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Author:  prefer not
E-mail:  not available
Date:  7/25/2004 11:20:00 AM
Subject:  Carlebach Chassidim
Message:  A decade ago, shortly after Sholomo Carlebach's death we were fortunate enough to have a beautiful home in a resort location. We were asked to please donate our home for a Carlebach Shabbaton (I don't remember if it was a yahrzeit or what but it was around then).

A few days before the Shabbaton, several Carlebach "Rabbis" and their families arrived. They were given guest rooms and I cooked Shabbat meals for the 35 attendees of this Shabbaton.

What proceeded to happen over the course of the next 5-7 days that our house was occupied by this group really shocked us. Our home was turned into what was basically a frat party. There were "Rebbetzins" running around in T shirts and panties, ""Rabbis" getting wasted, people sleeping all over with whomever and whatever, and we were horrified and shocked. Not to mention that at the time we had a very cordial relationship with the local police who would often bring to our house Jewish kids who were caught doing not nice things rather than arresting them and we were terrified that this "event" would put an end to that.

Honestly, this Shabbaton was supposed to be for the benefit of "off the derech" youth in the area who were to be presented with a "kinder gentler" Judaism. However,it seemed as though the "Rabbis" were much more off the derech than the kids.

Later we found out that the "Rabbi" who was leading the whole thing was not even a Jew, but had been "converted" and "ordained" by Sholomo Carlebach.

When Tuesday finally came (and believe me I was counting the minutes) and after I had cooked hundreds of dollars worth of food, cleaned up, made beds, washed towels and linens, and cleaned bathrooms, my husband and I were treated to a lecture on "the evils of materialism" and how attached to our possessions we were, of course it didn't bother them while they were enjoying it for a week.

I think that the whole point of this "outreach" was a party vacation for a group of "Carlebach" chassidim (big names within the movement) and it makes me wonder whom they ever makareved and to what. I will mention that one of the Rabbis of this crew did later go on to become a truly observant Jew within a Chassidic movement and the one who was a Gentile actually returned to his former faith. Another one of these "Rabbis" took a Conservative pulpit as did a fourth. The fifth Rabbi in attendance became notorious for doing quick conversions for marriage and became a partner in a "college" for prospective converts.

I ran into the woman who sang at the Motzai Shabbat melava malka kumsitz (yes, and we did not know WHAT to do with that one) years later in LA and she was basically part of the LA music scene and all that goes with it.

I believe that there were many young people who did go on to become observant Jews AFTER being exposed to the Carlebach movement. Please note that I say AFTER and not as a result of. I think that those who did go on to become observant after being exposed to the Carlebach movement were searching for truth and more than likely would have found it anyway, in spite of and not because of the Carelbach movement.

It hurts me to write this, but I think that it is important to tell the truth about something that is greatly idealized.
Reply:  Wow! Scary stuff. Thanks for sharing.

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