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tess Posted - 17 October 2000 13:30

I hate to broach such a controversial subject, but this is something that has been really bothering me. Correct me if I'm wrong, but unfortunately Lubavitch is beginning to sound a lot like early Christianity!

How the heck can they claim the Rebbe is the moshiach?? How can they claim he is still alive? Isn’t it said that if their is a Rav who everyone thinks he is moshiach he cannot be moshiach?

A little while ago there was a chabad ad in a local newspaper where I live- it said at the bottom "yichei malkeinu adoneinu....harav menachem mendel shneerson SHLITA"!!!

What is wrong with these people- Christianity only started with one extra "mitzvah"......these people have different ushpizin than us!! what were Avrohom, Yitzchok, Yaakov, Moshe Ahron, yosef and Dovid not good enough for them??

MODERATOR Posted - 17 October 2000 14:23

You are correct, Tess, there is nothing to say in defense of such trash. And there's nothing "controversial" about that.

It is important to bear in mind, though, that not all Lubavitchers believe in this stuff.

sarchie Posted - 20 October 2000 17:39

I don’t mean to be disrespectful but moderator I wouldn’t call it 'trash' even though you don’t believe it is true it is still people’s belief. I personally don’t agree with it, but I have no right in putting it down.

tess. there are many reasons why lubavitchers believe the Rebbe shlita is moshiach. I don’t think you can judge until you know why. I personally don’t care who moshiach is. I just want him NOW. and you’re right. it’s not right for some of these ppl to be totally controlling everything and writing Yechi Hamelech all over the place. I think if it has caused such a problem, then ppl should keep it to themselves

MODERATOR Posted - 20 October 2000 17:47

But Sarchie, it IS trash. The fact that people believe it doesn't make it more or less so. The Lubavitcher Rebbe is NOT alive. Period.

If someone wants his Rebbe to be Moshiach so badly that he will even deny reality to convince himself it is so, that's his problem. I am not judging him -- I know it is difficult for people who lived their whole lives believing something, especially Baalei Teshuva who became frum through people who believed and taught such things, to admit that their firm belief was a mistake.

They may ask themselves "if that was a mistake, maybe many other things I believe is a mistake as well?" I understand. It may not be their fault, but rather the fault of those who ingrained this stuff into them. I agree. But that does not make the belief that they insist on holding on to - no matter what psychological reasons they have for holding on - any less of a fantasy.

And we SHOULD make sure that no credence or legitimacy is given to such fantasies, since unfortunately, it seems there are many who, if nobody tells them how wrong they are, will actually believe them.

sarchie Posted - 23 October 2000 16:43

I understand what both of you are saying...I agree with you. like I said, I personally don’t care who Moshiach is, I just want him now!

Obviously though I would think that these are rabbis, learned rabbis I may add. they are not stupid. they have reasons why they believe that...the ones that believe that the Rebbe shlita is alive

I understand how that doesn’t make sense, but there ARE logical reasons why some believe the Rebbe is moshiach...I don’t think we have a right to criticize them for that. I don’t think we have a right to.

And you cant say 'silence is like believing' I don’t think they are wrong for believing what they want to believe in.

I just think it's wrong that this is tearing up the Jewish ppl

MODERATOR Posted - 23 October 2000 17:10


If you concede that "learned rabbis" are making no sense when they say the Rebbe is alive then clearly they CAN say something stupid.

These are the same people who once gave us "logical" reasons that the Rebbe will definitely not die. They are also the same ones whose "logical" reasons for saying the Rebbe is moshiach included the fact that moshiach "is a regular living person" (remember when they used to say that?).

There is no logic in this whole thing, Sarchie. There is only wishful thinking.

What makes you think that a learned rabbi cannot end up in la la land? Throughout history, most deviant groups were started by seriously learned rabbis. From Korach to Yeravam ben Nevat, down.

Do you think they were less learned, less "ehrlich", or more vulnerable to going off track than these rabbis are? All our lives we learn that what's right is right and what's wrong is wrong, and the Yetzer Horah can win over even learned people, and if people are saying things that are wrong, then there's nothing to discuss, no matter who says them.

Sometimes it may be difficult for the average Jew to know what’s wrong and right, but this time it's a no-brainer.

And no, Sarch, nobody has a right to believe things about Judaism unless it is part of Judaism. We have no right to mix our own wishful thinking into our religion. Once we start down that path, we travel straight down, with no end in sight. And, this wrong attitude of "let them believe what they want" is what allowed the next step to happen, where they believe that a dead person is alive.

If someone has a messed up belief in Judaism you do him no favors by letting him believe it. False religious beliefs can do only harm. And sometimes they can be deadly.

Among other things, they prevent Moshiach from coming. As the Baal HaTanya said, when they asked him "If so many Jews are waiting for Moshiach, why hasn't he come yet?" ... said the Baal HaTanya,

... "Well maybe the Moshiach that they are waiting for is not the same Moshiach that Hashem wants to send."

An important lesson.

One more thing. This issue is NOT dividing "The Jewish People," which means all of Klall Yisroel as a whole. To those outside Lubavitch, including Chassidim, this is not an issue. It never was. If this issue is "dividing" anyone, it is only Lubavitch that it is dividing. Please do not think that the whole world is thinking it. And, it is important to note, not all of Lubavitch believes it themselves.

Instead of giving credence to bad beliefs, we should be learning Mussar from this whole debacle. What caused this mess? What COULD cause it? Soul searching is what should be done now, so that such a thing never happens again.

