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Monday
Mar262018

ENTERING ANOTHER DIMENSION: “THE MOSHIACH ZONE”

Beis Moshiach presents a recent talk by Rabbi Reuven Wolf, shliach in Los Angeles, delivered to the students of B’nos Menachem in Crown Heights.

THE “KOCH” OF THE REBBE’S CHASSIDIM

Once, during a yechidus, the Rebbe said to Rabbi Chaim HaKohen Gutnick that if he would see a Chassid of any of the Rebbeim throughout the generations, he would be able to figure out to which Rebbe he belonged. They aren’t just uniform Chabad Chassidim: If I met a Chassid of the Alter Rebbe or the Mitteler Rebbe, I would know that he’s a Chassid of that Rebbe. How? Because every Rebbe had his own novelty, his inyan. Then, the Rebbe said to R’ Chaim Gutnick: And how can you tell which is my Chassid? My Chassid “kocht zich” (gets passionately excited) about three things.

First of all, if you’re a Chassid, you’re passionate. To be indifferent, cold, apathetic, dead – that’s not a Chassid. A Chassid “kocht zich.” So the question is: What gets a Chassid excited? What is he passionate about? The Rebbe says first that a Chassid is passionate about “Who is a Jew?” In simple terms, “Who is a Jew?” means more than just in the political aspect, because not everyone is capable of influencing the Israeli government.

True, as Chassidim, we are concerned about the Rebbe’s inyanim, but the main thing is the concept of appreciating the unique greatness of a Jew. A Jew and a Gentile are two separate things. One of the Rebbe’s main efforts was in highlighting the infinite elevation and importance of “You have chosen us from among all the nations.”

Secondly, he’s passionate about mivtzaim, doing a mitzvah with another Jew, and third, he “kocht zich” in Moshiach. Just as the Gemara states that there are three qualities that identify a Jew – mercy, reticence, benevolence – a Rebbe’s chassid has a ‘koch’ in three things: a Jew, mivtzaim, and Moshiach.

Moshiach is at the foundation of Chassidus from the Baal Shem Tov on, “spreading the wellsprings outward.” In Tanya, Chapter 36, the Alter Rebbe made it a cornerstone in Yiddishkait, changing everything in the entire perspective of all of Judaism by putting Moshiach at its truly inner essence.

Before the Alter Rebbe, people understood that Moshiach was some kind of reward that we will receive for our avoda. There are rewards such as Gan Eden, T’chiyas HaMeisim, and another is Moshiach. However, the Alter Rebbe comes and puts Moshiach as the actual purpose of everything. We are here in this world to make a “dwelling place for G-d,” and when will that dwelling place manifest itself with the revelation of G-d’s glory in this world? With the coming of Moshiach. Thus, the Alter Rebbe says that all the work and effort since the beginning of time is to bring about the revelation of Moshiach.

Yet, while the Alter Rebbe lays this as the foundation, and there are countless maamarim in Chassidus from all the Rebbeim explaining all about the days of Moshiach, the revelations of Moshiach, etc., there still wasn’t the drive and the passion that was transmitted to and demanded of Chassidim to live with Moshiach.

PUMPING US WITH THE REVELATION OF MOSHIACH

Everything changed with the Rebbe’s maamer of “Basi L’Gani,” stating that we are the seventh generation. In his very first discourse, the Rebbe established bringing Moshiach as the agenda of Lubavitch, and from that day on, it only got stronger and stronger. There was a whole plan from the Rebbe of how he’s going to build and how he’s going to reach this objective. Then, in the early Mem’im, you can see that it was peaking, reaching a boiling point, when the Rebbe instituted Tzivos Hashem specifically for young children. The main purpose of this army was for the ultimate victory in defeating the Galus. We have no idea how much the Rebbe shook the heavens and the higher worlds with the children and “We Want Moshiach Now!” It was unbelievable.

