“When Your Wellsprings Will Be Disseminated Outward”


The Baal Shem Tov writes in a letter2 that on Rosh HaShanah of the year 5507 (1746) his soul ascended to the heavenly realms, where he was granted the privilege of entering the palace of Mashiach.

He writes as follows:

I asked the King Mashiach, “Master, when are you coming?”

And he replied: “When your wellsprings will be disseminated outward.”3

On this exchange the Rebbe Rayatz commented: “From this reply it is apparent that the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov — the revelation of the Divine Intellect which the Baal Shem Tov and his disciples and their disciples (our forefathers, the Rebbeim) bequeathed us — are very closely connected with the coming of Mashiach. ... Mashiach is an or atzmi, quintessential light itself, and the teachings of Chassidus are the vessel for this great light.”

Likkutei Dibburim (in English translation), Vol. II, pp. 269 and 2734

The Revelation of Chassidus in Recent Generations

There are two explanations as to why pnimiyus haTorah, the mystical dimension of the Torah, was revealed precisely in these last generations, as the footsteps of Mashiach are approaching.

(a) Since the darkness of exile is thickening, an ever more brilliant light is required to pierce it. For this reason the “soul of the Torah5 was revealed, for this is what awakens and uncovers the “hidden point of the soul,”. In the Aramaic original, סתים דנשמתא. i.e., those faculties of the soul that are most deeply concealed.

(b) Since we are now at the very end of the exile, we have been given a foretaste of the Torah’s secrets which will be fully revealed only in time to come. This foretaste serves as a preparation for the Days of Mashiach, the main point of which is a knowledge of G‑d. As Rambam writes,6 “The occupation of the entire world will be solely to know G‑d..., and the Jews...will attain an under­standing of their Creator....”

The first of these reasons emphasizes the lowly state of the latter generations, while the second highlights their distinctive privilege — the fact that they have been found worthy of being granted a glimmer of the future revelation. Nevertheless, though they are opposites, these two reasons are interdependent. For the quintessential power of the inner dimension of the Torah, i.e., the Torah teachings of Mashiach, comes to the fore in its ability to light up even the redoubled darkness of the days that anticipate the footsteps of Mashiach.

Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XV, p. 282

* * *

One of the differences between the above two explanations is the following:

The first explanation [see (a) above] relates to the overt faculties7 of the soul. It is they that contend with the exile, and it is they that master the individual’s body, his animal soul, and his physical environment. The study of Chassidus fortifies these faculties, by investing in them the power of the hidden, innermost point of the soul, and thereby enables them to overpower the darkness of the exile.

The second explanation, by contrast [see (b) above], relates directly to the hidden, innermost point of the soul,6 which is one, so to speak, with the hidden, innermost point of Divinity, (since8Israel and...the Holy One, blessed be He, are all one”). For this explanation hinges on the individual’s innate union with G‑d, not with his vigilance in keeping clear of darkness, which takes place spontaneously.

Ibid., Vol. XX, p. 173

* * *

Corresponding to the above two explanations, there are two ways in which the inner dimension of the Torah is revealed:

From the point of view of the first explanation [see (a) above], revealing it even in brief and summary form is sufficient, for even one seminal insight of pnimiyus haTorah is able to vitalize one’s soul.

From the point of view of the second explanation [see (b) above], by contrast, the inner dimension of the Torah has to be revealed by means of thorough intellectual comprehension. For, as was stated above, this revelation serves as a preparation for the Days of Mashiach, when the knowledge of G‑d will be thoroughly comprehended,9 “as the waters cover the ocean bed.”

If so, one should prepare oneself for the forthcoming Redemption by studying pnimiyus haTorah, and doing so specifically by means of systematic intellectual comprehension, as indicated by the acronym Chabad — by activating one’s Chochmah, Binah and Daas.

Ibid., Yud-Tes Kislev, 5748 [1987]

“Those Who Savor It Will Merit Eternal Life”


As the end of the exile draws near, our task is to furnish “vessels” (i.e., means of expression) for the revelations of the impending Redemption. Since in time to come11 “they will all know Me,” now too we should in some measure anticipate this destiny. Simply stated, this means that everyone should exert himself toward gaining an intellectual grasp of G‑dliness.

