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The Only Candidate For Melech HaMoshiach
By Menachem Ziegelboim

Over 150 rebbes, rabbanim, roshei yeshivos and kollelim signed the psak din stating that we are obligated to obey the words and directives of the Rebbe — including the fact that the Rebbe is Melech HaMoshiach — according to the Rebbe’s authority as a prophet. As many rabbanim as possible have been approached to sign this psak. Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Lepkivker and Rabbi Yitzchok Lifsh answer questions and relate fascinating anecdotes about this project.



The Text of the Psak Din
(Free translation. See pg. 24-5 of Hebrew section of issue 264 for original. Or click here for PDF file)

In the Sichas Kodesh of Parshas Shoftim, 5751, the Lubavitcher Rebbe established as halacha the fact that this generation has a prophet and we must listen to him, as codified in the Rambam, Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah, chapter 7.

These are the Rebbe’s holy words: We must publicize to all people of the generation that we have merited to have Hashem select and appoint someone with the power of free choice, who is personally incomparably greater than the people of his generation, to be the “your judges” and the “your advisors” and the prophet of the generation, to give directives and give advice regarding the service of all the Jewish people ...  including the main prophecy - the prophecy of “immediately to Redemption” and immediately “behold this (Moshiach) comes.”

The Rebbe said in the sicha of Parshas VaYeira, 5752: ... all obstacles and hindrances have been nullified in our days etc. Since this is so, there is (not only the reality of Moshiach, but) also Moshiach’s revelation, and now we must only greet Moshiach Tzidkeinu in actuality.

In the sicha of Parshas Mishpatim, 5752, the Rebbe says, “This is the psak din of the Rabbanim and teachers of Yisroel that the time of Redemption has arrived, ‘a king will arise from the house of Dovid, etc., b’chezkas that he is Moshiach,’” and the Rebbe added these words to this psak din, “to the state of ‘this is certainly Moshiach.’” Moreover, in this sicha the Rebbe clearly hinted to his being Melech HaMoshiach.

We [the undersigned] are establishing here in this psak halacha according to the halacha of our holy Torah - based on the halacha in the Rambam, chapter 7, Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah, Halacha 1; Chapter 9, Halacha 2; and Chapter 10, Halacha 1 - that the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach has the halachic status of a prophet, and it is explicit in his holy sichos that he alludes to his being a prophet (and it is understood from his sichos that he is Melech HaMoshiach, and he encouraged the singing of “Yechi Admur MH”M L’olam Va’ed”), and he already predicted, before all Jews and before the entire world, things that have come to pass in their entirety during the Six-Day War, the Gulf War, etc.

Therefore, we are obligated to listen to everything we are told [by the Rebbe] as an obligation to listen to a prophet, including the fact that the Rebbe is Melech HaMoshiach and will immediately be revealed to us.


When did the project of having rabbanim sign the psak din begin?

Rabbi Lepkivker: Actually, this project developed over two stages. The first stage began in 5751, when Rabbi Dovid Nachshon brought a psak din, signed by Chabad rabbanim, to the Rebbe. The Rebbe sent him to read the psak din at the tziyunim of the Rebbeim in Russia and Ukraine. This was kept quiet at that time, but has since been publicized in Beis Moshiach.

After Gimmel Tammuz, the initiative to sign up rabbanim was renewed, and over the years since then, it has been worked on periodically.

What is the intent in having rabbanim sign on this psak din?

Rabbi Lepkivker: On many occasions, the Rebbe spoke about the power of rabbanim to paskin, saying that Hashem listens to them and fulfills their ruling. This notion is based on the Gemara in various places where it says that Hashem tells his celestial court, “Come, let us descend to the lower court.” There is a Gemara on the pasuk, LaKeil gomer alai,” teaching that the sanctification of the new month is accepted Above according to the psak din of the courts in this world. There are also stories of great Jews who stated a psak din and Hashem accepted and fulfilled them.

The Rebbe spoke about the psak din about Geula and the revelation of Moshiach on Parshas Mishpatim 5752, referring to it as “the psak din of the rabbanim that the time of the Redemption has arrived, a king from the house of Dovid shall arise, etc., b’chezkas sh’hu Moshiach.” And the Rebbe added the words, “until the state of ‘Moshiach Vadai.’” There are no clearer words than these to indicate that the Rebbe wanted the rabbanim to pasken about Moshiach Vadai.

Many times the Rebbe said that the world is ready for Moshiach, and that a psak din brings this down from the spiritual into the material world.

Rabbi Lifsh: At the farbrengen on Shabbos Mishpatim 5752, the Rebbe said, “Kvar pasku [they have already paskened], in the past tense.

