Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Lubavitch XII

Part of the problem with Lubavitch is that they have no idea what is Chasidus, and what is plain Judaism. To say "Chasidus teaches" that every Jew has a chelek elokah mima'al is like saying "Chasidus teaches that G-d created the world in 7 days, the last of which was Shabbos."

Uh, no. This is not Chasidus, this is plain Judaism. The statement is in the Zohar, and quoted in all Misnagdishe writings, as well as Chasidic. If we don’t know what Chasidus is, it is not likely we will be able to understand its intricacies.

(And by the way, when the Tanya quotes a source for this from the Zohar, commenting on the posuk "And G-d blew into his nostrils a breath of life", that "He Who blows, blows from Himself", it is still a mystery to this day where in the Zohar it says this. It is nowhere in the Zohar to be found. The statement is in the Sefer HaPliah, but not in the Zohar. Another Chasidishe Sefer wants to interpret a different Zohar to arrive at the same conclusion, but as a quote, it is nowhere to be found. One of the big mysteries of the Tanya is where he got this Zohar from. Of course, the Baal HaTanya surely had something in mind when he wrote this, but what it is, is a big mystery.)

The difference between what these teachings say versus what the Lubavitcher Rebbe says is as follows:

If Reuven donates his kidney to Shimon, Shimon has a piece of Reuven in him, but he does not become Reuven. He is still Shimon with a piece of Reuven inside.

So too whatever piece of Hashem we have in us - on whatever level - it does not change us into Hashem. We are still us. Just with a part of Hashem inside.

But in order for the Lubavitcher Rebbe's point to be valid, this would not be enough. For even if you have the highest level of soul in you, part of Hashem Himself, since you are still you and not Hashem, bringing requests to you as a Rebbe would still constitute a memutza (go between), which the Lubavitcher Rebbe wants to be untrue.

So he has to make the Rebbe not just a Rebbe with a part of Hashem inside him, but he has to transform the identity of the Rebbe from rebbe to G-d Himself. That is the only way he will not be a go-between. That is clear from his "sources" (sic) where he would like Tzadikim to be called "G-d" or Moshe Rabbeinu referring to himself as G-d. The Tzadik is NOT merely identified as a Tzadik with G-d inside, but he is identified as G-d Himself, merely clothed in the body of a Tzadik. There is a big, big difference.

This is why, as is recorded in David Berger's book, a Chabad Mashpia in a certain school in Crown Heights had a poster of the Rebbe hung on the Mizrach wall of the classroom, towards which the students pray. When asked about the clear violation of Halachah involved - it is prohibited to pray toward a picture - the Mashpia answered that that Halachah only applies to regular humans. But the Rebbe is actually G-d in a body, so it is really G-d they are praying towards, not a human.

You should also be aware that there are Lubavitchers who understand the Rebbe's statement of Atzmus Umahus in a body completely different than you do - even though you are mistaken as well. They take it to refer to the Lubavitcher Rebbe only and nobody else in history - not Moshe, not David Hamelech - nobody. The following is a quote from a booklet authored by a Rabbi Zushe Rivkin "In honor of the Rebbe shlita - Melech HaMoshiach":

"This is what Moshiach is, as the Rebbe shlita said at the beginning of his reign, 'that a Rebbe is G-d clothed in a physical body" [atzmus ain sof hislavesh b'guf gashmi!!!] This concept appeared in our generation only, since that is Moshiach...for all the Tzadikim beginning from Adam HaRishon reached high levels of connections with Hashem, but in Moshiach will be completed the purpose of the world, namely, 'G-d wanted to find a place to live in the lower realm', and therefore only in him [Moshiach] does He [G-d] clothe His self and His essence, just as a person lives with his whole essence and self in a house, so too the created existance is a home for the Real Existance [i.e. G-d], and this concept happens in actuality with regard to Moshiach. This is what is meant by the phrase "A Rebbe is the self of the Ain Sof clothed in a physical body."



I read Rabbi Berger's book. He does blame the Rebbe for the Meshichists but very apologetically. He refers to the Rebbe's statements, which clearly indicate that he is Moshiach, as hard to believe and disturbing, but he stops short of calling the Rebbe a Meshichist, for whatever reason.

Rabbi Berger seems to be an expert in Jewish-Chritian theological relationships, contrasts and interaction, and is tackling the Meshichist problem from the vantage point of its similarity to Christianity. His book does not seem to intend on explaining where Lubavitch veered away from Chasidus or how Chabad can be vulnerable to such blasphemous beliefs.

Regarding what I said previously about the shechita of someone who believes that the Lubavitcher Rebbe is "G-d in a body" being invalid, I saw that in David Berger's book he quotes Rav Elyashev shlita as saying the same thing. That is, the shechitah of someone who believes the Lubavitcher Rebbe is "G-d in a body" is invalid because the shochet is an idol-worshiper.

