Should we try to encourage Mashichists and Elokists to return to the fold?

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  • #2083469
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    I stand by my connection that this kefirah is the product of an attempted treatment of OCD, mixed up chabad education, and a topping of know-it-all, smarter-than-thou egotism.

    #2083471
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    And of course ample doses of api(courses), and online blogger wisdom

    #2083476
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    n0mesorah,

    “God fearing key is not so accurate. Fear of God takes a Jo’s of goods work for most of us. I mean continued to keeping the mitzvtos (within the Jewish community).”

    I could not decipher what you were trying to say in this sentence, can you rephrase it? Also, if you are correct, than it’s wrong to see in sefarim Jews referred to as “yirei Shamayim” or “baalei nefesh”, etc. Shouldn’t those terms be eschewed in favor of “shomrei mitzvos” only, if that’s the ikar?

    “The idea necessary for mitzvos is a mitzaveh -commander. Not boray – creator. You have a big swing there between a mitzvah for it’s own sake and a good luck charm. There is a lot in between.”

    People do things for a reason, and if someone has no concept of Hashem, their “committment” comes from somewhere else. Sports fandom was a silly example, but is it less silly at the end of the day than an athiest doing “mitzvos” he thinks are worthless because of communal pressure, or a pushover resentfully doing them just to please grandparents, or from Holocaust guilt, or whatever other reasons that make a “committed Jew”in your mind?

    Re: your distinction between Hashem as the Borei Olam and the Ribono Shel Olam – if someone believes that the Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe, and the Xian man-god commands us to do the mitzvos… so long as he puts on tefillin every day, takes arba minim, and avoids melachos on Shabbos, he’s doing nothing wrong before Hashem in your mind and is even a “committed Jew”?

    Also, you have ignored my point that one who does not know or believe in Hashem cannot fulfill any of the mitzvos properly, especially ones that deal directly with how we are supposed to feel and know about Hashem, such as loving Hashem, fearing Hashem, remembering the Exodus, etc.

    #2083513
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Redleg,

    Send my best regards!

    #2083523
    smerel
    Participant

    >>>If you think you understand the chassidishe velt because you learned a little chassidishe seforim and went to Torah Vodaas then that might be the reason you think Chabad is not rooted in precedent from Chassidishe thought.

    Don’t give me this “you don’t understand” apologetics. The leader of the Chabad movement himself when he introduced the “atzmius” concept explicitly said that it isn’t something he saw in any Chassidishe Seforim.

    And say you are right that I don’t understand it. Do you think I’m the only one who doesn’t? Do you think no one in Chabad takes it even more literally than I do? I’ve heard plenty of chabad educators give speeches about how we need to take the “rebbe” for what he says. I’ve never seen any chabad educator speaking to a Chabad crowd emphasize that עצמות ומהות מלובש בגוף is not to be understood the way it sounds and that it would be a terrible aveira to do so.

    #2083529
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Avira,

    I’m not talking about the ultimate level of Yiddishkeit. This discussion is about the minimum line. What makes it be (exist) even in it’s non utopian form. The level of what is within the fold is not on par with the ultimate Jew. For me to grow, i have to keep raising the bar. But that has nothing to do with my perception of my fellow yidden.

    “chovos halevavos”

    The author is clearly pointing out how the masses are not fulfilling their potential. He does not say that they are below the standards of Judaism.

    “Leibowitz”

    I’m not familiar. Those were my own words.

    “Fear of communal reprisal”

    Nope. Identifying as a Jew. And realizing that that comes with specific duties.

    “Kaplan”

    There are many different portrayals of him. I do not have a good idea of what he thought, or was like. (Or practiced.)

    “Hirsch”

    I’m aware of the debate. But I do not recall that he invoked a cherem. On his polemic against Frankel, he repeatedly writes that if it was just a matter of personal understanding than he would not have spoken out. His protest was that he was teaching these theories to his students.

    “Exhortation after exhortation”

    I’m aware of the six constant mitzvos. That they are constantly required of every Yid, is a long discussion. I’m in sync with every word of said discussion. But fulfilling the six mitzvos constantly, is The Ultimate Jew. We are examining The Borderline Jew.

