For the Increase of the Realm (i)

לםרבה המשרה ולשלום אין קץ

“For the increase of the realm and for peace without end....”1

Our Sages have taught2 that the closed letter mem which normally appears only at the end of a word, but here appears in the middle of the word לםרבה, is an allusion to Mashiach.

One explanation for this is that3Mashiach is alluded to in the closed mem which appears in the name of Adam (for אדם is made up of the initial letters of the three names אברהם, דוד, משיח — Avraham, David, Mashiach).... But if that which is closed is opened..., so that the mem of לםרבה becomes open, then the open letter mem appearing at the end of the word המ in the phrase4 חומות ירושלים אשר המ פרוצים — ‘the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down,’ will be closed on all sides.”

On this the Tzemach Tzedek comments: “Our Sages teach5 that when an unborn infant is in his mother’s womb, ‘his mouth is closed and his navel is open, ...and as soon as he encounters the air of the world, that which is closed opens and that which is open closes.’ Now, exile is likened to pregnancy and the Redemption is likened to birth;6 as it is written,7 ‘For Zion has been in labor, and has given birth to her children.’ At the time of birth, then, which is the Redemption, ‘that which is closed opens’ — an allusion to the [currently-] closed letter mem of לםרבה [in the verse which foretells the imminent rule of Mashiach], and ‘that which is open closes’ — an allusion to the [currently-]open letter mem of המ [in the verse which speaks of the still-breached walls of Jerusalem].”

Or HaTorah — Nach, p. 184

For the Increase of the Realm (ii)

The open letter mem alludes to exile, as is hinted in the word המ in the above-quoted verse290 on “the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down.” The closed letter mem alludes to the Redemption, as is hinted in the word לםרבה in the above-quoted verse287 which speaks of the rule of Mashiach.

This may be understood in the light of the teaching of our Sages8 that “the world resembles a three-sided portico whose northern side is not enclosed.” In other words, the world is so made as to allow for the possibility of a breach — of degenerating even to the ultimate point of descent, which is exile. Within the obscurity of this exile, however, the Jewish people reveal the hidden letter alef,9 alluding to Alufo shel Olam (“the Master of the World”),10 and draw upon it to fill the breach which is called exile. When this happens, the world becomes so securely enclosed from all sides that there is no further possibility of a breach: there comes a Redemption which will never be followed by exile. And this is brought about by the hand of מלכה משיחא — the King Mashiach.

In this connection it will be noted that one of the names of Mashiach11 is מנחם (Menachem), which begins with an open letter mem and ends with a closed letter mem.

Sefer HaSichos 5749 [1989], Vol. I, p. 333

The Spirit of G‑d will Rest Upon Him

ונחה עליו רוח ה', רוח חכמה ובינה, רוח עצה וגבורה, רוח דעת ויראת ה'

“And the spirit of G‑d shall rest upon him — the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the awe of G‑d.”12

As explained below, each of these three phrases describing Mashiach comprises two opposites, which the verse nevertheless pairs together.

Wisdom (Chochmah) and understanding (Binah):13 The faculty of Chochmah is a point — a flash of intellectual lightning, a wellspring; and the region in the brain which houses it is cold and moist. The faculty of Binah, by contrast, is extensive — a broad river, the deliberate consideration of an idea; and the region in the brain which houses it is hot and dry.

Counsel (eitzah) and might (gevurah): The word eitzah means considered counsel, stemming from thinking, understanding and profound involvement. Gevurah, by contrast, signifies strength and might. Counsel belongs to the world of wisdom and intellect, while might is characterized by determined confidence.

