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B'siyata d'shmaya - With the help of Heaven

Lubavitch's Break-Away Religion of 'Schneersonism' is Growing

by Shelomo Alfassa

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902-1994)
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson z"l

(January 3, 2010) - They stand on the bustling street corners from Los Angeles to New York City and all places in between. While distributing literature to the passersbys, they joyfully declare "the messiah is here- the messiah is here." But these are not the stealthy anti-Jewish Christian missionary organization Jews for Jesus, these are hasidic Jews who now follow a new upward developing religion of Schneersonism. This break-away religion of Schneersonism, a modern daughter of Judaism not unlike Christianity or Islam, is a new and developing religion-a new and genuine religion.

Schneersonists have a Temple for their adherents, located at the Chabad-Lubavitch World Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. This is the address of the large synagogue and attached former residence of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902-1994) known as the Lubavitcher Rebbe or just the Rebbe amongst his hasidim. On the inside of the large synagogue is a banner bearing the slogan "Long Live our Master, our Teacher, and our Rabbi, King Messiah, for ever and ever." The phrase is often printed on pamphlets and posters which also have a photo of Schneerson. The phrase itself, a politically and emotionally charged one, is chanted by many Lubavitch hasidim around the world-it is the mantra of their new religion.


A house in Midwood Brooklyn on a prominent street / January 3, 2010

Schneerson was a prominent hasidic rabbi who was the seventh and last spiritual leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement which started in Europe. When he died, he left behind no children to take over for him and continue his legacy. Immediately upon his death some 15 years ago, some of his followers started to pronounce that he was the long-awaited mashiah (messiah) of which the Jewish religion has long been waiting for-but who has not yet come. Since he died, a generation of Lubavitch children have grown up (many of whom never met Schneerson) and today these men go around, in Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian, French and English, proclaiming "the messiah has arrived." About 2000 years ago a group of Jews acted exactly like the Schneersonists. After their leader (Jesus) died, they worshiped his dead body-and have not stopped since.

Billboards have been established around the country in cities where Jews live, proclaiming "The Messiah is Here!" Jewish music concerts are being promoted with posters where in Hebrew it proclaims "King Messiah" is alive. Utilizing a fleet of 10 Ford vans topped with loud speakers, flanked with yellow flags and a large image of Schneerson on the side, they drive around tourist areas in Miami, Houston, Chicago, New York, Seattle, Denver and New York City passing out religious tracts reporting "messiah is here." Last April, Schneersonists drove a whopping 59 RV's in procession through New York City. The words "messiah is here" were written on the RVs in various languages such as English, French, Arabic, Russian and others. And this is not only a U.S. phenomenon, Schneersonists are across the globe spreading Schneersonism with anyone who will listen, this includes to the non-hasidic Jews.

When people make contact with these men wearing black suits and black hats and immediately conclude they are traditional hasidic Jews who dress and follow the traditions of their European ancestors, what they don't know is that they are actually making contact with men that are at the genesis of a new religion--they are speaking with people that whether they know it or not, are the founders of the beginning of an entirely distinct religion, one based on the worship of a dead human being, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. Rabbi David Berger, Ph.D., professor of history at Yeshiva University and visiting professor at Harvard and Yale, says that the Lubavitch who feel Schneerson is the messiah, are virtually identical to those of the early Hebrew-Christians. Schneersonism is growing closer to Christianity and distancing itself from Judaism - why - because Judaism has no place for messiah worship or the worship of a dead man. It is categorically anti-Jewish to worship a dead man. Yet, in this case of the Schneersonists, much like the Christians, are conducting messiah worship and the worshiping of a dead person. At the very core of the Schneersonist belief system, is the Christian concept of the Second Coming of the messiah. Because the Hebrew word "mashiah" (messiah) literally means "the anointed" (Christ) in Greek, as strange as it may sound, Schneersonists are effectively supporting "Jews for Menachem Mendel Schneerson Christ."

Lubavitch Jews as well as inline politically correct Jews (especially young ones) are quick to attack anyone who feels that part of Chabad has evolved into the new religion of Schneersonism. However, their emotional responses don't equate for the seemingly millions of dollars spent on Schneersonism propaganda and the overwhelming and quite visible representation of the Christian concept of the Second Coming of the messiah. There is a large and growing campaign, not by all Lubavitch hasidim but by a clear majority, to get people to believe in their belief system-that Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson is the living messiah who has returned. With Lubavitch conducting such a high rate of outreach, the newly religious Jews are being educated in this paradigm of desiring a dead man to return and be the messiah.

