Why do some people attack Chabad?

Sometimes, when I hear people complain about Chabad and its influence on the world, I can’t help but start wondering about the nature of humans. I wonder why people find it so important to argue against the people that are often closest to them, the kinds of people that are, for the most part, on their side, but for whom they have some specific disagreements with.

For example, the people who are against Chabad don’t choose to spend their time fighting antisemitism, or domestic violence, or bullying in schools, or any other evil things. These religious folks prefer to spend their time fighting their own kind.

What inspires them? What moves them? It’s hard to know.

My guess is that it’s safer to attack someone that’s close to you. For example, there are men who berate their wives and children after a bad day at work because they have control over them and no control in their work life. It’s so much easier to attack the people in your family when you’re feeling weak than to attack and fight against the real difficulties of life.

This is a theory, and I’m sure there are other reasons. But the point here is that many Jews spend much of their energy attacking and destroying each other, when they could be doing much more productive things. In essence, they are the husband who verbally abuses his wife. And just in the same way as that husband, they accomplish nothing more than destroying their family.

It’s a fact of being Jewish that we all disagree, that we all have our own opinions, that we see things in different ways. But Judaism is designed to allow multiple opinions. Without multiple opinions, Judaism becomes just a religion, G-d forbid.

The problem is when people become so dogmatic in their own beliefs, and so insecure in themselves, that they choose to make it a mission to attack, berate, and tear down those who disagree with them. There’s a difference between disagreeing and attacking. And the people who attack Chabad are often on the wrong side of that difference.





49 responses to “Why do some people attack Chabad?”

  1. Michael Shaw Avatar

    There could be a simpler explanation: these people are idiots.

  2. Princess Lea Avatar
    Princess Lea

    What makes you think Chabad is so special?

    Finger pointing is a sport enjoyed by many, with numerous groups/individuals the butt of their complaints.

    Frankly, I have not heard of Chabad being targeted lately. Usually Satmar gets first insult . . .

    1. Eliezer Abrahamson Avatar
      Eliezer Abrahamson

      Satmar has certainly been doing its best lately to give itself a bad name. And, quite frankly, despite the many positive aspects of Satmar, and all the many good things they do, they deserve much of the criticism that they have been receiving lately. The good, as important as it is, does not excuse the bad.

      Of course, the same applies to Chabad, a point the author of this post appears to have missed.

      1. Elad Nehorai Avatar

        Eliezer: This post isn’t about all people who criticize Chabad, but about people who go out of their way to focus hatred on it, build websites against it, etc.

  3. Esther Cohen Avatar
    Esther Cohen

    The disproportionate number of hate websites might simply come from Chabad being so visible.

    A general resentment from individual Jews of other denominational stripes may be rooted in the fact that Chabad proselytizes not only to unaffiliated Jews, but to people who are spiritually involved and maintain deep ties to a different religious tradition but do not proselytize themselves. And, in this proselytization, there is the implication that one set of traditions is right and the other is illegitimate.

    Please consider how you would feel if the shoe were on the other foot.

    1. Guest Avatar

      Oh, wait, you just did…

  4. Devorah Stone Avatar
    Devorah Stone

    I have many reasons for not liking Chabad. I have some bad experiences with it. The last one was my mother’s funeral. I noticed that the Rabbi said glowing things about my uncle during his but struggled to find things to say about my mother. I told the Rabbi this and his answer was condescending. I have Chabad relatives I was in Chabad and I really don’t like it – its a personality cult it says it respects women but look at the way the women of the wall are treated – horrible. There are people out there – who have real issues and its about time people in Chabad started listening instead of just saying that we are misguided people. try listening perhaps some of our criticism is true.

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