Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Judaism's Thriving Concern
LA Times ^ | June 22, 2004 | William Lobdell

Posted on 06/22/2004 12:10:37 PM PDT by Alouette

If the non-Jewish public is even vaguely aware of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, it's probably because its annual telethon draws celebrities including Adam Sandler, Michael Douglas, James Caan, Whoopi Goldberg and Anthony Hopkins.

But within the Jewish world, this small branch of Judaism is generating outsized levels of interest — and concern.

On the one hand, Chabad — with its rigorous observance of Jewish law and rabbis in long beards and wide-brimmed black hats — has become an island of growth, innovation and success at a time of aging synagogue memberships and stagnant population elsewhere among American Jews.

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: americanjews; chabad; gimmeltamuz; lubavitch; messiah
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-84 next last
Apart from the obligatory statements by some nasty jealous rabbis whose own movements aren't as successful, I thought this was pretty inspiring coming from the LA Times which always hates all things religious (except Islam)

I wish they would write an article like this about a successful evangelical church.

BTW my family are NOT "meshikhisten" (messianists)

1 posted on 06/22/2004 12:10:37 PM PDT by Alouette
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: 1bigdictator; 1st-P-In-The-Pod; 2sheep; 7.62 x 51mm; A Jovial Cad; a_witness; adam_az; af_vet_rr; ..
FRmail me to be added or removed from this Judaic/pro-Israel ping list.

WARNING: This is a high volume ping list

2 posted on 06/22/2004 12:11:22 PM PDT by Alouette ("Your children like olive trees seated round your table." -- Psalm 128:3)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alouette

I knew that Adam Sandler was Jewish but I had no idea that he might be conservative, as many Lubavitchers are.


3 posted on 06/22/2004 12:16:03 PM PDT by DallasMike
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alouette

I can't decide what I think about this movement - in the past I've been in touch with the local Chabad in my area, and they are truly very nice, warm, welcoming people. I just couldn't get my head around viewing this Rabbi as the Messiah, so I ended up not being interested. Since then, though, I've read various articles giving different opinions of this movement - some go as far as to call it a cult, which I disagree with, but it may be true that by aiming to reach out to Jewish people who feel they are missing something they are targeting people who are most likely to jump at the chance to feel a part of Judaism again. THat was the case with me. I guess I'm somewhere in the middle on them - I'm just not sure where the line between outreach and opportunism is.


4 posted on 06/22/2004 12:17:42 PM PDT by livianne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DallasMike; Zionist Conspirator

Chabad gets a lot of high-profile celebrities to participate in their telethon who are not observant or even Jewish.

I think the only Hollywood celeb (since "Dr. Laura" dropped out last year) who follows the faith is Jon Voight, a "Noachide." Can't say the same about his daughter, though.


5 posted on 06/22/2004 12:20:29 PM PDT by Alouette ("Your children like olive trees seated round your table." -- Psalm 128:3)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: livianne

They're the happiest Jews in New York, and possibly the world.


6 posted on 06/22/2004 12:21:38 PM PDT by thoughtomator (The New York Times: All the Lies that Fit the Socialist Agenda)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Alouette

I've read Berger's book. There are widely varying estimates of the number and influence of the messianists in Chabad. What is your perspective?


7 posted on 06/22/2004 12:22:17 PM PDT by malakhi
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: livianne
I just couldn't get my head around viewing this Rabbi as the Messiah

That is not something my family believes in, and two of my sons married into very prominent Chabad families who repudiate this view.

I'm just not sure where the line between outreach and opportunism is.

Opportunism is when they keep pestering you for money.

8 posted on 06/22/2004 12:24:22 PM PDT by Alouette ("Your children like olive trees seated round your table." -- Psalm 128:3)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: livianne

I recall reading some years back that this group had built an exact replica of their shabby Brooklyn warehouse synagogue somewhere out in the Israeli desert, so that the Messiah (meaning Schneerson, of course) would feel "at home" when he returned. Sounded mighty kooky to me, albeit in a harmless way. But from this article it sounds as if the leadership of the group is very tolerant of its kookier subsets, so perhaps it was just one of those subsets, rather than top leadership, that was behind the warehouse replica project.


