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June 03, 2009

Chabad: "We Vehemently Disagree" With Rabbi Manis Friedman

But does Chabad's PR agree with the truth?

Statement By Chabad-Lubavitch World Headquarters
CHABAD-LUBAVITCH WORLD HEADQUARTERS -- (June 3, 2009)

(lubavitch.com) Regarding recent comments made by Rabbi Manis Friedman in response to a question posed by Moment Magazine, we vehemently disagree with any sentiment suggesting that Judaism allows for the wanton destruction of civilian life, even when at war.

In keeping with Jewish law, it is the unequivocal position of Chabad-Lubavitch that all human life is G-d given, precious, and must be treated with respect, dignity and compassion.

Statements and opinions expressed by individuals do not necessarily reflect the position of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. Lubavitch World Headquarters is the only office authorized to speak on behalf of the movement.

Let's see what the Tanya says about non-Jews:

 "The souls of non-Jews come from unclean kelipot  [sources, lit. "husks'] which contain no good at all…"

--- Likutei Amarim Tanya (commonly known as the Tanya) at the end of Chapter 1, by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, the founder of Chabad-Lubavitch, whio is also known as the Baal HaTanya and the Alter Rebbe.

As I wrote earlier, what Rabbi Manis Friedman said I heard several times from and many other times from other Chabad rabbis. I heard this in Chabad synagogues, Chabad Houses, private homes, yeshivas and in 770 Eastern Parkway.

And the late Rebbe's views on Israel were nearly identical with Rabbi Meir Kahane's.

Chabad can spin this as much as it wants, but that does not change the truth.

Previous Posts: 1, 2, 3.

Comments

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What the tanya says is reprehensible, but it is not a call for genocide. Manis's statement was worse.

I am no fan of Chabad but I have had private conversations with all kinds of Chabad rabbis and I have never heard them say what Manis Friedman did in any way, shape or form.

I have heard some wacky BTs speak like this and come to think of it, Shmarya was smack dab in the middle of those kinds of circles as he was once one himself which Chabad attracts loads of.

My hunch is that Shmarya used to advocate annihilating Arabs back in the day and his neo-Liberalism is creating a vortex of guilt and confusion inside of him.

Here is his FULL statement quoted on other chabad sites:

I would like to clarify the answer published in my name in last month's issue of Moment Magazine.

First of all, the opinions published in my name are solely my own, and do not represent the official policy of any Jewish movement or organization.

Additionally, my answer, as written, is misleading.

It is obvious, I thought, that any neighbor of the Jewish people should be treated, as the Torah commands us, with respect and compassion. Fundamental to the Jewish faith is the concept that every human being was created in the image of G-d, and our sages instruct us to support the non-Jewish poor along with the poor of our own brethren.

The sub-question I chose to address instead is: how should we act in time of war, when our neighbors attack us, using their women, children and religious holy places as shields. I attempted to briefly address some of the ethical issues related to forcing the military to withhold fire from certain people and places, at the unbearable cost of widespread bloodshed (on both sides!) -- when one’s own family and nation is mercilessly targeted from those very people and places.

Furthermore, some of the words I used in my brief comment were irresponsible, and I look forward to further clarifying them in a future issue.

I apologize for any misunderstanding my words created.

-- Rabbi Manis Friedman

And the Constitution of the United States of America, still revered, and written and ratified approximately at the same time as the Tanya formally ratified slavery. Slavery is not an essential part of its intent. The distinction between Jewish souls and non-Jewish souls is more problematic for Jewish conception but the blatant adoption of this quote as a political program in the here and now is not given nor proven by repeating it over and over. if Cbabad was literally Kahanist in ideology and dogma they wouldn't back down or feel the need to back down, not for PR not for nothing. Kahane didn't adopt two voices and made no bones about where he was coming from. Nasrallah doesn't back down. The National Socialists didn't back down. Ahmadinnerjacket doesn't back down.


Meanwhile back in Ha Eretz the Sephardic masses continue to march to a beat not aeons removed from the nigunniim wafting from sound trucks emblazoned with yellow banners and the cherubic, eternally hello hello waving (and much excoriated) Seventh Son):

Eli Yishai: We'll expand settlements
By GIL HOFFMAN
JPOST

In a meeting with leaders of Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria at his Jerusalem office, the Shas chairman said he invited them while Obama was in the region, because the US president's speech reinforced the need to consolidate Israeli society.

"The American policies are not coincidental and everyone must know that the bad situation will only get worse in the near future," Yishai told the settler leaders.

