November 15, 2018 3:49 pm at 3:49 pm #1624268
How would you succinctly summarize the main goals and/or philosophy of Lubavitcher Chassidim in one or two sentences?November 15, 2018 4:19 pm at 4:19 pm #1624531
Sure you haven’t heard enough of me on the other thread? Or was your question addressed to others?November 15, 2018 4:34 pm at 4:34 pm #1624649
Objective #3 is the philosophy.November 15, 2018 5:08 pm at 5:08 pm #1624677
Of course toi can take step Three, replace step with objective and then state that’s Chabad philosophy. Some people…
In any case there’s hundreds of seforim on the topic. But in two points the core:
1) ain Od milvado- there is literally no other existence other than Hashem. And explaining how that is. Achdus Hashem.
2) dirah Btachtonim – or to quote the whole line of the medrash- nisave HKBH liyos Lo Yisborach dirah Btachtonim- Hashem’s goal in creating all of creation from the highest spiritual worlds to ours, was for the sake of ultimately revealing Himself without any blinds to us – and that we should still be normal and not shocked out of our minds. Aka the time period of moshiach. And it is our greatest zechus and responsibility to make His wish happen.November 15, 2018 6:15 pm at 6:15 pm #1624703
Here we go again…
ChabadShlucha, with all due respect, you’re wasting your time. Someone who really wants to know what Chabad is all about, can:
1. Go to chabad.org.
2. Head over to their local Chabad Shul and speak with the Rov.
3. Visit their local (depending where you live) Lubavitcher Yeshiva, and speak respectfully with the Bochurim.
And for those who can read Hebrew and have the Sforim, or at least Otzer HaChochma, or HebrewBooks.com, read some Tanya, have a look at קונטרס ענינה של תורת החסידות, or open up a קונטרס ומעין.November 15, 2018 6:15 pm at 6:15 pm #1624704
What a stupid question and very silly for anyone to indulge it. There are a few options here. One is that you are a stupid person. If you are a stupid person then explaining anything to you won’t help. Two is in a lapse of judgement you said something stupid, but the truth is you truly do want to know about Chabad philosophy. If that is the case you can read many of the publications which deal with the matter. Three is you aren’t truly interested and have an ulterior motive such as hoping to ensnare someone when their one or two sentences don’t do it the subject justice. If that is the case your motive doesn’t deserve an answer. In any case, anyone who answers your question is doing something foolish.November 15, 2018 6:16 pm at 6:16 pm #1624714
I would venture to say that your number 1 is quite universal. All frum Jews believe in that. It’s not necessarily a Lubavitch idea.November 15, 2018 6:22 pm at 6:22 pm #1624751
I cannot believe they let another Chabad thread pop up. I also can’t believe my own lack of self restraint in clicking on it.
To the OP, if I were feeling in a complimentary towards Chabad mood, I would say:
Poor man’s yiddishkeit (I mean that in a good way, which I can explain). Be the most successful kiruv organization to ever exist.
If I were feeling how I’m actually feeling thanks to the other thread:
Worship the Rebbe as he is the only path to salvation. Convert all other yidden to Rebbe-worship at all costs by means of feigning affection/respect.November 15, 2018 7:24 pm at 7:24 pm #1624771
@ The Frumguy
“I would venture to say that your number 1 is quite universal. All frum Jews believe in that. It’s not necessarily a Lubavitch idea.”
The words are universal. The way the concept is developed was/is subject to great controversy.
