I’ve heard many complaints about Chabad. Some people say that they are antiquated, or demeaning to women. Others say that kiruv is deceptive. I’ve heard a few people saying that they worship the Rebbe, even! In short, people complain as much as the Israelites in the desert- and a bit like the 10 spies, the things they say definitely aren’t based in truth! I could debunk these myths, but that’s not what this article is about. Instead, I want to focus on what we can learn from them.
As I’ve written before, I really do love Chabad. I love them for a variety of reasons, and I agree with most of their ideologies. That’s why I (sort of) consider myself a Chabad Jew. Their attitude towards fellow Jews and Noahides is remarkable, and it’s because they are so welcoming that I discovered them. When I realised how great the Rebbe’s teachings were, I decided to stay with them.
By the way, this is linked to what we can learn from Chabad, because I’m about to tell you what Chabad are practicing when they act this way; Ahavas Yisroel. Basically, this means loving one’s fellow Jew. Even if they drive on Shabbat, or don’t keep Kosher, or- G-d forbid!- intermarry. We have to love them. And through their remarkable tolerance, and their performance of mitzvot, Chabad do exactly this.
Let’s learn a lesson from Chabad and decide to act this way towards our fellow Jews. Stop judging. Stop attacking. Stop this sectionalism. Whether you call yourself reform, modern Orthodox, or Chassidic, you are a Jew, and the commandment to love all other Jews applies to you- even if they act in a way you wish they wouldn’t!