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Chabad Rabbis Rip ‘Gallows’ Talk

Johanna Ginsberg – New Jersey Jewish News

Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpe

Local Chabad rabbis are distancing themselves from the comments of an Israeli Chabad rabbi who last week said Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and other Israeli officials should be “hanged from the gallows.”

The remarks by Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpe led to widespread condemnation in Israel and calls on the attorney general to open an investigation into whether the remarks constitute incitement. The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America issued a statement, saying the Jan. 1 remarks “are beyond the pale of legitimate democratic protest and have no basis in Jewish law or hashkafa [philosophy].”

The remarks also shone an unwelcome light on Chabad-Lubavitch, the hasidic movement perhaps best known in the United States for its outreach to non-Orthodox Jews in suburban communities.

Local Chabad leaders insisted Wolpe spoke for no one but himself.

“I find that totally unacceptable language for a Chabad representative,” said Rabbi Mendy Herson of Chabad Jewish Center of Basking Ridge. “Whatever one’s views on Prime Minister Olmert’s strategy, there are many concerned Jews who would find troubling that kind of language. In his mind, he must have seen himself as an individual, but not as a Chabad representative.

“I can’t believe the rebbe ever allowing it,” added Herson, referring to the late Chabad leader Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.

Wolpe made his remarks in Tel Aviv, addressing supporters of SOS Israel, an organization he heads that opposes the transfer of parts of the West Bank or Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority.

“The terrible traitor, [Prime Minister] Ehud Olmert, who gives these Nazis weapons, who gives money, who frees their murderous terrorists, this man, like Ariel Sharon, collaborates with the Nazis,” he said.

He continued, “[Olmert’s punishment] and the punishment of [Vice Premier] Haim Ramon, and the punishment of [Foreign Minister] Tzipi Livni, and all these people, like [Defense Minister] Ehud Barak, should be to hang from the gallows.”

Wolpe later said he meant the Israeli leaders deserved execution not by vigilantes but under the legal system for collaborating with Israel’s enemies.

Most of the local Chabad rabbis contacted said they heard about the statement, widely reported in the Israeli press, first from New Jersey Jewish News. They had not been questioned by supporters regarding Wolpe’s comments.

“It’s a bizarre statement to make. I totally disassociate myself from any such statement. It’s just irresponsible, said Rabbi Asher Herson of the Chabad Center of Northwest New Jersey in Rockaway. “Obviously, I have concerns about the decisions being made now, but that kind of statement is off the wall.”

Wolpe is well known as a right-wing firebrand in Israel as well as a representative of a faction within the Chabad movement that believes Schneerson to be the Messiah.

Just last week, New York State’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of two of Chabad’s three main bodies in its legal battle with a Lubavitch congregation representing the “messianist” faction. The organizations won the right to eject the congregation from the worldwide headquarters of Chabad-Lubavitch in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

Rabbi Moshe Herson of the Rabbinical College of America in Morristown did not return phone calls on the matter.


37 Comments

  • 1. Milhouse wrote:

    Wolpe is 100% right, and those who are distancing themselves from him are leaving him exposed to retaliation. People are accusing him of inciting violence – but what they are really doing is inciting violence against him. If something ch“v happens to him, those who ran as fast as they could will not be able to say ”yodeinu lo shofchu…”.

    Prominent people have called for R Wolpe to be arrested and tried for a crime they claim he committed. Well, how is that different from what he did? If they think that’s a crime, perhaps they should be arrested for calling for his arrest. And then I should be arrested for calling for *their* arrest. And whoever calls for *my* arrest should also be arrested, and so ad infinitum as we recurse into a singularity. This is obviously stupid.

    Wolpe claims that Olmert, Peres, etc are collaborating with those who are continuing Hitler’s work, AND HE IS RIGHT. They are doing exactly that. And he pointed out that there’s a law against that in Israel, with a prescribed penalty. How can pointing this out be against the law?

