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Mishpacha Magazine Publishes Attack on Chabad from Rosh Yeshiva of Torah Vodaath & Senior Posek for the OU’s Kashrus Division, Rav Yisroel Belsky

Rav Yisroel Belsky (inset), on the background of Mishpacha magazines on sale in a Crown Heights store.

In an article entitled “Rav Miller, Rav Heinemann and Rav Belsky on the Burning Issues in the Charaeidi Community” which was published last week, the author of the article, M. Yaffe presented a very biased and slanted question to the Rabbis, each of which responded in their own way, yet Rav Belsky chose to use the opportunity to viciously attack Chabad.

It is interesting to note that this Rav Belsky actively fought against Tanya Shiurim in his yeshiva, Torah Vodaath while other noted Roshai Yeshivas in the Litvish world, such as Rav Pam, supported it. Comments such as these, filled with so much Sinas Yisroel, bring into question Rav Belskys authority as a Posek and “Rav Hamchsir” for such a largh kashrus organization, such as the OU.

Read the question and the Rabbis answer in the Extended Article.

How should the chareidi community react to phenomena such as Chabad and the wide publicity it engenders with its Mashiaeh campaigns periodically splashed across the non-Jewish radio and TV media?

Rav Miller: There is both positive and negative in Chabad. Chabad in Toronto and worldwide are active in being mekarev Bnei Yisrael. There is lots of good in their organizations.

As far as the Mashichist group, there is much opposition within Chabad itself. After the outcry of rabbanim against this phenomenon, the issue has toned down greatly. The situation may be different privately among themselves, but at least they stopped publicizing it openly. The belief that Mashiach is in the embodiment of a deceased person is definitely assur and our mosdos must convey this issur to students as part of their education. However, we must convey the message that they are our brothers and we should feel sorry for them and not hate them, chas v’shalom.

I would not say the Mashichistirn are pasul, but rather they’re very mistaken in an important point of Yiddishkeit. Perhaps. I won’t accept such a person as a Rav (you can’t be a Rav if you’re deluded) or to work as a shochet, but I won’t say their shechitah is prohibited. Even avodah zarah b’shogeig does not pasul a shochet. It’s enough they know that other chareidim vehemently oppose these beliefs (and the non-observant think they’re crazy). It will eventually die out and b’ezras Hashem those mistaken will do teshuvah.

Rav Heinemann: I’m not against Chabad per se. I think they’ve done quite a few good things, but I’m not among those who believe that the Rebbe was Mashiaeh. But you don’t have to be Mashiach to be a gadol b’Yisrael. Moshe Rabbeinu wasn’t Mashiaeh despite being the leader of Klal Yisrael. It’s a distortion to say the Rebbe is Mashiach and anything which is not the truth, we can not agree to, even though Chabad in general does many good things. The best strategy concerning how to deal with a Chabad media campaign is just to ignore it. If you go against it, you strengthen it.

Rav Belsky: I disagree. Chabad used 10 he about disseminating Chassidic teachings which the Baal HaTanya wrote, saying his Divrei Torah, etc. In America, Chabad started out with Shlichim going out and bringing the masses back to Judaism. These are goals which we share and do not contest.

But present-day Chabad has nothing to do with the above. Present-day Chabad has become a personal cult centered on the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe. Everything they do from beginning to end, revolves around this. They constantly project his image, talk about him and how great he was, how smart he was, how he was a better strategist than all the generals, that he was Mashiach. etc. This is the way people talk about a cult figure. There’s no room in Yiddeshkeit for a personality cult in which an individual is deified and glorified. Whether he was great or wasn’t great is immaterial. There have been many great people in Judaism. The personality cult of glorifying an individual person, giving him unique titles, elevating the shape other building he was active in. etc., has no place in Yiddishkeit.


  • 1. Yossi wrote:

    Perhaps the OU president/director should be given a chance to counter these statements before any national or international bans or disassociations are placced on the OU and its hechsher.
    I have heard from qualified sources that this is under considerations in the higher ups.

  • 3. eli wrote:

    lets face it….what should soemone think when they walk into 770 and see these nuts who control 770 and are maschist?

    why is it this guys fault?? hcame to crown heights for a weding. walked into 770 for mariv saw what was taking place, and for good reason took this to be the real lubavitch. althugh we alll now that for now 770 was hijacked.

    you shouhave bigger complaints to sholom ber drizin for suporting the mashchistin.

    lets call it like it is. we have to get the nuts out of here. Rabbi springer puts adds in the new york times with yechi. so what should this guy think? there is no reason to shoot the messenger. lets lean up all these guys who were probably not even born jewish.

  • 4. SH wrote:

    There are some comments on COL that point out the truth, There is a small group of people that claim to be (real) chabad or that used to be (real) chabad, that he is 100% right about. There is in fact a small group that serve the Rebbe and have no G-D.

    The bad thing is that it comes out sounding like he is referring to the Chabad & the holy shluchim in general.

  • 5. Shmais wrote:

    Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh Weinreb Responds: “I can say this. Rav Belsky is one of the poskim for OU Kashrus. He is not a spokesman for the OU as a whole, which is far more than just Kashrus, although we are most famous for outstanding Kashrus services. The only persons who can speak for the OU are myself as executive vice president and senior professional official, and Mr. Stephen Savitsky, our lay president.
    I assure you that I have the utmost respect for Chabad, study Tanya almost daily, receive and use periodicals from your publishing houses, just wrote a letter of commendation on for Rabbi Gutnick on the English Haggadah she’ll Pesach, and admire Chabad’s unparalleled work in outreach, education, and even politics. Another Chabad activist whom you can talk to about me is Rabbi Levi Shemtov in Washington, DC. I am concerned with the meshichist elements that our out there, and have seen examples of treatment of the Rebbe zt”l which are similar to cult hero worship. I think that those activities diminish the Rebbe’s reputation in the eyes of many, and that is most unfortunate, because he was an adam gadol me’od, whose words, written and otherwise recorded, have a lot to teach us. I myself had several conversations with him which influenced the course of my life and which I vividly remember to this day. I have also witnessed the work of various Chabad emissaries in many of the cities I have visited across the world and know of the great work that they do. What more can I say?

  • 6. kalman wrote:

    i think you are been over dramatic and creating an issue where there is no need for one.

    they are casting an opinion and in some regards the opinion they are casting is no different to those expressed by the anti-mashicsts of our own calling.

    be objective not emotionally snesitive when reading the article and comments. An emotional response is not always a rationale one.

  • 7. oy vey wrote:

    let’s see how long it will take for lubavitchers to respond in kind..

  • 8. Yeshiva bochur, wrote:

    to sh: what do you know about them, maybe they are the real lubavithers, why do you consider yoursellf a real lubavitcher? you are dooing the same thing they are dooing: Attacking Lubavitch!!!
    learn some more sichos, ask a mashpiah, etc. and then write your comment!
    A gutten chodash!

  • 9. Zalman M. wrote:

    There is no need to question the validity of Rabbi Belsky’s statement, everyone knows the facts.

    I believe that Rabbi Belsky’s mistake was in labeling & generalizing – no 2 Lubavitchers are the same.

    If this is the impression he is getting of Lubavitch, he cannot be blamed, nobody is at fault but us Lubavitchers for giving off a bad impression.

    We should see this as a musar haskel, and as a horaah in avodas Hashem – we should be painting the picture that –
    “Chabad Mont Pnimiyus!”

  • 10. Chaim wrote:

    Rabbi Belsky’s attack is NOT against the Moshiach issue. it’s against Lubavitch Bechllal. Read it.

