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22

I'm going to answer this question indirectly. I have had discussions with several Lubavitchers who have come up with some compelling (to them) reasoning how the Rebbe זצ"ל can be Moshiach, which leads inexorably to the conclusion that he must be Moshiach. I'm not going to attempt to express the arguments here, even though you have asked for them, because I ...


19

R' Eizik Vitebsker writes (look in Os 26) that the origin of this Chumra was from the Mezritcher Maggid. R' Shneur Zalman of Liadi explains that since some opinions say that flour which was baked (without being kneaded first) can still become chometz after contacting water as it may not have been baked well. He writes that (at least in his time) one could ...


18

The oldest reference to this tradition that I am aware of is the Taz ("Turei Zahav"), by David haLevi Segal, 17th c. הלוחש על המכה או על החולה ורוקק ואחר כך קורא פסוק מן התורה אין לו חלק לעוה"ב One who whispers over a wound or over a sick person and who spits, and who then recites a verse from the Torah has no portion in the world to come. ...


16

There are, perhaps, several factors to consider: In Chabad thought, the rebbe is more than just a leader, Torah teacher, spiritual guide, etc. All of these roles, and many more, are outgrowths and expressions of his being the נשמה כללית, the "all-encompassing soul" of the Jewish people (see Tanya, ch. 2). Now, of course, barring an explicit statement by ...


16

Let me break this down by question: 1. Are there any documented halachik authorities that rule that the belief in a dead Messiah is beyond the pale of permitted Jewish belief and therefore would qualify as Kfira? Short Answer: Yes -- and we do consideer it kfira in the case of Jews who adopt Christianity. Rabbi Gil Student, in his book Can The Rebbe ...


15

The Lubavitcher Rebbe said that the custom among Lubavitch was to cut the Peos. He said that there are a few reasons, one of which is to avoid mixing the two types of light from the 13 strands of the beard. He also mentioned that the Arizal used to cut his Peos (as is written in the Shaarei Hamitzvos and Taamei Hamitzvos parshas Kedoshim).


15

See also this letter by the Lubavitcher Rebbe on this subject, in which he states: It is my firm belief that the sun revolves around the earth, as I have also declared publicly on various occasions and in discussion with professors specializing in this field of science. He also explains why he believed this way based on the Theory of Relativity.


14

See Gil Students tremendous treatment entitled "Can The Rebbe Be Moshiach?" In Chapter Five called What Counter-proofs can be Brought? Rabbi Student brings the arguments that many meshichist lubavitchers use to argue that the Lubavitcher rebbe was/is/will be Moshiach. From the beggining of the chapter: There are two types of proofs that are brought for ...


13

In general, I wouldn't post just a quote, but it so perfectly addressed the question... From Hayom Yom (29th of first Adar), written/compiled by the Lubavitcher Rebbe: In responding to L'chayim there are two versions: L'chayim Tovim Ul'Shalom, "for good life, and for peace." The reason for this blessing is that the first time drinking wine is ...


13

Having lived and studied in Crown Heights for several months--before which I believed that a significant proportion of Lubavitchers, perhaps 40% or half, did not believe the Rebbe was Moshiach--I have been surprised to find that the notion that the Rebbe is the presumptive, if not actual Messiah is very dominant in Chabad. Chabad Houses and conferences and ...


13

There most certainly is machlokes. Some matters are by already decided by the Rabbeim, etc., but some are a machlokes about what the Rabbeim decided, some are decided by well respected Rabbanim within Chabad (like Rabbi Avraham Chaim Naeh) and some are just a question for a Rav, not having a previous answer, or that are heavily dependent on circumstances. ...


12

Since no one seems to have answered the last question, namely, are there any Chabad commentaries on the Gemara.... There are many talks and writings from all the Lubavitcher Rebbeim on different topics in Gemara. As far as I know, there is no one systematic commentary on the Gemara, and as their discussions of Gemara topics are usually (though not always) ...


12

Rabbi Aharon Feldman, Rosh Yeshiva of Ner Israel Rabbinical College, wrote a responsum regarding how to interact with Meshichistim (defined by him as anyone who believes that R Menachem Mendel Schneerson Zichrono Livracha will be resurrected to become the promised Messiah). He writes that they are not considered heretics, and thus their testimony in ...


11

Actually, I don't know why you'd have to ask specifically about the USSR. Wouldn't the same question apply to any feudal-type government, where the king is in principle the owner of all of the land in the kingdom? And AFAIK there's no concept in halachah that you have to ask him for permission to build a sukkah. I think the reason might be, building on zaq'...


