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Why Are Chabad Chassidim Quiet?!
Interview of Rabbi Yehuda Rubin, director of the Chabad house in Alon Moreh and the settlements of Lev Ha’Shomron * Rabbanei Anash must lead the battle to save the Jewish people, as the Rebbe MH”M unceasingly demanded * We Chabad Chassidim cannot walk away saying “our hands did not spill this blood” * “I live in the settlements of Yesha and we are all asking: why is Chabad standing on the sidelines?”

By Shai Gefen

* Rabbi Rubin, what’s the situation like in the settlements of Lev HaShomron?

The situation is not at all simple. The Barak government plans to transfer the entire area to full Palestinian rule, not including the settlements. The feeling is that the state is totally abandoning the lives of tens and hundreds of thousands of Jews to the mercy of the Palestinian Authority. Today the Palestinians are engaged in massive construction on the sides of the roads, which endangers anybody traveling on these roads. The I.D.F. and the Israeli authorities don’t lift a finger. They are all talking about war breaking out in Yesha by the end of the political maneuverings, but we are the ones who are suffering.

It’s important that people understand that what is going to happen is the actual abandonment of tens of thousands of Jews to the Palestinians, ch’v. This is not just another stage in the withdrawals. We have reached the most difficult and fateful capitulations. In this battle, the one who stands stronger will win.

* How are you dealing with the situation?

You can say there is a his’orerus. People realize that we are facing the total liquidation of the Yesha area. This is an extremely painful situation, in light of the fact that Jews are abandoning us to terrorists. This is a crisis for many people who used to believe in brotherly love and a spirit of mutual responsibility for one another in this country, especially in times of trouble. Now that bubble has burst.

That is why we have gone out to arouse public opinion by making those large demonstrations in Yerushalayim and the huge strike organized by the people of Yesha. This proved that people aren’t so willing to abandon them and to lead them like sheep to the slaughter.

* Is it still possible to stop the process or have we gone past the point of no return?

There is no such thing as it being impossible to stop. Even in the past, everyone saw that when there was public opposition, the government conceded and stopped whatever it was they were going to do. Even a dictatorial government refrains from doing things when it feels that public opinion is against it. If we wake up in time and create a tumult, we can halt the dangerous policies of the Barak government. No one is fooling themselves into thinking that there is an alternative political solution to the existing government, but our job as Jews and as people who care is to do everything we can to halt the government’s concessions.

* What do you expect Chabad to do considering the government’s latest moves?

A number of Chabad house directors throughout Yehuda and Shomron, including myself, asked the vaad rabbanei Chabad to begin doing something, but despite our pleading with them we have received no response to date! The Rebbe demanded that the rabbanim lead the battle for shleimus ha’Aretz, and I say this with great pain: We do not hear the rabbanei Chabad! Jews who live in the settlements ask me: Where is Chabad? Why don’t we hear you? How can you support these “processes” even if it’s only with your silence? I am embarrassed and have nothing to say.

* There are other issues that are priorities as far as Chabad is concerned, aren’t there?

I don’t understand it. We are talking about the endangerment of five million Jews living here in Eretz Yisroel. We are talking about an immediate danger to 50,000 settlers who will be abandoned to Palestinian rule! How can you deal with anything else when the fate of the Jewish people in Eretz Yisroel is in the balance? The Rebbe saw this as a first priority.

I don’t have to go over all the sichos where the Rebbe demanded that we keep on protesting when dangerous withdrawals are being planned. It’s no secret that Tzeirei Agudas Chabad has an explicit answer from the Rebbe to act on issues that pertain to Eretz Yisroel. I will say something sharp now, but unfortunately this is how we feel. When Chabad in Eretz Yisroel is quiet over the dangerous policies of a Leftist government, they are abandoning their brothers! The Gemara says about rabbanei Yisroel, “since they were silent, it would appear that they agree.”

The most amazing thing is that Chabad has always been very vocal in protesting giving up territories. Chabad was always heard, yet now, at this most fateful time, we sit quietly and enable them to abandon us with no reaction on our part.

This week I saw a quote from the Rebbe in Beis Moshiach which said that his “childhood teaching” was not to be quiet when Jews were being abandoned. And this is what the Rebbe taught us, too. Can we be quiet when they are abandoning tens of thousands of Jews? Does anyone in Chabad have permission to be silent in these terrible times, when they are talking about giving the Old City of Yerushalayim to the Palestinians? Can we continue to be quiet when all the security experts forecast disaster in Yehuda and Shomron?

* Many Lubavitchers ask, what can be done?

A lot can be done. First of all I call upon the Chabad leadership in Eretz Yisroel not to be quiet. We sent a letter to the rabbanim with a number of practical suggestions which can be implemented immediately, like organizing demonstrations of tefilla, massive publicity of what the Rebbe said regarding withdrawals, and letting the public know what will happen if we withdraw. We don’t lack things to do. We just have to want to do what the Rebbe asks of us.

Another thing, every single person has to do what he can to protest, whether by sending letters to the appropriate people or by importuning the rabbanei Chabad and Tzeirei Agudas Chabad to finally go public on shleimus ha’Aretz. People can join protest demonstrations against further withdrawals, and speak with friends and persuade them to join in protest activities. We must not be apathetic! Apathy is the worst thing of all as far as we are concerned.

* Many people claim that the situation involves politics, and Chabad always kept a distance from politics.

