Distasteful, Disrespecting and simply wrong

The following poster has begun to appear

I am on record as vigorously opposed to the antics, utterances and public displays of Meshichisten. I will also go on record here as vigorously opposed to posters, such as the one above. The last Lubavitcher Rebbe ז’ל was an undeniable Tzadik, Gaon and led a highly successful Chassidic movement that is still buzzing along. To equate the antics of a section of his Chassidim as “dangerous” or proposing an “existential threat” to Judaism is an insulting canard and materialistically false. I am most saddened when I see his visage plastered on billboards; it is demeaning.

One thing is clear: this is not the work of Chabadniks. It is the work of co-religionists who were and always have been opposed to Chabad, with or without Meshichism. This is the work of so-called Misnagdim. Like Meshichisten, they too should get a life and visit us on our planet.

Author: pitputim

I'm a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia although my views have naught​ to do with my employer. I skylark as the band leader/singer for the Schnapps Band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel.

15 thoughts on “Distasteful, Disrespecting and simply wrong”

  1. Isaac once again you are spot on.
    The opposition to Chabad pre- dated the Lunacy of Messianism, it even pre- dates the Mitzvah Campaigns initiated at the time of the Six Day War by the Rebbe zy”a.
    We all need to keep our eye on the ball, to learn more Torah, to do move Mitzvos and lend a hand to those in need; which hopefully will cause the Messianic Era to arrive one moment earlier.

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  2. In all due respect the Meshichist aspect of Chabad/Lubavitch has been around for the last three Rebbeim, and I’m not sure that you can call someone a Tzadik who called himself, “Nothing less than G-d clothed in a body.”(L’havdil).

    Moving aside from that. From the picture you posted above, it looks like the Meshichist poster was simply applied on top of another poster calling something else a danger to Jews. Are you saying that someone has gotten their own Mashiach posters and started placing them on top of these others as a sort of artful, though tasteless protest?

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    1. There is no comparison between what is happening now with Meshichisten versus the theological point of Atzmus in prior writings and generations. This new phenomenon is condemned by those who still understand and ascribe to that concept. Disclaimer: I know very little Chassidus or Kabolo knowledge.

      Putting that aside, there is no doubt that the posters used images that were extant. How they manufactured them is not my concern. The appearance of his visage however on posters across the board upsets me and demeans the man. When I see them on the highways between Yerusholayim and Tel Aviv, I am sad. It’s not Kavodik to paste a Tzadik’s image everywhere in Reshus HoRabim period. I don’t have any doubt that if R’ Nachman M’Bratslav was a latter day Rebbe with all the concomitant multi-media, that we would see similar displays, perhaps with different captions. That would also upset me. It’s just not the Jewish way. Sure, we have the concept of והיו עיניך רואות את מוראיך but this is way over the top.

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      1. If the gentleman knows little Chassidus or Kabbola, why does he venture to opine on the esoteric concept of Atzmus. May I suggest he finds A scholarly Lubavitcher with whom he can learn through this most fundamental but difficult Chassidic Inyan.
        Regarding, his disquiet regarding large posters of the Rebbe zy”a on highway in Eretz Yisroel, or for that matter anywhere else, I am in full agreement, they detract from the Rebbe’s Kavod.

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          1. Isaac
            so there are more than a few well balanced Lubavitchers in Melbourne with whom you could learn through such ideas.
            I asked these penetrating questions to eltere Chassidim many years ago, not one was caught up in the Atzmus “business” including Reb Zalman of Blessed Memory or Rav Gafni Shlita.
            I am more concerned with how does a person internalize the Torah in tog tegliche leben
            Pinchos

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        1. I understand the concept of Atzmut. However, I also understand that Rav Haim Vital told his pupil Rav Yaakov Tzamach, that anyone who tells you that they are a Tzadik(which is existentially what saying that you are completely mevatel to HaShem is), is a rasha and you should run from them. Four generations of Chabad Rebbeim saw fit to apply such an appelation to their predecessor, and I have no problem with that. However, when one applies that appelation to themselves, along with a Meshichist claim, as at least some Lubavitchers claim the last three Rebbeim did, I am deeply troubled.
          It indicates either that the Rebbeim(Has V’Shalom) are not worthy of their title or position, or a fundamental disconnect between them and their Chassidim. Now admittedly the circumstances following the last Lubavitcher Rebbe were a bit more controversial with a number of Gedolei Yisrael taking serious issue with what they perceived to be his own claims.
          Admittedly I was not old enough to be aware of the controversy when it was occurring and I don’t speak Yiddish to be able to understand his actual words, and thus must rely on someone else’s translation thereof and those translations are nearly always made by someone with an agenda. However I have been fortunate to have a kesher with two Rabbanim who themselves were very close with the Rebbe, Rav Shmuel Lew and Rav Yosef Yitzhak Kaplan. Both of them tell me that he never made such claims about himself, and such claims were more the work of the over active imaginations of overly expectant chassidim.
          I do still have a problem with the claim of nullification to the will of HaShem, especially given Rav Haim Vital’s strict warnings about those who make such claims.

          Regarding the manufacture of the posters, how do you know that they are not put up by Lubavitchers? Lubavitchers all over Israel post such posters, wear pins, wave flags and hand out propagandist literature in places like Ben Yehuda St making these very claims.

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          1. Indeed there is a sign that says the very same thing in the back of Shule, besides other signs, photos, cards, flags, vans etc etc.

            I would think non-Chabadniks would have better things to do than post posters like that one.

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  3. “One thing is clear: this is not the work of Chabadniks.”

    Am I missing something? Are you serious or are you saying Meshichists are not Chabadniks?

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    1. I believe he is saying, it was the work of opponents of Chabad.
      Regarding the issue are meshechisten Chabadniks, the answer is all Jews are brothers

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  4. The late Rebbe ZTz”L never called himself “Nothing less than G-d clothed in a body.” He said that just as “the Jews, Torah and Hashem are all one entity” , it’s the same with Hasidim and their Rebbe: that a Rebbe isn’t an intermediary but a connection joining Hasidim with G-d. Furthermore, (in relation to his father in law, the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe ZtTz”L) that he was convinced, although he couldn’t base it on Hasidic texts, that one cannot challenge one’s Rebbe because to do so is effectively to challenge “Atzmus”, albeit Aztmus clothed in flesh. The Rebbe then compared it to an angel (i.e., a messenger of G-d) being called by the name of G-d; the Zohar referring to Rebbi as “p’nei ha-adon”; Moshe Rabbenu EH relaying commandments in the first person (“I will give dew …”) and so forth.

    You can find the passage here although it really starts on the page before:
    http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=16065&st=&pgnum=235&hilite=

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  5. Coming in late: the Rebbe never referred to himself as a tzadik, let alone as “atzmus umhus vi s’iz melubash in a guf”. He used that term of his rebbe, not of himself. Obviously his chassidim treated him as he treated his rebbe, and they understood that if he saw his rebbe in those terms then they should see him the same way. So the quote from RCV is completely irrelevant.

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