  • 11. Resident wrote:

    I am offended by this Rabbi’s comments. However, I think the hard core moshichistim who think shoving “The Rebbe is Alive” as opposed to actually learning torah, should read this and realize that their approach, the approach of only talking about the rebbe being moshiach AND NOTHING ELSE….doesnt help anyone

  • 12. bocher from O.T.73-----76 wrote:

    no change in 65 years ,ah snag remains ah snag, but they have dreach eratz for the REBBA,

  • 14. OK OK OK wrote:

    Long live the O.K.

    ( are we allowed to say that, or are we deifiying the o.k.)

  • 15. In his own words wrote:

    It’s fascinating how some of us are so enamored by our disdain for the Mashchisten that whenever someone attacks “US” and “THE REBBE” we b lame the Mashchisten.

    First of all the Misnagdim never needed an excuse to attack Lubavitch or any of our Rebeiim.

    Secondly, I am more shocked at the civility of Rabbi Miller from Toronto, after the viciousness with which he treated Yeshivas Lubavitch in Toronto by insisting that a gils school be opened across the street from the Yeshiva and to prevent the Yeshiva from buying the building, thereby forcing the Yeshiva to an uncertain future (forcing them to eventualy move away (and in his mind hopefully close down altogether).

    Finally, why don’t we just read what the Rabbis are saying. Both Rabbis Miller and Heineman distinguish between what they see as Lubavitch vs. the Mashchisten. To which rabbi belsky responds, that he “disagrees” with their distinction they are making and with a broad bush he goes out with a rant against the new Lubavitch vs. the old Lubavitch. He refuses to make any distinction. Read his words.

    What needs to be done as a matter of self respect, is to boycott Mishpacha until they apologize. Because they presented the question in the spirit of good old Europe which had a “Jewish problem” to which Hitler responded his way and Stalin in his. “What to do with a p[problem facing world Chareidi jewry called Lubavitch?!” This was their question!

    Also, since next week on Sunday and Monday will be the international conference of OU Mashgichim, all Chabad Mashgichim, which amount to about 25% of all the full time Mashgichim and about 6-0% of part time Masgichim, they should in one voice say that they refuse to come to the conference until the big Rabbi apologizes. he is after all the big man at the “kashrus division” of the OU, which is the only part of the OU that has any bearing on Lubavitchers. The rest of the OU organization has no relevance to any Lubavitcher.

    Also, all Rabbonim who have joint Hashgochos with the OU, which in most cases don’t even send a Mashgiach, but rely on the good word of the Lubavitcher rav, and they get the money…. to tell the OU that they will no longer cooperate to save them sending a Mashgiach, but they can jolly well send their own Mashgiach unless the big Rabbi apologizes.

    And then again who cares what Misnagdim have to say anyway. Just wait another few months they will all scream that the Rebbe is Moshiach….. They already do Moshiach lectures during the 3 weeks like the Rebbe instructed us 33 years ago. Just give them a little more time.

  • 16. friend of chabad wrote:

    i am not personally a chosid of chabad, but i have been a long time admirer, friend, and supporter. i have visited 770 several times, spent time in crown heights and in other chabad communities and chabad houses across the globe. so i have no “axe to grind” here – if anything my sympathies are with chabad.

    however, it saddens me to read the way many people on this site are reacting to Rabbi Belsky’s comments. instead of suggesting that Rabbi Belsky should be condemned, or that he is not worthy of the title ‘Rabbi’, perhaps we should consider his words, even if only for a moment (after all, his is a widely recognized torah scholar and posek, like it or not).

    Rabbi Belsky acknowledges that the foundations of Chabad are good and noble. Indeed, my interactions with Chabad years ago reflect Rabbi Belsky’s sentiments exactly. Chabad was about spreading judaism and chasidic teachings to jews all over the world. a truly noble and beautiful mission that was carried out diligently by many shluchim. chabad was about judaism, learning torah, and the chasidic spirit and joy as taught by the line of chabad rebbes.

    fast forward to today. when i walk into 770, i see banners, flags, and pins proclaiming that the rebbe, of blessed memory, is moshiach. there are chants throughout the prayer services to further emphasize this point. the rebbe’s picture is anywhere and everywhere. every d’var torah seems to almost be a vehicle to just get to what the rebbe says (usually about moshiach). in walking around 770, all the boys seem to have interest in learning is the rebbe’s sichos. what happened to talmud? shulchan aruch? chumash?

    and what about 770? yes, i understand the significance of the rebbe’s house as an important place in chabad. however, is there really a need to construct every chabad house in its image? to created talis bags, tzedaka boxes, and everything else imaginable with a picture of 770 on it? chabad had 6 other rebbe’s prior to Rabbi Scheerson – but i have yet to see a talis bag with an image of any of those homes on it.
    do you really think that the rebbe wanted things this way? to have his followers so completely obsessed with him to the exclusion of anything and everything else?? it pains me to say that this is the chabad i see today. a group of well meaning chasidim with a beautiful heritage and a yearning to share this heritage with the world, who are at the same time so caught up in all things the Rebbe (not that he was not an incredible man) to the point of absurdity. as much as many in chabad complain about the ‘meshichistin’, is it really any wonder where they get their ideas from? when the Rebbe is truly everywhere, on walls, pins, cards, books, prayers, and minds 24/7, how can these impressionable youth come to a conlusion other than that the Rebbi ‘lives’ and is the king messiah? the rebbe has become all they know and their total obsession. of course they can’t be expected to think rationally under such circumstances. i hate to say it, but these ‘meshichistin’ embody the textbook definition of a personality cult.

    Perhaps instead of vilifying rabbi belsky, chabad will do itself well to take his comments to heart, and perhaps with some careful soul searching, restore the glory of chabad and truly bring the moshiach speedily!

  • 17. a jew wrote:

    R Belsky wrote:

    In America, Chabad started out with Shlichim going out and bringing the masses back to Judaism. These are goals which we share and do not contest.

    Yeah AFTER you launched a smear campaign attacking the rebbbe etc.. but then you decided to hop on to the band wagon.

    Mivztoim a.k.a. kiryv does not work when your full of so much sinas chinam.

  • 18. Shlomo M. wrote:

    All of the Lubavitcher Mashgichim under this guy should make a machaa and call for a strike against the OU unless he is removed from his position! How dare he speak this way about an eidah kdosha.

  • 19. Cee wrote:

    Yes, we must take some blame ourselves, 770 is a circus, I haven’t gone there in ages, whenever I do I want to cry. But Rav Belsky has an achrias to be better then that. He should know better, he takes all of us for granted and he ignores all the beautiful growth and vitality of this amazing community. I hope an apology is coming from Rav Beslky, but I doubt it. The misnagdim are growing angry and stronger again.They are finding it very in style to attack Chabad again.

  • 20. baucher from O. T. 73--------76 wrote:

    the stores should have taken the mag off the shelf as a protest to the artical

  • 21. Dont bite the hand that feeds you wrote:

    I wonder what Belsky woulkd say if he ever found out that the founder of Torah Va’Daas (Rabbi Nesanel Quinn) was sent to America in the early 1900’s to start a Yeshivah by the Rebbe RaShab after the Ragachover told him to Ask the Rebbe’s advice on his personal matters.

  • 22. George wrote:

    Wake up and smell the coffee this is how may litvishe rabonim and balai batim feel except this one had the guts to say it in public.

    What is shows is the complaint these people have with Chabad goes beyond moshiach and touches the core of what Chabad belive in which is a exceptioanal strong feeling for a Rebbe who who was nistalek more then 13 years ago.

  • 23. Just thinking wrote:

    I think there should be a massive “letters to the editor” campaign. There ar eenough important issues to pose to prominent rabbonim, what is the point in bringing up a controversial issue they has been discussed more than enough times. The questioner knew and probably was/is quite pleased with the [renewed] controversy.
    “The mouse is not the thief the hole is”!~

  • 24. Mendel wrote:

    Response to Eli:

    Rav Belsky’s issue affects all of Chabad, he is refering to the fact that we have 770’s all around the world and that our lives are centered around 1 godol instead of many…

    (Moshiach is just a small detail)

    they can not stand the fact that we look at the rebbe as the only true godol, and at most we respect others for their learning (but none even comes close to the rebbe).

