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The Chabad Innovation

The Chabad Innovation

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The Development of the Chabad Genre of Chasidic Teachings
After his liberation from Czarist prison on the 19th of Kislev, 1798, the Alter Rebbe recounted that the souls of his masters, the Baal Shem Tov and Maggid of Mezritch, had visited him in prison, explaining that his ordeal on earth was the result of a decree against him in Heaven above, because of his widespread dissemination of Chasidic teachings. When he asked if he should stop teaching, his masters replied: “On the contrary. Your liberation from prison will be the Heavenly sign that you must not only continue, you must increase!”
Do-It-Yourself Judaism
Chabad is a cognitive approach that has faith in the divine spark within each of us, and empowers us to find that spark and fan its flames. Not through coercion, not through guilt or tirades from the pulpit, nor by promises of instant enlightenment does Chabad reach the Jew, but by facilitating each one in his or her own path.
How Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi Successfully Preserved and Perpetuated the Teachings of The Baal Shem Tov
Can the teachings espoused by the Chabad school be regarded as authentically representative of the chasidic teachings of the Baal Shem Tov? Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak of Lubavitch concludes that the answer is yes. Nearly eight decades later, Prof. Immanuel Etkes arrived at the same conclusion.
Q. What is Chasidism? A. It's difficult to say. An examination of the internal lieterature addressing this question draws the conclusion that Chasidism is no less than the paradoxical communication of the ineffable core of divinity.
There are many similarities between Maimonides and the Alter Rebbe, the Founder of Chabad Chassidism. They both faced extreme opposition to their teachings, yet the opposition fell away. Eventually, their detractors became ardent disciples.
The mystical secrets of Torah were always studied by the Jewish people, but during most of Jewish history they were guarded and only accessible to a scholarly elite. In later generations these teachings were disseminated to a wider extent, but even then, they were only comprehensible to the initiated; the spiritual illumination of these teachings reached the outside world through those who studied them.
Rabbi Shneur Zalman’s Contribution to the Revolution of Chassidic Thought
Now, the tables were turned. The question was no longer how a perfect Creator could be involved in His imperfect world. The question was now, how could He not be? If He is not there, how could there be anything at all?
A Letter by Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn of Lubavitch
The life, teachings and works of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of Chabad.