The Rebbe Vs The Organized Jewish Community

I sometimes think, and here I must gulp before I can summon the courage to express my shameful thought, and I am sure I must be wrong here and I should not even say this out loud, but between you and me, I am not always thrilled with the political positions of the organized Jewish community (largely run by Ashkenazim of East European origin). Ashkenazi Jews are the smartest group around and therefore they are the most capable of doing great good and great harm.

Here’s the primary reason I fear the mainstream Jewish organizations — they all (including the Orthodox Union and Agudas Yisrael) support immigration amnesty, which will hurt America.

Here are more reasons I fear the big Jewish groups (and, by contrast, love the Rebbe and Chabad and the typical hard-working law-abiding Orthodox Jew who loathes third-world immigration and does not care about civil rights for trannies and sodomites). I’m reading Rabbi Joseph Telushkin’s biography (Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History) and he writes on pages 255-258:

Public opposition to the prayer [in public schools] came largely, though by no means exclusively, from the organized Jewish community; secular organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union, which had a disproportionately high percentage of Jewish members, were heavily involved in this battle as well. A brief urging the Court to outlaw all such prayers in public schools was submitted by the Synagogue Council of America, a national organization representing rabbis in the different denominations, and the National Jewish Community Relations Council, representing Jewish communities throughout the United States. The brief’s essential argument was that although the New York State prayer did not advocate a specific religion — it spoke rather of “Almighty God” — it still violated the First Amendment, which ordains that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Although this constitutional provision is popularly understood as meaning that Congress is forbidden to establish a state religion, the Jewish organizations argued that a prayer promoting an “acknowledgment of dependence upon God and the invocation of his blessings” constitutes a preference for theistic religions that affirm a personal God, over nontheistic religions, such as Buddhism, which do not. In the view of these organizations, such a prayer has no place in a public school. The government, they argued, is obliged not only to be neutral among competing faiths “but also between religion and non-religion.” The state, quite simply, has no business participating in any way in religious affairs. The signatories emphasized that their opposition to prayer in public schools had nothing to do with opposition to religion. Indeed, they had submitted this brief “on behalf of the coordinating bodies of 70 Jewish organizations, including the national bodies representing congregations and rabbis of Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Judaism….
The [1962] ruling [of the US Supreme Court prohibiting prayer in public schools] was widely hailed throughout the American Jewish community, many of whose older members recalled a time when readings from the New Testament were commonly conducted in public schools. The fact that the New York State prayer was decidedly nondenominational had not allayed the common Jewish fear that any opening in the wall between religion and state could eventually lead to the favoring of Christianity over other religions.
The most noted leader within the Jewish community who stood out almost alone in opposition to this commonly enunciated Jewish position was the Rebbe.

The Rebbe also pushed for government support of religious schools, something the organized Jewish community opposed (pg. 266-268).

The Rebbe started Chabad’s public celebrations of Hanukkah in the early 1970s, again opposing the Jewish establishment.

The head of the Reform rabbinate in America, Joseph Glaser, wrote to the Rebbe:

It has come to my attention that Lubavitcher Chasidim are erecting Hanukkiot and holding religious services in connection therewith on public property in various locations throughout the United States.

This is as much a violation of the constitutional principle of separation of church and state as is the erection of Christmas trees and creches depicting the birth of Jesus. It weakens our hand when we protest this intrusion of Christian doctrine into the public life of American citizens and thus, it is really not worth the value received…

On pg. 264, R. Telushkin wrote:

…Glaser offered a rationale rooted in Jewish law for his position: Since the obligation to light Chanukah candles is fulfilled when the menorah is lit on Jewish property, there is “no halachic necessity for doing so on public property.” Glaser insisted, therefore, that in addition to being unnecessary, such an act also is undesirable. Jewish comfort in the United States has resulted in large part from the constitutionally guaranteed separation of church and state… If Jews do not want to be exposed to Christian observances that they find “offensive”…then it is equally wrong for them to carry out Jewish religious rituals in the public square.

The Rebbe was unmoved.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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