Newsflash: Matis ditches Chabad!


Good afternoon/erev shabbos to you all. We interrupt your shabbos preparations to bring you this shocking (unless you’ve heard about it already) story.

I just read in The Jewish Week (which, BTW, I have NEVER read before) that Matisyahu no longer considers himself lubavitch. You should be able to read the article yourself here.

I have to say that I didn’t see this coming. Perhaps it is because I follow Matisyahu’s music, not so much his personal life (except I do know, because we have some common acquaintances – how’s that for name dropping? – that he has 2 children and has started wearing glasses on stage. We can get to that later.) so to me its a big shock.

I guess part of the reason this is a surprise to me is that there are 2 big issues (in my opinion) within the lubav community. I don’t know how widespread they are, I am not making generalizations here and EVERY community has its issues, but these 2 specifically belong to Chabad.

  1. The moshiach thing. It’s big. Dead people are not moshiach, and Rebbe Schneereson, zt”l is dead. There are rules against proclaiming that someone is moshiach, they have to prove it. And dying sort of eliminates them from the running. (Even bigger, a few freakish people think he’s a god. I saw a bumper sticker in Yerushalayim that has a picture of the lubav rebbe’s eyes, and says “Yechi ELOKEINU…” Hello avodah zarah! THEY are going to hell. If they’re lucky.)
  2. The whole not allowing converts/baalei teshuva to marry lubavitch FFBs. You’re NOT allowed to discriminate in this way, its an issur Torah, and yet some people find this to be perfectly acceptable since they consider it to be the ‘community standard,’ whatever that means. Poor excuse.

Anyway, you have to be deaf, blind and dumb to miss the moshiach thing, and since Matisyahu is NOT an idiot, AND since I have heard him refer to the rebbe as “the Rebbe, zt”l”, I know that he is aware of this controversy and has intentionally taken his stance.

As for the oppression of BTs and converts, he’s married. So I had just assumed (though we all know that that’s never a good idea) that he either knew – he’s married and did the lubav dating scene after all, if he was going to find out about it, that’s as good a time as any – or he didn’t, in which case, why would it come up now?

He has not quoted either of these reasons for leaving the lubavitch label/sect/group/whatever you want to call it, these are just my own primary concerns and so I am projecting in a big way for no reason.

He says he feels “boxed in” or something. Well, welcome to the Jewish world. This is what it means not to have moshiach. You can either let it get to you, or not. Granted, the push for conformity is stronger in a highly traditional community, though as far as chassidish communities go, Chabad is kind of…roomy. Not as boxy. There’s space. But its true of any community that there are expected standards of conformity, though they differ from person to person based on their standing and personal situation, where, if you meet those expectations, you will be accepted, and if you don’t, you may not be. (For example, a fresh BT will be treated with sparkles and niceties when they first discover shabbos, even if they don’t keep it, but after 6 years, if they keep coming over for meals and don’t make even an attempt to be shomer shabbos, someone is going to give them a dirty look, and maybe more.)

So maybe Matis reached that stage of expected conformity, and didn’t want to buy into that, and felt some judgment. Or maybe he has his other reasons. Whatever they are, it’s a big deal. (I’m ranting, I know, and it’s time to stop.)

People are now speculating whether, if he’s suddenly turned his back on chabad after becoming somewhat disillusioned, is he going to ditch the whole frumkeit thing all together? Will this be like the new Dr. Laura situation?

I wonder how his wife feels about the whole thing. In such a close community, there isn’t really room for one spouse to announce that they’re out, and for the other to stick around. Especially in such a high-profile situation. Was Tehilla herself ideologically committed to chabad? Or was that something she was ‘going along with’ and doesn’t really have strong feelings about herself? I wonder.

The other issue is, of course, his fans. For sure this is going to have some impact, and it will affect different sectors of his fan base in different ways. For the non-jewish crowd my guess is that it will be more of a curious ‘water-cooler’ discussion – ok, his fans are young, ‘soda machine’ discussion is more likely. It may change ever so slightly how they look at the lubav community but probably after a week or two it will fizzle away to nothing and not really have much lasting impact. For the hardcore lubavitch kids who are into his music, chances are they are going to feel disillusioned by their role model, assuming they consider him one. For a tiny fragment of these kids, it MAY open their eyes to the acceptability of other jewish groups. It depends where Matis goes with this.