9 posted on 06/22/2004 12:28:06 PM PDT by GovernmentShrinker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: thoughtomator
They're the happiest Jews in New York, and possibly the world.

Why do you say that? I'm curious where that assertion comes from. I mean, I know lots of Jewish people, though certainly not enough to judge which lot is the happiest in any state.

10 posted on 06/22/2004 12:28:14 PM PDT by livianne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: malakhi
I've read Berger's book.

Berger's book is an ugly hit piece written by a bitter, angry and jealous man. Sue Fishkoff's "The Rebbe's Army" is a much more objective and balanced book.

There are pockets of silly messianists in Crown Heights and Israel, but the shluchim and the movement's leadership have moved on.

In the LA Times article you will find a quote from Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky which exactly describes Alouette's opinion of the "messianists." BTW my son is married to Rabbi Krinsky's granddaughter.

11 posted on 06/22/2004 12:30:56 PM PDT by Alouette ("Your children like olive trees seated round your table." -- Psalm 128:3)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: livianne

Personal experience. I'm Jewish myself and familiar with a variety of Jewish communities. The Lubavitchers (sp) have none of the nagging self-doubt that is epidemic with the rest of us - they are confident and prosperous.


12 posted on 06/22/2004 12:31:52 PM PDT by thoughtomator (The New York Times: All the Lies that Fit the Socialist Agenda)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Alouette
That is not something my family believes in, and two of my sons married into very prominent Chabad families who repudiate this view.

I do understand that there are many Chabad people and families who do not view him as the Messiah, but (and this is for me personally, not for anyone else) I have a problem with becoming a part of the movement when such emphasis is placed on that one man. It was something that made me feel uncomfortable.

Opportunism is when they keep pestering you for money.

true, but in a movement that is aimed at growing in size, seizing on a chance to gain new membership and new followers to this sect of Judaism could also be a form of opportunism.

I want to be really clear so I don't offend you or anyone else - I don't have a negative OR positive view on Chabad, though I have determined that it isn't right for me. But I do have some curiosities about it, and since this thread came up it seemed a good opportunity to discuess.

13 posted on 06/22/2004 12:33:31 PM PDT by livianne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Alouette

Boobkmarking to try to read the article later.

I have a Chabad Lubovitch (School? what do you call them) occupying what was the YWCA building at the entrance to my community. I've wondered who and what they were.

Anyone have a user logon to the latimes? Not sure I want to give them any "real" information.


14 posted on 06/22/2004 12:36:35 PM PDT by TruthNtegrity (We must all work hard to insure Pres. Bush's re-election by a landslide!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thoughtomator
Personal experience. I'm Jewish myself and familiar with a variety of Jewish communities. The Lubavitchers (sp) have none of the nagging self-doubt that is epidemic with the rest of us - they are confident and prosperous.

i'm suspicious of any group in which there is no self-doubt. it's only through self-doubt that we find ways to improve ourselves. That said, I know what you are saying - there does seem to be a growing sense of unease among many other groups of Judaism, especially as the reform movement becomes increasingly liberal - leaves folks like me in a sort of a limbo.

15 posted on 06/22/2004 12:38:00 PM PDT by livianne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: TruthNtegrity; Alouette
Anyone have a user logon to the latimes? Not sure I want to give them any "real" information.

Here is a different link to the article (courtesy of Google News): Judaism's Thriving Concern

16 posted on 06/22/2004 12:40:46 PM PDT by malakhi
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: livianne

They're unapologetically devout - that's their prerogative. I know of no antagonistic behavior from that group with respect to outsiders, which I find to be very unusual. I'm naturally skeptical myself, but I can't find fault with them.


17 posted on 06/22/2004 12:41:48 PM PDT by thoughtomator (The New York Times: All the Lies that Fit the Socialist Agenda)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Alouette
Berger's book is an ugly hit piece written by a bitter, angry and jealous man.

