The Power of Chabad

You may also like...

57 Responses

  1. Garnel Ironheart says:

    With all the foolishness that has engulfed it, it’s sometimes hard to remember that Chabad was once a prominent force in halachah and that the Shulchan Oruch HaRav is a major acharon whose comments are frequently accepted as halachah for all Jews.

    However, I disagree with the optimistic picture painted of today’s Chabad. Their return to the Jewish fold requires certain conditions, none of which I forsee the movement accepting. To wit:

    1) Yes the Shulchan Oruch HaRav is a major acharon, but he’s not the only one and the halachah is sometimes not like he says. Is Chabad prepared to acknowledge that?

    2) The last rebbe was not Moshiach, is not Moshiach and ain’t coming back from the dead to become Moshiach. Is Rav Krinsky or any other authoritative Lubavitcher prepared to state that publicly in English, Hebrew and Yiddish and add that anyone who disagrees is not in consonance with proper Jewish belief?

    3) Nusach Ari is quite nice. So are Sefard and Ashkenaz. Are Lubavitchers prepared to agree publicly that God is as capable of hearing any nusach as long as the person prayer is approaching Him in sincerity?

    I could go one but why? I’m not holding my breath as to how these 3 first stipulations would be answered.

  2. Yaakov Menken says:

    I don’t think this is entirely fair.

    If a person has a Rebbe Muvhak (Rebbe in the classical rather than Chassidic sense), and follows his opinion in all areas, then the student is allowed to follow that opinion. I have never heard it argued that the Shulchan Aruch HaRav is a *rejected* opinion, any more than I have heard Gedolim say that Satmar Chassidim shouldn’t follow the shitos of the Satmar Rebbe. If you are claiming that Chassidei Lubavitch must accept that there are other de’os, that is of course true. But you can’t say “the Halachah is not like” the Shulchan Aruch HaRav for his students.

    Nor are Lubavitchers the only ones expressing a preference for one Nusach over another (although I will concede that when I was a new BT, it was only a Lubavitcher who tried to get me to change which Siddur I use).

    As for whether or not something should be said publicly, I refer back to the other thread.

  3. Dovid says:

    Garnel Ironheart,

    You are obviously not very knowledgeable about Chabad’s acceptance of all Jews.

    Just to quote some articles from Chabad.org

    Some Sephardic customs about bris on Chabad.org:

    http://www.chabad.org/145047

    And here is some customs that Chabadniks would never do..

    http://www.chabad.org/594022

    And an enite section on how to say Kaddish that includes Ashkenaz and Sefard…

    http://www.chabad.org/514194

    ***

    http://www.chabad.org/608379

    Students at Binghamton University sampled from a smorgasbord of Jewish culture last month during an exploration of the Jewish people’s two primary traditions – those with roots in Eastern Europe and those whose families lived in Spain before the 15th-century Inquisition.

    The “Ashkafardic Night,” as the sponsoring Chabad House Jewish Student Center billed the Nov. 17 event, brought together some 100 collegians for a show-and-tell of sorts of their heritage. The evening, held in a makeshift Middle Eastern tent perched in the middle of a room and surrounded by paper flags and informational exhibits, showcased traditions and foods all the way from the ancient Jewish community of Morocco to the Russian shtetl to modern-day Israel.

    http://www.chabad.org/591965

    “Indeed, the Rebbe was asked several times by Sephardic Jews who had adopted chassidic practices whether they should alter their Sephardic Hebrew pronunciation in favor of the Ashkenazi pronunciation prevalent amongst Ashkenazi chassidim. The Rebbe responded that there is no reason for them to do so; to the contrary, he advised them to maintain the traditions of their ancestors.”

  4. Pinchas Giller says:

    A nice post. For another prominent example of Kiddush ha-Shem by contemporary Chabad, there is the Rabbi who sheltered the fire fighters in the California fires this fall.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-camp29oct29,0,3502098.story

    Historically, the Jewish community has tolerated messianic irruptions in their midst without ostracizing the participants, allowing them to burn out over time (sources available on request). Here, the rov of the Jewish community is simply not going to give up the benefits of Chabad’s leadership over what reaches them in the form of a few liturgical modifications. In this case, the Jewish community as a whole might have more wisdom than some of its leaders.

  5. Garnel Ironheart says:

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear but I do feel my comments are entirely fair. For a Lubavitcher, if the Shulchan Aruch says “A” and another source says “B”, then the halachah is “A” for everyone, even non-Lubavitchers. It’s one thing to say they should follow their rebbe’s shitah. Absolutely. But I learn with a Chabadnik and whenever I bring up an issue that differs with Lubavitch custom, he seems befuddled that I don’t automatically do things like him. The example that most quickly comes to mind is the situation where there is a single Kohen present for duchaning. Some opinions say the chazan shouldn’t call them up but the Kohen should just begin the brachah. This happens to be the Chabad position. However, other opinions say that the chazan should call up the Kohen even announcing “Kohanim”. When I did this on Rosh HaShanah, he told me that the halachah is that I shouldn’t have done it and was geniuinely surprised when I told him that I followed different authorities.

    It’s not that Lubavitch follows their customs. It’s that they automatically devalue everyone else’s that is the problem.

  6. Shlucha says:

    Garnel, while what you mention about Lubavitchers believing their way is the only way may be true about some Lubavitcher chassidim, please don’t paint all of us with one paintbrush. In our shul and in my father’s shul we daven the local nusach which is not Lubavitch. We teach the bar mitzvah boys how to lain according to their nusach, we daven in Talmud Torah in their nusach and encourage them to follow their minhagim, (this is something the Rebbe encouraged whoever became Lubavitch to do ). And I know of many other fellow shluchim who do this.

  7. Shlucha says:

    correction: I didn’t mean that the Rebbe encouraged people to keep their nusach (I have no info on that) but the Rebbe did encourage people to keep their minhagim such as long peyos, wearing a shtreimel etc

  8. Garnel Ironheart says:

    Shlucha, you are certainly correct that it is wrong to generalize and i have also had good experiences with Chabad shluchim who do the good work in less than ideal places.

    However, I have also had several negative interactions, not so much with shluchim as with unpolished newly minted BT’s who haven’t learned to be discrete with what they’ve learned so far. Yes, there is much good in the Chabad movement but there is also an underlying agenda that many subscribe to that leads them to want to override local customs and change people to fit their opinions and nusach.

    In my experience, it is the older (and I don’t mean to judge your age!) shluchim who are far more accomodating of different minhagim and styles and the younger shluchim who have the zeal to homogenize the world.

    Would that we could all respect each other instead of worrying that unless we’re all the same we can’t survive as a people.

  9. Shlucha says:

    The issue with some baalei teshuva taking things to the extreme exists in all groups…not only in Lubavitch. And no, I don’t believe Lubavitch is perfect, we are human and have defects like all human beings.
    BTW I am what you would consider younger 30 and under, so are my siblings and the friends I was referring to in my previous post.

  10. Ori says:

    Note: I am outsider, writing mainly from theory. Please tell me if what I’m writing is ridiculous.

    Shlucha, overzealous baalei teshuva exist in all groups, but I bet you in Chabad gets more of them. Anybody who engages in so much kiruv is bound to get more baalei teshuva, including the overzealous kind.

    Everybody else, many of you lament that so many Jews live away from Torah & Mitzvot. If we were to come back, we’d not have the experience and common sense of people who grew up with Halacha. We’d have crazy ideas. Furthermore, even our children would probably not have the intuitive understanding of Judaism many of you have. How many in Chabad are first or second generation frum? Of course they’d have problems – it’s part of the cost of doing kiruv on such a big scale.

  11. Shlucha says:

    perhaps Ori…you have a good point there. It’s worth nothing that it’s not possible to control every single individual…

  12. lacosta says:

    i think it is fair to keep in mind that
    1- all varieties of chassidim see their leader as AT lEAST potential mashiach

    2- since chabad considers the Rebbe a/ a navi b/the undisputed King of all the Jews c/ most likely the Mashiach, it becomes theologically difficult to grant any room for other jews authority when they stand in opposition to the King and the Navi — and they should be commended for their tolerance of other jews who differ….