  • 25. Aha wrote:

    Maybe an anti-semitic assumption like this will bring all the Lubavitch “deya zogers” together and resolve the issue, instead of just building in the falsehood.

    Moshiach now!

    and eli, mentioning names is only proving your cowardice.

  • 26. don-t be nispael wrote:

    I disagree – Misnagdim always had a bad impression of chassidim. They were always misinformed. There’s a clear letter from R’ Moshe Feinstein where he writes in his belief in the Rebbe being Moshiach. Why should we be embarresed in something we know IS TRUE – don’t we? yes, b’ofen hamiskabel but they don’t seem to just mind the way people act. They seem against what we think and know clearly to begin with… so let’s learn from it but not take it so hard because that’s the way they always were.

  • 27. if he really believed that wrote:

    The question is, if he really believes what he wrote, how does he allow OU to give a hechsher on rubashkin meats?

  • 28. Pish in Nevel wrote:

    Lubavitch is about Rebbe, always was about Rebbe, and always will be about Rebbe.

    Who cares what a snag rav said to Mishpacha? Laugh at him and keep on going.

    We’ll see who ends up in line for dollers in Yerushalayim.

  • 29. $$$ talks! wrote:

    There is one language these people understand. $$$$$. All stores in CH (and owned by Lubavitchers worldwide should cancel any orders/sales of mishpacha magazine indefinitely (certainly until a public apology has been issued) They knew well what they were printing and are enjoying every moment of this.

  • 30. No name wrote:

    Where in Torah does it say it is assur to believe that Moshiach can come from the deceased? Rambam specifically says that Moshiach could not have been “killed”. There is a big difference. That being said, there are always extremists in every group that unfortunatley make the rest look bad but I would expect a major Rav to understand this and to realize that attaching oneself to a Tzaddik is a fundamental of Judaism and in this generation it is specifically needed. What would Judaism look like today without the Rebbe? We have to be proud of being Lubavitch and just try our best to represent the Rebbe in the proper way. Don’t expect an individual, no matter how learned they are, to understand the relationship of a Chassid to the Rebbe and vice versa, if they have not learned Chassidus.

  • 31. Lubavitcher? wrote:

    I think the comments of all the Ravs were reasonable and appropriate. The only slight is perhaps that Rav Belsky doesn’t spefically mention the good of Chabad. Obviously we are more than a Rebbe cult, but anyone who has visited Crown Heights can easily understand why an outsider woulf make that mistake.

  • 32. Unbelievable wrote:

    I am sorry but no one has the right to say it is a truth to call any Rebbe the Moshiach bec thta is up to H’ to decide and not any group!Don’t any of you who say it is the “truth” believe in a Creator who decides who is Moshiach?And I know Lub. who refuse to go to the Ohel and you say others are just trying to undermine the Rebbe? You don’t see it is an undermining of Hashem?????Don’t blame any Rav for what you yourselves did.

  • 33. Nochum wrote:

    oh well, as the frierdiker rebbe said, “at least they’re talking about Moshiach!”

  • 34. Misnagdishe shtick wrote:

    “But present-day Chabad has nothing to do with the above”

    Old Misnagdeshe ploy
    “Chabad used be good” except that when you go back to the “good times” they still had a problem with Lubavitch

    first it was Kiruv and Rebbe pictures etc. they were against, now kiruv is haylig (in fact they might even have invented it…) and ‘Gedolim Pictures’ are everywhere.

    And Moshiach, ahh ‘we used to agree with you on the moshiach business but after 3 tammuz…’

    give me a break

    Maybe if Rabbi Belsky waits around long enough they’ll catch up with the “personality cult” and apply it to him

  • 35. CR wrote:

    “Rabbi Belsky’s attack is NOT against the Moshiach issue. it’s against Lubavitch Bechllal.”

    This is correct. The other Rabbis in the forum (Heinemann of Baltimore and Miller of Toronto) were careful to differentiate between all of Lubavitch and the Meshichisten. It saddens me greatly to see that Rabbi Belsky, usually a fair-minded halachic authority, has been won over by the Bergermeisters.

  • 36. Get Real wrote:

    Dear $$$ talks!
    Please don’t shoot the messenger. Why force Lubavitchers to buy the magazine outside the shchuna?? Whenever a publication prints an article against Lubavitch, every Lubavitcher is moyser nefesh to get that publication!

  • 37. kop docktar wrote:

    As we did at the seder table, let us all lift up the cup of wine and sing, “v’hi sh’omda …b’chol dor v’dor omdim olaynu l’chal’osaynu” and as we all know that yad hachasidim al ha’elyona – in a short while we will see it with fleishiga oygen.

  • 38. to a freind of chabad : wrote:

    oh my god!
    you do not know what is going on in chabad yeshivos today.
    you say that bachurim are only intrested in sichos and forgot about nigleh and the other fundemental chassidic texts. well, you are very very wrong.
    i have made a dail sceduel for you to see:
    chassidus for an hour in the morning.
    5 hours of talmud (gemara, rashi/rashbam, tosfos, mefarshim etc.).
    an hour or two of shulchan aruch and MUCH more!
    the sichos we learn is during OUR free time!

  • 39. not a die hard maschichist but... wrote:

    same song different year
    “how could you beleive in a rebbe” etc yada yada been there done that 200 years ago
    you people are clueless as to the way they think you dont realize that the average snag looks at the average lubab like he is from mars for going to the ohel and asking for brochos beleiving that the rebbe is still in control etc they cant except it for nothing
    meshchism is just an excuse to hate us trust me they hate us without them too

  • 40. OTnick wrote:

    Rabbi Miller is either an Am Haoretz or an Apikoras or a liar!
    read this “ The belief that Mashiach is in the embodiment of a deceased person is definitely Assur ” – um… maybe he should refresh his Daf Yomi and go back to Maseches Sanhedrin 95:A where it says that Moshiach can come from both the living and deceased! and on Amud Bais the Gemara brings down a whole argument between the amoroim each one saying that there rebbe is moshiach!!
    I would like to see there answer for this!

  • 41. Kushen Tuchas! wrote:

    No more Pishpacha in my house baby! and will b”n try and avoid OU when I have a choice.

  • 42. Moshiach Now wrote:

    To Eli,
    What kind of nonsence are you speaking? You quote “ for now 770 was hijacked”. As Chassidim, we are connected to the Rebbe, and YOU LIKEN those who do as the Rebbe directed.. namely promoting Yechi, spreading the Moshiach campaign , as being hijacked!
    Have you forgoten the meaning of Koach Nissan? THE REBBE cried IT’S UP TO US TO BRING MOSHIACH! He won’t come if their is sinas chinam.

    “you should have bigger complaints to sholom ber Drizin for suporting the mashchistin…Rabbi springer puts ads in the new york times with yechi.” P
    erhaps you should aspire the strength to follow the rebbe’s directives, than as you are now doing…scared to continue after gimmel Tamuz, For perhaps there are those not strong enough to face your adversaries or friends. To that possibility I recommend you learn all the Sichas leading up to gimmul Tamuz.

    “lets lean/ presumably line up those guys who were probably not even born jewish.”
    How can you say such a thing. Sadly to say, the Bali Teshuva in this community are far more spiritually connected than the frum from birth counterparts. To add insult to injury you question their JEWISH lINEAGE? GO PRACTICE YOUR TOLERANCE AND AHAVAS YISRAEL.

    Truthfully, Hashem abhors the oppsite of unity, He restrained Himself from destrying the World during Migdal Bavel. Why? Because the builders, in a warped sence, worked to acheive a level of unity, albeit a corrupt one…in their endeavor to fight Hashem.

