Are Chabad Chassidim Quiet?!
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?”
Rabbi Rubin, what’s the situation like in the settlements of Lev
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.
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
How are you dealing with the situation?
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.
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
Is it still possible to stop the process or have we gone past the
point of no return?
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
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?
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
Have you despaired?
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
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.
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
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.
battle right now is for our house, and in a situation like this,
nobody has the right to remove himself from the scene.
what’s the solution?
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.
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.
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.”