  13. LazerA says:

    lacosta, you state that, “all varieties of chassidim see their leader as AT lEAST potential mashiach.” Do you have a source for this?

    I have never encountered any chasidim who believe this, with the obvious exception of Chabad. My observation has been that this claim is never made except by apologists for Chabad, to make their radical position appear more mainstream.

    Also, I would point out that granting an individual the status of a Navi, king, or Moshiach, is a halachic issues with clear halachic definitions and criteria. Such status carries major halachic implications that effects the entire Jewish people.

    It follows, then, that a group that seriously grants the halachic status of navi, or king, or Moshiach, to an individual without proper basis in halacha is guilty of corrupting the halachic process. The question then arises as to whether such an group can still be considered to be within the bounds of halachic Judaism.

  14. yitz says:

    Interestingly, Garnel wrote: where there is a single Kohen present for duchaning…other opinions say that the chazan should call up the Kohen even announcing “Kohanim”.
    As someone who has lived in Eretz Yisrael for over 25 years, where the Kohanim duchan EVERY DAY, I must state that I don’t recall ever having seen a case where there was only one Kohen present, and he was called up by the chazan. To double-check, I just pulled out the sefer Tefilla K’Hilchasa by Rav Yitzchak Y. Fuchs, and in Chapter 14:38 he clearly indicates that one does NOT call the single Kohen, [and that there’s an opinion that even if there were two Kohanim, but one is a minor, you don’t call them]. He cites the Shulchan Aruch, Rama and Mishna Brura. I’m curious to know your source, but in any case, it appears to be a minor one. And it’s rare that I daven in a Chabad shul. It’s usually a Chassidic/Nusach Sfard shul, or yeshivish/Nusach Ashkenaz one.

  15. Menashe says:

    Very nice to see some positive comments about Chabad on the internet for a change. The problem of a golus so severe that we (Lubavitchers) don’t even have a nasi bguf gashmi to come to is that any extremist (not a coincidence it is mostly a small number of BTs from Israel) can interpret and publicize whatever they want in the name of Chabad. The only one that can determine what is Chabad Hashkafa is the Rebbe himself. Of course when you have a small group of vigilantes doing so much harm across the board it is pretty safe to say that this group represents no one but themselves.

    May Hashem have rachmonus on the Yidden and speedily send us Moshiach Tzidkeinu. As it says, Moshe hu goel rishon vgoel acharon. How could it be if he is a levi? The answer is of course that every nasi of klal yisroel has at least some soul-connection to every other nasi. We yearn to be reunited with our avos, our rabbonim and our rebbeim, bguf gashmi miyad mamosh!

  16. lacosta says:

    lazerA– i have no source for potential mashiach and i may have fallen prey to the L claim.
    in regard to the navi-melech claim, i am frankly surprised that this is not picked up on more by the critics. the idea that the King is crowned without consent of the Ruled [ie the non-lubavitch frum jews]seems strange. yet i think most lubavitch hold the king and navi titles as undisputed and undeniable. recall that many call the chasam sofer THE gadol hador who must be listened to. i think all frum jews don’t like the idea of other frum jews telling them what their proper halacha should be, and who their leaders are— with the intent of denying their edah’s right to its own opinions and leadership.

  17. Ori says:

    Menashe: The problem of a golus so severe that we (Lubavitchers) don’t even have a nasi bguf gashmi to come to is that any extremist (not a coincidence it is mostly a small number of BTs from Israel) can interpret and publicize whatever they want in the name of Chabad.

    Ori: Why did Chabad not appoint a new Rebbe, or at least somebody to do the jobs that the Rebbe did?

  18. Lubavitcher says:

    Ori, why do you think that would help, assuming it were possible? The Rebbe’s power was due to his personality, not due to any body’s “commanding” people to listen to him. If there was someone of the Rebbe’s stature available in Chabad, you would have a point.

  19. Toby Katz says:

    “i think it is fair to keep in mind that
    1- all varieties of chassidim see their leader as AT lEAST potential mashiach”

    ======
    This is NOT TRUE.

  20. Trefene Baal Habos says:

    I will try to be as civil as possible so this will be posted. A number of points.
    1. I challenge anybody to go to any Chabad shul and find any Siddur besides an Ari siddur. Every other shul in the world has every nusach etc. even if they daven a different one.
    2. Every person in the world would use something other poskim said was ok even if those poskim were from a different community if the necessity was great, example a Mikva. Why will Chabad only use Bor Al Gabei Bor and if they come into a town immediately change the Mikvah?
    3. We all are experiencing today the affect of indoctorinating childeren to think in a certain different way in what the Palestinainas teach their children (Chill, I am not going to compare Chabad to them). What Chabad has done has educated two generations of people to think in a certain way so that it is impossible for them to think otherwise. This is a very simple two stop process. A. The Rebbe is the Nosi of the Dor and a “potential Moshiach”. B. The Nosi of the Dor and most potential Moshiach is part and parcel of believing that Moshiach is coming any second. This is very clear in speaking to any Chabadnik under the age of 30. They are shocked that anyone would perhaps suggest that the Rebbe wasn’t the Nosi of the Dor (a term most others never really thought about, but if they did they would have other candidates). Once they were educated that he was (and they were taught that we think he was as well)it is very small leap that he is Moshiach. As one Lubavitcher chassid who was in my home said to me, “why wouldnt he be, who else?”.
    4. The biggest problem with Chabad is their Mesorah is based on what took place the last 40 years. If you were to Chas Vsahlom bring proof to a Satmer chossid that the last Rebbe was Chas Vshalom (I am writing this for a Moshol only and not Chas Vshalom for real) really a Communist spy, their life would be shattered, but after a few days, they would think back to the Rebbe R’ Yoel and rebuild their Mesorah from his teachings alone skipping those of the last Rebbe. And so on and so forth back to the Baal Shemtov etc. If we went back further and Chas Vsahlom had negative proofs against even as far back as the Ramabam (RACHMANA LITZLAN) it would take time but the Gedolim could rebuild our Mesorah based on the teachings of the RIF etc. It would take going back thousands of years (R’ Akiva-Moshe Rabbenu) to destroy the essence of our Mesorah, since Torah Mesini is from the YUD GIMMEL IKRIM (and Torah Shel Baal Peh, R’ Akiva being the greatest portion of it an essential part of the Torah) as far back as that we couldnt go without destroying our relegion, but it would take going back 2000 years to do so. For a Lubavitcher however, their whole Mesorah is based on the last 40 years. Everything that happened before that (the Baal Hatanya etc.) was all leading up to what took place with the 7th Rebbe who was to be the Moshiach. If I had proof (Chas Vshalom) of something negative, their whole Yiddishkeit goes out the window. It is not so well known that 2 weeks before the Rebbe was niftar, there was rumor that he died and R’ Yoel Kahn Shlita (a big Chabad Rov) said “Oib Azey Morgen Daf Mer Nisht Legen Ken Tefillin” (roughly, if so we dont have to put on Tefillin tomorrow) in other words our Mesorah is shattered. Now did this happen, B”H they are still putting on Tefillin, but only because they have created new realities out of a change in the reality. The Rebbe is not dead, even a dead person could be Moshiach, and so on and so forth. For a Chabadnik to truly believe that the Rebbe is really dead and not coming back (until Techiyas Masim) goes against everything they were taught. Now, you might say what do you mean my neighbor Shneur Zalman is a rational person he doesnt say Yechi etc. he doesnt believe that. He does. He doesnt admit it to you but he does. That is the essence of the Meshichist/Non Meshichist battle. It is a PR battle, “dont let people know we believe this or it will hurt us in our Kiruv work, fundraising etc. but believe me they believe it. other wise what was happening for the last 50 years.
    5. A)It is naive to think that the Meshichist are a fringe group B) even if that was so, that is only an argument that works for the next 20 years or so. Since they control all the Mosdos, schools etc. by the next generation even what you call a Non-Meshichist will exist in a museum only.
    6. Back to a previous point (in regards to lacosta comment #12) this is a fallacy. I have a lot of Pupa and Satmer friends for example and not once did they ever mention such a term Nosi or potential Moshiach and the same goes for my Yeshiva friends. And when i asked various groups about this term they never were taught that. Lacosta, whether you are a BT or were trained in a Lubavichher yeshiva as a youth, this was taught to you in the beginning but it is not true. Sorry to break to you know.
    All the best. May the real Moshaich appear soon.

