A palace for the king

The time has come for building a big palace for Menachem Mendel Schneerson. This is at least what some of his followers in Israel think. Schneerson, who died at 92 in 1994 and who is buried in New York, are regarded as messiah by some. When sometime in the future he has been raised from the dead and comes to Israel, which he incidentally never visited as leader of the Chabad movement, he needs a place to live. "Imagine the messiah arrives now. Where does he go? To a hotel?" say Zuzha and Nomi Rivkin to the Jerusalem Report.

For years the Rivkins have worked with plans of building a big palace of 10,000 square metres for messiah, who in their view is Schneerson. According to plan, it is going to be built in the small town of Kfar Chabad, a little south of Tel Aviv. Nearby there is already a house which is modelled on the building that Schneerson had in Brooklyn, New York. And no expense will be spared. Think of Windsor Castle. Think of Versailles. "Every king has a palace. Especially the king of kings," says Nomi Rivkin.

The architect has finished his project, and the Kfar Chabad council has approved the plan for the building of the palace. Now it is time to start raising money.

Among observers of the Chabad movement - or Lubavitchers - there is some uncertainty as how many of the approx. 200,000 Lubavitchers who are "messianists", i.e. believe that Schneerson is messiah. Among them there are also "anti-messianists", but these seem to be anxious not to rock the boat, they do not want an open confrontation.

The Chabad movement is said to have more than 2600 institutions around the world with 3700 couple serve as their representatives.

If the plan of a palace in Israel ever materializes is for the future to show.

As individuals and organizations involved in Jewish evangelism, we shall continue to say to Israel: Jesus of Nazareth is Israel's Messiah and the Saviour of the whole world.

Kai Kjr-Hansen