    Thus, Hashem values unity, even if the unity meant scheming plan against Him.
    So too, It’s a pity that religious figures expressed some negative percepyion of Chabad.

    Believing in Moshiach wasn’t created by Chabad , It was destined by Hashem.
    Perhaps we should write a nice letter to Mishpacha regarding that poignant point.

    I don’t mean to insult and remain…

    Mrs. L.

  • 43. facing reality wrote:

    lets all face it:770 looks and smells like a zoo, anyone coming in from the outside can easily be disgusted

  • 44. the truth wrote:

    Every normal Lubavitcher belives that the Rebbe is Mashiach, whether they say it or not.
    The sina to Chabad has always been there. Really to bad for the misnagdim. Wec are not going away nor our belief that the Rebbe is mashiach.

    Look in the samE magazine where they are idolizing RabbiHenoch Leibowitz the Rosh yeshiva of Chofetz Chayim. He died and they are talking about him as he were alive and running the Yeshiva still.

  • 45. ban mishpacha magazine wrote:

    a proper response to mishpacha for publishing this article is to demand crown heights stores not to sell this issue and return them similar to what was done with ponim chadoshos magazine.

  • 46. Anonymous however you spell that wrote:

    to OK OK OK
    we are talking about the OU not the OK,OK?

  • 47. Cee wrote:

    I think we need to address the hard question. Do we, “normal” Lubavitchers believe the Rebbe IS (present tense) Moshiach? I think even those of us who are agasint “the mishichistim” are still afraid to say out loud it’s not about the Rebbe being Moshiach or not.

    The Rebbe wants MOSHIACH to come already, he wanted us to push for it, beg for it, scream for it, change the world. The Rebbe didn’t want us to worry about him being Moshiach or not. He cared more about publicizing Moshiach the event then the person.

    That’s the truth!

  • 48. down under wrote:

    the ignorance on behalf of these rabanim is really unbelievable …to rabbi heinaman you say that moshe isn’t moshiach …quick question do you daven? because then you would see that everyday we say he was the first redeemer and he will be the last ..and to rabbi belsky i willn’t even start obviously he hasn’t even learnt chum,ash rashi because then he would know parshas korach..the reason why we need a rebbe a leader your accusations stem from korach …its a shame that such great scholars have missed the basics…well my only suggestion to you is go and learn…

  • 50. cher wrote:

    Well, if its “user” to say Moshiach is from a deceased person……..then now you know why there are some that say the Rebbe is alive! (I dont believe that, I just thought of it now)

  • 51. to mr nevvel wrote:

    so sorry but please learn teh rebbes first maimer – wher ehe says that we are NOT like poilisher chasidim who rely on a rebb
    you have it alllllllll wrong

  • 52. Calling a spade a spade wrote:

    “Friend of Chabad” raises some valid points here in terms of an outsiders view of 770 today, which truly looks fanatical, and can be an issue, but at the same point, I think he’s giving far more credit to Belsky than he deserves.
    It’s an age old tactic to use the “foundations of Chabad are noble” card. This strategy is not unlike a racist using the classic “Some of my best friends are black” line, or an anti-Semite saying “I have nothing against Jews, but Israel…”
    So in this case, Belsky’s flattering Lubavitch origin comments gives him the credibility to bash Lubavitch without sounding like a Lubavitch basher. Even David Berger claims to harbor similar feelings of Chabad back in the day before the whole Mishichist issue began, but anyone who knows the pre-Gimmel Tammuz Berger can clarify that this wasn’t the case.
    Similarly, if Belsky truly respected Chabad or Chasidus, he wouldn’t have been adamantly against his bochrim learning Tanya in his yeshiva, which he claims to respect. Neither would he undiscriminately attack all of Chabad and label us a cult.
    Rather, he seems to harbor a deep resentment towards us which runs much deeper than the “Mishichist problem,” and instead is the entire concept of us having a Rebbe. While we don’t need to give them more ammunition to bad mouth us or an excuse for their resentment, it’s important to identify Belsky’s real resentment as opposed to someone like Rabbi Weinreb who has come out to our defense in the past.
    As for Mishpacha, like “In his own words” wrote, they need to be taken to task for throwing this obvious bait out to those they know will pounce on it, and they shouldn’t get away with feigning surprise at our disappointment in their poor decision to fan the fires of hatred amongst Yidden.

  • 53. boruch ben Tzvi(A H)hakohaine hoffinger wrote:

    Just ignorance, sheer ignorance.
    A well-know rabbi (Schiach) from Cincinnati had 2 mitnagdim approach him questioning the ‘Yechi’ on the paroches (Torah Aaron drapery).
    He sat them down and explained everything to them and they soon were saying ‘Yechi’ also.
    Saying ‘Yechi’ definitely does NOT hurt Chabad. This is a lie.
    The reason it appears to hurt Chabad is because we are divided on the truth.

  • 54. I know what I am saying wrote:

    The thing is like this:

    The non-orthodox Jewish world knows Lubavitch from either the Shluchim in general or the Shliach they personally know in their town or city etc. therefore their opinions about Lubavitch are good and positive.

    The orthodox Jewish world, however, (specifically within the tri-state area) knows Lubavitch from its headquarters at 770. That’s how it’s always been by the Rebbe and that’s how it is now. They judge Lubavitch based on what they see at 770 and why blame them? If you want to know the nature of a organization look to their headquarters.

    The meshichist movement (Rabbi Shmuel B. etc.) brainwashed the so called Frumeh world before, on and following the bitter day of Gimel Tamuz. That’s when their present opinion on Lubavitch was created and they have to date never heard a retraction from Lubavitch Headquarters or Rabonim etc.

    The entire tri-state orthodox world needs to hear the correct stand of Lubavitch on the issues, at least the same amount as they heard of the destruction. And they should hear it from the same people that they heard the Chilul from.

    Until then, let’s not be surprised at any attacks.

  • 55. SHOCHKED!!!!! wrote:

    I’m utterly shocked to see the comments from some people – how could you agree and back a person who outrightly spoke against the Rebbe and Lubavitch?! Why don’t you stand up for the Kovod of the Rebbe?????????
    Everyone should boycott the magazines from their homes, and protest against this, by email, phone, etc.

  • 56. to friend of chabad wrote:

    I know your comments are well meaning–and before I became Chabad I thought many of the same things. But it’s not fair to criticize when you are simply ignorant. Almost everything you mentioned–even flags– has a source in a sicha etc. (and if you respect the Rebbe you respect what the Rebbe says).

    Before you say, “and what about 770? yes, i understand the significance of the rebbe’s house as an important place in chabad. however, is there really a need to construct every chabad house in its image? to created talis bags, tzedaka boxes, and everything else imaginable with a picture of 770 on it? chabad had 6 other rebbe’s prior to Rabbi Scheerson – but i have yet to see a talis bag with an image of any of those homes on it.”
    Just please learn kuntres beis rabbeinu shebibavel and get back to me on that.

    Many comments on the site did acknowledge Rabbi Belsky’s points and try to look at ourselves to see where we can improve. But as ‘Pish in Nevel’ clearly put it: “Lubavitch is about Rebbe, always was about Rebbe, and always will be about Rebbe.”

    We do have to remember to do things in ‘b’ofen hamiskabel’ but there is no reason to hide what we know is true. I think it’s interesting that the Shabbos that this issue came out was Chof Ches Nissan. Let’s get going on what we have to do and not get caught up in what others have to say about it.

    I hate to open up a can of worms but I’ve heard that more people have been turned off from Chabad from the tznius problem that from the mishichists. I think this is something to think very hard about. We know that some of what Lubavitch girls & women are seen wearing is 100% ossur in Halacha — which is not true with mishichist issues.

