Acharon Shel Pesach, 5746 (1986)

Acharon Shel Pesach, 5746 (1986)

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1. This meal (after Minchah on the eighth day of Pesach) has traditionally been called “Mashiach’s Feast,” by our Rebbes the Nesi’im. It is therefore appropriate that I should begin by analyzing the theme of “Mashiach’s Feast.” It would seem that participation in such a celebration as “Mashiach’s Feast” should evoke astonishment among people, yet, we see that many people in many places do participate in this meal of Mashiach, which indicates that the celebration of Mashiach’s Feast has become truly important for all Jews.

It all began in the days of the Baal Shem Tov who was accustomed to eat three meals on the last day of Pesach and he called the third meal, “Mashiach’s Feast.” In the early years of the Chassidic movement only special individuals used to eat Mashiach’s Feast, while in the later generations the Rebbe Rashab used to join the students of the Yeshivah Tomchei Temimim for “Mashiach’s Feast.” Finally, the previous Rebbe attended the “Mashiach Feast,” and not only the select students of Yeshivah Tomchei Temimim joined in the festive meal, but also all the Chassidim participated. Since then the custom has caught on in many circles, and tens of thousands of Jews celebrate the third meal of the last day of Pesach, known as “Mashiach’s Feast.”

The previous Rebbe also instituted the custom of drinking four cups of wine at Mashiach’s Feast.

Normally a festive feast consists of meat, fish and other delicacies, why do we observe the meal of Mashiach with only four cups of wine? But the answer may be found by referring to the Talmud:

The Holy One, Blessed be He, will make a great banquet for the righteous on the day He manifests His love to the seed of Yitzchok. After they have eaten and drunk, the cup of Grace will be offered to our father Avraham, that he should recite the Grace, but he will answer them, “I cannot say Grace....” Then Yitzchok will be asked, “Take it and say Grace.” “I cannot say Grace,” he will reply.... Then Dovid will be asked, “Take it and say Grace.” “I will say Grace, and it is fitting for me to say Grace,” he will reply, as it is said, “I will lift up the cup of salvation, and call upon the Name of the L‑rd.” (Pesachim 119b)

At that banquet, Dovid, King Mashiach, will have a special connection to the wine (he will be given the wine which has been “preserved in its grapes” from the six days of creation). Consequently, we may understand that at “Mashiach’s Feast” the main emphasis should also be on the wine.

Another point:

The Gemara states:

The cup of King Dovid in the future world will hold 221 logs (1 log=approx. 12 oz.), as it is said: “My cup is overflowing (revayah)” and this is the numerical value of ReVaYaH. (Yoma 76a)

So our sages attribute a special association between Mashiach and overflowing wine. Therefore at “Mashiach’s Feast” the main emphasis is on drinking the four cups of wine.

The question however remains, why, at that future banquet, will Dovid HaMelech particularly associate with the wine of the “cup of the blessings” of the Grace, and not with the other foods.

Concerning Mashiach the prophet tells us:

Behold My servant shall prosper (be exceedingly wise), he shall be exalted and extolled and be very high. (Yeshayahu 52:13)

In Likkutei Torah, in the Chassidic discourses which discuss the themes of the seventh and eighth days of Pesach, the Alter Rebbe expounds on this verse that Mashiach’s wisdom will supersede the wisdom of the Patriarchs and Moshe our teacher, and he will teach all the people Torah including the Patriarchs and Moshe. The discourse goes on to deduce that we must say that the Torah and the wisdom which Mashiach will teach will be the inner secrets of the Torah:

After the resurrection all will rise...the Patriarchs, Moshe and Aharon, all the righteous ones and the prophets, tens of thousands beyond number. Is it possible that Mashiach will teach them the same Torah which is revealed to us today?... Will all the sages of our past, who knew the whole Torah, be required to learn new halachos from Mashiach? We must therefore say that Mashiach will instruct them in the “good of discernment and knowledge of the secrets of the esoteric teachings of Torah,” which the “eyes will not have seen.” Moshe and the Patriarchs not having been privileged to that knowledge, for only to Mashiach will it be revealed as it is written of him, “and be very high.” (Likkutei Torah, Tzav 17aff.)

