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July 11, 2014

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PAGE 2A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JULY 11, 2014 Men pray at the gravesite of the late Lubavitcher rebbe, on his 20th yahrzeit in Queens, N.Y., July 1, 2014. Adam Ben Cohen/ Menachem Mendel Schneerson Women pray at the gravesite of the late Lubavitcher rebbe, on his 20th yahrzeit, in Queens, N.Y., July 1, 2014. Adam Ben Cohen/ Menachem Mendel Schneerson, By Uriel Heilman packaged into countless hours organizationsandcommittees Without the rebbe around his father is the Chabad emis- himselfthemessiah--Chabad of video, audio tapes and that manage Chabad's financ- to articulate it, however, the sary in the Thai capital, said has managed to avoid having NEW YORK (JTA) -- What books. New pamphlets and es, the emissary organization mission is not always clear, the rebbe's absence provides messianic fervor overshadow does a fervent religious move- documents focused on his and Chabad's public face. But especially on a personal level, added incentive to hasten the the movement. With the rebbe ment do after the death of its sichot, orreligiousdiscourses, the leadership void at the top As with many other Hasidic messianic age. long gone, the question of singular leader? continue to be published. His is palpable, groups, followers often sought "Before, people wanted whether or not Schneerson That was the existen- photo adorns practically every "There's a gaping void. No the rebbe's counsel on impor- moshiach because the rebbe was/is the messiah has little tial question the Chabad- Chabad household--not to one can replace the rebbe, that taut decisions like whom to told us to want moshiach," practical bearing on day-to- Lubavitch movement faced 20 mention pizza parlors, bar- kind of spiritual leadership," marry, where to live or what Kantorsaid, usingtheHebrew day Chabad life--except, per- years ago this week when its bershops and mom-and-pop said Rabbi Zalman Shmotkin, livelihood to pursue. Now that termformessiah."Nowpeople haps, asamotivatingfactor for charismaticrebbe, Menachem stores run by admirers or fol- a Chabad spokesman. "But guidance is gone. feel that they want moshiach performing mitzvahs. MendelSchneerson, diedwith lowers. Devotees still consult in a way, amazingly, there's "The rebbe used to tellbecause then the rebbe will be Whether or not there is no heir. the rebbe daily, often in the been no change at all. The you what to do. If they had a back with the resurrection of more or less motivation now Amid the grief and turbu- form of letters delivered to his Rebbe's teachings and example dilemma, they'd just ask the the dead." to carry the torch for Sch- lencefollowinghis1994death, gravesite in Queens known as continue to guide and inspire, rebbe and the rebbe would There continues to be aneerson's mission of Jewish many believed Chabad would the Ohel. Anditkeepscomingbacktothe direct them," said Devorah, strong messianic strain that outreach varies by individual. be torn apart by those who But the absence of a living, fundamentals: learn, daven, a 19-year-old store clerk in runs through Chabad. Some Miriam Goldin, 23, said believed it should proclaim its speaking, guiding leader has serve Hashem." Brooklyn who declined to followers refer to the rebbe as she remembers when she was departed rebbe as the messiah transformed the movement in Twentyyears on, the prima- provideherlastname."Nowwe if he were still alive or refuse littlethattherewaswidespread and those who didn't, or that both subtle and fundamental rypilgrimagesiteforthemove- don't have the same guidance, to characterize his passing eagerness among Chabad the messianists would doom ways. ment's adherents has shifted, We don't have clear answers as death. Almost universally, youths in becoming outreach the movement's wider appeal. "Everything's different," but only slightly: from the to anything. We don't know Chabadniksmakepilgrimages emissaries. But with the Both views turned out to be said Yakov Reichman, a mid- rebbe's office at 770 Eastern what our missionis.We'rejust to Schneerson's gravesite on rebbe gone and practically the wrong, dle-agedIsraelinativewhohas Parkway in the Crown Heights floating." important dates, updating whole globe covered, the idea Not only hasn't the move- lived in New York for nearly section of Brooklyn to the There's a divide between the rebbe about their lives or of shlichus--being an emis- ment fallen apart, Chabad 40 years and works at Oholei Queens cemeterynearJohn F. those who knew the rebbe requesting his intercession or sary--has shifted, she said. has grown over the last two Torah, a Chabad school with KennedyInternationalAirport and those who grew up with- guidance. "Nowyou'reashaliachwher- decades, despite the absence some 1,850 students. "Once where his remains are interred out him, Devorah said. She Many believe he responds, ever you are," Goldin said. "If of a living rebbe at the helm. there was a head of the house, in a granite mausoleum. On described how teachers at her One woman recalled her you see another Jew out there, The number of Chabad Today, everyonedoeswhatever Monday night and Tuesday, Chabad school become angry mother seeking direction you try to welcome them into Jewish outreach emissaries, hewants, in every respect. Yes, when the movement marked whentheycatchstudentschat- abouttakingajobineducation the fold." knownasshluchim, hasneafly we have the rebbe's sichot, but the 20th anniversary of the teringduringvideoscreenings and walking out of the rebbe's Goldin used to want to be a quadrupled, fromabout 1,200 everyone's interpreting them rebbe's death--the yahrzeit of the rebbe's talks, mausoleumtofindherselfface shaliach;nowshe'slookingfor in 1994 to more than 4,100 in their own way." is the third day of the Hebrew "They say you should dress tofacewithavideoofthe rebbe a job in interior design. today. Chabad has expanded Like many Chabadniks, month of Tammuz--thou- andbehaveasiftherebbewere teachingchildren.Themother Kantor says it's a mistake its geographic