Then, we came to the Nun’im, and there was already a whole new level of talk. You could feel the change; there wasn’t just a demand for Moshiach, it was more of a statement that “the time of your Redemption has arrived.” We have entered into a new period of time. We know that 5750 (1990) corresponded to Friday at midday, looking at the world as a cosmic week, and the time of Moshiach is Friday, particularly after noon. In other words, Moshiach could have come at any other time in history, but then it would have been more of a special merit, “achishena,” when Moshiach comes before it’s time. However, once we came to 5750, we entered into Moshiach’s zone – an entirely different reality. This is the time when Moshiach is actually woven into the very fabric of existence. Then, the Rebbe started pointing to various world events showing that Moshiach is already having a massive effect upon the world, and in a sense, the galus ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

We don’t realize that the main element of galus is subservience to the nations of the world, which do not allow us to keep Torah and mitzvos, and that was the reality for close to two thousand years. Yet, the Rebbe pointed out that this ended in 5750-5751 when the Soviet Union, a regime that had previously prevented millions of Jews from fulfilling Torah and mitzvos, had miraculously disappeared and had been replaced with a democratic system that permitted traditional Jewish observance. Now, what do we need? The revelation of Moshiach. It’s a whole different thing.

Over the next few years, the Rebbe kept pumping us with “the revelation of Moshiach,” saying that we had to open up our eyes, start living Moshiach, and then he said that we had to be “mekabel p’nei Moshiach Tzidkeinu.” Unbelievable! It was really intense.

But then, we suffered a blow: the two Chaf-Zayin Adars, and then came Gimmel Tammuz. As a result, the energy went from the highest peak to rock bottom, and in much of Lubavitch, we got very drained, tired, and exhausted, to the point that so many people couldn’t hear any talk about Moshiach. In a sense, you could say that Lubavitch needed therapy after Gimmel Tammuz. It was very hard after people had endured such an intense expectation that didn’t come through, and people don’t want to allow themselves to have pain. No one wants to have a high and then to crash. Therefore, people simply put up walls to try and stop it, and even if someone spoke about Moshiach and started pointing to things that were happening, the response was “Don’t tell me that.” We’re afraid to let our hearts get too excited because we don’t want to have the letdown; it’s too painful.

EVEN LUBAVITCH IS WAKING UP

Now, the truth is that’s not OK; it shouldn’t be that way. The pain and the frustration is actually what drives the galus away, destroys the galus, breaks the galus, and brings the Redemption. In one of his last talks in a sicha before the women in 5752, the Rebbe spoke about the uniqueness of Miriam. She had led the Jewish People in the ultimate song and that her song was greater than Moshe Rabbeinu’s, since the women had brought drums and tambourines. The Rebbe noted that this came specifically through Miriam because her name means “bitter,” meaning that she felt the bitterness more than anyone else. In the last eighty-six (Gematria of Elokim) years of the Egyptian exile, starting with the birth of Miriam, she felt the pain. And the Rebbe says that in accordance with the pain that you feel from the galus, you have the joy of Redemption to that same degree – the two things go together.

Thus, when a person wants to shield his heart and protect himself from feeling any pain, he numbs his heart and closes himself down to become callous and cold r”l. This is a horrible thing. It means that we’re not only in galus in some physical sense, but that the klipa of galus has deeply penetrated the inner core to (G-d forbid) extinguish and entrap the hope, the fire, and the spark of Moshiach.

Yet, I feel that something massive has recently changed during this year, and in the whole world in general; there is a great excitement about Moshiach. There is a very strong sense about the miracles we have seen this year – Rubashkin’s release, President Trump’s announcement on Yerushalayim, etc. – that have created a shift. Even Lubavitch woke up! Wherever I’ve been speaking, I see a tremendous receptiveness and an awakening in a manner of “Arouse yourself, arouse yourself,” as we say in Kabbalas Shabbos, “for your light has come.” Start shining your light, because the light of the Redemption is coming. People are feeling it, and we can say that it has something to do with the special year we’re in – an incredible time.

TWO KINDS OF GEMS

We are commemorating sixty-eight years since the Rebbe ascended to the leadership of Chabad-Lubavitch. Sixty-eight is a very special number (Gematria of chaim) – the life of the nasi to its fullest and most dominant. I’m sure most of you have heard this little thought that I’m going to share now, but it’s important to hear it more than once in order that it should penetrate.