Rabbi Lepkivker: The Rebbe mentioned that they already paskened, and remarkably, added that this refers to Moshiach Vadai. It’s an edited sicha, and anyone can see for themselves that the Rebbe is talking about the level of Moshiach Vadai and not merely B’Chezkas Moshiach.

After Gimmel Tammuz you continued working on getting signatures. Why?

Rabbi Lifsh: In our present situation after Gimmel Tammuz, when we don’t see the Rebbe, it is important to stress two points — that the belief that the Rebbe is Moshiach hasn’t changed, and that we are talking about Moshiach Vadai, as the Rebbe mentions in the sicha.

Based on what the Rebbe said, Chabad rabbanim wrote a psak din ruling that, according to Torah and halacha, the Rebbe is Moshiach Vadai.

Rabbi Lepkivker: The Rebbe stresses in his sichos that we not only have the metzius [reality, existence] of Moshiach, but the actual revelation of this metzius. In a number of sichos, the Rebbe emphasizes that Moshiach is already actively redeeming the world on a number of fronts. As an example, the Rebbe spoke about the fact that kibbutz galuyos [the ingathering of the exiles] has already started. The Rambam lists kibbutz galuyos as one of the signs of Moshiach Vadai.

What is the reaction of the rabbanim you approach to sign the psak din that the Rebbe is Moshiach?

Rabbi Lifsh: In general, the whole topic of Moshiach and Geula at first sounds strange. I remember how in 5751 there was a campaign of “Higia zman Geulaschem” [The time for your redemption has arrived] and “Hechonu l’bias ha’Moshiach” [Prepare for the coming of Moshiach]. It was publicized, and it really seemed bizarre to the public. By the way, the Rebbe referred to this reaction in one of his sichos when he said that at first the world mocks, but as time passes they come to accept it.

The same applies to the furor over accepting the identity of Moshiach, and also to the psak din. I am convinced that with time, everything will be more readily accepted.

Isn’t it possible that the psak din will push people further away from anticipating the Redemption? We know people who heard about this psak din and were furious about it.

Rabbi Lepkivker: The Rebbe expressed great satisfaction about the psak din. In fact, he urged the rabbanim to do so. At first, it was done quietly, but it came out in the open when the Rebbe mentioned it before thousands of people in the sicha of Mishpatim and then edited it. Ultimately, the Rebbe’s directives cannot possibly push people away!

The Rebbe also publicly encouraged the singing of “Yechi.” Weren’t there people who thought that could turn people off? The Rebbe encouraged the singing of “Yechi time after time, and we see that people are not pushed away!

There is no question that we are in a new era. The Rebbe said that the world is already prepared for Geula. When we speak with people, especially showing them the sources in halacha, they are ready to listen and accept. There is no legitimate reason why this should deter even those people who disagree about Moshiach’s identity.

Rabbi Lifsh: Since the psak din has been publicized anew on Yud Shvat of this year, many people who seriously want to understand the psak din have contacted me.

What if another hundred rabbanim pasken that someone else is Moshiach?

Rabbi Lepkivker: Torah does indeed have seventy facets, but halacha has only one truth. The Rebbe is the only one to have the signs of Moshiach. According to Torah, there could not possibly be a psak din about anyone else, because no one else meets the criteria of Moshiach.

Rabbi Lifsh: In hindsight, we see how the public at large copies the Rebbe’s mivtzaim one by one, starting with outreach and Mivtza Tefillin. The topic of Moshiach and Geula is popular today even among Misnagdim.

There is just one topic they have yet to join in on, and that is Moshiach’s identity. Although everyone realizes that if there is someone who fits the criteria of Moshiach, it has to be the Rebbe. This, however, is not meant to minimize the worth of other leaders who are great in Torah and in fear of Heaven. Everyone can believe that his rav is a great genius, that his rebbe is a great tzaddik, but there is only one Moshiach – the Rebbe.

For argument’s sake: Suppose Hashem had a suitable candidate to redeem the Jewish people, and then rabbanim made a psak din that the Rebbe is Moshiach - would Hashem forego his original candidate?

Rabbi Lifsh: I would like to answer that with a story. One of the distinguished rebbes we invited to sign the psak din listened to our request and replied, “I believe that the Rebbe is Moshiach even now.” He explained clearly: “Suppose that, because of Gimmel Tammuz, we would retract our statement that the Rebbe is Moshiach. It just could not be possible that we would have to wait dozens of years until someone else disseminates Yiddishkeit to the entire world and otherwise meets all the halachic criteria to be Moshiach. If before Gimmel Tammuz we thought the Rebbe is Moshiach, we can think so now, too. But a psak din must be signed for halachic reasons, not just because one believe that it is so?”