    It’s unfortunate that it had to come from a yid, but Rabbi Belsky gave us the opportunity to take a good hard look at us and see if we’re being the chassidim the REBBE (and Hashem of course) wants us to be.

    Moshiach Now!
    Yechi Hamelech!

  • 57. i dont get u wrote:

    i dont understand all of you acording to the rambam you have to believe your rebbe is moshiach!! and besides you dont like the way they spred moshiach so you spred moshiach but all you anties are afraid to even say the word moshiach this is the rebbes final instructions if you dont spred moshiach how can ou call youself a lubavitchure???your not doing what the rebbe wants!

    moshiach Now!!!

  • 58. yankel wrote:

    Rabbi Belskys attack on Chabad is on the whole community. In fact he dissagrees with hte others who only challenge the Meshistim.
    This creates a very interesting questions for the OU and the Chabad community. A large percentage of OU mashgichim are Shluchim. So the question to the OU is how can they continue to have Mashgichim that their Posek feels are just members of a personality cult. If the OU does not agree with Rabbi Belsky then its clear that he should not be a Posek for such an important organization.
    For Anash and more importantly Chabad Shluchim who are Masgichim, how can they work for an organization that considers them in such a negative way.

  • 59. Maskil wrote:

    The world can’t keep up with Lubavitch. Here’s the pattern: First they fought learning chassidus. When we started mivtzoyim, they said it’s okay to learn chassidus, but we can’t agree with mivtzoyim. Then we started 7 mitzvos bnei noach. They said, we can agree that kiruv is good, but not with goyim. Now if only there would be a mivtza to be kind to animals…

  • 60. Shlome Seldowitz wrote:

    Rabbi Belsky is an undisputed Gadol, Yirat Shamayim, and Torah Giant. Nevertheless, some of his remarks constitute a Chillul Hashem, and he should be repudiated for insulting the honor of the Rebbe’s followers.

    The Rebbe is an open Tzaddik and true Torah leader, that brought about a giant Torah revolution that did not end after Gimmel Tammuz.

    Rabbi Belsky spoke disrespectfully about Lubavitcher chassidim for glorifying him, that Rashi says is like honoring Hashem. Its written explicitly in Chumash. To proclaim that this treastment of the Rebbe is wrong, or should be stopped or minimized, is not in accordance with the Torah. Rabbi Belsky should do teshuva.

    I no longer can rely upon his kashrus.

  • 61. chassidus wrote:

    It’s a clear halacha in Shulchan Aruch to cleave to a Tzaddik in order to cleave to the Shechina. In fact, aside from from the first two of the aseres hadibros, we asked to get the rest of the Torah from the Nasi!

    You need chassidus to understand why THAT is not avdoah zarah!

  • 62. Yitzchak wrote:

    This is a classic attack against the WHOLE LUBAVITCH and the REBBE, if you go back 35 years you would hear the same exact thing.

  • 63. samman wrote:

    i must say i disagree with all of you Rabbi Belsky is a big godol the only differance between gedolim and ketanim is that near ketanim you are still allowed to daven

  • 64. FabranITon wrote:

    kinda have to agree with him that from the outsiders point of view all it seems lubavitchers do is promote the rebbe as moshiach, how do you think i felt over pesach in florida walking through a hotel lobby and people coming over showing you the half page ad in the new york time that everyone should “accept the rebbe melech hamoshiach as their king and savior”, so what do you do? you say ahh there crazy its a very small group. ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? THESE GUYS ARE NUTS BEYOND NUTS, and need to be stopped now!

  • 65. by the way wrote:

    maybe belsky meant this…Im just wondering why so many Jews make such a big deal on lag baomer (in 2 weeks!) after all R. shimon bar yochai is just one guy….. this belsky guy should check his tefilin

  • 66. Chelm wrote:

    Chevrah – kibush (capture). Shluchim take over cities – why not take over a yeshiva? Let’s all enroll our children in Torah Vdaas – we will overrun the yeshiva. It will become a Chabad yeshiva. We will keep Belsky as the mashgiach in the yeshiva dining room to pasken on shaylos.

  • 67. A Hurt Chossid wrote:

    Just for every ones information “Rabbi” Belski is avery big loud mouth and has alot of opposition amongst the misnagdim themselves.
    There is a hole commity of alumnais of yeshivas torah vodaas that want to see him go.
    He has made very silly statements and psokim that he regrets,
    (he was once matir an aishes ish with out a get, saying that the kiddushin was betaus, and ALL the rabbonim went against him) this is just yet another one of his silly mistakes!

  • 68. contact these organizations wrote:

    please contact these organizations to let them know how appallled you are with Rabbi Besky’s remarks and the question that was asked. Be respectful yet be determined:

    Orthodox Union
    11 Broadway, 14th Floor
    New York, NY 10004

    General Inquiries:

    Consumer Hotline:


    yeshiva torah vodaath
    452 e 9th
    brooklyn, ny 11218

    Mishpacha Magazine
    North American office
    131 Beverly Road
    Brooklyn, NY 11218
    Phone 718.686.9339
    Fax 718.686.0404

  • 69. Ari wrote:

    The guy is a Misnaged how could he possibly understand what a Rebbe is. hE WORRIES MORE ABOUT his shmoges board in shamayim.And for the rest of you who agree with him,how in the world do you call urselves Lubavitchers. The Rebbe spoke For years about Moshiach. And how the Rebbe Rayatz was moshiach. So please stop living in denial.

  • 70. Opportunitist wrote:

    It’s just a career move! Lately, the ONLY way to become a Gadol is to trash Lubavitch. Indeed, those great Talmidei Chachomim who didn’t dump on Lubavitch were never accepted by the Velt as Gedolim. Look at R’ Simcha Elberg, Rav Pam and many others who were machshiv Lubavitch – they never were accepted as Gedolim. On the other hand, the more you dump on Lubavitch the better it is for your Gedolim Career.

    But chazal say the same about all soynei yisroel – they become big when they opress yisroel.

  • 71. MUST READ PLEASE wrote:

    Excuse me, But R. Belsky’s position is the SAME as the meshichistim postion
    because both believe that Moshiach Can NOT be from the departed.

    Just look back at the meshichitim letters stayting why they are NOT like the xtians.
    anyways – as someone who is not a meshichist, that is one thing i do agree with them
    Moshiach can not be from teh departed but from the living, they always quoate the sicha from parshas BO why this generation will merit moshaich, becuase it is chayim nitzchim

  • 72. MOSHIACH NOW! wrote:


    MOSHIACH NOWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 73. BM wrote:

    This following email was sent by a prominent member of the Los Angeles Litvishe community in response to the article in the Mishpacha.

    “This article is attacking a very small but vocal group within Chabad. We MUST make a distinction between Deifying and Glorifying. Those that Deify have no place in Yiddishkeit. There is no question that our Gedolim need to remind us of that so we don’t follow that path. However in my humble opinion, glorifying is very different.

    Chabad has always and continues to send shluchim all over the world and thousands of new communities have been established since the petira. That is glorifying Chabad and its leaders.

    We can all agree that glorifying an individual is wrong. In Yidishkeit it was never about the person but what he stood for. Getting and printing pictures of him at every possible event or even just doing mundane things like walking in the street etc etc is very cult like. Its even worse when u publish pictures of them with other people of so called influence. It makes us believe that because this and this person was seen with this Rav or Rebbe he is in some way a choshuve yid.
    We can all agree that those that learn or do mitzvos and maasim tovim in private without the company of Geldoei Yisroel are at least as good as those that seem to have a cult like mentality that drives them to always be seen with Gedolai Yisroel.
    I am talking about the Yated and Hamodia. We Litvishe are much more guilty of glorifying individual people than Chabad.

