Moish Geller - Prophet Or Loss?
People love him or hate him.
A former follower of the Grateful Dead, he goes to hippie gathering around the world and reaches out to Jews and encourages them to move to Israel.
Moish has a following in the Nachlaot (Carlebach aka Happy Minyan aka neo-hasidic) crowd.
I met him at the Happy Minyan in the summer of 2001 and talked to him about moving to Israel.
"We'll take care of all your needs," he promised, "including sexual."
He was the first rabbi to tell me that.
It was almost a year since I'd been on TV -- and with a woman -- and given all the turbulence in my life I yearned to return to the womb (Israel, woman, a place to lay my head).
I was intrigued and disturbed by Geller and ended up not following through on my promise to meet with him to talk about moving to Israel.
Geller's blog is called "NotJustAnotherRabbi."
"The man is clearly losing it," says an Orthodox Jewish acquaintance. "It also gives you a sense of his finances. This messiah complex, which tends to travel with a sense that mankind also owes it to themselves to support the messiah financially, is always interesting to watch, though here, its more than a little pathetic, because, as opposed to say, Mordecai Gafni, here it's not bundled with a very high intelligence."
On February 9, 2006, Geller blogged on RadicalTorah about "Shedding Light in a Dark World."
"Note that his "Torah teaching" consists exclusively of Grateful Dead and Marley quotes," says a reader.
"He's not dangerous, he’s just a very lost soul who has been trying to be a pseudo-Carlebach spiritual type for many years, with little success."
Geller grew up in Queens under the spell of Meir Kahane (in his pre-Kach days) and Shlomo Carlebach.
Moish never got anywhere with his own life and spent many years living in his parents basement.
In his late 30s, he suddenly got into the Grateful Dead, traveling around the country playing elder hippie guru. He then re-found Orthodox Judaism, flew to Israel, and became a Carlebach impersonator.
Geller hung around Bat Ayin for a while, I'm told, but was sent away from there, and has been hanging around Nahlaot, where he got terribly fat and sickly, and in the absence of any thinkers or leaders, Moish fills the Gafni, Neo-Carlebach, New Age Hippie, etc, void.
Moish tries to scrape together money through donations, etc, to live. I don’t think he’s held a job in his life. He thinks of himself as a force for “kiruv” (outreach) at Rainbow coalition type activities, and now is putting out his writings for public consumption, calling himself a rabbi.
"Up to this point he has been a harmless freak," says a source. "He’s probably too old and fat to be a predator (the closest he came is a picture in Haaretz from some Israeli hippie function where he was wearing tefillin next to some topless hippie-chick), though these insane messianic ravings of his are a bit worrisome in terms of his overall mental health."