Talk:Chabad-Lubavitch related controversies/Archive 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Extremist messianists.[edit]

[Dear PinchasC]

Thank you for your input. However there are many reputable and notable sources attesting to the existence of numerous extremist messianists - also boreinuniks and elokists. Berger and others discuss them at length, as do the two notable sources (one from Haaretz no less which you removed.

I think it is fair to mention these strands in the article and certainly reasonable to do so in the light of the numerous sources. Certainly the sources should also be kept. This is all in line with wiki policy as far as I can make out.

I do agree that Yechi should be merged into this article and not the other way round. I notices the Yechi article and thought it quite absurd that there was a Yechi article but no Mishichist article. So I thought to rectify that.

Thank you again for helping out.

David Spart 00:33, 21 February 2007 (UTC)


Hey please don't blank the article. There should definatly be an article on Chabad Messianism. If you dont want there to be one then have a discussion here or nominate this article for AFD. David Spart 00:35, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

I didn't blank the artlce I moved it to include other controversies per the discussion on the chabad talk page. The Haaretz article discussed the belief of one person and that person claims on lukeford that he was misinterpreted. Moshiachlisten is not a valid source. See the talk page of Yechi for a discussion of that. --PinchasC | £€åV€ m€ å m€§§åg€ 00:37, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Dear Pinchas I do claim of being misinterpreted but they way he originaly promised to print it sounds even more elokist see corrected version here:

  • Drawing on rabbinical sources, he attempts to show that this is not as revolutionary as it sounds. He concedes that there are few people like him who will openly call the Rebbe God. He claims, however, that many people believe it, but do not say so openly for fear of scaring people away from Chabad altogether.

I asked to be quoted:

"The Rebbe King Moshiach is the revelation of the essence of G-d in human image and thus is called by His holy name"

  • Instead he originaly wrote the quote bellow in quotation marks as if I would actualy say that:

he later changed it to: While he argues that the Rebbe and God are not the same thing exactly, he says that he does not object to people thinking that they are the same thing. out of quotation marks but still somewhat misleading as to what I actually told him as part of an hour interview . He also made two other misquotes in the original version of the article which were later corrected.

Ariel Sokolovsky£€åV€ m€ å m€§§åg€ 12:30, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

This article should remain posted. Students of religion and of Chabad specifically need to see this material. It should not be buried elsewhere. Shmarya Rosenberg 02:22, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Merge Yechi into this article.[edit]

Support merge of Yechi into this article. Yechi is a phraes and can be covered by the general subject of messianism. Shlomke 18:03, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

  • Oppose I think Yechi is notable and major enough to deserve its own article. Kolindigo 09:09, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Support that the articles should be combined. User:henochz
  • Oppose Yechi is a very good article and deserves to be alone. It passed an AfD. David Spart 01:31, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Clean up of this article[edit]

How can this article be cleaned up?

  • Why aare all the links attacking Berger back in the article? They are off-topic. If they should be anywhere they should be on Bergers' article or in the article about the book. Some of them not even then?
  • Why are obscure religious figures who signed the psak din saying "Yechi" quoted extensively?
  • Why do the only references relate to Berger-bashing and michichist propaganda - that list reads like a beis moshiach pamphlet by the way?
  • Why is it not clear what the actual controversy is in the first three sections?
  • Why do we need a whole section on general controversies of hasisism going back to the Besht?
  • Why have all references to Elokism and Boreinuniks been removed again? There are plenty of sources for the existence of such groups - and these people are very controversial and notable - indeed Sokolovsky is probably notable?
  • Why have the references that refer to these groups been removed again too?
  • Why have there been various tags at the top of the article proposing implausible mergers for months on end?

If these issues cannot be explained or resolved, I will start to remedy them. This article it totally crap and needs a complete root and branch rewrite. David Spart 01:42, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Neutral point of view and factual accuracy[edit]

This article is in serious need of a cleanup so that it complies with the Neutral point of view policy and is accurate. Some examples are:

  • The cause of the arrests of Shneur Zalman of Liadi is not elaborated upon. These arrests were because he had sent money to poor people living in Israel which was under Turkish rule. Not because he was trying to take over the Russian goverment.
  • Did Moshe Schneersohn convert or not, according to chabad tradition he did not, according to the documents uncovered by Assaf, he did. Was there a "coverup"? According to chabad the conversion was faked, therefore there would be fake documents as well. Either way, it is not a controversial matter that belongs here, because this is comparable to the question whether the Exodus took place. Jewish tradition states that it did take place and there is lack of scientific evidence which implies that it did not take place. This contradiction would not be in the controversies of Judaism article.
  • The "Strashelye breakaway" and the "Malach" was not a breakaway anymore than by any other Rebbe that had multiple children, which resulted in each of the children forming their own group of followers.
  • The involvement of Joseph Issac Schneersohn in saving the Jews from Europe is not discussed, only a critical quote with a referenced source which does not contain the quote is mentioned.
  • Unsourcecd quotes on Kotler's views.
  • The "A Rebbe as "the essence of God"" paragraph does not bring the other uses of this terminology by Hasidic and non Hasidic writers, which is well documented.
  • The actions of a person that was a follower of Lubavitch does not make it a chabad controversy. Therefore the Chana Gurary and many of the local controversies do not belong here.

There is much more, but this is a start. Chocolatepizza 03:28, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

My personal editing notes on Chocalatepizza's comments for my own future reference:

  • I think you're right. Find a source and you're good
  • I don't know anything about this, but in the Moshe Schneersohn article, the Tzemach Tzedek admits that Schneersohn converted. The question is, was he physically forced to or tricked? But for sure, either way, that section needs to be modified to reflect the details in the MS article.
  • I put in the part about the Malach, but I don't see anywhere anything indicating it was a Breakaway. see Jerome Mintz's Hasidic People for accounts of the Malachim-Chabad controversy.
  • wow, you're right. That's pretty weird.
  • The reason that isn't sourced is complicated and I'm too lazy to explain it right now.
  • emes.
  • no comment.

--Yodamace1 09:44, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

  1. So elaborate, with sources.
  2. by all accounts he converted, was he forced, that it is doubt, I will clarify this.
  3. Stashelye was a breakaway, the founder was a talmid not a son.
  4. So add it, I didn't know he was involved in that, but if you have source add it.
  5. Yodamace1 says he will provide sources soon.
  6. If you can source that, add it in.
  7. The controversies listed are either to do with Chabad rabbonim, chabad institutions and official parts of the Chabad movement, also noted are very notable events that became closely associated with chabad, and to which they had to respond to. David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 00:52, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

K, so I couldn't find a source for the Rav Kotler thing. I was told by my Rosh Yeshiva, but in accordance with the whole "No Original Research" rule, I'm gonna delete it. --Yodamace1 18:31, 11 April 2007 (UTC)


This is not a chabad organisation and any controversies regarding it belongs in the article about the company, not in this one. Chocolatepizza 19:32, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

It is owned by a Chabad Rabbi and managed by another Chabad rabbi - its location has created a Chabad community around the plant, which has been controversial and sparked a number of controversies over 20 years. David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 23:59, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
This is like saying that it is owned by a Jewish person and some Jewish people have been his employees, therefore it should be in a controversies about Judaism article. The actions by a company that is owned by a follower of the chabad movement does not make the company a chabad company. Chocolatepizza 19:38, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree, but they are not followers, they are ordained ministers and community leaders. It is also irrevocably tied to the Chabad movement, because of the community that built up around it. 19:40, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Most of the employees are not members of chabad, and an ordained rabbi that goes into business does not represent the place that ordained him. Chocolatepizza 20:09, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
No, there is a community of some 300 Chabadniks living in Postville. These people are still Chabad rabbis to this day, and are senior chabad rabbonim at that. Chabad have had a terrible relationship with the town for 20 years, and there have a number of controversies. Those are ordained chabad rabbonim (and shochtim) shechting the cows in the videos that went all the way around the world. You are simply pushing POV here. David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 22:42, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
The controversy that I removed was with the company itself. And there are Mexicans and non chabad shochtim as well. I'm not sure what a pollution claim has to do with them anyways. Chocolatepizza 23:24, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
The controversy was about the Shechita, both that it was cruel and that it might be treif. I hope to hell the it was the Chabad rabbis and not the Mexicans doing the Shechita. David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 23:33, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
The controversy of the Shechita, was regarding the actions which happened after the cutting which the Shochet does. And it was not only a Chabad Hekhsher. In fact only one chabad Hekhsher and multiple other ones. This is besides the point that the Shochtim, most which are not chabad, do not set policy, and it was not the chabad movement that set the policy in the factory. It was either the owner or the multiple kashruth organisations giving the hekhsher. Chocolatepizza 23:38, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Ourdent. So you are arguing that "it not only a chabad controvesy", "not such a big controversy" this is no good reason to repeatedly remove 1500 words and 30 sources! By simply reverting over you are making a big mistake. David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 23:41, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

