The Zionist Conspiracy
Sunday, January 29, 2006
Lubavitch Lacks Central Authority
The following thoughts were written by a Lubavitcher chasid in e-mail correspondence with me:
An unfortunate side-effect of the focus on the Rebbe all these years is that no one else in Lubavitch wields any authority, except on a local scale. The level of leadership your father is addressing his concerns to, is just not there. He’s screaming in the forest with no one to hear him. This is a real hinderance to Lubavitch embarking on any new campaigns or mivtzoim, or updating their mission to address the unique challenges and needs of the 21st century. We are in a "time warp" from the period of the Rebbe’s leadership.
[For example,] a chabad house that opened a few years ago in West Bloomfield, MI initially had their parking lot open on Shabbos, but the rabonei ho'ir (which includes Lubavitch Rabbis) quickly put a stop to it. Without an effective vaad horabonim, nothing would have been done. It would be a good idea for the Head Shluchim to establish a bais din with real power that can deal with these issues from within.
A consequence in the autonomy granted to shluchim is that you will find a broad spectrum of attitutes and frumkeit within Lubavitch. It is impossible to make any broad generalization about the chabad movement today. Therefore, I don't take your father's comments personally, as they were not directed to people like me.