And so the subject matters of the future Torah study taught by Mashiach will be the esoteric teachings of Torah.

But there will be another distinction. The intellectual pursuit of the esoteric knowledge will not follow the temporal pattern of a teacher imparting knowledge and comprehension, instead it will take the form of visualization:

They will comprehend with the visualizing light of the supernal wisdom, to the degree that they will all perceive with the vision of the innermost wisdom, the reasons, and the heretofore, utterly sequestered secrets.... This is what is meant by the prophet: “He will be permeated with the spirit of the fear of the L‑rd” (Yeshayahu 11:3) he will judge by the “spirit” of G‑d; “He will not judge by the sight of his eyes” (Ibid.), but by the sight of his mind’s eye. He will “Not decide by the hearing of his ears” (Ibid.), the listening of understanding, only with the power of the vision of Chochmah. (Likkutei Torah, Ibid.)

And since the study will take the form of seeing, he will be able to teach tens of thousands at once. It will be unnecessary to explain the meaning in lengthy logical discussions or lectures, rather the knowledge will come instantaneously, grasped in its full depth and breadth by seeing.

In Pri Etz Chaim we are told that the AriZal was able to perceive and comprehend in one instant the deep secrets and esoteric teachings of the Torah, at a “glance.” If he had had to teach that knowledge in the conventional manner of transmitting wisdom, in speech and writing, it would have taken 60-80 years of discourses.

In dealing with esoterics we must remember that there were earlier sages who did learn the secrets of the Torah. Moshe, the Rashbi and others who were mentioned in the Zohar, yet in this field of learning — there is the level of “secrets” and then “secrets of the secrets” and so on, ad infinitum. Mashiach will teach the highest levels and it will be transmitted in a manner of seeing.

When Mashiach comes, Moshe and Yehoshua and the Elders will all teach large schools of students the revealed aspects of Torah. Each will teach according to his personal system of learning which could differ from another system.

But the secrets of Torah will be taught only by Mashiach, who symbolizes the “Yechidah” of the Jewish people, the innermost aspect of Jewish souls.

This same dichotomy in study will also be applied to the food of the meal of the righteous which we spoke of earlier. At the meal there will be words of Torah — but the food itself will also express this difference. For the “Leviathan” and “Shor Habar” represent the exoteric Torah while the “preserved wine” will represent the “wine” of Torah, the esoteric, inner teachings of Torah.

And therefore, in relation to the “fish” and “meat” of the banquet there will be no distinction between the sages of Israel and Mashiach, but in the case of the “cup of blessing” only Mashiach will say: “I will say Grace and it is fitting for me to say Grace.”

To reveal the “wine of Torah” the quality of Dovid the King Mashiach will be revealed, and that which could not be seen or comprehended in the past will be understood and seen.

In our allegorical fusion of esoteric wisdom and wine we should be able to find the aforementioned diverse levels of esoteric teaching also in the parable of wine. This will lead to the distinction with which Dovid was specifically associated, the wine of the “cup of blessings.”

The difference will emerge between the wine which is drunk during the meal and wine which is drunk after the meal — “the cup of blessing.” The wine imbibed during the meal will connote the secrets of Torah which relate to the exoteric study. Whereas the wine which follows the meal, the “cup of blessing,” not taken with fish and meat, symbolizes the loftier level, the “secrets of the secrets of the Torah.”

For this reason Dovid Mashiach is associated with the “cup of blessing,” for the Patriarchs and Moshe refused to lift the cup of blessing and say the Grace, being that they are associated with the “food” of the meal and only Mashiach will say, “It is fitting for me to say the Grace.”

Now we can appreciate why at Mashiach’s Feast we only eat matzah and drink four cups of wine. And although the fourth Shabbos meal (Melaveh Malkah), when other foods are eaten, is also considered by the AriZal to be the meal of “Dovid King Mashiach” (see Siddur of AriZal), nevertheless, on the last day of Pesach when we read the Haftorah of Mashiach’s coming, in all its glorious details, and especially at the conclusion of the day, the aspect of Dovid Mashiach reaches its zenith as it will be at the time of Mashiach’s coming. Therefore it is appropriate that we emphasize the loftiest level of Mashiach’s symbolic association with the “wine of blessings” and we partake only of wine (in addition to the matzah) at the meal of Mashiach!

