who started kiruv?

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    im just wonderign who started the whole idea of kiruv. several hundred years ago there was no idea of kiruv.

    Reb Eliezer

    Avraham Avinu, as the Midrash Tanchuma indicates that we were rewarded with the mitzva of sukkah by recognizing the provision of Hashem as Avraham did by vehishoanu tachas haetz, rest under the tree. He placed his guests under the tree to realize the need for sun and rain from above to grow it.


    Avaram avaniu, Aron Hakohen, Hillel the Tana, the Troller Rebbe among many others

    yaakov doe

    Everyone should know that the first person involved in kiruv was Avraham. Read all about it in the upcoming parshas.


    I did.


    * Avrohom Ovinu, ויטע אשל…

    * Aaharon HaKohen.

    * Hillel haZokein.

    * [רבי עקיבא [- יבמות עו ע”ב



    Reb Noach Weinberg a”h has to be mentioned in such a conversation. Even though of course there was always individuals involved primarily in being mikarev the estranged he was instrumental in streamlining a process and making it a possible vocation. Much of the philosophies and hashkafas and “proofs” that is now part of the conversation (logic that people take for granted) was formulated and fine tuned by him. Of course Chabad and Ohr Somayach and Diaspora yeshiva and so many others deserve credit for mainstreaming the lexicon.


    Noah was the first person, but he was not successful. He would talk to them about the bad stuff they were doing, try to explain why bad behavior is damaging: if you are robbing someone today, then tomorrow someone else will rob you, better to have justice and work hard. But he did not explain/show them an alternative of how to live a good life (ad kan Sforno, R Schwab). He would fit well into CR, lambasting people with opposing views.

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    ” He would fit well into CR, lambasting people with opposing views.”

    Thank you so much for sweeping everyone together with the broad brush of the worst and smallest group among us. And while trying to give musser about mistreating people.


    Lubavitch deserves a lot of credit for bringing back thousands of Yidden.


    Simple answer: Avraham Aveinu

    Addressing what the original question really is asking: Modern kiruv (i.e. modern Baalei Tseuvah) only started when you started having “modern” OTD (i.e. Jews leaving the Orthodox community without converting to Islam or Christianity). That was very rare until the 19th century (note that in the past, it wasn’t so much that being a Yid was illegal, but that not being part of the official government religion was considered illegal). The big “boom” in the Kiruv movement began after World War II, and was accelerated as the Jewish “boomers” came to an age where they could ignore their almost universally secular parents and start reasserting their Jewishness.


    always ask questions. noach would only answer questions not try to get peole to do teshujvah. avraham avinu actively got people to bench der heilike barshefer.


    akuperman, even later than that. First, there was defense against the foreign influences and antagonists. R Salanter explained going from Lita to Paris: you can’t talk to people who are going down the slope, but you can talk to the ones who already landed at the bottom. I think 1967 war was a big source of teshuva movement in USA, including Chabad activities – turning the view of Judaism from a retreating to a more attractive entity.

    This kuruv period might be over by now: looking at statistics of Jewish community, I see very little movement from non-O to O at this point. Growth of O is via pru urvu and decline in non-O is due to the lack thereof and assimilation …


    Far, I understand quoted sources that he did try to admonish people, just did it in a negative way. That clarifies the difference with Avraham. Idea: maybe Avraham provided his own food so that they could actually bench. If they eat their own food, it might have been gezelah and ineligible for brocha.

    Yabia Omer

    Rav Ovadia


    Unless you define what you mean by “kiruv”, you will get many different answers depending on how the person answering defines “kiruv”. Several hundred years ago, it was common for Jews to be restricted legally as to where they could live, what professions they could engage in and who they could marry. There was no social welfare from the state. If you needed medical or financial assistance, you were most likely to find it being given by other Jews in your community. The ability to freely choose a lifestyle was not common until after the “enlightenment” in Europe.

    After WWII, the work week changed from six days to five which made it easier to keep Shabbos.

    The creation of the state of Israel and the six day war were electrifying events. These were viewed by many who witnessed them (even Gentiles) as the fulfillment of the Biblical prophecy that Hashem will return the Jews to the land of Israel at the end of time. If the Bible made a prediction about the future that came true despite the fact that it was against all odds, that was clearly a wake-up call from Hashem that the Torah is true. So my answer is that Hashem started the kiruv movement. The Bible says that Hashem will circumcise our hearts. Why not simply say Hakol Mishamayim?

    Shimon Nodel

    Kiruv is for everyone. You don’t necessarily need to be looking for people to be mekarev. By living al kiddush Hashem every moment, you never know what you can accomplish.
    My mother a”h was a teacher in public school. People used to ask her annoying questions about being Jewish (mostly goyim) all the time, and she would never lose her patience and always answered anything they asked.
    Once, a frum lady introduced herself and asked if she remembered her. She did not. She said that she used to be her coworker, and that her answering her questions inspired her to become a baalas teshuva. Now she has a frum family because of some seemingly innocuous questions and answers.

    Reb Eliezer

    Hashem can send him all kinds of wakeup calls but if he does not wake up, it does not help.


    Shimon > that her answering her questions inspired her to become a baalas teshuva
    Many people understand that. I was at the kosel many years ago and saw some Nordic people approaching a couple of haredim asking nicely whether they can make a photo. Haredim answered something confusing in a mixture of English and Yiddish. When the tourists left, I asked them curiously what is the isur in making photos (this was obviously pre-instagram). They answered in perfect English that they do not want their photos to end up in some Nordic houses of worship, but if I want to make pictures and take them to US and maybe inspire some Jewish people, they’ll be happy to oblige.


    @AAQ, I was at the Kosel on a Friday night and some American tourist tried taking photos inspite of insstuctions not to, I went over to them and told them in my perfect english [with a slight southern twang that I picked up from my roomate in the yeshiva dorm] that this is a breech of shabbos and the people did not want to be the photos and to cut it out. On the other side of the coin I make sure the all my interactions with others should reflect a positive image of frum yidden.


    common, I understand the feeling, but is this really wrong for a non-Jew to take a picture on their own – other than the objections from my post.

    As to positive image, I was once approached by an excited Mexican-extraction soldier in Alabama, who used to know some Jews back in Mexico. He was apparently watching me for a week, and, I guess, found me worthy. We know Who is watching, but sometimes do not know who else …


    common > I make sure the all my interactions with others should reflect a positive image

    indeed, R Salanter says that one should always advocate for Yiddishkeit, sometimes even with words.

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