He seemed pretty exercised, particularly about the fact that other Orthodox didn't take his concerns all that seriously. I read it with a healthy grain of salt.

There are pockets of silly messianists in Crown Heights and Israel, but the shluchim and the movement's leadership have moved on.

That seems a reasonable approach if the messianist "movement" is indeed waning rather than waxing. This is the kind of thing where you aren't likely to change people's minds. Better to let the passage of time take care of the problem.

18 posted on 06/22/2004 12:47:32 PM PDT by malakhi
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: thoughtomator
They're unapologetically devout - that's their prerogative. I know of no antagonistic behavior from that group with respect to outsiders, which I find to be very unusual. I'm naturally skeptical myself, but I can't find fault with them.

I guess that's fairly well where I am as well - skeptical, but I've seen nothing that shows them to be anything but what they say they are. And one paragraph in the article sort of resonates - that critics of Chabad feel guilty themselves for their failure to follow even basic Jewish traditions and laws. I think there is a lot of that feeling of guilt, mixed with the desire to live "normally", to blend in, that sort of thing.

Maybe a group that makes you question your own level of observation is easier to ridicule than to face...

19 posted on 06/22/2004 12:52:41 PM PDT by livianne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Alouette
I don't have a password to read the article.

I don't know why CHaBa"D would have people like Whoopi Goldberg participate in their telethon, though. I mean, 'Aish I could understand, but not CHaBa"D.

20 posted on 06/22/2004 12:53:40 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Kisei' vaMizbeach! (BiYrushalayim HaBenuyah!!))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dennisw; Cachelot; Yehuda; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; ...

If you'd like to be on or off this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.


21 posted on 06/22/2004 12:54:08 PM PDT by SJackson (They're not Americans. They're just journalists, Col George Connell, USMC)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alouette

Denis Prager usually hosts the telethon.


22 posted on 06/22/2004 1:00:36 PM PDT by FreedomSurge
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Alouette

Odd timing, today’s the tenth Yahrtziet of the Rebbe's passing, though it's not mentioned in the article.


23 posted on 06/22/2004 1:01:32 PM PDT by SJackson (They're not Americans. They're just journalists, Col George Connell, USMC)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: livianne; Alouette
. I just couldn't get my head around viewing this Rabbi as the Messiah,

As far as I knew, most Lubavitchers do not think Rebbe Schneerson was the messiah.

24 posted on 06/22/2004 1:04:40 PM PDT by Bella_Bru (It's for the children = It takes a village)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Alouette

Your tagline is one of my Favs...and I don't even have children!


25 posted on 06/22/2004 1:04:53 PM PDT by Ann Archy (Abortion: The Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Alouette

Jon Voight is JEWISH????


26 posted on 06/22/2004 1:06:36 PM PDT by Ann Archy (Abortion: The Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Alouette

Never mind . . . I read the full article at the link provided later in the thread.


27 posted on 06/22/2004 1:09:03 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Kisei' vaMizbeach! (BiYrushalayim HaBenuyah!!))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ann Archy; Zionist Conspirator
Jon Voight is JEWISH????

No, he is a "Noachide" a non-Jew who accepts the Covenant G-D made with Noah after the flood. ZC can explain this.

28 posted on 06/22/2004 1:14:50 PM PDT by Alouette ("Your children like olive trees seated round your table." -- Psalm 128:3)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Alouette
Jon Voight is JEWISH????

No, he is a "Noachide" a non-Jew who accepts the Covenant G-D made with Noah after the flood. ZC can explain this.

Wow. I haven't heard anything about this. Noachism simply doesn't seem to make noise. We aren't on anyone's radar screen. Maybe things will change now.

29 posted on 06/22/2004 1:17:58 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Kisei' vaMizbeach! (BiYrushalayim HaBenuyah!!))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Bella_Bru

Pasadena Chabad makes some awesome latkes.


