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“As he approaches his 90th birthday next month, the Rebbes power has never been greater.” With this sentence, a New York Times reporter described the Lubavitcher Rebbe in a magazine article entitled, The Oracle of Crown Heights, before 11 Nissan 5752.

Despite the painful medical episode on Chaf-Zayin Adar 5752 and despite the fact that a month had gone by and the Chassidim had yet to see the Rebbe, the preparations for Yud-Alef Nissan did not stop for a moment.

Great anticipation could be felt in Crown Heights before the Rebbe’s 90th birthday. The number of guests from Eretz Yisroel and around the world who had come to celebrate the big day, continued to grow. Those who were musically gifted composed tunes for verses in the 91st chapter of T’hillim. Spiritual preparations were also made in learning the Rebbe’s teachings and carrying out his horaos with renewed enthusiasm.

In Eretz Yisroel the Chassidim invited the public to attend a “magnificent grand celebration” in Heichal Yad Eliyahu in Tel Aviv which would be attended by the g’dolei ha’Torah and Chassidus and with musical accompaniment – Avraham Fried, the Piamenta brothers and Mona Rosenblum’s orchestra.

“Joy fixed in the heart on this side and tears fixed in the heart on this side.” That was the feeling everyone had in light of the great joy of the Rebbe’s birthday, the day we were given the greatest gift of all, the day the redeemer of the Jewish people was born. At the same time though, it was 45 days since the darkness which began on Chaf-Zayin Adar-ALEF. Along with the celebration and joy, it was a day of prayer to annul the darkness.


Every year, the Chassidim bless the Rebbe on the eve of his birthday. That year too, despite the circumstances, this took place. 770 was packed with people. At the appointed time, some of the senior Chassidim, rabbanim, mashpiim, and shluchim, stood near Gan Eden HaTachton (the hallway outside the Rebbe’s room), the door to the Rebbe’s room was opened, and R’ Shneur Zalman Gurary said the bracha on behalf of everyone.

In a voice choked with emotion he expressed their wishes that the Rebbe be healthy and recover and return to his holy work. In his statement he included the following story: One of the talmidim of the Maggid asked him: Chapter 90 of T’hillim is full of complaints toward Hashem, about people being oppressed, that we’ve been consumed in His anger, ad masai, etc. but there is no response from Hashem, why?

The Maggid answered: The response is at the beginning of the next chapter, 91, “Say to Hashem, my refuge and my fortress,” i.e. Hashem does help and saves us from tzaros.

The analogue is obvious. During the 90th year some incomprehensible things occurred, but now, with the start of the 91st year of the Rebbe, we would, G-d willing, merit “my refuge and my fortress” and the Rebbe would become completely well.

Upon concluding the bracha, the crowd answered “amen,” and all present in Beis Chayeinu along with thousands of listeners from around the world proclaimed Yechi three times.


Immediately afterward, R’ Yitzchok Hendel of Montreal read the p’sak din on behalf of the rabbanim, which said that according to halacha, the Rebbe, according to all signs and conditions enumerated in the Rambam in Hilchos Melachim, was fit to be defined as b’chezkas sh’hu Moshiach. The p’sak din also established that according to Halacha, the Rebbe had to be well immediately. R’ Hendel announced that at the head of those who signed the p’sak din was the gaon, R’ Pinchas Hirschprung.

In conclusion, R’ Hendel blessed the Rebbe with the priestly blessing, joined by all the Kohanim and the crowd answered “amen.” The event was powerful and moving and before there was time for the excitement and emotion to cool down, the assemblage sat down to a big farbrengen which was organized by the gabbaim of the shul.


Thousands filled 770 during the farbrengen to mark the great day. The awesomeness of the day, the huge crowd, the seriousness of the time and the intensity of the event, generated an atmosphere that was entirely unique.

R’ Moshe Teleshevsky recited chapter 91 of T’hillim verse by verse and the crowd repeated it after him. Then they opened the Aron Kodesh and said, “Shma Koleinu” with an emotional intensity that can’t be described. Chazan Teleshevsky said a Mi Sh’Beirach for the Rebbe after which the crowd spontaneously burst out in singing Yechi.

Then the farbrengen began. R’ Moshe Kotlarsky began with emotional words about the great day. He described how, on the one hand, it was obligatory to rejoice on this day when we merited that a neshama descended to the world which illuminated the entire world. On the other hand, how could we rejoice under the circumstances?

Then the rabbanim of Crown Heights spoke, the Rebbe’s secretaries, and other guests. R’ Leibel Altein taught a maamer. Children of Tzivos Hashem said the 12 P’sukim and then the shliach from London, R’ Nachman Sudak, read a section of the sicha of 2 Nissan 5748 in which the Rebbe spoke about the significance of the pronouncement “Yechi HaMelech.”

R’ Shneur Zalman Gurary spoke briefly about the situation that we were in; R’ Y. Y. Wilschansky spoke in Hebrew; and R’ Dovid Raskin spoke. R’ Chaim Melul spoke in French for the many guests who had come to the farbrengen from France. At the conclusion of the official farbrengen, the Chassidim continued to farbreng into the night.