    “Reform”

    Your missing a good chunk of it. And they never developed any way that faith can be measured. In other words, they could not come up with any commitment. Which is why the Eighteenth Century choice can be summed up as Reform versus commitment.

    “Conservative”

    Nice definition!

    “Reconstructionism”

    I do not know what it’s about. Still, I do not think your correct.

    “Orthodox”

    Was coined as a term for those that would not waver in their commitment or practice. If you term based on a theological purpose, you’ll be constantly throwing people out of Orthodoxy. If one authority would gain control of Orthodox Belief’s for a thousand years, than all the Jews would be thrown out and cone to be considered unorthodox.

    “Acharai Levavchem”

    Six mitzvos. See above.

    “Tefilah”

    The concept of Avodah always requires more than just mere participation. It requires real devotion. Otherwise, it’s not (an) Avodah. This is not a concept of Torah or Judaism. It is simply what Tefilah intrinsically is.

    “Tachas asher lo avadatah”

    This is the tochachah. It goes on the community at large. Even though there is such people that fit into the description of Simple Jew or Basic Jew, we are still expected to get closer to the ultimate as a whole community.

    “War”

    Just being faithful to the Torah does not win us miraculous wars. If it did, every Jewish battle would be the Six-Day War. We have to really be on the level, to blow the shofar and have the walls fall down. That is how Achan’s transgressions derailed an entire campaign.

    “Mitzvos trichos kavanah”

    Is not relevant here. The thought content of our actions have nothing to do with axioms.

    “Known idol worshipper, because he believes”

    Nothing to with what I posted, but just because one actively worships idols it does not mean we know his beliefs.

    “Belief in mitzvos”

    My entire post was belief in mitzvos! How did you miss that?!?

    “….no such thing as a mitzvah without a mitzaveh.”

    Exactly my point. But knowing what it means to belief in a creator, or what is a permissible explanation of atzmus haguf, is irrelevant to mitzvah performance.

    “Above all…”

    Sorry, but I’m not placing your quote. But the verse of ‘And you should live by them’ refers to all the different levels of life. Including those who practice just to receive reward. i e Those who are not regarding Hashem as part of their purpose.

    “Mesillas Yesharim”

    That is how we complete our purpose. Not what makes us tolerable.

    “Therapist”

    I was never a patient by any mental health professional.

    “Problems with emunah”

    I never struggled with emunah.

    “Normal Avodas Hashem”

    No idea why you put the word normal in there. But we agree that what I detailed my post, should not be confused with Avodas Hashem.

    This has been quite a debate! I really advocate coming to peace with the fact the Yeshiva is on a higher Torah locale, than the majority of Jews. Denigrating the level of the Jews outside the Yeshiva, is one of the few things that can wither the Spirit of the Yeshivos.

    #2083631
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    “even the nost far out atheist can be a committed jew”

    “My entire post was belief in mitzvos! How did you miss that?!?

    That’s how i “missed” it. You said you can be a committed jew, a “basic” jew, while being an atheist, a denier of the creator and giver of the mitzvos that he professes to do.

    #2083633
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    You’ve yet to bring a single source for any of your statements.

    I agree that being a chosid is a madrega, and that a simple jew can do simple mitzvos. But simple mitzvos include believing in, fearing, and loving Hashem. There is a minimum of those mitzvos, but such thinfs are obligations on some level.

    The mishnah berurah brings lehalacha that one cannot pursue gashmius without a constructive purpose, as it violates an asei of ve’ahavta. That’s a minimum for every jew.

    #2083726
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Avram,

    I’m not advocating this as the ikar. I’m saying this is the basic idea. As in what a person who did not find his purpose in life, but is still interested in remaining a Jew.

    Many terms can be used for Jews. Shomrei mitzvos is a common term. Balei nefesh is a really high level.

    I doubt anyone’s commitment comes only from their awareness of Hashem. Bilam had a strong awareness of Hashem and moving else. So he was only absorbed in himself.