Mashiach is next described as possessing “the spirit of knowledge (Daas) and of the awe of G‑d (yiras HaShem).” The term Daas implies profound and comprehensive thinking. The term yiras HaShem, by contrast, implies a simple fear of heaven that knows neither compromises nor artfully lenient rulings;14 it does not seek to be clever. As people often say, “clever” means “not pious.”15

Despite these contrasts, the verse enumerates each of these pairs of attributes together (rather than saying, for example, “the spirit of wisdom and the spirit of understanding”). For Mashiach transcends nature, at a level of spirituality that can embrace two opposites. After all, any two opposing attributes ultimately spring from one Source, and when one is at a level that transcends nature, one can manifestly see how they are both rooted in that Source.

With this insight we can appreciate why in saying that “the spirit of G‑d shall rest upon him,” the verse specifies the Divine Name Havayah. For this Name, being a simultaneous composite of the three verbs meaning “was” and “is” and “will be,” signifies the level of Divinity that transcends the finitude of nature.

Likkutei Dibburim, Vol. II, p. 628ff.
(and in English translation: Vol. II, p. 275ff.)

Not by the Sight of His Eyes

ולא למראה עיניו ישפוט

“Not according to the sight of his eyes shall he judge, nor shall he rebuke according to the hearing of his ears.”16

When Mashiach comes there will be a trial to determine who is to arise at the Resurrection of the Dead. Those who will be privileged to witness his arrival will also be judged. And presiding over this trial will be Mashiach himself.

This verse assures us, however, that unlike an ordinary judge, “not according to the sight of his eyes shall he judge, nor shall he rebuke according to the hearing of his ears.” Rather, he will see and feel the factors that caused the sinner to transgress. He will weigh and consider the bleak life that Jews have lived in exile. He will intercede on their behalf and seek out their merits, pointing out that they did not want to sin: they were unable to overmaster their Evil Inclination.

Ibid., Vol. II, p. 644 (and in English translation: Vol. II, p. 288)

With Righteousness

שפט בצדק דליםu

“With righteousness shall he judge the poor.”17

The kind of poor man described as dal is one who does not manage: he can discern between good and evil, but he lacks the determination to translate his understanding into the practicalities of his daily life. (This lack is reflected in the very idiom with which the dal is described in the Torah18 — “one whose hand does not reach.”)

This poor man who does not quite manage to take himself in hand, him will Mashiach judge — but he will judge him with righteousness, pointing out his extenuating circumstances.

Ibid., Vol. II, p. 645 (and in English translation: Vol. II, p. 288)

The Meek of the Earth

והוכיח במישור לענוי ארץ

“With equity shall he rebuke the meek of the earth.”303

A personal obligation rests upon every individual Jew to arouse his fellow to the practice of good deeds. When instead a person adopts an attitude of humility and argues, “Who am I to arouse my fellow? What kind of a spokesman am I?” — he deserves to be sternly rebuked. These “meek of the earth” will be rebuked by Mashiach, though here too he will find extenuating circumstances.

Ibid., Vol. II, p. 646 (and in English translation: Vol. II, p. 289)

The Snake’s Den

ועל מאורת צפעוני גמול ידו הדה

“And the weaned child shall put his hand on the den of a snake.”19

Even the Evil Inclination, which the Sages refer to as tzifoni,20 will be transformed to good in the days of Mashiach. For at that time, evil will undergo not only iskafya (“subjugation”), as in the prophetic promise,21 “I shall remove the spirit of impurity from the earth,” but also, in the fullest sense, is’hapcha (“transformation”).22

Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XXII, p. 36

The Ocean Bed

כי מלאה הארץ דעה את ה', כמים לים מכסים

“For the earth shall be as full of the knowledge of G‑d as the waters cover the ocean bed.”23

Of the future time it is likewise written,24 “For they will all know Me.” Nevertheless, not all will be equal: the man with the deeper and broader mind will understand more than another.

Hence the simile, “as the waters cover the ocean bed”: though on the surface the water is even, the chasms in the ocean bed hold more water than elsewhere.

