Bilam’s prophecies concerning the Jewish people, he says, “A
star shall go forth from Yaakov and a scepter shall rise from
Yisroel.” The Targum and Midrash state that this is a
reference to the messianic king. The Jerusalem Talmud, however,
states that this refers to each and every Jew.
sources may appear to contradict each other; in truth, however,
they do not. For the Me`or Einayim states, in the name of
the Baal Shem Tov, that every Jew contains within him a spark of
Moshiach’s soul. Therefore, the verse, in referring to Moshiach,
also refers to the spark of him that exists within every Jew.
spark of Moshiach is obviously something spiritual, it nonetheless
has some very practical and down-to-earth significance. What the
spark of Moshiach means on a practical level is the potential to
bring about (or bring closer) the Messianic Redemption. Every Jew
has this potential. Every Jew is given the power to refine the
world through his or her fulfillment of Torah and mitzvos.
Torah and mitzvos eradicate the spirit of impurity little
by little, until it is completely removed from the earth. Torah
and mitzvos also fill up the world little by little with
goodness and holiness, until “the earth will be filled with the
knowledge of G-d as waters cover the ocean.”
explanation of how Torah and mitzvos bring about the
Redemption is as follows: Everything in the world contains within
it what Chassidic teachings refer to as a spark of G-dliness.
Every time a Jew uses an object for the fulfillment of a mitzva,
he causes the spark of G-dliness contained within that object to
become revealed. Every spark of G-dliness that is revealed helps
create the state wherein “the earth will be filled with the
knowledge of G-d as the waters cover the ocean” (i.e., the
One must be
careful, however, that one’s fulfillment of Torah and mitzvos
should indeed spread G-dliness, rather than add power to the
forces of evil. If one’s fulfillment of Torah and mitzvos
causes one to become arrogant, then instead of spreading G-dliness,
the Torah and mitzvos actually give of their G-dly power to
the forces of evil, thereby strengthening them. The way to avoid
this problem is through praying — especially the morning prayer
— with the proper concentration and devotion. When one prays in
such a manner, then their Torah and mitzvos make them
humble, rather than haughty.
Likkutei Sichos, Volume 2, pgs. 599-600)
have the ability to know what a person is all about by looking at
six of the person’s features: The hair, forehead, face, eyes,
lips, and palms.
tzaddikim understand a person even without the six features: 1)
Moshe Rabbeinu - the Divine Presence would tell him; 2) King
Shlomo - the images upon his throne would inform him; and 3) King
Moshiach - he senses with a unique spiritual sense of smell. (See
Zohar, Yisro, pg. 78b)
Zushe Kohn has authored two children’s books on the subject of
Moshiach. He is available during evening hours to give shiurim
about Moshiach and Geula. To schedule a shiur or to order a book
call (718) 771-9612.