"It is well known that when a dinner of United Lubavitcher Yeshivos concluded with the Hatikvah, the Rebbe removed his auspices from the institution. This harsh action was taken, even though Lubavitchers hadn't sung it, some supporters had. But since the organizers didn't see to it to hush the anthem's singing, the Rebbe removed his name from the school."
The following anti-Zionist article was written by a leading Chabad rabbi in Israel, Dovid Meir Drukman.
Who is Rabbi Druckman? He's the brother of Rabbi Chaim Druckman who heads the conversion authority of the Israeli government. But more importantly, Rabbi Dovid Meir Drukman is the chief rabbi of Kiryat Motzkin near Haifa.
Who pays Rabbi Dovid Meir Drukman's salary? The same Rabbi Druckman who writes, "I beg you not to speak in my name, and the rest of Chabad's, when you salute the work of anti-Jewish activists [Theodore Herzl and the Zionists who founded Israel and fought its wars]"?
The 'evil' 'un-Jewish' State of Israel, the state that pays thousands of yeshiva students to study Torah and which heavily subsidizes or fully pays for thousands of Orthodox synagogues, day schools and heders.
Read it and vomit:
Israel's Torch Lighting: In Chabad's Name?
Are plans to have a Lubavitcher child light the Independence Day torch really an honor to Chabad or an affront to the Rebbe's steadfast view?
Adapted from an essay written by Rabbi Dovid Meir Drukman
A bride and groom do not fast if their wedding falls out on Rosh Chodesh. Except for Rosh Chodesh Nisan.
Rosh Chodesh Nisan marks the day that the two sons of Aaron were killed, after having offered "a strange fire, which He had not commanded them".
There are always those who can be described as having "offered foreign firers to Hashem". These people's intentions may be praiseworthy and are indeed holy, but their course has misled them, after repeatedly making major misjudgments.
It seems to have become more normal that many religious, Orthodox leaders light the 'torch' to kick off the Yom Ha'atzmaut celebrations. The torch is lit to formally close the solemn events of Memorial Day, and to usher in a celebratory mood for the 'Independence Day' celebrations.
The candle is lit at the graveside of Israel's great visionary (and anti-religious) leader Theodor Herzl on Mount Herzl. An Israeli flag is then raised to thunderous applause, followed by musical and other entertainment.
I am not addressing those who act in accordance with their leaders, or on their own account. I am speaking to Chabad Chasidim who wish to follow the teaching of the Rebbe.
At first glance, many will conclude that the Rebbe's view would not come into conflict with the lighting of a torch celebrating modern-day Israel's birthday. After all, they argue, it is known how the Rebbe welcomed the heads of Israel, worked tirelessly for her safety and even acted to better Israel's economic wellbeing! Many leaders of Israel contacted the Rebbe for his wise advice and holy counsel.
Their assertion continues with the Rebbe's relentless battle against relinquishing even one piece of the Israel. When religious leaders debated the issues of 'Peace For Land', the Rebbe voiced the view that Torah was utterly clear in that it was forbidden to give back even an inch of land.
Does this not illustrate the Rebbe's love for Israel? Why do some get so worked up about joining their festivities and lighting a torch, celebrating Israel's continued existence?
Due to this warped explanation of the Rebbe's outlook, I wish to put things into perspective, albeit briefly.
Firstly, the point must be made clear: The Rebbe's opposition to Zionism was no different to that of his predecessors, the Frierdike Rebbe and the Rebbe Rashab. [The Rebbe's immediate predecessors, the 5th and 6th rebbes, Sholom DovBer and Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, were the leading anti-Zionists of their day along with the Munkatcher Rebbe and the Satmar Rebbe. Sholom DovBer wrote a notorious anti-Zionist letter which you can read here.]
Rabbi Menachem Wilhelm retold the Rebbe's resolute rejection of Zionism. In Yechidus, the Rebbe told him that his opposition remains steadfast, and he only befriends Israel's leaders as fellow Jews, who need to be introduced to Yiddishkeit.
Not only in ideological terms did the Rebbe oppose Zionism, but in actuality. It is well known that when a dinner of United Lubavitcher Yeshivos concluded with the Hatikvah, the Rebbe removed his auspices from the institution. This harsh action was taken, even though Lubavitchers hadn't sung it, some supporters had. But since the organizers didn't see to it to hush the anthem's singing, the Rebbe removed his name from the school.
Additionally, the story of Rabbi Uriel Zimmer needs to be told. While he was a fervent Chabad Chasid, he was the editor of the Satmar newspaper 'Der Yid'. The Rebbe once asked him to write a piece outlining Orthodox Jewry's ideological opposition to Zionism.
When the Rebbe received his thesis called "Judaism, the Torah and the State", the Rebbe asked Rabbi Zimmer, "Where is the harsh style?"
Even while the Rebbe held a warm relationship with Israel's former president Mr. Zalman Shazar, the Rebbe never referred to him as Nasi Hamedina (State President). And when the Rebbe spoke passionately about Israel's security and integrity, he not once used the seemingly more convenient name for it, 'Medinas Yisrael', opting out for various verses that portrayed the holiness and Jewishness of the land.