11

Only Ashkenazic communities read all five megillos in a public setting over the course of the year. Sefardic and Chassidic communities generally will only read Eicha on Tisha B'av and (of course) Esther on Purim, but not the other three on the shalosh regalim. The custom to read Ruth on Shavuos (as well as Shir Hashirim on Pesach, I think) is mentioned ...


11

Rabbi Hershel Welcher was asked this question, and he referenced a quote from one of Rambam's letters about someone who was believed to be the messiah, then died; "some were crazy enough to think he was still the messiah after he died." Rabbi Welcher thus ruled that someone who believes a dead man is the messiah is not idolatrous nor an apostate -- he's just ...


11

As explained here on chabad.org: The Rebbe, of righteous memory, stood for hours distributing dollars and blessings to thousands of people every Sunday, and on other occasions. The Rebbe’s intention was that the recipient should give the dollar to charity. In this way, explained the Rebbe, when two meet, it should benefit another. Usually, instead of ...


11

I believe that what you are referring to is part of the daily break-down of the Torah, Sefer Tanya and the book of Psalms that Lubavitchers refer to as Chitas (which stands, of course, for "Chumash, Tanya, Tehillim"). According to Hayom Yom for Nisan 21st (see here), the daily reading from Tehillim that day is Psalms 104-105.


10

The roots of this minhag actually lie in the Gemara itself. In Pesachim 40b, there is a discussion which says explicitly that Rav Papi allowed servants in the beit Reish Galuta to thicken a tavshil with "chasisi." The Rif says this is matzah meal; Tosafot say it is lentil flour, and Rashi says it is dried flour. Rava says we need to be concerned in a place ...


10

I don't know whether he personally did, but he does mention this custom in his siddur, and gives the Zohar as the source. (It states that the seated part of davening corresponds to the shel yad, and the standing part - primarily Shemoneh Esrei, I guess - to the shel rosh.) Dayan Raskin, in his notes to the siddur there, has an extensive discussion of this ...


10

Chabad Houses As I understand the Shul is generally owned by the Shliach (he sets up a (or uses an existing) non-profit for the legal aspects, but it's almost completely in his hands). This is done for several reasons: AFAIK, most shuls generally exists by virtue of the community. Baalei Battim who live in a certain neighborhood make a shul, then they look ...


10

R' Zev Dov Slonim compiled a booklet that collates various sources that talk about the advantage of learning Chumash, saying Tehillim, and Learning Tanya daily. The booklet is also included in the Chitas sefer, published by Kehot. The footnotes on Sefer Haminhagim's entry on Chitas discusses this as well. Here are some of them, see sources inside for more: ...


10

The Rebbe Rashab founded Yeshivas Tomchei Tmimim, whose purpose was that in it should be learned “G-d’s Torah, the exoteric and the esoteric, as a whole.” That is why the Yeshivah was called “Tomchei Tmimim,” and its students called Tmimim (Tmimim — plural of “tomim” meaning whole) — for there the synthesis of the exoteric and esoteric was manifest. Although ...


10

A demanding "tone" in prayer is deemed improper. Consider what Shimon ben Shetach said to Choni heMeagel after successfully demanding rain from Hashem (vowing not to leave a drawn circle until it was given, modifying the request multiple times): שלח לו שמעון בן שטח ואמר לו, צריך אתה לינדות; אבל מה אעשה לך, שאתה מתחטא לפני המקום כבן שמתחטא לפני אביו, והוא ...


10

It is definitely not a known Chabad practice. See here where the Lubavitcher Rebbe would wait at least one hour after eating milk on Shavuos to start eating the Yom Tov meal (that included meat). As the footnotes elaborate, he was against any leniency (as others hold) with regards to Shavuos and waiting times, and this custom of waiting an hour was a ...


10

Here is a posting giving the reason that the Rebbe stated. Why didn't the Rebbe ever visit Israel? by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg [It is important to note that since the Rebbe took leadership of the Chabad movement in 1951, he never took a day off, and never traveled outside of New York.] There are several possible reasons for why the Rebbe never ...


9

It looks like a general Chassidic custom. The Minchas Elazar writes that it is a tradition from the Ba'al Shem Tov. He explains the mishna that says that one stays is "comparable to a slave who mixes wine for his master and he spills it in his face." in a novel way. He says that there are two ways to explain "he spills in his face", is it the master ...


8

The Aruch Hashulchan explains that one could add Hadasim and Aravos because the Torah doesn't say how many Hadasim or Aravos to have, it just used a plural form for "Arvei Nachal" and "Anfei Eitz Avos". Therefore one can add more Hadasim or Aravos for beauty. Though Lubavitch custom is to add Hadasim but not Aravos.


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