The Rebbe's Clear Instructions Regarding Publicizing the Identity of Moshiach

Iyar, 5744:

In the month of Iyar, 5744, Rabbi Wolpo wanted to print his book "Yechi Hamelech," in which he attempt to demonstrate, with numerous hints, that the Lubavitcher Rebbe is Moshiach. After he sent the Rebbe the book's proofs, he immediately received the Rebbe's answer, written in the Rebbe's handwriting, and read over the telephone by Rabbi Hodakov. The Rebbe's words were:

"Telephone him in my name the following:

"It is apparent that he is feigning as though he doesn't understand what I already answered before, that it is possible to do much damage to Chabad, rachmana litzlan, and to the spreading of the wellsprings, through writing on this theme - and my intention was mainly to him; enough said.

"Now I warn him that he must stop speaking, writing, and how much more so, publicizing, especially in print, anything pertaining to Moshiach - whether in his own name, under an assumed name, through an intermediary or the like - with whatever kuntz he may concoct, and in whatever format or manner that may be. And if, chas v'sholom, he goes ahead and does anything in this regard, he should know clearly that this is a specific and general war against me.

"Obviously the above includes any interpretations of matters regarding Moshiach in the Rambam or other Seforim, Chassidic discourses and anything of the like."

*

Tamuz, 5744:

In the month of Tamuz, 5744, Rabbi Wolpo wrote to the Rebbe asking forgiveness for the aggravation he had caused the Rebbe through his efforts to publish his above mentioned book, but he again attempted to "prove" to the Rebbe that people really "needed" his book. The Rebbe responded:

"1) Obviously, in everything I wrote and said regarding the above there was absolutely nothing at all the opposite of a blessing, chas v'sholom v'chas v'sholom, and even now there is none, chas v'sholom v'chas v'sholom. However:

"2) When something is 'publicized,' and especially when it is printed, what is pertinent is how it will be interpreted by the reader - and not the author.

"3) It has come to pass that because of his activities (speaking, printing, and behaving) - he fuels divisiveness, etc., and hundreds of Jews (and more) have stopped learning Chassidus, and now oppose the Baal Shem Tov and his teachings in actuality, etc., etc.

"4) Among these are some who until he began doing such things were involved in spreading the wellsprings .

"5) Some seek the slightest hint or pretext which can be used to enlarge the bonfire.

"6) In the pages which he enclosed there would be no need for such people to search for hints and pretexts , for they are all permeated with this material, and automatically his effort would only lead to a continuation of the same result, another battle against disseminating Chassidus, and even more people will be estranged from learning Chassidus - may this never happen...!

"All the above is obvious, and therefore it is extremely astonishing that he tries to explain to me the opposite!"

After receiving the Rebbe's holy answer, again Rabbi Wolpo had the chutzpa to "explain" to the Rebbe the value of his book, and he again continued "sparring" with the Rebbe - insisting that no one should be "ashamed" of the halacha. Again he received the Rebbe's holy reply:

"What I wrote was not just a precaution, lest perhaps... Rather, it was founded on what is public knowledge - that thousands, and more, have stopped learning Chassidus and now clash with the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov, etc., because of talk and publications from you alone.

"As for the 'simpleton's question': How can it be proper not to spread the halacha?

"Let me ask you: When speaking to a rich man in the United States for a donation... do you tell him that one who strikes a match on the holy Shabbos is censurable by stoning, and if the Sanhedrin was in power, as you long for it to be, you would be among those who would stone him, rachmana litzlan - as provided for by a clear halacha in the holy Torah? And would you tell this to him even when you were visiting him on the afternoon of Shabbos Eve?

"Certainly, if you answer my question, I will, bli neder, answer you."

*

Tishrei, 5745:

On the first night of Sukkos, 5745, when the Rebbe spoke about the acrostic of the year, "T - Tehei, S - Shnas, M - Melech, H - HaMoshiach "- "This will be the year of the King Moshiach" - he said:

"It is clearly explained in the famous epistle from the Rebbe Rashab, that Moshiach is called by many titles: 'Dovid,' 'Son of Dovid,' 'House of Dovid' - as in the Rambam, 'If a king will arise from the House of Dovid, versed in Torah... and he will compel all of Israel, etc." - and similarly, at times he is called 'King' - 'King Moshiach.' The advantage of being called 'King Moshiach,' since 'there is no King without people,' is that people willingly accept his sovereignty over them.

"We have the potential for this especially in this year, when we are in the sixth millennium, and in this itself, in the 'afternoon' - i.e., after 500 years - and especially as it is already toward 'day's end,' and in this itself, we are in the year 574 5 (TSMH) - such that we already have the identifier Heh (T - Tehei, S - Shnas, M - Melech, H - HaMoshiach), the year of ' The King The Moshiach.'

