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Friday
Jan252019

NOT SO AHT AHT

So many years have passed since then – even decades. It’s an absolute disgrace that the Rebbe’s prophecy of imminent redemption has been delayed this long!

By Boruch Merkur

It’s been almost three decades since the Rebbe said as a prophecy that Moshiach is imminent: “L’alter l’geula … Hinei zeh (Moshiach) ba – immediate redemption … Behold, this one (Moshiach) comes.”[1]

In Torah we are taught that the most reliable source of information is prophecy. Human beings are fallible, but prophets channel G-dly communications and therefore do not err. Their description of future events must transpire.[2]

The bad news is that – as in most things – there is an exception, namely, when they prophecy bad news.

That sounds confusing. To rephrase: The only type of prophecy that may not come to pass is when it foretells bad news, when the prophecy is negative, predicting an undesirable event or outcome.[3] Negative prophecies can be rescinded by t’shuva, repentance. 

So the fact that the bad news of a negative prophecy can be annulled is actually good news. If bad news can be rescinded, that’s a cause for celebration. Or more accurately, to first do t’shuva, have the negative prophecy annulled, and then celebrate.

Though in our case, when speaking about the prophecy of immediate redemption – “aht aht kumt Moshiach” – this is all irrelevant. We don’t want the very good news of imminent redemption revoked or rescinded, chas v’shalom. “Achakeh lo b’chol yom sh’yavo – Every day I await his arrival.”

But so many days have passed since then, so many years – even decades, rachmana litzlan! Let’s face it, close to three decades is not so aht aht. It’s an absolute disgrace that the Rebbe’s prophecy of imminent redemption has been delayed this long!

The Rebbe is our prophet and we don’t doubt him for a moment, chas v’shalom. Surely it’s not the fault of the prophet if his words – a positive prophecy – are not fulfilled. The inexplicable delay is therefore rightly met with outrage.

Outrage means crying out to Hashem “ad masai?!” But to say these words to G-d takes real audacity, real chutzpa. It must therefore be 100% genuine. It must not be superficial. If we are going to make demands of G-d, as it were – “we want Moshiach now!” – we must apply the teaching that Chabad demands p’nimius. Only then can we dare approach G-d in outrage.

What does genuine, inward outrage look like? When is “ad masai” truly sincere, meaningful, and effective? Inner outrage means total intolerance to anything that is not the very best we can each do. Am I the best Jew I can be right now? Am I the best Chassid? The expression of outrage does not end with an outcry; it starts there. Outrage is expressed in our every thought, speech, and action, and this sense of urgency brings us close enough to G-d to make this demand. Total devotion empowers us to stand before G-d with all sincerity and purity and cry out to Him b’emes, and to live every moment with the fire of the Rebbe to “ker a velt!” to turn the world upside-down to bring Moshiach now.

But doesn’t this all seem obvious? Have we not been mobilized to do all of this already? And even more puzzling: a positive prophecy does not depend on our efforts. It must be, period – regardless of what we do!

Perhaps the only way to understand this, to understand the origins of complacency and the inconceivable delay, is if we don’t see the immanence of Moshiach as a positive prophecy. If we see the revolution of redemption as bad news, as a disruption to the status quo we cherish so much, if geula is seen as an inconvenience or an added burden, perhaps it loses its status as good news, as a positive prophecy, which is certain, and becomes only a possible outcome, a prophecy that is contingent – like a negative prophecy.

To correct this galus-mentality we must take to heart the call of the Alter Rebbe in his inviting niggun: “Taamu u’r’u ki tov Havaya – taste and see that G-d is good.” Chassidus is the mindset that allows us to acquire a taste for G-dliness so we can see and appreciate what the true and inner, eternal desire of a Jew is: to have a perfect bond, a perfect loving relationship with Hashem, as it will be in the true and complete redemption.

When that is our only concern, everything else that is (still) precious to us will obviously be attainable and available in abundance, and in fact, like never before. And then we will have shown that the Rebbe’s prophecy is a positive prophecy, which cannot be annulled.

Our full commitment allows us to stand before G-d and demand “ad masai?!” How long must Your prophet’s message appear as just a nice dream. Even if we are apathetic about a G-dly revolution, certainly we care about the Rebbe and how he appears in the eyes of the world. We must therefore feel personal outrage for our Rebbe and his dignity and cry out vocally, emotionally, and the main thing – in action.

Boruch welcomes opportunities to speak further about Moshiach and a variety of topics. Please email:
editor@beismoshiach.org for details.

NOTES:

1)  Seifer HaSichos 5751, pg. 792

2)  See ibid FN 116, where it says that prophecy is “b’vadaos – with certainty”; Rambam’s Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah 10:1, and see ibid 7:7, where it says that it is a Mitzva to accept prophecy.

3)  See Rambam ibid 10:4

 

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