Mashiach is Waiting for Us

Mashiach is already here: “Here he stands behind our wall.”. Shir HaShirim 2:9; cf. Kiddush Levanah in Siddur Tehillat HaShem, p. 239. In a higher world there is rejoicing already: he has already come; down here, however, he is waiting for the Jewish people to repent, to do teshuvah.

Sefer HaSichos 5701 [1941], p. 81

It’s Our Wall that is Obstructing

In our generation one can see and feel that Mashiach “is standing behind our wall.”1 Moreover, that wall already has “windows” and “crevices”; Mashiach is “watching through the windows, peering through the crevices.” He is watching and waiting in anticipation: When are we finally going to finish off our sundry outstanding tasks,1 and complete the final beirur that will refine and elevate the world?

If we do not see him, that is because it is our wall that is standing in the way.

Likkutei Sichos, Vol. VII, p. 104; ibid., Vol. XXII, p. 79

A Glance by Mashiach

Mashiach is standing on the other side of a wall that is already cracked and crumbling. He is1 “watching through the windows, peering through the crevices.” And it surely goes without saying that a glance from Mashiach gives a person the energy that he particularly needs to complete the required preparations so that he can be privileged to greet Mashiach.

From a talk of the Rebbe Shlita on 25 Nissan, 5745 [1985]

The Afternoon of Erev Shabbos (i)


What are people waiting for? The Redemption is being held up! It’s already the afternoon of erev Shabbos!

From a talk of the Rebbe Rayatz on Shavuos, 5709 [1949]

The Afternoon of Erev Shabbos (ii)

Whoever takes note of what is happening in the world can see that the present time is erev Shabbos before candle-lighting time.... All the troubles and tribulations of the past and the present constitute an immersion in boiling water to remove all uncleanliness, in order that our people should be able to receive the worthy guest whose arrival — speedily, in our own days — is being awaited by the eager eyes of our Jewish brethren throughout the whole world, including the Holy Land.

The world’s erev Shabbos is a busy day of preparation for the imminent holy Shabbos day.

Igros Kodesh (Letters) of the Rebbe Rayatz, Vol. II, p. 531

The Afternoon of Erev Shabbos (iii)

The author of Bayis Chadash records that “in the days of our forefathers...people used to pray the evening service and read the Shema so early before sunset on erev Shabbos, that the rav of the city, who was one of the eminent scholars of former times, used to go out to stroll by the banks of the river after the evening Shabbos meal together with all the prominent householders, and they would return to their homes before nightfall.”3

From this we may differ that even though we are so and so many years before the end of the sixth millennium, “so early before sunset,” we are already able now to welcome4 “the day which is entirely Shabbos and repose,” through the arrival of our Righteous Mashiach; we are already able now to partake of the festive “Shabbos meal,” and be served the meat of the Leviathan and of the wild ox, and the precious aged wine.

From a talk of the Rebbe Shlita on Shabbos Parshas Pekudei, 5744 [1984]

To Polish the Buttons (i)

All that remains is to polish the buttons of our uniforms so that we will be ready to go out and greet our Righteous Mashiach.

From a talk of the Rebbe Rayatz on Simchas Torah, 5689 [1928]

To Polish the Buttons (ii)

On the above statement the Rebbe Shlita once commented:

At any time clothes are merely an external supplement; how much more so here, where we are speaking of a garment that is needed not for protection against the cold but only to glorify the appearance of official garb. Moreover, we are speaking only of a superficial detail — buttons, which merely add tidiness to the appearance. And even these finishing touches, the “buttons”, are also in place already. All that remains is to polish them, to give them the beauty of an added hiddur.

From a talk of the Rebbe Shlita on Shabbos Parshas Balak, 5744 [1984]

To Polish the Buttons (iii)

On another occasion the Rebbe Shlita said:

(a) Since the function of a button is to fasten the right side of a garment over the left, “polishing one’s buttons” implies fastening the left (worldly) side of one’s life to the right (holy) side; the latter remains dominant, and refines the other side.

(b) Everyone knows that a shiny button can be ruined by too much polishing.... Surely, then, the Almighty should bring about the Redemption at once!

(c) Since decades have already been spent on polishing buttons, this task too has obviously been completed, and the Redemption must come immediately.

From a talk of the Rebbe Shlita on Shabbos Parshas Emor, 5744 [1984]; Sefer HaSichos 5748 [1988], Vol. I, p. 355

We Are Nearing the Summit

Our generation is like a man clambering up a mountain. As he nears the summit, (a) a mountaineer has to exert himself to the utmost to reach it, and in so doing he is glad of every bush, branch or rock that he can use as a foothold or to grasp or lean on; (b) he must have daylight so that he can see what he can grasp, and when it comes, he treasures it.

