Monday, May 23, 2005

Messianic Meshugas

A bus rolls down the streets of Jerusalem. On the side of the bus is an advertisement saying that I can get a blessing from the Messianic King if I call the following number: 050-8080-770. Pictured on the advertisement is Rabbi Menachem Mendel Shneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe who passed away over 10 years ago.

I dialed the number on my cell phone. Who knows, maybe I'll hear some nice Hasidic music, or perhaps a nice wort from a Hasidic rabbi with a thick Ashkenazic accent. No chance! I get a recording. No music, no rabbi. The radio-phonic voice speaking in a flawless Israeli Hebrew tells me something like this:

Shalom and welcome to the "blessing center" of the Lubavitcher Rabbi, the anointed king, may he live a long life... For a blessing from the Lubavitcher Rabbi, the anointed king, Press 1. For a dollar that was given from the holy hands of the Lubavitcher Rabbi, the anointed king, press 2. For miracle 3.

After a chuckle I thought to myself, "When are these people going to come back down to earth?”

This is not the Chabad that I remember from 20 years ago, when the Rebbe was still alive. I'm not a Chabadnik, but I have fond memories of my visits to 770. What in the world happened to these people?

As it turns out, I'm not the only one asking this question.


ifyouwillit... said...

I had been noticing things like this too. The poster that threw me was "the lubavitcher rebbe is against the disenagement", or something along those lines!

Cosmic X said...

Yingele - You can buy a holy dollar for 50 cents. Seriously, I don't know. I have a dollar from the Rebbe stashed away with other documents of the past. The idea of the dollar was to give it to tzedaka. Of course, everyone kept the dollar that they got from the Rebbe and gave a different dollar to Tzedaka in its place. The Rebbe was a great man who saved a lot of Jews from assimilation. Unfortunatley he is no longer with us. Some of the hasidim have not learned that they have to carry on with life.

Anonymous said...

Mitzvah L'farseim!!!

Please believe me when I tell you now that these people are most assuredly NOT ChaBa"D! They do NOT represent the Rebbe, his teachings nor his mosdos, not in spirit not in ideology and not in practice! Quite to the contrary, you have no idea how much anguish this small but frenetic band of insolent wackos has caused by actually FIGHTING directly against the authority of the Rebbe and the system which he meticulously put in place before his histalkus. I beg you to speak to real chasidim and find out the truth. I could go on and on and explain to you on so many levels how these people and their whole nightmarish campaign is the exact opposite of everything the Rebbe stood for. They have taken sublime spiritual concepts like emunas tzadikim and moshiach and - in their puny minds - perverted them into a grotesque caricature of everything holy and dear to true chasidim. I am not speaking as an individual. I am speaking for thousands of normal people all over the globe who are still proud and dedicated chasidim of the true Rebbe zatza"l. We know that the Rebbe left us enough REAL teachings and directives to keep us busy until the coming of Moshiach (WHOEVER that may be) without having to concoct wild new to keep ourselves busy. Now I know what you're thinking, if these meshichist hooligans are really what you say they are, then how do the powers-that-be in ChaBa"D allow them to exist. Trust me when I say that it is a lot harder than you think to silence and marginalize these guerilla insurgents. They are made up of adolescents and other new-comers to ChaBa"D who were trained, miseducated and riled-up by the Meshichist leaders. Who are these leaders? Some are well-meaning but extremely mentally or emotionally deficient ne'er-do-wells. Others are malcontents with a political axe to grind against ChaBa"D authority. Basically, anyone who wants to be anti-authoritian (read: anti-Rebbe, yes, ironically enough, those who call the Rebbe their King are actually fighting to undermine the authority of the Rebbe and his appointed agents, the Head Shluchim) has jumped onto this bandwagon. Trust me when I say, however, that the Rebbe's true representatives and follwers all over the world not only reject the messianic antics but are DEEPLY pained and - dare I say - ENRAGED over such chilul HaSh-em b'rabim!

Cosmic X said...


Thanks for making heard the real voice of Chabad. I was told by a chabadnik here in Jerusalem that very few of the chabadniks in Jerusalem are "meshichistim."

Menachem said...

the impression i'm getting is that while most chabad aren't activly supporting the "melech hamoshiach" idea, they aren't denying it either. they're kind of playing both sides of the fence, hoping that if, by some chance, there is a second coming of the lubavitcher rebbi, they'll be able to claim to have supported him all along.

it's all creepily similar to christianity. i feel very uncomfortable whenever i find myself davening in a chabad shul, in most cases i'd rather daven alone.

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