,Last week I published a short post on my Facebook page that called into question the morale fiber of the young Menachem Mendel Schneerson in 1941.
I received several negative comments such as “severe loshon hora”, “the Mishna teaches us not to judge until we stand in their place”, “what right have you to judge him”, “this is a despicable post”. This essay is intended to provide some clarification on the subject and to support my allegations. However, it may offend some people by offering an alternative to their perceived reality.
On June 22, 1941 Germany attacked the Soviet Union. This was the death knell for millions of Eastern European Jews. Unlike western Europe where the Germans took their time in murdering us, in Eastern Europe it was an immediate wholesale slaughter. On that very day, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the man we call the “Rebbe”, arrived in the USA.
He was 39 years old in 1941, a genius with unquestionable organizational skills, with fluency in languages, with charisma and an engineering degree. Yet he chose to flee eastern Europe and not to fight back. In 1941 this was not a man to be venerated. He was not a candidate for the post of Messiah. In 1941 this was a young married man in the prime of life who wore light colored suits and trimmed his beard, but most importantly at that time of crisis and need, was a coward.
In the summer of 1941, the Germans began murdering eastern European Jews in Latvia and Lithuania, countries in which Schneerson had a long standing connection. The Germans aided by local militias used shooting pits, an efficient but primitive method of killing. On July 2, 1941, they began killing near Vilna, Lithuania at a place called Ponary. By the end of the year, about 21,700 Vilna Jews had been killed at Ponary, men, women, and children. Likewise, in early July, killings began in Riga, Latvia. All in all two million Jews met their end in shooting pits.
There are times when a person is required to disclose information whether or not the information is disparaging. My intent is to show that the Rebbe and many of the European Gadolim of that time did not measure up or stand up to their responsibility.
When a statement that others call lashen hora is used for a positive, constructive, and beneficial purpose, it is not loshen hora. There are times when a person is required to disclose information whether or not the information is disparaging. My intent has been to show that the Rebbe and many of the European Gadolim of that time did not measure up or stand up to their responsibility.