Religion & Beliefs

Spare a Thought for Chabad

I’m not the greatest fan of Chabad in the world, in particular its Christological, maybe-the-Rebbe’s-not-dead streak, and its general fundamentalist, women-marginalizing outlook, but this is a group that does, in fact, try to spread a kind of happiness wherever it … Read More

By / December 1, 2008

I’m not the greatest fan of Chabad in the world, in particular its Christological, maybe-the-Rebbe’s-not-dead streak, and its general fundamentalist, women-marginalizing outlook, but this is a group that does, in fact, try to spread a kind of happiness wherever it plants itself. And it plants itself everywhere. It puts other Jewish groups to shame, in fact, by its ebullient outreach. My friend Esther Abramowitz wrote to note that the "Chabad rabbi and his wife have welcomed and celebrated with thousands upon thousands of traveling Israelis with joy and no judgment."  That’s the formula, and it’s a formula that works. What happened in Mumbai was a horror. We’re now learning that the people in the Chabad house were subjected to special tortures, but even if they were murdered quickly, they were still murdered, and they were murdered for the crime of being Jewish. It’s astonishing to think that Pakistani-supported terrorists, obsessed with the alleged crimes of Hindu India, would go out of their way to murder a group of people who couldn’t find Kashmir on a map. But the Jews are a cosmological enemy. I think we’ve learned that by now.