Monday, May 29, 2006

Chabad-bashers trying to block mikveh construction?

The garbled reference to "two immersion pools" probably refers to a "bor al gabei bor" mikveh, but is the design of the mikveh even the real issue? From
A seemingly simple argument over the construction of a mikveh (ritual bath) in the community of Elkana is set to reach the High Court, asking it to rule whether Chabad is part of Orthodox Judaism.

Hassidim from the Chabad movement in Elkana who seek to build a mikveh with two immersion pools faced opposition from the local religious
council, claiming also that this opposition is part of a growing trend in an attempt to force Chabad people to leave Elkana, a religious community 15 miles east of Tel Aviv.
At one point the article reports that according to the religious council "the Chabad movement is not part of the Jewish Orthodox group." Later the representative of the council is quoted saying "The local hassidim from Chabad are from a messianic cult and want to force the community to build the mikveh according to their specifications." The Chabad custom on mikva'ot has nothing to do with Moshiach politics. Things become murkier still in the next paragraph:
In response to Chabad's claims that the religious council does not consider them part of the Orthodox Judaism, Mintzer said: "We don't claim, we never did and we never will. Obviously they are kosher Jews, until they begin acting in a compulsive way, all the while refuting the authority of the community rabbi."
I wish journalists were better equipped to report stories such as this. I am a Chabadnik myself, by the way.

Tags: Chabad, mikveh, Elkana, journalism

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