February 7, 2018 2:26 pm at 2:26 pm #1464629
SHY: From the previous discussions here I seem to recall that you acknowledged that many of your positions are a minority within Chabad and many of CS’ positions are more in tune with the majority of Lubavitchers.February 7, 2018 2:26 pm at 2:26 pm #1464630
“How do you seriously farenfer the rebbe claiming to be watching you? And giving you chiyus? ”
I guess when I post a makor in Lashon HaKodesh you don’t read it. Tanya Perek Bais, about getting Chayus from a Tzadik.
And the Rebbe watching you? Well people have no qualms saying that about their parents in Olam Haemes. If I believe my Rebbe has Ruach Hakodesh, he’s probably watching me to. And if he’s passed away, he can see me from Olam Haemes.February 7, 2018 2:35 pm at 2:35 pm #1464643
If I believe my Rebbe has Ruach Hakodesh, he’s probably watching me to. And if he’s passed away, he can see me from Olam Haemes.
The all seeing, all knowing Rebbe?
Wow.February 7, 2018 2:45 pm at 2:45 pm #1464646
CS, when referring to avodah zara, we say elohim acherim.February 7, 2018 2:57 pm at 2:57 pm #1464655
“Why so secretive?”
Not secretive, I just don’t have the time to type up an old controversy. If you have Otzar HaChochma, look up נתיבים בשדה השליחות and go to Kuntres Yom Tov Sheini.February 7, 2018 3:22 pm at 3:22 pm #1464671
“I’m still waiting for SHY to explain the sichah about atzmus araingshtelt in a guf.”
I’m quite busy, and something like that takes a lot of time and effort, in addition to looking up certain things. I will bli neder, post something on it later today or tomorrow, iyh.February 7, 2018 3:25 pm at 3:25 pm #1464676
“If I believe my Rebbe has Ruach Hakodesh”
Please elaborate how is he your “rebbe” ? You never learned or even went in to him. If you want to claim one who is not alive as a Rebbe you might as well claim the Besh”T or The Alter Rebbe, or even Moshe Rabenu.
I know you will say “Nasi DORENU” and the above are not “dorenu” however, relatively to you, nor is the last rebbe…or at least in a couple of years he won’t be counted as “our generation”February 7, 2018 6:20 pm at 6:20 pm #1465190
BTW thanks @rso for the source of the Rebbe picture at the bris. Looks like that invites the Rebbe to attend.February 7, 2018 6:20 pm at 6:20 pm #1465186
Now if the other stuff is pretty clear I’ll be happy to share some of my personal experiences with the Rebbe.February 7, 2018 6:21 pm at 6:21 pm #1465185
So when I was walking to school I realized why people are squirming with how we treat our Rebbe. Because I would also squirm if anyone treated the respected Rabbonim and chassidim of lubavitch like that.
Like the Rosh, Rav Shusterman, Sholom mordechai Rubashkin etc.
Because at the end of the day, they’re regular albeit very special people and treating them like we have described above would make me squirm as well, it wouldn’t feel right, no matter what sources I would see.
And so I get it.
So here’s the thing. As much as I say tzadik of Tanya, if you haven’t experienced it you won’t think it’s real. So when I say Rebbe, youre picturing A Rav. So we’re talking two different things.
Because these Rabbanim or chassidim, say sholom mordechai for example – although I’m blown away by his emunah and bitachon, (I listened to the tu bshvat farbrengen – amazing!) I know it’s within my capabilities to reach that. I also know that it was still a struggle for him and he hasn’t completely drugged his yetzer hara out of action permanently. So you can’t treat him like that because there’s still some ego / personal motives there.
But the Rebbe is completely different. I can no quicker be the Rebbe than become a malach. It’s not within my capability. The Rebbe was chosen by Hashem to be His messenger and could do things that are impossible : like reply to people’s
thoughts , barely eat or sleep, describe in minute detail places he’s never been, promise and garantee brochos….. It’s a whole different story. I guess you have to experience it to believe it.February 7, 2018 6:23 pm at 6:23 pm #1464944
@sechel- You said “And the Rebbe watching you? Well people have no qualms saying that about their parents in Olam Haemes. If I believe my Rebbe has Ruach Hakodesh, he’s probably watching me to. And if he’s passed away, he can see me from Olam Haemes.”
First off, I do, and haven’t heard of being watched by my dead grandparents. If you can source this, it wouldn’t bother me, though, and do you know why? Because w/e mekor you’ll bring that neshamos can sit on the sidelines after death and watch their children means nothing practically. But the sicha quoted above must mean that the rebbe will be doing something for you up there, or why the heck else would you do things to help remind you he’s watching?? Why not think about Moshe Rabbeinu, or Yaakov Avinu, or the Taanoim and Amoraim, if all you’re looking for is inspiration. So he sees, hears, answers your requests…uh huh. Well played.
@DY- Please see the sicha I brought a link for, a couple pages ago, where the heintiger literally refers to the friediker as a kol yachol. Heck, since the mods let it through last time, I’ll just post it again.
Here: (starts at the bottom of page 162, continues onto 163; I don’t even believe there can be a rational explanation for this one.)
https://identifyingchabad.org/torasmenachem_1_163.pdfFebruary 7, 2018 7:08 pm at 7:08 pm #1465207
Add it to the list of questions yet to be answered.February 7, 2018 8:40 pm at 8:40 pm #1465212
Any yid is supposed to be able to rule the world instead of the world ruling him and control nature. The Rebbe or any tzadik just actually lives up to this potential by living with this higher level of kedusha that’s all.February 7, 2018 8:40 pm at 8:40 pm #1465214
Even regular people can reach this to some extent – just listen to the Rubashkin stories. Don’t know what you’re while fuss is about. Unless as commented above.February 7, 2018 8:40 pm at 8:40 pm #1465215
As far as any distinctions about after histalkus, the Alter Rebbe clearly addresses this in iggros kodesh or kuntres acharon where he brings the statement of the Zohar that a tzadik is found in this world even more after his passing and cares and sends hashpaos to his mekusharim. So I think I’ve addressed everything. Everyone happy now?February 7, 2018 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm #1465230
The rebbe was chosen by Hashem? Care to explain?
Also, the fact that someone can do “magic” doesn’t prove anything….February 7, 2018 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm #1465233
Your snide comments are uncalled for.
No one says he is all knowing.
Here is a story to give you a better picture.
A men came to the frierdeker rebbe and said his son wants to go to Israel, the frierdiker rebbe answered he should not go.
The son was angry his father asked the rebbe and went anyway, on the way his boat sank.
The father came crying to the rebbe way did you not tell me that the ship will sink, the rebbe answered believe me I did not know the ship will sink, only that his neshama was not meant to go to eretz yisrael.February 7, 2018 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm #1465234
To the original question
According the the BaH on Sotah 14a, Rabbi Hama son of Hanina says that Moses’ burial site was hidden because God knew he would eventually destroy the temple and exile Israel from the land. If they knew where Moses’ burial site was, they would go to it, alert Moses of the evil decree, ask him to pray for us, and Moses would nullify it.
He proves that Moses was unique in his decree-nullifying ability, citing the sin of the golden calf, and pointing out that of all the righteous people in the generation, Moses alone was approached by God to intervene.
