"LIVING WITH MOSHIACH,"
Shabbat HaGadol, 5759
Nissan 9, 5759
March 26, 1999
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"I BELIEVE WITH COMPLETE FAITH IN THE ARRIVAL OF THE MOSHIACH.
"AND THOUGH HE MAY TARRY, I SHALL WAIT EACH DAY, ANTICIPATING HIS
Maimonides, Principles of the Faith, No. 12
THIS PUBLICATION IS DEDICATED
TO THE REBBE,
RABBI MENACHEM M. SCHNEERSON
In honor of his 97th birthday,
11 Nissan, 5759
Click here, to see pictures
of the Rebbe
The Daily Sicha (in Real Audio)
- Listen to selected excerpts of the Rebbe's Sichos
[talks] which are relevant to the particular day.
We are pleased to present, to the visually impaired and the blind, our weekly
publication, Living With Moshiach.
We'd like to hear from you. Tell us your comments, suggestions, etc. Write
to us, or E-Mail via Internet.
This Jewish year, is the year 5759 since Creation. The Hebrew letters are
Hei-Tav-Shin-Nun-Tes. Over a decade ago, in the year 5742, the Rebbe
stated that the Hebrew letters for that year were an acronym for "This should
be the year of the coming of Moshiach."
Since that time, the Rebbe has publicized a phrase describing the year according
to the acronym of its Hebrew letters. This year has been designated by the
Rebbe's followers as "Hoyo T'hei Shnas Niflaos Tovoh" meaning "It
surely will be a good year of wondrous miracles."
Our sincere appreciation to
publication, published by the Lubavitch Youth Organization, for allowing
us to use their material.
Also, many thanks to our copy editor, Reb
his tireless efforts.
It is our fervent hope that our learning about Moshiach and the Redemption
will hasten the coming of Moshiach, NOW!
Rabbi Yosef Y. Shagalov,
Committee for the Blind
2 Nissan, 5759
Brooklyn, New York
In this week's Torah portion, Tzav, we read about the eight-day
consecration of the Sanctuary. All the instructions for building the Sanctuary
had been followed. The utensils and altar were ready for use, and the Jews
began to bring the various types of sacrifices. Yet, "the Divine Presence
did not rest on the work of their hands." For the first seven days, the Sanctuary
was erected. But each day it was taken down again. Only on the eighth day
of the consecration, when the last trace of spiritual impurity caused by
the sin of the Golden Calf was removed, did the Heavenly fire descend and
the G-dly Presence rest on the Sanctuary.
We see here two components to the perpetual fire which burned on the altar.
On the one hand, a fire came down from Heaven to consume the offerings. But
the priests were nonetheless commanded to bring ordinary fire, too. The act
of bringing the fire served as a preparation for the G-dly flame that came
from Above. Only after human initiative had been taken could the G-dly fire
descend. And only at that point did the Sanctuary attain permanence.
Why could the G-dly fire be drawn down only after the human component of
the worship was perfected? What special nature of the G-dly fire brought
permanence to the Sanctuary?
Human beings are finite. No matter how high their aspirations, they can reach
only a finite level of spirituality. And, being finite, human beings cannot
reach a level of permanence in their worship without the assistance of G-d,
Who is infinite and unlimited. Permanence cannot be attained solely through
human effort. The G-dly intervention added a permanence that could not be
achieved by human endeavor. The Sanctuary no longer needed to be disassembled.
The fire teaches us that we, as finite beings, must first complete our own
tasks and achieve as much as our limited capabilities allow, in order for
G-d to provide the spiritual edge that we cannot reach alone.
The completion of the first seven days of the consecration also symbolized
the limitations of the physical world. A week constitutes a recognized, full
cycle symbolizing the spiritual limitations inherent in the corporeal world.
The eighth day of the consecration symbolizes the infinite attribute of G-d
that cannot be contained in the natural order of seven. This is the level
of "perpetual fire'" that burned on the altar, showing that finite beings
could transcend even time itself, through the perfection of their worship
The verse concerning the perpetual fire reads: "A perpetual fire shall burn
on the altar--it shall not go out." This means that our enthusiasm and warmth
towards Judaism must remain kindled and never be allowed to diminish. It
is not enough to rely on our spiritual achievements of the day before, or
even a minute ago. We must be ever vigilant to ensure that the innate spark
of love of G-d in every Jewish soul never grows cold.
