When I was still in San Diego and grappling with my Jewish identity, I read the book Shanda. It's the story of a self-hating Jewish journalist who rediscovers his connection to Yiddishkeit with the help of the prominent Chabad rabbi Manis Friedman. After reading the book, I thought that Manis Friedman would be an interesting person to know.
Now I'm not so sure.
Recently, Rabbi Manis Friedman released a video on YouTube where he basically blasted those who were abused for being victims and not getting on with their lives. While the original has been taken down due to the widespread backlash (bloggers such as BrooklynWolf, FailedMessiah, and Rabbi Harry Maryles all condemned the video in the strongest possible terms), nothing ever really disappears from the Internet. Despite the apologetic video posted the next day, Friedman's words will live on. And they should serve as a warning to all those who seek to enter this community. There is a poison here. And it won't go away anytime soon.