In an interview published in today's Jerusalem Post, Chabad spokesman Rabbi Menachem Brod explains why Chabad – although opposed to disengagement – will not be officially protesting:
Brod also said that Chabad simply cannot afford a costly PR campaign against disengagement. "After our anti-Oslo campaign we were left with huge debt. We simply don't have the resources. If Yesha had money, we could join them but they are broke also."
This is an odd contention from an organization whose anti-Oslo efforts were largely paid for by wealthy donors like Cyril Stein.
It also raises the question: If, as Chabad claims, disengagement is really an issue of pikuakh nefesh, saving the lives of Jews in immediate danger of death, how can Chabad officially sit on the sidelines?
The answer is this bit of sophistry:
"When Chabad comes out strongly and publicly in favor of Greater Israel and against disengagement, even though this is not necessarily a political act, the public sees it as taking a political stand.…
"And that hurts Chabad's main activities, which, like the struggle to maintain Greater Israel, is pikuah nefesh [a matter of life or death]. Because if Jews are alienated from Judaism as a result of our activities, if they end up not celebrating Pessah or Rosh Hashana, that is also pikuah nefesh in our eyes," he said.
Really? Funny that 'definition' of pekuakh nefesh can't be found in Jewish legal, halakhic, sources.
But it can be found here, proffered by none other than Chabad's late rebbe, Mendel Schneerson as a reason not to save Ethiopian Jews.
Chabad, it's time to face facts: Your rebbe lied. So do your current leaders. It was never about pikuakh nefesh. It was always about empire-building and money.