Rabbi Shmuel Butman
Published and Copyright 1995, by:
International Campaign To Bring Moshiach
820 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11213 USA
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This book deals with contemporary issues, among them:
The book treats these and fourteen (14) other topics in great and fascinating detail. It also touches upon the history of the "Moshiach Movement," its purpose, its goal, where and how it began.
This book also proves the particular relevance of Moshiach to every single individual, regardless of Race, Religion, Color or Creed.
One can not possibly remain INDIFFERENT to this book, It's a must for every truth-seeking individual.
The Table of Contents contains links to the text. Click on an entry in the Table of Contents and you will move to the information selected.
"Just as until now it was clear to every one of us that the Rebbe would lead us to greet our righteous Moshiach, so should it be clear now. What happened is only from our material point of view. It is nothing more than a trial, this being one of the tests of the birth-pangs of Moshiach which will need to occur before the arrival of the righteous redeemer. The sole purpose of these tests is to conceal the truth [of the workings of G-d in the world].
"This leaves us with a need to understand why the Torah requires us now to say Kaddish, and [similar mourning practices].
"The intent of the test 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 teaching). 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--February 25, 1950)
"Who is Moshiach?
"I will not be troubled if one will translate 'Moshiach' literally, i.e. the righteous Moshiach, since that is indeed the truth. The leader of the generation is in fact Moshiach of the generation."
(Eve of Simchas Torah 5746--October 27, 1985)
"May we actually merit (the Redemption) immediately [miyad] with all the meanings of 'miyad.' This also includes the acronym of the leaders of generations in a general sense, Moshe, Yisroel (the Baal Shem Tov), and Dovid (King Moshiach)."
In footnote 148, the Rebbe inserts: "And more specifically pertaining to our generation, the acronym of 'MiYaD' indicates the three eras of the Rebbe, my father-in-law, leader of our generation, [See Shabbos Vaeira 5752 ch. 10], from the most recent in order: Moshiach (whose name is Menachem), Yosef Yitzchok, Dovber (the second name of the Rebbe Rashab)."
(Shabbos Mishpatim, 5752--February 1, 1992)
"The King Moshiach . . . stands atop the roof of the Holy Temple and announces to Israel, 'Humble ones, the time of your Redemption has arrived'--as has been announced and is being announced lately . . . This announcement is coming from the diaspora . . ."
(Shabbos Chayei Soroh, 5751--November 10, 1990)
"Beis Rabeinu ['the house of our Rebbe'] has the address '770'. Indeed, it has come to be called by the name '770' by all Israel. This number is in fact the numerical value of [the Hebrew word] 'Poratzta' [a Biblical word meaning "you have jumped out"]. Our rabbis interpret this to be a reference to Moshiach himself, as it states 'the Poretz [jumper, one who breaks boundaries, said of Peretz, ancestor of Moshiach] will rise up before us'.
"It should be notes that 'Beis Moshiach' [house of Moshiach] also possesses this numerical value of 'Poratzta'--770."
(Kuntres Beis Rabeinu Shab'bavel)
"At the time of the arrival of Melech HaMoshiach [King Moshiach], he will stand on the rooftop of the Holy Temple and announce to Israel, "Humble ones, the time of your Redemption has arrived!' This 'roof of the Holy Temple' refers to the miniature sanctuary of the diasporas which substitutes for the Temple of Jerusalem."
(Footnote 38 of the above.)
"Moshiach Tzidkeinu [our Righteous Moshiach], the emissary regarding whom it was said [by Moses as he petitioned the Almighty], 'Please send the one whom You will eventually send,' namely, the [previous] Rebbe, leader of our generation. This likewise applies to his successor, the continuation and extension [of his leadership] after him."
(Sichos Kodesh 5752 vol. 1, pg. 318)
"We are talking about the Moshiach of the generation, or the actual Moshiach, the long-awaited Redeemer?
"Our generation is the final generation of Golus and the first generation of the Geulah . . ."
(Shabbos Vayigash, 5751--December 22, 1990)
"Moshiach himself is literally present, existing now in the world. As it is known, 'In every generation, there is someone born from the seed of Yehuda who is worthy of being Moshiach, Redeemer of the Jews' (the quintessential point of the general soul of Israel) . . . If only negative factors would not mix in to impede and withhold, etc., he would reveal himself and actually come.
"Now, according to the announcement of the Rebbe, my father-in-law, leader of our generation, Moshiach of our generation, that all areas of our Divine service throughout Golus have been completed and perfected, we are standing ready to greet the righteous Moshiach. This means that all impediments and obstacles have been nullified. As such, not only is ôhe actual bodily existence of Moshiach here, but also the revelation of Moshiach. Now, all one needs to do is actually greet and accept Moshiach!"
(Shabbos Vayeira, 5752, ch. 14--October 26, 1991)
"We actually see how the [ruling of Maimonides that Moshiach] 'will wage the war of Hashem' has been fulfilled and [the second part of that ruling about the certain Moshiach] 'and he will be victorious' has also been and is being fulfilled in many respects."
(Shabbos Chayei Soroh, 5752, ch. 13--November 2, 1991)
"Once we already have [in the words of the Rambam] the 'king from the House of David, deeply absorbed in the study of Torah and occupied with mitzvos, like his ancestor David . . . and he will prevail upon all Jews to walk in [the way of the Torah] and repair its breaches, and will wage the war of Hashem . . .,' so [since we already have all the above] he is rightfully presumed to be Moshiach [b'chezkas shehu Moshiach], we should thus immediately merit that he already become Moshiach b'vadai [definitely Moshiach]."
(Shabbos Shemos, 5752, ch. 14--December 28, 1991)
"Thus it is important to realize the ruling of Jewish law also for our times (even before the Redemption), that the revelation of prophecy does exist (for Moshiach, even prior to the Redemption) . . ."
(Shabbos Shoftim, 5751--August 17, 1991)
"We see in recent years how the verse 'and Moshe gathered . . . the Jews' is occurring literally--the ingathering of the exiles of Jews from all over the world, who are returning to the Holy Land. The [current number of] aliyos [Jews ascending to the Land of Israel] is incomparably greater than those of previous generations."
(Shabbos Vayakhel, 5752--February 29, 1991)
". . . There is nothing left to wait for any longer, since [the Jewish people] have already completed all areas of Divine service and have done teshuva. It is now solely up to the coming of Moshiach himself."
(6th of Cheshvan, 5752--October 14, 1991)
"What is our task?
"There only needs to be the acceptance of his [Moshaich's] kingship by the people, and the devotion and attachment between the king and the people in a most revealed sense."
(Shabbos Mishpatim, 5751, ch. 10--February 9, 1991)
"[The instruction is] to proclaim and publicize everywhere, using sincere words, that Hashem tells every single Jew (through His servants, the prophets): 'Look! I am placing before you a blessing!', and that literally today we shall see the blessing of the true and complete Redemption with physical eyes."
(Shabbos Re'eh, 5751, ch. 11--August 10, 1991)
"We must publicize to all people of the generation, that we have merited that Hashem has chosen and appointed a human being, one who possesses free choice, to fill the role of judge and advisor and the prophet of the generation, to issue directives and give advice . . .
"And everyone must publicize his most essential prophecy, the prophecy of 'Immediate Redemption!' and right away, 'Behold! Here comes Moshiach!' "
(Shabbos Shoftim, 5751--August 17, 1991)
"The essential thing is we should have this in actuality; moreover, [the truth is that] we indeed have it already, in past tense. This is especially true in light of the well-known adage of our Rebbes [of Chabad who said that the news] of Moshiach's coming would appear in the newspapers. Indeed, this has recently been fulfilled quite literally, as it has recently been fulfilled quite literally, as it has been publicized in various newspapers worldwide (and they should continue publicizing it even more) that 'Behold! He (Melech HaMoshiach) is coming!', and immediately [they will herald] 'He has already come!' literally and in fact."
(Shabbos Nitzovim, 5751, ch. 12--September 7, 1991)
"What is relevant to action is that despite the turmoil [surrounding the anticipation of Moshiach] lately this year, the year of 'I will show you wonders' [niflaos arenu, acrostic for 5751], and despite have witnessed the wonders which attest to the fact that this year is indeed 'the year in which Melech HaMoshiach is revealed,' nonetheless we see that it is difficult to internalize this awareness and recognition, that we are literally standing at the threshold of the Messianic era, to the extent that one begins to 'live' with Moshiach and Redemption [as part of one's daily life] . . .
"The suggestion for this is the study of Torah on the topics of Moshiach and the Redemption. For it is within the ability of Torah (Hashem's Wisdom, beyond the natural boundaries of the world) to transform human nature. It is possible that one may be, heaven-forfend, 'outside' and far-removed from the concept of Redemption, as far as one's own perception is concerned, (since he has not yet emerged from his own internal exile). Yet, through Torah study in the topics of Redemption, he uplifts himself to a 'Redemption state of mind,' and begins to 'live' with the concept of Redemption, amidst the realization and cognizance that 'Behold, here he comes!' "
(Shabbos Balak, 17th of Tammuz, 5751, ch. 10--June 29, 1991)
"Therefore, the final effort of every single Jew to bring Moshiach is necessary. Simply put, . . . [this means through] Torah study in the areas which discuss Melech HaMoshiach and the redemption, as explained and expounded upon in countless places . . . and particularly the study of Chasidus (as through 'the dissemination of your wellsprings abroad, the master, Melech HaMoshiach, will come') in the teachings of our Rebbes, and specifically the teachings (Maamarim and Likutei Sichos) of the leader of the generation. This is a sampling, foretaste, and preparation for the study of the teachings of Moshiach, 'A new Torah will issue forth from Me'."
(Shabbos Tazria-Metzorah, 5751, ch. 12--April 20, 1991)
"Furthermore, since they have completed their shlichus [mission], every shliach [emissary of the Rebbe] approaches the true Sender, the Almighty, and informs Him: 'I have done my shlichus, and now the time has arrived for You to do Your shlichus, as it were . . . 'Shlach na b'yad tishlach!'--Send us Moshiach Tzidkeinu literally and actually!"