The custom of drinking four cups of wine during Mashiach’s feast may also be linked with the “cup of blessings” of Mashiach.

The numeral “4” represents the four methods of Biblical interpretation, Pardes — plain, symbolic, homiletic and esoteric. Chassidus explains that the four levels of Torah exposition relate to the four spiritual worlds and effect the purification and perfection of the corresponding worlds. The fourth level raises the world of Atzilus — Emanation — to the level of “Secrets of Secrets of the Torah,” which we explained is symbolized by the cup of blessing after the meal. And since the highest level of Atzilus is associated with the lowest world of action, we may deduce that the cup of blessing of Mashiach must be brought down into the temporal world.

Having analyzed these lofty concepts and developed the magnitude and enormity of the principles involved in Mashiach’s Feast, it now seems astonishing and baffling: How can a human being sit down and eat a physical meal called “Mashiach’s Feast”?

There is even a movement to encourage more and more Jews to adopt this custom and participate in this meal! But, no preparation is made, no lessons in Chassidic philosophy are taught, they are not even told a story of the Baal Shem Tov in order to lead them into the subject. They are just invited to sit down and eat and drink.

As a result there are those who seek pretense and decry this practice with the argument that there is no precedent for such customs!

But the answer is that we all participate in a Mashiach meal every Motzaei Shabbos, for the Melaveh Malkah meal is termed “The meal of Dovid King Mashiach”! Of course, the meal of the end of Pesach is on a much loftier plane as we have discussed.

It should also be kept in mind that the three Shabbos meals also represent lofty planes. A Jew says Kiddush on wine, ritually washes his hands and then sits down to dine on Shabbos day and he proclaims: “This is the meal of the holy Chakal Tapuchin” — the supernal attribute of royalty; or on Friday night he says: “This is the meal of the holy Ancient One” the attribute of Atik in the supernal crown; or at the third Shabbos meal, “This is the meal of Zei’er Anpin” — the six supernal attributes of the world of Emanation.

Having established that Mashiach will teach all the Jews, we realize that even the people whose level of Torah comprehension is still on the level of plain meaning and could just as well receive instruction from a lesser tutor — nevertheless Mashiach will teach them also.

Being the Yechidah (only one) soul of the Jewish people, Mashiach truly has a connection with every Jew and will relate to each one equally, for Yechidah equalizes the great and the small.

Consequently, it follows that every Jew really should participate in “Mashiach’s Feast.”

Here we come to another thought which is often overlooked. Every Yom-Tov when the Torah is taken from the Holy Ark we recite a special prayer following the 13 attributes of mercy. It begins: “Master of the World.” In it we say:

..And may there be realized in us the verse which states: “And the spirit of the L‑rd shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the L‑rd.” (Siddur)

Contemplate on this for a moment. An overbearing “Klotz-Kashe” begins to crystallize in our minds. The verse, “And the spirit of the L‑rd shall rest...” refers to our righteous Mashiach of whom the previous verse spoke: “And a shoot shall go forth from the trunk of Yishai.” How is it possible that every festival we stand before G‑d and beseech Him, “...And may there be realized in us the verse, etc.” How can we ask for something which was promised to Mashiach? This request is not for something similar to, or modeled after Mashiach’s spirit, for we are asking that the “spirit of the L‑rd” which was promised to Mashiach should “be realized in us.”

Certainly, when we pray in the manner prescribed by Torah, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will accept and fulfill our requests so that the spirit of G‑d will truly rest on us, immediately, not only later when Mashiach comes, and even though we may not sense it or realize it — it does happen.

How does it affect us?

Well, we know that there are daily announcements made by heavenly voices which the human ear cannot hear, nevertheless the root of the neshamah and its mazal does “hear” these calls to repentance. This is why we sometimes have a strong inner urge to repent and better our ways — it is the source of the soul, which heard the heavenly voice, pushing the body to improve.

