Our Generation: What Makes Us Different

Why is there such a tumult in our generation about the Geula and the revelation of Moshiach? What is the difference between the besuras ha’Geula of the Rebbe Rayatz and the prophecy of Geula of the Rebbe MH"M? How is our shlichus expressed nowadays in preparing the world to greet Moshiach, and what are the implications of that? * Mashpiim and shluchim in an exciting conversation. * Part 1

(in alphabetical order):

Rabbi Shmuel Chaim Bluming
Rosh Mesivta in Oholei Torah

Rabbi Sholom Charitonov
Mashpia in Oholei Torah

Rabbi Shneur Zalman Liberov
Head of Beis Chabad of Flatbush

Rabbi Shloma Majeski
Principal of Machon Chana

Rabbi Nachman Schapiro
Mashpia and member of Vaad L’hafatzos Sichos

Now is the beginning of the second fifty-year period of the Rebbe’s leadership. Therefore, it is an appropriate time to really think in depth about the purpose of our generation - the Geula and the coming of Moshiach - which has always been the ultimate purpose of the world. Jews have davened and yearned for the Geula throughout the generations. But in our generation, particularly in the latter years, the Rebbe raised a tumult about the topic in an unprecedented way. What was it that happened that made it necessary to emphasize this topic so much?

Rabbi Bluming: There’s an obvious difference between our generation and the previous ones. In short, the previous generations were not as close in time to the Geula, because our generation is the actual generation of the Geula. As we are closer to the goal, it is emphasized more and more. Within our generation, the closer we get to the Geula, the more this topic comes to the fore.

Rabbi Charitonov: The Geula is the ultimate point of the creation of the world; the world was only created for the sake of Geula. Previously there had been no need to emphasize the goal. It was clear in a general, makif’dik way that the means through which the goal would be reached would be through the fulfillment of mitzvos. Why then have we suddenly begun to emphasize the goal, and not on the intermediary, the maaseh b’poel (i.e., the fulfillment of mitzvos)?

Likkutei Sichos, Volume 10 gives an example of a person constructing a building. First he determines the goal for which he will construct the building. He then approaches the builder and involves himself in the construction. Even though he is aware of his goal, what is emphasized is the building with which he is occupied, whereas the goal is further removed. And even when he emphasizes the goal, it is not the goal in itself that is the focus, but rather, how that goal influences the construction project.

This illustration can be compared to the creation of the world. In the beginning of Creation, Hashem established the goal, as it says, "The ruach (spirit) of Elokim was hovering over the water" - this refers to the spirit of Moshiach. It also states, "And Elokim said, ‘There shall be light,’" referring to the light of Moshiach. Afterwards, in the Six Days of Creation, and throughout the past approximately 6,000 years, the emphasis has been on building the world b’gashmiyus, as well as refining the world spiritually, and fulfilling mitzvos. There was no real emphasis on the goal, the coming of Moshiach, in and of itself. Although the coming of Moshiach is the most important thing, the main focus of the past 6,000 years has been the avoda of Torah and mitzvos, while the goal remained in the background, so to speak. The goal was only apparent in people’s service of Hashem to the extent that it helped them serve Hashem, but it was not a revealed goal in itself.

We have reached the end of the avoda of building, the avoda of birurim, and we are approaching the time of the Geula. The Rebbe used the term "negia"(touching) - we are so close to the Geula that we can actually touch it. The goal has begun to be revealed in all its strength. Therefore, the topic of Moshiach has become the main point; the goal is not focused on the building any more.

In the same way, we can distinguish between the description of the coming of Moshiach as explained by the Rambam in the "Laws of Repentance" and in the "Laws of Kings." In the "Laws of Repentance," the Rambam explains how the subject of Moshiach is relevant to all times, whereas in the "Laws of Kings" the idea of Moshiach in itself is explained. (See Toras Menachem, page 170 and on - the Rebbe’s hadran on the Rambam).

We are the generation of the Geula, the generation in which the Geula will actually come. The Rebbe informed us of this, emphasizing that our avoda is complete and the only thing that remains is that Moshiach should actually come. It is, therefore, understandable that at a time like this, the goal will receive such a great emphasis that it will actually become the focal point, the central theme over all others.

The Rebbe Rayatz also clamored about the coming of Moshiach, even proclaiming, "L’alter l’t’shuva, l’alter l’Geula." Wasn’t this declaration also connected to the close approximation of the goal? If so, why didn’t Moshiach come then?

Rabbi Charitonov: Chassidus explains that the time of the last Geula is not revealed, because it is drawn down from the highest spiritual level, from p’nimiyus atik, which is far removed from the world. In order for Moshiach to come, we have to draw down p’nimiyus atik. As long as this is not done, the world is not fully prepared for the Geula.

Despite the fact that the hamshachos have not yet come down and are still far removed, there is now the possibility, an es ratzon to bring them down immediately, as occurred with the ‘shortening of the way’ of Eliezer (Parshas Chayei Sara) and with the Baal Shem Tov. And when this revelation will be fully drawn down to the world, we will have attained the full manifestation of the Geula.

It seems that this is the difference between what the Rebbe Rayatz said and what the Rebbe MH"M said. The Rebbe Rayatz said "L’alter l’t’shuva, l’alter l’Geula" because that time was a keitz, meaning that it was a most opportune time to bring the Geula. This means that the spiritual levels had not yet been drawn down into the world. Doing t’shuva, however, would have brought the Geula immediately, although the inyan of Geula was far removed from the world. Since Hashem is omnipotent, and since it was an opportune time, the Geula could have come in a single moment.

