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April 01, 1994 - Image 22

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-04-01

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



• A.

zit

BATH, BED, BLINDS, LINENS, DRAPERIES... AND MORE!

drapers boy:tic:pp

Keeping The Faith
In Kfar Chabad

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For Israel's Lubavitcher Chasidim, death is
unthinkable for their beloved Rebbe.

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enachem Mendel
Schneerson, the Luba-
vitcher Rebbe, may be
unconscious and rely-
ing on life support machines to
keep breathing, but his follow-
ers in Israel say they still have
perfect faith that he will get out
of his Manhattan hospital bed
and be revealed as the Messi-
ah.
Near Tel Aviv at Kfar
Chabad, the village of 5,000 peo-
ple founded by the Lubavitch-
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In the offices, schools, facto-
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this week, Lubavitche Cha-

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son's expected death] will hap-
pen. Nobody even thinks about
that."
The other boys agreed. Asked
what would happen if the
Rebbe died, Schneur Zalman
Merk, 16, said, as many Lubav-
itchers reply: "That's like ask-
ing what will happen if the sun
doesn't rise tomorrow."
For the rebbe's followers, the
day may soon be at hand when,
in a way, the sun will not rise.
And on the day that their
beloved rebbe dies, Lubavitcher
Chasidim in over 40 countries
will undoubtedly experience
great spiritual and psychologi-
cal upheaval.
The effect will be most pro-
nounced in the United States,
where the Lubavitcher move-
ment (also known as Chabad)
is strongest and most numer-

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sidim went about their business
in what appeared to be a nor-
mal mood.
In the yeshiva, housed in a
replica of the brownstone
Lubavitcher headquarters in
Brooklyn's Crown Heights, a
group of teen-age boys recited
extra prayers, planned to per-
form a few extra mitzvot and
readied themselves to do a lit-
tle more street proseltyzing
than usual - but not because
they're trying to save the rebbe's
life.
"It hurts us very much that
the rebbe is suffering, and we're
praying for him to feel better,
and for him to be revealed as
the Messiah that much sooner,"
said Baruch Mendelson, 16.
"But it's impossible that what
you mentioned [Rabbi Schneer-

ous. But the fallout in Israel
also will be heavy.
There is no reliable estimate
on the number of Lubavitch
members in Israel, but it reach-
es into the many thousands. Be-
sides Kfar Chabad, the
followers are concentrated in
Bnei Brak, Jerusalem and
Petah Tikva, as well as in hun-
dreds of smaller Lubavitch out-
posts around the country.
The Lubavitcher movement
is not the largest in Israel's Or-
thodox world- that distinction
belongs to the Satmar and Gur
dynasties - but it is the most
influential because of its prodi-
gious outreach programs, ex-
plained Aviezer Ravitzky,
professor of Jewish thought at
Hebrew University and author
of the recent book, Messianism,

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