In the wee hours of the night, the streets of Crown Heights were busy. Tanks were being readied for the next day’s parade. Those in charge set up loudspeakers on every tank. They also hung up signs and did whatever else had to be done to ready the tanks for the big day when Judaism and mitzvos would be promoted in full display for the Jews in the Big Apple.

The signs and decorations were very colorful. They included the original painting of artist Michel Schwartz which was completed for 11 Nissan and whose theme is how the world will look in Yemos HaMoshiach. The painting is gorgeous and includes many verses from Tanach along with stunning scenes of the Beis HaMikdash, aliya l’regel, and more.

On each tank was a sign announcing which Chabad house in the world sponsored that tank, a sign about the Rebbe’s 90 years, and of course signs of the mivtzaim and a special sign about preparing for Moshiach. These signs were also attached to the roofs of the tanks for people looking from windows of tall buildings in Manhattan.

Leading the parade was a car with a huge golden crown on the roof and a big sign about the parade (the sign said, “90 Years – That’s Just the Beginning”) and it was followed by the tanks. Each tank prominently displayed a particular year from 5662 to 5752. A huge crowd stood opposite 770 to see the convoy off with cheers and many people watched from the rooftops. The scene was recorded for posterity by a helicopter from where photos were taken of the entire event.

“When the tanks reached Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, they arranged themselves into the shape of the number 90. From there, the convoy proceeded to Flatbush Avenue and from there to the Manhattan Bridge which they covered from end to end. They stopped and the crews manning the tanks got out for a Chassidic dance. Then they drove into Manhattan, Park Avenue and 5th and 6th Avenues.

From there, they dispersed to 90 different locations throughout New York City for mivtzaim that continued until sunset and included putting on t’fillin, giving out matza, and thousands of brochures about Pesach and other topics.

All the major radio and television networks covered the tank parade and spoke about the work of the Lubavitch movement around the world and its leader, the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

At the end of the day, as in the beginning, many of the guests gathered again for an “insiders” farbrengen. As one of the shluchim-guests put it, the mixed feelings of great joy and great sorrow of that 11 Nissan could not be digested without another farbrengen. This time it was a relatively smaller crowd. Among them were R’ Sholom Ber Lipskar and R’ Moshe New.


Thousands of Chassidim, shluchim and mekuravim and regular folks completely filled the Yad Eliyahu stadium. Dozens of rabbanim, Admurim and distinguished public figures graced the dais. The orchestra played Chabad niggunim and songs of Geula and Moshiach. One by one, speakers rose and spoke movingly about the Rebbe’s leadership. They gave him brachos for his continued leadership for many more healthy years.

A colorful report was written up along with selections from the speeches in the Kfar Chabad magazine. They included the full speech of the chozer, R’ Yoel Kahn, who had gone to Eretz Yisroel especially for this farbrengen. He spoke enthusiastically about the role of the Rebbe, the leader of the seventh generation, who brings the Sh’china down to earth. At the end of his speech he said to continue working on inyanei Moshiach by spreading the Besuras Ha’Geula “with the full ceremoniousness” (as he put it).

But the truly great moments of the evening, the peak moments of kabbalas ha’malchus, we find only in the publication HaGeula HaAmitis V’HaShleima, #20, which was published on 2 Iyar. It had this headline: “A Halachic P’sak Din by dozens of rabbanim states: The Lubavitcher Rebbe is B’chezkas Moshiach!” The subtitle said, “All conditions enumerated in the Rambam regarding b’chezkas Moshiach were fulfilled in the Rebbe of Lubavitch. A crowd of thousands proclaimed, with great enthusiasm, three times: Yechi Adoneinu …”

I will conclude this article with a line that the reporter of Ha’Geula used to end his article: There is no doubt that we are witnesses to the unfolding of a fateful stage in the process of the hisgalus of Moshiach Tzidkeinu. We will soon witness, with Hashem’s help, further developments in this direction.


“And so may it be for us, that on the eleventh of Adar will be completed already the matter of the eleventh of Nissan … the anointing of the ‘Rosh B’nei Yisroel’ as Melech HaMoshiach who will come and redeem us and lead us upright to our land, immediately.”

This clear statement which was heard from the Rebbe at the end of the farbrengen on Shabbos Parshas Tetzaveh 5752 speaks for itself: the Rebbe blesses and wishes his Chassidim to merit and complete the matter of the eleventh of Nissan, the day the Rebbe was anointed as Moshiach.

Although we did not merit the complete hisgalus on 11 Nissan 5752, that day was certainly a significant milestone in the Geula process. For this day, the p’sak din which declared that the Rebbe fulfilled all the conditions enumerated in the Rambam and therefore was b’chezkas sh’hu Moshiach, was written and sealed anew.