I am explaining why it is not a chabad controversy, and twisting my words is not going to help. This is the third time today that you are threatening me. Any further threats will be reported. Chocolatepizza 23:45, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
What threats! Whats wrong with you! This is a chabad contorvesy, all the people involved are Chabad musmachim. David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 23:47, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
It does not matter if the owner got Smichah from chabad. The way he runs his business has nothing to do with Chabad. If there was a Reform rabbi caught shoplifting[1] would you put it in the Reform Judaism article? Obviously not. Chocolatepizza 20:57, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

To Chocolatepizza and David Spart[edit]

I'm not going to reply to every talksection. Here's my general idea: The Rebbe's article was originally Lubavitcher mythology, but Spart and I turned it into a somewhat enclyclopedic piece. This piece seems to have been taken over by the opponents of our Chabadnik friends. In fact, this article is so anti-Chabad I'm surprised that it has even been allowed to exist after a discussion of the matter. To the extent of my knowledge, no Controversies of the Roman Catholic Church, Controversies of Secular Humanism, Controversies of Satmar, or even Controversies of Islam etc. exist. I am personally of the opinion that this article should be deleted, but I doubt that's possible at this stage. Anyways, unless the schecting plant was officially affiliated with the Agudas Chasidei Chabad, we're simply talking about a culture clash between Hasidim and Postville residents, and that can be moved to the Hasidim article. My logic? Most "Hasidim" in the sense being used here are associated with their dynasties through an acknowledged relationship through their society and/or parents, much like individual Indian tribes. Therefore, the Chabad Hasidim can be considered a cultural group and you can't have a controversies article for cultural groups because it's POV and racist. Therefore, for all due intents of this article, we are forced to consider Habad as an organization; Habad does have an umbrella group, so that's the "Indian Council" so to speak; if you're not associated with them, you're not part of the tribe. --Yodamace1 07:09, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

And how reliable is the NOTW, I've noticed that they've had quite a bit of lawsuit troubles...I think the NOTW thing needs to be asked to one of the big boys like User:IZAK. --Yodamace1 07:10, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm equivocal about the Agriprocessors, however the NOTW is certainly a reliable source as far as WP:RS goes. While it may have been sued in the past, the fact that it is still in business implies that it wins much more often than it loses. Anyway, we don't care about truth, we care about attribution. NOTW is owned by News International and Rupert Murdoch. If and when Jaffe sues and wins then that should be added, but it still wouldn't make the original false allegations any less notable. David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 16:53, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Also bear in mind that Chabad is a small organisation (whatever they say). 55 years ago, they couldn't get a minyan at 770 on Shabbat. They now run about 1000 centres around the world, and employ around 2000 emissaries. They are very controversial for many reasons. Remember this page is merely a split off from the main Chabad and Rebbe articles, something that PinchasC did a while back. When you see this page in isolation it doesn't look good for Chabad. When seen as an integral part of a series it is very balanced. If material is valid and sourced, it belongs in wikipedia.
It is certainly not a problem to have an article on controversies relating to an ethnic group and Chabad is a sect not an ethnic group it is a belief system like Liberalism. Here are some examples that demonstrate this point. Category:Jews and Judaism-related controversies, Scientology controversy, Category:Islam-related controversies, Controversies related to Islam and Muslims, Category:Christianity-related controversies, and there are many many more. Essentially this page was created because Chabad editors couldn't bear to see any critique on the main Chabad pages. Chabad is a very controversial group, and this article merely brings together the controversies in one place and is completely encyclopedic. David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 16:53, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
I think this article has gone to far. David Spart seems to think that anything controversial that ever happened in world history which can somehow be connected with the word "Chabad" should get mention in this article. This is wrong and against wikipedia policy. This is nothing short of an effort to try and slander the group. In it's current state I strongly support deleting this article. Otherwise We have to establish a firm criteria of what should be included here.
This article was originally created to document the different controversies that came up in the Chabad movement from its inception to the present times. This should be the criteria for inclusion of information in this article. Shlomke 17:04, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Your assertion that Chabad is a very controversial group is wrong. With any large group as big as Chabad, you'll have a number of controversies come up. In any case, It's fine to document these controversies of the movement, but thats all. all the other stuff not part of the movement should now be removed. Shlomke 17:10, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
No I don't; only things done by or to Chabad rabbanim, or that Chabad had to respond to in the press. Wikipedia intends to become the sum of all human knowledge and this is all part of it and it is very well sourced. You are a Chabadnik, and therefore don't like this article. This article does docunent some of the controversies that have some up in the Chabad movement, but not even close to all of them. This article was originally designed by Chabad POV editors as a POV fork to keep their Chabad and Rebbe articles "clean". OK, so Chabad isn't a controvertial group, whatever. Let the article speak for itself. David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 17:36, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
What Chabad has to respond to in the press is not an indicator that the incident is a movement incident. If chabad came out in the paper telling the world that so and so is not affiliated with chabad or somthing like that, that would in no way make that mans incident part of the movement. That would just not make sense. Only incidents part of the movement itself should be documented here. Finally, for you assertion as to what I or others are, please have a look at Wikipedia:Outing. Shlomke 18:32, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Also, the fact that someone is a lubavitcher is a rabbi is very common in Chabad, the rebbe encouraged everyone to learn for semicha. You'll need something more substantial then that to establish an incident as part of theLlubavitch movement. Shlomke 18:37, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
RE: Mr. Spart: when it comes to NOTW, I have no idea how reliable it is (I was just speculating), and therefore will see my way out of that conversation. However, I'm happy we've reached an agreement about the Agriprocessors; I think this is important. I was comparing Chabad to Indian tribes inasmuch as...well, I outlined that above. The Church, Islam, etc. aren't cultural groups, but religions. Gypsies, Indians, and Hasidim are cultures with individual subcultures, Chabad being one of them. I outlined the similarities earlier. As for other religions having controversy categories, the difference between this article and those categories is that they are just categories, not full treatments (with the exception of Scientology). If it were possible, this would be my suggestion: delete this article and make a List of Chabad scandals, similar to the List of scandals of the Roman Catholic Church... --Yodamace1 22:32, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
RE: Shlomke. If Chabad isn't controversial, then I don't know what controversial means. Prominent Reform, MO, Litvish, and Satmar leaders have all attacked Chabad and quite loudly at that. But I definately agree that something seemed wrong with this article when I first saw it. --Yodamace1 22:32, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
PS: I don't know what small or big has to do with anything, but a sidenote: Chabad may be very small, but so's the Jewish world, so to the Jewish world, it's HUGE. Chabad is an international organization with it's own major enclaves and major populations in normative Haredi enclaves. It is also the second largest Hasidic dynasty in the world, bigger than Ger. Not to mention it's effect on the heterodox Jewish population and clergy! --Yodamace1 22:40, 15 April 2007 (UTC)


I am removing the Meir Baranes paragraph as his actions are not from chabad, rather they are from a private individual. Chocolatepizza 18:23, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Additionally his actions were condemned by virtually all of Chabad. Shlomke 18:39, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Ugh. That it why it is a Chabad controversy. This is just shocking POV pushing, and it wont work in the long run. David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 23:40, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Because they condemned it does not make it a Chabad controversy. Shlomke 01:03, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Chana Gurary[edit]

I am removing this paragraph as the assault on her was not by the chabad movement, rather it was done by a private individual that did not work for chabad. Chocolatepizza 18:50, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

He somminted the attack following an emotive speach by the Rebbe himself, this all came out in the case. Would you rather have that episode in the Rebbe article? David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 23:41, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Same as in the other sections, this was an individual, not something done by the movement. Shlomke 01:10, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Woodstock and prospect heights[edit]

These two places that had internal disagreements over who should be the local Rabbi, does not belong here as it is not a chabad movement controversy, rather they are disagreements between local individuals. Chocolatepizza 20:03, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

This is embarrassing. Basically anything that reflects poorly on Chabad you want to remove. It wont work. Two Chabad rabbis suing each other and battling through the press over who has the right to represent Chabad officially! You have a nerve! David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 23:43, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Gutnick-Feldman feud[edit]

I removed the Gutnick-Feldman feud since it is something pertaining to these two individuals, not the Chabad movement, as I explained above. All such other content that is not part of the movement should be removed as well. Shlomke 00:52, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

What are you talking about! The whole case revolved around the main Chabad yeshiva in Australia!! This is simply outrageous. You have not erased almost half the article in a drive to push your own POV, deleting 60 (YES SIXTY) good sources! David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 23:45, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Please calm down. It make no difference how many sources you have if the content is not relevant, and I already explained why it isn't. Shlomke 01:14, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Riots in Vilnius[edit]

I have seen a video film showing completely the opposite of what is written in the article regarding the action in Vilnius, Lithuania. Rabbi Krisky was throuth out of the Synagogue while Rabbi Bronshtein conducts the actions of the guards. This video is public and show facts. All the rest of this articule is also full of lies. Please take it into consideration. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 08:59, 16 April 2007 (UTC).

