The Rebbe As “God”

Harsh critics of Lubavitcher Elokism (such as Rabbi David Berger) have complained that these doctrines will make Christian arguments seem more plausible within the Jewish paradigm. Such an objection makes the argument above especially ironic. Imagine a debate between a Christian and a Lubavitcher Elokist. Both agree that the Messiah has come, and both believe he is God in the form of a man (and that he is referred to in Daniel 7). The only thing they disagree on is who this person is (Jesus vs Menachem Schneerson). I can imagine the Christian asking rhetorically: "who best fits the description of being worshipped by people from all nations and linguistic groups?"

Properly, what this refers to is a demigod, the ancient idea of man – a king or priest – taking on characteristics of God and becoming, through transmutation, an aspect of God Himself. This is how early Christians viewed Jesus, and how many current Lubavitchers view the late Rebbe.



Filed under Chabad Theology

9 responses to “The Rebbe As “God”

  1. B”H
    I must protest!
    The only person in our generation who can be viewed as a true incarnation of G-d is Yudel Krinsky King Moshiach Almighty.
    Please read my strong condemnation of those responsible for the RebbeG-d worship in our generation as well as those Rabbis who enable them to continue in their wicked ways:
    RebbeGod worshippers and their enablers.

  2. Anonymous

    This is how I view Shmarya. Yechi Shmarya

  3. Actually, shamarya, I have been reading books and listening to many lectures concerning the historical developments of Christianity.

    The truth is that current orthodox Christianity is a culmination of a four hundred year debate and battle over several groups vying for dominance.

    There were several groups who interpreted their relationship with Jesus and defined who he was in rather startling contrasting views. Some Christians considered him to be human, others divine (docetists for example) while others considered him to be both.

    Some considered him not to have died in actu but rather it was only an appearance of death, and that due to his level of divinity he was not capable of being limited by coarse physicality.

    If any of these issues interest you I would suggest for you and your readers to get a hold of anything by Bart Ehrman. He also has audio lectures at the teaching company, available online that are very good.

    Truth be told, I find the obvious similarities between early Christianity and the unfolding of the current polemics within Chabad to be more than mere coincidence. It is nothing more or less than another zany fringe that has indulged in unadulterated mystical messianism.

  4. B”H
    Shmaryah you should have quoted 1st part of his article instead:

    go read daniel 7:13 and 14. on the bar enosh rashi simply said hu melekh hamoshiach. so this is referring to melekh hamoshiach and even there it says moshiach will be worshipped (leh yiflchoon). he will be served the way g-d is served in a service.

    In short, this person who considers themself a practitioner of Orthodox Judaism is claiming that Daniel 7:13-14 is a Biblical prooftext in favor of the position that the Messiah is also God. Interestingly, I don’t believe I have ever seen a Christian employ this verse as a prooftext for Jesus’ divinity, but it seems like a strong example. So let’s examine the claim here.

    The text of this Biblical passage (which is in Aramaic) refers to one who is like a bar enash (“son of man”). While in Christian theology the son of man is Jesus, I was not familiar with Jewish interpretations of who this person was. The commentator makes reference to Rashi, a medieval Jewish exegete who is considered one of the most authoritative sources of proper doctrine and hermeneutics in Judaism. Well, I checked Rashi’s commentary on Daniel 7:13, and sure enough, regarding the “son of man” he wrote simply three words: hu melekh ha-mashiach (“he is the King Messiah”). So while Christians and Jews may not be able to agree on precisely who the Messiah is, they can agree that Daniel 7:13 is referring to this figure (in fact, it seems it is pretty much an article of faith for both religions).

    More interesting, however, is what verse 14 says about this person (which the commentator alluded to). The Aramaic text speaks of kol `ammayaa umayaa w’lishanayaa (“all peoples, nations and linguistic groups”), and then it has two rather shocking words: leh yiflchoon (“him they will worship”). I checked the verb yiflchoon (from the feh-lamed-chet root) in Franz Rosenthal’s wonderful work, A Grammar of Biblical Aramaic, and indeed it states that it can mean to worship (see also Reuven AlQalay’s Milon Ivri-Angli Shalem, or Thayer’s Lexicon).

    But many translations, both Jewish (e.g. JPS) and Christian (e.g. KJV), translate the verb not as “worship,” but rather as “serve”. Anticipating such an objection, the commentator interpreted this as meaning that the Messiah “will be served the way g-d is served in a service” (i.e. “served” in the sense of worship). Interestingly, all the usages of this Aramaic verb in the relatively small portion of the Old Testament in Aramaic pertain to serving a deity (e.g. Daniel 3:12, 14, 17, 18, 28, 6:16, 6:20, 7:27, et cetera). Also, in the Aramaic text of Ezra 7:19, a derivative of this root appears: falchan – “religious service” or “worship”.

    This is, in my opinion, a rather powerful argument in favor of the position that even the Old Testament (i.e. the Hebrew Bible of Judaism) teaches that the Messiah will be divine, and that is simply fascinating!

    this is the substance of his whole post,the last part of what he is saying is not very thought out for an educated guy like him besides the fact that the Rebbe also has followers from all nations and languages Jesus unlike the Rebbe didn’t fulfill a numberof prophecies about Moshiach and said some prophecies that didn’t come true making him a false prophet not a true Messiah. Thanks for posting the link. It’s important information that Chabadniks and
    others should be aware of.

  5. Yos

    As an ignoramus, I’m willing to consider the general point, or accept it for the sake of the hypothetical as fundamentally true. The objection I would raise as an uneducated person would be that both Oso Hoish and The Rebbe z”l have left disorder in their wake. Oso Hoish much worse obviously – two thousand years is a lot of time for a virus to spread into an inquisition. But already, The Rebbe has had more – at least potentially – misled *Jewish* followers and comparatively an equal amount of sectarian violence. 770 riots = Paul of Tarsus vs Yerusalem derekh.

  6. Scam Alert

    only ariel and scotty and berger believe that the Rebbe is some sort of demigod.

  7. shmuel

    Ariel’s points above are troubling and demand further attention. I have never been taught that the Moshiach will be divine, that he’ll be worthy of worship or service the way we worship G-d, etc. My understanding is that Rambam wrote that Moshiach will be flesh and blood and do the things which need to be done to usher in a world of peace, world-wide knowledge of G-d, the tossing away of idolatry, no more wars, etc. All we’ve seen since Jesus is 2000 years of world-wide war, and, as Ramban noted in his disputation, much of those wars were fought by Christians against other Christians. He never even saw the Protestant Reformation, with all its fighting. So Jesus was a miserable failure of a Moshiach if there ever was one. But so were Bar Kochba, Shabtai Tzvi, and my personal favorite, Menachem Begin.

    During Rabbi Schneerson’s lifetime, and since his death, all we’ve seen is world-wide war, a ratcheting up of Islamic terrorism everywhere, Satmar, Bobov and other Chasidic-group infighting, Ponovizh yeshiva infighting, and now internal Lubavitcher rioting and fighting. It’s clear as day (except to all Lubavitchers) that we’re not quite in the Messianic period. But try to be logical with brainwashed people who refuse to be schooled.

  8. Lawrence M. Reisman

    With regard to the comparisons between Chabad and early Christianity, what did Karl Marx say about history repeating itself? The first time it’s tragedy and the second time it’s farce?

  9. Yos

    “World peace” was only meant as a biblical allegory. Har, har.

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