An interesting Israeli TV documentary on Chabad Lubavitch today. The last Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson passed away 21 years ago but today, Chabad is stronger than ever before.
I think the reason why Chabad has been and is so popular may be found in the easy approach. Every Jew is welcome and he doesn’t need to pretend anything. Chabad simply welcomes every Jew no matter whether he is religious or secular. Moreover, Chabad is located all over the world making it easier and more convenient to travel. When I was living in Fuerth / Germany, the local Orthodox Rabbi was selecting Jews and Gentiles alike for his Pessach Seder. I was not allowed to participate but the local Gentile mayor and a Catholic as well as a Protestant priest were.
So, I asked Chabad and because I was planning to visit a friend in Brussels / Belgium, I sent an e – mail to Chabad there. Within minutes I received a response and an invitation to their Pessach Seder. Orthodox German communities rather invite local clergy and here I was: I went to Brussels and had a Seder. No problem !
Furthermore, Chabad offers great chassidic Shiurim (classes) and through Chabad I was introduced to Chassidut. If you have a Shaliach teaching who really knows his stuff and not one of these newcomers who underwent a quick crash course, you will be learning a lot. Only Chabad, of course, because Chabad is only teaching Chabad but it is a start into the chassidic world. 🙂