  21. Ori says:

    Lubavitcher, if there was somebody that 90% of Chabad considered to speak for Chabad, eventually the remaining 10% would stop calling themselves Chabad. Or they might distinguish themselves using a modified name. Maybe “the faithful of Chabad” or something like that.

    I assume that the Rebbe succeeded somebody else. Was his personality as forceful when he became the leader of Chabad, or did it grow over the years?

  22. Menashe says:

    Ori: The Rebbe promised us that our next nasi will be Moshiach himself! Of course it’s the duty of every chossid to believe his Rebbe…

  23. Aryeh says:

    Re post #20. I agree with most of you said, but at the very least the local chabad house here does have 1 (or maybe 2) Artscroll nusach Ashkenaz siddurim for the guys that come in to make the minyan sometimes.

  24. LazerA says:

    lacosta – You state, “recall that many call the chasam sofer THE gadol hador who must be listened to.” This again is a odd statement.

    First of all, there is no such halachic status as “gadol hador”, and certainly not “THE gadol hador.” A “gadol” is a, possibly the, leading talmid chacham of the generation. While this certainly gives his words great weight, and largely assures that his statements and decisions will be obeyed, or at least seriously considered, by Torah observant Jews, it does not, for the most part, grant him any unique legal status. It certainly does not obligate all Jews to follow his decisions regardless of their own halachic authorities.

    While the Chasam Sofer was an immensely important gadol and posek, he has never been granted unique halachic status by any group. He was, in his time, the leading halachic authority of his region, and one of the leading halachic authorities of the world, but other authorities existed and they were and are still respected.

    I honestly don’t know what would make you think that there is any comparison between calling someone the gadol hador, which is a non-halachic honorific, and granting someone the status of navi or melech or mashiach, which has specific halachic meanings and implications.

    BTW, to be granted the status of a Navi, one must be actively tested by a beis din, the test requires the candidate to make multiple specific predictions which must come true. Any prediction which fails to come true disqualifies the candidate, even if others did come true. Going through various predictions after the fact and picking the ones that came true is not a valid method.

    No beis din was ever even convened for the purpose of testing the late Lubavitcher rebbe. The method used by Lubavitchers to grant him this status could be used to grant virtually any Torah leader (and a large number of weathermen and economists) the status of Navi.

  25. Toby Katz says:

    “As one Lubavitcher chassid who was in my home said to me, “why wouldnt he be, who else?”.”

    ——–
    I have been asked/challenged this way by at least fifty different Lubavitchers in my life. “If you don’t think the Rebbe is Moshiach WHO IS? Or who is better qualified?”

    As if Jews ever thought this way. As if we ever speculated, wondered, discussed, “Who among the people personally known to you do you think is probably Moshiach?”

    Jews don’t do this. It is a brand new mesorah, perhaps thirty years old, if that old. “Who, who, who?” We waited for Eliyahu Hanavi to come and tell us, and took it for granted that Moshiach might well be a person who was NOT famous and NOT known — a quiet, hidden tzaddik and talmid chacham sitting and learning somewhere in the world.

    We never thought it was the job of the average Joe Shmo to decide for himself “who among the people known to me personally is probably Moshiach?”

  26. Jewish Observer says:

    “I have been asked/challenged this way by at least fifty different Lubavitchers in my life. “If you don’t think the Rebbe is Moshiach WHO IS? Or who is better qualified?” As if Jews ever thought this way. As if we ever speculated, wondered, discussed, “Who among the people personally known to you do you think is probably Moshiach?” Jews don’t do this”

    – this is not fair. chabadskers are only asking this in response to others who are saying he couldn’t possibly be moshiach. so it is really the non C’s who are at fault for making assumptions about who can’t (and therefore about who could) be moshiach.

  27. LazerA says:

    Toby Katz mentioned the standard Lubavitcher line that the late Lubavitcher rebbe must be moshiach because, “If not him, then who?” I have also encountered the line of reasoning from Lubavitchers who, I might add, _initiated_ the discussion with the goal of convincing me that the late rebbe is moshiach. I would also add that I have encountered precisely the same claim from Christian missionaries, “If not J, then who?

    Such reasoning results from a personality cult that is so pervasive that the followers simply cannot comprehend the failure of outsiders to recognize the greatness of their leader. If you would just open your eyes and look, you would see that no one else could possibly _ever_ be as great, period. This is not an unusual phenomenom (though fairly uncommon in the religious Jewish world) and, I believe, points at the underlying problem this community is facing.

    Jewish Observer’s claim that this response is the fault of non-Lubavitchers who question the validity of the messianist claim does not fit with my own experiences or those of many others.

    Moreover, there is no problem with making “assumptions” about who could or could not be moshiach. It is a HALACHIC issue discussed in halachic sources! If the “assumptions” are based on those halachic sources, then they are not assumptions at all.

  28. zalman says:

    Practically everything the Rebbe initiated was condemned by some Godol. Moshiach issue is the cherry on the pie (though a very big cherry).

    Going back to the 50’s with ufaratzta and oureach to the 60’s with the tefilin campain, to public menoras, to girls from 3 lighting Shabbos candles, to Lag B’omer parades, and so on. These were considered major terrible “deviants”, novelties that had to be condemned.
    Artscroll refuse to publish any Chidushim from the Rebbe. Chabad take offence from this. More seforim have been published of the Rebbe’s works than ANY other Rebbe, Talmid Chochom, or Gadol in history. And I’m not exaggerating. Over 200 Seforim from the Rebbe, ranging from 39 Lekutai Sichos to over 20 volumes of published letters to over 40 volumes of unedited talks from over 40 years of Farbrengens. The Rebbe would farbreng for 6 hours speaking divrei Torah quoting from Shas, medrash, rishoinim, achronim, Chasidus, without any notes at all. And all this is ignored by the “velt”.

    Then every minhag was attacked, not sleaping in the succa, and so on.

    Chabad felt like the “Jewboy” of the frum velt, forever shuned and scoffed.
    Most Chabad felt that they were condemned at every turn. Like Israel in the UN.
    So most Chabad reacted with an understandable ‘indifference to what the “velt” thinks of us’. Much like an Israeli saying “Who cares what the world thinks of us. They hate us anyway.” Or a frum person saying “What the Goyim thinks of us is none of our concern, we have to do what we have to do”

    Now when there is a real issue that Chabad could listen to some criticism, many feel the velt has lost it’s credentials to criticize Lubavitch. They feel this is just the latest issue out of hundreds.

    Now even the legitimate criticism of the M.’s is laced with libels. Chabad is accused of harboring Elokistim when if any existed were condemned by chabad years ago and now they simply don’t exist. David Berger, though with merit decries the M.’s, has added bizarre accusations. He writes that a “chashuvah” Rabbi told him the reason Chabad have emphasized strait menoras instead of round is because “every new religion needs a symbol”. He forgets to mention that this is the opinion of Rashi, and that the Rambam drew with his own hand a straight menora, and the Rambams son verified this. His otherwise justified objection is therefor viewed with suspicion.

    The M.’s have to be fought. But not for the “velts” sake, because we simply stopped caring what the velt thinks of us, they have displayed extreme bias over many years, but rather for our own sake, for the sake of our children.

  29. Zalman says:

    I could go through all the lengthy accusations by Trefene Baal Habos. But I’ll start with the first.

    “1. I challenge anybody to go to any Chabad shul and find any Siddur besides an Ari siddur. Every other shul in the world has every nusach etc. even if they daven a different one.”

    Shulls generally cater for their clients.

