An investigation by the city’s Department of Buildings uncovered a tunnel that was 60-foot-long, 8-foot-wide and 5-foot-high located underneath the global headquarters of the Chabad Lubavitch movement, an important Jewish site.

New York building officials have issued emergency work orders to stabilize a historic synagogue and its neighboring structures after an illicit underground tunnel was discovered at the sanctuary earlier this week.

An investigation by the city’s Department of Buildings uncovered a tunnel that was 60-foot-long, 8-foot-wide and 5-foot-high located underneath the global headquarters of the Chabad Lubavitch movement, an important Jewish site. It extends under several buildings in the vicinity.

The property is a deeply revered site that each year receives thousands of visitors, including international students and religious leaders. Its Gothic Revival facade, immediately recognizable to adherents of the Chabad movement, has inspired dozens of replicas across the world.

Officials and locals said young men in the community recently built the tunnel in secret. When the group’s leaders tried to seal it off Monday, supporters of the tunnel staged a protest that turned violent as police moved in to make arrests.

  • Nougat
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    455 months ago

    Has there been any indication of what this tunnel is supposed to be for, and what makes it so important to some people that they would get themselves arrested by preventing its closure? Without that understanding, none of this makes any sense.

    • themeatbridge
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      5 months ago

      Rolling Stone did a deep dive into the synagogue and the tunnelers. It seems like a bunch of weirdos just wanted to dig out a room in the basement. The tunnel doesn’t appear to go anywhere, so theories about secret escape routes or passageways don’t appear to be accurate, and the tunnelers were former members of the synagogue, so it rumors about an anti-Semitic attack also appear to be false.

      https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/secret-chabad-tunnels-new-york-1234942995/

        • @fadhl3y
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          25 months ago

          Bored weirdos, even more so

        • @tacosplease
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          15 months ago

          Sounds fun to me. I’m probably a weirdo though. No offense taken.

    • @Pipoca
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      135 months ago

      So the late head rabbi there was beleived by many in his movement to be the messiah. He died in the 90s, and ownership of the building has been tied up in court cases for a while.

      He said something about expanding the building before he died, and his messianic followers think that part of triggering the messianic age is fulfilling that. But due to the court cases, that’s been impossible.

      So the idea the yeshiva students apparently had is that if they hollowed out the basement expansion, the easiest solution would be for the synagogue to just finish constructing it.

      In other words, the tunnel isn’t really practical. The point of it is just to trigger the messianic age.