30 posted on 06/22/2004 1:20:44 PM PDT by StoneColdGOP (McClintock - In Your Heart, You Know He's Right)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Alouette

I have friends who dropped out of temple due to increased costs; I know so little of organized religion I generally ignore it.


31 posted on 06/22/2004 1:28:29 PM PDT by Old Professer (Interests in common are commonly abused.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Bella_Bru
As far as I knew, most Lubavitchers do not think Rebbe Schneerson was the messiah.

this is what i have heard is said, but every site I can find regarding Chabad has numerous references to the Rebbe, so even if they are not considering him the Messiah they are still very much concentrated on him. Is that bad? I dunno - but it's something that I have a hard time with personally.

32 posted on 06/22/2004 1:28:44 PM PDT by livianne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: livianne; thoughtomator
i'm suspicious of any group in which there is no self-doubt. it's only through self-doubt that we find ways to improve ourselves.

I think you misunderstand what the poster said about "self-doubt."

"Hillel said: Do not separate yourself from the community; do not be sure of yourself until the day you die; do not condemn your neighbor until you have stood in his place; do not make a statement which is not readily understood thinking that it will eventually be understood." [Pirke Avot 2:4]

Of course Chabad is about self-improvement and always striving to better oneself. No one is perfect. I know I certainly am not.

I think what the poster meant (correct me if I'm wrong) is that we are more confident in our belief that G-D exists and what our mission is on earth.

33 posted on 06/22/2004 1:30:45 PM PDT by Alouette ("Your children like olive trees seated round your table." -- Psalm 128:3)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Alouette

You got it. Of course to have no self-doubt whatsoever would be non-Jewish in nature; we must necessarily doubt and ask questions in order to make our faith all the stronger. However, the kind of left-wing self-hating doubt that is all too common, and the doubt that stems from trying to be secular and devout simultaneously, is not present with the Lubavitchers, in my admittedly limited knowledge of the group.


34 posted on 06/22/2004 1:35:16 PM PDT by thoughtomator (The New York Times: All the Lies that Fit the Socialist Agenda)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Alouette
Of course Chabad is about self-improvement and always striving to better oneself. No one is perfect. I know I certainly am not. I think what the poster meant (correct me if I'm wrong) is that we are more confident in our belief that G-D exists and what our mission is on earth.

Ok, I'm good with that. In fact, I wish I had something near that level of surety, which is what got me looking at Chabad in the first place.

honestly, i'm pretty much utterly confused about my Judaism right now, so I haven't got any opinions that I'm 100% attached to, except that I have to figure it out before I have kids, or how can I raise them Jewish?

On the other hand, when one is looking so hard for something, how does one distinguish between what is right and what presents itself as right?

35 posted on 06/22/2004 1:39:46 PM PDT by livianne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: thoughtomator

May I ask how you classify yourself within Judaism, and do you have that self doubt you talk about? If you don't want to answer that's fine, I don't intend to pry. This thread is touching on things that have been primary in my thoughts lately, so I'm very curious where we all are coming from.


36 posted on 06/22/2004 1:42:02 PM PDT by livianne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: livianne
but every site I can find regarding Chabad has numerous references to the Rebbe, so even if they are not considering him the Messiah they are still very much concentrated on him. Is that bad?

Rebbe Schneerson helped many people and really was the driving force behind so much of Chabad's outreach programs. I don't think it's bad to admire him.

However, on the last telethon, at they end, some people were dancing with a huge portrait of him.

37 posted on 06/22/2004 1:47:24 PM PDT by Bella_Bru (It's for the children = It takes a village)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: StoneColdGOP

Yeah they do!!!


38 posted on 06/22/2004 1:54:37 PM PDT by Bella_Bru (It's for the children = It takes a village)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: livianne

I'm a Conservative Jew, and yes I have that self-doubt/cognitive dissonance of trying to be Jewish in a secular world.


39 posted on 06/22/2004 2:04:08 PM PDT by thoughtomator (The New York Times: All the Lies that Fit the Socialist Agenda)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: Bella_Bru
some people were dancing with a huge portrait of him.