The Short Maamarim of the Alter Rebbe, p. 141

Splitting the River

והניף ידו על הנהר בעים רוחו, והכהו לשבעה נחלים

“With His scorching wind will He shake His hand over the river, and will smite it into seven streams.”25

The Splitting of the Red Sea26 served as a preparation for the Giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai; as our Sages teach,27 the phrase describing how28 “the mountains pranced” alludes to the Giving of the Torah. In the same way, the division of the river will prepare the ground for the revelation of the innermost, mystical dimensions of the Torah in time to come.

Likkutei Torah, Tzav, p. 16d

On That Day

ואמר ביום ההוא: הנה אלקינו זה

“It will be said on that day: Behold, this is our G‑d.”29

[Speaking of something in the third person, as in the phrase “on that day,” stresses that it is neither present nor visible; pointing to something directly, as in the phrase “this is our G‑d,” makes it clear that it is both present and visible. Accordingly, on the non-literal level of interpretation called derush, the Alter Rebbe understands the above quotation as follows:]

The aspect of Divinity which is presently obscured and unfathomable, and hence describable as hu (“that”), will in future time become manifest, like something which can be pointed at with the word zeh (“this”).

Likkutei Torah, Rosh HaShanah, p. 59c

Those Who Are Lost

והי-ה ביום ההוא יתקע בשופר גדול, ובאו האובדים בארץ אשור, והנדחים בארץ מצרים, והשתחוו לה' בהר הקדש בירושלים

“It shall come to pass on that day, that a great Shofar will be sounded, and those who are lost in the Land of Assyria shall come, as well as those who are cast away in the Land of Egypt, and they shall bow down to G‑d on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.”30

Those who are lost in the Land of Assyria: This alludes to those who are foundering in worldly pleasures and luxuries (for Ashur, the Hebrew name for Assyria, is related to the root אשר, meaning pleasure, as in the verse,31 Ashrei yoshvei veisecha).

Those who are cast away in the Land of Egypt: This alludes to those whose head and heart are not open to the knowledge of G‑d because of the pressures and constraints of exile (for Mitzrayim, the Hebrew name for Egypt, shares the same letters as מיצרים, meaning “straits”). This was the case with our forefathers in Egypt, of whom it is written,32 “They did not listen to Moshe, out of anguish of spirit and hard labor.”

In future time, people will be raised up out of both these situations, and will come to bow down to G‑d.

Likkutei Torah, Rosh HaShanah, p. 60a

Hidden No Longer

ולא יכנף עוד מוריך, והיו עיניך רואות את מוריך

“Your Teacher shall be hidden no longer, and your eyes shall see your Teacher.”33

[The verb translated “hidden” is drawn from the word kanaf, meaning the edge or corner of a garment. The image of “garment” suggests something — such as the workings of the created universe — that conceals the identity of the Wearer. Hence:]

The quoted verse implies that in time to come, G‑d will not be hidden even by the mere hem of a garment. At that time, moreover, not only the edge of a garment but even the garment itself will lose its independent identity; it will be nullified to its wearer, especially if the Wearer is “your Teacher.”

In time to come the “edge of a garment” will still exist: there will still be the Divinely-ordained chainlike and progressive scheme of seeming self-concealment known as Seder Hishtalshelus; there will still be the configuration of Divine forces known as maaseh merkavah; there will still be the gamut of Divine emanations known as the Ten Sefiros. At that time, however, this “edge of a garment” will not conceal its Wearer.

Sefer HaSichos 5749 [1989], Vol. I, p. 134

The Light of the Moon

והי' אור הלבנה כאור החמה

“The light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun.”34

At present, the moon receives its light from the sun, which enables it to give off its own light. In the future, however, the light of the moon will equal the light of the sun. The moon will no longer need the sun, but will be luminous in its own right.

