Reply To: @Chabad Shluchah Please Explain Why Davening To/Betten a Rebbe is Okay

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Eli Y

“np: This type of ad hominem attack is completely uncalled for. In this case it is also unfounded. CS has, to the best of her abilities, taken a significant amount of her time to provide comprehensive answers to just about every person who raised a question (even those posed with hostility)”

np: I repent for this statement–it was an emotional reaction and irrelevant to the argument. Hopefully CS forgives me.

“RSO: I believe that no one has answered my question as to where opening the igros at random originated and who said that it has any meaning at all. It certainly wasn’t the lubavitcher rebbe, so who had the authority to say that the following the answers/instructions one allegedly receives is correct according to Torah.”

I consulted with a Chabad Rabbi on this question. Of course he would be far better at explaining than I but this is how I understood it:

A Jew can choose to operate under the laws of nature or under the laws beyond nature. For example, we all see the parting of the sea as a miracle beyond nature but most do not view the rising of the sun as a miracle since it clothes itself in the laws of nature.

If the Jew seeks to operate beyond the laws of nature, this is accessible to him/her. Hashem has made it possible to learn of His ways through the Tzaddik. For example, Hashem spoke to Moses, who spoke to Aaron etc. and finally the people learned. One can attempt to learn His ways directly but the answers and the understanding may not be as clear to the seeker as the revelation from the Tzaddik.

According to my Rabbi, the Rebbe said at a farbregen that he cannot respond to all letters sent to him and that people should consult his letters “since he is answering them at the same time he is answering the original letter writer”. Hence, the followers of the Rebbe consider that amongst the letters he wrote are answers to their current issues.

I have not consulted the letters myself but I am told from my Rabbi who is trustworthy that he has observed remarkable coincidence between the letter picked at random and the seekers issue. Also, sometimes the letter seems to be irrelevant to the current question.

In my opinion, when one gains either a clear answer or what appears to be an irrelevant answer they naturally consider the problem with greater mental elaboration. That their decision making is thus enhanced could be a function of metaphysics or could be attributed to natural psychology. Perhaps “faith” comes into play at this point.

In any case, the consultation of the letters is seen as consultation with the living Rebbe who wrote these letters and at the time was writing to many people who were present or were to come in the future.

This violates our natural perceptions of time as linear but I believe the conception is consistent with Aristotelian temporal philosophy and as I understood the Rambam in his Guide.