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There is a small group of people who believe that the Lubvatcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson zt"l is in fact God. For example, the front page of the website for a synagogue(?) in Mikwaukee reads, in part, "Yechi Elokeinu Moreinu V'Rabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach L'Olam Va'ed!"

Is there an official Chabad/Lubavitch position on the status of those people? Does mainstream Chabad consider them to be true Hasidim? Perhaps they are even considered to be non-Jews? If there is no official position, is there a general consensus among the community?

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They think it is avodah zarah –  sam Apr 8 '13 at 21:42
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@ShmuelBrin If sourced, that sounds like an answer. –  Double AA Apr 8 '13 at 22:06
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@ShmuelBrin, are you a mental-health professional? –  Monica Cellio Apr 8 '13 at 22:56
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@DoubleAA - Such an answer would also do well to define the beliefs of "official" and "official meshichist" vis-à-vis the status of the Rebbe (e.g. don't even most non-meshichists consider that the Rebbe is/will be/likely is/likely will be be b'chezkas Moshiach or Moshiach?) and it's ramifications for practical conduct (e.g. reciting Yechi after davening, wearing Yechi yarmulkes). This way, people know what groups are being referenced. Such an answer should also to justify the claim that "non-meshichists" are "offcial" (there has been a great deal of vying for "official" status in the past). –  Fred Apr 8 '13 at 22:57
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There is also another subgroup that would not call the Rebbe "Elokeinu" or the like, but at the same time redefine the expression "עצמות ומהות מלובש בגוף" to justify specifically davening facing a picture of the Rebbe (my brother personally witnessed this in a main minyan at K'far Chabad years ago), and refer to the Rebbe as "kol yachol" literally, referring to a type of omnipotence beyond the standard "tzadik gozeir v'HKBH mekayeim." Would such people be halachically distinguished from those few who explicitly refer to the Rebbe as "Elokeinu"? –  Fred Apr 8 '13 at 23:08

1 Answer 1

Of course, Chabad (or anyone else really, but they may use different language) would consider someone practicing Avodah Zarah in its most egregious form still Jewish, but Chabad, both the non-Meshichist side and the Meshichist side, reject this completely.

See here for some links to source letters. Note that the one from the Beis Din of Crown Heights is signed by Rabbi Marlow ע"ה, who was a supporter of the Meshichist side.

There was also a huge Mechoh made back in the times before the internet was in wide use of most of the Rabbonim who support the Meshichist side condemning this idea as completely against Torah. I don't know if a copy exists online.

There is no test of being a "true" Chosid. Such a statement can mean many things, from fitting into the normative practices of the Chassidic community, to a true dedication to the Rebbe's cause. The former is a much larger group than the latter, but there is no official litmus test.

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I would think, based on your first three paragraphs, that anyone who is doing 'Avodah Zarah would be outside the acceptable bounds of what could be considered a "true chosid". –  Seth J Oct 17 '13 at 19:22
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@SethJ, certainly reasonable, but my point is that it just isn't a category that gets "decided" one way or another. –  Yishai Oct 17 '13 at 19:30
    
Would worshipping Jesus or Mohammed be enough? Or is even that not decided? –  Double AA Oct 17 '13 at 20:29
    
@DoubleAA, It isn't a category, so it doesn't mean anything. But I appreciate the sarcasm. –  Yishai Oct 17 '13 at 20:37
    
What sarcasm? Reductio is a strong argument here. I'm challenging your claim that there are no features which are necessary to being a Chassid. (∀x)Cx→□Fx in formal-speak. –  Double AA Oct 17 '13 at 20:38

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