Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Key to Bringing Moshiach Now!

23 years ago, the Rebbe shook his audience of thousands to the core. He dispatched his emissaries with a new set of marching orders. He called this new mission "the gate through which all outreach activity must pass through from now on!” (ספר השיחות ה'תשנ''ב, pp. 110-111).

He recalled a previous, long-standing mission, that of disseminating chassidic wellsprings, and said it was a mission accomplished! This in itself was newsworthy and significant.

But now, said he, there remains one last mission to see through, and that is to accept the countenance of Moshiach (לקבל פני משיח). He said this key mission will enable Moshiach to redeem all Jews from exile!

To put this mission in better perspective, consider what Maimonides asked of the Jew. He wrote, a Jew must "... believe in Moshiach ... he will come any day, and even if he tarries, … will still await him.” 

But now the Rebbe ratcheted up this preparedness from a dormant, inactive “waiting" state to one that calls for action. The Rebbe said, "Your task is to accept the countenance of Moshiach"!

Accepting is a far cry from just waiting. Moreover, he thereby effectively told Jewish people it was up to them to bring Moshiach! If Jews wanted Moshiach - it was their responsibility to bring him! They could not be passive observers! As for what Maimonides said, that waiting was over with. He had come. So waiting for him was over with. Now - said the Rebbe - they must “accept him!

As the Rebbe said to Chief Rabbi of Israel, Mordechai Eliyahu, ע''ה, in 1992, "The redemption is at the door's threshold and awaits for every Jew to open the door and drag the redemption in!” 

In other words, there's no more “waiting”; Jews now have to “drag” Redemption into becoming a reality. Jews were now given an active role to play in the phenomenon! 

And just what did the Rebbe mean by “to accept the countenance of Moshiach!"”?

To this Chabad chassid it means to say - acknowledge that the Rebbe is Moshiach! As if to say, “Accept me!"

(Had the Rebbe simply said our task is "to receive Moshiach" (לקבל משיח), omitting the word "countenance" (פני), there would have been no point to that. How can we "accept" someone we don't know? To just say "receive Moshiach" removes the identity factor! It makes no sense to accept someone who remains unidentified. The action expected of the Jew from now on would then fall flat on its face.)

Some ask, especially to skirt commitment, then why didn’t the Rebbe just come out and simply say, “I am Moshiach”?

For one thing, the responsibility for having a king rests on the Jewish people themselves! It is up to them! There is no Jewish king unless Jews grant the king his sovereignty. (See here regarding the lesson David learned from Avigayil.)

Another reason the Rebbe could never just come out and say "I am Moshiach” is here explained. In his essence, Moshiach is the most humble of all people on the face of the earth.

This new responsibility we Jews were given recalls a similar episode in the past, when David was anointed as the new king of Israel by the prophet Shmuel. At the time King Saul had not yet been dethroned. In fact, David ended up with no more than some 600 “followers”. Not until 7 years later did David finally become king over all of Israel proper. 

Jews have been squandering this opportunity to crown for themselves a King Moshiach! It’s now been 23 years. How much longer must we wait?

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