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  |  June 7, 2020

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The Times Was Wrong About Me

In an article for the The Forward, educator and author Sara Blau responds to an essay in the New York Times describing Chabad women as "hidden." Full Story

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an honest question
Guest
an honest question

“I’ve flown across the country and spoken to audiences of men and women”
is this chabad policy? did the rebbe personally okay this?
im not arguing, just wondering.
if yes, was any responsa wrriten on the topic?

Excellent point!
Guest
Excellent point!

Fantastic well written article, thank you for doing this!
LA Shliach

Go sarale
Guest
Go sarale

Your fantastic !!! Rising international star in lubavitch

Answer to 1
Guest
Answer to 1

JLI is mixed

Response to #1 - Misunderstanding
Guest
Response to #1 - Misunderstanding

I personally know Mrs blau she is very modest

The article misqutes

To clarify “No!” this is not chabad policy and NO there is no such approval or directive from the rebbe

The rebbe instructed again and again that women should reach out and be active with women and men with men …

we are not "hidden"
Guest
we are not "hidden"

but I personally feel that it is completely not necessary for one to have their picture posted, for me to be not ” hidden”-
and a certain type of “hidden” is actually what we’re all about…

Either way, you definitely are a power house and you do so much for so many people-much hatzlacha and thank you

To #1
Guest
To #1

Did you ask the same question to Rebbitzen Yungereis a”h or the like?

Kiddush hashem
Guest
Kiddush hashem

The forward is a very liberal news site. It’s a huge Kiddush hashem

To #1
Guest
To #1

What is your point?

Compliments
Guest
Compliments

Rebetzin Blauu excellent article. NY times is an anti semitic rag filled with self hating Jews. They hate themselves because they were taught by liberal poisoned minds that being religious is horrible that being progressive is the ultimate, while forgoing on Kashrus, shabbos etc.Yet, when they spot someone like you who is religious, accomplished etc., it goes in their face and they see the empty life they chose. Yes they interviewed you but they had a different agenda; perhaps not the reporter but definitely his editor. You are right Lubavitch women are powerhouses, the same as all the woman in… Read more »

Not sure...
Guest
Not sure...

Not sure you’re painting a realistic picture here. Seems a bit over the top. I’m glad you seem satisfied in your extremely fast paced life but most shluchim don’t live like this.

So times have changed now
Guest
So times have changed now

Not that many years ago this ‘open’ though now considered modest behaviour would have been considered brazen.

2,500?
Guest
2,500?

Close to six thousand strong are attending the intl shluchos conference!

written well
Guest
written well

but… honestly, the “ruach’ of this article does not seem to be inline with “ruach yisroel sabo”. seems like we are drifting away from that

The New York Times
Guest
The New York Times

Any frum Yid who gives an interview with them should know by now that they will miserable, biased skew to it.

Beutiful. But.
Guest
Beutiful. But.

Nice writing skills, impressive person Mrs. Blau is and well deserved critique of the NYT. But is this what Chabad woman stand for? Talking in front of men? Having they’re picture published in the paper? Isn’t their primary job staying at home and raising their children and also being Mekarev women and girls? Is this the new Chabad Bais Rivka is teaching?

Confused
Guest
Confused

Great article well argued
But pls remember didn’t we just have a debate if it’s allowed for women to speak before men
Sometimes hidden is acceptable
It’s the Purim story

Memories of my past
Guest
Memories of my past

When I read this it reminded me of my experiences many years ago in Crown Heights. My husband and I were approached by the Chabad office that a woman writer for the the New Yorker magazine want to write about Chassidic life. She arrived in 1979 and her articles which did appear as a 3 part series were then published as a book, entitled “Holy Days, The World of a Chasidic Family”. I was quite nervous because we were not allowed to see any of this before it was published. It did come across as quite positive. The Rebbe was… Read more »

