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Two Perspectives on Chabad Movement

June 28, 2004

Re "Judaism's Thriving Concern," June 22: Judaism is quite clear that the Messiah can appear only when certain conditions have been fulfilled; namely, the complete healing (tikun) of the world. This means that poverty, homelessness, disease, war, economic injustice, strife within families, within communities and between nations have been completely eradicated by the effort of human beings.

The Messiah will not appear just because a group of Jews (however observant) emotionally crave messianic fulfillment based in a cult of personality. It is Jewishly heretical to designate the rebbe as the Messiah, and those who do so have created a new religion, not Judaism.

Rabbi John Rosove

Temple Israel of Hollywood


I have belonged to a Chabad for about five years. Prior to joining Chabad, I almost never attended services. Now I attend on a regular basis. I would at no point in my life have been classified as an Orthodox Jew. I was raised between the Reform and Conservative movements. I was drawn to the Chabad synagogue by rabbis with a sincere wish to help people become more spiritual. Not by a brainwashing scheme trying to convince us that Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson was going to be resurrected into the Messiah.

I have never found the rabbis at Chabad to be anything other than supportive. They mention at almost every occasion that one should pray any way he or she feels comfortable. They emphasize that one should not feel threatened if he or she is not able to read Hebrew. They just want us to feel Jewish. I credit the Chabad movement for my becoming much more spiritual than I ever thought I would. The rabbis I have come in contact with are genuinely caring people.

Morris Hasson


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