"LIVING WITH MOSHIACH,"
Parshat Tazria-Metzora, 5759
Nissan 30, 5759
April 16, 1999
Chof Ches Nissan
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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
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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.
This week's issue focuses on, Chof Ches Nissan, the 28th of
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
25 Nissan, 5759
Brooklyn, New York
One of the laws pertaining to the biblical affliction of leprosy (discussed
in the second of this week's two Torah portions, Metzora), seems somewhat
surprising. If a person discovered an eruption, a bright spot, or a white
hair indicative of the disease on part of his body, he was pronounced "impure"
by the priest. If, however, the leprosy covered his entire body, he was
pronounced pure. "[If] it is all turned white, he is pure," the Torah repeats.
How can it be that when the leprosy is confined to one area, the person is
impure, yet once it has spread all over his body, he is pure? There are two
a) The sole reason he is considered pure is because it is G-d's will. According
to logic, the person whose leprosy covers all of his flesh should be impure;
G-d, however, has decreed that he is pure.
b) When the leprosy appears on only a part of a person's skin, it is obvious
that he is suffering from some sort of malady. If it covers all of his skin,
it is indicative of the individual's constitution and nature, not symptomatic
of a disease.
The Talmud cites this law in connection to the concept of redemption, using
the affliction of leprosy as a metaphor for sin. "The son of David [Moshiach]
will not come until all authority has become heretical," i.e., when G-dlessness
is officially sanctioned and widespread throughout the world.
Here we may ask the same question raised regarding leprosy: If the world
will be entirely dark, how will it be possible for the light of Redemption
to shine through? Why will the Redemption occur precisely when evil is so
powerful that it has overcome the entire world?
Again, the above two explanations may be applied to solve our dilemma:
a) There is no logic involved. Moshiach will come when he does only because
G-d will have decreed it thus; the Redemption will occur independent of the
world's condition. An all-powerful and eternal G-d can certainly bring Moshiach
no matter how degraded and evil the world becomes.
b) The fact that evil is ascendant throughout the entire world is proof that
something unusual is taking place. Were this not so, some pockets of good
would certainly have remained. Rather, the absolute supremacy of evil indicates
that all the negative forces have become externalized, as they have already
been fully vanquished from within.
Thus, the phenomenon of "all authority has become heretical" is actually
part of the world's purification, a process of separating good from evil
that will ultimately culminate with Moshiach's revelation. At that time,
the world will be sufficiently prepared for the light of Redemption.
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.
Wednesday, the 28th of Nissan (April 14), is an anniversary of
sort. It is eight years to the day when, in the course of a rather unexceptional
public gathering, the Rebbe changed his tone and his topic and emotionally
shared the following:
"Because of the unique stress on the Redemption in this time, an astonishing
question arises: How is it possible that despite all these factors, Moshiach
has not yet come? This is beyond all possible comprehension.
"It is also beyond comprehension that when ten (and many times ten) Jews
gather together at a time that is appropriate for the Redemption to come,
they do not raise a clamor great enough to cause Moshiach to come immediately.
They are, heaven forbid, able to accept the possibility that Moshiach will
not arrive tonight, and even that he will not arrive tomorrow, or on the
day after tomorrow, heaven forbid.
"Even when people cry out 'Ad mosai--Until when will we remain in
exile?' they do so only because they were told to. If they had sincere intent
and earnest desire, and cried out in truth, Moshiach would surely have come
"What more can I do to motivate the entire Jewish people to clamor and cry
out, and thus actually bring about the coming of Moshiach? All that has been
done until now has been to no avail, for we are still in exile; moreover,
we are in an inner exile in regard to our own service of G-d.
"All that I can possibly do is to give the matter over to you. Now, do everything
you can to bring Moshiach, here and now, immediately.