He also remarks that the righteous are even more precious in death than in life, which would exacerbate Moses’ special role.February 7, 2018 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm #1465236
“yoshev karnaim” = someone who sits among horns?!February 7, 2018 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm #1465210
Reading through the postings here everyone seems to be on a feedback loop. I think there are a lot of assumptions each side has that are making it difficult to understand one another. I hope this will help breakthrough to help communicate better.
1. The question the OP asked is getting lost in all the details, and still hasn’t been CLEARLY addressed.
2. We all agree to the following:
A) You cannot pray to a person.
B) You can ask another person to pray for your benefit, or ask for a Bracha.
C) There are views which are incorrect, but still do not rise to the level of kefirah or avodah zara.
D) If someone is committing avodah zara that fact is unchanged by how much good they do otherwise, or how popular they are.
3. The OP’s Question can be broken down into the following issues:
A) Is “betten” a Rebbe the same as praying to a Rebbe?
B) If not, what problem was the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s teirutz of “Atzmuso uMahuso etc.,” meant to answer? Either betten is not tefilah, therefore you can bett anything and there is no problem of avodah zara (maybe just tipshus) and his teirutz is unnecessary, or it is tefilah and his answer is explaining why while betten a normal person WOULD be avodah zara, betten a Tzadik is not.
C) If you say that you cannot bett a normal person, but can bett a Tzadik, this is a tremendous chiddush. It essentially amounts to a heiter, or at the very least a kulah, in avodah zara. Lubavitchers, please imagine if another Rov wrote a teshuva saying that while praying to trees is avodah zara, praying to Oak trees is not. You would never accept this as a valid view without an OVERWHELMING amount of evidence from Chazal and other Poskim. This is exactly analogous what this view (i.e. you cannot bett people, but Tzadikim are an exception) is claiming, and will never be acceptable to the rest of Klal Yisroel. So what is the alternative way of understanding this Sicha?
For the Lubavitchers:
1. Your understanding of what a Tzadik is, as is stated in the Tanya is not a belief shared by any other contemporary frum Jews. This includes other Chasidim. I saw a few posters makes statements to the effect that other Chasidim have a more extreme view of the nature of a Tzadik. This is false. Maybe it was true in the past, but it certainly isn’t now (personally I think this was never the case).
2. Your belief that a Tzadik is for all practical purposes omniscient makes things extremely complicated, especially when it comes to how you account for views of other Tzadikim that are in conflict with your Rebbe.
3. Your belief that a Tzadik is omniscient similarly seems to lead you to accept his views without explanation. Which makes sense. Just keep in mind that no one else thinks this way. To outsiders this tendency feels like a rejection of fundamental ideals in the Gemara such as Lo BaShomayim Hi, or that Nevua has ended, etc. For everyone else, unless you are a Navi you need to explain yourself, make your case no matter how great a Tzadik or Talmud Chocham you are.
4. There is no such thing as a “Baal Nigleh.” There is one Torah. Learning Gemara is not some specialized field, it is required, period. The Torah al pi Sod is another layer of understand not a separate text, and you know this. If you can’t understand the Gemara in pshat, then you really have no business making statements about pnimius HaTorah, you can’t brush it away like its a sefer from a rival kreis.
5. While the rest of frum Yidden have made peace with one another, you stand alone. No one else calls Litvaks misnagdim, no Litvaks have any serious problem with other Chasidim, and almost no other Chasidim have a problem with each other. Before you get defensive about this, lets talk about the pshat that Chabad has when singing Ashreinu Ma Tov Chelkeinu. Think about this for a moment before assuming everyone is out to get you.
For the non-Lubavitchers:
1. If you are a Litvak there is a huge difference in how Chasidim see things based on the fact that their notion of Hashgacha Protis is far more encompassing than ours (see Chazon Ish, Emunah UBitachon). There are many nafka minas of this difference. The most important for our purposes being how you understand what receiving a bracha from a Tzadik accomplishes, or for that matter bokoshos in general. There is no point in arguing about the merits of either view in this forum, so for arguments sake you should take their view and assume that literally “HaKol Biydei Shomayim Chutz MiYiras Shomayim.”
2. For a Lubavitcher to say the Rebbe was wrong is the equivalent of saying they don’t believe in Judaism. They will never say this, and we shouldn’t expect them to. So, even though to me “Atzmuso uMahuso araingeshtelt in a guf” is prima facie avodah zara (as Rav Shach said), the most you can reasonably expect for a Lubavitcher is to take an extremely dochak view of what that statement means. By pushing against their (analytically questionable) interpretation, you are effectively pushing them further towards avodah zara, which no one wants. The only way this will be resolved is if they can say their Rebbe was correct, but he meant something else, so let them.
3. Despite the fact that Lubavitchers are often quite hostile to other frum Jews, this does not mean that they aren’t similarly mistreated. It doesn’t matter who is at fault, or who started it. No matter what we are all Yidden, HKB”H commanded us to love one another. Even in the worst case scenario they are certainly Tinokos Shenishba (Chazon Ish Y”D Siman 2). Their defensiveness does not absolve us from basic derech eretz, let alone chiyuvim bein adam l’chaveiro.
I hope this helps move the conversation to something clearer and more productive.February 7, 2018 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm #1465235
Here is another story to make this idea more clear ( there are many similar stories)
Reb Mendel Futerfas was the spiritual mentor of the city of Kfar Chabad in Israel. But in the 1940s, he was imprisoned and finally exiled to Siberia by the Soviet government. His crime: teaching and practicing Judaism.
On his birthday one year in Siberia, Reb Mendel longed to celebrate in the Chasidic manner by gathering with one’s friends, making an account of the past year and good resolutions for the upcoming year, and by having a private audience with the Rebbe.
Reb Mendel’s only “friends” in Siberia were the boorish Cossacks and political prisoners with whom he was exiled. A Chasidic gathering he could not make. But what he could do was to have a private audience with the Rebbe — in his mind.
Reb Mendel made the customary spiritual preparations for the communing of his soul with the Rebbe’s.
He then pictured himself writing a note to the Rebbe with all of his requests for blessings for the coming year. He imagined himself giving the note to the Rebbe and the Rebbe reading the note.
Then, in his mind’s eye, the Rebbe assured him that everything would be well.
Reb Mendel felt encouraged and strengthened.
Years later, when Reb Mendel was released from Siberia, he joined his wife and children who had meanwhile moved to England.
One day, as Reb Mendel perused the correspondence that his wife had received from the Rebbe in his absence, he came across a telegram.
The telegram’s date was the day after Reb Mendel’s birthday, years before. The Rebbe had sent Mrs. Futerfas a telegram to notify her that, “I received your husband’s letter…”
No distance, physical, spiritual, or medical, can separate a Jew from the Rebbe.
(a slightly different version: Years later, after he was released and united with his family, his wife showed him a strange letter that she had received from the Rebbe. The Rebbe had written her several letters but all were addressed to her and this one was addressed to Rav Mendel although he was in Siberia far from home at the time.