Can you provide a link to the video? Shlomke 23:50, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Article lead[edit]

The lead was in bad shape. I made it more accurate and NPOV. Shlomke 00:59, 19 April 2007 (UTC)


I removed Pinny Lew. Understandibly, his persnal actions do not reflect those of the chabad movement. Shlomke 18:51, 19 April 2007 (UTC)


I'm removing Sholom Ber Levitin. A scandal he was involved in should not be portrayed as that of the movement. Shlomke 18:55, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Problems with this article[edit]

This article is ridiculous. It should be deleted immediately. Its proper name is "What bad things can we say about Chabad?"

Any controversies belong squarely within the Chabad article. The Chabad organization is not primarily controversial. The very existence of a free standing article for "controversies of Chabad" gives totally out of place undue weight to what is basically a positive Jewish organization. Chabad is not known for its controversies. This article is doing its best to portray Chabad as being in some way "controversial."

If there are what some may think are controversies, let those editors work those "controversies" into the article on Chabad. That is the job of an editor: to write a well balanced article. Bus stop 16:19, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Administrators, please note that changes were made to my request for deletion, changes I could not revert. The present request explanation seems a little overheated. Also one of the article's editors seems to have removed the request for deletion, which action may not be entirely kosher. Kwork 17:17, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
It is problematic to have an article "controversies of Chabad" because there are no controversies of consequence in relation to Chabad. Chabad is basically noncontroversial. The article is basically a rambling journey through all events related to Chabad. The purpose of an editor is to whittle that down into material worthy of inclusion in an article on Chabad. Bus stop 17:46, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
Chabad itself may not be fairly characterised as a controversial movement, but there have always been controversies directly related to it. We've already got rid of all purely local matters that don't relate to Chabad as a movement. The ones left on this page clearly do (if you don't agree, please point out the ones you dispute). Listing all these controversies on the main article would give them undue weight, so they're listed in a separate article. That is the standard way this is done on WP - see the article on any political candidate, for instance. Zsero 17:59, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
There are no controversies deserving of a freestanding article. Chabad is decidedly uncontroversial. It is giving undue weight to the normal textures that a large organization is expected to to have, to devote an article to "controversies of Chabad." There is really nothing "controversial" listed on this page. Does anyone expect the history of a large organization not to have internal squabbles, or critics of some aspect of it or another? Or are there allegations of worse goings on? If there are not allegations of something worse than what appears in this article of "controversies of Chabad," then whatever is in this article can and should be edited into the main article. The fact of the matter is that there is simply too little negative information to warrant a separate article devoted to faultfinding. This is an article that is on a mission to convey wrongdoing where little or no wrongdoing exists. Bus stop 18:39, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Mediation Cabal/Cases/2007-08-09 Chabad[edit]

See Wikipedia:Mediation Cabal/Cases/2007-08-09 Chabad IZAK 11:20, 29 August 2007 (UTC)


I have never sesen an article been kept in such a mess for so long. This is a very importatnt article as it essentially half of the main Chabad article, and it must conform to the highest standards of sourcing to avoid being a POV fork.

Going through the history I can see vast chucks of information being removed wholesale - something like 80kb over time without any discussion on the talk page.

This has in large part been replaced by huge chunks of unedited quotations, copyvios and other assorted POV statements from both sides in this debate.

I will try to clear up this mess somehow, but it is such a disaster area, that I don't know how.Lobojo (talk) 16:40, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

In fact it was never a neutral article. You are correct it needs to be cleaned up, however please do not revert to old versions of pages like you have been doing on other pages as the old versions are definitely not good. Chocolatepizza (talk) 02:28, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Plan of action[edit]

I think that title should be changed to "Chabad related controversies", which is much borader. I will go through the various histories and the current version and try to salvage all the valid sourced information that is in there. Lobojo (talk) 16:40, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't think so, this would be too broad. As it stands now it is too general. Imagine Judaism related controversies or Reform Judaism related controversies, there would be no end in sight. Chocolatepizza (talk) 02:28, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
But Chabad is not a religion. It is much closer to a large company of organisation. In fact, it isn't even that. Chabad claims about 4000 active "employees", 8000 if you include the wives. So to liberal with it there are maybe 10,000 chabad activists around the world. That is a very small organisation in global terms. Certainly smaller than say, Scientology, though maybe not by much. check out Scientology_controversy and note how the controversy section is flagged up with multiple articles in template here: Template:Scientology.
Compare also with Mormonism. Look at this category: Category:Mormonism-related controversies. Chabad is not as big and so a category is probably not apropriate since all the controversies could fit in one long page. See also Category:Christianity-related_controversies, "related controversies" appears to be the standard NPOV lingo, and I agree. To call Pinny Lew a "Controversy of Chabad" is probably fair, since he resigned in disgrace AS a chabad rabbi, but it is fairer to call it a "Chabad related controversy" I would argue.
And Hello Chocolatepizza, you ask Imagine Judaism related controversies, well there is no need to use your imagination, because here it is: Category:Jews_and_Judaism-related_controversies. Da Da!! Lobojo (talk) 21:57, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
The question is category of article? Well, It should be very easy to split up a lond article into many and make a category and a section in the template. So I will work on that basis. If at a later date it is decided to split each controversy to give a category that will work too. Lobojo (talk) 22:03, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Controversial Speeches of the Rebbe[edit]

I wonder why Lobojo has removed these talks without consensus? Yehoishophot Oliver (talk) 14:08, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Because it is copyvio, and totaly unwiki? Do you this unedited chunks of stuff should go in? We are heading towards a serious RFC here, if you carry on editing in this way. If you continue to eschew discussion and consensus building, it will come very soon. A lot of people are very frustrated about the way a few users don't allow change to Chabad articles. Lobojo (talk) 14:11, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Hey, I didn't post the sources! I just wonder why you insist on removing them when other seem to disagree. Why is it coypvio? Yehoishophot Oliver (talk) 03:14, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
It is mainly unedited quotations which are not properly sourced or attributed. I have nothing against the informaiton, but it cant go into the article as it stands. Feel free to edit it down to something coherant and sourced and wikified and add it back. Lobojo (talk) 01:27, 11 December 2007 (UTC)


The lead is pretty poor in my view, are there any suggestions about how to improve it? Lobojo (talk) 01:25, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Dovid Jaffe[edit]

I removed the part about Jaffe as it violated WP:BLP as it was one source only which was from a tabaloid. See for more details about how he was framed. Chocolatepizza 19:29, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

To violate BLP there must either be a NPOV problem or ATT problems. The link you provide is interesting and should be added to the article even though the source is not the best. He was on the front page of the worlds best selling tabloid (published by News International.) They say he went to hookers; we say what they say; we don't (necessarily) print what is true, we print what is attributable. The story of the Chabad-hooker Rabbi was then reported in Yediot Aharonot, the Jewish Chronicle, the Manchester Evening News and others. I will add the article you note as a defence, to make it more neutral - I wasn't aware that anyone defended him. David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 23:57, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
I would like to add that source, simply to defend the poor guy. The article defending him was wrtien by a Chabad hasid from Crown Heights who has recently set up some kind of weird website which can be found here and has been spamming "press releases" all over the net for the past 3 months and goe by the name "ZiQui Million". But OK, it turns out that this is a "million pixels" website copycat, which he created in order to "make a lot of money, fast!" (See here). here is the Yechi page! This is funny stuff.
but anyhow I'll add the new source if no one objects. David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 01:07, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
All the other sources are reporting about the tabloid, which is not a valid source. Chocolatepizza 19:39, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
No no, tabloid is not pejorative and NOTW is owned by News International and News Corporation, IE it is the sister paper of The Times, and Fox News and so on. They are most certainly a reliable source. David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 19:43, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
I tried to appease you by adding the defence. You cannot remove something with 10 sources - Jaffe could easily deserve an article all by himself. End of story. You cannot suggest that the NOTW and Yediot and 5 other papers that reported it are not reliable sources, sorry. David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 19:48, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
They are all reprints of the same tabloid piece. The tabloid piece is not reliable, as much as people do not have three heads and aliens did not kidnap half the country. Chocolatepizza 20:11, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Reprints are fine, because that provides notability. They are not all reprints at all. One is a source defending him and attacking the papers, another is a source 4 months later describing the beit din being set up to investigate him. He could easily have his own article, and if you remove all this stuff again, he will. David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 22:47, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Reprints do not establish notability. Please do not create rules as you go, and see WP:BLP. Chocolatepizza 23:22, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Look you have no idea what are talking about, and again, they are not all reprints. David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 23:23, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Which one is not a reprint or not based on the tabloid? Chocolatepizza 20:54, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Your removal of extensive sourced information.[edit]