We are nearing the summit of the mountain. There is only a short way to go, for Mashiach1 “is standing behind our wall,” and whoever has sharp ears and perceptive eyes can already hear his voice and see him. At this time, then, (a) we should value every positive thing, and (b) we are in need of light — the study and dissemination of Torah.

Chassidus explains that a man climbing a mountain needs three things:

(i) He has to be strong — strong of soul (with the love and awe of G‑d) and strong of body (in the refinement of his animal soul);

(ii) He must know the way — he must be knowledgeable in the paths of Torah and mitzvos and avodah;

(iii) He must be suitably garbed — he cannot be hindered by unroadworthy soul-”garments” (thought, word and deed).

If, however, he is lacking these three prerequisites, then he must go ahead with self-sacrifice, with mesirus nefesh. Then he really learns to appreciate whatever there is to grasp, and whatever daylight is available.

* * *

Everyone knows that sleep is deepest before daybreak. We must be strong and vigilant, therefore, not to slumber through the great moment, so that we will be fit receptors for the light of day. This is something that every Jew should know. Accordingly, whenever one meets a fellow Jew one should tell him: “Listen here, my brother! Don’t fall asleep before daybreak!”

Sefer HaSichos 5696 [1936], p. 316

* * *

On this the Rebbe Shlita once commented:

There is no need to create the desire within a Jew to fortify himself and to take action to hasten the daybreak of the Redemption. All that is needed is to wake him up from his slumbers. Once that is done, there is no doubt that he will do whatever he can to bring about the Redemption.

Likkutei Sichos, Parshas Emor, 5751 [1991]

Rousing Fellow Jews to Repentance

In this era, the time of the approaching footsteps of Mashiach, it is the duty of every Jew to be concerned with the welfare of his fellow, old or young, and to rouse him to teshuvah.

Igros Kodesh (Letters) of the Rebbe Rayatz, Vol. II, p. 388

The Birthpangs of Mashiach


We are now at the conclusion of the exile. We have already been through the labors of beirurim — sifting and refining and elevating the exile — with all their attendant trials. Moreover, we have also been through the “birthpangs of Mashiach,” those awesome events that took place in our generation. It is now clear and obvious that we are standing at the threshold of the Redemption.

Sefer HaSichos 5748 [1988], Vol. II, p. 573

All the Appointed Times have Passed


As far back as in the times of the Talmud our Sages taught that “all the appointed times have passed.” How much more so must this be today, after all the divine service of our people throughout this long and bitter exile, for over a thousand and nine hundred years. Mashiach must most certainly come immediately.

Sefer HaSichos 5748 [1988], Vol. I, p. 328; From a talk of the Rebbe Shlita on Shabbos Parshas Vayechi, 5751 [1990]

Immediate Redemption (i)

It is clear that our generation is the last generation of the exile and the first generation of the Redemption. For my revered father-in-law, the [Previous] Rebbe, already proclaimed in his time,. HaKeriah VehaKedushah (periodical), in the issues of 5701-2 [1941-2]. לאלתר לגאולה, לאלתר לתשובה — “Immediate Repentance: Immediate Redemption!” He likewise declared,. Igros Kodesh (Letters) of the Rebbe Rayatz, Vol. IV, p. 279. עמדו הכן כולכם — “Stand ready, every one of you, to greet our Righteous Mashiach!”

How much more does this all apply today, decades later.

Sefer HaSichos 5748 [1988], Vol. II, p. 584

Immediate Redemption (ii)

In his outspoken requests for the coming of Mashiach, my revered father-in-law, the [Previous] Rebbe, stirred the very heavens. Forty years ago he declared,8 “Immediate Repentance: Immediate Redemption!”

Yet this was not a case of undue impatience for the End of Days;7 rather, as he stated on a number of occasions, the time of the Redemption had already arrived.

Op. cit., p. 628

Immediate Redemption (iii)

Throughout all the generations of the Rebbeim of Chabad, up to and including the early years of the leadership of my revered father-in-law, the [Previous] Rebbe, the main thrust of activity was directed towards the dissemination of the wellsprings of Chassidus, rather than towards bringing about the coming of Mashiach. (At the same time, of course, it was known in general terms that this activity in fact hastens the Redemption, as stated in the celebrated reply of the King Mashiach to the Baal Shem Tov.8 )

Since the well-known declaration of the Rebbe Rayatz,8 “Immediate Repentance: Immediate Redemption,” this thrust has changed direction. Every activity has been suffused with the explicit intention of bringing about the Redemption, and this direction springs from an awareness that this is the specific function of this generation.


Immediate Redemption (iv)

Jews everywhere should know that the time for the coming of Mashiach has certainly arrived. All that is needed is to fulfill the directive of my revered father-in-law, the [Previous] Rebbe:9 “Stand ready, every one of you, to greet our Righteous Mashiach!” These preparations, motivated by a yearning and desire for Mashiach, will of themselves surely bring Mashiach.