For the secular jews – could it be a strike against lubavitch? Could this interfere with their kiruv efforts? I wonder where this will go.

I also kind of wonder about everyone else, including people like me, big Matis fans who never really identified with the lubav aspect of him, who kind of drew out the jewish essence of what he was doing and sort of glossed over the chabad part. Especially for the people with the anti-chabad sentiments out there, Matisyahu may have been considered either an example of what some people consider to be the ‘minority good lubavitch’ and for others was the exception to the rule. And now that he is dis-affiliating himself from chabad, this may be one more affirmation of the “Chabad-is-evil” sentiment (which, by the way, is rather unfair.)

Ok, I have better things to be doing erev shabbos. I am just feeling a bit shaken. That’s all. Does anyone else have any speculations on the matter?

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38 Responses to Newsflash: Matis ditches Chabad!

  1. And…apparently the Jewish Press is known as a total joke, like its a jewish tabloid. I didn’t know they existed. So it could be that the joke’s on me. HM.

  2. ari kinsberg says:

    the jewish press and jewish week are two completely different newspapers, with two completely different goals and readership. what they have in common is that both are heavily criticized (albeit for different reasons), yet both do have their important roles in jewish journalism.

    on matisyahu: maybe he got tired of the hypocrisy (i.e., being used by chabad for their propaganda purposes even though they don’t really approve of his career.)

  3. 1) The Rebbi isn’t dead, he’s still alive! a friend of a friend of mine saw him walking out of a pizza place last week. He was wearing sunglasses and was clean-shaven, but it was him I tell you!
    OK seriously… there are reasons (however slight) that could allow a person to consider the possibility that the Rebbi still could be Mashiach. There’s a Gemara I was shown (I forget the exact place) that mentions the possibility of Techiat HaMetim coming in stages, one of those stages possibly being BEFORE Mashiach and involving the resurrection of a Tzaddik who would then be Mashiach. Of course, this same Gemara points to the prophet Daniel as being the prime candidate for being Mashiach. Also this Gemara could be interpretted in a different way… the words in the Gemara translate to something like ‘If Mashiach were among the living he would be so-and-so (I forget the name used for this part…). If Mashiach were among the dead he would be Daniel’. It’s also possible to translate it ‘…If Mashiach were LIKE one among the dead, he would be LIKE Daniel’. To further confuse the matter, there are two versions of Rashi’s commentary on this Gemara, one pointing out that it’s the first way, one pointing out it’s the second way. Which means there’s an interpretation of a possibility of a commentary on an obscure passage that might allow for the possibility that the Lubavicher Rebbi could still be Mashiach.
    Also (semantic point), Tzaddikim, even when they’re dead, are considered alive.
    2) I didn’t know about the BT/FFB separation! that’s insanity! And they do such great kiruv work too… so what, they bring the BTs back, just to tell them ‘you can’t come back all the way’? Mamash cruelty.
    3) you forgot to mention that they require women to wear wigs. A Lubavicher woman is not allowed to wear any other kind of hair covering. Personally, I like scarves better, but regardless I think that women have the right to choose their head-coverings and not have this kind of minchag imposed upon them.
    4) I think Matisyahu has a lot of talent, and I think that if he started singing like a Jew and not like a Jamaican he would be even more amazing.

  4. m00kie says:

    they require the women to wear wigs just like most groups require their men and women to wear certain things.. this isnt a chabad thing, this is a minhag/rabbi/interpretation/customs thing and we all have it.

    they dont accept bt’s as spouses just as much as any other ffb label/sect/group/whatever. i highly doubt there are too many bt/converts married to satmars or pure bred lakewooder types.

    the moshiach situation isnt as clear and obvious as you make it, there are sources and there are interpretations. that he is g-d, i think MOST agree thats rubbish, but from what i’ve heard and read the moshiach question isnt as obvious.

    finally i dont think most poele care or will care about matisyahu being chabad or not.

    in terms of him leaving judaism because of it, i really dont think thats anybody’s business to be discussing (which of course was the topic of discussing at everyone’s shabbos table this past week).

  5. “in terms of him leaving judaism because of it, i really dont think thats anybody’s business to be discussing”

    What is the “it” you speak of?

