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Obviously Permissible To Say “Yechi”
By Menachem Ziegelboim

Interview of Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber Volpe, rav in Kiryat Gat and rosh kollel of Yeshiva Zichron Yehosef in Yerushalayim, Author of Yechi HaMelech and Yechi HaMelech HaMoshiach, Books that posit the necessity of publicizing Moshiach’s identity as part of the besuras ha’geula

*Rabbi Volpe, you received sharp directives from the Rebbe about not writing or publicizing inyanei Moshiach. Does this interview with Beis Moshiach oppose those directives?

I did receive a sharp directive from the Rebbe in 5744 (1984) in connection with the printing of my book Yechi HaMelech. The Rebbe also spoke sharply about this at the farbrengen on Motzaei Shabbos Bereishis 5745. By the way, after the frightening sicha at that farbrengen, when I hung my head as I went by for kos shel bracha, the Rebbe gave me a bottle of mashke for Kiryat Gat in an especially gracious manner, and said to me, “In His angels He finds fault.”

However, seven years later, in 5751, when the Rebbe spoke about learning inyanei Moshiach and Geula, Rabbi Yehuda Yaroslavsky ordered me to ask the Rebbe again whether the time had come to print the book. I then received permission from the Rebbe to print the book once it was edited by yedidim mevinim (discerning friends). One of those people was Rabbi Menachem Mendel Wechter. I have his letter of approval from back then, where he writes about the Rebbe’s answer to me: “What is to be understood from this is that regarding the book in general, there is nothing to be concerned about, unlike the directive of 5744.”

The Rebbe himself told me to get approbations from specific rabbis. I received approbations from the battei din in Eretz Yisroel and New York. The letter from the beis din in Eretz Yisroel was handwritten by its secretary, Rabbi Yehuda Yaroslavsky, and signed by all rabbanei Anash.

Therefore, cynicism founded on the Rebbe’s warning of 5744 simply misleads the public. It is like saying that the Rebbe’s refusal to accept the Chabad leadership back in 5710 is still in force today, ch’v.

*Why do you bring that as an example?

Because it’s exactly the same thing! Moshiach is the highest position of leadership. When it comes to a nasi in general, Chassidus explains that it is the people who arouse his desire to rule. Fleeing authority is the natural tendency of a true king, and the same holds true for the kingship of Moshiach. We see that at first the Rebbe strongly opposed accepting the Chabad leadership, as noted in Yemei Bereishis, and then the Rebbe accepted the position. So too, with Moshiach. Although the Rebbe negated the idea outright at first, with time the Rebbe accepted the idea more and more openly. You cannot refer to statements that were made on the subject sixteen years ago in order to prove that the situation today is just the same as it was in 5744!

I reiterate: the impetus to print Yechi HaMelech came from the beis din rabbanei Anash, who gladly gave their approbation. When the Rebbe received a copy of the book, he wrote an incredible blessing to me testifying to his absolute consent.

*Yet recently it was said that as late as 5752 you still received notes from the Rebbe against writing about Moshiach’s identity?

That statement is taken out of context. After the Rebbe’s directives about learning inyanei Geula and Moshiach, N’shei Chabad of Eretz Yisroel asked me to prepare a booklet for them on inyanei Moshiach, which they would distribute in the thousands, in order to include everyone in this study. In the material I prepared, there were open hints as to Moshiach’s identity. When the N’shei Chabad gave the draft to the Rebbe, they received the aforementioned note. I realized that the Rebbe did not want the first official Chabad publication on inyanei Moshiach, and which was meant to be distributed to the masses as a beginner’s primer on the subject, to refer to Moshiach’s identity. This is because first you have to teach people about the concept of Geula in a general way, and only then can you identify Moshiach without putting people off.

At that specific time, and even prior to it, the Rebbe allowed people to be signed up for kabbalas ha’malchus, and the Rebbe gave brachos to members of Anash who wrote to him and addressed him as Melech HaMoshiach, and who told him about their work in this area.

I’d like to point out that at that time this answer of the Rebbe did not deter rabbanei Anash in Eretz Yisroel and abroad from activities referring to the revelation of the Rebbe MH”M. I have copies of the piskei din of the months of Nissan and Sivan 5751, as well as Adar II 5752, with which the rabbanim sent R’ Dovid Nachshon and R’ Avi Taub to travel to the resting places of the Rebbeim in Russia and the Ukraine. The purpose of the trip was to read the psak din and the Pa’N there, which said, “to bring about the revelation of the Rebbe shlita, Melech HaMoshiach, before all eyes.” The Rebbe was informed of the trip and gave his blessings and many directives to these two shluchim.