And why would that be any different from some people dancing with a huge portrait of Ronald Reagan at the Republican National Convention?

40 posted on 06/22/2004 2:09:30 PM PDT by Alouette ("Your children like olive trees seated round your table." -- Psalm 128:3)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Alouette
Well, I didn't finish, but because you are already getting defensive, I will. They were chanting 'moshiach' at the time. Which no one shouted at the Republican National Convention, unless they were NUTS.

And no, I do not think that is reprentative of all or even the majority of Lubavitchers at all. However, it gives the wrong impression.

Not to mention at the Israeli Independence Festival up in Encino this year, there was a small plane towing a banner with Rebbe Schneerson's pic on it with 'moshiach' written on it.

If you don't want people to think you are worshipping a rebbe, then don't do things publicly to make people think you are.

41 posted on 06/22/2004 2:38:08 PM PDT by Bella_Bru (It's for the children = It takes a village)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: Bella_Bru
No, he wasn't the messiah. The Rebbe was and is - a tzaddik - a saintly man. He was amazing when he was alive. A child prodigy and extremely learned and full of wisdom. Its rare to find people of such spiritual goodness and stature that you know they're greater than ordinary people. The literature of religion is full of stories of people like this and not just in Judaism. And you can understand why the Rebbe's revered. There may be a few who think he's the messiah but most Chabadniks would tell you he was a righteous man who did a lot of good. And Chabad is a mystical movement that appeals to a lot of people, not all of whom are necessarily Jews, for two reasons: they marry an open approach to the modern world with traditional living and their young people are idealistic and selfless in bringing back Judaism where it seemed to cease to exist. That's why Chabad, unlike some Orthodox and certainly more than a lot of liberal religious groups, is growing by leaps and bounds. Their success as Jews and people of fervent faith can't be argued with.
42 posted on 06/22/2004 2:43:01 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: malakhi
There are pockets of silly messianists in Crown Heights and Israel, but the shluchim and the movement's leadership have moved on.

That seems a reasonable approach if the messianist "movement" is indeed waning rather than waxing. This is the kind of thing where you aren't likely to change people's minds. Better to let the passage of time take care of the problem.

This sounds ironically like the predictions made about the survival of Chassidism and Orthodoxy after WWII. Yeah, they're over, their influence is waning, soon there won't be any Chassidic Jews alive, anachronistic relics of a bygone age. Chabad proved them all wrong with their dedicated, idealistic approach, and I suspect that in the end the Messianists in Chabad will have the last laugh. As most Jews will admit in private, who cares who's right, just let Moshiach come already!

Furthermore, let's compare the kookiness of the Messianists to the Messianic kookiness of Judaism itself. A king will arise from the house of David. He will fight the battles of G-d and be victorious, gather the exiles, rebuild the Holy Temple on the site of the Al-aqsa mosque, and re-institute the Temple services including animal sacrifices. This is no Chabad invention, it's an integral part of Judaism and part of the 13 principals of faith codified by Maimonides. Those who are put off by the Messianism of Chabad need to check their Jewish sources and find whether it is Chabad that puts them off or something that is endemic to Judaism itself.

43 posted on 06/22/2004 5:02:43 PM PDT by alogonquin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: alogonquin
This is no Chabad invention, it's an integral part of Judaism and part of the 13 principals of faith codified by Maimonides. Those who are put off by the Messianism of Chabad need to check their Jewish sources and find whether it is Chabad that puts them off or something that is endemic to Judaism itself.

The problem is not messianism per se. The problem is with those who persist in calling Schneerson the messiah after his death. Jewish sources are pretty clearly opposed to the notion of a dead messiah.

44 posted on 06/22/2004 5:47:25 PM PDT by malakhi
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: alogonquin
Every generation is gifted with a person who is qualified to be the Messiah. We pray for the Messiah to be revealed. I believed the Rebbe was qualified during his lifetime, but G-D removed him because the time was not right. The Rebbe himself never claimed that he was the Messiah.

