11 Things a Non-Jew Learned from Hasidic Jews

After spending more than a week in the Hasidic community and creating 13 videos, here are Peter's takeaways from his experience.

Click here to visit Peter Santenello's Youtube page.

Comments (6)

(6) Alan S., January 15, 2021 3:52 PM

A video that is refreshing, wonderful, and even a bit unexpected.

I didn't know what to expect before I viewed this video. And while I would never expect Aish.com to showcase a video that is anti-Hassidic in any manner, I was NOT surprised at Mr. Santenello's unbiased observations because the Hassidic community, along with the modern Orthodox, generally represents the best of our people, delightful, sincere, honest, honorable, and
always well meaning. Mr. Santenello's relaxed and calm manner further conveyed his positive message well.

Sadly, too often we hear and read negative messages about the Hassidim and the modern Orthodox. These negative portrayals belie the exemplary interactions I have always had.

(5) Rivka, January 14, 2021 5:11 PM

Beautiful, what an opened minded soul!

I really enjoyed the 2 videos posted on Aish.com by Peter. So openminded, so willing to learn. He showed such beautiful aspects of the community. I do have a few comments - a) it appears as if Peter does not realize that there are so many other kinds of very religious jews who are not Hasidic, which is very important to realize. Although there are so many positive aspects of Hasidism, it is important to realize that someone who want to find a life that is soaked with Torah does not have to be Hasidic. In the first video that he posted, on Hasidic women, Peter seemed to be shocked that there is such a thing as Baalei Teshuva, secular born jews that chose to take on the mitzvos. He seemed to think this was rare - that is so far from the truth today!! But I do think that most Baalie Teshuva, newcomers to Torah, do not chose Hasidism. b) Having said that, his comment on this video that "you have to be born into it" is also a true misconception - I wonder if he has explored the communities of Hasidic and very observant non Hasidic Jews that contain so many Baalei Teshuva and Converts. The torah loves non jews and does not encourage them to become Jewish in order to fulfill their purpose in life, but they are welomed in if they chose to convert.

(4) Leslie Ruder, January 14, 2021 4:51 PM

Thanks, Peter!

I really appreciate this summary of Peter's wonderful series of interviews of different Chassidishe communities. As a ba'alat teshuva, it has been painful to me to see the negative and inaccurate portrayals, few as they are, of the religious Jewish world. Other than the few films made by Orthodox Jews (Ushpizin, Fill the Void...), popular films such as Unorthodox, and all the books prominently displayed on the shelves of Barnes & Noble are always about "escapees" from the community, and paint very bleak, even hateful pictures indeed. I like in this video how Peter acknowledges the truth, that in EVERY group there is always a smattering of good people and bad people and everything in between. We are not immune to the problems and tragedies and horrors of human behavior. But like everywhere else, that's the exception, not the rule, and I love how Peter describes the big picture. Thanks for peeking inside, in a way that's more accessible, and very authentic.

(3) Anonymous, January 14, 2021 4:29 PM

Thank you for this.

As a noahide who attends Chabad, I enjoyed this very much. Hope to visit some day.

(2) Steve woita, January 14, 2021 3:22 PM

Well done.

Very helpful for Gentiles who want to understand Chasidut (a little). Today!!

(1) Anonymous, January 14, 2021 1:35 PM

Your interviews were great, enjoyed so much! Thank you!


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