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The Controversy over the Leadership of the ḤaBaD Movement / המחלוקת על מורשת חב"ד

רחל אליאור and Rachel Elior
Tarbiẕ / תרביץ
כרך מט‎, חוברת א/ב‎ (תשרי-אדר תש"ם), pp. 166-186
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23595079
Page Count: 21
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The Controversy over the Leadership of the ḤaBaD Movement / המחלוקת על מורשת חב"ד
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Abstract

Historians stemming from the ḤaBaD movement tend to stress the harmonious succession in the family lineage of R. Shneur Zalman of Liadi. However, the actual situation was quite different. A serious controversy over the leadership of the ḤaBaD movement broke out between the sons (R. Moses and R. Duber), and the disciples (chiefly: R. Aaron Hallewy) of R. Shneur Zalman, shortly after the latter's demise. Once the controversy was decided in 1813, with the succession of R. Duber to his father's position, and the founding of a separate 'court' by R. Aaron Hallewy, it was nevertheless continued on ideological grounds. The two major disputants, R. Duber and R. Aaron Hallewy, argued over the validity of the interpretation of the teachings of R. Shneur Zalman in general, and the significance of the ḤabaD method of worship in particular. This debate centered around the topics of 'worship through excitement' (עבודה דהתפעלות) and the possibilities of human perception. Various sources stemming from the ḤaBaD movement — pamphlets, letters, and literary works — dealing directly or indirectly with the dispute, are quoted during the course of the article. These sources attest to the intense spiritual sensitivity, and to the social implications of this awareness in the life of the ḤaBaD community.

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