Publicizing The Identity Of Moshiach Part 3
here for Part 1)
Interview by Rabbi
Shalom Yaakov Chazan
distinguished shluchim, known for their involvement with inyanei
Moshiach and Geula, gathered to discuss the Rebbe’s directives
as they pertain to our times * Their conclusion: publicizing
Moshiach’s identity must be, as the Rebbe put it, “an ongoing
and increasing activity”
discuss the proclamation of saying "Yechi." What
significance does it have?
Majeski: This proclamation contains a number of important ideas
that are explained in the Rebbe’s sichos. First of all,
as the Rebbe said in the sicha of Beis Nissan 5748, the
people’s proclamation of "Yechi HaMelech"
brings about additional life to the king, which is even more
significant when speaking of Moshiach. In addition, the Rebbe
emphasizes there that proclaiming "Yechi HaMelech"
pertains to the core of Geula and brings about the
fulfillment of "‘Arise and sing, those who dwell in the
dust’ — the Rebbe [Rayatz] — including ‘arise and sing,’
Dovid Malka Meshicha."
"Yechi HaMelech" also expresses the idea of kabbalas
ha’malchus, as they said regarding Dovid and Shlomo HaMelech
— "Yechi HaMelech Dovid l’olam"
and "Yechi HaMelech Shlomo" respectively.
The kingship must be accepted by the people, as the Rebbe said in
the sicha of Mishpatim 5751: "The appointment of
Moshiach happened already, and what remains is the acceptance of
his kingdom by the people."
from that, this proclamation signifies the existence of Moshiach.
It announces and reveals that Moshiach’s existence is openly
here in the world and we must greet/accept him. This is similar to
what the Rebbe said in VaYeira 5752, that now we have not only the
existence of the one who is worthy of being Moshiach in every
generation, but also the actual revelation of Moshiach, and that
we must greet him.
Toldos 5752, the Rebbe said that the proclamation of "Yechi
Adoni HaMelech Dovid l’olam"
actually refers to Moshiach, and reveals the essence of his
existence. From this stems all of Moshiach’s accomplishments and
all inyanei Geula. In this way "Yechi" is
connected to all inyanei ha’Geula.
the beginning of the 2 Nissan 5748 sicha (section 12)
it says, "The main thing is action: we must conclude and
finish our deeds and our avoda, including the request and
demand of ‘ad masai’ and the proclamation of ‘Yechi
HaMelech Dovid Malka Meshicha,’ with the
Wilschansky: Based on the
Rebbe’s conduct and statements, you can categorize the basis of
saying "Yechi" into three central concepts:
Hiskashrus: "Yechi" is a fundamental
principle and an affirmation which the Rebbe implanted in us in
the final period before Gimmel Tammuz. Since this is the last
thing we received from the Rebbe, it expresses our very connection
to the Rebbe. We live with it, we daven with it, we learn, farbreng,
and do the shlichus assigned to us with it in mind.
Fulfilling the Rebbe’s directive: Proclaiming "Yechi"
declares that Moshiach is here and affecting the world, that we
must accept his leadership and fulfill the Rebbe’s directive to
publicize the besuras ha’Geula.
Kabbalas ha’malchus: As Rabbi Majeski said, it is a
principle that is fundamental to inyanei Moshiach.
Greenberg: It is
important to stress that among all the ideas included in "Yechi,"
the concept most relevant to us now is adding life to the Nasi
HaDor. However we explain the life of the Nasi HaDor at
present, it certainly isn’t the sort of life we want, and it is
not the sort of life the Nasi HaDor wants. The main point
of this proclamation is simple: to increase the king’s life in a
way that is apparent to all.
source of "Yechi Adoneinu..." is the sicha of
Beis Nissan in which the Rebbe speaks about the proclamation of
"Yechi HaMelech." Why then don’t we simply
proclaim "Yechi HaMelech"?
