February 24, 2012
Rabbi Gershon Avtzon in #824, Moshiach & Geula, Moshiach & Geula

Dear Reader sh’yichyeh,
The Rebbe — the leader of this generation — has told us a prophecy! These are his words (Shoftim 5751): “One must make known to all members of the generation that we have merited that G-d has chosen a person endowed with free choice, who is incomparably higher than the members of his generation.”
In the course of our previous articles, we described the activities of each of the Rebbeim to bring Moshiach. We explained that the entire purpose of those activities was to bring the Sh’china back to this world. This is accomplished by the seventh Rebbe and the seventh generation, just as Moshe Rabbeinu as the seventh leader from Avraham Avinu was the one to bring the Sh’china down by Mattan Torah.
After explaining that “all the seventh are cherished,” the Rebbe stated: “This is what is demanded and expected from the seventh generation, starting from the Alter Rebbe: to bring the Ikar Sh’china back to this world with the coming of Moshiach!”
There are those who laugh at the concept that “All seventh are cherished” and think that it is just a slogan repeated in order to make us feel good. To help imprint the truth of this concept in the minds of our readers, I will share with you a very interesting experience I had.
In the summer of 5761 I was a learning teacher in the Yeshivas Kayitz in Portland, Oregon. One day, we went on a trip to the neighboring Seattle, Washington. Seattle is the location of the largest indoor factory plant in the USA; it belongs to Boeing Enterprise. For a small fee, anyone can get a walk-through tour and see first-hand how planes are put together. We took advantage of this fantastic opportunity.
In the course of the tour some of the Bachurim asked a very simple question: Why are all the planes named with the number seven? There are the Boeing 747, 757, 737, 777 etc. The tour guide did not know, and he called a manager to find out. The response we got was an eye opener: Boeing wanted the names of its planes to engender positive feelings among its customers. They made a survey to find out which number people like most. An overwhelming majority said the number 7! We then told them to make a new plane, the Boeing 770!
Yet, there are still many people who wonder if this goal of the Rebbe is a reality or wishful thinking. We all must realize and internalize the following: Hashem has given us a chosen leader in our generation, to be ‘your judge,’ ‘your counselor,’ and the prophet of the generation.
“This chosen leader will provide the instructions and advice relevant to the service of all Jews and all people of the generation. This advice will encompass all matters of Torah and mitzvos, as well as daily conduct in the manner of ‘in all your ways, know Him’ and ‘all your deeds should be for the sake of heaven.’ His counsel has extended to the essential prophecy —not just as a sage or judge, but as a prophet — of ‘immediate redemption’ and ‘Behold he — Moshiach — comes!’”
It is important to note that there is a tremendous difference between a prophecy about the arrival of Moshiach and an announcement from a holy man. Throughout the generations, many Tzaddikim have told us — based on different verses — that certain years are auspicious times for Moshiach. These dates, known as “Kitzin,” either actualized in a positive spiritual sense (like the printing of special s’farim on Kabbala and Chassidus in those years) or in negative physical effects such as pogroms and terrible destruction of Jewish communities r”l.
The reason it is so (see Maamarim HaK’tzarim of the Alter Rebbe, pp. 354-355) is because those sages saw “on high” that these were special dates, auspicious times for positive things to happen. However, when these dates need to be actualized in this physical world, things can change. When things are said as a prophecy, they must occur as the prophet said. A prophet is foretelling that which will be the true reality of this physical world. (For an in depth discussion on this, see Seifer Ha’keitz by Rabbi Shneur Z. Hertzel.)
 In modern times, Judaism is accessible to every Jew. In past generations, Jews faced many obstacles to learning Torah. All books were in Hebrew, a language that not everyone understood, and many people did not have access to them. In addition, there were countries whose governments established rules forbidding the learning of Torah.
Today, there are no countries with such rules. There are Judaic books in all languages – including Braille. There are rabbis living in almost every country and city that can speak and teach in the native tongue. And of course, today with the Internet, there is literally no limit to how much Torah one can access instantly.
