Era of Moshiach


Short Teachings



Preparing for the Teacher and the King


"Birthday of Moshiach!"


No more Lamentations


Better Days?


The Redemption of Wine


Future Refuge


Let's Get Ready


Moon Man


Jewish Star

Preparing for the Teacher and the King

Every Man Woman, and Child has an individual responsibility to work to bring about Mashiach‘s coming. No one can shoulder this burden for another; each individual‘s own efforts and energy are needed. “Action, not words, is what matters.”1 We must prepare for the coming of Mashiach by increasing our study of Torah and enhancing our performance of its commandments.

Why are these the activities which will hasten Mashiach‘s coming? Because the manner in which G-d rewards the Jewish people follows the principle of “measure for measure.”2 Thus our efforts to bring about a particular revelation must reflect the nature of that revelation itself. Mashiach will be both a king3 and a teacher4. Our activities, therefore, should anticipate each of these two functions.

The King

In contrast to a relationship between a teacher and student, between two friends, or other types of associations, a king relates to his subjects by issuing commands. Ideally, a king should be utterly superior to his subjects. (Thus chassidic thought explains5 that King Saul‘s great height - “He stood among the people, and he was taller than the entire nation from his shoulders up”6 - reflected also spiritual qualities that far surpassed those of the people at large.) Because of this gap, a king cannot communicate his thoughts and his feelings to his people. How does he relate to them? - By issuing commands and thus specifying activities for them to perform on his behalf.

To prepare ourselves for the development of such a relationship with Mashiach, the ultimate king, we must enhance our observance of the mitzvos, the commandments we have been given by G-d. Of particular importance is the mitzvah of tzedakah, because “tzedakah brings the Redemption near.”7

The Teacher

Although obeying a king‘s commands establishes a relationship between himself and his subjects, this bond is incomplete, for the inner dimensions of his personality remain beyond the reach of his subjects‘ appreciation. To communicate these inner dimensions of his being, Mashiach will simultaneously serve as a teacher and, in this manner, establish such an inner bond.

Our Sages state that “Whoever teaches another person Torah is considered as if he had brought him into the world.”8 When a father brings a child into the world, he invests within him the very essence of his being. Similarly, a teacher has the capacity to share his essence with his students. When he invests himself in the subject matter he is conveying, and a student concentrates on grasping it, the nature of that student‘s being is transformed. As he studies, the inner bond established with his teacher shapes his thinking processes, causing them to resemble those of his teacher.

Similarly, by teaching the entire Jewish people, Mashiach will establish such an inner bond with them all. This will uncover the essential spark of Mashiach that every Jew possesses within his soul.9

Mystical Dimensions

To relate to this aspect of Mashiach and hasten its revelation, we must increase our Torah study, in particular its mystical dimensions, and especially as revealed in the teachings of Chassidus. The Baal Shem Tov related that he once had a vision of Mashiach and asked him, “When are you coming?” Mashiach replied, “When the wellsprings of your teachings shall spread outward.”10 Spreading these teachings, both within our selves and to others, brings the coming of Mashiach closer.

More specifically, our study should center on the subject of Mashiach himself and on the future Redemption, especially as these topics are developed in the published teachings of the Rebbes of Chabad [many of which are now available in English], in addition to the classic sources.

This study should be communal in nature, preferably in groups of at least ten, for “over every group of ten, the Divine Presence rests.”11 Furthermore, communal study generates an element of happiness. Even a person who prefers and needs individual study should complement his private hours by participating in these communal sessions.

These two activities, increased Torah study and enhanced mitzvah performance, will speed the moment when will be able to joyfully greet Mashiach, our king and teacher.


1. Cf. Pirkei Avot 1:17.
2. Sanhedrin 90a.
3. Rambam, Laws of Kings 11:1.
4. Rambam, Laws of Teshuvah 9:2.
5. Or HaTorah, Shir HaShirim, p. 414ff.
6. I Shmuel 10;23.
7. Bava Batra 10a; see also Tanya, ch. 37.
8. Sanhedrin 19b.
9. Devarim Rabbah 1:20 and the Jerusalem Talmud, Taanit 4:4, interpret the verse “And a star shall shoot forth from Yaakov” (Bamidbar 24:17) as a reference to Mashiach, while the Jerusalem Talmud, Maaser Sheni 4:6, interprets the verse as a reference to any ordinary Jew. The two interpretations can be combined, for every Jew possesses a spark of Mashiach within his soul (Meor Einayim, Parshas Pinchas).
10. [For the full text in English and some explanation, request a copy of Ascent Quarterly # 16.] For deeper analysis, see Likkutei Dibburim (English translation), vol. 2 ch. 16-18. See also, On the Essence of Chassidut, pp. 15-16.
11. Sanhedrin 39a.

Adapted from an excerpt of a talk by the Lubavitcher Rebbe in Sound of the Shofar, pp 39-42.

For a lengthier more complex treatment of this topic, taken from the original chasidic discourse upon which the above article is based, see "The Teacher and the King."

The Birthday of Moshiach

Our Sages teach1 that Mashiach was born on Tisha b’Av. This is not merely a description of past history. On the contrary, the intent is that every year, Tisha b’Av generates a new impetus for the coming of the Redemption.

A birthday is a time when the specific constellation which was in force during a person’s birth is once again ascendent, giving him power and strength. Thus, the birthday of Mashiach is a time when he, and the Redemption with which he is associated, are granted new power. This power, in turn, hastens the advent of the day when the Redemption will become actually manifest.