Is not acceptable. I am going to put it back in, and if you remove again, I will take action. I will also create articles on Pinchas Lew and on Dovid Jaffe, both of whom are easily deserving of their own articles. David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 19:52, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

You have reduced the number of sources in this article from 140 to 109 in five minutes. This is totally unacceptable. David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 19:57, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
You have placed inexcusable non relevant content into this article. I have removed the irrelevant content. Chocolatepizza 20:08, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Look, the fact you hate it so much, kind of prooves that it is isn't irrelevant. You need a very very good reason to unilaterally remove sourced info. And you don't have one because this it very relevant. David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 20:17, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
You have failed to show how it is relevant. When you show how it is relevant it can be inserted. Otherwise saying that because I do not want irrelevant information in the article means that it is relevant defies any logic that I am aware of. Chocolatepizza 20:20, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
You have removed 31 sources from the article. There is no possibility at all that you can fairly argue that what you have removed are not controversies of chabad. Your are being entirely disingenuous. I am going to put the stuff back in. If you think it doesn't belong there you need to prove that, since you are removing 31 sources. If you continue removing sourced information that you feel paints your sect in a bad light, this is only going to be counter-productive for you. David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 22:28, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
I have explained in edit summaries and on this talk page why the items that I removed were not relevant to this article. And the burden of proof lies on you for you to include them in the article. And regarding your threats, see WP:THREAT and WP:CIVIL. Chocolatepizza 23:26, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
No, If you are removing 1,500 words and 30 sources from an article, the burden of proof is on you to explain why these controversies are not connected to Chabad. And you developing something of a persecution complex, I have made no threats against you and have been entirly civil. David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 23:30, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
I have explained in edit summaries and on this talk page why the items that I removed were not relevant to this article. Regarding my "persecution complex", see this edit and this edit. Chocolatepizza 23:43, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Outdent. Why is that threatening? I am sinply pointing that blatant POV pushing on behalf of Chabad is only going to make the dispute worse. You have given hopeless POV arguement as to why some things that you really dont like are not to do with chabad, but this is no good, your arguements are not coherant. David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 23:50, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

I have given very strong arguments in my edit summaries and on this page why they should go in. You have yet to give a valid argument how they are relevant. Chocolatepizza 20:58, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
You again avoid replying to my points. If a senior Chabad rabbi gets into the press for doing someting controvertial, and this satisfies ATT it belongs on this page. You find this embarrasing for Chabad, and that may be, but this page is really part of the main Chabad page, but it just branched off because it got to long, so it isnt going to be peachy for Chabad, much like Criticism of Noam Chomsky isn't going to delight him. You are deleting 1500 words and 30 sources, on the most spurious reasoning. David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 00:08, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
I have put tags on the parts that you are disputing in the hope that this might focus the discussion. What you should do, instead of blanking sourced material you don't like is to find sources that defend Chabad in some of these controversies, or add the official Chabad responce. In wikipedia we are conservative about removing material, The idea that Lew, Jaffe and Postville-PETA are not Chabad controversies is not credible. Let me spell it out for you: Chabad rabbonim and people closely associated with the movement, involved in controversies = "Chabad controversies". Controversies where chabad are forced to make a press responce to the controversy also =Chabad controvesies. I don't see Krinsky or Brod defending Chabad in the press over the Iran-contra affair, but when one of their students is arrested on terrorism charges they do. David Spart (talk · contribs · logs · block user · block log) 00:25, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
The parts that I am disputing are more than the parts that I am removing. I have removed some of the more obvious problems. You are not making sense as I have demonstrated above. Chocolatepizza 00:32, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Biographies of living persons and Reliable sources.[edit]

From WP:BLP: "Be very firm about the use of high quality references. Unsourced or poorly sourced contentious material — whether negative, positive, or just questionable — about living persons should be removed immediately and without discussion".

I've deleted the entire Dovid Jaffe section[2] since it's built from an unreliable source: News of the World. If this information is verifiable and notable it will be published by reliable third party sources, and if that can be cited the information can go back into the article. -- Jeandré, 2007-12-29t14:22z

The news of the world is not actually an unreliable source it is a part of News Corp along with the WSJ and The Times. The story is corroborated by a further 8 independant sources including Israel's best selling newspaper. Lobojo (talk) 16:03, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
If the controversy claims are in articles in The Times or WJS that would be reliable sources. Popularity does not mean reliable: NotW and Yedioth Ahronoth are both extremely popular, but neither comes close to being anything like reliable. Wikimedia regularly hits 50 000 requests per second[3], but that doesn't make it a reliable source either. The really reliable sources like the BBC were not about the controversy. -- Jeandré, 2007-12-29t18:02z
They are reliable sources for the purposes of BLP. BLP ensuers that we do not get sued. As long as we are quoting others we are covered. Yediot is a very serios newspaper, and the NOTW while it may be sensationalist is still subject to the British Libel courts, the most stringent in the world, as such we can asume that they do significant fact checking. These are also not the only sources. Factchecking is the crux of the matter, and the factchecking of these papers cannot be called into question. Lobojo (talk) 18:59, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
I've asked for input at Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard#Dovid Jaffe: News of the World and Yedioth Ahronoth RS? and Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard#News of the World and Yedioth Ahronoth for BLP?. -- Jeandré, 2007-12-29t22:04z
The conclusion at the RS board was that Yediot is certainly a reliable source though the NOTW probably is not. The text of the section is sourced in the Yediot rticle, not the NOTW article. The NOTW is just there as an illustration, one that infact printed in the Yediot article. There are also a number of other reliable sources quoted that corroborate the fact that the NOTW made the allegation and Jaffe intended to sue, and was subjected to a rabinical tribunal. That is all the artilce claims and none of this is controverisla. Lobojo (talk) 22:33, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Lobojo, I've removed that section again for now since I'm not sure Yediot is a reliable source yet. From the searches I've made it doesn't look like it is, tho if someone can find a RS indicating that Yediot is a RS that would be an argument for putting the section back. What then needs to be shown is that that news item is notable. I've asked for more input at
For BLPs it's better to be sure. -- Jeandré, 2008-01-05t16:57z
Yediot is the most important, most established newspaper in Israel, by miles. It has 10% penetration of the entire Israeli population on a daily basis, compared to 0.3% for the NYT in the USA. There is no translation to explain the prominence of this paper in the Israeli news and political scene. The only comparison might be the BBC in the UK. Almost all major Israeli journalists have worked for the paper, it carries daily columns from major establishment figures in Israel. The Israeli government has a contract with them to print death notices and tenders and so on, not a week goes by without a Yediot story setting the new agenda in Israel, sometimes it seems like all the news stories on TV are sourced in Yediot.The Google news archive gives 25,000 results for "Yediot" almost all of them discussing the Israeli paper of record or its daily stories. As if to make this point the major Israeli story of the past few days is the interview that Yediot did with one George W. Bush, which became a news story around the world, (NYT article on the Yediot interview), and that is only picking yesterday. The importance of this paper eclipses that of any other in Israel or the Jewish World i general, I simply cannot see how this could not pass RS. If Yediot is not a reliable source, there are no Jewish/Israeli reliable sources. There really can be no doubt that what is the closest thing that Israel has to a "paper of record", is a reliable source for wikipedia's demands. Lobojo (talk) 17:18, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Local controversies[edit]

As all local controversies involve individuals, and not the movement, I am proposing that they should be removed. Chocolatepizza 02:13, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

I'm in agreement. Shlomke 16:11, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
I have removed some of them. It still requires further cleanup. --PinchasC | £€åV€ m€ å m€§§åg€ 13:56, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

As Lobojo has seen fit to add them back, I have removed them again. The reasoning is obvious, if a priest is accused of going to a prostitute, then it does not go into the controversies related to Christianity article. If that is obvious then this is also. Chocolatepizza (talk) 22:29, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

