Chabad Messianism Alive and Well


For those under the impression that messianic fervor within Chabad circles has pretty much fizzled out, check out this recent YouTube video below. I believe the footage is from around the same time as the most recent 2009 Chabad Annual Emissaries Conference which brought together 4,000 Chabad shlichim from around the world.

After about 3:00 into the video, you’ll see Labavitcher bucherim (yeshiva students) handing out pamphlets around New York City declaring the Rebbe as Mashiach. What is even more interesting is that they are spreading this message to both Jews and non-Jews.

Although many within the Jewish community overlook such messianic fervor within Chabad due to their extensive services and programming throughout the world, don’t think that it has gone completely unnoticed.

Several moves have been made within the Orthodox world to criticize the mashichist movement within Chabad, and to place them outside of normative Judaism.

However, messianism within orthodox circles continues to ferment, especially in Israel. There are even predictions within certain groups that the recent H1N1 epidemic, world financial crises, and natural disasters are all proof that Messiah is coming soon. For more on this messianic fervor within Orthodox Judaism, check out one such blog called Dreaming of Moshiach.

Mashiach will definitely return. However, it seems there is certain disagreement within the Jewish world as to which one it will be.

About Rabbi Joshua

I'm a Rabbi, writer, thinker, mountain biker, father and husband ... not necessarily in that order. According to my wife, however, I'm just a big nerd. I have degrees in dead languages and ancient stuff. I have studied in various Jewish institutions, including an Orthodox yeshiva in Europe. I get in trouble for making friends with perfect strangers, and for standing on chairs to sing during Shabbos dinner. In addition to being the Senior Rabbi of Simchat Yisrael Messianic Synagogue in West Haven, CT, I write regularly for several publications and speak widely in congregations and conferences. My wife is a Southern-fried Jewish Beltway bandit and a smokin' hot human rights attorney... and please don’t take offense if I dump Tabasco sauce on your cooking.
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12 Responses to Chabad Messianism Alive and Well

  1. judeoxian says:

    I find it so interesting that whenever a Jewish group really settles in on a Messianic candidate, the rest of Judaism considers them "outside of normative Judaism".First, the NazarenesThen, Shabbetai Zevi-itesNow, Mashiachists in ChabadOh, but that whole thing with Rabbi Akiva and Bar Kochba, that's okay. (read: heavy sarcasm)

  2. Rabbi Joshua says:

    judeoxian-LOL …

  3. Matt says:

    RJ: Thanks for the vid. How do you interpret the artillery at the end?

  4. Rabbi Joshua says:

    Matt-I actually have no idea regarding the artillery at the end.

  5. Judah Himango says:

    I've followed the Dreaming Of Moshiach blog for a few years now. Every day it's the same thing: "Rabbi XYZ, zs'kl, had a dream that he revealed, before his death, through coded message to one of his followers. And yesterday the coded form was released by the son of his follower. It says, "Repent and make aliyah! The door to Eretz Yisrael will close in 3 months! Get out while you can!"This message was then confirmed by a Jewish autistic mute.Of course, that date comes and goes, Moshiach isn't here, and aliyah to Israel is still opened.Somebody needs to tell the author of that blog she cannot cry wolf forever. (I guess the same thing applies to those Christians who keep predicting THE WILD RAPTURE by "next summer, tops".:-p

  6. Rabbi Joshua says:

    Judah-LOL … Now that is funny!

  7. Ovadia says:

    Just FYI guys its usually "Meshichist" not "Mashiach-ist". A lot of the criticism that these guys get is from MO types like David Berger, who say "this looks too much like Christianity" because they're exposed to Christianity enough to make a comparison.But the people who say the most NT-sounding stuff (the really hardcore Meshichists like the Boreinu-niks) have almost no exposure to Christianity. What's fascinating (and almost indicating) is how indigenously Jewish their Messianism is.

  8. Ovadia says:


  9. Anonymous says:

    A Jew doesn't really need contact with Christianity to imitate much of its early NT self, does he? He just needs to know the scripture and believe the Messiah has come. (A little bit of tongue in cheek there). What would happen if many non-Jews started entering this group? How indeed would it develop? It may indeed be historically enlightening to follow what's going on. David

  10. Anonymous says:

    Matt, "How do you interpret the artillery at the end?"This is a reference to Tzivot Hashem “The army of G-d”; a Jewish children’s club established by the Lubavicher Rebbe in 1980. Every Jewish boy and girl is chosen by G-d to be His “soldier”. Their duty is to banish the Evil Inclination, and influence the entire world to follow the Good Inclination alone, which in this videos case, it would be to influence the world to see the Lubavitcher Rebbe as Moshiach.

  11. Rabbi Joshua says:

    "Anonymous"-Thanks for that insight on the artillery!

  12. Yeze says:

    I reckon Chabad missionaries are jealous of us Messianic Jews. Why else would they nick all our best ideas (and just change "Yeshua" to "the Rebbe")!

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