Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chabad Shlucha Condemns Molly Resnick

Earlier today, I was pleased and humbled to receive the following comment on my blog, condemning Resnick’s behavior and expressing concern about gay suicide:

“We as shluchos [emissaries of the Rebbe] are the face of Lubavitch. And our speakers, the men and ladies who we bring out to lecture and speak to our communities, are also the face of Lubavitch. If we put someone up to speak to our community, that means that we endorse this person in every way. Would any one of us knowingly have a TERRIFIC speaker who was known to be a dishonest person?? Of course not! And think of our lady speakers. Would any of us bring out even the best speaker if she wasn't dressed properly? Of course not.

I just witnessed something last week that I cannot be quiet about. One of our very public speakers behaved publicly in a way that was beyond any limit of decency. And, I feel strongly that we cannot ignore it.

I and other members of my family on shlichus [as emissaries of the Rebbe] had Molly Resnick come speak for my community. She's a terrific speaker, and she tells a great story. She can be charming and friendly. (She was, after all, as she says in her own speech, a TV personality and spent years with TV personalities, and we all know just how 'real' they all are!) Yes, she is generally charming and 'nice.' But most of us who have worked with her know another side to her. She is rude, disrespectful, inconsiderate and just plain mean. She is all of this, she says, because she knows what's right and she has no trouble telling you, straight out and without holding back at all, and she's hurt many a person.

Last week she went too far, and this is why I am writing this. (In fact, the reason I am not putting my name to this is because I am a coward I fear her vicious retaliation.)

Let me say this outright: Molly considers me and her to be friends. She and I worked together, and she has spoken for the various shluchim in my family. But she will not speak for me again, ever, in my Chabad house.

Last Friday morning Molly was at a bris at the JCM. There she encountered Chaim Levin. You may have read about or heard of Chaim, he is a Chabad boy who came out recently as gay. He writes about his growing up gay in a frum [Orthodox] community and the torture he underwent. Now let me be clear right here: I do not condone Chaim. I do not condone everything he says or writes. In fact, I disagree with alot of his statements.

I wanted to make that clear. And, now I'll continue about what happened.
Molly encountered Chaim. And she attacked him viciously. In public, at a simcha of his family, in front of lots of people. She called him names, said he was disgusting, said he was a disgrace to the Jewish people and that he was harming the Jewish people. Said to his mother HIS MOTHER!! "I can't believe you're proud of your son, would you be proud if he was a murderer?" She said this IN PUBLIC. Molly's outburst (and we all know she has outbursts!) was pure hatred. She compared him to a murderer and to HITLER!!! If she read his articles she knows what he suffered and that he is fragile emotionally. Yet, she still felt it 'right' to vomit this hatred onto him IN PUBLIC! I would like to ask her, what if he went home after his attack and succeeded in another suicide attempt?

Yes, we are facing great challenges from outside and from inside, and the new gay laws are just making things much worse. But, Molly Resnick's attack on Chaim Levin was pure hatred, and she is no better than the hooligans in leather jackets and on motorcycles who beat up boys and cut them up because they're gay. She is no better than these lowlifes.

If all of this was in private, then I would have my own private feelings and thoughts about this 'fantastic speaker'. But it's not in private. It's all in public and we cannot, any more, use her to represent us in any way as shluchos”.

This is one the first times where someone that holds a prominent role within the Chabad movement has written something positive in my defense. While some of this Shlucha’s sentiments regarding homosexuality might not seem progressive, I’m absolutely thrilled that she has taken an interest, that a conversation is starting here in Lubavitch and that people I had lost much faith in are standing up for what’s right.

I understand this Shlucha’s desire to remain anonymous. While a name under such a powerful statement would be really great, I’m thankful for just the comment alone because it highlights the progress that people within my home community are making towards understanding the “gay issue” and why actions like Molly Resnick’s need to condemned.

I invite this brave woman to contact me via email or to call me directly. I’d very much like to hear what she thinks about issues facing many Chabad LGBT people and what she disagrees with me on. Even if we respectfully disagree on most issues, at least we would be trying to understand each others’ positions. She has obviously made efforts to consider mine. I think that is progress. Given the sensitive nature of this matter, her identity would remain anonymous per her request.  

I hope one day that people within Chabad will be able to stand up for what’s right without having to be anonymous for fear of retaliation.

13 comments:

  1. Ms. Anonymous Shluchoh. Please submit your name. We would like to append the appropriate notation to your file at AGUCH.

