Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Exaggeration creates mockery

Guest post by Chosid-Maskil

Like most of my fellow Chabad chassidim I highly respect Rabbi Heschel Greenberg. He is one of the most prominent names in Chabad. Thus I was somewhat disappointed reading his article in the Shabbos Hagadol issue of "The Lamplighter", where, writing about the Rebbe he makes the following statement:

   "...never before in history has one individual impacted the lives of so many diverse people in so many different ways. Never before has one Jewish leader connected directly or indirectly with as many Jews on so many levels..."

This naive and childish observation was reminiscent of the ridiculous ‘accolade’ oft repeated about Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz and justifiably blasted on this very blog some time ago.

"Once-in-a-millennium scholar”? Really?

I have noticed over the years that every time Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz gets mentioned in the AJN - whether it be an article or an advertisement we are reminded that the internationally renowned Maven on Torah scholars and rabbis - Time magazine - labelled him as a “once-in-a-millennium scholar”....I am always amazed at the childlike naivety of the average person in accepting and repeating such nonsense. Rabbi Steinsaltz is indeed an extraordinary and notable scholar. But to make and repeat such an absurd statement is mind-boggling. Is he really a greater scholar than the Rambam, Ramban, Rashi, Rosh, Rav Yosef Karo? Or even more recent Gedolim, eg, the Rogatchover, the Chafetz Chaim, the Chazon Ish, etc etc?

Does Rabbi Greenberg expect his readers to believe that the Rebbe ‘impacted’ and ‘connected’ with more Jews than, say, Moshe Rabeinu or Dovid Hamelech or even the Baal Shem Tov!?

Please, I beg my fellow Chassidim, let's not make a mockery of our Rebbe. There was so much true greatness that can be extolled and written about, so, why of why, publish articles that makes us look like naïve and dimwitted adolescents that certainly bring no Kavod to the Rebbe?

(This photo seems to be the Rebbe himself asking the same question...)

! חכמים הזהרו בדבריכם


  1. check out the AJN site today:
    AD in top right hand corner



  2. Thanks chosid-maskil.
    I had similar thoughts when reading this.

    Personally I had no knowledge about Rabbi Greenberg and presumed his is another of the strange characters in Chabadland.

    But I have been informed that he is no dummy and actually a very smart put-together talmid chochom.

    So that makes the question harder.

  3. How many Jews do you think lived in Moshe Rabbenu's or Dovid Hamelech's times? How many Jews were affected directly by the Baal Shem Tov himself?

  4. in truth, he is known to be a great talmid chochom but also as a leading meshichist (probably more because of political reasons than any other reason), hence the quote.

  5. Milhouse, I expected better from you.
    But if you MUST be told, Dovid Hamelech and moshe Rabenu affected ALL of klal yisroel,


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