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Soul Meetings




Peres: The Chabad Movement unites Jews Worlwide

~ Part one ~


By Mr. Shimon Peres

I personally was born into a coalition, my maternal grandfather was a Misnaged and from my father's side a Chassid. Thus I was born in advance in a very difficult coalition. I must say that my relationship to Chassidim was constantly as meaningful as my relationship of my adherence to my inclination for the words of the Misnagdim.

However, the Chabad Movement, a movement of "bringing souls together", many greats of our Labor party were Chabadnikim in heart and soul. Who is greater than President Shazar, and who is a greater conqueror of hearts than Natan Elterman, both of whom were outstanding Chabad Chassidim. They had great influence on us, and on me in many ways. When I traveled to the US for the second time, Shazar and Natan "commanded" me to visit the Rebbe. When I visited the Lubavitcher Rebbe's court, I had an audience with the Rebbe for two hours. I heard words of wisdom from him regarding the situation in Israel that I will never forget for the rest of life.

Today, Chabad fills a special and unique position. Before the Jewish nation, before all of us, stands a great dilemma: How to live? Amid division, amid hatred, amid disregard, amid alienation, amid hostility. Or should we live with love for another, amid understanding, amid respect for your father, your mother, brother in spite of the many differences among us, but to live as one nation among us.

In these days we are trying to erect a government in the State of Israel with a foundation based on the "uniting of people." A bridge amongst the far. A pier to enable the far to come close. And I believe that this is the right way. The Chabad movement is the largest movement in Israel that tried, in essence, to tell the Jewish nation, that the Torah is not just a matter in the head but also a matter of the heart. And therefore Chabad is working its whole existence to bring about the "uniting of people".

I am glad that now we are attempting to establish a government in Israel, even though there are differences in our views, with Chabad and several of us, we came to an understanding on how to work together to achieve a second goal - and this is the bringing closer of others, to gather the "distant Jews."

I am obligated to say that the Chabad movement is not only swift in presenting the honor of donning Tefillen upon the believer and non believer, in addition there is no other movement like Chabad that managed activities, primarily under the auspices of the Rebbe, may he live long, for non-Jews.

There is no far off Jewish community that the Chabad movement has not reached, that it did not encourage, that it did not establish schools within it, that it did not keep in touch with it. Whether if it is the IDF, whether it is a communist, weather it is an western ruler or an eastern dictator.

There is no one that has spread out a chain of keeping in touch with the "far Jew" like Chabad has done. In the times of the Communist Russia and now in Russia under Gorbochov, you will find the Chabad movement, making an effort in this direction.

We now have a one-time chance in the Jewish history to cause one of the largest groups of our brothers to return to Judaism, to return to the State of Israel.

The Jews of the former Soviet Union are not occupied with the Torah of the Jews. What attracts them to Israel is not necessarily the Israeli heritage, the Jewish heritage. And not even the blowing of the Shofar of Moshiach. What causes them in a great sense to Judaism is the anti-Semitic Satan - the opposition to Judaism. And all of us together know that deep in our hearts, that if they will immigrate to Israel - they will return to Judaism, if they will go else where they will descend from their Judaism.

We are now making a coalition to, firstly, bring as many as possible to the state of Israel, to absorb them properly, to enable them to return to the foundation of the Jewish nation, to the heritage of the Jews, to the Jewish Torah and to the true Jewish culture.

I believe that if we will know how to overcome the differences between us, that if we will know how to devote ourselves to the immigration of the Jews and to absorb them, we will achieve the third goal: to bring peace not only among us but with all those nearby.

A serious chance has been molded in our history, if it is because the might of Israel, or because the weakness of their enemies to discuss with Israel general negotiations. We are an ancient nation, more than three thousand years, we never ruled over any nation. And all the nations that ruled over us have disappeared from History. Let us not imitate them, let us follow our path. The path of "Who is mighty? One who captures his inclination." The path of "a nation that lives in solitude", but a nation that believes in the prophecy of Isaiah.

I want to tell you, the way we argue, mock and laugh, but this is an only chance in Jewish history, there never one like it. We are prohibited to be among the non believers, we are prohibited to be among the short visioned. It is prohibited to be among the impatient. This is an abnormal chance, if only we should be fitting for it. To unite the nation not pacifically through a government, but to "uniting of people."

We are the minority of the nations, we have to strengthen the amount of Jews, enlarging the Jewish population in Israel and to take action for the sake of peace. I believe that it is beyond politics, it is within our history today. I believe that it is beyond the calculations of going and coming, it is within the calculation of the possibility to describe this as one of the greatest in the times of our people.

I pray at all times, that we should be fit for this time, that we should contribute fittingly and to bestow it to our children, as they deserve. If we act with one heart, a nation that "gathers its tribes," a nation which turns to peace. It should be G-d's will, that these words should materialize, it is my profound wish that the Chabad movement on its contribution to all three of these fields.

From a speech by Mr. Peres in the year 1990 (prior to the elections of the Israeli Prime Minister)

It is self understood that such a government under Peres's rule was not formed under the Rebbe's specific direction, that not to put the Jewish nation into danger of giving an inch of land to the Arab nations.

Mr. Peres was the mastermind of the Oslo process, which the Rebbe foretold during its creation and warned against its creation (see "Soul Meetings").

Chabad has always been from the pioneers that we love every Jew, regardless of their opinions.


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