Afterword

letter-447577_1280

I wanted to wind down the debate concerning Chabad, and end on a note of optimism. Both commentors and editors have been helpful, and that post did not lead to another round of volleys between camps. Privately, there are people talking about creating places where more people get to hear and understand the other. May HKBH give all of them success.

Rabbi Eliezrie and I have been talking a good deal. One of my frustrations is not being able to fully convey just how repugnant the meshichist idea is to everyone else in Klal Yisrael, particularly to those with backgrounds in machshava (Jewish thought) and history. One figure has stood out in reminding the general Torah community just how central to hundreds of years of Jewish life was the utter rejection of the idea of an incomplete Messiah who returns from the dead. That same figure has also stood out in his mesiras nefesh in devoting serious time and effort to preserving the kernel notions behind that rejection. My friend Dr. David Berger found out about the Cross-Currents debate only recently. That debate is incomplete without his contribution. You can find it as comment # 108 to the original post.

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32 Responses

  1. Bob Miller says:

    Among the millions of people in our world who sincerely put themselves out to show love to others in many practical ways, we have many whose love drives them to recruit Jews into halachically dubious, even idolatrous, causes. The love is not enough to validate the cause.

  2. Eli says:

    I’ve been perusing this debate from various wi fi sites ovewrseas, where I’ve been on business.
    Having gone thru the Yeshiva system in the 60’s and 70’s I heard all the negativity about Chabad from my Rebes and teachers, so I never considered myself a big Lubavitch fan.
    However, in recent years due to my business, I have come to observe and know at least a few of them up close and intimate, For the most part they are very sincere and truly believe they are on a mission to help Jews, any Jew they come in contact with. What really amazes me, however, is their children, in the most remotest part of Asia or South America, their kids, who sometime don’t even have many friends their age, look and talk like they come out of a Cheder in New York or Bnai Brak. some of them only talk in yiddish to their kids, and I was impressed with their level of Torah knowledge. They seem happy and well adjusted although my heart goes out to them for their lack of real friends. one of them said a beautiful Dvar Torah Last week and it was wonderful.
    So here is my comment.
    I heard from The Rov, Rav Soloveitchik, the difference between a Gadol and a Katon (ref the sun and moon in Torah) that a Gadol transmits and gives and a Katon only recieves and is focused on self (similar to a child and an adult)
    I have seen (a litle) of Lubavitch in action, they were motivated by their Rebbe to give to Klal Yisrael. In many cases to the point of ridiculousness,
    [edited] I know there must be problems with Chabad as there is with other groups, but I am really missing the point here? why the hate? he seems to have been a true Gadol?

  3. berel says:

    Moishe,
    The issue with chabad messiansim wasn’t only their thinking the rebbe is the potential mosiach of his generation.It was their stating it as an absolute fact.Do you remember the petitions they put out shortly before his death accepting him as melech h’mosiach if IIRC asking him to reveal himself?Some of their most promanent rabbis put out a kol koreh asking all to sign.Then the ‘mosiach campaign’…
    As far as being a diety; Even ignoring the ‘aztmius of HKB’H bussines’ The constant refrences to the rebbe in terms normally used for hashem in internal chabad publications (e.g. hu yolechanu kommemius l’artzanu, echod yochid umiyuchud, the reference to 770 as gan eden helyon,bais mosiach,to cause naches to the rebbe,ask the rebbeh to cause etc.)is beyond the pale of accetibilty by any other group.Although I hope they are just meant as euphamisms and were they said on a one time basis they could be overlooked and explained, the constant usage of such terms is too much to accept.I will not comment further on this thread and hope I am wrong.

  4. Nachum Lamm says:

    berel, by “Daas Torah” you seem to mean “Ruach HaKodesh.” I wouldn’t be so quick to chalk it up to that- after all, these gedolim did know the Rebbe better than most of us. :-) Occam’s Razor would seem to apply.

    Moishe, I can’t go through this. It’s like arguing against (l’havdil, or maybe, b’avosaynu harabbim, not) a Christian missionary. I just invite anyone who thinks I’m misquoting the Rambam to open it up- preferably in an uncensored edition, like Frankel, Kapach, or Mossad HaRav Kook- and read it for themselves. It’s the second to last perek in the entire work. It’s simply clear as day, unless you start kvetching the text beyond belief.

