Chabad Heresy

A commenter on another post is indignant that we do not believe the late Rebbe is the messiah. Why, this poor soul, moans, the Abarbanel says a dead man can be the messiah! There is nothing unJewish about it! I pointed out the mistake made by this man – the Abarbanel opposes the argument that the messiah can come from the dead:

After scouring fifteen centuries of rabbinic literature, Lubavitchers
discovered precisely two passages thatBaruch_nachshon_rebbe would seem to concur with their reading
of the gemara in Sanhedrin and to extend its principle to dead messiahs other
than Daniel. One is found in Abarbanel’s Yeshuos Meshicho, in a re-examination
of a midrash that had been cited by a priest to Ramban in the famous disputation
at Barcelona in 1263. When confronted with the midrash, which states that
Moshiach was born on the day of the destruction of the Temple, Ramban responded
that he did not accept that particular midrash. In any event, Ramban went on to
say that if he were forced to accept the midrash, he would conclude simply that
Moshiach had never died, and had been alive somewhere all these centuries.

In Yeshuos Meshicho, Abarbanel writes that although his own position is not
to accept this midrash literally, if one were forced to take it literally
(which, again, he does not), it could be understand in light of Rav’s statement
in Sanhedrin, i.e. that the person destined to be Moshiach may indeed have been
born on the day the Temple was destroyed, and has already died. Interestingly
and importantly, Abarbanel doesn’t seem to consider this a concession to the
Christian point of view, and that’s for precisely the same reason it doesn’t
support Lubavitch claims. The person who will one day be Moshiach may be someone
who has already lived and died, but he has not already started his messianic
career. He has not already established himself as the Messiah in actu and then
died in the middle of redeeming the world, only to come back later and finish
what he started, which is exactly what Christians and Lubavitchers believe.

Moreover, as we mentioned, Abarbanel declares unequivocally that he does not
accept even this face-value understanding of the midrash, and prefers another,
non-literal reading, one that he goes on to outline. The literal reading he
suggests in place of Ramban’s is intended only as a dechiya, something with
which to respond to a Christian debate partner. So Abarbanel actually rejects
the possibility of even a resurrected Moshiach. If you need further proof of
this, take a look at his commentary to Yeshayah (53), where he explains that the
"Eved Hashem" described there cannot be Moshiach, since the pesukim there state
that the Eved Hashem died and Moshiach will not die.

Now for the second "source." In his encyclopedic work Sdei Chemed, Rabbi
Chayyim Chizkiah Medini (1832-1904) transcribes a lengthy letter he received
from an obscure rabbi. At one point in the letter the rabbi states that Moshiach
might come from the dead, and cites the gemara in Sanhedrin as a source for
this. But the Sdei Chemed doesn’t concur with the rabbi’s suggestion anywhere,
and it should be clear to anyone with even a passing familiarity with the genre
of published rabbinic correspondence that quoting the full text of your
correspondent’s letter doesn’t mean that you agree with every word of it you
don’t respond to. Yet not only do Lubavitchers take for granted that the Sdei
Chemed agreed with everything written to him-and even endorsed it all-they
present the words of the obscure rabbi to unsuspecting audiences as if they were
the very words of the Sdei Chemed himself.

But none of what I just said is even necessary. This text, much like the
passage in Yeshuos Meshicho and the first position presented in Rashi to
Sanhedrin 98b, has nothing at all to do with what Lubavitchers need to prove,
namely that Moshiach can start his job, complete many of his messianic duties,
reveal his identity to us, attain "official Moshiach status," and then die, only
to be resurrected later when the generation is fully "ready to accept him" and
"wants Moshiach badly enough."

Indeed, it is clearly implicit in the context of Abarbanel’s dechiya of the
Christian proof that the resurrected Moshiach he suggests cannot be a Moshiach
who has already started his job, i.e. has done things that would cause his
generation to regard that he had ushered in some sort of "era of the
redemption." For if Abarbanel were to concede that possibility, he would be
conceding precisely what the priest was trying to prove from the midrash,
precisely what Abarbanel set out to be docheh [refute] in the first place.