He read it and also at first didn’t understand, until he noticed that the date on the letter was the same as his birthday six years ago, the same day he had imagined his ‘Yechidus’. When he read it again he saw that it
contained answers to all the questions he asked, in the order that he had asked them. The Rebbe was with him.February 7, 2018 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm #1465240
Toi – you don’t learn basic Gemora? there is a machlokes if neshomos know what is going on down here. I believe Brochos 18b. Also learn Derech Hashem about the olam haneshamosFebruary 7, 2018 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm #1465259
“I have to say, even being on the evil, misnagdish, hater side myself, I don’t see why we say putting pictures in a stroller, Sphardim kissing pictures of the Baba Sali is all fine, but when you put the picture under a pillow it’s full blown avoida zara.”
I see two very different things here. Putting pictures in a stroller gives the kid something Jewish and good to look at, and it can hopefully make a good impression on him in later life.
Kissing pictures of Baba Sali sounds just as bad as putting pictures of the Lubavitcher rebbe under the baby’s head where it can’t be seen. I’ve never seen sfardim kissing pictures of the Baba Sali and I hope that they actually don’t, but I have seen pictures of the lubavitcher rebbe being put under babies’ heads at a bris.
And for your information Sechel HaYashar, I don’t know how old you are but I’m old enough to have been at many lubavitcher brissos before anybody ever thought of being a meshichist, throughout all the 80s and early 90s, and they were ALL putting pictures of the lubavitcher rebbe under the babies’ heads with the explicit claim that it is a lubavicher minhog.February 7, 2018 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm #1465262
SHY, CS, aww:
What do a) you and b) most Lubavitchers think of Rav Shach zt’l?February 7, 2018 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm #1465263
Any yid is supposed to be able to rule the world
What on earth are you talking about?February 7, 2018 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm #1465264
Don’t know what you’re while fuss is about.
Avoda zara, shituf, kefirah…February 7, 2018 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm #1465272
a slightly different version
There’s a third version, you know.February 7, 2018 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm #1465271
Now if the other stuff is pretty clear
The main questions have not been answered.February 7, 2018 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm #1465276
You bring up many points, I will try to answer some ( to many to go through now)
1) when it says atzmus umihus in a guf this is a level of
g-dleness not c”v saying anything like avoday zara, we also say certain expressions about every yid that can be construed that way but that is not what is meant.
2)please look at the story I said above in regards to the rebbe being omniscient it will give you a better idea
3) which ideas specifically of a tzadik is a issue ?
Rashi says “ki hanosi hu ha kol”
4) there is, just like there is Kabala and you can call some a Kabbalist you can call someone who is very learned in Gemara bal nigleh, but that does not mean c”v there there is two…
it is two parts of the same Torah, and someone can be a master of one part and not the other.February 7, 2018 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm #1465278
Plainploni, excellent post.
By pushing against their (analytically questionable) interpretation, you are effectively pushing them further towards avodah zara, which no one wants.
We haven’t received anything remotely resembling an interpretation.
I agree with you, I would much rather see them force an interpretation into all of the Rebbe’s controversial statements than descend into worse kefirah and mishugas, but it appears that a significant part of Chabad has taken a lot at face value.
As I told SHY, what I would blike to see is the moderate Chabad chassidim completely reject the kofrim. Hopefully, the kefirah will be replaced by more reasonable hashkafos, but even if ch”v not, there’s no room for them in Yiddishkeit and the worry that that might become even worse doesn’t justify acceptance.February 7, 2018 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm #1465281
when it says atzmus umihus in a guf this is a level of
g-dleness not c”v saying anything like avoday zara
Atzmus doesn’t mean levels. It is a very specific word meant to convey that we’re not referring to a concept, but the thing itself.
Also, if it merely meant a level of G-dliness, it wouldn’t allow betten.
we also say certain expressions about every yid that can be construed that way but that is not what is meant.
You don’t say you can pray to any Yid, or that any Yid is a kol yachol.February 8, 2018 12:38 am at 12:38 am #1465283
I’m going to Iy”h explain over here the role and concept of a Nossi, and the idea of a ממוצע המחבר. It’s a very long post, so please bear with me. As I’m typing and editing material that I’ve copied on a phone, the formatting isn’t great. If you actually want to understand what we believe, read the entire thing. After you do that, I’ll be more than happy to answer questions if I can. Here goes…
Chassidus often introduces a revolutionary way of understanding a concept that already exists in Nigleh. Although the concept of Hiskashrus existed earlier, chassidus reveals its central nature in a Jew’s service of Hashem.
The concept of Hiskashrus is found in the Gemara, which states,
“A child who begins to speak is taught by his father: תורה צוה לנו משה מורשה קהילת יעקב .Why is it so important to teach a child, particularly in the beginning of their chinuch, that the Torah was commanded to us by Moshe? Shouldn’t we begin with the Torah’s Divine origin?
The fact that we place such an emphasis on telling a child that Moshe was sent by Hashem to be the עומד בין ה’ וביניכם the intermediary between Hashem and the Yidden, demonstrates how important this idea truly is. In the words of the Mechilta on the Pasuk ויאמינו בה’ ובמשה עבדו ,Whoever believes in the רועה נאמן ,the faithful shepherd,
is considered to believe in He who spoke and created the world (Hashem).
The Zohar states that each generation has an אתפשטותא דמשה רבינו “,a tzaddik who is the expression of Moshe in his own generation.
This tzaddik is charged with being the עומד בין ה’ וביניכם just like Moshe.
This fits with the Gemara in Kesubos, which explains that when someone connects with Talmidei Chachomim, “The Torah considers it as though he has cleaved to the שכינה“.
Chazal teach us that the role of a tzaddik is not only the teaching of Torah; the tzaddik also cares for the needs of the Yidden and concerns
himself with their well being. This is proven from the Gemara in Bava Basra, which states, “Whoever has a sick person in his house should go to a Torah scholar, who will invoke [Heavenly] mercy for him.”
Similarly, it is stated in Maseches Taanis
that “If you see a generation over whom the heavens are rust colored like copper so that neither dew nor rain falls… let him go to the most pious man of that generation so that he will daven for him abundantly.” It is clear that a Tzaddik – the intermediary between Hashem and the Yidden – doesn’t only bring G-dliness down into the world. The Tzaddik also elevates the Yidden and connects them with Hashem, and even davens for their material needs.
One question remains: why do the Jewish people need a Tzaddik to be an העומד בין ה’ ’ וביניכם?“ Do we not all have a direct connection to Hashem?
Tanya Perek 2 – The Head of the
In Perek Bais of Tanya, the Alter Rebbe explains
the concept of a tzaddik of the generation, as well as the nature of the tzaddik’s connection
to the Jewish people.
The Alter Rebbe first explains that every Jewish soul is literally a piece of Hashem Himself, חלק אלוה ממעל ממש. After bringing several
proofs for this, the Alter Rebbe raises the question:
ואף שיש רבבות מיני חלוקי מדרגות בנשמות, גבוה מעל גבוה לאין קץ
TRANSLATION: True, there are myriads of different gradations of neshamos , rank upon rank, without end
כמו גודל מעלת נשמות האבות ומשה רבינו, עליו השלום, על נשמות דורותינו אלה דעקבי משיחא
TRANSLATION: For example, the neshamos of the Avos and of
Moshe Rabbenu are by far superior to the neshamos of our own
generations, [which belong to] the period preceding the coming of (lit., the “heels”), i.e.,footsteps of Moshiach
שהם בחינת עקביים ממש לגבי המוח והראש
TRANSLATION: for [our neshamos] are like the very soles of the feet in comparison with the brain and the head.