    In any event, you ask what is halachically wrong with the argument. Even buying all of your arguments- and I certainly don’t- it’s still like asking what is halachically wrong with saying the sky is green, not blue. There’s a famous quote from Rav Soloveitchik (in another context): “It’s assur because it’s stupid, and it’s stupid because it’s assur.”

  5. truth says:

    moishe,

    What pray tell is the connection between “chezkas moshiach” and someone who is “potential moshiach” written by chassam sofer? Nothing!

    For starters: “yilchom milchemess hashem” means (in the parlannce of halacha) “physical wars” as the Rambam writes before in Hilchos Melochim.

    SO, it is WRONG identify someo with certainty that he will be moshiach based on this chazakoh when it does not fulfill the criteria set down by the rambam.

    THis is wrong: to missaply a halocho and decide that it fits the bil when it did not. The blurring of concepts and applyng in halacha concepts borowed from agadita when is a product of superficial learning; lack of clarity (not a learning of high caliber).

    One cannot =asken *halochos* (let alone to “obligate” someone to believe someone is moshiach based on such hyperbolic misapplications of halocho that is rooted in lack of precise learning.

  6. Moishe says:

    I just saw Berels comment, so I will briefly add it to my above.
    1) messianic tendancies, see my comment and please answer me
    2) diety, thats intersting. that The Rebbe Was a Diety, OK, This is a problem all misnagim had with all chasidim who revere their Rebbe, and ask him all their personal and intimate questions, and follow him to the point of extreme. I think that is what you mean, I hope you are not saying that Chabad Chassidim held that the Rebbe was a Diety, well then, Moshiach has to be a human being, so who right? those that held that we held the Rebbe as Moshiach, or that the Rebbe was a Diety? can’t have both.
    I agree, about the reveration (not about the “diety” phrase) I have lots to say, but I would rather point you to the relationship many of my friends have with Rav Chaim Kanievsky and his father ZTL ( and other mashgichim and Tzadikim in the Litvish world) where they ask him (and blindly follow) all the types of things chassidim ask and follow a Rebbe. Also, Miller has a three set volume about Rav Velvel Brisker, if you have read those volumes, please tell me if the reverance and attention to nuance and sheer loyalty and devotion shown by the Brisker students to a vort, minhag or chumro or even story about the Brisker Rabonim is anything different than a chosid to his Rebbe.
    As I have written elsewhere in this Blog, times have changed, and what was considered extreme Chassidic conduct and fealty , and was derided fiercly, has now permeated the elite Litvish circles as much as Chabad was in its prime, pictures all over, kvitlech to the Gedolim, request for approval for specific shidduchim, names after Gedolim and their rebbetzins, these were always the fare of anti-Chabad chassidic diatribe and are now part and parcel of many Yeshiva circles also to the point of extreme, I know business people who do not do a deal unless Rav Chaim approves. Others as well, and don’t even begin on Acheinu Hasefardim.
    BTW, and I don’t mean this too seriously, but please tell me Berel, what does the Gemoro mean when it says “whoever cleaves to a Talmid Chochom is as if he cleaves to the Shechina(Divine presence)”? or “fear of your teacher is as fear of heaven? and other such references between a Rebbe and a Talmid? explain it to me, please?

  7. Moishe says:

    I will again, ask my question, (which addresses the claim of JZ as well,) BTW, I always heard that one of the major complaints to Chassidim was their claim of Ruach hakodesh or Nevuoh of the Rebbe, saying, that there is no more Ruach Hakodesh or Nevuoh, suddenly Harav Ruderman etc. CAN have Ruach Hakodesh??)

