Hate Against Chabad Tefillin Stand Sparks Outrage and Support

A video of a left-wing activist harassing a Lubavitcher bochur as he was assisting two teens to don tefillin in Tel Aviv drew widespread outrage from the public, as well as praise for the bochur for remaining calm and polite.

Yeshiva World News

A video of a left-wing activist harassing a Lubavitcher bochur as he was assisting two teens to don tefillin at Kikar HaBima in Tel Aviv drew widespread outrage from the public, both left and right, as well as praise for the Chabadnik for remaining calm and polite.

The woman first addressed the teens, talking as if the Chabadnik offering them a chance to don tefillin next to a stand in the middle of a densely populated public space is a suspected predator. “Did he promise you something? Candies? You don’t have to do it – you know?”

The Chabadnik said: “They don’t have to but they want to.” The woman responded: “I’m not talking to you right now.” Then turning to the boys again, she said: “Did he ask you? It’s forbidden according to the law, you’re a minor. The fact that he asked you something while you’re alone – where are your parents?”

The Chabadnik then said: “I’m watching my brothers. Every Jew is a dear brother.” She nastily responded: “I wasn’t talking to you. Be quiet.”

Turning to the boys again, she said: “The fact that an adult is requesting that you do things is against the law. You’re minors, it’s forbidden for you. It’s forbidden for him to ask you do these things.” The Chabadnik tried speaking up again and she said: “I wasn’t talking to you, shut up. Don’t engage in religionization with these children. It’s forbidden, you can go to jail.”

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Following the spread of the video on social media, secular TV presenter Guy Lerer called on leftists to stop fighting against Chabad tefillin stands, stating: “My fellow secularists and liberals, people of truth and freedom, there are so many important struggles to wage, so many threats to public life – leave the polite Chabadniks and their stands alone.”

Secular comedian Guy Hochman wrote in response to the video: “This is horrifying. I’m not religious but I’m in love with Chabad.”

He continued by writing about all the good experiences and acts of kindness he received over the years from Chabad shluchim in various locations around the world.

“So thank you tzaddikim, don’t pay attention to this nonsense, you’re doing avodas kodesh. You’re the real ‘Foreign Ministry’ and you’re an example of a loving Yahadus. And remember what I say: in my next incarnation, I’m a Chabad shliach – at Kikar HaBima.”

But the best response by far was the message that right-wing journalist Yinon Magal received from someone who wrote that “in wake of the horrifying video, I took it upon myself to support the Chabad tefillin stand in the Florentine neighborhood [of Tel Aviv] for a year.”

The story follows an incident last month in which a Tel Aviv mayoral candidate waged a hate campaign against Chabad chassidim manning tefillin stands, calling them “missionaries” and inciting against their “religionization” of the city.

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