"Just as until now it was clear to each one of us that the Rebbe would
lead us to greet our righteous Moshiach, so should it be clear now. That
which happened* is only from our material point of view. It is
nothing more than a nisayon [trial], one of the trials of the birthpangs
of Moshiach which need to occur before the arrival of the righteous Redeemer.
The sole purpose of these trials is to conceal the truth [of the workings
of G-d in the world].
"We are left with a question why the Torah requires now the recital of
Kaddish, and similar mourning practices.
"The intent of the nisayon is to draw out the powers and strength
necessary to overcome it. This in turn removes the concealment and reveals
the truth (as explained in chasidic teachings).
"Through strengthening our connection to him by means of studying his
teachings and following his instructions, we will immediately merit (since
we are on the edge of the Redemption) to see the Rebbe again, in the material
sense, and that he should lead us to the Redemption."
(Sicha of Shabbos Terumah 5710, unedited)
* ). The demise of the Previous Rebbe.
The world sees things in very stark terms. in
5751 (1991), the media, focused on Crown Heights for reasons not of our making,
and found a message of hope and belief, even excitement, in the imminent
arrival of Moshiach. Though they did not quite appreciate its subtleties,
they were intrigued.
The natural world, however, looks at terrible loss of Gimel (the third of
the Hebrew month) Tamuz and assumes that the promise of Moshiach in our
generation, was not fulfilled. Those eyes see what happened as death and
finality. Materiality has no other way of seeing things.
The Rebbe has taught us to live with a more truthful reality.The perspective
of the material world is but a mask to hide G-d's presence and to create
a possibility for free choice. In the sicha (address) quoted above,
the Rebbe reminds us to recognize that mask as just a challenge. Our task
is to see beyond to the inner truth.
We open this volume with a sicha of the Rebbe in which he explains
that the Jewish people are not governed by the world's perspective, even
when that perspective is acknowledged by the Torah.
We, the Jewish people, have a different reality--a reality which has enabled
us, despite the odds, to overcome obstacles for two thousand years. The Rebbe,
as Raya Mehemna (the faithful shepherd), has continually nurtured
us with faith in Hashem (G-d). He gives us the ability not only to see the
deeper and truer reality as it is viewed through the eyes of Torah, but also
to live our daily lives according to its reality.
We have come to know that the Rebbe's vision is one hundred percent. Many
thousands have trusted the Rebbe when their very lives depended on it.
Invariably, their trust was well placed. In the world arena, time and time
again the experts were bewildered when events turned out the way the Rebbe
had said they would.
Only one thing must be established before we can be sure. We must know that
we are aboard the Rebbe's train, that we are truly seeing the world through
the Rebbe's eyes. Once we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that our perceptions
are genuinely from the Rebbe, then there can be no question that this is
the accurate view.
That is where this book plays a vital role. The pages which follow present
a record of the buildup of anticipation that the Rebbe generated for the
imminent arrival of Moshiach, and beyond that, about how we have already
entered the "Days of Moshiach."
What becomes clear from the material presented here, is that, while the Rebbe
never demanded allegiance or claimed any position for himself, he clearly
taught and held that the Chabad Rebbes are the Moshiach of each generation
and that he, as the Rebbe and leader of the seventh generation, the "last
generation of Exile," would actually lead the Jewish people from Exile and
transform them into "the first generation of Redemption."
Furthermore, the Rebbe' taught that the year 5751, the year of the Gulf War,
actually marked the beginning of the revelation of Moshiach to the world,
as foretold in the Midrash of hundreds of years earlier. The same
Midrash tells of the announcement, by Moshiach, "The time of your
Redemption has arrived." The Rebbe then announced repeatedly that the time
of the Redemption had arrived. The Rebbe described his message as constituting
the announcement described in the Midrash. At that point the immediacy
of Redemption became a fact, not just a hope.
Equally, the efforts to focus on the Rebbe as the actual Moshiach were done
with the Rebbe's awareness and even approval. Once we appreciate that fact,
we know that we stand on solid ground in maintaining that position.
