Sunday, July 31, 2011

And People Claim that Chabad is not Idolatry.



  1. I highly recommend reading the Rebbe's own words, but for the Hebraically challenged here's a translation/synopsis:

    This is the Rebbe's editing of a sicha that he had said in 1950. The Rebbe told how a bochur came to him and told him that the Frierdiker Rebbe had told him (the bochur) that one should be mekushar to the Rebbe and through that be mekushar to the one to whom the Rebbe is mekushar. But really this is irrelevant. We are connected to the Rebbe, and for us there is nothing higher.

  2. Wouldn't one only be mekusher to a rebbe for the sole purpose of connecting to g-d, though? Without the g-d factor, no one would bother with a rebbe (I would hope). Meaning that if you're trying to get from point A to point C, and you are of the belief that route B is the only way to get there, you're only on route B for the purpose of reaching C as a destination. And if you had to take another route to reach C, you'd take it just as well. It's a means to an end, and the end isn't irrelevant if it determines the means.

  3. Good point. But apparently the Lubavitcher Rebbe disagrees with you.

  4. "Because all of their actions were controlled by the desires of the Godly souls within them…until the complete [essence of God] was pulled to follow the part [of God –- that is, the soul] ... therefore, they were the chariot, since they lowered the Divine Presence into this world.

    However, lofty individuals are few ... despite the fact that every Jewish soul is an illuminating light ... and literally a piece of God above, [most Jewish souls are] after all, mere sparks of God's great spirit ... this is why our Sages say that the Divine Presence does not rest on less than 22,000 Jews since ... [otherwise] they would not be sufficient to house the Divine Presence ... Since our master, Moshe, was equivalent to 600,000 Jews, and in his soul all [of the types of] Divine lights were encompassed ... he [even alone, like the Avot] was a dwelling place for the Divine Presence."

    Does the above seem idolatrous to you

  5. From an essay written by my wife before we got married:

    I do not know whether or not the claim that many Lubavitchers attribute godlike powers to the Rebbe is true. I just have a question. If someone told you that he believed that the angel Gabriel knows about everything that happens in this world, would you immediately refuse to count him in a minyan?

    If he says that God has quality "x," and that person "y" also has quality "x," does it necessarily follow that he thinks that person "y" is a god? The answer to the second question is obviously "no," since we consider God to have attributes like "mercy." When I say that a person is merciful, I am obviously not claiming that he is a god.

    What is required, then, is to look at the sources to see if there is a difference between attributing a quality like "mercy" to a person and attributing a quality like omniscience to a person. What I have found is that in the early days of Hasidut, the followers of the Ba'al Shem Tov credited him with omniscience.

  6. You misunderstand the quote. The FR says that if you're mekushar to him, then you're mekushar to what he's mekushar to - the previous rebbeim. The Rebbe adds, however, that for us hiskashrus to our Rebbe is enough.

    If you want to find A"Z in chabad there are better places to look...

  7. CA_1: What you quoted may or may not be idolatrous, but it's definitely not what the Rebbe said in the sicha I quoted.

    CA_2: Unlike omniscience, attributing the godlike property of "more worth being connected to than anything else" to a person is idolatry.

    Mottel: I think your wrong. The Rebbe writes "l'mi shech"k mekushar," not "l'eilu shech"k mekushar."

  8. iirc if you look at the entire sicha - it names all the rebbeim

  9. My point was to ask: what makes something avoida zarah?

  10. >Unlike omniscience, attributing the godlike property of "more worth being connected to than anything else" to a person is idolatry.

    So, when we say that Torah is our greatest treasure, are we committing idolatry?

  11. If someone said, "why should I be interested in god, I've got the Torah!" I think that would be called heretical.

  12. >"why should I be interested in god, I've got the Torah!

    Sounds like Litvish approach to Yiddishkeit. (MO if you replace "Torah" with "Mishna Brura".)

    1. I don't know what it really means to be mekushar to Hashem without going through Torah, mitzvos and tzaddikim.

    2. As Mottel said, your source is probably taken out of context. Which, again, is a popular approach among many people, from Mishichistim to people quoting Rambam about Moshiach.

    3. I find it hard that the Rebbe said what you're implying he said. On multiple occassions, when people gave him credit for something, he said: "It's all Eibeshter". He screamed at bochrim for looking at him instead of siddur while davening, etc.

  13. 1. But do you know what it means to have Torah, mmitzvos, tzaddikim and not god?

    2. Go ahead. Find the context and prove me wrong. I definitely don't have any seforim here.

    3. Good point. I suppose it is sort of a contradiction.

  14. 1. Chagas?

    2. I will try to look it up, iyH.

  15. 1. You'd assert that they don't really "have god" to same extent that you "have" him. But they definitely wouldn't say, "I have torah/mitzovs/tzaddikim. For me there is nothing higher. I don't need god." Only a Lubavitcher (or one of the caricatures of snags from Memoirs) would say that.

    2. Please do. I eagerly await being vindicated.

  16. Modeh B'MiktsasAugust 8, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    Avoda zara is the worship of something other than the God of Israel through any or all of the four universal forms of worship (none of which are practiced by Jews anymore) or through the worship customary for that deity. AFAIK, no one has ever burned a goat at the Rebbe's feet. (Nisachim are another issue, ;) )

    CA: Without arguing about Lubavitch with you, you have MO backwards. MO believes in God which is one of our big breaks with the litvaks.


Forth shall ye all hold.