Monday, July 28, 2008

Chabad - Rabbi Posner criticizes Prof. Berger's book

Rabbi Posner - a well respected Chabad rabbi - reviews Prof. David Berger's book dealing with the scandal of the messianic movement in Chabad. The article is found in Jewish Action Magazine.

Rabbi Gil Student's response to Rabbi Posner's article can be found in the Spring 5763 issue of Jewish Action.


  1. Interesting article - I suppose time will tell (as it always does).

    Question - how does Lubvitch (and Bratslav) deal with a rebbiless chassidut on a conceptual basis?

    Joel Rich

  2. The reason given against the Messianic Jews is that they worship a dead man and believe he will return and is Gods son. Yet the Chabad Messianic Jews worship their Rebbe, say he'll return, and that he is God and they actively and openly attempt to convert other Jews! Whats the difference?

    Does mainstream Chabad really believe that the Lubavitcher Rebbe is a Jesus-like deity? - Religious mentors in the major yeshivas of Chabad in both Israel and the United States, publications issued by mainstream Chabad, and influential, highly educated Lubavitch laymen, take the following assertions literally: The supremely righteous, of whom the Rebbe and Moses are the chief exemplars, annul their own essence to the point where their entire Essence is that of God. It is permissible to bow to them with this understanding.

    For this reason, the Rebbe is omniscient, omnipotent, and entirely without limits. He is "indistinguishable" from God. Because he is a transparent window for pure divinity, a "man-God," "when you speak to him, you speak to God."

    Nevertheless, what about those who insist that Chabad's messianist camp is a minority faction? - Regrettably, this assertion is pure propaganda. In Crown Heights, the main synagogue at Lubavitch headquarters is a messianist stronghold where the Rebbe's messiahship is proclaimed at every prayer service.

    In Israel, the rabbi of Kfar Chabad signed a rabbinic ruling that Jewish law requires belief in the Rebbe's Messiahship, and the major columnist of the journal Beis Moshiach is a mentor in Yeshiva Tomchei Temimim there.
    The large Chabad school system in Safed teaches the Rebbe's Messiahship. Over 60 Israeli rabbis, including chief rabbis of several towns, signed the messianist ruling. Recognizing Chabad messianists as Orthodox rabbis in good standing abolishes Judaism's criteria for identifying the Messiah and awards victory to Christianity on a key issue in the historic Jewish-Christian debate. One does not undermine Judaism in order to save it.

    (Source JPost interview with Rabbi Berger by Jacob Neusner}

  3. My response to Rabbi Posner's article can be found in the Spring 5763 issue of Jewish Action:


please use either your real name or a pseudonym.