Here’s a little news item that, to the rest of world will mean little, but to the Lubavitch Jews in Crown Heights, could signify the end of the world, or maybe the coming of paradise. Or something.
In this week’s Voice, we detail how much the recent legal troubles of Aaron, Moshe and Sholom Rubshkin – once the proud owners of the nation’s biggest kosher-meat empire – are putting a strain on their ultra-orthodox supporters in Brooklyn.
Now, another meaty morsel:
Following multiple indictments (including bank fraud, child labor violations and social security fraud), Sholom Rubashkin, former CEO of the Agriprocessors plant in Iowa that was subject to a massive immigration raid earlier this year, is cooling his heels in the Dubuque County Jail.
The jail’s (and Sholom’s temporary) address? 770 Iowa Street, Dubuque, IA 52001.
That’s a coincidence that won’t mean anything unless you know that to Lubavitchers, 770 is the holiest of numbers because, to them, it evokes 770 Eastern Parkway, the home of revered Lubavitch rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who died in 1994.
Lubavitchers have built replicas of “770” all over the world, and they go out of their way to purchase homes with a 770 address.
Members of the younger generation incorporate the special number into their e-mail accounts and IM screennames.
But will the Crown Heights intrepret Sholom’s new address as the sign of an angry God, or that help is on the way?
Sources tell us folks in Iowa are definitely scratching their heads on this one.