  6. m00kie says:

    because of him leaving chabad

  7. I’m not sure if you’re talking about Matis’ leaving Judaism because of his leaving chabad, or if you’re talking about other people’s leaving Judaism because Matis left chabad.

    We are all one people and we are all responsible for one another, so if anyone leaves Judaism, it is ALL of our businesses.

    Also everyone has to think how their actions will influence others….so much more when one is in the public sphere like that.

  8. m00kie says:

    i was referring to this: “People are now speculating whether, if he’s suddenly turned his back on chabad after becoming somewhat disillusioned, is he going to ditch the whole frumkeit thing all together? Will this be like the new Dr. Laura situation?”

    i guess i just dont feel its right that everyone is almost excited to be discussing the possibility of him dropping it all. i’m sure this doesnt apply to you, but theres this is kind of almost anticipation/wishing for the worst.. it’s hard enough being a bt, without havig the entire world watch you, and place bets on how much longer youre going to ‘stick with it’. i guess i just feel that someones connection to hashem is their own to deal with unless they come asking for help – its just not something others should be trying to figure out or understand or get involved in – not because we dont care, but because it usually just ends up turning people off even more!

  9. Makes sense. I think that WOULD be horrible and of course I don’t hope for that. People who do have serious problems.

    Someone once told me – “I don’t want moshiach to come” and that was one of the most disturbing moments of my entire life.

    That is the sad state of galut. We don’t have a clue what we’re missing! (All of us to varying degrees)

  10. Jonathan says:

    Let me just tell you that I know of families in Crown Heights where a BT marries an FFB. One of the big families in the neighborhood had somone marry a convert. This concept you talked about is not a ‘definite policy”

    I think you owe the Lubavitch comunity a big apology for making assumptions.

    Im sure your Gadol the Chofetz Chaim (who I DONT hear people say ZTL EVERY TIME they quote him) would just love that you publicized such an incorrect assumption and labeled it as fact.

    GROW UP!!!

  11. I didn’t claim that it was a definite policy. And I quote myself :

    ” I don’t know how widespread they are, I am not making generalizations here and EVERY community has its issues”

    I intentionally specified that I do not presume to know how much this is a rule vs. a trend vs. an occasional happening. I am only saying that this concept does seem to exist, to whatever extent it does.

    I try to base what I do on what I think is right and NOT on what other people do as they are people and henceforth IMPERFECT. Why use an imperfect model when we have Hashem?

    I’ll take that as a bracha, with Hashem’s help we should all continue to grow, onwards and upwards, ad meah v’esrim shanah!

  12. Ahuva says:

    Nice blog. I hadn’t heard this piece of news, but then I stopped watching so closely after the whole breaking-his-contract-with-JDub fiasco. After that, he seemed less a representative of chassidus to me and more just an enjoyable singer.

    I hadn’t heard about chabad FFBs not marying a convert/BT and hope that’s not widespread. It’s hard to imagine that it would be. Family is so important particularly in the FFB orthodox community– it’s hard to imagine an older unmarried single turning down a suitable husband candidate just because he was a convert or BT. I mean, even I heard “better off dead than unmarried” stories and I was raised Reform!

  13. Oy vey. Really sad. “Even the worst husband, G-d forbid, is better than no husband, G-d forbid” a la fiddler.

    Thanks for your compliment! I don’t think its a hard and fast rule, but I have heard (again, I don’t know how reliable this is, and I don’t know how widespread either,) that it IS an existing trend.

  14. Mazal tov to Matisyahu! lol

    I think he is an intelligent guy and he may be cutting his ties with Chabad but I doubt that he will dump Orthodoxy.

  15. “Even the worst husband, G-d forbid, is better than no husband, G-d forbid” a la fiddler.

    You are being sarcastic right?

  16. Um yes indeed, I have standards. Baruch Hashem!

  17. Good. You get two thumbs up from me for being an intelligent girl and having standards. 🙂

  18. LOL…one thumb for intellegence and one thumb for standards?

    Know any decent young men with a mind to settle in the holy land?

  19. Chaim says:

    I’m severely disappointed with your post.

    Let me just clarify that there IS NO SUCH RULE OR POLICY in Chabad. That is the worst thing I have ever heard. Both my parents are Baalei Teshuva and I married a “ffb”, and I have many many friends who married FFB’s.

    Just because you heard something from one person doesn’t make it worthy of being publicized as a fact. Even though you try to say it might not be so widespread, just saying this at all is so wrong.

