Chabad: ‘PM Bennett mocked former Lubavitcher Rebbe in speech’

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has succeeded in rousing the ire of Chabad in the wake of a speech he made on Wednesday, in honor of “Herzl Day,” in which Bennett appeared to mock one of the previous Rebbe’s views, contrasting them with the “greater insight” displayed by Herzl.

The Prime Minister was speaking in the Knesset plenum and singled out several haredi rabbis for their opposition to Herzl’s activities, and asserting that the “test of history” had proven Herzl right and the haredi rabbis wrong.

One of the rabbis cited by Bennett was described as a “significant haredi rabbi” and with Bennett’s subsequent words, it became apparent that he was referring to Rabbi Sholom Dovber Schneersohn, the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe in the Chabad dynasty, who was known for his vehement opposition to Zionism.

“I would just like to read you two quotations from that period,” Bennett said, addressing his fellow lawmakers. “A haredi rabbi, a significant one, wrote in the year 1900, ‘We must not listen to them on this matter, to achieve our redemption via our own strength. To leave the Diaspora by force. We are not permitted to do this. All our hopes and longings are that G-d will bring his Messiah speedily in our days, Amen, and that G-d Himself will bring about our redemption.”

Offering his own interpretation of the Rebbe’s words, Bennett said that their intent was that “we must not take action, and should only pray and have faith, and then it will happen of its own accord.”

Later in his speech, Bennett cited the words of the rabbi of the city of Lodz, Rabbi Eliyahu Chaim Meisel, who, according to Bennett, “imposed a ban on all the Zionists.”

“In such a context, one can see the extent of Herz’s historic responsibility in leading us out of passivity and into action,” Bennett claimed, adding, “In general, this is what I believe in; I believe in less headlines and more getting up and getting into action and taking responsibility, even in the hardest times.”

“I am a man of faith,” he continued, “and the trust I place in G-d is that on the one hand, I believe in G-d, but this does not mean that we here, in this country, in this world, should not work with all our might in order to shape reality. What it means is that at the end of the day, I have faith in what G-d decides. But we recognize that with our human level of understanding, things often look bad. We don’t have any guarantee that things will always be nice and easy.”

According to the Hebrew-language Chabad website COL, Bennett spoke mockingly and with disdain when referring to the former Lubavitcher Rebbe, and misrepresented his words.

“Prime Minister Bennett ‘forgot’ to mention a few important points in his speech, and also forgot who really won in history’s perspective. Herzl wrote in 1895 that he was in two minds as to where the best location was to establish a Jewish state – Israel, or Argentina. He also considered ‘mass assimilation’ as a solution to the problem of anti-Semitism. Later in his life, he admitted that he had been wrong.”

Source: Arutz Sheva

Published by