Rabbi Pinchas Pachter is a longtime Shliach of the Rebbe in Paris, focusing mainly on the intellectuals in Paris, such as professors and college students.
When he began his Shlichus, shortly after he became a Lubavitcher, he worked independently, using a small local Shul as his base, and his work grew tremendously. After a while, certain Shluchim in the Paris region, specifically those stemming from Russia, were not happy with the “new kid on the block,” both because of his success and because of his non-Russian background, and made it clear to him that he does not “belong” on Shlichus, and he is “encroaching” on “their” territory.
The young Rabbi Pachter wrote to the Rebbe, detailing the complaints, and asking the Rebbe whether he should stop his activities, the Rebbe responded with a short answer at the conclusion of a letter:
“With blessing for success in spreading Judaism, specifically [spreading] the wellsprings of Chassidus (which you will surely continue, and it is surprising that you have a doubt [whether to stop]), especially the new classes which you reported on.”
When this was shown to his detractors, they refused to cooperate, and continued pestering him, and trying to prevent him from succeeding in Shlichus. Rabbi Pachter decided to bring it up with the Rebbe during the next Yechidus.
Upon entering the Rebbe’s study, the Rebbe told him:
“There are enough Jewish souls in Paris, for you and for the others. It’s time you open up your own institution, and report to me your activities. If the place in the synagogue will be small, make sure to move to a larger location.”
Rabbi Pachter was shocked, but he responded to the Rebbe that sadly people in Paris will not believe him, so the Rebbe said in a stern voice:
“You will receive it in writing.”
Before he left New York, the Rebbe wrote a lengthy letter, dated the 25th of Elul 5732, with copies sent to all the other Shluchim in Paris, in which the Rebbe wrote (among other details):
“Since success is based on the will of the person… and a person has a stronger will when he feels that he is working for himself, there must be a great deal of autonomy, and I am referring specifically to the synagogue on D’uc Street in Paris. I am sure that this will not cause any damage, the opposite is true, this autonomy will help the expansion of these activities and the expansion of the activities of the central location of Chabad, for the workers in the central Chabad House will focus solely on their location.
Since Rabbi Pachter is running the activities in the D’uc location, and he is successful, he will surely continue and grow, as mentioned earlier. Also, if Rabbi Pachter will request help with his activities from the central Chabad House and the workers there, surely they will help him.”
Rabbi Binyamin Gorodetsky, the Rebbe’s representative to Europe and North Africa, who received a copy of this letter, tried to ensure that Rabbi Pachter has an easier time working out his differences with the older crowd, and for this reason he spoke with the Rebbe and asked the Rebbe that Rabbi Pachter be given full independence, and not just autonomy, and recommended the name “Hadar HaTorah – Lubavitch.”
In a letter sent from Rabbi Gorodetsky to Rabbi Pachter, in 5734, he writes:
“Regarding the letterhead for your institution, Hadar HaTorah, you should write in a way that people know and recognize that it is Lubavitch, so people will not have the gall to say that this institution has nothing to do with the Rebbe. This is what the Rebbe told me; this means, that you have permission to use the name Lubavitch.”
Two years later, the Rebbe sent a letter dated the 7th of Nissan 5736, and addressed to the three leading Chabad Rabbis in Paris: Rabbi Nissan Nemenow, Rabbi Yosef Goldberg and Rabbi Hillel Pewzner, in which the Rebbe writes:
“I was shocked to hear that the situation was not settled yet, and no solution has been reached regarding the activities of Rabbi Pachter and Rabbi […]
…Since what is done is done, and cannot be changed, both institutions should continue any activities they have done, in any location they have been, and should try to work together…
It is simple that such cooperation is possible, for both here and in other countries Chabad Youth and Hadar HaTorah work side by side, each to their own, without causing damage to the other, and even helping each other…”
Sadly, a short time after Gimmel Tammuz, Rabbi Pachter was “de-listed” by those who sought to destroy him for the 25 preceding years, and the Rebbe’s directives were shelved.