Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What is Modern Chabad?

I have recently had the opportunity to observe Modern Lubavitchers in their natural habitat. At first I was appalled by their flagrant disregard of traditional Lubavitcher scruples. The men touch their beards and wear jeans. On Shabbos they're all in cuff links and ties (although they all wear white shirts). The women show much too much elbow, knee, and tichel. Why, even the rabbi's own daughter wears short sleeves, despite her old age of four!

But then I started thinking, af dem hut men gehorevet in Tomchei Temimim? Are clothes and hair all that distinguishes these creatures from their forebears? Here are some more subtle irregularities I have found:

ML men rarely pray with a minyan.
ML men are comfortable praying hatless, jacketless, and in pajamas.
ML families might use the same countertops and tables for both milchigs and fleishigs.
ML households buy whatever meat the kosher store sells.
ML couples vacation in Los Vegas.
When MLs invite friends for Shabbos meals, they use cloth napkins, napkin rings, chargers, and would never serve gefilte fish.
At said Shabbos meals, topics of conversation may include sports, movies, TV (presumably watched on computer screens), and prostate exams.
Many MLs use a non-Alter-Rebbe's eruv on Shabbos.

(Note: These conclusions are based on studying an extremely small sample of the ML population.)

Clearly, among the local population an insidious rot has crept into even the most deeply held of our sacred principles. On the other hand I have noticed that at the kindergarden graduation of a school at which many ML children are educated, the Rebbeim dramatically eclipsed God. So maybe these people can still claim to be Lubavitchers.

Oh yeah, there's also the small issue of stealing a rich synagogue. But that's neither here nor there.