I've looked this over, and this reasoning for removing over 70k of information does not seem at all sound. To begin with, many of the controversies described are not about various Chabad members "accused of going to a prostitute", but rather of issues between official Chabad organizations and other groups. For example, the Berel Lazar/Yevgeny Satanovsky controversy is about inter-communal conflicts, as is the Darkei Shalom synagogue controversy, the Chief Rabbi of Ukraine controversy, the Rabbinical Center of Europe controversy, etc. In addition, some of these items are about intra-communal issues, such as the Woodstock, New York controversy. Still others involve legal issues of Church and State, such as the public menorah court cases, which, in at least one instance, went all the way to the Supreme Court. This blanket removal of all this information and much more under the strange claim that "all local controversies involve individuals" is extremely troublesome; equally so is what appears to be an almost deliberate falsification of a translation with the edit summaries "correcting translation" - it's quite clear that the main effect was to remove the word "God" from the translation, even though the poster says "HaKodosh Boruch Hu" (God) on it. I'm highly tempted to simply revert this deletion, but I'm hoping that Chocolatepizza will reconsider his action and voluntarily add all valid material back, and giving him the chance to do so. Jayjg (talk) 03:18, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Regarding the translation, my mistake, for some reason I did not see the hakdosh baruch hu (I don't know how), thanks for correcting it. Regarding the local controversies, if it is regarding a local chabad house and another group then it belongs in the local chabad houses's article. If a local church has a local dispute, then it obviously does not belong in the religion's article. Local chabad house disputes should be no different. You mention Beral Lazar, this belongs in the Berel Lazar article, not here as it has nothing to do with Chabad, and only with Berel Lazar. Chocolatepizza (talk) 04:11, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
However I do want to improve Wikipedia as best as I can, and this page about Chabad-Lubavitch related controversies is ridiculously long compared to other groups, such as the Othodox-Judaism related controversies article, so if the idea of wikipedia is to find every negative news article remotely mentioning anyone that ever prayed in a synagogue of any particular group, or if members of any synagogue or their rabbi ever had a dispute with someone else, let me know, I need to roll up my sleeves and start writing. Chocolatepizza (talk) 04:18, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Also see further discussion on this page at Talk:Chabad-Lubavitch_related_controversies#Series_of_issues_with_this_page and the rest of the page. Chocolatepizza (talk) 17:59, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Chocolatepizza, I don't feel you've really addressed my points. It's clear that at least some of this material is notable, encyclopedic, and belongs in this article. You really need to provide a specific rationale for removing each section, and one which is within policy. And if you feel a section should be moved to another article, then please do so, don't just delete it. I would appreciate it if you started by restoring the material, and then discussing each section on an individual basis. Jayjg (talk) 04:04, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Jayjg, Most of this was discussed elsewhere on this page, see later on. It is the obligation of the person inserting the controversial material to show that it is relevant, and this has not been done. The Berel Lazar/Darkei Shalom synagogue/Putin Medal items are already in his article. The menorah dispute in Pittsburgh which went to the Supreme court is in County_of_Allegheny_v._ACLU. I don't think that this dispute should belong in a Controversies related to County of Allegheny (or the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania article) or Controversies related to ACLU article (or the American Civil Liberties Union article), and a local Chabad center, which based on my reading of that article was a minor party to the case, should not receive special treatment. If the other people are notable on their own right (which is doubtful) and there is no WP:BLP concerns (which there is) then you can create articles about those people and insert this content into their articles, I mean if this is what Wikipedia is all about, finding negative items and writing articles around them. However to characterize all of these local disputes as "Chabad controversies", is libel and disruptive at best as it is implying that the actions of these individuals represent the actions of the entire Chabad movement, not to mention the main problem that these local items are plainly not relevant to the general Chabad movement. Chocolatepizza (talk) 19:28, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
ChocolatePizza, I second Jayjg in pointing out that your edits are unacceptable, and that you should have reverted yourself. That you and others removed information before does not justify repeating the errors. The material is all very well sourced. Have a look at Scientology controversy and many other examples that I have shown you before. There are over 200 articles on chabad in wikipedia, they are a small (8000 staff) org with tremendous prominence. I am only aware of 3 that deal explicitly with controversies within the movement. I am going to add the disambig from the Scientology article as it makes a valid point. If you object to material in the article, then we need to discuss them one by one before they are removed. I made the point below (indeed I convinced a doubter) that all the material on this page is only about the controversies related to chabad officials and rabbis and the chabad movement as a whole. Also included are controversies that relate to Chabad and the rebbe. If these are involved in a controversy then they are relevant to the article Chabad related controversies. If you can find anything on the page that does not conform to the strict criterion then it does not belong, otherwise it does, unless you can argue from some policy on wikipedia. Lobojo (talk) 23:12, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Tzudrate (talk) 23:36, 26 May 2011 (UTC) please remove the "Kfar Chabad Attack" from this page, as it was later reported to be 100% false! there was no attack, no plates, no slashed tiers, NOTHING! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tzudrate (talkcontribs) 23:57, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

the boy arrested for supposedly "attacking" Netanyahu was never charged or convicted of any crime! it is believed that this was a simple smear tactic by the Israeli press (with politicians jumping on board - Peres) to whomever disagreed with the disengagement plan, that included the Chabad Movement. Tzudrate (talk) 23:36, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Series of issues with this page[edit]

Please let me know if there are any wiki terms issues with the following issues that I have with this page. Essentially, they sum up to their being items listed here that are not Chabad related and should have their own page, or items that are scandals but not controversies (in other words, they did not result in a lack on the part of Chabad, and the party involved suffered the penalty on part of Chabad). From bottom to top:
Moshe Rubashkin
aside from minor errors, this is not a Chabad community organization, this is the Crown Heights Jewish Community Center, specifically prohibited from affiliating with Chabad or using the Chabad connection in any way.
Yossi Engel
A scandal, not a controversy
This had no relationship to Chabad, there was no dissaciation as he acted on his own.
Gaza withdrawal
Again, no relationship to Chabad.
Sholom Ber Levitin
A scandal, not a controversy
Mordechai Yom Tov
A scandal
Not a Chabad institution
A scandal
Armed Robbery
Not Chabad related
Importance of 770
not a controversy
I will hold on actively editing so extensively if someone comments on this soon.

You are mainly expressing the No true scotsman fallacy here. Scandals are controversial, if they were not controversial they would not be scandalous, so this is quite an arbitrary distincition. The title is "Chabad related controversies", (which is the standard wiki way of titling such articles) and there really can be no debate that all these issues are Chabad related controversies. When a chabad rabbi does something scandalous or controversial - like abusing kids, getting fired by Chabad for going to hookers or exposing himself to his maid; for money laundering while a senior Chabad rabbi and so on and so forth, you have a Chabad related controversy. When the movement's headquarters is embroiled in legal disputes between competing factions within the movement and one of those factions is led by a serial fraudster you have chabad related controversies. When a group of 500 CHabadniks move into a small town leading to a series of incidents including armed robbery committed by rabbinical students/shochtim, animals rights controversies and a series of critical books, you have more chabad related controversies. When students in chabad yeshivas are indicted and deported for involvement in terrorism and Chabad apologize, that is a Chabad related controversy. When people use the name of the Rebbe calling him God and so on, and get in the papers for doing this, this is a Chabad related controversy, and of course the article points out that he is disowned by CHabad. Lobojo (talk) 19:47, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
Then we are down to the following: It was not a group of 500 Chabadniks, it is a mixed group of various denominations, the owners are followers of Chabad. IMportance of 770 is not a controversy. Baranes is not Chabad, CHJCC is not Chabad. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:24, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I plan on proceeding with the following edits: Better categorization within the article so that it is clear who is presented as being part of Chabad institution, who is presented as an acknowledged member of Chabad rank and file, and who claimes to be a member of Chabad. Removal of importance of 770. Unless you have further points to raise I think that fits our current discussion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:37, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

In order for there to be a BLP problem there nees to be a sourcing problem. Yediot and the NOTW are perfectly valid sources, especailly when they were on the front page. There really can be no question. You can refer to them as tabliods if you want, but the NOTW is a part of News Corp, like the WSJ, and their factchecking is perfectly good enough for wikipedia. There are ample sources for an article on Dovid Jaffe. Agriprocessors is a company founded by a Chabad rabbi and run by another Chabad rabbi. Note for example that Boymelgreen's stuff isnt here. That is because he is not a Rabbi. Neither are the nefarious practices of the Chabad oligarchs. Quite appart from that agriprocessors spawned a bunch of other controversies, so some intorduction is needed for context. Do you feel that is not a RS? Lobojo (talk) 10:04, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