    A committed Jew is one that maintains his Judaism as his own identity. I think your examples will also qualify as ‘a good Jew’. Your underselling just how many obligations the Torah puts on us.

    The person with the personal beliefs that you outlined is rather stupid. That he still maintains all the mitzvos, is very special in the eyes of Hashem. What do you expect of such a person?

    On your last paragraph, it depends what level you mean. A Jew with little insight into the divine, is limited in their spiritual growth. This is so obvious, it is almost redundant. But the basic level is there for him. A fully practicing atheist can say kiddush and kaddish for us. One is yotzei all the mitzvos that are designed for our awareness even if he is unaware of what they mean. Teffillin. Succah. Shabbos. Yom Tov. Tzitzis. Matzo. Marror. Etc.

    The six constant mitzvos is a long topic. And I’m not changing anything. It’s the same idea for the gaddol hador as it is for the simpleton. The outcome is different. But the output is universal.

    I posted that piece to clarify why all of chabad is within the parameters of normative Judaism, as much as any other group. It was never intended as the ideal.

    #2083733
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Smerel,

    It’s not the leaders of chabad’s obligation to make sure that everything is understood properly. Instead of trying to glean the truth from lectures that are not being aimed at you, go talk to the people in question. After an enjoyable two hour shmooze on the topic, not one chabadsker will say anything like the Rebbe has replaced God.

    The more difficult dilemma for younger chabadskers, especially the ones my age that never had the living Rebbe, is who filled this role before him, and before chabad came around. But in truth, every Jewish group struggles with this to some extent.

    #2083734
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Avira,

    The six mitzvos is a different discussion. One that fails every time we try on these welcoming pages. It’s a lifelong goal. And the sad fact is that most yidden come nowhere close. That is the first premise of the chovas halevavos. The miselas yisharim States that true yirah evades most of the people because they do not know what it is.

    #2083739
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    I like the tag on this thread!

    #2083761
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Avirah,

    Why can’t an atheist believe in the mitzvos? One can have beliefs and still not claim to have all the answers. Is that last sentence the center of our dispute? An atheist will think of the commander as a fact. Not a being. It could be the same source as the commander of the laws of nature.

    #2083820
    mdd1
    Participant

    Ha’Levi, please tell us why Christianity is an avodah zorah?
    TS Baum, so by the Christians only one person is a cheilek of God, but according to you every Jew is. OY WEY!!!

    #2083919
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    An atheist cannot believe in a commander, unless you mean he things that natural law mandates that he wear tefilin, which is the same as saying that the earth god or the sun god commands him to

    #2083920
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Bereshis bara elokim; an atheist per force denies a god in any form. Doing mitzvos because your father commands you is not a mitzvah, even though technically there’s a “metzaveh”

    This thread is getting pointless. You’re trying to justify being kofer be’ikar, which chazal discuss quite a bit, with some empty verbiage

    #2083984
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    An atheist denies gods, not existence.

    Doing commands because your father commands you, are commands.

    The thread is full of points that you had no answer for.

    Where do chazal mention that it is our obligation to tear apart Judaism by learning up people’s personal devotions?

    #2083986
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Mdd,

    Why is it so clear to you that Christianity is avodah zara?

    Maybe thinking about Divine Emanations is too much for you. It wasn’t too much for the Ari, Shlah, Besht, Gra, Ramchal, and many others.

    #2083987
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    n0mesorah,

    ” I’m not advocating this as the ikar. I’m saying this is the basic idea.”

    Ok, so this seems like a big change from your initial stance, which ridiculed any debate about beliefs because they were irrelevant to Yiddishkeit. So now you’re holding that beliefs are relevant, but a lack of them is still within what you see as the “baseline” of normative Judaism. I vehemently disagree, but before we go on that merry-go-round again, given your new position that beliefs do matter inasmuch as they raise your level of Yiddishkeit – I don’t understand your point in this thread. Your initial argument seemed to advocate for people to leave Chabad alone, because who cares what they believe as long as they do mitzvos, as beliefs are irrelevant to Judaism, and it’s silly to quibble about beliefs since reality is beyond our comprehension anyway. Now, however, you seem to imply that beliefs can indeed raise your level. Fine. And maybe some are not ready to jump to higher levels, and pushing or berating them for it may do more harm than good. Ok, I can agree with that. But Chabad claims that their derech is the superior form of Judaism, and only through Chabad can you reach the absolute highest levels. They put this into action via missionary work, and they express considerable hostility towards Jews who disagree with their derech (the “snags”). The similarity between these attitudes and those of early Christianity is probably why there is so much consternation – Christianity after all resulted in 2000 years of torment for Jews. But to lay out my question simply: if beliefs do matter for your level, and a group claims to offer the highest level… should their claims not be checked into on behalf of those who want to climb higher?

