MELBOUREN, Australia [CHI] — Hosting a ‘Seudah’ on the fast day of the 10th of Teves, the day Jerusalem was besieged, is an example of Mishechism gone seriously awry. But go film it and proudly post it on YouTUBE for the world to see, that will get you put in Cherem [publicly excommunicated]. In Australia.
A group of such radicals got together on this fast day in Melbourne Australia and proclaimed that “The Lubavitcher Rebbe King Moshiach has announced that the time has come to fill our mouths with laughter and our tongues with songs of joy because the Redemption and Moshiach are here and fasts must turn into feasts.” One of the men appearing in the video, wearing a clown hat, stated that “for 36 years I heard Rabbi Groner say before any Taanis that Chas Veshalom Moshiach doesn’t come will be a fast, but HELLO Moshiach came already, there is no fast.”
Another man quoted the Sefer Besuras Hageulah as he held a kiddush cup in his hand and said “a Jew has to admit, agree, desire and proclaim that Moshiach is already here, by having this Seudah here, this Seudas Yom Tov we are agreeing, desiring and proclaiming to the whole world… otherwise why would we be celebrating this.”
They then made ‘Kidush’ and all the families together sat down for a full meal. But that would not be complete without some singing, dancing, and some swimming too!
This group joins in with Crown Heights’ very own Sara Kanevsky who hosted such ‘seudos’ on fast days in the woman’s section of 770. None of the local Rabbonim publicly shunned her.
In response to this Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Telsner, Shliach in Melbourne issued the following letter:
Sunday January 10, 2010
24 Tevet 5770
It has been brought to my attention that on the 10th of Teves (Sunday December 27th) this year, a day on which our Rabbis decreed that we are obligated to fast, as stated in Shulchan Oruch (Code of Jewish Law Ch. 121), a small group of individuals organised a festive meal at which they ate, drank and rejoiced. They subsequently publicised their actions by posting a film of the festivities on international websites, together with the message and implication that such behaviour is highly commendable and is connected with the coming of the Moshiach.
I therefore wish to state unequivocally and to emphasise in the strongest manner that the above actions, being as they are contrary to the explicit rulings of Chazal and Shulchan Oruch, are totally unacceptable at any time or in any place. That the perpetrators of such misguided deeds should then endeavour to make their behaviour known all over the world, constitutes a massive and reckless Chillul Hashem which can have no justification. In addition, these actions do not represent that philosophy and way of life taught by Chabad Chassidus, in any way or form. They are totally contrary to the wishes and directives of the Rebbe and those who carry on his holy work. To present such conduct as being in accordance with the Rebbe’s teachings and message is a complete fabrication, and can only serve to destroy the good name of Chabad in the general community.
In light of the above, I find it necessary to rule that until the perpetrators of these deeds stand before a Beis Din of three Rabbonim, and seek forgiveness and correction of that which they have done, they are to be ostracized by all members of the community. They cannot be counted as part of a minyan (for davening) or mezuman (for bentsching), and one may not answer Amen after their Brochos. They cannot be given a Aliyah to the Torah or honoured with any other Mitzvah (see Shulchan Oruch, Yoreh Deah Ch. 334 Para 2). Similarly, one should not speak to them or have any business dealings with them.
May the Al-mighty restore His broken fences, and put into the hearts of those who have gone astray, a spirit of true Teshuvah.
Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Telsner
This marks the first time ever any official Chabad body publicly acknowledged and shunned such behavior.