(Shabbos Chayei Soroh, 5752, ch. 15--November 2, 1991)
"Every shliach must prepare himself and prepare all the Jews of his neighborhood, city, etc., to greet the righteous Moshiach. [This is done] through explaining the concept of Moshiach, as discussed in the Written and Oral Torah, in a way that each and every individual can relate to, according to his understanding. This especially includes studying [with him] topics in Torah which discuss Moshiach and Redemption, in a way of chochma, bina, and da'as [wisdom, comprehension, and knowledge].
"Does all this apply now as well?
"The Rebbe, who descends from the House of Dovid . . ., he bore our maladies . . . Speedily in our days, he will redeem his flock from both the spiritual and physical exile . . . Then, we will merit to see and be together with the Rebbe down here in a physical body, and he will redeem us!"
(Maamar Basi L'gani, 5711)
". . . the Rebbe, my father-in-law, should come, in a physical body, and take us out of exile!
"Although in chronological order, the advent of Moshiach will precede techiyas hamaisim [the Resurrection], special individuals will nonetheless be resurrected prior to Moshiach's coming.
"And first and foremost, the Rebbe, my father-in-law, will once again enclothe himself in [his] body, and return. (In reality, it makes no difference how he comes, whether through the door, through the window, or through the roof . . .) He will then gather all the Jewish people together and proclaim, 'The time has come to leave exile! Come, let us go to our Holy Land!' "
(2nd day of Shavuos, 5710, unedited--May 23, 1950)
"People have asked me, how can I say that 'there will soon be the [Resurrection, concerning which it states], "Awake and give praise, those who rest in the dust," and [then] the Rebbe will lead us out of exile'? This is contrary to the sequential order of events . . .!
"The answer is that although chronologically, the coming of Moshiach precedes techiyas hamaisim. . ., nevertheless the Resurrection of certain individuals has occurred in the past [as we find such phenomena in various places in Prophets] and will yet occur, prior to Moshiach's coming."
(Likutei Sichos, vol. 2, pg. 517)
"Our generation is the final generation of exile and the first generation of the Redemption. As the Rebbe, my father-in-law . . . has announced and informed us various times, we have completed everything, and now we must only greet the righteous Moshiach in actuality. It is thus self-understood, that if a histalkus [passing] has occurred in the interim, as transpired on the 22nd of Shevat, four years ago (5748) [the passing of Rebetzin Chaya Mushka o.b.m.], its sole purpose is to accomplish the remaining aliyah [ascent, generally referring to a spiritual transcendence], the aliyah of the true and complete Redemption."
(Shabbos Yisro, 5752, ch. 3--January 25, 1992)
"There needs to be an increase in life, through the action of the people who proclaim 'Yechi HaMelech!' ['May the king live!']. For the meaning of this proclamation is that the time has come for [the Resurrection, regarding which it states] 'Awake and give praise, those who rest in the dust,' of the Rebbe, my father-in-law, the leader of our generation, and up to and including the 'raise up and sing' of David King Moshiach!"
(2nd of Nissan, 5748, ch. 5--March 20, 1988)
"What will the world say?
"One may wonder, 'What will the world say if a Jew performs his Divine service . . . particularly trying to speed the Redemption?' 'Seemingly,' he argues, '[in order to succeed,] one must take into consideration how the world will view it.'
"The answer is that the world is ready and prepared! When a Jew goes about his Divine service properly, rising beyond all limitations and constraints, yet doing so in a way that [his service] can be enclothed in the vestments of nature, he will see how the world, nature, and gentiles, are indeed aiding him in his service."
(Shabbos Korach, 3rd of Tammuz, 5751, ch. 12--June 15, 1991)
"The lesson from the above-mentioned [episode of the Jews' refusing to allow Moshe Rabeinu to ascend to Mt. Nevo for his demise] is the extent of the hiskashrus [devotion and attachment] we must have to the leader of our generation: we must have a tenacious and relentless desire that the Nasi of our generation should accompany us, souls in [his] physical body, to the Land of Israel, in the true and complete Redemption through the righteous Moshiach.
"As regards that which occurred in the year 5710 [the passing of the previous Rebbe], . . . we are immediately going to merit the fulfillment of the Messianic promise, 'Awake and give praise, those who rest in the dust,' as stated in Zohar, that Tzadikim and Jewish generational leaders will arise immediately . . .
"Some people ask in amazement, 'How can you say such radically wild statements?'
"The answer is two-fold: Firstly, since we currently find ourselves in a 'wild' period of time, when darkness enshrouds the earth, . . . it is necessary to say 'wild' things . . . Secondly, and essentially, this is no 'wild' matter at all! Every Jew says it in prayer every day . . . Moreover, it is one of the thirteen fundamentals of faith . . . [As the Rambam writes concerning Moshiach] 'Anyone who does not believe in him, or does not anticipate his coming, is not only rejecting the Prophets, but is rejecting the Torah and Moshe Rabeinu!' After all this, why the astonishment and wonder that we are speaking about the fulfillment of the promise 'Awake and give praise, those who rest in the dust'? 'How can one possibly say that such statements are 'wild'!? . . .
"When the gentiles 'will hear all your mitzvos, [when they will observe you proudly representing Judaism and advocating the basic tenet of Judaism]' they will exclaim, 'What a wise and sagacious people this great nation is!' [Devarim 4, 6] (and particularly when the Jew speaks sincerely and from his heart). This is certainly true with regard to the 'foreign G-d [evil inclination] inside [each of] you!' "
(Shabbos Ha'azinu, 5746, unedited--September 28, 1985)
"With this inspiration, with the strength of Moshe, they [chassidim] are able to walk to the synagogues and to explain to the Jews whom they meet there, that in fact 'Moshe did not die,' and that nothing has changed, except that it has left a possibility for [questions] to be raised.
"If they accept this, fine. What if they have queries or arguments? When a young pupil asks a question to which his teacher does not know an answer, the teacher [sometimes] punishes the child, saying, 'When you grow up, you'll understand!' . . .
"This is how one must respond to a Jew who asks questions. "This is the fact, whether you understand it or not!"
(Simchas Torah, 5711, unedited--October 4, 1950)
Since the tragic event of 3 Tammuz, many have asked questions: How can you still say that the Rebbe is Moshiach? Isn't that a non-Jewish belief? Furthermore, who says that another great Tzaddik such as the Baal Shem Tov cannot be the Moshiach?
Some ask why continue now the Moshiach campaign? Others want to know why we cannot "live and let live," waiting for people to approach us about Moshiach.
We have always welcomed sincere questions. The only way to dispose of a question is not by suppressing or ridiculing it (or the one who asks it), but by answering it.
The following is one of the questions most frequently asked and the answer offered. This has also appeared in The Jewish Press.
Until recently, the subject of Moshiach has rarely been studied in depth. It is only thanks to the Rebbe that there is now so much interest in the subject of Moshiach, and consequently a new harvest of Moshiach literature.
The Rosh HaYeshiva of Central Yeshiva Tomchei Tmimim Lubavitch, the renowned Gaon Rabbi Yisroel Yitzchak Piekarsky, z"l, once told me: "Everything is written; you just have to know where to find it!" Therefore, if you have a question about Moshiach, don't get discouraged (G-d forbid). Look for the answer and you will find it.
The Rebbe's Maamarim and Sichos, (Discourses and Talks) especially of the years 1950-1951 and 1991-1992, are full of teachings and explanations of the subject of Moshiach, many of them specifically addressing the present situation.
May G-d have mercy upon us all and send us the Geula (Redemption), and may the Rebbe take us out of exile immediately.
10 Shevat, 5755
45 years of the leadership
of the Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach
How can Lubavitch Chassidim continue to believe that the Rebbe is Moshiach after the tragic event of 3 Tammuz? And, isn't that a non-Jewish belief?
Many Torah sources refer to Moshiach rising from the dead, starting with the Talmud (Sanhedrin 98b): "Rav said 'If he [Moshiach] is from the living, [then he is] like Rabbeinu Hakadosh [Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi]; if he is from the dead, [then he is] like Daniel, the delightful one.' "
RaShI, the basic Talmudic commentary, explains: "If Moshiach is from those who are alive now, [then] surely he is Rabbeinu Hakadosh [Rabbi Yehuda HaNassi], who suffers sicknesses and is an absolute saint . . . If he is from those who have already died, [then] he is Daniel, the delightful one, who was condemned to suffer in the lions' den and was an absolute saint."
In other words, according to RaShI, the conditions for one to become Moshiach, besides descent from King David, are a) that he has experienced physical suffering (based on the passage in the Talmud immediately preceding the above one, quoting Isaiah 53:4, that Moshiach "has borne our sickness and suffered our pain"), and b) that he be a perfect saint. Both conditions were fulfilled in Rabbi Yehuda HaNassi and in Daniel.
MaHaRSha, a later fundamental commentary, comments that these descendants of King David--Rabbeinu Hakadosh and Daniel--are specified as candidates for Moshiach because they had already been leaders of the Jews of their generation during the period of exile, as the Torah says (Genesis 49:10): "The scepter [of rulership] shall not depart from [the tribe of] Yehuda." Another authoritative commentary, Be'er Sheva, gives the same reason for Rav Nachman (a later Babylonian sage) saying, in the above Talmudic passage, quoting a Scriptural verse (Jeremiah 30:21) to prove that if Moshiach is one of those living in his time, it would be he.
In other words, besides the conditions specified by RaShI, MaHaRShA and Be'er Sheva commentaries emphasize that Moshiach will be one who has been a leader of the Jews of his generation, as were Rav Nachman, Rabbi Yehuda HaNassi and Daniel.
The Rebbe has fulfilled all these conditions . . .
THE RULING OF THE RAMBAM
This helps reconcile Moshiach's arising from the dead with RaMBaM's ruling at the end of his monumental Mishneh Torah code of Jewish law (Hilchos Melachim 11:4)--the only code to detail the Halachic rules concerning the identity and rise of Moshiach and the later Messianic era: "If a king shall arise from the House of David . . . " This might seem to imply that the Moshiach must be a ruler who is one "of the living."
The scholars who would prepare the Rebbe's public addresses for publication once understood him to have substantiated this implication, but he corrected their suggested transcript to read: "This means that he [Moshiach] has already ruled" (Sefer Hasichos 5751, p. 496, note 66; see a facsimile of the Rebbe's correction in Tzaddik Lamelech). In other words, RaMBaM rules that whoever Moshiach will be--whether "from the living" or "from the dead"--he must be one who has exercised leadership over fellow Jews during his lifetime.