Just as the life-force found in the soles of the feet cannot possibly
be compared to that found in the head and brain, so too can there be no
comparison between the neshamos of these present generations and
those neshamos (here called the “head” and “brain”) of earlier gener-
וכן בכל דור ודור יש ראשי אלפי ישראל, שנשמותיהם הם בחינת
ראש ומוח לגבי נשמות ההמון ועמי הארץ
TRANSLATION: Similarly, within each generation we find the
same disparity among neshamos, there are those who are the “heads (the leaders) of the multitude of Israel,” since their ne-
shamos are in the category of “head” and “brain” in comparison
with those of the masses and the ignorant.
The Alter Rebbe’s question, in a nutshell: if every Neshama is literally
a piece of Hashem himself, it would seem obvious that all neshamos
must be equally lofty. Why, then, do we see that some neshamos are
greater than others?
וכן נפשות לגבי נפשות כי כל נפש כלולה מנפש רוח ונשמה
TRANSLATION: Likewise there are similar distinctions between
Nefashos and Nefashos (the soul-levels of Nefesh),for every soul
consists of Nefesh, Ruach and Neshamah.
How can one Neshama have three levels within itself?
The Alter Rebbe answers:
מכל מקום שורש כל הנפש רוח ונשמה כולם, מראש כל המדריגות
עד סוף כל דרגין, המלובש בגוף עמי הארץ וקל שבקלים
TRANSLATION: Nevertheless, the root of every Nefesh, Ruach
and Neshamah, from the highest of all ranks to the lowest — the
“lowest” being those neshamos embodied within the illiterate
and the most light-minded of light-minded Jews,
נמשך ממוח העליון שהיא חכמה עילאה כביכול
TRANSLATION: all are derived, as it were, from the Supreme
Mind (of Hashem) which is Chochmah Ila‘ah (Supernal Wisdom).
The Alter Rebbe explains that despite their disparate levels, the Neshamos share a common root. It is this common root that forms the basis of the Alter Rebbe’s explanation. It is important to gain clarity in this key subject:
Seder Hishtalshelus contains four worlds. These “Worlds”, or stages in the creative process, are (in descending order): Atzilus (the World of Emanation), Beriah (the World of Creation), Yetzirah (the World of Formation) and Asiyah (the World of Action – including the physical world).
Atzilus (Emanation) is a world where the Or Ein Sof is revealed.
This means that Elokus Itself is transplanted or copied to a lower level.
At the same time, Atzilus is still united with its source — Ein Sof.
These two characteristics of Atzilus are indicated in its name. The word Atzilus is related to two root words: (a) The verb אצל ,meaning “to delegate”, as in the Possuk, “I (Hashem) shall delegate something
of your (Moshe) spirit and place it upon them (the seventy zekeinim).”
The Possuk tells us that the spirit of Nevuah possessed by the seventy zekeinim was merely an extension of Moshe’s spirit, but not something new and separate from Moshe. Similarly, the properties of Atzilus are
a copy, on a lower level, of Ein Sof. (b) Atzilus is related to the word “Etzel”, meaning “near” — thus indicating the constant unity of Atzilus
with its source.
The Neshama stems from Chochma Ilaa which is the highest level in Atzilus. This level is the source of all Neshamos, regardless of their
present form in this world.
To explain how the levels of individual Neshamos can widely vary not withstanding their common source, the Alter Rebbe introduces the example of a father and son. The child’s entire body is derived from a single drop that originated in his father’s brain. At the same time, the many physical components which constitute the child’s body are by no
The brain, which is the seat of intellect, is the loftiest part of the body. Conversely, fingernails and toenails are not as essential to the
body, containing very little life. It is easy to understand how the brain originates from the father’s brain, it is harder to understand how toe nails originate in the father’s brain.
These great differences between body parts occurs during the physical development of the embryo during pregnancy. Despite sharing the same source, the limbs develop into very different entities.
In the Alter Rebbe’s own words:
כמשל הבן הנמשך ממוח האב, שאפילו צפרני רגליו נתהוו מטפה זו
TRANSLATION: [The manner of the soul’s descent] is similar to a child who is derived from his father’s brain, even the nails of his feet come into existence from the very same drop.
על ידי שהייתה תשעה חדשים בבטן האם, וירדה ממדריגה למדריגה,
להשתנות ולהתהוות ממנה צפרנים
TRANSLATION: by being in the mother’s womb ,for nine months
descending degree by degree, changing continually, until [even]
the nails are formed from it.
The Alter Rebbe clarifies that not only are all of the limbs root-
ed in in the same source, but the limbs, even after formation, remain
connected to their source – the father’s brain.The changes from the
root matter that formed the limbs are merely external; their essence
remains the same.
In the Alter Rebbe’s words:
ועם כל זה עודנה קשורה ומיוחדת ביחוד נפלא ועצום במהותה
ועצמותה הראשון, שהיתה טפת מוח האב
TRANSLATION: Furthermore, Although the drop has been so al-
tered as to become the substance of the child’s nails, yet it is
still bound to and united in a wondrous and mighty unity with its
original essence and being, namely, the drop as it came from the
Is this connection still apparent after these external changes?
The Alter Rebbe affirms that the connection does remain visible.
This is due to the fact that all the child’s limbs, down to his nails, still
receive their nourishment from the brain. The brain, in turn, retains its
original character, since it was a drop from the father’s brain and now
it is a brain as well. This is also expressed in the fact that the natural
inclinations of the son mirror those of the father. Thus, we understand
that even the nails are bound up with their original source, the drop
from the father’s brain, through their constant connection with their
In the Alter Rebbe’s words:
וגם עכשיו בבן, יניקת הצפרנים וחיותם נמשכת מהמוח שבראש
TRANSLATION: Even now, in the son, the nails receive their nourishment and life from the brain that is in his head.
Now the Alter Rebbe goes on to the nimshal:
וככה ממש כביכול בשורש כל הנפש רוח ונשמה של כללות ישראל
TRANSLATION: Exactly so, as it were, is the case with regard to
every Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshamah in the community of Yisrael
בירידתו ממדריגה למדריגה על ידי השתלשלות העולמות, אצילות
בריאה יצירה עשיה מחכמתו יתברך
TRANSLATION: By [the soul’s] descending degree by degree
through the Hishtalshelut of the Worlds of Atzilus, Beriah, Yet-
zirah and Asiyah, from Hashem’s wisdom,
כדכתיב: כולם בחכמה עשית
TRANSLATION: as it is written, “You have made them all with
wisdom (Chochmah)” (which means that everything emanates
from Chochmah, which is the source of all Hishtalshelus),
נתהוו ממנו נפש רוח ונשמה של עמי הארץ ופחותי הערך
TRANSLATION: [through this descent] the Nefesh, Ruach and
Neshamah of the ignorant and least worthy come into being.