    Let me bring for example my fathers Chabad House. The Chabad House was started by my father 20 years ago in an area in Melbourne which never had ANY shull. The closest shull was over 1 hour walk away. So naturally the early mispallelim were unaffiliated Jews. They had no Nusach. So which nusach should we use? Ashkenaz? Then any sfardim will ask why not sfard? Sfard? Then the ashkenazim will ask the same question. So the easiest thing for the Shliach to do is take his own Nusach. Now, if you walk into my fathers Chabad House you will notice that we have English and Russian and plain Hebrew Nasach Ari’s and about 20 different other sidurim with other nuschaos. (Pluss we have Artscroll & Living Torah & Russian Chumashim) . We have Russian because there are many Russian Jews in this area. We have English because many find Hebrew hard. We have hebrew for those who prefer Hebrew.(There are no Spanish siddurim as we generally don’t have Spanish readers who require them). And we have other nuschaos for those who need other nuschaos. So if any FFB’s walk in, with a different Nusach they will find a sidur with their nusach. And if any of the members walk in he will also find a siddur he is comfortable with.

    Now in a shul which already had a nusach, a Chabad Rabbi will not change the nusach. Such is the case in the majority of shulls in Australia. The majority of non-Chabad shulls in Australia have a Chabad pulpit Rabbi. The same is true in the United Kingdom as well as in South Africa. And they all follow their original Nusach – Ashkenaz.

    Now to answer the question, in most of Chabad shulls the members are generally mekuravim of chabad and as such their nusach is the one of the shull they first stated out at. If a large amount of mispalelim have different nuschaos then the shull would naturally cater for their members.

    I could go through with all the points. The writer has a valid claim about the M.’s. But seeing all the points are made in an “I accuse” style rather than “just curious” style, I wonder if anything I say will make any difference.

  30. Moshe says:

    Trefene Baal Habos writes:

    “1. I challenge anybody to go to any Chabad shul and find any Siddur besides an Ari siddur. Every other shul in the world has every nusach etc. even if they daven a different one.”

    Besides the fact most people who daven at Chabad Houses are mekuravim of Chabad (and therefor their first nusach was of the shull they first attended) and all the Chabad Houses I’ve been in had other nuschaos as well, let me point out the following:

    There are a couple of fundamental differences between your average Chabad House and your Average shul.

    1) An average shul is normally founded by members of a community who believe there is a demand. The members normally form a comity to undertake financial responsibility, and they then hire a rabbi as an employee, and in a minority of cases the appointed Rabbi volunteers his services.

    2) The average shull is normally located in a city with the basic Jewish infrastructure. Mikvah, kosher food, school, are normally not an issue.

    Compare that to the average Chabad House.

    *The Chabad House is 99% of the time established by the Rabbi himself.
    *The Rabbi himself takes upon himself the financial responsibility.
    *The Rabbi himself generally does all the fund raising.
    * The Rabbi has to pay himself a salary; he gets no salary from Lubavitch headquarters.
    *The Chabad House is very often founded in a city where basic Jewish infrastructure is lacking – Mikva, kosher food, Jewish day school. Going to mikva in some cases can involve a monthly flight 4 hours each way eg. Alaska. Schooling children is another issue facing many Shluchim. Some kids have to be home schooled and then sent away at the age of 9 to relatives, just to get a good chinuch.
    *Besides shul services the average Chabad House offers social events, holiday programs for children, elderly resident visiting, Bar mitzvah Lessons etc.

    Yes it makes sense Chabad Houses are different. They are different in so many ways.

  31. lacosta says:

    1. i never said the rebbe was a navi/nasi hador. i said that is what chabad says. they may even hold that more than his Messiahship.

    2. THE [as opposed to A] godol hador. in re chassam sofer , i have heard this idea -that all the Hungarian type chaddash-assur min ha torah ideology must be accepted since the CS was the undisputed leader of klal yisrael.
    –again same fallacy: it’s undisputed by those making the claims….

  32. Moshe says:

    I would like to point out a few more things about Shlichus to give a more balanced picture of Chabad to the readers.

    When a shliach moves to Cypress or Alaska or Beijing he is not going on a “five or ten year” contract. He is going for life. He takes his newly married wife with him and goes to a foreign country, very often a foreign language, and begins to set up basic Jewish infrastructure, starting with miyonim and building a community. Very often he is the only Orthodox presence in the Town. The shliach can’t be fired, but at the same time, nor can he quit. If he wants a break or a career change, these options or generally not open to him. His posting is for life. Any loneliness from familiar frum atmosphere will just have to be dealt with. As mentioned mikvah can be a severe problem especially in a country like China, Japan, Vietnam or Kazakhstan. The shlaiach has no option other than to construct a mikva as soon as possible. Funding for any construction has to be raised by the shliach personally. He has to raise his own salary and when it’s time to pay tuition or marry off a child, the money has to found. Many believe (even some of the members of Chabad Houses) the Shaliach’s salary comes from N.Y. This is just simply not the case. Every responsibility rests solely on the Shliach and his wife. Financial responsibility, running of all the programs, newsletters, fund raising, providing Kosher meet and Chalav Yisroel milk for his family which has to be shipped in, carpooling the children to a distant frum school, or homeschooling or the most difficult, sending tender children away from home from as young as 9, 10 or 11 years and on. All these things are not what the average frum yid has to deal with.

    The shluchim have developed ways to overcome alot of the hardships. There has now been set up an online school for Shluchim’s chidren who live in cities that have no Jewish school. These children connect to thier “classmates” and their teacher through the internet. They conduct lessons and the children can ask their teachers question via live video feed. This past year the shluchims children “online” school met their “classmates” many for the first time while at the international shluchim’s convention.

    This is just a tiny snippet of what shluchim lives are like. For those who would like to read a book describing the shluchim and the amazing work they do in an objective balanced view, a book written by a secular reporter who didn’t have anything to do with Chabad before starting to write the book, I recommend “The Rebbe’s army” by Sue Fishkoff.

  33. Menashe says:

    “2. Every person in the world would use something other poskim said was ok even if those poskim were from a different community if the necessity was great, example a Mikva. Why will Chabad only use Bor Al Gabei Bor and if they come into a town immediately change the Mikvah?

    3. We all are experiencing today the affect of indoctorinating childeren to think in a certain different way in what the Palestinainas teach their children (Chill, I am not going to compare Chabad to them). What Chabad has done has educated two generations of people to think in a certain way so that it is impossible for them to think otherwise. This is a very simple two stop process. A. The Rebbe is the Nosi of the Dor and a “potential Moshiach”. B. The Nosi of the Dor and most potential Moshiach is part and parcel of believing that Moshiach is coming any second. This is very clear in speaking to any Chabadnik under the age of 30. They are shocked that anyone would perhaps suggest that the Rebbe wasn’t the Nosi of the Dor (a term most others never really thought about, but if they did they would have other candidates). Once they were educated that he was (and they were taught that we think he was as well)it is very small leap that he is Moshiach. As one Lubavitcher chassid who was in my home said to me, “why wouldnt he be, who else?”

    In response:

    2. That’s nonsense. Nobody in Lubavitch holds that a mikvah is treif if it is not bor al gabei bor. It’s just that the Alter Rebbe holds that that is the best way to build a mikvah so lchathilla if you (a Lubavitcher who follows Shulchan Aruch HaRav as halacha l’maisa) are building a new mikvah or if you have the choice of bor al gabei bor or not, then go with that one. As an example, there is now a Lubavitch semicha program in Lakewood. I know the bochurim personally and know for a fact that all of them use a misnagdishe mikvah, as have I. Although we hold bor al gabei bor is better. That’s our shita – other opinions are not treif. Why is this so awful?

    3. All Lubavitchers hold that the Rebbe is the Nasi Hador and was during his physical life the potential moshiach. Our next nasi will be moshiach himself. No one is disputing that. I am personally of the opinion that the histalkus now disqualifies him from being moshiach today, which I have concluded based on the Rebbe’s own words; some of my fellow chassidim disagree. One of us is mistaken. But that’s all it is, a mistake. Not kefira, which not a single posek has called it. Just a mistake, which, unless you are a tzaddik, you also make every single day. Why is that driving a few yidden so crazy? No, we are not shocked that most do not share this view. Anybody that is has lived a very sheltered existence. Nobody says you have to consider him your nasi. but why deprive us of believing that? What is so treif here?