"May it be G-d's will that ultimately ten Jews will be found who are stubborn
enough to resolve to secure G-d's consent to actually bring about the true
and ultimate Redemption, here and now, immediately. Their stubborn resolve
will surely evoke G-d's favor, as reflected by the interpretation of the
verse, 'For they are a stiff-necked people; You will pardon our sins and
wrongdoings and make us Your possession.'
"I have done whatever I can; from now on, you must do whatever you can. May
it be G-d's will that there will be one, two, or three among you who will
appreciate what needs to be done and how it needs to be done, and may you
actually be successful and bring about the true and complete Redemption.
May this take place immediately, in a spirit of happiness and gladness of
* * *
Far from "passing the buck" or throwing up his hands in defeat, from
that day forth, the Rebbe continued, with increased vigor and enthusiasm,
to discuss the imminence of Moshiach's arrival and to offer suggestions what
we could do to get ready for the Redemption.
In fact, the very next Shabbat, the Rebbe said:
"Every Jew, man, woman and child, has an individual responsibility to add
to his service with the intent of bringing about the actual coming of Moshiach.
One should not try to shift the burden of responsibility to others. Rather,
each person should recognize his individual responsibility.
"This service must involve an increase in the study of the Torah, both hidden
and revealed and an increase in the performance of mitzvot in a beautiful
and conscientious manner . . .
"In addition to making such increases oneself, one should also influence
others to make similar increases. And all of this should be suffused with
yearning for and expectation of Moshiach's coming.
"May our resolutions to involve ourselves be successful and bring about the
coming of the ultimate Redemption."
Once a chasid went to his Rebbe and cried, "My son is about
to be drafted to serve in the Czar's army! I have been informed that the
draft board this time will be comprised of people from a different town.
If a father brings a note from a doctor that his son is ill, the boy receives
a three-month reprieve. I will bring a note saying my son is ill. In three
months, when he has to appear before the board again, it will be comprised
of local people with whom I am close and they will easily exempt him."
The Rebbe listened and then said, "I understand your plan, but I think your
son should appear at this hearing."
The chasid left the Rebbe's room bewildered, for his plan was completely
logical. He went home and decided to continue as planned. He procured a doctor's
note and appeared at the scheduled hearing. Upon entering the room he nearly
fainted: it was the local board! He had no choice but to hand them the note
and receive the three-month grace period. But he knew that when he appeared
in three months time before the board of strangers, his son would surely
The distraught father came to the Rebbe again and pleaded with the Rebbe
for help. "Have pity on a poor fool. Should my innocent son suffer because
he has a father such as me?" he wailed. The Rebbe thought for some time and
then said, "Get your son a false passport and send him far away."
The father nodded. "But that leaves me with another big problem," he related.
"When a draftee runs away, the father is fined three hundred rubles, which
I don't have! They will take my small children as hostages, until I pay."
The Rebbe fell deep into thought again, then answered: "Don't worry. There
is a project in the works."
The chasid was relieved. He bought a passport on the black market
and sent his son off to safety. But what of the fine? He wondered. He tried
to put his questions and doubts out of his mind.
Three months passed. A soldier came to his store, and handed him many
official-looking papers, announcing: "Sign these and appear at the bureau
in twenty-four hours."
The chasid was shaking as he entered the lawyer's office. He could
not read Russian, and so he was unable to read the documents. The lawyer,
a local Jew, studied the pages closely. Then he looked up with a smile. "Do
you know that they have given you their entire file on your son? Were you
to throw it into the fire, nothing would be left; it would be over." With
that, he tossed the papers into the fire, and the chasid suddenly
understood his Rebbe's words, which had been so unintelligible at the time:
"There is a project in the works."
* * *
The Rebbe has told the world that "There is a project in the works"--the
time of the Redemption has arrived. And though, at times, it might appear
that things are going in a different direction, there really is "a project
in the works."