Hassidic vs. Chabad
Guest
Hassidic vs. Chabad

When it comes to Headlines of course the news outlet is always looking for a catchy line. The word Hidden will double their click through so naturally they’ll want to put something like that in. One thing that’s interesting with the News is that they are very interested in the ‘Hidden’ world of chassidim but they but they don’t get the difference between the more hidden groups and lubavitch. Chabad is very open to be interviewed by the media. That is not always the case for other groups. So when they finally get an interview with a chassidic women they… Read more »

Answer to #1
Guest
Answer to #1

There is a printed responsa from Rabbi Moshe Feinstein un which he generally prohibits public speaking to men by a woman, yet allows it in specific circumstances (which MAY apply to kiruv events) AND if the podium obstructs the woman speaker’s body…(Rabbi Feinstein OBM was/is considered the leading possek/decider of halachic issues in America by practically all Jews that respect halacha).

Bruryah
Guest
Bruryah

Taught Torah to men

Shlucha
Guest
Shlucha

Seems like lots of responses are not written by Lubavitures. While primarily the women give classes to women and the husbands to men its not a rule. Community shabbos meal my husband and myself give a Dvar Torahs. At our Chabad Dinner i the Rebbetzin also speaks thanking our community. There is not a direct haroah from the Rebbe on this. The Rebbe sent out Families on shlichus. Husband and wife as a partnership. My children- sons and daughters are equally involved. Lubavitch never hid the women. its not a new modern faze we are going through…as children our mothers… Read more »

The Times Was Right About You
Guest
The Times Was Right About You

Their motives and incentives were wrong. But the final outcome, the way in which the depicted you, was, in my opinion, certainly right. One example, presenting a picture (or the lack thereof): All ultra-Orthodox newspapers, including Hamodia, Jewish Tribune, do not print pictures of women. Chabad is ultra-Orthodox. “The beauty of a princess is within” (Psalms 45:14). [To be clear: The writer of this comment is humbled by the work that the author, as well as many others, has produced. Today, there is a need for women’s active roll. Yet, it is due to that need that permission (to one… Read more »

to number 20
Guest
to number 20

Reb moshe CLEARLY writes that it’s only allowed if it באקראי (not something that happens routinely). and if the woman is SITTING, and if it is not in a shul. And to add, MANY poskim disagree with reb moshe, and do not allow a women to ever public in front of men ever. Reb Moshe also is matir “cholov stam” and yet lubavitcher chasidim do not really on “heteirim” like that. Reb Moshe also allows a shiur where there is mixed seating, however the Rebbe disagrees and writes that even in extreme cases, one can only be matir a shiur… Read more »

To # 22
Guest
To # 22

Based on #24, you are out to lunch.

A fellow Shlucha who did NOT grow up exactly as you wrote.

#24
Guest
#24

Sources?

Wow!
Guest
Wow!

Powerful!!!!

are these are girls role models?
Guest
are these are girls role models?

Mrs Blau, I truly am in awe of everything that you have and continue to accomplish – you seem to be one of those people who have endless amounts of hours in your days. Im sure you understand that putting yourself out there, in the way in which you CHOSE to do, will bring along some critique. I just wonder, how you manage to make time for your children and family – it seems like you are focusing so much on outreach and our girls (which im thankful for), but what about your dear children? Who is making and serving… Read more »

sources for number 24
Guest
sources for number 24

to number 26. here are the sources: the source of reb moshe’s teshuva about women giving a shiur where men are present – אגרות משה אורח חיים חלק ה סימן יב poskim who forbid it totally – שו”ת שבט הלוי חלק ג סימן יד [add to that שו”ת להורות נתן that was quoted in sruli schochat’s recent op-ed. and there are many more sources for this, don’t have the time this minute to look them up, but i think those 2 suffice.] source for the rebbe writing that in extreme cases (the rebbe is very clear that this is a… Read more »

correction for number 29
Guest
correction for number 29

i mistakenly wrote “toras hashlichus” and it should read “shlichus kehilchoso” (an amazing book that reading it may give many of the commentators here a different perspective of the Rebbe’s opinions on many matters). I should add: 1) shulchan menachem vol. 6 page 68-69 the rebbe writes clearly that a women’s mane job is to be “home” and the shlichus that she should be involved in is davke one’s that need specifically wpmen (such as teaching which requires warmth etc). 2) in ibid page 69 the Rebbe writes that although he doesn’t feel he can stop it, but he is… Read more »

To 23
Guest
To 23

Who says all the ultra orthodox newspapers are right? They’re entitled to create their own standards, that does not turn it into halacha.