There was a WhatsApp post from Rabbi Blau of Toronto that has some insight on a very beautiful idea. On Beis Nissan 5748, marking sixty-eight years since the start of the Rebbe Rayatz’s leadership, the Rebbe said that it’s our job to make an additional infusion of life (chaim – gematria of 68) and we have to instill that life within the nasi. With the interdependency between the Rebbe and the Chassidim, we give the Rebbe life and he gives us life. We share the same heart and the same blood, and we have to give him life with a renewed vitality. The Rebbe added that the word chaim indicates how the previous sixty-eight years were divided. How? The word chaim has two Yud’s, a Mem, and a Ches. The Rebbe Rayatz was nasi for ten years in Russia, ten years in Poland, and then he came to America. The Rebbe Rayatz was in America for another ten years, but the Rebbe [MH”M] saw his leadership not just as something separate from the Rebbe Rayatz, rather as one continuous period.

1988 (5748) marked forty-eight years since the Rebbe Rayatz arrived in America (1940). The Rebbe says that from 1920 to 1940 are the two Yud’s – twenty years. Then, there is the Mem-Ches, the forty-eight years of the Rebbe Rayatz until 5748. The Rebbe then adds that forty-eight can be divided into twenty-four and twenty-four, which is related to Moshiach from the pasuk from one of the seven comforting haftarahs in N’viim after Tisha B’Av: “And I will make your windows of kadkod (twice Chaf-Dalet, 48).” What is kadkod? A gem, a precious stone. What kind of gem? There was an argument among the ministering angels: one said that it’s shoham – one of the stones on the choshen, another said that it’s another stone – yashfei (jasper). So G-d came and said, “Let it be like this one and like that one.” The windows in Yerushalayim are going to be made out of both these stones.

This is connected to what the Alter Rebbe says in Likkutei Torah. What difference does it make which stone it is? The Alter Rebbe explains that the nature of each of these two stones is different. The shoham is a very clean transparent stone and it allows light to go through it. The yashfei is a very sparkling stone; it glitters. This represents two ways of G-dliness. One is from Above to below: when G-dliness is shining Above, we are like a clean transparent stone, an open window able to receive that light. The other is called ohr chozer, a light returning from below coming from our avoda here on earth, the refinement of the physical. This is the difference between Avraham and Yitzchak, chesed and g’vura, water and fire. The question then is: What is going to be the main thing when Moshiach comes? Are the windows that we will experience going to made out of G-dly light from Above or light coming from below? Therefore, G-d says: “Let it be like this one and like that one.” Light from Above and light from below – the ultimate fusion.

Thus, Rabbi Blau came up with something really brilliant. The Rebbe brings in the Beis Nissan sicha the following pasuk: “Give to a wise man, and he will become yet wiser,” i.e., give my teachings on the Previous Rebbe to a chacham and he will come up with more wisdom. This means that the Rebbe was looking ahead that there would be a Chassid who will be the chacham, and Rabbi Blau was privileged to be that Chassid.

HE’S GOING TO PLACE THE CROWN ON HIS HEAD!

This applies to the Rebbe as well. Take a look at the Rebbe’s life, those sixty-eight years that we have until now. During the first twenty years from 5711 to 5730, the Rebbe was laying the groundwork, the foundations preparing us for Moshiach. Then, on Yud Shvat 5730, like this year, fell out on a Friday, the Rebbe announced the completion of the Seifer Torah to greet Moshiach Tzidkeinu. Can you imagine what kind of electrifying excitement and fervor the Chassidim were feeling? People flew from all over the entire world to be here for Yud Shvat and the completion of that Seifer Torah, and everybody was absolutely sure that Moshiach would be revealed then.

R’ Naftali Estulin told me an interesting thing: When the Rebbe walked in with the Seifer Torah, the Rebbe also had a cardboard box and no one knew what was in it. However, the people standing on the top bleachers could see into the box. Today, it’s a well-established custom that every Torah scroll has a crown. In the Hungarian community in Borough Park where I come from, they had crowns on the Sifrei Torah way back then because they were generally into such things. In Lubavitch however their Torah scrolls didn’t have crowns and the Chabad community wasn’t used to it. So the people standing high up in the bleachers, they could see the Rebbe holding a box with a crown. R’ Naftali said he almost had a heart attack. Why? Because he was sure that the Rebbe was going to sit down, take the crown out of the box, and put it on. This story just reflects where we stood at that amazing moment.