Just as the child’s limbs come from a single source, and the differ-
ences between them occur only in the mother’s womb, the same can
be said with regard to our Neshamos: they are all derived from a single
source, Chochmah Ila‘ah, which is the highest level of Atzilus – a com-
plete unification and bond with Elokus.
In the course of its descent from Chochmah Ila‘ah into the phys-
ical body, the soul passes through the entire Seder Hishtalshelus (the
four worlds of Atzilus, Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiya). This descent pro-
duces the various levels of neshamos, ranging from the loftiest of ne-
shamos possessed by the greatest of tzaddikim .to those belonging to the most simple of Jews
Here the Alter Rebbe arrives at the next point in the analogy:
ועם כל זה עודינה קשורות ומיוחדות ביחוד נפלא ועצום במהותן
ועצמותן הראשון, שהיא המשכת חכמה עילאה
TRANSLATION: Nevertheless (notwithstanding the fact that they
have already become neshamos of the lower levels — the neshamos of the ignorant and the least worthy), they (these lesser neshamos) remain bound and united with a wonderful and mighty unity with their original essence, namely, an extension of Chochmah Ila‘ah (Supernal Wisdom),
כי יניקת וחיות נפש רוח ונשמה של עמי הארץ הוא מנפש רוח ונשמה
של הצדיקים והחכמים ראשי בני ישראל שבדורם
TRANSLATION: for the nurture and life of the Nefesh, Ruach and
Neshamah of the ignorant are drawn from the Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshamah of the righteous and the sages, the “heads” of Israel in their generation.By drawing their nurture and life from those who represent the levels of “head” and “brain”, all Jews are bound up with their source in Chochmah Ila‘ah — Supernal Wisdom
In the example given above, we observed two points:
1) All the child’s limbs receive their vitality from the brain; it is through the brain that the child’s limbs retain their connection to their
original source in a visible manner.
The same applies to Neshamos Yisroel: 1) Despite the differences
among them, all neshamos must receive their nourishment from “the
brain of the son”, the Tzaddikim of the generation; 2) through their
attachment to the Tzaddikim, “the brain of the son”, they retain their
visible and revealed connection with the original source, Chochmah Ila’ah.
Now the Alter Rebbe continues:
ובזה יובן מאמר רבותינו ז״ל על פסוק: ולדבקה בו – שכל הדבק בתלמיד חכם מעלה עליו הכתוב כאלו נדבק בשכינה ממש
TRANSLATION: This explains the comment of our Sages on the verse, “And cleave unto Him” (concerning which the question arises, How can mortal man cleave to Hashem? In answer,
our Sages comment), “He who cleaves unto a [Torah] scholar is deemed by the Torah as if he had actually become attached to the Shechinah (the Divine Presence).”
This seems difficult to comprehend: How can one equate connecting to a Torah scholar with connecting to the Shechinah? However, in
light of the above explanation, this is readily understood.
כי על ידי דביקה בתלמידי חכמים, קשורות נפש רוח ונשמה של עמי
הארץ ומיוחדות במהותן הראשון ושרשם שבחכמה עילאה
TRANSLATION: For, through attachment to the scholars, the Nefesh, Ruach and Neshamah of the ignorant are bound up and united with their original essence and their root in Supernal Wisdom,
שהוא יתברך וחכמתו אחד, והוא המדע כו׳
TRANSLATION: (and thereby with Hashem Himself, since) He and His wisdom are one, and “He is the Knowledge…”
We’ve established that Neshamos receive energy from Tzaddikim, just as limbs receive energy from the brain. If this is the case, then the Tzaddikim should be the only possible source of energy for the Neshamos,
just as the brain is the only possible source of energy for the limbs.
However, we see people who oppose the Tzaddikim still receiving energy. How is this possible?
The Alter Rebbe answers:
והפושעים ומורדים בתלמידי חכמים
TRANSLATION: As for those who willfully sin and rebel against the Torah sages.
How do they receive their spiritual nurture and life? Spiritual life and nurture flow only where there is a desire to nurture and give life!
יניקת נפש רוח ונשמה שלהם מבחינת אחוריים של נפש רוח ונשמת
TRANSLATION: the nurture of their Nefesh,Ruach and Neshamah comes from the hindpart, as it were, of the Nefesh, Ruach and Neshamah of the scholars.
Nurture from “the hind-part” is like giving an object to an enemy.
There isn’t a true desire to give, but rather due to some external factor. The grudging reluctance with which he gives is reflected in one’s manner; he will turn away from his enemy, tossing the object over his shoulder. The same is true in our case. When spiritual energy is given unwillingly, it is described as coming from “the hind-part” of the giver
— an external level of nurture.
Nevertheless, even those who rebel against the sages receive some measure of spiritual nourishment from them. For every soul, without
exception, must be bound up with its root and source, as explained earlier. However, the level of nurture they receive is from the “hind-part”
of the neshamos of the sages.
Thus, we see the Rebbe is essential to our connection to Hashem. Just as a limb must receive its vitality from the head, and only the head remains directly bound to the source within the father, so too the “head”
of the Jewish “body,” the Rebbe, is the essential channel for connecting to our Father, Hashem.
We have learned from Tanya Perek 2 that all the limbs are connected with their source – the drop from the father’s brain – and that the con-
nection is never broken. This is due to the limbs being connected to the brain (of the son) – which in turn is connected to its source (the brain of the father). We used this moshol to understand that the Neshama, even after being clothed in a body, is literally a piece of Hashem and remains connected to Hashem. However, because of the Neshama’s descent, its
connection to Hashem isn’t apparent. This is why we need the tzaddik, whose connection to Hashem is apparent (like the son’s brain in
the moshol). It is through the tzaddik that the neshama’s connection to Hashem becomes apparent.
This is, in essence, the difference between an “intermediary that separates” (ממוצע המפסיק) which is not the topic of discussion, and an
“intermediary that connects” (ממוצע המחבר) which is how we describe Moshe Rabbeinu as well as the Nasi of each generation.
What is the difference between an “intermediary that separates” and an “intermediary that connects”?
Imagine a simple student who wishes to learn from a brilliant teacher. The student’s own intellectual capacity is very distant from the teacher’s, to the extent that he cannot understand the lesson on his own. The gap between them is insurmountable – the student will never be able to fully grasp the depth of the teacher’s intellect; he simply cannot relate
In such an instance, a “meturgeman” is used. A meturgeman is a type of translator who adds explanation. The meturgeman has a greater intellectual capacity than the student, so he is able to comprehend the full depth of the teacher’s intellect, but his intellectual capacity is
less than the teacher, so he can relate to the student. Once the meturgeman fully comprehends the teacher’s words, he can then explain them to the student on a level that the student can grasp.
This moshol teaches us several points:
A) The gap between the student and the teacher remains; the meturgeman has bridged it, but not removed it. The student’s only con-
nection to the teacher is indirect – through the meturgeman.
B) The teaching given over to the student by the meturgeman is on
a much lower level; were it to be on the original level, it would remain incomprehensible to the student. The meturgeman must simplify and
compress the teaching in order for the student to understand.
C) The meturgeman must be a separate entity from the teacher – if not, he wouldn’t be able to help the student. His entire advantage lies
in being a separate entity, that allows him to comprehend the teachings and then simplify and compress them so that the student will un-
derstand. However, a meturgeman is an “intermediary that separates.”
