Author Topic: Messianism among Lubavitch  (Read 146329 times)

Offline Drago

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Messianism among Lubavitch
« on: February 06, 2012, 07:22:43 AM »
I have no desire to offend anyone with this thread, but it's s/t I've wondered about it, and this is a good place to ask since Chabad is represented very well on DDF. I am honestly looking for answers, and again, am not at all trying to insult anyone.

My Background:
Before I start, I want to discuss my (tangential) history with Chabad. My mother became religious with Chabad when in university and I went to their day camp for a few summers when younger. While on vacation from high school, I would often daven with them during the week since it was pleasant and they had the latest local minyan (8:00am). I had a relationship with the local Chabad rav whom I respected a lot (this is in Cleveland). I would also volunteer with a different Chabad that packaged food for Russian immigrants.

When in Yeshiva in Israel, we were instructed by the rosh kollel that it was best to not daven in a Chabad due to the risk that they were mashichists (ppl who believed that the deceased Rebbe is the mashiach). After that, I have rarely davened with a Chabad minyan, although I would say that I never experienced overt messianism in the US. However, when I was in Venice, I davened in the Chabad there and was taken aback by the chanting after davening as well as other stuff, s/t I hadn't experienced in the US.

The situation:

It's a known phenomenom that since the Lubabitcher Rebbe died, new movements have risen in the Chabad movement that can possible be categorized as follows:
1) He's not dead, but is in hiding and is the Mashiach
2) He did die, but he will come back and is the Mashiach
3) He is an embodiment of God on some level.

Now, #3 seems to be a very very minor movement, and I have heard some claim that the ppl who claim this are just plants trying to make Chabad look bad. However, the other 2, or various forms of them, do appear to have many adherents

As I wrote above, I never saw much in the US of any of these movements, although many of the recent Chabad seforim wouldn't include zt"l (may his memory be for a blessing) after mentioning the Rebbe's name in the beginning. Often, they would write shilta (which is the term used for ppl still living). However, I have seen some disturbing videos of event in 770, such as the following one which shows that these beliefs do exist in the US.


Living in Israel is a much different story. It appears that these beliefs are much stronger here, and that ppl are very open with them. And this is without my being familiar with the yeshiva in Tzfat, which I have heard is a stronghold of these beliefs, including belief #3. On chol hamoed last year, I had a long discussion with a bachur who was trying to convince ppl of these ideas in Chevron. I won't bother sharing some of what he said to me since it may constitute lashon hara, but needless to say, much of it was disturbing.

My questions:
1) Why do you think that these ideas arose amongst Chabad, and not other movements which lost their only Rebbe? Was it b/c of the Rebbe's focus on mashiach coming soon?
2) Are these beliefs widespread in the US as well?
3) Why do you think they are more prevalent and outspoken in Israel than the US?
4) If you are Lubavitch and do not believe in any of these, how do you regard your fellow chasidim that do think this way?
5) What do you think the future holds for these ppl? Will they slowly come back to earth, or will they continue to become more extreme, and perhaps even 'break-off'? Or something in-between?

Offline bubkiz

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Re: Messianism among Lubavitch
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2012, 08:31:48 AM »
Here we go....

Offline shmuelb

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Re: Messianism among Lubavitch
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2012, 08:38:38 AM »
It is hard to discuss and judge other people, it is possible to analyze your own opinion and express it. I have friends from the whole spectrum and I find that it is a waste of time to discuss certain issues with them so I try to hold myself back and avoid those topics.

Personally, I think you have some good questions. Nothing more to add right now.
siyag lachachma :-)

Offline zush12345

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Re: Messianism among Lubavitch
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2012, 09:00:49 AM »
+1,i dont think this topic will be possible to discuss in a respectable way,since the views are so 180 degrees IMO

Offline Drago

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Re: Messianism among Lubavitch
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2012, 09:28:02 AM »
+1,i dont think this topic will be possible to discuss in a respectable way,since the views are so 180 degrees IMO

180 degrees amongst Chabad members, or amongst all frum yidden?

Offline Drago

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Re: Messianism among Lubavitch
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2012, 10:26:13 AM »
+1,i dont think this topic will be possible to discuss in a respectable way,since the views are so 180 degrees IMO
if helpme, ashero, and dan can discuss the comparative benefits of mileage cards vs cb cards, anything is possible!

Offline bubbles

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Re: Messianism among Lubavitch
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2012, 10:34:37 AM »
+1,i dont think this topic will be possible to discuss in a respectable way,since the views are so 180 degrees IMO
if helpme, ashero, and dan can discuss the comparative benefits of mileage cards vs cb cards, anything is possible!

 :P

Offline Avid Reader

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Re: Messianism among Lubavitch
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2012, 10:55:24 AM »
Try Chabadtalk.com.

