Editorial: Tunnels, Shvil’s and Police, We Need A Vaad Hamesader




    Shifra Vepua

    Editorial: Tunnels, Shvil’s and Police, We Need A Vaad Hamesader

    Exactly a week ago, we posted an editorial that stated, “It’s time for a serious Cheshbon Hanefesh”. Today, it needs to be said again: a Chesbon Hanefesh is something that we will have to do ourselves, but anyone who tries to latch on to this and score points in the form of incitement and hatred, is doing something unacceptable and are guaranteed that they will not be successful • Full Article

    By Chabadinfo Editors

    1 – Exactly a week ago, we posted an editorial that stated, “it’s time for a serious Cheshbon Hanefesh”. Today, I happened to see the cover of a Kfar Chabad from the week after Prime Minister Yitzchok Rabin was assassinated which used precisely those words, “No, to Hatred; No, to Incitement: No, to Condemning the Innocent. Yes, to True Unity; Yes, to a Serious Cheshbon Hanefesh.” It’s astonishing to read the editorial from then, we would only need to change a few words for it to fit what’s going on now. It goes to show that some things never change.

    The feeling then is the feeling now. The right (in this case, the Mishichisten) are engaging in a serious Cheshbon Hanefesh and total rejection of the acts of destruction and Vildkeit. The Rabbanim of Crown Heights published a scathing letter; the Gabboim have taken a number of steps (one can argue whether they are correct or not, but they definitely show a willingness to make a change); the Roshei Yeshivos and Askanim were interviewed and decried what happened; on the other hand, there are some who can not restrain themselves and are taking the opportunity to ‘settle scores’ with the Mishichistim and have attacked the very belief in the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach, the Mosdos Chinuch, the Rabbanim, and anyone who stands in their way of being the only authorities in Chabad.

    Just as the incitement had its effect then, two and a half decades ago, so too the incitement is having an effect today and there are already Bochurim in 770 who have been attacked physically, although they don’t have and never had any connection with any disturbances and their only sin was that they were Mishichistim!

    It needs to be said again: a Chesbon Hanefesh is something that we will have to do ourselves, but anyone who tries to latch on to this and score points in the form of incitement and hatred, is doing something unacceptable and are guaranteed that they will not be successful

    (Parenthetically, if everybody wants to make the Cheshbon Hanefesh of the other guy, then we will be happy to join the party and decry the Hefkerus on the part of Askanim who are at the head of key institutions in Chabad and go to Goyshe courts, scoffing at the Rabbanim of the community when it’s convenient for them, and wasting millions of dollars on lawyers instead of listening to the Rabbanim and going to a Din Torah. Any sensible person understands that behavior such as this, which goes against Torah and Halacha, is no less severe – and maybe more – than the wildness of young men digging a tunnel and breaking a wall.)

    2 – Let’s discuss the Shvil. The reason to speak about the Shvil is simple; it’s because it has become the touchstone for a substantive and ideological dispute, with the two sides using it only as a weapon, completely taking it out of context. Let’s examine the issue from two perspectives, those who support it and those who oppose it.

    Even those who adamantly oppose the Shvil (including the one who came with security guards only to disturb the Shvil and ‘Davka’ walk through) sanctify the idea of the Shvil when it suits them. For example, when Lag B’Omer falls out on Sunday and there’s a huge parade attended by all the children of the community, they set up a platform for the Rebbe and the organizers (who aren’t suspected of being mishichistim) make sure to construct a red carpet walkway from the door of 770. They don’t suffice with that but go so far as to have the band playing “Ani Maamin” and they make sure the door is open wide and everyone waits for the Rebbe to appear and walk down the path prepared in his honor and deliver a Sicha in honor of Rabi Shimon Bar Yochai.

    On the other hand, those who support the Shvil don’t go all the way, because why push someone standing in the Shvil on the other side of 770. but on Shabbos or Yom Tov, when the Zal is full, the Shvil ends somewhere in the center of the Zal? And if there’s a shvil, then why not an elevator? And if there’s an elevator, then how is it that the door to the Rebbe’s room remains closed.

    So what then? The Shvil has turned into a point of contention and when things reach a point where someone who dares to stand in the Shvil is pushed, or worse, then this causes not only a rejection of the Shvil but opposition to everything that those who stand alongside the Shvil represent. And yet, when someone comes from Monsey just to stand in the center of the Shvil and cause a disturbance, it’s clear what that leads to and there is obviously no Inyan of holiness or ideology here.

