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>Israel Faxx
>JN March 3, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 40

Chabad Lubavitch: Rebbe is Not Moshiach

The principal Chabad Lubavitch rabbinic court issued a statement regarding Moshiach in Jewish law.

The court restated Jewish law, emphasizing that in addition to the Torah's view that "conjecture as to the possible identity of Moshiach is not part of the basic tenet of Judaism," the "preoccupation with identifying the (late) Rebbe (Menachem Shneerson) as Moshiach is clearly contrary to the Rebbe's wishes."

The governing board said: "The deification of any human being is contrary to the core and foundation of the Jewish faith. The various Talmudic, Midrashic and other sources which seem to ascribe superhuman spiritual attributes to certain righteous people, were never meant to be deification and great care must be taken when quoting them.

"Belief in the coming of Moshiach and awaiting his imminent arrival is a basic tenet of the Jewish faith. It is clear, however, that conjecture as to the possible identity of Moshiach is not part of the basic tenet of Judaism."

Children Wanted for Future Temple

By IINS News Service

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect is searching for parents willing to hand over newborn sons, to be raised in isolation and purity in preparation for the rebuilding of the biblical Temple in Jerusalem. Only members of the Jewish priestly caste (Kohanim) need apply, according to a March 1 Haaretz report.

The Movement for Establishing the Temple wants to keep the children in a secluded compound in the hills of Jerusalem. "The idea is to raise a child, who from the moment of birth will not touch the dead, not be under the same roof with the dead, and will not even be in a hospital...where the dead are also found," Yosef Elboim, the rabbi assigned to finding willing parents, told Haaretz.

Once the boys turn 13 they will be able to slaughter and burn a sacred red heifer, literally a holy cow, and sprinkle its ashes on people, in a purification ritual last performed in biblical times.

The ritual is meant to cleanse those who have come into contact with the dead and prepare them for the reconstruction of the Temple destroyed in 70 CE. "Today, when there is no one undefiled who can prepare the ashes in a state of purity, there is a problem, which we intend to solve with the help of priestly children,'' Elboim said.

Even if willing parents step forth, the sect will still face a major problem -- finding an unblemished red heifer.

Israel Offers to Withdraw from Lebanon

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

The coordinator of Israel's Lebanon policy says Israel is willing to withdraw from the occupied zone in southern Lebanon in return for security guarantees from the Lebanese government, without waiting for formal peace treaties with Lebanon and Syria. Israel appears to be more eager than ever to get its troops out of Lebanon, but that might still not be possible.

Israel's longtime Lebanon policy chief, Uri Lubrani, told Army Radio there is a new twist to Israel's view -- withdrawal with security guarantees, but without formal peace. High Israeli casualty tolls in Lebanon in recent years have seriously eroded public support for the occupation.

Israeli governments have made similar Lebanon withdrawal offers in the past, and Syria has always blocked them. Syria does not want any such benefit for Israel until it promises to withdraw from all of the Golan Heights as well, something the current Israeli government says it will never do.

Sheinbein Agrees to Face Murder Charge in U.S.

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

An American teenager has agreed to return to the U.S from Israel to stand trial for a murder which took place in September in Maryland. The teen agreed to the proposal on the condition that -- if convicted -- he can serve any prison sentence in Israel.

The lawyer for Samuel Sheinbein, 17, says the young man has accepted an Israeli judge's proposal for the unusual two-country arrangement.

He fled to Israel and claimed Israeli citizenship to avoid prosecution. Israel does not extradite its citizens to other countries. But the issue is clouded because the alleged murderer never lived in Israel, and his father, while technically an Israeli citizen, has not lived in the country for nearly 50 years.

The two-state solution is designed to avoid a lengthy legal battle and potential embarrassment to Israel, which does not want to be seen as harboring criminals. The final decision is in the hands of a Maryland prosecutor.

Troops Apprehend Iraqi Citizen Near Border

By IINS News Service

On Friday night IDF troops assigned to the Jordan Valley Brigade apprehended an Iraqi citizen, adjacent to the border fence, south of Mechola Junction. The IDF patrol was checking the border fence near daybreak and saw "some movement" east of the fence. Further investigation showed there was a lone unarmed man. The notification of his apprehension was made to Jordanian officials and he was subsequently turned over to them.

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