Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Rebbe "Jewish Lives Would have Been Saved"

"It is part of the Rebbe's greatness that he knows whom to send where and when. Not all their accomplishments have been made public. Some must remain secret. When they will be revealed--soon, I hope --they will surely increase the existing admiration for the Rebbe's vision"

-Reb Yoel Kahan

I would like to present parts of a Yechidus (private audience) of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon with the Rebbe, on Sivan 24 1968. Also included is an interesting picture of the Rebbe (part 81 in the series). Special thanks to Rabbi Asher Lowenstein.
I would like to dedicate this email to a close friend of mine Yitzchok Daniel Ben Shulamit who is serving in the IDF, and was one of the 65 soldiers who were wounded from last night's Kassam rocket attack.

The Rebbe and Sharon met on several occasions, discussing both personal and political matters. This particular meeting was long and the topics varied greatly. In order to give a little bit of an idea of what these meetings were like, I would like to first list some of the remarkable topics that were discussed, followed by a fascinating conversation.

· The Rebbe expressed his feeling at the awful manner in which the army entered the Old City, causing many lives to be unnecessarily lost.

· Sharon told the Rebbe how amazed he was by the incredible effect that the tefillin campaign had had.

The Rebbe was interested in the details of Israel's battle in Sinai and how the fighting had ended there.

Sharon: What is the Rebbe's opinion on "Operation Karameh"? [Karameh is a small town in Jordan which housed the headquarters of Arafat's Fatah movement. In March 1968, Israel raided the town to try to stop the guerrilla attacks which were being launched from there. Israel was forced to retreat under heavy fire after 28 soldiers were killed.]

"The operation itself was a very good thing," replied the Rebbe. "The fundamental mistake was that too much notice was given before the army came in. Without that notice many Jewish lives would have been saved, as a result of the operation. And there would have not been so many casualties on our side."

Sharon wondered, "If the IDF conducts more operation in Arab villages should we hold on to the land, thereby expanding our borders?"

"No," the Rebbe answered. "But Israel must respond forcefully to any action or fire that will come from the Arabs. And they should not wait before responding."

Sharon continued, "Sholomo Maydanchik visits me quite often, wearing his work clothes from 'Rakevet Israel' (Israel's train service). I am always very impressed and touched when he comes dressed that way. He has a greater influence on me than all the rabbis that come to see me." (He told the Rebbe about other chassidim from Kfar Chabad that come to see him and how much they inspire him. He added that he had recently found out that his mother is rooted was descended from a Chabad family.)

"Nu," responded the Rebbe. "Now that you have taken the first steps to your return to Yiddishkeit, you should continue all the way."

"Perhaps," asked Sharon, "the Rebbe can come and visit Israel? Many Jews will be inspired by the visit."

"I, too, hope that the time will come for that!" the Rebbe replied.

(Sharon presented to the Rebbe a photograph with an aerial view of the old city of Jerusalem along with a similar picture of the new city. The Rebbe was very happy to receive the pictures.)

Picture Description: The Rebbe standing at his office window watching a Children's Rally on Chol Hamoed Sukkot 1957.

K'siva Vachasima Tova,


Copyright © Menachem Kirschenbaum 2007