||12/8/2004 4:29:00 PM
||i am amazed at all t he questions about lubavitch this and that.
the impression i got in my yeshiva days is that chasidism is nonsense and worse, and i agree.
the idea of any kind of mediator between God and man is a denia of the uniqueness of God and only God. we only pray to God. the vilna gaon threw the prayer dorei maaleh to angels out of slichos.....
intermediaries-----they have intermediaries
and knowledge, since when were chasidim with a few notable exceptions supposed to be lamdanim. could your average chabad rabbi even pass a smichah exam at a lithuanian style yeshiva/
and what they focus on is also nonsense... they try to inveigle me into learning sources as to the state of my soul...this is jewish, this is torah? I said no....my soul will be more and more ok when i am able to improve my observances of gods commandments. i dont need know fun and games
and now the chabad have even infiltrated orthodx synagogues with their drunkeness shtupping bottles of vodka on people...we dont abstain, but neither is it a great mitzvah to drink socially, either,
and peole ask and wonder about chabad.....
they are personable and active and do outreach,,,,, but to take their opinions their psak etc seriously.
the vilna gaon instructed us all when he put chasidim in cherem and would never meet with the first lubavitcher rebbe.
it started as a movement for amaratzim and it thrives today when most jews are amaratzim....
their messianim we can discuss another day.
sincerely ,,, and please keep teaching us torah and halachah.
you have the wonderful and unconventional idea that we are expected to keep gods mitzvos as set out in shas and poskim, and that we follow the shulchan aruch, not gossip and social psak
||You are right, and yet you are wrong.
The Lubavitch started with a Talmid Chacham who wrote the Shulchan Aruch Harav. He couldn't have been a modern-day Litveshe, or he might not have known so much Halachah.
We do have an intermediary. We have our Rabbanim, Kohanim, and Neviim (Prophets) as intermediaries. They have no Godly powers of their own, but they are certainly our best connection to God. That is why we say that "Et Hashem Elokechah Tiraa," (your God you should fear....) includes Talmidei Chachamim (Qualified Rabbis). Meaning that we must fear our Rabbis. Not God forbid that they have any powers, but rather that they represent our link to God. The same is with parents. They represent a more physical link with God. They have powers, they created us, but their powers come from God and are orchestrated by GOD. A Rabbi is our spiritual connection to God, and thus that connection is more important even that a parent.
This tiny distinction is what caused the entire mess-up of Avodah Zara and Christianity and the like. (See the Rambam) People would see the sun and realize its immense powers. They would worship the sun for its powers and convince themselves that God (the Creator) wants this. Their justification is, “He gave the sun power for a reason, so he must want us to worship it.” The same was with Jesus. The people initially respected him as a "Man of God." That would be fine, if he was keeping God's laws and actually was a man of God. Eventually, it became that he has his own powers and is a partner. Ridiculous as it is, now it becomes a sin of Avodah Zara. If you talk to many Christians, you will find that most are not sold on that Creator level upgrade, but rather think of him as a "Man of God," using the term "son of God." It isn't easy to convince people that a human is actually a Creator.
On the other hand, respecting Talmidey Chachamim as our avenue to or our connection with God is a good thing. Our entire relationship with God is through intermediaries. When we better ourselves we need less intermediaries. Moshe Rabeinnu (Moses) was adamant that God should take us through the desert himself. All through the generations we see that as we are closer to God in our actions, we need less intermediaries. Being part of a group that is close to, led by, and a part of a real qualified Talmid Chacham who himself is close to God is the best we can ever hope for.
....but there is a thin line between that and Avoda Zara (Idol Worship).
DON'T CROSS THAT LINE!
The Rabbi is your link, your connection, not a source of power or abilities in his own right. He can and will bring you to join him in his close connection to God himself. A qualified Rabbi is closer to God than the angels.
The current state of Litvish (Lithuanian) communities is that they are often connected to their Rabbi who is often dry, unconnected, not knowledgeable in applicable Jewish Law and not in control of his character traits. This connection keeps us away from God. The people don't follow Jewish Law as requested by God and don't study Torah as it is required. That connection removes us from God.
Chassidim often connect themselves to their Rebbe. All other Rabbis are nothing. Everyone else is not Jewish. They often do not follow Jewish Law, and even ignore many requirements completely. This is dangerously wrong. It is safer to have been non-observant, since there is a chance one day you will observe, rather than be in an environment that you may never know to correct.
Lubavitch happens to have been very strict and would adhere to Jewish Law for the most part. Their Rebbes were usually very learned. The Rebbe that died recently wrote books on Jewish Law. He had a vast knowledge of Jewish Law. Their problem is more recent. In the past they were careful to follow the Law. There are, of course, issues with Chassidism in general, since it is a new practice and Torah does not allow for anything new. But the differences between Lubavitch practices and the Torah's requirements are not major. They believe in praying on time and in studying and obeying Jewish Law. Their problem is more recent. They have taken this concept of respecting and fearing their Rabbi to an extreme. This seems to have gone out of control once the Rebbe became sick. No, they do not think he is God, or that he has any of his own powers. If you find ten that do, you can find ten Litvishe that think the same of Rabbi Elyashiv, too. Let's go with the general public.
