Holding Yair Lapid up to Chabad for comparison

Right now, Chabad is reaching across Texas, where temperatures are below freezing and people are without electricity. Where is Lapid? Op-ed.

Ra'anan Elozory ,

Lapid hails Chabad
Lapid hails Chabad
צילום מסך

For the sake of gaining political strength for the near-dead left, Mk Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid party) is willing to destroy the great unifying force of Chabad.

It was so painful and mind-boggling to read Lapid’s attack on Chabad's possibly supporting, in any way, Itamar Ben Gevir of the Otzma Yehudit party. He has since apologized, but the words were said.and published all over.

I remember reading that kibbutz members are told before traveling abroad that if they get into any trouble they should call Chabad. The kibbutz didn’t say contact Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid party, nor a Conservative or Reform temple! That’s because they know who’ll go to bat for their fellow Jews, regardless of their political and ideological views! Chabad rabbis around the world visit prisons in order to help Jewish prisoners, including from those from Israel, in any way they can.

That makes me think of the funds that political parties have and what they choose to do with them. So many pauper Chabad rabbis run everything on shoe-string budgets.

I remember Naftali Bennett making trips to Jewish communities abroad, but those stories disappeared. I’m betting that’s because nothing came out of them. I think he wanted to be relevant, but what can he bring to the table that would interest Diaspora Jews? What's the common denominator between Israeli Jews and Diaspora Jews? What connects Meretz, Yair Lapid and Bennett to world Jewry? Hi-tech? I’ve seen these meetings. There’s a huge gap and Israeli Jews don’t understand it until they’re face-to-face with a non-Orthodox American Jew and find they have nothing in common, they lack content.

Religious parties have content, but they need to work on a warm and welcoming interface. The window of opportunity is fast closing. I hear demographics nearly screaming this. Over 75% of American Jewry has intermarried! Less than 25% of intermarried children identify with Jewishness and even that identification is weak, probably because they’ve seen their own parents have intermarried, so why shouldn’t they?

Chabad does it for all of us. Chabad is “spilling their guts” around the world to fight this massive, stupefying kiss of Esau that is draining us.

Right now, Chabad is reaching out across Texas, where temperatures are below freezing and many people are without electricity, giving stranded Jews (and anyone who comes) a warm bed, a hot meal, a place to charge their phones or even just to listen.

Who can forget the holy Chabad couple, Rabbi Gavriel and Rabbanit Rivqa Holtzberg HYD who literally gave their lives, opening their hearts and home to Jews from around the world, a great many from Israel.

So, what do we do? I do remember once seeing a clip of Yair Lapid welcoming Rabbi David Grossman to his show and how the rabbi immediately went to Yair and gave him a big hug and kiss and Yair was overcome with emotion and actually cried.

Some may think me naïve, and maybe they are right. However, Judaism holds there’s G-dliness in every Jew. The sweetness that exists under the prickly skin of a sabra, even a radically leftist and progressive anti-religious one, is really that G-dliness. We can’t give up on any Jew, not even Yair Lapid.

Dr. Ra’anan Elozory is a veteran ESL (English as a Second Language) instructor at Atidcha (a high school for at-risk students) and other institutions, with extensive field work in Jewish outreach, who enjoys “mixing it up” among varied adherents of different halakhic ideologies.