JERUSALEM (VINnews) — In a historic move, the Belzer Rebbe announced the establishment of a new organization for former chareidim, both those who maintain a religious lifestyle and those who are not religious.
The new organization is not meant to do kiruv but to provide a warm embrace to all those who have chosen a different lifestyle from their parents. The new organization, dubbed Ahavat Kedumim, will serve to maintain the connection to these people, deal with their concerns and help them keep associated with their families.
The initiative stemmed from a tragic case involving a former member of the Belzer chassidus, who took his own life after his parents and the community broke off relations with him. The tragedy triggered the establishment of the organization, as the Rebbe understood that breaking off relations is not the solution for those who leave religious practices and embark on a new path.
The organization was warmly received by former chareidim. One of them who was interviewed by Galei Tzahal said that “we feel like we are in a dream, we received a true embrace from one of the great men of our generation.”
A senior person involved in the establishment of the organization said that “those who studied in chasidic institutions, need to be taken care of and loved unconditionally even after they decided not to keep mitzvos.”