Shahar Smooha: The Man Who Lives To Bring Redemption

A wonderful piece by Shahar Smooha in the Columbia Journalist:

Three times in the last three years, Yosi Levi asked his rabbi if he should go back to Israel. The rabbi, who has been dead for 12 years now, each time said no.

Levi thought perhaps he could get permission to return home for his brother’s wedding. After all, this was his closest sibling and he had promised to attend. But the rabbi wouldn’t hear of it.

It’s easy to communicate with the late Lubavitcher rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. All Levi has to do is to write his questions on a piece of paper and place it in one of the rabbi’s 23 Q&A books called “Igrot Kodesh,” or holy epistles. Then, he interprets how the rabbi has answered other people’s questions and applies them to his own. “You insert your note into a random page of a random book and then you see what the rabbi wrote you,” said Levi, who believes the dead rabbi is the Messiah.

Levi immediately cancelled the plane ticket and notified his brother. “He understood,” he said. “He knows what the rabbi means for me.”

Was Levi disappointed? Did he feel a pinch in his heart? “Maybe a little one,” he admitted while fondling his brown beard “But I’m a soldier. I follow orders.”…

The only dissapointment of note is this line: “A small but very vocal group still believes that Schneerson is the Messiah and that he will reveal himself to the world when the time is right.” That “small-but vocal group” are the Israeli Tzfasniks and their followers. The regular messianists and the so-called “anti-messianists” all believe the Rebbe is the messiah. They differ over if and how to publicize this “fact.”

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2 Comments

Filed under Chabad Theology

2 responses to “Shahar Smooha: The Man Who Lives To Bring Redemption

  1. paqah

    reflections from shachrit service I.
    we heared a great dvar torah this morning .
    why is the name of moshe-our master- barely, mentioned in the haggada ? (indeed only once to describe him as hashem’s “servant”).
    it is for the people to know that “all the miracles” are hashem’s, moshe rabbenu, was merely his servant.
    for the same reason, nobody knows till our days, moshe’s burial place. lest we fall in the trap of confusing him with the deity.
    not so it seems with mm”s the lubavitcher, “he” deflected the storms in florida,(him, velo mal’akh) he collapsed the soviet union,(him, velo saraph) he won the victories over the arab armies,(him, velo shaliach) he gave children to an untold number dollar recepiants,(him, velo acheir)hmmm, a true object for faith!? i don’t think so! feh !

  2. paqah

    reflections from shachrit service II.

    from the torah reading this morning:
    –כִּי-זֶה מֹשֶׁה הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱלָנוּ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, לֹא יָדַעְנוּ מֶה-הָיָה לוֹ. ….. ד וַיִּקַּח מִיָּדָם, וַיָּצַר אֹתוֹ בַּחֶרֶט, וַיַּעֲשֵׂהוּ, עֵגֶל מַסֵּכָה; וַיֹּאמְרוּ–אֵלֶּה אֱלֹהֶיךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל, אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱלוּךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם. ה וַיַּרְא אַהֲרֹן, וַיִּבֶן מִזְבֵּחַ לְפָנָיו; וַיִּקְרָא אַהֲרֹן וַיֹּאמַר, חַג לַיהוָה מָחָר. ו וַיַּשְׁכִּימוּ, מִמָּחֳרָת, וַיַּעֲלוּ עֹלֹת, וַיַּגִּשׁוּ שְׁלָמִים; וַיֵּשֶׁב הָעָם לֶאֱכֹל וְשָׁתוֹ, וַיָּקֻמוּ לְצַחֵק.
    just like nero and like the yad eliahu assafssuf! the eirev rav.
    vayeshev haam leekhol veshato, vayakumu letzachek !

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