Thursday, August 14, 2008

Chabad II - The Rebbe had the status of a prophet?

LazerA's comment to "Chabad - The Rebbe had the status of a prophet?":
Anonymous said...
"The sicha about prophesy... can be viewed at in the 'hisvadius' section.

Thanks! The website isn't the most user friendly but I was finally able to print out the sicha.

"In the Sicha the Rebbe refers to his father-in-law, the previous Rebbe who passed away some 40 years earlier, as prophesising that "Le'alter Le'Geulah" which roughly translates as "directly to redemption".Obviously this not to be taken literally...."

Having reviewed the relevant passages again in the Hebrew version, I'm afraid I have to agree with Rabbi Oliver, that the LLR intended his words in the full halachic sense.

This is indicated, firstly, as Rabbi Oliver points out, by his use of halachic sources and terminology. His language is pretty emphatic. He applies the full halachic status of a prophet to his father-in-law and himself. To quote from the English translation:

"He has to be obeyed immediately "even before he performs a sign." "It is forbidden to disparage or criticize his prophecy saying that it is perhaps not true.""

Secondly, the LLR presumably knew his audience well enough to know that if he made such statements in such strong terms, they would be interpreted in a literal fashion (as Rabbi Oliver has done). The fact that he then did so strongly indicates that that was his intention.

Unfortunately, none of this has changed my original assessment. In my opinion, it is clear that the LLR intended to declare himself a prophet, despite the lack of any valid halachic justification.

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