    Replicating the building he lived in is a bit funny but in no way is it ELEVATING the building. Its no different than Belz building an exact replica before the war in Belz. The old Belz burned down and they built another one. They also came to Eretz Yisroel and did the same. The Ponovics Rov built an Ohel Kedoshim to replica every mosed hatorah in pre war Europe. Its a way to feel a connection and to keep the fire burning. Every time a chabadnick sees the 770 replica he reminds himself of the Rebbe and his mission in life, which ALL agree (atleast today-with the explosion of kiruv in the litvishe velt) is a noble mission. Rebbes have always used a becher, a gartel, a stick from their great grandfathers. Was that also cult like or were they just holding on to memories from the past to give them chizuk.
    There is not a house in Bnei Berak that does not have a large picture of R Shach on the wall. ”Einecho Ro’os Es Morecho“ is an old concept and Chabad just took it to another level by not only feeling Morecha but living with him in a 770 like building.

    As for the Mishpacha to even deal with this issue is questionable. The Chida writes ”Hevei Dan Es Col Haadam Lekav Zechus” that if we see COL HAADAM-the whole person we wouldn’t have any issues judging him correctly.
    Anyone who has been around the last 20 years knows that Chabad is the one to call in every corner of the world. This is not just when you are hungry in Indonesia, China or even Utah. Who do you call when someone gets arrested in Montana? Who will bring food to a Jail in Nebraska. Who will drive hundreds of miles to help a family stuck in Kansas. Who will make sure that Jews (lots of them frum) in Drug Rehabilitation centers all across America have matzos for Pesach and Shofar for Rosh Hashana. We hear all day about the crisis of our youth and how important an issue it is today. In our world we have great organizations for kids at risk but who takes in those that are beyond risk. The sad truth is that every Rosh Yeshiva knows (and many know personally) where to send those at the end of the rope. Its Chabad treatment centers that are literally saving our boys lives. They don’t ask for your Chabad ID. They don’t ask for money if you can not afford it. Pikuach Nefesh above all.

    No one can actually think this whole organization happened by accident. These are people that believe in one thing above all. Help where its needed and help in anyway possible even at the expense of personal needs and wants.
    Bottom line, If we look at the whole person we will find a special person with a special neshama.

    Thanks for listening.

  • 74. Challenge wrote:

    Ya wanna protest Mishpacha – start another magazine that’s as good if not better! Let’s face it, it’s a good magazine, well done, great articles, and there isn’t too many magazines that we can bring into our houses these days. So, if you want to “protest” – all you noise makers (a.k.a. graggers), make a better mouse trap.

  • 75. ceo wrote:

    Resident has an interesting point of view worth thinking about.
    We all have to THINK and realize that we are all connected to the entire world and the world is watching us. Are we really moving in the Rebbe’s ways of darchei noam and darchei shalom, and mivtza ahavas yisroel?
    Next: This Rabbi Belsky sounds like he would love to know what he is talking about, but he is lumping all Lubavitchers in one group and unfortunately we are no longer one group. We have to be cautious about this issue.

  • 76. HAshgocha Protis wrote:

    DOn’t we realize that this whole fiasco takes place on Chuf-ches Nisson? When the Rebbe told us that it’s up to US – we can bring Moshiach or we can c”v do the opposite. WHAT WOULD THE REBBE WANT US TO DO IN RESPONSE? Learn extra – hashkem v’ha’rev, THAT’S WHAT THE REBBE TOLD US IN SIMILAR SITUATIONS (but that isn’t as much fun as ranting and raving).

  • 77. ANNomius wrote:

    I’m chabadnik myself and i do agree with what was said by Rabbi Yisroel Belsky.We are kind of a cult.Lets face it.Moshiach or not Moshiach i’m talking about how the Rebbe walked where he went how he said what he did is great to know because we can learn a lot from it,but common,whatever happened to making oneself’s better bgashmius and bruchnius?what ever happened to ahvas isroel?CHABAD BECAME DEVIDED BETWEEN MORE CHABAD AND LESS CHABAD.GEZHA AND BAAL TSHUVA.BEARD NO BEARD.U CAN TAKE A GUY WHO IS TOTALY NOT AFIALIATED AND EVERYONE WILL BE SUPER GREAT TO HIM AS SOON AS HE BECOMES FRUM NO ONE CARES.WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO PURE GOODNESS AND KINDNESS?WE CANT DO IT WITHOUT THE REBBE WATCHING?ARE WE LITTLE KIDS?

  • 78. Refoel Solomon - Chashmonaim, Eretz Yisr wrote:

    As someone who was brought up in Chabad, went to Chabad schools and Yeshivas, had Yechidus with the Rebbe and am still today an ardent Lubavitcher Chossid I feel shame and embarressment at what is happenning today in Lubavitch.It’s a terribly sad but true fact that the Meshichint’n are single handedly destroying everything that the Rebbe ZY“A stood and worked for. One of the Rebbe’s main pillars was to NEVER do, say or print anything that might in anyway, shape or form cause sinas chinam or cause another jew to feel allienated from Judaism in general or Chabad in particular.
    For arguments sake (and I would vehemently disagree with this)but lets just say that everything they say is 100% correct. Even in such an instance, everything they do is in direct violation of what the Rebbe ZYA requested and demanded and they are total and complete hypocrits. They are proclaiming the Rebbe be alive, to be moshiach (and even in some instances…you know what I mean but I will not denegrate myself and this forum to write this totaly ossur avodah zorah – even though it is a direct outcome of the meshichsts) and this is in direct contravention of the Rebbe’s spoken and written directives.
    Of course Lubavitch has always had detracters and this is not the issue here. Nor are Rabbi Belsky’s comments. Yet we all know that barring the wild anticts of this mad cult, such comments, regardless of the personal feelings of various Rabbonim etc ( and I do not necessarily mean Rabbi Belsky) would be VERY few and far between. In my most humble opinion it is up to us, the main-stream Chabniks to strongly, publicly and foreceably do everything in our power – without resorting to strong-arm tactics or Loshon Horah or Rechilus to make it abundantly clear to EVERYONE that these are the ramblings of a few deluded individuals.
    Most importantly, I feel it imperitive that we all put as much pressure on Rabbonei Chabad to one and for all come out – B’kol Kocham, againt the flags, posters, Yarmulkes etc. I believe that this will a)show the entire world that Lubavitch are not a ”bunch of loonies” and b) we are taking the necessary steps to distance ourselves from this maddness.

  • 79. Belsky Hut A Krumeh Kup wrote:

    A Misnaged once told me that Belsky is a true Gadol (Great) and Onov (Humble) cause he personally once saw Belsky taking out the garbage from his house!!
    No One Helped Him!!!
    He Did It By Himself!!!
    That Is True Anivus and Gadlus!!!

    My friends, the Snags missed the boat!!!

  • 80. Everyone Knows Belsky is a Tipish wrote:

    A Misnaged once told me that Belsky is a true Gadol (Great) and Onov (Humble) cause he personally once saw Belsky taking out the garbage from his house!!
    No One Helped Him!!!
    He Did It By Himself!!!
    That Is True Anivus and Gadlus!!!

    My friends, the Snags missed the boat!!!

  • 81. YitzchakS wrote:

    Please – boycotting Mishpacha is absurd and way out of line. All they did was to give a bor vegas ruach an open platform which he used to show that he is a bor vegas ruach who promotes machloikes – they did NOT endorse his views! One of their major editors is a Lubavitcher and in general their coverage is accurate and unbiased.

    As for the soneh, part of the problem is that the Lubavitch owned OK, unlike the OU, is gaining respectability among those who use only “mehadrin” foods. And one of the reasons is that people do not particularly trust this “posek”! I do not use OU whenever I have a better alternative (very much including OK) and this goes back LONG before Belsky. Others should follow suit – remember that Chabad and Chabad House mekuravim are a HUGE part of the kosher market outside NY where OU and OK are all that is out there. If we send a message to the OU that sinas chinam is not acceptable, they will have to get rid of the soneh or lose many products to the OK (ken yirbu anyway!)

