South Head congregant asks questions

July 2, 2017 by J-Wire
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Rabbi Milecki and his supporters claim that he has put the congregation first for the past 32 years.

I beg to differ.

But two examples (of many):

1. Which Rabbi of a predominantly Zionistic congregation he puts first would deny that congregation the right to sing Hatikva anywhere because of his own personal beliefs, let alone in their own Synagogue? He did;
2. Which Rabbi who puts his congregation first would lead the Neilah (closing service) on Yom Kippur primarily from a different machzor to that used by almost the entire congregation so that the congregation is unable to follow and say the prayers they are supposed to according to their machzorim? And defend it by hurling insults and abuse at people who complained about it? He did.

From my perspective, and indeed as can be inferred from his references to the letter from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, his first and foremost loyalty was to the Rebbe and Chabad and it very much seems that if ever there was a conflict, the congregation came 2nd by a long way.

Of course, it is his prerogative to be loyal to whomever he chooses, but then it is disingenuous to claim differently.

It does not surprise me that he has almost single handedly brought about the demise of our beautiful congregation, which was a sanctuary for so many of us every Shabbat and Festival and, for many, every day.

Something of which to be really proud.

Alan Wahlhaus


Editor’s Note: J-Wire understands Rabbi Milecki reverted to Art Scroll machzor the following year


4 Responses to “South Head congregant asks questions”
  1. Cody Flecker says:

    Not every Rabbi within the Chabad- Lubavitch movement is the same. Some Rabbi’s truly love their congregations, while others look at disdain towards them. Let me give you an example. In a suburb of Phoenix Arizona, I found myself deeply entrenched in a real estate deal that was so complicated and intense, that I forgot that it was Yom KIppur, having worked day and night to get this deal done. One of my partners who is not Jewish informed me that today was Yom Kippur and I should go to a Shul. I wanted to say Yizkor for my parents. I was dressed up in a short sleeve shit, blue jeans, and sneakers. No one at Shul was even nice to me, it was if I did not exist.Even the Rabbi when he came over to me made fun of the way I was dressed. He insulted me, by saying that I should have visited my home shul, ” not grace his with my slovenly dress” I said that I am to say Yizkor, and as a courtesy I was going to leave a check in one of the charity boxes by the door. the Rabbi could deposit it after the holiday concluded. The Rabbi then said that as far as he was concerned, I could leave right now, but of course leave the check in the box. I said fine, and I took the check out of my wallet, it was already made out and ripped it up into many pieces. I then placed the check in the box and left without saying Yizkor. A week later, the Rabbi called me to apologize. He said that he was wrong and wanted to make amends by inviting me for dinner. I asked the Rabbi how he had my telephone number and he said that he took the check out of the box in pieces, saw my phone number on the check and decided to call me. I am sure that when the Rabbi saw how much the check was written for, he had a change of heart. I wrote the check for $ 666,000, a small portion of my profit in this real estate deal. The bottom line to this story is that not everyone is perfect. I was wrong for being dressed the way that I was, and the Rabbi was wrong by looking at how I was dressed, rather then looking at what was in my heart.

  2. Benjamin Simons says:

    This is simply not true. I can verify that he eats shmura matzoh every year!

  3. Charles Don says:

    1) Hatikva was not allowed by the previous rabbi, Rabbi Silberman, and that was the status-quo when Rabbi Milecki arrived

    2) At least in the later years Hatikva was sung after services in the main sanctuary

    3) Rabbi used Nusach Ari during Neila for his own prayers but followed artscroll for leading the congregation. It turns out that artscroll and singer have two different Neilas. After it was brought to his attention he rectified it.

    Please be careful in the future not to be Mitzi Shem Ra.

    • Jodi Kofsky says:

      Charles, 2 and 3 are not quite as you represent. I do not know about your first point.

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