Me19 Posted - 14 November 2000 15:48

Also -
have you ever heard of the saying "Yaakov Avinu Lo Mes." Keep in mind that if the children or Talmidim of a Tzadik continues in his path, it is considered as if he did not die b/c his deeds live on. Maybe we should keep this mind before we judge a group we are not a part of.

In addition, it is a grave sin to say Loshon hora, categorizing. Just remember that even if it wrong what these Lubavitchers says, it's not ALL Lubavitchers and it's terrible to hold against the klal the ideas of a few.

May we all follow the right path and be on the right derech.

MODERATOR Posted - 15 November 2000 15:34

"Yaakov avinu lo mes" is not a saying. It is a Gemora (Taanis 5b) which is referring to Yaakov Avinu specifically. There are other individuals who also have never died, most notably Eliyahu HaNavi. And there are a few others too, too, identified by Chazal.

What does any of this have to do with the Lubavitcher Rebbe?

None of the other "as ifs" that you will find, including the student-children concept, mean that the deceased person is alive in this world. His wife may remarry, his children take all his belongings, and all the Halachos of a dead person apply to him. This is because he is dead, at least in this world.

It is such a pity that such a simple thing even has to be discussed. These people are not to be taken any more seriously than the na-na-nachers, who also claim that Rav Nachman wrote letters after he passed away.

Maidel123 Posted - 16 November 2000 15:35

I don't understand what authorizes you to bash Chassidism. Yaakov Avinu lo meis applies very much to the topic at hand. Who says that is impossible that the Lubavitcher Rebbe is in this category like Yaakov Avinu?

I just don't understand how you can mock people who can still feel a closeness to their Rebbes. Perhaps it is a measure of jealousy that others feel in that they have not been able to establish such connections.

I recently heard a great story.

A man went over to a rabbi, telling him he's an atheist and challenging him to prove his beliefs wrong.

The rabbis asks him if he's ever read any of the philosophy books, i.e., Aristotle, Socrates, Plato. He responds no. He asks the atheist if he's ever read Moreh Nevuchim, Chovos Halevavos...again, no. He asks him if he's ever read the Torah. No.

So the rabbi responds, "You're not an're an idiot."

How does this connect to the topic at hand? Maybe people should do their research to understand Chassidic views on certain issues, such as how many Lubavitchers can say the Rebbe is/can be Mashiach, before bashing it.

nree613 Posted - 16 November 2000 15:35

The moderator writes

None of the other "as ifs" that you will find, including the student-children concept, mean that the deceased person is alive in this world. His wife may remarry, his children take all his belongings, and all the Halachos of a dead person apply to him. This is because he is dead, at least in this world.”

The Gemara in Kesubos 103a says that after Rebbe HaKodesh Died he used to come to his house Friday nights.

Rabbi Akiva Eiger in the Gilon Hashas brings down a Rebbi Yehuda Hachossid that says "He was motzei others with Kiddush and the law that a dead person is free from Mitzvos (and would not be able to be motzei others) does not apply because Tzadikim are "CHAIM".

In addition Tosfos on the prior Folio say that Rebbi Chaim HaCohen said that he would of been MeTamei to Rabbenu Tam if he would have been by the funeral. If he was dead then there is a laav not to be Metamei to bodies. How would you explain Rabbi Chaim Hacohen's Shita?

In addition some Chassidim (I heard this on Stoliner chassidim) don't allow Cohanim to be Metamei except for the Kever of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.

I recall reading a Teshuva about if Eliyhus wife was allowed to remarry. If you remember where it is I would appreciate if you can post the location.

MODERATOR Posted - 16 November 2000 18:23


The idea that the Lubavitcher Rebbe is alive does not come from Chassidus, not Lubavitch, or anywhere lese. So bashing it is not bashing Chassidus, it is merely bashing a crazy idea. Please do not blame this mess on the Baal Shem Tov. On the contrary, Chassidus contradicts it just as the rest of our Torah.

Yaakov Avinu, Elyahu HaNavi, Moshe Rabbeinu and others who Chazal reveal to us have not died all have pesukim in the Torah to designate them as special cases. On the contrary, from the fact that we need special pesukim to tell us that these individuals have not died, it is clear that everywhere else we assume the individual has in fact passed away. There are meforshim who even say that Yaakov Avinu’s not dying applies only to Yaakov and not the rest of the Avos, because he was involved in Torah more than they were (Iyun Yaakov Taanis 5a). Which means that Avrohom and Yitzchok died, but not the Lubavitcher Rebbe!?

And the Gemora in Shabbos 515b learns that “dead people are no longer obligated in Mitzvos” from Dovid HaMelech! So “Dovid Moshiach Tzidkechah” is dead, but the Lubavitcher Rebbe is “Yechi Melech HaMoshiach”?!

And even in the case of the special eternally-live individuals, their current state of existence is not the same as when they were alive on this world. The wife of Eliyahu HaNavi, writes the Piskei Mahari (102, quoted in Kovetz Maamarim II:28) may remarry because although Eliyahu is alive, he is not a “person” in the physical sense but a spiritual being, and his marriage is invalidated as much as if he were dead. We still say “Yaakov Avinu alav Hashalom” and “Moshe Rabbeinu alav hashalom,” which are phrases used on those who have passed away. But on the Lubavitcher Rebbe, these people would never say “alav Hashalom”. “Shlita” is what they use.

The whole idea is irrational and perverse. It has no basis anywhere except in the minds of some fantasizing individuals who are teaching to innocent bystanders such as you, Maidel.


