"LIVING WITH MOSHIACH,"
Parshat Kedoshim, 5763
Nissan 30, 5763
May 2, 2003
"Chof Ches Nissan"
This week's issue is sponsored
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Dedicated to educating the public regarding the
current situation in Israel, based on Torah
sources, with special emphasis on the opinion
and teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
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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, the 341st
issue of our weekly publication, Living With Moshiach.
In this week's issue, we focus on Chof Ches Nissan, the 28th of
Nissan, Wednesday, April 30.
Our sincere appreciation to L'Chaim weekly
publication, published by the Lubavitch Youth Organization, for allowing
us to use their material.
Also, many thanks to our copy editor, Reb
Staiman, for 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, 5763
Brooklyn, New York
This week's Torah portion, Kedoshim, contains the commandment: "Sanctify
yourselves and be holy." Man is commanded to sanctify himself even within
the parameters of Torah law. Not only must he heed both positive and negative
mitzvot, but he must also sanctify himself in those areas that the
Torah has deemed permissible.
One might think that because these areas are not specifically spelled out
in the Torah, this commandment is less important than others that are explained
in great detail. But it is precisely this personal sanctification that has
the power to bring the Final Redemption closer to reality.
Although learning Torah and performing mitzvot require the individual
to subjugate, to a certain extent, his own personal desires to G-d's will,
this in no way ensures that his inner nature will be purified and refined.
But when a person, of his own accord and of his own volition, consistently
behaves in the same dignified and respectful manner, no matter what the endeavor,
it demonstrates that the Torah's holiness has penetrated his inner being
and that he is totally committed to G-d.
At the same time, this imbues one's entire life with G-dliness, not only
those areas directly involved with religious observance. A person who strives
to sanctify himself at all times, however mundane his activity, reveals the
G-dliness within all of creation and proves that no aspect of life is too
insignificant to be used in the service of G-d.
This commandment has particular meaning for us now, as we stand on the threshold
of the Final Redemption: we are the last generation of Golus (Exile)
and the first generation of the Geulah (Redemption). For one of the
main changes that will occur when Moshiach comes is the revelation of G-dliness
that will suddenly become apparent. When Moshiach comes we will realize that
G-d is indeed everywhere and that truly "there is nothing besides Him."
At the present time, holiness is manifested in a limited way. Now, it is
the physical objects we use to perform mitzvot that become imbued
with holiness and sanctity. During the Messianic Era, however, we will easily
recognize the G-dliness inherent in every detail of creation.
When Moshiach comes, G-d will be perceived as He exists -- without any
limitations whatsoever. G-d's desire to establish a dwelling place for Himself
"down on earth" will be totally fulfilled and the purpose of creation realized.
Sanctifying even the most mundane aspects of our lives, therefore, not only
prepares us for the imminent Redemption, but, serves to bring Moshiach even
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 as
a 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.
"Some people are apprehensive about having the Redemption arrive so suddenly.
What will come of all the businesses that they have set up, the property
and possessions they have accumulated, the friendships and the contacts that
have been established, and so on?
"They need not worry. The Redemption does not imply the annulment of the
natural order nor the loss of the good things that came into being (in the
spirit of the Torah) during the exile. Indeed, these very things will be
comprised in the Redemption, and will be elevated to a state of Redemption,
to the level of their true consummation."
(The Rebbe, 5751/1991)
Wednesday, the 28th of Nissan (April 30), is an anniversary of
sort. It is 12 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."
"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
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 will be comprised of people from a different town. If a father
brings a note from a doctor saying 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
three months later, before the board of strangers, his son would surely be
The distraught father came to the Rebbe again and pleaded with him 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 then
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
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 24 hours."
The chasid was shaking as he entered the lawyer's office. He could
not read Russian, and so he had been unable to persue 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 them 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
We needn't accept on blind faith the existence of the "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
Jews 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 Jewish nation.
Surely we will all contribute to the completion of the project and very soon
we will join together with all Jewry of all generations in the holy city
of Jerusalem, NOW!
There has always been one central theme in all of the Rebbe's talks: the
Throughout the years, the Rebbe suggested various projects to hasten the
coming of Moshiach and to prepare for that eternal era of peace and tranquility.
But, upon declaring that "the time of your Redemption has arrived" in 5751/1991,
the Rebbe repeatedly stressed a number of practical activities to prepare
ourselves and the world for Moshiach.
One activity is to increase in Torah study about Moshiach and the Redemption.
Concerning this the Rebbe said, "Since Moshiach is about to come, a final
effort is required that will bring Moshiach. Every individual -- man, woman
and child -- should increase his Torah study in subjects that concern the
Redemption. This applies to the Written Torah and the Oral Torah -- in the
Talmud, Midrashim as well as (and especially) in the mystical dimension
of the Torah, beginning with the Zohar and particularly in
Chasidus... This study is a foretaste and preparation for the study
of the Torah of Moshiach... An increase in Torah study in these areas is
the 'direct way' to bring about the revelation and coming of Moshiach in
Another activity to prepare for Moshiach is to upgrade one's observance of
mitzvot (commandments) particularly charity. Said the Rebbe, "One
should likewise upgrade one's meticulous observance of the mitzvot,
particularly the mitzvah of tzeddakah (charity) which 'brings
the Redemption near.' It would be well to make one's increased contributions
with the intent that it hasten the Redemption. This intention in itself becomes
part of one's study of subjects connected with the Redemption -- for this
is a tangible study of the teaching of our Sages, 'Great is charity, for
it brings the Redemption near.' "
Surely, by implementing these suggestions we will imminently see the realization
of the Jewish people's prayers throughout the millenia, the coming of Moshiach,
Is the so-called "Moshiach Campaign" a Lubavitch invention? At a gathering
on Shavuot 5745/1985, the Rebbe spoke about people's perception of
the desire for Moshiach as an "innovation" of Lubavitch. The Rebbe said (freely
"Someone wrote to me recently that he met a religious Jew who doesn't 'hold'
from Lubavitch (not that the Jew has any idea what Lubavitch is, he just
knows that he doesn't 'hold' from Lubavitch) and asked, 'Why do Lubavitchers
cry out and proclaim, "Moshiach now!" '
"The person who wrote the letter wasn't sure what to answer the other Jew
and therefore was writing to me for an answer.
"It is mind-boggling that the letter-writer didn't know what to answer the
other Jew! But to answer the question:
"Belief in Moshiach and awaiting his coming -- 'I believe in the coming of
Moshiach... I wait every day that he should come' -- is one of the 13 fundamental
principles of the Jewish faith as enumerated by Maimonides.
"Every Jew requests in each of the three daily weekday services, 'Speedily
cause the scion of David Your servant to flourish... for we hope for Your
salvation every day.' And each day, including Shabbat and holidays,
in the three prayer services, we beg, 'May our eyes behold Your return to
Zion in mercy!'
"After all of this, there are those who say that the request that we go out
of exile to the Redemption -- 'Moshiach now,' -- is a 'novel' idea of Lubavitch!"
The Rebbe quoted a verse from Psalms, "As the deer longs for the springs
of water, so does my soul call out in thirst for You G-d." The Rebbe explained
that this verse emphasizes our great pain over the exile and our desire and
longing for the Redemption. This desire is not just that we want "Moshiach
now," but much more: In the same way a person who hasn't had water for a
long time thirsts for it in order to revive his soul, so should our thirst
for the Redemption affect our lives literally.
May our cry of "Moshiach now!" be filled with a true thirst for the Redemption
that will reunite us with the Rebbe and bring the Redemption NOW!
by Rabbi Avraham Kotlarsky(1)
The fourth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Shmuel (the Rebbe Maharash), had
a chasid who was a successful businessman. Before undertaking any
significant deal, he always consulted the Rebbe and followed his instructions.
One time, the chasid 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 chasid
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 chasid 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 chasid.
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 chasid 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 tzeddakah
[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 chasid 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 chasid.
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 chasid tried everything, even begging the
Rebbe to let him make the deal, but the Rebbe answered once again: "No."
When the chasid 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 tzeddakah.
Unfortunately, things did not go well. In a short while, the chasid
lost all his money.
The chasid 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 chasid 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 questions asked!'
"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 to Redemption.
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
"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.
1. 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.
This Shabbat is the second day of Rosh Chodesh Iyar;
therefore, let's consider just two of the numerous points about the unique
quality of Iyar.
Iyar, as spelled in Hebrew, is an acronym for the verse, "I, G-d,
am your Healer." Thus, this month is an auspicious time for personal and
In addition, the Rebbe stressed many times the special quality of every single
day of the month of Iyar, as each day has its own special
mitzvah of sefira, or "counting."
The first time the Jewish people counted during this period between Passover
and Shavuot was when they left Egypt and were preparing themselves
to receive the great gift of G-d's Torah at Mount Sinai. At the time they
were on a journey not only toward Mount Sinai and ultimately the Holy Land,
but they were also on their own personal journeys of self-refinement and
In future years "sefira" was connected to the counting of the
omer, a measure of barley that the Jews brought as an offering in
the Holy Temple on the second day of Passover.(3)
Even as we await the rebuilding of the Third and eternal Holy Temple, we
recite the blessing and fulfill the mitzvah of counting the
omer each evening from the second night of Passover until the eve
of Shavuot. And as we do so, we, too, travel on our own personal journeys
of self-refinement and purification, thereby drawing holiness into this world,
and preparing it for the arrival of Moshiach.
This, then, is the essence of part of the uniqueness of the month of
Iyar. Each day in this month has the mitzvah of counting (as
compared to the previous month of Nissan and the next month of
Sivan, which only have a few days with this mitzvah). And each
day is filled with the longing and preparation for the giving of the Torah.
Similarly, each day brings with it renewed introspection and the desire for
character refinement and purification.
May we complete our personal and national counting in the Holy Temple with
* * *
Counting the omer teaches us that every day counts. It reminds us
that each hour, each minute, should be filled with words, thoughts and deeds
of which we can be proud. And, too, that we are held accountable for every
precious second of life with which our Creator has blessed us.
"But, hold on a minute!" one might silently shout. "I'm just finding out
about this now. I've already missed out on making the past 20 days (or 20
years) count. What can I do to rectify the situation?"
The answer to this heartfelt cry lies in the uniqueness of the month of
Iyar and the mitzvah with which it is intertwined. Each day
holds a separate mitzvah, a unique opportunity, a particular mission.
True, you might have passed up prior chances, but today's and tomorrow's
minutes and hours are still available for you to fill with meaningful moments.
And by making our days count from now on, we can, in truth, rectify that
which we were missing in the past.
3. See The Story of the Omer, printed in
Living With Moshiach,
Your S'firat Ha'omer Guide, 5763
The most important principle in the Torah is the protection of Jewish life.
It's more important than Shabbat, more important than holidays, even
fasting on Yom Kippur.
Right now, in Israel, and everywhere, Jews must stand together in unity and
do whatever possible to protect Jewish life.
The Rebbe taught that there are ten important
Mitzvot we can do to protect life. See what you can do:
1) Ahavat Yisroel: Behave with love towards another Jew.
2) Learn Torah: Join a Torah class.
3) Make sure that Jewish children get a Torah true education.
4) Affix kosher Mezuzot on all doorways of the house.
5) For men and boys over 13: Put on Tefillin every weekday.
6) Give Charity.
7) Buy Jewish holy books and learn them.
8) Light Shabbat & Yom Tov candles. A Mitzvah
for women and girls.
9) Eat and drink only Kosher Food.
10) Observe the laws of Jewish Family Purity.
In addition, the Rebbe also urged every man, woman and child to Purchase
a Letter in a Sefer Torah. There are several Torah scrolls
being written to unite Jewish people and protect Jewish life.
Letters for children can be purchased for only $1. Send your Hebrew name
and your mother's Hebrew name plus $1 to:
"Children's Sefer Torah,"
P. O. Box 8,
Kfar Chabad, 72915, Israel
or via the Internet, at:
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.
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, May 2, Erev Shabbat Parshat Kedoshim:
First day of Rosh Chodesh Iyar.
Light Shabbat Candles,(4) by 7:33 p.m.
After nightfall, after reciting the Shabbat evening prayer, count
Omer 16. (5)
Saturday, May 3, Shabbat Parshat Kedoshim:
Second day of Rosh Chodesh Iyar.
On Shabbat following the afternoon prayer, we read Chapter 2 of
Pirkei Avot -- Ethics of the Fathers.
Shabbat ends at nightfall, at 8:39 p.m.
After nightfall, after reciting the evening prayer, count Omer 17.
4. 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.
5. For this year's S'firat Ha'omer Calendar - See our publication:
Living With Moshiach,
Your S'firat Ha'omer Guide, 5763
Laws of Shabbat Candle Lighting for the Blind
Shabbat Candle Lighting Blessing
"Let There Be Light" - The Jewish Women's Guide
to Lighting Shabbat Candles.
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