Children of Jewish refugees
Children of Jewish refugeesChabad Moldova

How would the revered Lubavitcher Rebbe resp;ond to the tsunami of antisemitism unleashed in the Western world today? There is no doubt in my mind that if Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the last Rebbe of the Lubavitch dynasty, were alive today he would command his followers and all Jews to leave America and immigrate as soon as possible to Eretz Yisrael.

As everyone knows, the Rebbe loved the Jewish People with all his heart and soul. His towering love for the Land of Israel is also known to all. On numerous occasions he voiced his adamant conviction that all of the biblical borders of Eretz Yisrael belonged to the Jewish People and that it was absolutely forbidde to give away pieces of the Land for illusions of peace.

These two great loves – his love for the Jewish People and for the Land of Israel would surely have guided him at this time, when the wellbeing of Jews throughout the Diaspora is becoming more and more threatened due to the tsunami of anti-Semitism flooding the world. It is clear that this will continue to worsen so long as Israel has to fight against the Islamic extremism which vows to destroy the Jewish State, Heaven forbid.

Today, Diaspora Jewry is facing a situation of “Pekuach Nefesh” in which Jewish lives are threatened. In addition to the ever-rising assimilation which existed all during the Rebbe’s lifetime in America, antisemitism has exploded throughout the globe reminiscent of the Jew hatred which marked the rise of the Nazi regime before World War Two.

When Jewish life is threatened “Pekuach Nefesh” overrides all other concerns. In answer to the argument that because of the ongoing war, living in Israel is more dangerous today than living in the gentile countries of the Diaspora, Torah law states that in a “Milchemet Mitzvah” to defend Jewish lives and to insure Jewish sovereignty over the Land of Israel, the call to enlist in the battle supersedes the commandment to guard one’s own life. Of course the Rebbe knew this. His support of Tzahal and his encouragement and blessings to the soldiers of the IDF cannot be questioned.

The Rebbe was also familiar with the warnings of the great Torah Sages in Europe, Rabbi Yaacov Emden and the Ohr Samaoch, Rabbi Meir Simcha of Brisk. Rabbi Emden wrote in his “Siddur Beit Yaacov”:

“When it seems to us, in our present peaceful existence outside of the Land of Israel, that we have found another Eretz Yisrael and Jerusalem, this to me is the most poignant, deepest, most obvious and direct cause of all of the awful, frightening, monstrous, and unimaginable destructions that we have experienced in the Diaspora” (Siddur Beit Yaacov, Introduction, pg.13).

And the universally revered Torah Sage, Rabbi Meir Simcha HaKohen from Dvinsk, an unabashed supporter of Zionism, wrote in his classic treatise, the “Meshech Chochmah,” “If a Jew thinks that Berlin is Jerusalem, then a raging storm-wind will uproot him by his trunk, a tempest will arise and spread its roaring waves and swallow and destroy, and rage forth without pity,” (Meshech Chochmah, pg.191).

The Rebbe saw Hashem’s guiding hand in everything. Surely, he would have felt that the stick of anti-Semitism which has arisen today is being wielded by Hashem to bring His children home.

If so, why didn’t the Rebbe command his followers to immigrate en masse to the Land of Israel? For the simple reason that during his lifetime in America antisemitism was largely dormant. Jews held prominent positions in all spheres of endeavor and enjoyed the “good life.”

Today the situation has changed completely. Jews don’t feel safe on college campuses throughout America and not on the street. A growing uneasiness haunts their lives. More than anyone, the Rebbe would have seen the writing on the wall.