Friday, May 6, 2011

The EDAH HACHAREDIT against Israel's 63 Independence Day


Next Monday night and Tuesday, the State of Israel will be celebrating its 63 Independence Day. Of course, not every haredi citizen may agree to the present state. The anti - Zionist umbrella organization located in Mea Shearim, the EDAH HACHAREDIT, has been publishing a Pashkevil against the Zionist celebrations.


  1. When it was publicized that this year, the son of the murdered Chabad Shliach of Mumbai will lit the torch on Yom HaShoah marking the beginning of the celebrations leading to Yom Ha'Atzmaus, some Chabad Rabbis reacted:

    Unfortunately, they didn't listen and he indeed lit the torch (as we can see in a video released yesterday by Channel 2, I think), which leads some parents to issue a boycott on the annual Lag Ba'omer parade organized by Chabad in Jerusalem:

    In response, some Chabad Rabbis asked Rabbi Rosenberg to resign from any position he has in Chabad institutions:

    All this open a new debate in Israel: How deep is the anti-zionism of Chabad?

    Yes, we're anti-zionists as most chassidim, and the fact people don't know about that illustrate quite well how ignorant people are about Chabad. As I told you on many occasion, Chabad is a chasidus and is not only about Kiruv activities. It's far deeper and more complex than that.

    The difference between Chabad and other anti-zionists is that while others have a deep hatred toward anything related to the state and Zionism (secular Jews included), Chabad does not differenciate between Jews, and are dealing with tremendous Ahavas Yisroel with every single Jew, whoever he is and whatever is religious orientation. But it does not mean that we agree with Zionism or the secular lifestyle of most Jews in the world.

  2. B"H

    I have been collecting material about the MALACHIM and I will write about them soon. Unfortunately, I have never found the time to put the material together but will do it soon. I think that more people should know about them.

    Its strange but many people not being deeply involved with the Chassidut topic are not aware of Chabad split - offs.

    Its not easy to find material about the MALACHIM and I had to go through special books in order to find their history and some "scandals". Especially when Chabad tried to get those Malachim back.:-)

    Today they hardly exist and if, then only in New York. Many Malachim got absorbed into Satmar and this shows the "similarity" (if I may say so) between Satmar and Chabad.

    The funny thing is that many traditional, secular and national religious Israeli Jews are also not aware of the strong Chabad anti - Zionism. I had this experience many times when those Jews denied that Chabad is against the State of Israel. They all think that Chabad is pro - Israel because there are Chabadnikim in the Israeli army.

  3. B"H

    Regarding little Moishe:

    I don't see it so bad when he is lighting a torch. It is important that also Haredim participate in the important event of Yom Ha'azma'ut live braodcasted on Israeli TV. It just makes the population aware that there are also other Jews and not the upper Jerusalem class participating in this particular event.

  4. To say it quite simply: the only concern the Rebbe had for Israel was NOT for the state but for the SAFETY of Jews living in the state. He even once said in a sicha that his refusal for any withdrawal from even a inch of the Holy Land was NOT because of the State of Israel or to support Zionism but because withdrawing will put in danger the life of the Jews living there (once again, he was right, look what happen since Gaza was given back to the Arabs). In that vein, he added that if it was possible that giving back some lands to Arabs would lead to a genuine peace between Arabs and Jews in the region and spare Jewish lives, the Israelis would have the obligation to comply. BUT, said the Rebbe, because we know that it will never lead to a genuine peace, since the Arabes hate us with a very deep hatred which will be calmed down only if all the Jews are thrown into the sea, it's forbidden to give them back any piece of land of the Holy Land, for concern of Pikuach Nefesh (saving Jewish lives). Why people are ignorant of the anti-zionism of Chabad? Because their local shliach will never dare speaking about that by fear that people may go elsewhere or boycott Chabad. But the Rebbe was clear on this too: even if it may bring a monetary loss and a boycott of Chabad, the Rebeb said that when it's needed, we must tell the truth and only the truth