Every single Jew is a sanctuary to G-d, as it states, "And they shall build
me a Sanctuary and I will dwell in their midst"--in the midst of each and
every Jew. If we always keep the spark of love for G-d and Judaism glowing,
we can ensure that the Divine Presence finds a dwelling place in this world
The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson of Lubavitch, issued a call that
"The time of our Redemption has arrived!" and "Moshiach is on his
The Rebbe stressed that he is saying this
prophecy, and asks us all to prepare ourselves for the Redemption,
through increasing acts of goodness and kindness.
Let us all heed the Rebbe's call.
Adapted from the Works of the Rebbe
On the tenth day of the Hebrew month of Nissan the Jews in Egypt were
commanded to take a lamb into their homes and to guard it until the fourteenth
of the month, when it was to be slaughtered as the Passover offering. When
their Egyptian neighbors became curious, the Jews explained that the sacrifice
was preparatory to the tenth and final plague G-d would visit on the
Egyptians--the slaying of the firstborn.
Hearing this, the firstborn sons panicked. They stormed Pharaoh's palace,
demanding that he free the Jews. When he refused, civil war broke out in
Egypt. Sons fought against fathers and many died, as it states in Psalms,
"To Him Who struck Egypt through its first-born"--the Egyptian firstborn
sons themselves were the instrument of Egypt's destruction.
This miracle is commemorated each year on Shabbat HaGadol, the
Shabbat immediately preceding Passover, as the miracle itself took
place on Shabbat that year. Yet ever since then, Shabbat HaGadol
does not necessarily fall on the 10th of Nissan; the deciding factor
in commemorating the miracle is that it be on Shabbat.
This commemoration differs from all other celebrations on the Jewish calendar,
which are generally determined according to the day of the month. What is
so special about Shabbat HaGadol that it follows a different pattern?
An essential difference exists between the days of the week and of the month.
The seven days of the week are determined by the sun, according to the natural
order G-d put into motion during the seven days of Creation. The days of
the (Jewish) month, however, are determined by the phases of the moon, whose
movements are not subject to nature in the same way.
These two ways of determining the passage of time, solar and lunar, reflect
the two ways G-d oversees the world--within and outside of nature--the seemingly
natural occurrence and the miracle. In fact, the Hebrew word for
"month"--chodesh--expresses this concept, for it is related to the
word chadash ("new"), signifying that the lunar phases are subject
to change. For this reason, Jewish holidays are celebrated according to the
day of the month, as they commemorate G-d's supernatural intervention with
the laws of nature.
The miracle of Shabbat HaGadol, however, was not supernatural, but
of an entirely different sort, one in which evil itself fought to eradicate
its own existence. Fearing for their own lives, Egyptian fought against Egyptian,
waging war in order to free the Jewish slaves.
A miracle such as this, occurring within nature, is therefore connected to
the day of the week and not the day of the month. This concept will be better
understood when Moshiach comes, speedily in our days, for the G-dliness that
exists within nature will then be openly revealed and not seen as a separate
1. See below footnote #4. Ed.
by Rabbi Avraham Kotlarsky*
The fourth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Shmuel (the Rebbe Maharash), had
a chassid who was a successful businessman. Before undertaking any
significant deal, he always consulted the Rebbe and followed his instructions.
One time, the chassid was offered a fabulous opportunity. If
successful--and most certainly it would be--he would make millions. The deal,
however, required that he invest almost his entire fortune. Before the
chassid would make such a major move, he set off to the city of Lubavitch
to seek the Rebbe's advice.
After hearing the details of the proposition the Rebbe Maharash told
him that he should not go through with the deal.
The chassid was stunned. He tried to convince the Rebbe that this
was a sound proposal; he described all of the great profits to be made, but
to no avail. The Rebbe's answer was final: NO!
