What Exactly Is Jewish Monotheism?

Monotheism Vs. The Outlook That Everything is G-d

An Article Against The Attempt To Deify The Rebbe Of Lubavitch, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson
written by Shlomo Moshe Scheinman
Attached to this article is the written recommendation of the Chief Rabbi of the Old City of Jerusalem, Rabbi Avigdor Neventzal, Shlit”a [Shlit”a being a blessing for longevity and good fortune]
To the Honorable Rabbi Neventzal, Shlit”a,
I have a friend who is connected to the Chabad [Lubavitch] movement [and even though I stress that he does not represent all of Chabad, nevertheless there are others who hold his opinions]  and according to his views, all the created world is part of the Holy One Blessed Be He. In his view, in reality much of the Christian interpretation of the Bible is true and correct, however, they chose a wicked man and not a righteous man. That is to say, that in his view, the great Tzaddikim [righteous people] have succeeded in removing the barriers that hide how everything is the Holy One Blessed Be He and therefore there is no prohibition to pray to them. And in regard to what Ramban said in his disputation with the Christians, this was just propaganda.
His intent to what Ramban said: “That the main principle and argument between the Jews and the Christians is the fact that you believe a dogma concerning the divinity which is very bitter… The thing which you believe in and it is a dogma of your faith, is not acceptable to one’s intellect, and nature does not permit it and the prophets never said so, nor can a wonder spread itself out to this matter… that the Creator of Heaven and Earth would be a fetus in the belly of a Jewish woman and would grow there… and that he would be born small and afterwards grow and afterwards would be handed over to his enemies… no reasoning Jew nor any man can tolerate this, and for naught and for vanity do you speak your words [letter 47 in the disputation, in accordance to the division in the writings of Ramban with the commentary of Rabbi Chavel].
Now a “proof ” for my friend’s opinion is found in the writings of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, head of Chabad.

    “Just as Israel, the Torah, and the Holy One Blessed Be He are all one, not just that Israel is connected to the Torah and the Torah is connected to the Holy One Blessed Be He, rather, indeed they are truly one – so too the connection between the Chassidim to their Rebbe; it is not like 2 things that unify, rather they all become truly one. And the Rebbe in not an ‘intermediary that interferes’  but rather ‘an intermediary that attaches’. Therefore also for the Chassid: he and the Rebbe and the Holy One Blessed Be He -{are} one…
And for this reason there is no room for the question concerning an ‘intermediary’, for this is self and the essence itself in accordance to what he placed to rest of himself in a body.
And there in comment 56, the Rebbe adds, “I saw masters of the revealed [non-kabbalistic] Torah raised a question against this and with a great tumult: Can it be, etc. etc. however a similar idea is explicit also in the revealed parts of the Torah. And it is as the Yerushalmi [or perhaps the text of his words are that it is written in the Yerushalmi] Becurim chapter 3, halacha 3: ‘And G-d is in his holy sanctuary, this is Rabbi Yitzchak son of Lazar in the assembly of the study hall of Kisrin {probably Caesaria}’ “.
[Here Ends the quote of the words of Rabbi Schneerson.]

Now I looked in Ein Yaacov on the relevant passage from the Yerushalmi cited above and the text that appears in Ein Yaacov is slightly different. It says there, behold Rabbi Yitzchak son of Lazar and it is not written this is {Rabbi Yitzchak son of Lazar}. And he who analyzes that section from the Yerushalmi will see that the Yerushalmi is criticizing those who appointed [because of money], lousy judges and did not choose Rabbi Yitzchak son of Lazar, the righteous sage as a judge.
Now according to the commentary of HaKotev there, the intent of the statement, “And G-d is in his holy sanctuary” = “be silent before him, all of the land and he will in the future bring retribution against those who transgress his will”. For behold you were supposed to have chosen, Rabbi Yitzchak son of Lazar, and not a lousy judge or judges.
Now a second explanation of the Yerushalmi is the following. Many times in the Bible and in the sayings of the Sages the good actions of the righteous, the agents of the Holy One Blessed Be He, are described as the actions of the Holy One Blessed Be He. And the intent is not that they are actually from the Holy One Blessed Be He, but rather they are just from his agents. And so too here. The Yerushalmi wanted to inform us that Rabbi Yitzchak son of Lazar, is a capable agent of the Holy One Blessed to perform the mission of bringing justice to the world, in contrast to the lousy judges that received their tasks because of money.
Now perhaps my friend can still be judged as a sinner by mistake, (“shogeig”, in Hebrew, which makes the sin and the punishment less severe) for he said that if the Sanhedrin will rule against his opinion, he is willing to abide by their ruling. And still another point to bring in his defense is that he mistakenly believes that he has the approval of the Tanna, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai for his opinions, based on a specific interpretation of the Kabbala.
In light of his words I decided to investigate the viewpoint that everything is the Holy One Blessed Be He, for this viewpoint has penetrated into much of the religious world that aren’t connected at all with Chabad.

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