This matter was discussed in the 1st of the 3 post series.November 15, 2018 7:26 pm at 7:26 pm #1624770
“Worship the Rebbe as he is the only path to salvation”
You should learn Noam Elimelech and other early Chassidic texts and then you will at least see the things you find offensive about Lubavitch (which I obviously would not consider worship) are really just mainstream Chassidus. The reason you think its a Lubavitch zach is because Lubavitchers are not afraid to teach Chassidus as opposed to others who preferred to keep things under wraps or else don’t even know what their own predecessors believed because they don’t learn Toras Hachassidus. The notion that everyone is attached to the Tzadik and through connection to them their avosas Hashem is elevated is not something Lubavitch invented. Aderaba, part of the machlokes against The Admor Hazaken was that the Admor Hazaken held that despite that fact, it is still necessary for every person to engage in a high level of avoda and it is not sufficient to rely on the Tzaddik, and the disputants held that Toras HaChassidus and Avodas HaChassidus is for tzaddikim, and its enough for others to be inspired by the charisma of the tzaddik, his miracles etc. and for their avoda to be elevated through that relationship. The same machlokes was essentially born out when the Yid Hakadosh, R’ Simcha Bunem, and the Kotzker had a machlokes with the other talmidim of the Chozeh of Lublin in that average people need to be engaged in real divine service as opposed to living off of rebbishe maysos and the emotional attachment and outer trappings of “popular hasidism.”November 15, 2018 8:04 pm at 8:04 pm #1624808
“You should learn Noam Elimelech and other early Chassidic texts and then you will at least see the things you find offensive about Lubavitch (which I obviously would not consider worship) are really just mainstream Chassidus. ”
You can’t bring lomdus to a metzius fight. That’s like if I were to say “Islam is a violent religion,” and you responded with “but this verse in the Quran says to be peaceful.”
Another few fallacies you committed: you assume I’ve never learned other classic Chassidic texts; you’re wrong. Other classics like the Yismach Moshe, Sfas Emes, and to some degree even Breslev Chassidus are categorically more traditionally text-based than Chabad’s tend to be. By which I mean, the prerequisite knowledge of shas and poskim to learn the Chabad Rebbe’s works is much lower than for other Chassidishe texts. I think I’ve even heard Lubavitchers mention this as a good thing about Chabad, but it’s an admission that Chabad is different than other Chassidim. You can’t have it both ways.
You also seemed to assume I’m not acquainted with any non-Chabad chassidim, which is completely baseless and untrue. I have to assume that you yourself have not had a lot of exposure to them and are assuming everyone else is just as sheltered. It’s unusual even for proud Lubavitchers to deny that their derech is completely different than that of other chassidim.November 15, 2018 8:05 pm at 8:05 pm #1624797
The problem is with chasidus that the chassidim end up doing less alone and rely on the coat tails of the Rebbe.November 15, 2018 8:08 pm at 8:08 pm #1624810
The Frumguy, taking “ein od milevado” literally is not at all universal. On the contrary, this was the main point of difference between chassidim and misnagdim, and it goes two ways: The GRA and those who followed him held that tzimtzum is meant literally, and therefore “ein od milevado” is not to be taken literally, whereas chassidus held the opposite, that “ein od milevado” is meant absolutely literally, there really is nothing but Him, and therefore tzimtzum cannot be meant literally.
Chassidus taught that Hashem did not really contract Himself and create a space where He is not, but rather tzimtzum means He created us unable to perceive Him, so that we are under the illusion that we and everything we see is real and He is not real, when in fact the exact opposite is true, He is real and everything else, including ourselves, is not real.
The Baal Shem Tov’s view of hashgocho protis follows from this. If the world is real then there is room for the rishonim’s view that most things happen by themselves, and hashgocho protis is only for important people or events. But if there is literally nothing but Him then it follows that nothing can happen without His directly making it so.
This was all revolutionary 250 years ago.November 15, 2018 8:26 pm at 8:26 pm #1624821
@CS- They’re one and the same. You know that, too, you just know that admitting it publicly will send your intended converts running.November 15, 2018 8:26 pm at 8:26 pm #1624820
Could be the above was on the mind of the Nodah Bayehudah when he said צדיקים ילכו בם וחסידים יכשלו בם – YD M’K 93 when he was asked about saying שם יחוד before mitzvos, when you do more in one place , you might end up doing less in another place. לא תוסיפו ולא תגרעו – כל המוסיף גורע.November 15, 2018 8:47 pm at 8:47 pm #1624837
Neville I can’t believe you’ve already commented on this thread.November 15, 2018 8:48 pm at 8:48 pm #1624835
To op: actually if you’re looking for short pithy sayings that express lubavitch philosophy I refer you to Hayom yom that does exactly that. If you want the Chabad handbook to Avodas Hashem, Tanya is the best place to start, which would be very timely actually.
Yesterday’s Hayom yom:
“There are three schools of thought:
1. The discipline of nullification of the material by indicating the repulsive and abhorrent nature of all that is bodily and material. This is the school of Mussar.
