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Chabad, also known as Chabad Lubavitch, is a large sect of Hasidic (Ultra-Orthodox) Judaism. Followers (known as Chabadniks) believe their late Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, was the promised "Mosiach", even though he didn't do anything the Jewish Messiah is supposed to do before his death. This is still okay because, of course, the good Rebbe will be coming back to finish the job any day now... any day now. Just you wait.
In the interim, Chabadniks believe that the Rebbe is still spiritually present with them, so if they perform rituals for him, he will work miracles in their lives. They are also big into doing "kiruv" (outreach) to unaffiliated Jews in the hopes that they will join them, and to this end have set up Chabad Houses staffed with their rabbis everywhere from Anchorage to Auckland. When humans land on Mars, rumour has it a Chabad House will be there to greet them.
Now, don't let the whole end-times messianic gobbledygook and aggressive proseltyzing fool you, Chabad is completely, 110%Christ-- err, Jewish. Absolutely nothing questionable about the fact that they worship a dead guy, even though Judaism prohibits idol worship. Not at all. Well, actually more than a few Jews consider it a cult, even akin to Mormonism, especially since those who try to leave are often shunned.
Since 1951, Chabad began conducting large-scale outreach to unaffiliated Jews around the world, establishing synagogues and "Chabad centres" in countries around the world. These centres can be found in remote areas such as Noumea, New Caledonia, where we can safely say there are very few Jews. However, these centres accommodate Jewish tourists.
Chabad's website is also one of the largest websites dealing in Jewish theology, beliefs and rituals, which creates an interesting scenario in which the main source of information on a diverse faith such as Judaism comes from one of its most fundamentalist sects.
- Is Lubavitch/Chabad a Cult? frumless's Blog: beauty of living an unorthodox life
- Manny Waks: I'm the 'troublemaker' who blew the whistle on Jewish abuse scandal. Manny Waks is still living with the impact of years of abuse inside Australia’s Yeshivah centres. Before he can reclaim his life, he says, more people must resign in the wake of the child sex abuse royal commission by Melissa Davey (February 2015 22.51 EST) The Guardian.
- It can be done without Chabad by Sam Green (September 29, 2009) New Voices.
- A Jewish Family's Experience with the Cult called Chabad (April 27, 2007 07:16AM) Cult Education Institute.
- Group uses beeper to watch for Messiah
- The beepers were to alert his followers when he was able to be seen on the balcony of his hospital room. They nicknamed it a moshiach beeper but they had no intention of it being the 1st response to the Moshiach.
- Chabad New Caledonia