Offline zush12345

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Re: Messianism among Lubavitch
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2012, 11:00:40 AM »
180 degrees amongst Chabad members, or amongst all frum yidden?
all frum yiden

Offline AsherO

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Re: Messianism among Lubavitch
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2012, 11:03:51 AM »
Try Chabadtalk.com.

+1 This isn't the venue IMHO.

I think the spectrum is broad with a gradient, both amongt the frum world, and amongst Chabad people. The other thing is that most of the questions you (the OP) ask require a lot of background (setting certain precepts) before you can understand why people believe a certain way.

Another thing I think is an issue is bias, i.e. people on both sides of an issue will see things very differently due to the position they're predisposed toward. This can easily be seen when viewing this thread objectively.
PGF24BMGS

Offline Cbs

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Re: Messianism among Lubavitch
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2012, 11:35:00 AM »
let me first start off with, that i agree with some others here that since everyones got their own opinion etc..itll be very hard to have a normal conversation, and i also tried having conversations with people that fall into the category you're describing and in my eyes there is no use in trying to convince or even discuss opinions with them because the conversation wont go anywhere at all. (hours conversations i mean!)

i will now quote a few things that maybe i can clarify -and some things i wont discuss because some things ppl may take in the wrong way.

The situation:
It's a known phenomenom that since the Lubabitcher Rebbe died, new movements have risen in the Chabad movement that can possible be categorized as follows:
1) He's not dead, but is in hiding and is the Mashiach
2) He did die, but he will come back and is the Mashiach
3) He is an embodiment of God on some level.

Now, #3 seems to be a very very minor movement, and I have heard some claim that the ppl who claim this are just plants trying to make Chabad look bad. However, the other 2, or various forms of them, do appear to have many adherents
1st things first, there is no 2 Chabad Movements. There is one Chabad Movement. The categories you described can be said as "in the Chabad movement there are diff views/perspectives.

#1 - the only people that believe such a thing are and must be (very) crazy. that is against nature for something like that to be and many many people witnessed a levaya, and especially that the Rebbe's health situatuon in the last 2 years before '94 was grave and did not get any better. - i dont think i need to explain it really but if you believe it then you fall into my category of someone i refuse to discuss this matter with.

#2 - this is a tough matter to discuss, and true that most people (if not everyone that doesnt fall into Categoriy #1) believe this. so here is where the 2 views are: theres Meshichistim (we're not discussing #1 meshichistim) and "anti Meshichistim". the main difference is, if the guy will go around publicizing the paraphrase "yechi..." . He who does publicize yechi, does not believe that the rebbe is physically living, by saying Yechi he is pronouncing that the Rebbe is Moshiach and when he says he shall live forever it means, through his "children"/chassidim doing what he wanted from them and following in his path - it spiritually is making him live forever and there is no difference now that there was a physical concealment. and one should not think that  because he was niftar, that the rebbe is less holy and it wont help to ask brachos etc....(this concept is explained in chassidus in depth and length.) and this guy holds that this is what the Rebbe wanted when he said and made big campaigns that we should publicize the Coming Moshiach and how its so close, that we should tell people that the Rebbe is Moshiach.
The "Anti-meshichist" will will not publicize that the Rebbe is Moshiach (A.K.A Yechi) although he may beleive that in his heart, but that is nothing wrong because everyone can have their own belief that they keep to themselves. On the other hand he doesnt disagree with this that the Rebbe is spiritually living forever and by us doing and learning his torah etc.. keeps him "alive" (like ya'akov avinu lo meis). and he obviously will fulfill the campaign of the Rebbe to tell people Moshiach is near, but not discussing who it is, because that is not the point and it can cause conflict.

#3 - im not sure what u mean by embodiment of G-D. so if you will clarify that i can try to explain it.

Another point on #1, that mainly the people that say this stem from the Yeshiva Gedola in Tzfas. and they are a minority although they do make a very large noise, and they will not ever visit the Rebbe's kever for this reason! so that is off my Map.

Quote
As I wrote above, I never saw much in the US of any of these movements, although many of the recent Chabad seforim wouldn't include zt"l (may his memory be for a blessing) after mentioning the Rebbe's name in the beginning. Often, they would write shilta (which is the term used for ppl still living). However, I have seen some disturbing videos of event in 770, such as the following one which shows that these beliefs do exist in the US.
there are plenty of people in US that practice #2 in both perspectives and regarding #1 those bochurim and few other people mainly come from Tzfas as stated above and they learn or live in Crown Heights becasue the want to be with the Rebbe in his shul!
regarding the Shlit"a , so besides the tzfatim that will obviously write that - so the Meshichistim in #2 will sometimes write that because they dont like to mention the Rebbe passed away because it shows on something less holy and since he's not physically here so people may take the wrong approach at it, so they write Shlit"a
as for the disturbing videos you see, those are tzfatim in #1 mainly, and some Meshichistim in #2 that want to still feel the way it was before '92 and they believe that any minute now the moshiach will come and the Rebbe will walk through the path and they want to be ready for it. but again its mainly #1.

