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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Lubavitch Non-Messianists Win Court Battle

by Debra Nussbaum Cohen
Staff Writer

In the fight for control of 770 Eastern Parkway— the headquarters and heart of the Lubavitch movement, which has been the site of passionate and sometimes violent fights between messianists and non-messianists — a court decision last week has come down clearly on the side of the non-messianists.The strongly worded decision from Justice Ira Harkavy of New York State Supreme Court on Dec. 27 says that the only parties with the right to determine what happens at 770 are its owners, two of the movement’s central organizations, Agudas Chasedei Chabad and Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch (Association of Chabad Chasidim and the Lubavitch Educational Organization).The decision marks a victory for those in the movement who have been trying to marginalize the messianists — who believe in proclaiming the last, late Lubavitch rebbe as the messiah —since the faction began asserting itself when the rebbe was debilitated by a stroke in 1992, two years before he died. A spokesman for Agudas and Merkos, Rabbi Zalman Shmotkin, said, “We’re very gratified by the court’s decision. We’re pained by the events that led us here and still harbor hopes that those responsible will recognize the error of their ways.” [follow link for the rest]

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