Dear Rabbi Manis Friedman,
I recently saw a video clip from a class of yours. In this class, you’re asked the question, “Is it possible that ‘J’ is Moshiach?”
Now, when you answered that question – and I’m sure you have your sources, too – I truly did not understand what it is you meant when saying that it is possible that he will be the Moshiach who will take the Yidden out of Golus, as it is promised to us in Torah.
However, I fear there is a much greater problem in what came after that. You went on to saying something to which explanation could be given. Whether you believe yourself in the idea of the Rebbe being Moshiach or not, there is a certain level of respect due to those that do and to the Rebbe himself.
So after giving a very “interestingly strange” answer to the above mentioned question, you are asked regarding the Rebbe – our Rebbe – and the possibility of him being Moshiach. To that you answer (referencing belief in “J”), and I quote: “The same thing, if the world is perfect, then you could debate who did it, but when the world is not perfect you’re talking about a prediction for the future?!” And when asked to explain the difference between the belief in the Rebbe being Moshiach and the belief in “J” being Moshiach you respond: “It’s the same problem! He’s going to come back?”
Rabbi Friedman, I will not bother explaining the belief of Rabbonim, Chassidim, people who are Yirei Shomayim, who strongly believe in the Rebbe being Moshiach, and have all the proofs necessary from Halacho, Torah, and the Sichos of the Rebbe. For two simple reasons:
1. I believe you understand the concept very well, and being a Chossid with a Lubavitcher Neshomo, you, too, believe strongly in the fact that our Rebbe is Moshiach. Although that belief may be hidden, it’s definitely there.
2. I fear that our problem is far greater.
So, let’s put aside the fact that you consider yourself a “Chabad Chossid” who believes in everything the Rebbe says. Let’s talk as if you were an “outsider” speaking about Chabad.
The belief in the Rebbe being Moshiach – yes, even after Gimmel Tammuz, is a belief, as mentioned before, of great Rabbonim, Chassidim, and people who serve Hashem with all their heart and soul. A belief that is based in Torah, Halacha, and the words of our Rebbe himself. And with all the respect Rabbi, to compare that belief of true Chassidim, Baalei Mesiras Nefesh, to the belief in “J,” Yimach Shemo, is a disgrace to Judaism as a whole, to Chabad in particular, and to the Rebbe himself!
How dare someone (especially such a respected person) compare the two?!
One belief is about someone the Gemoro uses the phrase “Yimach Shemo” on, and one is the Leader of our generation. The Lubavitcher Rebbe. Even if you don’t respect the Rebbe or his followers – to compare this case to “J”?!
As the Rebbe once referred to similar horrible remarks: “Oy, L’oiso Chilul Hashem, l’chol hapochois hot er gekunt shvigen.” [=Oy, to that Chilul Hashem, the least he could have done was to keep quiet.”]
Rabbi, no explanation can be given for the things you’ve said. What’s needed here is a true real apology. I believe you owe the Rebbe and his Chassidim an apology.
Whether you believe in the Rebbe being Moshiach or not is a topic in and of itself, which also should be discussed. But even if you don’t, such words cannot be said.
Just imagine, if this comparison was made by someone not listed in the Tzach list. Not a Chabad Chossid. How would YOU react?
I wish to end off with a story which I feel the need to mention. In the year 1982, a certain individual said some harsh words about the respected Chofetz Chaim. The following Shabbos, at the Farbrengen of Chof-Daled Teves, the Rebbe dedicated a large part of the Farbrengen to this topic. The Rebbe asked the Chassidim, “How can it be that none of the Talmidim of the Chofetz Chaim felt the need to make a Macho’oh (protest) against what was said about their Rebbe?”
When someone talks about your Rebbe, you protest.