Something celestial definitely happened then. But now, Moshiach has to enter the world. How? From 5730, there were two periods in the Rebbe’s life. We have twenty-four years from 5730 to 5754, and then we have another twenty-four years from 5754 to 5778, where we’re standing now. What’s the difference between the two periods of twenty-four? The first twenty-four is the Rebbe pumping Moshiach into us, from Above to below, the shoham stone. Then comes the next twenty-four years, when there is a state of hiding and concealment, but we know that the only reason for this is that the Rebbe wants us to bring out our light. We have to discover Moshiach’s light within our own neshama, within ourselves, so that we can shine the light – the yashfei stone. And now, after completing the second period of twenty-four years (kadkod), this is the most opportune time. We are living in a Moshiach zone like never before.

RECEIVING LIFE FROM G-D’S ESSENCE

Continuing our discussion on this year of chaim (sixty-eight years since the Rebbe Rayatz’s histalkus), particularly in connection to Moshiach Tzidkeinu, we know that Moshiach doesn’t have any life of his own because Moshiach is the attribute of malchus, which has no energy of its own. Malchus needs to receive its light from higher sources, which is why Dovid HaMelech also had no life. He was only supposed to live for three hours. How did Dovid HaMelech live? There are two opinions: The Gemara states that Adam HaRishon gave him seventy years of his life, thereby explaining why Adam only lived to be 930 (and not a thousand). The Zohar says that they made a charity campaign, and everybody contributed. Who contributed? Avraham Avinu gave five years, Yaakov Avinu gave twenty-eight years, and Yosef HaTzaddik gave thirty-seven years – for a total of seventy years.

What does this mean spiritually? Dovid HaMelech received his energy from the various spiritual attributes. He doesn’t have life of his own; he’s living off the higher life forces. However, in the case of Moshiach Tzidkeinu, the descendant of Dovid HaMelech, his level of malchus is much higher than Dovid’s, he doesn’t receive life from the s’firos, rather from the atzmus of G-d Himself, enclothed within his body and neshama. The life of Moshiach is totally united with G-d’s Divine Essence. The revelation of Moshiach is the revelation of how G-d and a Jew are totally one, as is revealed first in Moshiach and then in the whole world.

In Kabbala, the general concept of Atzmus is usually referred to as the supernal level of Kesser (crown). Therefore, there is a pasuk that begins with the words, “He (Moshiach) asked You for life; You gave it to him.” Where is the life coming from? The pasuk continues: “Length of days (Orech Yomim) forever and ever.” Orech derives from the word erech, the level of Kesser known as Erech Anpin. This means that Moshiach is receiving his life from Orech Yomim, from Kesser, and therefore, he lives forever and ever. His life is uninterrupted because Kesser is infinite.

THE ULTIMATE CUP OF BLESSING

It says that after Moshiach comes, we’re going to have a big party, and at that seuda will be the Shor HaBar and the Leviasan, etc. Then, when it comes time to say Birkas HaMazon and they pass the cup around for bentching, they’ll give it to Avraham Avinu and he’ll decline, they’ll give to Yitzchak Avinu and he’ll decline… each for his own reason. When it comes to Dovid Malka Meshicha, he’ll say, “It’s fitting for me to bless.” The ultimate bentching will be when Moshiach holds the cup. The Gemara then asks: How much wine is going to fit into that cup, the Kos Shel Bracha, the ultimate cup of blessing? Kos represents Malchus – receiving the wine from Above. The Gemara states that it will hold 221 log. From where do we know this? David HaMelech says in T’hillim: “Kosi r’vaya” (my cup is full). R’vaya has the numerical value of 221.

The Tzemach Tzedek asks: What exactly does it mean “my cup is full?” The life that enters the cup is from the level of Erech Anpin – erech also has the numerical value of 221. Now, here’s something amazing: How many years do we have until the end of the sixth millennium – as we stand in this incredible year when we feel the world shaking with Moshiach and the Redemption oozing from every tree and from every stone? We know that “the days of Moshiach” are not in the year 7.00 – that’s already Shabbos.

However, Moshiach comes to prepare the world for that time. How much time is left? Two hundred and twenty-one years. Therefore, if we say that Moshiach’s cup contains 221, he is receiving his life from erech. This is the meaning to “He asked You for life (chaim).” First, he has sixty-eight (chaim) years borrowed from G-d; this is the life of our Rebbe until now. Yet, from now on, “Length of days (orech yamim) forever and ever” – we go straight into chaim nitzchiim (eternal life) – as the last 221 years go on forever. Thus, we are truly living in an amazing time.

