Tuesday, August 5, 2008
There are many stories of the Rebbe in which he told someone not to take a plane flight or the like, and then the plane ended up crashing. For example, there is the famous story in which the Rebbe told Ariel Sharon not to take the next flight. That El Al plane was hijacked.
The obvious question that arises is: If the Rebbe knew, why did the Rebbe suffice with warning him not to take the flight, without explaining his advice, or better yet, warning the airline about the danger so that all the other passengers would be saved as well?
Here is part one of a sicha in which the Rebbe addresses this question in reference to the Previous Rebbe:
When the Rebbe, my father in law, said things that were intended to forewarn and provide guidance concerning the time after his passing, they were not said explicitly. The reason for this is, as it is written of Moshe, “in my entire house he is trusted.” This trust is explained in the holy books. How can one speak of trust, when it is not possible to take anything? This trust is expressed in the fact that not everything that one sees does one reveal.
There is a story of the Maggid [of Mezeritch] ... that once one of his students entered to part with him before travelling home, and the Maggid told the Holy Society [i.e., his other students] to prevent him from travelling. They tried to stop him, and when they did not succeed, they told him that this was in fact an instruction of the Maggid himself. The Chossid could not believe this, since the Maggid himself had parted with him. So he went to part with him again. The Maggid bade him farewell again, and when he left, he berated them as a Chossid can, saying, “Don’t you see that the Maggid bid me farewell again?!” Then the Maggid returned and told the Holy Society again to stop the student from leaving. He went to the Maggid again to part with him, and they tried to stop him again, and this recurred several times. Finally he did not listen to them, and left, and when he arrived home, he passed away. They went to the Maggid and asked him, if he knew, why didn’t he tell him explicitly not to travel? The answer was “in my entire house he is trusted”—not everything may be revealed.
Once someone asked concerning the fact that in HaKeriah VehaKedushah [a Chabad booklet distributed in the time of the Previous Rebbe] the [Previous] Rebbe wrote predictions of the future. He asked, “Why were they written in the form of a hint, and not openly? And why did he stop predicting the future after a certain period had passed?
The explanation is: If the [Previous] Rebbe had wanted to become certified as one who can predict the future, he would have done so, but [he didn’t, because] this is not his purpose at all.
We once discussed the concept that for Chassidim it is completely irrelevant whether the Rebbe knows the future, and Hiskashrus to the Rebbe is not formed on account of such things; the main thing is that he is a Rebbe. Therefore he did not predict the future without limit, because “in my entire house he is trusted.” He would only do so to the extent needed for [promoting the message of] “Immediately, to redemption.”
 Shemos, 12:7.
 Maamarei Admur HaZakein—Es’halech Liozna p. 1.
 Cf. Toras Menachem 5710, Vol. 1, p. 81.