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LETTER FROM CROWN HEIGHTS; A Community's Day of Mystery and Faith
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Washington, D.C.
Author: Gladwell, Malcolm
Date: Feb 2, 1993
Start Page: A.12
Section: A SECTION

In Israel, posters appeared, showing the rebbe's face and saying, "Welcome King Messiah." The International Campaign to Bring Moschiach, the most messianic faction of the Lubavitcher movement, sent faxes to the media, billing the evening as a historic moment. A truck with a satellite dish stood by to broadcast the celebration to 1,500 far-flung Lubavitcher synagogues.

With the rebbe unable to speak for himself, one group of Lubavitcher leaders headed by [Shmuel Butman] began to claim that the rebbe was the Moshiach. They said their proof was in the song sung at each weekly service: "Long live our master, our teacher and our rebbe, the King Moshiach, for ever and ever."

The Sunday evening service was Butman's case for the rebbe as Moshiach. One by one, prominent Lubavitcher rabbis allied with him rose to speak in English, Yiddish and Hebrew of the imminence of redemption, of the teachings of the rebbe, of the wonders of Moshiach. It was an exhortation to God, Butman said. It was a historic moment.

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