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Lubavi(t)ch. Movement within Jewish Ḥasidism, founded by Shneʾur Zalman in the 18th cent. His descendants made Lubavici, in Russia, their main centre, hence the name. Their views are those of Ḥabad, so that the two are now synonymous (see ḤABAD for their beliefs), although there have been other and independent Ḥabad schools. As with other Ḥasidic groups, they revere the authority of the zaddik. Since the headquarters of the Lubavich moved to New York, the zaddik, now known as Rebbe, has become much more than the one responsible for the spiritual well-being of the community. The Lubavich regard the conversion of Jews to Judaism (i.e. to observant Judaism) as a matter of high priority, since otherwise the full return of the messiah cannot occur.

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