Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Chabad - G-d erred in India / Chas v'shalom

שולחן ערוך חושן משפט סימן רכח סעיף ד

אם היו יסורין באים עליו, לא יאמר לו כדרך שאמרו חביריו לאיוב: הלא יראתך כסלתך זכר נא מי הוא נקי אבד (איוב ד, ו).

סמ"ע סימן רכח ס"ק ו

ו] כדרך שאמרו חביריו לאיוב כו'. והם שאמרו לו כן, מפני שהיה איוב מטיח דברים כלפי השגחת השם יתברך ומדותיו:

Hashem THE source of blessing! said:

I would like to post the words of the Rebbe in his letter where he states the need to put the trust in Hashem more than in a human of flesh and blood (even in a Tzadik like the Rebbe!).

The Lubavitcher Rebbe wrote:

עמוד 30 (הערה :נכתבה כז חשון ל"ד אשה שהפילה ר"ל לאחרי שקיבלה מענה וברכת כ"ק אדמור שאם ישמרו טהרת המשפחה לא תחשוש מלתהעבר וכפי דבריהם שמרו בכל הפרטים הפילה עוה"פ והאשה חזרה וכתבה לכ"ק אדמו"ר ולא קיבלה מענה על מכתבה וביקשה לשאול פירש הדבר שאחרי הברכה והמענה היה יכול להיות כזאת ):

“..., ד- הזוג שכחו שהשם הוא מקור הברכה ונותנה וכו' ובטחו רק בבן אדם בשר ואדם, בי...”.


  1. How did the Rebbe let this happen? Isn't it the Rebbe who runs the world.

  2. There are many camps within Chabad. Don't tar everyone with the same brush. "Der rebbe firt de velt" isn't a universal concept.

    About the original post, I don't see the quotes as all that bad.

    R' Ashkenazi says it's okay to complain to G-d and ask "Why?"

    R' Groner says that one needn't look for justifications to suffering. And I might point out that all of his examples were other people's suffering.

    And the Kefar Chabad weekly reiterates both points.

    It's not ch"v saying that G-d erred to say that when one feels that "it's unfair" one turns to G-d with that feeling. A real relationship with the Creator means dealing honestly with your feelings. Don't we have precedent in Avraham's "would the Judge of all the earth kill the righteous along with the wicked"? Or Moshe Rabbeinu's threatening Him "then erase me please, from the book"?

    These feelings are valid, and Hashem yisbarakh obviously wants us to experience them. By turning to Him with our honest pain, we deepen our relationship to Him rather than reduce it to intellectualized platitudes.

    (But what do I know, I'm "a pseudo-intellectual Chabad hater.")


  3. Micha said:
    > About the original post, I don't see the quotes as all that bad.

    Really? Both the speakers are quoted as saying that HaShem "broke" His own rules (חס ושלום): Rabbi Ashkenazi, that of "שלוחי מצוה..." and Rabbi Groner, that a "tzadik" (who is מפשפש and finds no sin) shouldn't experience harm.
    This represents incredible chutzpa (I wonder what his standards of פישפוש are), not the mention the fact that both claims are downright silly (שלוחי מצוה applies only in certain cases - including that the activity doesn't take place in aמקום שכיח היזק - hardly likely while engaged in typical over-the-top Chabad PR in the middle of a city of such a huge Muslim population).
    But besides the spurious logic, the claim that HaShem broke His rules alone is horrifying. They weren't saying the "לא מחשבותי מחשבותיכם" line that is standard among believing Jews: they were saying that השגחה broke down!

  4. WADR, you are assuming your problem. "Mutar lavo beta'anos". "Kenir'eh" "Ein *anu mechayavim* lehitzadiqo baseh."

    It's clearly about reaction, emotional response. The whole philsophical issue of how is it possible the complaints could be valid isn't on the table.

    Expressions of pain being confused for theological treatises.

    The onein who then says Dayan haEmes still sits through shiv'ah. We don't say, "It's all G-d's plan, it's okay then." We don't run lehatzdiqo -- we turn to Him in our pain.

    This pashkevil is the equivalent of telling the aveil that his depression proves he doesn't really believe, that he feels G-d somehow messed up.


  5. I'm honestly a bit conflicted on this. I saw these huge things plastered all over Meah Shaarim this week, with people standing in the streets reading them.