reach, college Reichman compared the sev- sands flocked to the cemetery, right in front of you, but it's tookitasasignthatsheshould to think there is no room for campus presence, number of enthLubavitcherrebbetoMo- Dov Ber Dalven, 26, flew in hard," Devorah said. "They take the job. more emissaries. Even back in schools and Chanukah meno- ses:TheJewishpeoplesurvived from Israel just to be there on expect us to feel the same Whatever Chabadniks' 1993,when his fatherwent off rah displays. More than ever, Moses' death, but there was the rebbe's yahrzeit, connection they did to him, views about the rebbe as to Thailandtobe the emissary Chabad is part of mainstream no other leader like him. And "The rebbe hasn't changed, buttheydon'tunderstandthat messiah--Schneerson often there, people said there was Jewish life. like Moses, many Chabadniks We changed," Dalven said. wedon'tunderstandhowgreat describedhiseraasthe messi- nowhere to go. And the rebbe, though viewedtherebbeashavinghad "Now we have to find the hewas." anic age and made statements "Thank God," he said, he has passed, remains very a direct line to God. strength within ourselves to Mendel Kantor, 19, who that followers interpreted to "there's plenty more work much present. He has been Now there are leadership go forward with our mission." grew up in Bangkok, where mean that Schneerson was to do." By Linda Gradstein Lau blamed racist elements The Media Line in Israeli society and called for a "tikkun," a spiritual repair, JERUSALEM--Three of by being careful in the use of the six young Israelis who language. were arrested for the murder "It is unforgivable - how of 16-year-old Palestinian can a person who believes in Mohammed Abu Khdeir Torah kill an innocent per- have confessed to the kill- son?" Lau asked bitterly. "We ing and have cooperated in a have to call out to God with reenactment for police in the a loud call." Jerusalem forest where the The murder has been con- body was found. The murder demned across the spectrum has sparked outrage in Israel, of Israel's society and political both because of the brutality spectrum. Prime Minister of the act-- Abu Khdeir was Binyamin Netanyahu called reportedly burned to death Abu Khdeir's father to con- -- and because, according to demn what he called the media reports, the killers are "reprehensible murder." Is- ultra-Orthodox Jews. raeli Defense Minister Moshe "The hand that did this Ya'alon called for the killers murder is impure," Rabbi Ben- to be treated as "terrorists." ny Lau, rabbi of the Ramban A leading rabbi associated Synagogue in Jerusalem and with the religious right-wing, one of Judaism's rising stars Elyakim Levanon, went even among its modern religious further, saying that the kill- leaders told The Media Line. ers should be given the death "He should not be allowed to penalty. put on tefillin." Israeli law allows for the death penalty, but despite treat those who aren't part of the long history of terrorist the Jewish people," Rabbi Dr. acts against Israeli civilians Donniel Hartman, president has only been imposed once: of the ShalomHartman Insti- on Nazi official Adolph Eich- tute, told The Media Line. "I mann, who was executed in have a whole slew of sources Jerusalem in 1962. that shape my Judaism start- The murder has prompted ing with the sanctity of all life soul-searching among the being created in the image population, especially in the of God. The problem is that OrthodoxJewishcommunity, there's chapter and verse in towhichmostofthesuspected which Jewish life is primary, murderers belonged, accord- in which aggression toward ing to press reports. They others is allowed, vengeance are reportedly not part of the is celebrated, and revenge is "hilltop youth," a radicalized celebrated." sectorofIsraeliswholiveinar- Hartman says he prefers eas Israel acquiredin the 1967 to focus on sources that say war, butmaybeaffiliatedwith "every person is created in theShasparty, the politically- the image of God"; and the powerful ultra-Orthodox biblical verse that says "you party that represents Jews should love the stranger, from Arab countries, because you were strangers Rabbis say that Judaism in the land of Egypt." can be used to justify revenge Emotions in Israel were attacks like this one. running high after the bodies "Judaism, like other re- of three Israeli teenagers who ligious traditions, has very hadbeenkidnappedintheWest differentstoriesabouthowwe Bank last month were found in a West Bank field. In the 24 hours following the discovery of the bodies, more than 40,000 Israelis signed-on to a Facebook page calling for revenge. Rabbi Hartman says the calls for revenge come from deep feelings of frustration. "It is our myth and yearning to be a normal people. It's the same reason that people living on the West Bank hitchhike. They want to believe they're in astable environment,"he said. "But when you kidnap our children, when our children aren't safe, it sets off feelings of revenge and fear." Just as many Israelis have condemned the murder of Mo- hammed Abu Kheidr, many Palestinians have spoken out against the killing of the three Israeli teenagers. At the shiva, the traditional seven-day mourning period, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat initiated a telephone call between Yishai Frenkel, the uncle of 16-year- old murder victim Naftali Frenkel and Abu Kheidr's father. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also sharply condemned the killing of the teenagers. Some in Israel say that the shock waves these killings have caused on both sides may be the beginning of new steps toward reconciliation between the sides. "In the Talmud there is a concept that you have to go down before you can go up," parliamentarian Dov Lipman, an American-born member of Knesset member from the secular Yesh Atid party who is also an Orthodox rabbi told The Media Line. "I was so proud of the moderate voices over the last few days in Israel and we are hearing similar voices on the Arab side as well." "This is not Arab terrorism or Jewish terrorism," Lipman added. "It is just terrorism and it must be stopped."