Talk:Chabad/Archive 5

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Discussion of Hasidic origins in opening section

The article needs improvement. As it stands it omits important reference to Hasidut throughout the ages. For example Hasidei Ashkenaz. Such an oversight needs objective correction please.Halakhic-Jews-Only 23:20, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I think you are confused. (A) This article is only about Chabad Hasidic Judaism. We have a totally separate article on Hasidic Judaism in general. (B) The Hasidei Ashkenaz are a separate group from the later Hasidic Judaism. RK 02:06, Mar 30, 2005 (UTC)

RE: Not all "lies"! What Chabad actually says about its Rebbe

To the writer of commentary nr. 2. You are quoting things written by a "Rabbi" who doesn't tell us what is name is, from who he received semichah, what movement he is affiliated with. How can you take him serious?

Can someone explain to me where is the documentation of actual people who "worship the Rebbe"? Is this all Berger's book. I have met a lot of crazies in the world, but I haven't met anybody who claims that the Rebbe is actually the Abishter. And, I daresay that I have hung around more Lubies than anybody else who frequents this site.

Additional Links:

Find links to Google group: Lubavitch and more here:

http://www.770easternparkway.com

Reality vs. Theory

Despite the clamor for "modern sources", Halacha and Jewish religious philosophy are trees which draws on their trunk and branches. That case has been made repeatedly and conclusively here. So we must ask why some are so vehemently opposed to Chabad Chassidus to the point of violent acts that violate even their own Rebbe's tenets. Past history, as recently as 20th Century Williamsburg provides ample examples. Some insistent writers here seem to fall into a related category: "A man, convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still."

To find one answer we must look beyond Chassidus to human nature, and in particular the phenomenon of pseudospeciation--treating those who are different as if they were another species, and then feeling justified in behaving toward them in a most un-humane way. Similar issues arise in the history of science, as documented by, among others, Thomas Kuhns.

The sequelae of such pseudospeciation have no place, in my view, in an article about the development or philosophy of Chabad Chassidus itself. They might properly belong in a separate article about the history of certain inter-group relationships, or of "modern" Jewish History, or even in an article about psychology. The basic materials have been well documented in a Harvard University Press book (reference?) about the Jews of Williamsburg/Crown Heights. But an article about the philosophy of Chabad Lubavitch should probably be free of such materials, just as an article about (L'Havdil) Heidegger's philosophy should be separate from one about his biography or relations with (pace Hannah Arendt) the Nazis. Unsigned by 67.151.53.195.

NPOV

There is an NPOV tag at the top. I would like to have this removed. Could all the disputants please enumerate their concerns, and we'll try to settle. JFW | T@lk 07:54, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

Oh, and if no responses are offered, I will remove the tag on 10 May. JFW | T@lk 21:16, 8 May 2005 (UTC)


The dispute is discussed at length on this discussion page. However to repeat what is written above, this article has th following paragraph

"Relationship between God, the Rebbe and his followers
Before Schneerson's death, the beliefs of Chabad Hasidim had become extremely controversial among other Orthodox Jews. All Hasidic Jews are adherents of Kabbalah, esoteric Jewish mysticism. Among Kabbalists the role of the tzadik ("righteous" or "saintly" person) is stressed more than among non-Kabbalists. A tzadik is believed to have close connection with God, acting as a "chariot for the Divine" (מרכבה לשכנה), both in life and after death. ( Tanya Epistle 27 (http://www.chabad.org/library/archive/LibraryArchive2.asp?AID=7972))
Many Jewish sources stress prayer directly to God, and not through an intermediary. However, Hasidism has stressed the ability of tzadik to act as an intermediary with God on their behalf. Hasidim continue to ask for such intervention even after the death of their Rebbe and often visit their burial places to pray for blessings. The stipulation in such prayer is that one must recognize that the tzadik is not God. Among Hasidim all rebbes are held to be tzadikim and revelation of God.
Schneerson's teachings developed this theology into a new direction, holding that "It is not possible to ask a question about a [Rebbe being a] go-between, since this is the essence of God Himself, as He has clothed Himself in a human body" (Likutei Sichos II:510-511). Schneerson holds that a tzadik, who does whatever God wants, effectively nullifies their own soul as his soul joins with the will of God. In this view the words of the tzadik are the words of God (Pavzener, based on Tanya Chapter 2 (http://www.chabad.org/library/archive/LibraryArchive2.asp?AID=7881)).
Schneerson makes this explicit "Just as 'God and the Torah and the Jews are One', means not just that the Jews are connected to the Torah and to God, but literally they are all one, so too is the connection of Chassidim and their Rebbe, they are not like two things that become united but rather they become literally one. Therefore, to a Chosid, him and the Rebbe and God are one entity." This view has been rejected as heretical by some non-Hasidic Orthodox groups since the beginnings of Hasidism.
Few, if any, Chabad Hasidim disagree with this, since the statements of a Rebbe define the Hasidic group. Critics have claimed that such views contradict the Jewish principles of faith since the publication of the first Hasidic book, Toldot Yaakov Yosef in 1780.