True, it is an intermediary, for it connects two things, but the intermediary remains a third, separate, party.
In this instance, the teacher and student connect indirectly, passing through the third party. Even the teaching is indirect, because it
doesn’t retain all of its original substance, but is instead simplified and
On the other hand, an “intermediary that connects,” can be compared to very large hall filled with wise students, who are fully capable of comprehending his words. However, due to the size of the hall, the teacher’s
voice cannot carry to the farthest edges. To remedy this, a microphone
is installed, which makes the teacher’s voice audible even to the students seated farthest away.
Once again, there are several important points:
A) The students have a direct connection with the teacher. The “gap” between the students and the teacher is merely technical – due
to the size of the room – and is remedied by the microphone, which enables the students to hear the teacher’s own words.
B) The teaching that they hear isn’t lessened or simplified by the intermediary – it is the very same teaching that the teacher is saying,
the microphone merely extends its reach.
C) The microphone isn’t “a separate entity” which uses its own intellect to comprehend the teaching and then transmit it; the microphone is a machine whose entire purpose is transmitting the teacher’s own words.
This is an “intermediary that connects” – a המחבר ממוצע ;its entire purpose is to directly connect the upper and lower levels, without al-
tering in any way what is being brought down to the lower level. This is due to the fact that it is not an entity separate from the higher level, but
rather it is totally nullified before the higher level, and serving only to express the higher level.
This is the type of intermediary that is mentioned in the Torah, regard-
ing Moshe Rabbeinu, as the posuk states:
פָּנִ֣ים ׀ בְּפָנִ֗ים דִּבֶּ֨ר יְהוָ֧ה עִמָּכֶ֛ם בָּהָ֖ר מִתּ֥וֹךְ הָאֵֽשׁ׃
אָ֠נֹכִי עֹמֵ֨ד בֵּין־יְהוָ֤ה וּבֵֽינֵיכֶם֙ בָּעֵ֣ת הַהִ֔וא לְהַגִּ֥יד לָכֶ֖ם אֶת־דְּבַ֣ר יְהוָ֑ה כִּ֤י יְרֵאתֶם֙ מִפְּנֵ֣י הָאֵ֔שׁ וְלֹֽא־עֲלִיתֶ֥ם בָּהָ֖ר לֵאמֹֽר׃
TRANSLATION: Face to face, Hashem spoke with you at the mountain out of the midst of the fire… (and I stood between Hashem and you at that time, to tell you the word of Hashem, for
you were afraid of the fire, and you did not go up on the mountain) saying, “I am Hashem… etc.
Rashi explains: Rabbi Berechiah said, “So said Moshe: ‘Do not say that I am misleading you about something that does not exist, as an
agent does, acting between the seller and the buyer, [because] behold, the seller Himself is speaking with you.’” (Pesikta Rabbasi).
How do we reconcile this? If “I stood between Hashem and you,” then how can it be “the Seller Himself is speaking with you?”
Based on the above explanation, we can understand this: Moshe was an “intermediary that connects,” like the moshol of the microphone. In the words of Chazal, “The Shechina spoke from his throat.”
In the Moshol:
A) The lower level is directly connected with the upper level, but is unable to directly receive from it, and the intermediary allows the
lower level to receive from the upper level.
B) The lower level receives exactly what the upper level gives, in its original form.
C) The intermediary has no independent identity other than transmitting from the upper level.
So too in the nimshol:
A) The Yidden have an essential bond with Hashem – each Neshama is literally a piece of Hashem – but because of the Neshama’s de-
scent into the world, it’s “difficult” for the Yid to receive directly from Hashem, as the Yidden told Moshe,
וַיֹּֽאמְרוּ֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה דַּבֵּר־אַתָּ֥ה עִמָּ֖נוּ וְנִשְׁמָ֑עָה וְאַל־יְדַבֵּ֥ר עִמָּ֛נוּ אֱלֹהִ֖ים פֶּן־נָמֽוּת׃
“TRANSLATION: You speak with us, and we will hear, but let Hashem not speak with us lest we die.”
This is analogous to a student sitting on the back bench in the large hall: in truth, he can hear and understand his teacher; the only thing
preventing him from doing so is a technical concern – his distance from the teacher.
The same is true in regard to the Neshama. The Neshama is distant from Hashem when it enters this world. This distance is an “out-
side concern,” which prevents the Neshama from “hearing” Hashem’s words, “Lest we die.” Therefore, a Yid needs a “microphone” – he needs Moshe Rabbeinu who on the one hand, is human, in the physical world, and on the other hand, remains unchanged by this world; he is totally nullified before Hashem. Therefore, he can enable the Yidden to hear Hashem’s words, not as a “meturgeman” but as a “microphone.”
B) The Neshama absorbs exactly what Hashem gives, without being lessened by the intermediary. In the words of Chassidus, “The in-
nermost, essential level of Or Ein Sof is brought down to and absorbed by the Neshamos of Yidden.” It is brought to them through Moshe.
C) Moshe isn’t an entity separate from Hashem, rather, he is nullified before Hashem. Therefore, he can serve as an intermediary whose
entire purpose is to transmit Hashem’s words, in their original form, to the Yidden.
This is analogous to a funnel, which receives the liquid on one side and emits the liquid on the other side, albeit on a smaller scale, which
allows the liquid to enter smaller containers.
In a nutshell: an “entity which separates” does not allow the upper and lower levels to connect, it always remains a third party between the
two. An “entity which connects” allows the lower level to connect with the upper level, for the intermediary isn’t a separate entity.
An “intermediary that connects” – ממוצע המחבר is a proper description
of Moshe Rabbeinu and his successor in every generation.
(In the interest of being honest, most of this was not written by me, but rather by “The Vaad”. )February 8, 2018 12:39 am at 12:39 am #1465284
1 – Please look up shair emunah of the mitteler rebbe,
2 – what do you think betten means ?, when we write to the rebbe we write on the first line Ana liorer rachamim rabim avuri…
3 – you can watch the rebbe give dollars every time someone thanks him for a bracha he gave them, he says don’t thank me thank hashem
You sound more like you have an agenda.
rather then caring about yedishkeit, you are using this for your own stupiditiesFebruary 8, 2018 12:40 am at 12:40 am #1465285
Sorry for rehashing something old, but CS posted a while back one proof of the lubavitcher rebbe is how all the Gedolei Yisroel from all over the world came to visit him.
This statement itself shows the extent of how things can be distorted to the extent of becoming brainwashing.
Here in the States and in E”Y it is a common occurrence for gedolim to visit each other e.g. for simchos. When American gedolim visit E”Y they visit the local gedolim as a matter of course. And the reverse is also true.
The Lubavitcher rebbe, however, never left his enclave in Brooklyn and didn’t go to anyone else. Maybe he had good reason for not going elsewhere, not my business and I don’t care. Others, on the other hand, didn’t reciprocate in kind and when they visited US gedolim they visited the lubavitcher rebbe too e.g. the Belzer Rebbe went to Skver, Bobov, Lubavitch etc.
And because of this we have some sort of proof that the lubavitcher rebbe was acknowledged as so great because all the others went to visit him!February 8, 2018 12:42 am at 12:42 am #1465287
Regarding placing a picture under the pillow by a bris:
After asking many people about it, here’s what I found.
