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Moshiach Now: In The Gentiles’ Own Language
By Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Ginsberg

Last week, in connection with Chaf Av, the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson, o.b.m., the father of the Rebbe MH”M, several excerpts of Rav Levi Yitzchak’s letters were presented in this column that typified his unique hashkafa and style of learning. As explained previously, this approach, which brings down even the most esoteric concepts into simple words that everyone can understand, is based on the absolute belief in the Divinity of every “dot and crown” of our holy Torah.

As the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach, has stated that his own style is based to a large extent on his father’s, I continue now in the same vein. For as the Rebbe declared on Shabbos Parshas Tazria-Metzora 5751, “The Torah of the leader of our generation [i.e., his maamarim and sichos kodesh], is a likeness and paradigm, and a preparation for, the Torah of Moshiach!”


On Chaf Menachem Av 5710, the first sicha of the Rebbe’s leadership that was said on his father’s yahrtzeit (printed in Volume 16 of Likkutei Sichos and Volume 1 of Toras Menachem), the Rebbe stated (free translation):

In general, there are several ways to study Torah: [for example] the logical and rational, i.e., “Litvishe” approach, and the precise and argumentative pilpul that characterizes the “Polish” method of learning. Stylistic and grammatical analysis, however, is not commonly engaged in.

One reason for this might be simple time constraints. Yet another reason lies in the difference between the Written and Oral Torah. In the Written Torah the emphasis is on the letters, as demonstrated by the fact that there can be an entire perek in the Talmud based on a single letter. By contrast, in the Oral Torah, the main emphasis is on the subject itself.

Examples of commentators who stressed a detailed, textual analysis of the Gemara and Rashi would include the Maharsha and Maharam. Other mefarshim, however, look at the broader picture. Instead of concentrating on why the Gemara uses a certain word or phrase in a particular context, they approach the problem by focusing on the concept wherever it appears in Torah. Examples of these would include the Keztos HaChoshen, Rabbi Chaim of Brisk, and Rabbi Yosef Engel.

As the Rebbe once wrote in a letter (printed in Volume 16 of Likkutei Sichos – free translation):

…All possible approaches to studying the Oral Torah are good and appropriate, given the statement of our Sages that “Everyone is of a different opinion,” implying that there can be many different approaches and methods. The straight method that was favored several generations ago by our gedolim has recently made a comeback, which seeks to determine actual, practical application without hairsplitting…and is very often a good way to avoid being oblique. 

…Perhaps you are familiar with my own personal approach, which introduces another point, as emphasized by the Rogatchover Gaon: This involves looking for the common theme between a particular detail in Torah and the generalized concept, then bringing them together. In this manner, depth and breadth are synthesized.

With this approach, the two opposites of general and particular not only complement but add to each other. In fact, the most generalized concept often finds its greatest expression in the tiniest, most seemingly insignificant detail.

Take, for example, the Rebbe’s unique way of approaching Rashi’s commentary. As anyone who has ever learned a Rashi sicha knows, the Rebbe begins by posing extremely scrutinizing questions: Why does Rashi cite certain words of the verse but not others in his dibbur ha’mas’chil (a quote serving as a heading)? Why does he give two explanations instead of only one? Why does he quote two verses to make his point when one would appear to be sufficient? Why does he cite a verse from a certain place in Tanach when the same verse appears earlier? Why does he sometimes change a word around when quoting a saying of our Sages? Why does he sometimes specifically mention the person who said it? Why does he include the letter Vav (“and”) in certain cases, dispensing with it in other cases?

The Rebbe then reveals the underlying problem common to all these seemingly extraneous questions, suddenly rendering the Rashi we thought we understood into something utterly incomprehensible!

The explanation then follows, with simplicity and clarity. Point by point the Rebbe weaves all of the disparate details into a comprehensive whole, demonstrating how each and every one of them could not have been written any differently!

The Rebbe uses the same approach in other sichos kodesh, such as those on the Rambam and the sayings of our Sages. Beginning with what appear to be unrelated questions, he articulates an underlying problem, and analyzes the general concept in a way that makes us look at the whole thing in an entirely new light. Each facet is then demonstrated to be a crucial and essential part of the larger picture.

In fact, we might also say that every farbrengen of the Rebbe followed this same pattern and thought process. The Rebbe would pose a question – Why does such and such a Yom Tov fall out on such and such a day this year? What is the connection between the parsha and the Yom Tov, when they seem to involve contradictory themes? – after which he would tie everything neatly into an all-inclusive lesson in our Divine service.

