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A Reply to Boteach Critique

Following a 3 Tammuz column by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach citing "the foremost issues that Chabad should commit to improving on this milestone occasion," Florida Shliach Rabbi Yoseph Korf writes to COLlive a counter back: "Once again he rears his head to hang Chabad's laundry." Full Story

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July 20, 2009 8:06 am

It’s pashut a crying shame that some have previously taken to comparing SB’s mussar of Lubavitch and Shluchim to the Rebbe (and I would say l’havdil, but SB is a Jew and is not in niduy) and the mussar he would give at times publicly. There are so many differences as to make that comparison simply laughable and a sham!!! It’s a pity to see that such fools exist to even imagine such a thing. I will however not even focus on that. Rather a chochom echad previously mentioned “Mo’ed Katan 17a” – I wish to recount it here for… Read more »

Shameful !!!
July 17, 2009 8:05 am

The shame is that liberal/feel-good/emotional individuals have taken over the forum and debate and are not willing to listen to anything being said. You can show them a Gemara or talk sense but if it’s a famous person and they have personal issues of their own they’ll jump on the criticizer’s bandwagon no matter what you say. The waste of time is not R’ Korf’s article which made eminent sense and has already been alluded to by some (the few in support) but the many who REALLY have nothing to say (and accuse RK of having nothing to say) other… Read more »

125 -
July 8, 2009 3:19 pm


Rabbi Korf is right on the money
July 8, 2009 12:32 pm

To the people that were writing don’t attack the messenger, rather confront the message, just read the story in Meseches Moed Kattan [towards] the top of daf 17 amud 1.

Thank you Rabbi Korf
July 8, 2009 7:21 am

Your putdown of that pompous bag of wind was long overdue.

Thoughts from a FFB lubavitcher
July 6, 2009 7:32 am

Rabbi Boteach raised some very important points. I wished someone who has bitul and honesty instead of anger and fear responded. I live in Pittsburgh and we have an excellent well rounded Chabad school with dedicated staff . Rabbi Boteach, you are mistaken about it being bursting with students. It is a small school because it has a full secular department. Most Chabad parents are not interested in their high schools kids having a secular education. Half our community, who love the school, sends their kids out of town. Also, we have in our community in-reach for the teens and… Read more »

Radio Host
July 6, 2009 3:51 am

I am a Lubavitcher that interviewed Shmuely Boteach on my radio show and found him charming and very articulate. Yes, Rabbi Korf does raise valid points: 1) Boteach should have used discretion with his criticism since there are many who are jealous of Chabad’s success and are ready to pounce on anything they can. 2) Shmuely, the master of self-promotion, is probably not the right messenger for this message But having said that, and having children in the Lubavitch system, i found myself nodding my head in agreement with what SB was saying. If we as a community, by definition,… Read more »

Friend of Shmuley
July 5, 2009 7:03 pm

As a “fully fledged” Lubavitcher, I will tell you that Shmuley’s heart is in the right place. I know first hand that both Shmuely and Debbie Boteach still have a burning love for the Rebbe and Lubavitch and in many ways still view themselves as Shluchim. As one who grew up in a non-frum environment, I will tell you that many shluchim get carried away with the importance and vital mission that the Rebbe has sent them on. Indeed, they appear to forget that they represent the Rebbe and Lubavitch, versus a personal family dynasty or appointed position. Rabbi Korf… Read more »

July 5, 2009 5:11 pm

Now that we all agree that these are valid issues lets start fixing them 1) Lets have schools that teach instead or “Babysitting” 2) Let’s put emphasis on our children being and becoming upstanding citizens contributing to society 3) Let’s end the internal mafia and “brotherhood” that dictates the outcomes of dinai Torah 4) Let be more practical when it comes to shiduchim and singles meeting 5) Let’s include real training for leadership instead of the years of non-focused “study” that is prevalent in the Yeshiva system 6) (I don’t feel as strongly about this one) Let’s bring more accountability… Read more »

For the first time in my adult life I'm proud of the CH community
July 5, 2009 4:52 pm

…JK (not exactly the first time but I like that line) ONE HUNDRED and eighteen comments and the overwhelming majority sound like people with open minds who are able to read an article and see if the content is accurate and makes sense. I want to write my own feelings but it’s been said about 100 times already so why repeat it? PS it sounds like there’s 1 guy out there trying to promote that one post #38 (maybe it’s Korf himself) and #41 sorry but you have done the same as Rabbi Korf. You attacked the messenger instead of… Read more »

Boteach - Great points, good ideas - just nobody's home to implement them!
July 5, 2009 3:39 pm

