Pre Shabbos Links

Jewish Heritage Center Chinese Auction
The Jewish Heritage Center is having its annual Chinese Auction at the Shaare Tova Ballroom, 82-33 Lefferts Blvd, Kew Gardens, on Saturday, December 9th at 8:30 PM. Admission is $18 (which includes a Free $20 Raffle Ticket) and $10 for children 3-13. It’s a great organization and there is a hot buffet, valet parking and lots of exciting prizes (and there will be lots of BTs there).

The New Year of Chabad Chassidism

The 19th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev is celebrated as the “Rosh Hashanah of Chassidism.” It was on this date, in the year 1798, that the founder of Chabad Chassidism, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745-1812), was freed from his imprisonment in Czarist Russia.

Aish has lots of audio files about Chanukah, most of them can be listened to online for free.

Confessions of a Hollywood Dropout

The religious atmosphere in our home began to change in 1977, the year that Anwar Sadat, the late president of Egypt, made his historic visit to Israel. What seemed to overshadow Sadat’s visit was that of two other individuals—my older brothers. Murray and Gary had spent several weeks in Ireland shooting a television documentary. Since they had never been to Israel, on their way home, they decided to stop by. While at the Kotel, they were approached by Rabbi Meir Shuster, a veritable legend who is responsible for bringing thousands of wayward Jews back to Judaism. He spends hours every day at the Kotel approaching Jewish kids who seem spiritually lost. He met my brothers, and asked them a few of his usual questions: “Are you Jewish?” “Do you know what Shabbat is?” “Have you ever seen a yeshivah before?” Ten minutes later, they were sitting in the office of Rabbi Noach Weinberg, rosh yeshivah of Aish HaTorah, then a fledgling school for newcomers to Orthodox Judaism. After spending a half hour with the rabbi, they decided to check in for an extended stay, joining the fifteen college-age men who made up the entire student body at the time. After a couple of weeks Murray came home to finish the documentary while Gary stayed on, eager to soak up the wisdom of the Torah.

BT Shluchim make for BT rappers

Recently we’ve been witness to a new phenomenon, namely Baalei Tshuvah retaining a part of their former lifestyle. Whether it’s rappers or beatboxers, boxers or otherwise, they continue to supposedly use their talents and “flip it to Kedushah.” That never happened in the old days. In the old days in Hadar Hatorah Reb Yisroel Jacobson made you cut your long hair off and conform to the rules of Yeshivah. Yes, you could keep your musical instrument, but you played Chabad Nigunim and joined a Chasidishe band. If you were an artist you focused all of your energies into painting the Chasidic lifestyle. Today you do what you want, all the while staying frum, of course, and giving the youth the insipid idea that the two go together, and that pop culture will have no influence on their practice of Yiddishkeit.

Good Shabbos!

4 comments on “Pre Shabbos Links

  1. Regarding BTs mixing some of what they did previously into their new life as an observant Jew, I see no problem with this whatsoever, especially in light of the age we live in.

    We live in a post-post-modern era, where anything goes, and as we all know, especially on BeyondBT, that Jews ignore & sadly abandon all (or most) vestiges of Judaism as soon as they’re old enough to do so.

    The 7th Chabad Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, obm, saw with clarity that things were different. That is why we now have thousands of Chabad Shluchim spread all over the globe, in the most remote places one can imagine.
    The strange medley of secular & Torah you now see is a result of his teachings that we are to utilize our talents to make the profane & secular holy, to lift things up from their former state to one of holiness.

    I must say that he was 100% correct. That’s not to say that the old way doesn’t still work for some. But for those like me (which are the majority of non-observant Jews), who were totally immersed in the secular world of pop culture & non-Torah, becoming someone I’m not, that is, who always wears a black suit and studies the daf daily (which I aspire to do someday), and speaking in Yiddishisms to sound authentic just wouldn’t cut it. The Rebbe, obm, taught us to be ourselves, just a lot more holy.

    Artists like Matisyahu, Ta Shma, Kabbalah Dream Orchestra, Etan G & Y Love are using their G-d-given talents to spread Torah knowledge to the four corners of the earth.
    This, I truly believe, is a prerequisite to the coming of Moshiach, when Torah will truly cover the entire earth as the waters now cover the ocean floor.

    When I watched Matisyahu at Bonaroo (which is like a modern day pop-culture Woodstock) in front of 75,000 secular people (most not Jewish), covering his eyes and saying “Shema” on stage as well as saying on the microhone, after climbing about 20′ high on speakers, a “shehakol” when he took a swig of water, it was a HUGE kiddush Hashem, and brought to the consciousness of the thousands of secular Jews as well as the majority of Gentiles there and those watching it later on, that there is a G-d, that this weird bearded guy says weird things cause he believes it, and maybe they should look into it as well.


  2. 1000 non-Chabad Chassidim attended the annual Yud-tes Kislev celebration in Boro Park this year. Here’s a link to pictures of last year’s event:

    Though whether people celebrate it or not doesn’t change the name given to the holiday by Rabbi Sholom Dovber, 5th Lubavitcher Rebbe, (just as the fact that most Jews do not observe the holiday of “Zman Mattan Toraseinu” doesn’t say anything about the name).

  3. I notice that someone changed the name of the day in the heading from “Rosh Hashana L’Chassidus” to “New Year for CHABAD Chassidism” …

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