Why Doesn’t the JTA talk to Hassidim about Hassidus?

If you want to know about Hasidism, shouldn’t you talk to Hassidim?

I was struck by the JTA’s article, “Rabbi Art Green says the Hasidism that lasts finds sparks of holiness everywhere.” I understand that the real focus of the article is Rabbi Green and his life of service to the Jewish community. I’ve never met nor, to my recollection, even heard of Rabbi Green before, so this certainly is in no way about him or even his scholarship.

But if the Jewish Telegraphic Agency wants to know about Hasidism, especially a “Hasidism that lasts,” shouldn’t they ask a Hassid? Why is it that Hassidism is seen as something to be studied from the outside, rather than encountered? YouTuber Peter Santenello visited Borough Park, Williamsburg and Crown Heights, and learned more about the Hassidic community — and how Hasidism is realized in practice — that one could hope to get from a conversation with a non-Hasidic, non-Orthodox Rabbi who is deemed “one of the world’s leading experts on Hasidic Judaism” in a world with over 100 actual Hassidic Rebbes that one could ask.

It’s astonishing. Please listen for more.

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