The Chasam Sofer (Resp. 6:98) writes that even Eliyahu HaNavi who we know rose to the heavens without dying is only considered able to do Mitzvos when he returns to this world in a temporarily restored physical body. But even Eliyahu, while he is not walking on this world in a restored physical body, cannot do Mitzvos.

Of course Hashem can temporarily, even once a week, make techiyas haMeisim and return someone in a physical body. If that person is a Tzadik, then when he returns in a physical body he would be able to perform Mitzvos, since the souls of Tzadikim are always alive. You need both – a “live” soul, which only a Tzadik has, and a physical body to do Mitzvos. But when a Tzadik is not walking on this world in a physical body, he is de-obligated in Mitzvos like anyone else. Remember – the principle “dead people cannot do Mitzvos” is derived from Dovid HaMelech.

That’s first of all. Second, the entire episode does not say Tzadikim are not dead. It only says that they are exempt (when in physical form) from the rule that once you die you are free of Mitzvos. Tzadikim, since their souls are alive, may do Mitzvos even posthumously. Even though they have died, they may still do Mitzvos!

There is another explanation that a number of Meforshim give for the story of Rebbi, that Rebbi is different than all other Tzadikim since he happened to have been a reincarnation (“nitzutz”) of Yaakov Avinu, as it says in, Rama MiPano, Megaleh Amukos, and other places.

R. Chaim Cohen’s statement about Rabbeinu Tam is explained by the meforshim to be either according to the opinions that Tzadikim, even when dead, are not metameh - but they are still dead! (Ritva quoted in Etz Yosef. See also Tosfos Yevamos 61a) or because a Godol haDor like Rebbi has the halachic status of a Nasi for whom it is permitted to be metameh (Bais Yosef YD 374).

Regarding R. Shimon bar Yochai, there are those who say that he, too, is an exception since, like Rebbi, he too is a “nitzutz” of a Tzadik who Chazal tell us never died, namely, Moshe Rabbeinu (Shar haGilgulim II;5, Sefer Chazyonos [R. Chaim Vital] p.143.)

nree613 Posted - 17 November 2000 14:27

How can people say that Rebbi Shimon Bar Yochai is a special case because he was a "Nitzuz" of Moshe Rabbenu? When the very source of this fact said on himself that he was a "Nitzuz" of Rebbi Shimon Bar Yochai and he told his Talmid who was a Cohen to leave the room before his death so he should not become Tamei?

In addition based on your explanation of "Tzadikim Keruyim Chaim" how did the Arizal communicate with the souls of Tzadkim? Isn't there a "Laav" of "Doresh el Hameisim" (Requesting information from the dead). According to me it is not a question because they are in the category of the living, but according to the Rabbi that they are dead how did he do it??

MODERATOR Posted - 19 November 2000 18:14

These “proofs” that the Lubavitcher Rebbe is alive, like the previous ones, are all based on misinformation and out-of-context passages, no more logical to someone familiar with the material than the arguments of the missionaries from Tanach.

And they only work on people equally unsuspecting or unreasonable.

For instance, anyone familiar with “doresh al hameisim” knows that every communication with a Neshoma is not Doresh Al Hameisim. D”HM is referring to someone who hangs out in the cemetery so that a Ruach Tumah comes over him (Sanhedrin 65b), which means either a Shaid, that you try to get to like you and help you with Kishef (Rashi) or that you try to get the dead person to tell you things in a dream (Rambam, Chinuch). Or that you speak to the actual dead body asking it to help you with your Kishef (Yereim).

According to Yereim you can’t be Doresh al Hameisim unless you deal with the physical body, but if you just talk to the spirit it is permitted. According to Bais Yosef D”HM is only if you perform an action such as going to the cemetery or wear some special clothing or something like that, that helps you talk to the dead. But just communicating without these magical talismans or actions is permitted.

There is no heter anywhere to be Doresh AL Hameisim by dead Tzadikim, on the contrary, the poskim warn us when visiting the graves of Tzadikim not to dare think that the purpose is to communicate with the Tzadikim themselves, but rather to pray to Hashem b’zchus the Tzadik, otherwise it could board on Doresh al Hameisim (see Bach 217, Chachmas Adam 89:7).

The Gemora in Brachos 18a tells a story about a Chosid who slept in the cemetery and ended up speaking to spirits, way before the Arizal was born. Kalev, too, spoke to deceased ancestors in Chevron to request mercy (see Sotah 34b). Not everyone who speaks to the souls of the dead has to do it in a way that is Doresh al Hameisim.

But one thing is for sure ---- nobody but nobody says Doresh al Hameisim is permitted by Tazdikim because they are not dead. That is ridiculous.

As far as the Arizal telling Kohanim to leave the room, why not? Not every “nitzutz” is the same, and a “nitzutz of a nitzuz” is certainly not the same.

Maidel123 Posted - 20 November 2000 14:28

You are still avoiding the issue of why Lubavitchers say that the Rebbe is able to be Mashiach. There is a fascinating study done by scientists of the Rabbi Yisroel Aryeh Leib Research Institute on Moshiach and the Sciences, which use various methods to prove that the Rebbe is not disqualified as a Mashiach "candidate".

So it's not just a cultish belief that people are blinding putting their faith into. Halachic and scientific research has been done, and perhaps it would do people good to read the other side before bashing it.

I don't think it's necessary to spend so much time worrying about Mashiach, as the Rambam says, especially since it seems to be breaking up klal Yisroel. However, it is wrong to only present certain facts to the public in order to prove your correctness. Ramban almost always quotes Rashi before arguing against his opinions. Feel free to debate as much as you want, but have facts from both sides. You're arguing against something without even taking the other side into account.

