The End Of Two Jubilees Of "Insult"
By Rabbi Shmuel Menachem Mendel Butman
Director of Lubavitch Youth Organization

"Your enemies have insulted, O L-rd…they have insulted the footsteps of Your Moshiach" (Tehillim 89:52).

One hundred years ago, on Simchas Torah 5661, the Rebbe Rashab, founder of Yeshiva Tomchei Tmimim, held a farbrengen in Lubavitch in honor of the yeshiva’s third anniversary. At this special farbrengen, celebrated in the big zal of the yeshiva, the Rebbe Rashab uttered an astounding prophecy about the very times we are living in today.

Commenting on the statement in the Gemara (Shabbos 56a), "Whoever goes out to wage war for the House of David must issue a writ of divorce to his wife," the Rebbe explained that the House of David refers to the "revelation of Moshiach, the son of David," which will come about when the wellsprings of Chassidus will have been disseminated, as Moshiach said to the Baal Shem Tov. The writ of divorce, the Rebbe further explained, refers to the detachment from "physical, corporeal matters that worldly people engage in."

The Rebbe Rashab then spoke about the saying of our Sages in Shir HaShirim Rabba 2:13: "When you see one insolent generation following another, anticipate Moshiach’s footsteps. How do we know this? Because it states, ‘Your enemies have insulted, O L-rd…they have insulted the footsteps of Your Moshiach [anointed one].’ And what is written immediately afterward? ‘Blessed be the L-rd forevermore; Amen, and amen.’"

The Rebbe explained that our Sages were alluding to two different generations: one generation of "Your enemies, O L-rd," and one generation of "the footsteps of Your Moshiach." The generation of the "enemies of the L-rd" refers to the "old apikorsim, Maskilim (proponents of the Enlightenment), and the teachers in their dangerous schools and their disciples…who are all enemies of G-d, whose whole objective is to insult G-d and His Torah."

"On the second level," the Rebbe Rashab continued, "that of the ‘footsteps of Moshiach,’ there are many different categories, all the way up to true Torah scholars, who are nonetheless weak when it comes to believing in the Redemption. They even explain [their lack of belief] in terms of fear of Heaven. But in truth, it is a weakness in faith in the coming of Moshiach."

How accurately these prophetic words describe the times we are now living in!


"An Absolutely Open Prophecy"

On Shabbos Chayei Sara 5745, the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach commented on the above sicha of the Rebbe Rashab (free translation):

"Just in preface, there is something wonderful [in the sicha] that no one is paying attention to that more than 80 years ago the baal yom huledes [i.e., the Rebbe Rashab], with his ruach ha’kodesh, foresaw our current state of affairs – an absolutely open prophecy!

"In the above sicha the [Rebbe Rashab] explains that before the Redemption there will be two stages or generations of ‘insulters’: The first stage (or generation) – ‘Your enemies have insulted, O L-rd’ – consists of those who actively oppose G-d and His Torah and mitzvos. The second stage (or generation), corresponding to ‘they have insulted the footsteps of Your Moshiach,’ refers to Jews who in general ‘believe in G-d and in His Torah’ (they can even be faine bnei Torah), yet they are weak in their belief in the Redemption, so much so that they ‘insult the footsteps of Your Moshiach.’ In other words, they make fun of and mock the whole idea!

"And indeed, this is absolutely amazing. Who could have imagined 80 years ago that such a peculiar creature could ever arise – a Jew who ‘believes in G-d and in His Torah,’ yet at the same time, mocks and insults ‘the footsteps of Your Moshiach!’"

(Toras Menachem, Shabbos Parshas Chayei Sarah, page 671.)


The Second "Yovel" is Already Over

In the same way that there are different levels of belief in the Redemption and in the Redeemer, there are also various levels of "insulting the footsteps of Your Moshiach."

In the sicha of Simchas Torah 5661 the Rebbe Rashab said:

"Tmimim are those who must serve in the war of the House of David. They are the ones who must save Klal Yisroel in the [End of Days] yovel (jubilee) of ‘the enemies of the L-rd,’ that is, the proponents of the Enlightenment and their students and disciples…who insult G-d. These are the ones ‘who insult the footsteps of Moshiach.’"

Exactly 100 years have elapsed since the Rebbe Rashab uttered these prophetic words, a period of time equal to two yovels: The first yovel of "Your enemies have insulted, O L-rd" consisted of the battle against the Enlightenment and its proponents. The second yovel corresponded to "they have insulted the footsteps of Your Moshiach."

Moreover, the first yovel began in 5661, and continued throughout the years of the Rebbe Rayatz’s nesiyus (5680-5710). The Rebbe Rayatz was primarily involved in fighting the "enemies of G-d" (i.e., the Yevsektziya), not only in Russia but even after he arrived in the United States. (See Seifer HaSichos 5702, page 140, where the Rebbe Rayatz says that the struggle continues "until this very day.")

The first yovel ended in the year of the Rebbe Rayatz’s histalkus and the beginning of the Rebbe MH"M’s nesiyus.

The second yovel, of "insulting the footsteps of Moshiach," began in 5711. That was the year in which the Rebbe MH"M officially accepted the nesiyus and said his first maamer, in which he emphasized that his function is to bring about the revelation of Moshiach on the lowest physical plane.

Indeed, the Rebbe MH"M’s battle has never been directed against the "enemies of G-d" – Maskilim, the Yevsektziya, etc., as they no longer present any threat. Rather, the Rebbe’s focus has always been on the "footsteps of Moshiach."

On Simchas Torah of this year, 5761, exactly 100 years after the Rebbe Rashab’s sicha, the second yovel of "they have insulted the footsteps of Your Moshiach" ended. Thus, it is more clear than ever how all that is left for us to do is to "greet Moshiach Tzidkeinu in actuality."

May we immediately merit to see the Rebbe again with our physical eyes, and he will bring us out of exile and lead us to the true and complete Redemption now.

(Based on Rabbi Butman’s radio program "Moshiach is In the Air" of 20 Cheshvan, 5761.)


On Simchas Torah of this year, 5761, exactly 100 years after the Rebbe Rashab’s sicha, the second yovel of "they have insulted the footsteps of Your Moshiach" ended.


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