Wilschansky: That was satisfactory until the Rebbe began
encouraging the singing of "Yechi Adoneinu."
Since Simchas Torah 5753, the Rebbe encouraged the singing of
"Yechi Adoneinu" hundreds and thousands of
times, and this was a change from the earlier expression.
phrase "Yechi HaMelech" only expresses the idea
of adding life to the king and bringing the Geula, as the
Rebbe explains in the sicha of Beis Nissan 5748. The
concepts of accepting the kingdom of Moshiach, however, and
the revelation of his existence, which the Rebbe spoke about in
the sichos of 5751-2, are emphasized only in "Yechi
answers the claim certain people make that since the Rebbe said
that "Yechi HaMelech" is included in "ad
masai," then we are better off proclaiming "ad
masai"! This is absolutely wrong. Examine the sicha. The
Rebbe explains the importance of proclaiming "Yechi
HaMelech" – that it effects an increase in the life of
the king and brings the Geula. (When the Jews hailed the
kingship of the House of Dovid, they did not proclaim "ad
masai.") The Rebbe’s intent is that it is so essential
to say "Yechi HaMelech" that even calling out
"ad masai," which is simply a cry about Galus in
general, includes within it the idea of "Yechi HaMelech."
"Yechi Adoneinu," on the other hand, is
more than an expression of the general concept of bringing the Geula
and increasing the life of the king. It is a more specific
idea that Moshiach has already been revealed and that we accept
his kingdom. This is a meaning that "ad masai"
and "Yechi HaMelech" lack, as I have explained.
It is obvious that the primary proclamation is "Yechi
Adoneinu Moreinu v’Rabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach l’olam va’ed."
Greenberg: The phrase
"Yechi Adoneinu" includes the proclamation
that was always said to the Rebbe with his encouragement and
consent, starting at the farbrengen of 20 Av 5736: "Yechi
Adoneinu Moreinu v’Rabbeinu." The addition of the words
"Melech HaMoshiach l’olam va’ed" is based on
the pasuk, "Yechi Adoni HaMelech Dovid l’olam."
The main point is, as was said earlier, that the Rebbe accepted
this and encouraged it for over a year.
Majeski: When I am asked
this question I say: If you insist, then proclaim "Yechi
important to note that in the sicha of Beis Nissan 5748,
the Rebbe says that the source for proclaiming "Yechi
HaMelech" is in the proclamations made to the kings of Beis
Dovid. At the time, they would specify which king they
meant, and would not say merely "Yechi HaMelech."
That is why we must specify that we mean Melech HaMoshiach.
the proclamation of "Yechi HaMelech" is so
important and "ad masai" is simply not enough,
why wasn’t this done back then in 5748?
Greenberg: I think this
question is meaningless at this point. Let’s say we made a
mistake back then. What does that have to do with right now?
back then we didn’t feel the need for the nation to affect the
life of the Nasi HaDor as we did after Chaf-Zayin Adar. In
general, one could apply the statement of Chazal that
Yisroel, "if they are not prophets, they are the disciples of
prophets." This point, this Chassidic sensitivity, began only
when the Rebbe began speaking very strongly about Moshiach.
Wilschansky: The truth is
that there were a few people who did proclaim "Yechi
HaMelech" and the Rebbe encouraged this. There’s a
video of the Rebbe returning from the Ohel, in which one of
the Chassidim proclaims "Yechi HaMelech" and the
Rebbe motions with his hand encouragingly. Perhaps we really were
supposed to begin saying it then, but we didn’t "get
it" until the Rebbe began emphasizing the issue of Moshiach
speaking, there are many things which the Rebbe introduced, and it
was only after a certain period of time that he referred back to
those ideas and brought them down to a practical level. An example
of this is in the famous sicha of Chaf-Ches Nissan in which
the Rebbe gives over the job of bringing the Geula to us.
