Rav Schochet – prominent Chabad rabbi – bans Telushkin Book For Heresy Content

If there is one thing that any chossid or reader of the works and episodes of the last Rebbe זי’ע is that while he was firm and unwavering, his responses during yechidus were often unexpected. There is a need for a person to imagine how is Rav HaMuvhak would have behaved, but once you get into the realms of the greats, you are a brave man extrapolating from the general to the particular. This is what Rav Schochet and many others do. They are well intentioned but in my opinion show disrespect by double guessing their Rebbe. Based on Schochets comments below we could never have seen the wonderful interchange between the LR and a reform rabbi who wrote 9 1/2 steps which the LR ALLOWED him to publish. I say take a step back and remember to be מקבל the אמת from whoever tells you. If he has problems with certain views or assumptions then let him state these; he otherwise falls in the category of the ubiquitous protests stuck on the walls of Yerushalayim which not many pay attention to.

Here is the article from CHABAD.info

Make up your own mind. I found the book excellent. I think that calling Telushkin out in this way achieves zero kiruv.

In a letter written a few weeks ago, Rabbi Gershon Elisha Schochet, Av Beis Din of Toronto, asks Rabbi YY Shusterman, Rov in Beverly Hills California, if he permitted the reading and disseminating of the Telushkin book.
After a response was not forthcoming, he chose to publish the letter:
I have heard a rumor, that you have supposedly approved the book of Telushkin, and additionally, you have ruled, in your capacity as a Rov More Hora’ah for Chabad, that Shluchim should encourage the distribution of the book.
I am sure you are aware of the Rebbe’s opinion prohibiting the use of books which were written by unscrupulous individuals, even when there is no inherent problem with the content of the book. And the Rebbe held the same regarding books which only referenced such publications.
Also, you are surely aware of the Rebbe’s extensive correspondence regarding the Conservative movement, it’s “Rabbis” and leaders – that the Halacha is they are considered heretics.
You are surely aware of the famous ruling by Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, that a Conservative “Rabbi” is not trusted for testimony in Jewish court just by the mere fact that he is affiliated with said movement, and he doesn’t need any prior warning before being disqualified…
Regarding the author, Telushkin – there is no need to do any research, for it is clearly known to anyone who searches the internet that he serves as a “Rabbi” in a Conservative temple, where a woman serves as a “Chazanit” and his assistant “Rabbi” is from the Reform movement,
Although this would have been enough for someone who is a G-d fearing Jew, and even more so for a Chossid of the Rebbe, and even more so for one who presents himself as a Rov who rules according to the directives of the Rebbe – to completely prohibit the above book.
More so, in this case (without even discussing the issue of the author), when many people who are considered G-d fearing Jews, and known around the world as smart people who are busy with spiritual issues (I am not talking about those “leaders” who are well-versed in politics, PR and monetary issues) – have said that the book has some terrible ideas which constitute a Chilul Hashem, so much so that anyone who has any inkling of a connection to the Rebbe, and more so if he has an iota of Hiskashrus, would immediately denounce this book.
I therefore turn to you and ask you, in the name of Anash and their descendants which are here and those that will come, that you please tell me that this rumor is a lie, and there is no inkling of truth in this matter.
If G-d forbid there is some truth to this rumor, I demand you tell me what the reasoning behind your ruling is, and if you made your decision independently or after consulting with other Lubavitcher Rabbonim and Mashpiim, and tell me their names and reasons.
With a blessing for a Ksiva V’chasima Tova,
Rabbi Gershon Elisha Schochet

Author: pitputim

I've enjoyed being a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia, as well as band leader/singer for the Schnapps Band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel and later in life at Machon L'Hora'ah, Yeshivas Halichos Olam.

4 thoughts on “Rav Schochet – prominent Chabad rabbi – bans Telushkin Book For Heresy Content”

  1. The difference would seem simple. There the Rebbe had a private interchange with an individual. The Rebbe did not later tell his Chassidim to promote or buy his book.
    Unlike here,


    1. Wrong. He told the reform rabbi (who later declared to his congregation) that he really is orthodox he could publish the detailed private conversations. Who on this Beis din is qualified to be the LR’s policeman after he has passed away, and to declare that it should NOT be read. If there is kefira in the book let the Beis din tell us where. You and I both know that the expansive library of the Rebbes had plenty of secular books. I do not know which Seif in Shulchan Aruch they rely on to assur the reading of the book! Personally, I enjoyed it very much and developed a better appreciation. He’s also a grandson of a Tomim and his father worked hand in hand with Lubavitcher. Let’s be honest here for a change. The LR in my estimation wouldn’t have allowed ANYONE to write about him. He was most humble and private. Did this Beis Din also decide that Miller and Even Yisrael WERE allowed? Did the LR give such authority to any Beis Din of Lubavitch. IF the Beis Din had written that it’s more useful for a Chossid to learn his Torah, that would be a reasonable thing to say (although I dare say that younger chassidim who never met him would probably love reading the book) if there are errors point them out!


    1. Of course he didn’t but you and I know well I don’t know how old you are, that MANY read it and were enraptured by the exchange. In fact I read it 30 years ago. The wrong was for your retort. Please answer the counterpoints I made. I think they are clear. I have a LOT of time for R Yechezkel Sofer who is referred to in very horrible terms by am horaztishe meshichisten, but I don’t know this one


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