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May 31, 2012 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-05-31

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frontlines >> letters

To each sponsor,

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votunteer and


thanks to you,


Disappointed In Chabad
As the President of the Sara and Morris
Tugman Bais Chabad Torah Center of
West. Bloomfield ("Torah Center"), I
offer the following comments concern-
ing the article that appeared in the
May 31 Jewish News (page 10) entitled
"Going to Court"
Approximately 35 years ago, the
Torah Center purchased land and raised
large sums of money to build its build-
ing. It has since grown into a congrega-
tion with more than 150 families and
serving numerous students who study
Torah. At all times, the Torah Center
owned and operated this property
and building, fully managed its own
financial affairs and employed Rabbi
Silberberg as the congregation's rabbi.
Chabad-Lubavitch of Michigan now
wants to take that property away from
the Torah Center, having no genu-
ine legal or other basis to do so. The
practical result of its effort would be
to displace the 150 families and other
Torah students from their own building,
with respect to which the Torah Center
itself raised all of the money to build
and maintain for all of these decades,
leaving the congregation's members and
students to find other shuls in which to
practice their Judaism and study.
Yet, neither the Torah Center nor the
congregants have caused any part of
the dispute that Chabad-Lubavitch of
Michigan raises in its civil complaint.
In fact, the Torah Center was not a party
to any of the rabbinical proceedings
mentioned in the complaint. Rather,
Rabbi Silberberg alone was a party.
These rabbinical proceedings essen-
tially acknowledged that the Torah
Center owns its own property and
building, and that Rabbi Silberberg
had no ability to transfer their owner-
ship to anyone. The rabbinical pro-
ceedings essentially ask that Rabbi
Silberberg make an effort to see if the
Torah Center would be willing to trans-
fer its property to Chabad-Lubavitch
. of Michigan. Rabbi Silberberg made
numerous efforts to do so.
The Torah Center has correctly
determined that it has no reason to
transfer the ownership of its property
to anyone, especially since it purchased
the property, raised the money to build
it and has on its own maintained it for
approximately 35 years.
In a letter from Rabbi Menachem
Mendel Schneerson, dated 20 Kislev
5745 (Dec. 14, 1984), the Rebbe himself
wrote that "it is well known that the
various Chabad institutions are finan-
cially completely independent of our
central office. This is also an obvious

necessity in view of the fact that there
are hundreds of such institutions the
world over, and it would be impossible
to direct them all from headquarters
The Torah Center is in complete
accord and compliance with the Rebbe's
statement. Moreover, Rabbi Silberberg
has complied with the rabbinical pro-
ceedings. Rabbi Silberberg has no more
ability to transfer ownership of the
Torah Center than he has the ability to
transfer ownership of the Mackinaw
Bridge. Chabad-Lubavitch of Michigan
is simply trying to take property that it
never owned and has no right to take.
The Torah Center's depth of disap-
pointment with Chabad-Lubavitch's
filing of civil litigation is impossible
to accurately describe. It has exposed
a dark side of Chabad-Lubavitch of
Michigan that is unfortunately over-
shadowing the Yiddishkeit that is the
hallmark of the Torah Center. Chabad-
Lubavitch's litigation is simply creat-
ing a chilul HaShem [a behavior that
disgraces God or his Law]. The Torah
Center parties in the lawsuit have hired
the law firm of Barris, Sat, Denn and
Driker, P.L.L.C., by Todd R. Mendel,
Esq., to represent them and handle the
civil legal proceedings for them. As
for the Torah Center, it will continue to
focus on Yiddishkeit in this commu-
nity, as it has successfully done so for
35 years.

Dr. Dov Schuchman, President

Sara and Morris Tuqman Bais Chabad

of West Bloomfield

Only Half The Story
Shifra Epstein claims she wants to help
her students understand the conflict .
between Jews and Palestinians. From
reading her reflections (May 17, Page
29), I understand that she loves the
Palestinians and is willing to overlook
decades of anti-Jewish violence. I also
understand that she has no such love
for Israeli Jews, whose every sin, real or
imagined, is magnified.
Jews want to live east of the green
line. That's a sin. Palestinians want no
Jews east of the Mediterranean. That's
A fringe group of Jews sings
songs mocking Islam. Sin. State-run
Palestinian TV teaches children to
hate and glorifies the murder of Jews.
Palestinian refugees were cre-
ated when Arab armies failed in their
attempt to annihilate the nascent Jewish
state. Sin. Jewish refugees were created
when Muslim nations kicked them out
with the clothes on their back. Ignored.

She mourns the "Nakba," refusing to
acknowledge that the real tragedy in the
Palestinian mind was the inability of
the Arab armies to push the Jews into
the sea. Since Epstein's piece was pub-
lished, an emergency medical crew was
almost lynched by a Palestinian mob
near her formerly beloved Jerusalem.
Palestinians have instigated firebomb
attacks, car attacks with rocks and
(fortunately) some thwarted attacks,
all against Jews. Add this to the fact
that Palestinian leadership has spurned
Israel at the negotiating table, and
reality's picture shows the opposite of
Her early hope for peaceful coexis-
tence between Jews and Palestinians
when Jerusalem was reunited was
dashed, but Epstein keeps herself blind
to the culprits. She's focused on the
suffering of the Palestinians, but can't
see that their suffering is entirely self-
inflicted. She allows herself, her stu-
dents and the readers of her reflection
only half of the story. Her misplaced
resentment against Israel won't allow
her to see the other half.

was a huge


Your support

will impact

hundreds of

children with

disabilities and

their families

Harry Onickel


The fundraiser for the Greater
Detroit Restoration Coalition Project
("One House At A Time May 17, in
Designation Detroit) is from 3-7 p.m.
Monday, June 4, at McDonald's, 14124
Woodward, Highland Park. All funds
raised will be used for equipment and
supplies to board up abandoned houses
in Detroit. Fully tax-deductible dona-
tions also are being accepted; make
checks out to The True Oracles of God
Ministries, 17301 Livernois, Suite 405,
Detroit, MI 48221.

The following graduates' names were
misspelled in last week's Cap & Gown
issue (continued on next page):


chief of The
Math League
finalist 2011-
12, Temple Emanu-El Monday Night
School graduate, Wooden Acres Camp




Encirt5_ 5arri&irc.


@ARC homes!
June 10th

Contact Melissa at
248-538-6610 x342 or





May 31 • 2012

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