*Did what transpired on Chaf-Zayin Adar I 5752 change the enthusiasm of Anash and the rabbanim regarding publicizing Moshiach’s identity?

On the contrary. On Yud-Alef Nissan of that year, dozens of rabbanei Anash as well as dozens of rabbanim around the world signed the well-known psak din that according to the Rambam, the Rebbe is Melech HaMoshiach.

I have a copy of the psak din, which has the names of all the rabbanim of the beis din in Eretz Yisroel on it: Rabbis Yaroslavsky, Bistritzky, Ashkenazi, Chanzin, Hecht, Gurary, Gluckowsky, Lipsker, my uncle Rabbi Yehosef Gedalya Ralbag, z’l, as well as other rabbanei Chabad, such as Rabbi Druckman of Kiryat Mochkin, Rabbi Axelrod of Chaifa, Rabbi Hertzel of Natzeret, Rabbi Ginsberg of Omer, Rabbi Glitzenstein of Maale Efraim, Rabbi Gerlitzky of Tel Aviv, etc. It also contains the signatures of all the rabbanei beis ha’din of New York, and Rabbi Yisroel Yitzchok Piekarsky, z’l, and Rabbi Pinchas Hirschprung, z’l.

How can anyone claim, as some recently did, after the public actions of all these rabbis, that this is “some bizarre, personal mivtza?” There was no meeting of the beis din annulling the previous psak din!

*Perhaps the rabbanim deemed this psak din as “internal” and not for publication, and they signed it even though they did not think the Rebbe wanted the matter publicized.

Impossible! A few months later I published my book entitled Yechi HaMelech HaMoshiach, which explains the psak din of Yud-Alef Nissan about “b’chezkas sh’hu Moshiach. I received the consent of all the rabbanei Chabad around the world to print this book.

The rabbanim of the Crown Heights beis din also gave their haskama. Rabbi Gershon Mendel Garelik of Milano wrote: “Fortunate are you that you merited to explain according to halachic sources that the Rebbe shlita is Melech HaMoshiach.” Rabbi Hillel Pevsner of France wrote: “There is an obligation to coronate him, and even though ‘fire descended in a flame,’ we have the mitzva of raising it up as well.” And he concluded, “now the generation has been found worthy, and the Rebbe shlita himself accepts the coronation.”

All of the above shows that the Chabad rabbanim in Eretz Yisroel and around the world gave their consent that we publicize and explain the psak din regarding the identity of Moshiach. How did this suddenly become “some bizarre, personal mivtza,” to the point that those involved in it are, as it were, “utterly opposing the Rebbe’s wishes and are, therefore, absolutely invalid as far as the beis din rabbanei Chabad are concerned?”

I have a very simple question to ask: Was there a psak din of a beis din that negated publicizing that the Rebbe is Melech HaMoshiach? Did any beis din convene and decide that there is anything wrong with proclaiming “Yechi Adoneinu?” Let someone show me that psak din!

Additionally, Kfar Chabad Magazine publicized, starting at the end of Tishrei 5753 until Gimmel Tammuz 5754, “Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu v’Rabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach l’olam va’ed every week (for 77 issues). If there were rabbanim (or the editor of the magazine) who thought this distanced anybody from the study of Chassidus, or that this opposed the Rebbe’s wishes, would they have left the “Yechi” on the cover? There is no greater publicity than that! All this was done knowing about the sharp answer I had received back in 5744, and about the sicha of Motzaei Shabbos Bereishis 5745, and about the directive of Adar I 5752, yet they still proclaimed “Yechi” publicly. So why are they suddenly recalling all those early responses?

In order to further demonstrate the absurdity in quoting answers from 5744, etc., allow me to quote the description in Kfar Chabad Magazine in a special issue (544) about the Hakafos of Simchas Torah 5753 [free translation]:

“The huge crowd fired with intense emotion...burst forth spontaneously...as one man with one heart, ‘Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu v’Rabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach L’olam Va’ed,’ three times. The third time, the Rebbe shlita suddenly began to encourage the entreaty with strong movements of his head in all directions, and the cries, which soon turned into a moving song, grew until they reached the heavens. Many people cried and all felt the momentousness of the occasion, for our salvation is very, very nigh...through the revelation of Moshiach Tzidkeinu, Melech Yisroel.”

At that time, my friend, Rabbi Aharon Dov Halperin, wrote the following editorial in issue 545 [free translation]: “The height of sacred emotion...was expressed on Simchas Torah...in a proclamation, of which there has never been one as pure of heart...and with pure faith, which burst forth from the depths of tens of thousands of hearts, old and young, as well as schoolchildren, crying out from the depths of their souls, facing the [Rebbe]... ‘Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu v’Rabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach l’olam va’ed.’ This burning fire, which incorporates all longing for the Geula...with it one can ignite and warm all the darkness of the world...until the revelation of our king, Moshiach shlita.”