Previously, the same Talmudic passage (Sanhedrin 98a) explains that although Moshiach has to come not later than a pre-ordained time, nevertheless, if our merit is sufficient, his arrival will be hastened. The Talmud continues that, if our merit is sufficient, then Moshiach will come in a supernatural manner ("with the heavenly clouds"--Daniel 7:13), whereas if our merit is insufficient, then he will come in a natural manner ("a poor man riding on a donkey"--Zechariah 9:9).
Based on the Talmud quoted above, the Sdei Chemed--an encyclopedic work by the renowned Halachic authority Rabbi Chaim Chizkiya Medini--quotes approvingly (Pe'as Hasadeh, Maareches Ha'alef, 70) a long letter by Rabbi Aryeh Leib Lipkin (grandson of "Hagahos Ben Aryeh" published in Vilna ShaS), where he explains--among other fascinating points concerning the ultimate Redemption--that if we have sufficient merit, then Moshiach will be "from the dead"!
REVEALED, CONCEALED, REVEALED
The Midrash (Bamidbar Rabba 11:3) says that the future Redeemer will be revealed, then concealed, then revealed again. This is quoted by Rabbeinu Bachayei and by the Chasam Sofer on the Torah (both at end of Parshas Shmos). The latter writes: "This is a great test that the Redeemer is concealed [Moshe] . . . and so it will be at the time of our righteous Moshiach [that] he will be concealed after [his] revelation, as mentioned in the Midrash."
From the Zohar (Shmos 8b)--as explained in Zohar Harakiya and Shaar Hagilgulim (ch. 13, both by the ARI-Zal, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, one of the greatest Kabbalists)--it is clear that the man designated to be Moshiach is born naturally in this world, then the soul of Moshiach in the heavenly "Garden of Eden" is bestowed upon him so that he realizes that he is Moshiach, then he becomes concealed, ascending to heaven, and only afterwards is he revealed to the full extent, the whole Jewish people recognizing him as Moshiach.
We see here three stages in the revelation of Moshiach: a) revelation, b) concealment, c) final full revelation.
The Midrash Pesikta Rabbasi (37, quoted in Yalkut Shimoni 499 on Isaiah 60) states: "At that time G-d will raise Moshiach up to the highest heavens and spread over him the radiance of His glory"--after Moshiach has already suffered in this world, as is clear from the context.
KING MOSHIACH AMONG THOSE WHO ARISE
The great Torah commentator and philosopher, Don Yitzchak Abarbanel (1437-1508), who wrote three lengthy works about the Scriptural prophecies and our Sages' sayings concerning Moshiach and the Geula, writes in Yeshuos Meshicho (Jerusalem, 5753, p.104) that it is possible that Moshiach will be taken from this world and brought into the heavenly "Garden of Eden," continuing: "You should not find it difficult [to understand] that the King Moshiach will be among those who arise in the Resurrection," quoting the above Talmudic passage (Sanhedrin 98b) as proof that this can be so. Here we see the same three stages of revelation, concealment and revelation.
Note that Abarbanel (whom the Tzemach Tzedek, 1789-1866, called "the great sage who is perfect in his opinions"--Derech Mitzvosecha, p. 88) wrote this long after RaMBaM's aforementioned ruling concerning the identity and rise of the Moshiach, proving that he did not see that ruling as any contradiction to the possibility of the Moshiach rising "from the dead."
THE REBBE'S OWN WORDS . . .
However, it is crucial to note that Chassidim do not propound their own beliefs. As Chassidim--devoted disciples of their Rebbe--their beliefs are based firmly upon the Rebbe's own words:
Starting immediately after the previous Rebbe's passing on 10 Shevat, 1950, and often repeated over the following 42 years, the Rebbe emphasized that the previous Rebbe is still with us and will arise and take us out of exile.
A prime example of this is the Rebbe's first Maamar (official discourse), upon accepting leadership of Chabad-Lubavitch on 10 Shevat, 1951. After explaining at length how his task as the seventh Rebbe is to bring Moshiach, he concludes: ". . . As it says about Moshiach . . . and my father-in-law, the Rebbe, who "has borne our sicknesses and suffered our pains, and he was wounded by our sins and crushed by our misdeeds" [Isaiah 53:4, which refers to Moshiach--see Sanhedrin 98b] . . . Speedily in our days . . . he will redeem his flock from both spiritual and material exile . . . and may we be privileged to see and meet the Rebbe down here in a physical body, and he will redeem us!"
From here and many other places in the Rebbe's works, including many that he edited for publication, it is clear that he considered the previous Rebbe, despite his physical passing from this world, to be the Moshiach.
A TZADDIK RULES ON HIMSELF
Often the Rebbe has said (see Likkutei Sichos VI, p. 283; this is well-known among other Chassidim, too, in the name of great Chassidic leaders) that whatever a great Tzaddik states concerning the spiritual level of another Tzaddik is also true about himself, for only one on the same or higher level can appreciate and grasp that level of spiritual greatness.
This, shows that the Rebbe is educating our generation on how we should view the present situation . . .
The Rebbe publicly responded to questions on this subject on 13 Shevat, 1951, writing into the transcript the following words: (Likkutei Sichos II, p. 517-8):
THE REBBE WILL LEAD US OUT OF EXILE
"I have been asked why I say that the verse [Isaiah 26:19] 'Arise and sing those who dwell in the dust' will be fulfilled soon, with him [the previous Rebbe] among them, and the Rebbe will lead us out of exile. Isn't the correct order [a] arrival of the Moshiach, [b] era of the Moshiach, and only later [c] resurrection of the dead? This is also the order quoted in [Chabad] Chassidus.
"The reply to this is that although, generally speaking, the order is [a] arrival of the Mashiach, [b] rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdash, [c] ingathering of the exiles, [d] resurrection of the dead, nevertheless there has been and will be resurrection from the dead of individuals also before then, and there are a number of well-known cases in the Gemara and Midrashim, and of Tzaddikim who resurrected the dead, as our Rabbis say: 'The smallest among you [Torah scholars] can resurrect the dead!' (Avoda Zara 10b)."
IN THE REBBE'S OWN HANDWRITING . . .
It is amazing that this portion of the transcript was recorded by the Rebbe himself in his own handwriting. During his 44 years years of leadership, the Rebbe has delivered thousands upon thousands of public addresses. For an entire part of such an address to be recorded completely by the Rebbe in his own handwriting is a great rarity.
The Rebbe often edited the transcripts of his talks that were committed to writing by the Chassidim. But for the Rebbe to record an entire portion of an address in his own handwriting is very rare.
The reason for this could be that the Rebbe, in his Divine inspiration, wanted to make this clear in the boldest possible manner. Can anything be clearer and bolder than the Rebbe's own handwriting?
Furthermore, it is striking that the manuscript was not known to the public for forty years (forty years!). Only during the past two years before 3 Tammuz has the facsimile of this manuscript been published, by Divine providence, making it available to the public.
Let it be said clearly and unequivocally: The belief that the Rebbe will come back to physical life and take us out of exile did not originate with Lubavitch Chassidim. Lubavitch Chassidim throughout the world are merely repeating what the Rebbe already said and wrote!
To those who still question this belief, we say: "Whom have you taunted and blasphemed and against whom have you raised your voice and lifted up your eyes on high--against the Holy One of Israel?" (Kings II 19:22).
To quote the Rebbe himself just three weeks after his father-in-law's passing (Shabbos Teruma, 5710--February 25, 1950): "Just as until now it was clear to every one of us that the Rebbe would lead us to greet our righteous Moshiach, so should it be clear now. The [occurrence] that happened is only from our material perspective. It is no more than a 'test,' one of the trials of the era of the 'birth-pangs' of Moshiach which have to happen 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 this world]."
In retrospect, we see that the Rebbe was speaking not only about 1950 but, perhaps more significantly, about 1994! The Rebbe, again, is giving us clear instructions of how to deal with 3 Tammuz . . .
RELY ON REBBE
It is interesting to note a statement by Rabbi Yehuda Kalman Marlow, head of the Beth Din of Crown Hehights, and Rabbi Yitzchak Hendel, Rabbi of the Lubavitch community of Montreal, concerning this matter:
". . . The Rebbe is known for his righteousness and extraordinary scholarship in all areas of the Torah, especially in Divine inspiration--that the Halacha is like him. It is therefore clear that all his words are in accordance with and based upon our holy Torah and and it is proper to rely upon him and we need not even seek any source for his words."
In addition, the Rebbe often quoted the Zohar (I 140a) that saintly individuals will arise at the moment of the ultimate Redemption. We see an example of this in the Talmud (Yoma 5b) that Moshe, Aharon and his sons will have been resurrected when the Beis Hamikdash will be rebuilt.
The RITVO (Rabbi Yom Tov ben Avraham Asevilli, d. 1320), in his classic Talmud commentary (Rosh Hashana 16b), writes: "There will be another resurrection of the dead in the time of the Moshiach, for the Jewish righteous who died in exile, that they will come to life and be fully normal members of this world . . . "
TWO STAGES IN TECHIYAS HAMAISIM
The RaDBaZ (Rabbi David ibn Zimra, c. 1480-1573) writes (Responsa III, 1079): ". . . Concerning the resurrection . . . all my life I have been pained by this until I saw the words of the RITVO o.b.m., in the name of his teachers, that there will be two resurrections: One will be limited, for the righteous who died in the exile, and it will be close to the coming of the Moshiach; they will be privileged to live through the era of the Moshiach with [both] a body and a soul, and they will witness the well-being of the Jewish people and the rebuilding of the Sanctuary . . . The other [resurrection] will be general . . . "
In another work (Migdal David, p. 83a), RaDBaZ writes: "I will write to you good tidings and powerful consolation for those suffering in the exile and under the yoke of persecutions . . . [The Sages] have said that there are two resurrections: One will be limited for those righteous who have died in the exile and have not seen the well-being of our nation. The other will be a general one at the end of the sixth millenium. The Kabbalistic sages, and the RaMBaN (Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman, 1194-1270), the RaShBA (Rabbi Shlomo ibn Aderes, 1235-1310), and the RITVO also agreed . . . This is true without any doubt and it is implied in Scripture . . ."
