Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Disgrace of Betrayal

The Disgrace of Betrayal

By Yehoshua S. Hecht

Norwalk, CT USA

The great Rebbe of Kotzk was known to say that the prohibition of not deceiving others applies to oneself too. He said “Only a fool attempts to dupe another and of even greater silliness is when the fool deceives himself?

This introduction comes to mind to the visceral reaction I had after reading not once but twice the ”Opinion” which appeared in the Chabad Hebrew language website called “Shturem”.

The article was presented under the banner headline “There is no Pikuach Nefesh (saving of life) in the obligation of protest” which was penned by an official from Chabad serving in Maryland, USA.

The writer opines that as an emissary of Chabad he had nothing to say publicly about the Annapolis meeting convened last month which was attended by Abu Abbas, President of the terrorist PLO and Prime Minister Olmert of Israel which was convened by Secretary of State Condi Rice to set the stage for more territorial concessions by the state of Israel and to push for parts of Jerusalem to be given away to the PLO and its supporters.

The writer in “Shturm” informs us that the Rebbe no longer wants us to be involved in Mihu Yehudi – the Who is a Jew controversy by (“miss”) quoting a talk of the Rebbe and then informs us that his perspective is informed by events of over thirty years ago when he was a part of those who worked on Mihu Yehudi etc.

The upshot of his article is that Chabad as official Chabad should not be involved in any of these issues and certainly at present not be involved in any official protests against giving over parts of Israel to the enemy.

It is plainly astounding that the writer who is an intelligent and articulate individual should allow himself to digress with such equanimity and smoothness of a political operative to so deftly identify darkness as light and bitterness as sweet.

In short, he has performed a 180 degree turn away from the clearly stated and unambiguous talks (by the hundreds) of our Rebbe concerning Mihu Yehudi and certainly Pikuach Nefesh and Shelemus Haaretz.

His giving over responsibility of these important issues into the hands of others (rabbis) is most certainly a cop-out of the most grievous sort.

In my humble opinion any person possessing integrity honesty and loyalty to his Rebbe cannot pen such an awfully misguided opinion piece and disseminate it publicly. If anything it is a sad indication of how far we have fallen from the source of inspiration and guidance bequeathed to us with brilliance, heart and soul from all of our holy Rebbe’s and certainly during the years of 1950 through Gimmel Tamuz and beyond.

As such, I have no recourse but to publicly repudiate and oppose the above misguided opinion that Chabad emissaries are not to speak out publicly on these issues. This is a patently disingenuous opinion that ought to rile up every Chassid who cares about what the Rebbe cares about. Namely, bringing Moshiach Now, protecting Jews and their security in Israel and opposing bogus standards of conversion.

I find it offensive and upsetting that our Rebbe's words and opinions are twisted and contorted in such a disrespectful and disloyal manner and presented as being in the interest of the Rebbe’s legacy.

To take it one step further it is the ultimate rebellion to his authority and legacy to remain silent on the very issues he so poured so much time and energy in to.

Where are the Chassidim of the Rebbe and why is our leadership so quiet and mute when we were encouraged and taught by the Rebbe to speak up and to be activists for “Pikuach Nefesh?”

How many more articles are we to read in “Shturem” of rockets hitting civilians and killing innocents? Since when is a picture of a Chabad emissary helping the victims the only response of what Chabad and every Jew who cares about another Jew is to do.

Where were we when the outrage of the Gush Katif destruction was unfolding before our very eyes?

What happened to Pikuach Nefesh at the world wide conference of shluchim held recently in NY? Why was there no official communiqué on Pikuach Nefesh?

Has the need for access to political or monetary connections corrupted us to the point of not only silence in the face of challenge but active acquiescence too? To quote the words of the Megillah “have you come to subjugate the queen in my own palace”.

When are we going to wake up and begin to use the world -wide influence we have for the purposes intended?

Indeed, every Shliach every Tomim, and every Chassid has not only the prerogative but the holy responsibility to do whatever they can to enhance Pikuach Nefesh.

May the miracle of Purim and the lesson of Mordechai the Jew not bowing down to Haman resonate with us today, in the here and now and very soon indeed merit the complete redemption with the revelation of Moshiach.
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