    Every recent USA president has been publicly accused of serious crimes. Nobody has ever been arrested for making such accusations. George W Bush has been accused of cocaine use and of going AWOL from the army. No evidence for either charge has ever been produced, but those who made the accusations have not been molested. Clinton *did* commit crimes that we know of, and he’s been accused of far worse crimes that haven’t been proven. Those who accused him of multiple murders didn’t spend a minute in jail for it. Bush Sr was accused of conspiring with Iran to keep the hostages until after Reagan’s inauguration. The Senate even held hearings into that ridiculous claim. Nobody was arrested for it. And so back as far as you like. That’s how it is in a free country. The victim of a libel may sue you privately, but no criminal action will be taken against you for accusing a public figure of a crime, let alone one that he has in fact committed!

  • 2. Shame on Rabbi herson wrote:

    Here we go again. Rabbi Wolpe is 100% correct. The left in Israel and in the USA have caused the deaths of thousands of Jews in Israel HY”D.
    They try to appease the Arabs and yet the Arabs still kill the Jews.
    When will we learn that we can rely on no one but G-d Almighty.
    Why are shluchim so weak and cow towing to the left. Let them stand up and say the truth how they feel. Talk to the shaliach privately and he will say Rabbi Wolpo is 100% and they will say Meir kahana was100% correct.
    This is the problem with our Jews. We don’t want to say the truth. We think it is not the correct thing to say what Torah says.
    Everyone knows how the Rebbe feels about Israel. How the left put thousands no millions of Jews in danger.
    May we all the the same strength and convictions as Rabbi Wolpo.

  • 3. moshiach wrote:

    the rebbe would cry about shalimous haeretz! where are the true chassidim of the rebbe???
    seriously rabayussi! people who represent the rebbe as shilichim need to make a stand! giving back land is against the rebbe!! politic’s aside,money aside!
    like last week sedera “aind lanu rack diviri ben amrum” ad masia,yechi,tztl all together with hisgalous!

  • 4. Steve wrote:

    Me and many other good Chabad mainstream, small town folks are against this kind of speech by a supposed Chabadnik rabbi. I’ve heard Volpe speak at a farbrengen and I’ll tell you… his tone is very un-Lubavitch, it had this musardik, pointing the finger to the crowd to “do teshuva” = “to repeat yechi” etc..or else there’ll be branded a traitor… Volpe is close as you can get to a “Tzfasim” character… literal horror story. To deal with crazy leaders like Olmert, we should all ban together and march peacefully in Washington like the blacks do for their cause…. and scream OD MOSAI!

  • 5. agree wrote:

    i totally agree that he did nothing wrong, just stated facts and let’s all face the truth of what’s going on…becuase otherwise we just follow and do nothing, and they continue collaborating with our enemies…soon god forbid, who knows what they will come to do. sometimes, u just have to say a strong statement- even where it hurts, to wake up people

  • 6. ?????????? wrote:

    p.s. what’s this sentence that, quote: Wolpe is well known as a right-wing firebrand in Israel as well as a representative of a faction within the Chabad movement that believes Schneerson to be the Messiah.end quote

    doesn’t everyone in chabad who calls himself a lubavitcher beleive the rebbe is moshiach? if not, then what are you? fine some disagree to publicize it, but the rebbe said clearly who is moshaich…we fully beleive the rebbe is.

  • 7. Yoseph Yitzchak wrote:

    Shalom Dov Wolpe continues to embarass the average Lubavitcher. I wish I would never hear his name again.

  • 8. josh wrote:

    he is 10000 percent right and those who disagree with him are wrong and going against the torah the rebbe said to the israeli goverment sharon that he needs to be strong like lion otherwise the goverment will fall and he dident listen and look were he is today and olmert will be next giving away land and money to palistien is like giving guns in the hand of nazis and saying to them here is gun to shoot me who eevr distance them selves from rabbi wolpe is a reay idiot and you belong in the catagory of the netura katah olmert does deserve to be hung look what he did in amona and gush katif he will get punished and the rabbis in israel cursed him his time will come and you know what if we all keep quiet olmert will give away the whole jerusalem because us as jewish people just keep quiet because of money the rebbe would be fighting the goverment he would be screaming and cry to see r l blood shed in israel why doesent chabad support him wake up you guys as shluchim of the rebbe are supposed to all be united as one and seek to stop whats going on in israel enough is enough

  • 9. Message vs. Messenger wrote:

    “No doubt, Wolpe said what he did, out of utter frustration upon seeing the Israeli government put the lives of millions of Jews in danger. The gov’t in Israel is not listening to the people, and for those who live in Israel and see a catastrophe looming with no one stepping up, is beyond frustration. This is what drove his rhetoric.

