Rabbi Joseph Telushkin On Chabad

Rabbi Joseph Telushkin has written a nice little column for the Forward on Chabad. He captures the myth of Chabad very well. But does Telushkin really know what he’s writing about? Let’s see:

My father, Shlomo Telushkin, of blessed memory, served for nearly 50 years as an accountant both to the rebbe and earlier to his beloved father-in-law, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn. He told me once of a conversation at which he had been present during which the discussion focused on the fact that the European rabbinic leadership had for so long written off America as a treif medina, an unkosher country, and did all within its power to discourage Jews — particularly knowledgeable committed Jews — from going there.

One of the consequences of this behavior was that American Jews as a group were, for a long time, quite Jewishly ignorant. The elder Rabbi Schneersohn quoted the biblical verse, “our fathers sinned but they are no more,” indicating his disapproval of the stance taken by earlier European rabbis.

What Telushkin does not know – or will not write because it is “lashon hara” – is that both Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn and his father Rabbi Sholom Dov Ber Schneersohn, the 6th and 5th Lubavitcher Rebbes, told their followers not to leave Europe for either Palestine or America. The 6th rebbe’s position changed only during the Holocaust. That Telushkin does not know this is surprising.

Telushkin was a strong backer of Rabbi Mordechai Gafni, using the laws of lashon hara to silence victims and accusers that he did not bother to speak with, and touting the results of an “investigation” that was never done. I have seen no public apology from Telushkin and no repentance. Not surprising, then, that his “facts” on Chabad are equally tainted, and his research non-existent.



Filed under Chabad Theology, Crime, Modern Orthodoxy

10 responses to “Rabbi Joseph Telushkin On Chabad

  1. Anonymous

    Let’s have some facts here –

    1) Not all Rabbis opposed all emigration from Europe.

    2) Not all European Jews were learned.

  2. chaim

    dont understand your point
    didnt the rebbe say that we and our fathers
    made a mistake?

  3. Anonymous

    And speaking of attribution:


    I didnt see one for this cow gif you ripped off.

  4. Many people died because they were told by rabbis not to go to Israel, not to go to America, but to stay in Europe.

    Oops, our fathers sinned, they made a mistake, just does not cut it.

    Rabbis have no business telling people where to live and where not to live. Do they?

  5. Shmuel

    They sure don’t, but as long as frum Jews will be chowderheads and will listen to EVERY SINGLE THING their rabbi tells them, they’ll keep on making mistakes, and sometimes they’ll actually die. But hey, it was Daas Toirah, so no harm done.

  6. Shmuel

    After reviewing the sorry track record of “daas toirah” and the rabbis who promote that thought, how ANYONE can still listen to them as if they’re the one true way…it’s simply astounding. Shocking.

    It’s the old George Costanza thing: do the opposite of what you’re told, and you’ll be fine.

  7. Isa

    One has to choose to be a sheep or be a goat.

  8. AYY

    Captures the myth of Chabad very well? Heh. You mean that ironically I assume.

  9. And speaking of attribution:


    I didnt see one for this cow gif you ripped off.

    I had it first, before there was even an issue of Muhammed cartoons.

  10. Schneur

    What Reb Joe forgets to tell the readers is that the Telushkin relatinoship with Chabad did not begin with his father acting as the CPA of the REbbe. His grandfather rabbi Nissan Telushkin was a prominent Chabad rabbi in the uS (Brooklyn, NY) who supported the rebbe in 1950.Reb Nisan wrote several scholarly volumes on Mikvaoot and other arcane rabbinic areas.
    So its not just random ahvath israel that was shown here. This was a complex long standing relationship involving Hakaras hatov etc.
    Plenty of people wrote the rebbe with serious issues and are still waiting for a reply…

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