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Chassidim’s Early Recognition of the Rebbe as Moshiach in 1950

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On the 10th of Shevat 5710 (1950), the soul of the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, ascended. As soon as the news reached the Lubavitch community in England, Rabbi Avraham-Sender Nemtsov sent a telegram to New York: “And may the Almighty comfort us with Menachem.” This hinted that Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the son-in-law and assistant of Rebbe Rayatz, would become the new leader of Chabad.

When the seven days of mourning ended, the senior Chassidim in England, led by Rabbi Yitzchak Dubov and Rabbi Avraham-Sender Nemtsov, convinced all the Chassidim in England to sign a special letter declaring their connection to the new head of Chabad. In this letter, they wrote: “To our master, teacher, and Rebbe, the King Moshiach…”

Even then, it was evident to the Chassidim that the Rebbe was not only the leader of Chabad but also Moshiach

This letter was sent to New York on Sunday, the 2nd of Adar, and on the 25th, the Rebbe SHLITA read out the request for the redemption of the souls of those who signed the letter at the holy resting place of Rebbe Rayatz. Afterwards, he wrote a personal letter to each of the organizers.

Rabbi Nemtsov received a letter about the significance of the 2nd of Nissan (the day of the passing of Rebbe Rashab and the beginning of Rebbe Rayatz’s leadership). In the margins, the Rebbe added: “I received the letter from the 2nd of Adar. Undoubtedly, Rabbi Yitzchak Dubov conveyed what I told him when he was here. I mentioned the names of the signatories at the resting place.”

What did the Rebbe tell Rabbi Dubov? It turns out that three days after the passing of Rebbe Rayatz, Rabbi Dubov asked the Rebbe to become the head of the Chassidim, to which the Rebbe responded very sharply: “What are you thinking, that Mendel is the Rebbe?”

It is well known that throughout that year, the Rebbe refused to become the leader of the Chabad movement. Only on the 10th of Shevat, 5711, when the Rebbe delivered his first maamar, “Basi LeGani,” did he officially assume the position of head of Chabad.

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