I recently had a conversation with one of my old friends from yeshiva about my religiosity. He remarked that even if I no longer believe in god, I must surely admit that the Rebbe was (is?) a great man.
Was the Rebbe a great man? I don't know.
He was responsible for the religious indoctrination of thousands of children; isn't that a bad thing? Does it make it any better if he truly believed it was the right thing to do? Is it evil to do an evil thing if you think it's the right thing to do?
You have to understand, that when I was growing up, we pretty much considered the Rebbe to be almost a god, perfect and infallible. My religion was all about the Rebbe: the Rebbe wants you to go on mivtzoim, the Rebbe loves you, etc... My parents and teachers talked about the Rebbe more than they talked about Hashem. So it's probably understandable that I started to harbor bad feelings towards the Rebbe once I began to realize that my religious beliefs were (probably) false. I thought that the Rebbe had lied to me about everything, so how could he be considered a good man? It's hard not to feel betrayed by someone who you idolized all you're life.
I guess I'm not really qualified to answer the question objectively, since my emotions are so deeply entangled in this matter.
Sheva Yipoil Tzadick V’cum
4 weeks ago