The truth is that the Rebbe spoke similarly (if not as strongly)
on Purim 5747, when he explained how the avoda goes from
the Nasi to the people. You can also say that in 5748 the
Rebbe mentioned it once, and as we approached ever closer to the Yemos
HaMoshiach the emphasis was even stronger, particularly
since Simchas Torah 5753.
I understand correctly, the bottom line is that "ad masai"
or "Moshiach now" are not as essential or central as
"Yechi Adoneinu" ...
Wilschansky: Definitely the dominant idea and the most recent
instruction the Rebbe encouraged (to date) is "Yechi Adoneinu...,"
and in a way that was obviously more powerful than "ad
masai" or "Moshiach now." Clearly this is the
primary essential point.
are those who claim that the proclamation of "Yechi"
seems like a slogan or something superficial and lacks all
Wilschansky: Why does it
assume the status of a slogan? We are talking about a proclamation
based on a sicha of the Rebbe. Chassidim sang this
proclamation thousands of times after Chaf-Zayin Adar, in moments
of love and yearning, out of true hiskashrus to the Rebbe
and with a prayer from the depths of their hearts for the Rebbe’s
complete health and imminent revelation.
could a Chassid of the Rebbe, a mekushar, who is ready to
sacrifice everything he has for the Rebbe MH"M and his inyanim,
who saw with his own eyes, or maybe only on a video, how the Rebbe
encouraged this singing, literally being moser nefesh with
movements that must have been quite painful — how could he
diminish its importance?! The Rebbe’s secretary said that every
movement took greater effort than handing out dollars for eight
hours straight! The Rebbe repeatedly encouraged the singing of
"Yechi Adoneinu" for over a year. This is
the song that the Rebbe chose to use before seemingly parting from
his Chassidim until his imminent revelation, the only thing we
have merited to receive from the Rebbe for such a long period of
time. How is it possible to describe it as a superficial slogan?!
What a shame that we have reached such a state that these things
what’s the answer? These are people who have not bothered to
examine what the Rebbe has to say about the matter, let alone
attempted to understand it in depth, which is why they say such
derogatory things that slight the Rebbe’s honor. I don’t mean
to say that anybody intends to denigrate the Rebbe.
Unquestionably, Chassidim value every move the Rebbe makes. But
the painful truth forces us to say that not studying what the
Rebbe has said has led to these terrible errors.
as far as chitzoniyus (superficiality) and pnimiyus (inwardness),
I say that the person asking the question sees the proclamation as
something superficial, since whatever he sees of this proclamation
is superficial. Whoever examines the content and source of the
proclamation, especially bearing in mind the Rebbe’s non-stop
encouragement of the song, couldn’t possibly say that it is
cannot say that putting on tefillin without kavana
is a superficial act and that answering amen without kavana
is a superficial slogan, ch’v. The same applies to "Yechi."
At the same time, though, it is important to emphasize that when
the kavana is missing, the act is sorely lacking. As the
Sages say: A prayer without kavana is like a body without a
Majeski: Actually, I am
happy with the term "slogan" in its positive sense. In
the Rebbe’s Igros Kodesh (Vol. 18, letters #6768
and #6836) you find the following: "the slogan of this year
is: u’faratzta yama va’keidma tzafona va’negba."
A slogan is a phrase that fully encapsulates an idea. It is
certainly appropriate to say that "Yechi Adoneinu"
is the slogan that the Rebbe instilled in us in connection with Mivtza
Kabbalas Pnei Moshiach. It represents our enthusiasm and
koch in this matter.
I would like to know why this question wasn’t asked when we
proclaimed "ad masai" and "Moshiach
now" years ago?
why does "Yechi" have to appear on every letter
or flyer? If you bring a guest for Shabbos to 770, he will hear
"Yechi" chanted practically a dozen times. Isn’t
this a bit much? And now there are t’fillin brochures
that have "Yechi" as part of the t’filla.