As discussed above, this part should be removed because it is not a chabad only viewpoint, in fact as shown above all Chassidim believe this, and all Chassidim base their beliefs on previous teachings (The fact that the teaching was 200 years ago, make it more important), in fact even non chasidim like R. Eliyahu Dessler zt”l (http://www.famousrabbis.com/dessler.htm)(author of Michtav Me’Eliyahu, the most influential and widely disseminated work of hashkafa of the last century)wrote “ki tzuras hatzaddikim hu Hashem yisbarech, v’heinu hach” (brought down in “marbitzei torah u’musar beginning of vol. 3 page 10). and I have brought quotes from the gemara, rama, and classicla mussar works that everyone believes the same. (And when I'm told bo some posters here that these statements by all these books don't mean that, they can't say what it does mean.)

Therefore, It has been proven that historically we find the same concepts and statements made by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, by other Chasidic leaders and non Chasidic sources as well. Furthermore, to quote RK, "Jewish theology of today is based on Jewish theology of past generations; this is especially true of Hasidim, who base their theology not just on the Mishna (1,800 years old) but on the writings of Hasidic masters (250 - 100 years ago)." Furthermore we find no reason to say that these viewpoints were changed or understood differently than the way chabad understands the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Therefore if there is a controversy it is only between all the above mentioned chasidic and non chasidic sources and others of which there is no reason to believe that they exist or between some people on some online message boards. Therefore if the is a controversy it isn't between chabad and others rather it is between chabad and others against I don't know who, which this controversy doesn't belong on the chabad page.

Regarding claims that there is a fraction of a percent of chabad that takes these statements literally and that they believe that the Rebbe is G-d, this is already covered under the next section of the contervosy section.

Therefore I propose removing the paragraph discussing "Relationship between God, the Rebbe and his followers" since it doesn't belong there and the part that may belong there is already discussed in the next section of the controversy--PinchasC 04:19, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

A tiny attempt at a bridge...

Might a new observer that stumbled upon this offer a small, tiny attempt at a bridge?

The way I see it, the argument here is not about the Chabad theology so much as how the theology is understood. In parts, this does remind me of obscure Catholic and generally Christian doctrinal controversies, as what is being argued over is based upon text that can be really, really misunderstood without trying very hard. :-) Now, it links fairly quickly into a critical question of what such an article on WP hopes to achieve. IMHO, it would be helpful to put it forth as such:

"Chabad theology states X."

Then, we say, "This is what Chabadniks say that means."

Next, we say, "But, this is what other people say."

Personally, in an article that should be an overview of Chabad Lubavitch, it would seem profitable to judiciously leave aside such knotty theological controversies. It deserves a separate article, IMHO. --Penta 16:15, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

This is a fine suggestion, but it seems to me that the article already does this. A problem is that Pinchas and PhatJew seem absolutely convinced that other Jews agree with what Chabadniks say (even though this is just not so). They seem totally sure that their interpretations of Hasidic texts about rebbes and tzaddiks are mainstream. The problem, however, is that their view is rejected by other Orthodox Jews, including other Hasidic Jews. So we are obligated to report on the fact that the rest of Orthodoxy finds these Chabad ideas incorrect. RK 17:33, May 9, 2005 (UTC)

I believe that Penta is correct, this entire part should be in an article entitled Judaism's view of a Tzadik, and then you can quote all those sources and how everyone interprets them (if they do actually interpret them differently than chabad, which has not been shown at all)--PinchasC 22:45, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

This article is about Lubavitch's views, not about Judaism's views. They are not synonymous. Jayjg (talk) 00:35, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

That's right jayjg, this article should only mention things which have to do with Lubavitch, not with something which chassidim and all other Jews believe as well. Therefore this part belongs in its own article as discussed above.--PinchasC 01:05, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

The contrasts and divisions between Lubavitch and other Jewish groups are relevant here. Jayjg (talk) 02:08, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

Jayjg, they are relevant here if they exist, however it has not been proven that they exist, in fact the opposite has been shown. If you feel that there is something that is different between only chabad and others show me the others however until then don't say that such a difference exists.--PinchasC 04:39, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

Claims on the talk: page that all Hasidim believe as Lubavitch do have not been backed up by any sources stating the same. Jayjg (talk) 15:59, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

