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Tuesday, 10 Sivan, 5780
  |  June 2, 2020

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From the COLlive inbox: A Shliach discusses Gezhe, BTs and how children of Shluchim get to live not too far from their parents. Full Story

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Excellent and so witty!
Guest
Excellent and so witty!
Amazing!
Guest
Amazing!

Really happy that these thought are being put out there.
I’m happy that the topic was raised and to hear your view on it.

Best opinion piece
Guest
Best opinion piece

Ever! YK Rabbi Posner, can’t wait for your next one.

Beautiful and thought-provoking
Guest
Beautiful and thought-provoking

Thank you!

Shidduchim
Guest
Shidduchim

It’s no secret that Chabad brand families won’t even look at Bal Teshuva’s CHILDREN when it comes to shidduchim…. can you explain that?!? They are good enough to be your children’s counselors,Mashpios and teachers but when it comes to marrying your child- No sorry we don’t know your grandfather and won’t even look at the resume since it isn’t a last name that has been around for years. Chabad has sadly become a pyramid of social classes that don’t mix with the next. How are you comfortable telling the Rebbe “yes we make Bal Teshuvas and they have beautiful big… Read more »

Son of an old time Bal Teshuva and still feeling the affects
Guest
Son of an old time Bal Teshuva and still feeling the affects

Some of my best friend are ‘Gezh’, I work with boys on a daily basis and have parents calling me in despair for advice on how to deal with their sons, shluchim calling me to come help, camps needing me YET all these people wouldn’t dare have their child marry a Bal Teshuva’s child. I am good enough for them to trust their sons chinuch or Chabad house in my hands but when it comes to marriege all of the sudden I am second class. I can understand why a new Bal Teshuva and a ffb wouldn’t match so well,… Read more »

Honestly this is silly
Guest
Honestly this is silly

Plenty of gezhe kids are on shlichus in the boondocks, plenty of gezhe kids can’t get shidduchim and plenty of non gezhe kids get excellent shidduchim and excellent shlichus

 surprisingly entertaining, sensitive and factual
Guest
surprisingly entertaining, sensitive and factual

I took out my pitchfork and was ready to rip this thing to shreds but there is a level of honesty and humility that if read all together is both interesting, and lightning and funny. Thank you very much to the author

Really?
Guest
Really?

If the gezhe weren’t so cold and snobby to everyone else, it would be doable for those of us who gave up everything to come to Yiddishkeit.

There Are Only Two Unappealing Possibilities
Guest
There Are Only Two Unappealing Possibilities

Some decry that some gehze families would not deign to intermarry with a baal teshuvah family. But why a baal teshuvah family be saddened by that rejection is beyond me. Either the gezhe family is no longer living up to the standards of their illustrious ancestors, and thus turn their nose up in a manner that the very ancestors in whom the gezhe family takes pride would find their discrimination distasteful, or they are living up to the “standards” of their “illustrious” ancestors who also had upturned noses. Either way, count yourselves lucky not to be intermarried with such families.

Shallow labeling is a distraction from reality
Guest
Shallow labeling is a distraction from reality

Being snobby doesn’t COME FROM being Gezhe (or rich, or handsome/beautiful).

It’s a personality trait and it can be found in a equal proportion throughout society.

On the flip side, having poor self-esteem and an inferiority complex isn’t reserved for the BT and “tzugekumene”. There are plenty of these in the Gezhe families as well.

The above complaint happens during a specific combination: when a low self esteem BT runs into a snobby Gezhe.

It happens the other way around too but then it’s clear to those involved that it’s a personality issue and not yichus.

Most healthy people look at pnimius and compatibility during shidduchim
Guest
Most healthy people look at pnimius and compatibility during shidduchim

Majority of Gezhe don’t decline non-Gezhe shidduchim. Look at the Mazal Tov section on COL.

Those that do are like any other class including rich who only marry rich or good looks who only marry good looks. There are even BT professional who would only marry BT professional!

Old Timer
Guest
Old Timer

Well written. Thank you !
Kindly note not everyone mentioned is long lineage Lubavitch
And in the above names there is definitely marriage between tzugekumener and Rusishe Lubavitch!!!
WWMN
Kvt ltu

Happy BT
Guest
Happy BT

I dont wear my BT’ness on my sleeve and really feel bad for those who do. I would decline such people for shidduchim for my children because of their personal issues and not because of their lack of yichus.

welcome
Guest
welcome

welcome to the real world. There is a difference between BT and FFB and Gezah. . everyone should want to marry their own

loved it!!
Guest
loved it!!

