Publisher’s Foreword

At present, the eyes of the entire world are on the Jewish people and Eretz Yisrael. Far away from the workings of international diplomacy, however, the Rebbe Shlita informs us of a different process of ongoing change. At times openly and at times enclothed within the natural order, there is an inner motivating force which ultimately is the source for everything that occurs in the world at large.

The Rebbe Shlita has described the present year as “a year imbued with wonders” which will lead to the era when,1 “As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders,” the wonders of the Redemption. In the address on which this essay was based, the Rebbe tells us of the intrinsic connection each Jew has with the Redemption and informs us that indeed, Mashiach is here, waiting for us to recognize his mission and to create a climate in the world that will allow it to be fulfilled.

Rosh Chodesh Kislev, 5752 [November 8, 1991]

Why Are You Crying?

When Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber, the fifth of the Lubavitcher Rebbeim, was four or five years old, he was taken to his grandfather, the Tzemach Tzedek, for a birthday blessing. When he entered his grandfather’s room, he began to cry.

After calming him, his grandfather enquired about the reason for his tears. The child responded, “In cheder, we learned that G‑d revealed Himself to Avraham.2 Why does He not reveal Himself to me?”3

This story reflects the essential desire of every Jew — to live his life amidst manifest G‑dliness. In particular, this desire is reflected in the present generation, the last generation of the exile and the first generation of the Redemption. For in the Era of the Redemption, “Your Master will conceal Himself no longer, and your eyes will perceive your Master.”4 “The glory of G‑d will be revealed and all flesh will see”5 the expression of G‑dliness throughout creation. Now as we stand at the threshold of that era, this essential desire is more powerfully felt.

A Spark of Redemption Within Every Jew

Furthermore, the potential to appreciate manifest G‑dliness is an intrinsic dimension of every Jew’s being, for a Jew’s soul is “truly a part of G‑d from above.”6 Furthermore, through the mitzvah of circumcision, a covenant is sealed in our flesh,7 connecting this G‑dly nature to the material existence of every member of our people.8

Similarly, the revelations of the Era of the Redemption are intrinsically related to every Jew, for every Jew possesses a spark of Mashiach.9 Indeed, the texts of the Kabbalah10 identify this spark with the quality of yechidah, the very core of our being, the innermost dimension of our souls.

Children — G‑d’s Anointed Ones

In particular, the above is reflected in Jewish children, for our Sages11 explicitly identify them with the name Meshichai — “My anointed ones.” Why are they given this title? Since their intellectual and emotional potentials are less developed, their essential quality, the spark of Mashiach in their souls, is more openly expressed. In contrast to adults, their only serious concern is that Mashiach should come.12

Unveiling the G‑dliness in Our Environment

Every Jew has been charged by G‑d to reveal this essential dimension in his own conscious powers, in his physical activities, and in his interaction with his environment. The revelation of the particular sparks of Mashiach through these efforts will hasten the coming of the era of Mashiach, the age when the manifestation of this fundamental G‑dliness will permeate the world in its totality.

The responsibility every Jew carries to speed Mashiach’s coming through such service is reflected in the fact that the numerical equivalent of the Hebrew word Mashiach (משיח) is the same as the sum of the numerical equivalent of the word shaliach (שליח), which means “agent”, plus ten. This implies that Mashiach’s coming is dependent on every person’s dedicating the ten faculties of his soul to the shlichus, the “mission”, of revealing G‑dliness in this world.

Internalizing Our Knowledge of G‑d

Implicit in this mission is disseminating the teachings of pnimiyus HaTorah, and integrating them into our conscious thinking processes. In the Era of the Redemption, “a person will no longer [have to] teach a friend... for they will all know Me.”13 “New [dimensions of the] Torah will emerge from Me,”14 and every individual will experience a direct, personal knowledge of G‑d.

Since, as our Sages teach, reward is granted “measure for measure,”15 it follows that in preparation for this revelation, we should devote ourselves to the knowledge of G‑d and the development of an inner bond with Him. It is the Torah which enables us to forge such a connection. This is reflected in our Rabbis’ interpretation16 of the verse, “He kisses me with the kisses of His mouth,”17 as referring to the inner bond which is established with G‑d through the study of pnimiyus HaTorah.

Mashiach in Every Generation

The relevance of the above is made possible by the unique nature of our present times. To borrow an expression of the Previous Rebbe,18 we have already “polished the buttons” and have completed all the spiritual tasks required of us.

Furthermore, Mashiach is not merely a hope for the future, but there exists in every generation — and surely, in our generation — “a person from among the descendants of Judah who is worthy of being the Mashiach of Israel.”19 As the Chasam Sofer writes,20 “From the time of the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash, there was born one who in his righteousness is worthy of being [Israel’s] redeemer,”21 and were there no obstacles to impede his coming, he would have come already.

Moreover, these obstacles no longer exist, for when the service of the Jewish people over the centuries is considered as a whole, everything that is necessary to bring about the Redemption has been accomplished.22 There is no valid explanation for the continuation of the exile. Accordingly, at this time, our spiritual service must focus on23 “standing prepared to greet Mashiach,” anxiously awaiting his revelation with the willingness to accept him eagerly.

An Adaptation of an Address by the Lubavitcher Rebbe שליט"א
on Shabbos Parshas Vayeira, 5752