In addition, I'm not an innocent bystander who's been swept up into some weird cultish belief. I am a thinking person who would appreciate it if you could treat me as such, instead of making it sound as though I am a naive sheep who will follow her shepherd to her slaughter. Torah and Yahadus does not teach the sort of intolerance that you are showing, which is surely preventing Mashiach's arrival.

Me19 Posted - 20 November 2000 14:30

Hi. You mentioned we say Dovid Hamelech Alav V'shalom. But every religious child by the age of three sings, "Dovid Melech Yisroel chai v'kayom.!" Obviously this tzaddik is living is some way! Maybe he can't do mitzvos, but us following his derech, in some way, though we may not understand, he is "alive."

Although I am not Lubavitch, and I repeat not ALL Lubavitch say "yechi" we must give the benefit of doubt. I'm sure that the Rebbe IS ALIVE in the fact that so many people are religious because of the Lubavitch kiruv movement. No, don't quote me as saying he's alive, but his deeds are alive!

MODERATOR Posted - 20 November 2000 18:19


I am fully aware of the so-called reasons why these people believe that their Rebbe is still alive. They are nonsense. That includes the "research" of the institute you mentioned. Scientific evidence of who can be Moshiach?! Please. There is not one shred of serious material contained therein.

If a dead person can come back to life to be Moshiach is another issue. It does say that there will be a techiyas HaMeisim before Moshiach comes, with will include perhaps the tzadikim, or perhaps the Dor HaMidbar, but until Techiyas Hameisim, they are all, with the few exceptions noted above, currently dead.

You are innocent not because you do not think, but because you are not enough of a Torah scholar to be able to distinguish bogus propaganda from serious Torah evidence. There are many Orthodox Jews who do not know how to answer missionary "proofs" from Tanach either; that does not mean they cannot think.

As far as "tolerance" goes, it is wrong for me or anyone to change the Torah to make some people feel better about their Rebbe. The fact is that this Yechi business is crazy, not to mention against the Torah. There are those who are scared that if they don’t say the Rebbe is alive, the Chassidim will give up being frum, since their entire frumkeit was predicated upon the Rebbe living forever. That’s their cheshbon, but it’s not an excuse – never are we allowed to falsify what the Torah says, because then we are not making people frum but creating a new religion for them - and certainly you cannot expect the whole world to accept such wild distortions.

This issue is not dividing “Klall Yisroel”. Everywhere in Klall Yisroel with the exception of SOME places within Lubavitch, this pathetic “issue” does not exist.

MODERATOR Posted - 20 November 2000 18:33


As the meforshim point out "Dovid melech yisroel chai v'kayam" means that Dovid's soul is living in Olam Habah. But Dovid is dead. The Gemora, in fact, derives the rule that "dead people cannot do Mitzvos" from King Dovid.

There is a vast difference between saying someone is dead but his work lives on (which applies to everyone) versus saying someone is not dead.

nree613 Posted - 21 November 2000 16:00

The Moderator writes

"For instance, anyone familiar with "doresh al hameisim" knows that every communication with a Neshoma is not Doresh Al Hameisim. D"HM is referring to someone who hangs out in the cemetery so that a Ruach Tumah comes over him (Sanhedrin 65b), which means either a Shaid, that you try to get to like you and help you with Kishef (Rashi) or that you try to get the dead person to tell you things in a dream (Rambam, Chinuch). Or that you speak to the actual dead body asking it to help you with your Kishef (Yereim)."

Why is it that, when a close friend of mine died in a tragic accident, and I wanted to go to a Séance' my Rabbi said it was prohibited because of Doresh Al Hamesim. Séances have nothing to do with the body of the Dead. In other words when it is convenient you say Mutter and when Convenient you say Assur. Or are you going to say a Séance' is Mutter?

Caleb only asked the Forefathers to intercede on his behalf. To be doresh AL Hamesim you have to request information. ("Doresh" = Request an answer)
Did you ever notice that in every funeral the speakers request from the Dead that they intercede on behalf of the family, no one ever said/thought that was Assur.

The maseh bechossid he did not go to be Doresh Al Hameisim. He was Chucked out of his house by his wife for giving money to the poor. He had no place to go so he went to sleep in the cemetery. Even the next year, when he repeated his actions, he did not ask any information he only went to sleep in a place that he knew knowledge was available.

On the other hand the Ariza"l requested information from the souls of Tzaddikim. That was my point that the definition of "DEAD" is inconsistent.

My point was, that by Chabad when they consider the soul of their Rebbe alive (every one knows he had a funeral so did Yaakov our forefather), they are considered crazy and other times Doresh Al Hamesim is only to dead bodies but souls are not considered DEAD.

If the tables were turned and I quoted you that Gemara you would point out that the Maharsah says that the whole story was only a dream.

I also want to make it clear that I do not believe in any shape or form that the Rebbe is Alive. I only protested against the Bashing of any shape or form of any Jews. The proper thing would have been to say that they are unfortunately mistaken.

MODERATOR Posted - 21 November 2000 17:17

“Why is it that, when a close friend of mine died in a tragic accident, and I wanted to go to a Séance' my Rabbi said it was prohibited because of Doresh Al Hamesim. Séances have nothing to do with the body of the Dead. In other words when it is convenient you say Mutter and when Convenient you say Assur. Or are you going to say a Séance' is Mutter?”

A séance can be Muttar or Asur because of anything from kishef to avodah zorah depending on how it’s done. It has been done in the past properly. I would point out, though, that your Rebbi probably saved you from a bogus waste of time more than anything else.

