Leib Groner

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Rabbi Yehuda Leib Groner (born 1932) was a secretary of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson for over 40 years.

Following Rabbi Schneerson's death there was a press report in which he expressed opposition to Yudel Krinsky, the sole executor of Rabbi Schneerson's will and a political opponent. [1]

Groner was instrumental in the care of the Rebbe during his final year when he was no longer able to communicate effectively. The manner of his care was a source of great controversy within Chabad with some recommending his removal to a specialist hospital and others demanding he stay put at 770 Eastern Parkway.[2] Groner led the latter camp, while Krinsky led the former.[2] The controversy led to the resignation of one of Schneerson's doctors Dr. Eli Rosen.[2]

He was a witness in 1988 to the signing of Rabbi Schneerson's secular will - a will that gave all the power over the organizational structures of Chabad to his primary rival Krinsky.[3] Groner was seen as part of the messianist wing - even going so far as adorn his car with messianist bumper-stickers.[4] That Groner - despite his years of service - was not given any responsibility in the will was seen as a blow to his standing.[4] Groner reacted to the will by arguing that "the will only transfers the responsibility of the Rebbe’s property to Agudas Chassidei Chabad" and did not attend the official reading.[4]

Groner was a party to a bitter split between two groups of Rabbi Schneerson's aides that differed in their recommendations as to how Rabbi Schneerson should be treated, with the two camps led by Groner and Yehuda Krinsky.[5] Aides argued over whether Rabbi Schneerson had the same physical makeup as other humans and if the illness should be allowed to run its course without interference. Krinsky argued that the latest and most suitable medical treatment available should be used in treating Rabbi Schneerson while Groner thought that "outside interference in the Rebbe’s medical situation might be just as dangerous as inaction. They saw his illness as an element in the messianic revelation; interference with Rabbi Schneerson’s physical state might therefore affect the redemptive process, which should instead be permitted to run its natural course."[5]

He has been associated in recent years with a number of right-wing campaigns. In 2005 he was part of a delegation along with Menachem Brod who had a "heated debate" with Ariel Sharon.[6]

Family[edit]

He is married to Yehudis Groner, His son Rabbi Yossi Groner, is the Rabbi of Congregation Ohr HaTorah in Charlotte, North Carolina.His other son Rabbi Menachem Mendel Groner is a Rosh Yeshiva at the Chabad Yeshiva in Kiryat Gat, Israel alongside the city's Chief Rabbi Moshe Havlin. His brother was Yitzchok Dovid Groner, who was the most senior Chabad rabbi in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and the director of the Yeshivah Centre there.

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Two of rabbi's secretaries seen as front-runners to replace him, Knight Ridder, New York Daily News, June 12, 1994.
  2. ^ a b c As Key Anniversary Nears, Role of Lubavitch Leader Grows Less Grand, Jeffrey Goldberg, The Forward, January 21, 1994
  3. ^ Battle Among Lubavitch Erupts Over Rebbe’s Will, Jeffrey Goldberg, The Forward, June 17, 1994
  4. ^ a b c 'But, since Rabbi Schneerson's death he has said 'although Messiah will definitly came it may just not be the Rebbe" 'Second Schneerson Will Boding Ill for Top Aides: Secret, Unsigned, Jeffrey Goldberg, The Forward, June 24, 1994
  5. ^ a b The Messiah of Brooklyn: Understanding Lubavitch Hasidim Past and Present, M. Avrum Ehrlich, Chapter 14, KTAV Publishing, ISBN 0-88125-836-9
  6. ^ PM and Chabad Rabbis in a "Very Charged Meeting", Israel News Network, June 29, 2005.