    “I doubt anyone’s commitment comes only from their awareness of Hashem. Bilam had a strong awareness of Hashem and moving else. So he was only absorbed in himself.”

    I didn’t say that awareness alone was sufficient. We have mitzvos to love and fear Hashem, and a cursory reading of Chumash reveals the importance of faith in Hashem.

    “A committed Jew is one that maintains his Judaism as his own identity.”

    But what is Judaism if divorced from Hashem?

    “The person with the personal beliefs that you outlined is rather stupid. That he still maintains all the mitzvos, is very special in the eyes of Hashem. What do you expect of such a person?”

    There’s stupid and wrong, and stupid and right. Should we condemn the stupid to wrongness?

    “A Jew with little insight into the divine, is limited in their spiritual growth. This is so obvious, it is almost redundant.”

    On the contrary, it is so wrong, I almost don’t know where to begin. No, a simple person isn’t going to delve into esoteric kabbalistic concepts, but a simple and true faith can shake the heavens.

    “A fully practicing atheist can say kiddush and kaddish for us.”

    I don’t think so. If an athiest writes a perfect sefer Torah, we have to burn it. And I don’t think we can say amein to their brachos.

    “I posted that piece to clarify why all of chabad is within the parameters of normative Judaism, as much as any other group. It was never intended as the ideal.”

    But they claim the mantle if the ideal, hence the scrutiny.

    #2084002
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    n0mesorah,

    “Where do chazal mention that it is our obligation to tear apart Judaism by learning up people’s personal devotions?”

    Deuteronomy 13 for starters.

    #2084155
    mdd1
    Participant

    NOMESORAh– indeed!! If you do not think that Christianity is avodah zorah, then you have gone so far off that there is nothing to discuss with you anymore.

    #2084238
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Mdd, doubting the idolatry of Christianity is not as bad as thinking that one can keep the Torah while denying Hashem, since the rambam says that atheism is worse than avodah Zara

    #2084248
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Why do chazal care about the (unfortunately common) refrain of people who aren’t machshiv learning, saying “what do those rabbis benefit us? They learn for themselves” chazal say that they are apikorsim because learning benefits the world, im lo brisi, chukos.shomayim vearetz lo samti

    #2084425
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Mdd,

    A lot has been written about if part or all of Christianity is a”z and to what degree. I was asking what piece of the debate do you assume for yourself. You will get no debate from me, as I do not have any personal opinion on the matter. And I never discussed Christianity with a non-Jew. Since you where bringing it a reference to this topic, I wanted to clarify what your using as a baseline.

    #2084430
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Avira,

    I do not recall such a Rambam. Please can you tell me where I can read it myself?

    #2084433
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Avira,

    “They learn for themselves… benefits the world” Very true. Additionally, in our purview, nothing can be understood – or even demonstrated – without having studied the Torah.

    #2084435
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Avram,

    “Devarim 13” Nothing there.

    I appreciated your long post. I read before Shabbos and will have to read it again before I respond.

    #2084480
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Moreh 1:36 re, atheism worse than avodah zara

    #2084528
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Avira,

    I read it. Thanks! (By worse, I took it as by denying more of the essence of truth more of the true form is being distorted.) I have no dispute with how you posted it.

    #2084536
    mdd1
    Participant

    NoMesorah, there is no debate whatsoever if Christianity is avodah zarah. The only debate is if this type of avodah zarah is prohibited to a ben-Noach. Yidden for generations would rather be killed than be mode in Christianity.

