oprah and chassidishe family

Home Forums Decaffeinated Coffee oprah and chassidishe family

Viewing 50 posts - 1 through 50 (of 61 total)
  • Author
  • #602035

    anyone hear about this? was it a good idea or bad?:(

    ☕️coffee addict

    I just heard about it

    I heard it was a kiddush Hashem


    I loved every minute of it. It was timed perfectly with the Shmutz book just written by a former Chassidista turned ______.


    i definatly think it was a kiddish hashem…..i heard she had a very positive attitude towards her experience……………just my opinion though, i feel like it sounded like all frum jews are exactly like their family. some things were very general, as if everyone doesnt know what tv or radio is…etc., and also they were a little to discriptive in things like niddah(just my opinion)…but overall i think it was a good idea.


    Who’s Oprah?

    sem graduate

    what happened?


    I’m reserving comment until I watch the episode. Hopefully the O Network makes their shows available online.


    They showed a frum family who are black.I thought that was wonderful. They explained that what unites/defines us is not a common color, but our common way of life and beliefs. That was a kiddush H.

    I think the attempt to portray the frum community through one group might be too limiting and inaccurate. Some stereotypical beliefs were dispelled, such as the fact the a room can be painted any color (she was shocked the girls room was pink, expecting it to be beige, gray or white /that belief was shocking to me), whereas others might have been re-established where inaccurate at representing the whole frum community (no computers, cells, tv, etc).

    They showed challah braiding, a “traditional meal with kugel, matza ball soup, gefilte fish, and a discussion of the meaning of kashrus. I wish they would have discussed how the vascular physiology of a kosher vs a non-kosher animal differs. It would have made kashrus something she could understand the meaning of vs an ancient unexplained ritual.

    I think she admired and marveled at the innocence and lack of exposure to media of the family. It showed the possibility of what could be and how it shapes children.


    Didn’t see it (obviously), but I think it is a very good idea. I’m all for openness in showing the goyim who we are and how we live. Nothing negative in that. Helps to reduce anti-Semitism, reduce misunderstandings, increase respect.

    Doesn’t have any negative impact on the children anyway – I mean, they see non-Jews on the streets and in the supermarkets as well, and on vacation, so there’s no argument there.


    I know I’m going to sound very critical in a minute, so let me begin by saying that the Ginsburg family did a very good job during the visit.

    However, I feel that because of the tremendous responsiblity in hosting someone like Oprah, especially since the visit is on TV, it would be nice if they had her come to a more articulate, open-minded family so she could get a more realistic and all-inclusive picture of the chassidishe lifestyle.

    As a chassidishe woman, I feel that the Ginsburg family didn’t present a clear or mainstream picture of the attitudes toward modesty,relationships between husband and wife, the role of frum women and the halachos of niddah in the chasiddishe community.

    As I was watching the clips online, I was annoyed at the incomplete and rather sketchy answers that they gave to some of Oprah’s questions.

    They obviously did their best, but they weren’t the best candidate for the job.



    Yes, I heard her say that she was absolutely amazed that when she asked the kids about Mickey Mouse, Shrek, and Beyonce, NOT only did they not know who they are, but they didn’t even have any interest TO KNOW who they are.



    Was it good?

    I don’t know. Not sure if I ever had any.


    Thanks, Mommamia. I was dying of curiosity. Any other details would be appreciated.


    They were not Chassidic, they were Lubavich



    Since when is Chabad not a chassidus? They define themselves as a chassidus as does anyone with any understanding.

    And what waas the point of your comment, anyway?


    I browsed the O Network site, but did not watch any of the clips yet. Is it just me, or does is seem that Oprah defines any jewish male with a beard as a chassidic jew?


    you don’t have to have peyos or a sthreimal to be chassidsh,Lubavitch is a Chassidic dynasty(it is one of the originals).


    lol, zahavadad, although they aren’t typical chassidim, Lubavitch is a chassidus. I also wasn’t expecting to see a lubavitch family after reading the title, but they very much are chassidim.

    I think she was extremely impressed overall, and especially at how family-oriented we are, and how our values are so part of our daily lives, not just an abstract goal or an elusive ideal.


    Some need to lighten up, A little levity can be a good thing


    I saw it, and it was well done, though I did have a few minor criticisms, most notably that what was attibuted (by the Orthodox family) as being Chassidish, often was TORAH-observance, not limited to chassidim, but inclusive of ALL Yidden. The implication was that some of ther things were chassidish in their specificity.


    Sam you and I might know that. It seems (to me, from reading her site – but not having viewed any clips) that Oprah defines it differently. She would walk into any litvishe yeshiva and label it Chassidic too, unless someone took the time out to explain chassidus to her and how it is different than the litvishe derech.


    Yawn. Chassidish in everyday haimish or yeshivish parlance does not mean Chabad. Chassidish among Chabad Chassidim means a family like the Ginsbergs that are strong in their beliefs and conform to Chabad practices of old.