"Here it is necessary to note: No one should join the so-called 'Spitz Chabad' who will start learning hints and inferences from this in a manner that is clearly opposite the will of the Rebbe and Nosi, which can hinder Jews from learning Chassidus - and students have already been repelled from learning Chassidus from such behavior...!

"When it comes to this subject we must rely on the Almighty. What we must do is learn Chassidus, and to the extent that even when one does not have a discourse in hand it is still recognizable that he is thinking Chassidus, and when asked a question in Chassidus, one has to know what to answer as clearly as he knows the most basic halacha. That is the way to merit 'This is the blessing' - such that one will be able to point to him with a finger and say, 'This is a Chossid' -because he will be steeped in Chassidus in a manner that everyone can see it in him.

"And as for the argument that he is not holding thereby - the Rambam already forewarned against this in his famous ruling that every Jew 'wants to do all the Mitzvos,' only occasionally it is possible for "his yetzer to force him," and therefore it may be necessary to blow off the 'dust' which conceals his true will."

*

Despite the clear wording of the previous Sicha, on Motzoei Shabbos Breishis, 5745, during the Rebbe's farbrengen, Chassidim sang a tune with the words "Soldiers of the Rebbe, soldiers of Moshiach Tzidkeinu, he will lead us with Tanks to our Land..." The Rebbe suddenly interrupted the singing of the song, and spoke sternly and sharply in a deeply pained and loud voice. Some of the Rebbe's less-stern words were as follows:

"There are some 'Spitz Chabad' who think that specifically they know what has to be done and how it is necessary to behave, and when everyone around them tries to tell them that what they are doing is detrimental, it has no effect on them whatsoever, for they think, 'Who are they to tell us! None of them are on our level, for we are 'Spitz Chabad!'

"The intention in this: As a result of what they are saying, the things they are printing, and the songs they are singing, etc. - they are responsible for distancing scores of Jews from the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov, learning Chassidus, and conduct in the ways of Chassidus. Not only this, but even Jews who had already started learning Chassidus - now they have stopped learning Chassidus because of the activities of these people! Not only do these activities not bring closer the distant, but on the contrary, they even distance those who had already started getting close! Even when they try to wrap themselves in a cloak of holiness, "a silken kaftan and gartel" - it does not change at all the fact that thereby they alienate Jews from the teachings of Chassidus, together with everything else that ensues. All of this is squarely their responsibility...!

"Why don't they follow in the way our Rebbeim paved for us! No one has any need for their 'innovation,' especially as the only thing it serves is to foment new divisiveness against the Baal Shem Tov and the Alter Rebbe, rachmana litzlan...!

"Therefore, let it be known: Anyone who continues with these activities - is an opponent who fights against Chassidus Chabad, against Nosi Doreinu, the Baal Shem Tov, until Malka Moshicha... who desires and longs to come and redeem us, only he must wait until there is an increase in spreading the wellsprings to the outside. These people, meanwhile, are decreasing the number of Jews learning Chassidus, rachmana litzlan!

*

Adar, 5748:

In the month of Adar, Rabbi Yitzchak Hendel of Montreal, sent the Rebbe a Psak Din, cosigned by other Chassidim there, that the Lubavitcher Rebbe "is presumed to be Moshiach." The Rebbe turned to his secretary, Rabbi Leibel Groner, and asked who had sent this. Rabbi Groner answered it was from Anash of Montreal, with the authorization of Rabbi Hendel. Thereon the Rebbe asked:

"Based on what did he judge me this way? Are all of his ruling of the same quality as this...?! "

*

5749:

During the yechidus of Rabbi Tuvya Floss, a Chabad activist from Israel, the Rebbe, among other things, spoke strongly and sharply of Chassidim in Israel (even mentioning names) who go around in the streets announcing the Lubavitcher Rebbe is King Moshiach. The expression the Rebbe used to describe how he felt about this was:

"When they do things like this they tear me to pieces!"

Rachmana Litzlan!

*

Iyar, 5751:

In the farbrengen of the first Shabbos after the famous Sicha of 28 Nissan 5751, Rabbi Y. Ganzberg stood up and made an announcement in the Rebbe's presence, saying that he must reveal himself as King Moshiach. The Rebbe responded, with a contorted face:

"Don't tell me what to do...!" (and many know the rest of the Rebbe's remarks).

*

Again, the next Shabbos, in the middle of the farbrengen, Rabbi Dovid Nachshon burst out singing the tune "Zol Shoin Zien Di Geulah" with the words "Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu v'Rabbeinu Melech Hamoshiach L'olam Voed," and many of the assembled crowd sang along with him. The next day, the Rebbe made it known through his secretary, Rabbi Groner, that:

"What they did was their responsibility,"

and

"because of them the Rebbe was coming down to prayers an hour late..."

