Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lee Kernaghan - a Chabad legend !?

Guest post from Sydney Chosid:

(Far be it for me to criticize Sydney Yeshiva who’s record in being in the forefront of loyally promotinge all of the rebbe's inyonim and mivtzoim in our city need no elaboration. However I asked a rav in CH about this and he told me that not only am I permitted to make a public macho’eh – but indeed have a chiyuv to do so.)

Was I the only Chabad chosid to be embarrassed by the Yeshiva promoting a non-Jewish singer at their concert and even giving him equal billing and ‘legend’ status to Avrohom Fried? Frankly this is so far from the ways of the rebbe and chasdus that I am surprised that Avremel hasn’t protested or even pulled out.

I have no idea who this Lee Kernaghan is. He may indeed be one of the chasidei umos haolom, but does that qualify him to be a star at a concert present by ‘headquarter’ of Chabad in NSW?

Furthermore, I am equally upset at the Yeshiva’s advertising this on the J-wire site – 7 days a week. Is there any halachic hetter to advertise with and for Jews on the Shabbos?
I am told that this concert will also take place in Melbourne – but without Kernaghan’s performance. Why is Sydney Chabad different?

Thank you Ajnwatch for publicizing this on my behalf.


  1. Sydney chosid, I feel sorry for you. Sydney is noot a place for any chassidishe yid to live or bring up children. You will notice that with a few rare exceptions most genuinely frum Jews from all the shuls leave either for Melb, NY or Israel.

    Most of the stayers are BTs who don't know any better and really think that they are living a chasidish life

  2. Who knows. LK could turn out to be a Jew. Just like Jimmy Barnes at the last concert.
    We seem to have a big mishmash. "Jews' are goyim and goyim Jews..

  3. What on earth is the problem with it? He is a legend in his field, just as Fried and Glantz are in theirs. Yeshivah isn't "giving" him that title; it's simply describing the fact, which will be just as true next week as it was last. Nor is Yeshivah promoting him; on the contrary, he is promoting Yeshivah. Did the Rebbe have a problem with R Cunin's telethons, which have "promoted" —or rather been promoted by— non-Jewish artists such as Jon Voight since their inception? The purpose of such events is simple and obvious: fundraising; the only valid criterion for who should be included is who will bring in the most money while keeping the event kosher.

    As for advertising on J-Wire, again I see no problem. The ad is there from before Shabbos; nobody is doing any melochos with it during Shabbos; so why on earth should it be taken down during Shabbos? If you have a "for sale" sign in front of your house, do you take it down before Shabbos? What about your shop's signage? Do you have a problem advertising in printed publications that will exist over Shabbos, and may even be read then? So what is your problem; that some Jew may buy a ticket on Shabbos? Sure, that may happen, but why suppose it will? If a ticket is bought on Shabbos, who says the customer is Jewish? And do you have a similar problem with kosher products sold in supermarkets that are open on Shabbos, when a Jew might take it into his head to buy them?

  4. Milhouse if you think this is how chasidic Jews should be raising money then you need a reality check. Can you imagine any other chassidus or even non-chasidic charedi yeshiva would lower themselves to this kind of fundraising?

    and many Chabadniks are very embarrassed at Cunin's telethons. It brings nothing but shame to Chabad (plus money of course Kesef yaaneh hakol)

  5. Milhouse said...
    What on earth is the problem with it? He is a legend in his field, just as Fried and Glantz are in theirs. Yeshivah isn't "giving" him that title; it's simply describing the fact, which will be just as true next week as it was last. Nor is Yeshivah promoting him; on the contrary, he is promoting Yeshivah.

    And how far shall we go? Belly dancers, strip tease and all other kinds of shmutz? Money is everything? Was that the rebbes view?

  6. J-wire's chilul shabbos bifresiye should not be supported by Chabad. I'll wager that rabbi Feldman was not asked and still doesn't know about this chilul shabbos and chilul hashem

  7. Payback time for all that advertising on their Chilul Shabbat site. A story about 3Legends advertising on the backs of busses.
    And Rabbi Eli Feldman 'explains' the significance of the non-Jewish Legend.
    I'm gonna do a Igros search to see what the rebbe has to say about this

  8. Anon of 18-Jan asks "how far shall we go?". I answered that when I wrote that "the only valid criterion for who should be included is who will bring in the most money while keeping the event kosher". An event with belly dancers, strippers, etc. would clearly not be kosher.

    But what about grey areas, such as mixed seating? Are you aware that the Colel Chabad dinners in NYC have mixed seating? I can only assume that this was done with the Rebbe's approval. I also understand that the Lubavitcher Yeshiva dinners organised by the Rashag had mixed seating. The reason is obvious: there are many donors who will not come if they can't sit with their husbands or wives, so since it's halachically permitted it can be done. On the other hand, R Cunin—yes, he of the telethons—does not allow any Chabad House in California to hold a mixed dinner. Even if a non-chassidish balleboss wants to hold a dinner for the benefit of his local Chabad House, R Cunin will not allow it to be mixed, as R Naparstek of Marina del Rey found out to his cost. Why he has this overly strict policy I cannot say; but he does, and yet other equally respectable Chabad rabbonim do not. Now having a male country music star (or whatever this person is) sing is surely at least as kosher as mixed seating. So if it brings in money, I say go for it, and anyone who objects should be prepared to donate out of his own pocket the money that he wants the Yeshivah to forgo by not having this person appear.