They have been backed up by their words which were quoted, and hassidim believe in what their previous teachers have stated as do most other Jews.--PinchasC 23:33, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

I would like the cooperation of everybody here to resolve this.--PinchasC 02:13, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Co-operation will be easy to obtain; just find some other modern-day Chassidic groups which espouse the same beliefs. Jayjg (talk) 16:34, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

As there has been no movement in this discussion, I have now removed the silly {{Totallydisputed}} tag. I don't think factual accuracy is an issue here, it's the interpretation of the facts. I will not support a new tag; just use the {{SectNPOV}} on the contentious section. JFW | T@lk 22:43, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

There has not been movement because you have stuck with your unproven statements, and that tag isn't silly, if you don't like it you can vote that it should be deleted.--PinchasC 09:32, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Neither have you shown any attempt to provide evidence that Jayjg requested. You can have your {{SectNPOV}} tag on the section that is disputed. By the way, I am not otherwise a participant in this discussion, so don't use "you".

Now we're having this discussion, can you explain why Chabad feels it necessary to colonise the term "chassidus" to refer strictly to its own philosophy? According to Chabad, chassidus seems to have started with the Alter Rebbe. Never have I heard a Chabad talk quoting the Kedushas Levi or the Noam Elimelech directly.

All this confirms my niggling suspicion that Jayjg is right, and that Chabad tries to force its innovations into the perception of mainstream Chassidus. That is POV, and that is a misrepresentation. I know the Rebbes of other Chassidus'n (apart from Satmar) are quiet about the contrasts between Chabad and "normal" Chassidus, but Chabad is just obviously innovative in a large number of matters, however much you distort mainstream Chassidic views. JFW | T@lk 10:45, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

New article on Judaisms view of holy people

I would like to propose based on some previous comments that a new article be started explaining Judaisms view of Holiness or start a new section in Holiness in which it will discuss in detail this entire controversy of what chabad and other Jews do or don't believe about them. And to link from chabad and Hasidic Judaism Breslov etc. to there if a difference is shown. Please add your thoughts. Thanks. --PinchasC | £€åV€ m€ å m€§§åg€ 14:24, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

How about Tzadik? JFW | T@lk 14:32, 10 August 2005 (UTC)
Tzadik is a disambiguation page, but maybe Tzaddik --PinchasC | £€åV€ m€ å m€§§åg€ 14:33, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

I have created the article and hope to fill it over the next week. --PinchasC | £€åV€ m€ å m€§§åg€ 02:21, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

NPOV editing

By the grace of G-d
Greetings and blessings. I have edited the links section to add few Mashichist sites to give a greater range of Chabad views on the issue of identity of Moshiach and the proccess of redemption. While I realize Wikipedia is not a link list I feel that all those sites should be included. I have also moved the "Breif history of Chabad Messianism" to the historical sites section from it's original location in the Chabad Messianic sites section since it's not a Mashichist propaganda, but the author of the article simply presents an overview of the development of the Moshiach identification campaign within Chabad and further states elsewhere on his site that he doesn't believe the Rebbe is Moshiach therefore it obviously doesn't belong in the Chabad Messianic sites section. I have also added the http://www.YudelKrinsky.com as satire is just another way to convey information and studying it creates a clearer picture about the issue in the mind of a serious Wikipedia reader. With respect and blessing. Ariel Sokolovsky 13:41, 11 August 2005 (UTC) PS.Please see my talk page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Ariel_Sokolovsky for copies of the emails between me and Pinchas to understand why he is so determined to keep these links deleted.

Relationship between God, the Rebbe and his followers

I have created a new article that deals with the concept of a Tzadik, and merged the contents of the "Relationship between God, the Rebbe and his followers" section into it. Therefore if there is consensus I will be removing the section from here and replace it with a link to Tzadik. --PinchasC | £€åV€ m€ å m€§§åg€ 15:56, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

The information is relevant to this article, not that one. The information here is specifically about Chabad beliefs, not the general concept of Tzadik. Jayjg (talk) 18:06, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

There are many viewpoints spread thru out Judaism regarding this. There isn't just chabad against everybody else. Therefore the Tzadik page was created to list the various beliefs. I have already put in the chabad viewpoint in a NPOV way. I believe that this isn't only the chabad viewpoint rather it is also the viewpoint of many others as well. However if it is as you say that the way I wrote it in Tzadik is only the chabad viewpoint please add in the other viewpoints as well.