Other classic sources for two resurrections are the RaDaK (Rabbi David Kimchi, 1160-1235) in his commentary on Isaiah (26:19) and on Ezekiel (37:1), Rabbi Menachem HaMeiri (c.1249-1306) in his Chibbur HaTeshuva, Rabbeinu Saadya Gaon (c. 892-932) in his Sefer Hat'chiya V'hap'dus (Reply to the Sixth Question), and even earlier in the Midrash Tanna Dvei Eliyahu Rabba (3:3, 5:5).
CLASSIC JEWISH BELIEF
From all the above, it is clear that this is classic Jewish belief. Since this is so, we have no need to abandon our belief because non-Jewish faiths have emulated us by adopting part of our original beliefs.
We are not students of comparative religion, nor do we see any need to be. But the fact that some non-Jewish beliefs happen to coincide with Torah beliefs does not, of course, disqualify the Torah beliefs.
Incredibly, many were surprised when in 1991 Lubavitch started (at the Rebbe's behest and encouragement) the "Moshiach Campaign"; they had always thought the "Redemption" to be a non-Jewish concept, and when you spoke to them about Moshiach, they heard "the Messiah . . ."
In recent years, the Rebbe has transformed the concept of Moshiach from some mystical abstract being descending from the heavens on a white donkey into a tangible reality that is about to occur now, effecting every individual on a personal level.
One thing is crystal-clear. The belief in Techiyas Hamaisim (resurrection of the dead) is classic Jewish belief. In fact, the number-one offender against Jewish belief is he who says: "Techiyas Hamaisim (resurrection of the dead) is not from the Torah" (Sanhedrin 90a).
Note that the number-one offender about whom it is stated that "He has no share in the World to Come" is not the one who denies G-d's existence (G-d forbid) or Divine Creation or the exodus from Egypt or the splitting of the Red Sea but one who says that "Resurrection of the dead is not derived from the Torah."
What sounds strange to some Jews is the term "resurrection" which has been popularized by non-Jewish religions. Nevertheless, this does not minimize the fact that this is classic Jewish belief.
PRESENT SITUATION--THREE STAGES . . .
This may also be indicated in our daily prayers, in the "Shmoneh Esrei." There, three times every day, we praise G-d as a "King who brings death, and restores life, and causes deliverance to spring forth."
Perhaps these three stages refer to the present situation:
1. "A King who brings death"--the tragic event of 3 Tammuz;
2. "and restores life"--Techiyas Hamaisim (resurrection of the dead);
3. "and causes deliverance to spring forth"--revelation of Moshiach (this is almost the exact language used later in "Shmoneh Esrei" in the blessing where we pray for Moshiach to come, "He who causes deliverance to spring forth"!).
REFERENCE TO PREVIOUS REBBE
Others may ask: Surely the Rebbe's statements about the Moshiach referred to the previous Rebbe?
The answer: Several of the Rebbe's statements clearly referred to himself--although, in his humility, he did not wish this to be blatantly obvious. Furthermore, it is clear in many of his addresses that he considered his own leadership to be one with and a continuation of his father-in-law's. The Rebbe would always refer to the previous Rebbe as the "leader of our generation," and he often implied that his own soul is somehow "merged" with, and an "extension" of, his father-in-law's (see Sichas Purim 5711; Mikketz 5713; Sefer Hasichos 5750, p. 255; Sichos Kodesh 5752, p. 318).
KING DAVID IS ALIVE . . .
Once a Polish nobleman riding by a Jewish "shtetl" noticed Jews praying outside. "What are these Jews screaming outside on a cold winter night?" he wondered. He asked his coachman to stop his four-horse carriage and summon the leader of the group. "What were you screaming just now?" he asked. "That David, King of Israel, is alive and enduring!" replied the Jew.
"What?" asked the nobleman. "Doesn't Scripture say: 'And David rested with his ancestors, and was buried in the city of David?" (Kings I, 2:10).
What do you answer a Polish nobleman who throws Scripture at you?
Nevertheless, all Siddurim (prayerbooks) include this prayer: "Dovid Melech Yisroel Chai V'kayom--David, King of Israel, is alive and enduring."
This concept, then, has a place not only in Halacha and classic Torah sources but has been incorporated also into the prayers said by every Jew till this very day! Significantly, these words are familiar to Jews of every background--hardly a Jew around the world hasn't heard of the words "Dovid, Melech Yisroel, Chai V'kayom!"
On what basis do Lubavitcher Chassidim, until this very day, say "Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu V'Rabeinu Melech HaMoshiach L'olom Vo'ed"--Long live our master, our teacher, our Rebbe, the King Moshiach, for ever and ever"?
As devoted disciples of the Rebbe, his Chassidim would not initiate such a practice without a clear source in the Rebbe's words. The source is the public address of the Rebbe on 2nd Nissan, 5748 (March 20, 1988), which he personally edited for publication, adding most of the second paragraph in his own handwriting (the facsimile of this has been widely published in recent months):
"There needs to be an increase in life, through the action of the people who proclaim 'Yechi Hamelech! [May the king live!]'.
"For the meaning of this proclamation is that the time has come for the [Resurrection, concerning which it states--Isaiah 26:19] 'Awaken and sing those who rest in the dust'--of the Rebbe, my father-in-law, the leader of our generation, and up to and including the 'Awaken and sing' of David, the King Moshiach!"
YECHI HAMELECH--LONG LIVE THE KING
It is clear from here that announcing "Yechi HaMelech," or "Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu V'Rabeinu Melech HaMoshiach L'olom Voed" (which the Rebbe personally encouraged for over a year following Simchas Torah, 5753-1992), brings the fulfillment of these very words. Therefore these words are a prayer to G-d to bring the Rebbe back to physical life, when the Rebbe will take us out of exile.
In other words, not only do the words "May the king live!" add life to the king when he is present physically with the people (remember the singing of "Yechi . . . " in the presence of the Rebbe!) but also when he is no longer here physically. Note that the Rebbe added in his own handwriting this vital point that the announcement will also bring physical life ("Awaken and sing . . . ") to "those who rest in the dust."
Where is this evident in the words of "Yechi . . . ?"
"Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu V'Rabeinu"--may it be G-d's will that the Rebbe live in a physical life.
"Melech HaMoshiach"--as the King Moshiach.
"L'olom Voed"--may his kingdom, as Moshiach, continue for ever and ever.
Is there a difference between the meaning of "Yechi . . . " before 3 Tammuz and its meaning after 3 Tammuz?
There is no real difference. Both then and now we ask G-d for the revelation of the Rebbe as Moshiach. Before 3 Tammuz the prayer was for the Rebbe's increased vitality and good health to continue until his revelation, and then to eternity.
Now, unfortunately, after the tragic event of 3 Tammuz, we ask G-d that the Rebbe return to physical life and take us out of exile, and for his kingdom to be eternal.
Is the singing and saying of "Yechi . . . " reflected in practice? Do people and communities around the world say, sing or write "Yechi . . . "?
Certainly. In the major Lubavitch communities around the world "Yechi . . . " is said after each Tefila (prayer).
In the main Lubavitch Shul at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, a large sign with the words "Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu V'Rabeinu Melech HaMoshiach L'olam Voed," and its English translation, "May our Master, Teacher and Rebbe, the King Moshiach, live forever," hangs proudly in the center of the Shul.
"Yechi . . . " is also said after every Tefila and every time the Torah is read. On Rosh Hashana it was also said before Tekias (the sounding of the) Shofar. On Yom Kippur it was said at the culmination of the Ne'ila Service, and on Simchas Torah the words of "Yechi . . . " were the lyrics for every tune for two days straight.
Also on Simchas Torah, Rabbi Yehuda Kalman Marlow, head of the Beth Din of Crown Heights, personally announced "Yechi . . . " three times in "770," giving it Halachic validity.
In Kfar Chabad, the central Lubavitch community in Israel, "Yechi . . . " is said not only on a regular basis, but a gigantic sign "Yechi . . . " is mounted over the great Beis Menachem Shul.
Many publications throughout the world also carry "Yechi . . . " prominently.
The Central Yeshiva Tomchei T'mimim Lubavitch, located at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, has a weekly publication with the words "Yechi . . . " on its front cover.
The weekly Hebrew-English news magazine Beis Moshiach carries "Yechi . . . " on its front cover, and its contents are dedicated to the goal of publicizing that the Rebbe, as Moshiach, will take us out of exile imminently.
Why is it so important to announce continually and publicly "Yechi . . . "? Isn't it a rather shallow slogan that does not befit Chabad Chassidim who have always been renowned for their emphasis on P'nimiyus ("inwardness") rather than Chitzoniyus (shallow external expression)?
Chassidim do nothing on their own! No one is more qualified to demand Pnimiyus than the Rebbe himself. Yet the Rebbe initiated the entire concept, specifically emphasizing the importance of saying "Yechi Hamelech," stressing that it gives life to the King and evokes the "Awaken and sing, those who rest in the dust"--including the resurrection of "Dovid, the King Moshiach."
In practical terms, Chassidim believe that the announcement of "Yechi . . . " evokes the speedy return to physical life of the Rebbe as Moshiach.
"Yechi . . . " also strengthens the belief that exists within the depths of every soul, causing it to surface and grow.
"Yechi . . . " is also the greatest practical education for our children. They see that the parents live with the Rebbe and thus live with vision. Live with hope. Live with the Redemption. The children, in turn, hope, pray, and themselves live the Redemption.
"Yechi . . . " is also a meaningful manifestation of the belief in Moshiach, as the depth of commitment and belief which it arouses fuels all the more "in depth" activities of study and work to prepare oneself--and, in the language of the Rebbe, "his part of the world"--for Moshiach. After all--the Rebbe himself used every ounce of his being to inculcate us with these (to some, seemingly ceremonial!) words, by encouraging us to sing "Yechi . . . " day after day for an entire year. This allowed us to give voice to our unshakeable faith in the Rebbe's prophecy concerning the imminent coming of Moshiach.
"Yechi . . . " is indeed an integral part of the lives of Chassidim and their families. This is what gives us life and inspiration.
Now the BIG question. Did the Rebbe ever say that he is Moshiach?
In every generation there was always one great leader whom the people of the generation considered to be Moshiach. This was true, in the times of the Maharal of Prague, the ARI-ZaL, the Baal Shem Tov, the Vilna Gaon, etc. Chassidim of many Rebbes have considered their Rebbe to be Moshiach.