As to the query, “Why has he not come until now?” — Mashiach will no doubt provide an answer for this in person. In the meantime, the query must not be allowed (G‑d forbid) to weaken a man’s spiritual endeavors. On the contrary, it should spur his avodah ahead with ever more energetic vitality.

Op. cit., p. 574

The Time for Your Redemption has Arrived!

The letters that spell out this year’s date (תנש"א) serve as an acronym for the words, תהא שנת אראנו נפלאות — “This will surely be a year in which ‘I shall show you wonders.” I.e., this year will see the fulfillment of the verse,9 כימי צאתך מארץ מצרים אראנו נפלאות — “As in the days of your going out of Egypt, I shall show you wonders.”

We have already seen tangible wonders that testify that this is10 “the year in which the King Mashiach is revealed.” We are approaching “the time at which the King Mashiach comes, ...and announces to the Jewish people, ענוים הגיע זמן גאולתכם — ‘Humble ones: The time for your Redemption has arrived.’ ” We are nearing the proclamation,11 הנה זה בא (“Behold he comes!”), meaning that he has already come12 — for we are already standing on the threshold of the beginning of the Days of Mashiach, on the threshold of the beginning of the Redemption.

From a talk of the Rebbe Shlita on Shabbos Parshas Balak, 5751 [1991]13

Every Minute is Precious (i)

Concerning the generation of “the footsteps of Mashiach” it is said,14 כי לא בחפזון — “For you shall not go out with haste.” This, however, describes the actual beginning of the Redemption, and the actual going out of exile. It does not speak of the last moments of the exile when, on the contrary, every single moment is ever more precious. For soon15 “the years draw near when you shall say, ‘I have no desire for them’ ” — “an allusion to the Days of Mashiach,”16 [when it will be too late to take up the challenges which face man today].

This is why it is so urgent to utilize every moment in the most fruitful way possible.

Igros Kodesh (Letters) of the Rebbe Shlita, Vol. XIII, p. 444

Every Minute is Precious (ii)

Since we are now at the conclusion of the era of exile, anticipating “the footsteps of Mashiach,” then most certainly17 “the day is short,” while “the work is much,” for there is already an abundance of Torah and mitzvos to be dealt with.

From a talk of the Rebbe Shlita on Shabbos Parshas Masei, 5741 [1981]

Every Minute is Precious (iii)

If, in any period, time has been a commodity that never returns, how much truer is this in the present, when we are anticipating “the footsteps of Mashiach.” At this time, every moment is priceless. Every moment can be filled and used for great and wonderful things that will yield fruit, which in turn will yield fruit, עד סוף כל העולם — “until the end of the world” (i.e., until the end of time). Or, as we shall understand this phrase, since עולם (“world”) comes from the word העלם (“obscurity”, since it is the world which conceals the Divine Presence), our task is to labor until the obscurity comes to an end.

Igros Kodesh (Letters) of the Rebbe Shlita, Vol. VI, p. 16

Every Minute is Precious (iv)

The closer we come to the beginning of the true Redemption, every cherished moment becomes increasingly valuable, because we have to make haste and get ready for the coming of King Mashiach. Every moment has to be used to the utmost.

Igros Kodesh (Letters) of the Rebbe Shlita, Vol. XIII, p. 50

The Weak will Say: I am Strong (i)

This is a time when the world is being conducted supernaturally. We can see with our own eyes that at this time18 “the weak will say, ‘I am strong’ ” — and this verse speaks of19 “that time, when I shall bring back the captivity of Yehudah and Yerushalayim.”

Sefer HaSichos 5696 [1936], p. 316

The Weak will Say: I am Strong (ii)

In these times of ours — soon after the recent horrors (heaven forfend), and living in the generation that is anticipating “the footsteps of Mashiach,” who is20 “standing behind our wall” and waiting only for the completion of the tasks (easier than the tasks of our forebears) that have been allotted our generation — every man and woman should act in the spirit of the verse, “The weak will say, ‘I am strong.’ ”

A firm resolve in this direction makes one’s hidden strengths surface. A person then finds that he can accomplish many times more than he could in ordinary times and under ordinary conditions.

Igros Kodesh (Letters) of the Rebbe Shlita, Vol. VIII, p. 353

The Bottom of the Wheel

In these days of ours, when all around us we see the palpably thick darkness of the exile, it is clear that we have already reached its last days. Since any lower darkness is inconceivable, it is certain that the present darkness must be immediately followed by the ascent of the Era of the Redemption.