“And talking about taking thinks out of context, the two references that you quoted, are only for people that don't know how to research what the Moderator quoted. Caleb only asked the Forefathers to intercede on his behalf. To be doresh AL Hamesim you have to request information. ("Doresh" = Request an answer)”

The Rishonim disagree with you. The Haghos Maimoni (Avodah Zorah 11:13) proves from the Gemora in Brachos about the guy who got kicked out of his house, that Doresh Al Hameisim is only if you talk to the BODY of the dead person, but a bodiless spirit is not a problem.

The Shulchan Aruch itself (YD 179:14) quotes this opinion as well.

So what you call a misquote is actually mainstream Halachah and Rishonim.

These are not exotic opinions. These are found on the side of the Rambam on the spot and in the Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah. The only people that can imagine in their wildest dreams that the Arizal's consulting dead souls "proves" that dead Tzadikim are really alive are only those who have not learned the basic Shulchan Aruch and Rambam (with Hahghos Maimoni) on the topic.

All the more so since we are trying to understand the Arizal's opinion here, and the Shach on the spot says that the permit to speak to bodiless spirits is well understood according to the writings of Kabbalah and the Zohar "in many places".

“Did you ever notice that in every funeral the speakers request from the Dead that they intercede on behalf of the family, no one ever said/thought that was Assur.”

Not so. This question is discussed by the Maharam Shick (OH 293). He brings the Maharach and the Maharil that prohibit. They say that you can only pray to Hashem b'zchus the Tzadik but you can't ask the Tzadik to help you. The Zohar and Sefer Chasidim permit.

“The maseh bechossid he did not go to be Doresh Al Hameisim. He was Chucked out of his house by his wife for giving money to the poor. He had no place to go so he went to sleep in the cemetery. Even the next year, when he repeated his actions, he did not ask any information he only went to sleep in a place that he knew knowledge was available.”

It doesn’t matter how he ended up there. It would still be doresh al hameisim without any of the heterim I cited. This Gemora, too, is quoted in the poskim.

“On the other hand the Ariza"l requested information from the souls of Tzaddikim. That was my point that the definition of "DEAD" is inconsistent.”

No, it’s not. Despite what uninformed people may insist, the Arizal had oodles of heterim to do what he did, NONE of which include that Tzadikim are alive. When someone is dead, his SOUL is living, but as a person, HE is DEAD. There is nobody who disagrees with this, and no rational reason to do so. Except to defend an insane position.

“My point was, that by Chabad when they consider the soul of their Rebbe alive (every one knows he had a funeral so did Yaakov our forefather),”

Yes, and at the funeral there were shouts of “GET UP! GET UP!”, as the coffin was being lowered into the grave. And there were those who were DANCING and SINGING during the funeral about Moshiach’s arrival. So even though you are correct, he had a funeral, it made no difference to these people.

And please note: They are not considering the SOUL of the Rebbe alive, which is normal procedure for souls and nothing unusual. They are considering the Rebbe as ALIVE. As in you and me alive.

“ they are considered crazy and other times Doresh Al Hamesim is only to dead bodies but souls are not considered DEAD.”

Souls are not dead, but the people are. These people are not merely saying their Rebbe’s soul is alive but the Rebbe never died. There is a big difference. The latter is psycho. The comparison to Yaakov Avinu for which we have a posuk to tell us he is an exception is a deceitful disfiguring of Torah and altogether inexcusable. The fact that innocent teenage girls like Maidel123 are being taught this kind of falsehood as an excuse for this belief is a crime.

“If the tables were turned and I quoted you that Gemara you would point out that the Maharsah says that the whole story was only a dream. “

No, The Maharsha is only one Deah. Your psychoanalysis is incorrect. And the Maharam Shick quoted above discusses the impact of the Maharsha on what can and cannot be derived from the Gemora.

“I also want to make it clear that I do not believe in any shape or form that the Rebbe is Alive. “

Why not?

“ I only protested against the Bashing of any shape or form of any Jews.”

Then why did you try to defend their position with twisted “proofs”? You have merely helped expose their position as not only crazy, but as a distortion of Torah as well. If they want to say the Rebbe is alive, that’s bad enough. But to falsify Torah to support it makes it much worse.

You can define “bashing” any way you like, but why don’t you protest similarly against the ‘bashing” of Conservative and reform that takes places here? So Orthodox Jews are allowed to falsify Torah but not non-Orthodox? How about the "bashing" of the JDL that is on these boards? Nobody is claiming these people should be shot or even put into Cherem, but their idea is crazy, against the Torah, and unjustifiable.

Throughout history we learn about Jews such as Yeravam ben Nevat, Korach, and others who have been “bashed”. And, mind you, they were all Orthodox, and on a higher level than we can imagine. But wrong is wrong. Why don’t you come to their defense as well?

Shabsi Tzvi has been “bashed” and so have his followers. Go defend them!

And it’s kind of weird for you to “protest” against other Jews saying that they have no right to protest against other Jews.

“ The proper thing would have been to say that they are unfortunately mistaken.”

Wrong. Would you say the Jews for J are “unfortunately mistaken?” Reform Jews? Where does it say that Jews can merely be “unfortunately mistaken” as opposed to having illegitimate beliefs? That idea is plain assimilation, for the Torah believes just the opposite. It’s happened all throughout history, that Jews have caused others to believe illegitimate beliefs, from the idol worshippers to the Baryonim down, including today among certain segments of Lubavitch.