"I promise to use my ministry, all the resources at my disposal and the ministry's impact on local authorities for the good of expanding settlements," he said.

Here is his FULL statement quoted on other chabad sites:

Try to process:

1. Manis's "full" statement is printed in an earlier post. Follow the links.

2. It is that "full" statement Chabad is "vehemently" opposing.

3. The statement I posted here is Chabad's OFFICIAL statement.

Yeah, it is interesting that his fourth what-we-do-in-war paragraph is not accepted by Chabad HQ's lead.

Let us, just for arguments sake, say that a non-Jew is no different than a pig (also one of the shalosh klipot hatimeot). There is no mitzvah to kill pigs etc. etc. etc. If you harm a pig or treat it with no respect, no dignity and no compassion, you are still transgressing "tzar balei chayim." This is true even if your neighbor's pig roots in your garden.

Now let us take Chabad's official statement:

"In keeping with Jewish law, it is the unequivocal position of Chabad-Lubavitch that all human life is G-d given, precious, and must be treated with respect, dignity and compassion."

So, how is your quoting Tanya proof that Chabad endorses what Manis Friedman said???

Even if you accept the line in Tanya as literal, It does not follow that SZ of Liadi or Chabad promotes what Friedman promotes.

let's say that a non-Jew is vile creature (again, this is not my opinion, but taking the Tanya to the extreme), you still have to treat him/her with respect because she/he is one of God's creations. Does the Tanya say treat a non-Jew worse than a dog??

Who you keep company with speaks volumes about you. I am very happy you escaped from the whackos you hung out with while you were in Chabad. If you associated with people that promoted such ideas and beliefs, it speaks volumes to where you were and how damaged your soul was to find comfort and spirituality amongst them.

Now that you are free, I hope you are finding peace and not just new targets to channel your rage, anger and hatred.

Um, I think the author of the blog agrees that Chabad Central's backtracking from Friedman is in and of itself declining to translate that one citation from Tanya into its whole political program.

I recommend an article found on Google scholar (a very good resource with Google books):

http://www.scielo.br/pdf/ha/v13n27/v13n27a03.pdf

on the up and downsides to the Messianic cul-de-sac of Chabad mid 1990's. Look the man is dead and they did not expect a dead messiah no matter how many angels can dance on the head of a dead-is-spiritually-more-fulfilling Holy Ghost pin--if part of the motivation of an absolute Land of Israel mindset was to preserve the Kingdom for its Messiah--the passage of years might weaken for some certainty in Messianic Judeandsamaridolatry.

This is not btw the opinion of the article's author--there's jargon and reliance on second-hand sources but it is short and folks may find it interesting

otoh sympathetic reading from inside out to the universalist transformatory values the Rebbe placed on his Messiah Idea (if in tension w/Jewish "national" forms) -- that part of chassidus -- the chochma, binah, daas non-kelipot bit-- and where the Rebbe wanted to go with Redemption--makes the Chabad Central public rejection of Friedman less artificial

for comment that does say messianism remains vibrant and alive for Chabad but sees this without hatred and appreciation for the post-Tanya innovations of the Rebbe see "Towards the Cybernetic Utopia in Messianic Hassidism" in Google scholar series

Shmarya

Antisemites love to dig up quotes from the Talmud that sound bigoted out of context. Antimuslim bigots love to dig up quotes from the Quran like that. I find cherrypicking bigoted quotes out of context from old religious texts a profoundly unfair game.

I will judge chabad by what they say and do now. What they say and do now is quite unhelpful to peace, and places them squarely in the far hardline camp, beyond pragmatic Bibi style likudism. Thats bad enough. There is a general air of anti arab bigotry that floats around teh movement, AFAICT - but then that is true of the chardali settler camp, and even of many MO, as well. That is still not advocacy of genocide.

What manis freedman said sounds a lot like advocacy of genocide, and I would say even his retraction still is not as clear as it could be - he does not use words like "collateral damage" or "unintended deaths" so it STILL sounds like in some circumstances he would advocate the deliberate killing of children, though "only" in time of war and for specific (what?) tactical purposes.

However Chabads distancing from him goes further than his own "clarification"

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/131715

Eldad Accuses PA Police of near-Lynch in Jerusalem

"There is a general air of anti arab bigotry that floats around teh movement, AFAICT - but then that is true of the chardali settler camp, and even of many MO, as well."

So how do you explain why Aaron Rubashkin sought out and hired Hosam and Mohammed Amar to work at Agriprocessor?