  9. What would the rebbe say??Friday, January 29, 2010 2:45:00 PM

    I also don't understand the various standards of tzenius and permissive behaviour by Chabad rabbanim. (And we cop plenty of flak from the charedi/hasidic world for this.)
    But somehow I doubt that the rebbe would approve of his holy headquarters anywhere being funded by non-Jewish pop performers playing to a mixed crowd. (And Millhouse, will Yeshiva have tzenius police there ensuring that all attendees dress kehalacha?)

  10. WWTRS, does Colel Chabad have "tznius police" at its dinner? How about Lubavitcher Yeshivah? One must handle such things discreetly. If necessary one can have a separate section for those whose eyes are too holy to see inappropriate things, or simply tell such people not to come. I wonder whether Lubavitcher yeshivah bochurim are being allowed to attend this event; it wouldn't at all surprise me if they were not. (Recently in Crown Heights a yeshivah forbade its bochurim from attending an event that was being held in the yeshivah, because it was not for them. A bochur doesn't belong everywhere.)

  11. Lubavitch bachurim are allowed everywhere. Just back from Thaliand. You'll see them in th Bangkok Chabad house mekareving israeli female backpackersin most untzenius clothing. Then at the beachside Chabad places like koh Samui and Chiang mai where no normal yerei shamayim would go near you find these young chabad shlichim fraterniseing with all. Millhouse, you should visit these places and then tell us that chabad has any restrictions on their boys.

  12. There are so few opportunities to take families in Australia to concerts of legendary jewish singers and it's a shame, that in the interest of money or some other personal agenda, the kids/families that would really appreciate from hearing Fried/Glanz, will be restricted from attending the concert because of its secular component.

  13. To Eva:
    I'm sure Rabbi Feldman wouldn't give a rat's about it.
    The reason why they need to have Lee Kernigan there is due to regulations in Australia that say an international artiste must be supported by a local artist.

    Personally, I am confused by EVERYTHING that happens in Chabad lately.

    It has gone to the dogs.

  14. Regulations?? Nonsense. Theses so-called hasidic concerts that feature goyim happens only in Sydney. Fried and Glanz will be performing in Melbourne without Kernaghan

    It's a shame that Sydney's Chabad have sunk so low. Presum,ably all the various shlichim and yeshiva boys will be attending this evening of chasidus. It will no doubt add to their yiras shamayim and chassidishe bren

  15. I haven't seen any comment regarding the AJN for weeks (months?) now. Perhaps this blog should now be relabelled CHABAD WATCH instead of AJN WATCH.

    What started out as a good idea to protect the community from the excesses and anti-religious attacks of the AJN has now deginerated into a typical sensationalist, kvetching blog that highlights and promotes chilul Hashem and strife within the frum Jewish community. The AJN staff must be laughing their heads off.

    At least the AJN has the excuse that their editors are frei and recognised sonim of frum Jews - we can expect no better from them. What's the excuse for the rechilus, loshen horo and strife promoted here?

    Perhaps someone should start a blog called AJN-WATCH WATCH...

  16. As an avid reader of both the AJN and the AJNwatch, I think Disappointed needs a reply.

    The fact is that in the past months the AJN has hardly published anything that frum Jews can majorly be upset about. Yes the ads for the treif stores and Chilul Shabbos are still there - but I would be turned off Ajnwatch if they repeated that complaint week after week.
    Whether it has to do with the departure of the previous editor, the arrival of the new editor - or the fact that Ajnwatch is indeed watching (or a combination of all 3) - the AJn has not been as offensive to orthodox Jews as it has been in the past.

    I for one am very happy to see that Ajnwatch has branched out and brings items of interest. No one is forced to read this blog. But those of us who do generally enjoy it. It usually supplies us with something to dioscuss over the Shabbios table - and at the kiddush in Shul

  17. Come now, Mr Disappointed, what are you talking about? You very well know that there is so much gossip and tittle-tattle about what is happening in Chabad of Australia with very little mentioned here.
    Emmanuel's letter is something that needed more airing and shouldn't upset anyone. In any case he emailed it to several hundred people - so repeating it on this blog is no big deal.

    As to bringing to everyone's attention that Chabad Sydney is is inviting us all to a performance by a non-Jewish singer, shouldn't this be discussed?? Of course it should. By every single chasidish Jew and mashpia! This is NOT what the rebbe expected from his shlichim and chasidim.

    If you want to be disappointed about something - this is what should be upsetting you rather than ajnwatch's exposure of the concert.

  18. I agree with ilan. In the past few months the Jewish News has toned down its anti-religious rhetoric and I definitely give a lot of the credit to this blog. That it now concentrates on other matters of interest to frum jews is a very good thing. there seems to be no other blog around - especially since the slow and painful demise of Aussie Echo.

    There is no Chabad bashing here - rather allowing discussion on what is going on in the chabad community of aust - probably the largest and most active group around. And if the criticism brings improvement then it was all worth it

  19. "These so called chasidic concerts that features goyim happens only in Sydney"
    Whats your problem? Are you rasist?


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