Lubavitcher Rebbe - Chabad photo
Lubavitcher Rebbe - Chabad photoINR staff

In honor of Yud Shevat, celebrated by Lubavitcher hasidim as the anniversary of the Rebbe's accepting leadership over the Chabad movement in 1951, Arutz Sheva summarizes a segment of the book When Silence is a Sin, a compendium of talks and writings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe on the obligation to protest and the obligation to settle the entire Land of Israel:

The Rebbe made recommendations for settlement activity to succeed, and described necessary conditions at the time of construction:

1) Not provocative: In various public addresses the Rebbe recommended not proclaiming fearlessness by announcing intentions to settle the entire territory. Display of arrogance arouses a reciprocal desire among the nations to show us their arrogance in return: “If we show them kochi v’otzem yodi (“my power, and the might of my own hand”), it will prompt them to show us their kochiv’otzem yodi in return.” Rather, Israeli policy should be to proceed and build without such declarations. On the contrary, the Rebbe said that the correct message that needs to be publicized is that we are still in exile, since the redemption has not yet arrived.

2) Quietly: The Rebbe distinguished between bombastic and subdued modes of settlement: The former involves noise, publicity, and press announcements flouting the construction. The latter entails doing things quietly.

"All problems begin," said the Rebbe, "when people conduct themselves in the first manner. But when people conduct themselves using the second method, things pass peacefully. Even though this method of settlement activity may not be to a certain politician’s liking, he knows that he has no choice because if he makes an issue of it, there will be commotion. He has enough trouble as it is, and doesn’t need this on top of it."

The Rebbe added that this, in fact, was how things have turned out:

"Until now, they settled this area or that area; it was no secret, and everyone knew about it. As long as they kept quiet and didn’t make noise about it, when some wished to make a commotion in this or that capital city, everyone pretended they didn’t know anything about it. A promise was made to investigate the matter, and establish a commission of inquiry, and hold a meeting, and in this meeting they would decide that they need to make another meeting. And things would have continued that way until Moshiach came. It could have continued that way, and will continue that way, because 'The word of G‑d stands forever' (Yeshayahu, 40:8) — the Land of Israel belongs to 'the eternal nation' as an 'eternal inheritance,' since it was given by the 'Eternal G‑d.'

The Rebbe spoke similarly in his address of Motzoei Shabbos Lech Lecha, 5738 (1977):

"The main thing is that they not announce this loudly, so that settlement in the territories should be without commotion and tumult. The only thing which is truly important is the actual settlement itself!"

In the talk of Motzoei Shabbos Mishpatim of the same year the Rebbe again stressed:

"If they would only settle the entire Land of Israel speedily, without all the stormy noise — but rather in a 'still, quiet voice’, as G‑d Himself walks. Certainly this is the way of true peace — and they are surely capable of doing it this way."

3) Simultaneously: The Rebbe spoke of “the absolute necessity of settling all the territories simultaneously — at least those places which are disputed by the nations.”

4) “The deeds of the fathers are a lesson for the children”: The Rebbe explained that settlement should follow the example of Abraham in the Land of Israel: Just as when Abraham traveled the “length and breadth of the land,” he would “build there an altar to G‑d,” so must it be today. When we settle the Land of Israel, we should establish in each new place:

a) A venue for Torah learning: For this is the dwelling place of G‑d, since “from the time of the destruction of the Temple (until the coming of Moshiach; because only then will the Third Temple be built, and not before this, as clearly stated in the Rambam’s ruling), G‑d does not have any place in His world except in the four cubits of halachah.”

b) A place for prayer: This follows the previous point, since prayers take the place of the sacrifices (altar), and synagogues are “small Temples” (Megillah, 29a).

c) Mikvah: Besides the fact that this is an absolute necessity for all Jewish women, it is also relevant to men: In order for our prayers to be acceptable, there must be purity (as in the Rambam’s famous ruling, that even though immersing in a ritual bath is not a prerequisite for prayer, nevertheless, “tevilas Ezra was never abolished”), particularly according to the explanation of the Alter Rebbe, the first Lubavitcher Rebbe. (Shulchan Aruch HaRav, 88:1. Even though nowadays immersion in a ritual bath is not an absolute prerequisite for prayer, immersion is still widely practiced.)

d) There is a special need to establish Yeshivas where Torah is learned, as the Rebbe said in his address of 13 Tishrei 5738 (1977): “They should settle as many places as possible, and the settlement should be complete with yeshivas for learning Torah. Since ‘learning brings to action,’ the students will be even more inspired to perform the mitzvos in the best manner possible. Through the ‘voice of Yaakov’ which will be heard in the synagogues and study halls, there will be a greater manifestation of “the L‑rd your G‑d walking among your camp..." (Devarim, 23:15).