Sunday, May 25, 2008

Lubavitch – A View from the Inside

Yesterday I was verbally attacked by a Lubavitcher because of criticisms I have written about them. His harangue included some very nasty things - calling me terrible names and saying things about me at the top of his lungs which are simply not true. For example one of those things is that I am a Lubavitch hater and am obsessed with bashing Lubavitch. And that most of my posts are about only 2 subjects one of which is Lubavitch.

That is of course the furthest thing from the truth. If I hated Lubavitch I wouldn’t Daven there every single day. The truth is that I rarely write about them. I do so only as an event demands. Of the 885 posts I’ve written since I began this blog, perhaps a dozen or so have been about Lubavitch. But even if you double that number, it is less than 3 percent of my posts. That’s hardly an obsession.

My goal with Lubavitch is not to hurt them. It is to try and get them to correct a path they have taken since their Rebbe’s death. I have written recently on why I think this problem exists and why it is unique to Lubavitch. This is a problem that can – in theory - be easily repaired.

I would not have written a post on Lubavitch today had I not been verbally - so viciously attacked. But because of this Lubavitch has been uppermost in my mind. By coincidence I was forwarded an e-mail last week about about a Baal Teshuva - a former Lubavitcher. Taken from his website, it is a fascinating report about what he experienced from the inside. Because of those experiences he has since left Lubavitch for mainstream Judaism. He felt compelled however to tell the Torah world what he saw… what he lived through.

Here is just one small excerpt:

Chabad is alone in their beliefs regarding:

- A Second Coming (they won't call it a Second Coming because they admit there is no such thing as a Second Coming in Judaism; they have come up with some fascinating ways to explain why it isn't a Second Coming even though they believe the Messiah already came and will come again to complete the redemption.)
- The actual leader of the entire Jewish people (the "Moshe of the Generation") is a deceased person (i.e. the Rebbe).
- One MUST nullify oneself to and obey a specific deceased rebbe (i.e. the Rebbe) in order to fully connect to G-d and receive all the spiritual and material blessings.
- If the Rebbe said it, it is not just a valid opinion. It is always the Absolute Truth.
- The Rebbe was the Essence and Being of G-d placed in a body when he was alive. And he still is according to those who believe he never died.
- The Rebbe is everywhere. He is watching each one of us no matter where we are. Therefore, we can turn to him wherever, whenever and ask him to help us in any situation.

It is one thing when I write about some of these things as an outsider. But it is an entirely different matter when the same things I have generally been saying is reported by an insider who experienced it first hand.

I would personally like to thank the Lubavitcher who harangued me last night. I have no ill will towards him and certainly not towards Lubavitch. I realize he thinks he was simply defending Lubavitch. I am Mochel him. Had he not harangued me though, I would not have thought to bring this essay to the attention of my readers. My mind was on other important matters. I’m glad he turned my attention back to this issue, though. It is important to know what is going on from a former insider’s perspective.