Monday, July 19, 2010

A Historical Watershed - Revisited

The last of the 42 camps set up during the Jews' 40-year trek in the desert - goes by two names. At the end of the 4th book of the Pentateuch it's called "The Plains of Moav". At the beginning of the 5th book (Deuteronomy), it's called "The Bank of the Jordan [River]". Why should the same camp have two names?

The end of the 4th book, "Numbers", brings to its end a narrative of events that took place in the desert. The last camp's name, therefore, still bears this aspect of their journey; Moav, after all, relates to a physical place they interacted with in their path.

The 5th book, written by Moses without G-d's dictation, relates to the preparation of this new generation for entry into The Holy Land. The previous generation, which experienced the exodus from Egypt and spent their lives in the desert - died in the desert. It's the new, young generation to whom Moses addresses his words. When referring to the camp they were at, he uses a name that signifies the future, for they will be crossing from "The Bank of the Jordan". He thereby keeps focus on the forthcoming era, which will happen as soon as they cross the Jordan into The Holy Land.

One name associates with the past. The other name associates with the future.

When The Rebbe delivered his first address to his Chassidim in 1951, thereby accepting his mantle of leadership, he gave his generation two names; He called it "The last generation of the exile era and the first generation of the redemption era". We are that bipolar generation. Where we now stand marks a watershed between two eras. It's a historical milestone for the people of the world. Events today are rapidly unfolding and soon, very soon, the one, last prophecy of The Rebbe that remains to materialize, will materialize - as sure as every other prophecy of The Rebbe never failed to transpire.

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