Basically I am looking for more information from neutral or sympathetic sources about Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman's recent statement saying something along the lines of it was too hard for Bnei Torah to await for Moshiach.

The initial report I saw here was an editorial, with a link to an attempted (but incomplete) transcript. And although it has the audio, I can't quite parse it. Also, there may have been subsequent clarification.

According to what was reported, he said that no one fulfills the obligation of waiting for Moshiach, therefore we hope that they fulfill the other Mitzvos and rely on Rabbi Hillel for the failure to do it.

Besides the fact that I don't understand this at all (Hillel isn't understood to deny a messianic era, just a king, AFAIK, so why would the rest change?), Googleing to find any further statements about this didn't turn up much, rather a secondary, and again plainly unsympathetic, sites, which are pointing out Rabbi Shteinman's earlier promotion of the idea of Torah and Mitzvah observance being tied to Moshiach, e.g. here:

"The Redemption is very near," he added. "We must do everything we can to fulfill Torah and Mitzvos, to the extent of self-sacrifice."

So what do neutral and/or sympathetic people say about this conversation? Or has he himself clarified since then?

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    The relevant statement of Rabbi Hillel is on Sanhedrin 99a. (I assume)
    – Double AA
    Jun 25, 2014 at 18:38
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    About Hillel and what he holds: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/37788/… Jun 25, 2014 at 18:56
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    Considering this is from a lubavich blog about someone who is not fan of theirs it may not be the exact truth. But as regards the statement itself I would agree with him for the simple reason that most people especially from chabad have all the wrong idea of what moshiach is about.
    – preferred
    Jun 26, 2014 at 11:55
  • The simple understanding of R. Hillel is no messiah at all, and many understood him that way. However, the Talmud explicitly condemns his view, so it is presumably irrelevant. Quoting it was likely IMHO an evasion tactic.
    – mevaqesh
    Nov 20, 2016 at 16:43

1 Answer 1


The statement of RAL Steinman has been misrepresented (not surprising considering the large movement that opposes his leadership). His statement must be understood in the following context: Rambam Mlachim 11:1 states: "And anyone who does not believe in him (Mashiach), or whoever does not await his arrival (mechakeh l'viatho), not in the other prophets alone does he "kofer" (deny), but in the Torah and Moshe Rabbenu". The conversation between RALS and Rabbi Bergman was about the interpretation of "await his arrival". Rabbi Bergman maintained that anyone who does not actively await the arrival of Mashiach is a heretic and outside of the pale of Judaism, based on Rambam's famous assertion that one who is lacking in any of the 13 Principles doesn't have the status of a believing Jew. RALS was attempting to convince him him of how radical this understanding is: how many believing Jews today actively are "awaiting his arrival"? Obviously, he maintained, the implication of these words was not that 99.9% of Orthodox Jewry are non-believers, rather the understanding of this phrase is something more moderate, such as that "awaiting" means not giving up hope of his arrival, or something similar. Later in the conversation, Rabbi Bergman again attempted to bring up the topic, to which RALS replied "There is a view in the Gemara that Mashiach will not come", upon which he was questioned as to what he meant to imply with this, and to which he evaded the question.

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    Basically I am looking for more information from neutral or sympathetic sources What are your sources? Consider editing them into the answer, rather than into the comments.
    – mevaqesh
    Nov 20, 2016 at 16:50

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