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Is Chabad Today a Breakaway From the Past? Has Chassidus Lost Its Way?

The Debate Between the Baal HaTanya and his Collegues on the Destiny of Chassidus

39 min

Five generations of Chabad Rebbes.

Class Summary:

Has Chassidus Lost Its Way? Have Chassidim Lost Perspective of what Chassidus Came to Accomplish? Is Chabad Today a Break Away From the Past? The Debate Between the Baal HaTanya and his Colleagues -- and Its Results Today.

This discussion was presented during Rabbi YY Jacobson's morning Chassidus class, on 6 Av, 5776, August 10, 2016, at Ohr Chaim Shul, in Monsey, NY. It came as a response to a question by one of the students who wondered why many of the fundamental ideas of the Baal Shem Tov and Chassidus were not (at least from his experience) being taught, practiced and implemented in Chassidic communities today.

Please leave your comment below!

  • Anonymous -3 years ago

    Question for Rabbi YY

    This idea is super interesting and extremely comforting when we try so hard to be consistent in our avodah and learning, but nevertheless we can barely feel the passion. 

    Is it possible that some Lubavitcher chassidim have veered from the tradtional ChaBaD mahalach, with the obsession, etc. with the figure of RaMaSH, both during his lifetime and after he passed away? This veering is not an official evolution in the court's philosophy, becuase the Rebbe clearly opposed cult to his persoanlity, but in any case... 

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  • NA

    Ned Alfred -6 years ago


    Did the Alter Rebbe in fact send shluchim to Berlin and Paris to spread Hassidus? Not that I’m aware of.The Tzemach Tzedek spent his life fighting haskalah - not trying to bring the maskilim into the homes of his hassidim.Sorry,but the “shlichus “is a chiddush of dor shevii,and it has taken a huge toll in the. Chasidishkeit and erlichkeit of the Lubavitcher movement.

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    • MZ

      Mendel Zilbereberg -6 years ago

      While I do not know the complete history of chabad in porevious generations, except that at a time when ritual observance and Jewish continuity was under attack by seriously unfriendly host countries, Chabad had an underground unparalledled network of covert shluchim that attempted to address these issues. 

      When Chabad reached the shores of America, the previous Rebbe was one of the few religious chassidic leaders to understand, synthesize and adjust to the fact that the United States was not the oppressive environment of Europe and that the current threat of decreasing ritual observance and intermarriage had to be addressed in a different way based on the different hohst environment. As such, he sent emissaries to a number of host cities. Shortly thereafter, after the Rebbe assumed the mantle of leadership, he ran with the idea and expanded it, and it was established in a way that it could survive and flourish - as it has since his passing. 

      With regard to your last sentence, I will be generous and assusme that your ignorance drives your opinion specifically, I mean your ignorance of what chassidus is and of the frumkeit of shluchim and their families when compared with the virtual trainwreck of frumkeit in the other chassidic segments.

      Finally, I applaud your choice of name for yourself as "untrue".

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  • T

    Terry -6 years ago

    Is Chabad today a breakaway

    In very secular terms. the sign of a great leader is one who empowers those who are following him...that seems to be the core essence of Chabad..how blessed we are.

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  • א

    אדם -7 years ago

    Please refer to Kumzits Farbrengen by Rabbi Jacobson from 10 Shvat 5776 towards the end, the story about the potatoes. You see in the old days the chossid that davened with fire screaming his heart out was one way and the chossid who took hours to inspire himself through limud hachasiddus was another. One was milchig and one was fleishig. But today in a generation where having in mind the simple meaning of the words of davening is no longer a given, it's all potatoes. Now please don't take this wrongly to mean it's all nothing, on the contrary everything helps and everything works. Nothing is mutually exclusive anymore, learn some chassidus inspire yourself to the best of your ability and then scream your heart out! we so need any life any chiyus grab it any way you can, just try to make sure it's real and it's you.

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  • EG

    Esther Gurary -7 years ago

    Aharon, I'm afraid you are wrong. Chabad chassidim and shluchim are one hundred percent "required to full of shas and poskim." It's a total misconception to think otherwise.

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Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • August 11, 2016
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  • 7 Av 5776
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Dedicated in the loving memory of Yehudis Dina bas Meir Reuvain.


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