    #2084537
    mdd1
    Participant

    Regarding the avirah’s point (I am sorry I stopped following that part of the debate): NoMesorah, are you even an Orthodox Jew? Your views are way,way off.

    #2084576
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Mdd,

    Okay, I get what your saying. But for the purpose of this thread, it could actually be something else. Of course Christianity is not one bit acceptable for us. Though maybe it’s more meenus or prikas ohl than a”z.

    What’s Orthodox? I’m a Torah Jew. My actions are my focus. Not my views. Unless I’m teaching Torah. Then correct views/understanding receives priority over actions.

    #2084615
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Nomesorah has yet to provide one source to this supposed Torah view that beliefs aren’t important or integral, and that one can be a good jew if he denies Hashem.

    #2084821
    Yserbius123
    Participant

    @mdd1 It’s a machlokes Rishonim of Xtianity is A”Z, so I would say that there very much is a debate. There are some that say that the machlokes is based on how it was practiced in different parts of the world (like some forms don’t worship a man or think that he’s a god). That still applies today since that religion is pretty diverse.

    #2084829
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Yserb; as was pointed out, the question of christianity was one of if shituf applies to goyim, or not. No one ever said it’s not shituf or that it’s compatible with monotheism. As was also pointed out, everyone agrees it is yehereg velo yaavor for a jew. Christian theology since the council of nicea has always held of the trinity. It was only recently that a small group called Unitarian Christianity started, where they believe yushke was a prophet, but not in any way divine. Christians don’t have much uniformity, but the trinity is one area(unfortunately) that they all agree to. Far less than 1% of all christians are unitarians.

    #2084848
    smerel
    Participant

    >>>After an enjoyable two hour shmooze on the topic, not one chabadsker will say anything like the Rebbe has replaced God.

    Catholics don’t say that Yoske replaced God either. They give him a quasi status similar to that which some in Chabad seem to give their leader.

    And of course no Chabadsker is going to admit to an outsider like me having such views. I personally was in attendance at fabrengans in 770 where the crowd was warned not to share some of their views with non Chabadskers because it stops the spreading of Lubavitch

    #2084880
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Smerel,

    I have been in Chabad shuls and yeshivos all along the East Coast. That includes many all nighters. We’ve had many great conversations, because so little is out of bounds for Chabad. They start off guarded, because they do not like getting attacked. The group that really likes theological arguments, are yeshivaleit. The fact of the matter is that they have the same perception of Hashem as everyone else. Which should be obvious. Because even the most exacting thinker can’t understand God better than you me. The human brain can only fathom an awareness of Him. Nothing more. Creator, Designator, Law giver, Judge, Manager,Owner, etc, these are terms that discuss what He inacts and impacts. Not what the Essence of God is.

    What Chabad does excell in, is teaching how Hashem’s world works. They are much clearer and better prepared to discuss these ideas. What they lack, is how these very teachings apply to everyone and everything beyond those who are studying them. Basically, Chabad’s scholastic approach, only focuses on what matters to them. According to what they think is their life’s mission. They do not think much of what everyone else should be doing. But everyone else seems to have a lot to say about what Chabad should or should not be doing.

    #2084941
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Yeshiva bochurim get very uncomfortable with theological discussions; we don’t teach a lot of it, and we stress that emunah is fragile.

    Chabad are open to just about anything.

    Their notions of Hashem which you mentioned (planner, maintainer, creator, etc) i agree that they share – except that they then apply them in some degree to their rebbe. They won’t tell you that, but ask them if the rebbe helps them, hears their prayers, and knows everything that happens in the world.

    Puk chazi

    #2084979
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Avira,

    I did not mean theology exactly. I meant proper hashkafa.

    They do not apply God-like existence to the Rebbe. They say their Rebbe does the same ‘activities’ as God. Every Jewish group says that about their leaders, as they well should. The difference is Chabad teaches what it means to say such things.

    #2085005
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    “Every Jewish group says that about their leaders,”

    No they don’t.

    “They do not think much of what everyone else should be doing”

    don’t think this is true either. Hence proselytizing frum people.

