LEADING CHABAD THEOLOGIAN: “The Rebbe Is Alive … There Is No Change In How The Rebbe Relates To Hasidim And No Change In How Hasidim Relate To The Rebbe”

Rabbi Yoel Kahn, Chabad’s chief theologian, has this to say about the Rebbe’s death and his ‘role’ in the world to this day:

The right shitah is to say the truth: That now the Rebbe is also alive and affects us here physically. That after Gimmel Tamuz 1994 no change has occurred in the relationship between the Rebbe and chassidim – no change as the Rebbe relates to chassidim and no change as chassidim relate to the Rebbe.

"Chazal tell us (in Sotah 13b) that just like Moses was standing in service of G-d before he became 120 so too he is standing in the service of G-d after 120. It is brought down in holy books that this is said not only of Moses but of all true leaders of Israel in every generation especially in the sichos where the Rebbe speaks of the "hiskashrus" to the Previous Rebbe.

"Obviously, this pertains to the Rebbe too as it is written in Zohar that "when a Tzaddik departs he is to be found in all the worlds more than in his lifetime."

"The difference between the Rebbe Rashab and the Rebbe is that since the Rebbe Rashab had a son who replaced him the "hashpo" goes through the new leader and Moses of that respective generation. But in the case of the Rebbe since he did not leave anybody to replace him, he continues to affect us just like before.… [One must ask, if this is true (it is not), does this mean every childless leader of Jews is still leading us, even many years or centuries after their deaths? This bizarre thought is now normative in Chabad. – Shmarya.]

Just like before Gimmel Tammuz 1994 people from all walks of life, not only Lubavitchers, would come to the Rebbe on Sundays to receive a dollar and ask for a blessing and witnessed outright miracles today too people from all walks of life come to the Ohel and are blessed with what they need. Some people make a special trip just for that. They land in Kennedy airport, go to the Ohel and fly back just as they came to the Rebbe before Gimmel Tamuz.…

This is part of a loger interview published in Kfar Chabad Magazine in which Rabbi Kahn attacks the theology of the extreme messianists (also known as Sfasniks and Taliban), the guys who pretend to get glasses of wine from the late Rebbe and other insanities. In other words, Rabbi Kahn is not arguing against the now normative Chabad belief that the Rebbe will be the messiah.

For those of you unaware, Gimmel (3) Tammuz is the date on the Jewish calendar of the Rebbe’s death.

[Hat Tip: Tzemach Atlas.]

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19 Comments

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19 responses to “LEADING CHABAD THEOLOGIAN: “The Rebbe Is Alive … There Is No Change In How The Rebbe Relates To Hasidim And No Change In How Hasidim Relate To The Rebbe”

  1. B”H
    We salute Rabbi Yoel Kahan for his lack of the usual Chabad narrow-mindednes and sectarianism for only a real Gaon of Torah and Chassidus could create potential for total unity in Chabad by saying this:
    In kovetz Moshiach u’Ge’ula vol 2, published by Yagdil Torah in 5757, Rabbi Yoel Kahn writes that the Rebbe was very particular in choosing his words and that whatever Chasidim understand them to mean was certainly intended by the Rebbe. Therefore, since the Rebbe’s words can be understood as proof that Yudel is Moshiach, Yoel Kahn concludes that it must be true that Yudel is certainly Moshiach or that Rebbe is G-d or Yudel is G-d or both etc. ad infintum.
    We thus like to protest shturem for atributing words to Rabbi Kahan bashing the tzfasniks for the man who wrote the above 10 years ago surely couldn’t have fallen so low as to say these words some of which directly contradict the Rebbe’s Sichos spirity and actions.

  2. chief doofis

    After hearing this nonsense, how can I still be the Chief Doofis? These guys bring Doofishness to its graetest heights!!

  3. chief doofis

    After hearing this nonsense, how can I still be the Chief Doofis? These guys bring Doofishness to its graetest heights!!

  4. chief doofis

    After hearing this nonsense, how can I still be the Chief Doofis? These guys bring Doofishness to its graetest heights!!

  5. Modern Jew

    And the mainstream Jewish Community lets Chabad solicit its children into this Cult?