The Rebbe stressed many, many times – “the first step in healing a R”L sickness is for the person to know that they are sick.” This, in a nutshell, is my opinion of the current state of affairs in “lubavitch” today. When you have rampant situations of blatant violations of the basic core – common sense tznius issues among married and single women, when you have problems of youth going off the proper way of frum observance of torah and mitzvos – this is primarily because of serious issues of yiras shomayim and respect for values which have been the… Read more »

July 5, 2009 12:49 pm

The fact that Shmuley Boteach rebuffs Chabad and gives them mooser, is a good sign: He would benefit himself and the people around him, if he started attending Open debating Chabad Shiurim on a regular basis. It might stir the pot a bit, but a little jewish debating never hurt. By the way, if Chos V’Shalom there was an Iranian nuclear crisis or the like in the world approaching, believe me, Shmuley Boteach and his Chabad rabbis would be the best of neshomodik pals, because ultimately we love every Jew, we need every Jew, we’re in this together, good or… Read more »

the right thing
July 5, 2009 10:47 am

Rabbi Boteach might have right points but posting it online is not going to help the situation, just cause what it did. When there is a issue that a persons sees, the answer is work do something about it, or speak to whom it may concern. Yenting online is just a sign of weakness and degration.

I am embarrased to be a member of todays Chabad-Lubavitch.
July 4, 2009 10:34 pm

Or rather, I was until I started to read the comments on this article. I was beginning to thing think that I was the only one who sees the problems that Rabbi Boteach pointed out, which have developed in Chabad since Gimmel Tamuz. I learned in Tomchei Temimimim, and was a Shaliach for several years. I found that I had to quit my shlichus because of immoral and illegal activity that was taking place by the higher-ups in my Moised. When I tried to address these problems with the head shluchim in my area, the answer that I got was… Read more »

to be bal teshuva
July 4, 2009 6:20 pm

As a To be bal teshuva, after hearing from friends all over, the terrible education that children get in chabad schools. just look at this example Is not about learning tanya is about applying it.
There are a lot a jews they dont learn Tanya but i dont think they need it as much as the rabbi’s involved above.

Shmley, return to shlichus...
July 4, 2009 3:49 pm

Can we please find a new place for Shmuley to start a chabad shul and school… awesome article… and so so right…..

Boteach Paid Korf to write this...
July 4, 2009 1:37 pm

He MUST have … and if he didnt he SHOULD.

R' Korf
July 4, 2009 11:12 am

Your response does not become you.

Rabbis stop
July 3, 2009 12:10 pm

I think not everythink is for the internet.

to #38
July 3, 2009 11:48 am

Thanks for your comment – really well written, you bring up good points, and back them up as well. I think your comment should have been up there as the response to the article, instead of Rabbi Korf’s.

July 3, 2009 9:58 am

If you think either one of these guys are intelligent , then you need to get an education.
By the way – they both went to the same school in miami, if that says anything!!!

Time to let the egos Go............
July 3, 2009 9:54 am

Yosie:stop answering for Lubavitch,.
You aren’t a chosen or elected representative and really who asked you to speak for all of us????
shmueli and you can email each other your responses.
Let the egos Go~!

what's going on????
July 3, 2009 9:26 am

Who cares who said it! The truth is that we have to change some things in the system. Every organization in the real world always looks to see how to improve. Who cares where the suggestion came from! I think that all the little ceaser’s should make a meeting together. The motif should me to look yourself in the mirror and then take inventory. Gut Shabbos

One for Korf
July 3, 2009 8:40 am

Korf is cool. You gotta love him. He’s just different.

Rabbi Korf is great!
July 3, 2009 8:40 am

He has no qualms about signing his name to his comments (unlike all those who bashed him), and he gets it, and doesn’t budge even though there are many Shmuel Boteach worshipers and few (if any) R Korf worshipers. Remain unfazed! You are the best! If he is (SB) ‘fun unzere’ he can take some non politically correct straight talk. Anyhow, when the Rebbe and his Institution is attacked, do you refute the attacker? No! You call him a yutz and move on. The Rebbe doesn’t need us to refute his detractors. Rabbi Korf gets that and just [basically] called… Read more »

Have Rachmonos
July 3, 2009 8:29 am

It’s not right for all you guys to gang up on Korf this way. He probably means well.

July 3, 2009 8:14 am

Thank you Rabbi Korf for an excellent article. Good Shabbos!.

July 3, 2009 8:10 am

Man Alive!
This Korf guy really got thick skin!