Similarly, when the spirit of the L‑rd rests on us, even though we are unaware, it will have some effect. Does it happen sometimes that a person finds outstanding success beyond his capabilities, either in material matters or spiritual matters? This success is a result and effect of the resting of the spirit of G‑d on this person. At the same time, if we contemplate on this phenomenon and try to make ourselves worthy of this G‑dly revelation then we will be able to feel it and utilize the powers to a much greater degree. Thus the effect will depend upon the utilization and concentration.

Likewise in the case of Mashiach’s Feast — each individual must work to integrate as much as possible. Therefore, it is important to publicize the matter and encourage all Jews to participate.

If you ask why mention this now, it is too late to go out now and invite others to the Mashiach’s Feast? The answer is that you can still make it up on the day after Pesach and you can make the theme of Mashiach’s Feast a continuing function, to extend into the following days and weeks. For, just as in the days of the Beis HaMikdash, Chassidus explains, that the revelation of G‑dliness seen at the time of pilgrimage lasted until the next festival, so too, today the inspiration of the festival and especially the last day — the Mashiach’s meal — continue to radiate till next Pesach.

And we must take this aura of the revelation of Mashiach from Pesach and apply it to our daily Divine service all through the year.

Do not be surprised by the phenomenon that at first there was some trepidation whether it would be accepted to eat a physical meal and call it “Mashiach’s Feast” — and eventually tens of thousands of Jews enthusiastically embraced the custom and participated in these feasts.

The same phenomenon has been seen in spreading the wellsprings of Chassidus. When a Chassid carries out his role as a “lamplighter,” and illuminates the public domain, then even those who were lost, or hidden in the cracks and crevices come out and gravitate towards the light and they, too, become lamplighters.

Thus, the custom of “Mashiach’s Feast” as well as all the aspects of Mashiach connected to the last day of Pesach should be publicized and disseminated to all circles and it should influence all classes of Jews.

May all these efforts find great success and may we gather the Jewish people through our righteous Mashiach with love and kindness and peace, and by accepting these good resolutions we will merit the reward of the true and complete redemption through our righteous Mashiach.

* * *

Do you wonder that it took many generations to reveal this important aspect of the last day of Pesach? And even more generations until the Mashiach’s Meal was actually celebrated among the multitudes of the Jewish people?!

This is the way of Torah!

Our sages relate:

“There are threescore queens”: these are the sixty tractates of the Mishnah. “And fourscore concubines”: these are the Beraisos, “And maidens without number”: there is no end of additional halachos. (see Shir HaShirim Rabbah 6:9, par. 2)

This means that through the teachings of the Tannaim and Amoraim the increase in Torah reaches to infinity. For although the infinity of Torah existed at the time of Moshe also, it was not revealed until the era of the Tannaim and Amoraim.

Chassidus further explains on the verse, “You (Aisanim) [are the] strong foundation of the earth” (Michah 6:2) that the teachings of the Tannaim (Aisanim = Tannaim) and Amoraim, as well as their whole beings, constituted the body of the Oral Torah, which further emphasizes the multitudinous vastness of the Oral Torah. Not only their words but also their beings became part of Torah (cf. Zohar II, 110b; Torah Or, Shmos 49b).

The teachers of the generations after the Talmud are also included in this progressive expansion of Torah for:

Even what a faithful disciple would in the future innovate...were all communicated to Moshe on Sinai. (cf. Vayikra Rabbah ch 22:1)

And all the rulings of the Geonim, and the later codifiers and then the annotators on the codifiers will all be included in the Oral Torah with the full authority of the Oral Torah (see Alter Rebbe, Laws of Talmud Torah, 2). Thus there is a steady increase in the “additional halachos” in every future generation. And the contributions of the “Aisanim — Tannaim” also increase in quality as well as quantity.

Consequently, it is no wonder that new things are revealed in later generations; as in our case, Mashiach’s Feast and the custom to drink four cups of wine at that meal.

This principle of continual progressive development in Torah finds further expression within the context of the esoteric teachings of Chassidus.

