Monday, July 28, 2008

Chabad - Messianic fervor is not the problem II

Let me explain my previous post. I don't think that believing that the Lubavitcher Rebbe will be Moshiach is inherently a violation of Jewish law or hashkofa [See R' Gil Student for a more nuanced discussion of this issue]. Rav Noach Weinberg ,shlita once remarked to me that if Moshiach is coming from the dead then we can do better than the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Chabad has every right to disagree with Rav Weinberg.

Dr. Berger's point that even though there is a source in the gemora for this attitude but since it was rejected for hundreds of years in debates with Christians it is not acceptable - is itself problematic. Ironically Dr. Berger's view is logically no different than the view that the rejection of the modern majority of certain hashkofa principles held by Chazal, Rishonim and modern achronim - makes these views kefira - a view that Dr. Berger himself rejects.

My point is that the main problem is that the attitude of Chabad towards Judaism and halacha is diverging from the mainstream of Orthodoxy. Dr. Schick's article is just the tip of the iceberg. I am not minimizing the bizarreness of Chabad behavior regarding whether the Rebbe is dead. See the following photos and video from Chabad website regarding kos shel beracha of the dead Rebbe. But they are not the ikkar but are symptoms of this larger pattern of deviation.

R' Micha also raises the question of problematic hashkofa attitudes - some of which have been discussed by Rav Shochet in a previous posting.
Doesn't the problem of determining the halachic state of Lubavitch Jews begin well before the issue of messianism, back when the rav who would be the next and last Lubavitcher rebbe declared the rebbe to be "Atzmus uMahus melubach beguf -- Divine Essence and Substance clothed in a body"?

Lubavitch Messianism took a figure who was already in Buddha's role and added a messianic component. But the Lubavitch position since 1951 has been violating the 5th ikkar emunah as many poseqim would define it.


  1. "See the following photos and video from Chabad website regarding kos shel beracha of the dead Rebbe."

    Does this practice make the wine forbidden? After all, they are having the ghost of their Rebbe sanctify it, aren't they?

  2. is NOT sanctioned by the organized Chabad movement. Full stop.


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