*

In the month of Iyar, 5751, the editor of the weekly Kefar Chabad, Rabbi Aharon Dov Halprin, sent the Rebbe an article by Rabbi Yoel Kahan that he was considering printing. The article explained that one who truly believes his Rebbe is the leader of the generation, and who also believes in Moshiach, naturally has to believe that his Rebbe will be Moshiach. The Rebbe responded (on 17 Iyar) with a complete reputation:

"If, rachmana litzlan, you print anything even slightly similar to this - you should right away totally close down the magazine. The enclosed article is obviously baseless."

*

In that month (Iyar, 5751) the editor of Yisroel Shelonu, Mr. Shmuel Shmuali, wanted to print in his newspaper about Moshiach in general, and more specifically, that the Lubavitcher Rebbe was Moshiach. The Rebbe replied:

"Regarding publishing about Moshiach, etc.:

"As evident from all the information coming in, the latest articles and columns on this subject have raised new antagonists, to the detriment of Chassidic learning and practice.

"In debates and disputations, especially in print, the questions are always easily established, but the answers are not always so forthcoming...

"Seemingly, considering the present state of affairs, it would be more sensible to suspend printing on this topic..."

*

Summer, 5751:

In the spring of 5751, Rabbi Wolpo again asked the Rebbe if the time was ripe for him to publish his book "Yechi HaMelech," which promoted as halacha that the Lubavitcher Rebbe must be recognized as the King Moshiach. The Rebbe answered:

"If he leaves out the portions, as discerned by understanding friends, that are liable to distance even a single Jew from learning Chassidus - then it is all-right. I will mention this at the Tzion."

*

Elul, 5751:

In Elul, 5751, Rabbi Dovid Nachshon sent the Rebbe a proposed program emphasizing the theme of Moshiach, sponsored by the "World Organization for Bringing Moshiach." The Rebbe answered (on Elul 12, 5751):

"If you can do this in vessels of the World of Tikun [i.e., rationally and pragmatically] - as determined by one immersed in the World of Tikun, after reflection focused in the World of Tikun..."

*

Tishrei, 5752:

In Tishrei, 5752, Rabbi Dovid Nachshon received another message from the Rebbe, delivered by Rabbi Yehuda Yureslavsky, secretary of Vaad Rabbonei Chabad B'Ertzeinu Hakodesh. In this memorandum the Rebbe stated plainly:

"I forbid him to be involved in matters of Moshiach both now and in the future! "

*

Mar-Cheshvan, 5752:

On Shabbos Parshas Noach, Mar-Cheshvan 4, 5752, Chassidim started the farbrengen by singing the "Yechi... Melech HaMoshiach..." When they finished singing the Rebbe said:

"This is extremely absurd. Here a song is sung with such words, while I sit here at the table... The truth is that I really should get up and leave!...

"As for why I am not leaving - first of all, whether I do or I don't, it anyway would not help; and secondly, it would upset the goal of 'sheves achim gam yachad' ('brethren sit even together') - for if I leave others too will leave, and automatically this opportunity for 'brethren sit even together' would be lost. Everyone knows how important this is - as the Rashbi elaborates in the Zohar..."

*

Shvat, 5752:

In the month of Shvat, 5752, there was a concerted drive to accumulate signatures on petitions "to accept the Rebbe's Sovereignty." The program "Itim" called the public relations representative of "Tzach" in Israel, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Brod, asking for his reaction to this phenomenon - but at first he deferred to comment on the matter.

Afterward, the newspapers got hold of the story, and they invited Rabbi Brod to appear in a television interview to explain what was happening. After consultations he decided to go ahead and explain as mildly as possible - that Chassidim naturally think of their Rebbe as fitting to be Moshiach, and in order to strengthen their faith they even express themselves in writing that they are totally dedicated to him and prepared to act with him to bring the redemption...

That evening he sent a report of the day's events to the Rebbe, and he right away received the Rebbe's holy reply:

"So he should continue to do in the future... However, he doesn't understand that the more he says the more he will get drawn into this."

*

Shvat, 5752:

To many who wrote letters to the Rebbe addressing him as "The Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach," the Rebbe replied:

"When he will arrive I will give this to him."

*

Shvat, 5752

In the month of Shvat, 5752, Rabbi Bernard of South Africa asked: In the past the Rebbe expressed his will strongly against calling him Moshiach, but was this still against his will? The Rebbe answered:

"It depends on the conditions in the place it is done. It is up to your local Chabad leadership to decide."

*

Adar I, 5752:

In the month of Adar I, 5752, Chassidim from Kiryas Chabad in Lod, Israel, were worried that talks given by Rabbi Sholom Ber Wolpo on the topic of "Who Is Presumed to Be Moshiach" were going beyond the pale of the line the Rebbe had drawn, but the Chassidic Rav of the community, Rabbi Boruch Yorkowitz, maintained there was no longer any concern regarding calling the Lubavitcher Rebbe "King Moshiach." Accordingly, they wrote and asked the Rebbe, how they should conduct themselves in this matter? The Rebbe answered, on 16 Adar I, 5752:

"'Ein l'dayan eloh mah sheinov ro'os ,' 'A judge has only what his eyes see.'"