    Nachum, I don’t know why you don’t simply answer my question, I was not arguing (in this forum) that the Chassidim were actually, “Bepoial” right, in their belief that the Rebbe was Bechezkas Moshiach, I am asking what is Halachically wrong, or let us ask, What is the Aveira, in believing that ones Rebbe (who let us assume is a Shomer Torah Umitzvos) is Moshiach?
    Wasn’t that the issue all along? How come lubavitcher Chassidim believe their Rebbe is Moshiach?
    I was there.
    BTW, Chabad wasn’t saying, and whoever says so is dishonest, that The actual Moshiach was revealed, that is contrary to an open Rambam that he has to actually build the Bais Hamikdosh, and gather in all the exiled Jews,the most they could be accused of saying (and as above this is an argument used by the Litvish,) is that the Rebbe is THE chezkas Moshiach and the personality most worthy of Moshiach (The Chasam Sofer writes in a teshuva, that in every generation their is a personality worthy of being the acyual Moshiach.
    So, again, answer me please, what is halachicaly wrong with a Chosid or Talnmid believing that his Rebbe is Chezkas Moshiach?
    The following phrase, relating to this specific issue (wrong in my opinion) “Ikrei Emunah” has been used, the Ikrei Emunah relates to a Jews belief in a human Moshiach, and that he will (and can) come every day. based on the Rambam, so why is belief in a certain Godol, at least in the eyes of his thousand students (and as I said above, even many die hard Misnagdim, agree that “in his lifetime…) against “ikrei Emunah”?

    and please guys, don’t mix in the after death issue, we are not discussing that, we are discussing the diatribes, and yes sinna of certain Rabonim, (thank you “observer” for your honesty and candor) in my opinion wrong and unwarranted, of Chabad and the Rebbe during his lifetime which engendered sinana and disrespect from Chabad.

    Nachum, We know that Rambam very well, and you have simply and clearly misrepresented the Pshat in Rambam. the Rambam describes, to (call it) two “time frames” a period of potential (Bechezkas”) Moshiach, which is at issue here, you are wrong in the way you represent this part, the Rambam clearly says that there are requisites (such as lineage) that are absolute, and then, there are stages in the process, such as learning Torah and fighting Hashems wars, in THIS stage (Bechezkas) it is not important if he SUCCEEDS, fully or partially, Aderaba, partially only gets him to Bechezkas. The level of Bechezkas, pootential is what is at issue here, The Rambam is teaching us that one who is descended from King David, and learns Torah and fights G-dly battles, EVEN WITHOUT FINISHING THE JOB, is considered a potential (candidate) for Moshiach and then the Rambam writes, IF HE SUCCEEDS, and builds etc then we know he is Moshiach. This is the reason (see commentaries) why the Rambam brings the fact that Rabi Akiva “toah” amde a mistake in thinking Bar Kochba as Moshiach, not to denigrate Rabi Akiva, just the oppositre to show that Rabi Akiva was RIGHT, in being ALLOWED,and therfore, MECHUYOV, obligated, to believe in Bar Kochba, and when Bar Kochab was proven NOT to be Moshiach, there was no PGAM, defect, in Rabi Akiva.
    for you to say that never at any point o his life he was a potential moshiach, is simply against a simple Rambam, theoretically ANY Godol can be a potential Moshiach which is the Gemorro in Sanhedrin stated above that each yeshiva held their Rav to be Moshiach.
    So, now please answer me, if there was a chosid or a thousand chassidim, who believed that their Rebbe was a candidate, or the best person in that generation, to be Moshiach, and his personality fits,what is halachically wrong with that?

    And, as I mentioned before, to the point of…RaMaCh?! (i don’;t want to write what the “Gedolim” idealogically wanted to do.

    BTW, Shimon, The Brisker Rov passed away in the mid to late fifties I don’t think R’ Shach was making those kind of isues then, there is documented evidence,and people still alive who testify that there was serious consideration in having him become (before Ponovizh) Rosh Yeshiva of Kfar Chabad,this is known. and some even want to say that his rejection (a bad mistake, if you think about it) is what caused his irrational feelings towards Chabad,

  8. berel says:

    The opposition to chabad because of(1) messianic tendencies(2)regarding the rebbe almost as a diety was pretty well known in the 1950’s and 60’s in yeshivshe circles.My father learnt in both Chaim Berlin and Lakewood in that period and told me that although he never heard Rav Aron Kotler or Rav Hutner say anything about chabad everyone knew that they felt the manner described above about chabad.I remember in the 70’s hearing that the Brisker rov said on the first sicho of the lubavitcher rebbeh that the rebbe thinks he is mosiach.
    As an aside I find this a major indication of the value of Daas Torah because noone reading any sicho written before the 80’s would come to the conclusion many gedolim privatly expessed about chabad in 50’s and 60’s.(Were I not to have heard these thing personally in the 70’s when they didn’t make clear sense I would suspect they were made up.) retroactivly)

  9. Nachum Lamm says:

    “I have still not heard a credible argument that sayd there is something Halachically wrong with holding your Rebbe (alive) as potential Moshiach?”