    I can’t say this in any more clearer of terms. THERE IS NO SUCH POLICY. This is how people come to not like other groups of frum Jews. One person reads something patently false on a blog and assumes its true then tells 5 other people and then they go “wow how horrible is lubavitch!”

    Come on, I really think you should either delete that claim or make the disclaimer more blunt and bold and red.

    Secondly, I don’t know where you got your smicha from but Rambam (and other sources) do state that there is a possibility that Moshiach could be a person who died. Because of the chronology of Techias Hamaysim with regards to what happens first when Moshiach comes.

    Also, there is no source anywhere that says your not allowed to claim a person is Moshiach. Thats not true at all. It may not be popular and it might be frowned upon but there is no Halacha stating that.

    Now that I said that. I am Lubavitch and I am not a Yechi person AT ALL. I’m just stating that there is nothing wrong with saying that “my rebbe” is Moshiach. In previous generations many chassidic dynasties proclaimed their Rebbe’s as Moshiach.

    I’m not gonna say it. I’m not gonna make anyone else say it. I agree the “elokainu” ! (gevalt!!) people are riding a one way ticket to you know whersville but there are many different “levels” of the Yechi movement. Most people do agree The Rebbe passed away and they believe he is Moshiach based on the Rambam that says it could be a person who passed away.

    My problem is that the Yechi people have lost sight of what the Rebbe had wanted. He wanted me to learn about Moshiach and help BRING IT not force people to accept who Moshiach is. I hate what they have done to our community and I disagree with many of the Yechi people, including without having to say the most extreme.

    They give us all a bad name, but please, think before you write. It’s so wrong to just write something if you don’t have any hard proof. You have to educate yourself and know the details of what your speaking about. Not just basing it on what some other people may have told you.

    Tehila is a baalei teshuvah herself from machon chana and as I heard was VERY invested and dedicated to Chabad.

    It also happens to be that Matisyahu himself may have said ZTL but he was a known Meshicist. There is audio of him singing Yechi at more then one farbrengen or mini concert. He attended a very Yechi oriented Baal Teshuvah yeshiva and it would be almost impossible that he was any sort of anti.

  20. Chaim says:

    I missed one point. It wasn’t just chassidic dynasties that used to claim this. it was Tanayim from the times of the Gemara that would claim thier Tzadikim were Moshaich.

    Times have changed, but there are sources for these things.

  21. Love Him -Embrace Him says:

    Listen up everyone !!
    ……If someone is moving out of one particular fold into …some other mode or Tradition ..Just with my vast number of life experiences is clearly a Red Flashing Warning Signal & Indicator that Matisyahu needs all of those great professed MESHUGI fans who admire him and GEVALT love him SO very dearly (and by association his immediate family) TO BOND TOGETHER at this time and let him know ..WE ARE ALL HERE FOR HIM !! MAMESH 😉 with him ..understand 100% where he’s coming from.. AND VERY MUCh want to offer HIM AND HIS BEAUTIFUL FAMILY B’AH… AN ENDLESS SOURCE -AMOUNT OF SUPPORT WHETHER IT IS IN THE FORM OF BEING AVAILABLE FOR ANY KIND OF SUPPORT, GUIDANCE ,RE-ASSURANCE,WISDOM AND MOST OF ALL SELFLESS NON JUDGEMENTAL LOVE !!

    To quote from his famous appearnce on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show several years ago:

    Kimmel :W ould you appear on Shabbos for 1$1million .. Bucks ? Matisyahu M ..” NO ”
    KImmel How about $4 million to appear Fri night ?? ..Matistyahu answers an emphatic” NO way ”

    Now that the “000000” S are starting to come together B’H I pray that he stands strong and committed to Hashem and His Torah !!;)
    I’d love it if someone forwarded this firm vote of confidence and support to Reb Matisyahu himself..

    BTW Offering Matisyah REAL tangible support may translate into helping organize a volunteer staff of local Chevra wherever that may be.. i e a group of people who will making sure that he and his band get out of the Concert Hall to their prefdered destination for Shabbos well before Shabbos or to the Concert hall promptly right after Shabbos ends..No different than any Frum Orchestra or Band.. I welcome comment and suggestion !! Please excuse the “long windedness” of this comment as ..this topic weighs heavily on my heart!!(Thus time stamp 5:30 am)

  22. Chaim says:


    Here is an article asking if Matisyahu believed the Rebbe is (is, not was) Moshiach.

