Monday, 15 Shevat, 5783
  |  February 6, 2023

A Lubavitcher Entered North Korea

Photographer Meir Alfasi dared to visit isolated North Korea and despite constant surveillance, he found common ground with them. Full Story

CGI Florida Hit Learning Record

Next Story »

When Husband Can’t Afford A Wig

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
He was hit by them
August 26, 2018 5:41 pm

He was hit by the N. Koreans not because his hands were behind his back when he bowed but because he was a Jew and they know that a Jew is not allowed to bow to a statue.

A Waste...
August 23, 2018 8:58 pm

Jews should not endanger themselves going to places where we do not know about any jew living there for mivtzoim…
Unless the Rebbe would tell tl do so….

Inda Know
August 23, 2018 6:49 pm

It’s a shame Mordachai HaYehudi didn’t know the alenu trick.

We wouldn’t have to fast!!.

A Lubavitcher Entered North Korea
August 22, 2018 2:31 pm

Sounds like the beginning of a very bad joke

In fact I never intended to imply anything not good about
August 22, 2018 5:41 am

the photographer with my post of # 37, only that he could possibly influence other yidden , lacking his amazing Mazel, to do likewise, resulting in less than such pleasant endings. Hopefully he did elevate a some sparks there. .

To # 37 He certainly didn’t make mention of trying to print a
August 22, 2018 2:32 am

Tanya, only that he admitted to violating explicit instructions by bringing in no less than 3 professional cameras and a go-pro. Didn’t mean to imply something necessarily bad about him only that he acted recklessly.

Our state department gave explicit instructions not to travel for tourism there!
August 21, 2018 3:31 pm

Why question This?

Two sides
August 21, 2018 1:59 pm

I look at this like zionissim the idea of zionissim is against torah but once isreal had established it self we need a military to protect the civilians so to over here their a halocha that a person should not put himself in danger but since he made it out of there bh and also when he was their ge gave out the seven mitzvah cards which is one of the horois of the rebbe and also he thought about torah and davenig and also thought about the rebbe so he for sure brought kedushah

Reply to #37
August 21, 2018 12:27 pm

You should investigate the facts before you say something bad abut another Jew especially in the month of Elul

How do you know what he was doing there. Maybe he tried to print a Tanya and it didn’t work out.

August 21, 2018 12:22 pm

Maybe there were some sparks that needed to be elevated;)

He had no seemingly kosher purpose to be there
August 21, 2018 10:20 am

just for curiosity and on a dare. Agree with # 31 he should bench Gomel. This is not a schlius of the Rebbe!

Printing a Tanya
August 21, 2018 1:33 am

I’m very surprised that there’s no mention about printing a Tanya there!!!

When a Lubavitcher goes to such a place that should be one of the basic things that get done.

Naive commenters take a chill
August 20, 2018 7:42 pm

If everything he says is true, then you have a good point about this being a foolish risk. Between him and Ynet, I don’t believe everything went down the way it sounds here. Ask anyone who has ever been interviewed for an intriguing story if their story grew 3 beards by the time it was published.

Naive people will also believe that the country is so functional based on these (approved for release) pictures.

student of history
August 20, 2018 5:57 pm

For those suggesting hat this is a private matter i.e. an individual’s personal assumption of risk – and not subject to the judgement and criticism of others, I beg to differ. Any student of Jewish history knows too well that historically, the balance of an entire community’s fate was all too often dependent on the actions of a single Jew, for both positive and negative. The notion that someone who was visiting a dictatorial state as a ‘proud’ and open Jew while flaunting explicit warnings exhibits a shocking lack of awareness on his part. I can only caution everyone against… Read more »

Silly person
August 20, 2018 5:48 pm

I’m glad he got out alive and didn’t make the whole community contribute to his Go Fund Me campaign. We have enough problems as it is…

To number 3 -
August 20, 2018 5:34 pm

When have you ever seen normal people having conversations and looking happy on a general sub. 😀 And i’m not talking about when someone tries to make a party on a subway or something.

Birshas Hagomel
August 20, 2018 5:06 pm

He needs to bench Gomel for returning safely ב”ה

LA Morah
August 20, 2018 3:23 pm

If you’ve read accounts of visitors who were imprisoned in North Korea,and for seemingly much less consequential offenses then taking photos,you have to say it’s mamosh a miracle that this man left N. Korea safely.

מאיר אתה מלך 👑
August 20, 2018 2:52 pm

What a boss great stuff meir… next time call me 🙂

August 20, 2018 2:19 pm

I’m one of your big fans Meir!

Hope to see more!
Really cool! Never thought anyone would do it really amazed that you went.
BIG Kiddush Hashem!!

Kol Hakavod!

Traveling there was one thing
August 20, 2018 2:01 pm

But lying to get in, breaking the rules they gave him, and now publicly flaunting it, is pure recklessness!

Sometimes people don’t realize what the consequences could be. Even after coming out it could be risky.

August 20, 2018 10:58 am

it fails to mention when he took this trip.