Wilschansky: Since "Yechi" expresses our
enthusiasm and our mission, it’s only natural that we want to
express this at every opportunity. If you read the Rebbe’s
letters from the beginning of the ‘40’s, when the Rebbe Rayatz
said "L’alter l’teshuva, l’alter l’Geula,"
you will see that even though the Rebbe Rayatz himself did not
stress this in every letter, the Rebbe would mention it at the end
of nearly every letter, to the point that it became part of
the official symbol of Machne Yisroel until today.
"Yechi" today is a direct continuation of the
singing of "Yechi" after the t’fillos with
the Rebbe in 5753. Since that’s the way it was standing before
the Rebbe MH"M, it’s the same now. As far as the other
times it is proclaimed, at gatherings, etc., the Rebbe said on
Chaf-Ches Nissan that it isn’t possible for ten Jews to gather
without making a tumult about the coming of Moshiach. That means
that we have to use every means possible to make a tumult about
the coming of Moshiach. When we put tefillin on with a Jew
or have any other mivtzaim encounter with a Jew, it is a
great opportunity to demand the Geula. And saying "Yechi"
is even more appropriate.
Majeski: I would ask the
question the other way around. Are we saying "Yechi"
enough? As long as we have still not merited the final revelation,
what is more important than crying out more for the Geula?
What is more important to us today than meriting to see the Rebbe
the sicha of Parshas Tzav 5745, the Rebbe says that during
the times for davening one should daven; at the time
for Krias Sh’ma one should recite Krias Sh’ma;
and the rest of the day one should cry out "Moshiach
now!" The "Moshiach now" of our times is "Yechi
the last sichos we heard (to date) the Rebbe constantly
emphasized the Rambam which says that a person should see the
world in a balance, where one mitzva could tilt the scale.
The Rebbe stressed that this could be even a single good thought.
Since the proclamation of "Yechi" has such deep
significance, perhaps it will tilt the world to the side of
merit and bring the Geula.
quote many sichos from before Chaf-Zayin Adar and refer to
the Rebbe’s encouraging the singing of "Yechi"
after that. Maybe this all applied before Gimmel Tammuz, but
Wilschansky: In order to
decide whether something is appropriate or not in any given
context, you must examine its meaning and see whether something
ought to change or not. In our situation, when you examine the
meaning of "Yechi Adoneinu," which is
primarily based on the idea of kabbalas ha’malchus and
adding life to the king — what could have changed after Gimmel
Majeski: In the sichos
that were said after Yud Shvat 5710, you can discern a theme
that runs through them all: all the activities that began before
Yud Shvat must continue without any change or diminishment.
Rebbe wrote to someone in connection with the difficulties the
person was encountering in running his mosad. He was
considering closing the mosad. The Rebbe wrote (5740, Likkutei
Sichos, Vol. 19, p. 620) that he should consult with
"those who are real askanim and real Lubavitchers."
How would he know who are the real askanim and real
Lubavitchers? The Rebbe writes: If the people you consult with
talk about expanding the mosad or, at the very least,
keeping it open, then they are considered by the Rebbe to be
genuine Lubavitchers. But if "someone tells you not to take
action or not to bother, in whatever project it might be...he is
not considered to be an askan at all, and he is obviously
not a member of the Anash of my father-in-law, the Rebbe."
Greenberg: The very
question is dangerous. Imagine what would happen if Lubavitch
would stop publicizing Moshiach’s identity and the public would
accept the fact that we stopped believing it. That would mean that
a major, well-publicized stance of Lubavitch and the Rebbe did not
work out in the end.
say the whole besuras ha’Geula will have turned out to be
a mistake, ch’v. Then maybe other mivtzaim, and
everything else Lubavitch stands for, is not 100%, ch’v.
have to be very clear about this: Lubavitch doesn’t do something
and regret it afterwards! Hashem is 100% correct, the Rebbe is
100% correct, and anything done with the Rebbe’s encouragement
and consent is true and eternal.