Dvar Malchus

True Life, The Life Of A Jew

Moshiach & Geula

Are You My Chassid?

Against the Censors
Parents, Worried About The Future
Latkes, Moshiach & Satmar
Shleimus HaAretz
Moshiach: Beyond Politics

Against The Censors
By Rabbi Shalom Yaakov Chazan

23 years ago, the Rebbe delivered a special sicha from his room about the necessity to settle all the liberated territories at once. This speech was publicized in the Israeli press with the addition of details concerning Israel’s nuclear weapons and a suggestion of a political process that would enable the settling of all of Yesha. These details had not been divulged in the sicha and were not written in the Rebbe’s edited version of the sicha. * Five years ago, Beis Moshiach disclosed two notes the Rebbe had written in connection with the sicha, containing those additional points. * Additional details could not be revealed in Beis Moshiach at that time, due to the continuous struggle against Israeli censorship, in which R’ Berke Wolf, a’h, was involved. We publicize these details now for the first time, may they stand in his memory.

Part 1

In the winter of 5738 (1977-1978), a new phenomenon appeared in Lubavitch: a Motzaei Shabbos farbrengen. This was after the Rebbe’s heart attack on the night of Shmini Atzeres, after which the Rebbe did not emerge from his room until Rosh Chodesh Kislev of that year (five-and-a-half weeks later). Since the Rebbe did not want to give up his usual Shabbos farbrengen, the Rebbe farbrenged from his room on Motzaei Shabbos and everybody listened over the sound system. This continued for a long time afterwards, when the Rebbe came out and farbrenged in the large beis midrash. The Rebbe even added to and edited the weekly sicha and maamer, which was a most unusual thing at that time.

Then came the farcical peace talks with Egypt, a few days after the "historic" visit of Sadat, the Egyptian president, to Eretz Yisroel. Talk about giving away land for peace was voiced more and more loudly. The Arabs were raising their heads and presenting their claims, while Israel exhibited weakness. There was a panicked scurry to find favor in the eyes of the gentiles, fear of what they would say, and no attempt to do anything to prevent the general sellout.

During these destructive negotiations, the idea of autonomy for the Arabs in Yesha began to be promulgated. In other words, the demands were not only for Sinai, but for all the territories of Yehuda and Shomron. The Rebbe fought the wars of Hashem to prevent the tragedy, spoke against the ongoing negotiations each week, and said that everything possible should be done to strengthen Jewish rule over all parts of Eretz Yisroel.

The Rebbe’s talks were consistently reported in the Israeli press. Every week, the Rebbe’s views were carried in all the Israeli papers, which took a great interest in what the Rebbe had to say. You can read it all in a book called "Shalom Shalom, V’ein Shalom," which proves how all the Rebbe’s prognostications, which were publicized at the time in the papers, came true.

A single thread wove its way through all these talks, which was that taking action regarding all matters concerning strengthening shleimus ha’Aretz would hasten the revelation of Moshiach.

On Motzaei Shabbos of Parshas Lech Lecha, the Rebbe spoke at length about the absolute necessity of settling all the territories at once, at least settling those territories about which the nations of the world challenged us:

…to settle all the territories of Eretz Yisroel, especially those territories which they challenge… A place of Torah, a place of prayer, and also mikvaos should be built in all these places...

Even if for a short while there will be "the goyim tumult and the nations speak," the truth is that they themselves know that this is (as it says at the end of the verse) in vain, and that they tumult and speak only because they want to fulfill their obligation towards some individuals.

In order for it to be seen openly that even the nations of the world know that this (the tumult and speaking) is merely in vain, the Jewish people must show that when they say that all of Eretz Yisroel belongs to them, they really mean it.

And obviously they should not invite, ch’v, pressure from the nations by the odd behavior of settling only a few areas. Doing this shows that one reckons with the conduct of those who complain.

There is no logical reason to differentiate those areas from the rest, since the tumult and the speaking are exactly the same whether they settle a few areas or if they settle the entire area and all the territories...

Don’t proclaim this loudly. The settling of the territories must be done without a commotion. What matters is actually settling them…

So there is no need for noise, and there is certainly no need for boasting, "my strength and the might of my hand made me all this wealth." On the contrary, boasting "my strength and the might of my hand," etc., can, ch’v, cause harm, in addition to the fact that it isn’t true....

When they take this approach, not only will the nations not complain in the end...but on the contrary, this will lead to "praise Hashem all the goyim, laud him all the nations, for His kindness is great upon us," etc...

They will help the Jews (not only with the help they already promised, but) with all the assistance (monetarily and otherwise) that the Jews need from them now, as they are still in Galus.

This sicha, edited by the Rebbe, can be found in Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 20, p. 311.

If you look at the newspapers from that period of time (or read Shalom, Shalom V’ein Shalom), you will notice additional details not mentioned in the sicha. Maariv (Oct. 24, 1977) quotes the Rebbe as also saying, "The settling of all the territories of Eretz Yisroel must be done in one day, without the necessity of formal approval, but by order of the prime minister and the minister in charge of settlements. After the fact, things will quiet down...especially in light of the enthusiasm which will be engendered within most of the nation in Eretz Yisroel and the Diaspora."

