Lubavitch Response 2
Reader: You've gone on record saying that Chassidus is
equivalent to the reform and conservative movements. You seem to base this
statement on sources from the time of the Vilna Gaon. In his time, he was
extremely concerned about where the Chassidic movement was headed. As a
result, he was a staunch opponent of Chassidus. Apparently you are not
aware of the fact that during the generation that followed the Baal Shem
Tov and the Grah, the talmidim of both Gedolim worked together and found
the orginal concerns of the Grah regarding Chassidus to be unfounded. Both
Chassidim and Misnagdim expressed mutual respect and love for one another
and their different ways of Avodas Hashem.
Mesora: You make 2 mistakes:
1) You claim I possess hatred in my heart. That is a grave error, and merely your own subjective assumption which is baseless, and false. If you would ask me before accusing, you would have avoided your error. What I disapprove of is anything that violates the principles of the Torah. I do not take issue with people. A false view is greater than one person, and attacking people is of no use for the one who truly desires to teach Torah. Your accusation of "sinas chinam", "unwarranted hatred", is out of line. Again, what I protest is wrong principles, not people.
2) You claim there was a meeting of the minds. So called conversations where followers of the Gra and Chassidus "made amends" is not possible for the following reason: If a principle was so against Torah that a genius as the Gra banished the Besht's movement for endorsing it, the Gra did so out of a careful analysis of the violations of those chassidic beliefs, as is the case with all of the Gra's rulings. Additionally, his analysis and conclusions were adopted by all the great minds of his era. Now, to suggest that minds weaker than the Gra would oppose his views makes no sense. Where were they while the Gra was alive? Why didn't they speak out against the Gra then? And why was there unanimous acceptance of the Gra's banishments? I believe the answer is that this notion that there was peace made - between chassidim and misnagdim - was a concoction created by those expelled chassidim to gain acceptance. Even today, we are finding rabbis as Rabbi Berger and Rabbi Billet who are speaking out against the Lubavitch movement and their heretical, messianic beliefs.
It is by no means a settled issue.
Read Rabbi Berger's new book, "The Rebbe, the Messiah, and the Scandal of Orthodox Indifference".