Friday, February 26, 2010

"Wolf! Wolf! Why don't you help the Jew?"

There is so much I'd like to say, in preface, all of it inadequate. This is one of my favorite JEM voice/photo compilation videos of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, for reasons that should become obvious to some of you. I know I've inherited an eclectic mix of visitors from Yaakov's mention of this blog - Jewish, Christian, Muslim, atheist, secular, religious, agnostic. If this video does not connect with you on a personal level, think of it as a small glimpse into the rich, soulful, deeply personal world of Chabad Chassidic Jewry.

If you have any questions about the video, the Rebbe, Chabad or my relationship with Chabad, feel free to ask. Chabad has been an immensely successful Jewish Chassidic movement that has brought literally millions of Jews back to Yiddishkeit (Jewish life), including my own family. However, it is also not without its detractors, some of them prominent, some in my own family, and many issuing criticism rooted more in a lack of information, understanding or inter-communal politics than substance. Though I greatly admire the movement and hold the Lubavitcher Rebbe in the highest regard as a true tzadik (righteous person), leader and teacher, I'm not a Chabad "ra ra" boy scout, so I'll do my best to answer your questions in the most objective way possible.


  1. off topic question - is that only Yiddish he speaks or is it mixed with something else?
    the reason I ask is because I cherish Kafka's reports on his getting to know and love the yiddish theatre of Prague. He also tells that the more relaxed he would just listen without consciously trying to understand the more he understood. If in that theatre they spoke something similar to this man then I will from now on admire Kafka even more ... I get snippets, even half-sentences sometimes but getting all of it even with extended practice would surely be beyond me

  2. Hey Silke,

    Yes, it's yiddish, perhaps interspersed with Hebrew and a little Aramaic, when he quotes scriptures. My own yiddish is elementary. I took Deutsch for five years in school, so that helps.


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