I agree with #16 and 17
Guest
I agree with #16 and 17

Thank you Mrs Blau for all you do!

to 29
Guest
to 29

the rebbe aloud this only in russia

#29, that is very interesting
Guest
#29, that is very interesting

Thank you for the sources!

A good conversation for each woman to have with her Rav and mashpia as how to apply these to her life.

Curious if there were any women that were given directives or ok to speak in public and have their picture published publicly?

The Sefer Hashluchim has colored photos of families, is context a factor?

Again, it’s So important for each person to have a Rov to ask, to guide, to discuss, as the answer for one person or situation can differ from one to another.

a shlucha
Guest
a shlucha

I am a shlucha and direct many programs, but this article made me uncomfortable. It is not admirable to be giving speeches to mixed audiences…kol kevuda bas melech penima. There are sometimes where we need to talk to a mixed audience but it isn’t something to be boasting about. I can’t help but feel some of the attitudes from the world have seeped in

Mrs. Fogelman
Guest
Mrs. Fogelman

Many years ago Mrs. Fogelman- Worcester, Mass. was given instruction by the Rebbe to do a book review of “the Chosen” by Chaim Potok, and to speak there – to a mixed crowd on Taharas Hamishpocho !!!!!
Check this out with Mrs. Fogelman herself !!!
It was also written up.
Cirel Lipskier

Narrow minded
Guest
Narrow minded

So many comments on whether she should speak before men. She’s not singing for crying out loud.

Hello
Guest
Hello

“A Glimpse Inside the Hidden World of Hasidic Women.”
This is speaking about Hasidic women in general. Majority of Hasidic women are more private, there’s no denying that. Chabad specifically happens to be more out there but they weren’t writing about chabad. They were writing about chassidim.

What a shocker!
Guest
What a shocker!

You mean the unbiased, honest, and impartial New York Times lied? Why do I have trouble believing that? That is so uncharacteristic of them to do something like that. They are known to be such pro-religious, pro-Jewish and pro-Israel, this was probably and accident. I am sure that if you point this out to them they will fix it right away.

Y. Uktzan

To #1 / #28  / #35
Guest
To #1 / #28 / #35

A few points: The article was NOT written for COLIVE.COM. it was written for Forbes magazine…. and for this audience it made a huge kiddush Hashem…. potentially some of their readers won’t hesitate to hook up with their local shalicha, to explore what Chabad is all about. Mrs Blau was speaking to a group of people invited by the local shaliach. If some men were among the audience, I would assume that it was done right and that the local shaliach knows what he is doing. I’m sure that Mrs Blau’s kids will grow up healthy and proud chassidim, knowing… Read more »

MaHarshal
Guest
MaHarshal

One of the most famous geonim of all times is the Maharshal (1510-1573). in his siefer שו”ת מהרש”ל siman 29 at the bottom, he writes about a great great grandmother of his, the daughter of reb shlomo shapiro, who taught torah to men, WHILE SITTING BEHIND A CURTAIN.
I wonder why she had be behind a curtain? Seems that the issur of a women speaking in front of men is quite clear, and the only way it is muttar is while behind a mechitza.

Brurya did NOT teach men (or anyone for that matter)
Guest
Brurya did NOT teach men (or anyone for that matter)

On the contrary, she once told some amora’im off for speaking to her more than was strictly necessary.

