Question & Answer With Yirmeyahu - A Rebbe's Prediction
A Simple Jew asks:
In June 2004, David Hatuel asked the Sanz-Klausenberger Rebbe whether a settlement in Gaza should construct a permanent or temporary ark for Torah scrolls dedicated in the memory of Hatuel's murdered family. The Sanz-Klausenberger Rebbe replied that a temporary ark should be built, not because of the planned withdrawal from Gaza, but because one day the ark will need to moved it into a larger shul once the settlement expands.
Looking back now with the knowledge that Gaza's Jewish community was expelled by the Israeli government, as a chassid of this Rebbe what is your reaction to his statement?”
I cannot answer as a chassid. My relationship to Sanz-Klausenberg is that of an admirer whose goal is to focus my slow growth in such a direction. I cannot serve as a spokesman but I can share my thoughts as is done among chaverim.
We learn in Mishlei 10:20, “כסף נבחר לשון צדיק”, the tongue of a tzadik is choice silver. The Ibn Ezra explains that a tzadik refines his words in the same way silver is refined. What we have read are not the direct words of the Rebbe shlita, but I believe we can see an application of this concept in this story.
I believe that the Rebbe’s words should be understood as a brochah and as chizuk. In such light they display a great deal of compassion and sensitivity. The individual asking the question to the Rebbe had already suffered a great personal loss. Now he, and his entire community, was facing the disengagement. What is there to say to such an individual?
We learn in B’rachos 10a "אפילו חרב חדה מונחת על צוארו של אדם אל ימנע מן הרחמים", that even when a sharp sword rests upon one’s neck one shouldn’t cease seeking compassion from HaShem. It was not the time for resignation or to concede the worst as inevitable. One certainly has no justification for discouraging others.
I believe the Rebbe’s words reflected sensitivity to the man’s situation, to the possibility that Hashem would send a yeshuoh, and to our obligation to anticipate the Geulah Sheleimah. At the same time the eitzah he gave proved pragmatic even when the outcome was not as desired and it would seem that the holy Sifrei Torah are secure in their aron.
I do not believe that the Rebbe’s words were intended, nor taken, as a guarantee. That would require actual prophecy of the “כה אמר ה׳” type. Rather the Rebbe shlita intended to give encouragement to those who faced a very tragic situation. May we merit to see the Geulah Sheleima and the fulfillment of the Rebbe’s brochah that larger shul’s will be built in Gaza.