This is consistent with the Talmud (Sanhedrin 98b) where the Talmud relates the opinions of four schools, each of whose disciples thought that their Rebbe is Moshiach.
Chabad Chassidim in each of the seven generations have always considered their Rebbe to be the "Moshiach of the generation," the greatest Tzaddik (saintly individual) of the era, who, if the generation will be worthy, will become the actual Moshiach.
However, Chassidim would not proclaim this openly without a firm basis in the words of the Rebbe himself. In fact, the Rebbe often stated that the Moshiach is a human being of flesh and blood, as implied in RaMBaM's ruling that "A king will arise from the House of David, studying the Torah and practising the Mitzvos . . . "
The Rebbe quoted several times from the Bartenura commentary on Ruth that "In every generation is born someone descended from Yehuda who is worthy to be Moshiach for the Jewish people if the generation will be deserving."
MOSHIACH IN EVERY GENERATION
The Rebbe also quoted the Chasam Sofer (Responsa VI, 98): "From the day that the Beis Hamikdosh was destroyed, someone immediately was born who is worthy by his righteousness to be the redeemer and savior, and when the time will arrive, G-d will reveal Himself to him and send him."
The Rebbe stated several times that "the leader (Nossi) of the generation, is Moshiach of the generation" (Simchas Torah 5746--October 27, 1985).
However, the Rebbe went further, saying that the leader of this generation is actually the Moshiach who will take us out of the exile to the Redemption.
Did the Rebbe ever say about himself that he is Moshiach?
The answer : He never said the actual words "I am Moshiach."
However, in other wording that amounts to the same intention, the Rebbe spelled out clearly that he is indeed the Moshiach.
The following are some of the clearest instances:
1. a) The Rebbe often said that "the leader of the generation is the Moshiach of the generation" (see above).
b) The Rebbe left no doubt as to whom he meant with the words "the leader of the generation." The Rebbe said clearly that "we should study "Likkutei Sichos of the leader of the generation." (Shabbos Tazria-Metzora 5751--April 20, 1991.) This is in reference to the Rebbe's Likkutei Sichos of which 33 volumes to date have been published many times; no other work is known under that name!
This single quote removes, beyond any shadow of doubt, any question as to whether the Rebbe actually said that he is Moshiach . . .
THE LAST GENERATION . . .
2) The Rebbe often emphasised that this is "the last generation of the exile and the first of the Geula" (see, for example, Shabbos Vayigash 5751, and at length in the Maamar of 10 Shevat 5711--1951 mentioned later). The Rebbe left no room for doubt about which generation he meant: ". . . Our generation, the seventh generation since the Alter Rebbe . . . and this generation (the last generation of the exile) immediately becomes the generation of the Geula . . . that is going to meet our righteous Moshiach . . . "
FROM OUTSIDE THE HOLY LAND
3) During 5751, the Rebbe stated several times--quoting the famous passage in Midrash Yalkut Shimoni--that "the time of your Redemption has arrived!" emphasizing that Moshiach was making this announcement from outside the Holy Land.
WE NEED ONLY TO ACCEPT MOSHIACH
4) In 5752 the Rebbe made it clear that we have completed our work and are ready for Moshiach. The Rebbe said ". . . in our days all aspects of [Divine] service have been finished and completed, and we stand ready to receive our righteous Moshiach; all obstacles have been nullified, and since there is now also the revelation of Moshiach, now we need only receive and accept our righteous Moshiach in actual practice . . . in these days--the days of the Moshiach--in which we are now, we need only to 'open our eyes' . . . "
During this period in 5752 (1992) the Rebbe also made the following revelation: ". . . We already see the beginning of the Moshiach's effect upon the nations . . . " The Rebbe explained that he was referring to the Disarmament Agreement of winter, 1992. The Rebbe sees in these agreements two points of great significance and Messianic proportions:
Firstly, the beginning of the fulfilment of the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah, the Prophet of Redemption: "And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks." (Isaiah 2:4)
Secondly, the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Jews from the former Soviet Union (modern-day "Egypt" ) to Israel (the "Holy Land" ). The Rebbe sees in this the beginning of the ingathering of the exiles, which is part of the Messianic process.
THE REBBE HIMSELF APPROVED IT
5) In previous years the Rebbe had reacted strongly against mentioning his name in connection with Moshiach, saying it could alienate some from the study of Chassidus. However, as the time for the arrival of Moshiach came closer, the Rebbe himself approved it. After 28 Nissan, 5751 (April 11, 1991), however, not only did the Rebbe not react unfavourably; he even replied with approval and blessing to reports many people wrote to him of how they were publicizing his name as Moshiach.
To recall back now the Rebbe's previous opposition to being referred to as the Moshiach is like invoking his previous opposition and great reluctance to becoming the Lubavitcher Rebbe after his father-in-law's passing in 1950. Would any Lubavitcher now claim that since the Rebbe was originally opposed to becoming leader, therefore we must remain faithful to that original opposition?
THE REBBE AND THE SONG
6) If anyone still had doubts, then the Rebbe's encouragement of the song "Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu V'Rabbeinu, Melech HaMoshiach, L'olom Vo'ed" (May our Master, Teacher and Rebbe, the King Moshiach, live forever) removed them completely. Starting on Simchas Torah, 5753, and continuing for over a year at hundreds of public appearances at his Shul, the Rebbe actively encouraged, with vigorous movements of his holy head, hand, and often his whole body, the singing of this song.
This can be seen on any of the videos made of all the Rebbe's weekday appearances. (Nor was this because he was unable to express disapproval; anyone watching the video of 19 Kislev, 5753, sees how the Rebbe could make his disapproval of anything abundantly clear.)
HIS NAME IS "MENACHEM"
7) During those last months before the first stroke on 27 Adar 1, 5752 (March 2, 1992) the Rebbe consistently said that Moshiach's name is "Menachem." Although the Talmud offers several names for Moshiach, only one of which is Menachem, nevertheless the Rebbe consistently emphasized Moshiach's name as "Menachem."
The Rebbe even "pointed a finger" in that direction, saying: "This includes also 'His name is Menachem.' [May this certainly materialize] in a way that 'one points with his finger' and exclaims 'Behold here he is! Here is Menachem, our righteous Moshiach!'" (Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av, 5749--August 2, 1989).
THE THREE REBBES
8) The Rebbe wrote that the word "MiYaD" (immediately) is an acronym: the Mem stands for "Moshiach, whose name is Menachem"; the Yud stands for (Rabbi) Yosef Yitzchak, the Rebbe's father-in-law; and the Daled stands for (Rabbi Sholom) DovBer, the previous Rebbe's father (Shabbos Mishpatim 5752--February 1, 1992, footnote 148).
THE NUMBER IS "770"
9) The Rebbe wrote that "770" (Eastern Parkway, the Rebbe's headquarters) is numerically equivalent to the Hebrew words "Beis Moshiach"--"the house of Moshiach" (Kuntres Beis Rabbeinu Shebebavel, Brooklyn, 1991).
From all this we see that the Rebbe clearly informed us beyond any shadow of doubt that he is the Moshiach of the ultimate Redemption.
Anyone studying earnestly and honestly the Rebbe's Maamorim and Sichos, (Discourses and Talks) especially his very first Maamar (discourse on 10 Shevat, 5751 (January 17, 1951, see later), sees how clearly and profoundly the Rebbe emphasizes: a) the centrality of belief in Moshiach, b) this is the generation of Moshiach, c) the identity of Moshiach.
IT'S ALL IN THE SICHOS!
Recently, some friends were discussing Moshiach, his identity and the situation after 3 Tammuz. The discussion soon became heated. Later someone asked M. Ch., one of the major participants: "How did it go?" He answered simply: "How can I discuss anything with him? He didn't learn the Rebbe's Maamarim and Sichos! If he would learn the Rebbe's Maamarim and Sichos, he would talk differently."
Yes, my dear friend M. Ch. is absolutely right--everything is in those Maamorim and Sichos!
The Rebbe clearly saw the future and he spoke, wrote and edited his words for us all, that they may serve as a guiding light to us in this thick, albeit temporary, darkness.
The Rebbe's Maamorim, Sichos (Discourses and Talks) and letters over the years of his leadership are an inexhaustible fountain of Divinely-inspired counsel and instruction for all. In particular, his Sichos and letters during the first year after the previous Rebbe passed away on 10 Shevat, 5710 (1950), are invaluable in teaching us how to view what happened on 3 Tammuz.
WHAT IF . . . ?
What would have happened if, before 3 Tammuz, the Rebbe would have held a special Farbrengen (Chassidic gathering) and said: "I am leaving you for a short while . . . Do not despair . . . I will soon return and lead you out of exile"?
No one would have had any question! Everyone would say: "The Rebbe said!"
Let us reflect for a moment. Perhaps this is indeed what happened . . . The Rebbe said . . . The Rebbe made it all crystal-clear . . .
ONE PLUS ONE EQUALS TWO!
The mathematical calculation to reach the result that the Rebbe is Moshiach is simpler that the calculation that 2 plus 2 equals 4. It's as simple as 1 plus 1 equals 2.
"The leader of the generation is the Moshiach of the generation" (Simchas Torah 5746--October 27, 1985).
"Study Likkutei Sichos from the leader of the generation" (Shabbos Tazria Metzorah 5751--April 20, 1991).
The Rebbe is Moshiach.
That makes our next question even stronger. The Rebbe himself implied that he was Moshiach, then the event of 3 Tammuz happened. Now who says it has to be the Rebbe? Couldn't it be any great Tzaddik (Righteous individual) who is not among the physically living--such as the Baal Shem Tov, the Alter Rebbe or any other great leader of the Jewish people throughout the generations?
To understand the answer to this question, it is essential to realize that the Moshiach campaign did not happen in a vacuum, but is the culmination of the entire course of the Rebbe's leadership, and indeed of the entire Chassidic movement.
CHASSIDUS AND MOSHIACH
In a renowned letter, the founder of Chassidus, the saintly Rabbi Yisroel Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760), described an extraordinary spiritual experience in which he felt himself elevated through the heavenly realms to the spiritual abode of the soul of Moshiach. Seizing the opportunity, he asked Moshiach when he would finally arrive. Moshiach replied: "When your teachings will become widely known and revealed in the world, and 'your well-springs will be disseminated outward.'"