    Check out the Rambam, end of Hilchos Melachim. He makes it quite clear who can be considered a potential Moshiach and who can’t. He then makes it quite clear what that potential Moshiach has to do to be considered the actual Moshiach.

    To put it simply, the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, great as he was, did none of the things the Rambam lists. He may have done a fractional amount of one or two of them, which is, granted, far more than most any other person, but there is no way to argue, halachically, that he ever, at any point of his life (and kal v’chomer after death_, could have been considered a potential (or actual) Moshiach.

    This is, by the way, the same Rambam the study of which was championed by the Rebbe himself.

  10. Jewish Observer says:

    “You may be confusing disagreement with, chas vesholom, hatred. There’s absolutely no connection between the two”

    While I agree in theory and while your appriac his ehrlich; your statement is either a bit disingenuous or a bit innocent (nice word for naieve). As we all must admit, the sentiments displayed by some (not an insignificant segment) in the protestation surely conveyed more than sanguine disagreement. There was a certain “holy” bloodthirstiness that found its heter in the noble cause of mecha’ah.

  11. Shimon says:

    I have heard from numerous sources, though none of them are direct sources, that already inthe times of the Brisker Rov, he exclaimed about the lubovitcher Rebbe, that he will cause us trouble for he thinks he is moshiach.

    Also, I have heard that when those went to complain to the brisker rov that rav shach was overdoing it, he would not hear of it and was happy that rav shach was coming out so strong

  12. JZ says:

    Moishe-

    You may be confusing disagreement with, chas vesholom, hatred. There’s absolutely no connection between the two, even when the disagreement is considerable and unbridgeable. I consider myself a rather typical product of Litvisher yeshivas. On the one hand I the deepest feelings of warmth for Lubavitch. I’m humbled by their noble characters, achievements and self-sacrifice. When I read about their mesirus nefesh for learning and teaching Torah in the Soviet Union I cannot imagine a nobler Yid. I enjoy reading your personal comments on this site. They come across with ehrlichkeit, refinement and passion.

    On the other hand I will defer my judgment of the path Lubavitch has taken the past few decades to the zekan roshei hayeshiva R’ Shach zt”l, and other gedolim who, beruach kodshom, detected a frightening miscalculation in derech relating to ikrei emunah. Indeed their prescience, at the time they expressed these views, was not understood, certainly not by the hamon am. In hindsight, though, with the shreklacheh Messianic fantasies that have enveloped these good people, it’s that much clearer how sensitive the gedolim were to what appears to us as mere subtleties.

  13. Jewish Observer says:

    “Rav Ruderman wasn’t fond of Lubavitch far before Moshiach was an issue”

    I don’t know that there was a time during Rav Ruderman’s nesius that Moshiach was not an issue.

  14. Jewish Observer says:

    1. “Torah and mitzvos”
    2. “Shabtai Tzvi”

    If you are going Ashkenazic, #2 should be “Shabsai Tzvi” mit an S, mein kind. Else #1 should be “Torah and mitzvot”, to be correct to a T.

  15. Moishe says:

    If you heard it from Rav Ruderman personally I cannot dispute it. it doesn’t surprise me though, Rav Ruderman wasn’t fond of Lubavitch far before Moshiach was an issue, your comment surprises me though, Im curious, what aspect of Lubavitch, during their lifetime, would prompt them, to disaprove of Lubavitch, to that extreme point? There was no Meshichistin then, no Yechi, you may want to say that the whole issue of talking about Moshiach bothered them, but as one writer above commented that one may halachically have held that the Rebbe was Moshiach while he was alive, especially in light of traditional sources, di that also bother these Rabonim? On what Halachic grounds? the issue bothering everybody now seems to be that they are saying it after he was Nistalk-Niftar.
    So, where, HALACHICALLY, did they have a dint of a right to put an entire Eidah of Shomrei Torah and mitzvos B’Hidur in what you say they idealogically wanted to do, and by talkling like this and transmitting to talmidim, caused alsmost as much damage and sinaah as if they had actually done that terroble thing.
    And BTW, the Rebbe was still alive then and by doing that you are talking about including him.
    That entire line of thought and speech that Larry Oberstein raises simply disgusts me, as it was completely unwarranted and was not from a pure place and created much hate/
    I have still not heard a credible argument that sayd there is something Halachically wrong with holding your Rebbe (alive) as potential Moshiach? the fact that Shabtai Tzvi and others effected Klal yisrael does not change that Halchic fact.
    IMHO, the Rabbonim above, had a personal agenda with Chabad,far far before any Mosiach issue, to deny that, and I’ve spoken to many of their Talmidim, who have agreed, is to deny history.