The general Lubavitch public and especially the overwhelming majority of Lubavitch affiliates, those people all around us that associate themselves with Lubavitch, are not into anything major. If anything, they were instilled with a need to follow Jewish Law and a will to do so. They are somewhat affected by an inability to find a new Rabbi to lead them. They held their Rebbe in such a high esteem, that it is hard for them to respect another, now that the Rebbe passed away. They visit the grave of the Rebbe to pray to GOD, and they are embarrassed by the current publicities and the evolution of this Moshiach thing.
Of course, there is a large group of the most publicized, most outspoken, the "Moshichistim." Those believers that the Rebbe was and still is the Messiah. As I have said before, that is not necessarily a question of Kefirah (heresy) or idol worship. It is silly. It is ridiculous. It causes them to be in a permanent state of dysfunction. It is just the results of wishful thinking. In the time of Chizkiyahu Hamelech, if Moshiach were to come it would have been him, the Gemara says. In other times it can be anyone of the greatest men in that generation, whom are descendants of King David. Their wishful thinking was to say that since we know our Rebbe is "the greatest man" alive today, if we deserve the coming of Moshiach, it would certainly be him. Then they felt that if we do some things, maybe we could hasten his "coming out." Not realizing that all their actions actually delay the coming of Moshiach, as it says in the Talmud. Let me explain one of the reasons why.
When we wait for Moshiach, but continue to go about our business almost "as if he is not coming, but I am sure praying that he will," then we continue our constant daily drive to better ourselves, to overcome yet another test, to keep pushing ourselves to the limits to be prepared for the big day when we face the heavenly court and are made to look at all we have done on earth. Imagine if we were called by our brothers in Israel today, and told that Moshiach telephoned, he said, "that he was a bit delayed, but he will certainly be here by this Passover." Everyone would stop everything. No one would go to work. Schools would shut down. No homes will be bought or sold. Everyone will go out there into the streets, singing and dancing. People will be getting new clothing for the big day. Everyone will be happy, beeping their horns in the streets. That is not what God wants from us. God laid out clear requirements and details of how he expects us to act. This is not listed there. We must sit and learn, repent for our sins, work hard to feed our families, and so on. We cannot shut down. In reality, even when Moshiach comes we will not shut down. The truth is that it will be tougher then than it is now. We will be going to war. A real war against everyone. A world war!
Today's Moshiach-driven Lubavitchers take the easy way out. It is a distraction to avoid facing the day-to-day grind. They also wanted to be part of the elite group. What better way to join the elite group, than to actually create it around yourself? So they vote in their Rebbe as Moshiach and poof, they're the elite, the Chassidim of the Rebbe. Now they cannot even follow a Rabbi anymore, because who can respect anyone when we were led till now by Moshiach himself. The truth is that it is not a democratic process. God will choose the Moshiach, not the people. We have it in our power to bring Moshiach. We are the ones with the final say on the date that he will come. Let us stop chasing him away. We all will be thrilled with whoever is the Moshiach. Most of the non-Jews will want to join us with our Moshiach. They will be tested for their sincerity, however. Let us put Moshiach to the back burner. Know he is coming. Believe he is coming. But for God's sake let us bring him.
How? By going right up to God and saying, "I have not been that good. I was too busy with my stupidities that I have not concentrated on your Laws. Please forgive me! From this moment on I will head toward the direction you expect us to go. I will begin by setting up a set amount of time each day to study applicable Jewish Law. And I will start by taking on the following 2 or 3 changes or commitments to follow 2 or 3 Laws that I have been lax in."
That is it! Easy! God won't wait till you complete them. If we do this and mean it (God knows the truth), there is no question that Mashiach will come that same day. Today! This is for all of us at his/her level. If we do not keep Shabbat, let us start with that. If we are full fledged observant Yeshiva boys, how about starting with a learning program more in line with the requirements, by studying the Laws that we need on a daily basis. How about we begin putting a real emphasis on character trait development. Slowly but surely. One step at a time. Each person knows his/her abilities. Don't take on too much, or you will not succeed.
We want Moshiach now! So do I. Don't we all?
Let us rush him over here today! Come on! Let's move on it. All God wants is truthful and honest regret of our abandoning him and his laws. How complicated is that? We all know that after we die we are going to feel that regret then anyway. Why not start a little earlier? Maybe we will be able to lessen that regret later. It is certain that if we are committed to our regrets and begin taking steps to correct our issues, then we will not have any regrets when we go up to have our day in court. That is a little bonus concept that God in his mercy added to this game, this obstacle course that we call life. If we sincerely regret our sins, he writes them off. Imagine if the IRS did that. You owe $300,000 in back taxes. You go before the judge and apologize, commit to pay taxes from now on, so he says, "Forgiven! Next case!" It is easy! He is waiting! What is holding you back?
…Yes!...I am talking to you!…
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