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    A while back I saw this quote from a book on the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt”l on another website:

    “In her letter to the Rebbe, a woman used the term ‘Orthodox Judaism.’ In his response, the Rebbe Wrote:

    I must point out to you that splitting Judaism into ‘orthodox, conservative, and reform’ is a purely artificial division, for all Jews share one and the same Torah given by one and the same G-d. While there are more observant Jews and less observant ones, to tack on a label does not change the reality that we are all one.”

    Then at the bottom of the page, there is this:

    “Labels create barriers, turning brothers into others.”

    It struck me as a wonderful thought from a giant who has unfortunately left us, albeit perhaps somewhat rather benign and parve. Definitely not controversial in the least. Boy was I ever wrong! The thread had people arguing the point back and forth. Yes, we should accept our less religious brethren, no, we have a chiuv NOT to accept and/or interact with them. One fellow said if he knows that someone is not shomer all Torah and mitzvohs, he wants absolutely nothing to do with him. So, am I being too liberal, are they being too harsh, is the truth halachically speaking somewhere in between?


    It is rude not to recognize a label people use for themselves.


    When in Mesopotamia, do as the Iraqis.


    There needs to be a balance of ahavas yisroel while not accepting their viewpoints. We should love fellow Jews as family, but stay firm with our own viewpoints. A great way to bring both unity and observance is Shabbos, I feel.



    I don’t think the Rebbe was advocating refusing to refer to them by their labels when addressing them, he was speaking about the context in which the woman felt she needed to differentiate between different types of Jews.


    Would you be comfortable inviting someone who was totally secular for Shabbos, not knowing what kind of impression he might make on your children?


    I’m a different story. I understand a Kollel family might be uncomfortable with it. I’m more open to it if i talk to them first before inviting them, so i know who I’m dealing with. Do they like to talk about things in general or stir up controversy? If the first one, they are fine. If the second, then no. Plus, I would mention to my kids the difference between ours and their views


    Mesopotamia: You are not being liberal at all. That’s the way it should be. Maybe there would be more Baalei Teshuva if there was more interactions among our brethren instead of people looking down of them.

    The mentality of some of our people is warped and clearly not the Torah way. We should be educating others and set the right example that they want to emulate.

    Years ago, we were in BP, where I grew up. My wife was wearing a sheitel and was dressed tznius and young Chassidish kids called her a “goya.” They were stunned when she answered them in fluent Yiddish. The point is, that they got that mentality from somewhere, even towards other Frum people.

    B”H, most people aren’t like that, but to me, that mentality causes the delay in Moshiach’s arrival.

    hachareidy hoamity

    most people human beings do what their parents do and therefor deemed tinok shenishbu even though usually people will rationalize why there way is right rather than really focus on what’s true or really fact so to say that there really are three factions and they aren’t really one is a mistake on both sides their really are no orthodox or reform there really are only people doing mostly what they were brought up to do as for the ones that do go away from their parents ways on both sides in most cases there are other factors to the reasons to the decision besides for zealously striving for the pure truths of life and the universe

    Avi K

    Rav Kook wrote in his essay “March of the Camps” that these labels (In his time there were only two: Chareidi and Chofshi) prevent teshuva. Those who wear the former label think that that means that they are fine the way they are and those who wear the latter label think that a religious term has nothing to do with them.


    Brothers who never fight with each other never speak to each other.


    I can’t help but bring Shlomo Carlebach zt”l into the mix here. Shlomo greeted not only every Jew, but every human being with a kiss and a hug and unconditional love. There were those who questioned his methods, but there is no doubt that he saved a tremendous amount of souls by getting down into the gutter with them and wresting them from ashrams and drugs dens. I don’t believe the Rebbe was condoning the behavior of Conservative or Reform Jews; I think he was just saying that we must maintain a spirit of achdus regardless of our differences. It’s almost like the saying, “blood is thicker than water.” Remember: There was no differentiation between religious and secular Jews in the ovens of Auschwitz.


    I’m fine with people who are “more observant or less observant.” People who understand that they are not keeping the Torah yet and know that. They might drive a car on Shabbos knowing that its wrong, but they view themselves as not yet observant.

    Then there are jews who are apikorsim. They think that the Torah nowadays allows driving a car on Shabbos. While it would still be great to be mekarev them, one must understand that they are arguing with someones religious beliefs. Those are harder to change. I personally would allow my child to play with a not yet observant neighbor but not with an apikorus.

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