    As for the successive Chabad splits, they took place long ago in history and so, of course, as you said, people who are not too involved with chassidus cannot know about that. Putting together information about the Malachim is something very difficult as they are too small, and nobody can know for certain that thie one or this one is a Malach, since they merged with Satmar. As you said, it is a clear sign of the similarities between both courts. In fact, it is known that Lubavitch was even more anti-zionist than Satmar, and both courts were seen as been the best "friends" and everytime a pashkavil was issued by the Gedolei Yisroel against Zionism, the first people to sign were the respective Lubavitcher and Satmar Rebbes. VaYoel Moshe, the best anti-zionist book ever, was written by the Satmar Rebbe, while Satmar and Lubavitch get on very well together, before the Six Days War. That relationship lasted untill the Six Days War, 17 years after the Rebbe became the Lubavitcher Rebbe. The Satmar Rebbe did not agree with the Rebbe that the victory was miraculous in nature, because for the Satmar Rebbe, G-d cannot accomplish a miracle for sinners. Since then, Satmar consider Lubavitcher as being Zionists or pro-Zionists, while it's not true. It is at that time, after the Six Days War that the Rebbe officially launched his compagn to bring back Jews, whoever they are, closer to the Torah, what we call Kiruv. Satmar was against, because, according to them, observant Jews cannot sympathize with sinners and non-observant Jews, because with the time, there is a possibility to embrace their views and jeopardize our yiddishkeit. So because Chabad is deeply involved with Jews in israel to bring them closer to the Torah, it i seen as being pro-Zionism. That is one of the differences between Satmar and Lubavitch, and some Lubavitcher who taught that the Rebeb did indeed change teh shita of Lubavitch concerning its anti-zionism decided to join the Malachim, but there are very few.

    As for Moishe lighting the torch, it was not the act which is guilty, but the symbolism and the message such act convey: the torch is lit at Herzl's grave (an heretic and anti-religious man), celebration are accompagnied with music, while we are in the Sefirah period, and people salute the Israeli flags. So, yes, all that and more other things which occured there, were wrong and a chillul lubavitch, an act which goes against the clear position and instruction of the Rebbe on the issue.

  5. You will certainly find interesting the story of Uriel Zimmer ZT''L, a Lubavitcher chosid who was asked on many times by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, to write pamphlets and books against Zionism. He became the editor of "Der Yid", the official Satmar newspaper, and he wrote many articles on Zionism in "Der Yid". That he was a Lubavitcher writting anti-zionist articles in a Satmar newspaper shows how Chabad and Satmar were (and indeed are) similar in their position against Zionism. And like I said, all this changed in 1967, after the 6 Days War.

    Here is the story of Uriel Zimmer ZT''L:

  6. All this was published in Beis Moshiach Magazine, Issue number 602:

    The Rebbe issued instructions to people who wrote articles for public consumption to publicize these matters. Among them is Rabbi Chaim Yehuda Peldi, of blessed memory, who was asked by the Rebbe to make a public campaign, including the publicity of articles in the papers on these matters with proper explanations. (This was done completely at the Rebbe’s initiative –“an arousal from Above” – without any “arousal” from Rabbi Peldi, as is retold as length in the Kfar Chabad Magazine, Issue #1012.) However, what is even more important and relevant to our discussion pertains to Rabbi Uriel Zimmer, a talented author known for his zealous position regarding Zionism and the medina who publicized his thought-provoking articles in numerous periodicals throughout the Jewish world. He was privileged to have many private audiences with the Rebbe, where he instructed him to increase in his anti-Zionist writings, despite the fact that he was already known for his very close connection to the Rebbe, even serving as his secretary (a recognized Lubavitcher), and despite his strong desire to stop writing on such subjects.

    He pleaded before the Rebbe to let him move on (“I’m not a Satmar,” he said), but to no avail. The Rebbe “nudged” him to keep writing more and more. On one occasion (at a yechidus on the 23rd of Shvat 5718), the Rebbe told him that many chareidi public figures and Knesset Members from a leading chareidi political party had requested that the Rebbe get Rabbi Zimmer to stop writing against Zionism, but the Rebbe said that for this very reason, he must increase in his writings. In that yechidus, Rabbi Zimmer also told the Rebbe that he understood that Chabad askanim in Eretz Yisroel resented how he had publicized things that the Rebbe had told him in the previous yechidus on this subject (the askanim apparently reasoned that certain things are most appropriate to relate in the privacy of yechidus, but publicizing them in the papers can cause harm to Chabad’s image, and perhaps even jeopardize the government funding it is trying to obtain). The Rebbe’s response: Not only do I approve of such publicity, I am giving explicit instructions to publicize them. (See Rabbi Zimmer’s letter on this subject, among many others publicized in the t’shura distributed at the Blau wedding, Teverya, Elul 5765, p. 63).