    “Asked about Schneerson’s messianic candidacy in an interview last summer, he said “He was definitely one of the candidates, if there are any candidates. I believe and I see how it could be.”

  23. Chaim: “I don’t know where you got your smicha from but Rambam (and other sources) do state that there is a possibility that Moshiach could be a person who died.”
    really? I never heard of such a source… where does the Rambam say so?

    Speaking of the Rambam,he writes the following in Melachim 11:4. As translated by Aryeh Kaplan in his essay entitled ‘The Real Messiah’ (found in his book with the same title) “If there arises a ruler from the House of David, who is immersed in Torah and Mitzvos like David his ancestor, following both the Written and Oral Law, who leads Israel back to the Torah, strengthening its laws and fighting G-d’s battles, then we may assume that he is the Messiah. If he is further successful in rebuilding the Temple on its original site and gathering the dispersed of Israel, then his identity as the Messiah is a certainty.”

    According to the Rambam, it is perfectly fine for a person to say ‘this person is doing such wonderful things, he must be Mashiach!’ But if the person happens to die before managing to gather the dispersed of Israel or rebuild the Holy Temple (my interpretation), then we are no longer able to assume he was Mashiach.
    The issue at hand isn’t that assuming The Lubavitcher Rebbi COULD HAVE BEEN Mashiach is problemic… it’s assuming that The Lubavitcher Rebbi IS or WILL BE Mashiach.

    “Asked about Schneerson’s messianic candidacy in an interview last summer, he said “He was definitely one of the candidates, if there are any candidates. I believe and I see how it could be.”
    What a cryptic statement! Note that it clearly does not reveal anything. He uses the word ‘was’… saying ‘He WAS a candidate’, not ‘He IS a candidate’, or a stronger statement like ‘He is Mashiach’.

  24. Dear Chaim…

    I will try to address the things you wrote but I feel that there will be some holes in here as my mind, ahead of my body, is already halfway to dreamland.

    “Both my parents are Baalei Teshuva and I married a “ffb”, and I have many many friends who married FFB’s.” – This doesn’t really say anything about my previous statement as YOU would qualify as an FFB. And again, I will clarify. I did not say that this is a community-wide policy/rule, merely that some INDIVIDUALS within the chabad community have this as a personal rule, and claim it to be a “Chabad THING.”

    Also here is a perfectly good place to interject and say that when I make any statements, I don’t claim to know it all..I say what I think based on the information that I have, I try to be as informed as possible (for me, in my given situation at the time, on the topic at hand) but of course I don’t know everything and I am generally open to the possibility that I am *gasp* – wrong. It has happened in the past, I am sure it will happen a number of times in the future. Only Hashem is perfect, so all any of us can do, myself included, is our best.

    That having been said, I will say what I said again. INDIVIDUALS within chabad have such a policy. Now I will also clarify – I am NOT anti-chabad. There is a great amount of goodness in chabad and the chabad community, and amazing people for whom I have a great deal of respect. But again, EVERY community has issues. If Matis is breaking from chabad, there’s a reason, and it is possible that some internal community issues are the cause. It is also plausible that this is NOT the case, and until we get Matis to reply to this post, we’re not going to know the REAL TRUTH on the matter.

    There is no point discussing this sort of thing (really I brought it up only out of my own selfish curiosity/interest…perhaps a mistake?)unless we can learn something from it and move forward, each of us individually. After all of this discussion, I personally look at this and think how great a responsibility it is to be a role model to others. That is scary. Also how important it is to have a derech, and to know that one derech is not good for all people, each individual has to find their way of developing a personal relationship with Hashem – The torah has 70 faces, right? If its in the 70, its kosher and it is so important not to force my way on another person.

    “Tehila is a baalei teshuvah herself from machon chana and as I heard was VERY invested and dedicated to Chabad.”