"With Lubavitch conducting such a high rate of outreach, the
newly religious Jews are being educated in this paradigm of desiring
a dead man to return and be the messiah."

Families that have grown up in Chabad or that Chabad has "made religious" won't put much emotional or intellectual capital into understanding the scope of the problem, they just issue a knee-jerk reaction saying that those that warn the Jewish people and those that seek to expose Schneersonism for what it is, are just people who hate other Jews. They very often minimize the problem, saying "there is no problem." They respond with criticism saying the informers are committing the prohibition of "Lashan Hora" (evil speech), while they themselves overlook the grave sin Schneersonists are committing, the idolatry of worshiping a dead man. The heresy that most Chabad-Lubavitch have committed by their formation of Schneersonism seems to blind those that only see Chabad-Lubavitch as a place for free Friday night meals, overnight hospitality for shabbat, and free Torah education. These are the very people which are blinded by the "good" that Chabad-Lubavitch does; they are most commonly the newly observant and those that are at the low margin of understanding the history of the Jewish people and the seriousness of the messiah concept in Judaism. Most Jews don't understand how over at least one dozen false messiahs have come and gone throughout Jewish history, nor the damage they have done to the Jewish people.

The large established Jewish organizations, most of which have Chabad members among them, are afraid to speak out of this topic-they won't go near it. However, in the past, the Lithuanian Ponevezh yeshiva in Bnei Brak, Israel has spoken out against Chabad heresy. As did (with vehement opposition) the Rabbinical Seminary of America (Chofetz Chaim Yeshiva) in New York, and the Rabbinical Council of America who issued a weak but import response aimed to Lubavitch. Rabbi Aharon Feldman, dean of Yeshiva Ner Yisrael: Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore, Maryland, wrote a widely-disseminated letter in 2004 which stated that Orthodox Jews should avoid praying in Chabad synagogues that avowed a belief in the Rebbe as the messiah. In 2008 a man from Israel who seemed like an sincere convert to Judaism was rejected by the Israeli Chief Rabbinate because the man professed that Rabbi Schneerson was the messiah. The Jerusalem Post reported a source in the State Conversion Authority said that at least two leading religious Zionist rabbis ruled that messianic Chabad was beyond the pale of normative Jewish belief. "They [messianic Chabad Hassidim] attribute to him supernatural powers years after he passed away. That is not Judaism. It's something else."

The problem is you can no longer tell which Lubavitch hasidim are Schneersonists and which are not. Chabad schools have an overwhelming culture where children grow hearing that Schneerson is the messiah; Chabad leadership seems to be mainly made up of Schneersonists, especially those men and almost all of the thousands of worshipers at the Chabad-Lubavitch World Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. Posters of Rabbi Schneerson are plastered all over Brooklyn New York with the word"messiah" posted underneath his image. This writer attended Shabbat at 770 Eastern Parkway and saw men calling for the messiah. There were men wearing the yellow "messiah" flag lapel pin, the symbol of the Schneersonists. There were men and boys worshiping Menachem Mendel Schneerson's empty red velvet chair, and saw there were men bowing to a table where Rabbi Schneerson used to sit. These men were singing the revered mantra of the Schneersonists, "Long Live our Master, our Teacher, and our Rabbi, King Messiah, for ever and ever" as they danceed fervently with their yellow crown-emblazoned flags. To be sure, the "World Headquarters" of Lubavitch is a center for Schneersonists who worship the dead rabbi and who have made him the center of their new religion.


In the last 20 years Chabad has publicly adopted tenets of Christianity long rejected by Jewish communities, Talmudists, rabbis and scholars worldwide – most notably a messiah that will come from dead, a second coming. Chabad defenders are those who remain uninformed in matters of the development of Christianity--which started as a Jewish sect; the evolution of Rabbinic Judaism after the destruction of the second Beit HaMikdash; and the devlopment of the Gemara.

 

Suggested reads:

Berger, David. The Rebbe - The Messiah - and the Scandal of Orthodox Indifference. The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, Portland 2001.

Student, Gil. Can The Rebbe Be Moshiach? Proofs from Gemara, Midrash, and Rambam that the Rebbe zt"l cannot be Moshiach. Universal, 2002.'

Shocking Youtube Videos:

Rebbe Chair Worship | Bowing for the Rebbe's Ghost? | More Rebbe Chair Worship

More videos:

Street Preaching | Singing the Rebbe was Mashiah After Prayers | Brainwashing

 

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© Shelomo Alfassá