Rabbi Berger's book is very informative, but what I don’t understand is why he is surprised. It is not a chidush that people are not going to be interested in a protracted battle with Chabad. This is because of their vast influence, their tendency to harass and take revenge on anyone who comes out against them, and because there's no end to such a war.

What Chabad does when confronted with Torah evidence against them, is to flood the arena with quote after quote and source after source and then saying "See? The other side doesn't know what they are talking about!"

After a bit of analysis, however, it becomes clear that their sources and quotes, though related to the topic at hand, do not defend them at all, and do not even address the specific charge leveled against them.

So now you must take up the tedious task of explaining each source, showing how Chabad took them out of context.

But for each clarification you have, they just flood the arena with more irrelevant information, geometrically multiplying the complexity of the whole issue to the point where the average observer just looks at it as a never-ending, 2-sides-to-the-story disagreement, and faults those who attack Chabad for not recognizing that there is another side to the story.

The reality, however, is that their "sources" are nothing but a colossal collection of distortions and misapplied information, as people who know how to learn can tell.

Their tactic is to throw a lot information at you making it seem as if there are answers.

So imagine if the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah would come out against Lubavitch. The next day there would be a tedious and invovled answer, replete with bales of quotes from Chasidishe and Kabbalistic works, 'showing' how the Rabbonim are "misnagdim" and they don't understand "Chasidus". Any further involvement from the Moetzes would be met with more quotes. And although none of the dozens quotes or the sources will justify their actions, the sheer quantity of information and the accompanying rhetoric will make it look like there are, at least, two sides to the story.

It would only make things worse. It would look like a dispute rather than an expose, and Chabad would say they sufficiently answered everything anyway, and the average baal HaBayis would not know the difference.

This is why the Satmar Rebbe ZTL would not involve himself in a protracted battle with these people. "P'giasam raah", he held - any encounter with them is not good. "What should I do - get into a fight with an idiot (shotah)?" the Satmar Rav said when asked if he is going to come out against the Lubavitcher Rebbe on a specific issue. His disagreements with Rav Aharon Kotler ZTL or Rav Moshe Feinstein ZTL he considered an issue of differences of Torah opinion, and so he had no problem battling hand-to-hand with them, as is the way of Torah disputes. But his problems with the Lubavitcher Rebbe he considered an issue of simply a lack of common sense on the part of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, so he didn't bother.

Then there is the case of harassment. Rabbi Gurwitz in England wrote a Sefer long ago on the laws of Kings in the Rambam, where Moshiach is discussed. Of course, in the course of his writing he explained why the Lubavitch explanation of the Rambam is untenable.

He never heard the end of it. Threatening and harassing phone calls, furniture deliveries made to his home, and various other kinds of harassment were heaped upon him by the Chabad chasidim.

And that’s just one story out of many. Nobody wants to get involved with this kind of Mafia.

And the Modern Orthodox, whose ambivalence greatly surprises Rabbi Berger, are surely not going to take up this battle. Accusing other Orthodox Jews of heresy, idolatry, and other assorted crimes of such nature is not their forte. They have for generations denigrated those who leveled accusations of heresy and idolatry against them, claiming that their being "Orthodox" (whatever that means) makes such claims intolerant and even fanatical.

And now we expect them to call this wonderfully tolerant, outreach-oriented, group of Orthodox Jews who accept them (as opposed to the Traditional Orthodox), whose Rebbe studied in the Sorbonne and is well versed even in secular subjects, and is the epitome of what a Rebbe should be according to their philosophy, idol worshipers?

Nope. It's not happening.

Not to mention the financial and political pressure that Chabad wields especially in the circles that the Modern Orthodox travel, and depend on for funding.

I also feel that Rabbi Berger overstates the significance that this debacle has on Judaism, and world Jewry in general. He talks in terms of Judaism being changed before our eyes. They are not taken seriously enough in the Torah world to have an impact on Judaism.

The key phrase here is "the Torah world." Judaism has already been ravaged by the Conservatives, Reform, Zionists, and various other groups. The Messianism of Lubavitch will certainly harm many Jews, but it will not change authentic Judaism. It will merely remove Chabad from the roster of its practitioners. And anyway, they had one foot out the door already.


How many Lubavitcher teens have said that if they wanted to stop putting on Tefillin their parents would "be nice", but if they wanted to go learn in Ponivezh Yeshivah, they'd be kicked out of their homes.

Just like, if I were to deny Hashem's Kingship over the world, c"v, those Lubavitchers would consider me a "pintele yid" who really wants to do Mitzvos and deserves Kiruv, but if I deny the Lubavitcher Rebbe's Kinship, they have me in mind during V'Lamashinim.