We needn't accept on blind faith that there is a "project." The Rebbe has
shown us how the world is changing and moving toward the Redemption. He has
pointed out examples of the fulfillment of ancient prophecies. Nor should
we be discouraged by temporary setbacks, for these, too, have their precedents:
Even after we had gone out of Egypt amidst great wonders, some wanted to
turn back when faced with adversity. Later, though the journey to the Holy
Land had already commenced, Moses was hidden from us as he studied the most
sublime aspects of G-d's Wisdom, in order to ultimately share it with the
"I ask that they not act foolishly and add their own explanations and
interpretations to my words, e.g., that I really meant such and such, etc.
. . I say what I mean."
The Rebbe, 21 Menachem Av, 5744/1984
Some people still ask, "What did the Rebbe really say about Moshiach
and the Redemption." The following quotes from the Rebbe were said at public
gatherings, in front of thousands of people. Some are from transcripts of
the Rebbe's talks while others are from published essays that were edited
by the Rebbe after being adapted from his public talks.
"Just as until now it was clear to each one of us that the Rebbe would lead
us to greet our righteous Moshiach, so should it be clear now. That which
happened is only from our material point of view. It is nothing more than
a trial, one of the trials of the birthpangs of Moshiach that need to occur
before the arrival of the righteous Redeemer. The sole purpose of these trials
is to conceal the truth."
Shabbat Teruma, 5710/1950
"Since Jacob was mourned and buried as prescribed by the Torah, because it
appeared to them that he died, this draws down the potential for every
one to reach the Resurrection of the Dead through the service of refining
and purifying the body--negating the body--via its return to the dust. Through
the process of negation (which, as explained, can be fulfilled through the
spiritual service of 'My soul will be as dust to all,' in which case there
is no need to actually return to dust), we come to the Resurrection of the
Dead in the true and ultimate Redemption."
"As such the Al-mighty's Redemption is actually brought about through His
emissary, the righteous Moshiach, with all eight names attributed to him.
This includes also 'His name is Menachem' in a way that 'One points with
his finger and exclaims, 'Behold! Here he is! Here is Menachem, our righteous
1 Menachem Av, 5749/1989
"Every single Jew must perform his Divine service in a manner similar to
and befitting the days of Moshiach and the subsequent era of the Resurrection
of the Dead. This is exhibited first and foremost through faith, anticipation
and knowledge that supernatural events will occur in the days of Moshiach,
namely, the Resurrection of the Dead. Belief in these concepts must be with
certainty, and must be as unshakably firm as the belief in the Ten Commandments.
"Obviously the belief in the Resurrection of the Dead requires that same
degree of certainty and anticipation. This must be emphasized so much more
in our present generation, when many messianic signs are unfolding. These
constitute a clear indication that Moshiach is already present in the world.
Moreover, he is already a prominent Jewish leader, 'a king from the House
of David, deeply absorbed in the study of Torah,' etc.
"Therefore, in our present generation, great emphasis must be placed on the
belief in the coming of Moshiach and anything that relates to it."
Shabbat Acharei, 5746/1986
"We see in recent years how the verse 'And Moses 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 number of people moving to the Holy
Land is incomparably greater than those of previous generations."
Shabbat Vayakhel, 5752/1992
". . . The suggestion is the study of Torah on the topics of Moshiach and
the Redemption. For it is within the ability of Torah 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 (as 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 recognition that 'Behold, here he comes!'"
Shabbat Balak, 5751/1991
"Although in chronological order, the advent of Moshiach will precede the
Resurrection of the Dead, special individuals will nonetheless be resurrected
prior to Moshiach's coming. First and foremost, the Rebbe, my father-in-law,
will once again enclothe himself in a body, and return. (In reality, it makes
no difference how he comes, whether through the door, the window, or 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 Shavuot, 5710/1950
"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 is stated] '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 wakening and giving praise of the Davidic King Moshiach!"
2 Nissan, 5748/1988
"True, we currently find ourselves in the extreme darkness of Exile. Yet,
nonetheless, since Exile is merely a 'dream' (in which contradictions can
co-exist), the current situation can instantly be reversed, from one extreme
to another. This means that we emerge from this dream of Exile and arrive
at the true reality, the actual Redemption!. . .