  • 82. shakron wrote:

    lier how could a yid speak against the Rebbe, the nasi hador, the rashcapahag and leader of every yid. this mans whole koch is against the Rebbe and against chassidus which means his whole chayos is against the Rebbe. a big rachmonos

  • 83. Student wrote:


    I am a frequent Chabad go-er. I’m not a Chabad Chassid but maybe, G-d willing, some day. I am curious as to how this even started. What is the history behind ”believing the Rebbe is Moshiach.” I also find it hard to understand that when Chabad Chassids study so much, should be such masters of the Talmud, Shulchan Orach, ect. how could they possibly believe this to be true? I’m interested to know, how this is even possible to think that and not think you are committing an avairah?

    I think, while Rabbi Belsky shouldn’t attack Chabad in general, he makes some very good points. It’s time these things are being published and hopefully the crazy ones will realize what they are doing to the Chabad movement, because this is only hurting it.

  • 84. nothing new wrote:

    i grew up with these ppl and its not the first time they say bad about chabad and definitely not the last………..its his problem if he choses to say loshen hara on a whole crowd…….now he has to apologize to the whole crowd…….thats the way it works. ppl can respond to the article but always remember never to fall to their level!!!!!

  • 85. bjc wrote:

    chassidus wrote:

    It’s a clear halacha in Shulchan Aruch to cleave to a Tzaddik in order to cleave to the Shechina.

    siman and se’if please?

  • 86. Cee wrote:

    That is a wonderful letter BM, which Rav wrote that? he should not feel the need to hide his name, he should be commended for such words.

    We need to get back to our roots. The Rebbe was all about us completing our tasks in Golus and brining Moshiach. There is no doubt about that, and that is what our goals should be, but lets not forget the Rebbe spoke about many other things as well. They all need to be done and promoted in order to BRING the Geulah Sheleimah.

    Getting caught up in yellow flags and taking out billboards and Ny Times ads about WHO Moshaich is sidetracking us, and ruining our name. We must make them stop!

  • 87. chaim wrote:

    “I am not against chabad per se” and “There is both positive and negative in Chabad” are not very nice things to say weather they are true or not, but they acknowledge that there is good. Although I find both of these comments offensive as a human as a jew as a lubavitcher and as a mishichist i am even more outraged at the fact that they were said and published in the way that they were. to think something (machshava) is one thing but to publicize as a respected leader (dibur) in this manner is far worse. what i truly cant understand though is how someone can say something as demeaning as “Present-day Chabad has become a personal cult centered on the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe.” it doesn’t matter why he thinks this weather he was at a wedding in crown heights and happened through 770 and saw what was happening there like one commenter said or if he reads this website or any other way it doesn’t matter what he said is the equivalent of saying all blacks are janitors although it must be true bec the janitor from 770 is black but what he fails to realize is that there is a black running for president of the united states of america.
    anyway not that i want to start this whole discussion on this forum what ever happened to yaakov aviny lo maes.

    if this is the guy responsible for the kashrus of the food we eat i am scared first of all half of the ou mashgichim are lubavitch and if lubavitchers are in a colt and you arent allowed to use a colt member for a minyan and neone you cant use for a minyan i wouldnt want dealing with my open food so mistame the rav of the ou dosent trust its hechsher
    i think we should all go out of our way to buy stricktly ok or various other hashgochos and boycot the ou

  • 88. DallasJew wrote:

    I believe Belsky (and I intentionally) did nor write Rabbi, is very well connected to the pro-kolko gang, and therefore probably very irrelevant all around. Just a thought.

  • 89. oldtimer wrote:

    The following letter was sent by Rabbi Elimelech Silberberg to Mishpacha Magazine.


    Rosh Chodesh Iyyar

    Dear Editor,

    As both a musmach of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas, and Rav and shliach of the Lubavitcher Rebbe ZT”L in West Bloomfield, Michigan, I take issue with the comments of Rabbi Yisroel Belsky concerning Chabad Lubavitch, which for the most part are unfortunate and inaccurate. Rabbi Belsky writes that “Chabad used to be about disseminating Chasidic teachings which the Baal HaTanya wrote… In America Chabad started out with the shluchim going out and bringing the masses back to Judaism… But present day Chabad has nothing to do with the above.”

    In point of fact, the number of shluchim going out today to far-flung communities throughout the entire world to bring the teachings of Torah and Chasidus to our brethren far exceeds the numbers of shluchim who went out years ago. One can reasonably argue that there has never been a Jewish leader who so inspired thousands of young families to leave the comforts of a frum kehillah and travel to cities and towns devoid of chinuch for their children, mikvahs for their wives, and basic kosher food. For Rabbi Belsky to state that “present day Chabad has nothing to do with the above” is a gross inaccuracy.

    In his critique of the veneration that Chabad Chasidim express towards the Rebbe, Rabbi Belsky writes “There is no room in Yiddishkeit for a personality cult in which an individual is deified and glorified.” Boruch Hashem I have been blessed with many children who have studied in Lubavitch Yeshivas throughout the world. Some are presently in positions of chinuch in the Chabad higher education system. I can categorically state that none of the Chabad Yeshivas in any way chas ve’shalom “deifies” the Rebbe. Rabbi Belsky’s statement is totally libelous and falls in the category of sheker and motzi shem ra. The issue of the role of a tzaddik has always been a point of contention between Chasidim and non-chasidim. A perusal of the works of such Chasidic luminaries as the Meor Ainayim, the Noam Elimelech, and the Tiferes Shlomo, to name just a few, underscores the central role that a Rebbe occupies in the life of a chasid. Ultimately we have come to respect these differences of opinions between the two communities. For Rabbi Belsky to reiterate this opposition to what he considers to be an improper chasid-Rebbe relationship only fuels the fires of sinas chinam.

    As a talmid of Torah Vodaas in the 60’s, I remember Rabbi Belsky as a respected Maggid shiur in the Yeshiva. Indeed, not too long ago I sat with him on a Bais Din in Detroit, and was truly impressed with his vast Torah knowledge. But especially during these days when Klal Yisroel in Eretz Yisroel is facing an existential threat, it is irresponsible to direct such inflammatory and divisive remarks against a world-wide kehilla of people most of whom are yereim and shleimim, and many of whom are on the front lines of spreading Torah and Yiddishkeit under the most difficult conditions.

    Chabad recognizes that there is a small (and unfortunately vociferous) group in our community which speaks irresponsibly about the issue of Moshiach. But there is no excuse for the unfortunate comments directed against the entire movement.

    It is because of my great respect for Rabbi Belsky that I find his words all the more painful. Rabbi Belsky and Mishpacha Magazine owe the world-wide Lubavitch community an apology.


    Elimelech Silberberg

    Sara Tugman Bais Chabad Torah Center

    West Bloomfield, Michigan

  • 91. lubavitch wrote:


    It’s no aveirah to be mistaken about something about a point in Halacha. Otherwise there are a whole lot of aveiros going on in virtually the entire Klal Yisroel. On issues much more important than the identity of moshiach.

    Like the mistaken believe that the state of Israel is “ischalta dgeula,” which is of course nonsense.

  • 92. CH resident wrote:

    Dear Rabbi Silberberg of Michigan – Thank you so much for your letter. We need more outspoken leaders like you who can frame the issue intelligently without judging anyone else and without causing anymore friction. You stated the issue so clearly. I pray Rabbi Belsky reads it.

  • 93. Proud of Lubavitch! wrote:

    To Rafael Solomon: You are in dream land. They hate Lubavitch no matter what. They hated us years ago way befor mishichist movement, and they will hate you just as much if we did what you said, distance ourselves from the mishchsts. Its called jeeooouullosy!! I am proud to be Lubavitch more than ever!!

