Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Foretaste of Redemption

In primitive tribal cultures, somewhere in South America or Central Africa, people's average annual income is about $90 a year. For comparison, the average annual income in Manhattan is $36,000 per year. This extreme, 400-fold difference still pales next to the gap that separates both populations regarding the difference in number of consumer products available. Tribal folk have 300 types of merchandise to choose from, compared to 10 billion available for Manhattan residents. That's a difference of 33 million times!

How does this happen? How did the bulk of the world manage to advance and prosper so much economically?

It's because - everything that happens in the world-at-large reflects, as a mirror image, that which is happening to Jews!

In recent decades we've witnessed a significant improvement in life conditions for the Jewish people. Following thousands of years of persecution, famine and forced migrations, Jews today enjoy materialisic prosperity as had never been experienced since the days of King Solomon. Prosperity encompasses almost all Jews all over the world.

For those relatively few Jews who do have difficulty - real support comes from many charitable organizations. Kindness abounds everywhere for them. Every Jew with minimal motivation can achieve economic sustenance - to an extent that for previous generations would have been but a dream.

It's hard to ignore the fact that this sharp upswing in Jewish economic state of affairs developed in parallel with, and since the time the Lubavitcher Rebbe assumed his role as leader of the current generation 60 years ago. The Rebbe himself referred to this advance and explained wherefrom it derives, quoting the Rambam: "We stand at the threshold to the Era of Redemption, of which it says, 'Goodness will be extremely abundant, and all luxury shall be as plentiful as dust.'"

Some of this future's plentiful benevolence, which is just around the corner, has already broken through the barrier that stands between the Diasporic Era and the Redemption Era. This barrier is becoming porous. Already today we can start to taste some of what the future utopia entails.

We are entering a period in which material abundance and high spirituality will coexist. In previous generations, a poor economic situation or meager subsistence was the price to pay to achieve a personal, spiritual surge. Today, in contrast, not only does opulence not hinder but, in fact, contributes to further elevating one's spirituality.

Maimonides depicts that future and how it will benefit the people of Israel: "It will allow Jews to pursue Torah-study fervently, without harassement or hindrance, without any pressure, economic or otherwise." As God ushers in this era, He grants us a foretaste of the solace of simultaneous physical relief and spiritual ascent.
Heard from my Chabad friends in the Krayot.


  1. Hello. Very nice post. please may we see Moshiach this year. I have a question for you, though on one aspect. You wrote that the "Lubavitcher Rebbe assumed his role as the leader of the current generation 60 years ago.I am not trying to be rude, yet I did not think that one rabbi has been the generation's leader. Is this what you meant or am I mistaken? I thought him to be the leader of the jews who hold by Lubavitch inyanim. Will you please explain. Again, no distate on my part. Thank you.

  2. Shalom Leah,

    As a die-hard Lubavitcher, who believes the Rebbe is Moshiach, I say what I say - not because my own inventiveness tells me so, but from what I understood from the Rebbe's own words.

    When I make these remarks, I try not to proselytize, only to let you know what I think (what I think the Rebbe wants me to understand).

    The Rebbe, on numerous occasions, spoke about the Prince of the Generation, ie, the Head of the Generation, and we were to assume he spoke of himself, for reasons I won't now go into. He did say his generation was the 7th, the one that will usher in the Era of Redemption, the last generation of exile, etc.

    He did teach us that every generation has its Head on the collective body of the Jew, he did teach us that Moshiach will burst onto the scene in a "Caesarian", off-the-wall fashion, etc., etc.

    I could write a book on the subject so please don't expect to get the whole answer here. But I did see the King, I did read much of what he wrote, and I have plenty to go on to believe what my little mind believes.

    Is he the present Head? I sincerely believe he is. Will I convince my co-religionists outside Chabad? I do not have to. My job, I think, is to assert what I think is true, and to reach out to other Jews, as yet unreligious, and try and help them along in returning into the warm fold of Torah and mitzvot.

    If truth be told, my belief is quite absurd! I believe the Rebbe is alive and well, yet invisible to the fleshy eye. Yes he underwent a burial, as per Nature's requirements, but he is a supernatural being - just as Moses was - literally - "A man of God". Moses did not eat for 120 days, aside from the two sandwiches his wife Tzipora probably made him when he ame down from Sinai the two first times. Did Moses die? Our sages hardly think so, no is Yaakov dead, nor Abraham or Isaac or Rachel, unless you disbelieve the words of our sages. Moshiach too belongs in this category of high souls, only higher! Not as a prophet, for the prophecy of Moses will never be surmounted, but Moses's wisdom WILL be superceded.

    (I'm only afraid that there's more I haven't said and people might tear at me for the dearth I here present you with, but I did want to somehow answer your question).

  3. Torah study without harassment?..Inconceivable but what a dream my friend! Shabbat Shalom~!

  4. Gut Erev Shabbos In the Vanguard,
    I appreciate your timely response. Thank you very much for taking the time to explain. Have a wonderful Shabbos.