Generation: What Makes Us Different
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. *
(in alphabetical order):
Shmuel Chaim Bluming
Rosh Mesivta in Oholei Torah
Mashpia in Oholei Torah
Shneur Zalman Liberov
Head of Beis Chabad of Flatbush
Principal of Machon Chana
Mashpia and member of Vaad L’hafatzos Sichos
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?
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.
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)?
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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?
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 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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.).
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.
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.
time in which we find ourselves now is the purpose and fulfillment of that
period that began with the announcement of the Rebbe Rayatz.
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
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.
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.
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.
here to continue.)