From then on, Kfar Chabad continued to disseminate the besuras ha’Geula and continued describing the thrilling moments when “Yechi” was sung in 770 with great enthusiasm each week. In issue 550, the editor wrote the following about publicizing inyanei Moshiach and Geula [free translation]:

“Regardless of the differing approaches...all of us as one man with one heart, are united around the prayer and proclamation, which is recited in the Rebbe shlita’s court a few times a day in the Rebbe’s presence: ‘Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu v’Rabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach L’olam va’ed’... under the circumstances there isn’t even a need to stress the warning of ‘do not be embarrassed before those who mock.’ When involved in the task of all tasks and the mission of all missions, and as we derive our inspiration during the singing of “Yechi” while facing the Rebbe, what difference does it make that somebody outside the camp mocks?”

Do you think that while writing these words, they forgot for a moment the Rebbe’s sharp words about publicizing Moshiach’s identity? And they just remembered it now?

*The fact that Kfar Chabad wrote these statements doesn’t explain how you can ignore that the Rebbe did make statements that people should refrain from publicizing Moshiach’s identity. The Rebbe even gave a reason, explaining that it distanced Jews from studying Chassidus.

In issue 558 of Kfar Chabad, this question was directed to Rabbi Yoel Kahn, who answered as follows [free translation]:

“There were orders, which, to begin with, were meant to change, and were said only for that place and time. The order not to say that the Rebbe shlita will soon be revealed as Melech HaMoshiach was said from the outset with the intention of changing… When we see with our own eyes how the Rebbe encourages the singing and confirms it from time to time, obviously that means that now this is permissible to say... From the fact that the Rebbe publicly encourages it, it is most evident that we must inform the world... As far as the fear that this will interfere with spreading the wellsprings, the fact that the Rebbe now encourages this singing — despite the fact that in the past he protested because of this fear — proves that there is nothing to worry about now... This revelation has affected the world such that the entire world has become able to accept it.”

Rabbi Yaroslavsky also referred to this in issue 559, saying [free translation]: “Obviously there is no argument about praying, reciting, and singing ‘Yechi’... Since we have been promised prophetically in our times that Moshiach is about to come, we are, therefore, certain that this refers to the Rebbe shlita... When you see the real enthusiasm that people have, old and young, and how the Rebbe shlita encourages the singing with the nodding of his holy head, all your questions and wonders fall away... As Chazal said, ‘Hashem does not bring about mishaps through tzaddikim.’ Something the Rebbe approves of and encourages on a daily basis cannot lead to any mishap, ch’v.”

*Does the besuras ha’Geula, in fact, distance Jews from Chassidus?

Positively not! Whoever is involved in besuras ha’Geula sees for himself that in recent years the world is a vessel to receive the news without any concealment. What does distance people, however, is the inner battle of a handful of Jews who oppose simple faith, as it says, “Those who devastate and destroy you will come from you.” This is what makes us a laughingstock. What distances people from Chassidus is when that handful of people encourages even outside rabbanim to go to war against the Rebbe.

If the world saw tens of thousands of Lubavitcher Chassidim holding fast to their faith even after Gimmel Tammuz, and didn’t witness the inner battles against it, this faith would quickly become embraced, and the Rebbe MH”M would have been revealed a long time ago and would have brought the complete Geula.

I recently spent Shabbos in Kiryat Shmuel in Chaifa. Allow me to tell you what I saw during my visit. My mechutan Rabbi Shmuel Frumer is one of those who publicizes the besuras ha’Geula on a grand scale. A huge “Yechi” sign has been hanging on his house now for years on a main street in town. It is because of his fiery faith that he has succeeded in being mekarev hundreds of baalei teshuva, and has raised them up to become full-fledged Chassidim. The belief in Moshiach only hastens the kiruv of Jewish souls to Chassidus, and not the opposite, ch’v. Hundreds of shluchim around the world can tell you the same thing, including those who work among the religious contingent, that now everyone has become vessels for this faith. When they hear words that emanate from the heart, they enter the heart.

(Click here to continue.)


Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber Volpe
If the world saw tens of thousands of Lubavitcher Chassidim holding fast to their faith, this faith would quickly become embraced, and the Rebbe MH”M would have been revealed a long time ago.






“The fact that the Rebbe now encourages this singing — despite the fact that in the past he protested because of this fear — proves that there is nothing to worry about now...”




“Something the Rebbe approves of and encourages on a daily basis cannot lead to any mishap, ch’v.”


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