Author Topic: "Are We In Galuth?-The Approach of HaRav David Bar-Hayim To Geulah"  (Read 2747 times)

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"Are We In Galuth?-The Approach of HaRav David Bar-Hayim To Geulah"    

"Are We In Galuth?-The Approach of HaRav David Bar-Hayim To Geulah" by Yair HaKohen.

I was priveleged not long ago to have a conversation with the head of Machon Shilo, the Ba'al Nusach Eretz Yisrael, HaRav David Bar-Hayim.

I told him that I had been party to a different conversation in which a good Jew made the claim that those of us who live in Eretz Yisrael do not live in "galus" geographically but we do in terms of the period of time in which we live. I asked HaRav Bar-Hayim if he necessarily had a problem with what this Jew had postulated. In the past I had heard the Rav state that there is no halachic category of "atchalta d'geulah" and therefore we need not feel the need to use such terminology. Furthermore, I had heard the Rav state that theoretically we can not be completely certain that geulah-related processes such as the existence of a Jewish sovereign State or the State's possession of certain lands are irreversible ones. That is, hypothetically, Jews could have to return to Brooklyn or Marrakesh. Of course,the Rav also stated that such a possibility seemed quite remote-but the point was that he did not believe it was correct to confer irreversibility upon these processes. I then pointed out to the Rav that there is universal agreement that the "geulah shleimah" (complete redemption) has not yet taken place, i.e. the Temple for example has not yet been rebuilt, and if we combine this fact with his other aforementioned views perhaps it is not incorrect to state that we live in a period of time which can still be characterized as galuth.

The Rav clearly dismissed characterizing our period in history as galuth. He told me that galuth and geulah are mistakenly viewed as the equivalent of a light switch which is either turned on or off. Today we live in an era in which elements of geulah clearly exist. The existence of a sovereign Jewish State where the majority of the world’s Jews live makes it absurd to say that the Jewish nation is "in galus".  The fact that Jews who generally without any good excuse choose to remain in places outside of Israel does not make this otherwise. Actually, the fact that nearly all Jews who live in galuth do so voluntarily makes it quite illogical to claim that we are "in galus." If a spirit of teshuvah were to spread among Jews in America and other countries and millions would make aliyah then we could undoubtedly upgrade our current situation into a much better one. That potential does exist and thus the absurdity of describing our period as "galus" as though  a Divine Decree were somehow rendering impossible a steady progression into what all would consider "geulah shleimah."

The Rav's  point is that there exists such a thing as "shades of gray" when it comes to geulah and galuth. The need to view the concepts of geulah and galuth simplistically results from a widespread lack of sophistication. This lack of sophistication has had unfortunate consequences in creating unrealistic eschatological expectations when relating to recent realities.

Among the national religious the expectation of irreversibility of geulah processes has led to crushing frustration and despair among some for whom the surrender of land to our enemies was perceived as an impossibility. For many years many in the national religious camp who felt that the State of Israel marks the "atchalta d'Geulah" took as a given that the next stages of our history can only bring further progress. Therefore, they reasoned, territorial withdrawals simply could not happen since that would constitute a reversion to a galuth reality which we have left behind. For such people, the lack of willingness to adopt a more nuanced approach towards geulah created the illusion that reversals such as the Oslo withdrawals and destruction of Gush Qatif could never happen. And, as in the past, unreasonable messianic expectations have led to post-traumatic distress.

Among the Haredi population the perception that we are "in galus" even as we live in Eretz Yisrael has created indifference towards our national aspirations. Why join the I.D.F., fight for Eretz Yisrael, or unabashedly support the settlement enterprise when in any case nothing has changed? Facts such as the existence of Jewish sovereignty, the unprecedented migration to Israel in the last century, the revival of the Hebrew language are not all that relevant in the mainstream Haredi mindset. These facts do not serve as an inspiration to upgrade our national status in a proactive fashion. Yes, there are Haredi idealists who wish to see more and more Jews observing mitzvoth in order to "bring Mashiach" but the prospect of engaging in projects to upgrade the national infrastructures which have been created is something towards which only the national religious seriously aspire. A simplistic approach towards geulah has prevented a very large religious population from being galvanized and motivated to create a truly Jewish State.