    I am finding much of what you are saying her to not match at all with the things I have heard them say, experienced among them, but I did not spend overnights in yeshivos and a very large part of my community is mashichist. So with that being said – I disagree with your understanding of why people seem to care too much, in your opinion, about what they are doing. It is because they are doing very public things and representing Judaism to a lot of people in very public ways. If you do that, and it isn’t what it should be, then of course everyone will have their say. And that isn’t to say that it’s all wrong. But it is to say it isn’t all right. And I don’t like the way some of that “public” walk away thinking about Torah Jews and Judaism due to that exposure.

    #2085012
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Syag,

    “proselytizing”

    Good Point.

    “proselytizing frum people”

    It’s newbies who are clueless. Or old hands who are clueless. None of the staff in any of the T”T that I went too, cared about my observance etc.

    “representing Judaism to a lot of people in very public ways”

    This irks me too. Now what is there to say or fix?

    “I disagree”

    I’m not asking what makes them care. My question is, what makes them think that it is something to do with if they are heretics or not. As if some haskafa battle will reform Chabad.

    ““public” walk away thinking”

    These things are beyond human control. I’m not all-powerful. You may be, but at least you will not admit to anything like that on these pages.

    #2085338
    HaKatan
    Participant

    tunaisafish:

    There is also a Chazal in Pirkei Avos about being dan liKav Zechus.
    I can’t speak for others, but when I saw someone asking “who cares what some in Chabad believe?” I thought it appropriate to answer why it might be rather important to know.

    #2085340
    HaKatan
    Participant

    In case anyone is interested in lots of information on this, the Org site “Identifying Chabad”, may be of interest.

    #2085342
    HaKatan
    Participant

    From the site I mentioned in my prior comment (if approved), from Rav Chaim Dov Keller, about the then-director of Chabad of Illinois (who has since passed away):

    “This to me is extremely disturbing, because Rabbi Moscowitz, whether his hashkafos are normative Judaism or not, should, as the regional director of Chabad Lubavitch of Illinois, certainly represent normative Lubavitch thinking.

    Let us look at what we are being asked to believe is ‘normative Yiddishkeit’ and ‘well within the mainstream of Torah thought’:

    1. The Rebbe is not dead but still lives (so that we cannot celebrate his Yahrzeit) and is present everywhere.

    2. One may pray to the Rebbe, who also knows our innermost thoughts.

    3. The Rebbe is omniscient – which in simple English means he knows everything – a quality which is possessed only by HaShem Himself.

    4. The Rebbe is omnipotent – meaning all powerful – kol yachol – which is also the exclusive attribute of the Creator.

    5. The Rebbe is the Essence and Being of G-d enclothed in a body.

    This, together with the idea of the second coming of a dead Messiah, has heretofore been recognized as standard Christian – certainly not Jewish – theology.

    That there is a machlokes (dispute) within Lubavitch in these matters is well known and was clearly demonstrated by the fact that a day after the publication of the above mentioned full-page ad entitled ‘The third of Tammuz is not the Rebbe’s Yahrzeit’, there appeared another full page ad in the Times published by American Friends of Lubavitch, entitled ‘Finding Love and Unity Across the Jewish Spectrum.’ It contains not one word about him being alive, or being Moshiach, or Being and Essence of G-d. In fact, it speaks of Jewish communities the world over commemorating the third Yahrzeit of the Rebbe on the third of Tammuz. One only commemorates Yahrzeits of dead people. So there is obviously another faction.

    Which leads us to two possibilities:

    A. That Rabbi Moscowitz, by virtue of his position, speaks as a spokesman for the ‘official’ view of Lubavitch – and the non-Messianists are the minority.

    Or

    B. That the Meshichistin are the minority, but have taken over a significant part of the Movement’s official machinery – at least in Illinois.”