I was unaware of that. Im not sure that a general air of bigotry necessarily excludes occasional hires by some chabadniks somewhere. (one gulf state has a jewish ambassador, no?) Not all bigots refuse to hire folks whom they consider inferior (or the economic history of the US deep south from 1870 to 1950 would have been very different). And probably not all chabdniks are bigots.

Yankele:

You seem to be quite challenged in understanding how the Tanya's dehumanization of the non-Jew contributes to or is related to genocide. The answer is quite obvious despite your squealing protestation and false sophistry and twisted logic.

When Hitler wanted to exterminate the Jews he dehumanized them. When the Klan wanted to kill blacks they dehumanized them. Dehumanization and placing other human beings in a position of inferiority is utterly degrading and there is a clear correlation between genocide and such practices.

You do not agree that the Tanya really means that the non-Jew has a soul on par with a pig even though that is what the Tanya says in effect but FOR THE SAKE OF ARGUMENT you accept the proposition. Can you not see that if we say that a non-Jew has the soul of pig then it is a small step thereafter to liquidate and exterminate.

It amazes me that many of my fellow Jews who are capable of deep Talmudic nuanced debate seem to conveniently miss the most obvious points. Even my retarded car Willie would understand this.

car = cat (above)

Actually, the Tanya does not speak about non-Jews per se. It's simply not true. It speaks about idolaters, and not about non-Jews. The Alter Rebbe clearly explains in his Siddur (Shaar Akhilas Matzah) that the souls of righteous non-Jews stem from the generally good Klipas Noga, are similar in some ways to angels, capable of perceiving some spiritual planes and can achieve some level of nullification in the light of Godhead (Nirvana?). The same idea is explained in many other Chabad texts, including the letters and discourses of the last Rebbe.

Of coarse, one might argue that Tanya considers only a few non-Jewish individuals as righteous. But, curiously enough, Tzemach Tzedek says in his "Ohr haTorah" that Muslims (Bnei Ishmael) are naturally good people, who don't belong to the category of 'three unclean Klipos'. Rabbi Joseph Jacobson from Brooklyn believes that the Tanya's negative statement applies only to some fringe groups, but not to Christians or most non-Jews in general, which seems to correspond to what I had personally heard from some older Russian Chabadniks.

Furthermore, some prominent Chabad Rabbis had an esoteric reading of Tanya and believed that it doesn't speak about Jews and not-Jews as ethnic entities at all. Rather, it talks about the levels of consciousness or perception that are available to any human soul. Rabbi Dov Ber Pinson from Crown Heights denies that there is any essential difference between Jewish and non-Jewish souls (read his book on Reincarnation). It's all in our mind, according to his view.

A somewhat similar and, indeed, very radical interpretation of the Tanya is offered by Abharam Yehudah Kheyn (1878-1957), a prominent Chabad Rabbi, who was a staunch left radical (an anarchist communist, which is the most far left ideology possible). He believed that some non-Jews are spiritually Jewish, while the biggest idolaters are the nationalists, including the Zionists, whom he compared to apes. He believed that these spiritual differences between the souls are levels of personal spiritual perception which are expressed in altruist vs. egoist social behavior.

In his work, 'Bemalkhus ha-Yahadus', Rabbi Kheyn calls Peter Kropotkin, the great Russian anarchist, "a tzaddik of the world", a "cherub" and "a crystal-pure soul". In one breath he manages to mix the Tanya and Chabad mysticism with the call for all the workers of the world to unite and to smash the state!

That's how different Chabad can be and has been in its history...

P.S. And don't forget that there is a difference between Chabad, as a diverse Hasidic movement, and Lubavitch. Some people might be surprised to find out that some of the most active Neturei Karta activists are Chabadniks - so called "Malokhim" from Williamsburg and Monsey.

I know from my close personal contacts with the "Malokhim" that they do put most non-Jewish souls into the "three unclean klipes" category. However, while they try to isolate themselves from the "evil" non-Jewish influence, they are strongly against discrimination of the non-Jews, especially in Israel (which they don't recognize anyway as a legitimate state). They also make an exception for the Muslims, as members of a monotheistic faith, but equate the Zionists with evil demons and Amalek.

That's also one the many historical versions of Chabad, like it or not.

Actually, the Tanya does not speak about non-Jews per se. It's simply not true. It speaks about idolaters, and not about non-Jews.

You simply do not know what you're talking about. What the Alter Rebbe means is all non-Jews. That is absolutely clear from the text.