Don't bother Lubavitch about their mass-minyanim. There are real,
serious problems in Chabad. This is like when a shrink wants to see if
a kid is crazy so he shows him a piturec of a guy with one hand, 2 toes,
no nose and one ear, and then asks "OK, what's missing in the picture?"
"A tie", he says.
Even though the tie may be missing, but if that’s what you focus on,
then there's something wrong. This minyan business is not the issue.
The issues are the changing and twisting of the hashkofos of chabad
chasidus into something it never was nor was ever intended to be;
their idolatrous perception of what their rebbe is; the self-isolation
of their group as they elevate themselves, in their own minds, to the
main element of Klall Yisroel (as their Rebbe said, when Moshiach
comes, only Chabad chasidim will be sitting in the front - everyone
else will be in the back), which includes the absurd notion that Tanya
is the meat and potatoes of the Torah curriculum ("All their problems
stem from the fact that they believe they are Klall Yisroel, and
everyone else are branches - Rav Hutner ZTL); the distorted and
corrupt Torahs that their Rebbe told them (Moshiach will build the
Bais Hamikdash in 770 after which it will be transported to Eretz
Yisroel; Chabad chasidim - and only chabad chasidim - do not have to
sleep in a sukka on sukkos; a Rebbe is the self and essence of G-d in a
body, ad nauseum); the Meshichism, which was started and maintained by
the Rebbe himself; the refusal of the Rebbe to obey his superiors and
stop his deviant ways; the distortion of the Derech HaBaal Shem Tov
into some weird personality cult which, with the replacement of the
Hashem with the Rebbe as prime; and many many more aspects of deviant
Torah hashkofo, much of which has been quoted and documented and
discussed in the many pages above. Please refer.
The problem is not so much they currently have no leader, but rather
the nature of the leader and leadership that they have had for the
past 50 years. His leadership included either explicitly deviant
distortions of true Torah and Chasidus or sufficiently ambiguous and
discombobulated teachings such that the average and even above average
Chabad chosid will honestly understand them to mean the wildest and most absurd things. It has become a cartoon of Judaism and Chasidus, a development that
was predicted by our Gedolei Yisroel over a half a century ago. The
Brisker Rav ZTL, after reading the last Rebbe's first sicha (1951 I believe) insightfully commented, "This meshugenah is trying to convince himself that he is Moshiach". When the Satmar Rav ZTL heard (in 1959 I believe) that the Lubavitcher
Rebbe was teaching Tanya over the radio, to Jews who don't even know
who the name of the 3 Avos, he accordingly had extremely negative
things to say about him, and when then asked if he is going to come
out against the Lubavitcher Rebbe for doing this his answer was, "What
should I do -- pick fight with an idiot (shotah)? (This appears in the
Satmar Rav's writings too). The Lubavitcher Rebbe said that the main
reason for his Kiruv movement is that it "brings Moshiach", as per
Moshiach's statement to the Besh"t that he (moshiach) will come when
the Besht's Torahs will de spread; therefore, we have to spread
chasidus (i.e. of course, Tanya and CHabad) everywhere) - Kuntres
Vhachai Yiten el Libo, stement of Lubab Rebbe to Divever Rebbe). In
Divrei Yoel (Tzav) he points of that this of course was told to the
Baal Shem Tov, and applied to him and his generation, "as opposed to
the opinion of idiots (shotim) who say that this can be fulfilled in our generation."
The problem is not their mass-minyanim.
The problem was not a lack of leadership; it was the nature thereof.


That Kol Koreh does not say that those people do not believe the Rebbe
is moshiach - they say not to publicize that he is. Big difference. In
Chabad nobody is impressed -- they underatand the kol koreh as
designed to squelch the ridicule and laughter that is directed at Chabad these days from every frum place on earth. .

In fact, Lubabs say that several rabbis on that Kol Koreh stated clearly that it was meant merely to deflect the jokes people were making about chabad - it was meant only for us "outsiders" (Boruch Hashem we are outsiders) but not for them.


There are actually some, such as Stoliner Chasidim, and others, who do not say Machnisei Rachamim because it is using a sort of intermediary. But most people do say it, and the reason is because Malachim are not intermediaries. And intermediary is someone (or something) that acts on behalf of you and gives your Tefilos to Hashem. Malachim are not baalei bechirah - they have no free will, and so they cannot do
anything at all unless Hashem Himself already told them to do so. You can't ask a malach to intercede for you with Hashem. A Malach is only a "shliach" of Hashem - it has no will of its own.
So when we say machnisei rachamim, that the malachim should "place"
the tefilos in front of Hashem, it is merely a poetic way of saying that Hashem should send His Malachim to accept our Tefilos. No other possible way for Malachim to bring our Tefilos to Hashem exists, except and unless Hashem told them to. They are, after all, only Hashem's "robots."