I would like to conclude this series with the following story:
The news passed swiftly through the city of Chernigov, leaving shock and sorrow in its wake. Reb Yekutiel, a wealthy businessman and pillar of the community, had been arrested on charges of tax evasion and misappropriation of government funds.
All who knew Reb Yekutiel had no doubt of his innocence. Reb Yekutiel was known for his honesty, charity and modesty. Despite his immense wealth and influential position, he regarded every man as his equal and was always ready to lend a helping hand and attentive ear. For this, he had earned the respect and trust of all Chernigov’s residents, Jew and non-Jew alike. But this was Czarist Russia, where a man could be arrested on a bureaucratic caprice or by the stroke of a vengeful commissioner’s pen.
Inexplicably, Reb Yekutiel was convicted. Nothing – not his connections in the government, not the numerous appeals by his expensive lawyers or the prayers of the community – could stave off the fate ordained for him. Reb Yekutiel was sentenced to ten years of hard labor in distant Siberia.
On the day before Reb Yekutiel was sent east, a man knocked on the door of Rabbi Dovid Tzvi Chein, Rabbi of Chernigov. “Rabbi,” said the visitor, who was none other than the warden of the local jail, “Reb Yekutiel requests that you come see him. Special permission has been granted for you to visit him in his cell, should you desire to come.”
“Certainly,” said the Rabbi, “of course I’ll come,” and hurried to get his coat.
Tears filled Rabbi Dovid Tzvi’s eyes at the sight that met him upon entering the cell. Reb Yekutiel, too, was overwhelmed with emotion. The two men embraced and wept silently for some time. Finally, the prisoner began to speak:
“I asked you to come, Rabbi, not because I have any personal request to make, but because I want to tell you why I am here. Perhaps others can learn a lesson from my story.
“Several months ago, I was traveling to Petersburg for a series of meetings regarding my dealings with the government. As usual, I obtained a compartment in the first-class section of the train – a crucial necessity for any businessman seeking potential contacts among government officials and fellow merchants. It was then that I learned that the Lubavitcher Rebbe was on the train.
“I passed by the Rebbe’s compartment, hoping to catch a glimpse of his holy face. The door was ajar, and suddenly I found myself gazing into his eyes – eyes that looked deeply into mine and seemed to know the innermost reaches of my soul. For a long moment I stood there, rooted to the spot. It was a while before I realized that the Rebbe was motioning to me to enter.
“With awe and trepidation I entered the Rebbe’s compartment. But the Rebbe soon put me at ease, inviting me to sit and offering me a cigarette. He expressed great interest in our community, as well as in my personal life and business dealings. In parting, the Rebbe said to me: ‘I’m sure you’ve heard of the railway that the government is planning to build across Siberia. I think this is a perfect business opportunity for you. As one who has close connections with Minister Potysukshnikov, you should be able to obtain a sizable contract as a lumber supplier.’
“I returned to my compartment in a state of confusion. The last thing I expected from the Rebbe was a business tip. On the one hand, I felt that the advice of a tzaddik should be followed. On the other hand, the proposal held no attraction for me, despite its great financial potential. My business affairs were going well, thanks to G-d; why should I leave my family and community and spend many long months, if not years, in far-off Siberia? At the end, I hesitated long enough for others to avail themselves of the opportunity – to my considerable relief, I must confess.
“And so, now I’m on my way to Siberia. I thought that the Rebbe was dispensing business advice, but he must have seen that there is something there, in Siberia, that I must achieve, some part of my mission in life that must be played out in the frozen east. I could have gone in comfort, as a wealthy businessman and government contractor. Now I am going in chains…”
We will all reach the Rebbe’s goal and destination. Our generation will bring Moshiach. The question is only in what manner we will make the journey there. Let us all strengthen our emuna in the Rebbe and his words, add in learning the concepts of Moshiach and Geula, and together we will merit the immediate Hisgalus NOW!
Rabbi Avtzon is the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Lubavitch Cincinnati and a well sought after speaker and lecturer. Recordings of his in-depth shiurim on Inyanei Geula u’Moshiach can be accessed at Weekly shiurim on Moshiach topics given by Rabbi Avtzon can be viewed at

Article originally appeared on Beis Moshiach Magazine (
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