The "righteous among the nations" you mention are INDIVIDUALS, handfuls, not groups or races or nationalities.

All the modern sources you quote are spin.

And I believe what the Tzemach Tzedek actually says is that Muslims are not idolators. But not being an idolator does not equal being a Ben Noach, which by definition the righteous of the non-Jews must be.


P.S. And don't forget that there is a difference between Chabad, as a diverse Hasidic movement, and Lubavitch.

True. But that difference is largely buried in history now.

The last of the other Chabad sects are gone, with the exception of a handful of Malachim – but they anyway are American "BTs," so to speak, without a history predating the 1930s.

What the Alter Rebbe means is all non-Jews. That is absolutely clear from the text.

The original text refers to idolaters (Akum). There is no mention of non-Jews in general. However, in his Siddur he clearly put the righteous Gentiles into a separate, spiritual elevated category.

The "righteous among the nations" you mention are INDIVIDUALS, handfuls, not groups or races or nationalities.

By whose opinion? Rabbi Yisroel Yofe from Kalisz, who wrote an introduction to Abraham Herreras "Shaar ha-Shomaim" in the mod-19 century, was a Chabad Rabbi, but he believed that the Christians also have Godly souls. Rabbi Pinchas Eliahu of Vilno, the author of "Sefer ha-Bris", believed that the idolaters only exist in some dark corners of the world, but most non-Jews are perfectly fine Bnei-Noach. I heard from some older Russian Chabadniks exactly the same opinion.

All the modern sources you quote are spin.

Everything, my dear friend, is a spin, because everything is relative. "There is nothing outside the text". And I deliberately choose the above mentioned anarchist reading of the Tanya because it appeals to me, and because it's very similar to some anarchist readings of Hinduism, Sufism and other great spiritual traditions.

But not being an idolator does not equal being a Ben Noach, which by definition the righteous of the non-Jews must be.

Again, by whose opinion?

Great many Rabbis put Muslims and Christians into Bnei-Noach category. One good example is Meiri. It was a popular opinion in 18 century Lithuania and Belorussia, and it's very likely, in my oinion, that the Chabad rabeim also believed this way.

By the way, some well known Rabbis had very liberal pluralistic views, even by today's Modern Orthodox standards. Isaac Abarbanel, for example, openly supported neoplatonic type of paganism as an authentic path to God for non-Jews. Some Rabbi even denied the need to keep those 7 Mizvos. By there opinion, a non-Jew just needs to try to be good and somehow believe in God. Some of these radical opinions are listed in one of Marc Shapiro's research articles.

I don't suggest that the Alter Rebbe actually believed this way, but one may read them into the Tanya and get a progressive of new-agey reading of Chabad. That's precisely what the Renewal folks do.

Please.

I don't know who indoctrinated you but Akum is used as a replacement for goy in rabbinic literature (like shu"t, for example) and was used due to censorship and fears of backlash from the non-Jewish rulers. It does NOT mean only those who worship stars

Akum literally means Avodei kochavim – star worshippers. But YOU say idolators. But those who worship stones (or dead rebbes) are idolators but not star worshippers.

Again, in halakha, akum has the same meaning as goy.

"But not being an idolator does not equal being a Ben Noach, which by definition the righteous of the non-Jews must be."

>>Again, by whose opinion?

The late Lubavitcher Rebbe among many others.

Great many Rabbis put Muslims and Christians into Bnei-Noach category.

That would be "few." And the usage of Bnei Noach in that halakhic construct does NOT mean righteous. What is means is "not an idol worshipper."

I don't suggest that the Alter Rebbe actually believed this way, but one may read them into the Tanya and get a progressive of new-agey reading of Chabad. That's precisely what the Renewal folks do.

And? The question at hand is CHABAD's theology.


Rabbi Joseph Jacobson from Boro Park teaches also that most non-Jews qualify as Bnei-Noach. He talks about it in his Tanya tapes. He is an educated Lubavitcher guy, well respected in Chabad circles. So it's not a fringe opinion.

Some Japanese Zen Buddhists during the WWII turned some obscure esoteric Sutras, that consider non-Buddhists "half-human", into fascist ideology. The same Sutras were seen and are still seen by others as perfectly pacifist and non-discriminating. The same thing is with Chabad. If some Lubavitchers prefer to be fascists - it's the problem of their stupidity and immorality, and not necessarily a flaw in the Tanya. Mystical treatises are always obscure and often deliberately provocative.

