The Eternal Life Of Moshiach Part 2
here for part 1)
are many misconceptions about the fundamental Jewish concept of
chayim nitzchiyim, eternal life, particularly as it relates to the
Rebbe Melech Ha’Moshiach shlita. * In response to those who
claim that there is no authentic basis for such a belief, Beis
Moshiach presents the following article.
Uniqueness of Our Generation
people construe the idea of chayim nitzchiyim to mean that
it will only begin after the final Redemption, as opposed to
beginning now and continuing into the Messianic era.
point is dealt with exhaustively in the Rebbe’s sichos kodesh.
Rebbe stated thousands of times that our generation is the last
generation of Exile and the first generation of the Redemption.
The difference between our generation and the one that left Egypt
is that in the first historical redemption, the process took two
generations to complete (the generation of Moshe and the
generation of Yehoshua). In our case, the Rebbe has explained that
the Redemption will happen in a single generation, without
interruption. (See maamer Zeh Yitnu 5748.)
other words, although the final Redemption has not yet occurred,
our generation will soon be making the transition directly into
the Redemption. This is accomplished through the Nasi HaDor,
who is revealed at the very end of the Exile and leads the entire
Jewish people into the true and complete Redemption. Therefore,
every aspect of the Redemption, including chayim nitzchiyim,
begins now and continues on into the Messianic era in an unbroken
the Rebbe’s most recent sichos he uses the phrase
“eternal life without interruption” hundreds of times. No one
contests the concept of chayim nitzchiyim as elucidated in
the Midrash; everyone agrees that there will be eternal
life in the Messianic era. The Rebbe’s emphasis, however, is
that this chayim nitzchiyim commences now and, without any
pause, continues into the future.
for our Sages’ statement that as a prerequisite for the
Redemption, everyone must return to dust at least “one hour
before the Resurrection of the Dead,” the Rebbe has explained
that this can be fulfilled in the spiritual rather than the
literal sense. Through the service of self-nullification (bittul)
we can attain a state of “may my soul be like the dust,” and
not have to undergo an actual cessation of life. The Rebbe cites
numerous sources in the Zohar and Chassidus that refer to
death as the spiritual service of askafya (such as when an
individual “puts himself to death in the tent of Torah”)
rather than the departure of the soul from the physical body. (See
page 228 of Seifer HaSichos 5748, footnote 68.)
sicha of Shabbos Parshas Bo 5752 explains this
concept at length. Of course, the sicha should be studied
in its entirety, because if certain parts are taken out of
context, the wrong conclusion might be reached. But the basic idea
is as follows:
the previous generation, when the Rebbe Rayatz was nistalek,
“the luminaries were removed from the firmament” (nitlu
ha’meoros, with a Tes), an actual histalkus
occurred. Immediately, however, with the start of the nesiyus
of the ninth generation from the Baal Shem Tov, “the luminaries
were again suspended” (nitlu ha’meoros, with a Tav).
In the Rebbe’s own words:
is the innovation of our generation, the ninth generation, as
compared with all the generations that came before, including the
eighth generation that immediately preceded it: As the Redemption
did not actually occur, the concept of ‘Come unto Pharaoh’
(the sublime revelation of ispriyu kol nehorin down below)
was not fulfilled in its entirety as a neshama within a
healthy body (i.e., there was a histalkus of the neshama
from the body, and the neshama itself was in a state of
‘exiled speech’ while clothed in that body.) But this is not
the case in our generation, the last generation of Exile and the
first generation of the Redemption, as ‘the luminaries were
suspended’ right away…causing the physical bodies to absorb,
in an internal manner, the quality of isp’riyu kol nehorin.
This is because Moshiach is coming immediately, ‘Send by the
hand of him You will send,’ and he will teach Torah to the
entire nation…and as souls within bodies, without any cessation
or interruption, we will attain the pinnacle of ‘Come unto
Pharaoh’ with the true and complete Redemption.”
simpler terms, as souls within bodies we will receive all the
revelations of the Redemption in a seamless transition, and the
“luminaries” that were suspended immediately upon the Rebbe
Rayatz’s histalkus will illuminate eternally.
do we know that the Rebbe meant that the life of the Nasi
continues eternally without interruption starting from the end of
the Exile, as opposed to starting after the Redemption?
other interpretation of the Rebbe’s words is twisted out of
context, directly contradicting what he actually said.
the chayim nitzchiyim isn’t supposed to begin until after
the Redemption, what is the whole point of the above sicha?