2. The school of recognition of the superiority of the “inner form”1 and the spiritual – the dimension of character-traits and intellectuality2 – and instruction as to how one may come closer to attaining these. This is the school of Chakira, philosophy.
3. The discipline of predominance of form over matter. This school teaches the unique quality of the material when it is purified, and the unique quality of “form” when integrated with the material; the two are to be so thoroughly fused that one cannot detect where either of them begins or ends – for “Their beginning is wedged into their end, and their end into their beginning.”3 The One G‑d created them both, and for one purpose – to reveal the light of Holiness of His hidden power. Only both of them together will complete the perfection desired by the Creator. This is the school of (the teachings/instruction of) Chassidus.4”November 15, 2018 8:48 pm at 8:48 pm #1624834
We find tzimtzum in Torah when Moshe Rabbenu was able to see Hashem’s back, the kesher of tefilin.November 15, 2018 8:49 pm at 8:49 pm #1624829
And anyway Cs, I’m not even sure why you’re exasperated. Ostensibly, step 3 is the ultimate goal (or there would be a step 4). A goal is something you work towards, in this case, having everyone follow the rebbe, regardless of where they started out or the minhagim of their “kreiz”. Which, in plain english is, converting everyone to lubavitch. That’s the final step, and realization of a process. So it’s the ultimate manifestation of your philosophy. So say what you want, you actually agree with me.November 15, 2018 9:25 pm at 9:25 pm #1624850
The above Nodah Bayehudah follows the Ritva in the beginning of Pesochim where we are taught that brochos are said before doing the mitzva, he gives the reason to use the brocho as means to be mechaven to be yotzei the mitzva, so shem yichud is unnecessary.November 15, 2018 9:28 pm at 9:28 pm #1624851
Toi I suppose im breaking my rule here- the reason why I’m exasperated is because you are clearly cutting out from my words what you’d like to see. If you’d actually read the whole post you’d see that I said each step has merit on its own and regarding step three I said that’s not even something we actually work towards etc. I’m fact I wouldnt be surprised if sechel hayashar was clueless step three exists at all as it isn’t a goal in lubavitch like the other two.November 15, 2018 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm #1624877
Neville, don’t put words in my mouth. I did not say the approach of Chabad Chassidus is not unique. I said the things you find offensive about Lubavitchers are well rooted in Chassidus in general. By saying “you can’t bring lomdus to a metzius fight” I don’t understand what you mean. Your example of the Koran, lehavdil is misplaced because it shows that the text says A and the people do B. I am saying the text says A and people are doing A. As far as credentialing yourself by saying you learned Sfas Emes or Yismach Moshe you also missed the point. I don’t care what it does or doesn’t say in those sefarim. There are earlier texts that greatly emphasis the importance and role of tzaddikim to the extent that saying their existence and the relationship with them is crucial and fundamental and those texts are based on earlier kabbalistic texts etc etc etc. What the Sfas Emes of the Yismach Moshe mention or don’t mention is irrelevant to me. Look at Torah’s of the first three generations of chassidus. But for reference, The Yismach Moshe was a talmid of the Chozeh. The school of the Chozeh was incredibly Rebbe-centric and into what is referenced academically as Popular Hasidism, in that Chassidus revolves around the relationship of Chossid and Rebbe in a cultural or social sense. The Sfas Emes is a branch in the Peshischa school of thought were that relationship was extremely demphasized and the relationship stressed was that The Rebbe is a spiritual guide but a person has to work on himself. Breslov is incredibly Rebbe centric so clearly you didn’t learn too much. As to your line that you know Chassidim, what can I tell you? It isn’t my fault if there are people who call themselves Chassidim but don’t learn Chassidus and to them Hasidism means three types of kugel, a fur hat, shiny jacket, and sometimes you go to the tish. What you are referencing is cultural Hasidism.
What do you think the Toldos Yaakov Yosef and other foundational texts were burned for? Don’t talk about things about which you don’t know.November 15, 2018 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm #1624896
I’ll let the other readers draw their own conclusions. I think you’ve dug a deep enough grave for yourself.November 15, 2018 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm #1624905
Lol neville if youre gonna write a post at least write an intelligent counter point. It’s not like you never have.November 16, 2018 7:15 am at 7:15 am #1624925
I guess I am clueless. Never heard of step 3. It’s not printed in Merkos’s “Creating a Lubavitch Utopia – A Step by Step Guide”.November 16, 2018 8:26 am at 8:26 am #1625005
I stand by my original counter point; I don’t see it as any less applicable now.
