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Lubavitcher Hassidim Oppose Public Demonstrations on Behalf of Soviet Jews

The Lubavitcher Hassidim, a group actively concerned with the fate of Soviet Jewry, is opposed to public demonstrations on their behalf on the grounds that they are counterproductive. “If you want a favor from someone, you don’t step on his toes.” according to Rabbi Yudel Krinsky, a spokesman for Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Rabbi Krinsky said the Lubavitcher movement believes that quiet diplomacy is more effective than loud protests when it comes to rescuing the Jews of Russia. “Russia does not respond to demonstrations,” he said in an interview today with Ray Kestenbaum, editor of World Jewish News, a nightly radio program broadcast over WEVD. He cited the visit earlier this year of President Georges Pompidou, of France, who was picketed in New York and Chicago by Jewish groups protesting French Middle East policy. The result, said Krinsky, was the sale of Mirage Jets to Libya. The spokesman also recalled the case of the late Rabbi Joseph Schneerson, predecessor and father-in-law of the present Lubavitcher Rebbe. He was sentenced to death in Russia in 1928. Protests, he said, were of no avail. It was through the quiet intervention of the heads of many governments. Including the late President Herbert Hoover, that Rabbi Schneerson was freed and later emigrated to the U.S. Rabbi Krinsky recalled.

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