The belief that the Lubavitcher Rebbe is alive is not merely a legitimate mistake but an illegitimate unjustifiable baseless concoction out of thin air. Mistaken means the methodology that was used to arrive at the conclusions was legitimate but an error was committed in logic or understanding. Here, they took zero reasoning whatsoever, zero Torah sources, and zero logic and concocted out of thin air the belief that the Rebbe is still alive.

The same people who used to say that the Rebbe is Moshiach because Moshiach has to be a “real living person” and that “every generation has a Moshiach” now find themselves flip flopping and saying whatever is necessary in order to be able to defend their desire, that their Rebbe be King Moshiach no matter what.

Any 14 year old is capable of understanding that Yaakov Avinu Lo Mes has nothing to do with the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and that throughout history, with NO EXCEPTION AT ALL EVEN WITHIN LUBAVITCH, we have said “dead”, “yohrtzeit”, “petirah”, “zatzal”, on deceased Tzadikim, not shlita.

This is not “unfortunately mistaken”. This is plain falsehood.

An important principle of Torah education is that ideas are not only “right” or wrong”, but there are levels of correctness and incorrectness as well. In the introduction to Chidushei Rav Shlomo Heiman, it says that Rav S”H used to say that whenever R. Akiva Eiger would say about a Torah problem “this needs study” or “this needs much study”, or similar phrases, each one meant a totally different level of problem, and that if a Rebbi says about a problem that “needs study" that it “needs much study” he is corrupting the Talmidim, because he is distorting the truth.

In Halachah too, there is a difference between a legitimate mistake and an illegitimate mistake, regarding many Halachos.

There is a difference between “unfortunately mistaken” and “baseless, senseless, dishonest and crazy”.

This is the latter.

QueenMalka Posted - 21 November 2000 19:58

I don't understand how Moderator can say that Yechi has no basis. We went through this issue in school and we learned that Yechi is well rooted in Torah thought.

If Tzadikim die then how could the Oishpizin come to us on Sukos? And how could Eliyahu HaNavi come to a bris?

And Chassidus teaches that not only do the Avos and David come to us by the Oishpizin, but the Chassidic rebbes as well. So you see that the Rebbes are still alive, just like the other Oishpizin.

MODERATOR Posted - 21 November 2000 20:41

Unfortunately, Queen, what you were taught is baloney.

The Neshomos of the Oishpizin come to us. But the Oispizin (with the notable exceptions of Yaakov and Moshe as per the gemora above) are dead. Once again, the Halachah that dead people are no longer obligated to Mitzvos is derived from the posthumous status of Dovid haMelech, King Moshiach himself.

Dovid is dead. His Neshoma still lives. He is Dovid HaMelech Alov HaSholom. May he rest in peace.

And you were also lied to when they told you that "Chassidus teaches" that Rebbes come as Oishpizin. The Baal Shem tov and his Talmidim said no such thing. This is a creation of Lubavitch exclusively, where they have another Lubavitcher Rebbe coming each day as Oshpizin.

Nobody else has anything to do with that. Not the Baal Shem Tov, not the Magid, nobody. And all those Rebbes that they say come as Oishpizin are dead.

Eliyahu HaNavi coming to a Bris shows nothing considering that Eliyahu HaNavi is one of the few notables who are not dead, which is because we saw him flying up to Shamayim in a chariot in Sefer Melachim Bais, which does NOT apply to the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

Listen, Queen, I really feel bad here, but the truth is the truth. Throughout history we have learned about deviant sects of Jews who have gone off the derech (or the deep end) in various ways, from Korach to Yeravam, to the Baal worshippers, to Shabsai Tzvi, to the Maskilim, down.

All of them were Orthodox Jews. Things like this do happen. If you would have lived in the days of Korach, don't you think that Korach's people would have said not to "bash" them, and that everyone should "respect" them because they are Orthodox Jews? In fact that's exactly what they did say!

They had claims against Moshe Rabbeinu because he wouldn't see any other point of view. "All the congregation are holy they said. And the Arizal writes that Korach's goal was to bring Moshiach, when Leviim will be Kohanim, which is why he fought against Aharon's exclusive right to be Kohen.

All Korach wanted was to bring Moshiach. Do you think that Korach's people had horns? That they had tails? They were regular Orthodox Jews whose desire to bring Moshiach caused them to go off the Derech.

Don't you think in Korach's yeshivos they taught the teenage girls that their ideology is well founded according to Torah thought?

You would have had a hard time recognizing the poison in Korach's ideology.

We are living in such a time. Those who say the dead Rebbe is a live Moshiach shlita are going off the Derech (or the deep end) just like these other groups. The difference is only quantitative.

Once you distort the Torah's true beliefs, no matter how few or many of them you distort, you are off the derech.

The only difference is that the other groups had philosophies that were more difficult to recognize as wrong. This Yechi Rebbe Shlita thing is just plain nutso.

They tell you they have "proof". But the fact is that "proof" after "proof" is easily exposed as a distortion of reality. THERE IS NO BASIS TO SAY THE LUBAVITCHER REBBE IS STILL ALIVE. Not one single Torah opinion fits into this madness.

Not a single one.

Nada. Zero. Zip.

On the contrary, the fact that everyone is dead after they die is what the Torah tells us. Tzadik or not. That's why Yaakov is an exception. And Moshe. And a few other notables.

But the rest are DEAD. According to Rashi (BM 85a) and many others, their corpses emit Tumah like all dead bodies.

They can no longer do Mitzvos.

Their wives can remarry.

Their possessions go to their heirs.

They have a yohrtzeit.