Such an important topic
Guest
Such an important topic

I’m going to be giving a bas mitzvah club meeting for lubavitcher girls on this very topic – feminine influence and the balance between shlichus and tznius. I admire Mrs. Blau and the amazing work she does – however this article does seem to be not in line with the balance of tznius. The sicha of the Rebbe on Leah and the lessons we learn from her on womanly outreach where the Rebbe mentions about women to women and in an aidel way etc I think must be taught and internalised by all our girls and women today. I don’t… Read more »

Firstly it was the forward not the forbes
Guest
Firstly it was the forward not the forbes

Also how do u know they didn’t twist her words?

Context
Guest
Context

People context is everything ! Doesn’t look like it was written for “unzere” looks like this was purposely written for the liberal crowd. To make a Kiddush hashem there which I’m sure she did. Also doesn’t seem like the men thing was an ikar if you know what I mean

to number 28
Guest
to number 28

i do not fear for Mrs Blau’s children , ppl like her are just super women ( i don’t know her , i live in london ) and we need women like her in the world ( i’m a stay at home mum ) but i can tell you something , perhaps your kids be if it from ur suppers and kisses but i’m sure they would do better if you improve on your middos . your comment was below the belt especially as you wrote repeatedly that you and your girls benefit from her . i would ask mechilah… Read more »

Message is good
Guest
Message is good

Maybe I would change a few words but look at her point :
1) modest in dress conservative in apprpach
2) women foundation of the home

Seems to me like all the rest was yo get that across

I don't think she meant it the way you took it
Guest
I don't think she meant it the way you took it

I don’t think Mrs blaus goal in life is to speak to mixed audiences. Certain audiences happen to be mixed. I personally think it got thrown in there almost by accident or because she was writing for the forward

Check out her articles on chabad.org
Guest
Check out her articles on chabad.org

I get thejewishwoman.org newsletter in my email each week and I enjoy Sara blaus articles. She wrote a column on the entire Tanya! In English in very relatable language. She also wrote many many articles on the Rebbes message to women.all her articles encouarge the mother’s focus on her children. Being present. Mitzvos of a woman. Check them out yourself just put her name in the search bar

I wish this was a book!
Guest
I wish this was a book!
Twitter
Guest
Twitter

Lots of people tweeting about this. What a Kiddush hashem.

This is Rabbi Blau from Chovivei wife?
Guest
This is Rabbi Blau from Chovivei wife?

That means she has hosted my son at her table numerous numerous times. I’m grateful to her

It seems like you guys are picking on her
Guest
It seems like you guys are picking on her

1) many women who teaches mixed crowd s. Is Jli wrong?
2) many women who show their picture !

Why is it suddenly wrong? If wrong for one wrong for all

Babysitter
Guest
Babysitter

I’ve seen first hand how her kids are everything to her! I’ve babysit for her

Acting in the way of geula
Guest
Acting in the way of geula

See Farbrengen Parshas Tazria Tof-Shin-Mem-Alef, see Tehillim with Pirush Tehilos Menachem, Kapitel Mem-Hey p. 23

Girl in brhs
Guest
Girl in brhs

I always hear her talk about her mashpia. Before she went to speak ” I need to ask my mashpia” and she goes for short story time possible not to miss her kids. They are adorable btw they all came on Shabbaton

She obviously has power in her pen
Guest
She obviously has power in her pen

She won the MLC contest no one had an issue with it then

Bnos menachem
Guest
Bnos menachem

She taught me ovet ten years ago in bnos Menachem. She taught Sichos with such passion i Still remember loving chassidus because of her.