If eternal life only begins afterward, then there is absolutely no
difference between the ninth generation and all other generations!
The entire sicha is about the innovation of our generation,
and explicitly states that we do not have to experience death as a
prerequisite for the Redemption.
the above sicha, the Rebbe was talking about the entire
generation. But obviously, there have been instances of people
passing away since then…
asks this question has never learned the entire sicha. At
the very end, in paragraph 17, the Rebbe explicitly states that
some individuals may experience a “cessation and descent” in a
manner of “for a small moment I have abandoned you,” such as
when “a mother or father is absent, G-d forbid,” because the
actual Redemption has not yet occurred. Such instances are “a
descent for the purpose of ascent” in order to receive the
revelation of “Come unto Pharaoh.”
Shabbos before this sicha was said, on Parshas VaEira,
the Rebbe devoted an entire sicha to the concept of “It
is a good sign when someone dies on Erev Shabbos,” explaining
that such an occurrence “is for the purpose of increasing the
vitality of the soul within the body after the Resurrection of the
Dead, when the neshama will exist in the body forever.”
other words, until the Redemption actually occurs, there will be
some individuals who will not have the merit of chayim
nitzchiyim without interruption. As in previous generations,
these individuals will have to experience literal histalkus
in order to receive the revelations and eternal life of the
Messianic era. But as the Rebbe said explicitly, this is the
exception to the rule.
this is not some fantastic interpretation or farfetched wish; it
is what the Rebbe actually said.
the above sicha, the Rebbe explains that the Nasi of
our generation will not have to undergo the phenomenon of
“concealment of speech.” Does this mean that what appeared to
happen on Zach Adar and Gimmel Tammuz really didn’t happen?
that sicha, the Rebbe was encouraging us to increase our
study of the Nasi HaDor’s teachings as a means of
preventing “concealment of speech.” Everyone who learned the
edited sicha, particularly after Zach Adar, understood that
the potential for such an event existed, and that the Rebbe was
offering us the “cure before the affliction.” If we had had
sufficient merit, we could have avoided the whole thing. Although
this particular statement was conditional, the remainder of the sicha
was not, and you can’t take the rest of the sicha out of
its proper context.
how can you deny reality? What is the origin for the belief that
what happened on Gimmel Tammuz can still be included within the
idea of chayim nitzchiyim?
is simply unbelievable that some people are claiming it is a new
interpretation to include the two ideas together. How can it be a
new interpretation when the Arizal writes that Moshiach will be
“revealed and concealed,” and the Rebbe stated countless times
in 5710 that “the event that occurred is only a nisayon”?
G-d forbid that any kind of helem can continue! By
definition, a helem is supposed to be nullified – isn’t
that what a nisayon means? Whenever the Rebbe spoke about
such things he always mentioned, in the very same breath, the need
to cry out “Ad Masai.” The greater the nisayon,
the more effort we have to put into overcoming it.
truth, the question is better posed the other way around: How can
we ignore what the Torah says just because it seems to contradict
what our eyes perceive? It is the same as someone claiming that
there is no source in the Torah for arichas yamim as a
reward for honoring one’s parents, even though the Torah
explicitly states, “Honor your father and mother, that you have
length of days.”
Rebbe told us countless times that Torah comes from the word “horaa.”
Only the Torah can determine what reality is and teach us how to
relate to it. When you look at Gimmel Tammuz from the standpoint
of the Torah and the Rebbe’s sichos, it’s not a case of
denying reality, but of uncovering the true reality. Denying
reality means relying on the intellect and coming up with all
kinds of convoluted explanations that sound good but aren’t
us, whatever it says in the Torah is true. If the reality
doesn’t appear to reflect that, then the problem is with this
perception of reality. The Torah is immutable and is not subject
to changes of time, place, and circumstance. As it is written that
Moshiach will merit “chayim nitzchiyim without
interruption,” and the Rebbe clearly indicated that he is
Moshiach, it follows that the Rebbe continues to be chai
v’kayam in a physical body.
ago, there were some people who initially objected to publicizing
the Rebbe’s prophecy of imminent Redemption, claiming that it
was the invention of certain individuals and ignoring that it was
an explicit directive of the Rebbe. This is the case here as well.
But the truth will always prevail, for ultimately, “You are
trustworthy, L-rd our G-d, and Your words are trustworthy; not one
of Your words returns unfulfilled.”