Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Interesting stuff! Jews Evangelizing to Jews

October 05, 2003 Jews Evangelizing Among Jews

Jews don't evangelize among members of other religions, but some Jewish groups do evangelize among other Jews. The biggest such group are the Lubavitchers who seek to convert all others Jews to their brand of ultra-orthodox Judaism. They even send out families to various places around the world in order to set up shop near other Jews.

Infobrix explains:

Two years after arriving in Peoria, Langsam and his wife, Sarah, two members of what has become known as "the Rebbe's Army," have firmly established a Lubavitch Chabad beach head in downstate Illinois. They have started a preschool, a summer camp, and monthly classes for both mixed audiences and women only. They hold special seasonal events, such as the recent "Shofar Factory," at which participants learned how to fashion their own shofars from a goat's horn for use during the Jewish High Holidays, which start at sundown Friday with Rosh Hashanah. They invite Jews to their house for Sabbath meals on Fridays and go to their homes for private lessons. They meet with students at area colleges. They help Jews clean and prepare their homes so they fit with orthodox understanding of being kosher.
Emissaries, or schlichim, of Chabad head out to areas with isolated Jewish populations, like Peoria, and start programs and relationships aimed at increasing traditional Jewish practice. There are currently more than 4,000 families serving 2,700 Chabad centers around the world. Rather than waning after the 1994 death of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the fundamental inspiration behind Chabad, the movement has actually picked up speed.
The Lubavitchers are one of the fastest growing sects in Judaism and they make converts all over the world. They lead a very strict Jewish life, one which can cause conflict with surrounding communities - but that doesn't bother them at all. They know that they are right, that everyone else is wrong, and that God has a special plan for them. [sound familiar???]


Thomas Kearney said...

I work with a Lubavitcher Stardust...well, I used to until he suffered a couple of serious injuries recently. So much for God looking out for those who obey his commandments.

He converted, sometime in the 1970's I think, after being something of a hippie during the late 1960's. He does not shave his facial hair, and is very orthodox. I get along with him fairly well, though it saddens me that he allows his life to be ruled by the dictates of an imaginary god. I had a mild argument with him once about Noah's Ark. He insists that everything in Genesis actually happened. I was like, no way could a group of people share a boat with thousands of animals. The stink alone from all of that shit, not to mention having to clean it all up and feed the animals and keep them from devouring each other.

Albert said...

Intersting book relative to this post

Stardust said...

Thanks for the book suggestion. I will add it to my reading list.