Likkutei Sichos, Vol. IX, p. 64

Even from the North

ממזרח אביא זרעך, וממערב אקבצך, אומר לצפון תני, ולתימן אל תכלאי

“I shall bring your seed from the east, and gather you in from the west; I shall say to the north, ‘Give forth!’ and to the south, ‘Keep not back!’35

The north signifies the source of evil in the universe, as in the verse,36 “From out of the north shall the evil break forth.” Yet when Mashiach comes, even the “north” will be transfigured, and will cooperate in the redemption and ingathering of the exiled Jewish people.

Likkutei Sichos, Vol. IV, p. 1065

For a Small Moment

ברגע קטן עזבתיך, וברחמים גדולים אקבצך

“For a small moment have I forsaken you, but with great compassion shall I gather you in.”37

When Mashiach comes, and G‑d’s great compassion will become manifest, everyone will see how this entire lengthy exile was in fact “a small moment.”

Sefer HaMaamarim 5700, p. 10

The Nations

כי הגוי והממלכה אשר לא יעבדוך, יאבדו

“For the nation and the kingdom that will not serve you shall perish.38

In future time, the reality of every created entity’s existence will become apparent. It will thus become apparent that the entire universe and everything it contains, including the nations of the world, were in reality created only for the sake of the Jewish people. As Rashi writes,39 G‑d created the world for the sake of two things which are referred to in the Torah as reishis (“the first”) — the Torah and the Jewish people. Accordingly, any entity which will not fulfill the function for which it was created, will spontaneously cease to exist.

Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XXIV, p. 161

High Frequency (i)

והי-ה מידי חדש בחדשו, ומדי שבת בשבתו, יבוא כל בשר להשתחות לפני

“And it shall come to pass, that on every New Moon and on every Sabbath, all flesh shall come to bow down before Me.”40

While the Beis HaMikdash stood, the Jewish people used to converge on Jerusalem only on the three pilgrim festivals, whereas in future time they will go up to behold the revelation of the Divine Presence on Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh as well.

For the festivals are a time of joy (as in the phrase,41 moadim lesimchah); and joy evinces self-revelation, just as a mortal king might make a public appearance at a time of supreme joy. In the time to come, G‑d’s joy will be complete:42 ישמח ה' במעשיו — “G‑d will rejoice with His works.” The letters that spell the verb ישמח coincide with the letters that spell משיח — Mashiach. Accordingly, at the time of the ultimate Redemption, Divinity will be manifest not only three times a year, but on every Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh as well.

Sefer HaMaamarim 5630, p. 262

High Frequency (ii)

“All flesh shall come to bow down before Me:”326 At the time of that supreme revelation of the Divine Presence, all of humanity — even persons so unspiritual as to be described as “flesh” — will attain a level of perceptiveness that will inspire them to bow down humbly before their Maker.

Likkutei Torah, Zos HaBerachah, p. 97d

Weeping Over the Past

בבכי יבואו, ובתחנונים אובילם

“They shall come with weeping, and I shall lead them with supplications.”43

In the time to come, Divinity will be revealed to every individual. In every man’s heart, therefore, there will be aroused an intense compassion and a weeping over the imperfections of the past.

Torah Or, Vaeira, p. 5d

From Mourning to Joy

והפכתי אבלם לששון

“And I shall turn their mourning into joy.”44

It is obvious enough that when Mashiach comes and the Beis HaMikdash is rebuilt, there will be no more mourning on Tishah BeAv. But why should this day be set aside as a joyful Yom-Tov?

On Tishah BeAv the Beis HaMikdash was destroyed on account of Israel’s evil deeds, which aroused Divine anger. Nevertheless, though the external and visible aspect of this anger was outright punishment, its inner aspect — its ultimate motivation — was G‑d’s intense love of His people. It was precisely this love that caused Him such extreme distress when His children became soiled by sin. (If there were no such love, their conduct would be of no consequence to Him.)

Once judgment will have been done, and the Divine fury will have run its course, what will remain will be the underlying, innermost Divine attribute — G‑d’s love for His people. And, as this love surfaces, in the time to come Tishah BeAv will become a Yom-Tov.