The reason why listing the whole thing in the chabad article instead of the Tzadik article is impractical, is because to understand the concepts involved there is alot of background information required, which is big enough for its own page and is too big to have in the chabad article. Additionally if it were just in the chabad article then duplicate articles relating to other beliefs will need to be written by those pages. Therefore by combining everything onto one page with the required background information seems to be the best idea in my humble opinion. --PinchasC | £€åV€ m€ å m€§§åg€ 01:30, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

I don't think it should be removed from here, since the way (at least some of) Chabad chassidim interpret this concept differs radically from the way mainstream chassidim (and perhaps mainstream chabad) do. Therefore, even if you do create another page devoted to the concept of the Tzadik in Judaism, this paragraph must remain here. -- Nahum 03:45, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

How do some of the chabad chassidim understand it? --PinchasC | £€åV€ m€ å m€§§åg€ 04:59, 17 August 2005 (UTC) I have discussed this issue at length with many chabad rabbis, and they all say the same. --PinchasC | £€åV€ m€ å m€§§åg€ 05:06, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

Mea culpa. I was thinking about the messianism subsection. -- Nahum 06:43, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

The section already starts off with saying that this is according to those that follow kabbalah. Additionaly the statements from the people about chabad would remain applicable even after the section is removed. Furthermore the intention isn't to comepletely remove it, rather the intention is to replace it with a sentence saying that there has been controversy regarding this subject which is elaborated at length in the Tzadik article, and as I explained on the talk page of chabad it is unfair to have just that paragraph without a full background which is able to be put in the Tzadik article but would be too long for the chabad article. --Pinchas | £€åV€ m€ å m€§§åg€ 06:44, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

Well, after rereading this, I came to a conclusion that there are differnces within the Chabad movement about how to interpret this issue. Some of them interpret it too literally to be compliant with Jewish belief in a non-corporeal G-d. -- Nahum 06:53, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

If there are a few which are quoted by Berger, they are already mentioned in the next paragraph, however 99.99% of chabad doesn't believe it that way. --PinchasC | £€åV€ m€ å m€§§åg€ 06:56, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

They are not just a few and neither do I base my knowledge on Berger. I've discussed these issues with some Chassidim while the Rebbe OBM was still alive and heard it "from the horse's mouth." -- Nahum 07:05, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

Even if you want to say that there are more than a few which I dispute based upon first hand expierence, this is already covered in the next paragraph which I am not saying we should touch. All of this discussion is about the paragraph before this. --PinchasC | £€åV€ m€ å m€§§åg€ 07:08, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

It is relevant to this sub-sectiona as well. Perhaps it needs a bit editing, but it cannot be removed, since this is a critical aspect of Chabad's beliefs. -- Nahum 07:11, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

There is a differnece between removing and moving. Moving in this case is beneficial because it enables the entire concept to be elaborated upon. --PinchasC | £€åV€ m€ å m€§§åg€ 07:14, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

But this article, as opposed to the one you suggest to be moved to, deals with Chabad. Which is where this issue belongs. You can elaborate as much as you want in the Tzadik article and add a reference here to there, but without removing the current subsection from its current location. -- Nahum 07:19, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

As I have stated above, it would not be accurate to just leave a paragraph here that provides no background information or what other people believe, or why chabad chassidim believe what they do. Therefore I created the Tzadik article to explain all this. --PinchasC | £€åV€ m€ å m€§§åg€ 07:22, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

Let's hear other people's views. -- Nahum 07:31, 17 August 2005 (UTC)
It seems to me that these two are completely seperate paragraphs, one adding the Rebbe commenting about a tzadik for general discussion, and one with the Rebbe (and his relationship with God) specifically. Leave them as they are. There is no need to point from this page to Tzadik. However, the "This has been taken literally..." seems a bit out of place on the tzadik page, as it is barely a notable opinion (albeit, a disturbing one) for that page and would fit more on the Chabad article (if anywhere). SF2K1 05:37, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

I have revised the section here to leave the paragraph here, and linked it to the Tzadik article, so that one can know where to look for the required background material. --PinchasC | £€åV€ m€ å m€§§åg€ 07:53, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

External Links

I would like to make a point about some of the external links here. For example the link to "JewishWomenUnited" which is a relatively small site or "Messiah Watch International" which is more of a personal site as opposed to an orgainzation. Basically my point is that perhaps the list should be trimmed down to major organizations. I'm looking forward to hearing other peoples viewpoints on this.--PinchasC | £€åV€ m€ å m€§§åg€ 05:34, 27 October 2005 (UTC)


Pinchas's manipulation of the Chabad article

Pinchas is not being truthful about his new version of the Chabad article, which he claims was developed through consensus. In point of fact, over the last few months Pinchas deleted consensus texts, and created an incredible text in which Schneeron's new theology about a tzaddik is somehow accepted by all Jews as mainstream. Many of us, including me, Jayjg and JFW, discussed this issue at length some months ago, and we found Pinchas's claims to be both incorrect and a violation of Wikipedia's NPOV policy. Furthermore:

