Nazarene Judaism is True Chasidic Judaism
Nazarene Judaism and Chabad
By James Scott Trimm
Soon after the rise of the Rabbinic restoration of Chasidic Judaism under the Besht, the movement came under scrutiny from those attacking the movement as anti-intellectual. This inspired Rebbe Shneur Zalman of Liadi who developed an intellectual approach to Chasidism outlined in his monumental book “Tanya”, a philosophy called “Chabad”. The Chabad philosophy emphasized the mind over the emotions.
Rebbe Zalman's taught (based on the Kabbala) that the intellect consists of three interconnected processes: Chochma (wisdom), Bina (understanding), and Da'at (knowledge).
The emissary Paul, likewise speaks of the top three of the “manifestations of the Holy Spirit” as “The Word of Wisdom”; “Spiritual Discernment” and “Word of Knowledge”. (1Cor. 12)
So far Hasidism focused primarily on the idea that Elohim desires the heart but Rebbe Shneur Zalman argued that Elohim also desires the mind, and that without the mind the heart is useless. With the Chabad philosophy Rebbe Zalman elevated the mind above the heart, saying:
"...understanding is the mother of...fear and love of Elohim.
These are born of knowledge and profound contemplation of the greatness of Elohim."
(Tanya', Shneur Zalman of Liadi, Chapter 13.)
This was actually a return to the philosophy of the Chasidim of the time the Maccabees, for this is also the overriding theme pervading the 4th Book of the Maccabees (which was likely written by Antigones of Soko):
1:1 The word of philosophy that I am about to discuss before you:
If the true mind of shalom (peace) is sovereign to the fear of Elohim. I am an upright adviser to you, that you should pay earnest attention in philosophy.
1:2 For it is also necessary for all men to suffer, more especially these are steps to virtue.
1:3 For I bear a good report:
If the mind of balance is over the emotions that stand against temperance, showing that the mind of virtue rules over gluttony [and] over lust.
1:4 And it is not only over the walk, but also over the other emotions that hinder righteousness. It is shown to be sovereign, over fornication [and] evil and over other emotions that impede courage, over rage, and that a man be not soft before tribulation, and over fear.
1:5 And what if a man shall say that if [the mind of shalom] rules over emotions, how is it not sovereign over forgetfulness and over ignorance? But to say this thing is laughable.
1:6 For it is not over its own emotions that it is sovereign, but over the received emotions. Courage, righteousness and temperance, they [rule], and over the walk. And it is not like these [emotions] are abolished but that we not surrender to them.
1:7 And I have many and other [proofs] brothers, that over the emotions rules the mind of shalom that is to the fear of Elohim.
1:8 But the best indicator I have is those plundered that faced their death by the fear of Elohim, now I speak of Eleazar and seven brothers and their mother with them.
1:9 For they all went over suffering of man unto death, despising surrender. And they proved that the mind is sovereign over the emotions.
1:10 Now I might honor those men now putting my commendation upon them, to go out at this season, because by the fear of Elohim they died with their mother, while I give blessing to them concerning their emotions.
1:11 For they not only astonished all the remnant of the sons of men because of their courage, but also their own tortures. For they caused the downfall of tyranny over the nation. And overcoming the tyrant they purified their land.
1:12 And concerning emotion I shall speak a small account to you. Before that I shall lay out my words of knowledge as I am accustom to do. And then by the help of Elohim the all wise, enter their account.
1:13 The question therefore is this: If the mind is sovereign over emotion.
1:14 But you may ask: What is the mind? And what is emotion? And what are the kinds of emotion? And is the mind sovereign over all of them?
1:15 The mind therefore is thus: That in uprightness we choose the life of wisdom.
1:16 Now wisdom is knowledge of the hosts, of the Godhead, and of manhood and of their effects.
1:17 Now this is the discipline that is in the Torah, that through it also you learn of the Godhead greatly and of manhood to our advantage and obtaining favor.
1:18 Now the forms of wisdom are these: prudence, righteousness, [courage] and temperance.
1:19 Now the head of all of them is prudence because through it the mind rules over all emotions.
(4Macc. 1:1-19 Hebraic Roots Version)
20 Of the passions, pleasure and pain are the two most comprehensive; and they also by nature refer to the soul.
21 And there are many attendant affections surrounding pleasure and pain.
22 Before pleasure is lust; and after pleasure, joy.
23 And before pain is fear; and after pain is sorrow.
24 Wrath is an affection, common to pleasure and to pain, if any one will pay attention when it comes upon him.
25 And there exists in pleasure a malicious disposition, which is the most multiform of all the affections.
26 In the soul it is arrogance, and love of money, and vain gloriousness, and contention, and faithlessness, and the evil eye .
27 In the body it is greediness and gormandizing, and solitary gluttony.
(4Macc. 1:20-27 HRV)
30 For reasoning is the leader of the virtues, but it is the sole ruler of the passions. Observe then first, through the very things which stand in the way of temperance, that reasoning is absolute ruler of the passions.
