Chana Gourary, eldest daughter of the 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn and sister-in-law of the 7th rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson, after being beaten by a hasid of the 7th rebbe. Mrs. Gourary was then in her mid-eighties.
In a discussion on Mentalblog, the beating of Chana Gourary by a Lubavitcher hasid was mentioned. Chana, the daughter of the 6th rebbe of Lubavitch and the sister-in-law of the 7th and then current rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson, then in her mid-eighties, was beaten on Shabbat by a student of the central Chabad-Lubavitch yeshiva. Mrs. Gourary's husband, Rabbi Shmaryahu Gourary, had been the operations head of the yeshiva since its days in Poland before WW2.
Why was Mrs. Gourary beaten?
Because, as one of the two surviving children of the 6th rebbe and as the mother of his only grandchild, Mrs. Gourary wanted her family's share of the 6th rebbe's estate. The 7th rebbe, Mendel Schneerson, opposed this. When it became clear that Mrs. Gourary and her son Barry were taking items from the estate, the Rebbe became infuriated and spoke out against the 'thieves.' An enraged follower then went to Mrs. Gourary's apartment and assulted her.
The Rebbe refused to go to a neutral beit din to resolve the dispute and, instead, in violation of normative halakha, brought the case to secular court which eventually found that the estate belonged to 'all hasidim' and was not the personal property of the 6th rebbe or his descendants – a decision that would not have been reached in an impartial beit din. To this day, Chabad keeps much of the meat of the estate under lock and key, unavailable for viewing by researchers and hasidim alike – hardly the public use the secular court envisioned.
After the attacker left her apartment, a badly injured Chana Gourary phoned her sister Chaya Mussia, the Rebbe's wife, for help. It was Shabbat. Phones are not used or answered. Yet Chana called and Chaya Mussia answered the phone. This was before caller ID or special ring tones. Chaya Mussia got help.
Word of the attack spread through Crown Heights. Chabad 'authorities' quickly put the attacker in seclusion and, on Shabbat, arranged for a flight to Israel on the first available plane. By the time the police arrived looking for him, the attacker was already out of US airspace. He married and lives a normal life in Israel as part of the Chabad-Lubavitch community there. He has not been shamed or ostricized in any way.
In the 1970's an elder member of the Chabad-Lubavitch Va'ad HaRabbonim refused a direct request from the Rebbe to excommunicate an Israeli politician who had disregarded the Rebbe's wishes. Rabbi Rivkin pointed out that there were no halakhic grounds for the excommunication and respectfully refused to do the Rebbe's bidding. Similar to what would happen in the Gourary case, the Rebbe publicly and viciously spoke out against the one who would not sign. The Rebbe also posted the excommunication order signed by the other members of the Va'ad HaRabbonim so it would be clear to all who that "one" was.
Rabbi Rivkin was spit on in the streets, called a Nazi, had his home covered with graffiti, his windows broken. He received late-night harassing phone calls. He was threatened. An elderly man, Rabbi Rivkin could not handle the strain. He had a stroke, fell down his stairs and died.
The Rebbe denied his hasidim had any role in the harassment of Rabbi Rivkin, an odd contention because, a) The Rebbe himself publicly and in direct violation of Jewish law harassed Rabbi Rivkin, and b) much of the graffiti was in Yiddish. No one who learns Chabad hasiddus could do such a thing, the Rebbe told reporters. Only a few years later, another hasid of the Rebbe, a man who studied in his yeshiva and learned much Chabad hasidut, beat a defenseless elderly woman to the point of death.
As before, the Rebbe was unmoved and unrepentant.