Warning Rabbi Yoseph Korf
July 3, 2009 8:09 am

Rabbi Yoseph Korf personal attacks is not the way to convene a message, eventhough I’m fed up with Boteach’s comments on Chabad all the time

July 3, 2009 8:04 am

Oy Vey!
It’s him again!
Does he ever tire?

the comics - ding and dong
July 3, 2009 7:51 am

don’t worry so much about Chabad they’re growing over 28,958 rabbis worldwide and not a hint on recession or unemployment

Joseph Korf
July 3, 2009 7:07 am

I’m ashamed to read some of the comments so far. Not because of the personal attacks (although I’m sure there will be those who won’t believe that, but then you can’t win for trying). But rather due to the lack of pride being exhibited by so many “Lubavitchers” (although, the anonymity adds of course to the mystery). Whether it’s a lack of knowledge, discernment, maturity or for that matter, just groveling like a sycophant or just sheer contrariness, I really don’t know, not do I care. But I will not sit by when someone like SB has nothing better to… Read more »

July 3, 2009 6:55 am

Amazing article by Boteach.
I think the way Korf responded is very likely to be taken as a Chilul Lubavitch…

boruch hoffinger
July 3, 2009 5:49 am

“No Jew will ever set foot in my house.”
Harry Truman

ok all you 93 commenters (so far)
July 3, 2009 5:19 am

time tto get ready for shabbes! git shabbes!

and a gitten chag hageula “lachassidim hoiso oiro vesimcha vesoson vikar” yud bes tamuz!!

Great Article
July 3, 2009 5:12 am

Rabbi Korfs tone and response in his article is exactly the problem we have today by so many of our leaders, which is running away from a little constructive criticism and acting in complete denial shut off from the realities in the world we live in today. Wake up Rabbi Korf your response feeds exactly into boteachs point.

Discuss the points without attack
July 3, 2009 5:11 am

Believe it or not, I enjoyed reading both points of view. It is good to be able to discuss the fine points of each issue. There is no one absolute answer to many of these issues. But what we need to adapt in our society is the ability to have discussions and arguments and leave out the personal attacks and political affiliations. Rabbi Boteach, like him or not, is brilliant and has accomplished a lot. His style may not agree with all. Rabbi Korf made several impassioned arguments that also have merit. Let’s keep the dialogue open, but our hearts… Read more »

Zvi in Montreal
July 3, 2009 5:11 am

Please post #38’s response as a separate Op-ed answer. It is the most well-written and thought out comment I have ever seen, and should be open to more discussion.

Rabbi Korf does not answer R’ Boteach’s points, which are quite valid. One of his biggest complaints to Shmuley is “what do you suggest in your article?”

Rabbi Korf, I didn’t see any of your suggestions either…

to # 38
July 3, 2009 4:38 am

Beautifully written

CH Yid
July 3, 2009 4:28 am

Please take down Rabbi Yoseph Korfs article. Its embarrassing.

We love shmuely
July 3, 2009 4:00 am

Shmuely is brilliant,

Comment #38
July 3, 2009 3:52 am

EXCELLENT! This post should replace Rabbi Korfs article!! Well written and great points made!! He is answering the points made NOT bashing the author of the first article!!

to 81
July 3, 2009 3:40 am

Yes. As a chossid of the Rebbe, I feel it nogeah to me when the Rebbe’s kovod is denigrated.

By the way, I never met Rabbi Korf, and I has no blood relationship to him. Though I’m studying in Kollel now, and therefore hope to be a shliach myself soon, so hopefully in the future I will be a brother of his.

to 38-Just a Shliach
July 3, 2009 3:22 am

What a well written response! U should write more.

Read Comment # 38
July 3, 2009 3:04 am

The best thing that comes out of this debate is Comment #38.

Look at the way he writes, making his points with sensitivity and class. He states his opinion but at the same time leaves room for another point of view.

Real classy guy. I hope to hear more from him more in the future.

To 48
July 3, 2009 2:58 am

the difference is one is doing constructive criticism and one is a personal attack.

Not healty...
July 3, 2009 2:56 am

This is not a healthy correspondence. Not now, before the three weeks that will mark the destruction of our Temple, sending us and the Shechina to rome the bitter exiles for articles of this nature; not ever never ever.

I would rather regurgitate a million Sichos than have this talk on the lips.

Get it all together Rabbis.!!!!!!!!!!!

To 59
July 3, 2009 2:55 am

The rebbe was always critiquing the shluchim. I dont think he is negative. He brings up points that are valid.

To 76
July 3, 2009 2:53 am

So you are Modeh that you are nogeah bedovor?

Appreciate the Honesty
July 3, 2009 2:44 am

Thank you Rabbi Boteach for being real. Maybe think about using an alias in the future.

July 3, 2009 2:40 am

Korf’s article is pathetic.