Majority of people I asked hadn’t ever seen it, some had heard of it before, none knew the source, or if it was widely done.
A mashpia I asked told me that the Rebbe in fact addressed this Minhag, and said it originated after Chassidim wanted the Frierdiker Rebbe to be Sandek, but he couldn’t be present, so they placed a picture of him under the pillow. I looked for a source for this, and didn’t find any. (That doesn’t mean that there isn’t) The person who told this to me didn’t recall where he heard or saw it.
A prominent Lubavitcher Rov I asked had heard of it, but didn’t know if there was any source for it. He said that some people do it, and many others don’t. As for himself, he said he wasn’t makpid on placing a picture under the pillow.
Some people suggested that the reason why many have never seen it, was because the mohel places the picture there, and most people don’t notice it.
Regardless, I don’t know why anyone would consider it A”Z of any kind.February 8, 2018 12:43 am at 12:43 am #1465291
CS: “So when I was walking to school I realized why people are squirming with how we treat our Rebbe.”
Sorry but you got it totally wrong. I have no problem with chassidim being in absolute awe of their Rebbes and treating them as extremely holy men who are close to Hashem.
What I squirm about, and I believe I speak here for others as well, is that the lubavicer rebbe said fantastic (the word comes from the same root as fantasy) things about himself and his predecessor(s), with no source other than the fact that he said them, and therefore you believe it’s all true and expect us to accept that belief.
Some examples: nassi hador (which I have already noted is not used by anyone else in the Torah world and never has been in the more than the past 1000 years), seventh generation of nesi’im (that word again) of chabad having to be the generation of geulah, demanding – not requesting – the geulah, atzmus melubash beguf. And there are more.
I would have the same problem if, say, the Viznitzer rebbe came up with chiddushim like this… but he hasn’t, and no one in the frum world over the last hundreds of years has.February 8, 2018 12:44 am at 12:44 am #1465301
SHY, no I didn’t read it all, but I did note that it says ראשי אלפי ישראל and תלמידי חכמים in the plural. So where does the idea of one נשיא הדור come from?February 8, 2018 1:00 am at 1:00 am #1465323February 8, 2018 1:00 am at 1:00 am #1465324
1 – Please look up shair emunah of the mitteler rebbe,
Frankly, I am not going to.
2 – what do you think betten means ?, when we write to the rebbe we write on the first line Ana liorer rachamim rabim avuri…
That question has been asked here, but we haven’t gotten a straight answer. If it merely means to ask the Rebbe to daven on your behalf, there’s no kashya to address. Nobody has a problem with that.
3 – you can watch the rebbe give dollars every time someone thanks him for a bracha he gave them, he says don’t thank me thank hashem
That doesn’t change the problematic things he said.
You sound more like you have an agenda.
rather then caring about yedishkeit, you are using this for your own stupidities
Let’s try to keep the dialogue civil. I understand that your passions are enflamed because we are questioning and even challenging the foundations of your faith, but the nasty comments and sarcastic half answers don’t do anybody any good.February 8, 2018 1:00 am at 1:00 am #1465325
SHY, I did read it all, thank you.
I lost you when you said Moshe Rabbeinu wasn’t a separate entity.
His bitul was to such a degree that he was able to transmit the Torah faithfully. You can call him transparent in his transmission of the Torah, but he wasn’t Hashem, ch”v, he was still a human being, as much a separate entity as other human beings.February 8, 2018 8:55 am at 8:55 am #1465329
Still a lot of veering off topic. You don’t need to get into any hoshkofo issues really. What is or isn’t avodah zara is a Halachic question, so you need to be able to answer it in halachic terms, not just chassidus or kabbalah.
The only question that is relevant, and needs to be addressed is what the Lubavitcher Rebbe meant in the sicha the OP was alluding to. So please, in simple terms, 1) Is betten the same thing as tefila? 2) If not what was the problem the Rebbe was trying to address by claiming that his father-in-law was special and distinct from other Jews in that he was “Atzmuso uMahuso araingeshtelt in a guf?” 3) If betten is tefila bring us a source in HALACHA for why this is not avodah zara, while tefila to other human-beings is.February 8, 2018 8:56 am at 8:56 am #1465330
SHY on the picture at the bris: “A mashpia I asked told me that the Rebbe in fact addressed this Minhag, and said it originated after Chassidim wanted the Frierdiker Rebbe to be Sandek, but he couldn’t be present, so they placed a picture of him under the pillow.”
That perhaps explains where it comes from but not how it is acceptable. (It also seems extremely childish.)
SHY: “A prominent Lubavitcher Rov … said he wasn’t makpid on placing a picture under the pillow.”
Very Jewish of him to avoid being makpid on doing something so akin to a”z c”v.
SHY: “Regardless, I don’t know why anyone would consider it A”Z of any kind.”
How many times do we have to say this without it being rebutted?
Tashmishei kedushah are holy in and of themselves. Tashmishei mitzvah, e.g. tzitzis, are not, but they should be treated respectfully. Shirayim, a coin given out by a tzaddik (many rebbes do just that) and, to use an example Lubavitchers will surely understand, kos shel brochoh are not holy, but as they were given by a very holy Yid they can, according to the chassidic understanding (based on “nigleh” sources as well) imbue a person with holiness and yiras shomaim. One could then very well understand that the possessor of these last items would not want to mistreat them in any way.
Now… here it comes… a piece of paper that contains an image of a person is NOT holy simply because it contains his image, just as the sun is not holy even though it is a servant of Hashem. Treating an image as holy, or kissing it out of respect (I’m obviously not talking about a Yiddishe grandmother who kisses pictures of her grandchildren out of love) is close to worshipping it which would be an act of a”z c”v.
Is my/our objection clear yet?February 8, 2018 9:01 am at 9:01 am #1465331
Dear Mods, any reason the following post was rejected?
CS: “BTW thanks @rso for the source of the Rebbe picture at the bris. Looks like that invites the Rebbe to attend.”
Hey! That was meant to show you that it is indeed a lubavitcher minhog and to reinforce the question as to why it is not quasi-a”z. Not to please you that I found a source! And then in your next post you write this:
“Now if the other stuff is pretty clear I’ll be happy to share some of my personal experiences with the Rebbe.”
All of us critical non-lubavitchers have been claiming the entire time that not one question has been answered in a logical non-circularly-reasoned way, and you blithely say that “the other stuff is pretty clear”!
With all respect to you who seems to actually believes all the stuff you write and quote, and who tries very hard to do so respectfully, you are presenting the problem clearer than any of us could. The brainwashing to believe the unbelievable and the unacceptable is so successful that you think that everything has been answered.
(I’m going now to second-guess CS’s or SHY’s reply: “We HAVE made everything clear, You just hate lubavitch and don’t want to accept it.” So before replying along those lines, think about it, as I would be sorely tempted to take a vote to see if anyone thinks matters have been cleared up.)
It does not seem to have been rejected. Maybe your internet connection was interrupted.February 8, 2018 9:55 am at 9:55 am #1465407
“Please Explain Why Davening To/Betten a Rebbe is Okay ”
Why are there frum Lubavitchers who are having such a problem with clearly saying, “No, davening to the Rebbe is not OK. The Rambam says that it is one of the crucial beliefs of being a Jew, so it isn’t OK”.