31 Now temperance consists of a command over the lusts.
32 But of the lusts, some belong to the soul, others to the body: and over each of these classes the reasoning appears to bear sway.
(4Macc. 1:30-32 HRV)
The author of 4th Maccabees gives us many examples. He points out that when we choose not to eat unkosher food, we are exercising this self-control (4Macc. 1:33-35). When the patriarch Yosef (Joseph) resisted the sexual advances of Potiphar’s wife he was also exercising this self-control (4Macc. 2:1-6). Eleazar exercised this same self-control in overcoming the tortures of Antiochus Epiphanies and maintaining his testimony for Torah. Speaking of Eleazar, 4th Maccabees says:
No city besieged ever held out against
mighty vassals coming against its walls
and its various parts like this. He was
dressed in all the armor. For while his
soul was suffering, consumed by torture,
and by tribulation, and by burning, he
conquered the tribulation because of his
mind was fighting with the shield of truth.
(4Macc. 7:4 - HRV)
Hanna and her seven sons likewise exercised this self control in resisting these tortures and holding fast to YHWH, as 4th Maccabees says of her:
Therefore put on the full armor of authority
over the passions, which belongs to
the mind that fears Eloah.
(4Macc. 13:16 HRV)
Likewise the Nazarene Paul writes:
For the implement of our service is not of the flesh, but of the
power of Eloah, and by it we subdue rebellious strongholds.
And we pull down reasoning's and all pride that exalts [itself]
against the knowledge of Eloah, and we lead captive all
thoughts to the obedience of the Messiah.
The Chabad philosophy analyzed the inner struggle of the individual his path to resolution. The philosophy is based on the precept that man himself is not evil; but that each one of us has an inner struggle, characterized by two different inclinations, the good and the bad. (The Encyclopedia of Hasidism, entry: Tanya, Jonathan Sacks, pp. 475–477 (15682–11236)
Likewise Pau writes:
14 For we know that the Torah is of the spirit,
but I am of the flesh and I am sold to sin.
22 For I rejoice in the Torah of Eloah in the inward son of man.
(Romans 7:14, 22 HRV)
Because of this, we are not weary, for even if our
outer man is corrupted, yet that which [is] inside
is renewed day by day.
(2Cor. 4:16 HRV)
for the flesh desires a thing which is opposed to
the Spirit and the Spirit desires a thing that is
opposed to the flesh and the two of these are
opposed to each other, that you do not do the thing
which you desire.
(Gal. 5:17 HRV)
The seventh and last Rebbe of the Rabbinic Chabad movement was Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902-1994). Rebbe Schneerson’s focused his teaching on the impending messianic redemption with a drive to "accelerate the coming of the Messiah". He taught his students to become active in “kiruv” (literally meaning "bringing close", the act of helping another Jew embrace his Judaism). (Hasidism: The movement and its masters, Harry M. Rabinowicz, 1988, pp.83–92, Jason Aronson, London). Sheerson’s slogan was “Ufaratzta” (from Gen. 28:14), (a Hebrew word meaning "you shall spread out,"). Schneerson taught his students to hasten the Messianic Age by "saving" Jewish souls from secularism and bringing them back to Torah. (The Encyclopedia of Hasidism, entry: Habad, Jonathan Sacks, pp. 161–164)
Four years before his death in 1994 Rebbe Schneerson made a major prophetic blessing upon Rabbi Yitzach Kaduri.
In 1908 Kaduri had received a blessing by Yosef Chaim (Yoseph Ḥayyim) (1 September 1832 – 30 August 1909) (who was a leading hakham (Sephardic Rabbi), authority on Jewish law (Halakha) and Master Kabbalist) that before his death Kaduri would see the Messiah.
In a 1990 meeting with Rabbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson, Schneerson also spoke a blessing to Kaduri that Kaduri would not pass from this world until he met the Messiah. This blessing was fulfilled on 9 Cheshvan 5764 (4 November 2003) in a mystical vision when Kaduri spoke with the Messiah and the Messiah revealed His name to Kaduri. Kaduri later told his disciples that the revealed name of the Messiah would be found hidden among his writings.
Rabbi Kaduri subsequently wrote a short note with instructions not to open until one year after his death. The note was penned in Hebrew and signed in the rabbi's name. It read:
בעניין הר"ת [ראשי תיבות, ע.י.] של משיח. ירים העם ויוכיח שדברו ותורתו עומדים. באתי על החתום בחודש הרחמים [אלול, ע.י] התשס"ה,
Concerning the letter abbreviation of the Messiah’s name, He will lift the people and prove that His Word and His Torah are valid.
This I have signed in the month of mercy (Elul),
Of course the first letter from each word (called notarikon) in the phrase "He will lift the people and prove that His Word and His Torah are valid." spells the name Yehoshua ( the long form of the name Yeshua).
Thus the seventh and last Chabad Rebbe prophesied that the Messiah would be revealed to Rabbi Kaduri, and Rabbi Kaduri revealed that the Messiah is in fact Yeshua! Nazarene Judaism is true Chabad.