A few days later, the would-be business partners came to the chassid.
When they heard that he was not interested, based upon the Rebbe's answer,
they began to laugh at him. "Certainly you didn't understand the Rebbe's
words," they told him. "And anyway, maybe there were some important details
you left out that would solicit a different answer. After all," they said,
"isn't there a saying that 'according to how you ask, that is how you're
answered'? Go back to the Rebbe and make sure to tell him all the details.
You'll see, the answer will be different this time."
Back to Lubavitch the chassid went. "Rebbe," he pleaded, "obviously
I did not explain myself well enough last time. We're talking about tremendous
sums of money. I can become rich overnight and give much tzeddaka
[charity] as well..."
The Rebbe listened patiently once again, and at the end of the presentation
his answer was simple and direct: "No. It's not worthwhile."
The chassid made his way home, thinking about all the money he could
have made, if only the Rebbe would have agreed. "The Rebbe doesn't even explain
his reasons," thought the chassid.
But his friends and family wouldn't let up. "It's forbidden to lose such
an opportunity," they cried. "Go back to the Rebbe again and certainly the
answer will be different."
In his third attempt, the chassid tried everything, even begging the
Rebbe to let him make the deal, but the Rebbe answered once again: "No."
When the chassid came home, he couldn't stand up to the pressure of
family and friends, and contrary to the Rebbe's advice, he signed the deal.
He quieted his conscience by telling himself that he would now really give
a lot of tzeddaka.
Unfortunately, things did not go well. In a short while, the chassid
lost all his money.
The chassid realized how wrong it was to not follow the Rebbe's
instruction. Full of regret, he made his way back a fourth time to see the
The chassid spent a long time in private with the Rebbe. When he came
out, he revealed only one thing the Rebbe had told him.
"There are people," said the Rebbe, "big businessmen among them, who come
to ask my advice concerning important matters. Sometimes the issues are quite
complex; matters which I have never engaged in, nor did my ancestors. So
then why do they ask me my advice, and follow my instructions and counsel?
"There are three answers, each one matching a different type of Jew who comes
"One person thinks, 'It's very simple. The Rebbe has Ruach
HaKodesh--Divine Inspiration! The Rebbe is a G-dly man, a prophet. It
is G-d's words coming from his mouth and therefore we must follow him, no
"Another type," continued the Rebbe, "is a person who operates on a different
level, somewhat more down to earth. 'The Rebbe studies Torah all the time
and serves G-d with his entire being. His intellect is totally nullified
to G-d's Will. Therefore, everything he says stems from Torah and certainly
his words will be fulfilled.'
"The third type," explained the Rebbe, "says, 'The Rebbe meets so many people,
from all over the world and from all walks of life. He has acquired an incredibly
broad knowledge of worldly matters. With this knowledge and his ability to
see things from many different angles, the Rebbe sees what others cannot.
Therefore, we must listen to him.'
"Whichever group you might belong to," the Rebbe Maharash concluded,
"you should never have gone through with the deal after hearing from me not
once, not twice, but three times clearly 'no!'"
* * *
I remember the morning of Gimmel Tammuz 5754/1994, when I walked into
the Chabad House for Sunday morning services. One of the people who had come
to pray asked me, "What do we do now?"
What do we do now? The Rebbe told us that the Redemption is at the door;
that we must prepare ourselves and the whole world for the revelation of
Moshiach. It was true that even while the Rebbe was critically ill we believed
that G-d would heal the Rebbe; that the Redemption we so eagerly awaited
and anticipated would be heralded in with the revelation of the Rebbe as
Moshiach, and that he would miraculously lead us to the Holy Land.
What now? Who will lead us on? Was the Rebbe wrong? Is the Redemption, after
all, a beautiful dream to take place in another time, another place, but
not in this "real" world of sorrow and pain?
Some people see in the Rebbe a great charismatic leader. Others see a Torah
genius. Others emphasize the Rebbe's knack for finding the right button to
push in the hearts of his followers, his admirers, or any stranger who approached
him at Sunday dollars.(2) Others speak of the Rebbe's
organizational skills and his foresight that has put him light-years ahead
of prevailing thought.