From its very beginning, then, the goal of bringing Moshiach has been integral to the Chassidic movement.
Chassidus is thus intimately connected with the very essence of the universe, which was created (as RaShI comments on the first verse of the Torah) for the Jewish people to observe the Torah, a purpose to be fully accomplished only after Moshiach comes, when G-d's presence will be revealed and the Torah will be observed in its entirety.
THE ROLE OF CHABAD-LUBAVITCH
This aim of Chassidus to prepare the world for the coming of Moshiach, has been expressed by all great leaders of the Chassidic movement. But it has been epitomised in Chabad-Lubavitch, the intellectual branch of Chassidus, which reveals in understandable form the profoundest Torah concepts concerning G-d's presence, inspiring deeper devotion to G-d and His Torah.
As more Jews are inspired to come closer to G-d and His Torah, we come ever closer to the goal of Moshiach's arrival, when G-d's presence will be revealed in the world.
"FROM THE DAY I WENT TO CHEDER . . . "
It is remarkable that, from his earliest childhood, the Geula and Moshiach were uppermost in the Rebbe's mind, as he once wrote: "From the day I went to 'Cheder' [Torah school] and even before that, there began to form in my imagination the picture of the future Redemption, the Geula of the Jewish people from its final exile . . . " Where else is it recorded about any great Torah luminary in any era that even before the age of three (when Cheder education begins) his young mind was already occupied with the Redemption? And this has been the Rebbe's focus ever since.
THE REBBE'S STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
Preparing the world for Moshiach is thus integral to the entire Chassidic movement, particularly to Chabad-Lubavitch. This may explain why the Rebbe was reluctant to assume the enormous responsibility of ascending to the Chabad leadership. Once he did accept, however, albeit reluctantly, he stated in no uncertain terms the ultimate purpose of his leadership.
The Previous Rebbe's final "Maamar" (formal discourse of Chabad philosophy) had been issued for study on 10 Shevat, 5710 (1950), his grandmother's Yahrtzeit. On that very day, the previous Rebbe himself had passed away, and the Rebbe therefore considered this Maamar his saintly father-in-law's last will and testament for us all, outlining our path in serving G-d during the years to come.
The Maamar explaines the Midrash on the verse (Shir Hashirim 5:1) "Bosi L'gani--I have come into My garden": Although G-d's presence had been revealed in this world at Creation, seven successive sins of mankind later removed its revelation from the physical world.
MOSHE IS THE SEVENTH
Starting with Avraham, however, the righteous deeds of seven generations of Tzaddikim brought it back in stages until the seventh, Moshe Rabbeinu, returned its revelation into this physical world when the Torah was given at Mount Sinai. This Divine revelation was fully achieved in the Mishkan (temporary Sanctuary in the desert), and later in the Beis Hamikdash (permanent Sanctuary in Jerusalem). "I have come into My garden" was G-d's declaration of His "return" into this world, the original intended "abode" for the revelation of His presence.
THE SEVEN CHABAD REBBES
On 10 Shevat, 5711, when he formally accepted the Chabad leadership, the Rebbe based his own first Maamar on that of his father-in-law's. In a voice filled with emotion, often weeping in the middle (the tape is still extant), the Rebbe drew the implication from that Maamar that the seven generations of Chabad Rebbeim parallel the seven Tzaddikim mentioned in the Midrash.
THE SEVENTH GENERATION
And just as the seventh generation then, led by Moshe Rabbeinu, had the purpose of bringing G-d's revelation into the world through the giving of the Torah at Sinai, so the goal of the seventh generation now is to prepare the world for the arrival of Moshiach, when G-d's presence will be revealed:
"And this is what és demanded of each of us in the seventh generation--because 'All those that are the seventh are beloved'--for although the fact that we are the seventh generation is neither by our choice nor a result of our own work, nor in several respects even according to our desire, nevertheless 'All those that are seventh are beloved,' and we are those who are here at the very last stage of the era before Moshiach, and our service of G-d is to complete the revelation of G-d's Presence, in its most exalted aspect, specifically into this lowly world."
GOAL OF HIS "ADMINISTRATION"
On that occasion, the Rebbe quoted the Midrash: "When you come to a place, follow the custom," saying that in the United States it is customary to make a statement as to the goals of a new administration. Similarly, in this Maamar, the Rebbe, declared the goal of his "administration"--to prepare the world for Moshiach and bring about the final Redemption.
BRINGING MOSHIACH--INTEGRAL TO THE REBBE'S LEADERSHIP
Thus, the Moshiach campaign was no "optional extra" that the Rebbe decided to inject into the work of Lubavitch. On the contrary, his very first Maamar on accepting the Chabad leadership made it clear that the purpose of this generation is to bring Moshiach, a goal integral to the entire course of his leadership.
Any overview of the past 44 years must reveal how the Rebbe worked carefully, systematically and indefatigably towards that goal, preparing the world for the coming of Moshiach.
Therefore, it came as a shock when the Rebbe, on 28 Nissan, 5751 (1991), suddenly announced that he was delivering into the hands of "every one of you" the task of bringing Moshiach. Little did we suspect then what he doubtless already knew concerning the future . . .
Even after that, however, the Rebbe continued giving direction on how we should accomplish the task of bringing Moshiach. He instructed us, for example, to increase Torah study on subjects of Moshiach and the Redemption, not only for greater awareness of the subjects but also in order to "live" in the spirit and atmosphere of the approaching Messianic era. He continued giving his profound and crystal-clear explanations of these subjects, editing more of his Maamarim and Sichos for publication than ever before.
This is also in accordance with the Rebbe's numerous revelations that he is indeed Moshiach.
Perhaps this is also the reason that the Rebbe revealed this to us so many times: 1) The name of Moshiach is Menachem. 2) Moshiach stands on top of the Beis Hamikdash in the Diaspora. 3) MIYAD stands for 3 generations of Moshiach, the "Mem" stands for Moshiach and Menachem (again, Menachem!) Yud, stands for Yosef name of the previous Rebbe, Reb Yosef Yitzchak, and Daled, stands for DovBer, (name of the father of the previous Rebbe, Reb Sholom DovBer).
The Rebbe saw the future very clearly and saw that after 3 Tammuz there will be many who will need Chizuk (strength) on a constant basis, he therefore, reinforced to us--time and time again--that this is only a Nisoyon (test) and that Moshiach, Menachem, the Rebbe, will lead us to the great redemption, and everything else is only a Nisoyon (a test) on the way to the greatest of days. The Rebbe, therefore, in his first maamar, spreads out before us the plan of creation not only vis-a-vis the giving of the Torah but indeed concerning the coming and revelation of Moshiach.
Anyone who studies the Rebbe's Sichos begining from the first day of his leadership realizes that this campaign reflects the Rebbe's deepest desire and declared life's goal. It is a direct continuation of the work of all the Chabad Rebbes, back to the Baal Shem Tov.
Why didn't the Rebbe appoint a successor?
Firstly, let us elaborate on your question. Perhaps we can find an answer within the question:
The Rebbe loves us all so much and is concerned for every detail of our lives and those of the entire generation, left instructions for everything. However, the Rebbe did not say, write or hint anything concerning a successor!
Interestingly, Moshe Rabbeinu, the prototype of a Jewish leader for all generations, as the time of his physical passing from this world approached, asked G-d to appoint a successor. Why didn't the Rebbe do the same?
Furthermore, in previous generations all Chabad Rebbes had children (also in the physical sense of the word)--sons or sons-in-law who succeeded them. This is not so in the case of the Rebbe. Although we cannot second-guess G-d's ways, nevertheless, this fact may shed light on the entire situation.
"SEVEN" NOT "EIGHT"
As mentioned, there were seven leaders between Avraham and Moshe. Seven and not eight! By the same token, says the Rebbe, there are seven Tzaddikim who, each in his generation, helps to bring the revelation of Moshiach into the world. Again, seven and not eight! And the Midrash states that "Every seventh is beloved."
Each of the previous six Rebbes needed a successor who would bring the Gilluy (revelation) of Moshiach a step closer to this world: from the first Chabad leader, the Alter Rebbe, Rabbi Schneur Zalman, to the second leader, the Mitteler Rebbe, Reb DovBer, and so on. The Rebbe is the seventh Rebbe. The last Rebbe, who brings the actual reöelation down into this world. There is no successor because there is no need for a successor. The Rebbe completes the task.
In the words of the Rebbe himself: "The work of Shlichus has been completed. All we have to do is greet Moshiach" (Chayei Sarah, 5752) In simple terms, there is no need for a successor--because the Rebbe, as Moshiach, will take us out of exile immediately.
This is the Divine plan that the Rebbe revealed to us on 10 Shevat, 5711 (1951) and in his subsequent Maamorim and Sichos throughout the years.
This proves that the Rebbe revealed that he is Moshiach. The next question, then, is: Did the Rebbe actually say we should publicize the identity of Moshiach, or perhaps only to publicize the fact that Moshiach is coming and, when he comes, everyone will know who he is?
In his Sicha (address) of Shabbos Parshas Shoftim, 5751 (August 17, 1991), the Rebbe says:
"We must publicize to all the people of the generation, that we have merited that Hashem has chosen and appointed a human being, one who possesses free choice, to fill the role of judge and advisor, and the prophet of the generation, to issue directives and give advice . . .
"And everyone must publicize his most essential prophecy of 'Immediate Redemption!' and immediately 'Behold! Here comes Moshiach!'"
THE REBBE'S ENCOURAGEMENT
Furthermore, the fact that the Rebbe encouraged the singing of "Yechi . . . " openly, and in a most publicized manner with television cameras from all over the world present, proved that this is not a message that the Rebbe wanted to deliver only to Lubavitcher Chassidim but indeed a message the Rebbe wanted to be delivered to "all the people of the generation."
Why is the Rebbe telling us to publicize it? Let us wait until we are asked, and then we will tell the truth and nothing but the truth.
It is obvious that the Rebbe is concerned for "all the people of the generation." If we wait for them to come and ask us, it may take much too long . . . Therefore the Rebbe tells us: We have no time to lose. We must go out to the people and communicate with them.
It is said: You can lead someone to water, but you can't make him drink it. We say: You may not be able to make them drink it but you sure can (and have the obligation to) lead them to water!