In the writings of the AriZal there is a well-known teaching, which is also cited in the Halachah,12 that on the afternoon of the eve of Shabbos one should taste something of the delicacies that have been prepared for Shabbos. This practice gives tangible expression to the phrase in the Mussaf prayer of Shabbos, “Those who savor it will merit eternal life.” Since according to the cosmic weekly calendar it is now late on Friday afternoon,13 we should already savor a foretaste of the innermost dimension of the Torah that will be revealed in time to come. In this spirit it is written,14 “He will kiss me with the kisses of His mouth,” and on this Rashi comments: “We have G‑d’s promise that He will again appear to [the Jewish people as at Sinai] and elucidate for them the secrets of [the Torah’s] reasons and its hidden mysteries.”

Ibid., Vol. II, p. 475

The Torah at All Its Levels

Since the Redemption must occur in all the spiritual worlds, and since every spiritual occurrence is actualized by means of the Torah, it follows that it is essential in these last days of the exile that our Torah study should penetrate the worlds of all levels. And this is achieved through studying all four levels of the Torah together, for these four levels whose acronym is פרד"ס [pshat — the plain meaning of Scripture; remez — meanings implied by allusion; derush — insights arrived at by means of a non-literal, homiletic interpretation, as in the Midrash or Talmudic Aggadah; and sod — the Kabbalistic mysteries of the Torah] correspond [in reverse order] to the Four Worlds — Atzilus, Beriah, Yetzirah and Asiyah.

In our days, therefore, how vital it is to study the revealed levels of the Torah15 together with its inner dimensions.16

From a talk of the Rebbe Shlita on Shabbos Parshas Haazinu, 5743 [1982]

Dressing Up for the Wedding

“The teachings of Chassidus,” someone might argue, “are indeed likened to gems and pearls17 — but I’m not one to chase after pearls; I’m satisfied if my clothes aren’t torn.”

There is an answer to this argument: “Look,18 ‘Here He stands behind our wall,’ so we have to get ready for the coming of Mashiach, when we will be privileged to enter the marriage canopy together with the King of Kings, the Holy One, blessed be He. So we will need pearls, too.”

Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XX, p. 178

Serving G‑d Tranquilly


How can it be said that disseminating the wellsprings of Chassidus will bring about the Redemption, when it is common knowledge that the Redemption depends directly on the refinement20 and elevation of the 288 primordial Divine Sparks21 that “fell” into the material world?

By way of reply: Sifting the material world for Divine sparks is an aggressive mode of spiritual service,22 demanding arduous and prolonged exertion. Once a particular spark is hidden away in a physical object, one has to battle with the obscurity and negate it before being able to refine the spark and elevate it to its original source in the holy “side” of the universe.

By contrast, disseminating the wellsprings of Chassidus is a tranquil mode of Divine service. With this approach there is no need whatever to fight one’s opponent. Instead, as soon as the wellsprings reach their outermost extent,23 the obscurity of this material world is washed away as a matter of course, and the sparks are refined spontaneously.

From a talk of the Rebbe Shlita on Shabbos Parshas Vayishlach, 5745 [1984]

To the Corners of the Earth

The dissemination of the wellsprings of the Baal Shem Tov gained vigorous momentum when the teachings of the Chabad school of Chassidus were revealed, for it was then that those wellsprings found intellectual expression. This momentum has been accelerated by the Rebbeim of the respective generations since then, until the time of my revered father-in-law, the [Previous] Rebbe who, through his disciples and emissaries, disseminated the wellsprings of Chassidus to the most farflung corners of the earth.

This labor having been done, all that is left for us to do is to bring the Beis HaMikdash down to this world — in the true and ultimate Redemption by means of our righteous Mashiach.

From a talk of the Rebbe Shlita on Shabbos Parshas Vayigash, 5747 [1987]

An Easy Task

On Simchas Torah in the year 1900 the Rebbe Rashab delivered a celebrated address to the students of the Tomchei Temimim Yeshivah in Lubavitch,24 in which he expounded the teaching of our Sages which begins,25 “Whoever goes out to fight the battle of the House of David....” There he explained that the “House of David” alludes to the King Mashiach, who is a scion of David, and that the “battle of the House of David” alludes to the task of disseminating the wellsprings of Chassidus outward, this being the spiritual labor that will bring about the Redemption.

It could well be argued that in our generation this task is the obligation of every Jew, wherever he may be.

When this task was first embarked upon, it had to be undertaken for various reasons by the temimim, the students of the Yeshivah who were then being addressed and their successors there, for they were endowed with the enhanced strength that was needed for its fulfillment. In our generation, however, after all that has been accomplished in the intervening generations in the dissemination of these wellsprings, this labor has become easier, so that it is now within the reach of every Jew.

