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.


  1. TRS wears cufflinks. But I guess that isn't enough to be counted as ML.

  2. the cuff links only count if they're attached to an impeccably ironed shirt (bazinga!)

  3. Well TRS wears no-iron permanently pressed shirts.

  4. but no jeans.
    nice to know even ML has its scandals

  5. Is there a difference between Modern Chabad and Modern Lubavitch?

  6. le7: Then he's firmly in the trad. camp.

    bonne: Umm. they wear jeans. It's not scandalous here. I don't get what you're saying.

    TRS: Is there a difference between stam Chabad and stam Lubavich?

  7. NO no no. I'm sure your modern buddies don't all press their shirts. These shirts are always pressed.

  8. I'm talking about the link in the last paragraph

  9. TRS: The answer is no.

    Le7: They're not my buddies. They're people whom I am forced to be with. And they probably do always have their shirts pressed. They all have maids. And if they don't have maids, they need to act as if they do.

    Bonne: Oh right. That. what they did is quite horrible. but it appears to have been effective.

  10. What did they do? I got bored after the first paragraph.

    Also, Oh. They're just snobby wealthy people. I see.

  11. Nobody did anything. I just observe their lifestyle.

  12. "Bonne: Oh right. That. what they did is quite horrible. but it appears to have been effective."

    I was referring to this did.

  13. Oh!!

    A local shul started renting (or lending?) a room for some MLs to daven on Shabbos. The Lubavitchers sneakily infiltrated the board and took over the shul. The shul has a big building on expensive real estate and owns big bucks. And now its more or less in the hands of chabad.

  14. I just googled "what is modern chabad" and this is what popped up first in the search. A) your description is pretty accurate. B) your blog is a nostalgic trip.


Forth shall ye all hold.