In a moving ceremony, the p’sak din was read before the Rebbe at the entrance to his room after the traditional bracha of the Chassidim on 11 Nissan. In Eretz Yisroel the p’sak din was also read at the main event to celebrate the 90th year that was held in Heichal Yad Eliyahu in Tel Aviv. Thousands of people proclaimed “Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu V’Rabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach L’olam Va’ed.

This historic gathering was the first time that the Rebbe was identified as Moshiach in a public forum. The events of that 11 Nissan marked the beginning of the Shnas HaTzaddik (the year that the Rebbe was 90 years of age) and which continued until 5753 at which time the Chassidim were repeatedly and publicly encouraged by the Rebbe to accept his malchus.

This day marks the beginning of the anointment of Rosh B’nei Yisroel as Moshiach in public, before Jews, and also before the world. Articles were published in the secular media and there were radio and television reports about the Rebbe and his followers’ belief that he is the Messiah.

I hope that this article which describes the happenings of those days will awaken us and will cause “these days” to be “remembered and done,” to strengthen our work in the only remaining shlichus; preparing the world to welcome the Rebbe Moshiach Tzidkeinu and the publicizing and disseminating of the Besuras Ha’Geula and the identity of the Goel to one and all.

M. Fried”




During his speech, R’ Leibel Groner took the opportunity to clarify the Rebbe’s position on activities related to Moshiach and Geula so people would know what it truly is:

“In a letter of one of the N’shei U’Bnos Chabad to the Rebbe was a report about good things that were recently done. The writer noted that she was reporting about these activities so as to give the Rebbe nachas and to add to his health. In addition, she wrote that some say that what happened [i.e. the Rebbe’s stroke] was a result of activities done to hasten the Geula and as a result of saying and asking of Hashem that the Rebbe be revealed as Moshiach. So she asked whether they should stop doing so.

“When I read the first part to the Rebbe, which expressed hopes that the additional good activities would cause him nachas, the Rebbe nodded his head yes, meaning that he did indeed have nachas from it. When I finished reading the second part of the letter, the Rebbe did not react and I understood from this that he was not answering this part of the letter, but when I asked whether I should not respond to the writer, the Rebbe shook his head no.

“I asked whether I should respond and the Rebbe nodded yes. I continued to ask: Should I tell her to stop these activities so we merit the hastening of the Geula and the hisgalus of the Rebbe, and the Rebbe shook his head no. I repeated: Should I tell her to continue and “with an increase,” and the Rebbe nodded yes.

“This answer was on Friday. On Sunday another letter came with similar content. I took the opportunity and told the Rebbe that since many people were writing about this, I wanted to inform the Rebbe that I had already transmitted the Rebbe’s answer from Friday and it had made quite a ripple. The Rebbe nodded yes and when I asked explicitly whether Friday’s answer was also good for this letter, he nodded yes again.

“There is a clear direction here – we need to continue with inyanei Moshiach and Geula with the full shturem. We are Chassidim who believe in the Rebbe, that the Rebbe is worthy of being the Redeemer of Yisroel and will soon be revealed as Moshiach.

“We don’t need sources and proofs for what the Rebbe said, but it is interesting that in the recent publication of the periodical HaMaor there is a fascinating article by the editor, R’ Meir Amsel, with a number of sources and proofs about how throughout the generations talmidim said about their teachers that he is Moshiach and it is not at all surprising that Lubavitcher Chassidim say this about their Rebbe.

“He concludes with a Chasam Sofer in a legal responsum that before Hashem revealed Himself to Moshe Rabbeinu, the first redeemer, at the burning bush and told him he would redeem the Jewish people from Egypt, Moshe did not know that he was the redeemer. The same will happen with the final redeemer. Before it is revealed to him, he does not know. He adds that in every generation there is someone worthy of being the final redeemer.

“When we want to give the Rebbe an appropriate spiritual gift for Yud-Alef Nissan, the best thing is to strengthen the “threads” that bind us to the Rebbe. That is, increasing in all the mivtzaim including and especially inyanei Moshiach and Geula. Surely, with this we will hasten the Rebbe’s recovery and Hashem will strengthen all his limbs and sinews and we will soon see the complete healing and merit the complete Geula.

“Now, on the eve of the Geula, it seems that the samech-mem is breathing its last gasps and it was given permission to drop a bomb so terrible that we have no idea what happened here and why it happened, but we need to know that this is like the concealment against the teachings of Chassidus, and despite the arrest (of the Alter Rebbe) it was necessary to step up the spreading of the wellsprings.

“Now too, there is no doubt that what needs to be done is to increase the awakening in inyanei Moshiach and Geula, an addition that is incomparably greater to what was done until now. Surely, when we do this, Hashem will hear our cries and listen to our requests and we will immediately have the Geula and merit the hisgalus of the Rebbe as Melech HaMoshiach.

“We will end with what we began, that all of us together, all those present and all of the Jewish people bless the Rebbe and we pray to Hashem and ask that right now, He should tell the Rebbe that the time has come that he be revealed as Melech HaMoshiach and lead us to Eretz Yisroel.”

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