  34. Zalman says:

    “4. The biggest problem with Chabad is their Mesorah is based on what took place the last 40 years. If you were to Chas Vsahlom bring proof to a Satmer chossid that the last Rebbe was Chas Vshalom (I am writing this for a Moshol only and not Chas Vshalom for real) really a Communist spy, their life would be shattered…………….other wise what was happening for the last 50 years.”

    In response.

    All this is total bobe maisaes – and a booich svroa. Let me tell you some facts about chabad. If you walk into a chabad yeshivah you will see the bochrim learn Gemoro from 10 am till 7 pm with a break for lunch. All this time is spent learning gemorra with meforshim – l’iyuno (in deapth), and the afternoon, gemorra l’girsa (in breadth). The last hour is shulchon Oruch. There is 1.5 hours in the morning and evening for chassidud. So the vast majority is gemmorro. And then people have the nerve to assert chabad is teaching a “facade”, and not real Yidishket. Chabad learn the same Gemorro as the velt same chumash, the same halacha, but people accuse chabad of no real Judaism.

    I thank the editor for showing the products of Chabad which he quoted from the New York Times and the Concord. This is what Chabad produces. Real frumer erlicher Yidden who go out into the secular world and make a Kidush Hashem. If you want to know what Chabad is – look at the Baal Teshuvah products they produce.

    The Rebbe has built an empire which is only growing. Today in Australia and the United Kingdom and in South Africa the majority of non-Chabad shulls have a Chabad Rabbi. Chabad is sending out new Rabbi’s, new shluchim at a rate of 2 a week! Compare that with the what Yeshivah University is producing 25 pulpit Rabbis this past year. Chabad’s annual budget has been reported to be (in Sue Fishkoff’s book) over $1 Billion a year – by far the biggest frum organization in the world. Chabad hasn’t built this by criticizing others. To be successful takes a lot of hard work and a lot of m’siras nefesh by thousands willing to live at the edge of poverty for the sake of other Yidden.

    Action speak louder than words.

  35. Lawrence M. Reisman says:

    “All Lubavitchers hold that the Rebbe is the Nasi Hador”

    By holding that he is the Nasi HaDor, you have appointed him our Nasi as well.

    “Nobody says you have to consider him your nasi.” There can only be one Nasi HaDor, if the Lubavitcher Rebbe is him, then you are saying we must consider him as such.

  36. benshaul says:

    It seems almost moot to post at this point, but I would like to point out a few things. Having grown up in the litvishe yeshiva world, we NEVER heard disparaging comments about chabad. We heard of various gedolim from all backrounds, but there was no particular sinah directed towards chabad. Yes, we may have heard some sarcastic comments about chassidim in general, but nothing to justify the claim that there existed a particular sinah for chabad . Perhaps more distressing to the lubavitchers is that they really weren’t on the map in a major way. They were seen as a small chassidus that had cut itself off from any real interaction with the rest of mainstraem yiddishkeit. Something that they have only themselves to blame for. I live in an out of town community that has a large chabad presence and B”H we get along and my children attend their school. [An excellent mosad btw] BUT!!! my son tells me that almost ALL the kids in his class believe the rebbe is moshiach!!! This in what is officially an anti-meshichest school. WHERE IS THAT COMING FROM!!!. There are still kids who wear the “zehn zich miten rebbe ….” yarmulka.
    I can’t count the number of times i have heard a lubavitcher introduce his comments by saying “chasidus says” when they mean sifrei chabad. I daven on my travels out almost exclusively in chasideshe minyonim, and am familiar with many different brands of chasidus, and yes there is something different about chabad. Perhaps we can start by the fact that there almost isn’t a single mitzva that they do in the same way!! And I dont mean that they do it like other chasidim. They have made perhaps minor , but still changes, in the way chabad preforms many mitzvos that is different than anyone else in klal yisroel.
    Over the course of the Rebbe’s lifetime they shunned any meaningful partnership and interaction with any other group be it MO, Yeshivish, chasidsh etc. Except to make sure to show up on achron shel pesach and say over a dvar malchus from the rebbe in every shul that will let them in.
    A very prominent lubavitch shliach told a member of my family that the problem with the frum yidden, as opposed to the frei, is that you can’t make them into lubavitchers, so please don’t tell me about the condescension of the “snags”.
    And I personally heard from people who were there that Reb Yoel Kahn publicly said, -PRIOR to the passing of the rebbe,- that if the rebbe died he (the rebbe) would have a din of a novie sheker [since he had “promised” to be moshiach ]

    Yes, today there is a very wary attitude towards chabad!! But that is because of some of the things they have done that clashed with the mesorah of the rest of klal yisroel. And yes they did call the rebbe the nasi doreinu, and really don’t recognize gadlus in anyone besides their own, unless they can be shown to be buying into chabad. there is more to say but ……
    Its time for chabad to be honest about its own condescension towards everyone else, and realize that perhaps that is the reason for their feeling of estrangement. “kimayim ponim el ponim….

  37. Concerned Lubavitcher says:

    Lawrence,

    You are right, there can only be one Nasi HaDor. And yes, I consider him your nasi as well. But you are free to disagree.

  38. Bob Miller says:

    I invite anyone to detail the “Nasi HaDor” concept itself, based on universally recognized Jewish sources. Specifically, what supports the idea that each Dor has one Nasi, what characteristics are required in a Nasi, and how is a Dor defined in this context?

  39. Lawrence M. Reisman says:

    A concerned Lubavitcher has written that he considers the Lubavitcher Rebbe to be my nasi. This being the case, how would he (and other similarly-minded Lubavitchers) regard someone like myself who do not follow the Nasi’s leadership? My unmarried girls have never lit Shabbos licht. I supported the positions of Rav Shach with regard to lands taken by Israel in the 1967 war and the mi yehudi issue. I can think of any number of times and issues.

    I would like to know from those on this blog more learned than me: What is the din of someone who refuses to follow the nasi’s rulings?

  40. Concerned Lubavitcher says:

    Lawrence,

    I preface this by saying that my knowledge on this issue is spotty at best.

    I don’t consider the Rebbe’s nesius as a halachically binding thing. I consider him the spiritual leader of the generation, about which Rambam, I believe, has written can only be one. Meaning that there is a Moshe Rabbeinu, a neshama klalis, in every single dor. This is the conclusion of quite a bit of learning I’ve done on the topic but that is just it – it is the tachlis and I don’t remember specific sources unfortunately, with the exception of perek beis of Tanya, which details at least one aspect of this topic. For more, or any for that matter, detail, I invite you to speak to a more learned Lubavitcher or the like.

    I think that when Moshiach is revealed, however, that listening to a navi who by then will be proven becomes a halachic issue. Mind you I don’t think the Rebbe held Moshiach can come min hameisim (yes that means I think the Rebbe is NOT Moshiach, although he had the potential before the histalkus) and there are obviously some chassidim that disagree with me. One of us is mistaken. Mistakes are not kefira, which not a single posek has called it. Yet I digress..

    Of course I would prefer that the entire klal yisroel followed the Rebbe’s haraos. But that by no means is to say that the Rebbe or any Lubavitcher ever considered a different derech or shita treif. Take cholov stam for example. R’ Feinstein zt”l held it is mutar al pi halacha. Lubavitcher poskim disagree. That means I would never eat it myself or even eat from kelim that had cholov stam on them; but I would never, c”v consider that somebody that holds by that shita and follows R’ Moshe’s ruling to be eating treif. Adarabba! I’m glad that most dairy in the US is now considered kosher according to a very prominent opinion. That means that less treif is being consumed by yidden, B”H.

    Eilu v’eilu divrei Elokim chaim…

  41. CR says:

    “I supported the positions of Rav Shach with regard to lands taken by Israel in the 1967 war and the mi yehudi issue….What is the din of someone who refuses to follow the nasi’s rulings?”

    “And to you, L-rd, is kindness for you repay to man according to his deeds.”