If the pikuach nefesh of Jews is considered politics, then let’s pack our bags and give up! It’s hard for me to imagine that one of us would think that this is nothing but politics. We are not against Ehud Barak and for Binyamin Netanyahu. It’s not Chabad’s role to mix into politics. We must deal directly with the issues of the day without expressing political opinions. Even when the Rebbe screamed about the pikuach nefesh involved in giving up land, he absolutely discounted the claims of certain people that he was mixing in politically.

I heard that the Rebbe once said to Rabbi Chaim Gutnick that a Lubavitcher is someone who is enthusiastically involved in three things: Moshiach, shleimus ha’Aretz, and ‘Who is a Jew?’ These three topics are the Rebbe’s priorities. The Rebbe was prepared to endure losses for these three things, which are interconnected, but not to give up on them altogether, as everybody knows.

* Have you despaired?

No. A Chassid never gives up, especially when we are the Rebbe’s shluchim, who try to do everything to give the Rebbe nachas. At the same time though, I am very worried, and I know that this is an extremely dangerous situation for us. At a time like this you just can’t be relaxed and calm. If you believe what the Rebbe says and know what the Rebbe said about these dangerous proceedings, you know there is cause for concern. At the same time though, you have to do what you can to prevent this from happening and express your disapproval.

* In conclusion?

We must know that people are waiting to hear what Chabad is doing regarding Eretz Yisroel. They realize that Chabad is the key here, and it can influence what is going on.

It’s not pleasant for me to say this but many people ask me whether we are like the Shas party, and the truth is I don’t know what to tell them. When you see the unusual silence, you wonder - why are they quiet?

I call upon my fellow Chabad Chassidim to wake up before it’s too late. Afterwards we won’t be able to say, “our hands did not spill this blood.” I would like to address the rabbanei Chabad and all of Anash directly: Please stop your petty quarrels at a time that Eretz Yisroel is burning and hundreds of thousands of Jews know their future is in danger. When the house is on fire, everybody joins in to save the house. Eretz Yisroel is burning. When you hear about the dangerous plans to place Jews under the rule of terrorists, how can you remain quiet and say — everything’s fine for me; especially Chassidim and mekusharim to the Rebbe MH”M who warned us what would happen.

Our battle right now is for our house, and in a situation like this, nobody has the right to remove himself from the scene.

So what’s the solution?

There’s no question that the real solution is the immediate revelation of Moshiach. In the past, when we brought up the topic of Geula at the yishuv, a debate would develop about what stage of Geula we were up to. Today, everybody acknowledges the fact that salvation will not come from Zionism and politics, and that only Moshiach can save us now.

At the same time, as long as we are still in this bitter Galus, in the final moments before Moshiach’s revelation, we must make sure to do what we can to save Bnei Yisroel. Let it be very clear: If we are quiet, then we have a share, chalila, in giving up land.

Our protests, together with our tefillos to Hashem to save us and have mercy on us, will bring us, G-d willing, the speedy fulfillment of the verse, “when Hashem expands your border, to the land of the Keini, K’nizi, and Kadmoni.”



We actually see that the “noise” they made about this, helped, and it caused them to cease their silence and to say the psak din clearly, to the extent that a number of rabbanim summoned the courage to send a letter to the Prime Minister.

This negates the claim that we should be quiet as they won’t listen to the psak anyway (and only if they come and ask will they tell them the psak). We see here that they sent letters to the Prime Minister, despite the near certainty that he won’t listen. They did it regardless, for as rabbanim they are obligated to protest and not be fazed by the possibility that people won’t listen.

(Free translation; Sicha VaYakhel-Pikkudei 5740)


“...they are bribed by their getting money for their yeshivos. As was said a number of times, it is impossible to build chinuch according to Torah and fear of Heaven on money that is bloodstained with Jewish blood!

(Free translation; Sicha D’varim 5739)


“In this matter, at least there is the hope that if they scream time after time, and not behind the scenes, but in public, and they show that they aren’t embarrassed and they scream out, and they will possibly scream on election day, too — perhaps this will finally help, and those in charge will arrange a better order of priorities which will ensure first and foremost, the peace and security of Jews, the Jews who live in Eretz Yisroel, and only then to get involved in other things.”

(19 Kislev 5743 - Hisvaaduyos 5743, vol. 2 p. 646)


Chabad presence in Yesha

What does the Chabad presence in Yesha today consist of?

Today, baruch Hashem, there are many Chabad houses scattered throughout Yesha: Karnei Shomron, Emanuel, Ariel, Alon Moreh, Matteh Binyanim, Chevel Aza, Beitar, Chevron, Kiryat Arba, Drom Har Chevron, Gush Etzyon, Efrat, etc. In addition, there are many hundreds of Chabad families who live throughout Yesha with the Rebbe’s bracha.

I must point out that despite the difficult situation, Chabad is quite active. The shluchim spread out over Yesha feel a deep obligation to intensify their work specifically at this time, and to lift the spirits of the settlers.

We are organizing many camps and clubs for the summer in many of the settlements. Until the present time we have worked in seventeen yishuvim in the north of Shomron, and I am happy to announce that we are getting ready to expand the activities of our Chabad house to six additional yishuvim.


Rabbi Yehuda Rubin
Many people ask me whether we are like the Shas party, and the truth is I don’t know what to tell them. When you see the unusual silence, you wonder - why are they quiet?





People understand that what is going to happen is the actual abandonment of tens of thousands of Jews to the Palestinians, ch’v.


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