Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Extraordinarily Ordinary

The blogoshpere runs rife with speculation about Moshiach; Scholars even dig into the nitty-gritty of his forerunners, such as Moshiach ben Yosef.

It's as if they live on another planet. Moshiach was here, said so, said his name is Menachem, said he is a prophet, interpreted a Midrash to support his cause, said our generation is the generation of Moshiach, said "770" is the house of Moshiach, spoke about his predecessor, who by Nature's rules passed away, as "being alive and nothing changed" implying the same for himself,
... but - no matter what he said or wrote, people keep digging bottomless pits in search of another Moshiach! They'll look everywhere but where it counts.

That the Rebbe can be Moshiach is a farce for them; A fiction that some insane "followers" dreamed up or misinterpreted. They can't be bothered with so simplistic and naive notion. They expect drama to unfold when Moshiach arrives, not this boring, childish Rebbe stuff.

The answer to this age-old puzzle is right in front of their noses, but they choose to shut their eyes and ponder that which must be yonder. God forbid the Rebbe should be Moshiach! How heretical! Just because he was a great man doesn't make him Moshiach! This is idol worship!

"But he said he was a 100 different times!"

"Stop hallucinating. You didn't hear right. You didn't know what he meant!"

Moshiach will come in a way where everybody will recognize at once that he is Moshiach, right? When he makes his dramatic debut into the world, everyone will instantly know he is Moshiach, right?

Wrong! Moshiach will come under the most ordinary circumstances, says the Rambam.

Will he dazzle all Jews with miracles so everyone will see that, wow, this guy must be Moshiach? Will he turn a staff into a serpent, or water into blood, or his skin to lepromatous, to get people's attention?

No! He won't perform even one miracle to prove he's Moshiach because the Rambam says he doesn't need to.

So how in the world will he convince the Satmerers, the Litvaks, the Shassniks, the Bnei Akiva, the Young Israelites, the Bobovers, Gerers, Breslovers, Viszniters, Spinkerers, Kloisenbergers, Stoliners, Skolenners, et al?

Will he land his drone during a football or baseball game in midfield and jump out with a portable microphone in his hand? Will he break into a radio studio during an Israeli broadcast and yell, "I'm here!"? Will he parachute from a plane onto Jerusalem's Kotel wall in a Moshiach suit and deliver a fine speech?

Does the reader really believe Moshiach will turn everyone on to him in the blink of an eye?

Don't you see, dear friends, he's been here, and now disappeared for a while, because he wants to be acknowledged for what he's been talking about for over 40 years! We must withstand a final challenge, as did the Jews before they got the Torah at Mount Sinai, before we get our Redemption.

We're not talking about a normal person here! We're talking about someone who at the age of two and a half years old concerned himself with how the Jewish people will be emancipated by Moshiach (see letter). He knew Isaiah  (12:1) and wondered how the thanks we'll offer God for having made us suffer all these years in exile - will manifest. At two years old he didn't feel the pain of a missing toy; He felt the pain of the collective Jewish people still stuck in exile!

Who among us adults preoccupy ourselves with such thoughts? Did we know what a Jew meant at 2 or 3 years old? Never mind contemplating Isaiah or appreciating the hurt for our collective people.

This man lived and breathed the Rambam, the only codifier of Jewish Messianic law, and acts accordingly.

He came already as Moshiach and said so. He came under the most ordinary circumstances!

What ordinary circumstances did he come in? He told us to look at the gemora where Yeshiva boys in several Yeshivot claimed their Rosh Yeshiva was Moshiach (Sanhedrin 98b). The Rebbe pointed out that these students took their cue for their conclusion from their own Rosh Yeshiva! That is, after the Rosh Yeshiva so indicated, the students followed through to proclaim their discovery (Rashi, ibid). In other words, it was not on their initiative that such identity was first made.

Get it? That's exactly what happened down here on earth, in Brooklyn NY, inside the Chabad community!

"But maybe they won't believe me?", said Moses, when promoted to the role of emancipator.

Well this time, said God, you get no magic tricks to convince them with. Tough it out. They must now withstand their last test. A nicer job couldn't have fallen to a better guy.

So what do pundits who won't read the Rebbe's words, or take the word of his chassidim, do? They'll keep investigating words from everywhere else - that's what.

They'll cook up their messianic cholent and spin a tale, while they go in circles chasing their tails, round and round. But there, right in their midst, right before their eyes, they could find Moshiach anxiously waiting for them to stop spinning - and just look.

Jews are no stooges. Some are awfully bright. They hear the hearsay and say,
"So what he said that; You don't get it, that's all!
"So what we're 7th generation, big deal!
"So what we're 1st generation Redemption; Does this look like Redemption?
"So what he said the gematria of 770 equals House of Moshiach; Lucky finding!
"So what he encouraged singing "Yechi" for years; He was stroke-ridden!
"So what his prophesies never failed; The Messianic one sure did; What good would it do reading his stuff today?
"So what he said burial of Moshiach was irrelevant.
"So what he wanted us to accept him as King. There will be another candidate - that's all!"

Personally, I don't mind antagonism to the fact the Rebbe is Moshiach. But, that those Jews reject reading the works of the Rebbe - that is what I take issue with. If they claim to be anticipating Moshiach, and rumor has it a great man claims he's Moshiach, it behooves that Jew to look into that man's words for himself. Then, and only then, can this Jew be taken seriously. If he does not scrutinize the Rebbe's own words, this clearly shows his disdain for Moshiach, let alone his anticipation for him!

These pseudo-Messianic pundits should pardon me, but they are like ostriches digging their heads deep into the sands of Talmud and Midrash, only to see nothing, and to expose their rear ends. They can claim from here to Kingdom-Come they yearn for Moshiach but how convinced are you if they never open a sefer written by someone great who says he's Moshiach; No matter who reported this fact to them, should they not at least "check it out"?!

Interestingly, the Rebbe spoke of how the gemora alludes to Moshiach - calling him "Caesar" (Sanhedrin 98b). The Rebbe explains that this means Moshiach's arrival will be a "Caesarian birth", in an unexpected, "off the wall" manner (Caeserian in Hebrew means "יוצא דופן"). After all, he comes from his ancestor Peretz, which means "bursts through".

Well, how can you have Moshiach come in an ordinary way and, at the same time, in an extraordinary way?

Simple. He came - ordinarily. He'll reveal himself again - extraordinarily.

And, by the way, the next time the Rebbe shows up in 770 in an "ordinary way", the world will appreciate just how extraordinary that really is.

And it could happen in the time it took to yank Yosef out of a miserable dungeon and turn him into the surrogate king of the world's superpower.
The end of a 1956 letter to Yitzchak ben Tzvi (Prime Minister of Israel);
The Rebbe apologizes for not calling him "נשיא".  Igrot Kodesh 12:412


  1. Read it and loved it.
    Keep it up!!
    We will overcome someday!!

    Sending this out in an email.