I explained to him that in Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 35, Parshas VaYigash, footnote 6, the Rebbe mentions this very question. The Rebbe connects this circumstance to halacha by saying that Moshiach brings redemption to the world, even if the circumstance is such that he is concealed for some time and only revealed again at a later date. The Rebbe raises the question that if indeed Moshiach is concealed before his revelation, perhaps it could even be Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, Moshe Rabbeinu, or even Dovid HaMelech? The Rebbe explains that Moshiach has to be the final tzaddik, the one who actually prepares the world for redemption and brings redemption to the world. According to the Rebbe, if we truly mean it when we say, “I await his arrival every day…,” then there is no choice but to point to that individual and say, “Behold, this is Melech HaMoshiach.” 

Rabbi Lepkivker: To neutralize the position that everything changed after Gimmel Tammuz, ch’v, we must remember that the Rebbe speaks about the Rebbe Rayatz as Moshiach in countless sichos, and that was after his histalkus on Yud Shvat. A number of times the Rebbe even said that you  have to regard the final tzaddik as Melech HaMoshiach, and not the earlier tzaddikim. 

What sort of reception did you get from the various rebbes and rabbanim?

Rabbi Lifsh: There were a wide range of reactions, but we were never dismissed. Some rabbanim understood well, some not. We also went to rabbanim who we knew would not sign. We wanted them at least to hear the Rebbe’s sichos on the topic, and to be aware that our position was not the opinion of a handful of Chassidim, but clearly and unequivocally based on explicit sichos of the Rebbe.

I once went to the home of a great rebbe, and we spoke at length about the identity of Moshiach. He accepted what I had to say. When I asked him to sign, he told me that he had not yet been to the mikva that day and he asked that I return the next day. The next day when we returned, he put on his gartel and signed.

We went to another rebbe who also received us warmly, but said he would not sign for reasons that were understood. However, he said he would join with two other rabbanim and together they would pasken as a beis din that the Rebbe is Moshiach.

One distinguished rav we visited listened to our request and asked us to bring him halachic works discussing Moshiach’s identity. For three weeks he studied these sources, including the Rebbe’s sichos, and eventually concluded that the Rebbe is indeed Melech HaMoshiach.  When he realized that the Rebbe was the source of the position that he is Moshiach, he happily signed the psak din, and influenced other rabbanim to sign, as well.

Rabbi Lepkivker: Some asked, “Who am I to sign on a psak din like this?” We explained that each person has the power to accomplish different things, and if Hashem selected him to be a rav and leader, then Hashem gave him special abilities to achieve and to influence others.

Rabbi Lifsh: We went to the home of a distinguished rav on the night of Hoshana Rabba. He wanted us to know that, although he was particular not to write or sign documents on Chol HaMoed, he considered this a matter of pikuach nefesh, since Jews are in exile, and for that reason he would sign!

Rabbi Lepkivker: We saw that the more we spoke with the rabbanim and learned the topic in depth with them, they began to understand that this was an entire Torah – a Torah of halacha, a Torah of Chassidus, and the Rebbe’s Torah. Even those who did not sign changed their attitude.

Rabbi Lifsh: Most of the rabbanim responded very positively. It surprised me to discover that many rabbanim were quite familiar with the Rebbe’s sichos. I’m talking about rabbanim, roshei yeshivos, rebbes, and mashgichim of yeshivos and kollels. Some of them have a tremendous knowledge of the Rebbe’s sichos, including those of 5751-5752. The more familiar a rav was with the Rebbe’s sichos, the more positive he was.

I visited the home of a mashgiach of one of the large yeshivos, and realized that he is fully conversant with the Rebbe’s sichos. If only we were as proficient in the Rebbe’s sichos as he! He agreed that the Rebbe is Moshiach, but he said that he prefers to work on this quietly among his talmidim rather than to sign in an open manner.

We went to a great rav, a very famous person, modest and humble. We began discussing the topic, and as soon as we mentioned that there is a sicha on “and they will grind their plowshares,” he paraphrased the sicha fluently on his own. Then we mentioned a point from another sicha that he had momentarily forgotten. He opened the volume and immediately found the point in discussion. He was obviously extremely well versed in the Rebbe’s sichos.

In the end he said, “I think I have to sign the psak din,” and he did.

Rabbi Lepkivker: That particular rav is very influential in many circles. When other rabbanim saw his signature, it influenced them to sign, as well.