The Rebbe spoke of "good tidings of Redemption." He described events already
passed, not just expected. He clearly knew of the possible questions that
the current course of events might raise.Yet the Rebbe encouraged the focus
on himself as a part of the message to the world.
Apparently, since we stand in close proximity to the time of Redemption,
to the extent that--as the Rebbe stated--one can already see how Moshiach
started affecting the world, it is only natural for the world to become aware
of Moshiach's identity.
When the chasidim heard the Rebbe Rashab say, around 100 years ago, "We will
read about Moshiach in the newspapers," they could not have imagined in their
wildest dreams the extent to which the knowledge of Moshiach has been conveyed
through print and electronic press, to the point where it has been front
page news around the world.
This attention was entirely due to the human aspect of the Moshiach campaign.
Giving Moshiach a face has taken the anticipation and the acceptance of Moshiach
out of the abstract and made it real for the Chasidim and for the world outside.
The cover title of the book, "And He will redeem us--V'hu Yigaleinu"
is a reference to the concluding words of the Rebbe's first chasidic discourse
in 1951, marking his ascent to leadership. In it the Rebbe mapped out an
agenda, a strategy, and a course of events which would be our guiding light
for the forty four years of his leadership, up to and including the Redemption
Before that discourse, during the year following the passing of the Previous
Rebbe, the Rebbe taught us the approach and the language with which to deal
with our current situation: "The Rebbe is alive." "He certainly was aware
of everything and certainly took care of everything."
* * *
The Torah says, "And they believed in G-d and in Moshe His servant" (Shemos,
14:31). The Midrash explains that belief in Moshe is an expression
of belief in Hashem. The Zohar relates that an extension of Moshe
exists in each generation. The Moshe in our generation, the Rebbe, has been
teaching us and guiding us for over 44 years.
During this 44-year period, we trusted the Rebbe, even when matters in the
world appeared otherwise. At each interval, the world repeatedly saw how
every aspect of the Rebbe's vision miraculously became fulfilled. The Rebbe
made it clear, not only that Redemption is imminent, but that he himself
will be the one to guide its progress. We continue to have trust and confidence
in the Rebbe's vision that we will witness the actualization of Redemption
in its complete and ultimate expression, in the immediate future.
* * *
Part one of this volume looks to the written record of the Rebbe's talks
to establish the Rebbe's own responses to the most basic questions about
Part two details the progression of the Rebbe's responses to those who were
most active in spreading the Rebbe's message. From a time when speaking about
the identity of Moshiach was discouraged as being premature, except in the
most intimate of gatherings among chasidim, to the time where the Rebbe expressed
encouragement to its most public dissemination.
Part three comprises a photographic essay in which we chronicle the Rebbe's
ability to connect every aspect of Jewish life to Moshiach. This section
has been greatly expanded in the current edition over the Hebrew edition
which preceded it.
The final section is a collection of articles and talks by various personalities
within the Chabad movement highlighting their personal response to recent
events. These represent their personal, view, and are, as varied as individuals
differ. However, they all share one common theme: Our current state of affairs
is only temporary, "for a short moment I have left you alone," like the moment
when the moon completely disappears before it is reborn.
* * *
The Hebrew edition of this volume was received with great enthusiasm and,
by all reports, served to clarify matters for a good number of people within
and beyond the Lubavitch movement. Hopefully, this work will similarly benefit
the English reading public.
While every effort has been made to present the Rebbe's words precisely,
the reader should realize the inherent limitations of any translation. All
inaccuracies are the sole responsibility of the editorial staff. It should
also be noted that the compilation of this book is our sole responsibility
and does not represent the views of any particular organization or group.
Many thanks are due to those who worked diligently on original articles and
on the translation and editing of the material. Our particular gratitude
to Rabbi Eli and Yehudis Cohen, for their relentless dedication and devotion,
to have this book prepared in the finest quality, and in the most efficient
manner. We would also like to thank the proprietors and staff of Mendelsohn
Press for their assistance at every stage.
Chayalei Beis Dovid
Chai Elul, 5754
44th year of the Rebbe
Melech HaMoshiach's leadership