    I think the history of the last decade-and-a-half has already spoken its verdict on those points. Thanks to land concessions and “peace agreements” over 1000 Jews were murdered in Arab terror attacks in our cities and towns. Thanks to keeping the word “KeHalachah” out of the Law of Return there are now up to 1 million Goyim officially considered Jews living in the “Jewish State”; some of whom are responsible for visiting Neo-Nazi vandalism and violence in recent years. All of this comes with the official Hashgachah of Degel HaTorah and “Sh’earith Yisrael”. But the Rebbe warned against all of this decades earlier. Those who failed to listen reap the whirlwind today. Short answer; it’s your dime.

  42. Lawrence M. Reisman says:

    “Thanks to keeping the word “KeHalachah” out of the Law of Return there are now up to 1 million Goyim officially considered Jews living in the “Jewish State”; some of whom are responsible for visiting Neo-Nazi vandalism and violence in recent years. All of this comes with the official Hashgachah of Degel HaTorah and “Sh’earith Yisrael”.”

    Actually, what Rav Shach held with regard to Mi Yehudi was that the secular government of Israel would never give in on the issue, so we should not make too much of it. He warned that by doing so, we would unite the enemies of Torah against us. His prediction proved right; thanks to Mi Yehudi, the secularists of Israel and the Conservative and Reform Jews of the USA, who had never before joined in a united front, united against the Orthodox. For the first time, the Conservative and Reform movements involved themselves in the politics of the WZO and the Jewish Agency and made their voices heard in Israel. And the secularists listened and sought to help them, since they decided that they, too were the enemies of the Orhodox in Israel.

    Arthur Hertzberg, a self-confessed apikorus and kofer be’ikur, made the quip twenty years ago that a picture of the Lubavitcher Rebbe as large as that of Herzl should be put up in the WZO assembly as his influence in shaping it (for the worse, from our point of view) was so great.

  43. Asher Heber says:

    BenShaul “and yes there is something different about chabad. Perhaps we can start by the fact that there almost isn’t a single mitzva that they do in the same way!! And I dont mean that they do it like other chasidim. They have made perhaps minor , but still changes, in the way chabad preforms many mitzvos that is different than anyone else in klal yisroel”
    “There almost isn’t a single mitzvah that they (Lubavitch)do in the same way”.If you are referring to minhagim yes you are right to a certain degree but no more so then other various factions in klall Yisroel that differ from one another. However when it comes to Mitzvos what do we do different then Klall Yisroel? Being in the month of Adar rishon your above statement smacks of that which Haman said to Achashveirosh “Yeshnoi am echod mefoozor oomforod bain hoamim…….” or perhaps the statement of the rosha during the Seder “ma hoavoda hazos lochem”.
    I am not saying that you are a Haman or a rosho Chas vichollila ,however your condemnation of Lubavitch for the above reasons ring of,for want of a better term,”bashing”.

  44. Chaim Wolfson says:

    “Thanks to land concessions and “peace agreements” over 1000 Jews were murdered in Arab terror attacks in our cities and towns. Thanks to keeping the word “KeHalachah” out of the Law of Return there are now up to 1 million Goyim officially considered Jews living in the “Jewish State” (Comment by CR — February 20, 2008 @ 11:51 am).

    The presence of hundreds of thousands of Russian non-Jews in Eretz Yisrael today has nothing to do the “Mi Hu Yehudi” debate. They are there because of the clause in the Law of Return that grants automatic Israeli citizenship to the non-Jewish spouses of Jews and to non-Jews who claim at least one Jewish grandparent. They did not enter the country as Jews, and they never underwent any type of “giyur”, “k’halachah” or otherwise. As matters stand now, at least, if the Rabbis who are agitating for the wholesale conversion of these Russians without insisting on “kabbalas ol mitzvos” are succesful, people will already be used to the fact that the nationality written in someone’s “teudat zahut” is not reliable proof of his halachic status.

    And Rav Shach never advocated returning land unconditionally. What he held is that holding onto land is not worth the price of a single Jewish life. He was for returning land if that would bring true peace and save lives, not for entering blindly into “peace agreements” that consist only of empty promises (what Ehud Barak once termed “the peace of the ostrich”). If you are looking to history to provide a verdict on such a position, then the peace treaty with Egypt would be a far better example than Oslo.

  45. benshaul says:

    Asher Herber, I really don’t want to get into an ongoing debate. but to respond to your comment [just this once]. I am well aware of the difference between a minhag and mitzva, and of course everyone has their own minhagim. I myself have minhogim from family , My point is that chabad doesn’t just have minhagim -they have literally made changes in the the way in which they do every mitzva. so much so that “margilei bipuma dininsha-how does chabad do this”- as quoted in khakdomo to luach of kollel chabad.

    as i said i hang around chasideshe kriezen so i am familiar with minhogey chasidim. chabad does it different than all other chasidim, and to an extent unparalleled by anyone else.

    just to list a few -lets start from beginning of day. [w/o getting into the halachic details of the differences, I leave that to you to know …]
    the tzitzis are different , need a gartel around tzitzis, seder habrochos, nusach hatefilah, atifas hatalis, tallis itself, hanochas hatifilen, the ksav (w/is kineged the psak of the Admor hazokein -as mentioned in igros moshe) , kesher batim, seder kadeshim,hagboh, wearing of gartel only for married,
    we forgot to mention the “chiyuv” of eating before davening against the psak of admor hazokein.

    this is just in the first 2 hours of the day!!!!
    a few more [i am not that much of expert on minhogei chabad] amiras tehillim for elul -a kabolo claimed in name of BESH”T , that no other chasidim have, silichos are different.
    sukah -not sleeping in it, -against the psak of admor hazokein. a practice NEVER mentioned in kisvey chabad till maharyatz!
    not decorating sukkah -except for pictures of rebbe and 770
    order of tying lulav, ushpizin of 7 chabad rebbes (really now!!)
    single girls bentching licht, menorah in public, different shape menorah.

    and something that will come up in next year the brocho of shehechyonu on birchas hachamoh, again a new innovation of chabad kineged ALL poskim.

    THIS without being an expert in halacha or minhogei chabad.
    yes all chasidim have SOME diffrent minhogim , and it can be argued that many of these changes [but not all] have a mekor in halacha, but that is missing the point. this is a lot and i have just given a small sample….

    btw -cute response ,but you ignored the substance!!! of the rest of my post…….

  46. Asher Heber says:

    benshaul
    Yes, this is the substance of most of your post.I am not going to nor do I have to apologize for minhagai Chabad. I thought the issue here was Meshichistim.I for one am definitely not one now and before gimmel Tammuz was an agnostic at the most .I feel, just as I am sure you do, that this is an aberration to Torah yiddishkiet. Even If I felt it my duty to be apologetic I doubt that this forum is the place nor do I have the time to give an answer to all of your so called taines against Chabad. The fact is for some reason these minhagim or mitzvos that you question seem to be an obsession with you. Dr.Berger who also seems to be obsessed with some of the issues you bring up, one of them being the shape of the Menorah which he claims is the new symbol of the “closest religion to Judaisim”.
    If he and you were to bother looking at Rashi and the Rambam you wouldn’t question it.There are certain editions of Rambam that have a drawing of it made by the Rambam’s son.
    I will reiterate again.This simply is demonizing a whole sector of klal Yisroel.Glatt tzu krichen of gleicher vent? (impossible to translate from the yiddish).

  47. Lawrence M. Reisman says:

    With regard to the exchange between BenShaul and Rabbi Heber, the forum is, as Rabbi Heber said, supposed to be about Meshichisten. And I will agree that some of the comments have been rather obnoxious (the “poison” references, for example)

    However, several of the Lubavitchers on the forum have said that the Meshichist issue is nothing more than an excuse to bash Chabad, and then go on the warpath against those who criticize Chabad for any reason. An extreme example of this comes from Rabbi Heber, “The greatest Mesiras Nefesh that most of the Chabad bashers have is what color designer gatges to put on in the morning and they have the audacity to villify Chabad and its Shluchim.” (“Hopeful Sign For Chabad? Comment No. 42).

