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Chabad-Lubavitch Movement (Israel)

Last modified: 2024-01-13 by martin karner
Keywords: chabad-lubavitch movement | lubavitch | messiah | mashiakh | crown: royal (blue) | text: hebrew (red) |
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[Chabad-Lubavitch Movement (Israel)] image by Eugene Ipavec, 31 December 2007

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Chabad is a religious Jewish Hassidic movement known also as Chabad Lubavitch. The movement is using flags with a crown and the Hebrew word Mashiakh (Messiah) on yellow. I took this picture of a flag at Zefat. There is a logo in this website.
Dov Gutterman
, 30 September 2001

From their website:

Chabad-Lubavitch is a philosophy, a movement, and an organization. (...) The word "Chabad" is a Hebrew acronym for the three intellectual faculties of: chachmah-wisdom, binah-comprehension and da'at-knowledge. (...) The word "Lubavitch" is the name of the town in White Russia where the movement was based for more than a century. Appropriately, the word Lubavitch in Russian means the "city of brotherly love". (...) Following its inception 250 years ago, the Chabad-Lubavitch movement swept through Russia and spread in surrounding countries as well. (...)

Dov Gutterman, 30 September 2001

The crown on this flag comes from the common belief that the Messiah is descends from King David and therefore is sometimes referred to as the The King Messiah.
Dov Gutterman, 16 June 2003

In the Jewish tradition, the Messiah will be 100% human.
A word of clarification, though: That's a Habad-Lubavitch flag, and to most of them – especially those who would wave this flag- it specifically refers to the late (seventh and last) Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem M. Schneerson (1902–1994), who is believed by many of his followers to be the Messiah. Note the use of the present tense – his death has not dissuaded most of his followers from that belief. This may not strike a Christian as odd (Second Coming and all), but it's anathema to Jewish belief and tradition, which states the Messiah shall be born, rule, and die.
Lately, a number of Lubavitchers have taken this a step further and begun to deify the Rebbe. But that's well out of bounds.
Nathan Lamm, 16 June 2003

When Hasidic Jewry came into existence, and began to spread, in the 18th Century, it was strongest in areas like Poland, Galicia, Hungary, and Romania. Areas such as Lithuania and White Russia (Jews were not permitted beyond the Pale) were non-Hasidic; Chabad (of whose streams, Lubavitch is the only remaining) was the only major "Russian" Hasidic group, unique in a number of ways among both Hasidim and Russian Jewry. It's therefore not surprising that Lubavitch remains one of the strongest groups in the former Soviet Union, although there are many other factors that contribute to this as well.
It should also be pointed out that many in the Lubavitch movement believed, and many continue to believe, that the late Rabbi Schneerson was/is the Messiah, giving this flag added significance.
Nathan Lamm, 8 November 2004

This group had in the past some political orientation , but today minimized their political activities and are concentrated in cultural-religious activities in Israel and abroad. They operate centers around the world and they even sent supporters to sport matches (not in Sabbath, of course) and it is not unusual to see them in international Football and Basketball matches supporting the home team. It is quite common to see their flags in Maccabi Tel-Aviv Basketball Club games as the color of their flag match the team color.
Their abroad centers became some kind of Israeli meeting points as they are situated in almost every exotic spot (Nepal, Thailand, India etc...) and their Passover "Seders" become a mass gathering of Israelis (most of them not religious).
As I visited Italy during "Sukkut" holiday, I was not surprised to find a "Sukka" built on boat in Venice and in the center of Milan.
Dov Gutterman, 8 November 2004

image by Eugene Ipavec, 31 December 2007

I saw a flag being advertised on eBay. Apparently, there is a sect of Hasidic Judaism that believes that Chabadnik is the Moshiach or "Messiah", hence, this flag (On the flag at the top are 4 red magnets merely holding the flag up on a refrigerator, they are not part of the design). While there are not "rivet holes" to "fly" this flag; there is a "sleeve" on the side for a pole to be inserted into. Size: 3'x5'; c. 2006
William Garrison, 29 December 2006

The Hasidic sect is the Lubavitch, also called Chabad. (The two terms were not always synonymous, but now are Members are sometimes called "Chabadniks.") Many of them believe their late rebbe, or leader, Menachem Mendel Schneerson (d. 1994) to be the Messiah. The flag above doesn't indicate this – it simply reads "Messiah" – but is frequently flown by Chabad Hasidim at rallies and the like, and the reference is probably always meant to be to him.
The "sleeve" seems to be common on Israeli-produced flags, at least those sold to the general public.
Nathan Lamm, 29 December 2006

The Chabad Movement is the form of Chasidism originally developed by the first Lubavitcher Rebbe (Rabbi) during the 18th Century in Russia and which reached its fullest development in the United States during the second half of the 20th Century under the direction of the last Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson. Based in Brooklyn in the United States, the Chabad Movement has spread worldwide and can be found wherever even the smallest Jewish population exists. Chabad is a Hebrew acronym of the words for Wisdom, Understanding, and Knowledge, and has a strong mystic element. Despite their shortcomings, the Wikipedia articles on both Chasidism in general and the Chabad Movement in particular are a useful starting point for learning about both.
During the final years of the last Rebbe's life a movement arose which regarded him as the Messiah, an accusation to which his reply seemed to many as equivocal as that of Jesus when the same question had been put to him: 'Whom do you say I am?'.
After the Rebbe's death not only was no successor named, but the idea that he had indeed been the Messiah gained considerable strength within the Lubavitch community in particular and among large sections of both the Chasidic and non-Chasidic (Mitnagdim) elements of Orthodox Judaism, especially but not exclusively in the United States. This claim was vociferously denied not only by some elements within Chabad Chasidism itself but among adherents of other Chasidic sects as well, and certainly within non-Chasidic Orthodox Judaism as well as non-Orthodox forms of Judaism such as Conservative (Masort)i, Reform, Liberal, Reconstructionist, and Humanistic Jews, as well among almost all secular Jews.
This Chabad Messianism has nevertheless continued to win adherents among Jews around the world (although not among non-Jews). Some of these Messianic Chabadniks have even gone so far as to claim that while Jesus was the Messiah for the Gentiles the last Lubavitcher Rebbe was the Messiah for the Jews. Chabad Messianism has even developed its own flag.
Ron Lahav, 30 December 2007

It seems that the known Messiah flag got also an English and Arabic variants. The English variant can be seen in a photo at with the inscription "MOSHIACH" and the Arabic version can be seen in an image lower in the same page.
Dov Gutterman, 18 March 2010