Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Report from Shluchim Conference

Shoshana sent this in. She received it from a shaliach in America and I have sighted the original.

I believe that it is a well presented summary of the Rebbe's attitude to Eretz Yisroel and protests. I strongly believe that the shluchim, and especially those shluchim in Chabad Houses, are doing the Rebbe's work - they are on the "front lines" and their opinion has to be taken seriously.

Last week we had a regional Kinnus Hashluchim which was held here in South Florida. At one of the sessions entitled "Chabad Policies" questions were asked regarding to what extent Shluchim/Chassidim should be involved in political/communal activities regarding the current crisis in Eretz Yisroel.

The Head Shluchim of the states of Florida, Texas and the Carolinas (Rabbis Avraham Korf, Shimon Lazaroff & Yossi Groner) were on the panel. They explained that there is no ambiguity as to how the Rebbe felt regarding this issue and the hours upon hours the Rebbe spent talking about the danger of giving away parts of Eretz Yisroel. There is no doubt that every Chossid obviously has or should have those same feelings and Hergeishim and there is no doubt many are tempted to go to rallies demonstrations etc. to show their opposition to such a plan.

However, this was not the Rebbe's mandate to us. While there are no clear Hoiro'os against political campaigning regarding Shleimus Ho'oretz as there was with Mihu Yehudi where the Rebbe said clearly we should not get involved - The head shluchim challenged any one in the room (130 shluchim) to find one time when the Rebbe spoke about Shleimus Ho'oretz and also mentioned - publicly - that we should be staging protests, and political rallies to bring about it's downfall. Nobody responded. If the Rebbe wanted us to do this he would have clearly said so! The head shluchim continued and explained the reason for this. The Rebbe told us many times that there are 2 roles in averting decrees in this world. Mitaam Vedaas and Lemaalah Mitaam Vadaas. For example, when one is sick R"L - there are the doctors and medications and there are also the Teffilos of families & friends. Both are needed! Our role - the Chassid's role - is Lemaalah Mitaam Vedaas. That we can actually avert the Gezairah by going out on a huge campaign of the Rebbe's Mivtzoim that thousands of Jewish men will put on Teffilin, and thousands of Jewish women will light Shabbos candles etc. This the Rebbe said will have a direct effect on the Gezaira Milemaila - this is our role to play....others may demonstrate and effect the situation Mitaam Vadaas, but ours was always a higher way. Recall the 6 Day War when the Rebbe instituted an all-out teffilin blitz and said this will protect Yidden - "Veraau kol amei hooeretz ki shem Hashem vechulu." While the Rebbe spoke literally hundreds of times of the methods that will dispel the darkness of this Golus and all decrees that come with it - the Rebbe never mentioned publicly amongst these methods - demonstrations and political rallying. Our job is quite clear.

Chas Vesholom to say that this means we are not just as much against the withdrawal as those protesting. The Rebbe said we must do all we can to forestall the danger and this would include letting the media know the Rebbe's view, letting our communities know the Rebbe's view and as a Rabbi making a Psak Din etc. However, our main way of preventing tragedy is by flooding the world with massive campaigns of Torah & Mitzvos this is what the Rebbe taught us.

Although the above tells us it should not be our main focus, it does not mean we must unequivocally stay away from demonstrations. However, one Head Shliach raised another problem, particularly prevalent in the US. When these rallies take place there are extreme left wing groups who attend and put up signs such as "death to Sharon" etc. to discredit the protest make the rally look fanatical etc. There are also unfortunately many trying to discredit and delegitimize Chabad, they take pictures of Chabad Rabbis at the rally with these signs in the background and this makes us look like extremists and dangerous and create a terrible chillul Lubavitch and chillul Hashem. See recent artciles in JPost and Haaretz regarding activities in Kfar Chabad for proof of this. This does irreparable damage to Chabad on many fronts.

Finally they mentioned: One of the things that bothered the Rebbe the most was violence, threats, aggression, harassment - particularly against other Jews and particularly in the name of the Rebbe. "In Lubavitch there are no Terroristen!! - we have no terror brigade!!" This destroys the good work that we do and pushes Moshiach further away.

This is a basic summary of the 2 hour long session. May there be only good news to relate regarding the holiness of Eretz Yisroel and Am Yisroel. May we merit the resolution of all these problems with the coming of Moshiach Bekorov Mamosh.