    Nevertheless, Wolpe’s very words are very detrimental to the whole concept of shlaimus ha’aretz itself!

    Words like ‘Nazis’ and ‘gallows’ immediately turn people against the message, not just the messenger. Of course Shluchim are upset by Wolpe’s words; not because we are afraid to teach the Rebbe’s message, on the contrary, because Wolpe’s rhetoric make it 10 times more difficult to get the message across!

    It is quite one thing to let loose in a farbrengen in Crown Heights, where you are essentially ‘preaching to the choir’. It is quite another to say “Nazi’ and “Hang them” publicly, especially since Israelis are hyper-vigilant about rhetoric since the Rabin assassination.

    And no matter what we think of Meir Kahane, the Rebbe distanced himself from him and his shittah.

    This is not our way.

    We speak out, we explain, we teach, we inform and we enlighten. We do it with passion, with strength and with conviction. We do not engage in ‘Nazi’and ‘hanging’ rhetoric. That kind of language can remove the frustration from our heart, but it does nothing to allow our message to reach the other.

    Just the opposite.

    So, although I believe that Rabbi Wolpe is speaking out because of devotion to the Rebbe and concern for Shlaimus Haaretz, intention is never enough. The way your message is accepted is what counts.

    And you know what they say about the road to …. It is paved with good intentions…

    “Chachomim, Hizoharu Bidvreichem!”

  • 10. baucher from O. T. 73--------76 wrote:

    ah shliach of the Rebba has 2 keep to the same loshen of meshulaich The Rebba .not to talk wild and make statements on your owen. thats were he went wrong , and thats y he is looking like a idiot. and who r people going to blame ? chabad…. and he did not make that chasben,
    acount, and for that he should get mashkanta. but by us in 770 by ah farbrengen with the the chevra,

  • 11. A thinking Chossid wrote:

    It is quite apparent by the 1st few Herson bashers that many people are living in a paper bag in terms of chabad’s responsibility in pr and have a major lack of knowledge of the Rebbe’s views. Yes, the Rebbe clearly and constantly spoke out against giving away land time and time again, but NEVER, absolutley NEVER, will you find him using Volpe extreme time language against anyone. Neither by a goy and lehavdiul a Yid. This Jihadist approach was never condoned by the Rebbe which explains why the responsible shluchim, both here and in Israel feel compelled to criticize Volpe for causimg a major chilul Lubavitch. It’s so convenient to bash everyone, but we have a tremendous achrayos to speak out for shleimos Ha’retz in a proper way, unlike Volpe’s language clearly demonstrated.

  • 12. yossy h wrote:

    R’ Volpa is right and if any chabad rabbi’s are uncomfortable with what he said instead of opening there mouth to the newspapers why dont they just “not return call’s”

  • 13. Chabadnik wrote:

    Rabbi Volpo is 1000% right. The rest of Chabad in Israel are forgeting the Rebbe’s fight for Slaimus Ha’aretz.

  • 14. Right Winger wrote:

    I think you’re all missing the point. I agree with his sentiments that Olmert & Peres are really dangerous. But wishing or suggesting they be killed? THAT’S what’s offensive, the words he uses, not his views on these two as betrayers of the Jewish people & Eretz Yisroel.

  • 15. Lo Shinu Es Shemom wrote:

    He is right that these guys are helping our enemies kill and destroy us, but he does not present his arguments be’ofen hamiskabel.
    The rebbe said very clearly that the Nasi is moshiach, we should not preach this in a way that is not ofen hamiskabel.