This insight enables us to understand a teaching of the Midrash45 on a phrase first spoken after the First Destruction:46 השביעני במרורים — “He has sated me with bitter food.” On this the Midrash comments that Tishah BeAv and Pesach share a common theme. (Indeed, according to the standardized calendar, the first day of Pesach in any particular year always falls on the same day of the week as does Tishah BeAv.) What is this common theme? — On Pesach, the external aspect of G‑d’s love for His people was revealed; on Tishah BeAv, the innermost aspect of this love will be revealed.

The Maamarim of the Alter Rebbe on the Nevi’im, p. 214

Knowing G‑d (i)

ולא ילמדו עוד איש את רעהו ואיש את אחיו לאמר: דעו את ה', כי כולם ידעו אותי, למקטנם ועד גדולם

“No longer shall any man teach his neighbor nor any man his brother, saying, ‘Know G‑d,’ for they shall all know Me, from their smallest to their greatest.”47

“For they shall all know Me” does not refer to knowledge and comprehension of an intellectual kind, for this, like the faculty of hearing, means knowing from afar. Rather, this verse refers to a direct recognition, to seeing the actual nature (the mahus) of that which is perceived — just as a man knows and recognizes his friend because he sees him constantly. This is an intrinsic knowledge,48 (as, for example, in the verse,49 רק אתכם ידעתי — “You alone have I known”).

For this reason no man will teach his neighbor, for teaching is appropriate when a subject can be grasped rationally, not when the true nature of something is perceived and recognized by direct vision. For this reason, too, all men will know G‑d equally, for whereas on the scale of rational comprehension there are men of greater and lesser ability, when it comes to the direct perception of the essence of a subject there are no differences between great and small. Great and small recognize a king alike.

Thus it is written,50 “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of G‑d as the waters cover the ocean bed”: as with the surface of the ocean, the “cover” is the same with respect to all men. Similarly, at the Giving of the Torah, all those present recognized their Maker alike, as it is written,51 “All the people beheld.”

Shaar HaEmunah, p. 61

Knowing G‑d (ii)

Though there are differences between great and small, yet when it comes to “knowing Me” — knowing Atzmus, the very Essence of G‑d — all will be equal. In the words of the prayers,52 השוה ומשוה קטן יגדול — “He is immutable, and relates alike to small and great.”

Sefer HaSichos 5748 [1988], Vol. I, p. 220

Knowing G‑d (iii)

We find nevertheless that Mashiach will teach Torah to all of Israel (including the Patriarchs and Moshe Rabbeinu53 ). For “they shall all know Me” in the above-quoted verse refers to the actual revelation of “Me”, no less; it does not refer to the knowledge and comprehension of the Torah, which includes the knowledge of Divinity (as found in “the luminary within the Torah”54 ).

Sefer HaSichos 5749 [1989], Vol. I, p. 159

Knowing G‑d (iv)

On the one hand, when Mashiach comes people will still differ in the extent to which they know G‑d; at the same time, however, “they shall all know Me” equally. (Since the verse explains that “no longer shall any man teach his neighbor... because they shall all know Me,” it follows that this knowledge will be equally shared by all.)

How is this paradox possible?

In time to come, people will be enabled to know G‑d as a reward for their spiritual labors during the time of exile; and the two abovementioned aspects of the future knowledge of G‑d — simultaneous equality and diversity — correspond to two elements in man’s divine service:

(a) What is common to every Jewish man, woman and child, is that every individual is an emissary whose soul was sent down here to This World in order to transform it into a dwelling place for Him.

(b) At the same time, every single soul has its own unique and personal mission, just as (for example) fulltime scholars and businessmen have distinct and diverse roles to fulfill.

