The anonymous message was posted on or about September 11, 2020.
A video has been circulating purporting to show the Rebbe commenting on the need to wear a mask. We’d like to share the entire clip in context:
In January 1991, Mrs. Regina Sidi visited with the Rebbe along with her daughter, Mrs. Molly Resnik, prior to a trip to Israel.
Under the shadow of the Gulf War, during which missiles were being fired at Israel by Iraq, the Rebbe urges Mrs. Sidi not to be afraid.
Mrs. Sidi responds that wearing a gas mask (distributed by the Israeli government for protection against chemical weapons, God forbid) is very difficult for her, to which the Rebbe replies that she has the option not to wear the mask. The Rebbe concluded by blessing Mrs. Sidi.
It is important to note that,
A. The Rebbe frequently and repeatedly urged individuals to follow the advice of doctors, and actually stated this as a general rule.
B. Nobody in Israel was harmed by chemical or nerve agents during the Gulf War.
As we approach Rosh Hashanah, we wish all of humanity safety, security and good health.
Regarding the video showing the Lubavitcher Rebbe telling a woman that she retains the ultimate authority as to whether or not to wear a mask and she does not have to listen to the government and experts, someone anonymous is sending around a “clarification” that the Rebbe was addressing gas masks and then adding their own notes that the Rebbe “frequently” urged people to listen to doctors and that no one was harmed by chemical or nerve agents in the Gulf War.
This anonymous message is an effort to try to distract people from the message of this video and re-direct people to listen to the doctors and live in fear today.
This carefully worded clarification is misleading. The Rebbe always put the final decision in the hands of the person seeking his counsel. The Rebbe urged second medical opinions from friends who know the disease and know the patient to avoid the one-size-fits all declarations of doctors. The Rebbe often inspired people to completely ignore the medical diagnosis of the doctors.
In keeping with the Rebbe’s approach, in the video, and in spite of the government and doctors warnings, the Rebbe said the choice was hers.
Furthermore, there was tremendous damage to Israel as a result of the Gulf War – the population of the Land of Israel was scarred and broken by the fear mongering of the government into a state of submission so that shortly after the Gulf War Israel surrendered and attended the Madrid Conference, a discussion about giving land and autonomy to an Arab Marxist terrorist group, talks that Israel had vowed never to attend and talks that lead to the actual surrender of land.
The Gulf War ended February 28, 1991, and the Madrid Conference started October 30, 1991. Immediately after the Gulf War, March 6, 1991, President Bush laid out the plan for Israel to surrender land to the terrorists.
The Israeli people’s participation was only accomplished by the brutal psychological attack on the Jewish people and the insistence that they remain powerless by hiding in safe rooms with masks and not being allowed to strike back against the Iraqi missile launchers.
The clarification pointing to the fact that no was injured by chemical warfare is a distraction – much greater damage was caused to Israel just from the fear-mongering – Israel entered talks to surrender land to terrorists and did surrender land!
Thus, the Rebbe sought to avoid this by telling the Jews not to be afraid, that there was nothing to be afraid of, and empowering this woman to not succumb to the fear and wear a mask if she does not want to and she does not have to listen to the government authorities and experts even though they were claiming it was life and death.
The concept expressed in the mask video is very appropriate for today. The Rebbe focused the people on the connection with Hashem and not the experts panics, so too, that is the call of this hour.
Healing comes from Hashem, people should not be allowing fear mongering to dictate their lives, people should not accept the humiliating psychological submission that flows from the fear mongering and, even if the government authorities and some doctors are unrelenting in their fear mongering, every individual retains the power to make the decisions that are best for his or her body and soul.
This is the lesson of the video.