  • 16. avraham leaf wrote:

    Perhaps I am not an average Lubavitcher, but Shalom Dov Wolpe does not embassas me.
    It is high time someone got up called a spade a spade, told it just like it is. Olmert is putting millions of Yidden in tremendous physical danger ignoring every painful lesson from the recent past. It is way beyond the time for a pleasant exchange of views. Wolpe is not embarrassing Lubavitch. He sees on a daily basis first hand the gravity of the situation and is compelled not to remain silent. And Steve give me a break about marching like the blacks. The so called blacks are not staring down Iranian nukes and are not being sold out by their leaders. If anything we can learn from the blacks is not to trust promises that can’t be delivered. Only us “smart” Jews would make a pact with these devils hoping that if we beg them enough they really will keep their word. Imagine an investor asking people to fork over their money in a business deal that is based on defying every rule of investing, logic, not to mention common sense, and has a track record of massive amounts of capital lost. His major partners in the endeavor are known criminals, murders, and have stated openly they expect 100% of the profits with no risk to their own “capital.” In this scenario the visionary who cooked up this lunacy would be run out of town on a rail and sent to prison. Sadly in our case it is not investment capital lost rather human capital, the lives of our brothers and sisters. How is it that these Israeli leaders who are making decisions based on pacifying those who want to destroy us not traitors??? Is the jury still out in anyone’s mind on what the true intensions of our enemies really are? Why must one more Jewish soul suffer in vain as part of his failed debacle that is only going to go (G-d forbid) deeper and deeper in red?

  • 17. boruch ben tzvi(A H)hakohaine hoffinger wrote:

    B“H
    Dear ‘Steve,’ you are simply %100 wrong. The Rebbe, MH”M, clearly stated that when it comes to Ahavat Yisroel (being polite) vs secunos nefashos, Ahavat Yisroel must be put aside. It’s simple and logical.
    Rabbi Wolpe put together and promulgated the ‘Black Book’ which had a powerful and healthy affect.
    As Chassidim (and Jews!) we should ‘burn’ to bring Moshiach, we should ‘burn’ to help protect our felow Jew. This is real, true Ahavat Hashem and Ahavat Yisroel.
    The Rebbe, MH’M clearly stated that when something hurts one cries out. Rabbi Wolpe ‘feels,’ he is ‘real!’
    Steve, study more Torah and do more Mitzvoth, then, you and I, will come closer to the level of beloved, cherished, Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpe!
    Rabbi Wolpe–CHAZAK! You remind me of all the great leaders we’ve had! Fearless and truthful!
    Throughout Jewish history we’ve seen that when a true, powerful leader ‘leaves the scene'(The Rebbe MH“M) the followers become weak and lazy.
    Rabbi Kahane was %100 correct but he used 1/2 his heart and 1/2 his brain.
    A ‘misnaged’ came to my house to pick something up. He said: ”The Rebbe never proclaimed himself Moshiach,“ he said. ”More people would have come to his leyava. Lubavitch is driving people away.”
    N o n s e n s e! The biggest ‘misnaged’ said he was: Rabbi Ahron Soleveitchik.

  • 18. Embarressed by Wolpe and his 2 supportrs wrote:

    its amazing how all the coments writton in support of Mr Wolpe are from the same IP address. Goes to show how he is a lonner amongst those who call themselves Chabad.

  • 19. chabad wrote:

    chabad turned into a company! you got to be real and say whats true you cant be embaressed. oifen hamiskabel doesnt mean to people not informed. tell the people in your chabad house what the rebbe said. that giving back land is putting thousands of jews in danger nothing is going to help with these terirists all they want is destruction yes just like the nazis destruction of the jews no rights men women and children.

  • 20. Milhouse wrote:

    “Embarressed by Wolpe”, you are a liar. We seem to have a lot of liars among the commenters, people masquerading as “annonymous shalichim” (sic) and all kinds of names. I *know* the pro-Wolpe comments do *not* come from the same IP address, so your claim that they do is clearly made up. But “kol haposel…” maybe many of the anti-ones do come from the same IP? Webmaster, wanna check that out? See whether “Embarrassed…” has posted on this thread under another name or three? I have no idea, but it seems worth checking since this liar saw fit to make up davka that lie.

    Someone claiming to be a “Right Winger” says “Olmert & Peres are really dangerous. But wishing or suggesting they be killed? THAT’S what’s offensive.” More lies and slander. When did Wolpe ever say such a thing? He called for these criminals to be arrested, tried, and sentenced according to law. How is *that* offensive? It can only be offensive to those who don’t believe they did anything wrong.