So Chabad has two "proofs." But the "authors" of those proofs do not agree with them or endorse them. Indeed, the only source supporting Chabad is Christian – the Catholic priest in his disputation with the Ramban. And what was that disputation? It was meant as a tool to convince the Jews to convert to Catholicism. How ironic that the biggest champion of the Church’s arguments is none other than Chabad and Menachem Mendel Schneerson.

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11 Comments

Filed under Chabad Theology

11 responses to “Chabad Heresy

  1. B”H

    Now for the second “source.” In his encyclopedic work Sdei Chemed, Rabbi Chayyim Chizkiah Medini (1832-1904) transcribes a lengthy letter he received from an obscure rabbi. At one point in the letter the rabbi states that Moshiach might come from the dead, and cites the gemara in Sanhedrin as a source for this. But the Sdei Chemed doesn’t concur with the rabbi’s suggestion anywhere, and it should be clear to anyone with even a passing familiarity with the genre of published rabbinic correspondence that quoting the full text of your correspondent’s letter doesn’t mean that you agree with every word of it you don’t respond to. Yet not only do Lubavitchers take for granted that the Sdei Chemed agreed with everything written to him-and even endorsed it all-they present the words of the obscure rabbi to unsuspecting audiences as if they were the very words of the Sdei Chemed himself.

    To the contrary if Sdei Chemed wouldn’t agree with this position he wouldn’t quote it without disputing it otherwise it would be misleading the reader that the author supports this position.

  2. rebeljew

    Even if you prove your point fully Ariel, we are only talking about plausibility, a dodge. Plausibility is not proof.

  3. go learn!

    ariel,

    you hack a tachaynik,

    you have no clue how these thuvos work. from your writings it is clear that you never toiled on a mishna. numerous times we have a long letter quoted and only a certain point is addressed they have no reason to address the point which is not at hand.

  4. Ariel_Sokolovsky_hates_the_Rebbe

    If Ariel Sokolovsky didn’t hate the Rebbe, he wouldn’t attempt to bring redicule to the Rebbe. Or does he need attention that badly?

  5. your info

    the rabam says that Moshiach can not come someone who is killed. he says nothing about stam dead if Moshiach can not come from the dead he would have sayd dead and not killed.

  6. No. The Rambam says as I quoted above: If he does not succeed or is killed he is not the messiah promised by the Torah – he should be considered as a just and righteous king from beit David *WHO DIED.*

  7. mazeartist

    Shmarya-
    I agree, the Rebbe is indeed a righteous man. As for the painting/icon, I feel deeply hurt just looking at it, knowing that there are Jews who believe in this garbage.

  8. Am Wondering

    Is it possible that Ariel Sokolovsky and the Yess fellow are Christian missionaries planted to destroy Chabad? This has crossed my mind after looking over their websites. They have no fear of heaven and are complete Am HaArtzim. Sokolovsky website makes the Rebbe look like a jack ass. And Yess actually has a picture of yuska on the cross. Sokolovsky is from Russia and Russian immigrants are targeted by missionaries. While he is completely ignorant regarding learning he is bright and glib. I live in Brooklyn and the missionaries work even here. Yess suposedly lives in a trailer and travels around the country. I have no proof that these men are actually missionaries but I have a funny feeling. They have abused the memory of the Rebbe and have helped to destroy Chabad. My question is why?

  9. Yess was a Chabadnik 25 years ago and has been well known within Chabad for that time. Ariel has been a Chabadnik for at least 10 years. Neither are Christian missionaries.

  10. Anonymous

    They are Yehist missionaries. The reason I don’t use the term “messianic” is because I believe that every Jew is messianic, we just don’t agree on who Moshiach is. I refuse to let the Yehists and the J4J people hijack the term.

  11. Jath

    I don’t use the term “messianic” is because I believe that every Jew is messianic, ……

    anonymous
    this is often used by the crypto believers in the mms to artificially “enlarge” their camp . i think you are wrong. every jew could believe in the coming messiah (among many other beliefs), honour the sabbath, observe kashrut, do good and shun evil. in fact, certainly not in this order !

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