A rumor started by a tabloid is not a good enough reason to include it. WP:BLP is very strict when it comes to this. is basically a blog, run by anonymous people with no editorial policy. It does not fit any of the criteria in WP:RS. Chocolatepizza (talk) 23:39, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Re: "No true Scotsman". An article on "Controversies of Scotland", or "Scottish-related controversies" would not mention every Scotsman who gets in trouble anywhere in the world, for any reason. And it certainly wouldn't include anything about Idi Amin, even though he called himself the King of Scotland. And yet that's what Lobojo and some others have been trying to do here. Every scandal involving a Lubav, or even a non-Lubav such as Baranes, but which would come up on a Google search for "Chabad", gets thrown in. That is simply not on. Baranes has nothing at all to do with Chabad, period. And while the Rubashkins are indeed Lubavs, that doesn't make their private businesss "Chabad related". If Lev Leviev ever gets into hot water for anything, that won't be "Chabad related" either, any more than it will be "Jewish related" or "Israeli related", or "Bukhara related". Nor are the problems of the CHJCC "Chabad related", since it represents the Jews who happen to live in the neighbourhood, even if they happen to be nearly all Lubavs; as the area gets better more Jews will move in, and they won't all be Lubavs, but they'll still be represented on the CHJCC. -- Zsero (talk) 06:36, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree totally with Zsero. Lobojo has come along and unilaterally changed the focus of the article entirely, without consensus. Before it discussed controversies related to Chabad as a movement, e.g., the library controversy, which was related to ownership of the official Chabad library. This belongs in the article. Lobojo however has seen fit to include any misconduct of any kind ever reported of a self-identifying Chabadnik. E.g., the controversy over Kashrus in Adelaide is basically an argument between a board and their rabbi. It is peripheral to the controversy that he is a chabad rabbi, and thus this controversy does not qualify as a Controversy of Chabad. That's patently not what the controversy is about. If it would fairly belong anywhere, it would be in an article called "controversies of rabbis" or the like (not that I'm suggesting such an article should exist). The same goes for all sorts of misconduct that is not controversial because of the alleged offenders' identity as Chabadniks, but because of their identity is rabbis.
We need to sort this out and reach a consensus on the matter, and if necessary bring in an official mediator. Yehoishophot Oliver (talk) 06:52, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
The Adelaide affair belongs in an article on the Adelaide Hebrew Congregation, if such an article were to exist, and nowhere else. If the congregation is not notable, then certainly a dispute with its ex-rabbi is not notable either. And it doesn't become notable just because he happens to be a Lubav. -- Zsero (talk) 07:33, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

menorah issue[edit]

Getting down to specific examples, some of the claims that these are "local" issues are, I think, entirely spurious. For example, the Chabad-Lubavitch_related_controversies#Public_menorahs section relates a number of court cases regarding Chabad's international practice of lighting menorahs in public places. The cases were in many different jurisdictions, and had different outcomes. There is no one article that can hold all these obviously related issues, unless it is this one, or the Chabad article itself. Please explain why these cases that have, in some instances, gone to the Supreme Court, are not noteworthy, or explain what single article these clearly related cases belong in, if not here. Jayjg (talk) 23:07, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

The menorah disputes are certainly Chabad-related. Putting up menoros is an official Chabad policy laid down by the Rebbe, and shluchim putting them up, and in the process running into opposition, are acting for the Rebbe, not for themselves. Though as for which page could hold them, it would be just as logical to put them on a Chanukah-related page as on a Chabad-related one. Perhaps there should be a page devoted exclusively to the menorah issue, linked to from both the Chabad and Chanukah pages. -- Zsero (talk) 02:50, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't think it would make any sense to put them in a general Chanuka-related page, since the lighting of large public menorahs is a uniquely Chabad practice. It obviously belongs in either this article or the Chabad article, more likely this one. It's certainly not enough of a topic to deserve a standalone article. Now, have we come to an agreement that people will stop deleting this? If so, we can move on to other sections. Jayjg (talk) 03:42, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
1. And it's a practise unique to Chanukah. How is it more related to Chabad than to Chanukah?
2. What's more, I don't accept that it is unique to Chabad. There are certainly plently of public menorot in Israel that have nothing to do with Chabad, and I'm not at all convinced that there are none elsewhere. Chabad is prominent in putting these up but they can't be the only ones.
3. I'm not sure how fair it is to characterise the practise as controversial. For one thing it's completely uncontroversial everywhere but the USA, and it's only controversial there because people keep defying the constitution and Chabad has to go to court to defend its right to do this. The courts have already ruled that there's no problem with privately-funded menorot in public places,
4. Chabad shuls and schools, like many others, often get into zoning fights. It seems there's always some shliach fighting with the local council over a permit for a shul - because there are so many new Chabad shuls being established in places where there were no shuls before. Ditto for eruvin - there are lots of eruv-related fights, and a good many of them are put up by Chabad. Should the ones that happen to be Chabad count as Chabad-related controversies? I don't see it.
-- Zsero (talk) 04:14, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Outside, perhaps, of Israel, the "custom" of lighting large public menorahs is both extremely recent and unique to Chabad - I defy you to find examples of any other group doing this. It is neither prescribed by Judaism, nor practiced by the vast majority of Jews. To claim that it is a "practise unique to Chanukah" is, frankly, perverse - rather, it is a practise unique to Chabad. In addition, it has become "controversial" precisely because of all the court cases - controversial, in this sense, doesn't mean "bad", or "wrong", but when a practice is taken to court so many times (including the Supreme Court), it can fairly be described as controversial. Indeed, since Chabad has won many of these cases, one can hardly claim that the inclusion of this interesting controversy in any way reflects poorly on Chabad. I'm having a hard time understanding your continued objections to having this described in this article. Jayjg (talk) 04:25, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Even if it were only Chabad doing this (and at least in Israel that is not the case), it is only done on Chanukah (even in Israel). So how is it more unique to Chabad than to Chanukah? As for controversy, it's only controversial in one country in the world - the USA. So perhaps it belongs on Establishment Clause of the First Amendment (which does give it a brief mention) or Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment (which doesn't). I'm not dead set against it appearing on this page, but I don't see that it's necessary either. At any rate it probably belongs on its own page that can be linked to from here, Chanukah, and the constitutional pages. -- Zsero (talk) 05:53, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Look, I've said my piece. It seems trivially obvious to me that it belongs here, and I haven't heard any convincing arguments that it is more suited to any other article. It's about a unique Chabad practice. Since you aren't dead set against it, and since I'm pretty adamant that it belongs, can we move on to other sections? Jayjg (talk) 03:40, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
The menorah case that went to the supreme court had almost nothing to do with Chabad, other than the menorah being legally owned by a local chabad center. Read County_of_Allegheny_v._ACLU which describes the details of the case. It was a case of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania vs. the American Civil Liberties Union. So why does it belong here, anymore than it belongs in the County_of_Allegheny_v._ACLU or American Civil Liberties Union (as a controversy, don't forget)? If a local council does not let the putting up of a public menorah, then it is not a chabad controversy, as the town policies are against all religious symbols and chabad isn't the only organization that the town is saying no to. This really belongs in an article describing the separation of church and state, together with any newspaper article that ever mentions any local town council that ever did not allow someone to place something on town property. I am strongly against it being here for the above mentioned reasons. Chocolatepizza (talk) 04:10, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
I am not aware of any public menorah lightings not conducted by chabad and all the cases involve chabad and no other Jewish demomination. I include Israel in this, nobody else lights them, they always use the (mistaken) Chabad-rashi shape, they may deserve an aritcle of their own, but they certainly belong here. Lobojo (talk) 15:57, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
That you are not aware of something doesn't mean it doesn't happen. In Israel you are certainly mistaken. Oh, and Chabad is not a "demomination", or even a denomination. -- Zsero (talk) 04:59, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