    And to several commenters who brought up the issue of Moshiach. Loz op already! This has nothing to do with Moshiach. If we could be 100% confident that Moshiach, *whoever* he is, will come this second, then we wouldn’t need to worry about the PLO or Olmert or territory or anything. Moshiach will fix it all. We have to worry about these things because we know there’s a chance that he won’t come for some significant time, long enough for at least one Jew to get killed. So Wolpe’s opinions about who Moshiach will be are irrelevant here and are only brought up as a distraction. I won’t go there.

  • 21. Shimon wrote:

    Rabbi Wolpe’s statements came across very harsh. Yet for Lubavitchers to distance themselves from Wolpe like they are is the true Chillul HaShem. It shows Lubavitch as having no spine or beliefs. What’s wrong with saying something like, “While we agree that Rabbi Wolpe’s words were out of line and we wish he would have chosen less-inflammatory phrasing, the fact remains that we believe that what Mr. Olmert is doing threatens the future of the Jewish State of Israel.” In a democracy people must be allowed to voice their dissention. Wolpe was motivated by frustration and fear at how things are going. To say things like Wolpe isn’t a Lubavitcher etc … is worse than what Wolpe did. Wolpe is an emotional person and got carried away, and yes he needs to learn to moderate what he says, and perhaps be censured, but that doesn’t change that what Olmert is doing is dangerous to the existence of Israel… and point out the Rebbe view of Shleimis HaAretz. What official Lubavitcher spokesmen are saying to the media makes them seem like weasels. Yes Wolpe made a mistake in speaking the way he did, there is no reason to speak that way, it’s not the Lubavitch way to speak like that, BUT then get on message. We are saying this as people who love pray and work for the good of Israel every day. The focus must be taken off “hanged from the gallows” and Wolpe as an out of control individual, and put on the deep love and care that Lubavitchers have for Israel and the desire for things to go well there.

  • 22. This is what I wrote:

    He’s right he’s wrong, he’s left, he’s square!

    Who Cares!

    Sitting on a computer and commenting each other on the comments of the other that commented on the original author (I hope you’re not lost)… will not get anyone ANYWHERE.

    At least R’ Volpe is making his voice HEARD. If something is nogeiah to you and especcialy if it’s something that’s nogiah to thousands of people, let the world know!

    True, one can claim that you have to be civil and political and not so extream… but then who’re you fooling! Express it the way it is… unless of course there are more important things on your mind *cough*…money…*cough* PR….

    At the end of the day the truth will come forth, till then you can either deny it, or join it.

    Well… now that I’ve finished commenting on the comments, I think I’ll do something productive… like learn a ma’amar or two for Yud Shvat. After all, here is one thing that you SHOULDN’T be quite about!

  • 23. Professor Defends Wolpe wrote:

    SHOULD GOVERNMENT LEADERS BE HANGED FOR TREASON?

    In Defense of Rabbi Wolpe
    Prof. Paul Eidelberg

    On January 2, 2008, Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpe told a conference of rabbis in Tel-Aviv that “Government leaders should be hanged for negotiating with the Palestinians” (Jerusalem Post, January 3).

    The conference was attended by rabbis who oppose transferring parts of the Judea and Samaria or Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority.

    Rabbi Wolpe denounced “The terrible traitor [Prime Minister] Ehud Olmert, who gives these Nazis weapons, who gives money, who frees their murderous terrorists, this man, like Ariel Sharon, collaborates with the Nazis …” (ibid.)

    Of course, Wolpe’s denunciation of Olmert and Sharon also applies to Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Ehud Barak, as well as many other Israeli politicians that have collaborated with the PLO-Palestinian Authority.

    The reader should bear in mind that since the Oslo or Israel-PLO Agreement of 1993, Palestinian terrorists have murdered no less than 1,500 Jewish women, men, and children, 1,000 of whom were murdered under the premiership of Ariel Sharon. Since Oslo, Israeli prime ministers have also released more than 7,000 terrorists, and some 300 more Jews were murdered as a consequence thereof.

