Only Candidate For Melech HaMoshiach
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)
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,
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.”
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.
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.
[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.
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.
did the project of having rabbanim sign the psak din
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.
Gimmel Tammuz, the initiative to sign up rabbanim was
renewed, and over the years since then, it has been worked on
is the intent in having rabbanim sign on this psak din?
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.
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
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.
the farbrengen on Shabbos Mishpatim 5752, the Rebbe said,
“Kvar pasku” [they have already paskened],
in the past tense.
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
Gimmel Tammuz you continued working on getting signatures. Why?
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
on what the Rebbe said, Chabad rabbanim wrote a psak
din ruling that, according to Torah and halacha, the
Rebbe is Moshiach Vadai.
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.
is the reaction of the rabbanim you approach to sign the psak
din that the Rebbe is Moshiach?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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
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.
if another hundred rabbanim pasken that someone else
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.
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
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
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
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?”
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.”
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.
sort of reception did you get from the various rebbes and rabbanim?
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
the end he said, “I think I have to sign the psak din,”
and he did.
particular rav is very influential in many circles. When
other rabbanim saw his signature, it influenced them to
sign, as well.
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.
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.
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.
people signed the psak din, but asked that their
name not be publicized. Why?
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.
all the names of those who signed the psak din were
publicized, would there be an uproar in the world of Torah and
many rabbanim have signed to date?
publicized a psak din signed by about 150 rabbanim,
only a fraction of the total.
any rabbanim approach you on their own initiative?
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.
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.”
say that you always came prepared with the Rebbe’s sichos.
Weren’t there people who said you can interpret them in various
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.
you have disappointments?
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.
reactions have you received in the wake of the most recent
publicity of the psak din?
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.
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.
psak din is so clear and unequivocal. Why doesn’t
Hashem immediately fulfill it?
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
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.