Another feature of the Rebbe’s approach is the way all realms of Torah – nigleh, Chassidus, chakira, gematriyos, sod, etc. – are shown to be interrelated. For example, the Rebbe might demonstrate how an explanation based on drush explains a question on the Rambam, or how the literal understanding of the text prevents a misunderstanding of remez.

As Rav Levi Yitzchak once wrote to the Rebbe MH”M in a letter (printed in Igros Levi Yitzchak):

“My beloved son, my advice to you is to always strive to add more ‘salt and pepper,’ that is, to make sure that everything is based on the wisdom of truth, the Kabbala, which is the utter truth of Torah, as well as its dew and illumination. Your words will then be clearer and illuminating…more rounded from all perspectives, better to demonstrate the truth. …My son, heed my words and follow this path, for G-d has blessed you with understanding and knowledge, and it is within your capacity to learn this and derive wisdom. By delving into these matters, you will bring forth an infinite number of pearls and precious gems, as well as joy and illumination, with G-d’s help.”

It is said that when Rav Levi Yitzchak would discuss Torah matters with his sons, each of them would appear to be speaking a different language. In these parallel discussions, the father might be mentioning gematriyos, tzeirufim, initial and final letters, etc., the Rebbe MH”M might be answering him in Chassidic terms, and the Rebbe’s brother, R’ Yisroel Aryeh Leib, might be responding with references to chakira. And yet, because each of the participants was able to transcend the form of the conversation and reach its essence, the different perspectives added rather than detracted from their fluency. Because of their awareness that the Torah is a single, unified G-d-given entity, a brilliant mosaic would emerge from the mix of seemingly disparate details.

* * *

By Divine providence, I recently came upon the following sicha, taken from Volume 3 of Hisvaaduyos 5747, bilti muga (free translation):

Those who are looking for excuses have already begun making a big commotion. [Given that Moshiach is already on his way, and the time to prepare for him has obviously arrived, there are some people who are trying to avoid this. The easiest way is to come up with various pretexts, resulting in making a mockery of the idea. One of their arguments is as follows:] How can it be, that when speaking about Moshiach, we say that we want him “now,” in English? Especially as this has been given great prominence, and is being done deliberately and with forethought. Of course, in Eretz Yisroel people say “Moshiach achshav,” but here the declaration is pointedly made in the language of the country: Moshiach now!

The reason is that the preparation for the Redemption and the coming of Moshiach must be related to and similar to the period that follows, i.e., the Messianic era. Moshiach’s arrival depends on our present actions and service, yet at the same time, the world must be ready and able to accept him. We must, therefore, conclude that our present actions must also prepare the world for that time…through which we actively bring Moshiach Tzidkeinu closer.

As this relates to the subject at hand: “At that time…the occupation of the entire world will be solely the quest to know G-d.” Accordingly, the preparation for this era must be in a similar vein, “compelling all the inhabitants of the world to accept upon themselves the mitzvos that were commanded to the descendents of Noach.” It is obvious that the only way to do this is by using the gentiles’ own language, which is why it is necessary to say Lubavitch in addition to Chabad, and “now” in addition to “achshav”

Similarly, the Rebbe states:

Furthermore, and this is the main point: This declaration [“Moshiach now”] is a clear sign from Above regarding its necessity at this particular time: Put simply, we are now, as stated, in the “End of Days,” which is why the scope of action is beginning to include the nations of the world, to prepare the entire world to serve G-d. On one hand, this has not yet been accomplished to the degree it should have been; on the other hand, there is no time to wait until the Jewish people wake up, for the Redemption cannot be postponed or delayed – Ad Masai! G-d has, therefore, indicated to us that we must do more in this context, the sign being that the president of this country – “the heart of kings and ministers is in G-d’s hand” – has made this declaration openly and publicly.

Unfortunately, we must also protest some inappropriate and negative expressions being voiced against the idea of exerting an influence on the nations of the world, such as “That’s all they need…”

How can a Jew dare to utter such a thing against an explicit command of the Torah, a clear ruling of the Rambam – “From the mouth of G-d, Moshe Rabbeinu has commanded us to compel all the inhabitants of the world to accept the Noachide laws”? And not only that, but no one seems to be opening his mouth in protest!