    Hence, it is hardly an exaggeration to say that various Israeli prime ministers have been complicit in murder. Under Israeli law, however, murder is not a capital offense. The only crime punishable by death is treason. Before citing the law on treason, let us quote some further statements of Rabbi Wolpe at the Tel Aviv conference as reported by The Jerusalem Post.

    “[Olmert’s punishment], and the punishment of [Vice Premier] Haim Ramon, and the punishment of [Foreign Minister] Tzipi Livni, and all these people like [Defense Minister] Ehud Barak, should be hanged from the gallows.”

    This last remark came during the conference when news circulated that one of the terrorists who killed two off-duty soldiers the previous week in the Hebron Hills was a PA security officer.

    Interestingly, among those attending this conference of rabbis were MK Arye Eldad (National Union/National Religious Party) and former MK Elyakim Ha’etzni, who apparently “joined in the accusations that Olmert was responsible for the deaths of the two Israelis.”

    As far as the present writer knows, neither Eldad nor Ha’Etzni (an attorney) agreed with Rabbi Wolpe that the government ministers mentioned above should be hung. Consider, however, Israel’s Penal Law on treason. Sections 97, 99, and 100 prohibit the following acts:

    1. the category of acts which “impair the sovereignty” of the State of Israel—section 97(a);

    2. the category of acts which “impair the integrity” of the State of Israel— section 97(b);

    3. the category of acts under section 99 which give assistance to an “enemy” in war against Israel, which the Law specifically states includes a terrorist organization;

    4. the category of acts in section 100 which evince an intention or resolve to commit one of the acts prohibited by sections 97 and 99.

    The punishment prescribed in the Penal Law for the first three kinds of acts of treason is death or imprisonment for life.

    Viewed in this light, an objective assessment of the Penal Law on treason together with laws related to Jewish sovereignty over Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, may very well vindicate Rabbi Wolpe’s bold denunciation of Israel’s government leaders.

  • 24. Zalmen wrote:

    Wolpe’s most recent statements are just another example of his gross irresponsibility. in the past the Rebbe chastised him time and again one time saying that “if he continues to speak about Moshiach the way he does he is making a war against me”. Time and again the Rebbe said to Wolpe that “he is diving people away from Chassiuds and creating enemies to the Baal Shem Tov”. His brought the Yeshiva in Kiryat Gat to bankruptcy and now he brings disgrace upon Chabad by calling for violence.
    We need to support efforts for Shlamus Haaretz, but Wolpe’s approach is not one that Chabad has ever done. Whatever pain we may feel about the terrible situation his constant outrageous statements do little to advance the cause of Shalimus Haaretz.

  • 25. aliza wrote:

    “On the day after his election, President Peres said we must cede the
    territories. If the president of the Untied States would have said after his inauguration that Settle and Manhattan should be handed over, what would the American public call him?”

    “A traitor!” the demonstrators shouted back.

    – Israelinsider.com – January 10 – quoting Rabbi Wolpo at the rally in Yerushalaim protesting US President Bush’s ongoing visit to Eretz Yisroel

    Since the murder of Yitzchok Rabin and the subsequent witch hunt accusations against Rabbis who spoke the truth about Rabin – Rabbis have been afraid to speak out against political leaders who supply money and arms to terrorists. Rabbi Wolpo is not afraid. He has publicly called for the implementation of the Penal Law on Treason, sections 97, 99 and 100, as applicable to Olmert, Livni and others. The law includes assisting terrorist organizations as treason.

  • 26. crown heights is #1 wrote:

    Its nice to see based on the comments that most chabadniks are still holding with the rebbe when it comes to shleimous haaretz R’ volpa is right but maybe he should stick to useing the exact words the rebbe used

  • 27. Shluchim - this is a PR OP! wrote:

    the press is calling you about Shlaimos HaAretz. instead of answering about having to distance yourself – TEACH WHAT THE REBBE SAYS! show some WISDOM, show some INTEGRITY, show some LEADERSHIP… instead of showing fear of what people will think of you.

    how about answering like this?

    yes, i have heard what Rabbi Wolpo is saying. his words are very strong. in fact they are shocking. shocking enough to wake up a person from complacancy.

    it is very upsetting to hear such words. everyone wants the Jews in Eretz Yisroel to be safe. and to think that the government officials are supplying money and arms to terrorists is something most people don’t want to face. they try to say the Arabs are peace loving but it is 10 years since Oslo and things have only gotten worse.

    it really is frightful to think that the laws about being a traitor could possibly apply to the Prime Minister himself. yes, Rabbi Wolpo’s words are very upsetting. i agree with you about that.

    would you like to discuss whether or not his words are true?