  • 94. To Student wrote:

    the first step of understanding the answers to your questions are to look into your own comment. You write: “I also find it hard to understand that when Chabad Chassids study so much, should be such masters of the Talmud, Shulchan Orach, ect. how could they possibly believe this to be true? I’m interested to know, how this is even possible to think that and not think you are committing an avairah?”
    And therefore you have good reason to believe that there must be very good reason for it.
    Before going ahead and saying: “he makes some very good points. It’s time these things are being published and hopefully the crazy ones will realize what they are doing to the Chabad movement, because this is only hurting it.”, find out the answers to the questions you havn’t gotten answers to yet. and it takes much more serious bussiness than just asking questions on the web. That is…if you’re really interested.

  • 95. something to do... wrote:

    Let’s all learn “Katointi” in Tanya and feel bad for our so terribly confused misnagdishe bretheren…

  • 96. maminim bnei maminim wrote:

    To all those who find fault and look for direction:
    I am a simple yid who believes that as the Rebbe writes: “Varoom dem Rebbe’s a vort is Dvar Hashem Diber be umilaso al lishoni”, Every word a Rebbe says is from G-d. Should a Chassid consider his Rebbe as Moshiach?? the Rebbe himself wrote in his hand writing, “vanan chassidim nanei abasrayhu bnogeiah lraboseinu nisieinu bchlall ukvod kdusha mori vichmi admur nasi doreinu bfrat”(free translation from hebrew) in connection to the quoted gemorah in sanhedrin that each of the students proclaim their teacher as Moshiach, “we chassidim should do the same concerning our Rabbeim in general and especially the Rebbe my father in Law the nassi of our generation.” This is the Rebbe directive. (AFTER YUD SHVAT) as to the issue of being alive THE ARIZAL IS REFFERED TO AS HACHAI!!!!! we did not invent this mode of thinking we are just simple people the problem is like the story of the boy who call home after teh Rebbe’s talk in camp, “so zinaleh what did the rebbe say? ”he said, Moshiach is coming soon.!“ so what’s so new i say it all the time. To which the son responds, ”Yeh –but they beleive it!!!

  • 98. to cee wrote:

    Cee, the Rebbe spoke about other things too aside for Moshiach, but thats like saying the Rebbe spoke about other things aside for Dira Betachtonim. In Parshas Chayei sara 5752 the Rebbe made it very clear that all shlichus and the point of it all and all the mivtzoim etc, are all to be done, not as before to BRING Moshiach but through the SHAAR of MOSHIACH. there’s definitely a difference between the two because the Rebbe calls it a Chidush. So of course we can’t lose our heads and act crazy but realize what’s really supposed to be going on. Those comments seem as if the above sichos were’nt taken into consideration. Whatever it is, we’re all trying to do the right things. And misnagdim are the same as ever, which is something hard to understand when officially there are no real misnagdim nowadays.

  • 99. I guess we will find out soon! wrote:

    I once asked a good friend of mine who is an extrem mishichist. “Why do you say the Rebbe is alive? Dont you hear how foolish you sound?” He answered me that “ When Moshiach comes, I would rather say that I was mistaken by believing he was alive than to say I was mistaken that he died”. Good point, although it did not convince me.

  • 100. To Mrs Proud.. wrote:

    Mr. R Solomon was not talking to the “outsiders”, of course he and we know that they dont like us from the begining

    he and a silent majority within Lubavitch are talking about the so called meshichistim

    they are completely forighn to anything that yidishkeit and for that matter chabad and lubavitch stand for

    you can scream today and till tomorow that you are proud – but we have the crazys within us that must be taken care of

  • 101. Re: Truth wrote:

    “the truth wrote:
    Every normal Lubavitcher belives that the Rebbe is Mashiach, whether they say it or not. ”

    the truth is you don’t know what other people think.
    and who made you in charge of deciding who is a “normal lubavitcher”.

    Everyone can only speak for themself,
    and for myself, I can say, you can want whatever you want, but G-d gets to decide who is moshiach.

  • 103. Moshiach Now! wrote:

    Moshiach is on his way;
    Just wait and see who is right, Mr. Belsky…

  • 104. look inside wrote:

    The Rebbe’s message was and continues to be ahavas yisroel.

    There is no place for a Jew, any Jew to “dislike” or put down another Jew. Disagreeing with ideas is one thing, but we need to be aware of how we talk and think. And it goes both ways, non lubavitch to lubavitch, the other way around, and countless other combinations of different types of Jews.

    The saying is that if you see a fault in someone else, you need to look at yourself. There should be no place or enjoyment for a lubavitcher to put down any other Jew, especially a Rav who is respected…

  • 105. Mich wrote:

    I really endorse this comment,

    Kushen Tuchas! wrote:

    No more Pishpacha in my house baby! and will b”n try and avoid OU when I have a choice.

  • 106. Leibi Bemizrach V-anochi B-sof Maarav wrote:

    The fact that this site allows people to use street language on Gedolai Yisroel is worse than anything Rabbi Belsky is quoted as saying. The Mishpacha would not print it so why are you?
    I know Rabbi Belsky personally for many years and if he was quoted correctly it was meant as Tochacha and Mussar, not to cause anyone pain. Why are we arguing about the person. Lets argue the issue. Gedolai Yisroel have always expressed their opionion and if other Gedolim had issue with it they expressed it. The personal attacks and ideas of how to hurt him personally are not coming from gadlus. The language is not the language of Gedolim. Those that have a different opinion should do it b’koved rosh, if at all. There are very very few people who are greater Talmidei Chachomim than R Belsky. I can guarantee that anyone reading this is not!!

  • 107. pro truth wrote:

    what is the relationship of rabbi belsky to the rabbi belsky of memphis tennessee, who after saying to a shliach, that an individual could suffer the rest of his life that he would’nt let him go to the rebbe for a brocho and advice. six months later this very important rabbi belsky stalwart of true yiddishkeit, was found to be in bed with a married woman and was run out of memphis

  • 108. a caring Lubavitcher wrote:

    What disappoints me terribly, and I mean no disrespect to Baleh teshuvah. People that never saw the Rebbe in their lives. go out to the world in the name of Lubavitch and preach things that the Rebbe never said or wanted to be said to the world.

    Like in any organization you will have the men and woman who are irresponsible and mis-guided and possibly challenged physiologically and as a result, Lubavitch and the shluchim at large that are on Mesiras Nefesh across the globe have to suffer terribly from the consequences.

  • 109. Concerned woman in Kensington wrote:

    Lets just say:“ A RACHMANUS” upon these poor, uneducated,unnurtured, unreognizing and unfeeling to holiness individuals who never grew up with or met our Revered Heiliker Rebbe …let them at least remain silent if they have nothing but nonsense to say..WE DO HAVE WHAT TO SAY: HINEH HINEH MOSHIACH BOH, Lets get ready to greet Moshiach NOW!

  • 110. NuchAChossid wrote:


    You said it. The snags are just jealous that they don’t follow true Yiddishkeit like we do. Utterly disgusting what they will sink to.

  • 111. Boruch N. Niissim HaKohaine Hoffinger wrote:

    I’m a ‘pushita Yid’ but Rabbi Belsky’s comment:
    ” There’s no room in Yiddeshkeit for a personality cult in which an individual is deified and glorified. Whether he was great or wasn’t great is immaterial. There have been many great people in Judaism. The personality cult of glorifying an individual person, giving him unique titles, elevating the shape other building he was active in. etc., has no place in Yiddishkeit.“
    What’s the source? ”Whoever believesin Moshe believes in HaShem?”
    Rabbi Belsky doesn’t know what he’s talking about!


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