    #2086458
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    Dear Avram,

    I’ve read your long post (#2083987) numerous times, and I’m not convinced that I can place your debate. My position did not change. As long as observance is a given, it is of little consequence to the Torah way of life what theories are prominent in a given group. I suspect that if we compare groups we will find that the best of each are both similar and few in number. What’s your argument? Should we tell Chabad that their teachings must be wrong, because outside of Chabad they do not preach the same? Chabad is wrong because nobody else is Chabad? Maybe the hostility is mutual and therefore artificial. The Baal Hatanya’s opponents put him in jail. Nobody has apologized yet, so maybe all the spite is justified. You compare Chabad to Early Christianity. Nobody knows what Christianity was like in it’s early days.

    “But to lay out my question simply: if beliefs do matter for your level, and a group claims to offer the highest level… should their claims not be checked into on behalf of those who want to climb higher?”

    I hear the question. But it’s not for me to answer. Chabad’s problem. Every group is leaving out something.

    “”“I DOUBT ANYONE’S COMMITMENT COMES ONLY FROM THEIR AWARENESS OF HASHEM. BILAM HAD A STRONG AWARENESS OF HASHEM AND NOTHING ELSE. SO HE WAS ONLY ABSORBED IN HIMSELF.”

    I didn’t say that awareness alone was sufficient. We have mitzvos to love and fear Hashem, and a cursory reading of Chumash reveals the importance of faith in Hashem.”

    So we agree on this.

    #2086551
    TS Baum
    Participant

    @Hakatan
    Does any conscieous person believ what that site says????
    Who exactly runs it???

    #2086557
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    TS, it’s mostly accurate; a drop over the top based on my experiences with chabad, but only just

    #2086630
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    The site is not objective. And it ignores the main discussion. It intends to talk for Chabad. Not about Chabad as it claims.

    #2087163
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    n0mesorah,

    “My position did not change. As long as observance is a given, it is of little consequence to the Torah way of life what theories are prominent in a given group.”

    I provided my interpretations of how I understood your initial position (beliefs are irrelevant) and subsequent position (beliefs do matter – they can raise your level). If you hold that your position did not change, than one of my interpretations is incorrect. Which one is it?

    My discussion with you is largely a tangent off of this thread, based on what you wrote:

    “When a Yid does a mitzvah because he is a comitted Jew, that is the desired outcome of creation. This is even if the Jew has no concept of a creator or any idea of the god-head.”

    My major objection to this is that having a concept of a creator and Hashem as our G-d, and rejecting idolatry are themselves mitzvos – so absent these beliefs or in the presence of idolatrous beliefs, one is not fulfilling the desired outcome of creation. I pushed back hard on this, and you then (seemed to) acknowledge that beliefs matter, but more as a “level” thing than a fundamental mitzvah. This did not answer my main objection, but I put that objection aside temporarily to ask a secondary question – if beliefs indeed affect your “level”, then is it legitimate to question or investigate beliefs whose adherents claim are the highest of the high levels? I went on that tangent because this seemed like an inconsistency in your own stance. But unless I’m misunderstanding you, we still disagree on whether a basic belief that there is One G-d Who we cannot perceive or make an image of, Who created and rules the universe, Who took us out of Egypt, and Who commanded us to do the mitzvos, is in itself a mitzvah and necessary to fulfill the other mitzvos.

    “I hear the question. But it’s not for me to answer.”

    Why is it not for you to answer, unless you have embraced spiritual stagnation?

    “Should we tell Chabad that their teachings must be wrong, because outside of Chabad they do not preach the same? Chabad is wrong because nobody else is Chabad?”

    Not sure I like how you worded it (particularly the wrong because nobody else is line), but in essence, yes. Kol Yisroel arevim ze bazeh – we are one nation, one people, and we are responsible for one another. So why can’t questions be asked and answers given, without hostility and hatred?

    #2087284
    mechashev1
    Participant

    @avira, lfi aniyus daati, whats meant by “the rebbe running the world is in line with the klal “tzadik gozer hakodosh baruch hu mkayim”. the concept of “finding favor” probably means that since a tzadik is completely devoted to hashem, therefore in a place where simple people like us (being mevatel torah, etc. ) cant understand what the kaveyachol wants from us based on our specific circumstance, the tzadik does…
    as for davening to the rebbe, dont make me laugh… no such thing

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