  • Pinchas somehow removed the important statements by Orthodox Jews who disagree with Chabad, and left only statements by a couple of Conservative Jews (whose views on theology have little weight in the Orthodox community!)
  • Elizer keeps removing the condemnation of Chabad messianic by the Rabbinical council of America, and by heads of Orthodox yeshivas. Censorship of Orthodox Jewish points of view is unacceptable.
  • His edit grossly misled readers about the statements of Dr. Moshe Idel. Pinchas's edit presents Dr. Idel as defending Chabad messianism, while in fact Idel describes Chabad messianic beliefs as "stupid".
  • Pinchas keeps reverting to make Rabbi David Berger sound line a non-rabbi ("Mr."), and his edits make it appear as if most people disagree with Berger. In point of fact, Rabbi Berger was the driving force behind the RCA's statement condemning Chabad theology, and R. Berger's statements are the same as the statements of many other Orthodox rabbis...which no one will ever know, as Pinchas keeps deleting them.

It seems to me that while we have been busy on a host of other issues, Pinchas has been slowly manipulating this article to push his own personal theology, while removing facts that he is uncomfortable with, thus violating NPOV. RK 23:25, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Most of it amounts to apologitics. This would be okay with sources. E.g. if Berger says some worship the Rebbe as G'd incarnate, and the article states "this is in direct contradiction to Chabad philosophy and has been subject of doubt" then both assertions need sourcing. The Berger one is easy (page number in book), but the (?hypothetical) Chabad response would be {{WP:NOR|original research]] if not supported by a source. JFW | T@lk 23:37, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Archives: Archive 1; Archive 2; Archive 3;


Four points

(A) Rabbi David Berger literally quotes Lubavitch Hasids who believe that their Rebbe is God incarnate. There should be no dispute about this. While most people with this view have become secrative about such beliefs, some are so enthusiastic that they have written about this quite clearly. Berger's only "crime" is that he published these quotes in English, which seem to have embarassed many people.

(B) TruthAboutChabad is denying that any Chabad exist who worship Rabbi Schneerson as God. Sadly, he is mistaken. Berger and others have proved that this claim is false.

(C) However, I agree with TruthAboutChabad (TaB) in that most Lubavitch do not feel this way. They believe that they are not claiming that the Rebbe is God, and they have developed a detailed apologetic literature to support their beliefs. I agree with TaB that this viewpoint can and should be discussed in an NPOV fashion. (i.e. "According to most Chabad Hasidim, this belief is acceptable because..."

(D) A more problematic issue is that while of Chabad believes that Rabbi Schneerson was God in the way that TruthAboutChabad writes, this way is understood by most other Jews to be avodah zarah, and seems to be identical to how Christians view Jesus. They are trying to have it both ways. They want to say that "The Rebbe isn't God, of course not!", yet they also teach that God's essence was literaly in the human form of R. Schneerson, in a special way, and that the words of the Rebbe might as well be the words of God Himself. They believe that this is acceptable within Jewish theolgy. However, the many critics of Chabad believe that this group, however sincere, has deluded itself. While they try to say that this isn't worshipping the Rebbe as God incanate, it actually is! According to this criticism, many Chabad Hasidim are suffering from cognitive dissonance; they are trying to hold two contradictory viewpoints simultaneously. They do not believe that they are doing this, but they are doing so nonetheless. Most of the Orthodox criticism on this point is oral, but Rabbi Berger brings forth some written sources. This article includes one such criticism from an orthodox source, and two criticisms from conservative sources. I believe that these criticisms are written in NPOV fashion. RK 17:55, Mar 4, 2005 (UTC)