    Who are we to get involved in such critical debates as the question of Zionism and is’chalta d’Geula? The Rebbe provides the answer.

    In a response to someone who printed an article rejecting the notion that the founding of the state of Israel represents is’chalta d’Geula, the Rebbe writes (Igros Kodesh, Iyar 19, 5730), “It seems that I have already expressed much pleasure and satisfaction from the article that he printed on the painful and frightful error of calling this bitter and manifold dark exile by the name ‘Is’chalta d’Geula.’ This has been said many times, particularly when we see the results from this, etc., and the merit of the many will assist all those who protest against this. And it is understood that there is no room for a downcast spirit that the protest is not accepted as it should be, even though my hope is that it makes an impression in any case, and who stands in the secret of G-d to know the results? It is further understood that this is no exemption for protesting again and again, and particularly according to what has been said and explained many times about the seriousness of the subject and the damage [from calling our current situation by the name is’chalta d’Geula], etc., etc...”

  7. (When the Rebbe wrote about “what has been said and explained many times about the seriousness of the subject and the damage” regarding the definition of the present-day situation by the name is’chalta d’Geula, he was referring to several matters he had explained on various occasions which stem directly from this phenomenon, e.g., the fact that the existence of Israel and calling it "the beginning of the Redemption" leads to leniencies in the fulfillment of Torah and mitzvos, delays the True Redemption, bloodshed and loss of life among the Jewish People, etc., as is explained in many of the Rebbe’s holy sichos and letters (see relevant appendices in Likkutei Sichos and Igros Kodesh).) Thus, we learn that according to the viewpoint of the Rebbe, each and every one of us has the privilege and the ability (even the obligation) to protest such a matter of principle, and he promises us the help of Heaven in our protest. Furthermore, even if those listening to the protest aren’t interested in adopting a proper Torah approach to this issue right now, nevertheless, this doesn’t exempt us from protesting again and again. For this very purpose, the Rebbe was prepared to “quarrel” and not be “pleasant” with politicians and the leaders of the chareidi parties (and possibly place the government funding these people arranged for Chabad in serious jeopardy?), as long as the outcry reached them, one way or the other.

    This is especially true when the subject has been clarified and elucidated from a variety of different angles in Wolpo’s seifer, designed for Torah scholars and other prominent people. It includes a most pertinent and encompassing analysis, explaining various dimensions to this issue, responding to relevant questions asked by the general public, and bringing the sources that serve as the basis for each answer. There can be no doubt that this is an appropriate and scholarly text, perfectly in line with the expressed desire of the Rebbe.

    It is understood that all this is on the condition that the material included in this seifer and the general impression it conveys represents the exact viewpoint of the Rebbe, and anyone who believes otherwise is invited to point this out to the author (who requested this himself in the preface to his seifer, and who will surely respond to relevant arguments addressed to him with all due consideration). The aforementioned relates to the main question of whether it’s proper to be involved with explaining the Rebbe’s approach on this issue with an orderly and relevant piece of writing in the ways of pleasantness and in an acceptable fashion.

    The Rebbe relates to this subject in a clear, unambiguous, and uncompromising fashion. However, this does not mean that every time we meet with a Jew from the national Zionist camp or someone who presently does not observe Torah and mitzvos we have to “give it to him over the head” on the issue of modern Zionism. Nevertheless, when the issue does come up and when people want to know the Rebbe’s position and opinion on this matter, we must state it in the clearest possible manner, without compromise.
    (From Beis Moshiach #602)

  8. So the Rebbe made Uriel Zimmer to become his spokeperson on the issue of Zionism. We can see the Rebbe NEVER changed the shita of Chabad on that issue, quite the contrary. All the books against Zionism written by Uriel Zimmer can be read online on Neturei Karta's websites (yes, you read well, yje nits of NETUREI KARTA; they are against Chabad, but they don't have any problem to publish on their websites books of Uriel Zimmer, a CXhabadnik, because it serves their propaganda). Some of his books which ara available online are TORAH-JUDAISM AND THE STATE OF ISRAEL you can read here (chich explain why Torah and Zionism are opposite), THE GUARDIANS OF THE CITY you can read here (which talks about the Neturei Karta movement).

    So now, with all that I told you, to anyone who will deny that Chabad is anti-zionist, you have what to tell them. And of course, these are information that should be used only if necessary.