Not enough has been said regarding the tragedy that is Habad and how its false messianism has also been encouraged by widespread lack of sophistication regarding geulah. Habad is an excellent example of what happens when one takes the "light switch" understanding of geulah and galuth to an extreme. If geulah is a completely new reality which arrives in an instant, with mashiach so to speak landing in a spaceship and the Temple falling from Heaven, then one need not be surprised when a movement takes this irrational approach a step further, utterly and completely rejecting all surrounding realities, interpreting halachic writings of Rambam as poetry, and to a large extent refusing to acknowledge that Rabbi Schneerson is no longer alive. When one creates a conceptual dichotomy between geulah and galuth such that the latter refers to our current reality and the former to an otherworldly reality of a completely different nature, then it only requires a hop skip and a jump to enter the realm of fantasaic, dream-like thinking. According to the Rambam one of the criteria for identifying a messianic candidate is his engaging in fighting the wars, i.e. literal wars, of Israel. Habad thought it logical to claim that Rabbi Schneerson fit this criteria though he clearly did not lead the State of Israel in any wars whatsoever. Such an approach which is completely disconnected from the facts is the culmination of a haredi approach which shows no willingness to view current national realities in an objective manner.

Rav Bar-Hayim has told me that it would be accurate to understand the word "geulah" in reference to current events as  meaning a process of "redeeming". Our job is to engage in "geulah", and not merely to engage in observations of where exactly we are on the galuth-geulah timeline. We must do all those things which are incumbent upon us as a result of them being misswoth. Waiting for mashiach or even praying for mashiach is insufficient. We must do all those misswoth which we are capable of doing. And finally, we must remember a vital point which Rav Bar-Hayim has made repeatedly. Speculating about how precisely to categorize eschatologically the period in which we live is a counter-productive distraction. What is of utmost significance is our actions.

http://machonshilo.org/en/eng/component/content/article/34-featured/576--qare-we-in-galuth-the-approach-of-harav-david-bar-hayim-to-geulahq
.   ד  עֹזְבֵי תוֹרָה, יְהַלְלוּ רָשָׁע;    וְשֹׁמְרֵי תוֹרָה, יִתְגָּרוּ בָם
4 They that forsake the law praise the wicked; but such as keep the law contend with them.

ה  אַנְשֵׁי-רָע, לֹא-יָבִינוּ מִשְׁפָּט;    וּמְבַקְשֵׁי יְהוָה, יָבִינוּ כֹל.   
5 Evil men understand not justice; but they that seek the LORD understand all things.

Offline muman613

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Re: "Are We In Galuth?-The Approach of HaRav David Bar-Hayim To Geulah"
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2012, 07:46:17 PM »
It appears that this rabbi completely misunderstands what Chabad is.... It is not the belief that Moshiach will come in a spaceship or any other meshugah idea. Maybe if he tried to understand the mission of Chabad he would have a better understanding.

I have never heard any Chabad Rabbi refer to Rabbi Schnerson as Moshiach. And those who did claim he was are no longer involved in the organization {at least were I live}. To continue to claim that they say this requires one to close ones eyes and mind to the truth.



I am so tired of this Rabbi speaking Ill of other Jews... Sorry Tag..

PS: There is not a single Jewish organization which encourages Jews to do the Mitzvot more than Chabad. It is sad that people like Rabbi Bar-Hayim considers it his right to malign such a great Jewish organization. I wonder what this rabbi does to even hold a candle to the wonderful mitzvot that Chabad Rabbis have encouraged?

And Tag.... Shame on you for this obvious slander...


« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 07:51:18 PM by muman613 »
You shall make yourself the Festival of Sukkoth for seven days, when you gather in [the produce] from your threshing floor and your vat.And you shall rejoice in your Festival-you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, who are within your cities
Duet 16:13-14

Offline muman613

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Re: "Are We In Galuth?-The Approach of HaRav David Bar-Hayim To Geulah"
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2012, 08:05:42 PM »
Regarding whether Moshiach will 'come in an instant' there is ample evidence that this is the case...



http://www.mashiach.org/study/study25.html

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How will Moshiach come?

One tradition, based on Biblical verses, suggests that redemption will come suddenly, changing reality in an instant, before our very eyes, as the saying goes. For example, the prophet Malachi declares, "The lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his Temple," which is understood as a reference to Moshiach. Another verse, this one from Isaiah, states, "The harbinger of Zion - behold, behold," that is, Moshiach will arrive immediately, without any advance warning or preparation.