  6. sammy

    You misquoted Rabbi Kahn big time. In your headline you quoted “the Rebbe is also alive”. in the actual interview Rabbi Kahn said “the Rebbe is also alive in the SPIRITUAL sense”. BIG DIFFERENCE
    Honest Mistake??????????

  7. Those who claim that Chabad represents “authentic” Judaism more than… ummmm… this unmentionable Bizayon, fail to realize that declarations such as the above-quoted ones from some black-hatted white-bearded holy-old-fuck play a key role in the ossification of yet another stage in the evolutionary process of religions.

    Pauline epistles, anyone?
    The Council of Nicea and canonization of the NT performed the same function for Christianity, nearly two millenia ago; excluding certain “radical” factions of the new religion and defining yet another break from the “normative” theology of the parent religion.

    …And you know what the preceeding has been.

  8. Ben Qor'ha (Baldwin)

    Sammy says
    “in the actual interview Rabbi Kahn said “the Rebbe is also alive in the SPIRITUAL sense”. BIG DIFFERENCE
    Honest Mistake??????????”
    No mistake here!
    Kahn and others of that group, conduct dialectic discussions in “coitus interruptus fashion”.
    Everything is yes and no.
    Yes but not really.
    Yes but not yet.
    This is not only confusing to the unsuspecting majority minds, but also deliberately misleading and dishonest.
    Add to that their domineering and invasive attitude; and jews! better watch out. Before you know, precious little will remain of the jewish kitty.

  9. Anonymous

    Chabad may have its own theology, and thats fine. There were huge criticisms when the rambam wrote his various works, there were many who were critical of kabbalah when it first came out, there were many critical of chassidism, bretslov, etc. You all have understandable concerns, but what if you are wrong? It may not be as slippery a slope as you all fear. What if nothing bad comes of this in 100 years. You all wasted your energy trying to stop something that wasn’t going to happen. Just consider that possibility.

  10. Yochanan Lavie

    The Rambam, Kabbalah, and even Breslov don’t believe in a revived dead messiah who is the incarnation of God’s presence. Even if nothing else comes out of Chabad, that’s bad enough.

    When Jews for Jesus come to proselytize, they now have a new weapon: “Right idea, wrong man.” They are unintentionally blurring the lines between Christian and Jewish theology, even if their praxis remains shmirat hamtizvot.

  11. YUGUY

    Wow, thats a great idea. Why bother telling your children not to do drugs, they may not do it anyhow. Why bother teaching morals to people at all, they may guess what is right and wrong.

    So what if Ahmedijiniad wants to start another holocaust, he may fail, so why bother trying to prevent it?

    Why should we care if Terrorist countries with no human value have nuclear bombs, its possible they wont use them!

    Why bother screening for terrorism at airports, they may decide not to blow themselves up anyhow.

    You, my dear friend, are a Freaking Moron.

    P.S. Your parents probably thought that logic would come to you even if they never actively pursued it with you…..maybe they were wrong?

  12. YUGUY

    I would like to apologize to the anonymous poster that I refered to as a freaking moron. It is innapropriate for me to call you names simply because I feel you didn’t think an argument totally through. You are just trying to defend people, and your weak argument was an honest attempt to protect these people from hate and slander. I had no right to insult you.

  13. Yochanan Lavie

    Imagine if the MO’s declared the late Rav Joseph Soloveitchik was the dead messiah, and the incarnation of God’s presence. I don’t think there would be many apologists for them. (You can imagine this scenario with other movements and their late leaders).

    Why do some people give Chabad a pass? Because they do good work? Islamic fundies do unimpeachable good charity work, too, along with their terrorism. (Not that Chabad compares to them, just that the logic is similar).

  14. Joe

    the anonymous commenter “what if you are wrong?”‘

    We are already right! You have created a new religion and a new ideology of judasm that resembles the beggining of a new religion.

    Having buildings and proslytes does not make you more legitimate; if anything more dangerous.

