of the larger groups, and one of the best known, because unlike most Hasidic groups, Lubavitch does 'outreach'. Chabad is the outreach arm (thus most visible) of Lubavicher Hasidim.



Chabad is an acronym for Chochmah, Bina, Dinat (Wisdom, understanding, knowledge).


www.chabad.org/global/about/article_cdo/...


(it is only fair to read what Chabad-Lubavitch has to say about itself)


Chabad's target is less-observant Jews. They do a lot of public stuff and educational productions (TV, magazine, publications, summer day camps, day school) to encourage all Jews they can reach to simply 'do something Jewish'.



Not a cult exactly  - but kinda sort of, if that makes sense. The last (seventh) Lubavitcher rebbe died several years ago and they have no living rebbe, but still revere and follow the teachings of the last one (R. Menachem Mendel Schneersohn). That's a little unusual, but not unique. The Breslover Hasidim only ever had the one rebbe, and he died in 1810.


www.breslov.com/en/index.php?title=Bresl...



Basically, all Hasidim are (ultra) orthodox (they are the Jews people see wearing suits and black hats of some sort, and long beards) but not all orthodox Jews are Hasidim.



While I actually have a fair bit of respect of Lubavitch (with strong reservations about the minority who think Rebbe Schneersohn is going to rise from the dead), if I were to ever become radically odd and want to be Hasidic (this is, trust me, an extremely unlikely idea), I'd head over to the Breslovers. They are a lot more fun! (google Hasidic dancing - they aren't the ONLY ones who dance, but dance as a religious expression is maybe more prominant theologically in Breslover circles) Besides, I really like Rab Nachman's tales and writings. (since Reb Nachman has been dead over 200 years, the prime teachings for the Breslover Hasidim come from his prolific writings).


www.breslovbook.com/



Random Nachman quotes -


All the world is a very narrow bridge, and the most important thing is not to fear at all.


Always remember: happiness is not a side matter in your spiritual journey - it is essential.


Prayer depends on the heart, A person should put all of his heart into it, so that it shouldn’t be in the aspect of “With their lips they honor me but their hearts are far from me.”


When a person falls from his level he should know that it’s heaven-sent, because going down is needed in order to go up, therefore he fell, in order that he arouses himself more to come close to Hashem (to God). Advice for him - Begin anew to enter into service of Hashem as if you have never yet even begun.




You know what really touches me about Reb Nachman? He was only 38 when he died. How can somebody only 38 years old be so wise?


Blessed are You, HaShem, Who blesses the years.
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5 years ago  ::  Jul 22, 2012 - 11:50AM #6
river8101
Posts: 5,587

My son and his wife joined Chabad, or attend it, and I've often wondered about it.  My son wasn't raised orthodox, and his wife converted to Judaism a few years ago.   Now they do attend Chabad, but I don't know if they actually belong to it.  They live in a town in Maryland with few Jews, but both seem to have gone from Conservative to Orthodox.   I doubt they will get carried away with it, but for now they don't eat in my house, unless I can serve kosher food. However, eating only kosher food is not that unusual, for many orthodox and conservative Jews feel the same way.  Finding kosher food isn't out of sight for me, as I live in a Jewish area, and there are plenty of kosher deli's and a kosher supermarket nearby.  But my my pots and pans and stove, cups and glasses and silverwear are all just regular stuff.  How can I get them to come over?  Any suggestions?   I don't know.  This is all new to me.  I wasn't raised that way, and I don't know that much about kashrut.  My daughter in law is an excellent cook. 

“Faith is deciding to allow yourself to believe something your intellect would otherwise cause you to reject.”
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5 years ago  ::  Jul 22, 2012 - 2:48PM #7
Pam34
Posts: 2,795

Paper plates and plastic tableware, mainly. Cook in aluminum foil and serve that way - - it really isn't that hard, you just have to be willing to go that far and do it. When in doubt, ask.



Lots of people attend Chabad without actually BEING 'Chabad' or even 'orthodox'. I've been to Chabad services a few times, but I don't like keeping quiet and sitting behind the mechitza. There are certain positive things you can take from Chabad, though, without buying the whole megillah.



Blessed are You, HaShem, Who blesses the years.
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5 years ago  ::  Jul 22, 2012 - 5:45PM #8
river8101
Posts: 5,587

Yeah, I hope that's where they are.   When I went to their home on Shabbas (Friday night - Sat.) about a month or so ago, my daughter in law, wore a scarf around her head and a long skirt. Though she doesn't dress that way all the time.   I thought it looked like something from a Jewish movie, but the dinner was so good, and my son was so much fun with their 3 kids, I forgot all about it. 

“Faith is deciding to allow yourself to believe something your intellect would otherwise cause you to reject.”
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5 years ago  ::  Jul 23, 2012 - 12:38AM #9
Pam34
Posts: 2,795

One of my nieces is observant-   I hesitate to say 'ultra' but I'm sure some people would think so -  she wears clothing that pretty much covers practically everything, plus a head scarf - and she is one savvy lady. She says the clothing sends a message to others that she wants to be appreciated for WHO she is, and not how she happens to look. We talked about the modesty issue a lot, and agreed that modesty is really in a person's mind and outlook, not in their actual clothes - and that what is 'modest' depends on your community and culture. Where she lives, she dresses 'modestly' but not 'ultra' so (3/4 sleeves and some visible hair) - in another neighborhood she'd attract attention, but where she lives, not so much.



Blessed are You, HaShem, Who blesses the years.
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5 years ago  ::  Jul 23, 2012 - 6:54AM #10
river8101
Posts: 5,587

I don't think my daughter-in-law dresses like that all the time.  She posts pix of her with my son and/or with her kids on Facebook in regular clothes her hair is not covered.     She's always looked good in hats of all kinds long before I doubt she even thought of converting. 


Anyway, I don't think Chabad is anywhere near or like a cult. 


"The word cult in current popular usage usually refers to a new religious movement or other group whose beliefs or practices are considered abnormal or bizarre."    Wiki. 

“Faith is deciding to allow yourself to believe something your intellect would otherwise cause you to reject.”
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