Slomó Köves is 37 years old and he claims to be a Rabbi. I’m not so sure.
Recently he willingly joined Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s xenophobic Prime Minister while Orbán declared that no refugees can enter Hungary. “We don’t want them,” Mr. Orbán said, “We don’t want Muslim people in our country.”
Mr. Orbán didn’t spare Hungarian taxpayer’s money when ordering the building of a razor-wire fence at the southern border of his country. He has also called for a national referendum on October 2 when Hungarian people will be asked to say “No” to the EU plan to resettle refugees in member countries.
You would think that Mr. Köves, a religious man would oppose this. No, not at all. Mr. Köves of the Chabad-based Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation stands with Mr. Orbán and he plans to vote “No.” Rabbi Köves notes: “For the Jewish community, these questions are connected to our everyday physical safety and risks to our safety.”
Yes. According to Mr. Köves Muslim refugees are dangerous. If they are allowed to Hungary they will threaten his “everyday physical safety.”
It seems that even other Chabad organizations do not agree with him.
Let’s take a look at Milan, Italy. Chabad prepares meals for Eritrian, Ethiopian, Sudanese and Syrian refugees—many of them Muslim—who temporarily stay in rooms below the Milan central train station. The retrofitted Holocaust memorial and museum has also recently become the temporary home of refugees fleeing to safety.
Upon arrival, they are given towels and toiletries, and shown to a shower area that was built just for them. But first, they enjoy a nourishing hot meal, prepared and delivered by the volunteers of the Chabad-affiliated Beteavon (“Good Appetite”) soup kitchen.
Chabad Rabbi Yigal Hazan, who oversees the kitchen, says the Jewish community’s involvement with the refugees is based on the biblical commandment to “love the stranger, for you, too, were a stranger in the land of Egypt.” He said: “We ourselves were refugees running from people who wished to kill us,” said the rabbi. “In this very same spot, we are now helping others who find themselves strangers in a strange land.”
Mr. Yigan Hazan is a Rabbi, the best Chabad can offer. I’m not so sure about Mr. Köves.
One should not call himself a Rabbi if he doesn’t follow his own Torah – “Love him as yourself, for you were strangers in Egypt.” (Leviticus 19:34)