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The branch of the Habad tendency in Hasidism with many thousands of followers all over the Jewish world. The second Rebbe of Habad, Dov Baer, settled in the Russian town of Lubavitch, after which this group of Hasidim is called. The sixth master, Rabbi Joseph Isaac Schneerson (1880–1950), settled in Brooklyn, USA, in 1940, where he was succeeded by his son-in-law, Rabbi Menahem Mendel Schneerson (1902–94), the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, who established a worldwide network of educational institutions and a major publishing house. Many of Rabbi Menahem Mendel's followers hailed him as the Messiah, and went about singing in public places: ‘We want the Messiah now’, in the hope that God would reveal to the Rebbe his true identity as the hoped-for redeemer, to the consternation of most of the other Hasidim and traditional Orthodox Rabbis. The latter were not slow to point out the dangers of unbridled Messianic fervour, especially when the Messiah is identified with a particular, known leader. Even after the Rebbe's death many of his followers still retained belief in his Messianic role.

Subjects: Religion.

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