Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Detroiters

I read an article on the train this evening that really got me thinking, so I did the obvious and asked on FB, "So how many shluchim have ever done this?" Unexpectedly no one responded to this provocative question, possibly because of its ambiguity, though I'd like to think that clarity is the enemy of FB thought. Regardless, I think the question bears repeating. Have there been any reported cases of shluchim who left their shlichus because of theological reasons? You could point to Shmuley Boteach, of course, though one gets the impression that his leaving had more to do with ego than religion, even if it was cloaked in Lubavitch orthodoxy asserting its primacy. Otherwise? Shlomo Carlebach comes to mind, as do the names of (more than) several former California Shluchim, but those cases seem a bit different: Shlomo because he was never really a shliach, and California because, well, it's to be expected. And how about the people who haven't gone on shlichus, like Yossi+Simon Jacobson and Chaim Miller?

Meanwhile, in other news, this touched on some excellent points, which if this were four years ago I'd write a whole post about Chassidishkeit and sports and Friedmans (just kidding!) and what not.

11 comments:

Leo de Toot said...

Dear Mr. R.S.,

An interesting question but I suspect you seek to open a can of worms whose name one cannot speak (to sort of borrow a phrase popularized by Oscar Wilde). The question does raise some interesting thoughts about correct terminology. Does a resigning shliach become "de-kapotted?" Does he "hang up his gartel?" Does he switch to brown shoes (or "loafers" but that's a whole separate issue)?

On an unrelated topic (is any topic truly unrelated?), LdT currently happens to be in a centuries-old foreign European university town staying in a B&B in the heart of the old part of the town. Like so many similar places it was made "Judenfrei" during the war - looking out my windows I can visualize German troops rounding up Jews and marching them along the cobbled streets. So there is a particular satisfaction putting on Tefillin and davening in this location - one experiences a very satisfying feeling of revenge!

Your (currently foreign) correspondent,

Leo de Toot.

e said...

I know a shliach who's a closet heretic and who is leaving his shlichus and moving to a new continent to become a lawyer.

bonne said...

hmmm. I'll look into it.

The Real Shliach said...

e: Has he passed the bar on that new continent? And what has he told his congregants?

bonne: Into what?

e said...

I think he will start studying in his new home.

He was never a pulpit rabbi. he was the old shliach's friendship circle-running son.

The Real Shliach said...

Ahh. And his wife?

e said...

I know not. I'm not actually very close to this soon-to-be former shliach.

e said...

Regarding your original question: when lubavtichers forsake the faith of their fathers, they rarely embrace a modified version of said faith. To paraphrase the Satmar Rebbe, when they leave they leave entirely. Hence if a shliach stopped digging chabad theology, he wouldn't open an alternative chabad house. He'd just leave quietly.

The Real Shliach said...

Oh. Too bad. There are so many questions one would like to ask!

Well, what about Shechter-Shalomi?

e said...

the exception that proves the rule.

e said...

Methinks it's time to bring captcha back for new posts