The Segev Chareidi/religious party running in the Tel Aviv election felt the best way to get its message out to readers on the last Shabbos before the elections is in the form of a sheet distributed in shuls. The format selected was an exact duplicate of Tzeirei Chabad’s popular שיחות השבוע, which is distributed nationwide.
Chabad officials learned of the pamphlet and tried to contact officials to prevent distribution of the copycat Shabbos handout, albeit without success. In a last ditch effort Chabad turned to the Tel Aviv District Court seeking to block distribution of the election material. Justice Denya Karat-Meir compared the two and agreed to issue an order prohibiting the distribution of the election material.
While Chabad won this battle – it lost the war, for election campaigners were notified to get the election information sheets out before the court ruling, and in most cases they succeeded in doing just that.
Chabad spokesman Rabbi Menachem Brod and Tzeirei Chabad director Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Aharonov were astounded at the chutzpah that the party had to just copy the Chabad weekly in its entirety, format, fonts and down to the last detail. It even said “307 Chabad houses stand at your disposal,” when in fact Chabad has no connection to the Segev party.