The final word is that the Rebbe is a G-dly man. The Rebbe is not "us-plus,"
so to speak, a person who is merely more brilliant, more sensitive,
more insightful, more spiritual, and capable of leadership
than we. Rather, his teachings and personal life reveal him to be carved
from a different substance altogether. His every word--carefully chosen and
full of meaning; his every move--calculated, corresponding to Divine Emanations
in a world concealed from our sight; someone transplanted from another world,
to bring light to a darkened world, to lead the final generation of exile
The Rebbe is revealed to each person as he perceives the Rebbe. Like the
three types of Jews who came to the Rebbe Maharash, every individual
relates to the Rebbe on a different level.
Not once, not twice, nor three times, but literally hundreds of times--publicly
and privately, in writing and verbally--the Rebbe has told all Jews of this
generation what we must do in these last moments before the Redemption:
"Do everything you can to bring Moshiach, here and now." (28 Nissan,
"...Publicize to all people that we have merited that G-d has chosen and
appointed an individual incomparably greater than all other people in this
generation as the judge, adviser and prophet of the generation to give
instructions and advice in both the Divine service and daily activities of
all Jews ... up to and including the main prophecy, "Redemption is imminent"
and "Moshiach is coming." (Shabbat Shoftim, 5751/1991)
"All the service that was expected of the Jewish people in exile has been
completed and perfected and we are now ready to receive Moshiach ... Moshiach
not only exists, but is also revealed. All that remains is for us to receive
and greet Moshiach in actual fact." (Shabbat Vayeira,
"Every sheliach [emissary of the Rebbe] must prepare himself and all
the Jews of his neighborhood, city, etc., to greet Moshiach 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 .... Since this is the necessary
service of the time, it is self-understood that this is incumbent upon every
single Jew, without any exception." (Shabbat Chayei Sarah,
The Rebbe has told us to learn more about Moshiach and the Redemption; to
start "living with Moshiach" by increasing our acts of kindness and
mitzvot; to share this message with others.
Whatever group we belong to, regardless of how we define ourselves and at
what level of faith we may operate, we should listen to the Rebbe.
There is no question that all that the Rebbe said will be fulfilled. There
is no question that what the Rebbe said is not open now to reinterpretation.
There is no question that we will see the Redemption very soon unfold before
our eyes, precisely as the Rebbe said. There is no question what we must
do now, for everything the Rebbe has said to us, all of the directions that
he has given to this generation, must continue on and with greater strength,
with more vigor and vitality.
We are the generation of the Redemption. And we will make it happen. Let
us commit ourselves to fulfilling the Rebbe's directives, and then we will
be able to see the realization of the Rebbe's most important prophecy, the
revelation of Moshiach in the true and complete Redemption.
*. Executive Director, Chabad Lubavitch of Rockland, NY.
2. In the years 1986-1992, the Rebbe, every Sunday, personally distributed
to each of the thousands of visitors who came to receive his blessings a
dollar to give to charity.
Jewish Women and Girls Light Shabbat
For local candle lighting times:
consult your local Rabbi, Chabad-Lubavitch Center, or call: (718) 774-3000.
For a free candle lighting kit:
contact your local Chabad-Lubavitch Center.
For a listing of the Centers in your area:
In the USA, call: 1-800-Lubavitch (1-800-582-2848).
Times shown are for Metro NY - NJ
Friday, March 26, Erev Shabbat Parshat Tzav:
Light Shabbat Candles,(3) by 5:55 p.m.
Saturday, March 27, Shabbat Parshat Tzav:
3. The Shabbat candles must be lit 18 minutes before
sunset. It is prohibited and is a desecration of the Shabbat to
light the candles after sunset.
4. A portion of the Haggadah, beginning from Avodim
Hoyinu ("We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt") until likaper al kol
avonoseinu ("to atone for all our sins") is recited on this
Shabbat after Mincha, the Shabbat afternoon service.
Laws of Shabbat Candle
Lighting for the Blind
"Let There Be
Light" - The Jewish Women's Guide to Lighting Shabbat Candles.