  • 28. Appalled wrote:

    Excuse me, but is chabad or any Jewish person allowed to “curse”other Jews regardless of what his political views are?You call “hanging” a way to be “heard”?The question is why is this rebbi speaking this way regardless of being a Chabad rebbi?I thought the Torah says not to curse anyone or is the “Chabad”Torah different?

  • 29. Amazed wrote:

    Why is it so important that people say who Moshiach is? Why? Is it not enough that people trust H’ to say who it is and when he will come?Why the constant “issue” with saying Yechi?Has it occurred to people that all this divisiveness will NOT bring Moshiach.Why isn’t it clear that H’ is the true Ruler of the Universe and HE decides how the world is not?It is not up to human beings!

  • 30. Manis wrote:

    Very well articulated,

    Message vs. Messenger wrote:

    “No doubt, Wolpe said what he did, out of utter frustration upon seeing the Israeli government put the lives of millions of Jews in danger. The gov’t in Israel is not listening to the people, and for those who live in Israel and see a catastrophe looming with no one stepping up, is beyond frustration. This is what drove his rhetoric.

    Nevertheless, Wolpe’s very words are very detrimental to the whole concept of shlaimus ha’aretz itself!

    Words like ‘Nazis’ and ‘gallows’ immediately turn people against the message, not just the messenger. Of course Shluchim are upset by Wolpe’s words; not because we are afraid to teach the Rebbe’s message, on the contrary, because Wolpe’s rhetoric make it 10 times more difficult to get the message across!

    It is quite one thing to let loose in a farbrengen in Crown Heights, where you are essentially ‘preaching to the choir’. It is quite another to say “Nazi’ and “Hang them” publicly, especially since Israelis are hyper-vigilant about rhetoric since the Rabin assassination.

    And no matter what we think of Meir Kahane, the Rebbe distanced himself from him and his shittah.

    This is not our way.

    We speak out, we explain, we teach, we inform and we enlighten. We do it with passion, with strength and with conviction. We do not engage in ‘Nazi’and ‘hanging’ rhetoric. That kind of language can remove the frustration from our heart, but it does nothing to allow our message to reach the other.

    Just the opposite.

    So, although I believe that Rabbi Wolpe is speaking out because of devotion to the Rebbe and concern for Shlaimus Haaretz, intention is never enough. The way your message is accepted is what counts.

    And you know what they say about the road to …. It is paved with good intentions…

    “Chachomim, Hizoharu Bidvreichem!”

  • 31. boruch ben tzvi(A H)hakohaiine hoffinger wrote:

    B“H
    To: Zalmen,Steve,Yoseph Yitzchak,A thinking Chossid,Lo Shinu Es Shemom,Right Winger,Appalled, etc.
    1. Why not state your names? If you statement criticizes Rabbi Wolpe using undignified terms, or simple criticism doesn’t that become a ‘pashkvil?’ The Rebbe, MH”M was against pashkvilim.
    2. Read Professor Paul Eidelberg’s comments then ‘think again’ about your negative and thoughtless comments. Rabbi Wolpe was not preaching ‘violence,’ he was preaching ‘law.’ All those in the Israeli ‘government’ who want the rabbi investigated, etc. will never sit at my Shabbos table. They’re arrogant and destructive people.
    The arrogant and G-d are like oil and water.

  • 32. LOOK AT THE HEADLINE wrote:

    the reporter had an agenda to get the Shluchim to validate their headline and the Shluchim took the bait!

  • 33. Yoseph Yitzchak wrote:

    Dear B. Hoffinger,

    No one is condoning the Israeli government.

    This rabbi whom you so lovingly defend has made many outrageous statments in the past. So much so the Rebbe whom you call MH“M had to tell him to zip it. It’s obvious that everyone here defending him is either a crazy mischichist or an outsider who doesn’t understand that a Lubavitcher ”Rabbi” is not supposed to talk about putting the leaders of Israel to death.

