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Why doesn't Chabad select a new Rebbe?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

The Rebbe accepted the leadership of Chabad (and world Jewry) in 1951 and became the seventh Chabad Rebbe.

In his very first Chassidic discourse, he set forth the goal of his "administration":

It says in Midrash Rabbah (on Shir Hashirim 5:1) that when the world was first created the Ikar Shechinah (essence of the divine presence) was down here on this world. However, because of seven sins (starting with the sin of the the Tree of Knowledge) the Shechinah ascended the seven heavens, only to be brought back down by seven righteous people. The seventh one, Moses, was the one who actually brought the Shechinah down to this world on Mt. Sinai, and eventually in to the Tabernacle.

The Rebbe continued: our generation is the seventh generation (starting from the first Chabad Rebbe) of the revelation of Chabad Chassidus. It is our generation who will, once again, bring the Shechinah down - in the Holy Temple with the ultimate Redemption.

This idea was repeated by the Rebbe many times throughout the years, by saying that, "this generation is the last generation of Exile and the first generation of Redemption."

Chassidim therefore believe that there is no need for a new Rebbe (and thus, a new generation). We must only hold on for a few more moments and we will be reunited with the Rebbe, with the coming of our righteous Messiah!



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