    3 – In recent days, much has been written about Chinuch for Kabbolas Ol as a way to solve the problem. Obviously, a Bochur, educated with the value of Kabbolas Ol, doesn’t take a hammer and break a wall of a Shul. A Bochur educated with the value of Kabbolas Ol doesn’t decide on his own to dig an expansion to the Shul just because he thinks the area is too crowded. And a Bochur educated to Kabbolas Ol doesn’t make any move like this even when he understands from the Sichos that the Rebbe wishes that the Shul be extended.

    Indeed, truth to tell, without Chinuch in general, and without Chinuch for Kabbolas Ol in particular, there’s no chance to bring about a real change for the good. However, and this is a “big however”, Chinuch alone, under the circumstances as they are today, is not enough. Another component is needed now in order to implement change, and it’s the component of enforcement. When the Gabboim publicize a letter, but there is no one to enforce what was said, then it’s a meaningless gesture. Furthermore, when the Gabboim or the Rabbanim, or Hanhalos of Yeshivos publicize orders but there is no one to enforce them, it has the opposite effect. What they said isn’t implemented and as a result, the authority of those important entities is weakened.

    Someone might claim that this is not the way of Lubavitch, and our role is only to educate etc. On this the Posuk says, in Parashas Shoftim, to appoint judges and policemen and Medrash Tanchuma explains, “If there’s no policeman, there is no judge. How so? When a person is ruled guilty in Beis Din toward his fellow, if there is no policeman to extract [the money] from him, once he leaves the [presence of the] Dayanim the Dayan has no capacity to do anything to him, unless he hands him over to the enforcer and the enforcer extracts [the money] from him.”

    Unfortunately, until Moshiach – comes speedily in our day, when the promise will be fulfilled, “Return your judges as at first, and your advisors as in the beginning,” and then, policemen won’t be necessary, there’s no choice but to (also) address the issue of enforcing the rules. The Rabbanim of the community, the Hanhala of the Yeshiva, the Gabboim of the Shul, and the other important individuals, are certainly doing and will do even more to influence through education, and Yashar Koach to them for that, but now is the time, along with that, to provide enforcement. Now is the time to form a Vaad Hamesader again, which will have the full support of those in charge and its role will be to ascertain that things are implemented in the proper manner.


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    1. The Guy From Monsey (Dovid Poltorak)

      As it happens, I didn’t come from Monsey to stand in the Shvil. I came for a wedding and went to 770 for maariv.

      As it happens, I have no problem with the shvil. In fact, I like it. What I have a problem with is the violence and hefkeirus and the unfortunate fact that these bachurim think that they are in charge and flaunt the rabbonim, gabboim, etc. And if it takes standing in the shvil and getting punched in the face to make that point, so be it!

      When in 770, I heard what happened to Labkovsky on shabbos, and that is intolerable! That’s why I went to the shvil. Because these guys have no right to impose their hergeishim with fists! I will personally stand in the shvil and challenge these hoodlums just to make the point that they do not rule 770!!! And as evident from the videos, it’s not one guy who uses his hands, but dozens of bachurim who keep kitting, pushing and pulling me and two other bachurim who also stood in the shvil.

    2. A Sample Draft

      Organizational Structure of Vaad Hamisader in 770

      The Vaad Hamisader is established to ensure order, safety, and cleanliness in 770, in light of recent incidents. The organization is committed to facilitating smooth operations within the building.

      The organization is structured as follows:

      Guidance from the Rebbe’s Teachings: The organization’s principles are rooted in the teachings of the Rebbe, as found in Igros and Likutey Sichos.
      Crown Heights Beis Din: This body provides religious guidance and oversight.
      Panel of Rabonim: This panel includes Rabonim with diverse views, including both Meshechist and Anti’s perspectives.
      Leadership of 770’s Yeshiva: The primary leadership of the 770 Yeshiva.
      Group of Mashpiem: This group includes Mashpiem with diverse views, including both Meshechist and Anti’s perspectives.
      Official Gaboim: These individuals are elected by the Community Council of Crown Heights.
      Aguch: The owners of the building.
      Shulls Shamoshim: These individuals manage the daily needs of the shull and minyonim.
      Bochurim Representatives: Representatives from each group.
      Balei Batim: Members who contribute membership fees. Their opinions are collected through voting.
      Donors: Individuals or entities providing financial support.
      Operational Procedures
      The structure applies to the entire building, both upstairs and downstairs. The Community Council may choose to have different Gaboim for each area.
      The building must be closed for at least an hour every night for security, control, and cleaning.
      Private security guards should be present at all times to prevent and manage incidents.
      Bochurim should assist the Vaad Hamisader with minor tasks. They are chosen by the Gaboim and this selection is subject to annual review.