In regards to Berger, Jayjg is looking up Berger's book, to see what types of sources Berger brings, furthermore one must also reliaze that those sources (if they exist)may only be statements from people similiar to statements that the Rebbe used, which is clearly not that he is G-d, as previously explained. Truthaboutchabad
Is it possible that you still do not understand NPOV,or the views of any other Jewish people? First off, some Chabad Hasidis do believe that R. Schneerson is God, end of story. Your denial of this means that you are either ignorant of this specific topic, or you are just being stubborn. Secondly, I understand that you personally truly believe that you do not believe that the Rebbe is God. Ok. B ut other scholars of Chabad Judaism say that you are fooling yourself. They look at the same views you mention, and they say "This is clearly worshipping Schneerson as God." So in order to satisfy Wikipedia NPOV policy, we explain the beliefs of your group, and state who holds that view. Then we explain the view of other groups, and state who holds that view. You cannot bring forth "proofs" to exclude points of view that you disagree with. RK 14:57, Mar 6, 2005 (UTC)
In regards to point C and D, It isn't just Lubavitchers that feel this way, rather that is what all Chassidim believe in, and if you see the document Atzmus that I posted you will see even a similiar statement from the Bach and the Rama. This is clearly not like the way that Christians view Jesus, because they view Jesus as G-d himself, as opposed to Jews who consider holy people to be nulified before G-d, so much so that they have no other thought or opinion rather than what G-d wants, thereby making their soul which is part of G-d (not a chabad invention, rather I'm sure everyone agrees that a Jew has a soul which is part of G-d) more revealed. Truthaboutchabad
Now you are writing totally false statements. All other Chasidim 'do not believe that their rebbe is God enclothed in Human form. See the specific controversial quotes in this article made by Rabbi Schneerson about this point. The idea that other Chasidim agree with his rather new belief is wrong in every way, and many other Chasidim have criticised him for uttering such teachings. This is precisely the point at which other Orthodox Jews differ from Chabad, and this is why many now accuse of Chabad of becoming a neo-Christian faith. You must stop repeating false statements; repetition of an error will not make it true. RK 15:02, Mar 6, 2005 (UTC)
The problem is when people who are unaware of concepts discussed in Chassidus and Kabbalah, (Rabbi Keller and the two conservative rabbis) they misunderstand and because of no fault of their own, they think that chabad is doing the wrong thing. However their misunderstanding of Kabbalistic concepts shouldn't be a reason for a posting of their views in Wikipedia.
Perhaps Berger or others have found a Lubavitcher Chossid as well that has sadly misunderstood these concepts, however that person (if he exists) doesn't representt chabad at all. (In general these concepts aren't discussed at all because of the ease at which it could be misundersttod, however once it is already widely spoken abnout here, it is best thatan explanation be given as well.) I'm sure there are many Jews that have views about what G-d is, that is contrary to what Judaism believes in, however those Jews don't represent Judaism, they are Jewish however their views aren't. Therefore obviously there views aren't part of the wikipedia article about Jews. Perhaps a statement like "Berger believes that a few lubavitchers have misinterpeted the Rebbe's teachings in a way which isn't in accordance with Jewish law" would be more appropiate, instead of half the article wasted on quoting conservative rabbis (who may be nice people, but that is now what this article is about) who misunderstood or aren't aware of some Jewish concepts. --Truthaboutchabad 02:37, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

RK already provided us with Berger's sources: people he's interviewed himself. Jayjg or RK, does he also quote any Chabad publications? T@lk

Yes, Prof. Berger repeatedly quotes dozens of Chabad publications and statements, all very well references. Does TruthAboutChabad believe that all these Chabad Hasids are lying? Or perhaps he believes that all Chabad Hasidim who differ from him no longer are not really Chabad Hasidim? If so, then TruthAboutChabad is using the No_true_Scotsman logical fallacy. RK 14:57, Mar 6, 2005 (UTC)

You cannot claim that Rabbi Keller (or the others for that matter) does not understand Chassidus. This is an inditction you can always make to defend yourself ("Oh, yeah, but they're misunderstanding everything"). If there is clear proof that some pray to the Rebbe and consider him G'd incarnate, then you have no right to suppress this, even if you and many of your fellows would disagree with this notion. Why can you not accept this? Please review WP:NPOV.

Wikipedia is not in the business of being a PR showcase. Its articles on Scientology, lehavdil, are much more hostile than this article is about Chabad. Still, if something is clearly true, why should we suppress facts? JFW | T@lk 08:59, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Let us deal with the first part of the contervosy section where it speaks about the relationship between G-d the rebbe and his followers. I have proved above that it isn't only chabad that believes what it does, rather it is all Chassidim and many non-chassidim, (includinga Gemera Yerushalmi, and the Bach and Rama). Therefore the first section of the contervosy is between the above mentioned sources and others, which this dispute doesn't belong in the chabad page. The only reason why some think that it should be in the chabad page is because of a few people that say that the Rebbe is G-d which this is clearly not the intent of the Rebbe as discussed above and clearly not what chabad chassidim think (you can ask any chabad chossid, and he will tell you the same). Therefore when it discusses in the second section about these people who believe that the Rebbe is G-d, that should suffice. --Truthaboutchabad 22:19, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Rather than bringing more evidence of how Lubavitch interprets these writings, why not bring evidence that some other Hassidic group believes the same thing? That would be more to the point. Jayjg (talk) 22:29, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I believe that I have done that with the document posted above Media:Atzmus.pdf, in addition you have a full book called Al Hatzadikim by Pavezener which lists all the places that these terms are used by Hassidim and non-hassidim. --Truthaboutchabad 23:35, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Which Hassidic groups today say that; please bring their writings. Jayjg (talk) 23:44, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Once their earliar Rebayim have said it, there is no reason to think that that have changed their outlook, because the way Chassdim hold their Rebbe is that he is a continuation and built upon the previous Rebayim of theirs, So unless we find a reason that they stopped believing this, we must assume that they still believe this. Furthermore, as mentioned previously it isn't just Chassidim that believe this, in fact there is a Gemara Yershalmi, Bach Rema, Mesilas Yesharim, a quote from R' Chaim M'Veloszhin in Nefesh Hachaim, R' Dressler who was the Mashgiach in Ponivitch, and the Rabeinu Bachai, among many other nonchassidim that say similiar statements, as shown in the document posted (and to keep in mind the Rebbe only said that statement once in 1951)--Truthaboutchabad 00:05, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

