It has been said often of late that according to all the signs we are situated
in the "year that the King Moshiach will be revealed." (This
is in addition to the calculation that we are in the afternoon of the eve
of the Sabbath, which began in the year 5751.) These signs
are represented by the widely known initials of this year, "It will be a
year when I will show him wonders," particularly since throughout this year
we have seen (and we will continue to see) many incidents that can be
characterized as "wonders." Moreover, each one of these wonders could be
described as a "wonder" even in relation to the preceding "wonder," that
is, a wonder which continues to evoke a new sense of amazement as compared
to the previous wonder.
Among the wonders there is also a "wonder" that has occurred in these last
few days: A gathering of Chassidim and emissaries in Russia! People gathered
from various places and countries in the city of Lubavitch, with the intention,
among other things, to make a pilgrimage to the holy resting places of our
Rebbes and leaders there, including the holy graveside of my father, master
and teacher, of blessed memory (whose yahrtzeit is the 20th of Av, a day
blessed from this Sabbath). Additionally, they will be convening in Moscow,
the capital of Russia, to discuss and consult with one another ("Each man
will assist his fellow," imbued with the spirit of love and
unity, "as one person with one heart"), and to pass resolutions
to increase with greater intensity and vigor in the dissemination of Torah
and Judaism and the wellsprings of Torah to the farthest reaches of that
country and the entire world. May it be G-d's will that the convention should
be blessed with outstanding success, endowed with an exponential
increase of infinite proportions. That this country that waged
an incessant struggle against the activities of my sainted father-in-law,
the leader of this generation (as well as the activities of my father, whose
yahrtzeit is the 20th of Av) to disseminate Torah and the wellsprings of
Torah, should now host and honor his disciples and emissaries and those who
follow in his path in the dissemination of Torah and the wellsprings of Torah
to the remotest reaches, must be classified as a "wonder."
These "wonders" awaken us and underscore that imminently we will see the
greatest wonder, the true and complete Redemption, "As in the days of your
departure from Egypt I will show him wonders." This will be
a "wonder" even in comparison with the events of the Exodus from
In practical terms:
Since we are standing on the threshold of the true and complete Redemption
where everything will manifest itself in an unbounded manner, one must have
a "foretaste" (as is the custom to "taste a little of every
dish" on the eve of Sabbath) of the infinite nature of the
revelations of Redemption, by a commensurate unrestrained increase in matters
of Torah and Mitzvos.
More specifically, there should be an increase in the study of Torah (to
"augment the nights to the days in the preoccupation with
Torah). This includes both the revealed as well as the inner
dimensions of Torah, including the study of Ein Ya'akov, an anthology of
the Aggadic parts of Torah, in which "the majority of the
Torah's secrets are hidden." The greatest emphasis should
be placed on the study of the inner dimension of Torah, in accordance with
the teaching of the Arizal (whose yahrtzeit is on the fifth of Menachem-Av)
that "in these later generations, it is permissible and even mandatory that
we reveal this [esoteric] wisdom." This is particularly true
now that once these heretofore-secret teachings were elucidated and made
accessible to each and every Jew in the teachings of Chassidus.
There should be an even greater emphasis on an increase in the study of matters
concerning the Redemption, in both the revealed parts of the Torah,
especially Rambam's work which comprises all the laws relating to Redemption,
e.g., the laws of the Temple (which is studied currently in the period of
the Three Weeks) as well as the laws of The Kings and their Wars and the
King Moshiach - and the inner dimension of Torah. Study of the inner dimension
of Torah in general hastens the Redemption: "With this work of yours (the
teachings of R. Shimon Bar Yochai - the author of the Zohar)... they
will emerge from exile with mercy." However, study of the
inner dimension of Torah's treatment of Redemption has an added advantage.
Ideally, these learning sessions should be conducted in a manner of "Ten
people (a quorum) sitting (i.e., they are established) preoccupied (in a
manner of one conducting "business") in the study of Torah."
...An additional lesson and directive concerning Redemption can be derived
also from the beginning of the third chapter of Pirkei Avos: "Look
at three things:"
The term "three things" standing by itself can be a suggestion of the third
Redemption and the third Holy Temple, a threefold Redemption and a threefold
Holy Temple, because they comprise the virtues of both the first Redemption
and the second, the first Temple and the second. Furthermore, the twosome
features will be combined as one.
The imperative, "look," implies gazing intently, by deeply reflecting and
contemplating matters concerning the third Redemption and
the third Beis Hamikdash ("three things"), imbued with feelings of anticipation
and exceptional yearning, "I anticipate his coming every day,"
implying that he will come every day, this day, literally. How much more
so, now that we stand on the threshold of Redemption, that the gazing at
these three matters is increased and done with more vigor.
The suggestion can be made that the one's reflection on matters of the third
Redemption and third Holy Temple ("three matters") has the capacity to effect
completeness to all of our efforts within the "three pillars" - the three
modes of expression, Torah, service (prayer) and
loving-kindness whose fulfillment is through the three "garments"
of the soul, thought, speech and action. When one's thoughts are directed
towards the three redemptions one's Divine service is unbounded and therefore
beyond division. Without the limits and boundaries which delineate and divide,
one attains perfection in all of the three modes.
(From the talk of Shabbos Parshas Vo'eschanan,
Shabbos Nachamu, 16 Menachem Av, 5751)
1. Yalkut Shimoni 499.
2. See Sefer HaSichos, 5750, vol. 1, p. 254. See there for cross
3. Yeshayahu 41:6.
4. Rashi, Yisro 19:2.
5. "One who increases, shall be increased" - Ta'anis, at the end.
6. Michah 7:15.
7. See Or HaTorah, Nach on this verse (p. 487). See there for cross
8. Shulchan Aruch of the Alter Rebbe, Orach Chaim, end of sec. 250
9. Rashi, end of Ta'anis.
10. [Aggadah is the non-legal, inspirational portions of the Talmud.
11. Tanya, Igeres HaKodesh, sec. 23.
12. Op cit., sec. 26 (142).
13. Zohar III, 124b, in Raya Mehemna, cited and elucidated
in Igeres Hakodesh, ibid.
14. Avos 3:6.
15 See Shulcahn Aruch, Admor Hazaken, Orach Chaim, sec. 128:36, and
in other places.
16. The text of "Ani Ma'amin" published in prayer books etc. See Likkutei
Sichos, vol. 23, p. 394.
17. Avos 1:2.
18. In a similar vein, with regard to "keeping from evil" one is precluded
from evil, as a matter of course, without a need to actively engage in negating
evil, as the Mishneh continues: "And you will not come to the hands of sin."
The expression "and you will not come" implies that it will not take
effort. The usage of the term "hands of sin," implies further, that
even matters that are not inherently sinful, but could lead to sin (such
as satisfying permissible desires), are automatically dismissed because of
one's reflection on matters of Redemption. This is analogous to the way things
will be in the Messianic Era. As the Rambam rules (in the end and seal of
his work "Mishneh Torah") that "in that time ... all delights will be as
abundant as the dust of the earth." His choice of the word "dust" implies
that it will have no significance to us, inasmuch as "all of the preoccupation
of the world will be exclusively to know G-d."