Sunday, June 5, 2005
It has become increasingly popular for amateur "historians" to "Monday morning quarterback", particularly when recounting the events of WWII, and what many could've or should've done. I'd like to play "devil's advocate" (a term I wish I could avoid) on an issue that hasn't been addressed much.
The late 19th and early 20th centuries were decisive times for the Jewish people, when the course of our history changed, never to be the same. At that time the Rebbe Rashab sent emissaries to the Eastern Republics of Georgia and Uzbekistan, including Samarkand and Bukhara. Some of the more famous ones were Reb Shmuel Levitin, Reb Michoel Lipsker and Reb Avrohom Levi Slavin (speaking from memory). His son, the Rebbe Rayatz, continued this tradition.
At the time that those emissaries were dispatched to those countries large chunks of European Jewry were being torn away from their roots by every Socio-Political movement theretofore known to man. Everything from Zionism to Socialism to Communism had a large representation from all walks of Jewish life, yet nothing was done to stop this riptide. Most of the movements also were very well represented in all of the European "Torah centers", something that is very well documented, and that maybe could have been stopped by showing the learned ones the errs of their ways. I definitely believe the Rebbe would've done things differently, including instituting the programs he later did at a time where it would've been most unpopular, and in that sense the Rebbe did differ from his ancestors and predecessors.
The Eastern Republics mentioned were under no spiritual threats at that time or for decades to come, at least not until the Rise of the Bolsheviks, and had it much easier than their western brothers after that.
Could it be because they were still untainted, not affected by outside influences and were therefore salvageable? Was it because there the Shluchim could work without bother? Was there not enough manpower for the fight on both fronts?
Please do not read more than is meant into this post. Chas Vesholom for me to question the ways of the Rebbeyim. השם הטוב יכפר בעדי.