The Rebbe MH"M’s words, however, are different. The Rebbe didn’t just say that Moshiach is coming; the Rebbe said that the Leviason, the Shor HaBar, and the Yayin HaMeshumar are all set out on the table. This means that everything related to the Redemption has already been brought down into the physical world, and all that is needed is for the Geula to come in actuality.

The announcement of the Rebbe Rayatz began in earnest at the time the Rebbe became his son-in-law in Sivan 5710 (1941). We see this from the words of the Rebbe Rayatz, who a few days prior to that event said that we need to prepare for our important guest, Moshiach Tzidkeinu. After this, the involvement with the topic of Moshiach ben Dovid began.

This is what the Rebbe MH"M wrote the day he boarded the ship to America, in explanation of a maamer Chazal: "Ben Dovid will not come until they look for a fish for a sick person and cannot find it." The writing of this note suggested that the Rebbe is ben Dovid. But now that we have reached "the time of your redemption has come," and we merited to hear the announcement of the Geula, the Rebbe has revealed himself as Melech HaMoshiach in his full capacity - not just as ben Dovid, but as Dovid himself.

Rabbi Bluming: Although the announcement of the Rebbe Rayatz was connected to a keitz that was that year, and although the avoda in Galus was not then complete, the announcement did have a connection to the announcement of the Rebbe MH"M which came many years later. The announcement of the Rebbe Rayatz came at the end of the sixth generation, and was the beginning of the avoda of our generation, the seventh generation, to bring the Geula in actuality.

The announcement of the Rebbe Rayatz began when he arrived in America. It was publicized all over the world and the whole Jewish nation began to prepare for the coming of Moshiach. That was the beginning of the last stage of the refining of "the lower half of the world," and through that last stage the world would be fit for the coming of Moshiach.

But the announcement of the Rebbe Rayatz was only the beginning. After that, the Rebbe began the nesius of the seventh generation, and he made the whole concept a more central issue. The Rebbe declared the coming of Moshiach to be the purpose of this generation.

In Likkutei Sichos, Volume 3, the Rebbe explains that the Rebbe Rayatz made the final preparation for the coming of Moshiach, and since then the order of the Geula began with "A king from the House of Dovid will arise" - b’chezkas Moshiach. The Rebbe is teaching us that the seventh generation is the generation of "b’chezkas Moshiach."

As the years go by, we get closer and closer to the actual coming of Moshiach, and at the same time the topic becomes more and more emphasized. Different activities were initiated with the goal being the coming of Moshiach (for example, the siyum seifer Torah of Moshiach). Various directives related to the coming of Moshiach were given, at the forefront of which was the demand for the Geula to be revealed: "We Want Moshiach Now" (and also the creation of Tzivos Hashem, etc.).

Since the Rebbe informed us on Shabbos Parshas Balak 5751 that it’s been fifty years since he arrived in America, the avoda of "L’alter l’t’shuva, l’alter l’Geula" has been completed, and now we are standing at the threshold of the Redemption. The Rebbe told us clearly that the present shlichus of each Jew is to greet Moshiach Tzidkeinu.

The Rebbe also told us that we are actually in the time of the Geula. This means that we are not just in the period of Erev Geula, but in the time of the Geula itself. This is the time when we must actualize the various matters that are connected to the Geula, such as the call to "beat their swords into plowshares," a mission that will be carried out by deterring the use of weapons; the goal of gathering the exiles and going to the Holy Land; the revelation of Moshiach in actuality, etc.

The time in which we find ourselves now is the purpose and fulfillment of that period that began with the announcement of the Rebbe Rayatz.

Rabbi Zalman Liberov: I want to explain the connection between the announcement of the Rebbe Rayatz and the Rebbe and the difference between them. In order to understand how the announcement of the Geula of the Rebbe completes that of the Rebbe Rayatz, we need to understand the following:

The announcement of the Rebbe MH"M was a prophecy. The Rebbe informed us in a sicha on Shabbos Parshas Shoftim 5751 that there is a prophet in our generation who prophesied the imminent coming of Moshiach. After that, when the sicha went to the Rebbe to be edited before it was publicized, the Rebbe emphasized in a note that he wasn’t speaking as a judge or as an advisor, but as a prophet. Therefore, the prediction is a certainty.

The implications of these words are plain and simple: The Rebbe clarified that we have been given a prophecy from an actual prophet, and of necessity the Geula is upon us. This means that there will be no change in the prophecy and it must be fulfilled in actuality.

It’s worthwhile to mention a letter of the Chassid, Rabbi Avrohom Mendel Wechter of Nachalas Har Chabad, who wrote a letter to the Rebbe in which he stated that certainly the prophecy of the Rebbe is straightforward, according to the halachos of prophecy, including the fact that it is obligated to be fulfilled. As it turns out the Rebbe was happy to hear this.

(Click here to continue.)


Rabbi Sholom Charitonov
The Rebbe said that the Leviason, the Shor HaBar, and the Yayin HaMeshumar are all set out on the table. This means that everything related to the Redemption has already been brought down into the physical world, and all that is needed is for the Geula to come in actuality.

Rabbi Shmuel Chaim Bluming
Since the Rebbe informed us on Shabbos Parshas Balak 5751 that it’s been fifty years since he arrived in America, the avoda of "L’alter l’t’shuva, l’alter l’Geula" has been completed, and now we are standing at the threshold of the Redemption.


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