Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Can You Feel the Redemption?

We've recently heard of anti-Semitic events in the world. Bearded Jew gets shot in the Ukraine; Jewish children murdered in Toulouse; Triple murder of Jews in Waltham by the Boston Marathon bomber; Pressure on Jews in Malmo, Sweden not to wear Kippahs; Swastikas painted on Jewish property; And countless other such isolated incidents.

Hatred of Jews has accompanied us for every generation since the Second Temple's destruction - since Jews were forced into exile.

Our sages established that, "As law, Esau hates Jacob!" That is to say, the Jew had better know, as indelibly as engraved in stone, God has wrought into Nature that many a Gentile will have pure, unprovoked hatred towards the Jew (Rashi Gen.23:4). And, as we read every Passover in the Hagaddah, "In every generation oppressors rise seeking to eliminate Jews."

All along Jewish history we suffered from this attitude sometimes more and sometimes less. Even in "charitable" times, the Jew felt the generous period merely as a respite from the usual horror that was his lot. Generous periods were an exception to the rule. The rule was oppression, murder, harassment and misery.

Nonetheless, in the post-holocaust era, a tangible change has been felt by Jews the world over. Something significant had transpired to suddenly, from a historical perspective, make the Jew feel a burden had been removed from his psyche.

A huge boost to removing the awful stigma of the hated Jew came when the Soviet Union's "Iron Curtain" simply evaporated.

A new, more refreshing era has been born. Jews in most places of the world can now practice their religion without fear of backlash. Anti-Semitic acts are being condemned publicly by democratic nations. More and more nations seek to better their relations with Israel. The latest such show of friendship came from last week's visit to Israel by the Prime Minister of Canada.

So, do some alarming anti-Semitic incidents mean we've crossed over a "charitable" period, again heading for the usual, established persecution?

We have good reason to believe these individual incidents do not change the essence of the era we live in. The Rebbe told us we live in the new Era of Redemption. In the first part of this Era, says the Rambam, "things shall proceed as NORMAL". In other words, no radical changes will be apparent.

Nevertheless, this is the Era we live in. And the sooner we all Jews recognize this new, transcendent destiny, the sooner all will recognize and accept the Lubavitcher Rebbe as Moshiach, whose name is Menachem!

Then, of course, the world will launch into a new and even higher level of spiritual experience. Then, the easing on the collective Jewish psyche will apply, of course, also to every individual Jew, and, finally, all Jews will have - not only full relief from Gentile people, but the latter will even become minions to help every Jew prosper spiritually and physically.

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