That Moshiach can come instantaenously, even miraculously, has been an integral part of Jewish thought and faith throughout the ages. Thus, it is written of Rabbi Elimelech of Lyzhansk, a famous early Chassidic Rebbe, that his prayers secured a Heavenly promise there would be no wars or long period of suffering before Moshiach. Rather, the miller will stand with his measuring cup, selling flour, and the clothier will stand with his measuring tape, selling fabric, when all of a sudden Eliyahu will arrive and announce, behold, Moshiach has come!

And, of course, the very belief in the coming of Moshiach, which is a fundamental principle of Judaism, includes the daily expectation of his arrival - without preparation or forewarning. As the popular expression of Maimonides' principle puts it: even though he tarries, I will wait for him every day, which means, Moshiach can come at any instant.

.
.
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http://www.simpletoremember.com/jewish/blog/purim-the-last-laugh/

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In the Psalm of Shir Hama’alot that we sing after a festive meal there is a line that yearns for the coming of Mashiach (Messiah): “Then will our mouths be filled with laughter.…” The coming of Mashiach is compared to a birth; the tragedies and natural disasters of our era are his “birth pangs.” In birth, great pain is turned instantly to enormous joy; similarly, when Mashiach comes, all the pain of the Jewish People will be reversed to joy in an instant. Just as in Purim, he will come in crisis, in catastrophic reversal - hippuch. He will come in the darkest hour, just before the dawn.

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/364281/jewish/Intro-The-Journey-of-Life.htm

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The time of Moshiach is neither far off, nor an impossibility in our lifetime. Moshiach can come in an instant. Each positive deed that is performed in this world can be the one that tips the scales of good over evil and ushers in the era of Moshiach.

http://chatzos.ilovetorah.com/

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           There are many teachings on what we must do in order to bring about this final geula, redemption. Some important aspects of this redemption are that Jews from all over the world will return to their Jewish roots and following halacha[3]. The Gemara[4] says that if the Jewish nation keeps two Shabbosos in a row, moshiach will come instantly. Another aspect is ridding the baseless hatred within us aimed at different movements of Judaism and our fellow neighbor. Rabbi Schneerson taught that learning about moshiach and the laws of the Temple hasten moshiach’s arrival. All these aspects are an important part of bringing the final redemption.

It is a persistent theme of Purim that the entire world can turn around in an instant.

PS: All of this is in line with the belief that Moshiach will be a normal human being born of a man and woman descended from King David...

You shall make yourself the Festival of Sukkoth for seven days, when you gather in [the produce] from your threshing floor and your vat.And you shall rejoice in your Festival-you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, who are within your cities
Duet 16:13-14

Online Tag-MehirTzedek

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Re: "Are We In Galuth?-The Approach of HaRav David Bar-Hayim To Geulah"
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2012, 08:44:45 PM »
Muman- The piece was written by Yair HaKohen, and not Rav Bar-Haim, which is regardless of the point. The quotes you brought were precisely what was addressed (partly at least) especially the Chabad websites (not hating, but you are proving the point),

"Habad is an excellent example of what happens when one takes the "light switch" understanding of geulah and galuth to an extreme. "

 The sources your brought prove the point. And the sources for the most part are Chabad (that you brought), its just taking bites and pieces and making own story line. No substantial sources of authority- the sages (Chazal).

 P.S.- I don't believe that was or is meant to be a chabad bashing essay (or post).
.   ד  עֹזְבֵי תוֹרָה, יְהַלְלוּ רָשָׁע;    וְשֹׁמְרֵי תוֹרָה, יִתְגָּרוּ בָם
4 They that forsake the law praise the wicked; but such as keep the law contend with them.

ה  אַנְשֵׁי-רָע, לֹא-יָבִינוּ מִשְׁפָּט;    וּמְבַקְשֵׁי יְהוָה, יָבִינוּ כֹל.   
5 Evil men understand not justice; but they that seek the LORD understand all things.