  16. L.Oberstein says:

    kudos to Cross_Currents for facilitating an interesting exchange of views on Lubavitch. It must resonate if so many people joined the discussion.
    I am a utililtarian and am happy as can be that there are successes galore in outreach. This is still a drop in the bucket of what can be accomplished and there is room for every group in the effort.
    Rav Ruderman told me personally that Rav Shach wanted to put them in cherem but he and Rav Yaakov told him that we don’t do that in this generation. You will note that Rav Shach did not do it while these two men still lived.
    Though they agreed with Rav Shach ideologically,they had a different approach dealing with the issue.

  17. Doron Beckerman says:

    I would just like to remind readers of Rashi to Chullin 6a regarding the readiness of the multitudes to accept separatist policies from the Cuthim:

    “…In the generation of Rabbi Meir they (the people) did not want to accept upon themselves to disassociate from the Cuthim, because they were accustomed to them (i.e. the societal interaction was too entrenched); and in the (later) generation of Rabbi Ami it was possible for them to disassociate.”

    That practicalities of Jewish life can dictate just how far one can go in disassociation from segments of Jewry with deviant Hashkafos, is, apparently, not a new phenomenon.

  18. Baruch Horowitz says:

    “And also, not that I am questioning the rabbbonim on this issue, but why are we picking on El Al?”

    Perhaps we have come full circle. From Dennis Prager, to Chabad, and back to the Orthodox-secular relationship involved in the El Al boycott! From what I have seen posted online, it appears that the issuance of the Kol Koreh is pending additional negotiations with El Al, that Religious Zionist poskim might have signed as well, and that American rabbonim have been requested not to be lenient in cases of “hefsed merubah” because of Chilul Hashem.

    The issue involved is the Shabbos observant character of a Jewish State, but also highlights one aspect of Daas Torah, that of a community abstaining from a permissable act because of the authority of Torah leaders. If Religious Zionist leaders sign or have signed the proclomation, it will appear to have changed from a Chareidi issue to an Orthodox one.

    While agreeing with the essence of a recent editorial about demonstrating pain over Shabbos desecration, I disagree with some of the arguments used, and think that they are completely unconvincing for someone struggling with the cogency of the boycott:

    “Gedolim have called for a boycott of El Al because the airline’s top management did not honor an agreement to avoid flying on Shabbos. Do we really have to know all the details? Is it important for each of us to know the minutia of the negotiations? Is it really that difficult for us to fly on a different airline until the matter is settled? ….”

    Actually, it is important to know the details of negotiations, as some might say that a less confrontational approach might have avoided the current crisis. If there are additional details which the Vaad is privy to, perhaps they should be made available to the public. I recall reading a Kol Koreh issued a number of years ago declaring a boycott on an Israeli bank because one of its branches was built on certain gravesites. The text stated that serious negotiations took place before a boycott was called for. As Rabbi Alfred Cohen wrote in his article on Daas Torah, “I think [the community] could handle serious discussions of communal issues, or appreciate in-depth explanations of certain aspects of current hashkafa”.

    “When visibly religious Jews board one of their planes it sends a message that they are indifferent to the trampling of the Shabbos and that they don’t feel its pain…When you cross that threshold into the fuselage, it is if you have taken a Sefer Torah, thrown it on the ground and walked on it for your convenience.”

    This argument is portraying the issue in black and white with no shading, and does a disservice to the cause. A more cogent explanation would be that if one is identified as part of a community, and one acts contrary to what assumingly is understood by the observer as the communal Halachic norm(assuming an observer can not discern a reasonable explanation for one’s conduct), than there is problem concerning the issue of Chillul Hashem.