    See? And I heard that she isn’t particularly into chabad, she followed the derech of her husband. I also believe she is from a frum family. (I went to school with her sister briefly and I believe she’s FFB, not that it matters outside the current discussion.) Again, I could be wrong, but we all use the info that we’ve got. I never came across any Matis-Yechi stuff until you started pointing me in that direction. I don’t know that I am going to look. Assuming he actually HAS broken with chabad, if he ever DID think the rebbe was moshiach, it makes sense that he wouldn’t anymore. If there was a time when he did think so, he made a point of not having that come out in his self-presentation, meaning he did not use his role-model status to influence people in that direction. Basically, since there is nothing here that needs “protecting”, I can merely sit back and say “I am not mekabel.”

    There is plenty to be said about the moshiach thing, back and forth, according to what I have learned (and I am far from being an ignoramus, B”H) the whole dead moshiach bit is implausible. When moshiach does his thing, brings peace and temple 3, proves his case, I’m there. In the meantime, who moshiach is is NOT my business. I just have to work on expediting his arrival.

  25. tzivo nishta says:

    As long as Matisyahu was lubavitch, he was granted a form of immunity from the inevitable hostility and criticism such an artist would get from the chareidi world. The truth is that being chabad, one can get away with a lot more. Could you imagine a Belzer or Satmar Matisyahu not being vilified by his fellow chassidim? Or even a litvak? They would be out against him in no time.

    Maybe leaving chabad will leave matisyahu more open to criticism.

  26. I think he was pretty criticized before. But you are correct, indeed.

    And THIS is one of the big problems of our exile. People point fingers. It’s one thing to criticize a negative ACTION, and another to criticize a person.

    Now I feel like ranting. ERG.

  27. anonym00kie says:

    one issue i really dont get, you keep talking about how SOME chabad individual ffbs wont marry bt’s and its a policy by them..
    ive never heard of ANY ffb groups who were open to marrying bt’s. there are exceptions, some poeple are more open, some will do it anyway, leaders might not make an announcement a fuss against it, but i think its pretty much accepted behavior in all ffb communities not to marry bt’s..

  28. Its interesting that you say that because I’m ffb and I NEVER heard of such a thing. One of my parents is FFB and the other is BT, so maybe I’m just an oblivious freak, but, seriously, I’ve heard of people’s PREFERENCES to date people from common backgrounds, but NEVER have I heard of someone’s rejecting a potential date/spouse based upon their religious upbringing. I think its sick. Upbringing is not something we have any control over, and no one is STUCK in how they were raised. It’s about were a person is holding now, and where they are headed.

    As Rabbi Kelemen’s dad said “If you keep looking in the rearview mirrors, you’re going to kill somebody.” I think that is pretty sound advice, in more ways than one.

  29. David says:

    Your site is entertaining and amusing. However… there are some untruths posted, and pity ’cause ignorance is not bliss- it’s just ignorance!
    1) Lubavitchers definitely marry BTs and gerim.
    Whoever posted that they are bigoted in that way was WAY wrong.
    2) There are no rules against proclaiming someone worthy of being mashiach. Rabbi Akiva proclaimed Bar Cochba was the mashiach.
    Now as for the dead being mashiach, the Rambam states “and if he is KILLED… he cannot be mashiach”.
    He mentions nothing concerning plain old death.
    The Rambam doesn’t make grammatical mistakes!
    Keep on blogging (the truth please)!

  30. Rachel says:

    Honestly, all the people who come on and say Lubavitchers definitely marry BT’s and gerim… stop the BS! Yes you will find Lubavitchers who marry BT’s and gerim but i can say 100% that those are BT’s themselves!!! You will be very hard pressed to find a lubab marrying a Ger, and while ffb lubabs will marry children of BT’s, it is extremely rare – and you can bet that their parents are NOT happy about it – for them to marry a person who themselves is a BT.

  31. Deborah Shaya says:

    1. Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn tz”l, known as, ‘The Rebbe,’ was NOT the Mashiach.

    Those who erroneously believe him to be the Mashiach that Am Yisrael is waiting for today, are bordering on Christianity, and committing the grave sin of Avodah Zarah, Idolatry.

    Idolatry is forbidden in the Torah, and is the Second of the Asseret Hadibrot.
    Similarly in the case of Breslov with Rav Nachman tz”l.

  32. Deborah Shaya says:

    2. There should be NO MEDIATOR between a person’s tefillot and Hashem.

    If a person chooses to use intercession instead of praying directly to Hashem, this is completely Assur.

