Wednesday, June 29, 2005

I see dead people

According to a throwaway line in the NY Jewish Week, Rabbi Ariel Sokolovsky, "an ardent messianist who visits 770 several times a year,"

said he has met people who have seen the rebbe in person since he died.
Note to Gary Rosenblatt: this would have made an interesting sidebar. Ask R. Sokolovsky for their numbers, I'll write it for you.
The comment came in the context of a long article about the current goings on at 770 and developments in the the saga of the plaque referring to the Rebbe as "Zatzal" outside the building, which we discussed a few weeks ago. Apparently it's been vandalized yet again (although the Town Crier claims it was removed by mutual consent of the various parties "for security reasons as the disputes became too dangerous" -- does he have a source for this or did he simply misunderstand the Chaptzem blog?). The Jewish Week doesn't add much to JTA's article a few weeks back although it does include some minor gossipy details ("the messianists... are referred to by their opponents as “the Taliban.” The messianists, in turn, refer to Rabbi Krinsky as “the megalomaniac"). It also adds that

Some fear that things have deteriorated to the point that the image of Lubavitch... could be irrevocably tarnished by the mess in Crown Heights.
Image? What image? There is no question that Lubavitch's reputation has already been irrevocably damaged by the Messianist mess. Bit late to worry about that.
Best quote from the Jewish Week article:
“If people believe that many Lubavitch chasidim are crazy people, that will damage their image,” said Rabbi David Berger, a history professor at Brooklyn College.
As Best of the Web might have said: What would we do without history professors?

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