He didn’t really make any argument back. He just basically berated all Chassidim as though they never learn. As usual, I see you aren’t going to try to dissociate from the hate-mongering Chabadskers, CS. What a surprise…November 16, 2018 9:26 am at 9:26 am #1625030
I have not berated anyone not do I hate any Jew. What I said is I am acquainted with primary source materials and they profess a certain ideology. You said you are familiar with some later sources and you don’t see that ideology mentioned there (which isn’t a stira btw) and you have friends who are chassidim who don’t profess that ideology. So I said there are a few options one of which is that perhaps they don’t learn early chassidic texts. That is not a hateful assertion, and that can be their perogative, but it is an explanation for why perhaps they don’t act or talk like that.
The reality here is that you have nothing to say so you have resorted to personally attacking me. That is not very nice but I beat you no ill will.
In fact this conversation proves my initial assertion that the people asking questions aren’t looking for answers.November 16, 2018 9:40 am at 9:40 am #1625036
To 5ish exclusively
– I address you only because you have never engaged in any of these arguments (?) and I would hate for you to walk away with that comment.
In fact this conversation proves my initial assertion that the people asking questions aren’t looking for answers.
I think that holds true for a lot of things and some posters. I also thought this thread was stupid and wasn’t really sure what the point was. That being said, I do not agree with you in regard to Neville (or myself for that matter). And it isn’t fair to say that because so many of the answers seem empty, twisted, diversionary (whatever they have been called throughout) that does NOT mean that we aren’t looking for answers. It means that although many of you believe fully that you are providing honest answers, there are many of us who honestly don’t see them. Please don’t confuse that with not wanting answers, or not asking questions for honest reasons. It just isn’t true. And it isn’t a fair way to some up a lack of ability to make someone see another side.
Like I said, this is a response to 5ish in answer to his comment and should not be taken out of context.November 16, 2018 11:12 am at 11:12 am #1625045
The argument was basically like this:
5ish: All the bad things about Chabad are just the same in other Chassidusim as you can see in classic texts XYZ.
Me: Even if this were theoretically true, in practice everyone can see these problems are worse in Chabad. Also, even on a textual level, Chabad is not like other Chassidus as you can see in texts ABC.
5ish: I don’t care about texts ABC, I only care about the texts I brought because they help my argument. I never said other Chassidim weren’t different. There are differences like they learn less, they ride on their rebbe’s coattails, they’re inferior to Chabad, etc. See! I admitted there are differences thus proving my objectivity!
Your only possible defense is that maybe you truly didn’t understand my issues with Chabad. I don’t think this is actually the case. I think you are just terrible, hateful people who cannot be reasoned with and will work in insults towards other communities in every argument you make.November 16, 2018 11:12 am at 11:12 am #1625049
“I have not berated anyone”
Oh really? Here are some quotes from you:
“others who preferred to keep things under wraps or else don’t even know what their own predecessors believed because they don’t learn Toras Hachassidus.”
“It isn’t my fault if there are people who call themselves Chassidim but don’t learn Chassidus and to them Hasidism means three types of kugel, a fur hat, shiny jacket, and sometimes you go to the tish. ”
“the disputants held that Toras HaChassidus and Avodas HaChassidus is for tzaddikim, and its enough for others to be inspired by the charisma of the tzaddik, his miracles etc. and for their avoda to be elevated through that relationship.”
Just because you state your Chabad propaganda falsehoods as facts (and maybe actually believe them) doesn’t make them anything other than pure sinas chinam.November 16, 2018 11:13 am at 11:13 am #1625063
I propose the CR be renamed the Nitpickers Forum!November 16, 2018 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm #1625105
scold or criticize (someone) angrily.
I am not berating anyone. I am describing potential reasons why some modern chassidim may not be aware of ideologies which are taught in early Sifrei Chassidus. I do not hate anyone, and I am not expressing hate. I am not even discussing the merits of any differening viewpoints. However, if I was expressing an opinion about those viewpoints that would still not be Sina, much less Sinas Chinam. It is not sinas chinam to disagree with you or any person.