To use a familiar analogy: When someone is halfway up the edge of a wheel, its next turn can either raise him or lower him. When, however, one is at the very bottom of the wheel, whatever direction it turns must raise him.

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

Build till the Last Minute (i)

A person might think that since we are now at the threshold of the Redemption, there is no need for further exertion: all he has to do is to tie up his bundles and wait for Mashiach to arrive.

We note, however, that even when our forefathers encamped only briefly in the wilderness, they established themselves on a permanent basis. This included erecting the Mishkan with all of its related divine service, even though the very next day they would have to disassemble it.21 Even if we are likewise in exile for only a short time, for only one moment longer, that single moment should be lived as if it were permanent: that single moment needs to be filled with the erection of the Mishkan, i.e., with Torah and mitzvos.

This form of divine service bridges opposites. On the one hand it involves a thrust — one’s yearning for the Redemption — that transcends the dimensions of finitude; on the other hand this avodah demands precision, which is the ultimate expression of the demands of finitude.

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

Build till the Last Minute (ii)

Even during the last moments of the exile we should work towards the dissemination of the Torah and the wellsprings of Chassidus, as fully and as intensively and as devotedly as possible, even though we know that our people22 “will immediately be redeemed.”

Not only does this knowledge not weaken one’s efforts: on the contrary, it energizes them, when one realizes that every individual endeavor helps bring the tasks of the period of exile to an end; indeed, one’s present individual endeavor may be the finishing touch to the entire series.

The Rambam expressed it thus:23 “If a person performed one mitzvah, he has tipped the scales to the merit of himself and of all the world, and has brought deliverance and salvation upon himself and upon them all.”

Sefer HaSichos 5748 [1988], Vol. I, p. 126

Golah and Geulah: Exile and Redemption

Some people are apprehensive about having the Redemption come upon them so soon. What will come of all the businesses that they have set up, the property and possessions that they have accumulated, the friendships and the contacts that have been established, and so on?

They need not worry. The Redemption does not imply the annulment of the natural order nor the loss of the good things that came into being (in the spirit of the Torah) during the exile. Indeed, these very things will be comprised in the Redemption, and will be elevated to a state of Redemption, to the level of their true consummation.

This is hinted at in the fact that the Hebrew word גולה (“exile”) plus the letter א gives גאולה (“redemption”). The positive aspects of the exile (golah) will not be annulled; rather, the alef within them will be revealed — in allusion to Alufo shel Olam, the Master of the World; the innermost essence of truth within them will come to light.24

From a talk of the Rebbe Shlita on Shabbos Parshas Acharei-Kedoshim, 5751 [1991]

G‑d’s Salvation Comes in a Blink


There are people who are unable to understand how one can talk over and over again about the coming of Mashiach, and how one can stress every time that at that particular moment the Redemption can come. They are willing to concede that an occasional mention of the subject might be in order, but why does it have to be raised at every opportunity, and with such tangible immediacy?

The very asking of this question is in itself a result of the exile. A person can become so permeated with a feeling of exile that he cannot sense the impending Redemption, to the point that any discussion of it sounds to him like a dream. In truth, however, the opposite is true: it is the exile which resembles a dream, as is explained in Chassidus.26

There is a positive side to this analogy, for in one moment one can wake up from a dream and return to reality. In the same way the entire Jewish people can return in one moment to their true reality — to a state in which they love G‑d and cleave to Him, to an actual state of Redemption. Current conditions can be transformed in one moment literally, so that on this very day, and at this very moment, people will open their eyes and suddenly see that our Righteous Mashiach is here with us.

From a talk of the Rebbe Shlita on Shabbos Parshas Pinchas, 5744 [1984]

A Special Time

It should be proclaimed and publicized that we are living in a special time, when only one solitary thing remains to be done:27 עמדו הכן כולכם — “Stand ready, every one of you,” for the forthcoming rebuilding of the Beis HaMikdash with the coming of David, the King Mashiach.

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

How Things Will Look

Looking out of his window one day, the Alter Rebbe observed how the street was being cleaned: the garbage was swept together into a little pile, and then a number of such piles were swept together into a big mound.

The Alter Rebbe commented to his family: “This is how things will look before Mashiach comes. Nowadays, wealth is in the hands of many people, some moderately rich and some very rich. But before Mashiach comes money will be concentrated either in the hands of a few private individuals, or in the hands of the government.”

Transmitted by oral tradition

A Desperate Last Struggle

One of the early chassidim once observed: We see that the forces of impurity in the world are insistently gaining strength. The reason is that we are now at the end of the period of the beirurim. When a wrestler is thrown to the ground, and realizes that his opponent is about to overpower him, he summons every last shred of strength in a desperate last bid to rally.

The very fact that the forces of kelipah in the world are putting up a desperate struggle, in itself testifies that their end is near.

Transmitted by oral tradition