Understanding the Chabad-Lubavitch World
The Chabad-Lubavitch Movement got its start in 1796 when Rabbi Shneur Zalmn (1745-1813) published a book titled the Tanya, which would embody the "law" of the Chabad Movement. Even today, Chabad leaders regard the Tanya as superior to the Bible. The leaders of the movement are called Rebbes. The most famous of all of them is Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson. He was installed as the "Seventh Rebbe" in 1950 and stayed in that office until 1994 when he died. Since he did not have any children, the leaders of the Chabad-Lubavitch Movement did not appoint an "Eighth Rebbe" leading many to suggest the idea that Rebbe Schneerson would one day rise from the dead. The Rebbe's published teachings fill more than 300 volumes. His movement considers him to be one of the most gifted Torah scholars in the world. However, other Orthodox Jewish Movements are not so complimentary towards him. Some Christian writers have even considered him a candidate for the office of "Antichrist." When we checked for Rebbe Schneerson's name in the Bible Codes, we could not find it at any relevant range in the Torah.
The political influence of Chabad-Lubavitch is quite remarkable considering they are a small group, relative to other Jewish and Christian groups. Rebbe Schneerson has been visited by John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and close Trump advisor, former New York City mayor: Rudy Giuliani. In 1978, the United States Congress asked President Jimmy Carter to designate Rebbe Schneerson's Jewish calendar bithday (April 18, 1978) as "Education and Sharing Day." In 1984, the American Friends of Lubavitch presented President Ronald Reagan with a memorial menorah in a special ceremony at the White House. In 1994, shortly after the death of Rebbe Schneerson, Congress awared him the Congressional Gold Medal for his "outstanding and lasting contributions toward improvements in world education, morality, and acts of charity." President Clinton spoke these words at the ceremony awarding Schneerson his Gold Medal:
The late Rebbe’s eminence as a moral leader for our country was recognized by every president since Richard Nixon. For over two decades, the Rabbi's movement now has some 2000 institutions; educational, social, medical, all across the globe. We (the United States Government) recognize the profound role that Rabbi Schneerson had in the expansion of those institutions.
The political influence of Chabad-Lubavitch has not diminished with the death of Rebbe Schneerson, but has increased considerably.
On April 16, 2008, a delegation of Chabad rabbis looked on as President George W. Bush signed a proclamation declaring April 16, 2008 as Education and Sharing Day. The date was considered the 106th anniversary of the birth of Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson. It is also interesting that the media did not choose to cover this event, as we had to get this picture from Chabad's website.
On April 27, 2015, President Obama invited Chabad rabbis to the White House to celebrate Education and Sharing Day. (Rebbe Schneerson's birthday changes every year according to political whims...) President Obama used the opportunity to condemn Anti-Semitism, calling it a "moral obligation." Even though it was clear to the Chabad rabbis that Mr. Obama was Islamic, they still took advantage of the photo opportunity when it was presented to them.
Last year, on the 40th Anniversary of President Carter's declaration, President Trump invited leaders of the Chabad-Lubavitch to the White House for a special ceremony. It is also interesting that all 50 state governors and mayors of about 100 cities have also recognized Education and Sharing Day. But this is just one example of the influence Chabad has over the elements of our government. It should be noted that during the 2016 election, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump publicly visited the Queens, New York gravesite of Rebbe Scnheerson and prayed for Donald Trump's victory in the election. The magazine Washington Monthly, in their November 27, 2017 issue noted that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attend a Chabad synagogue in Washington, D.C.
Some commentors on the world of Judaism remind Jews that Chabad-Lubavitch is nothing more than an offshoot of Sabbateanism, a messianic movement that in A.D. 1666, tried to recapture Jerusalem from the Ottoman Turks and make it a world capital. The leader of this movement was Sabbatai Zevi, an anti-messiah figure who suggested that he would "turn the Torah on its head." He generated quite a following. He bragged that when he got to Istanbul, that he would take the sultan's crown off his head and put it on his own head. Instead, he was arrested by Sultan Mehmed IV's troops and imprisoned. He was given three choices for his sentence:
- He could have the Sultan's archers shoot arrows at him. If they all missed, even the Islamic people would see him as somehow divine,
- He could be impaled, or
- He could convert to Islam.
He chose the third option: converting to Islam. This caused a lot of his many followers to become disillusioned. Those who remained with Sabbatai Zevi became known as the Domeh (converts). The Domeh, despite officially converting to Islam, still retained a lot of their Judaism.
Chabad has also incorporated the teachings of Rabbi Isaac Luria, the modern author of the Kabbalah (the traditional author of the Kabbalah was King Solomon, at a period when he had fallen from the faith) and teachings of Moses de Leon, alleged author of the Zohar. Most traditional Orthodox Jewish rabbis condemn Chabad for their Messianic views and for their alleged belief that Rebbe Schneerson will one day come back to life. Adherents of Chabad often make pilgrimmages to the grave of Rebbe Schneerson in Queens, New York to pray. Some adherents of Chabad still think that Rebbe Schneerson is still alive!
With this history, it will be interesting to see how the Bible Codes treat Chabad-Lubavtich. Click here to check out the Bible Code on Chabad-Lubavitch.