"True, Maimonides explains that there is a natural order in the process .
. . However this is only if the Redemption materializes in a normal manner.
If the Jews merit, and certainly in present times when the appointed time
for the Redemption has long since passed, we have merited that the Redemption
will come instantly, above and beyond all natural limitations!
"It is within the ability of every single Jew to bring the Redemption right
away, not tomorrow or the day after, but quite literally today, so that at
this very moment, a person opens his eyes and sees that our righteous Moshiach
is present with us in this very House of Prayer and Study, in his physical
body, down on earth!. . .
"Some people argue that this in itself is difficult to appreciate. It has
already been many years since the leader of our generation announced 'Immediate
Redemption' and nevertheless, he still has not come!. . .
"This question stems from being consumed with and engulfed in the Exile frame
of mind. Hence people are unable to free themselves of this 'dream' of Exile
and perceive that the true reality is otherwise, a state of being awake,
the actual Redemption!"
Shabbat Pinchas, 5744/1984
"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 above 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 non-Jews are
indeed aiding him in his service."
Shabbat Korach, 3 Tamuz, 5751/1991
"A question has been asked with regard to the recent statements that the
Redemption is coming immediately. Some might suggest that it would not be
so easy for this message to reach people and convince them. People are uncertain
of how their families and the world at large will react to it. The response
is that such concerns would only be valid if the idea of Redemption was an
innovation. However, the Redemption is nothing new. Rather, all its elements
have already begun, and have already been brought down and accepted in the
physical world, the level beyond which there is nothing lower. Therefore,
it should be of no surprise when, immediately, the Redemption arrives."
Shabbat Shoftim, 5751/1991
"We are immediately going to merit the fulfillment of the messianic promise,
'As in the days of your Exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders,' with
the coming of Moshiach, whose name is 'Menachem,' like the name of the
Tzemach Tzedek--may he come and redeem us, and lead us proudly to
our land. For inasmuch as the prophetic promise, 'Awaken and sing, those
who rest in the dust' will soon take place . . . there will then be a realization
of the meaning of 'Menachem--King Moshiach.'"
Eve of Rosh HaShanah, 5744/1984
A footnote added by the Rebbe to an edited version of a talk after mentioning
the third Chabad Rebbe, known as the Tzemach Tzedek:
"His two names, Tzemach and Tzedek (which are the numerical
equivalent of 'Menachem Mendel') are the names of King Moshiach."
12 Sivan, 5751/1991
The Rebbe's slogan is: "The main thing is the deed." We therefore present
from the Rebbe's talks suggestions what we can do to complete his work of
bringing the Redemption.
Study Ethics of the Fathers
We read one chapter of Ethics of the Fathers (Pirkei Avot) each
Shabbat following the afternoon prayer, because these are the days
leading up to the Giving of the Torah and Pirkei Avot contain ethics
and moral exhortations to help us improve ourselves so that we are worthy
of the Torah.
The Rebbe emphasized the importance of not only reciting the chapters, but
also actually studying them.
The weekly chapter of Pirkei Avot with the Rebbe's commentaries, are
available electronically via the Internet, by sending your subscription request
to: email@example.com - Subscribe
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, April 16, Erev Shabbat Parshat
First day of Rosh Chodesh Iyar.
Light Shabbat Candles,(1) by 7:16 p.m.
Saturday, April 17, Shabbat Parshat Tazria-Metzora
Second day of Rosh Chodesh Iyar.
On Shabbat following the afternoon prayer, we read Chapter 2 of
Ethics of the Fathers (Pirkei Avot).
Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 8:20 p.m.
1. 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.
Laws of Shabbat Candle
Lighting for the Blind
"Let There Be
Light" - The Jewish Women's Guide to Lighting Shabbat Candles.