The Alter Rebbe writes in Tanya that in the era of the Talmud:

The whole science of the Kabbalah was hidden in their days and concealed from all the scholars of Torah, except for a select few and even then in a mode of “walking hiddenly” and not publicly, as mentioned in the Gemara. Thus, R. Yitzchok Luria, of blessed memory, wrote that it is only in these latter generations that it is permitted and a duty to reveal this science but not so in the earlier generations. (Iggeres Hakodesh 26)

In these latter generations, when the revelation of the esoteric teachings has been enhanced and increased through the dissemination of Chassidic philosophy — and especially Chabad — to the point of “spreading the fountains to the outside,” we see a greater intensification and multiplication of the wellsprings of Torah. In the time of the previous Rebbe the teachings of Chassidus were translated into other languages, in order to bring this knowledge to the far corners of the world.

In this context we may clearly understand why the practice of Mashiach’s Feast only became popularized in recent years.

Mashiach will reveal the innovations of the hidden secrets of the Torah, as Rashi explains, that when Mashiach comes G‑d will once again communicate the innermost secrets of His Torah directly to the Jewish people (cf. Rashi ad. loc. Shir HaShirim 1:2).

Thus, at the time that the Baal Shem Tov was revealing and spreading the esoteric teachings of Torah, the practice of Mashiach’s Feast was also revealed by the Baal Shem Tov. And over the years as the study of Chassidus has spread, so has the custom of Mashiach’s Feast spread to the widest spectrum.

And in truth, these studies and activities really do apply to every Jew, since the function of Mashiach pertains to everyone and everything. And in our generation, which is the last and lowest, Mashiach will accomplish the greatest “lifting up.” For the lever accomplishes its job when it is placed below the lowest point to be raised. Therefore in our generation the greatest powers have been given even to the foot soldiers of the “Army of Hashem.”

May it be G‑d’s will, that on this day, when the spirit of Mashiach is revealed, and we celebrate Mashiach’s Feast, we should utilize these lofty powers that descend from above, and absorb them internally, so that the revelation of Mashiach will penetrate to the point of engendering the resultant action all year long.

We know that the Alter Rebbe did not include the words “The order of Pesach ends,” at the close of the Haggadah, his reason? because the theme of Pesach continues all year and the eighth day has in it the lofty aspects of all the earlier seven days and thereby further transmits them into the rest of the year. And may it bring the revelation of the King Mashiach who will redeem us and lead us “walking upright,” to our land, with the true and complete redemption, speedily and truly in our time.

* * *

2. In the name “Mashiach’s Feast” we recognize the emphasis that every detail of the meal has some connection with Mashiach, for the meal “belongs” to Mashiach.

It follows that our discussions at this meal should also relate to the theme of Mashiach. Actually, everything has some connection to Mashiach. The Rambam rules that Mashiach is a king and:

His heart is the heart of the whole congregation of Israel. (Laws of Kings 3:6)

Thus, the existence of the Jewish people depends on the existence of the king, just as all the organs of the body depend on the heart.

In halachic context this is the reason a traitor to the king must be put to death; because he is threatening the existence of the entire Jewish people! The king’s importance supersedes even those whom he consults for advice, such as the Kohen Gadol or the Elders.

Consequently, all matters of the Jewish people are connected with the “King Mashiach” since their whole existence depends on Mashiach.

Even more so, worldly matters also concern Mashiach. Since Mashiach’s role will be to improve the world, so that all material substance will rise to a higher state, therefore in its present condition, the corporeal world also relates to Mashiach. This connection will be much stronger in dealing with matters of Jewish concern. Now, if Mashiach must redeem the world and bring perfection to all aspects of the world, it follows that right from the start the world and all its aspects must in some way be related to Mashiach, and later when he is revealed they will rise to the level of being redeemed.

Consequently, a minori ad majus, all aspects of Yiddishkeit, Torah and mitzvos, even those not directly related to the last day of Pesach are still related to our righteous Mashiach.

The first subject that comes to mind is something often spoken about, the importance of outreach, to spread Torah and mitzvos through the Mivtzoim. Here we should accentuate the connection with Mashiach.