Four days later in Yediot Acharonot, the following headline appeared: "You must continue settling, as well as developing nuclear capabilities." The article maintained that settling would not bring on pressure, but on the contrary, it would speed up aid: "The Rebbe quoted the fact about Israeli nuclear development, something well-known in Washington and Moscow and Arab capitols. At first, said the Rebbe, various nations wanted to interfere and exerted pressure, but when the response was an immediate and forceful answer that the nuclear development would continue, they backed down. Not only did the pressure cease, but many of the nations which had exerted the pressure helped them in this development in various ways." This point also appeared in other papers such as She’arim, HaModia, and HaTzofeh.

Where did this come from? What exactly did the Rebbe say about this? We cannot glean anything else from the edited sicha because these paragraphs don’t appear there, so when was this said? Why wasn’t this point about nuclear development mentioned in Maariv, since it later appeared in Yediot Acharonot? If the Rebbe said it, why wasn’t it added to the edited sicha? Furthermore, the quotes in the paper are not clear. In what context and in response to what complaint did the Rebbe mention the "prime minister and the minister in charge of settlements?"

Preliminary details relevant to these questions were revealed for the first time five years ago in Beis Moshiach (#81, 11 Nissan 5756), though the bulk of the information had to be kept quiet. Now the cover of secrecy can be removed to publicize additional points. R’ Berke Wolf, a’h, who recently passed away, was involved in this. May this be a neir l’zichro.

* * *

The night the sicha was said, at 4:00 a.m., the Rebbe asked Rabbi Groner to call Berke Wolf, the Chabad spokesman at that time, to ask him to delay publicizing the sicha delivered that Motzaei Shabbos since there was a paragraph which the Rebbe, for certain reasons, did not want to say at the time. This paragraph would appear as a footnote to be given to the papers along with the sicha. At the same time, the Rebbe said that those who write the sicha should be urged to prepare the sicha as quickly as possible.

A few hours later, after the Rebbe davened Shacharis, he wrote two notes. The notes communicated 1) proof regarding the development of nuclear weapons, and 2) the basis in fact that according to law, the prime minister and the minister of settlements could make decisions about settling the areas in question, after which there would be no problem deflecting any conceivable pressure away from the government, the Knesset and its committees. This is what was written in the notes (free translation):

1) The noise and pressure as a result of the establishment of five yishuvim would not be greater than if they established yishuvim the length of the border.

2) A proof to this: everybody knows (including Washington, Moscow, and Arab capitols) about the development of nuclear weapons in Eretz Yisroel, that it already exists and that it is increasing as time goes on and over many years. At first they wanted to halt or stop all this and exerted pressure, etc., but when they answered immediately and decisively that they would continue, those exerting the pressure were satisfied with an official denial, and they stopped the pressure.

Not only that, but a few of the nations who had pressured them are actually helping them in many ways, and have been for many years.

The surprise and sorrow are great that all this was not done yet and hurriedly, at the earliest possible time, especially when the fact is that this can be done in a completely legal manner.

According to the present law, settling can be accomplished on a large scale and literally in one day – if the decision is made to do it and a decree issued in order to carry it out immediately – by only two people: the prime minister and the minister of settlements.

And even if the next day they will have to have to discuss it with the entire government and with various Knesset committees, etc. –

Afterwards, in actual fact, certainly in the end things will completely quiet down, especially when each of them sees the tremendous enthusiasm of the vast majority of the Jewish people in Eretz Yisroel and outside the land when they learn about the immediate settlements. However, all this must take place without any noise whatsoever and without any announcements, etc.

The sicha was written, and as soon as it was submitted to the Rebbe, the Rebbe quickly added his notes. The Rebbe asked the secretary to give R’ Berke the additions and to ask him to translate the sicha into Hebrew in a style suitable for the newspapers, and to publicize it fully in the papers.

When the secretary asked whether the additions should be included in the edited sicha, the Rebbe said no, revealing that they were only for publication in Eretz Yisroel. The Rebbe added that later on he would decide what to do with the edited sicha.

The secretary immediately called R’ Berke. When R’ Berke heard that the Rebbe mentioned Israel’s nuclear capacity, he realized that publicizing the sicha would have opposition from the Israeli censorship. He expressed concern to the secretary about the futility of giving it to the Israeli News Agency; there was no question that the material would be censored – it would never see print. R’ Berke indicated that he would give the material directly to the editors of the Yediot Acharonot and Maariv, where he had good connections, and perhaps they would bypass the censors.

When the secretary reported back to the Rebbe, the Rebbe agreed to R’ Berke’s idea and said that the paper She’arim would also print it without making any changes.

(Click here to continue.)


A single thread wove its way through all these talks, which was that taking action regarding all matters concerning strengthening shleimus ha’Aretz would hasten the revelation of Moshiach.

The Rebbe asked Berke Wolf to delay publicizing the sicha delivered that Motzaei Shabbos.


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