<reset>Err, except that it was all sorts of cases, all about the same thing, and only involving Chabad. Theories that there are other "public menorah" controversies involving groups other than Chabad are all well and good, but in fact, in the United States, there have been ten separate significant cases, in all sorts of jurisdictions, all involving Chabad. It's pretty ridiculous to claim that all of these different cases in different jurisdictions and different courts, should be described in the article on one of them, Allegheny vs. ACLU. What they all have in common, of course, is that Chabad likes to light public menorahs, and various different people have taken them to different courts over it. Chabad has won some of the cases and lost others, but it's all one phenomenon. Now, where will it be going, in this article, or in the main Chabad article? Jayjg (talk) 01:06, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Chabad is not the only group that lights menorah's. Check out these public menorah lightings all of them were not run by chabad: [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11].
You have also not responded to my points about the involvement of chabad with County_of_Allegheny_v._ACLU and why local town council disagreements are notable. Chocolatepizza (talk) 02:37, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't know if those menorah lightings are Chabad or not, but it's not really particularly relevant - all of the menorah lightings in public spaces that have gone to court have involved Chabad. Regarding the rest, I have indeed pointed out that these were over a half dozen cases in entirely different jurisdictions, brought before different courts - how could they possibly all be about Allegheny vs. ACLU? Jayjg (talk) 03:22, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
However it's enough to show that the practise of public menorah lightings is not unique to Chabad. That only Chabad lightings have ended up in court doesn't make it a Chabad-related controversy - every one of the cases was against the menorah itself, not the fact that it happened to be put up by Chabad. So it belongs under Chanukah, or perhaps under Chanukah-related controversies or something.
But really it doesn't even belong there, since the controversy only exists in the USA. It's not the menorahs themselves - whether put up by Chabad or by anyone else - that are controversial, it's the claim that they contravene the First Amendment. IOW the controversy is related neither to Chabad nor to Chanukah but to the USA. The entire section more reasonably belongs under Establishment Clause of the First Amendment (which does give it a brief mention) or Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment (which doesn't), with a brief mention under Chabad as one of its hundreds of activities. -- Zsero (talk) 06:01, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
It only exists in the USA, and only with Chabad menorahs. There are literally thousands of cases that involved Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, this material is obviously too specialized for that. It's either here or Chabad - take your pick. Jayjg (talk) 02:58, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
This is not true, linked above are several example of non chabad public menorah lightings which were very controversial, so take your pick, those menorah lightings controversies which have nothing to do with Chabad, either belong in the main Judaism article or in an article about the First Amendment. Chocolatepizza (talk) 14:20, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
This is really not true, for example one the links above is to the lighting on Boston Common, which you claim is not chabad, yet this is not the case. See here. You choose, here or Chabad? The Chabad article has room. Lobojo (talk) 14:31, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
For those that want to look at the link that I brought, [12], the second lighting is with Congregation Beth El of the Sudbury River Valley a Reform congregation, unaffiliated with Chabad. So Lobojo, I turn the question to you, does that belong in Reform Judaism? Chocolatepizza (talk) 23:31, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
It doesn't matter. The court cases are all Chabad. I'm going to have to assume you want it in this article, since you haven't proposed any reasonable alternative. Jayjg (talk) 02:59, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

<outdent> All the court cases (that we know of) may have been with Chabad, but the controversy is not related to Chabad. The ACLU-types' objection is to the menorot, not to who's lighting them, and we've established that public lightings are not exclusively a Chabad activity. So why does Chabad seem to be involved in all these cases? 1. In the USA, which is the only place where it's at all controversial, Chabad is more involved than anyone else in doing them, so they're likely to be involved in any case that results. 2. Other people are more likely to do them in places where there are a lot of Jews and nobody objects, or where the objections have been hashed out a long time ago. 3. Other people may be quicker to withdraw at the first hint of trouble, so their cases don't get reported.

Here's another f'rinstance: Every other week some shliach somewhere seems to be involved in a zoning dispute. Does that make zoning disputes Chabad-related? Of course not. But Chabad houses are going up all the time, usually in places where nobody has tried to establish a shul before, and usually in residential areas because shluchim start out finding somewhere to live and holding services there. So while Shul-related zoning disputes happen everywhere, and to everybody, Chabad attracts a disproportionate share of them, as would any expanding movement of that sort. The disputes still aren't Chabad-related, they're synagogue-related, or religion-related, or first-amendment-related.

As for where this material should go, first of all it doesn't all have to go anywhere. There's a brief mention at Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, and perhaps that could be expanded. Otherwise it should go under Menorah (Hanukkah). Not here. -- Zsero (talk) 04:05, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Zoning disputes are local; these are cases that have often gone to the Supreme Court. Chabad is, by far, the group that promotes public menorah lightings in public spaces, and no others seem to have gone to court at all, much less multiple times to Supreme Courts. As such, the practice of Chabad public menorahs in public places, combined with their uniquely and frequently taking the issue to court (even to the Supreme Court) makes it a uniquely Chabad issue. Jayjg (talk) 22:16, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Zoning disputes make it to the Supreme Court too, especially when they turn into 1A/RFRA cases. I'm not aware of any Chabad-related ones that have made it quite that far, but the recent Hollywood FL case made it at least part of the way, and only stopped because the city saw it was digging a hole for itself and gave in. That doesn't make the issue Chabad-related. -- Zsero (talk) 23:17, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I think that the posting of public menorahs is definitely enough of a topic to deserve a standalone article, and not a uniquely Chabad one either, because as proven, totally non-Chabad groups have done so as well, not to the same extent, and copycat, to be sure, but enough to establish that this practice is not uniquely Chabad. Yehoishophot Oliver (talk) 09:32, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Have any of these groups gone to court over it? To the Supreme Court? That is what makes it noteworthy; just lighting public menorahs is not enough. Jayjg (talk) 22:16, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
You're not making sense. Menorahs are noteworthy only because some people in the USA object enough to them to bring them to court? They're Chabad-related because only Chabad cares enough about them not to cave when the ACLU-types object? The bottom line is whether the controversy is Chabad-related, and it isn't. Those who object to the menorahs don't do so because it's Chabad lighting them, they object because of their views on the 1st amendment, or occasionally because of their hostility to religion. Chabad just happens to be the ones lighting menorahs in places where objecters are likely to live, and don't give up at the first sign of trouble, so they end up defending the cases. But in the end it's no different than shul zoning cases, and doesn't belong here. -- Zsero (talk) 23:17, 27 January 2008 (UTC)


Zsero, you are correct, it would be an outrageous idea to include Leviev in this article. He doesn't belong. He is nothing more than a Chadad affiliated Jew, who gives them money. I quote from above where I point out that

Chabad is a small org, with only 8000 employees (very liberal estimate, including wives). This article ONLY deals with controversies that involve chabad rabbinical staff and the organisation, along with controversies that relate to Chabad. If there is anything in the article that does not conform to this then I will happily remove it. I don't believe this is the case. you mention Baranes, who is the only person not Chabad. He isn't here because he is chabad, the section is there b/c he claimed to be a worshiper of Chabad's rebbe and got tremendous press and publicity for this, and Chabad were forced to respond, he ran down a chabad rabbi and claimed that Schneerson called on him to kill the Israeli PM and the pope. His actions are "chabad related" beyond doubt. The CCJCC is entirely staffed by Chabadniks, all of whom are messianists and most of whom are rabbis. Theyh ave been fighting for control of Chabad headquarters for 4 years now, and still control it. Rabbi Moshe Rubashkin qualifies as a controversy on his own anyway. A chabad rabbi who fights with his own non-chabad community and is involved in a number of other scandals is beyond argument a chabad related controversy. It is so controversial that it gets national press and chabad are forced to distance themselves from him. You don't become a chabad controversy by being a chabadnik, but a chabad rabbi does. When priests abuse kids they end up in Category:Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal, when a catholic does it clearly does not. There is a completely unambiguous distinction here. Lobojo (talk) 23:33, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