Although there are several Mivtzoim which cannot actually be performed on the last day of Pesach, e.g. putting on tefillin, registering children to Torah day camps, etc. yet, on this day we can emphasize that these future activities should be permeated with the spirit of Mashiach.

Mashiach represents the Yechidah soul level of the Jewish people and a spark of this Yechidah is found in the soul of every Jew. It is called Yechidah — (only one) because it unites with the “Unique One of the world.”

And so, when one is involved in any of the Mivtzoim (Tefillin, Education, etc.) it is important that the Yechidah of his soul be immersed in the work — this being the connection to Mashiach. When his approach to the Mivtzoim will involve the intensity of Yechidah, there will be no room for doubt or considerations or excuses, nor will he seek remuneration or fret about his loss of personal gain for he is doing it for the “Unique One of the world.”

In the fifth Chumash section of Acharei the Torah concludes:

Keep My decrees and laws, since it is only by keeping them that a person can truly live.... (Vayikra 18:5)

On this verse we find an explanation taught by the Great Maggid.

“Keep My decrees and laws...and truly live” there is a general rule which applies in the case of all action mitzvos... for example, the mitzvah of tzitzis, the strings have no holy spiritual life, yet when the mitzvah is performed the person ties together all the Supernal levels till the world of action; the thought, speech, and action are all bound together, and then in the strings you have all the laws of tzitzis, and all Scriptural verses dealing with tzitzis rest on the strings. This happens with all the mitzvos. And so, the verse “Keep My decrees” means that when you observe the statute you will “engrave;” (Chukah) the words of thought become engraved in the mind. “Keep them and truly live.” When you do them you draw down the spiritual life in them. (Likkutei Amarim, 227)

Chassidim relate that there were those who observed the Baal Shem Tov and saw that there were times when the strings of his tzitzis fringes vibrated and swayed on their own, as if they were alive! When the Baal Shem Tov performed a mitzvah it was in the category of “living”; when he did the mitzvah he drew the spiritual life into the physical object. This was consistent with the Baal Shem Tov’s conduct of penetrating and permeating the physical world with the spiritual life.

Thus, a person must infuse all his mitzvah actions with the life of the Yechidah of his soul.

3. The special quality of action involves the factor of self-control and submission. Human nature tends to consider intellectual pursuits more closely suited to its character. Thus, involvement in mental activities is more precious and pleasurable. When it comes to mundane action in the physical — and especially grossly corporeal — aspects of the world, it seems necessary to activate an extra effort to force oneself to actually do the thing, with yoke-bearing submission and selfless responsibility.

It follows that there will be degrees in the amount of effort needed to motivate different actions depending on their difficulty.

Our sages relate:

The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: Do not spend time weighing up the precepts of the Torah...and do not say, seeing that this precept is a great one, I will perform it because its reward is great, and seeing that the other precept is a minor one I will not perform it.... (Devarim Rabbah 6:2)

Since G‑d has “sanctified us with His commandments,” who is to be so bold as to make distinctions among G‑d’s commandments. For this reason the rewards are not revealed and we are not to weigh one against the other.

However, G‑d did make distinctions among the mitzvos relative to our ability to understand the underlying reasons for the mitzvos. In the Torah some mitzvos are presented in a logical framework, while others have no intellectual context, so that all the mitzvos of the Torah may be categorized in the three groups of laws, testimonies and statutes (Mishpatim, Edos and Chukim). Hence we sense that there is a difference between the “great” mitzvos and the “minor” mitzvos purely from the perspective of those that we do not understand and those that we do.

Consequently, in order to perform all the mitzvos with equal enthusiasm, because G‑d has commanded them and “sanctified us with His commandments,” we must exercise greater submission and self-control in doing certain mitzvos while other commandments will come easily and naturally. The difference will be because some are more logical than others or because some give us more intellectual fulfillment and satisfaction, while others leave us unenthusiastic and uninspired.

We may carry this dichotomy a bit further. Any action which a person performs himself does give him some fulfillment, and he can find some form of motivation so that he does not literally have to force himself to do the mitzvah. However, when we speak of motivating other people to perform G‑d’s will, here we realize, that since this is outside of ourselves we must activate a strong surge of willpower and self-control to actually go out and encourage others to do the will of the Holy One, Blessed be He, in action. It needs more convincing and more rationalization to force yourself to actually want to go out and motivate others.