Betten means to ask the Rebbe to intercede on your behalf in the zchus of his mitzvoth and maasim tovim.
And this discussion is finished. Why all the hyperbole and double talk?February 8, 2018 10:33 am at 10:33 am #1465333
“SHY, I did read it all, thank you.”
Thank you for reading it. It shows a certain intellectual honesty when you take the time to read through an entire megillah.
“You can call him transparent in his transmission of the Torah, but he wasn’t Hashem, ch”v, he was still a human being, as much a separate entity as other human beings.”
Nowhere did I imply that Moshe Rabbeinu was the Aibershter. Chas vesholom.
But Moshe Rabbeinu had such a deep bittul (vehaish Moshe anov meod mikol adom) that his own proclivities didn’t only not get in the way – they didn’t exist. That’s how it was שכינה מדברת מתוך גרונו. In Chassidus you have the idea of two levels of Bittul, ביטול היש , and ביטול במציאות. A true Tzaddik like Moshe Rabbeinu ע”ה had attained the level of ביטול במציאות.
The first level of ביטול, ביטול היש is when I have my own רצונות, and I put them aside for the Aibershter, (בטל רצונך בפני רצונו)
making Hashems Ratzon my Ratzon.
ביטול במציאות however, is that I don’t have a רצון כלל. Like Moshe Rabbeinu said ונחנו מה.
If you’d like, I can expound further.February 8, 2018 10:34 am at 10:34 am #1465337
@plainploni Thanks for your post, really great.
@cs you said “But the Rebbe is completely different. I can no quicker be the Rebbe than become a malach. It’s not within my capability. The Rebbe was chosen by Hashem to be His messenger and could do things that are impossible : like reply to people’s
thoughts , barely eat or sleep, describe in minute detail places he’s never been, promise and guarantee brochos….. It’s a whole different story. I guess you have to experience it to believe it.”
I’m not sure how anyone can read this and not understand the discussion is closed. Omnipotent and omniscient? I thought that was God’s job. Straight up- you guys are, well, let’s just not finish the sentence, I’d rather the mods let it through.February 8, 2018 10:35 am at 10:35 am #1465338
“2 – what do you think betten means ?, when we write to the rebbe we write on the first line Ana liorer rachamim rabim avuri…
That question has been asked here, but we haven’t gotten a straight answer. If it merely means to ask the Rebbe to daven on your behalf, there’s no kashya to address. Nobody has a problem with that.”
Let me make this very clear. I, and all other Chabad Chassidim, do not daven to the Rebbe. Betten a Rebbe, is exactly what Joe explained, asking a Rebbe to intercede on ones behalf, as we write in a Pidyon Nefesh, or “Pa”n”, אנא לעורר רחמים רבים עבורי. This idea is by no means exclusive to Chassidus Chabad. Kalev went to Kivrei Avos to daven, and ask the Avos to intercede on their behalf.
The Mahram Shick, a Talmid of the Chasam Sofer, discussed this very question; how may one ask any Tzadik, living or dead, to daven on his behalf. For if a Yid cannot make an intermediary between himself and the Aibershter, how may we ask another Yid to beseech Hashem on our behalf?
The Mahram Shick explains this apparent anomaly in the name of his teacher, the Chasam Sofer: When one Yid approaches another and tells of the pain he is suffering, the other Yid feels it just as he does. Now they are both in need of Tefila. The Yid does not feel he is davening for an “other”–he is davening for himself.
In other words, all Yidden can be considered as one body. If the toe is hurting, it needs the head and the heart to help it. So too, if I am in need, I can call upon all other Yidden—and especially those who are the head and the heart of our people—to daven for me as well. Because if one Yid is hurting, we are all hurting.
Mahram Shik then extends this to the deceased, as well. According to the Gemara and the Zohar, those Tzadikim who have passed on from this world are still very much in touch with their Talmidim and family and care for them and their problems.
See Tshuvos Mahram Shick, Orach Chayim, 293.February 8, 2018 10:36 am at 10:36 am #1465345
Plainploni i really liked your post – its written clearly, logically, asking for understanding. So I’ll be happy to address it. SH that’s a great post to give understanding on how talmidei chachomim of the generation / the Rebbe is the brain – thanks so much for posting that here.also great on mimutza hamechaber.
I’ll answer plonis well formulated question on betten the Rebbe iyhFebruary 8, 2018 10:37 am at 10:37 am #1465351
I can’t believe this is still going on.
Does anyone really still believe they don’t understand the questions? Lubavitchers (in particular shluchim) are trained on how to evade questions about Meshichism their whole lives. They probably don’t even realize they’re doing it at this point. Does anyone really believe someone who says the Rebbe is the brain that runs the whole world ISN’T meshichist? They’ve been taught Meshichism is OK and even essential, we’ve been taught it’s kefira. What card are we expecting them to wow us with at this point?
If I had to defend tefillin on Chol Hamoed, and I brought the Rema and Magen Avraham, would that be “circular logic” since those are sources from within my mesores? Of course they’re only going to give us sources from within Chabad! They think what they believe is RIGHT because that’s what their rabbonim tell them. Same reason we believe it’s wrong. There is no end to this thing.February 8, 2018 10:38 am at 10:38 am #1465354
OK here goes:
“A) Is “betten” a Rebbe the same as praying to a Rebbe?”
No cvs if you’ve been following along the discussion, you should be able to understand me now when I say, no one davens to the Rebbe cvs. We daven to Hashem who works through the Rebbe.
I think the expression is betten beim Rebbe, not betten tzu Rebbe.
I think it may be helpful to clarify the difference between davening, betten beim Rebbe, and a Brocha:
Davening – we daven three times a day at least. When we daven, we talk to Hashem and ask Him for our needs. We are careful not to daven to any picture, and no one would daven shmona esre to the Rebbe for example cvs. Davening is for Hashem only.
Brocha is explained in Chassidus as the idea of hamavrich es hagefen. Like hamshocha. The concept is that every Rosh hashana, Hashem allots all the good were gonna get that year in a spiritual bank account so to speak, and through davening every day, we draw it down through the spiritual worlds into physical good in this world.
Now sometimes, it can get stuck at a spiritual point. The Brocha of a tzadik helps clear the way and bring it down.
For example, let’s say a person is allotted children, but hasn’t had any yet. The tzadik can bentch him to make that happen in this world. But if he isn’t meant to have children, then there is no Brocha to bring down.
Now the chiddush by a Rebbe is that he is also Hashem’s messenger. So when someone goes betten beim Rebben the Rebbe can tell him, the reason he doesn’t have children is because he needs to do such and such mitzva first for example. The person wouldn’t know what is the story or what he can do to get his Brocha from just davening shmona esre.
OK in this context the Rebbe was talking about betten beim Rebben by the kever of the Frierdiker Rebbe.
Now all the time people will go to kvarim and say Rebbe hello me! So the question is wait, isn’t that davening? Shouldn’t it be only reserved for Hashem?
So the Rebbe is answering why people can daven by the kever of a tzadik.
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