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    1. Mr. Levine, do you care to identify yourself and what exactly you mean by that?

      Thanks,

      Chaim Levin

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  2. Sounds like a threat, Mr. Levine.

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  3. Are there seriously notations on files for shluchim? If so, this shlucha should get a huge commendation.

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    1. The behavior described is CRIMINAL, not just bad manners. Sooner or later, Resnick will behave like this with someone who reacts by calling the police to have her arrested for assault.

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    2. I am pleased to hear a "shlucha" come forward to decry such anti "Ahavas Yisroel" behavior on the part of a "Chabad speaker". Of all groups, Chabad, with the Rebbe at its helm, has forever exhibited "love of EVERY Jew", be they religious or not. Witness how schluchim are sent to the very ends of the earth to bring Jews back to basics. What could be more selfless and true "Ahavas Yisroel"? How Molly Resnick can represent Chabad as a speaker is a mockery of the very basis upon which Torah stands. It boggles the mind how someone filled with such hatred for anyone, would be called to "speak". While no G-d fearing person would condone any "Avaira", show me a person who is truly pure of any sin. So, by what right does anyone condemn another? Molly Resnick should look into herself and realize she is mean spirited,stupid and callously outspoken without regard for another human being and ignorant of true Torah values. Is she so stupid that she can't recognize that her public humiliation of another person is equal to "murder"? That by far exceeds anything Chaim "may" have done inappropriately.

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  4. I honestly don't see why anyone, whatever their position on gay people in the Orthodox community, would see the need to threaten this shlucha with a "notation", whatever that is. (Certainly sounds like a threat to me.) In no part of her statement does she sound at all "pro-gay". Just pro-derech eretz. If you are invited to a family simcha, or plan to go out anywhere in public at all, common decency demands a certain code of behavior. Even most people with incurable pottymouth realize that there are some situations where they have to control themselves. If you know there will be people there in whose presence you will be unable to keep a civil tongue in your mouth, you decline the invitation rather than spoil the simcha for everybody.

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  5. agreed. this is a simple issue of derech eretz. honestly, such a personal attack is something none of us would support. it just saddens me that people have to protect themselves under anonymity. whereas some of us appreciate the input its as merit-less for community needs as everything else that people attribute to "an anonymous but well respected rav." sadly for me and many others, finding a place in the orthodox communities we love so much is hard because more people are interested in looking frum than being frum. speaking for gays isnt an option because it exposes them to being taken less than serious just like gays are.

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  6. Amazing. This is about Molly Resnick attacking Chaim and embarrassing him in a VICIOUS attack IN PUBLIC.

    How you have turned this into a ridiculous discussion about the ONLY person to publicly come to his defense is beyond comprehension.

    Get back on track people, stick to the topic and grow up.

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    1. with all due respect, this isnt a public defense. as stated it appears to be a private support that remains anonymous. no one is making judgments. its just that some of us consider the terrible sensitivity there is in the communities that one can only say they will not allow it in the their community but cannot identify themselves. they like us, are in the closet and shouldn't have to be; there shouldnt be such a terrible cost if people are found to have this level of compassion that they must hide themselves.

      in reality when such a thing happens we are to have the leaders of the the community publicly denounce anyone who speaks for the jewish community and wrongly declares something. this is a biblical command to act to enforce "וכל העם ישמעו ויראו ולא יזידון עוד"

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  7. I'm heartened to see that derekh eretz is above arrogance and rudeness for many in the movement...

    I hope that this writer is willing to provide additional commentary. I'm not Chabad myself (or even Orthodox, at that), but I and many others would appreciate the chance to hear this more "normal" voice at the table.

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  8. Molly Resnick is really not anyone whom Chabad should send around as a speaker. This is only the most egregious instance of harassment that I have heard her accused of. She once told my friend/the rav of my old shul in CH off at a simcha for using common American slang! We just looked at each other and then I asked him who that meshuggene is as I did not recognize her. He told me who she is, and made it clear that if she doesn't like the way he speaks, she doesn't have to come to the event he was talking about to a relative when she butted in with her unwanted commentary.

    I was very disappointed that she showed up where I now live (outside the US) to speak on the Rebbetzin's yahrtzeit. I have the wrong chromosomes to have been in the audience, so I don't know what she said :). Fortunately, English is not the native language here and neither is Hebrew. I saw a picture and noticed who was interpreting; fortunately the interpreter would know way better than to translate something untoward.

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Feel free to post any comment or questions. Negative commentary that does not serve a useful purpose will be deleted.