I would not call the Malokhim "BT's". Many of them are from perfectly frum Hungarian families. But it's is true that they not have much of Chabad legacy. They same is true about most of today's Lubavitch families.

However, we are talking about the Tanya, don't we? So, if we try to figure out it's original readings, we have to consider all historical sects and individual thinkers. And if not, we are free to start another spin and try to consider some alternative version of Chabad more "authentic" in some postmodern sense. There is no reason to attach the neo-Nazi ideology of some Kahanists to an 18th century esoteric book.

Rabbi Joseph Jacobson from Boro Park teaches also that most non-Jews qualify as Bnei-Noach. He talks about it in his Tanya tapes. He is an educated Lubavitcher guy, well respected in Chabad circles. So it's not a fringe opinion.

I see you are clueless with regard to Chabad hierarchy.

Past that, Chabad has an unpalatable text it needs to deal with. It raises lots of money from liberal Jews and it cannot be seen as racist.

So spinmeisters like Jacobson change the meaning of the text and the meaning of the Rebbe's words when necessary to coverup.

Jacobson is a noted liar, as i his brother Siman, as was his late father. I once heard Yossi speak. He told a story stolen from others, slightly altered with his own spin added – all as if it were original to him.

Anyway, there is no use continuing this discussion. Anyone who takes Yossi Jacobson seriously is simply clueless.

I would not call the Malokhim "BT's". Many of them are from perfectly frum Hungarian families. But it's is true that they not have much of Chabad legacy.

Please.

They were students of Torah Vodaas from American families who got roped into hasidut by Dov Ber Levine in the mid-1930s.

They have ZERO Chabad yichus and ZERO Satmar, etc., yichus.

Some have married into Satmar families because they both live in Williamsburg and are anti-Chabad.

However, we are talking about the Tanya, don't we? So, if we try to figure out it's original readings, we have to consider all historical sects and individual thinkers.

Yes. So what does the Stroseller say? Do you know?

After all, he was the Alter Rebbe's chief disciple and would have been his successor if not for some late court intrigue.

So? Do you know?

He agrees with me.

And I think you'll find the Tzemach Tzedek reads much closer to my version than yours.

All the fun, lefty, pc readings of the Tanya come much later.

I don't know who indoctrinated you but Akum is used as a replacement for goy in rabbinic literature (like shu"t, for example)

Sometimes it is and sometimes it is not. It's not that simple and very context-sensitive.

BTW, I "indoctrinate" myself and I don't obey to any religious authority. I choose what I consider right.

Again, in halakha, akum has the same meaning as goy.

Again, by whose Halacha? By the Halacha of the 16th century Renaissance Rabbis? Of the medieval radical philosophers? Orthodox Maskilim? Rabbi Avi Weiss, Jonathan Sacks?

Read some good academic historical research on Halakha, not the Haredi pop trash. The liberal distinction between "akum" and "goyim bizmaneinu" was popular in some circles since the High Middle Ages, and was, indeed, popular in 18th century Lithuania/White Russia.

That would be "few." And the usage of Bnei Noach in that halakhic construct does NOT mean righteous. What is means is "not an idol worshipper."

Nope. By those "few", Muslims and Christians are simply spiritually equal to Jews. That's the opinion of Meiri and of many Italian and German Rabbis. "Tiferes Yisroel" even says (in Pirkey Oves) that Christians are in some aspect more righteous than the Jews (!).

I see you are clueless with regard to Chabad hierarchy.

I don't care about hierarchies of any kind and I don't support capitalism, state and hierarchic religion at all. Chabad, not Chabad, I want to see it all destroyed, once and for all. And I don't understand how one can "steal" a modified story, because so called "intellectual property" is an disgusting bourgeois invention.

I like Tanya because Erich Fromm, Martin Buber, the above mentioned Rabbi Kheyn and a few other people who I respect happened to like it.

Yes, Chabad is permeated with racism, and I am well aware of it, but it also has a progressive revolutionary potential which I'm trying to reconstruct.

Anyway, there is no use continuing this discussion.

Fine. End of discussion.

Try this again.

1. Akum means goy in NORMATIVE halakhic literature and has since at least he year 1000.

2. Nope. By those "few", Muslims and Christians are simply spiritually equal to Jews.

Funny. I've read many academic works and seen lots of halakhic literature. Yet there are only a handful of rabbis who hold like you claim – that a handful out of thousands.

3. habad is permeated with racism, and I am well aware of it, but it also has a progressive revolutionary potential which I'm trying to reconstruct.