*

Adar I, 5752:

At about the same time, the management of Neshei Chabad Organization of New York wrote to the Rebbe about their plan to publicize throughout the world that the Rebbe was Moshiach. The Rebbe answered:

"The job of every management, the aforementioned included, is to manage in the way it understands, and not to ask me to mediate on every subject, that I should be the manager. A notice [to me] is enough, and this should be obvious."

*

Adar I, 5752:

On 13 Adar I, 5752 (a scant 14 days before 27 Adar I), Neshei Women's Organization of New York sent the Rebbe a pamphlet by Rabbi Wolpo that they wanted to distribute, titled "Kabolas P'nei Moshiach Tzidkeinu ," which stated outright that the Lubavitcher Rebbe was King Moshiach. Immediately the Rebbe responded (with a copy to Vaad Agudas Chassidei Chabad):

"Urgent!

"I have already answered him that essays like this repel very many from learning Chassidus - the opposite of spreading the wellsprings to the outside!"

*

Just a few days before 27 Adar I, 5752, the Rebbe issued a handwritten answer to an individual (the facsimile was later released by the Rebbe's secretary, Rabbi Binyamin Klein):

"There is no obligation at all to search for who is Moshiach - but there is a positive commandment of the Torah to love each and every Jew and avoid divisiveness to the extreme, and obviously one should not intentionally incite the opposite!"

*

After 27 Adar I, 5752, the Rebbe was no longer able to answer by speaking or writing, but he was still able to answer by shaking his head "Yes" or "No." The following are some of his answers in this period:

Iyar, 5752:

In Iyar, 5752, a Shliach in California, Rabbi Dovid Aliezri, sent the Rebbe a letter with three questions: 1) Should activities pertaining to Moshiach be separate, but on a par with, the Chabad House's other activities? Or are they meant to be the main stress of all the activities? 2) Is necessary to indicate who is Moshiach? 3) Should it be publicized that our period is the period of Moshiach's coming? The letter was read by the Rebbe's secretary, Rabbi Groner, and the Rebbe responded by shaking his head:

To the first part of the first question (Should activities pertaining to Moshiach be separate, but on a par with, the Chabad House's other activities?) the Rebbe shook his head to indicate "No."

To the second part of the first question (Or are they meant to be the main stress of all the activities?) he shook his head twice to indicate "Yes! "

To the second question (Is necessary to indicate who is Moshiach?) the Rebbe shook his head vigorously to indicate "No!"

To the third question (Should it be publicized that our period is the period of Moshiach's coming?) he shook his head "Yes."

*

At about the same time as this Rabbi Yoseph Yitzchak Gutnik asked the Rebbe if he should fund projects of the "International Campaign to Bring Moshiach" which was publicizing that the Lubavitcher Rebbe was King Moshiach.

The Rebbe shook his head "No!"

*

Sivan, 5752:

During Sefiras Ha'omer, 5752, Rabbis Yitzchak Dovid Groner and Chaim Gutnik, from Australia, traveled through a number of countries to publicize that the Lubavitcher Rebbe was presumed to be Moshiach. Their journey's goal was to have as many Chabad Rabbonim as possible gather in Crown Heights on the holiday of Shevuos for meetings and discussions, and afterwards to hold a general meeting of all Anash in 770.

At their discussion sessions these Rabbis decided to publicize a program with a number of propositions, which they planned to read in public in 770. Before releasing this program, these Rabbis (together with Rabbi Chanzin and others) asked Rabbi Groner to read it to the Rebbe.

Rabbi Groner reported back to them that to every point the Rebbe shook his head affirmatively, but when he read the proposition about declaring the Rebbe the "presumed Moshiach" the Rebbe's reaction was different:

The Rebbe shook his head very strongly "No!"

There were also many answers like these that the Rebbe to gave to Agudas Chassidei Chabad (for example in Teves, 5753), and to many others as well.

*

Tevet, 5753:

Answer to Rabbi Emanuel Schochet.

In Teves 5753 he asked the Rebbe:

1) Is there any significance in identifying who Moshiach is, although the Ramba"m and the Chasam Sofer hold that Moshiach is a unknown Tzadik.

2) If there still is a significance, is there any difference between Ana"sh and others, meaning that amongst Chassidim it's ok to talk about it, but not outside, or

3) There is no difference?

The Rebbe hinted to the mazkir to read the questions over again, listened to the first question, but didn't respond to it, then by the second question the Rebbe strongly shook his head as saying yes, and he also held on to the paper of the questions, motioning strongly affirmative.