* * *

In last week’s column we presented the Rebbe Rayatz’s sharply-worded response to the accusation that his proclamation of “l’alter l’Geula” was the stuff of missionaries. As unfortunately these same accusations are still being made against Lubavitch, the following is an excerpt of Chapter 11 of the Rambam’s “Laws of Kings,” including a portion that was originally expurgated by Christian censors:

Yeshua the Christian, who imagined that he was Moshiach and was sentenced to death in court, had already been prophesized about by Daniel, as it states, “And the men of violence among your own people shall exalt themselves to fulfill the vision, but they shall fail.” Indeed, is there any greater failure than this, given that all the prophets spoke about Moshiach redeeming Israel and bringing them salvation, gathering the far-flung remnants of the Jewish people and strengthening observance of the commandments, whereas he caused Jews to fall by the sword, the survivors to be scattered and degraded, and urged that the Torah be replaced, deluding much of the world to serve a divinity other than G-d?

But the intentions of the Creator of the world are beyond human ability to grasp, for our ways are not His ways, and our thoughts are not His thoughts. The entire phenomenon of Yeshua the Christian, and the Ishmaelite who arose after him, has only occurred for the purpose of paving the way for Melech HaMoshiach and preparing the world for eventually serving G-d as One, as it states, “For then I will convert the peoples to a clear language, that they may all call upon the name of the L-rd, to serve Him with one accord.”

In this manner, the whole world has already begun to speak about Moshiach, and has been filled with words of Torah and mitzvos. These concepts have already been conveyed to distant islands, and to many nations whose hearts are uncircumcised. Some of them say that the commandments were true but do not apply to modern times, as they were not intended to remain in force throughout the generations. Others say that the commandments are mystical, and are not what they seem to be literally, and that when Moshiach will come he will explain their meaning. But when the Messianic King will truly arise, emerging victorious, elevated and exalted, they will all immediately recognize that the inheritance of their fathers was false, and that their ancestors and prophets deluded them.

The Rambam addresses the question of why G-d has caused most of humanity to be familiar with the concept of Moshiach, even though many of their notions about him are wrong and even heretical. The answer, he explains, is to prepare the world for the true Moshiach, so that when he finally arrives they will realize their mistake.

Which leads me to one of the topics mentioned in last week’s column, the Rebbe MH”M’s mikva water and its usage as a segula by Jew and non-Jew alike. Given that the Rebbe has explicitly directed us to publicize modern-day miracles to hasten the Geula, and specifically urged us to have an influence on non-Jews – again, as a way of hastening the Redemption – the Rambam’s basic question is still valid, and the answer to it remains the same: Why are even non-Jews talking about the Rebbe’s water? This will accustom the world to the concept of Moshiach, and to facilitate the acceptance of his sovereignty when he is ultimately revealed.

The reason that even non-Jews are talking about the Rebbe’s mikva water and its miracles is for the purpose of effecting a worldwide revolution in the way people relate to the Rebbe, in advance of all of humanity accepting Moshiach’s sovereignty. It is nothing more than a fulfillment of the Rebbe’s directive to spread awareness of the Seven Noachide Laws, and the logical extension of belief in G-d and in Moshe, His servant. In our quest to fulfill the Rebbe’s will, it is our merit and responsibility to utilize every possible method to reach all the millions and billions of people who live on our planet.

The Rebbe told us in advance that there would be those who mock us, but he also told us not to be deterred by them.

There is no doubt that “the G-d will bring it to its conclusion, and the Rebbe will bring it to its conclusion,” and the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach shlita will be immediately revealed before the eyes of the world. “Then all the inhabitants of the world will recognize and know, every knee should bend to You, every tongue should swear [by Your Name]. Before You, L-rd our G-d, they will bow and prostrate themselves, and give honor to the glory of Your Name, and they will take upon themselves the yoke of Your kingdom. May You soon reign over them forever and ever, for the kingship is Yours, and for all eternity You will reign in glory, as it is written in Your Torah: ‘The L-rd will reign forever and ever.’”

Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu V’Rabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach L’olam Va’ed!


It is said that when Rav Levi Yitzchak would discuss Torah matters with his sons, each of them would appear to be speaking a different language.







“We must protest some inappropriate expressions being voiced against the idea of exerting an influence on the nations of the world...”






“How can a Jew dare to utter such a thing against an explicit command of the Torah, a clear ruling of the Rambam?!”





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