Sunday, May 16, 2010
The view and opinions expressed in this thread are not those of the publisher of this blog.
It's easy to sit back in our armchairs and to cast aspersions on Chabad. We are quick to point out that they are lacking leadership since the Rebbe’s stroke and are suffering the consequences. It is easy to point the grubeh finger at others; it doesn’t cost money, we can comfortably preach it to those who agree with us and more importantly, it is just talk; it doesn’t affect our lives one way or the other; it is like being anti-Zionist in a suburb of New York City. However, what should be close to home is the current state of leadership in our world; who makes the big decisions pertaining to matters that affect the most people.
The whole Rubashkin fiasco has been largely spearheaded by R' Pinny Lifshitz from Monsey. RPL takes this matter very seriously and urgees us to do the same. His argument is, simply put, twofold: Rubashkin is a very special person and he is being persecuted because of his religion. Each reason on its own is cause for our involvement and surely both of them together should galvanize us to action. The problem is that the materiality of both causes can not coexist. If this is a case of anti-Semitism (and we might be next, r”l) then it is immaterial how much chesed he does, what time he wakes up in the morning and how much mussar and Chassidus he learns. If he would be a regular person like Beilis, we should still follow in the way of the Chazon Ish and write a personalized letter to the government protesting the way his case is being handled. Furthermore, besides for telling us about his tzidkus, we are hearing how he is being mistreated in prison by the denial of his religious rights. This is de-ja-vu all over again. We heard similar claims when Shlomo Helbrans was incarcerated. In that case, he was treated with kid gloves by the prison administration and many exceptions where made in his favour. This was because the pressure was put on by the altruistic do-gooders. We were told that we must make this tzadik’s stay in prison more comfortable; he is innocent and being persecuted by a malicious government. The people who vouched for his tzidkus and even visited him in jail are far more prestigious than Msrs. Lifshitz and Besser – now we know the truth about that man - Helbrans - and that case.
Even if it is true that he is on the proverbial stake because of his faith or ethnicity, it is debatable if all the publicity is actually helpful or counterproductive. Obviously, one would have to have first hand knowledge of the facts on the ground, the key players and the inner workings of the system, in order to make a competent decision as to how to alleviate this poor fellow’s plight. Additionally, even armed with all the pertinent facts, it is imperative that the decision maker has a firm Mesorah relegating a Yid’s action in golus, coupled with a heavy dose of sechel, keen intuition and overall sharp decision-making abilities. It is possible that his heart is in the right places, that he actually feels for Sholom Mordcheh and for the Klal in general and is not enjoying the publicity. However, that is obviously not sufficient. In the days when Reb Elya was in charge, Lifshitz, who is a Reb Elya guy, would not be in a position to make this decision on his own – it would be Reb Elya’s call. In such a case, one can be more comfortable about the whole way this is handled. Unfortunately, in our current situation, the ball is in his court.
We are truly living in the times of עקבתא דמשיחא. (ad kan the guest post)
HT Says: You never do wrong by acting. At least then you can say we tried, we did the best we could based on the facts and how we saw them. If we lack the sechel and yishuv haDaas necessary there's nothing we can do about that. If we sit around and wait it'll be like never taking the bat off your shoulders - there's no way to score the man from second base like that, even if you do work out a walk. So while we may - or may not - have been better off conferring with Reb Elya, (Svei) the way it's being handled now is the CORRECT and HUMANE and AMERICAN way. So although the writer here doesn't want to point the "GRUBBEH FINGER" at PL, he ultimately does just that...