I laughed right through the first part.. yes i knew all these people, and still feel a jolt when i bump into all these little great grandchildren.. with the same names. and no, I don’t believe a word of all these silly comments. b.h I have many married children, about half are b.ts, and half are gezhehs, and I love each and every one of them equally. Stop having a chip on your shoulders everyone!! Shidduchim are hard for everyone equally, rich and poor, gezh and b.t. let’s all just accept everyone equally, and work on achdus, and iyh, soon… Read more »

Haha!
Guest
Haha!

i remmber well when the discussion took place about chatskel brod being toilet trained, i am shocked how did it reach the author. ok, funny
guteh voch

Don’t assume
Guest
Don’t assume

We are a BT family. All 6 of my kids married into gezhe families with well known names. And no these gezhe sons and daughters are true gems without the baggage you may be expecting if they married a BT family. Gezhe parents are simply looking for a “good” kind, caring spouse for their child. Same as BT families. We need to stop creating obstacles to shidduchim.

Finally!
Guest
Finally!

So many of these comments reflect the way I’ve felt simce my ffb children with bt parents entered shidduchim. My children are sought after for prime head counselor positions shlichus jobs and teaching jobs. All that know them consider them top! Chassidishe fun capable go getters …..Bh the first bunch are married but it was very difficult. I was told she looks like an amazing girl but we want gezhe. It even went as far as a shadchan describing my child to a boys mom without her name. The mom said who is this girl I have to have her… Read more »

Mixed
Guest
Mixed

This stuff is so stupid! My parents got married over 40 years ago and one is gezhe and one not! Has nothing to do with what kind if shlichus u get and who you marry. By now most kids are a mix gezhe polishe litfish sefadi…..

Hurtful comment
Guest
Hurtful comment

To #15- your comments pained me. Should we have our own shul and schools as well since we aren’t the same? My children born of bt parents are more with the program than the then some of their gezhe classmates. They are more chassidishe daven more learn more So I guess you are right we aren’t the same nor do I want to be

Hopefully
Guest
Hopefully

I agree with number 16 wholeheartedly. I know wonderful Gezha families with yichus who married Bts. Enough with crying.

Number 11
Guest
Number 11

So we’ll put. Soooooo true. I’m a child of BTs

Phenomenal article
Guest
Phenomenal article

That was a great article. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you Rabbi

To #13
Guest
To #13

You’re right! Not ll of them are gezh.. that’s how much people know

Do we really want to challenge this Gemora?
Guest
Do we really want to challenge this Gemora?

The Gemara (Berachot 34B, Sanhedrin 99A) states in the name of Rav Abahu that “in the place where Masters of Repentance (“Ba’alei Teshuva”) stand, even complete and utter Tzaddikim do not stand”

Do we really want to challenge this Gemora and continue asking “Why these Geza do not want our kids?

When “chatzkel brod is toilet traine” was said
Guest
When “chatzkel brod is toilet traine” was said

Was the authors wife in the teachers room then.😂😂

Btw
Guest
Btw

Reb chatzkel brod was a wonderful man and true Lubavitcher chossid
But guess what.
He was not born and raised in a Lubavitcher gezeh family, he was born to a breslover family
But he learned in tomchei tmimim and BECAME a true example of a Lubavitcher chossid in every way
I wonder if the author of this article knows this

Or the comment writers who have this chip on their shoulders…

Guest

My great-grandfather is one of those mentioned in this article, and my mother is happily married to a man from a BT family

Witty and comical and very well written!!
Guest
Witty and comical and very well written!!

Thank you Rabbi Posner I loved your excellent writing and comical undertones. BRILLIANT!

Thank you

Think about this
Guest
Think about this

Iets forget all these silly comments. We are all children of Avrohom Yitzchok and Yaakov. We should just Daven that our kids stay Frum. In these crazy times no one cares about yeches or moshichist or not. Ksiva vchasima Tova

one factor among many
Guest
one factor among many

Yes, yiches is part of who you are. For some, it’s a positive influence and a source of strength. For others, it may be a challenge to overcome, as in when someone has trouble forging their own identity and developing their own sense of self. I know of individuals who have a decided sense of insecurity about their gezhe yiches and where it places them in life. Bottom line is, everyone needs to work on growing themselves and becoming a better person. Yiches is only one factor among many in the development of a mentsch and a chosid. As for… Read more »

Simple
Guest
Simple

Gezhe will take BT if they have big wallets or if one of their kids is divorced or has some issues. Stay away marry your own blood you will be happier. Gezhe have so many mental, emotional and moral issues moral ( they hide behind their lineage to commit every crime possible) just do yourself a favor and stay away. Yes some of them, very few though are exceptions to this.