Somewhere, there is another righteous man with all the qualifications of the Messiah. Right now we just don't know who he is, he himself may not even know. When G-D thinks the world is ready, the Messiah will be revealed to us.

Many Jews sang this song, even as they walked into the gas chambers of Auschwitz:

"I believe, with a perfect faith, in the coming of the Messiah. And even though he may delay, nevertheless I shall await his arrival, for he may come at any time."

45 posted on 06/22/2004 6:04:19 PM PDT by Alouette ("Your children like olive trees seated round your table." -- Psalm 128:3)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: Alouette

Ani maamin beemuna shlemah!


46 posted on 06/22/2004 8:27:40 PM PDT by Yehuda (http://www.JewPoint.blogspot.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: malakhi
Jewish sources are pretty clearly opposed to the notion of a dead messiah.

Can you quote me which ones?

47 posted on 06/22/2004 8:46:23 PM PDT by alogonquin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: alogonquin
Jewish sources are pretty clearly opposed to the notion of a dead messiah.

Can you quote me which ones?

You mentioned Maimonides in your earlier post. Here is what the Rambam had to say on this subject:

If a king arises from the House of David who meditates on the Torah, occupies himself with the commandments as did his ancestor King David, observes the commandments of the Written and Oral Law, prevails upon all Israel to walk in the way of the Torah and to follow its direction, and fights the wars of God, it may be assumed that he is the Messiah.

If he does these things and is fully successful, rebuilds the Third Temple on its location, and gathers the exiled Jews, he is beyond doubt the Messiah. But if he is not fully successful, or if he is killed, he is not the Messiah. (Mishnah Torah Kings 11:4)

48 posted on 06/22/2004 9:03:25 PM PDT by malakhi
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: malakhi

If a king arises from the House of David who meditates on the Torah, occupies himself with the commandments as did his ancestor King David, observes the commandments of the Written and Oral Law, prevails upon all Israel to walk in the way of the Torah and to follow its direction, and fights the wars of God, it may be assumed that he is the Messiah.

If he does these things and is fully successful, rebuilds the Third Temple on its location, and gathers the exiled Jews, he is beyond doubt the Messiah. But if he is not fully successful, or if he is killed, he is not the Messiah. (Mishnah Torah Kings 11:4)

This is correct. This is why the majority of believing Jews do not believe that the Lubavitcher Rebbe OB"M was the promised Messiah, even though he may have possessed all the proper qualifications.

His passing, to our great sorrow, proved that he was not chosen to be the Messiah.

Therefore, that must be some one else, at this time, who is chosen by G-d as a worthy successor/

It is even possible that the Messiah might be a Ger Tedek who has converted to Judaism, since the Bible states only that the Messiah must be a direct descendant of the House of David, if whom some say might have been captured during various wars and could therefore be a muslim or a Christian.

The only way we can be certain is if the Messiah performs the miracles predicted in the BIBLE


49 posted on 06/22/2004 9:43:31 PM PDT by Alouette (I am the MOTHER of the Learned Elder of Zion! Fear me!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]

To: malakhi
But if he is not fully successful, or if he is killed, he is not the Messiah.

The Rebbe was not "killed," so this particular statement of Maimonides is not relevant to the situation at hand.

In any event, I would like to wrap up this conversation with one point. Many Chabadniks continue to believe that the Rebbe is the Messiah, and they have sources to back them up. This isn't the religion board so I will lay off of the proofs and counterproofs as it gets rather nitpicky. Bottom line, this is their sincerely held belief, that has deep roots in Chassidic theology. Just to disabuse anyone of the notion that it is an ephemeral phenomenon that is dissipating. Chassidim have always believed in their Rebbe as Messiah. Those who claim otherwise are just not very well versed in Chassidic philosophy, particularly the talks of the Rebbe.

50 posted on 06/22/2004 9:44:36 PM PDT by alogonquin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-84 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson