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The Service of Refining The World Has Been Completed - That’s A Fact!
By Avrohom Jacobson

Part 2 * Rabbi Simon Jacobson, noted author of Toward a Meaningful Life and former head of the Vaad Hanachos HaTmimim, continues sharing some of the clarifications on points in Chassidus he merited to receive from the Rebbe MH”M.

(Click here for Part 1)
Finishing the Avoda

It is explained in Torah Ohr that had Adam and Chava not committed the sin of the eitz hadaas, the Redemption would have begun immediately. In other words, the inner purpose of creation, i.e., the revelation of G-dliness in this lowest of all worlds, would have already been accomplished way back then.

A question is asked: Is there any difference between the Geula that could have happened then and the one we’re waiting for now, 5760 years later? And the answer is yes. Had Adam and Chava brought the Geula then, the world would have been refined in a manner of  “from Above to below.” Because Adam and Chava would have not been physically able to reach every place on earth and refine the individual sparks of holiness that had fallen there, the Geula would have consisted of a giant burst of G-dliness from Above that would have automatically drawn all of these sparks toward it.

As Adam and Chava did not bring the Geula, the task was given over to their descendents. Here we are talking about a larger number of people, who would be able to spread throughout the world and refine the sparks in a manner of “from below to Above.” This kind of service has a double advantage: First of all, the process of refinement is much more “internal,” because it initiates from that which is being refined. Secondly, it transforms actual physical locations into centers of Torah, which is an even more powerful expression of transforming the world into a dwelling place for G-d. However, illumination “from Above to below” is also necessary, to refine whatever sparks remain that people have not yet reached.

And so the process continued from generation to generation, with each successive generation involving more and more people in the avoda. As time went on, the chance increased that a greater number of sparks would be elevated in a manner of “from below to Above.” But dozens of generations later, there were still places on earth that Jews had not gotten to, such as America, which is called “the lower hemisphere.” There were still vast expanses that hadn’t even been touched. Let’s say that the Redemption would have happened in the times of the first Beis Hamikdash, thousands of years before the discovery of America. All the sparks in the “lower hemisphere” would have had to be refined in a manner of “from Above to below,” and the refinement would not have been as “internal” and complete.

Carrying this one step further, we can even say that for the first 40 years of the Rebbe’s nesius, up until 5750, we did not need the service of “from Above to below.” Why? Because the true preparation for the Geula consists of the lower realms coming to the realization that “there is nothing but Him,” or as the Rambam put it: “And the world will be as full of the knowledge of G-d as the waters cover the sea bed.” That is the goal we have been working toward all these years.

The truth is, however, that during the first 40 years of the Rebbe’s nesius we weren’t doing this directly. Whenever we went out on mitzvaim, we would explain to Jews why they should put on tefillin or put a mezuza on their door, but we never specifically told them that “there is none but Him.” Let’s put it another way: We were busy with all the “details” that make up the Geula, but we never dealt with the Geula itself. Back in 5735, if we met a Jew on the street and tried to convince him to put on tefillin, we never mentioned that the whole purpose of Torah and mitzvos is to bring about the Days of Moshiach.

The issue of the Redemption was left solely to the Rebbe – he was the one who was supposed to prepare the world for Moshiach in a manner of “from Above to below.” This created a situation in which the Rebbe’s Chassidim and shluchim were working “from below to Above.” But this is a more superficial level of preparation. The true preparation — that of bringing the world to the realization that “there is none but Him” — was being done only by the Rebbe, “from Above to below.”

After several decades of “spreading the wellsprings outward,” the Rebbe succeeded in raising the world to a higher level, to the point that it was ready to absorb the message of “there is none but Him.” Chassidim could now focus on filling the world with knowledge of G-d.” That was when the Rebbe gave the task of bringing Moshiach over to us, because the world was ready for the final level of preparation before the Geula.

This is, in effect, the highest level of “from below to Above.” Not only would we be concentrating on spreading Torah and mitzvos, the components of the Geula, but we would also be involved in bringing the Geula itself. This has been our job ever since the 28th of Nissan 5751, and even more so since the Kinus HaShluchim of 5752, when the Rebbe explained that “the campaign to bring Moshiach” is the gateway to all the other mitzvaim.