This is bizarre. It's like you're writing from another planet. You seem to measure people's connection with Chabad by whether they have smicha, which is about as relevant as the colour of their hair. The various Rubashkins' smichas, those who have them, doesn't make them any more Lubavitchers than Leviev. Nor is Leviev less of a Lubav just because he happens not to have smicha. This is so obvious I can't imagine having to explain it.
Engel's fight with AHC has no connection with his being a Lubav. It's an ordinary fight between a rabbi and a shul, just like hundreds of such fights all over. Communities and rabbis have disputes; it's a fact of life, and it's been that way for centuries if not longer. Engel is also no more or less of a Lubav than Leviev.
Oh, and contrary to your implication, shluchim are not employees of some central Chabad organisation. They don't get paid by any central organisation. They're more like franchisees or completely independent operators.
-- Zsero (talk) 02:44, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
WP:NPA You may think nothing of being an ordained minister of a religious group and that is fine. A Chabad rabbi involved in a scandal makes this a chabad related controversy. This article is only about Chabad and their staff, nobody else. Engel was a official part of the chabad movement until very recently and held a number of positions within Chabad of Australia along with his synagouge duties. Shluchim are ordained ministers of Chabad and constitute chabad representatives around the world, their actions in these roles are actions they take as a part of chabad. If they just had semicha but didn't use their titles regularly I could hear your point, but they do. The chabad organsation sends out emisiaries, and their are representatives of the movement. Lobojo (talk) 03:22, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Again this is just so skewed from reality. Chabad isn't a religous denomination that has ordained ministers. There's no such thing as a "Chabad rabbi", let alone a "minister of Chabad"; there are many many Chabadniks who have smicha, but their smicha is no different than that of any other rabbi. Nor is Chabad a membership organisation. There are no membership rolls, or any central organisation that decides who is or isn't a member. People are or aren't, but there's no authority that can decide that by the stroke of a pen, like being a member of the Masons or the Rotary club. There's also no such entity as "Chabad of Australia"; it doesn't exist. Chabad isn't a "small organisation", it's a largeish movement; there are various organisations within it, but employment in those organisations is neither necessary nor sufficient to be a Chabadnik. To determine whether Engel's fight with his shul qualifies as Chabad-related, the first question to ask is whether it had anything to do with the fact that he is a Chabadnik; the answer is no. There's no way to distinguish it from hundreds of other rabbi/shul disputes, involving all kinds of rabbis and all kinds of shuls. -- Zsero (talk) 05:26, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Chabad give semicha, and there are Chabad rabbis, some of them are even in the news right now, many people are named as such on wikipedia, it is only a problem here because you are trying to invoke the no true scotsman falacy to whitewash any contorversy. It does not matter where their semicha is from. If they are rabbis and they have semicha from chabad or they are refered to as chabad rabbis of a rabbis of chabad institutions and so on, they are chabad rabbis. And you say that, but someone keeps removing Wolpo from all the templates based on the fact that official Chabad have somehow disowned him, so clearly there is so idea of what makes a Chabad rabbi. Chabad may be a large movement, but it does not have many activists - they are just very active 3-4000 rabbis is not very big in global terms. As far as Engel is concerned the issue is not the shul dispute, but the various criminal activities he is currently being investigated about. That is why he was fired. As a chabad rabbi, who maintained various chabad activies, to be investigated over kashrut fraud etc is a chabad related controversy. While the chabad movememnt may remove all trace of him from their websites as soon as he becomes a liablity to chabad, that is not how it works on wikipedia, that is again the NTS falacy. If you can show that he isn't and wasn't a chabad rabbi then we can talk, but right now we have sources that he is and was. Lobojo (talk) 15:53, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
You demonstrate once more that you simply have no idea about the topic and shouldn't be editing on it. I don't know exactly what you think you mean by "Chabad give semicha". Please explain what you mean by it, in detail. I think you have some major misconceptions, that are not being addressed because we're talking past each other. The only way I can see any light being shed is if you explain what it is that you think happens when a Chabadnik gets semicha. What is it, who gives it, what does it signify, how does it change the recipient's status? -- Zsero (talk) 04:58, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
It is irrelevant what the exact nature of the allegations made against Rabbi Engel are. All that's relevant is that they are in no way related to his personal identity as a Lubavitcher, or anything that he allegedly said or did explicitly in the name of the movement. The same principle goes for all the other non-Chabad controversies that you insist on posting on this page. And relative to the number of communal activists affiliated with other groups, Chabad is definitely large, if not the largest, Orthodox Jewish outreach group. Yehoishophot Oliver (talk) 09:43, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Gutnick-Feldman feud[edit]

I'm at a loss as to how this qualifies for the article either. Yossel Gutnick is no more or less a Chabadnik then Lev Leviev, and you've already agreed any dispute involving Leviev, even with another Chabadnik such as Shaya Boymelgreen, would not qualify for this page. So why does Yossel's dispute with his sister and brother-in-law qualify? Don't suggest that the difference is that Yossel has smicha and Leviev doesn't. That, even if true, is irrelevant. (I'm not even sure that Yossel does have smicha; he's often called "rabbi", but that could just be a courtesy title that nobody bothers to correct because it's meaningless. Any adult male in Lubav tends to get called "rabbi" whether he has smicha or not.) Nor was the Yeshiva Centre in Sydney officially a Lubav institution; it was a Nusach Sfard shul and school that happened to hire a Lubav rabbi. It was the de facto centre of the Chabad community in Sydney, but I'm not sure that's enough to make a financial dispute involving it a "Chabad-related controversy". At the end of the day it took a loan and couldn't pay it back; if a bank had foreclosed on it, would that still be a "Chabad-related controversy"? -- Zsero (talk) 05:57, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Again your assertion that you cannot be a Chabad rabbi is not valid. Yossel Gutnick is a major Chabad rabbi and is the virtual founder of Chabad in Australia, he has been fighting with his brother in law another Chabad leader and rabbi for years about Chabad institutions and Chabad finances. He is a rabbi, he is a major leader, Leviev is no such thing. Your constant reference to Leviev has be baffled. This is not even a straw-man, it is a imaginary straw-man. Chabad rabbis fighting over Chabad money not a Chabad related controversy, give me a break. Lobojo (talk) 15:39, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
You clearly have no idea what you're talking about. Almost every factual assertion in the above paragraph is untrue, and so far from the truth that nobody even casually familiar with the subject could possibly make them. In particular, anyone who could imagine describing Yossel as "the virtual founder of Chabad in Australia" should not comment at all on this topic, and should not make substantive edits to WP on the topic.
Yossel is a businessman, who happens to be a Lubavitcher, and who may happen to have semicha. Leviev is a businessman who happens to be a Lubavitcher and who happens not to have semicha. There is no other difference between them, and the holding of an academic degree isn't relevant to any issue in which either of them may be involved. Oh, and the money involved in the Gutnick-Feldman dispute is not, in any sense, "Chabad money".
-- Zsero (talk) 04:53, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Please sir, no personal attacks. Your removal of the sourced information is unacceptable. You clearly have a tremendous personal knowledge of the founders of Chabad in Australia, people such as Zalman Serebryanski and so on, but I need to remind you that these people are certainly the two most prominent leaders of chabad in Australia at present, he does have semicha, he regularly uses the title rabbi and holds a number of senior roles in chabad orgs in Australia. Again, they are fighting over chabad monies and chabad yeshivas and so on. This will not wash. You say that I am unqualfied to so much as edit in these matters, but I merely remind you to be aware of WP:COI. Lobojo (talk) 15:10, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
What personal attacks? I merely point out what you have made obvious - that you know nothing about the subject. Yossel Gutnick had no role whatsoever in founding Chabad in Australia. He is not at present a leader of Chabad in Australia, nor has he ever been; he is merely a businessman who has donated a lot of money. Using the title rabbi does not prove that he has semicha; it could be a courtesy title. I honestly have no idea whether he does or not, and it would be rude to ask, but it doesn't make any difference; semichas are a dime a dozen and don't add much to a person's prestige, and certainly doesn't automatically make someone a leader. He sits on the boards of several institutions to which he has donated money - just as donors do in all institutions everywhere in the world. If someone sits on the boards of several Ivy League Universities, that doesn't make him an academic leader! The money they are fighting over is not, in any sense, "Chabad money"; the fact that you think it is just shows once again how little you know on the subject. And people who don't know about a subject should not make substantive edits on those subjects. -- Zsero (talk) 14:37, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
This is very tedious. The motive for this is transparent. More personal attacks. I am not repeating the same indisputable facts over and over. Lobojo (talk) 14:44, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
What personal attack? Where are you seeing one? The only personal attack I see here is yours: "The motive for this is transparent". You may want to look into a saying about mirrors. You may be a wonderful person for all I know, but your "facts" are not facts. -- Zsero (talk) 15:33, 24 January 2008 (UTC)"
I concur with Zsero. No personal attack intended, but yet again you have no inkling of what you are talking about. Gutnick wasn't even born when Chabad was founded in Australia in the late '40's. His main role has been to donate money. That doesn't in itself make one a communal leader. He is not regarded as a leader and his opinion is not sought by the Australian Chabad community, he's only regarded as a person who should donate his money to worthy causes. The press quote him because he's wealthy and that makes him influential, and because of various controversial things he's said and done as an individual, not because he has any official Chabad leadership role. The Yeshiva Centre, both the shul that still exists and the former school, Yeshiva College of Sydney, were never officially Chabad institutions, just ones whose shul board hired a Chabad rabbi, and whose non-Chabad school was administrated by that rabbi. And the fight wasn't over the institutions per se, but only that he wanted the alleged loan repaid. That's all aside from the fact that the whole Gutnick-Feldman dispute does not relate to Chabad as a movement. Yehoishophot Oliver (talk) 08:43, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

I concur, and propose deleting the Gutnick-Feldman section along with various other 'individual' stories having nothing to do with the Chabad-Lubavitch movement per se. Otherwise, one could argue for including every story about Rabbis Leib Tropper, Lipa Margulies, Yehuda Kolko, etc. on a page dedicated to 'Orthodox-Yeshiva Controversies'. Which would, obviously, be equally absurd.Winchester2313 (talk) 20:14, 16 March 2010 (UTC)