The Rebbe – "If you love your father, mother, sister, brother, more than me, you are not worthy of being mine."
1. "If you love your father, mother, sister, brother, more than me, you are not worthy of being mine."*
–Jesus, as quoted in Matthew 10:37, speaking in a discourse to 12 disciples as Jesus is sending them out to teach unlettered Jews the 'authentic' path to God.
– Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, Igros Kodesh 17, p. 52 as quoted in Professor Menachem Friedman, "Habad as Messianic Fundamentalism," in Marty, "Accounting For Fundamentalism," U of Chicago Press, 1994.
3. Please discuss.
*The parallels between this chapter of Matthew and the theology of Chabad, especially under its last three rebbes, seems astonishing. A quick reading finds the following, along with the one noted above:
- Sending out disciples.
- Find and teach "lost Jews," i.e., Jews who have strayed – or have been forcibly kept from – from ritual observance.
- Give freely to those "lost Jews" you find.
- Don't raise money here in the center to sustain you in the outskirts, raise money in the outskirts.
- Preach the doctrine truthfully but be careful – and be shrewd – you will be surrounded by enemies.
- Those that help you and bless you help and bless me and I and God will reward them for it. Those who do the opposite will be cursed. (The negative of this coupling is shown mostly in hasidic stories told by Chabad rebbes and leaders. Those that try to impede the "tzaddik" are often shown to be later injured or to suffer in some way. Conversely, that person may do "teshuva" and receive commensurate blessings.)
- "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body…" (Think of the 6th rebbe who supposedly told Soviet authorities as a gun was held to his head, "That little toy may frighten someone with one world and two [i.e., many] gods but it does not fighten one like me who has only One God but two worlds [i.e., this physical life and the afterlife]."
- And, as RebelJew notes in the comments below, the Moshiach (messiah) Campaign itself.
I've posted the entire chapter below, after the jump. See if you can find any more parallels to Chabad thought.
Jesus Sends Out the Twelve
1He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil[a] spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
2These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
5These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' 8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,[b]drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. 9Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; 10take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep.
11"Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. 12As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. 15I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. 16I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
17"Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. 18On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
21"Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
24"A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub,[c] how much more the members of his household!
26"So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny[d]? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
32"Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.
34"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn
" 'a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law -
36a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'[e]
37"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
40"He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. 41Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward. 42And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."
1. Matthew 10:1 Greek unclean
2. Matthew 10:8 The Greek word was used for various diseases affecting the skin—not necessarily leprosy.
3. Matthew 10:25 Greek Beezeboul or Beelzeboul
4. Matthew 10:29 Greek an assarion
5. Matthew 10:36 Micah 7:6