- Chassidism 2
- Moshe Ben-Chaim
- Readers' critique on "Chassidism"
"The Gra was given the most vicious lies and
misinformation by the enemies of the Jewish people. Based on what he
heard, he made the charem.
- The bulk of those who call themselves chassidic today are very
different from the early chasidim of the gra's period. Yes, they do
have a few crazies. Lubavitch extremists are a scar. However, I would
not apply the Gra's statement to the typical Chassidic movement of
today. I would not say that The Chassidic movement as a whole, as the
Gra held, is not a part of Judaism."
- Mesora Response:
- It is ridiculous to believe that the Gra, or any chocham, would make
decisions, let alone charamos, merely based on non validated
information. To assume that wrong information reached the Gra means to
say that the Gra he was isolated from society and had no means to
validate information. I ask you, perhaps if you hold the Gra could be
fooled, so YOU too can be fooled (by this statement of yours), and in
fact, the Gra DID have correct informaton. Where else do we see such
an argument lodged? According to your reasoning, you must say it is
equally possible that the Chassidim as a whole are being fooled by the
Besht, and he never did miracles. You must admit this.
- You also assume that Rav Yaakov Emden, the Nodah B'Yehuda, and many
other communities who made similar charamos were all isolated from the
real world, and based their charamos on few informants who were really
- Understand how untenable your suggestion is. Don't you know about
halachos of drisha v'chakira? Do you think these great minds would
casually make charamos without verification? Your statement is not
thought out, and it is an attempt to deny history.
- Keep the following in mind:
- 1) Many still believe in miracle workers today, and this is not a
few crazies. (See Saadia Gaon's rebuke of this belief "Emunos
2) Many still believe the Besht did miracles. (See above)
3) Many still alter halacha.
4) Many dress pious outwardly to grab attention to themselves which is
wrong (see Tzfania, 1:8 , see the last "yaish omrim" in the
- 5) The Besht himself was on overindulger of food(3),
not the Torah's view of a chocham.
- 6) Chassidus has at its core, even today, the belief that God
permeates all physical beings. Completely against the authentic
Maimonidean principle that God is not physical.(1)
It also promotes the incorrect notion
that there is good, even in sin, "even in sin are sparks
of good". This is completely against God's own words throughout
the Torah of avoiding sin.
- 7) Chassidus promotes descension into sin by a tzaddik in order to
- Until atleast these last two grave errors are abandoned from
Chassidus, all bans enacted by the Gra and the leaders of that era
remain intact, as these were the Gra's main objections.
- The Gra was adamant about preserving Judaism. The new uprising of
Chassidism was a distortion and a cancer on the pure system of Torah
passed down unadulterated throughout the generations.
- A movement today which embodies the name of Chassidim of old,
displays that the adherents cherish the values of the original
movement. Otherwise they would go by another name. This attitude of
fondly accepting Chassidism, even if not fully practiced, was viewed
by the Gra, Yaakove Emden, Nodah B'Yehuda, and many communities as
dangerous. It can reactivate, and therefore there must be precautions.
- Reader's Question: What's the
proof that Moshe Rabbeinu didn't have the ideas of Chassidim?
What is the proof that George Washington didn't have a
computer? This question is not on the one holding that he didn't have
a computer, but the burden of proof is on the one holding that George
Washington did have a computer. It is suggesting something new,
and less probable.
When less likely facts are suggested, those are the facts which need
support. I don't have to prove that Moshe didn't have
Chassidus, as Chassidus historically was thousands of years after
Moshe. The burden of proof is on those who hold that Moshe did
have chassidus. In truth, the question is as ridiculous as asking one
to disprove George Washington having had a computer.
- To see sources documented, see "The Hasidic
Movement and the Gaon of Vilna", written by Elijah Judah
Schochet, Jason Aaronson Publishers.
- (2) Ibid,
Ibid, page 67