In this scenario it is self-evident that the relative distance between you and your “subject” will have an impact on the energy you will need to motivate your outreach. Is his/her nature like yours? Do you have a common language, are you from the same tribe, social standing, etc.? The greater the distance the more force you will need!

How much more so with regard to gentiles, the children of Noach, where you will clearly need a tremendous effort to overcome your inertia and follow the ruling of the Rambam:

By Divine ordinance, Moshe our teacher commanded us to compel all human beings to accept the commandments enjoined on the descendants of Noach. (Laws of Kings 8:10)

Yet the true quality of “action” emerges specifically in such a scenario when one must mobilize and concentrate his self-control to the point of self-imposed, forced action, to reach out to teach the descendants of Noach the Seven Noachide Laws.

When a Jew has some association with non-Jews, in his business or profession he must utilize this relationship to impress upon the non-Jew his/her responsibility to observe the Seven Noachide Laws, and if he/she is already aware of the Seven Noachide Laws then the effort should be made to encourage increased observance of those laws.

Because we are in the generation of Mashiach, it behooves us to be more diligent in this area for we are approaching the time when “kingship will be the L‑rd’s,” for, “Then I will turn to the peoples a pure language, that they may all call upon the Name of the L‑rd to serve Him with one consent” (Tzephaniah 3:9).

We therefore must see this as a commandment whose timehas come, now!

Regarding the observance of mitzvos in the diaspora, we have learned that we do them now so as to be prepared for the ultimate observance which will be when Mashiach comes (cf. Ramban, Vayikra, 18:25). The same idea also applies in the case of the gentile world. They, too, must prepare themselves for that future time, and the closer we get to the redemption, the more vital it becomes that we influence the nations to observe the Seven Noachide Laws.

As if to stress the importance of motivating all people to fulfill the Seven Noachide Laws, the Holy One, Blessed be He, has put in the heart of the President of this country (“The king’s heart is in the hand of the L‑rd,” cf. Mishlei 21:1) the desire to proclaim and publicize to all the citizens of this country — with the approval of the representatives of the people of the land — the need and importance of keeping the Seven Noachide Laws for the good of the existence of this country and its people.

The President himself was not satisfied with his earlier proclamations, made in previous years, and once again this year issued a proclamation which calls for the observance of the Seven Noachide Laws among all peoples of the world.

We must express our gratitude to the President for this magnanimous action on behalf of the non-Jewish world — and on behalf of the Jews of America, who will be motivated to further their efforts to compel the descendants of Noach to keep the Seven Noachide Laws.

Our hope is great that these efforts will continue among the nations of the world and will be especially successful, in that the President has shown a living example in his personal conduct, to spread the Seven Noachide Laws, with no ulterior motive other than it being the word of the Creator.

And may this discussion bring action, especially as we are now gathered among thousands of people at Mashiach’s Feast, on the last day of Pesach, in the synagogue and study hall used for Torah and prayer and mitzvos, such as tzedakah [in the weekdays — money, and on Yom-Tov — by giving LeChaim to one another].

May this speed up the time when the world will reach its perfection and the true and complete redemption will be realized.

* * *

Last year we spoke of the conquest of Yericho which occurred on the 22nd of Nissan. May G‑d grant that we should leave the holiday of Pesach and go directly to the conquest of Yericho and enter into Eretz Yisrael in a pleasant and peaceful manner — with the ultimate redemption through our righteous Mashiach. Then all the Jewish people will go out of galus with “our youth and elders, sons and daughters,” — the complete nation. With all their possessions — spiritual and material — to the land where:

The eyes of G‑d your L‑rd are on it at all times, from the beginning of the year until the end of the year (Devarim 11:12),

with peace and tranquility and with the Third Beis HaMikdash in the Holy City of the Holy Land — may it come with joy and gladness very speedily and truly in our days.

A free translation from a talk of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory.
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Translated excerpts of talks delivered by The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, at his periodic public addresses.
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