Chabad Rabbi and kabbalist Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, oft indicted for incitement, has called on soldiers to disobey evacuation orders.
Rabbi Ginsburgh spoke at a ceremony at Mitzpor Ziv, a now-disbanded illegal settler outpost. The ceremony marked the completion of a Sefer Torah written in memory of two settlers. Two years ago, both were mistaken for terrorists and killed by the Army while guarding the illegal outpost.
Rabbi Ginsburgh spoke over the sound of a printing press hard at work printing copies of the Chabad 'bible,' the Tanya.
The printing of the Tanya in every possible location is a messianic activity of Chabad.
The late rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson believed that widespread printing of the Tanya all over the world, especially in remote corners of the world, would speed the coming of the messiah.
Chabad's overt messianic campaign can be traced to the late rebbe's predecessor, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn who, during the height of the Holocaust rejected political efforts at rescue – like those that formed the War Refugee Board, funded Raoul Wallenberg, rescued more than 200,000 Jews from Hitler's, y"s, Europe, and saved Rabbi Schneersohn himself.
Instead, Rabbi Schneersohn launched a campaign to bring the messiah, starting educational outreach efforts in America to convince Jews to increase their Torah observance in order to bring the redemption. The first Lubavitch shluchim (emissaries) were sent by Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn under this messianic program.
The then-rebbe's younger son-in-law, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, was enlisted by his father-in-law to head the Kehot Publication Society, the newly-created publishing arm of the new messianic movement.
Political activities led by Hillel Kook (Peter Bergson) and playwright Ben Hecht – and opposed by the Rabbis Schneerso(h)n – were successful.
In the closing days of WW2, Raoul Wallenberg was arrested by the Soviets and disappeared, 'lost' in the Soviet gulags.
To my knowledge, Chabad – which has loudly and repetitively demanded the return of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn's library (alleged to be made up of mostly secular books like Sherlock Holmes novels) stolen by the Soviets – it has never demanded the freedom of Mr. Wallenberg, rescuer of tens of thousands of Jews.
But this may not be so surprising.
During his rescue from Nazi-controlled Poland, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn was inordinately concerned about the safety of his library.
As Jews were murdered all around him, Rabbi Schneersohn spent much time and money dealing with the fate of his books, his household goods and his silver, going as far as asking the United States government to organize special train cars to bring his book collection and other possessions to safety.
Rabbi Schneersohn did not ask the US government to save more Jews. Rabbi Schneersohn did not – although some other rebbes did – demand to face the war with his flock in Europe. In fact, after coming to America Rabbi Schneersohn – who had ordered his followers to remain in Europe – did not work particularly hard for their rescue.
If alive, Raoul Wallenberg languishes in Russian captivity. Still, Chabad, following its well-established pattern, concerns itself with rescuing books and 'bringing' the messiah, not with the fate of a man who saved tens of thousands of Jews.
May the messiah not tarry and, when he arrives, may he strongly reprimand those who valued the rescue of books and silver over simple decency and the saving of human life.