To Be Lubavitch
The intent of this book, To Be Lubavitch, is to address the questions, what is a current day Lubavitcher chasid and what are the actual practices of this chasidic movement. This book is necessary today because although we don’t’ see or hear the Rebbe, nevertheless, he is our present day Rebbe through his writings and directives. This book shares the Rebbe’s view.
Since Gimmel Tammuz, so many more Chabad institutions have opened; including many more yeshivos and girl schools. Lubavitch families are growing, thank G-d, by leaps and bounds. People from various backgrounds including the Modern Orthodox, non-observant, Litvish and other chasidic movements, are for the first time “tasting” Lubavitch. There is a great thirst to know, understand and live like a Lubavitcher.
Conversely, there are those that decide for themselves what Lubavitch is or should be. However, a Lubavitcher is a chasid. A chasid is a follower—a kabbalas ol’nik. We aren’t a “feel-good” chasidic movement. We survived Stalin with self-sacrifice not with selfishness. We follow our Rebbeim.
Chabad-Lubavitch is first and foremost part of chasidic Judaism. Chasidic Judaism was founded by the holy Baal Shem Tov who in turn was succeeded by the Maggid of Mezritch. He had many disciples. His youngest one was our first Rebbe the founder of Chabad, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, known in Lubavitch circles as the Alter Rebbe. The Alter Rebbe professed the teachings of the Maggid and Baal Shem Tov.
Today’s contemporary Lubavitch movement is not a social organization or another Jewish movement. Rather it is a group of chasidim which adhere to the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov as defined by the Alter Rebbe. If we understand and accept this, what follows is that our credo cannot and does not deviate from the basic teaching of chasidic Judaism. Lubavitcher chasidim conform to the practices and guidelines of chasidic Jewry. All of Lubavitch’s social and outreach programs, are a derivative of it is chasidic principles. If there is a discrepancy between the social outreach and the chasidic principle, as Lubavitcher chasidim, the chasidic principle governs.