By way of a historical model for this change: In the time of the Beis HaMikdash, when the Jewish people stood at a high level of spirituality, the sacrificial service there could be carried out only by a Kohen; during the period of the exile, by contrast, when the successive generations are of inferior spiritual standing, any Jew can secure the same results in the heavenly realm by means of prayer, which replaces the sacrificial service.26 The reason for this change is that in the time of the Beis HaMikdash the sacrificial service was carried out in its entirety, and the beirur and elevation of the animal offering were manifest: the change that the animal underwent by being offered on the altar was patently and tangibly visible. The spiritual labor of prayer, by contrast, is easier to perform, since it is a spiritual labor — the refinement and elevation of the worshiper’s animal soul. And such a task can be performed with a more modest measure of strength.

From a talk of the Rebbe Shlita on 20 MarCheshvan, 5745 [1984]

Our Duty to Disseminate the Wellsprings (i)

Every single Jew anticipates and believes in the coming of Mashiach — speedily, in our own days, and the preparation for this is the spreading of the wellsprings of the Baal Shem Tov ever outward. Accordingly, every Jew should utilize every opportunity to absorb the precepts of the Baal Shem Tov, which have been clarified in minute detail in the teachings of the school of Chassidus known as Chabad. (Significantly, this name is an acronym for the three stages in the intellective process — Chochmah, Binah and Daas.) And the people who absorb these precepts will thereby be enabled to stand at the head of those who will soon be privileged to greet the righteous Mashiach.

From a letter of the Rebbe Shlita, published in Likkutei Sichos, Vol. VII, p. 227

Our Duty to Disseminate the Wellsprings (ii)

The destiny of the teachings and the message of the Baal Shem Tov — that they should be disseminated to the furthest reaches of the world — must be fulfilled. Accordingly, no corner of the globe inhabited by Jews should remain untouched by this message.

And since we are now in the era that is hearing the approaching footsteps of Mashiach, who. Cf. Shir HaShirim 2:9. “is standing behind our wall,” waiting only for the finishing touches to our refinement of this physical world, it is thus imperative that Chassidus be studied in Australia too. This applies not only to the Russian-born chassidim who were sent there as emissaries: it should likewise permeate the local Jewish population. And since this is something that must happen, all the necessary resources will no doubt be forthcoming.

Igros Kodesh (Letters) of the Rebbe Shlita, Vol. IX, p. 32227

Our Duty to Disseminate the Wellsprings (iii)

The dissemination of the wellsprings of Chassidus is the essential call of the hour. One of the proofs of this is that this task has suddenly found opponents, shades of the unholy side of the universe, those of whom our Sages have said that28 “they have the shadow of a shadow.” Their desire is (G‑d forbid) to delay the Redemption and the coming of our righteous Mashiach, to intensify the exile of the Divine Presence, and so on, by confusing people’s minds so that they will not do whatever is needed to spread the wellsprings. This confusion distracts the attention even of those who recognize the necessity of their own mission, but are drawn into debates or dialectics or whatever, with those who oppose it.

Now these last moments within earshot of the approaching footsteps of Mashiach, — is it really worth wasting them on debates to refute vain claims, when they could be put to use in the dissemination of the wellsprings of Chassidus?

Ibid., Vol. XIV, p. 349

Our Duty to Disseminate the Wellsprings (iv)

I was pleased to read of your decision to engage in the diffusion of the light of Chassidus, and so on. It is a pity, though, that you are deferring this for some time, when28 “behold, [Mashiach] is standing behind our wall,” and is being delayed only because the wellsprings are not yet sufficiently widespread. Can anyone measure [the Jewish people’s] anguish with every additional moment of exile, or [their] bliss in every additional moment of the Era of the Redemption?

Ibid., Vol. IV, p. 436

Our Duty to Disseminate the Wellsprings (v)

It is my obligation (and my privilege) to make you aware of the great necessity of studying the inner dimensions of the Torah, which in these latter generations have been revealed within the teachings of Chassidus. And if this study is a necessity for every Jew, how much more is this true of a person who is in a position to influence others, and who is thus (in the words of the Mishnah29 ) “himself meritorious and causes many others to attain merit.” Moreover, from this affirmative statement one can infer [that the reverse is true when one does not take steps to be meritorious].