TruthAboutChabad, if what you say is true then why do the other Orthodox Hasidic groups effectively deny that they believe this? This questions needs to be answered. Many Hasidic Jews hold that Chabad is preaching what they see as heresy, on this specific point. You can't cogently argue "But all the Hasidim agrees with me" in a situation where the Hasidic community is disagreeing with you. An analogy: If a Reform Jewish contributor wrote "Most Conservative and Orthodox Jews agree that Reform's view of Halakha is valid", we could logically rebut this claim by asking "Then why do most Orthodox and Conservative Jews say that they do not have this belief about the Reform?" RK

But has anyone ever made a survey asking what Jews of various denominations believe? Until we do, I'd refrain from making statements saying "most" Orthodox and Conservative Jews or Reform Jews feel a certain way. Truthaboutreform

It seems that you are reading Chabad beliefs, and non-Chabad beliefs, and then satisfying yourself that they are the same. Whether or not your analysis should be true, we need to point out that other Orthodox Jews do not agree with your analysis. RK 00:55, Mar 8, 2005 (UTC)

I have read the arguments from User:Truthaboutchabad as well as the ones from User:RK, User_talk:Jayjg and User:Jfdwolff. I have also reviewed some of the revision history of the Chabad Lubavitch article. I am certainly not the greatest expert in this field (although I am not completely ignorant either), but it seems to me that especially "Truthaboutchabad" needs to be able to quote independent sources to increase his chances of being believed. Part of this is the username, which seems to signal a strong POV (one may, justly or unjustly, suspect too close a personal association with the topic in question for a reasonably objective agenda). It is not enough to say that you have support in the Yerushalmi — to be able to convince, you have to show where in the Yerushalmi, what the Yerushalmi says, and how your view is supported by at least one source which is truly independent of the Chabad movement. And the latter will have to be quoted for you to be able to convince. I have no personal interest for or against the Chabad. Show me the best case, and I will be convinced. For the time being, I do not feel convinced. -- Olve 02:18, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Similar Hasidic teachings about tzadiks

The exact sources with full quotes are posted in the document Media:Atzmus.pdf. The document is in Hebrew, and I won't transalate the entire 3 page document here, however here is a sampling of the quotes from non-chabad and chassidic and non-Chassidic sourses

When Reb Dovid’l of Tulneh ZT”L was asked by him Chassidim “What is a Tzaddik, and what is a Chassid?” He answered: “A Tzaddik iz a faideh Gut (“A Tzaddik is the essence of G-d”), un a Chassid? Zai vestu visen”.

In Darkei Chaim V’sholom from the Minchas Ela’zar (in minhogim to taanis tzibur) he writes that he heard from the “Shem Shlomo” that said about the greatness of the neshamah of R. Mendel of Rimanov, that Hashem took the four letters of his name, so to speak, and wrapped them with a “zupitze” and a “spudik”, and that became R. Mendel of Rimanov.

And there’s a famous saying in the name of R. Ahron of Chernobyl that “Elokus is the Tzaddik, and the Tzaddik is Elokus, when you travel to a Tzaddik you go with one Machshavah, not with two.”

Even R. Eliyahu Dessler zt”l wrote “ki tzuras hatzaddikim hu Hashem yisbarech, v’heinu hach” (brought down in “marbitzei torah u’musar beginning of vol. 3 page 10).

