A Mashpia at a Farbrengen

Mashpia (Hebrew: משפיע) lit. "person of influence", pl. Mashpi'im (Hebrew: משפיעים) is the title of a rabbi or rebbetzin who serves as a spiritual mentor in Tomchei Temimim (the Chabad yeshiva), in a girls' seminary belonging to the Chabad-Lubavitch hasidic movement, or in a Chabad community.


The role of mashpia exists in both hasidic and non-Hasidic movements (such as the mashgiach ruchani), and is used currently in both the Chabad-Lubavitch and Breslov hasidic movements.

The mashpia in Chabad-Lubavitch refers specifically to one whose communal service as a spiritual mentor includes providing:

The nature of the mashpia's role is alluded to in the preface to the Tanya, the classic text of Hasidic philosophy written by Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the first rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch. It is discussed in numerous public talks delivered by Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, and Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe. In particular, he instructed that one should approach one's mashpia regularly to be examined and evaluated.[1]

There is a distinction to be drawn between a rav and a mashpia. Although the two terms are similar and often used interchangeably, the former term usually refers to someone knowledgeable and scholarly, who holds some official communal position. The latter term, however, refers to an individual who is chosen simply as an objective outsider to offer advice and guidance, and is chosen based on his personal exemplary conduct. This person need not be otherwise qualified.


The seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, also encouraged women and girls to assume a similar role of providing guidance, referring to such a woman as a mashpi'oh (Hebrew: משפיעה), pl. mashpi'ois (Hebrew: משפיעות).

Notable mashpi'im



External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/19/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.