1. Jerusalem Talmud, Berachos 2:4; Eichah Rabbah 1:51.

From Sound the Great Shofar, p.74 

No more Lamentations

On the eve of Tisha B'Av each year Reb Avraham of Chechanov would have to buy a new copy of Kinos--Lamentations. For every year, as soon as the mournful service was over, he would stow away his copy in the place where old and battered sacred books were lodged until they were buried. And each time he did this he would say: "I am sure that Moshiach will come this year, and then we won't have any further need for books of Lamentations."

(A Treasury of Chasidic Tales)

Better Days?

Many people await the coming of Moshiach and the “better days” it will bring. In truth, however, these are the best days there are. What Moshiach will do is reveal the hidden goodness of our present-day existence.

Rabbi Sholom DovBer of Lubavitch [Sefer HaSichot 5704, p.93]

The Redemption of Wine

"When a man or woman utters a nazir vow...

The laws of a nazirite teach us a most significant principle about our belief in the coming of Moshiach: Torah law decrees that if one declares on a weekday, "I undertake to become a nazirite on the day that Moshiach will come," he is bound by it from that very moment. (If, however, he made his vow on a Shabbat or festival, it becomes operative on the next day, as it is uncertain whether Moshiach will or will not arrive on a Shabbat or Jewish Holiday.) This clearly shows that Moshiach can arrive at any moment, as we say in our daily prayers, "Every day we hope for Your salvation."
(Peninei HaGeula)

…he shall abstain from new and old wine... grape beverages, grapes and raisins." (Numbers 6:2-3)

In the Messianic age, the fears of the harm that wine can induce1 will have faded together with sin, and "on that day, the mountains shall drip with sweet wine."2 Wine, and the unrestricted joy it symbolizes, will abound. Nevertheless, the concept of the nazirite will be relevant then, too.

Beyond abstinence and asceticism, becoming a nazirite also connotes a higher caliber of holiness, a transcendence of worldliness, as the Torah proclaims,3 "he is holy unto God." This transcendence also characterizes the Messianic age, in which "the sole ambition of all mankind will be to perceive God…and the earth shall be full of the perception of God as the waters cover the ocean bed." 4 In this sense, we will then all be Nazirites.

Because of this association between the nazirite and the Messianic age-the latter achieving the purest and most consummate state of the former-the halachic source for the possibility that the Messiah will indeed come on any given day is found in the laws of the nazirite: one who says, "I proclaim myself a nazirite on the day that the Messiah will come"…is forbidden [to drink wine, cut his hair, etc.] forever after. 5 This law demonstrates that the Messiah realistically can-and perhaps will-arrive any day.

[Translated-adapted by Betzalel Lipshitz from Sefer HaSichot 5751, pp. 588-89; Sefer HaLikutim, entry L'atid Lavo for The Lubavitcher Rebbe's Chumash.]

1 Cf. Sotah 2b; Vayikra Rabbah 14, end.
2 Joel 4:18.
3 Numbers 6:8.
4 Mishneh Torah, Melachim 12:5.
5 Eruvin 43b.

Future Refuge

The Torah designates six cities of refuge to which a person who has inadvertently killed someone can flee and atone for his deed. Three were established in the Land. When Moshiach comes and the borders of Israel are expanded to include the territory of the Kini, Kenizi and Kadmoni, three more cities of refuge will be established.

But why will additional cities be necessary in the Messianic Era? If peace will reign supreme, and violence between men will disappear from the face of the earth, what purpose will these cities of refuge serve?

Although no new acts of violence will occur, the cities of refuge will allow those Jews who accidentally killed someone throughout the centuries of exile to seek atonement and be worthy of the Messianic Era.

(Lubavitcher Rebbe)

Let's Get Ready

Once the students of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi asked him, "Rebbe, we pray, we ask, we beg G-d to bring the Moshiach--why hasn't he arrived yet?"

The Rebbe looked up from his holy books and shook his head. "Perhaps the Moshiach which you are waiting for is not the one which G-d wants to bring."

(From Let's Get Ready- quoted in L'Chaim #225 / Pinchas 5752)

Moon Man

"When she gave birth there were twins...and he called his name Peretz, and afterwards his brother...and he called his name Zerach." (Gen. 38:27-30)

Peretz is the direct ancestor of King David and Moshiach. The Midrash notes that "Before the first enslaver of Israel (Pharaoh) was born, the ultimate redeemer of Israel (Moshiach -- Peretz) was already born." G-d thus brought about the remedy and cure before the affliction - before the Egyptian exile and all the exiles that would follow thereafter - including our own.

This "light of Moshiach" that was created with the birth of Peretz confers upon Israel the strength and ability to succeed in their exiles to "break through" (the meaning of the name "Peretz") all the obstacles that try to impede their service of G-d until Moshiach is revealed.

Our Sages compare Zerach to the sun and Peretz to the moon. The sun continuously shines in an unchanging manner; thus it symbolizes the stable manner in which tzadikim (the righteous) serve G-d. The moon's appearance keeps changing; it continually waxes and wanes.

The moon thus symbolizes ba'alei teshuva (penitents), who "slipped" and strayed and then returned and regained their spiritual stature. The royal house of David, the very source of Moshiach, is precisely from Peretz (the moon), because Moshiach will bring even tzadikim to do teshuva, to return to their Divine source.

(Likutei Sichot)

Jewish Star

Although one passage in the Jerusalem Talmud states that this verse refers to Moshiach, another interprets it as referring to every Jew. This seeming contradiction is resolved by the Baal Shem Tov, who said that every Jew contains within him a spark of the soul of Moshiach. Furthermore, this spark is more than just a latent aspect; every Jew is able to bring that spark out into the open, bringing about the actual manifestation of Moshiach by means of Torah and mitzvot, which effect a purification and refinement of the physical world. This will be achieved in macrocosm with the coming of Moshiach, who will reveal the world's goodness and holiness.

(Peninei HaGeula)


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