"Reconstruct" all you want. It still will not be what the Alter Rebbe meant.

"Past that, Chabad has an unpalatable text it needs to deal with"

so do muslims. So do all Jews who believe in the written Torah "who smashes they babes against a rock". And the Talmud "the best of gentiles". You know that. Dealing with and reclaiming unpalatable (and contradictory, and vague, and inconvenient) texts is what we do. We have been doing it for 2000 years, and the muslims and christians have learned to do it from us, AFAICT.

This is a dead end discussion.

Funny. I've read many academic works and seen lots of halakhic literature. Yet there are only a handful of rabbis who hold like you claim – that a handful out of thousands.

Just one last point. All mass organized religions are full of lies, hypocrisies and exploitation of the oppressed classes. As the proverb goes, it's opium for the masses. Only a few mystics, philosophers and revolutionaries make out of them something profound and progressive. But those how do it, find real gems in the religious teachings. It's true about all religions, not just Judaism.

So, of coarse I disregard the mass pop cults and only consider the handful of rabbis (or gurus, saints, dervishes for that matter), who figure out something profound and deep.

We have been doing it for 2000 years, and the muslims and christians have learned to do it from us, AFAICT.

It's true in many cases, but we also learned a couple of techniques from the Greeks, Christians and especially Muslims.

Rambam's and Moshe Narboni's allegoric interpretations, Rabbi Nethanel ibn al-Fayumi Judeo-Islamic syncretic thought and Isaac Abarbanel's acceptance of some Christian interpretations that seems to contradict Divrei Khazal would be good examples.

Try some history for breakfast. Anyone remember the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case about blacks ? And the ruling that the US Constitution was only for white people. Or that Lincoln the great president of the US was also a segregationist in his time?

History and historical statements must be kept in historical context regarding the events of the time.

Stop taking everything as instant knowledge and try thinking. Sure the Tanya says that. Given how Jews felt about Non-jews in that historical time it is a not an illogical conclusion. Stop making Rebbes infallible as GD.

Stop running your life based on what people said around you and rise to who you are.

Otherwise you cannot see through things or motives and you live responding to your wounds not your heart. You live with your anger not your best.

You make decisions based on what others tell you and then run your life based on those decisions.

And hey. Maybe we can wait a bit to see what this Rabbi Friedman meant to say.

Gosh golly gee he might have made a mistake.

Any of you made mistakes? Oh sorry you are all infallible. If you take the debate by rising to the bait you end up miserable , ineffective, weak, small minded, and poison your own heart.

But then we are not very interested in our soul or are heart now are we?

We are interested in the grinding voice to declare, ' I was wounded, he said that and now I am right to run and hate.'

There are some learned voices here. Shut up and learn them and then look into your heart. Are you being the best you can and keeping the best example visible to those you love and your kids? No excuses if you are not. Gd is so to speak in the business of forgiveness chaverim. Why do we have so many bloody mitzvos dealing with teshuva?

I am out.

or,as House said, "the placebo of the masses."

gentlemen:

I came from Israel for the first time to America special to help work
at the Chabad Shluchim event..at the Brooklyn terminal on 23/11/14...
I have worked similar events in Israel....i was shocked at what i saw
here...i thought i was in an undeveloped land like Africa...not the
America I expected....the waiters were mostly Mexican ...started
placing plated fish on the tables at 11 am. a full 6 hours before the
guests arrived...

The waiters who barely spoke english told me their wages were very
low...they were told not to expect tips...since caterers receive
gratuities it appears theft is involved...

No drinking water was provided for the workers..
i noticed around 5 Jewish waiters wearing kipot who told me this was
their first job as waiters..they were hired for show...

1 jewish waiter was yelled at by a manager and threatened with firing
for davening mincha during a break...the mashgiach was quite
unfriendly was too busy "learning" from his holy sefer to notice that
the mexicans brought treyf snacks with them to eat while they worked..

The mashgiach also didnt notice or didnt care that the mexicans were
opening wine bottles with their treyf wine openers they brought with
them...

Isn't it the mashgiach's job to open wine bottles?
Why was there 1 mashgiach for an event this size?

The sanitation situation was horrendous....there was no place to wash
hands with soap and water..

The toilets were the port-a-potty style...1 toilet in a trailer was
overfowing with urine..

In israel the caterer would have been arrested for health, labor and
kashrut violations..

I am glad I am returning to Israel next week a true modern country,,

The Modern Sabra

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