"I find it necessary to rule that until the perpetrators of these deeds stand before a Beis Din of three Rabbonim, and seek forgiveness and correction of that which they have done, they are to be ostracized by all members of the community. They cannot be counted as part of a minyan (for davening) or mezuman (for bentsching), and one may not answer Amen after their Brochos. They cannot be given an Aliyah to the Torah or honoured with any other Mitzvah (see Shulchan Oruch, Yoreh Deah Ch. 334 Para 2). Similarly, one should not speak to them or have any business dealings with them."
Monday, January 11, 2010
Two weeks ago, on the Fast of the tenth day of Tevet, Asara b'Tevet, which we wrote about on December 28, a group of Chabad Chasidim in Melbourne, Australia, decided it was time to act on their belief that the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Schneerson, was indeed the Moshiach (Messiah).
According to tradition, when the Moshiach arrives, all fast days will be turned into holidays. The rebbe, who died on June 12, 1994, never claimed to be the Moshiach, and only encouraged his followers to do good deeds to bring on the Messianic Age and build the Third Temple. But a hard core of followers maintained the belief that he himself was the Moshiach and launched a movement, known as the Meshichist movement, to convince the world of that fact.
Believing that Messianic times have arrived, the Melbourne group staged a feast complete with singing, dancing and special blessings on the very day that Jews all around the world, including most Chabad Chassidim, were fasting to commemorate the day that the walls of the First Temple were breached by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar in 588 B.C.E.
Yesterday Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Telsner, head of Chabad of Melbourne, placed the group in Cherem (excommunication). As reported by Yeshiva World News, which printed the full text of Rabbi Telsner's letter, he wrote:
What seemed to anger the Melbourne Chabad leadership most was that the Meshichists publicized their festive celebration of the fast-turned-feast by broadcasting it on the Internet in a YouTube video, which you can see below, implying that such behavior is highly commendable and is connected with the coming of the Moshiach.