The Signs in Tractate Sotah

The signs which our Sages gave for the approach of the Redemption were the subject of Part I, ch. 5 (pp. 63-66, above), entitled “With the Advent of the Footsteps of Mashiach.” According to all these signs, our era is close to the End of Days, for never before in history have all these signs been realized as in our days.

Quiet Revolutions (i)

Radical revolutions for the good have been taking place lately across the globe — in Russia, China, India and elsewhere. They are directly affecting the greater part of the world, for they involve governments which rule the bulk of humanity. And thanks to the mercies of heaven they are taking place quietly, without wars or bloodshed — quite an unprecedented phe­nomenon.

These revolutions are among the signs of the imminent Redemption, for, as our Sages teach,1 “If you see regimes challenging one another, watch out for the footsteps of Mashiach.” The meaning of this turbulence is — revolutions, except that now this is taking place quietly. We can clearly see how the world is becoming refined, and becoming increasingly fit for the Days of Mashiach.

From talks of the Rebbe Shlita on Shabbos Parshas Toldos and Shabbos Parshas Vayeitzei, 5750 [1990]

Quiet Revolutions (ii)

Regimes in major and powerful countries are changing for the good, in the direction of justice and equity. This phenomenon is an advance echo and a sampling of the state of perfection and completeness which will characterize the Days of Mashiach, as well as a preparation for it.2 This is one of the wonders taking place around the world, which foreshadow and afford a sampling of the wonders of the imminent Redemption.

From a talk of the Rebbe Shlita on Shabbos Bereishis, 5751 [1990]

Quiet Revolutions (iii)

In a certain big country, the laws relating to belief in G‑d have been upturned. Perhaps this is in the nature of a direct preparation for the fulfillment of the prophetic promise,3 “I will make the peoples pure of speech so that they will all...serve Him with one purpose.”

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

The Collapse of the Iron Curtain

The departure of hundreds of thousands of Jews from Russia to freedom, and their consequent encounter with the observance of mitzvos, foreshadows the fulfillment of the prophetic promise of the Ingathering of the Exiles:4 “A great multitude shall return here.” It affords a sampling of that promise, and serves as a preparation for it, in the spirit of the teaching that on the afternoon of the eve of Shabbos one should taste something of the delicacies that have been prepared for Shabbos.5

From talks of the Rebbe Shlita on Shabbos Parshas Bereishis and Shabbos Parshas Bo, 5751 [1990-91]

The Gulf War

The Yalkut Shimoni6 predicts: “In the year that the King Mashiach will be revealed, the kings of all the nations of the world will challenge one another. The King of Paras will challenge an Arab king, and the Arab king will go to Aram (or, according to another reading: ‘to Edom’) to consult with them, ...and all the nations of the world will panic and will be stricken with consternation.... G‑d will tell the Jews: ‘My children, have no fear. Whatever I have done, I have done only for your sake....’ When the King Mashiach comes, he will stand on the roof of the Beis HaMikdash and proclaim to Israel, ‘Humble ones: The time for your redemption has arrived!’ ”

It is clear, then, that the Gulf War is a sign of the imminent Redemption, for one of these signs is7 “kingdoms challenging one another,” especially when (as above) “the King of Paras will challenge an Arab king,” as was the case in this war.

The Nations of the World are Helping

Russia has not only allowed Jews to leave her borders: she is even helping them reach Eretz Yisrael. This is a kind of preparation for the future Redemption, when the nations of the world will help the Jewish people get out of their exile and proceed to the Holy Land. As it is written,8 “And they shall bring all your brethren from among all the My holy mountain, Jerusalem.”

The Nations of the World Opt for Benevolence

One observes lately that various nations are undertaking benevolent activities, thereby making it ever clearer that9 “there is a Master to this castle.” Their awareness of this serves as a preparation for the era of the future Redemption, of which it is written,10 והיתה לה' המלוכה — “Kingship will be G‑d’s.”

In these very days we can see how various nations are preparing and clearing the path to the Redemption, by means of charity and education (which are based on the realization that “there is a Master to this castle”).

As a current instance of charity: The United States saved refugees from a distant location by means of consignments of food, clothing and medical supplies (even though this did not directly benefit her own citizens).

In the realm of education: The President of the United States has issued a detailed declaration on this subject (in keeping with the announcement at the beginning of his Presidency that he hoped to be remembered as “the Education President”).

The last three passages are from talks of the Rebbe Shlita on 22 Elul, 5750 [1990], and Shabbos Parshas Bereishis and Acharei-Kedoshim, 5751 [1990-91]

Not Yet the Beginning

The above-listed events are a preparation and a foretaste of the state of affairs which will prevail at the time of the future Redemption, but not11 “the beginning of the Redemption,” and not even the beginning of “the beginning of the Redemption” — for even the beginning of the beginning will be brought about by the King Mashiach.12

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