Offline muman613

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Re: "Are We In Galuth?-The Approach of HaRav David Bar-Hayim To Geulah"
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2012, 08:53:35 PM »
Muman- The piece was written by Yair HaKohen, and not Rav Bar-Haim, which is regardless of the point. The quotes you brought were precisely what was addressed (partly at least) especially the Chabad websites (not hating, but you are proving the point),

"Habad is an excellent example of what happens when one takes the "light switch" understanding of geulah and galuth to an extreme. "

 The sources your brought prove the point. And the sources for the most part are Chabad (that you brought), its just taking bites and pieces and making own story line. No substantial sources of authority- the sages (Chazal).

 P.S.- I don't believe that was or is meant to be a chabad bashing essay (or post).

Fine... I am sorry if my tone is defensive..

But my point is that Chabad believes that through mitzvot observance that we can bring Moshiach. This is not just Chabad but it comes from the Gemara {which I mentioned} which says that if the entire Am Yisroel observed two consecutive Shabbats according to Halacha then Moshiach would instantly come... Did Chabad write this?

You shall make yourself the Festival of Sukkoth for seven days, when you gather in [the produce] from your threshing floor and your vat.And you shall rejoice in your Festival-you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, who are within your cities
Duet 16:13-14

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Re: "Are We In Galuth?-The Approach of HaRav David Bar-Hayim To Geulah"
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2012, 10:12:16 AM »
Fine... I am sorry if my tone is defensive..

 which says that if the entire Am Yisroel observed two consecutive Shabbats according to Halacha then Moshiach would instantly come...

 Not exactly. This is from Rav Kahane's book Or Harayon volume 2- (English edition) page  983 (last sentence.)
 " ' If Israel kept only two Sabbaths according to their laws [kehilchatan], we would immediately be redeemed.'
In other words, if we fulfill all the laws  of the Sabbath, including adding from the non-holy to the holy, corresponding to the Messianic era, then G-D Himself will add from the non-holy and hasten the eternal Sabbath. "

 
.   ד  עֹזְבֵי תוֹרָה, יְהַלְלוּ רָשָׁע;    וְשֹׁמְרֵי תוֹרָה, יִתְגָּרוּ בָם
4 They that forsake the law praise the wicked; but such as keep the law contend with them.

ה  אַנְשֵׁי-רָע, לֹא-יָבִינוּ מִשְׁפָּט;    וּמְבַקְשֵׁי יְהוָה, יָבִינוּ כֹל.   
5 Evil men understand not justice; but they that seek the LORD understand all things.

Offline Kahane-Was-Right BT

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Re: "Are We In Galuth?-The Approach of HaRav David Bar-Hayim To Geulah"
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2012, 01:32:55 AM »
It appears that this rabbi completely misunderstands what Chabad is.... It is not the belief that Moshiach will come in a spaceship or any other meshugah idea. Maybe if he tried to understand the mission of Chabad he would have a better understanding.

I have never heard any Chabad Rabbi refer to Rabbi Schnerson as Moshiach. 

Then you haven't spoken to many Chabad rabbis.
There are literally thousands of chabadniks and chabad rabbis out there who profess this belief.   There are thousands more who believe it but prefer not to admit it publicly for various reasons.   (And of course, there are also thousands who are against this, I hope).
The fact that you only have experience in your personal life with a handful of rabbis who do not subscribe to these problematic beliefs does not make all the others no longer exist.


Also I do not know if the author of this article is a rabbi (you referred to him as such).   He signed his name as Yair HaKohen, so it may be he is not a rabbi but a student.    However, having heard Rabbi Bar Hayim speak about Chabad, both in audio and in print, it does seem this author's statements regarding some chabad people is in line with what Rav Bar Hayim has said about the subject.


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And those who did claim he was are no longer involved in the organization {at least were I live}. To continue to claim that they say this requires one to close ones eyes and mind to the truth.

Maybe where you live, they cleaned house, and that is to be commended.   But they certainly didn't in many, many places.   It is closing one's eyes to the truth if you think your local community is representative of every single chabad in the world.

And if you just want to go by personal experience alone, I knew a Chabad rabbi and when I asked him point blank if the rebbe was moshiach, he wouldn't deny it.   He said things like "it doesn't really matter whether he was or not."   or "We'll all find out soon enough who is the moshiach" etc.    Never would flat out say, "No.  He wasn't."    There are many within Chabad who are like that rabbi I knew, unfortunately.   Of course there are also many like the rabbis you know, who do not believe this stuff.    But I wonder, have you asked your rabbi point blank?    I think I once requested this from you or brought this point up before to see if he will deny in no uncertain terms that the rebbe was moshiach - specifically because I know there are rabbis out there who will try to get around that question by not answering directly.   Will your rabbi say point blank "The rebbe was not moshiach?"    - Just wondering.