THE REBBE'S PERSONAL MESSAGE TO EACH INDIVIDUAL
It is more than just publicizing that the time of our Redemption has arrived and Moshiach is on his way. The Rebbe's purpose, is to give everyone the feeling that it is actually happening now, and that it is not a wish or a prayer or even a promise, but indeed a reality. The Rebbe asks everyone to tell whomever he can reach that it will be in our generation, the seventh generation, that the Redemption will take place! The Rebbe also wants every one to tell "all the people in the generation" that G-d has already chosen a person of this generation who, at any moment that G-d desires, will lead the generation out of exile.
A TANGIBLE REALITY
In view of the above, everyone will see the Moshiach phenomenon, not as a fantasy, a prayer or a wish, but as a tangible reality. Furthermore, it is a reality that is personally meaningful and relevant to every individual and from which everyone will benefit in a practical and tangible manner.
Even if one finds it difficult to go out to the world and scream from every rooftop that the Rebbe is Moshiach. Nevertheless, if one is asked, then no one has the right to deny the Rebbe's position and thereby dampen the belief and inspiration one gets from the Rebbe's message and prophecy.
According to your own admission you have made a mistake! You never believed that "3 Tammuz" could ever happen. Who says you cannot be wrong again?
If a human being follows his own limited logic (G-d forbid), he can definitely make mistakes, and big ones at that! However, if he bases his view enirely upon that of the Torah, he will never make a mistake.
DO NOT DEPEND ON YOUR OWN "SEICHEL"
The belief of Lubavitch Chassidim is not based on their own "seichel" (understanding), but on what they have read or heard from the Rebbe that "This is the last generation of exile and the first generation of the Redemption," and that the Rebbe will lead us out of exile.
There are no two ways about it. Having heard from the Rebbe that "the leader of the generation is the Moshiach of the generation" and, further, that the Rebbe himself is the leader of the generation (as quoted above), there is only one way that this can be accomplished: The Rebbe, as Moshiach--without any intermission--will take us out of exile. Lubavitch Chassidim not only were justified in believing so, but were obligated to believe so.
THE REBBE'S WORDS--STAND
Let's call a spade a spade: The Rebbe made two points clear: First, that Moshiach is coming now. Second, that the Rebbe is Moshiach. These two points stand. As to the tragic event of 3 Tammuz, nowhere did the Rebbe say it would not happen. He hoped for it not to happen. He longed for it not to happen. He prayed for it not to happen. But he never said that it would not happen. On the contrary, he made provisions for it.
We could not possibly (and justifiably so) bring this thought to mind.
In retrospect, we see two possible ways in which the Rebbe could have taken us out of exile: a) without an interruption, b) with an interruption. If we would have merited, the Rebbe would have taken us out of exile without an interruption. Now, unfortunately, there is a short, albeit painful, interruption. The Rebbe's words, however, stand in their entirety.
You seem to "blame" the Rebbe for everything. "Why is there a Moshiach Campaign?" The Rebbe! "Why do you say that the Rebbe is Moshiach?" The Rebbe! Isn't this a cop-out?
To "blame" the Rebbe for the Moshiach Campaign is like "blaming" G-d for the gift of Shabbos. In reality, however, if as a Jew you are asked "Why are you resting on Shabbos and not on Wednesday?" and "Why aren't you allowed to carry even a handkerchief in your pocket?" the answer must be the proudest and loudest: "G-d told us so."
Of course, there are hundreds of volumes filled with details and rational explanations for how "one law is derived from another" etc. But the fundamental concept of Shabbos is recorded in the Ten Commandments: "Guard the Sabbath and sanctify it as G-d your Master commanded you" (Deut. 5:12).
By the same measure, to the question "Why did the organized Moshiach Campaign start in 1991 and not in 1981, 1971 or 1951?" there is only one answer--the Rebbe. In 1991 the Rebbe announced that "The time of our Redemption has arrived and Moshiach is on his way."
If you persist in probing further "Why did the Rebbe announce it in 1991 and not before?" the answer, again, is simple: That is when the time of the Redemption has arrived! It takes the Rebbe to know when that time has come in order to transmit this knowledge to us--as a prophecy.
OWE DEBT TO REBBE
The entire world--all 5 billion peopìe--owe an eternal debt to the Rebbe for making this information available to us and affording us the opportunity to prepare for this day--the greatest day in the history of mankind.
In conclusion, we thank G-d (not blame G-d) for the gift of Shabbos. So too, we thank the Rebbe for the gift of the prophecy.
Is this the official policy of Lubavitch?
The only one who sets Lubavitch policy is the Rebbe himself. No one else. Lubavitcher Chassidim, the world over, live by what the Rebbe says, does and wants.
Yes, every person regardless of race, religion, color or creed has a right to express any opinion he wants. It has to be clear, however, that it is only a private and personal opinion and does not reflect the opinion of the Rebbe and/or Lubavitch.
The Rebbe made three things crystal-clear:
1. "The time of the redemption has arrived and Moshiach is on his way. "
2. The Rebbe, is Moshiach (see above).
3. We should "publicize this to all the people of the generation." (Shabbos Shoftim 5751)
This is what the Rebbe said. This is what the Rebbe wants. And this is what Lubavitch Chassidim live by.
Can this be acceptable to the world? And is it good for the public relations ("PR") of Lubavitch?
From the beginning of the Rebbe's years of leadership, his primary concern was the essence of the matter: whether it was right, not whether it was popular.
From his first "statement of purpose" about preparing the world for Moshiach to the great campaign to bring all Jews, regardless of background, commitment or affiliation, back to their original fold, the Rebbe's concern was to do what is right, not what is popular.
The Rebbe's activities of outreach were sharply criticized and even frowned upon by many who said who needs "them" at our tables? Who knows what this is going to do to "our" children. The Rebbe broke down the barriers of "them" and "us" and "theirs" and "ours" (and let no one think, for one single moment, that, back in 1951, this was easy!), and turned us all into one proud people. Today those who criticized and frowned upon this approach are emulating the Rebbe's pioneering efforts of outreach.
TEFILIN FOR MILLIONS
Take, for instance, a "simple" Mitzva such as putting Tefilin on another Jew. What can be more noble and selfless than finding a Jew on Main Street, USA or Tachana Merkazit (Central Bus Station) in Tel Aviv, putting a pair of T'efilin on him and saying with him Shema Yisroel.
Yet you cannot imagine the opposition the Rebbe encountered in 1967 when he started this campaign. The Rebbe, of course, did not diminish his activities due to the criticism and today, thank G-d, millions of Jews throughout the world have put on T'efilin--tens of thousands for the very first time and many more on a continuing basis--due to the efforts of the Rebbe.
BRINGING LIGHT TO THE JÅWISH HOME
This is similar to the criticism the Rebbe encountered when he started many of his Mitzva campaigns. What particularly comes to mind is the campaign to light Shabbos candles.
One could ask in amazement: What can you find wrong with asking a little girl (or a mother or grandmother, for that matter) to light a Shabbos candle (or a few candles) and illuminate their table, their home and, indeed, their lives with the genuine light of Torah and tradition?
Nevertheless, there was--and perhaps still is--great opposition to that as well. The Rebbe, however, continued the campaign, bringing the authentic light of Yiddishkeit into the homes and lives of millions of girls and women, and through them to future generations throughout the world.
BRINGING LIGHT TO THE WORLD
Closer to the Eighties and Nineties, the Rebbe wanted to illuminate the entire world with the lights of Chanukah through the lighting of public Chanuka Menorahs. How much hardship, abuse, expenses and court-cases the Rebbe and his Chassidim, all over the globe, had to endure in order to put up these Menorahs. The Rebbe never gave up. And thanks to the Rebbe the Menorah stands proudly in Washington, Moscow, London, Paris, Buenos Aires, Sioux City, Minsk, and, indeed, in many countries, states, towns, and hamlets throughout the world, and brings a message of Religion and Freedom, Democracy and Independence to millions of people the world over regardless of race, religion, color and creed.
It is clear from all of this that the Rebbe always does what is right. And when the Rebbe tells us to do something, he takes full responsibility for it, and sooner or later everyone realizes how right the Rebbe is. Yes, there are some who are still "realizing." Thank G-d, the Rebbe did not wait.
MOSHE DID NOT TAKE A POLL
When Moshe was told by G-d to announce to the people that they will be freed from Egypt, Moshe did not start by taking a poll to find out how "popular" the "exodus issue" is. He went to the people and related to them G-d's message.
Let us address this issue at its very essence. Do we believe the Rebbe when he says he is telling us, as a prophecy, that "the time of the Redemption has arrived" and when he reveals to us the identity of Moshiach? If we do, all questions about "public relations" are invalid from the start.
THE MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE
Let us delve deeper into the essence of the matter:
The Rebbe says that there is a message here for "all the people in the generation" and that they should be informed that the "time of the Redemption has arrived and Moshiach is on his way." The Rebbe further says, that you should inform them of the identity of Moshiach (as explained above in detail).
The paramount question is: How are you going to tell them without telling them?
So it is obvious that you have no choice but to tell them.
Now, let us probe further: Why does the Rebbe want you to publicize it to "all the people of the generation"? Because it is important to each one of them--for their own benefit.
Now, ask the question again: "Is this good for the public relations of Lubavitch?" Absolutely! What a question? If you approach anyone with something that will benefit them with eternal happiness, they will be forever grateful to you.
Since G-d's eternal plan calls for the great Redemption to take place now and the time of the Redemption has arrived (just as the time arrived for the redemption and exodus from Egypt,) G-d has called upon "the prophet of the generation" to make G-d's plan known to "all the people of the generation."
That is exactly what happened in the days of Moshe, and that is exactly what is happening now in the days of the Rebbe.
SENSITIVE TO EVERY INDIVIDUAL
Yes, although the message is universal--to "all the people of the generation"--each individual, however, must be approached as an "entire world," with utmost understanding and sensitivity, devoting great effort and thought to every detail of the initial approach and further developments.
The basic questions, however, are not "if" or "whether", but rather "when" and "how"--in which setting and which circumstance.
This is a most crucial and sensitive matter. We must give each individual a chance to think about it, digest it properly and come to his own realization. Indeed, after everyone studies the Rebbe's thoughts and ideas, they begin to feel that the Rebbe is talking to them personally, communicating with them on their own level, and how concerned the Rebbe is with their material and spiritual well-being.