B.W. - Crown Heights
July 3, 2009 2:03 am

Everybody can be hotheaded in a response when responding to a denigration to your core. Halevai, we should all feel our core being the Rebbe (like Korf evidently does) that when he feels the Rebbe is slighted he looses his cool somewhat. Which yutz writes (like boteach did in a shameless manner) “just a regurgitation of a Sicha” or “simply parrot the Rebbe’s Sicha”? With such words, I can see why Rabbi Korf, as a Ibbergegebene shliach and chossid of the Rebbe, would have his blood pressure shoot up. How can I read comments glorifying those ‘pearls of wisdom’ emanating… Read more »

not 1
July 3, 2009 1:56 am

both are weak and its so so sad that they even talk about chabad
2 losers

Rabbi Boteach
July 3, 2009 1:43 am

Rabbi Boteach, You ought to have some shame in signing your name when dispensing your views on Chabad policy when you consider yourself the preeminent relationships guru. Voice your views, fine. But wouldn’t it be better just signing it anonymously and in a forum read by the demographic (Shluchim) you seek to reform (i.e. The shluchim exchange)? Whereas, I feel Rabbi Korf ought to have the pride to sign his name. It’s well earned. He helped me mechanech thousands of Yiddishe kindelach Bmesirus nefesh. The shameless jerk who said he should look in his own back yard when he is… Read more »

why not be open to groth
July 3, 2009 1:34 am

i think shmuli B made great points, and as chabadniks we don’t have to become defensive when confronted with well founded criticism, i was especially taken aback by the immature and incoherent fashion with which rabbi korf responded.

It's such a shame
July 3, 2009 1:02 am

It’s such a shame that the Rebbe didn’t have Rabbi Boteach to guide him in the structuring of Chabad. We need a overhaul of all the Rebbe’s ideas and principals and replace them with that of Rabbi Boteach. ‘Kosher Vechulu vedal’ ought to have a more prominent place on the seforim bookcase then likutei sichos.

My only mini grievance with Rabbi Boteach; Wouldn’t The Shluchim Exchange be a better format to ‘show the Rebbe’s Shluchim the way’?

Shem Zikh!!
July 3, 2009 12:55 am

Rabbi Korf:

You are an arrogant bigot.

By throwing in some “advanced” vocabulary, you don’t automatically have a good composition.

Your article is an ill attempted character assassination attempt. You do not challenge Rabbi Boteach on a single issue –content-wise– successfully.

Rabbi Boteach is right. You know it too.

Get used to the fact that the rest of us despise your type.

July 3, 2009 12:51 am

The truth hurts! if it wasn’t shmuely boteach saying these things i dont think the reply would have been that way !Every single word he is saying is true can you deny that???? all of the rebukes were just attacking him personally , rabbi korf oviously has an issue with him ! jealousy maybe???? all i can say is that shmuly boteach doesnt care what ppl think he doensnt hide behind a wall of BS like most shluchim do ! he is saying the truth as he sees it ! instead of bashing him maybe we should listen and do… Read more »

July 2, 2009 11:39 pm

without doubt there are some val;id points by Boteach, and the truth sometimes hurts. The standard of eduction within Lubavitch has plummetted to new depths. even the teachers are now having to prepare the gemoroh with english artscrolls..strewth. many kids gezher or otherwise cant even read from a siddur or daven by the omud without mispronouncing constantly, many bochurim cant tiech chumash rash never mind gemoroh. the batlanus in our sysytem is mind boggling. a week of for the shluchims convention, yeshivois closing even before gimmel tamuz as opposed to tish b’av, disrupting seder for the week of yud shevat… Read more »

every word a pearl!
July 2, 2009 9:17 pm

#38 what you say and the way you put it is really wonderful, and is also true and correct!

Boteach being Right or Wrong is not an issue
July 2, 2009 9:01 pm

He may be right, or not. But he should exercise more sensitivity and caution when discusses issues he has with Chabad.

Hanging these issues in Public is not gracious. If he had something to say, and wanted to see changes, there could have been a more sensitive way to do it, without publicly dragging Chabad in the earth.

I don’t see how publicly criticizing Chabad will bring change, only shame.

We are need to be more careful with Sholom and sensitivity at a time when we see so many tragedies in the chabad community and Klal Yisroel

July 2, 2009 8:11 pm

I have known them both for many years. Boteach and I have shared our differences more than one occasion. Korf was someone I got to know many years ago – and his intellectual prowess has not exactly progressed since. I have to admit, I was nodding my head when reading Boteach’s article, only because in essence he is right. I was embarassed when reading Korf’s response because he had nothing of substance to offer. It was just an attack on Boteach but not a refutation of the arguments. My immediate thoughts were “good message, wonrg messenger.” Then I read that… Read more »

to #43
July 2, 2009 7:13 pm

however the pregnant shluchas food and Shabbos Dinner is ok with you right?
identify yourself, so i can welcome the hand that bites me even before you come.
Good Shabbos

No way Yes Way
July 2, 2009 7:06 pm

Perhaps shmuly should assume an alias, because no matter what he says or writes, how true or not, he wil be critisized by the diehards and the narrow-minded bigots. Why fault him for airing his views on this site? The politics and bitter feuding within the CH rabbinate is world wide knowledge. Ceary Korf has personal issues with Boteach, and no doubt Boteach is percieved by many as having drifted from the path of authentic Lubavitch ideology, but take the content of his article and even if he is 80% correct, surely we are strong and confident enough to face… Read more »

Shidduch Crisis
July 2, 2009 7:05 pm

The shiddusch crisis exists accross the board in the frum world. Recently there was an article in Neshei Chabad that in my opinion hits the nail on the head. In very short: Its NOT because the girls have a better school than the boys. Its because the population of the frum world is expanding. There are more grade 1 students than grade 4 students – due to the increase of the population in the frum world. Therefore it follows that there are more 20 year olds than there are 23 year olds. And therefore it follows there are more 20… Read more »

Rabbi Korf
July 2, 2009 6:53 pm

I can’t believe Korf would actually try and respond like this…
Try and do some shlichus work…

Agree with Boteach with all but #7
July 2, 2009 6:17 pm

although the system at time might seem as a corrupted system, we have to realize bottom line its a system that works.
The second we start with votes and comintees we are allowing more opinions which can lead to more machlokes. instead of there just being “shluchi” and “mushrooms” we will have 10 different orginizations under the same “name”.
However the existing system needs to improve and rabbi Kotlarsky an company need to delegate better.
R’ Boteach you wrote very well and R’ Korf – I love you but you lost this one.

TO 38
July 2, 2009 6:16 pm

Comment of the year! you make some great points.

July 2, 2009 6:08 pm

As someone who went through the entire system I take beef with his mivtzoim all day it is utter baloney and in fact is the same taina the misnagdim had in the old days and knireh stems from the same lack of knoledge!!!!
And there are many shluchim out there that can barely speak english yet are bh matzliach!!just as there are those that are more suave and polished and are also very matzliach that’s one of the amazing things about shlichus the sometimes diverse personalities of shluchim,yet united in goal

to #38
July 2, 2009 6:07 pm

that was one of the best articles i have read in a long time. thank you for your clear thinking and calm demeanor in responding.
we should all learn from you how to speak.

July 2, 2009 5:33 pm

More sad then Shmulies Article itself, are the comments on this blog. Ribono Shel Olom! As Rabbi Korf began, the article is not complimentary to Chabad, Fact! Do any of you think the Rebbe appreciates such an article? Does anyone think Shmuly would dare write such an article before Gimmel Tammuz? And which one of you would be comfortable patting him on the back in front of the Rebbe? you may not like the rebutle (I don’t) but are you not affended and red in the face for our Rebbe?!? Many commented that the issue is with Shmuly and had… Read more »

July 2, 2009 5:16 pm

Rabbi Korf, you are an embarrassment.

Kudos to Shmuley for being a voice of reason and honesty. I’m confident it will win out.

July 2, 2009 5:15 pm


To #48
July 2, 2009 4:35 pm

READ MY POST!! And while you’re doing so, read #46…that’s from me, too!

Regards, Good Shabbos!


Boteach is (YY) Jacobson before Jacobson
July 2, 2009 4:30 pm

#41 – “There are times when the message should be ignored because of the messenger. ” That’s why Korf is not a spokesperson for Chabad Central nor is his critique of Rabbi Boteach valid or relevant. “is it appropriate to bite the hand that feeds you & attack your fellow Shluchim & the rest of Chabad” That feeds him??? Oh please. Now you take credit for his success! Now you claim to support him! You did not give him the title shliach, nor can you take it away. The truth hurts. And Shmuley addresses the truth. When hanholas and mashgichim… Read more »

Reuven from away
July 2, 2009 4:23 pm

It’s almost as if Rabbi Boteach wrote the article for Rabbi Korf, since it is parenthetical to his so-well-stated points; Rabbi Korf’s article is so poorly written that it exemplifies the trouble with Chabad educational institutions better than any statement Rabbi Boteach might made.

Thank you, Rabbi Boteach
July 2, 2009 4:19 pm

As an outsider you can see a clearer picture of Chabad today and give great advise on how we can improve. It’s sad however to notice between the lines how hurt you still are towards Chabad, your humble ego hasn’t healed yet. No tv show or kisses with Hoda and KLG would give you the same boost as being the Rebbe’s Shliach, standing in front of a crowd and regurgitating, after internalizing and living them, one of the Rebbe’s sichos. Not even creating your own new and improved way of life and writing original speeches and books.

To Rabbi Boteach:
July 2, 2009 4:08 pm

For a long time Rabbi Boteach seems to always stick his nose where it doesn’t belong. It’s bad enough that we have to deal with jealousy and rebuke from the misnagdim but to hear it from one of our own is irresponsible. The fact that shluchim are able to “regurgitate” a sicha from the Rebbe is something special. It might even demonstrate that for some, the education system is doing a pretty good job. Whom do you suggest we incorporate into our speeches? I personaly know a non lubavitch Rabbi who delivers a sicha from the Rebbe at his shabbas… Read more »

July 2, 2009 4:06 pm

ironic that shmuly grew up and come to chabad in fl. in korfs own back yard……. now one of ” korfs own” stars is shinning brightly more bright than were he came from in typical style he needs to be shot down. shmuly really has a point

Thank you, Rabbi Boteach
July 2, 2009 4:05 pm
To R. Korf
July 2, 2009 3:54 pm

I agree completely with the issues brought up by R. Boteach. Unless you are blind,just look around you.; You reply was senseless and only feed your ego.

July 2, 2009 3:53 pm

to #41
are you R Korf’s relative or another Chabad politician?
Don’t fool yourself , this does not come from Shmuley Boteach, this comes from everyone, including chassidim,mashpiim,shluchim who look for truth

Shmuley is so Right and Korf is so Wrong
July 2, 2009 3:45 pm

Shmuley – make very correct imp observation that we must talk about.

Korf is just bashing and does not come close to matching Shmuley’s erudite, truthful and relevant questions.

Why bash – Korf wishes he was floridas rabbi never mind americas rabbi!

To #42
July 2, 2009 3:45 pm

Hardly!! I am a 50-something FEMALE living in Crown Heights. But thanks…I think!!!


rabbi Korf
July 2, 2009 3:39 pm

Your tone is extremely angry, thus your response comes across as YOUR need to personally attack Rabbi Boteach. Had you have written your article in a more impartial and calm way, putting a harness on your anger you could have stood a chance to rebut Rabbi B’s point of view PROPERLY. Instead this comes across as a immature and very personal vendetta against the man you refer to as “Americas Rabbi” I am left feeling let down.

I remember Rabbi Boteach
July 2, 2009 3:39 pm

I believe that this time R Boteach scored big. Forgive me for saying this, however i believe that Rabbi Boteach has done teshuva, and his issues are legit.

Dear Rabbi
July 2, 2009 3:36 pm

Your head is in the sand. Rabbi Boteach is right on the money. These are legitimate issues he raises. You live in Florida, not in CH, where we struggle with all these issues on a daily bases. I go to shluchim around the world, and forget about saying a sicha, they cant even lain.

41 = korf
July 2, 2009 3:35 pm

comment 41 sounds like yoseph korf. same writing style same tone in the writting. some school same chip of the same block

Score 1 for Rabbi Korf!
July 2, 2009 3:24 pm

It appears that I am the sole supporter who is not a friend or relative of Rabbi Korf. Firstly, after last week’s disastrously pompous article, this response to Rabbi Boteach was readable & user-friendly. I don’t agree with Rabbi Boteach. I never do. I understand perfectly where Rabbi Korf is coming from. Rabbi Boteach is a charlatan, an egomaniac whose sole purpose of disseminating his drivel is to further his own agenda. One thing matters to Rabbi Boteach: he & his own self-advancement. America’s Rabbi? G-d help us if HE is held as someone our bochurim should emulate. He is… Read more »

The truth hurts
July 2, 2009 3:20 pm

You can’t sweep the problems under the rug and attack others for talking about these issues.
In as much as I don’t agree with the style in which Rabbi Boteach expresses himself,his points are still very well taken.
Instead of attacking him lead the way.

Fear of the Boteach likes
July 2, 2009 3:19 pm

It is amazing that some in the high hierarchy are so afraid of the likes of Sh. Boteach. These talented and sometime provocative young men find themselves ousted of the system, due to the fact that they represent a threat to some “higher” corrupted authority. While, I reserve the right to agree or disagree with Sh. Boteach’s views or some of his activities, we have lost quite a few of these gifted people, due to a lack of acknowledgnebt of what they can accomplish. Instead, the management looked to find innapropriate behavior to blame their ousting of the system. Sh.… Read more »

Just A Shliach
July 2, 2009 3:16 pm

Shmuely Boteach brings up many valid points. I think that he is a Chabadnik at heart, though it seems that some of his former pals cannot stomach him “having his cake and eating it, too”. Yes, he has crossed some of our lines, but who is to say that he doesn’t regret it . Unlike some of his detractors, I do believe Shmuely B. is sincere. I think that though he may not have been officially part of the community, he knows Chabad has the Emes, and he wants his children to be connected to Chabad. To me, that is… Read more »

July 2, 2009 2:58 pm

Hey bashing Rabbi Korf is equally not nice

Uneven playing field
July 2, 2009 2:35 pm

Shmuly, you’re a gited writer and a charismatic speaker. To boot, you also brought up many valid and sad situations that must be addressed. And I’m sorry, Rabbi Korf, but, if you wanted to debate Boteach, you had no points on your side. Very uneven matchup. Having said that, Shmuley, the Rebbe said (to me personally, as a mechanechet) when I asked for a brachah to succeed in chinuch, (translated from Yiddish/Hebrew) “The most important attribute for success in teaching is that the teacher be a role model (dugmah chayah).” My goal is not to insult and I have great… Read more »

July 2, 2009 2:34 pm

A pathetic ad hominem attack from R Korf. He exemplified pretty much everything bad about Chabad that Shmuley was trying to point out. As a baal teshuva and shliach, I completely identified with almost everything Shmuley discussed. R Korf – your response was completely pathetic.

just to prove a point
July 2, 2009 2:33 pm

korfs words and seven grade playground (my tattys bigger than your tattys) debating style only goes to prove shmuellys point.

its obvious who the losers would be from fair and transparent handling of disputes etc ……

July 2, 2009 2:20 pm

Rabbi Korf’s replies are pathetic.

When boteach is right he is right
July 2, 2009 2:13 pm
dallas jew
July 2, 2009 2:04 pm

I hate to break ur bubble r.korf but shmuley said it the way it is and I add like one above mentioned if joel kahan or jacobson said it u’d except it better.
sorry it hit u in the face – but the as most know says it the way it is – u obviously like to sugar coat the whole 9 yards.

whats wrong?
July 2, 2009 1:26 pm

I read only boteach’s article, and every word he says sounds right, makes sense, is true. (keep cool i’m one in the system and also learn chasidus!) So who cares who says it, lets just concentrate on these points, he says nothing new, so what? now is the time, when then? you know what: don’t tell anyone your doing it because boteach said it, if it will make you feel better! just do it! thanks boteach-whoever you are.

Boteach - WE in Chabad?
July 2, 2009 12:50 pm

How can Boteach refer to “we in Chabad”? While Korf does not do a good job of refuting anything, Boteach trumpets his (largely former) affiliation with Chabad when it pays him and denigrates Chabad when that pays him too. And most of all, when we were all reflecting upon the physical departure of our Rebbe who was pure emmes, Boteach was busy eulogizing MJ whose very body and voice were artificial and who was indeed pure sheker. So, while Korf is far from adequate in his response, indeed Boteach is clearly just using the Rebbe and Gimmel Tammuz the way… Read more »

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach - awesome
July 2, 2009 12:39 pm

i really wished that you would have ran for vad hakohel,
this year! your one of the most outstanding rabbi”s in chabad
and the only one to go the extra mile!
hashem should bless you to continue doing your shluchis
with succses,

Is this how shluchim debate?
July 2, 2009 12:37 pm

Korf, you made a total fool of yourself.

#1 rule in debate , don’t attack the person, attack ideology.

what you have done is admit guilt by not addressing the issues for what they are.Sad.

yossi korf cant be more rite
July 2, 2009 12:35 pm

yossi its mendel
you cant be more rite
go korfs !!!

How can he be
July 2, 2009 12:34 pm

if he is volgar, using inapppropriate topics for his own self promotion, and going against everything our rebbe wanted and said.

If you like him that’s fine. you just better know that it’s either him or the rebbe. You can’t have it both.

Or you can fool your self and think that you can.

July 2, 2009 12:32 pm

This is why we would rather not hear shluchim give over long winded speeches on Shabbos. They are not trained at speaking and often are embarrassing with their lack of english skills and ego at the same time.

July 2, 2009 12:28 pm

If the Shmuely Boteach would have written his critique, under a pseudonym of Chaim Todros, would Korf have been able to counter a single issue. Obviously not! 95% of his tirade is a personal attack, and the rest, a weak and clumsy house of cards with zero substance. Korf doesn’t do Lubavitch a service at all, in fact quite the opposite. If he cannot counter a single point rationally, he ends up validating all of Boteach’s issues. It might be time for someone with intelligence and skill to take up the task. The under qualified should find other areas where… Read more »

July 2, 2009 12:26 pm

i don’t agree with everything that boteach writes, but you should take down this article which is clearly more of a personal attack than a “critique” which it claims to be. sorry rabbi korf – i couldn’t take anything you wrote seriously after the first paragraph.

Insulting is disgraceful
July 2, 2009 12:22 pm

I’m sorryn to sat that this is strike to for Korf. First, he interferes with Crown Heights politics. Then, he denounces Boteach for getting involved with Shluchim politics. His response is disgraceful. It’s a shame because I was expecting to read an inteligent response that would perhaps discuss some solutions. Korf doesn’t even deal with any of the challenges that Boteach rightfully suggests we have in a very very respctul manner. Korf should learn from Boteach wrote. He seems to not know how to deal with ego or bitul, or any of the other matters addressed. Everything that Boteach writes… Read more »

Once again
July 2, 2009 12:19 pm

Did you not learn from your first article? It is so obvious you have a personal beef with Boteach. Your solutions are shallow. Big words, no content!

Answer the Questions R. Korf
July 2, 2009 12:17 pm

R. Boteach’s points are valid and we are looking for leadership to address these issues not avoid them.

as #1 wrote
July 2, 2009 12:10 pm

“this is a right message, wrong person.” I say, wrong person, for sure but, also the wrong place!

about #7
July 2, 2009 11:56 am

I have a son/daughter (past school age). I wish someone in the neighborhood would invite him/her to a shiur or Jewish activity but all people can do is crticize the way he/she dresses. True, there are some fine activities, but someone (besides a parent) needs to encourage him/her to go.

rabbi korf - why so excited?
July 2, 2009 11:51 am

I think that R. Boteach’s words reflect care and concern for a movement he clearly loves. Maybe he airs out Chabad’s laundry in public because he knows that is the only place people may read and listen. His criticism, IMO, was constructive and perhaps should be taken to heart.

take care

When the man is right he is right
July 2, 2009 11:48 am

Korf be quite. Rabbi Boteach is telling it as it is.

From a mechanech in Chabad
July 2, 2009 11:48 am

As I read through the two articles above I tried to do so objectively. Rabbi Boteach made an awful lot of sense to me. That isn’t to say that I agree with every point he makes, but his views are very worthy of consideration. I do not know him personally, and I am well aware of his controversial viewpoints and his history as a former Shaliach; however, I heard not a drop of bitterness or disrespect in his tone. I strongly feel that if his suggestions were taken under consideration by our leadership and given a chance for some healthy… Read more »

reb shmuley
July 2, 2009 11:42 am

you’ve done it again – great and truthful article. rabbi korf – i think you stick to the trouble in your own backyard….

very nice that he said all our problems i could add another 200 but wow the solutions he gives (nonexistant) are absolutely mind boggling!!!!!!!
July 2, 2009 11:42 am
WOW Yoseph
July 2, 2009 11:36 am

you mange to come across more sleazy then shmuly B

this rabbi is tottally personal and by totally showing his intellectual viccitude he is making the biggest fool of himself
July 2, 2009 11:30 am

if u want to bang on the table and get personal u can do it but its not for public consumption. ure unclear and dont answer a single word that yenta boteach mentions. he is way out of your leauge and ure thinking style is immature and childish at least. and it is simple to tell that the ideas are irrelevant in your thought process. this is a personal feud that is a laughingstock when u use a intellectual forum you couldve saved your fingers typing and digging yourself a hole. rabbi boteach who i havent met personally and havent… Read more »

To Rabbi Korf:
July 2, 2009 11:29 am

I think you are the ego and are just intent upon bashing Shmuley Boteach. That is my impression. Advice: Learn Tanya.

This whole thing is Trash - Take it down!
July 2, 2009 11:28 am
A thought
July 2, 2009 11:27 am

Accept the truth, no matter who said it.

That's right, everything works just fine
July 2, 2009 11:25 am

While I don’t agree with everything Boteach says and does, he has made good points. I think Korf’s pointlessly defensive position is just plain sad.

Boteach asks good questions
July 2, 2009 11:25 am

He knows how to rock the boat a bit and is not airing any laundry-he is presenting challenges that no one wants to see or hear.people prefer to live in la-la land and not address the facts and picture so it’s easier to put him down.Shluchim need to wake up and see things as they are.So what if he’s not perfect? He still raises legitimate issues and questions.

Question for Rabbi Yoseph Korf:
July 2, 2009 11:22 am

If the exact same article were written by say, Rabbi Yossi Jacobson, or better yet, Rabbi Yoel Kahan, would you reply with the same criticism? It seems from your reply, that your beef is with “America’s Rabbi” – the author, but not the actual content of the article. As a matter of fact, while I don’t agree with everything in his article, I think Mr. Boteach makes some very valid points: 1) Mivtzoim: The Rebbe never gave permission for Bochrim to be occupied with Mivtzoim during Seder. The Hanhala of every Yeshiva that I’ve been to could not stress that… Read more »

great job
July 2, 2009 11:19 am


July 2, 2009 11:02 am

Insulting Rabbi Boteach does not answer some of his very legitimate questions. Sometimes, the appropriate thing to do when faced with constructive criticism is to take what you can get for it and then – be quiet. Reacting with anger reflects on an admission of inadequacy

As someone told me:
July 2, 2009 10:59 am

This is a right message, wrong person