    Once the genie is out of the bottle, it’s difficult to get it back in. Rabbi Heber does not need to defend Chabad minhagim, but he should realize that when so many of them put Chabad practice at variance with most if not nearly all of the observant community, it creates a pattern and sends a message. (I will admit there are other chasidim with minhagim at variance with the “norm.” However, in my experience, none with so many, and none who promote theirs with such effort. My son learned in the Stoliner yeshiva for five years. There are quite a few unusual Stoliner minhagim, but my son never learned any of them. The yeshiva kept them out of the chinuch, at least for non-Stoliners.

    I would also like to add a point about the “shape of the menorah” issue. It is true that there are mekoros for the shape Chabad uses. However, until the last 25 years or so, menorahs of that shape were never so visible or ubiquitous. It’s as if Chabad took a symbol from chazal and started putting it up all over the map where it had never been seen before. This is why people have taken exception.

  48. Asher Heber says:

    Lawrence Reisman “It’s as if Chabad took a symbol from chazal and started putting it up all over the map where it had never been seen before”
    If someone comes along, be he A Lubavitcher or any other individual or individuals, and points out a mistake that has been perpetuated by us for hundreds of years (and its not just “some mekoros” .Rashi and Rambam are very clear on this issue)it would be in the norm to accept it, but here comes the rub.The lubavitcher rebbi said it,it’s another Chabadtzger meshugas,They don’t know what their talking about etc..I assure you that if some Litveshe godol would have pointed out this error, nobody would say that he “put it all over the map where it has never been seen before” but would have accepted it as Das Torah which it is.
    You walk into most shuls and look at the rendering of the shnei Luchos on the poroiches you again find a mistake thats been perpetuated for hundreds of years.The luchos according to a befeirishe Michaelangelo.This is wrong Lechol hadaos.Yet Lubavitcher shuls and botai medrushem are the only ones that render the Luchos as described by Chazal.Again for the same reasons mentioned above, and this type of villification goes along ad nauseum throughout this thread.
    The worst taina that I find ,besides the meshichist issue ,was that we eat before Davining.The Rayatz said “es iz besser tzu essen tzulib der davinin vi davinin tzulib der essen”
    Perhaps I was a bit over the top with the “gatges” analogy. I probably can attribute that to the frustration I feel, and many other Chabadniks feel to, wallowing thru the slander being thrown at us.
    If I have in any way insulted any individual or group in any one of my posts,I ask mechilla.

  49. Moshe says:

    Lawrence M. Reisman writes:
    “Chabad took a symbol from chazal and started putting it up all over the map where it had never been seen before.”

    Whats so terrible for spreading a view from Chazal? The fact it’s “all over the map” – is only because Chabad is “all over the map”. Why is that to be held against us? The fact Chabad pops up everywhere is somehow now held against us. Why?

    There are yidden “all over the map” who are dying a spiritual death. Secularism, etc. is a mortal enemy to the Yidishe nation. When will the velt wake up that its time to put some gloves on and fight the “fire” that is consuming the vast majority of Yidden. You probably know the statistics; how many of todays reform and conservative grandchildren will be Jewish in 2 generations? It aint pretty the forecast. There is a fire going on. A holocaust. Let’s get to work.

  50. benshaul says:

    Thank you Mr. Reisman for pointing out , what I had thought obvious. But to be fair to Asher Herber, I had put this comment on the OTHER post and I was responding to some of the comments there especially Moshe Weiss who felt that the taino against meshichistm was an excuse to “bash” chabad ,and that the non-chabad were looking for reasons to knock chabad altogether , and the sinah that the litvishe velt supposedly has for chabad. (but the moderator moved it here)
    If you go back and reread my comments in that angle I think my comment will be less offensive and more defensive , which is how I meant it. and I think the point is still being missed. of course chabad like anyone else has a right to have its own minhogim etc, and yes they do have mekoros in halach(although not all)but when you do things different from EVERYONE ELSE it ends up with unintended consequences. I didnt come to bash chabad because of that , just to point out a possible source of the way chabad is viewed as different. and it was a small part of what I wrote. The substance of my post was and is that there never existed this supposed sinah towards chabad specifically that some claim there was, but today there is a very wary veiw of chabad because not-withstanding claims of anti meshichistim , it [belief in rebbe as moshiach ] is alive and well. dottos about reb yoel kahn comments, or the veiw expressed to a member of my family re frum vs. frei.
    As far as the condescension, I stand by my words!! I live with chabad , work with them , went to school with them , and methink the shoe is on the other foot

  51. concerned Yid says:

    These post may not have settled the question of who is or isnt Moshiach but they have sadly, demonstrated very clearly why he is NOT here

  52. Yaakov says:

    Unfortunately I am not surprised by the virulent “chabad-bashers” that keep rearing their heads whenever the terms “Chabad” or “Lubavitch” appear on the screen. There is an old saying that for the believer there are no questions and for the skeptic there are no answers. No point arguing with them, for nothing (regardless how well reasoned or documented) will divert them from their blind bias. What is upsetting, however, is the crude ignorance and falsehoods in their posts.
    Take post 20: “I challenge anybody to go to any Chabad shul and find any Siddur besides an Ari siddur. Every other shul in the world has every nusach etc. even if they daven a different one.” This is a blatant (two-fold) lie as is easily verifiable by facts. At least 75% of Chabad Shuhls have a variety of sidurim with different nuscho’os, even though the official nusach is Arizal and therefore the majority of sidurim reflct this. On the other hand, in 75% of “every other shul” you will not find sidurim differing from their nusach (unless someone fro a differing nusach davening there leaves his sidur there for convenience).
    He continues: “Every person in the world would use something other poskim said was ok even if those poskim were from a different community if the necessity was great, example a Mikva. Why will Chabad only use Bor Al Gabei Bor and if they come into a town immediately change the Mikvah?”
    Again a lie. Lots of Chabadniks will and do use a mikveh that is not bor al gabei bor if there is no alternative. When they build a mikveh, they would build bor al gabei bor because that is the most ideal form of mikveh not only according to Chabad but also according to numerous non-Chabad poskim. In fact, very often Chabad builds mikvaot that have bor al gabei bor and simultaneously an additional bor adjacent to mikveh to accommodate all views.

    Post 45 writes: “the tzitzis are different , need a gartel around tzitzis, seder habrochos, nusach hatefilah, atifas hatalis, tallis itself, hanochas hatifilen, the ksav (w/is kineged the psak of the Admor hazokein -as mentioned in igros moshe) , kesher batim, seder kadeshim,hagboh, wearing of gartel only for married… amiras tehillim for elul -a kabolo claimed in name of BESH”T , that no other chasidim have, silichos are different.
    sukah -not sleeping in it” et cetera ad nauseam.

    I challenge benshaul to find a single one of these “minhagim” that are not either me’ikkar halachah or well-founded in halachah, or at least in hidur mitzvah! Moreover, I challenge him to find a single one of these that is not practiced by some others as well for these very reasons.
    By the same token, I challenge him to find a single “other” group that does not have its own customs and practices. And this applies not only to differing Chassidic groups ( just look at the plethora of published anthologies of unique minhagim in differing dynasties – Tzans, Rizhin, Koidenov, Spinka, Karlin, Munkatch, Zyditchov etc. etc.). The only difference may be that in the other groups these are followed by “beis horav” and those close to them – even as it used to be in Chabad before these minhogim were published and discussed by their Rabeyim.

    For that matter, different Sefardic communities have altogether differing customs. Likewise with non-Chassidic Ashkenazim. The minhagei Hagro differed radically from the norm and were/are followed only by the “perushim”, the close circle of the Gra’s disciples and their descendants. Nowadays you also have the published practices and customs followed by the disciples of the Chazon Ish and the Steipler. The Chazon Ish’s she’urim etc. are a revolutionary change from universal norms. And then, of course, you have the unique practices of Brisk, and the list goes on and on.
    In the eyes of these critics/skeptics, however, “only” Chabad his diverged from “klal Yisroel” with its minhagim, and therefore must be condemned! The facts speak for themselves, so go and open your eyes for a change.

  53. Ori says:

    May I add a thought here?