Quote
Living in Israel is a much different story. It appears that these beliefs are much stronger here, and that ppl are very open with them. And this is without my being familiar with the yeshiva in Tzfat, which I have heard is a stronghold of these beliefs, including belief #3. On chol hamoed last year, I had a long discussion with a bachur who was trying to convince ppl of these ideas in Chevron. I won't bother sharing some of what he said to me since it may constitute lashon hara, but needless to say, much of it was disturbing.
True that in israel its much stronger there, and mainly thats because its easier to do it there because everyone is jewish and can understand whats going on. it practically makes no sense to do what they do in manhattan or else where where majority isnt jewish.
and there are many more tzfatim in israel which go crazy and make lound noises.

Quote
My questions:
1) Why do you think that these ideas arose amongst Chabad, and not other movements which lost their only Rebbe? Was it b/c of the Rebbe's focus on mashiach coming soon?
2) Are these beliefs widespread in the US as well?
3) Why do you think they are more prevalent and outspoken in Israel than the US?
4) If you are Lubavitch and do not believe in any of these, how do you regard your fellow chasidim that do think this way?
5) What do you think the future holds for these ppl? Will they slowly come back to earth, or will they continue to become more extreme, and perhaps even 'break-off'? Or something in-between?
1. i think since the Rebbe made a huge campaign about moshiach in the later years and like no other rebbe has done, so it triggered somthing there, and since the Rebbe was so Great in the world  (even in the eyes of other Rebbe's and other chassidim) so it was something very special, and most people thought that since there was so much Moshiach talk etc.. that moshiach was coming then any minute, and couldnt take in the fact, (face the fact) that something like a passing away was possible at that state, and everyone then believed that the Rebbe was Moshiach. so when the passing came about there was a group of people that were dancing and happy because they said forsure moshiach is coming now and from there it spread.

2. Yes but in israel its more publicized

3. i answered that question above

4. i dont want to state my opinion in any of this (i tried to avoid it in this post) for the reason that it will start a major arguement and i dont like to discuss things that have no end to it. here im just stating Facts. - and all i can say is that #1 people have some issues

5. that i dont know and i just hope it doesnt go too much farther, because a lot of this is pushing people away from Chabad for no good reason and a bunch of stupidity.

i hope i clarified the situation for you, even though ive got much more to say but i dont want to discuss.
if you have any questions on this feel free to ask!
 


Offline farmerjoe

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Re: Messianism among Lubavitch
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2012, 11:59:37 AM »
i must say, that is some post CBS!!!

Offline moish

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Re: Messianism among Lubavitch
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2012, 02:09:41 PM »
cbs, when you say that most believe #2, are you saying the he must be moshiach or that he could be? when speaking to a chabad friend of mine, he told me he believes the rebbe was the most qualified. in his opinion, but was open to the idea that it might be someone else

Offline Dan

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Re: Messianism among Lubavitch
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2012, 02:21:36 PM »
My 2 cents on the subject.

I'm sure you know in Cleveland it was never an issue because Rabbi Chaikin (as do most shluchim) falls into the anti-mishichist group and wouldn't allow people to say yechi in his shul.

I would say the majority of chabad chassidim believe deep down that he could be mashiach and there is plenty of halachic basis to believe that mashiach can come from the dead. 

I think most chassidim in general believe their rebbe to be the leader of their generation and thus the mashiach for their generation.  This is a simple outcome of the rebbe-chosid relationship, and something that scared the misnagdim for centuries.

You would have to search high and low in the US to find a handful of chabad houses where yechi is said as it's simply bad PR and people feel it does more harm than good.  In Israel it's definitely more common, (perhaps the shluchim feel that it does good good than harm there, frankly I don't know) but even among those that do say yechi, 99.9% of them don't actually believe he's still walking around somewhere on this planet...

The crazies from Tzfas do make a lot of noise and flock to 770 to make even more noise.  Nobody really cares what they believe and nobody can control them or kick them out until the courts decide who the downstairs shul at 770 belongs to.

As far as "embodiment of Gd on some level" I'm not sure what you mean by this either, but ultimately we are all an embodiment of Gd as we all have a nefesh elokis and are created in His image.  Was he a Gdly man?  Of course, as are other tzaddkim that are righteous people and help bring Gds brachos down to us in a physical way.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2012, 02:29:22 PM by Dan »
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline WhyAich

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Messianism among Lubavitch
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2012, 02:27:48 PM »
He CAN be moshiach? He is!
PM me to discuss
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