Center for Torah Demographics
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Identifying Chabad

The Problem: Resources:
  • michtavim on the subject from roshei yeshivos.
  • The complete Hebrew text of "על התורה ועל התמורה" (large PDF file) - an important collection of essays and documents relevant to this issue.
  • The complete Hebrew text of "קונטרס האמת" (large PDF file) - a pamphlet written some years ago to intelligently expose and analyze Chabad deviations.  In many ways, both of these publications share the goals and methods of "Identifying Chabad" (and, in fact, pre-date it).
Face to Face: Chabad Beliefs in the Real World:

Why have we created this web site (and gathered the more extensive resources found in the book that accompanies it)?

So that no one should ever be able to say he hasn’t got enough information to make an intelligent decision. We believe that we’ve presented enough facts (whether through original documents, full quotations from candid, insider sources or thoughts and letters of talmidei chochomim who are familiar with the situation) that anyone, after having carefully read through the material, can comfortably draw his own conclusions. Those conclusions may be different from ours, but at least they’ll be informed.

We also believe that the problem is serious enough to require action…and that precious little action has yet been taken.  This will all become clear as you read through the material on this web site.

Now is probably a good time to acknowledge a difficulty that any discussion of Chabad will inescapably encounter: there is no hard, demographic evidence proving how many or how few Lubavitchers hold unacceptable beliefs. Any evidence we are going to present is, by the very nature of the argument, going to be circumstantial.  What’s important, though, is for us to employ a transparency of method that allows our readers to retrace the trail of evidence and to intelligently judge for themselves.

“But hasn’t Chabad accomplished so much for Klal Yisroel? Can their loyalty to Torah really be questioned?”

We, the people of the Torah, believe in a G-d Who knows all, remembers all and withholds due reward from no creature, no matter how humble.  If a community has accomplished something of value, we needn’t worry about its place in G-d’s universe: G-d Himself can handle these matters quite well.  In fact, it’s really none of our business.

Our job is to protect and perpetuate His perfect Torah and to transmit it unchanged to our children. If corrupted beliefs and practices have found their way into the Chabad community and are already quickly spreading beyond their borders, passivity isn’t an option.

But why should we care? Why don’t we just let them alone?

  • Because these are our beloved brothers and sisters.  If they, as a community, have become confused about central Torah values, we dare not abandon them to their plight.  How can we intelligently and productively reach out to the open minded among them and to those now considering joining their movement if we don’t even understand how they think? If the reports of cult-like social pressures being exerted against Lubavitchers trying to leave turn out to be true, how can we not offer at least minimal resources and sympathy in support of those who fight?
  • Because their teachers are among those educating our children in mainstream frum schools in nearly every city in North America.  What is their curriculum?
  • Because their shochtim are entrusted with the delicate and precise task of producing kosher meat in greater numbers than any other group and their sofrim are producing significant numbers of sifrei Torah, tefilin and mezuzos.  What are their kavanos?
  • Because their rabbis are leading shuls and guiding and staffing influential kashrus agencies throughout the world.  What are the consequences?
  • Because their ideology is false and our own silence on the subject communicates a very strange message to our children and to the rest of the world.

A Note On Hatred.

We have long noted how Lubavitchers often respond to even the mildest and most balanced criticism with the charge of sinas chinum.  This is true no matter how objective or even friendly is the tone of any letter or book on the subject.  This is also true regardless of the lack of any evidence of actual bad feeling. It has unfortunately become utterly predictable that the principle reactions to any suggestion that there might be some problems in Chabad ideology or practice consist of deeply emotional (and often incoherent) accusations of personal hatred and venom.

This is a real shame because it makes it virtually impossible for anyone to engage in intelligent and productive dialogue on the issues that really matter. 

But why is it so? We have some idea but feel that this isn’t the place to discuss it.  Rather, we only request that any Lubavitchers among our readers who feel driven to react to this material, should do so in the calm, scholarly spirit of its creation and address only matters of true substance.  If we’ve erred or omitted what’s important, please do let us know.