  9. B"H

    Great insights !!! I have never heard about Uriel Zimmer but I read in the book "Chassidic People" by Jerome R. Mintz that there were 120 - 130 Malachim families living in New York in the 1980ies.

    However, I have a whole report on the Satmarer Chassid MENDEL WECHTER who drew students to Chabad. About 10 Satmarer youth became Lubavitch and Satmar freaked.

    Furthermore, I am going to write about ISRAEL JACOBSON, the first Lubavitcher in New York.

  10. Rabbi Wechter's story is trully passionate. I had the zechus (merit) to meet him on some occasions. He is a teacher and mashpia in the Lubavitch village of Nachalas Har Chabad.

    For the record, the Satmar students who followed him in Lubavitch were not about 10, but much more. In Crown Heights, the Lubavitch neighborhood and headquarters of Lubavitcher, the Satmarer who switched for Lubavitch have their own shul and they have plenty of members. Entire families moved to Lubavitch with Rabbi Wechter. The story happened when the hatred between both groups reached disproportionate level. Till this day, this is considered as the dark age in the relationship between Satmar and Lubavitch.

    There is a book called "Hasidic people: a place in the new world" which has a whole chapter focused on the relationship between both groups and which tell exactelty what happened with Rabbi Wechter and how the Satmar beat him and shaved his beard when they discovered that he joined the archennemy of Lubavitch. It happened in the late 70's, that mean a dozen of years after the 6 Days Wars, when Satmar took their distance with us. So, you can imagine the hatred those people had for us and for Rabbi Wechter. When the Lubavitcher Rebbe heard about that story, he urged the Lubavitch Beis Din to issue a ban on Satmar Shechita and products. This ban applies untill today, since Satmar never express remorse on the matter. Lubavitcher don't eat Satmar meats (exept when they are the only meat available).

    It is a story that is worth telling.

  11. I mentionned the book "Hasidic people: a place in the new world." If you have the book or want to buy it to read it, all the story between Satmar, Lubavitch, Rabbi Wechter and the hondred of Satmar who join Lubavitch, is tell in chapter 5 called: Satmar, Malochim, Lubavitch: The Struggles Between the Courts. But the best part is in the chapter 14 and 15. Chapter 14 is called: Satmar and Lubavitch in Conflict, and Chapter 15 is called "The Struggles between the Courts Continue."

    There are also some inexactitudes in the book, and even some lies and loshon hara written about the Satmar Rebbe and the Lubavitcher Rebbe. That's the reason why I didn't like the book and I didn't read it entirely. But it contains good materials for someone who is like you interested in knowing more about the relationship between Chabad and Satmar.

    To conclude, let me quote you what Rabbi Wechter responded to some Satmarer who accuse him of having embraced Zionism now that he was a Lubavitcher:

    "I came from Satmar. They are against Zionism and hold of the Rebbe Rashab who fought Zionism, but not of Lubavitch today, which they don’t see as opposing Zionism. When I became a Lubavitcher, I had some debates with Satmar chassidim, and I maintained that the Rebbe is more of a zealot than the Rebbe Rashab, but his war on Zionism took a different form.

    I explained to them that their war against Zionism is like two countries whose soldiers fought one another, where the soldiers of one country left the battlefield, while the other soldiers continued shooting. The enemy is no longer there, but Satmar is carrying on the war.

    We have to know where the battlefront is. The battle today is for the talmid’s soul."

    In other words, the difference between Satmar and Lubavitch is that Satmar kept the same anti-zionism they had before the creation of the state, while Lubavitch decided to adopt a new strategy, while keeping their anti-zionism at the same time. Now that the state of israel is a reality, what can we achieve by shouting and protesting against Zionism? NOTHING! That's why instead of shouting and making a fuss, Lubavitch decided to focus on bringing back those lost soul where they belong: near G-d and His Torah! All this with love and genuine concern for each and every Jew. That's the difference, and Satmar does not understand that their attitude will lead to no progress. They are waging the good war but with the wrong strategy, while Lubavitch, without making noise about anti-zionism, are having much more success in dispelling zionist ideas.

  12. I just noticed that we were talking about the same book, by Jerome R. Mintz. Yes, there are good information, but all is not exact for whoever knows a little more about the story behind the relationship between Satmar and Lubavitch. But his depiction is generaly fair.

    If you investigate the story of Rabbi Wechter and the war between both groups in the 70's and 80"s, you won't regret it. It's passionate! Who said that Chabad didn't have a History?!