  15. Anonymous

    YUGUY, no problem, I forgive you. When I first started posting, I got carried away at times, and I’ve found you have to be careful with the laws of onoas devarim, even though you’re just typing. Also be careful with what you type in general, because a lot of people read this, and what you write can make an impression on a great number of people, both for good and bad.

    BTW, I think you guy use the word chabad to describe both yechi and anti yechi camps. I don’t know the exact numbers for each, but there are plenty of chabadniks who don’t even fall within this discussion.

  16. Ben Qor'ha (Baldwin)

    “use the word chabad to describe both yechi and anti yechi camps. I don’t know the exact numbers for each, but there are plenty of chabadniks who don’t even fall within this discussion.”
    I don’t think so anon.
    With all the mental gymnastics, and all the apologetics of both sides, I think that shomer nafsho yirchaq from both.
    Zeh Ne—-a vezeh Tr—a.
    It is becoming amply evident, that anything to do with either grouping, causes more timtum haleiv to the Jewish neshomeh than chala nokhri or pat palter akum.
    One fears that partaking of their meals, will be punishable like those who ate kosher in Achashveirosh banquet!

  17. chief doofis

    Chabad is unique in its attitude. Yes, they are into what they call kiruv, but it’s only to bring you into their fold. Most other kiruv organizations try to mainstream their recruits. Chabad wants its recruits for Chabad. If someone is approached by them, and becomes a Rosh Yeshiva, that is a failure for them, unless he is a Chabad Rosh Yeshiva. And, all of this applied before teh Rebbe’s death. Now that they have this stupidity (and that’s being generous, it’s really heresy) with the Messianic (and worse) claims, Chabad has exited the Pale of normative Judaism.

    There are claims that not all of Chabad is Messianic. of course not all of it is. Nonetheless, let’s see of the “anti-yechi” groups, as they exist, muster up the courage to appoint a successor Rebbe. Only when that happens, can Chabad attempt to rejoin the ranks.

    Early Christianity, failing to find significant following amongst Jews, veered towards preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles. Chabad, which has zero to offer to the “frum from birth” crowd,and is ridiculed in the yeshiva world, can only hope to spread its Gospel to the unaffiliated. They concentrate on the fallen birds from the FSU, on assimilated kids at college campuses, etc. The days when Chabad really stood for Chochma Binah and Da’at are ancient history. While I certainly don’t fall in lockstep with any of these groups, you will find Satmar boys learning in Lakewood, other Chassidim learning in other institutes of “higher learning”. Chabadniks are only at their own institutions. And, in those institutions very little real Torah is learned. Classes in Chassidut (whatever that is), Tanya, etc., abound, but try to find a class on Gemara (beyond the basics) Shulchan Aruch, etc., and you would need to look very hard!!

  18. Ben Qor'ha (Baldwin)

    “There are claims that not all of Chabad is Messianic. of course not all of it is. Nonetheless, let’s see of the “anti-yechi” groups, as they exist, muster up the courage to appoint a successor Rebbe. Only when that happens, can Chabad attempt to rejoin the ranks.”

    I doubt that even then, that would not be possible, Chief D.:
    שנאמר: ומעוות לא יוכל לתקון

  19. chief doofis

    BQ: Of course the new Rebbe won’t be acknowledged by the meshichist camp. The sane thing happened when the early Judeo – Christians didn’t accept Bar Cochva. However, at least the non meshichist cadres could regain a little legitimacy.

    There is a real shmendrik on the West Coast who is going around calling the rebbe (ZTL) god!! He denies the authority of the Rambam, and the opinion of about 13,000,000 Jews today who, whatever they do believe, can’t accept an incarnate god!! (I am deliberately using lower case letters, I’d do the same for any man made deity)

    This nonsense has to be segregated from mainstream Judaism. Someone who believs in a man – god, wouildn’t even be accepted by the Moslems for Halal!

    If twenty years ago, someone would have told you that there will soon come a time that “Jews” with beards and Peyos will believe that a dead man is a Messiah and a god, we would have thought he was nuts!!

    Now we have to boycott Lubavitch foods, because of the Moshiach nonsense. We have to boycott Satmar, because they are the spiritual fount for Neturai Karta. What are we supposed to eat?

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