"LIVING WITH MOSHIACH,"
Parshat Noach, 5760
Cheshvan 5, 5760
October 15, 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
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.
In this week's issue, we focus on The Seven Noachide Laws.
The Jewish year that has just begun is the year 5760 since Creation. The
Hebrew letters are Hei-Tav-Shin-Samech. 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 acrostic of its Hebrew letters. This year has been designated by the
Rebbe's followers as "Hoyo T'hei Shnas Segulah," meaning "It will
surely be an auspicious year."
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 Tishrei, 5760
Brooklyn, New York
In this week's Torah portion, Noach, we read the famous story of Noach
and the flood. It was at the express command of G-d that Noach first entered
the ark, as it states, "Come you and all your household into the ark." It
was also at G-d's express command that he left it, as we are told, "Go forth
from the ark, you and your wife and your sons, and your sons' wives with
Thus it is difficult to understand why Noach sent out the raven and the dove
to determine if the Flood had ended. If Noach was supposed to wait until
G-d told him it was time to leave, why did he send the birds out to see if
the waters had abated? Why wasn't he content to wait for G-d's command?
In truth, by sending the birds from the ark, Noach was expressing his strong
desire to leave it. Rather than waiting for G-d to come to him, he did all
in his power to facilitate his exit. Noach sent the raven, and indeed sent
the dove out twice, in the hope that the Flood had receded and it was already
permissible for him to leave.
When G-d saw Noach's efforts and observed his intense longing to go out,
He hastened to issue His command. In fact, the command "Go out of the ark"
was given in the merit of Noach's exertions.
Exile is likened to the mabul (Flood), for in exile our perceptions
of reality are mevulbal (confused). The spiritual nature of the world
is hidden, whereas physicality is easily perceived. In exile it is hard for
the Jew to appreciate that his true function is the service of G-d, for the
material world conspires to obscure the underlying reality. The confusion
of exile is so great that the falsehood of the world is often mistaken for
In such circumstances it is forbidden to sit back with our arms folded. We
cannot wait until G-d will come and tell us to go out of exile.
Learning from the example of Noach, we must also do all in our power to determine
if the misfortune has ended and hasten our departure from exile. Rather than
wait placidly for the exile to be over, we must expend all necessary efforts
to put an end to it immediately.
What can we do? First, we must believe that at any minute the exile can end
and Moshiach will come. Second, we should promulgate the belief in Moshiach
and the anticipation of his coming. We must also increase our performance
of good deeds, and bombard G-d with petitions and prayers that He remove
us at once from the exile and bring us to Redemption.
When G-d will see our strong desire and intense longing to leave exile, most
assuredly He will hasten to send our Moshiach. In the merit of our efforts
He will certainly fulfill our hearts' desire, and bring Moshiach to us at
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.
This week's Torah portion is Noach. Therefore, this is the perfect
opportunity to consider the implications of the Rebbe's campaign to disseminate,
among non-Jews, the knowledge and observance of the Seven Noachide Laws.
The nations of the world were given a Divine code of conduct, the Seven Noachide
Laws, which consist of six prohibitions against: adultery, murder, robbery,
idolatry, blasphemy, cruelty to animals--and one positive command, to establish
a judicial system.
The Rebbe has encouraged his emissaries around the world to meet with
governmental officials and heads of state to sign proclamations, encouraging
the study and observance of the Seven Noachide laws. Governmental proclamations,
however, are not the rebbe's only concern.
An important part of the Jew's task is to see to it that all people, not
just Jews, acknowledge G-d as Creator and Ruler of the world and to therefore
conduct themselves according to the Seven Noachide Laws. Each and every Jew
has an important role to play in this task. But how can this be accomplished?
When a Jew conducts himself properly in all areas of his life--business,
recreation, family, and religious--he will automatically influence the people
around him. When the nations of the world see Jews acknowledging G-d as Ruler
of the world, through prayer and by following His commandments, they, too,
will come to realize the importance and truth of G-d's omnipotence.
"The future Redemption will apply not only to Israel, but to the whole world
as well. In preparation for this Redemption, therefore, action needs to be
taken so that the world at large will be ready for such a state.
"This is to be achieved through the efforts of the Jewish people to influence
the nations of the world to conduct themselves in the spirit of the verse
that states that G-d 'formed the world in order that it be settled' (Isaiah
45:18) in a civilized manner, through the observance of their seven
The Rebbe, 5743/1983
This week we read the Torah portion of Noach in which we find G-d's
promise that the world will continue to exist forever; it will never end.
"The end is near." What does this phrase mean? Certainly not the end of the
world but the end of the bitter days of exile. The end of oppression and
hatred, poverty and sickness, war and crime.
Why should we be afraid that the end is approaching? Should that thought
truly place fear in our hearts? Or should we not be excited that "the world
will be filled with the knowledge of G-d as the waters cover the ocean"?
Fear is not necessarily the appropriate feeling. Rather, possibly a sense
of regret, as the Previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, stated,
"When Moshiach comes, then we will long for the days of exile." Why? Because
at that time we will look back at a replay of our lives and see all of the
instances when we could have done more good, more mitzvot, judged
less harshly, been more generous. Thus, we might look toward the imminently
approaching days of Moshiach with a little anxiety. But the positive anticipation
should far outweigh our trepidation.
Would the Jews, from our greatest leaders to the simplest person, have looked
forward to, longed for, prayed, begged and beseeched G-d for 2,000 years
if the Redemption would not be good for everyone? In fact, we are told that
this redemption for which we wait anxiously is called the "geula ha-amitit
v'hashleima"--the true and complete redemption--because every single
Jew, as well as all righteous gentiles, have a portion in the Redemption.
Let us take one more lesson from this week's Torah portion and relate it
to the topic of Redemption as well. Noach was a tzaddik, a righteous
person. But he had one major failing. He was commanded by G-d to build an
ark, which he did obediently and gladly. But he did not actively seek to
help the people of his generation return to G-d. He was content to save himself
and his family.
Let us all make sure not only to prepare ourselves and to feel positive and
anxious about the imminent redemption. Let us make sure to influence those
in our surroundings as well.
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.(1) 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.
1. 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.
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.
The Seven Universal Laws of Noah:
Influence non-Jews to observe the seven universal laws commanded to Noah
and his descendants.
The Seven Noachide Laws consist of six prohibitions against: adultery, murder,
robbery, idolatry, blasphemy, cruelty to animals--and one positive command,
to establish a judicial system.
For more information on the Seven Noachide Laws, go to:
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, Oct. 15, Erev Shabbat Parshat Noach:
Light Shabbat Candles,(2) by 5:59 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 16, Shabbat Parshat Noach:
Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 6:58 p.m.
2. 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.