THE GEULA BEFORE OUR VERY EYES

Another very important idea to appreciate: This past Kislev, we began the ninetieth year since the wedding of the Rebbe and the Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka. Furthermore, we know how much the Rebbe emphasized that ninety (tzaddik) is Moshiach’s number, for the power of the future Redemption is represented in the saying “Tzemach tzamachti” (I have sprouted forth a plant). While the Rebbe’s personal ninetieth year began in 5751, this year marks the ninetieth year of his connection to Chassidim. What happened on the night that this ninetieth year began, when Moshiach was at his greatest intensity? That was the night that the decision was made to announce that Yerushalayim belongs to the Jewish People.

Why? Every six months since the days of the presidency of Bill Clinton, when the United States Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 authorizing the move of the American Embassy to Yerushalayim, there had been a clause in the law that allowed the president to delay the move if he sees that there exists a danger to national security, etc. Thus, the klipa has been fighting so hard against this recognition of Yerushalayim as the capital city of Eretz Yisroel, because once there’s a “return in mercy to Yerushalayim Your city,” that automatically leads to the speedy establishment of “the throne of Dovid Your servant;” game over, Redemption to the world. We need Yerushalayim, the place of the Beis HaMikdash; there’s no question of that.

However, that night, the Rebbe’s night, despite the fact that President Trump had already delayed the move once earlier during his first six months in office, he decided not to sign the waiver and to enforce the law on Yerushalayim. We shouldn’t look at this as some trifle – this is huge! When the President of the United States does something down in this physical world, the effect comes from the ministering angel Above. Since the United States is the most powerful country in the world, when its ministering angel decides that Yerushalayim belongs to the Jewish People, this means another stage in reaching the end of the Exile. That’s why these aren’t just “signs of the Redemption;” rather, we are actually seeing the Redemption unfold before our very eyes. Thus, the Rebbe told us that our job is to open our eyes and start noticing the Redemption happening in the world.

THE CHILDREN GET IT MORE QUICKLY

The Rebbe said something else as well: In a few of the sichos from 5751-5752, the Rebbe spoke in greater depth about how we have to begin living Moshiach, because Moshiach is already in the world. It’s not enough to know that the Redemption is already happening; we also have to live within Moshiach’s reality.

During the Simchas Torah 5752 farbrengen, the Rebbe said that children are particularly connected to Moshiach. It says in the pasuk, “Do not touch ‘M’shichei’” (My anointed ones). Who are the anointed ones? The Gemara states that this refers to the children. Therefore, the Rebbe says that today you can educate children to be permeated through their entire being with the concept of Moshiach. This is the chinuch that we have to give our children today.

The Rebbe continued elaborating on this point on Shabbos Parshas VaYeira 5752. Why is it that Moshiach can shine within children more than within adults? Because within children, the soul’s yechida radiates even brighter. Adults deal more with intellect; they have a filter of the mind that tends to get in the way. Moshiach is the yechida of the world, and he will enable us to experience G-d in a manner of “Yechida Sh’B’Nefesh.” Children have that sense of simplicity, and therefore they can live with Moshiach more easily and experience him in a real way. However, it’s our responsibility to educate them in this fashion.

However, here’s the important idea when we come to education: Even when it comes to things that are far more external, if it’s not who we are or something that we are doing, we can perhaps inspire and enforce certain behaviors, but it usually doesn’t last long. For something to be real it has to be genuinely felt by the parent or teacher and then the child naturally follows suit. This even applies when we come to educate people regarding certain actions, garments for the soul. However, when we’re talking about starting to live Moshiach, we are dealing with something far more profound. This constitutes a reality change, a complete shift in our minds of how we perceive reality. You want to educate your children to live in Moshiach’s world, but if you’re not in that zone, it’s impossible. Therefore, educating our children really means educating ourselves. It’s just that they will take it and run with it, getting to places much faster than we will, as children tend to grasp such matters more quickly. Nevertheless, it still requires that we live in that truth.

Today, it’s not just an ideal that Moshiach has to come; Moshiach is happening already. With every passing day, the reality in the world is becoming more Moshiach’dik and more G-dly. Now, the question is: Are we stubbornly restricting ourselves to our little Galus’dike box or can we start truly living Moshiach? Our entire avoda must be focused on this.

(To be continued)

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