Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The people that believe that the Rebbe is alive.

(continued from previous post)
The point that I am getting at, of course, is that there is a strong tradition within Judaism to say that, when Torah contradicts an event that one witnessed, one dimply denies the event, and treats it as a Nisayon. A well known example of this is the Midrash about Avraham on the way to the Akeidah.
While many may disagree with this approach, it certainoly has its place within the Jewish world.
The Tzfatim believe that every word of the Rebbe is Torah. They further believe, based on several statements that the Rebbe made, that the Rebbe assured the Chassidim that he would not die. As such, they deny the fact of the Rebbe's death.
Now, after the Rebbe passed away, in 1994, there was obviously a large disagreement over this, and many other issues. In 1996, the most extreme Tzfatim found themselves to be a significant portion of the Yeshiva in 770, and decided that, in order to demonstrate their position, they would begin holding Tefilot at the traditional time of the Rebbe's Tefillot. They also began a campaign to encourage Israeli Bochurim to travel to New York each Tishrei, to "spend Tishrei with the Rebbe."
Each year, the visiting group would come up with a new way to demonstrate that "nothing has changed." One year, they added "the Rebbe's Lulav." Another year, making a path for the Rebbe to "walk" through. This has taken on a life of its own.
The obvious question is: If very few people in Lubavitch actually believe that the Rebbe is alive, why do they allow this to go on.
I think that the answer lies in several areas.
1) Although they don't agree that the Rebbe is alive, many Lubavitchers do believe that the Rebbe is Moshiach. As such, they are hesitant to "take on" such a vibrant, energetic group that is more or less aligned with their way of feeling.
2) Many people with whom I have spoken believe that, while the Rebbe did pass away, he is still our Rebbe. Thus, they feel that proactively fighting this group is "cooling off Emunah."
3) Many residents of Crown Heights relish the sense of vitality that these people bring when they come for Tishrei. For years, Crown Heights would take on an incredible energy during Tishrei, and the Tzfatim bring that energy, still.
Now, it is important to stress that, while most Lubavitchers disagree with these people, they do understand where they are coming from. They do not view them as psychotic, or dangerous.
My personal opinion is that these people are wrong.
While I do not disagree with the premise that when there is an out and out contradiction between the Torah and the world, that one should believe in Torah and deny world, I nevertheless feel that this idea should be used very, very sparingly. I do not think that the few statements of the Rebbe, which ought to be interpreted as hopeful wishes, rather than predictions. rise to this level at all.
I also feel that Lubavitch is doing itself a great disservice by allowing the Tzfatim to run 770. I believe that their approach to this issue shows a fatal theological immaturity, and it is a great mark of shame on those Lubavitch leaders who believe in the continuing Nesiut of the Rebbe to allow this to go on unchecked.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:58 PM  
Blogger Mishichist said...

I pointed to this link in my previous post abou this subject.

5:57 AM  
Blogger AharonBenjamin said...

With regards to the topic of the Rebbe still being alive - I would like to call your attention to the following article:

Leader of the 36 hidden Tzaddikim
Ten years ago we entered with a few of the people of Chevron to an old house in Maale Edomim. In the house lived an old man 90+, and we were told that he's a Mekubal Rabbi. After some time Rabbi Baruch Shapira, ztzvk"l told us that he is from the 36 tzadikim nistarim, and he's their head). We of course doubted it and not really believed it until he told us that he was a true prophet and started to tell us prophecies that all came true in that year. After he was niftar Rabbi Mordechay Eliyahu attended his funreal and told us: "know that he was one of the 36 tzadikim nistarim".

And this was what was said by the same tzadik 10 years ago, and the things were written and videoed by Yoram Sharabi of Chevron, Telelphone 02-9968770 (that's 972-2-9968770 from the golus):

1) The Lubavitcher Rebbe is Melech HaMoshiach, only few will believe in him, and I also sinned in this matter.
2) Today you should rely only on Rabbi Mordechay Eliyahu. He's the biggest of Mekubalm, and only he should be trusted.
3) There will come a day when settlements in Gaza area will be evacuated and handed over to the enemy. After the Jews will leave, Hakadosh-Baruch-Hu will shake the sea and will make an earthquake in the sea near Gaza, and will come a very great wave that will wash the whole are that will become islands. Immediately afterwards the Jews will return to the area, and this is a great miracle that will happen.

If you want, publish it. You can ask Rabbi Yoram Sharabi Shlita of Chevron in the telephone above. There's also a rare video, adn anyone who wants should ask the honorable Rabbi Eliyahu if this is true or is this another invention, G-d forbid.

Post by "One who saw and heard" (email:

Amazing how right this is, I saw the video.

[On the tape] you don't hear about the tsunami, but people who heard him say that he said it, that Gush Katif will be sent away and the earth will shake in the way of "harim k'donag namasu" (tehillim) and a great wave will come.

I know someone who was there and heard and publicized his words at that time, and today people are coming to him and reminding him of what he publicized in the name of the Rav.

In the video the Rav does mention something amazing, that the Lubavitcher Rebbe is alive and he only went to beseech rachamim from those who have passed away...

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Nachman said...

Do you realize that this logic can bring to a new form of Holocaust denial, based on the words of the Arizal, that there will be no more "shmadot".

2:38 PM  

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