And see the Bach to the Tur on Oirach Chaim Siman 47, "The purpose of this world is that one should be involved in Torah Study, So our souls should be connected in its essence with the spirituality and holiness of the giver of the Torah...And if one is learning Torah with this intention They are a Markavah (chariot [meaning completely nulified, and like one]) to the Shechina may he be blessed. That the Shechinah is actually within them because they are the room of G-d and in them in actuality is the Shechina establishing its dwelling place.

and see what the Ramchal wrote in Mesilas Yesharim chapter 26, "One that is holy and constantaly cleaves constantly to G-d, and his soul is fired up with a true understanding, with love for his creator and fear...A person like this is himself considered to me a Mishkan, and like a temple, and Mizbeiach...Therefore it is said that Tzadikim are a Markava, because the Shechina dwells upon them like it used to dwell in the holy temple.--Truthaboutchabad 08:47, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Rooster613 06:13, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)(Making onesself a dwelling place for the Shechinah is not the same thing as what I understand some Lubovitchers to believe about the Rebbe being God incarnate. A Merkavah is a chariot, a vehicle or container (keli) for the attribute of godliness, in the same way that the Mishkan was a "dwelling place" for the Shekhinah. To make oneself a dwelling place for the Shekhinah does not mean that one becomes God incarnate, heaven forbid. The Mishkan did not become God, but it did become holy. user:Rooster613

Sigh. Please quote the writings of a modern, extant non-Lubavitch Hassidic group proposing this understanding. Thanks. Jayjg (talk) 17:25, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Why should the writings be from a modern and extant group? What's the logic here? Truthaboutreform 18:27, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)


TruthAboutChabad (TaB), I think that you do have some very good points here. Some of this data should go into our article on this topic, and on an articles we have on the doctrine of the tzaddik in Hasidic Judaism. (B) TaB is correct when he says that some Hasidic Jews have used this terminology in regards to their rebbes. (Almost never someone else's rebbe, of course!) As such, this should be mentioned; Chabad beliefs on this topic did not appear in a vacuum. (C) We do not need to demand that he use current sources; Jewish theology of today is based on Jewish theology of past generations; this is especially true of Hasidim, who base their theology not just on the Mishna (1,800 years old) but on the writings of Hasidic masters (250 - 100 years ago). TaB is thus correct to use some of the above quotes as a valid source. (D) However, my disagreement with TaB here is on two essential points: RK

(1) Although these statements about Rebbes and Tazddiks being the essence of God do exist in parts of Hasidic literature, what is much more important is how these statements are understood, and how they are taught. That is a point which TaB is missing, and which JayJG, JFW, myself and others are concerned with.
(2) Many Chabad Jews probably do follow an understanding of this teaching which is compatible with the rest of Hasidic Judaism. For such Chabad Jews, criticism of them as being non-traditional (in a Hasidic sense) may be mistaken. However, many (some say most) Chabad Jews do not understand this doctrine as other Hasidic Jews do. Rather, they have their own interpretation of this teaching which does contradict the views of other Hasidic Jews. It is this latter point that others are stressing, and that TaB is not addressing. RK 18:24, Mar 8, 2005 (UTC)
(3) The fact that one can go from a (not "the") traditional Hasidic view of the Tzadik as the essence of God to the Chabad version of this belief is one of the big reasons why many mitnagdim ("opponents" of Hasidic Judaism) totally disagreed with Hasidic Judaism to beginw ith. From the very beginning, some aspects of Hasidic theology were denounced by some Orthodox Jews as leaning towards gnosticism, or as leaning towards quasi-Christianity. See for instance the discussion of Gershom Scholem in his books and articles on Kabbalah and Hasidic Judaism. RK 18:24, Mar 8, 2005 (UTC)


In regard to point 1, all these statements from chabad and others are almost never mentioned or taught, because of the complexity of the ideas involved. (The statement of the Rebbe was in 1951, right after the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe passed away and he was explaining what a Rebbe is. However since then no other statements like that were made, probably because of the complexity of the ideas involved.) Because they aren't discussed much we don't find modern sources besides some chabad sources which were written in response to attacks on chabad (which being more visible than other Chasidic movements was more carefully scrutinized) Other Chassidim never needed to write anything to explain these statements of their teachers, because they were never attacked. However I find no reason to believe that Jews outside chabad would interpret it differently than chabad at all, being that chabad interprets it in a non literal way that the rebbe isn’t G-d as explained many times above, so I really doubt that others would explain differently.

In regards to points 2 and 3, If you are speaking about those that may believe that the Rebbe is G-d, then as we already discussed that anyone that believes that is condemned from within chabad and it’s not an accepted belief. (In regards to including it in this article, as previously discussed it would be best to mention it in that way as well under the second subject, as discussed above) And if you are speaking about the general chabad view on this, I don’t see how it is incompatible with other Chassidic beliefs or Jewish beliefs being that they use the same terminology without any explanations at all.--Truthaboutchabad 03:54, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Nonetheless, some members and/or excommunicatees might still consider the Rebbe to be G-d, even though it's not the belief of Chabad itself. Reform Judaism would discourage any such opinion itself (which is a reason - not the only reason - why we're not Christian, btw). Truthaboutreform 18:27, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

See as well the wikipedia article on soul and the level of Yechidah.--Truthaboutchabad 03:56, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)