No thank you
Guest
No thank you

When my kids were in shidduchim, I told them we’re not looking into gezhe. They accepted it, except for one who insisted on going out with the gezhe names that came up for him. Thankfully he married someone not gezhe.

No 15 you are wrong
Guest
No 15 you are wrong

The only difference between Gezh and FFB is that the gezh thinks they can acts like a goy and do whatever they want and still be “chassidish” cuz 300 years ago their great grandfather………….

And btw this is coming from someone gezh

totally agree with 16. this is a very healthy article,
Guest
totally agree with 16. this is a very healthy article,

It celebrates being gezhe without being snobby about it. i am totally not gezhe,but two gezhe families were happy to merge with ours, and there were many gezhe families that WE wouldn’t consider. So let’s go back to the Rebbe’
s horooh to look for G-d fearing and kind-hearted spouses- wherever they come from!

I like baalei tshuva alot
Guest
I like baalei tshuva alot

I like seeing shiduchim b/w baalei tshuva and yichus. it’s moshiach tzeiten!

Friend chabad
Guest
Friend chabad

Finally coming out yes GEZHA when it’s come for shidduchim as it’s known they give you defected one for BTS unless they meet on their own and family not involve can’t say a word, just forced to accept … it is not giving nachas to our Rebbe !

Every place has their problems
Guest
Every place has their problems

If you think it’s bad in lubavich, you should see what goes on elsewhere.

Interesting
Guest
Interesting

Actually, not that interesting, pretty silly. The author seems to care a whole lot about this…. feels the need to justify, explain… I’m a ffb child of bts, and this all seems pretty self-important…. anyway, ppl should marry those they are compatible with, and that can look different for each couple! Yes, some of the old time Russian Lubavitch families, who have wonderful legacies may be culturally different from a bt, American, professional minded family. Should their kids not get married? It’s more famuliar to marry someone with a similar culture for both sides, but you want your kids to… Read more »

To #26
Guest
To #26

Not to negate the importance of treating everyone equally, but that Gemara is talking about someone who is religious, becomes not religious, then becomes religious again (for example Reish Lakish).

In fact, the term “teshuva” means to return. People who call themselves “baal teshuva” when they started off not religious from day one is merely using that term for lack of a better word, but it is not the “baal teshuva” discussed anywhere in Jewish literature.

MONEY IS WHAT MATTERS!!!!
Guest
MONEY IS WHAT MATTERS!!!!

WE ARE GEZHE BUT THE POOR ONES,
THE ONES THAT WORK HARD FOR A LIVING, HONEST GOOD CHILDREN AND EVERY CHILD TO MARRY OFF IS KRIYAS YAM SUF!!! WHAT DOES IT MATTER
IF A BAL TESHUVA OR BALL AVEIRA HAVE MONEY ALL IS GOOD,
DNT HAVE SUCH A COMPLEX

Ffb child of BT
Guest
Ffb child of BT

I’m FFB and my parents are BT, went out with maybe gezhe bochurim in shidduchim and ended up marrying a BT. Personally I think it was the best thing as he can relate to my family as a gezhe bochur wouldn’t be able to. Hashem give you the person that’s right for you, your yichus can’t stop you from marrying the person you are meant to.

aktuallyfrum
Guest
aktuallyfrum

BT’s have influenced Chabad culturally. It is a fact.

How many children grow up in yiddish speaking homes nowadays?

In 20 years no one will be able to read a sicha in original yiddish anymore.

Trump
Guest
Trump

Gezshe may trump BT, but money trump$ them all.

 A PLEASURE TO READ
Guest
A PLEASURE TO READ

Ksiva Vachasima Tova to Klall Yisroel

Rebbes opinion
Guest
Rebbes opinion

I told the rebbe in yechidus that someone broke up my shidduch since i am a baal tshuva and he was ffb. The rebbe wanted to know the name of the person who broke up the shidduch. I was shocked

Shadchones gelt by the pound
Guest
Shadchones gelt by the pound

Ones a shadchen came in to the butcher store on Kingston ave and Chatzkel Brod asked her: did the Kallah paid you shadchones gelt by the pound (of her weight?)