    Chabad is far more of a Chassidus than Satmar, which is a Chassidishe kehilla with rules based on the Chasam Sofer’s hashkafah and with very little connection to the Baal Shem Tov. Nothing against Satmar which I happen to admire; this is strictly a technical definition.

    Creedmoor is not a Chassidus at all even though it is called Creedmoorer Chassidus. It has a rebbe whose only goal is to have his kanois subsidized by as many public bodies and insurance companies as possible. Its roots are in Szarkonosvary, a very reactionary kehilla that was established in a remote border region between Hungary and Mongolia in order to shield its inhabitants from even the slightest shred of ehrlichkeit.


    zahavasdad is completely right. Chabad is something else.


    It isn’t only goyim who Oprah reaches. There will no doubt be renewed interest in Chabad by more than a few Jews as a result of this. The few times I’ve seen her show, people hang on Oprah’s every word with a reverence that we can only hope, lehavdil, we show our Gedolim. And I’m quite sure that’s why Chabad welcomed her in. They’ve always been very media savvy. No doubt they put on a somewhat unrealistic front for the sake of this universal exposure, but I would have done the exact same thing if it were my family.


    momamia: right after i read this thread, i went back onto my email and someone had just forwarded a link to me showing oprah’s interview. i didn’t watch the whole thing – in fact i just clicked on it for a few seconds. But the man she was talking to was not black. he was a white lubavitcher yid. could there have possibly been more than one interview?

    anyway, i cannot post any opinion yet until i watch the whole thing. i will IY”H do so when i get home from work. shhh – yes, i’m posting while at work. just needed a few minute break. now back to work.

    later everyone 🙂


    There were two interviews. The second one was with a family of Jewish woman whose mother was a white Jew and whose father was a black (I believe non-Jew). She became a baalas teshuvah and raised her two (black) children as frum Jews. Her daughter married a white chassidic Jew. Her son is learning for semicha. On the whole, this was an extremely positive and good show, especially given the unfortunate timing of the article by the rebellious woman who flaunted her disdain for her former Chassidism and all things Jewish.


    There were two interviews. I mentioned both (kashrus was addressed to the first/caucasion family).

    In light of the tumultuous relationship between the community Gentiles who are black and the Lubavitch community, I thought it was a particularly good idea to show that the division is not color related, but, perhaps, value related.


    Are all the very many so-called “frum” blogs (that in reality are self-hating, Jew-hating, anti-semites) touting — or even mentioning — this positive portrayal of frum Jews?

    Queen Bee

    I only watched part two. It’s great and all, but something bothered me. I have nothing against Chassidim, but it bugged me when Oprah said stuff like “Hassidic Jews cover their hair.” “Hassidic Jews wear black hats and have beards.” “Hassidic Jews keep kosher.” All frum Jews keep all of that (well, except the beards). I guess it’s just to keep things from getting too confusing?

    Think first

    I don’t believe they don’t know who mickey mouse is, I didn’t watch tv growing up or now and still know mickey mouse its all over books backpacks, come on!

    sem graduate

    I think the kids were prepped to say they dont know anything; give me a break… they probably know about mickey mouse and have used cell phones – although they might not have their own.

    I also think that the show classifies all frum jews as hasidic – many non-jewish shows tend to do that – they dont differentiate between chassidish and litvish – just between ultra orthodox and mo – and the uo are called hasidic…


    Think First, as I said in my previous comment

    No doubt they put on a somewhat unrealistic front for the sake of this universal exposure, but I would have done the exact same thing if it were my family.

    The family who were shown on this show no doubt know a lot more then what they owned up to, but this is the view they chose to present to the world at large. It wasn’t by accident that the kids said they don’t know Mickey Mouse, it was part of the act. If there are any Chassidim who know about things in the secular world it’s Chabad. After all, these are people who welcome all types of people into their homes, and are heavily involved in outreach.


    All in All I thought it was well done and certainly made Jews look very good…


    I only watched part two. It’s great and all, but something bothered me. I have nothing against Chassidim, but it bugged me when Oprah said stuff like “Hassidic Jews cover their hair.” “Hassidic Jews wear black hats and have beards.” “Hassidic Jews keep kosher.” All frum Jews keep all of that (well, except the beards). I guess it’s just to keep things from getting too confusing? “

    Thank you – that is exactly what I said yesterday when I watched it. My criticism was in the implication that ONLY chassidim act a certain way or hold by certain things. I recently read an editorial about the Hamptons Eruv controversy, in which the (Jewish) writer stated that the purpose of the eruv is to enable Jews to do certain things that are forbidden on Shabbos. He went on to list a few of those “things” and included among them, carrying housekeys, wheeling a baby carriage, and DRIVING A CAR. I immediately wrote him a letter about this, correcting his misinformation, and have yet to see a retraction.


