2014-10-21

Chabad and other Chassidisms #Judaism

10.14: relig/judaism/Chabad and other Chassidisms:
21: summary:
. I'm studying Judaism through chabad.org,
and today's topic is "a Lubavitcher Rebbe";
. I found definitions for chassidism, Rebbe,
Chabad, and Chabad-Lubavitch .

14, 21: web: the Lubavitcher Rebbe?:
about Chabad-Lubavitch:
. Chabad-Lubavitch is a philosophy,
a movement, and an organization.
. "Chabad" is a Hebrew acronym
for the three intellectual faculties of
wisdom, comprehension, and knowledge.
. it teaches understanding and recognition of the Creator,
the role and purpose of creation,
and the importance and unique mission of each creature.
. "Lubavitch" (russian "city of brotherly love")
is the name of the town in White Russia
where the movement was based for more than a century.
. the "Lubavitcher Rebbe" means a leader of
the Lubavitcher movement .
The origins of today’s Chabad-Lubavitch organization
can be traced to the early 1940s, when
the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe,
Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn
of righteous memory (1880–1950),
appointed his son-in-law and later successor,
Rabbi Menachem Mendel, to head the newly founded
educational and social service arms of the movement.
Lubavitch chassidim:
Lubavitch Chassidism is also called Chabad;
Chabadniks [or chassidim] spurn asceticism,
but believe in the values of devekut (attachment),
hitlahavut (enthusiasm) and kavana (devotion).
What to call the 7th Lubavitcher Rebbe?
Often times a few different rebbes are mentioned
(either previous Chabad rebbes or
rebbes of other Chasudusim) in the same talk
and then "The Rebbe" becomes ambiguous.
I have heard the 7th Rebbe called:
The current rebbe, Our rebbe; most often: The rebbe;
I've never heard him called:
The 7th rebbe, The last rebbe.
. For the several decades that the late
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneurson zt'l,
the 7th Lubavitcher Rebbe,
held that title,  he was simply "the rebbe";
his deceased father-in-law, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneurson zt'l,
was "der friedeger rebbe" (the previous rebbe).
Had an eighth Lubavitcher Rebbe been named,
this would have been much simpler:
he would have taken the title "the rebbe",
and some other term would have been used for
Rabbi Menachem Mendel.
(The same last name between the 6th and 7th rebbes
makes this all the more confusing.)
-- actually all of the Lubavitcher Rebbeim (except the first two),
-- were called "Schneersohn", not just the 6th and 7th.
But there hasn't been a Lubavitcher Rebbe since.
In subjects intended for broader audiences,
I'd probably spell it out, as I've done above:
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneurson zt'l,
the late seventh rebbe of Lubavitch.
21: Chasudusim?:
"Chabad rebbes or rebbes of other Chasudusim"

Chassid, The: (lit. "pious"); 
(a) one who goes beyond the letter of the law
(b) a member of the chassidic community;
one who follows the ways of Chassidism
and studies its teachings
(c) an adherent and follower of a chassidic Rebbe
intro to Chassidic character:
"chassid" originally meant pious.
according to the Talmud, a “chassid” is a person who
fulfills his or her duties toward G‑d
and fellow “beyond the line of the law”
—beyond what is commanded and obligatory.
. in the modern chassidic movement
a chassid is a mystic,
one who masters their study of the Kabbalah
Chassidic teaching takes the deepest secrets of Torah
and makes them comprehensible to every individual.
. a chassid has empathy and is self-sacrificing
for the process raising the conditions of all .
. a chassid is progressive,
always looking to improve self and community .
Chassidism: 
(a) The movement within Judaism founded by
Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760),
stressing service of G-d through the mystical
in addition to the legalistic dimension of Judaism,
the power of joy, love of G-d and one's fellow,
emotional involvement in prayer,
finding G-dliness in every aspect of one's existence,
and the elevation of the material universe;
(b) the teachings and philosophy of this movement;
see also Chabad [ie, Chabad-Lubavitch]:A chassidic movement that emphasizes the importance of
"Chabad," (wisdom, understanding and knowledge);
the concept of studying and understanding G-d
and His relationship with the world.
Lubavitch was the center of the Chabad Chassidism
for four generations.
Chassidic Movement Founded (1734):
Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, a member of
the society of "hidden tzaddikim"
was instructed by his masters to reveal himself
and begin to publicly disseminate his teachings.
This he did on his 36th birthday, Elul 18, 5494 (1734).
hidden tzaddikim:
Our holy books say that every generation actually has
a minimum (there may be more) of 72 holy men,
36 who live in Israel, and 36 who live outside of Israel.
The primary source for this teaching is in the Talmud,
Succah 45b:
"The world never has less than thirty-six righteous men
who receive the Divine Presence every day,
for it is said, 'Happy are they that wait lo [for Him]'
and the numerical value of 'lo' is thirty-six."
Tzadik (plural: Tzadikim):
"justice" or "righteousness",  also the root of
tzedakah ('charity', literally 'righteousness').

Tzadikim_Nistarim (hidden righteous ones):
. they emerge from their self-imposed concealment
and, by the mystic powers, which they possess,
they succeed in averting the threatened disasters
of a people persecuted by the enemies that surround them.
They return to their anonymity
as soon as their task is accomplished,
'concealing' themselves once again in a Jewish community
wherein they are relatively unknown.
. "Lamedvavnik" is the Yiddish term for one of the
36 humble righteous ones or Tzadikim
mentioned in kabbalah or Jewish mysticism.
According to this teaching, at any given time
there are at least 36 holy persons in the world
who are Tzadikim.
These holy people are hidden;
i.e., nobody knows who they are.
According to some versions of the story,
they themselves may not know who they are.
For the sake of these 36 hidden saints,
God preserves the world even if the rest of humanity
has degenerated to the level of total barbarism.
This is similar to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah
where the god said he would spare the city of Sodom
if it contained at least 10 righteous men.
Since nobody knows who the Lamedvavniks are,
 not even themselves,
every Jew should act as if he or she might be one of them;
i.e., lead a holy and humble life and
pray for the sake of fellow human beings.
It is also said that one of these 36
could potentially be the Jewish Messiah
if the world is ready for them to reveal themselves.