Inaccurate
Guest
Inaccurate

The Rebbe told Mrs. Fogelman to speak before women, not men. Here is the story as told by Mrs. Fogelman herself: I was once asked by a Reform group of women to speak about the 1967 bestseller The Chosen by Chaim Potok. Three days before my scheduled lecture, I was in New York and had a yechidus. I asked the Rebbe whether I should speak in the Reform temple (in general, I would ask for a bracha before every speech I gave). The Rebbe said: Yes, they will listen to you. Speak about Family Purity, b’hatzlacha. I left that yechidus… Read more »

Yasher Koach Rabbi and Mrs Blau
Guest
Yasher Koach Rabbi and Mrs Blau

Rabbi and Mrs Blau are mentors to so many. Like Avraham, Rabbi Blau is mechanech his CT boys with an abundance of love and they respect him SO much. Like Sarah, Mrs Blau is mechanech our girls. May we all learn from this amazing couple and my they have overflowing nachas from their biological family and their spiritual family ( *ie: our kids)..
A very grateful MOM

Ppl hide behind anonymous screens and have no problem people bashing
Guest
Ppl hide behind anonymous screens and have no problem people bashing

If you really have an issue reach out privately imho

Anyways I’m another former brhs fan

why publicize?
Guest
why publicize?

I remember seeing in a TSHURA the rebbe’s comment on an article.
in the article it speaks about that today in many yeshivos the shiurim are given in english. the rebbe commented that even if its true but why publicize it?
that means: that anything that is done as a BEDIEVED; no other choice etc. does not become chabad policy and should not be printed and publicized.
especially when the matter is in question weather its OK even in a BEDIEVED situation. as you could see from so many comments here that its not so simple.

Think about it girls used to have no school
Guest
Think about it girls used to have no school

Things change the closer we get to Moshiach the closer we get to nikevah tisovev never the more we need feminine power and energy. Just like now girls needs an education etc

Typical
Guest
Typical

I could have predicted this. Don’t you all realize this was written for people who are NOT familiar with us and have preconceived notions ? I think she did a superb job 👍

#48
Guest
#48

You have a good point. You are right

To #28
Guest
To #28

If your only concern was about her children, you would have spoken with her privately. Your post came out as publicly questioning her priorities, or something similar. Your questions did not sound curious; they sounded critical or at least skeptical (even with thanking her for how her efforts benefit your Beis Rivkah girls). Yes, you could have been more critical than you were, but you were critical, or at least sounded this way in your post. I would speak with you privately, as I advised you to do above, but you did not include your name or any other identifying… Read more »

Her article in the forward was brilliant... For that crowd
Guest
Her article in the forward was brilliant... For that crowd

I think Sara Blau articulated very well the role of a Jewish woman, she just did it in a way that the liberal readers of the forward would be happy to read it. Seems like they fell for it Hook line and sinker- it’s well known that evryoen loves bashing the new York times lol

good intentions
Guest
good intentions

I think she had good intentions . I would feel the same as her with that pic in NYT . She didn’t want ppl to think that

Now, that's a mic drop!
Guest
Now, that's a mic drop!

Chabad Women are Super Women…
& you are a shining example of this!

Thank you!

If it made you uncomfortable
Guest
If it made you uncomfortable

Then it wasn’t written for you. I hope u didn’t miss that it says for the FORWARD . they are literally the most liberal anti religious Jews you can meet. If this gives them a good opinion of frum yidden then she avvonplished her goal. I guarantee you she didn’t wake up and say “how can I get up and talk about myself to the whole lubavitch”

reply #38
Guest
reply #38

no they werent thats the whole point! theyre talking about chabad women and write “hidden” did you even see the NYT article?

Go sara!! Keep up the great work
Guest
Go sara!! Keep up the great work

May you continue to be an inspiration to us all and have all the brachos!

Men and women learning together
Guest
Men and women learning together

One of the first things Moshiach will do, says the RaMbaM, is to repair the breaches in Israel. Meaning, those things in Torah that have become weak, he will strengthen. A good example of this is the mixing of men and women which has become so weak, and which the Rebbe strengthened. By hasgocho profile, I just opened Igros where the Rebbe was talking about keeping men and women separate for shiurim. A mechitza is believed. Really, they should have separate shiurim/talks.

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