August 20, 2018 10:48 am

Why is it necessary to always write a comment that passes judgement on people?
I happen to think it’s really cool that he went. Risky, but we all take risks. Some people are dare devil’s others are not.
I’m really interested to know want people in N Korea think about Jews? Have they heard of us?
I was in Iceland and the van driver to the rental company had never heard of Jews.

who would be responsible?
August 20, 2018 10:26 am

and if C”V he WAS held then we would all be called to donate millions of dollars and intervene with our Senators and Presidents etc. etc. for Pidyon Shvuyim and hatzalas nefashos. this is the most idiotic thing to do and his stunt is NOT appreciated. There was no neccessity or good reason whatsoever to undertake such a trip. I would think twice about using an ibber chochom to my photography.

Wowww so cool!!!!
August 20, 2018 10:25 am

Omg chill everyone!!! if someone wants to take such a risk let him, maybe you wouldn’t encourage your kids to… but don’t attack him, seriously it’s fine

August 20, 2018 9:36 am

it’s stupid to visit dictatorships. He apparently knows nothing about Communism. it’s just a stunt. Ridiculous.
Are there any Jews there that he could help? No.
Can he help the non-Jews who live there? No.
Why go then?

I second all the above comments
August 20, 2018 9:17 am

Idiotic and very immature

Crazy, irresponsible and reprehensible in so many ways, and should not be given media attention
August 20, 2018 8:43 am

This is a crazy, bird brained idea! What an absolute idiot! If he would have been detained, he would have put the Israeli (and USA?) government(s) into the position of trying to free him. His wife would have remained an aguna, his kids without their father. What’s the point? This publicity stunt lowers his stature in my estimation and should not be publicized in the news.

כדאי היית לחוב בעצמך
August 20, 2018 8:40 am

It’s forbidden to put oneself in such danger, for nothing. Even for a dvar mitzvah one must first ask a shayla, if possible, and get brochos and store up zechuyos, as well as davening hard. But stam for חיזו דהאי עלמא?!! Where did he get the right to do that?

August 20, 2018 8:33 am

Great to know more about that country. Thank you Meir!

who's next?
August 20, 2018 8:32 am

I’m happy he made it out but now that he went agains their rules ans posted about it peharps also “making them look bad” I hope they don’t punish the next guy for his rule breaking.

August 20, 2018 8:21 am

Sorry. This is nothing to be proud of. You’re an idiot. Lying to authorities, putting yourself in danger by going to such a place and all the details it involved.

And then you would have cried out for piston shivuyim, or $$ for a poor widow and 4 children.

You should be embarrassed of yourself…not proud.

Totally not right
August 20, 2018 8:06 am

1. Has he never heard the story of Chana and her seven sons? Jews died just so it wouldn’t even look like they’re bowing down to a getchke.
2. He illegally brought camera equipment. That’s dangerous. What right does he have to put this life at risk, especially when he has a whole family?

ונשמרתם מאוד לנפשותיכם
August 20, 2018 7:39 am

Against the Torah to go to North Korea, He is very Foolish for going. Shouldn’t be posted here. You are encouraging people to do stupid things. He should thank Hashem he’s alive and Keep these pictures for himself.

August 20, 2018 7:34 am

so selfish, just to get attention… what if they decided he’s a threat to them??? who would get him out of there???

Otto Warmbier didn’t make it out….

I am sorry
August 20, 2018 7:10 am

What would have happend if would have arrested him…first lubavitcher in north Korea jail…then pinjion shuviyim…be responsible for your family not the internet

Not smart
August 20, 2018 7:00 am

So basically he broke every rule the country has. He’s lucky he got out, or this article could have been with a go fund me page asking for money for his legal fees

Don’t know what posesses people to do such stupid and dangerous things

August 20, 2018 6:32 am

Get him OUT of there. Have we not learned our lesson in India ? Only fools put themselves in danger.Let him get a college degree and have a career.

BH you made it back safely
August 20, 2018 6:31 am

but please do NOT encourage others or pretend it is wise to travel there. Our kids are all over the world and do not need to start dreaming of a dangerous destination
Safe travels to all

Midwest Lady
August 20, 2018 5:51 am

Why? No Jews there and he is putting himself at terrible risk??
The boy that died recently was a visiting Jew. They returned him days before his death.

Reckless attitude
August 20, 2018 5:44 am

When did we teach our kids to take major stupid risks?

Cool, but very irresponsible...
August 20, 2018 4:51 am

First and foremost, to his wife and kids.
Happy he made it safely, but anything could have happened in that hellish place. Especially considering, the tragic torture, and murder, of Jewish Otto Warmbier, A”H, there, recently.

August 20, 2018 1:58 am

How come chana and her seven sons didn’t know of the trick of bowing while saying alenu? That could have saved their lives!

August 20, 2018 12:55 am

This is not something the Rebbe would have approved of. This is not the same as sending Shluchim to Russia during the cold war (1. there is no mivtzoim element; 2. There is a higher likelihood of a foreigner being arrested indefinitely in NK than there was in Russia).

Putting yourself in danger for tourism purposes (or to be the first Lubavitcher) and the possibility that the Jewish Community would have to work on Pidyon Shivuyim on your behalf is not OK.

Last picture..
August 20, 2018 12:51 am

The people on the train look so bored. No newspapers, no books, no smart phone… Not even making conversation. Nothing!

שפיגל ירושלים
August 20, 2018 12:47 am

Next stop North Viet Nam on the Ho Chi Min Trail

Is this wise?
August 20, 2018 12:40 am

It sounds like he’s bragging about flouting their rules. Does he think that’s a good idea?