And therefore, since in order for the maalch to bring our tefilos to Hashem, Hashem has to first tell the malach to do it (the maalch cannot do it on his own) by praying that the malachim do that, we are in reality praying that Hashem should TELL the malach to do that, which means Hashem should accept our Tefilos himself. For if Hashem does tell the malach to bring Him the tefilah - Hashem has already
decided to accept it. The initiative to accept the tefilah, and to
have the malach bring it, comes only from Hashem. The malach has no initiative on his own. As opposed to an intermediary, who is a messenger of us, not Hashem,
and acts on his initiative - or ours - to bring our tefilos to Him.
The diference is, the malach is Hashem's shliach to bring Him our
Tefilos, whereas an intermediary is our shliach to bring our Tefilos to Hashem.

That having been said, please note that the Lubavitcher Rebbe did NOT say that we can use an intermediary; he said that we can NOT have an intermediary. He said a Rebbe is NOT an intermediary at all. Rather, he is G-d's essence and elf, placed in a body. Therefore, a Rebbe does not count as an intermediary.


This is taught in Lubab schools as the first line of defense against Torah Jews: "If you didn't learn the Rebbe's sichos then you have no right to talk." First of all, yes, I did. In fact, the more I familiarize myself with the sichos, the more I see that the Lubavitcher Rebbe was off the derech.

When I was a kid, I used to read "Talks and Tales" and "A Thought for the Week" regularly. I had nothing against the Lubavitcher Rebbe or his Chasidim. When I was a kid I even got a Lubavitcher Rebbe dollar once, given to me by a Lubavitcher friend of mine (PS - I have since spent that dollar).

But then, as I grew older and began seeing the teachings that the Lubavitcher Rebbe has been feeding his chasidim, I understood what so many Gedolim had against him. His terribly twisted teachings started it. Then his dishonesty (either to himself or to others, I am not sure, nor does it matter), and his bain odom l'chaviero problems, such as his declaration that the reason Satmar does not want Lubavitch missionaries in Williamsburg teaching children behind their parent's back in clandestine meetings where they would tell kids to lie to their parents about the existence of those meetings, and that they now have an opportunity to learn the Torah of Moshiach in the form of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's sichos", is because "they (Satmar) is against the teachings of the Alter Rebbe", or that Rav Shach's tefillin are not kosher - both plain lies, and whether he convinced himself that these crazy things were true or he knew they weren't true and merely tried to convince others doesn’t matter.

In fact, more than once have I met people, some talmdei chachamim - and some even Rebbes! - who, upon discussing Lubavitch suggest that the charges against them aren't as serious as some make them out to be, my response is always to quote things that the Lubavitcher Rebbe said in his sichos, showing that the charges are, if anything, understated, and invariably the other party is shocked by what he sees that the Lubavitcher Rebbe has said, and never again wonders why the Tzadikei Hador refer to the Lubavitcher Rebbe as either a "meshugineh" (The Brisker Rav) or a "shoteh" (the Satmar Rav) or disseminating "stupidity and ignorance" (Rav Shach), never mind the avodah zorah of rebbe worship.

In fact, the biggest weapon that Bnei Torah have against the Lubavitcher Rebbe is to show people his sichos. Someone sent me an email saying that he was involved in some Lubavitch discussion on some other website, and they allowed almost anything to be said, but when he posted a collection of the lubavitcher rebbe’s own statements, they deleted it behind his back because it was too nasty to keep online.




Blogger Yitz said...

GO to a chabad chasid and ask him your questions. you are poshut not even suspecting how they could be based on torah. Ask The rosh yeshiva of morristown chabad yeshiva (who knows shas bal peh), Rav shochet in L.A.and whom VADAY follow halacha, how they understand your issues. ask people who want to know. You are mistaken and sick good luck.However Ahavat yisroel is the basis of our torah and you are not supporting it without proper reason.see sefer Shemen Sason Vchavercha what gedolim said about the rebbe. Harav soloveichik Reb Chaim Ozer the Rogetchover who gave the Rebbe smicha, HaRav israel meir lau to name just a few. look at the Tzadik and the 4500 families whom are moser nefesh to spread yiddishkeit the rest of their shlichus lives! Anyone can find positivity if they are looking for it .

10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I apologize if the compressed format here makes it seem so. TR' Moderator has done similar to what you said (I can't speak for any specific names, but the same types of people), as have many others, and many people have brought information from Lubavitch as seen on the site. No valid arguments have been given. See for yourself, just search for lubavitch and you'll find many discussions on it. Please read it in full, and I hope you'll come to at least take back the insult. I can tell from what you wrote you have good intentions but haven't seen the whole story.

7:33 AM  

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