Fulfilling one’s own personal role — whose tasks are varied and gradated (“at five years one begins the study of Scripture; at ten, the study of Mishnah;...” 55 ) — will in time to come give rise to a knowledge of particular levels within Divinity, a knowledge which will vary in degree from one man to another; fulfilling one’s part in the basic mission which is common and equal in all souls, will in time to come give rise to a state in which “they shall all know Me” (i.e., they shall know the very Essence and Being of G‑d) without differentiation.

Sefer HaSichos 5748 [1988], Vol. I, p. 142

A Heart of Stone

והסירותי את לב האבן מבשרכם

“I shall remove the heart of stone from your flesh”56

The verse speaks specifically of a heart of stone, not a brain of stone. For, as is explained in the teachings of Chassidus, the task of exerting oneself in the comprehension of Divinity devolves on every individual alone. Ultimately, as a result of this intellectual exertion, “I shall remove” — G‑d Himself will complete the work for him and remove his “heart of stone,” so that not only his brain but his heart too will become sensitive to Divinity.

Sefer HaSichos 5748 [1988], Vol. I, p. 311

King and Nasi

ועבדי דוד מלך עליהם... ודוד עבדי נשיא להם לעולם

“And David My servant shall be king over them..., and My servant David shall be a nasi for them forever”57

This verse relates to both functions of the King Mashiach — his kingship and his nesius, his role as nasi. For Mashiach will act both as king, fighting G‑d’s battles,58 and as nasi, guiding the people along the path of G‑d.59

Hence our quotation speaks of his reigning as “king over them,” while concerning his function as nasi it is written “for them,” reflecting the less distant approach of a mentor who seeks that his teachings be understood and find acceptance.

This dual role also explains why the word “forever” in the above quotation relates specifically to his function as nasi. For once Mashiach has344 “perfect[ed] the entire world, [motivating all the nations] to serve G‑d,” there will be less need for him to act as king: his prime task thenceforth will be to teach the people the path of G‑d. The eternality of Mashiach (“forever”) will thus be chiefly evident in his role as nasi.

Likkutei Sichos, Parshas Vayigash, 5751 [1990]

The Mount of Eisav

ועלו מושיעים בהר ציון לשפוט את הר עשו

“And liberators shall ascend Mount Zion to judge the mount of Eisav”60

This verse indicates the future that awaits each of the two aspects of Eisav and everything Eisav stands for:

(a) Beirur: In one respect, Eisav will undergo sifting and refinement — just as many other nations will likewise be transformed to good, in fulfillment of the prophecy,61 “For I shall then make the peoples pure of speech so that they will all call upon the Name of G‑d and serve Him with one purpose.” This is also hinted at in the teaching of the Sages62 that “in future time the pig will become pure” — an allusion to the kingdom of Edom.63

(b) Bittul: That aspect of Eisav which is irredeemably evil will be utterly eradicated. As it is written,64 “The House of Yaakov shall be a fire and the House of Yosef a flame, and the House of Eisav shall be stubble..., and they shall consume them, and there shall be no remnant....”

Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XV, p. 305

In the Broad Places of Jerusalem

עוד ישבו זקנים וזקנות ברחובות ירושלים

“Old men and old women shall yet sit in the broad places of Jerusalem”65

This prophecy would appear to conflict with the principle that “All the glory of a king’s daughter is inward.”66 Moreover, the same question applies to another prophecy:67 “There shall yet be heard... in the cities of Judah and in the courtyards of Jerusalem... the voice of the bride.”

The explanation is that the former prophecy relates to the era of the Resurrection of the Dead.68 At that time the Evil Inclination will vanish from all hearts, in the spirit of the verse,69 “Even [a man’s] enemies will make peace with him.” At that time, therefore, unlike now, there will be no need for the vigilance that requires a king’s daughter to be indoors, and both prophecies will be able to be fulfilled in their entirety.

Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XXI, p. 379

A Poor Man on a Donkey (i)

עני ורוכב על חמור

“A poor man, and riding on a donkey”70

The revelation of Divinity in the days of Mashiach will not come as the result of “an arousal from below”:71 it will not be aroused by any spiritual labors initiated by created man. Rather, this revelation will radiate from a Divine initiative so sublime that no mortal endeavor can aspire to induce it. This is why Mashiach is called “a poor man.”

Or HaTorah, Shmos, p. 260

A Poor Man on a Donkey (ii)

Concerning Moshe Rabbeinu the Torah writes:72 “And Moshe took his wife and his sons and caused them to ride upon the donkey.” On this verse Rashi comments: “This was the donkey which Avraham bridled for the Binding of Yitzchak, and this is the donkey upon which the King Mashiach will be revealed, as it is written,356 “A poor man, and riding on a donkey.”

In the Holy Tongue, the word חמור (chamor), meaning “donkey”, is related to חומריות (chumriyus), meaning “materiality”. Moreover, the above three “donkeys” — the donkey of Avraham Avinu, of Moshe Rabbeinu, and of Mashiach — allude respectively to three successive stages in the subordination and refinement of the materiality of the body, the microcosm, and the materiality of the world, the world at large.

Stage (a): The subjugation of the materiality of the body so that it will not obscure the light of the soul; likewise, in the world, the removal of the coarseness of the world’s materiality, which prevents the indwelling of holiness.

In the days of Avraham Avinu the Torah had not yet been given, and the materiality of the world had not yet been sifted and refined.73 His task was therefore to bridle materiality, to subjugate it so that it would not prevent the light of holiness from being revealed.

Stage (b): The soul sifts and refines the body, so that it too becomes a receptor74 for the light of the soul. Likewise, the materiality of the world becomes sifted and refined until it becomes a fit receptor for the light of holiness.

In the days of Moshe Rabbeinu — after the Egyptian exile, which refined the Jewish people, and through them the world at large — the materiality of the world was enabled to receive the light of holiness. In his case, therefore, it is written that “he caused them to ride upon the donkey”: he drew the light of holiness down into the materiality of the world. At this stage, the light of holiness merely rode upon materiality and illuminated by means of it; its revelation did not relate to the materiality itself, but only to whoever was riding upon it.

Stage (c): The body, in its own right, becomes refined and is transformed into a holy object. Likewise, in the world, its materiality itself becomes sanctified.

The light of the King Mashiach will be revealed through the very chamor/chomer itself: materiality will become so refined that it in itself will reveal the light of holiness in the world. In the words of Rashi, “Upon it the King Mashiach will be revealed.” Thus too it is written,75 “Together all flesh shall see that the mouth of G‑d has spoken”: the very flesh will become so refined that in its own right it will be able to perceive that “the mouth of G‑d has spoken.”

Likkutei Sichos, Parshas Shmos, 5749 [1989]

A Query for Mashiach

בימים ההמה אשר יחזיקו עשרה אנשים מכל לשונות הגוים, והחזיקו בכנף איש יהודי...

“In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men out of all the languages of the nations shall take hold of the corner of a Jew’s garment...”76

On this verse Rashi comments: “Ten men from each of the seventy families of the earth, comes to 700 men taking hold of each of the four corners of a tallis, a total of 2,800.”

Now if someone should ask you, What is every Jew supposed to do with thousands of servants? — So this will be one of the many queries that will be put to Mashiach when he comes, and he will provide the answer.77

From a talk of the Rebbe on Shabbos Parshas Shlach, 5742 [1982]

Upon the Mount of Olives

ועמדו רגליו ביום ההוא על הר הזיתים

“And His feet shall stand on that day upon the Mount of Olives”78

“Oil”, usually signifying olive oil, traditionally alludes to wisdom.79 This refers to the kind of divine service which is based on the intellect and is reinforced by the pleasure derived from comprehension. “Feet”, by contrast, alludes to divine service which is motivated by kabbalas ol, one’s unquestioning acceptance of the yoke of heaven. Understood in these terms, the above verse — “His feet shall stand... upon the Mount of Olives” — teaches that the “feet” are higher than the “oil”.