    One one hand, I agree with Micha that the original statements are statements of pain and advice for people in relationship with God for dealing with that difficult pain. It seems that to take them as theological statements is at best a misconstruction. It is the job of the one who truly feels the pain to be matzdik the din, and it may take a good long time to be able to do it honestly. To tell a mourner that God was right to take their loved one is cruel and counter productive. It is healing and helpful only when it comes from the person in pain.

    On the other hand, these statements follow the line that, if I understand correctly, the Rebbe held in dealing with the Holocaust. I've heard it said that he held that a simple attribution of the events of the Holocaust to the hand of God is injurious to kavod Hashem. That's a theological statement.

    Perhaps he was communicating that there was no way, immediately following the holocaust, to remove ourselves from the personal and immediate sense of wrongdoing. The pretense of being able to may be worse than the honest inability.

  6. And just to tack on my usual complaint, why did the righteous respondents not sign there name? Especially after calling out the ones they are being critical of by name. Cowardice.

  7. The Sefer Daas Tevunos of the Ramchal writes that Hashem has two ways of running the world, one of justice, according to man's actions, and another way of Yichud, that world events must culminate in the expression of Hashem's achdus in the world. This second way of running the world, writes the Ramchal, is not necessarily in accordance to Divine justice and may end up with the righteous being punished without adequate reason or vice versa. This explains much of the seeming injustice in the world.
    Based on this idea of the Daas Tevunos, which is probably based on earlier writings, the statements of Rav Ashkenazi and Rav Groner do not seem such apikorsus as this poster is trying to assert. As with many aspects of Judaism, very little is neatly cut and dried.

  8. > And just to tack on my usual complaint, why did the righteous respondents not sign there name? Especially after calling out the ones they are being critical of by name. Cowardice

    Cowardice? Hardly. Closer to prudence, I'd say. Publishing even the mildest criticism of Chabad can be downright dangerous - and at least most uncomfortable. One Israeli rosh yeshiva who did publish critical essays some decades ago told me of how he woke up one morning to find that notices of his levaya were posted all over Jerusalem.
    I've personally been physically attacked twice and I publish only anonymously!

  9. R. Eidensohn, why is your post titled "G-d erred in India"? Where did you see that? The issue seems to be whether one may complain to Hashem or not.

    The speakers' premise is that Hashem's justice doesn't necessarily equal humans deserving of that justice by their standards.

    We find in Gemara that Daniel and Yirmiya said that Hashem's behavior wasn't that of הגיבור והנורא. Does anyone think that meant that Hashem erred? Chas v'shalom. Do we say of all those Kedoshim who died purely al kiddush Hashem, that they were deserving of their deaths due to their actions?! That is unheard of. Rather we say that Hashem has this idea of Justice in which he wants Jews to offer their life in his honor.

    Does that mean that we don't mourn? Does that mean that Tehilim isn't full of questions (למה יאמרו הגוים וכו')? Does that contradict the cry of עד מתי? I'm sure Chabad is also noheg to say Tziduk Hadin etc. but they merely point out that one can have טענות.

  10. Baruch Hashem

    G-d has the dream team of defense attorneys here. He has nothing to worry about. It's an open and shut case.

    Happy Chanukah

  11. This paskvil is a real witch-hunt if I ever saw one, one of many fought against Chabad by those with an anti-Chabad agenda. No Chabad Chossid ever said that Hashem erred, chas v’shalom. Show me that quote. I find the heading of this post highly offensive. The concept is simple: Hashem Himself doesn’t want us to justify others’ suffering; rather, we should refuse to accept it and to demand an end to tzoros. As for chutzpah, Chazal say “chutzpah klapei shmaya mehani”.

  12. I have to admit that find much in this Paskil that echos classic Chassidus, as far as the right of the individual to complain to HaShem. However, I don't see anywhere specficially where it is stated that G-d erred(ChV"Sh). Actually I see this a an example of Chabad having at least aspects of mainstream Chassidic thought.

    Honestly if we are going to tackle the issue of Chabad some attempt should be made to make a differentiation between different sects, subsects and streams of thought within Chabad, and then deal with those that we find troubling.

    I fear that if we paint all of Chabad with too broad a brush we will be labeling many normal Jews as something they are not, which in itself would be a grave aveira.


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