There's more
Guest
There's more

I enjoy seeing in 770 names like Yeshaya Hurwitz, (the Shaloh Hakodosh), Yom Tov Lipman Heller (the Tosfos Yom Tov), Yechezkel Landa (Noda Biyehuda) etc.

To 15
Guest
To 15

The difference between a ffb and gezh is that the gezh thinks they can act like a goy and still be “chassidish” because 100 years ago your great great grandfather davened baarichus…

Hashem makes the shidduchim
Guest
Hashem makes the shidduchim

Well we cannot forget that shidduchim are made by Hashem. If a gheze family is meant to marry into a baal teshuvah family Hashem will bring it about, often in quite interesting ways. But i do understand that it is very frustrating for baal teshuvah families making shidduchim to feel rejected just because they are not gheze….and in all honesty i dont believe it is the way of the Rebbe. The Rebbe loves baalei teshuvah: bmakom baalei tedshuvah eyn omdim tzadikim…so why refuse a shidduch with a baal teshuvah family? But not everyone can see deeper than a name. Not… Read more »

It's not gezha
Guest
It's not gezha

it’s the support advantage of a multi-generation large and frum family. The illustrious Heller family (zol zei zein gezunt kein ayin horah) have no issue marrying into of from any family they wish..non withstanding that they don’t come from ‘gezha’ going to shul with and hanging out with frum cousins, seeing frum uncles, attending simchas as guests of honor, having frum grandparents and great grand parents, is an enormous chinuch benefit. Just cannot be overstated. That sets the standard for what’s normal and what’s not, and gives the children a visceral identification with the frum life. I am BT raising… Read more »

Agree With #30
Guest
Agree With #30

Shimon, I got a real kick out of the stories. Being a writer myself, I want to compliment you on your beautiful writing.
Judging from the comments, I was glad to note that the issues that you discussed, while certainly valid for many, aren’t a problem for the majority of people, who look past stereotypes.

To #44
Guest
To #44

If they send their children to Beis Chaya Mushka or Cheder Ohr Menachem, they WILL be able to read a sicha, and anything else they want, in Original Yiddish — REGARDLESS of the Yiddish fluency level of their parents.

And if siblings in the same house go to the above schools, there will be LOTS of Yiddish spoken at home — when the kids don’t want their parents to know for sure what they are talking about (just like my parents did, r”l, around us children!).
So, #44 — no worries!

The funny thing is....
Guest
The funny thing is....

A gezhe friend just took one of those DNA tests for genealogy, where you give a saliva sample and it’s analyzed.

The friend came out something like 91 percent Ashkenazi Jewish and the other 10 percent was not any other kind of Jewish.

I, a BT, took one of those tests a while back, and I came out about 99 percent Ashkenazi Jewish.

But my friend is the only one considered gezhe.

Go figure….

#41 - that's a shocking display of ignorance
Guest
#41 - that's a shocking display of ignorance

#41, I can only hope that you are trolling for reactions, because if you sincerely believe what you wrote, you surely need to go back to the drawing board and start learning Chassidus again from the beginning. Are you aware that EVERY Jew must aspire and work towards becoming a Ba’al Teshuvah? That Moshiach will influence tzaddikim to return in teshuvah? Are you also aware that the reason why it is possible for a “not-born religious” Jew to do teshuvah is that he is returning to the true essence and roots of his neshama? Have you learned anything about what… Read more »

This discussion is so sad and pathetic
Guest
This discussion is so sad and pathetic

Any parent with a head screwed on their shoulder would want one thing for their children… to be happy…. There is absolutely no perfect circumstance and no perfect family. So start looking out for what’s best for your children not what the “Yachanas” will say around their Shabbos tables in Lou of Divrei Torah.

As a BT...
Guest
As a BT...

I tend to disagree with what is written here. BTs made a choice – gladly, excitedly, and with a fervor that stays with us – and we have our own “currency” so to speak (using your money analogy): We are well-educated, understand the dangers and emptiness of the secular world more than FFBs ever could, have skills and talents that benefit our families and communities, and more. As a BT I know that I made a choice. FFBs also make choices every day, but in some ways they may feel that they had no choice. We all have our own… Read more »

#52 it’s not gezeh
Guest
#52 it’s not gezeh

What you say about the Heller family is true! They can marry whoever they want! The reason for that is because they were raised right and they all have the same values Bh. You mention that it’s because of a strong support system. However , I remember when Rabbi and rebbetzin Heller first came to Crown Heights. They came alone with no support at all. They had their priorities right and raised their children according to their values! Rabbi Heller is a real person with the right priorities and that is how he raised his children. You too can raise… Read more »

Entering shidduchim...
Guest
Entering shidduchim...

