The Counterculture to Chabad Lubavitch: The Search for Truth
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Senior honor's thesis / Open Access
The essence of Chabad, as highlighted in this study, is that it is, by its very nature, countercultural. As a philosophy of inherent love, community, and acceptance, it contains many parallels to the counterculture movement of the 1960s-1990s. This is why it drew so many people from the counterculture. These were souls who were searching for more. They lived their youth full of dissatisfaction with the world around them and turned to the counterculture to search for a deeper meaning. Their efforts were not ever fully satisfied as the counterculture, though spiritual, lacked the higher purpose and ultimate goal that Chabad represented to them, revealing Godliness in the world and bringing the final redemption. The interviewees related that even when comparing it to other forms of Orthodox Judasim, Chabad is a counterculture. In others there is an intense focus on becoming a great scholar or performing the most good deeds in order to be rewarded in the world to come. Alternatively in some branches there is a focus on fear of God and the avoidance of sin. Chabad is counter to both of these as its intent is not to gain reward or avoid sin, rather it is to make the world a better place for those in it and to do so by revealing and sharing the good that is inherent in creation, whether that be on the streets of Crown Heights or in the middle of the crowd at a Grateful Dead concert. [from Conclusion]
Meadvin, Gedaliah Ber Moshe. "The Counterculture to Chabad Lubavitch; The Search for Truth," Bachelor's Honors Thesis, Yeshiva University, January 2021.