How can I develop a desire to want Moshiach? I know rationally that this is the best thing for the Jewish people and for all mankind. But I do not yet have the emotional attachment to say honestly: "I want Moshiach to come immediately."
One of the greatest Chassidim of this generation was Reb Nissan Nemanov, z"l. He was a great "oved," spending many hours daily in prayer and worship of G-d.
I remember it was a few days before Succos, and Reb Nissan "farbrenged" (conducted a Chassidic gathering) in "770" with the students late one evening. He said he could not understand how anyone can possibly start celebrating the festival of Succos without first studying the Talmudic tractate Succah, the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law) concerning the laws of the festival, and the Maamorim (Chassidic Discourses) dealing with the spiritual meaning of the festival. Without all that, asked Reb Nissan, how can one possibly have a true "taste" of the festival?
The same, and much much more, is true about Moshiach. We cannot have an appreciation for Moshiach unless we actually experience a foretaste of Moshiach. And that comes only by learning about Moshiach. There are scores of books available about Moshiach and the Redemption, on all levels and in many languages.
In Scripture, Talmud, Midrash, in classic works such as Netzach Yisroel by the Maharal of Prague, Yeshuos Meshicho by Don Yitzchak Abarbanel, and Tzipiso Lishuo by the Chofetz Chaim z"l, and many other works, one will find the real treasure of Moshiach.
In our generation, we are particularly privileged to have the great works of the Rebbe concerning Moshiach, especially his Sichos of the years 1950-51 and 1991-92. The Rebbe himself urged us to study his "Likkutei Sichos" on this subject (as quoted above).
A STEADY PROCESS
Here, however, we must be honest with ourselves. One can study for a few hours and say "I have studied but have not been moved," and therefore make a hasty decision to "leave it alone."
I am reminded of a story I once heard from Rabbi Eli Moshe Liss z"l, who served as Mashgiach (spiritual supervisor) at the Lubavitcher Yeshiva when it was still on "Bedford and Dean" (for those who remember).
Rabbi Liss was a special Jew with an unbelievable amount of heart and warmth. He used to tell a story of a Jew who was frail and weak and was sent to a sanatorium in order to gain weight (yes, those were the days when people had to gain weight!).
It was very expensive, but what doesn't a Jew do for his health? After eating his first seven-course breakfast, he started pinching himself to see if he had already gained some weight. When he realized that he hadn't, he was very upset and asked for his money back!
A good friend explained to him that this is no magic formula. It is a gradual process--only after spending time eating healthy, nutritious meals does one see a difference in strength and weight.
This is even more true concerning "matters of the heart." One needs to be steady and persistent but the longed-for results will certainly come and the hardship will be repaid with great dividends.
Indeed, the disciples of the Baal Shem Tov said that for one to really long for Moshiach he must study the concept of Moshiach in depth. This will surely generate the proper results.
TALK ABOUT MOSHIACH
Another way is to talk about Moshiach. Reb Avrohom Parshan z"l, who was considered to be an exceptionally smart Jew, would often repeat the saying of Reb Mordechai of Lechovich zt" l based on what King David says (Psalms 116:9) "I believe because I have spoken"--"Reb Avrum" would say it is in his characteristic Polish accent: "He'emanti Ki Adabahyer"--that speaking brings about the belief.
In other words, the speech brings to the surface the inner feelings, and illuminates what is hidden in the depths of the soul. The soul, in turn, starts to shine and the Emuna (belief) that is present within each of us but is sometimes dormant, flourishes.
PREPARE FOR THE GREAT GUEST--TALK ABOUT HIM!
On this subject, the Previous Rebbe said in 1939--right before World War II--that one of the preparations for the "great guest, Moshiach," is by talking about him.
DISTURB THE YETZER HORA
Furthermore, the Rebbe says (Purim, 5747-1977) that talking about Moshiach "disturbs" the designs of the Yetzer Hora--Evil Inclination.
TALKING IS BELIEVING
We see, then, that talking about Moshiach reveals our belief, and the belief brings the Redemption, as the Maharal of Prague writes on Psalms 92:3: "To recount Your benevolence in the morning [of the Redemption will come about through] belief in You [and Your Redemption through Moshiach] during the nights [of exile]."
This clearly teaches us that through discussion of Moshiach during the night of exile, when everything seems dark and bleak, we will bring about the great Redemption. Talk simply reveals and brings to the surface what is concealed in the depths of ones inner being.
TALK IS NOT "CHEAP''
It is remarkable that "talk" which is cheap, nevertheless has the unique quality of retrieving what is so precious and valuable. What is absolutely mind-boggling is how much talk is constantly wasted. It's the most abused art--everybody talks! If we would only put it to good use, by talking about Moshiach, how much better off all of us--including the talk-show hosts--would be.
Although your message is valid, does it still make sense after 3 Tammuz to continue the Moshiach Campaign so aggressively?
The campaign for bringing Moshiach was initiated by the Baal Shem Tov, founder of Chassidus, and continued by all great leaders of the Chassidic movement, especially the seven great Rebbeim of Chabad-Lubavitch (as explained above).
It has been continued with even greater intensity by the Rebbe, who declared in his very first Maamar (10 Shevat, 5711-1951) that this was the purpose and goal of his leadership.
As time went on, the Rebbe further developed this campaign with ever increasing intensity, especially during the 1980's when he often called it the "Greatest Campaign" (in comparison to his other Mitzvah campaigns).
"EVERY ONE OF YOU"
It did not, however, become an "official" campaign, with an organizational structure devoted specifically to that purpose, until after the Rebbe's famous Sicha on 28 Nissan, 5751 (1991), when he declared that he was delivering the task of bringing Moshiach into the hands of "Every one of you." During the following eleven months until his first stroke on 27 Adar I, 5752, the Rebbe constantly increased the momentum of the campaign with energetic encouragement and discussion of the subject at every opportunity.
Just as it makes no sense to stop, for example, the Tefilin campaign, which was introduced by the Rebbe himself and concerns a basic commandment of the Torah, and helps prepare the world for Moshiach, so does it make no sense to stop the Moshiach campaign, which was introduced by the Rebbe himself and concerns a basic fundamental of our faith.
The Sichos and Maamarim that the Rebbe edited for publication during the eleven months from 28 Nissan, 5751, until his unfortunate first stroke on 27 Adar I, 5752, are in many ways the Rebbe's own "last will and testament" giving us the guidelines we need to complete the task he gave us.
THE HOME STRETCH
Imagine a runner who runs a long distance to reach a certain goal, yet, as he approaches the final mile he suddenly slows down.
On the contrary, as he approaches his final mile, knowing that he has almost reached his goal, his running should become even more accelerated. A runner would be the greatest fool if at that moment he abandoned the race.
Let us face it, we have been "running" with Moshiach ever since the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed, especially since the time of the Baal Shem Tov and particularly during the years since 10 Shevat 5751 (1951), when the Rebbe proclaimed his "statement of purpose." This was accelerated particularly since 1990 when the Rebbe informed us that "the time of your Redemption has arrived."
THE MOSHIACH PROPHECY
Furthermore, on Shabbos Parshas Shoftim, 7 Elul 5751 (August 17, 1991)--two days before the riots in Crown Heights--the Rebbe declared that he is telling us this as a prophecy.
In view of the above, to abandon the Moshiach Campaign when we are already in the "home stretch" would be, without doubt, the most foolish thing we could ever do!
On the contrary, we must now redouble our efforts to continue and expand the Moshiach Campaign throughout the world until we will realize very speedily the completion of the great Redemption.
Why do you have to communicate with the people outside of your environment? Let them communicate for themselves." They know what is right for them and they do not need unsolicited guidance or advice.
The entire Torah is built on the concept of mutual responsibility. One can never say, according to the Torah, I will go about minding my own business and let my neighbor do whatever he wants.
The Torah categorically removes that "luxury" from us and instead gives us the obligation of mutual responsibility for one another.
Mutual responsibility comes two ways: a) when someone does wrong, stopping him in the nicest and most sensitive way, b) sharing with others something beneficial that you have access to, making it available to them, too.
MOSHIACH--THE GREAT TREASURE
Now lets talk tachlis for a moment. Suppose you found a great treasure that you and your children can benefit from for generations. Furthermore, not only can your neighbor benefit from it without diminishing anything of yours, but on the contrary, his good fortune will make your life and position even better and stronger. Why in the world shouldnt you then make your neighbor cognizant of this great treasure?
With the creation of the world, G-d created a great treasure. The treasure is so great that it was indeed the purpose of the entire creation. This treasure will bring you and your family eternal happiness and fulfillment. This treasure is called Moshiach. It is available to every single person. All they have to do is ask for it and prepare for it.
ETERNAL DEBT TO THE REBBE
The entire world owes the Rebbe an eternal debt for bringing to their attention that the treasure of Moshiach is coming their way and coming now. All they have to do is be ready for it.
As far as all of us are concerned, we have to do exactly what the Rebbe wants. Publicize that "the time of our Redemption has arrived and Moshiach is on his way" and that "G-d has appointed a human being to be the prophet of the generation" and to lead us out of exile.
NO "RISK'' FOLLOWING REBBE
Let us analyze the situation with the following story. A believer had an argument with an agnostic. After a long debate, the believer offered this winning argument: "If I am right, and there is a G-d, what do you lose by following His commandments? You will be an honest, decent and ethical human being. If, on the other hand, you are wrong, you have lost everything!"
What is the big risk we are taking by listening to the Rebbe and preparing and asking for Moshiach? In the worst-case scenario (for the clarity of discussion) we have conducted ourselves in the Torah way. The right way. The honest way. The decent way. G-d's way. But if the skeptics are wrong (as indeed they are), they--and only they--will be embarrassed when the great day of Redemption will imminently come.
You can't possibly go wrong by listening to the Rebbe and, for your own benefit, asking, longing and preparing for the great day of Redemption--the greatest day in the history of mankind and the ultimate purpose of G-d's creation.
YECHI ADONEINU MOREINU V'RABBEINU MELECH HAMOSHIACH L'OLOM VO'ED
--MAY OUR MASTER, TEACHER AND REBBE, THE KING MOSHIACH, LIVE FOREVER AND EVER!
MAY HASHEM SEND US THE GREAT REDEMPTION AND MAY THE REBBE LEAD US OUT OF EXILE IMMEDIATELY!
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