    One of the common complaints against Chabad here is that they change the Mesorah, the traditions of the Jewish people. Never having received most of the Mesorah myself I am not competent to have an opinion on that.

    What I do know, however, is that different environments require different customs. Take for example candle lighting at an Orthodox family. The father just got back from synagogue. The mother worked hard all day to prepare for Shabbat. The table is set, and soon the mother will light the candles, the father will do Kiddush, and then the family will all eat together. Shabbat is and have always been a meaningful part of their lives. There is no reason for the six years old daughter to light her own candles.

    Take the same situation at an assimilated family. The father is sitting in front of the computer or the TV. The mother is microwaving some TV dinners for the kids. The parents know that this is Shabbat, but it doesn’t mean much for them.

    In this environment, it is very useful to have the six year old daughter remember how much she enjoys lighting candles and ask her parents to let her do that. This is the environment where Chabad is trying to inject Judaism, and therefore it makes sense for Chabad to say it’s good for six year old girls to light candles. I wonder how many Chabad customs are different for that reason.

    Shabbat Shalom / Shavua Tov, depending on when you read this.

  54. Michoel says:

    I think someone mentioned on the previous Chabad thread that seeing the values conveyed to the children is a good way to know where the heart of a society is. I had a related thought, also connected to the subject of distinct customs.

    Lubavitchers share with Klal Yisrael the custom of naming children after their manhigim and tzadikim. Witness, the many Shneur Zalmans and Dov Bers in Chabad communities. I would like to know how many Menachem Mendels there are amongst the non-meshichist Lubavitchers. In Satmar, a very large percentage of men in the 26-27 age group are named Yoel, as nearly every family that had a boy soon after the Rebbe’s perira chose that name, unless they had an actual chiyuv. We would expect to find the same in Chabad. Please correct me if I am wrong, but there are actually very few Menachem Mendels. If so, we could take this a strong indication of a lack of sincerity amongst the so called non-meshichists.

    PLEASE, correct me if I am wrong and I apologize up front if there are actually large numbers of Menachem Mendels of which I am not aware.

  55. Peleg Strauss says:

    In my experience, I have also bumped into people who bash Chabad.

    First, just to clarify things, I am not Lubavitch, but I daven in a Chabad shule and I have hung around with them, off and on, for decades.

    Now, I listen to their anti- rantings, and then I ask, what is their personal experience with Lubavitchers? Do they know any very well? Often the answer is, “No”. I then point out the weakness of their position because they are only recounting lashon hara. It usually doesn’t matter and I just stop responding and listen, as I don’t think I’m going to accomplish anything positive by argueing.

    Sure, Lubavitchers ain’t perfect. They certainly are big fans of their mesora, and their rebbe, maybe too much. But I like to look at the good side of person. We all have our flaws. If we were only judged by our flaws, we could all be deemed rashoim. When I was looking to get married, when I was asked what I was looking for in a wife, about the only requirement I had was that I was looking for someone who could love me in spite of my flaws.

    I love Chabad in spite of their flaws. I love the YU folks in spite of their flaws. We are all Klal Yisroel, and we owe each other no less. And part of that love is respect, and civil discourse and disagreement.

    One unique strength of Chabad that I rarely if ever hear mentioned is their Ahavas Yisroel. They are about as good as it gets in this regard. I think Moishe himself would find them admirable in this regard. Think of it. Who goes voluntarily to the most inhospitable places in the world just to take care of other Jews? And it’s not a hobby, like it is for so many of us, but a life dedicated to such persuits. Sure, there are others who do it. They set up shop in such terrible places as Brooklyn, Baltimore, Cleveland, LA. You don’t find Aish branches in places like small-town campuses. Not that I fault Aish, they do valuable work, it’s just that there is meserash nefesh, and then there is meserash nefesh.

    I also get really upset when I see these Rebbe-Moshiah banners and signs all over the place. It’s not that I really care what a guy’s personal religious beliefs are. That is a matter between him and Hashem, and it’s none of my business. However, the Rebbe dedicated a major part of his life to building a movement with one purpose – to bring Jews back. In my eyes, that is enough reason to hold him in the highest esteem. If you want to throw in his learning and other wonderful character traits, it only adds to the honor that he deserves. And until his death, I don’t think I recall any serious objections to the Rebbe. But now, these M’s, perhaps with the best intentions, but misguided nevertheless, are, by their actions, causing this great man to be subjected to insults and dishonor, and I can’t forgive them for that — and I’m not even a Lubavitcher!!!

    One reason I hang out so much with with Chabad is, even if you want to say that they are stuck with their own siddur and Shulchan Aruch and customs, is that I have never known a place where someone with a different derech can feel as welcome and accepted. Ever notice how a Chabad shule tends to attact a rather motely crowd of social misfits and weird-o’s? It drives a lot of people away from such minyans. But that’s a big mistake. Think about why such lost souls find a place among Chabad. It seems to me that Chabad will accept, even love them, and take care of them, when others won’t. What does that say about their inner essence? Isn’t that how we are supposed to treat other Jews? How come only Chabad is famous for it? Shouldn’t all shules aspire to be a haven for the outcasts and rejects?

    And in some ways, it depends on how you look at these outcasts and social rejects. I’ve noticed that they are often some of the finest people around. Sure, they don’t have much fashion-sense. They don’t seem to care about such nonsense. They are not objectionable if you only realize that they are not concerned about the externialities and facade that so many of us erect around ourselves. They are often kind, sensitive, caring individuals. Rough diamonds, perhaps. Often full of midos that we can aspire to. But because they don’t dress nice, a lot of people are afraid to get close to them. Pity.

    In the end, I choose to surround myself with people of uncommon character. I look around my shule, at the Lubavitchers and the hangers-on, and I am happy and satisfied. I’ve found a place where some of the finest Erlich Yidden congregate and I want to be among the finest.

    (click) Rant Off

  56. Asher Heber says:

    “PLEASE, correct me if I am wrong and I apologize up front if there are actually large numbers of Menachem Mendels of which I am not aware”.
    Comment by Michoel

    Oich mer an avlah! Have we reached the point where we can’t find a worse complaint about Chabad?
    If you walk into any Lubavitcher Chinuch Mosad and call out the name “MENACHEM MENDELLLLl….” you will have hundreds of children responding to your call.I have three grandchildren with that name which can be a quite a cause of confusion when the whole family gets together on rare occasions.I say rare because all my children are shluchim.Some in the farthest reaches of the world. So yes I am correcting you. Apology accepted.

  57. bag says:

    “1) Yes the Shulchan Oruch HaRav is a major acharon, but he’s not the only one and the halachah is sometimes not like he says. Is Chabad prepared to acknowledge that?”

    I am not Chabad. Nonetheless, I don’t know what you are talking about. All Poland followed SAHarav! The litvishe followed the Chayei Adam, and subsequently the Aruch hashulchan and Mishna Brura. The talmidim of the SAHarav (lubavitchers) and others who have always followed SAHarav (various Polish chassidim) can continue to follow him! Different communities will follow somewhat different poskim and this is how it always was, and how it should be.

    “Perhaps I wasn’t clear but I do feel my comments are entirely fair. For a Lubavitcher, if the Shulchan Aruch says “A” and another source says “B”, then the halachah is “A” for everyone, even non-Lubavitchers.”

    This has nothing to do with Lubavitch. For example, I was once in the sukkah in an apartment building and a chassidishe guy came over to an Oberlander and said “who eats in the sukkah shmini atzeres? Not heimishe yidden!” The Oberlander said, the gemara says to eat shmini atzeres! The chassidische guy was stunned to learn that it’s the minhag not to eat that requires justification, if any minhag does. He had no idea. I have encountered the concept that it’s not “heimish” to eat in the sukkah on SA from others too.
    I guarantee that there are litvishe who think that “the halacha” is what the MB says and will tells others, who may be following the Aruch Hashulchan or the SAHarav what they’ve learned in MB. This is parochialism, nothing else.
    Not everyone is going to be expert in all halacha seforim – halvei everyone who follows SAHarav knew all SAHarav, those who follow MB were experts in MB, etc

Pin It on Pinterest