Establishing customs and laws based on Rebbe hearsay or Shemuos

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I would like to know what your perspective is on how to balance testimonies and stories related regarding the Rebbe in those situations that they seem to contradict either rulings brought in Halacha, or established Chabad custom, or do not contradict anything at all but come to give a new direction or directive which has never been heard of before. Should it be dismissed as mere hearsay and false rumors? Do they reach the bar to override explicit rulings in Halacha or established custom?


Aside for it being beneath the bar of court evidence, as per the Rebbe’s own instructions on numerous occasions, all testimonies and stories of the like said in his name, are to be dismissed as hearsay, and certainly do not have the power to override explicit rulings and established customs. Only those things that the Rebbe personally wrote or edited or publicly spoke as recorded in his Sichas, receive enough authenticity to potentially outweigh established laws and customs. Even then, a Rav Moreh Horah must be consulted, as not all statements and directives that the Rebbe said or wrote or did are meant to be a directive for the public, with them at times being directives to a private individual, or a private personal custom relevant only to a Rebbe, and at times are completely misunderstood by the amateur who is not well versed in Halachic writings.

Sources: See Igros Kodesh 8:42; 332; 11:268; 20:82; 252; 22:362; 24:41; 29:53; Sichos Kodesh 5741 3:465; Maaneh to Rav Bistritzky in Menachem Meishiv Nafshi p. 84; Al Minhagim Umikorosiehem 62; Regarding whether Chassidim should practice the Rebbe’s public customs: See Toras Menachem 10 5714 14th Kisleiv p. 196-197; 5748 1:243-245; 2 p. 57 and 72; Igros Kodesh 20:39; Hiskashrus 496 p. 10-15; 526 p. 17:20; 549 p. 17-18; 553 p. 18-19; 602 p. 15; 707 p. 17; However, seemingly in a case that we have an explicit directive from Sefer Haminhagim, which was edited by the Rebbe [as testified by Rabbi Groner], one is to follow the directives the Rebbe wrote for Chassidim and not his personal public custom. [See Al Minhagim Umekoroseihem of Rav Tuvia Bloy p. 26-32]

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