They are "zatzal" or "zechuso yagen aleinu". They are NOT "shlita".

Their souls are in Gan Eden, alive, like the souls of dead people are supposed to be. But they are dead people nonetheless.

It is pathetic that this has to even be discussed.

And it is a crime that they are teaching you this stuff in school.

QueenMalka Posted - 22 November 2000 17:12

Maybe the rebbe is alive in a special way that we can't understand?

There are many things in chassidus that are not easy for the average person to grasp.

MODERATOR Posted - 24 November 2000 14:02

Queen. Listen to what you're saying.

You see, if G-d says something and we don't understand it, then you can conceivably say "I have no idea what G-d is saying because I cannot understand it." If you find something in a Sefer that you can't grasp, you can say that as well.

But Queen, G-d didn't say the rebbe is a live, there is no Sefer that says the Rebbe is alive, and - IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CHASSIDUS. It is just the creation of some people in Lubavitch that are saying the Rebbe is alive. They made up their own belief.

So now listen what you're saying. "I say that the rebbe is alive but I have no idea what I mean by that".

the problem is they think they do know what they mean by that, and whenever they explain they end up showing that their belief is crazy, not to mention against the Torah.

chanel Posted - 24 November 2000 14:29

I read over what the moderator has been saying about Lubavitch and please correct me if im wrong ..but most of all Lubavitchers do not believe that the Rebbe is still alive in a physical sense at all !
almost all of them go to the Rebbe's kever to daven etc.

The fact is ... that we can have a stronger connection with a Tzadik after his passing .. because he is not limited to a physical guf. All this the Alter Rebbe writes in tayna and the Rebbe spoke about it after the death of his father in law the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe.

So why is the Moderator saying that most Lubavitchers believe in this .. that the rebbe is still physically alive cuz this is simply not true.

Saying Yechi is a different issue .. hardly anyone who says it is saying that the Rebbe is physically alive ! They are affirming the fact that the Rebbe is "alive" in that his neshama is here with us the same way it was before his petira .. and this is not against halacha in anyway ..

Therefore I don't understand why you keep saying that Lubavitch as a whole thinks the Rebbe is alive physically ..cuz that’s not true ..most don’t .. and those that do .. no one takes seriously

- 24 November 2000 16:23

I never said most Lubavitchers believe this. Whether they do or not depends who you ask. I never discussed that.

There are those who simply say the Rebbe never died. They cal him "shlita", they refuse to refer to 3 Tamuz as a petirah, and they have said it clearly many times. That is the discussion.

It is also against the Torah to believe that the Rebbe's neshoma "is here with us the same way it was before his petira". Although this is not nearly as bad as saying he is physically alive, it is still against the a falsehood.

When someone dies, their Neshoma goes to the Olam haNeshomos. The gemora in Brachos concludes that the dead are, as a rule, unaware or uninterested in what happens in this world. Meforshim say that this is the reason that Yaakov Avinu is in more pain about our Golus than the other Avos (the Zohar says that).

Since Yaakov Avinu did not die, the principle of "hameisim lo yodu m'unah" does not apply to him. Although dead people may be informed of things that happen in this world by other spirit entities, they have no awareness on their own.

The Zohar in Pinchas is well known, that at Simchos of children, the parents' neshomos descend to attend. This is a special status for ancestors, and only during celebrations.

In numerous places it distinguishes between the soul's presence in this world during his life, and the reduction thereof after death.

Your interpretation of the "Yechi" chant may apply to some, but you are not aware that others mean it entirely differently. The following is a quote from "HaTekufa VeHageulah b'mishnaso shel harebi milubavtich", published by Agudas Chasidei Chabad in Israel, and comes with a haskama from 20 Lubavitch rabbis, page 94:

"From the above we can understand the meaning of the chant "Yechi" regarding the Rebbe...

"Nowadays ... as the rebbe has informed us that 'Your time of geulah has arrived!', and there has already been a revealing of the existence of the redeemer in the Nasi haDor, so we may say that during a time such as this the request and the demand ("teviah") for the Kingdom Bais Dovid ... is no longer ethereal or intangible, but rather, in addition to the request of Hashem that he should send us moshiach, we show publicly that we are prepared to willingly accept the Kingdom of the Nasi HaDor, the Moshiach of the generation, as The King Moshiach".

This has not your interpretation of yechi, Chanele.

Later in the same book, (pp. 130-132) there is a chapter called "The Eternity of the Jewish Nation". There it explains that Jewish people will get Olam Habbah and be resurrected eventually, and that there are different levels of "living forever". Some of which include living forever physically in a body.

Where the Rebbe fits in to all this it doesn't say explicitly. But it's pretty obvious, as the chapter ends, "this is not the place to expound on this, but give to a wise man and he will understand more". The final note reads as follows:

"The issue of forever in the sense of eternal life is connected to the attribute of moshiach, since only Moshiach is zocheh to the issue of "Yechidah". Behold, from the revealing of the Yechidah, from life itself ("etzem hachiyus"), he is not subject to the passing of time, and he is beyond "time". And since in the world to come there will be a revelation of the Yechidah in all Jews, that's how they will live forever." (p.132, note 21).

In other words, Moshiach is beyond time, is not effected by time, so of course he lives forever. And from the life of Moshiach will all Jews be able to live forever as well. And we know who Moshiach is, since it says so like 100 times throughout the book.

This is NOT your interpretation of "Yechi", Chanele.

And this is not the worst. The magazine "Bais Moshiach" is much worse.