Cautioning the possibility that people may think that Chabad holds Zionistic tendencies, the Rebbe never allowed Chabad printed books to sport a Star of David, adopted by Israel as a state symbol.
So, are Lubavitchers Zionists or not?
Correct, we are Zionists. But not the so-called Zionists who created the State of Israel, rather we are Zionists who pray thrice daily that "G-d lay His eyes upon Zion".
The difference is immense.
The Previous Rebbe made this distinction, saying that the Zionists (which we represent) want to return to Israel solely for spiritual fulfillment, while those Zionists (which came to be the face of modern day Israel) wished to build a nationalistic Jew, void of any spiritual foundation. The Rebbe went on to describe Israel's father Theodor Herzl's visit to Israel. "He arrived in Jerusalem as Shabbos came in, and disgraced the Shabbos at Judaism's holiest site, just to demonstrate his ideology of assimilation and rebellion."
After all we know about the Rebbes' views, why do Lubavitchers have anything to do with Israel?
It's a simple parable. A father whose son is about to jump, tries to persuade his son to come down from the roof. The father pleads with his son, but to no avail. Now, when the son breaks all his bones, is the father going to say, "Well it's not my problem, I warned you!"?
The Rebbes, and all of Orthodox Jerwy's leaders, warned of the spiritual and physical disaster that the founding of Israel would bring.
But after it happened, and the state was established the new situation had to be dealt with. The Rebbe didn't change his view, as some like to purport. He only took the facts on the ground as a sign that the attitude toward Zionism would have to be slightly different. Previously the fight was against establishing a state, now that the state was established, the best for the Jewish people remained a top priority.
The safety of Israel's citizens was undebatable in the Rebbe's view, as was the spiritual growth.
The Rebbe did not embrace the Israeli government's existence as a good thing, but as a technical-framework, that had become the reality.
While I agree there is a Mitzvah to save someone who "jumped from the roof", or any other silly and negligent act, who said the act should be celebrated? Would you light a torch to joyously mark the beginning of that mistake?
Yes, we thank Hashem for the miracles of 1948, but Yom Haatzmaut (5 Iyar) commemorates the time when Israel was founded, rejecting the Jewish religion as the sole unifying force between the nation. Is it not written in their Declaration of Independence that "here in [the land of] Israel the Nation of Israel was founded"? This is an absolute lie! The Jewish nation was established at Mount Sinai with the acceptance of the Torah. Their intentional omission of the religious narrative is testament to their anti-Jewish ideology.
To capture the insolence of the anti-religious sentiments of many of Israel's founders, the Rebbe offered a parable to a Kfar Chabad resident: A king helped a slave out of the garbage dump, bathed him, cleaned him, changed his clothes and put him back on his feet, employing him at the palace. "To show his gratitude, the slave through his savior, the king, out of the palace!"
Hashem performed many wonders for the Jewish nation, and these people went and threw G-d Himself out of the picture, to say thank you!
One, indeed, may try to justify joining their celebrations. "When I light the torch, I will speak about Judaism, and the self-sacrifice of the Rebbe's Shluchim."
This was the answer of Aaron's children. They also had the best intentions in mind (to the extent that Moshe told Aaron, "Now I see that they are greater than you and me!"), and nevertheless, their sacrifice was one which Hashem hadn't wanted, "a foreign flame".
On the contrary, I beseech of those who do choose to go to light a candle, to do so in honor of the State of Israel. Do it in honor of Theodor Herzl. Speak of the greatness of secularism and Israel's own accomplishments, omitting G-d's name, and definitely don't mention the Rebbe and his Shluchim.
Don't mix the Rebbe and Hashem [God] into a commemoration of Herzl's dream. Followed by secular bands, most probably women performers. And during Sefiras Ha'omer!
As a Chabad Chasid who has had the honor to be part of the Rebbe's 'force' ['Army'], I beg you not to speak in my name, and the rest of Chabad's, when you salute the work of anti-Jewish activists.
Don't bring disgrace to Chabad and the Rebbe. To paraphrase the Alter Rebbe's words in Tanya (chapter 24): It is similar to one who takes hold of the king's head, brings it to the ground and rubs it in filth; there is no greater insult, even if it be only briefly..."
The Rebbe demands that we bring all Jews closer. That means to bring them closer and not for you to get closer to them.
While it's understandable that some recognition is some required. For example, a Magen David appears on the marriage certificates of the Eidah Chreidis, since it is accepted by the government. But they are not 'mehader' in it. You don't have to go out of your way to do more than the lowest duties which we are required.
The sin of the Persian Jews was not that they joined in the feast of Achashverosh. After all, they were obligated to attend a 'diplomatic' affair to retain good ties with the rulers. Their sin was that they "derived benefit" from the feast. They went one step further than merely partaking in the feast.
I know that the people to whom I am primarily referring to in my words are good people, who mean only the best. But since there is a definite bad outcome, a potential Chilul Hashem, I deem it necessary to clarify the Rebbe's stance on this issue.
Hopefully the Rebbe's view will prevail and the State of Israel will be elevated to its original state as a Jewish nation, and not merely a nation of Jews, with the coming of Moshiach.
[Hat Tip: Burich.]