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February 25, 1994 - Image 70

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-02-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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ARTHUR J. MAGIDA SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS /w' frit" ! " t"r"Il

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go•"
"Ambition."
"Fanaticism."
Is this the plot from
the hottest soap opera? Nope.
It's New York magazine's take
on the "holy war'' being waged
within the Lubavitch move-
ment. "As the Lubavitcher
rebbe ... lies grievously ill,"
trumpets New York's cover,
"the faithful fight over the fu-
ture."
And what a battle it is, says
writer Craig Horowitz, whose
article is one of the more com-
prehensive, if somewhat sen-
sationalistic, written about
Lubavitch since its leader, Rab-
bi Menachem Schneerson, suf-
fered a severe stroke almost two
years ago.
"Envy, revenge, greed and fa-
naticism...," writes Mr. Horo-
witz. "So many charges have
been flung back and forth that
it is hard to keep track of them,
let alone evaluate their merits.
Among the most outrageous are
of office bugging, intimidation
of doctors, and most serious of
all, mistreatment of the rebbe
by some of those around him.

STAY WARM, STAY OUTSIDE

Rabbi Schneerson

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70

Next time you feed your face, think about your heart.

Go easy on your heart and start cutting back on foods that are high in saturated
fat and cholesterol. The change'll do you good.

go American Heart Association

WERE FIGHTING FOR YOUR LIFE

Several prominent doctors have
even charged that he was a vir-
tual prisoner at 770 [Eastern
Parkway, Brooklyn headquar-
ters of the Lubavitch move-
ment]."
Two physicians who have at-
tended the rebbe say he was al-
lowed to lie in "a vegetative
state" for 16 months. One doc-
tor withdrew from the case for
several months because of what
he called "acts of terrorism"
against the presiding physi-
cians. Mr. Horowitz reports
that this doctor says he "re-
ceived abusive phone calls in
the middle of the night; that
ambulance drivers came to his
house at 4 a.m, saying they'd re-
ceived a call that his son was ill;

89-e1J -mhi36,... 4

and that he discovered listen-
ing devices in the doctors' con-
ference room."
According to Mr. Horowitz,
the "two key figures in the de-
cision-making process ... have
always been" Rabbi Leib
Groner and Rabbi Yehuda
Krinsky. The former, the
rebbe's secretary for more than
40 years, has "advocated a more
cautious, tempered approach
and has been accused by a num-
ber of doctors of blocking seri-
ous efforts at physical therapy."
And Rabbi Krinsky, the
rebbe's official spokesman for
more than 35 years, has "advo-
cated aggressive therapy and
rehabilitation, continually seek-
ing out doctors capable of ad-
ministering the latest
techniques."
Behind all this alleged jock-
eying for power and influence
is the uncertainty of what will
happen after the death of the
rebbe, who many Lubavitch
consider to be the messiah. Al-
though one prominent Lubav-
itch rabbi is leading rallies
proclaiming that the rebbe is
the messiah, the rabbi's inner-
most circle "disapprove[s] only
of the messenger, not the mes-
sage. They all believe they are
living in the messianic era. This
leaves no room for contingen-
cies [regarding a successor to
Rabbi Schneerson]..."
But, cautioned Mr. Horowitz,
"someone had better start
thinking about what to tell the
faithful should the worst come
to pass [and the rebbe turns out
not to be the messiah]. While
Krinsky and Groner continue
their battle and other names —
like that of Rabbi Yoel Kahan,
the movement's leading intel-
lectual — are thrown around in
private as potential successors,
no legitimate candidate has
emerged."

Farrakhan Redux

Just when we thought it was
safe to come out from under-
neath the covers, along come a
few more comments about that
well-known man about town,
Louis Farrakhan, whose recent
remarks about Jews have not
endeared him to them.
A Baltimore Afro American
editorial said that to read the
now-famous Nov. 29 speech by
one of Mr. Farrakhan's top
aides that ignited the latest
black-Jewish brushfire is "to be

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