    If the leaders of Lubavitch/Chabad encouraged people to use the “Igrot” /(“Igros”) – including Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, tz”l – they were wrong. Using the Igrot is using intercession. Similarly the practices of

    (1) “reading out the Igrot request to a PICTURE of Rabbi Schneersohn tz”l” is direct Avodah Zarah. We are only allowed to pray to Hashem.
    (2) sending faxes to the Bet HaChaim should be stopped immediately.
    (3) Praying directly to the Tzaddik at the Bet HaChaim is wrong. It causes tremendous tsaar to the Neshamah of the Tzaddik in Shamayim.
    We pray only to Hashem – directly ourselves. NO mediator is permitted.

    These practices are abhorrent and against the Torah. They are assur and forbidden, and should all be stopped.

    If the tzaddik advised that people do this in his lifetime – he was wrong. And this must be corrected. Speedily.

    TESHUVAH to Hashem should be done speedily instead – by the whole of the Lubavitch organisation especially. The whole of the Lubavitch organisation is currently all refusing to do Teshuvah.

    Similarly in the case of Breslov, with those who go Uman to pray directly to the Tzaddik – instead of directly to Hakadosh Baruch Hu. “Intercession” and “mediation” is against the Torah.
    The Torah cannot be mixed with Avodah Zarah. This is twisting the Torah, and the Torah must remain straight.

  33. Deborah Shaya says:

    • There should be NO MEDIATOR between a person’s tefillot and Hashem.

    Hashem likes to hear the prayers, tefillot, from our OWN mouths. Even if all we know is how to recite the first 3 letters of the Aleph Bet: Aleph, Bet, Gimmel… Our very own tefillot TO HASHEM, are much more precious than anything else.

    By going to the Bet HaChaim (cemetery – incorrectly referred to as “the Ohel” by Lubavitch), and lighting a candle, praying, making a request, and then going home – such a person is “leaving it all to the tzaddik” who is not physically alive. You can’t leave it all “to him!”. This is completely Assur and forbidden.

    We too, can be tzaddikim – and be like the tzaddik. The tzaddik has already made all his tefillot to Hashem in his lifetime. And these are very precious to Hashem. The tzaddik has now passed on.

    Hashem is now waiting for US – to make our OWN tefillot to Him.

    We pray to Hashem – at all times. If a person is insisting on praying to one of the creations of Hashem, instead of directly to the King Himself, Hashem will say to us, “You are meant to pray to ME!”

    Remember that Hashem, our G-d, is a very “JEALOUS G-D” who demands “EXCLUSIVE WORSHIP.” (2nd Commandment of the Asseret Hadibrot.)

    What is your logic in going there?

    The Ashkenazi tradition has encouraged people to do this, and it is very wrong. Teshuvah to Hashem must be done quickly.

  34. Deborah Shaya says:

    3. The Jewish People is a “Holy People.” “Am Kadosh.”

    We are referred to as being Hashem’s special “Treasure.” We are a “Holy Nation,” and so holy, that we are to emulate the Cohanim, who are of a much higher stature than the rest of the Jewish People. One day, we will all be on the level of a “Kingdom of Priests.”

    Hashem has told us, “.…Ve’atem tiheyu li Mamlechet Kohanim ve’goi kadosh…” (Yitro, 19:5-6)

    “…And you shall be to Me, a KINGDOM OF PRIESTS, and a HOLY NATION….”

    The Benei Yisrael must follow the example of the true Cohanim. We should emulate the Cohanim in our daily lives. The Cohanim are not allowed to go into any cemetery (Jewish or not Jewish), as they cannot come into contact with ANY meitim whatsoever.

    We too, should emulate the Kohanim in our daily lives, and be pure like them.

    We too, should not be coming into contact with meitim where we can help it.
    Hashem has told us, “.…Ve’atem tiheyu li Mamlechet Kohanim ve’goi kadosh…” (Yitro, 19:5-6)

    “…And you shall be to Me, a KINGDOM OF PRIESTS, and a HOLY NATION….”
    A person’t tefillot, prayers, from the Kotel, or from his or her own house are truly delightful to Hashem. A person can also go to the Kotel to pray, and make the journey there, to pray to Hashem. Hashem’s Presence is always there.

    4. Why was the place of Moshe Rabeinu, the very greatest of all the Prophets, kept hidden from us? Precisely so that Moshe would c”v never be worshipped. So that people would never pray to Moshe, c”v, instead of directly to Hashem, themselves. The Torah states very clearly:

    “…velo yada ish et kevurato ad hayom hazeh” (Vezot Haberacha 34:6) “…and no man knows the place that he was buried even to this day.”