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I am so tired of this Rabbi speaking Ill of other Jews... Sorry Tag..

Why is it speaking ill of other Jews?

This author, Yair Hakohen, brought up an issue in the Jewish world which everyone knows exists (apparently, except for you).   He examined the idea of galuth and geulah, the perspectives on these topics in various sectors of the Jewish world, and how certain views of geulah have impacted the development of that issue which is a problem within Chabad, that some are fighting against.    You turn around and say, "No, that Issue doesn't even exist, it was rooted out, so therefore you cannot make that point about what is the proper or improper view of geulah and how it impacted problematic beliefs because these beliefs don't even exist anymore and it's slander to bring it up."   - How is it slander? 
First of all, even if you were correct (which you are not) that Chabad has already rooted out all the messichistim from its midst, then wouldn't his point still be valid in a historical sense about how that corrupted belief developed in the first place before Chabad then supposedly rid themselves of its proponents?   Theoretically speaking.    The point is still the exact same whether these people only existed in history (which you admit) or if they also still exist now (which you deny but no one else outside of chabad seems to think so).


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PS: There is not a single Jewish organization which encourages Jews to do the Mitzvot more than Chabad. It is sad that people like Rabbi Bar-Hayim considers it his right to malign such a great Jewish organization. I wonder what this rabbi does to even hold a candle to the wonderful mitzvot that Chabad Rabbis have encouraged?

For one thing, Rav Bar Hayim didn't write the article, but for another, I don't see how the author "slandered Chabad," nor does anyone else if they bring up problematic beliefs that are obviously rampant in Chabad communities and which everyone already knows about.   No one is saying chabad should be shut down.   And Rabbi Bar Hayim has made a point to say that he thinks some of the work Chabad has done is wonderful and very important even if he critiques their hashqafa.   

Offline Kahane-Was-Right BT

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Re: "Are We In Galuth?-The Approach of HaRav David Bar-Hayim To Geulah"
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2012, 01:37:50 AM »
And Muman, once again I think you would benefit greatly from a trip to Israel, where you would find (in addition to the spiritual uplifting experience of traversing the land of our forefathers and all the benefits that come with that), that there are many more chabadniks in Israel who openly profess belief in the rebbe as moshiach (or still alive, or both) than in the United States and other countries.    They even have special flags which they proudly display.    Those are the facts, as uncomfortable as they may be.   It doesn't take away from the good work that Chabad does, or from the Chabad people who don't subscribe to these erroneous and in some cases idolatrous beliefs.

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Re: "Are We In Galuth?-The Approach of HaRav David Bar-Hayim To Geulah"
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2012, 02:40:53 AM »
Shalom KWRBT,

I never said that there was not a problem with some Chabad Rabbis. I have said that I do know several good Chabad Rabbis in my area and I have discussed my concern about this issue with several of them. I do have a friend who is the Mashgiach in the Kitchen at the school I daven for Shabbat with who was raised in a Chabadnik house in New York. He has revealed to me that he has known some Chabad followers who believed that the Rabbi was Moshiach.

But I have asked the Rabbis who I respect their position. And I have heard clearly that they don't believe that he was Moshiach. I myself feel that he could have been Moshiach had he risen to the level of the leader of Israel, but just as other potential Moshiachs he failed to achieve being labeled Moshiach. I also believe that Rabbi Kahane had Moshiach potential...

But I am just tired of hearing the complaints against Chabad. Indeed it is incorrect to believe that the Lubavitch Rebbe was Moshiach. There is no valid argument to make which can prove that he was. I vaguely remember the arguments my friend explained to me but it didn't really make sense in the end.

It is good to warn people from these beliefs. But any criticism should also be given with respect for the good which Chabad is doing every day. And the ultimate goal which the Chabad Rabbis have is to bring every Jew back to mitzvot Observance.

You shall make yourself the Festival of Sukkoth for seven days, when you gather in [the produce] from your threshing floor and your vat.And you shall rejoice in your Festival-you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, who are within your cities
Duet 16:13-14