Just curios, do the bt’s suffer with this issue or is it also ffb who are non gezh?

WE ARE ALL ONE
Guest
WE ARE ALL ONE

I HAVE A NICE SIZE FAMILY, BH
WE HAVE CHILDREN THAT MARRIED BT
WE HAVE CHILDREN WHO MARRIED SFARDIM,
WE HAVE CHILDREN WHO MARRIED TZUGEKUMENE TO LUBAVITCH
WE HAVE CHILDREN WHO MARRIED GESZE
THE THING THAT CONNECTS THEM ALL IS THAT THEY ARE ALL LUBAVITCHERS!!!!!!!!!

The Rebbe's take...
Guest
The Rebbe's take...

1. The Rebbe told George Rohr to “go back and tell them (“the unaffiliated Jews he said had ‘no jewish background’…) that “they have a Jewish Background, they are decendants of Avraham Yitzchak and yaakov!”

To # 56
Guest
To # 56

Ironic how the ignorant call others ignorant.

A baal teshuva in the LITERAL sense means one who leaves and then returns. People being born into non religious Jewish families virtually did not exist at the time of the Mishna. There were some, but they were a minority within a minority. Yes, on an esoteric level we can ALL become baalei teshuva, but on a literal level, the words of our sages about the greatness of baalei teshuva refer to those who RETURN after leaving.

BT
Guest
BT

1. I do not care to get the Gezhe jokes about who was toilet trained or who went skiing.
2. The more someone sees their yichus as “indispensable” to their identity as a Lubavitcher, the less I would be interested in associating with them, through marriage or otherwise.
3. If someone FFB judges me for being a BT, then I see that as their issue, not mine.

To #55
Guest
To #55

The only real Ghezeh Jews are the Temanim (Yemeni Jews) and South of Arabia Jews. European Jews are descended from a population of women that under went conversions that to this day aren’t certain to have been 100% kosher.
Awesome test results.

This article is so remarkable...
Guest
This article is so remarkable...

…Really, in the fullest sense of the word….Remarkably strange. What’s your point exactly? How many times have I heard a mashpia yelling at a bochur during a farbrengen… “your grandfather was so incredible… look at you.” Almost all of my friends that are “off the derech” are Gezhe. The Baal Tshuva families, are gezunt uhn shtark as the Rebbe personally takes care of them- the Chassidim who risked very very much and left very very much behind only for the sake of becoming the Rebbes ah chossid. Don’t anyone dare pretend like we have some sort of chip on our… Read more »

Shocking!
Guest
Shocking!

These comments leave me horrified. My family would be considered Gezhe. My grandfather is mentioned in the article above. My other grandfather is a BT. I come from a family with many Shluchim. My wife’s father was a BT in his twenty’s. I have grown up and lived with Ghezhe family all my life. I have never heard any of them speak about BTs or just regular lubavitchers the way the commenters above speak about Ghezhe yidden. The Rishus is disgusting and telling. Perhaps the struggles you speak of finding shidduchim is not about your blood but about your tongue.… Read more »

Gezhe and BT
Guest
Gezhe and BT

I’m gezhe, my wife’s parents are BT, we are Shluchim.

Loads of my friends are of similar variations. Not sure where these comments are coming from, but sounds like they are still living in the 70’s and 80’s.

Btw, the writer’s own gezhe sister married a BT in the 80’s, so whatever …

I for one, LOVE this article and humor. Shimoen, Shrayb noch!!!!

Disillusioned
Guest
Disillusioned

It is very painful to observe these type of divisions in Chabad community. Where is a basic acceptance, respect, even love? Are we not Anshei Shlomeinu? Very disappointed.

I am a BT
Guest
I am a BT

My children have no problems in shidduchim, they all married gezhe and their last name meant nothing to the wonderful not snobby families that they married. Gezhe is a title that in this generation means almost nothing, all the kids just joke about it

Exceptions?
Guest
Exceptions?

I am happy for all of you but this is the reply we got

Hi Rabbi xxxx(silly shadchan who forwarded me this),
Thanks so much for sending us the profile of xxx (daughter of BTs).
She sounds like an excellent girl.
At this point my son would prefer a girl from a Chasidishe, Geshe family.

Thanks so much in advance.

Sincerely,

xxx Shlucha AdoNAY-NUxxxx

X