I was just flipping the channels and couldn’t resist stopping at the Chabad Telethon, the Jewish world’s best-distributed examples of kitsch unawares. I got there just in time to hear a 70-something hasid with a big white beard standing next to a tacky oil painting of R. Schneerson z”l use the phrase, “The ‘M’ Generation”. That is to say, generation moshiach. I feel so… hip? No, no, that’s not it. But, then, again I don’t really consider myself part of the M generation, so maybe I wasn’t meant to feel included.
Now they’ve got 3 guys singing Kol Nidre, with tallitot on. They’re a little early for annulling vows, and there’s no obligation to tzitzit at night, so–well, I’m finding the whole thing a bit confusing.
It’s actually kind of exciting to be alive to watch such a large-scale heresy unfold. This whole rebbe-died-and-will-come-back-to-redeem-us-as-the-messiah thing is really going to be one for the history books. Some Lubavitchers have actually started to sing, “Rebbenu Morenu Boreinu” (Our rabbi, our teacher, our creator. ) The whole thing is such a scandal. And a scandal with mainstream approval and props from W. I place the whole thing somewhere in that grey area between weird and scary.
In any case, you can catch some of the truly bizarre celebrity plugs (Tony Danza, of course, and even Bernie Mac) online, here. Actually, I think they’re streaming the whole thing….