Tuesday, April 01, 2014

The Behavioral Catalyst for the Era of Redemption

Great minds forged the Jewish genealogy and psychology. Abraham and Sarah started it; Isaac and Rivkah reinforced it. The entire family of Jacob embodied it and secured the mold for themselves.

This family then descended to Egypt where their character was tested. But they maintained their distinctiveness among the heathens. Even 210 years of slavery could not divert their focus from God. All matters were constantly attuned to G-d; Any other perspective they deemed bizarre. With this singular, tenacious, divine perspective on life the Jewish nation nurtured its self-actualization.

(Until today, in fact, very few people worldwide, besides the Jews, are consumed with - or can even relate to - the pure concept of "One G-d and nothing else". Whereas for the modern Jew, he has a prodigious library where every book attests to his ancient, unique faith.)

The Jewish forefathers performed all Torah commandments, like wearing Tzitzis, for example, only they did so as an exercise of the mind rather than actually wearing fringes.

In the year 2448 God's plan for the world was about to enter the final phase of development. It came by way of a pivotal phenomenon that would impose new requirements upon a nation that earned this spectacular reward because of their devoted meditative absorption. God needed a nation upon which to lavish His revelation by the time the world's Sabbatical millennium would be reached. The Jews redeemed from Egypt now merited this new, brilliant horizon for which to pave the way to reach that final goal.

Just as the phenomenon of Mount Sinai required generations of preparation, so too the final and ultimate redemption would require preparation. Except that now the means by which to prepare involved a fundamental change. Until Mount Sinai the emphasis needed to be on the spiritual or psychological component of a Jew's deeds; The actual operative deed mattered little. After Mount Sinai, however, the emphasis shifted to the behavioral component itself, relegating the spiritual component secondary.

Mount Sinai's event engendered a switch in requirements. From then on, Jews were charged with a new responsibility in order to fulfil G-d's original cosmic agenda. Until the Mount Sinai phenomenon intentionality was paramount; From then on - action was paramount. After the advent of Torah, obeisance to the DEED displaced intentionality as the chief ingredient. The task from now on spoke louder than premeditation. The commandments of Torah demanded a task-oriented disposition rather than a philosophical one.

For example, on Passover, if a Jew has all the right intentions regarding Matzah, but fails to eat it, he draws down nothing! He receives no credit for his devout inspiration! On the other hand, he who has no intentions at all, but eats the Matzah, succeeds in drawing down the incremental change required to transform the world into its redemptive outcome.

So, whereas the first, formative 7 generations of Jews were saddled with a mental mission of orientation, forthcoming generations were charged with a new mission - one of mechanical activity, going through motions. The phenomenon of Mount Sinai introduced the novel aspect where intentionality could help, but no longer was key!

One by one, each mitzvah (commandment) accumulates to draw the exalted redemptive light that will, once critical mass is reached, overwhelm the Jewish people and the world with incredible goodness, wisdom and rapture, when flesh will see divine revelation.

Moses and his generation constituted the last of Jewish forerunners who molded the Jewish people out of a spiritual mindset that drove them. From Joshua's generation and henceforth, the deed itself became the imperative.

Ancient Egypt ranked as the mightiest empire in the world at the time. No other army was as formidable. Egypt possessed the world's original horses and bred them. These drove their armored chariots. A horse was royal property. No horse could be taken beyond Egypt's impermeable borders without royal consent at the highest levels. But G-d, with a "strong arm", redeemed the Jewish people and made them His Nation.

The Jews then experienced redemption - but not a Final Redemption! They also experienced the incredible light of G-d on the 7th Passover day (when they emerged from the Reed Sea), and then again on the 50th day of their travel toward Mount Sinai - when they received the Ten Commandments. Thereafter, the incredible light (for lack of a better word) was shuttered. This magnificent radiance waits to be revealed in the 2nd and final redemption, that will occur (in our days) more than 3 millennia later. This second redemption will even outshine that of the Mount Sinai revelation.

Curiously enough, to contribute to receive that light, takes nothing more than simple, rote behavior, as per the commandments of the written and oral Torah. Our deeds - more than the intentions we put behind them - stack up as the important tokens that will trigger the exposure of the Final and Ultimate Era of Redemption. It takes doers to draw that utopia closer, and not intricate, erudite, profound wisdom seekers. For example, before Mount Sinai, Jacob's clan did not need to don tefillin but rather had to earnestly subjugate their hearts and minds to the divine presence. Whereas post-Mount Sinai, Jews must wrap themselves according to Mount Sinai's Oral Tradition's dictates.

This is a chassidic secret of the phrase "We will accept and [then] we will understand" (Ex.24:7). Understanding will eventually follow and serve as the ultimate reward for the simple act of doing. Muscle movements, as it were, will yield mindful insight, and soon the full-blown Redemption!


Yankev said...

Meir'l: Good points are made regarding the import of mitzvos. However you are posting this during parshiyos Tzaria and Metzora--when the Rebbe gave the remarkable sicha (soon to be posted on DvarMalchus.wordpress.com, G-d-willing) where we learn that the "Direct Way" to bring the revelation of Moshiach is through LEARNING the matters of Moshiach and Geulah, because it is through learning Torah that one acquires BITTUL (as in your previous post) which brings the Geulah.

Indeed, Mitzvos are strongly connected with the idea of Bittul, but this week the emphasis is on learning Torah with Bittul (not as it is learned in some circles, where the goal is not to see the G-dliness of the Torah but rather "me" and "my clever insights", may Hashem help us.)

in the vanguard said...

Yakov, I am covering the entire period of Jewish history in one fell swoop. You refer to the present. I refer to the change that gave us the ability to DO, since Mattan Torah, where the doing accomplishes MORE than what the forefathers could accomplish.

Our present period of Jewish history, which is already in the Era of Redemption, is the period YOU are referring to, and, indeed, the Rebbe tells us, as you say, the best way to accelerate the eventuality.

By the way, this post is an idea in a Ma'amar I am learning of the Rebbe that was delivered on his birthday, 1978, beginning with: כי ישאלך בנך
You can find it in the 4th of the 6 vol. set of edited Maamers of the Rebbe.