    If people are praying to a tzaddik, who is finite – and of far lesser stature than Moshe Rabeinu – instead of to Hashem – who is Infinite – that is avodah zarah.

    If people wish to go to the Kivrei Tzaddikim to pray to Hashem from there, that is their choice. Far better, is to encourage people to go instead to the most holy place in the world – the Kotel. Hashem’s Presence is always there.

    The Kotel is where people should be going to pray to Hashem. Not the Bet HaChaim.

  35. Deborah Shaya says:

    5. If people want to pray to anyone else, and make requests of any being other than Hakadosh Baruch Hu, they might as well join Christianity.

    When Moshe Rabeinu prayed, he prayed to Hashem. He did not pray to any Malachim or any celestial beings. These are all the creations of Hashem.

    We are not allowed to pray to the creations of Hashem.

    Similarly, with regard to the Selichot, and the Neilah prayer for Yom Kippur in the Ashkenazi tradition – they include direct Tefillot and requests to Malachim.

    The Malachim are the creations of Hashem.

    We are not allowed to pray to any Malachim.

    This is completely assur and causes very great damage and harm. I emphasise that this is something very grave which needs to be rectified as well – speedily.

    The Selichot and the Neilah Tefillah for Yom Kippur should be amended speedily to remove all prayers and requests to Malachim.

  36. Deborah Shaya says:

    6. The false argument used by Lubavitch to permit intercession on a person’s behalf, is the act of Calev ben Yefuneh praying at the Cave of Machpelah in Chevron. He prayed for success in his mission of “spying out” the Land, Eretz Yisrael.

    No one can use this as a precedent for asking the Tzaddikim – and specifically, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn tz”l – who are no longer alive physically on earth, to pray on a person’s behalf. This causes them tremendous suffering in Shamayim.

    This is twisting the Torah, and the Torah cannot ever be twisted.

    The reason Calev’s act cannot be used as a precedent, is that NO ONE, can be compared to the supreme Kedusha of the Avot, of Avraham, Yitzchak ve’Yaakov Avinu.

    We pray the Amidah 3 times a day, and we always recall the great merit of the Avot in the very first Beracha. What can be greater than that when we pray to Hashem?

    This does need to be corrected very quickly, to be in line with the Torah.

    7. When people need help, why doesn’t Lubavitch teach people to look inside the Torah, which is Eternal and Infinite – instead of letters written to other people by Rabbi Schneersohn tz”l during his lifetime?

    Why doesn’t Lubavitch choose the very greatest of all prophets, Moshe Rabbeinu?

  37. Deborah Shaya says:

    8. Moshe Rabeinu is the greatest of all prophets, and no other prophet was equal to him.

    “Zichru Torat Moshe Avdi” we are told in Malachi (3:22)

    There simply is no comparison between Moshe Rabbeinu and Rabbi Schneersohn tz”l, although Rabbi Schneersohn tz”l was a Tzaddik and a very righteous and good man.

    Moshe Rabbeinu was the greatest of all prophets, and we do not even pray in the name of Moshe. Neither do we pray in the name of David Hamelech, whose descendent is the Mashiach.

    However, in the very first Beracha of the Amidah, the silent prayer to Hashem containing our requests, we recall the merit of the Avot: “…..Elokei Avraham, Elokei Yitzhak Velokei Yaakov….” “….The G-d of Avraham, the G-d of Yitzhak and the G-d of Yaakov…”
    The beracha is concluded with “Magen Avraham”.

    In summary:
    (1) We pray to Hashem – at all times.

    (2) There should be NO mediator between Hashem and a person’s tefillot – otherwise this is Assur.

    Therefore the practice of using the “Igrot” /(“Igros”) for “requests” and “guidance” should be stopped. Similarly the practices of sending faxes to the Bet HaChaim, and praying to the tzaddik at the Bet HaChaim instead of directly to Hashem ourselves – should be stopped immediately. They are abhorrent and against the Torah.

    The reason for this is that these practices use intercession. And the use of a “mediator” or someone to “intercede on a person’s behalf” to Hashem, is assur.

    Teshuvah to Hashem must be done – very speedily.

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