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Rebbe
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If Pharaoh Was My Rebbe

Pharaoh calls his Torah the Torah of freedom…

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Messianic Skepticism

One impression that emerges from reading the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s letters on matters of faith is that deep skepticism and profound belief are not opposites, but rather belong together in a healthy soul. You can see this in the way the Rebbe describes the historical giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, taking a Kuzari-like tack […]

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Faith vs. Trust

Faith is to stand in relation with the creator, and know my sins require punishment. Trust is to stand beyond relation with the creator, and therefore have an unreckoned future of goodness. Foolishness is not to know Him, wisdom is to relate to Him through intermediaries, and faith is to relate to Him directly through […]

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If Antiochus Was My Rebbe

If Antiochus was my Rebbe (and such a thing is thoroughly impossible) he’d tell me how beautiful Judaism is. Antiochus looks at his men, at his enemies, at his deities, and sees a sublime order. Each of them is part of a story, which is another way of saying they each want something that they […]

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Our Mystic Generation

Every year, Reb Shlomo ‘the Yellow’, the melamed of Nevel, would walk to Lubavitch to spend the Simchat Torah festival with his rebbe, Rabbi Sholom DovBer. Even in his later years when his strength had failed him, he refused to climb onto a wagon for even a minute; every step of the way was taken […]

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Why the Rebbe Stayed in America

The Lubavitcher Rebbe is a prophet. Time and again we ask him, respectful and pleading, “Why won’t you visit Israel? Why won’t you move to Israel? How can a leader of world Jewry avoid the Holy Land?” Then the Rebbe’s response. He smiles, reminds us of the laws that would not permit his return if […]

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My Rebbe Is An Activist, But I’m Not

Even respectable chassidim agree that talk is cheap. I’ve heard them speak about it for hours at farbrengens. However, every respectable chassid also knows that the three garments of the soul, in descending order of truth/reality, are thought, speech, and action. So really, action is cheap. Maybe that’s why Jews love action. Oh, I’m not […]

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