An Adaptation of Addresses of
the Lubavitcher Rebbe on Shabbos Parshas Vayeitzei, 5752 and other occasions.

[Since we have frequently referred to statements of the Lubavitcher Rebbe regarding the imminence of the Redemption, we have included this essay adapted from his addresses, which highlights this theme. The essay is taken from Sound the Great Shofar (Kehot, N.Y., 1992).]

Israel’s Mission

Our Sages state,1 “The world was created solely for Mashiach.” For G‑d created the world so that He would have “a dwelling place among mortals,”2 and this ideal will be realized in the Era of the Redemption. At that time the Divine Presence will become manifest in this world, for, in the words of Isaiah’s promise,3 “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of G‑d as the waters cover the ocean bed.”4

Since it is human nature to appreciate something for which one has worked far more than an unearned gift,5 G‑d desired that man have a share in bringing this promise to fruition, that he become G‑d’s partner in creation.6 This indeed has been the purpose of the thousands of years during which the Jewish people have served G‑d, thereby refining the world and preparing it for the manifestation of His Presence within it. Throughout the centuries, as we have wandered from country to country and from continent to continent, the inner purpose of these journeys has been to cultivate these places and prepare them for the Redemption.7

Throughout our history, our people have yearned for the consummation of this task, for the time when Mashiach will actually come. Three times a day, every day of the year, we ask G‑d:8 “May our eyes behold Your return to Zion in mercy.” Indeed, our Sages9 teach us that one of the first questions a soul will be asked in its judgment for the afterlife is, “Did you anticipate the Redemption?”

Open Your Eyes: The Table is Set for the Feast

The above assumes unique relevance in the present time, for the Jewish people have completed the mission with which G‑d has charged us. To borrow an expression of the Previous Rebbe’s,10 we have already “polished the buttons”: everything necessary to bring about the Redemption has already been accomplished.11

Our readiness for the Redemption is also reflected in the world at large. The values of freedom, tolerance, and generosity have spread throughout the community of nations. Regimes that have opposed them have toppled, giving way for greater communication and sharing.

Our Sages12 have described the Redemption as a feast. To echo this analogy,13 the table has already been set, everything has been served, and we are sitting at the table together with Mashiach. All we need to do is open our eyes.

Preparing the World for Mashiach

In previous generations as well, there has always been a potential for the Redemption.14 In the popular version of the Rambam’s Thirteen Principles of Faith,15 the twelfth Principle reads: “I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Mashiach. Even if he delays, I will wait every day for him to come.” As has been explained,16 this does not mean that every day we should wait for Mashiach’s ultimate coming, but that every day, we should wait expectantly for Mashiach to come on that very day.

Our Sages17 describe Mashiach as waiting anxiously to come. In previous generations, however, his coming was prevented by the fact that the Jews had not completed the tasks expected of them. At present, however, those tasks have been accomplished; there is nothing lacking. All we have to do is accept Mashiach.

This is the challenge facing our generation: To make the world conscious of Mashiach, and to create an environment that will allow his mission to be fulfilled. Every element of our study of the Torah and our observance of its mitzvos should be permeated by this objective, and directed towards it.

Becoming Attuned to the Redemption

We can gain awareness of Mashiach through the study of pnimiyus HaTorah,18 the Torah’s mystical dimensions, and in particular, through the study of the subjects of redemption and Mashiach.19 This process will open the eyes of our mind, so that as we live our lives day by day, we will remain constantly attuned to the concept of redemption.

Furthermore, the increase in our awareness of the nature of the Redemption will serve as a catalyst, which will hasten the coming of the day when we can actually open our eyes and see — that we are in Eretz Yisrael, and in Jerusalem, and, indeed, in the Beis HaMikdash, with the coming of the Redemption.

May this be realized in the immediate future.