What does this mean in practical terms? Today, when we go out on mitzvaim, aside from convincing someone to put on tefillin, we are also obligated to explain to him that the whole purpose of mitzvos is to bring about the Redemption.

The Tanya defines the Geula as the revelation of the Ohr Ein Sof in the physical world, or as the Rambam wrote, the point at which “the world will be filled with the knowledge of G-d.” Teaching people about the concept of “there is none but Him” is now the means by which we are supposed to bring Moshiach.

To sum up: Up until the 28th of Nissan 5751, our service of preparing the world for Moshiach was similar to that of Adam and Chava before the sin of the eitz hadaas. The main portion of the service of refining the sparks was still being accomplished “from Above to below.” After the 28th of Nissan 5751, when the task was given over to the Chassidim, we could now begin the final stages of service “from below to Above.”

The Days of Moshiach Have Already Commenced

In the sicha of 19-20 Kislev 5752, the Rebbe used the words “…these days in which we find ourselves, the Days of Moshiach.” He then went on to explain: “As mentioned several times…all of the end dates have already long passed, and all of the preparations, including the ‘polishing of the buttons, etc.’ have already been completed.”

In effect, this was the conclusion of all the Rebbe’s sichos during those later years. But even if the Rebbe hadn’t explicitly told us, we would have still been obligated to figure it out for ourselves, drawing our conclusions from his repeated statements that the service of refinement was over. This is especially true after the Rebbe clarified that he was not saying this as blessing or hope for the future, but as a statement of fact. We are now in the Days of Moshiach!

This leads us to the next question: If we are already in the Days of Moshiach, how is it possible for evil to still exist, both in macrocosm (conflict between nations) and in microcosm (the individual’s continuing struggle with the animal soul)?

The answer is found in a long letter the Rebbe wrote before he assumed the nesius, in which he explains the concept of the resurrection of the dead. (The letter is printed in the pamphlet Teshuvos Ubiurim and also in Volume 2 of the Rebbe’s Igros Kodesh.)

The Rebbe devotes several paragraphs to an exact definition of what is meant by “the Days of Moshiach.” The Rebbe writes: “Olam HaZeh, this world, is a time of battle between the yesh (awareness of self as a created being) and the spiritual realm, between good and evil. ‘And the one nation shall strive against the other nation.’ Sometimes the good is victorious, and sometimes, etc.

“In the Days of Moshiach, when the Jewish people will have completed their battle and refined the good from the evil, that is, the good will have been separated from the evil, they will be redeemed from exile. They will then attain the highest level of perfection, that of Adam before the sin of the eitz hadaas, and they will no longer be under the influence of the Tree of Good and Evil. However, the sitra achra (forces of evil) will still exist within the erev rav (mixed multitude). It is thus understood that the perfection of the Jewish people will also be somewhat deficient…

“We may describe this state of perfection as that which man can reach through his own efforts, by means of the reward G-d gives him for his Divine service.

“However, in the Days of Moshiach, man will continue to ascend the ladder of perfection, the Days of Moshiach being characterized as a time of ‘today, to do them.’ In fact, it is then that ‘today, to do them’ will attain its epitome and perfection.

“The World of Resurrection, however, is a time when ‘the spirit of uncleanliness will be completely removed from the world,’ when sin and death will no longer exist. The Holy One, Blessed Be He, will slaughter the yetzer hara – the malach ha’maves (angel of death) – and mankind will reach the very highest level of perfection.”

The letter goes on to explain that although there is a difference between this world and the Days of Moshiach, evil will still exist during the Days of Moshiach. The sitchra achra will still exert an influence on the erev rav throughout the world, which will have a negative impact on the Jewish people. This state is the highest level of perfection man can attain through his own efforts. But in order to reach true perfection, when “the spirit of uncleanliness will be removed from the world,” we need the input of the nasi.

What does this mean for us? As we can conclude from the Rebbe’s statements about the service of birurim being completed, it means that we’ve succeeded in reaching the very beginning of the Days of Moshiach, through our own efforts. The Rebbe has told us this explicitly. The question is, what is the exact definition of the “Days of Moshiach”?