    Again this big mouth has spewn his verbal throw up.

    Because of him, people like Rabbi M. Herson and the like have to spend their time in damage control.

    I would never have you or SD Wolpe at my shabbos table.

    I anxiously wait for your kind reply!

  • 34. Steve wrote:

    to Ahron Rabbi Soloveitchik:
    OK So you’re right… I should follow your advice, and wish a hearty yasher koach to Rabbi Wolpe on his verbal statement… Bli Neder, I should get up in front of our kehila and tell everyone “this is the derech hayashar, that our good friend Rav Ahron is recommending”. Let all evil govt. reps in Israel “hang from the gallows”>>> Yup, do you know what kind of shterim we’d have with that statement? Chas V’Shalom… we’d have the goyim on top of our heads in the media day and night… C’mon, Rav Ahron, come back down to civilization’s norms.

  • 35. elchonon wrote:

    Yosef yitchak,
    How do you and the rest of mainstreak chabad justify your silence? How do you justify chabad’s back turning on shlamius haaretz?

    Aguch claims to speak for the rebbe’s interest’s.. why has aguch not mentioned anyuthing ever ?

    YOU have abandoned eretz yisrael.. I accuse ALL of you of PURPOSELY ignoring what the rebbe SCREAMD about.. because your scared of touching a unpopular subject.

    I accuse you and the rest of being directly responsible for yosef hatzadik’s kever being desecrated and closed to jews and Shechem forbidden to jews.

    I do not, never have and never will talk for or represent chabad, I talk for my rebbe.. since my rebbe and not YOU so called chasidim was the only one that would dare speak the truth..

    The rebbe screamd about chevron, yerushalayim, shechem etc.. you choose to ignore it.

    And manis,

    And the rebbe’s screaming about mi hu yehudi turned people away, same for eretz yisrael.. why is chabad all about PR ? speak the truth you cowards.. say what the rebbe really said..

    I have no respect for those that try to distort the rebbe’s words and say “i speak for the rebbe”

  • 36. Chanie wrote:

    Read this paste from the original article (I added the caps lock):

    “Local Chabad rabbis are distancing themselves FROM THE COMMENTS of an Israeli Chabad rabbi who last week said…”

    In defense of the Chabad rabbis, who, according to some comments, are cowards, fell bait to reporters, are only concerned with PR and are minimizing the incredible damage the Israeli PMs have done, read the words from the article:

    They are distancing themselves from the COMMENTS of the Israeli Chabad rabbi, not from their fellow brother.

    And they are justified: Words like this turn people off, make people wonder how sane you are, how sane the organization you represent is.

    In defense of those in support of the Israeli Chabad rabbi: He message is right-those PMs are guilty of treason. They should be tried and punished however the Israeli judicial system punishes criminals of that calibre. He knows that platitudes are not heard, but strong words are. and he is standing in the puddle of blood, in Israel. But evidently, (from the press coverage and uproar,) those words are not ok. Equally strong, but less terrorist-like wording, would suffice.

    perhaps such chillul Hashem and chillul Lubavitch could be avoided by every Shliach remembering that he is NEVER an individual on his own; he represents the Rebbe and a worldwide movement aimed at BRINGING MOSHIACH AND LIVING TOGETHER IN ISRAEL FOREVER MORE, may it be in our days!

  • 37. Rebbe say hang?! wrote:

    To Elchonon:

    You are absolutely right!
    To quote the Rebbe is correct
    because, as we all know, the Rebbe
    knew what he was talking about.

    BUT, would the Rebbe even THINK( much
    less say it himself) to advise someone
    to use such an extreme term as, “they
    should hang from the gallows?!” I mean,
    even if they deserve it, does not jusitfy saying such a thing in public,
    especially that Rabbi Wolpe is a PROMINENT Rabbincal figure whose word people pay attention to!

    Imagine what would happen to our, already unstable, “alliance” with Russia if president Bush (okay, R. Wolpe is not that high ranking, but still…) would say such a thing about Putin? And he might be right! But, nevertheless, forget it. You’ll have another cold war again or worse.

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