    To someone like Oprah, you go to shul, keep taharas hamishpacha, shabbos, kashrus, dress according to the dictates of halacha, you are a chassidic jew. She doesnt make the distinction between followers of chabad or sanz, yeshivat porat yosef or talmidim of the alter from slabodka. Religious jew = chassidic jew in her world view.


    I don’t believe they don’t know who mickey mouse is, I didn’t watch tv growing up or now and still know mickey mouse its all over books backpacks, come on!

    The Lubavitcher Rebbe ZYA was against exposing children to cartoon pictures of treyf animals, stuffed treyf animals etc. While I know of some families who purposely or inadvertently make exceptions and let a stuffed bear or tiger into the house, mice are another story. For a child growing up in Crown Heights, a mouse is a treyf pest. For a child growing up in Kfar Chabad or Y-m, as well as here where I am, a mouse is the reason why treyf, noisy cats are very welcome in yards.

    Remember also that this family is in Boro Park, where the father is the menahel of a very strict school.

    Believe me, they do not really know who Mickey Mouse is (he’s the present occupant of the White House, right?) Even if they have seen pictures of Mickey Mouse, the character means nothing to them. My friends’ children here in Ukraine would not know about any of the local cartoon characters, even if their parents are locally born and remember them from their childhoods. If their parents are shluchim from abroad, they don’t know anything about American or EY cartoon characters either.


    other than that, I had no problem with it…


    Does anyone know whether these interviews are available online? I’ve seen snippets, but that’s it. I’d really be interested in seeing them, but don’t have a TV.


    Mickey Mouse is not a cartoon character anymore, he is a corporate icon.

    And when I went to Disney World a few years ago, there were quite a few Chassidim who were there


    I think Mikehall hit it on the nose. But the one statement should have been made that all religiously observant Jews, no matter WHAT their background, follow the laws of Kashrus, Shabbos, and Taharas Hamishpacha. It’s a Torah thing, not a chassidish lifestyle choice.


    To the secular world, both Jewish and non-Jewish, we’re pretty much lumped into one category – “Orthodox”.


    You yourself said Lubavitchers are not Chassidim. So which is it?

    Miami is the Las Vegas of frum Jewry anyway – what goes on in Miami stays in Miami (which is why I never stayed more than a night in Miami :)).

    In any case, for us, Mickey Mouse is a mouse. Col. Sanders is also a corporate icon, and I assure you no one brought up in a Chabad household knows who he is unless it is someone who has eaten in the old mehadrin KFC in Mevaseret Zion.


    Great Bear

    The Chabad not being Chassdic was a JOKE said in jest. Lighten up

    And the Chassidim I saw in Disney World were NOT Chabadnicks, they were something else (Maybe Satmar, but I am not sure)


    I know for a fact that the Ginsberg’s do not allow cartoon characters based on non kosher animals into their house be it in book on clothing etc. it is very probable that they do not know who Mickey Mouse is. I do not think the children have an idea that there is such a place such as disney land.


    Yes, ZD, and I threw the silly joke right back at you, so that you would admit that what you saw has nothing to do with what I wrote.


    I don’t know if it’s such a good thing that they don’t know who such characters are (to Oprah). I think they must be perceived as ostriches with their heads in the sand. Although I could see how goyim would admire refraining from t.v., to be so unaware of such popular, seemingly innocent culture (maybe not a 3 year old, but a 15 year old?!?) seems akin to Amish-like in its nature. It wouldn not be something I could relate to if I came from that background. It would seem just plain weird.

    The one thing I really liked was how they ended the clip/interview asking all four women what they’d want to say. One woman said “we’re not physical human beings in a spiritual world, but spiritual beings in a physical world and we need to bring the spirituality into the physical.

    You could see Oprah was moved by this.


    What bothered me was the lack of the essence of being a frum jew. When somebody would watch that they would say – ok – thats a nice families with nice values and interesting customs. Was their one mention of the reason behind our religion. How we follow the torah that was passed down for generations from Hashem Himself. She referenced the “books’ on the wall but there was not one mention of the importance of the Torah. That is the source of everything they discussed there! There was not one mention of the reason why Judaism is the absolute truth and the purpose of our religion. We are not just a religion of “good values” – im sure you will find people in China who preach values as well. Are we the same as the Amish? No! There is a deeper meaning. I dont think this interview was harmful in any way but I think they missed the main point.


    Zahavas- within Chassidus, we have many different circles too. Not all Chassidim are alike.

    Some go to Disney, many don’t. You can find very different extremes between Chassidim.


    After watching the clip from The View with that nebich, watching some of the clips from these two episodes was like a breath of fresh air. It was done very respectfully and tastefully. Problem with watching individual clips is that it doesn’t flow, and therefore, I couldn’t grasp whether or not there was an emphasis on a Hassidic lifestyle with its unique minhagim, or the more broadly based Torah lifestyle.

Viewing 50 posts - 1 through 50 (of 61 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.