  19. truth says:

    “…But the idea itself that a deceased person will come back (or never left) and be the Moshicach they both believe. I know he will never admit it, but it is the truth. You cannot have been a Chabad chosid over the last thirty years without that belief..”

    The last sentence is partially valid. For the earlier 15 years it was precedented (sort of) to believe it in that form. But the last 13 years belief is unprecedented and a new invention without backing from earlier jewish thought and earlier accepted chasidic thought and practice.

    Ori,

    regarding 2 and 3: It is not for nothing that Rambam finds it necessary to codify the methods to define who is the candidate whom one could surmise and assume or identify that he may be or is a assumed messiah. And it is for no reason that he insinuates that in the absence of these qualifications there is no room for these predictions as they do not add to anything in ahavah and yirah. Obviously he felt that they are counterproductive and yield negative results.

  20. LAWRENCE KAPLAN says:

    Oroi Pomerantz: The problem with 3 is that as long as the Rebbe was alive you could say he was the most likely candidate of his generation to be the Moshiach, but once he died why is he a better dead candidate than say Hillel, R. Akiva, King David, Moshe Rabbenu, the Rambam, the Gaon of Vilna, the Besht, etc., etc? The assumption that the Rebbe is the best DEAD candidate will naturally tend to lead to his glorification and is thus likely to lead to conclusions bordering on the idolatrous.

  21. Jewish Observer says:

    “one can hear Rav Aharon Kahn passionately present Rav Shach’s stance”

    – Rabbi Kahn was also against allowing baalei batim with wedding rings to daven in his shul

  22. Jewish Observer says:

    “has the kol koreh been released yet”

    – I happen to know that there was a meeting of the Moetzes in Flatbush on Monday to discuss policy on this issue

  23. Ori Pomerantz says:

    Imagine that the Rebbe does not come back (since most people don’t believe he’s Mashiach, that wouldn’t be too hard). What do you think Chabad would do?

    1. Give up on the idea that the Rebbe is Mashiach. Rabbi Akiva misidentified Mashiach, and Chabad in the future could admit that this generation of Chabad made the same mistake.

    2. Believe that he could have been Mashiach, but that for some reason his mission was aborted. We’ll get another chance of Mashiach when we deserve it.

    3. Believe that he was Mashiach, is still waiting for us, and we just need to be better Jews to gets him back.

    4. Say we blew our one chance for Mashiach, we won’t get another one, and we might as well forget the whole Judaism thing.

    5. Say that the Torah is no longer valid, Halacha is no longer required, and try to get as many gentiles as possible to join a new religion that’s a lot lighter on Kashrut and Shabbat.

    Maybe I am missing something here as an outsider, but I can’t see what is the big deal unless Chabad chooses either #4 or #5 – and as far as I can tell, they have shown absolutely no interest in ditching Halacha.

    Options two and three mean, in practical terms, that they believe Mashiach will come in the future if we are good enough, so they need to strive to be the best Jews they can be. Isn’t that similar to the Orthodox position? What is the big deal if they believe Mashiach was here once before, if they do not believe he was G-d or that he changed the Torah?

  24. JZ says:

    For those who are interested, one can hear Rav Aharon Kahn passionately present Rav Shach’s stance against Lubavitch Messianism at http://audio.yutorah.org/KHN_mussar_toldos.mp3 (you can skip the beginning of the recording till around 26:30).

  25. Chaim says:

    What would be needed in order for anyone to rid Lubovitch of this theology is for our Gedolim to finally get up and issue a psak that the view that the Rebbe is currently Moshiach is kefira or k’negged halacha. Unless there is a valid psak from gedolim (so that the psak has some ‘teeth’), we will not be able to rid Lubovitch of the Meshichists.

  26. Shimon says:

    I know this is probably not the right forum for the following question, but I dont know where else to ask to get the right answer.

    As everyone knows the Gedolei Yisroel have signed a “kol koreh” not to fly with El Al airlines based on whatever issues about chillul shabbos and chillul hashem that they feel El Al has transgressed. I do not want to start a thread about the merits of our leaders, and their rights to “pick a fight” with El Al or any other organization. Bli Neder, I will follow them to a T, flying or not flying on whatever Airline they instruct us.

