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.

  • @givesomefucks
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    5 months ago

    Earlier articles say the cops went there a few days ago, and the people in charge refused to let cops go to where they heard a tunnel was, so they came back with a warrant and people still tried to fight the cops…

    Now this article makes it sound like this giant tunnel was done without leaderships knowledge and that they were trying to seal it off and just pretend it didn’t damage the structural integrity of nearby buildings?

    Like, even if this new version is the true version, that makes the leadership accessories after the fact for attempting to cover it up, and endangering people in the surrounding buildings.

    Edit:

    Articles keep saying this site is revered, but not why. I’ve heard some think a prior leader of this movement is the messiah, is that why? I can’t think of another reason some would treat this like a holy site and articles mention members travelling the globe to visit here

    And the supporters of this tunnel said their goal was expanding into other buildings. They’ve bought some surrounding buildings over the decades, but haven’t bought all of them. So these tunnels were dug to connect buildings they don’t legally have access to enter, to their synagogue

    • @dhork
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      5 months ago

      This article sheds some light on it all

      https://forward.com/news/575897/a-brief-history-of-the-messianic-movement-that-inspired-the-tunnel-under-770-eastern-parkway/

      A lot of Messianic philosophy over the centuries has had to do with rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem. I think the people who buy into this theory are trying to build that temple in Brooklyn, thinking that will cause their Messiah to come back.

      I think the current leadership of the movement doesn’t buy into the Messianic theories, but clearly some others do.

      • @gedaliyahM
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        75 months ago

        Yes, there has long been a rift among followers of Chabad Judaism (a small but highly-visible sect of Judaism). Some believe that the last rebbe (leader of the sect) did not really die, but is continuing his sacred messianic work on another plane of existence. Others believe that he was not the messiah, but was merely his generation’s “candidate” for messiah, but the world was not ready. They believe that there is a possible messiah in every generation, and when the world is ready he will be revealed. The two groups refuse to discuss this rift for fear that it will tarnish his legacy.

        In reality, he was just a very nice man with an incredible gift for marketing.

  • @Witchhatswamp
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    165 months ago

    So apparently amateur tunneling can be addictive. Check out tunnel girl Engineer Kala on TikTok if you want to lose your mind on a modern example. William Lyttle is the reining champ; he dug tunnels for fun for 40 years. Destabilized his house, caused sinkholes around town, connected with a rail line.

    • @Noodle07
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      25 months ago

      9/11 wouldn’t have happened if people were in the tunnels