Kabbalas ol is superior to comprehension in two ways:

(a) Since mortal comprehension is finite, it cannot grasp Divinity, which is infinite. When a man serves G‑d out of kabbalas ol, however, his devotedness is infinite, just as G‑d Himself is infinite.

(b) Kabbalas ol is the foundation and pillar of all divine service, including the avodah based on the intellect. As cited in Tanya80 in the name of the Zohar,81 “And if this [submission] is not found in him, holiness cannot rest within him.”

Likkutei Sichos, Vol. I, p. 103

At Evening Time There Shall Be Light

והי-ה לעת ערב יהי-ה אור

“And it shall come to pass, that at evening time there shall be light”82

At that time, the darkness itself will be light — like a transparent glass that makes the light itself visible (and not like a translucent glass that screens it). Accordingly, Divinity will stand revealed in every created thing, as it is written,83 “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb.” In the human world, too, Divinity will be manifest, so that there will be neither bloodshed nor adultery.

The Maamarim of the Alter Rebbe on the Nevi’im, p. 28

G‑d Shall Be One

ביום ההוא יהי-ה ה' אחד ושמו אחד

“On that day G‑d shall be One and His Name One”84

At the present, the all-embracing Unity of G‑d is not overtly visible; accordingly, the created universe appears to be an independent entity that enjoys a self-sufficient existence. In the future, however, the all-embracing Unity of the Creator will be manifest for all to see: everyone will see how the universe is utterly nullified to the Divine light that flows into it and animates it.

Torah Or, Vaeira, p. 55c

The Prophet Eliyahu

הנה אנכי שולח לכם את אלי-ה הנביא, לפני בוא יום ה' הגדול והנורא

“Behold I shall send you Eliyah[u] the Prophet before the coming of the great and awesome day of G‑d”85

Eliyahu the Prophet refined his body to the extent that when he left this world, even his body ascended in the stormwind heavenward. This is why Eliyahu specifically is the prophet connected with the tidings of the Redemption — for in the future even man’s physical flesh will be refined, to the point that86 “Together all flesh shall see that the mouth of G‑d has spoken.”

Likkutei Sichos, Vol. II, p. 610

I Have Found David

מצאתי דוד עבדי

“I have found David, My servant”87

Compensation, or payment, is linked to one’s exertion: in the words of the Sages,88 “The reward is commensurate with the painstaking effort.” A find, by contrast, is not at all related to effort: the effort of picking up a find bears no relation to its value.

These two concepts coincide in the case of someone who, having toiled in the study of the Torah, is able to say,89 “I have exerted myself and I have found.” In his case, in addition to what he has grasped in proportion to his effort, he is granted further understanding, out of all proportion to his effort.

After all the suffering and anguish of the exile, the Redemption will come like a find, immeasurably outweighing the toil and the distress of the time of exile.

From the words of the Rebbe on 27 Adar Sheni, 5646 [1986]

Filled with Laughter (i)

אז ימלא שחוק פינו

“Our mouth will then be filled with laughter”90

It might well be asked: Since the coming of Mashiach will be accompanied by an intense and unprecedented revelation of Divine light, of what value is it that “our mouth will then be filled with laughter”?

The explanation: In the future time G‑d’s joy and pleasure will be revealed — joy at the completion of Israel’s divine service, and at the nullification of all created things (yesh) to the seeming nothingness (ayin) of Divinity.

Sefer HaMaamarim 5700 [1940], p. 68

Filled with Laughter (ii)

The numerical value of the word in the Holy Tongue meaning “laughter” (שחוק; s’chok) is 414; this is also the numerical value of the words אור אין סוף (“the infinite light”). This coincidence suggests that the inner meaning of this “laughter” is the revelation of G‑d’s delight.

Likkutei Torah, Bamidbar, p. 19d