As far as describing my claims as propaganda is concerned:
information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.
I claimed that ideas which you think are unique to Lubavitch are fundamental beliefs of Chassidus as evidenced by the content of early Chassidic Texts, and I provided the Noam Elimelech as a reference. None of that is misleading or biased. It is a statement of fact with reference which you can look into and we can discuss the merits of the claim. However, you have responded wildly with personal attacks. If anyone here is propagandizing it is you.November 16, 2018 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm #1625110
5ish, I hear what you say but (separate from any of the other issues brought) those comments you made that he quoted were not nice, were indeed derogatory and your reasoning does not hold up. I have no reason not to believe that you don’t hate, and I abstain from commenting on the rest, but if those were potential reasons for anything they would/should have been presented as such. Not quite your usual presentation.November 16, 2018 3:44 pm at 3:44 pm #1625130
If you would explain to me what you think about what I said was derogatory I would be appreciative in that perhaps it would help me communicate in a way which others do not find offensive, however I can assure you that when I wrote what I wrote I did not mean to communicate anything negative or derogatory. Perhaps something has been lost in translation as they say.
The first quote is a statement of facts. There are Chassidim who choose to be insular and not to discuss Chassidus in public. This is a historical truth.
That there are Chassidim who do not study Toras Hachassidus, especially not early works is also a statement of truth. I am not passing judgement I am just pointing out that it exists.
The second quoted comment is also a fact. There is such a thing as cultural Hasidism which is an offshoot of popular Hasidism where Chassidus is understood to be the unwavering cleaving to custom and community. If you thought I was being judgemental when I said, “it isn’t my fault that…” what I meant to communicate was that Neville is confused about the ideology promulgated in early Toras HaChassidus because he does not see that ideology practiced by groups of people who use the title of Chassidim. I.E. there are different groups using the title Chassidus even though they have different ideologies. The fact that for example Satmar says X, Chabad says Y, and Stolin says Z is incidental, anecdotal, and irrelevant to my claim about early Chassidic ideology.
My third quoted statement is also plainly a statement of fact. Anyone who has studied Chassidic texts, culture, and history knows the differences between Chabad shita, Shita of the Noam Elimelech and his students, shita of Stolin and its offshoots, etc. etc. There were talmidim of the maggid who opposed the Admor Hazaken because he propogated the idea that every person has to study pnimiyus hatorah in depth in order to truly love and be in awe of Hashem. Many of them held it was sufficient for Tzadikim and talmidei chochomim to study pnimiyus hatorah and for the hamon am to be inspired by the tzadikim and for their primary divine service to be emotional prayer and simple faith.
Again, if you feel something I said above came across as derogatory I stress that that was not my intention.November 18, 2018 3:13 pm at 3:13 pm #1625565
5ish – speaking only for myself, and without agreement per se, that presentation certainly comes across much differently.November 24, 2018 7:50 pm at 7:50 pm #1629768
After the few mocking threads that popped up I wanted to thank you again for this thread. Also with yud tes Kislev coming up, there are many Chabad arranged events going on, explaining what Chassidus is and where to start and in general inspiring people to learn Chassidus. You’ll probably find one near you.November 26, 2018 6:05 pm at 6:05 pm #1630776
In light of the chassidishe yom Tov of yud tes Kislev, I have listened to more shiurim on Chassidus and realized that really the two points of Chassidus Chabad I wrote above, Ain Od Milvado and Dirah Btachtonim, are one and the same.
The Alter Rebbe’s mission was to bring the moshiach reality down into this world, into sechel. Moshiach reality is that we will, with our physical flesh, be able to see Hashem. Vnigle kvod Hevaya vruu kol bosar yachdav etc.
Something that sounds impossible!