Rabbi Lifsh: Lubavitcher Chassidim went to the shul of a certain rosh kollel on a number of occasions, and he greeted them warmly. However, whenever they referred to the Rebbe as the Moshe Rabbeinu of the generation, or nasi doreinu, he would interrupt them and ask them not to use such expressions. When we met with him, I asked him why he doesn’t approve of this terminology. He stated that if a reliable Torah figure had signed, such as — and he mentioned a certain rav — he would change his mind completely. After showing him the signature of that very rav, he was astounded and agreed to sign.

A Litvishe dayan reviewing the signatures, thought they were fraudulent or were collected before Gimmel Tammuz. In the presence of some of his followers, he called up one of the rabbanim whose signature we had and asked him whether he had indeed signed that the Rebbe is Moshiach. Naturally, the rav said that he had.

The Lelover Rebbe, zt’l, passed away a few weeks ago. He believed that the Rebbe is Moshiach, and even signed the request for the Rebbe to come and redeem the Jewish people. He personally attended the mass gathering to greet Moshiach, which took place a few years ago.

Some people signed the psak din, but asked that their name not be publicized. Why?

One of the distinguished rebbes who signed asked that it not be publicized, saying that although he signed, his Chassidim wouldn’t understand how their rebbe could sign that another rebbe is Moshiach. He said that in various ways he disseminated Chabad Chassidus, but it would not be understood if it were done openly.

If all the names of those who signed the psak din were publicized, would there be an uproar in the world of Torah and Chassidus?


How many rabbanim have signed to date?

We publicized a psak din signed by about 150 rabbanim, only a fraction of the total.

Did any rabbanim approach you on their own initiative?

There was a certain distinguished rav who avoided the issue a number of times, although he received a clear answer in the Igros Kodesh about it. When he discovered that a prominent rav had signed, he decided to follow suit.

I remember an incident in which a rav did not want to sign, but he changed his mind and signed. He wrote about it and put the letter into the Igros Kodesh, the letter on the page said, “I was happy to hear that you added your signature and was mekadesh sheim Shamayim b’rabbim.”

You say that you always came prepared with the Rebbe’s sichos. Weren’t there people who said you can interpret them in various ways?

Rabbi Lifsh: Yes. One rebbe told me he had heard that the sichos could be interpreted differently. After a brief conversation, I left the sichos of Parshiyos Shoftim and Mishpatim, as well as the Kuntres Beis Rabbeinu sh’be’Bavel” with him. A year later I met him again, and he volunteered his new viewpoint that the words of the Rebbe can be understood in only one way. He did not sign because of a tzava’a [instructions in a will] he had, but his questions had been resolved.

Did you have disappointments?

Rabbi Lifsh: Any signature we did not receive was disappointing, especially when we thought that perhaps it was just that signature that we needed for the final Redemption.

What reactions have you received in the wake of the most recent publicity of the psak din?

Rabbi Lifsh: After the positive response this has received, many rabbanim approached us and asked to sign. Many realize that they can no longer avoid the issue. They have chosen to be included with this endeavor and have signed.

We also received telephone calls from people who want a copy of the psak din in order to hang it up in public places. In terms of educational impact, I think every school should display a copy of the psak din, so the talmidim and visitors can see it.

The psak din is so clear and unequivocal. Why doesn’t Hashem immediately fulfill it?

Rabbi Lepkivker: A psak din made by rabbanim definitely obligates Hashem, so to speak. On many occasions, the Rebbe said that piskei dinim of rabbanim will be fulfilled. There is no question that it will happen. The only questions are how, when, and under what circumstances. Unfortunately, we don’t know the answers to these questions. The Rebbe said there is no logical reason for the delay. The fact that Moshiach has not yet come is a real wonder. It is unnatural and incomprehensible, since the avodas ha’birurim [the refinement of the world, which is the task of Galus] has been completed.

There is an explicit psak din that the Rebbe has to come and redeem us immediately. The fact that this hasn’t happened yet is baffling. The Torah states, “lo ba’shamayim hee” [It is not in the heavens], meaning that according to the Torah, the psak of a beis din in every situation is authoritative. Hashem should have sent us the Rebbe MH”M long ago to redeem the Jewish people.



Rabbi Yitzchok Lifsh

Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Lepkivker



A number of times the Rebbe said that you  have to regard the final tzaddik as Melech HaMoshiach, and not the earlier tzaddikim.






We also went to rabbanim who we knew would not sign. We wanted them at least to hear the Rebbe’s sichos on the topic, and to be aware that our position was based on explicit sichos of the Rebbe.






Every school should display a copy of the psak din, so the talmidim and visitors can see it.




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