We all know that evil still exists in the world. Even according to halacha, there are still certain things that are “absolute evil belonging to the three unclean klipos.” We still haven’t reached the state when G-d will completely remove the spirit of uncleanliness from the world. On the other hand, given the Rebbe’s statement that the service of birurim has been completed, how can klipa still have any vitality whatsoever?

The explanation is that within the service of birurim, there are two stages: The first stage involves isolating the sparks of holiness from evil. At this point evil still exists, but there is a certain degree of distinction between good and evil. This is what is meant by the verse in Daniel (12:10), “Many shall purify themselves, and make themselves white.” During this stage, we’ve already passed from the category of “this world” into the “Days of Moshiach,” for this world is “a time of battle between the yesh and the spiritual realm,” when good and evil are all mixed up together. In other words, in the Days of Moshiach, after we’ve refined and separated all the sparks of holiness, there will no longer be an admixture or jumbling together of good and evil. But we cannot reach the next and final level, in which klipa will be completely nullified, through our own efforts. That can only be done by G-d Himself, when He will “slaughter the yetzer hara.”

What follows is that today, given that there is no longer this admixture of good and evil, if evil wins it doesn’t mean that the forces of klipa have power; it just means that we’re being lazy.

To illustrate our current situation, there are two analogies we can draw from the natural world. What happens when fire meets water, and when darkness meets light? When water is doused on a fire, the fire is extinguished, provided there is a sufficient quantity of water. But if the fire is very big, the water will be reduced to vapor. The battle between darkness and light, however, is different. Physically, darkness can never extinguish light. The light doesn’t even have to “fight” the darkness, because it doesn’t recognize it as an entity. When the light is turned on, the darkness automatically disappears.

The spiritual darkness we see today can be vanquished with a very little amount of light. We don’t need to go out to battle in order to win. Externally, it may look as if we’re still at war. But on a deeper level, all we have to do is reveal the inner light that already exists.

Explaining to the Nations

In practical terms: The Rebbe explicitly told us that the time has come when even the most abstract concepts in Chassidus (“there is none but Him; the triumph of form over matter, etc.) can be discussed with everyone.  But not only are we allowed to speak of such things, we are required to, as part of the process of preparing the world for Moshiach. This includes explaining the concept of Redemption and the function of Moshiach in the world at large.

Before the Rebbe informed us that the service of birurim was completed, this wasn’t even relevant. In the times of the Alter Rebbe, the concept of “spreading the wellsprings outward” applied to Jews who were on the level of midos (emotive powers) rather than mochin (intellect). In the times of the Tzemach Tzedek, the focus was enlarged to include people who didn’t even reach the category of midos, but were still very pious and G-d-fearing. Today, however, we’re talking about goyim, l’havdil, and the need to teach them the Seven Noahide Laws! The Rebbe wants even non-Jews to be ready for Moshiach. Even they are ready to absorb the idea of “there is none but Him.”

We have to wake up from our slumber. There are still billions of people out there who haven’t heard the Rebbe’s message of imminent Geula. One-third of the world’s population lives in China, another huge portion in India  – how many of these people have we reached? Boruch Hashem, there are so many new technologies through which we can educate people, especially the Internet. We simply have to learn how to utilize all of these channels properly. “Everything the Holy One, Blessed Be He, created in His world was only created for His glory.”

The highest concepts in Chassidus must be brought down and explained to everyone, for it will surely have an impact on practical deed. In truth, this is the whole basis of Chassidus — that learning about G-dliness will ultimately have an effect on emotion and deed.

To sum up: The most important thing today is to study the Rebbe’s most recent sichos. This will give us an accurate picture of the times we live in, as well as reveal exactly how we can hasten the Rebbe’s revelation.


Rabbi Simon Jacobson
We have to wake up from our slumber. There are still billions of people out there who haven’t heard the Rebbe’s message of imminent Geula. One-third of the world’s population lives in China, another huge portion in India  – how many of these people have we reached? 



What follows is that today, given that there is no longer this admixture of good and evil, if evil wins it doesn’t mean that the forces of klipa have power; it just means that we’re being lazy.





Teaching people about the concept of “there is none but Him” is now the means by which we are supposed to bring Moshiach.



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