Jerusalem 1950-1970*

  • 1951 – Soon after accepting the mantle of leadership of Chabad, the Rebbe, R’ Menachem Mendel Schneerson, began to relate to Chabad institutions in Israel and in Jerusalem in particular.  Most of the Rebbe’s instructions related to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Lod and Kfar Chabad, where the larger institutions were located.  At this time , the Rebbe gave instructions that the larger institutions – Yeshivat Tomchei T’mimim, Yeshivat Torat Emet in Jersusalem, Kolel Chabad, Kfar Chabad, as well as Tzeirei Chabad and N’shei Chabad – should all have representatives on the directorship of Agudat Chabad of Israel.  This arrangement lasted many years.
  • 1957 – In a letter to the Chasid R’ Abraham Pariz, the Rebbe complained about the general lack of success among Chabad institutions in Israel, saying that only in the projects that an individual for one reason or another took responsibility, was there any success or development.  But from this small amount of success, it was possible to estimate where the other institutions could go with some effort.
  • 1948-1967 – During the 19 years that the Tzemach Tzedek Synagogue was in the hands of the Jordanians, it was used to house animals, such as chickens and horses, as well as a factory.  Although obviously this was a disgrace, nevertheless, it protected the synagogue from the total destruction that befell the rest of the Jewish quarter.  After the Six day war and the liberation of the old city, R’ Moshe Segal was the first of the Chasidim to attempt to clean and refurbish the Tzemach Tzedek synagogue.  R’ Moshe dedicated himself fully to this job, even sleeping and eating in the building.
  • 1967 – R’ Moshe Segal organized a regular Shabbat minyan in the Tzemach Tzedek shul, of which he served as the gabbai.  Among those who streamed to the old city to pray on Shabbat and festivals was R’ Shia Yuzevitch, who eventually became the gabbai of the Shabbat mornning minyan.
  • 1968 – The Rebbe wrote a general letter to the Chasidim regarding the Tzemach Tzedek synagogue in the old city.  In the letter, the Rebbe said that the Tzemach Tzedek synagogue was a “general possession of the Chasidim, wherever they might be.”  And therefore, the Rebbe indicated that a committee of representatives from all the major Chabad organizations in Israel and Jerusalem should oversee the refurbishing and the renewal of prayers and Torah learning in the Tzemach Tzedek, “in all of its details.”  The Rebbe instructed the Chasid, R’ Azriel Zelig Slonim, of Kolel Chabad, to overlook the task of refurbishing the Tzemach Tzedek synagogue, which he did

*Information on this page is taken from the book Torat Emet, One Hundred years of Lubavitch in the holy Land, by R’ Yoseph Ashkenazi

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