The Rebbe’s Response to the Attack on Reb Mendel Vechter

In JEM’s latest release, the complete farbrengen of 12 Tammuz 5743, the Rebbe decried a violent attack against Reb Mendel Vechter for teaching Chassidus in Williamsburg and warned what would happen if community leaders don’t put a halt to it.

By writer

Jewish Educational Media has just released a beautiful, four-hour-long Yud Beis Tammuz Farbrengen, complete with subtitles for all seven sichos and the maamar.

During the farbrengen, which was broadcast via satellite, the Rebbe placed a great emphasis on the importance of a Moment of Silence, drawing lessons from the Frierdiker Rebbe’s imprisonment and release.

The Rebbe also, quite uncharacteristically, publicly decried the attack on a Reb Mendel Vechter who had been ‘caught’ teaching Chassidus to non-Chabad bochurim. The Rebbe pointed out that the attackers—who had shaved the beard and peyos of the esteemed Mashpia—had done exactly what the Nazis had done to their own parents! If the violence and lack of respect aren’t dealt with by their community’s leadership, the Rebbe said, that violence would ultimately turn against them.

At interludes between the sichos, there are some interesting interactions with the Rebbe:

  • The son of the Shomrei Emunim Rebbe, current-day Rebbe of Shomrei Emunim in Ashdod, came to the farbrengen as a guest of Reb Efrayim Yolles. He approached the Rebbe who inquire as to his background.
  • The Rebbe called upon Reb Yoel Kahn, handed him several dollars and told him: “Give these dollars to Reb Mendel Vechter; you learn Chassidus with him, right?”
  • A boy tells the Rebbe that his name is Menachem Mendel, and the Rebbe replied with a smile: “That name is familiar to me.”

JEM also included the fascinating television introduction that was broadcast before the farbrengen, which featured Professor Herman Branover, Rabbi Zalman Posner, and Rabbi Manis Friedman.

To watch the Farbrengen, click here:

Scenes from the farbrengen:

Figure 1: Professor Branover, Rabbi Manis Friedman and Rabbi Zalman Posner speak before the Farbrengen

Figure 2: The Farbrengen

Figure 3: A boy named Menachem Mendel. The Rebbe: “That name is familiar to me.”

Figure 4: The Maamar

Figure 5: The son of the Shomrei Emunim Rebbe (current-day Rebbe of Shomrei Emunim in Ashdod), a guest of Reb Efrayim Yolles. The Rebbe inquires as to his background.

Figure 6: The Rebbe to Reb Yoel: “Give these dollars to Reb Mendel Vechter; you learn Chassidus with him, right?”

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  1. The title does catch people’s attention, which is a good thing, however at the same time, we have to be aware that a full Farbrengen was just released, and during that Farbrengen the Rebbe gave us so much Torah and guidance, a lot more than just responding to the attack. But again the title may encourage more people to watch the Farbrengen, so I understand

  2. Good article. The boy Menachem Mendel came with his great uncle, U.S. Senator Chic Hecht and his father Dr. Chaim Hecht from Chicago

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