Especially in this period of the approaching footsteps of Mashiach, when212 “behold, he is standing behind our wall” and everyone should be prepared every day for his coming, every single individual must do his duty. For, as the King Mashiach himself stated, he will come30 “when the wellsprings of [the Baal Shem Tov’s teachings] will be widespread.” Heaven forfend that the exile be prolonged, even for the shortest time, by reason of any inactivity in this task of dissemination, or even by incomplete activity. For this is an exile both of the Holy One, blessed be He, and of the House of Israel, since31 “when they were exiled to Edom the Divine Presence accompanied them.”

Ibid., Vol. XIX, p. 422

Our Duty to Disseminate the Wellsprings (vi)

Disseminating the teachings of Chassidus abroad is not only a mitzvah which these times demand: it is an imperative. Moreover, as we can see for ourselves, it is a vital imperative, for upon it depends the actual, practical performance of the mitzvos, of which it is said,32 וחי בהם — “You shall be alive in them.” The performance of the mitzvos depends on the dissemination of Chassidus especially in the present era, when the Divine light is obscured and concealed, and trials are rampant.

Ibid., Vol. XVII, p. 264

Our Duty to Disseminate the Wellsprings (vii)

In one of the letters which the Rebbe Rayatz addressed to his chassidim at large in 5710 [1949] he wrote as follows:

In honor of the forthcoming Yud-Tes Kislev I am hereby forwarding to you [...], as well as a copy of a letter of mine written in 5687 [1927] which urges its readers to engage in making the study of Chassidus widespread. This letter is still valid today, and in fact more so.33

Explaining the last phrase, the Rebbe Shlita writes:

(a) From the mortal perspective: Today’s world needs a more intense light and a greater diffusion of light, because of its lower standards (as the Sages write,34 “Is the generation fit...?!” and moreover,35 “If the early generations were like angels, we are [like mortals, etc.]”), and because of the seriously depleted numbers of our Jewish brethren (as a result of the events of recent years).

(b) From the heavenly perspective: Year by year in every era, a new and lofty spiritual light which has never yet radiated is drawn down to this world, each year from a higher realm.36 This obliges us to provide additional “vessels” for this light. In this era in particular, we are coming ever closer to the time of which we have been promised,37 “In its time I will expedite it.” This verse refers to the time of the coming and revelation of Mashiach. The “vessel” for this revelation is the light of Chassidus; the condition for this revelation is the dissemination of the wellsprings of Chassidus. It follows that this light must radiate even to places which until now were “outside”,216 and that everywhere, vessels to contain the light of Mashiach should be expanded.

Ibid., Vol. III, p. 222

Our Duty to Disseminate the Wellsprings (viii)

The study and the widespread dissemination of the wellsprings of Chassidus, — these are the prelude and the preparation and the vessel for the promise of the prophet, that38 “the world will be filled with the knowledge of G‑d, as the waters cover the ocean bed.” This refers to the Torah teachings of Mashiach, who will give the entire Jewish people an understanding incomparably superior to the Torah insights of today.39

Ibid., Vol. XIII, p. 472

Déjà Vu

A chassid once asked the Tzemach Tzedek: “What is the point of exerting ourselves in the study of Chassidus, which deals with abstractions that no mortal mind can fully grasp? After all, when Mashiach comes even those who did not study Chassidus will know G‑d, as it is written,40 ‘For they will all know Me.’ ”

The Tzemach Tzedek replied: “A person listening to a conversation conducted on the other side of a wall does not grasp it all; he only grasps its general drift. But later, when the conversation is repeated to him in all its detail, he understands everything that he had heard previously. Every moment or two he thinks, ‘Aha! Now I understand all those connections and details!’

“Here, too,” explained the Tzemach Tzedek, “it is true that someone who studies Chassidus grasps only part of the subject. But when Mashiach will teach it in time to come, that man will be able to look back and say, ‘Aha...!’

“And not only that, but someone hearing those teachings for the second time will understand them much more deeply than someone who will then hear them for the first time. As the above-quoted verse says, ‘For they will all know Me, from their smallest to their greatest’ — and it is obvious that the understanding of a young child cannot be compared to that of an adult.”

Transmitted by oral tradition

Mashiach will Come to Wherever Chassidus is Being Studied

The Rebbe Rashab once said: “Mashiach will come to wherever Chassidus is being studied.”

So one of his chassidim asked: “Does the prophet not foretell that on the day that Mashiach appears,41 ‘His feet shall stand upon the Mount of Olives’?!”

“That’s precisely what I said,” replied the Rebbe, “for as you know,42 olive oil alludes to the mystical secrets of the Torah....”

Transmitted by oral tradition