    3. Shloma

      The insinuation here is that the Shvil is all about awaiting the Rebbe.

      Unfortunately, for the bochurim who do it every day, that’s not what it’s about.

      If it’s only symbolic, you don’t do it on any given day.

      When the Rebbe arrives, the Shvil will open in a moment. The special set up for the Rebbe on Lag Ba’omer cannot happen in a moment. It needs to be built in anticipation.

      Whether what they do is logical or not–it’s clear that they believe the Rebbe is actually walking through right now, and that’s why they push people around (also before they specific attempts to stop it).

      In large measure it’s that ideology of imagination and not living in reality that makes them feel like everything is nothing, and they can do as they please (if a lacking can be construed and believed to be the real thing).

      It’s time for people on this side to call this ideology out specifically. It’s doesn’t help to claim it doesn’t exist.

    4. Hour with the rebbe

      i noticed that every year by the hour witb Rebbe they sef up the Rebbe MHMs farbrengen place with his holy chair. for some reason i have never heard of anyone speaking against it or making a joke of it or trying to stand in the way.

    5. The holy chair

      ever since i was a little boy still in the ezras nashim my parents always encouraged me tk look at the ‘red chair’ explaining to me that its ‘the Rebbes place’ set up for him, and now whenver i come to 770 i try to picture that the Rebbe MHM is actually with us here kn shul, not just “berucniyus”.
      for this reason it bothers me a lot when i see people (of all ages unfortunately) making as if the whole ‘Rebbe MHMs place’ is one big joke (to qoute: “the fake chair” “where he Rebbe USED to daven” “could i sit down on it” (R”L!) ) .
      i personally come whenever possible to the Rebbe MHMs minyan and when the Shvill happens the following thoughts always ckme to my mind “Rebbe we are ready for you to enter and take us out of golus!
      one last point: in the hakdamah to נר מצוה ותורה אור the Mittler Rebbe says a mashal ‘of a fther who hides from his son and out of the sons great love for his father he stands every day by the roads and paths that his father used to go on lookjng for him’ the wording used there is SHVIL!
      yechi hamelech!
      we should see the Rebbe MHM lead us out of golus immediately!

    6. we learned from the Rebbe himself

      1. by the meals in the friedike rebbes apartment a place was set up for the friedike rebbe and NOBODY FOR A SECONED THOUGHT THAT IT WAS A JOKE
      2. when the Rebbe MHM and the Friedike Rebbe get called up together for Choson Berieshis the Rebbe would make space and even ‘change his usal minhag’ in how to hold the atzie chayim

    7. Shloma

      Because it’s once a year, clearly demonstrating anticipation for a Farbrengen with the Rebbe with the coming of Moshiach.

      It’s not copying the seder before Gimmel Tammuz, as the Rebbe did not farbreng during the week.

    8. Refoel

      Your premise does not make sense to me. On the one hand, you appear to be contradicting Gaboim’s rules and guidelines by addressing the shvil issue from both sides, whereas the Gaboim explicitly state that there should be no shvil. On the other hand, you argue that there must be a vaad hamesader to enforce the rules.

    9. Anonymous

      thank you for writing this very sensible editorial.

    10. A bissel seichel

      The part mentioning, “And yet, when someone comes from Monsey…” is completely unnecessary. What it sounds like is that you are writing that because of something personal, not because you are trying to get a point across…very unimpressed and extremely unprofessional. While you are trying to bring out a positive point, you are injecting it with toxicity. Your opinion is not “Kadosh V’tahor” and the shvil does not have any source anywhere. All can agree that it is different than setting up the Rebbe MH”M place. At the beginning, the shvil started off with good intentions, however, unfortunately, things took a turn. Now that the shvil is and has been leading to physical fights, for already a long time, is revealing that it is not a proper thing to continue. The way Torah and Chassidus teach us, about something that is not explicitly stated in seforim, to know if it is the right thing or not, is to look at the outcome. V’Da”L.

    11. reply to some of the other comments

      first of all i didn’t know that awaiting Moshiach and doing “symbolic” acts to show our yearning are limited to two days a year. i thought moshiach can come every day.
      second of all nobody seemed to be bothered when other sites publicly posted names and pictures of other bochurim (obviously only meshichist) who were involved in the fights.

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