    My question is, has the kol koreh been released yet? About 3 weeks ago, I heard that this Kol Koreh has been signed – and I keep reading about more and more Rabbonim that are signing it, most lately Rabbonim in America and in the Religious Zionist camp – but that the Kol Koreh is locked in a safe, not to be officially issues until a later date. What are they waiting for? What should people who are booking tickets for Pesach do in the meantime?

    And also, not that I am questioning the rabbbonim on this issue, but why are we picking on El Al? There are tons of other businesses in EY (unfortunately) that operate on Shabbos. Is it bc they renegged on a deal not to break shabbos? What about the others that never even showed that they care about Shabbos?

    Im just really confused. Rabbis Roseunblum, Shafran, Menkin, Adlerstein, etc? Any ideas? Please clue us in

  27. Truth Seeker says:

    I would like to suggest that a little more thought is put into the distinction you are making between Meshichist and Non-Meshichist. Both parties agree that their decesased Rebbe is the Moshiach. They just differ on public relations, with Non-Meshichists like Rabbi Eliezrei realizing how silly this sounds to the rest of us and therefore he knows to keep it quiet and in the background, and the Meshichists feeling that this should be shouted from the rooftops. But the idea itself that a deceased person will come back (or never left) and be the Moshicach they both believe. I know he will never admit it, but it is the truth. You cannot have been a Chabad chosid over the last thirty years without that belief.

  28. Harry Maryles says:

    Harry, you’re living in a fantasy world.

    No I don’t. I have had my debates with Rabbi Eliezrie in the past on the Avodah/Areivim e-mail list. I know what his views are. He is typicalm of the anti-Meshihchists in Lubavitch. They are vehement in their opposition to them, but they stop short of doing what’s necessary. Instead of taking Dr. Berger’s position and really sweeping house, they will defend the right to believe in their Messianist philosophy using all kinds of questionable sources. Dr. Immanuel Shochet is another one like this: Staunchly opposed to Meshichisten but defneding their right to believe it theologically.

    I reccomended this knowing he would never accept it. I challenge him to do so anyway and really become anti Meshichst, not just a Lubavitch anti-Meshichist. If he were to do this and it gained some kind of momentum, it would go a long way toward re-entry into the good graces of the rest of the Torah world.

  29. David says:

    Harry, you’re living in a fantasy world. Even “staunch anti-Meshichistim” within Lubavitch have villified Dr. Berger, accusing him of Chabad hatred for the sake of hatred. If you read Rabbi Eliezrei’s remarks and misrepresentation of what Dr. Berger wrote in his book, and Dr. Berger’s response, you would realize that. You’re suggestion that Lubavitch invite Dr. Berger to a dialogue is as delusional as your suggestion before the Agudah conference that Aguda should invite Gil Student to speak.

  30. Harry Maryles says:

    In my view, the best thing Lubavitch can do for themselves is invite Dr. Berger to participate with them in ridding their movement from all form of Meshchism. As a staunch anti-Meshichist, perhaps Rabbi Eliezrie can start the ball rolling by inviting Dr. Berger to address the Lubavitch consituency of the greater LA area.

  31. David says:

    “One of my frustrations is not being able to fully convey just how repugnant the meshichist idea is to everyone else in Klal Yisrael…”

    The reason for that is obvious, and as I recall Dr. Berger mentions this in his book: Today the greatest enemy of Judaism is western secularism, not Christian theology. In this battle, Orthodox Jewry generally sees Chabad as a natural ally, at least, if not the troops at the front line of the battle. It takes a certain degree of sophistication and historical and philosophical sensitivity to realize how objectionable Lubavitch Messianism is to traditional Judaism.

  32. Dr. E says:

    “Privately, there are people talking about creating places where more people get to hear and understand the other.”

    The fundamental problem with any such discussions is that they will be done at the individual (micro) level. The issues that people have with Chabad are with it are on a macro/organizational level–i.e., as a movement. Given that reality, there is no leader or spokesperson per see on the Lubavitch side who has any real power to effect change. After all, the “current” leader, with no successor on the horizon, is the only one who could do that. So, while there may be more reasonable individuals in Chabad like Rabbi Eliezrie, who would the other side really be having a dialogue with? “Negotiation 101” would dictate that in order to come to any sort of understanding, you need to sides.