The issue over here is quite simple. Tzadikim have died in the past. From the Avos, down.

sarchie Posted - 24 November 2000 17:16

I am reading this conversation and I cant believe it! read the whole thing over! look how immature the discussion is!!!! moderator! ok so you don’t have to believe that the Rebbe is alive and you can believe that with all your heart...but why the heck do you care what other ppl think!?

Look at how this is breaking apart klal yisrael! how do we expect moshiach to come if we act like this?! I don’t mean to be disrespectful but I really think that you shouldn’t judge anyone and just mind your own business and just do all YOU can to bring moshiach now!

MODERATOR Posted - 24 November 2000 17:53


First of all, somebody asked the question. There is no reason I should not give them a truthful answer.

But besides that, Sarchie, if their belief is against the Torah then why should I not say so?

Would you say the same thing about ANY other wrong belief? Jews for J, the JDL, Modern Orthodoxy, Shabsi Tzvi, haskalah, et al --- do you think that we should "mind our own business" and not try to explain the truth?

Think about it Sarchie, you're Chabad. Your life is Kiruv. What would you say to someone who told you that if you want to be religious, fine, but why tell others they should be religious?

Why don't you mind your own business and let others believe in Jesus or Buddha or in nothing?

Or if a friend of yours believed let's say that the Lubavitcher Rebbe was a Roshoh, and that it's a Mitzvah to burn his picture in public. Would you try to correct her? And if someone told you, "Sarchie, you don't have to believe the Rebbe was a Rosho, but why do you care if others believe it? Mind your own business and bring Moshiach your way!", what would you say?

See, Sarchie? When someone has messed up beliefs, it is supposed to bother us, we are supposed to correct them, and, at the very least, expose them for what they are so that people should understand they are wrong. THAT is a Mitzvah, and THAT will help bring moshiach.

Listen to me Sarchie. The Yetzer Horah is very powerful and tricky. And the Yetzer Horah would just LOVE to destroy the Mitzvos people get for saving the lives of so many others by being Mekarev them and making them frum. How can he do that?

I'll tell you how. If the Yetzer Horah can prove to hashem that the people making others frum really don't care about them being frum, but are just doing it because they were taught to, it reduces the merit of the Mitzvah considerably. If the Yetzer Horah can prove that it really doesn't bother you when another Jew does an Aveirah, then he has horrendously scarred your Mitzvah of Kiruv Rechokim. If he can prove that you really do not sincerely believe that Kol Yisrael Areivim zeh lazeh, then he has won a big victory over your zechusim. You would still have a Mitzvah, but it would not be the same.

You with me so far?

Now let me tell you how the Yezter Horah would try to do such a thing.

When Yosef met his brothers in Egypt and finally revealed himself, saying, "I am Yosef, is my father still alive?" The Medrash comments, "Woe is to us on the day of Judgment! Yosef gave his brothers tochachah and they could not answer him. Imagine what will happen to us when we stand in front of Hashem!"

The meforshim - most well-known, the Bais haLevi - explain:

The brothers told Yosef that they could not leave Binyamin in Mitzrayim because Yaakov would die of grief.

So Yosef said, "Hello? Yaakov will die of grief if he loses one of his sons? Well guess what. I AM YOSEF. It didn't bother you to tell our father that I was dead. You're afraid Yaakov will die? IS HE STILL ALIVE NOW? So if you weren't worried about him losing me why are you suddenly worried about him losing Binyamin?"

Ouch. That's Tochachah. When we tell Hashem that it was "too cold" to do go out to a Shiur, He's going to ask why wasn't it too cold then to go to Blockbuster to rent a video? Hashem will use our own actions against us to prove we didn't really mean what we said or did.

Sarchie, you're a sincere, ehrliche girl. Don't let the Satan trap you. When you go up to Shamayim and tell Hashem "Look how many Jews I was mekarev. I cared for all of them. When a Jew did an Aveirah I didn't just sit around and let him do it. I know it hurts you Hashem when Jews do wrong. So for Your sake I spent time and energy and was mekarev these Jews. I believed that all Jew are responsible for each other, and I could not sleep at night knowing that there are still Jews that do things that You do not approve of or believe things that You do not approve of."

That would be great. But don't let the Satan answer, "Yeah Sarchie? Really? So why is it that when YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS in Lubavitch believed something that Hashem didn't approve of, and others tried to do exactly what you claim you believed in doing, that is, not to sit around and allow them to believe their bad beliefs, YOU TOLD THEM TO MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS????????

"It's wonderful that strangers on the street you would run to teach them proper Torah beliefs, and those who told you to mind your own business you would ignore. Yet when some of your own friends needed to be taught proper beliefs, you told others to mind their own business rather than teach them what's proper?"

No, Sarchie, don't let the Satan say these terrible things. It's your Yetzer Horah that is trying to tell you that it's a Mitzvah to allow this anti-Torah thinking to be accepted and even spread. And he's trying to destroy what I am sure you are so proud of -- your dedication to teaching all Jews the truth about Torah and NOT "minding your own business". Since this is such a great Zechus for you, the Satan will try so so hard to break it. Don't let him do it, Sarchie.

If you can't for whatever reason be involved in helping these unfortunate people who believe these unfortunate things, that's one thing. But please, please, never stand in the way of those who are trying to teach others the truth.

If you agree with these people, if you think that the truth is on THEIR side, that's one thing. Then you believe that their beliefs are fine, and you should defend them by saying so. But NEVER, ever, ever ever, say to Jews who are trying to correct the wrong behavior of others to "mind their own business" and "let others believe what they want".

That's the wrong way to go.

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