So Dirah Btachtonim means that this impossible becomes normal to us. And that’s why starting the from the Alter Rebbe, Chassidus Chabad has taken Or Ain Sof and brought it from merely being in the realm of Emuna (and thus not as real a part of us) into the realm of sechel. May we soon greet moshiach! A gut Yom Tov everyone! Lshana toiva belimud Hachassidus uvdarchei Hachassidus tekoseivu vseichaseimu!November 26, 2018 6:14 pm at 6:14 pm #1630879
Chabad has different Yomim Tovim than regular Judaism?November 26, 2018 7:32 pm at 7:32 pm #1630935
DY, I am not a Lubavitcher but I happen to know the significance of yud tes kislev. It is the day when the Baal Hatanya was freed from prison, so it is a big hoiliday for Lubavitch.November 26, 2018 9:04 pm at 9:04 pm #1630953
Festivus for the rest of us.November 26, 2018 9:42 pm at 9:42 pm #1630995
The Magen Avraham says in the begining of Hilchas Purim to make Purim to commemorate the day when someone was saved as מעבדות לחירות אמרינן שירה we say shirah from servitude to freedom.November 26, 2018 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm #1631014
גאולהNovember 26, 2018 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm #1631006
Yes laskern. Also it represents a lot more than a release from prison in this world. Because the reason the Alter Rebbe was put in prison was due to the Satan’s protest in shomayim that he was spreading Chassidus too fast and too much. The Alter Rebbe’s exoneration represented the go ahead from Above to continue spreading Chassidus even more than before. That’s why Yud Tes Kislev is called the Rosh Hashana of Chassidus and its a huge deal. The biggest of the chassidishe yomim toivim within Chabad.November 26, 2018 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm #1631036
Yapchik, if we have אמונה and בטחון we will bring the גאולה.November 27, 2018 7:03 am at 7:03 am #1631082
Yes, Daas Yochid, Chabad not only has extra yomim tovim but an extra rosh hashono. And it’s well known that when a certain rov complained to R Chaim Ozer that the chassidim are contradicting the mishneh which says there are only four roshei shonim, R Chaim Ozer replied ruefully: ביי זיי קומט צו און ביי אונז ווערט וויניגער. “They get more and we get less”.November 27, 2018 7:10 am at 7:10 am #1631104
I didn’t even bother reading the rest of this thread, beyond the original question. I’ll try and answer, as one who has immersed relatively deep in Chabad teachings over the course of a number of years.
I will just say one disclaimer: there have been shifts in focus over the years. Every three years in the history of Chabad Chassidus, the target/goal attained a new depth. For instance, the three generations before the last Rebbe ZY”A, the emphasis was on Kabbalas Ol. Then the last generation was about a deeper level of Mesirus Nefesh.
You ask for only a couple of sentences, but it is VERY difficult to mention in so few words concepts which heavily rely on jargon — in other words, predefined, and previously explained topics and concepts which build up to a more essential theme. But I guess I’ll have a go at it, though I am not at all an official voice in Chabad teachings today (some notable examples of official voices, so to speak, might be Manis Friedman, YY Jacobson, YY Gurevitch, Yitzchak Goldberg, and of COURSE R’ Yoel Kahn and R’ Gopin, the latter two at the top of the list). People study these Chassidim’s teachings (obviously there are many more, but these are some who I am acquainted with personally) for many years before really grasping the quintessential objective of Chabad, and on the contrary there are many who can learn for years without really grasping anything but what their own imagination compels…
So here goes! (I’ll purposely try and avoid the jargon I mentioned above)
I would succinctly summarize the main goal of Chabad Lubavitch, that through the learning and deep understanding (and connection to) the study of Chassidus, the entire Earth should have an awareness of a superior, divine aspiration and ambition originating from a Superior Being (G-d), to be a relevant and inseparable part of physical life within it. This awareness should be so manifest in our conscience that it will affect us to practical actions to enact and make practical this ambition of G-d, in such a manner that it will become more important to us than any part of our own selves. (Or, to end in another fashion: it will become so important to us, that it will reach our inner core, at such a level that the only thing that really matters is to make this happen).
I would succinctly summarize the philosophy of Chabad, that at the very basic core of all existence is a simple unity which connects us to our Creator, Who in turn desires in us an intimate relationship, and of us to reveal this unity in every single aspect of our lives. This in turn inundates every aspect of every individual’s life with deep meaning, all as a result of indulging fully in the teachings that Chabad’s Chassidus has to offer, in a manner of TRUE understanding and connectionNovember 27, 2018 7:12 am at 7:12 am #1631119
“The biggest of the chassidishe yomim toivim within Chabad.”
Let’s keep it local then, shall we?
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