The Announcement of the Redemption

Translation of the Publisher's Foreword
(To the original edition Hebrew and Yiddish)

By popular demand and with the approval of the Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach Shlita, we are publishing "The Announcement of Redemption." This work is a collection of selected excerpts from the talks of the Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach Shlita (during the years 5750-5752) concerning the proclamation and announcement "The time of of your Redemption has arrived" (Yalkut Shimoni Yeshayahu, remez 499) and the proclamation that "Behold he (Melech HaMoshiach) comes."

The purpose of this book is to present to the reader the words of the Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach Shlita, concerning the unique time in which we live, with all the expressions and amazing declarations that we are actually standing on the threshold of Redemption, as well as the practical instructions required of us to hasten in reality the immediate Redemption.

It is appropriate to quote the words of the Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach Shlita at the public gathering of Shabbos Parshas Balak, 5751:

"...This means primarily thought and reflection that we are now standing at the very entrance of the Messianic Era, that "Behold he is coming,"... Translating the above into practical terms: Despite the "uproar"associated with this matter in recent times within this year, the year of "I shall show him wonders," and after witnessing the wonders which testify that this is "The year that the King Moshiach will be revealed," we see how difficult it is to inculcate the awareness and the feeling that we are literally standing on the threshold of the Messianic Era, to the point that one begins to "thrive" on matters of Moshiach and Redemption... The solution to this dilemma is Torah study concerning Moshiach and Redemption."

* * *

We have collected in this work only selections from edited talks (published in Sifrei HaSichos 5750-52), from the time when the Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach Shlita first proclaimed (on Shabbos Parshas Re'eh, 5750), "The time of your Redemption has arrived."

We have arranged them chronologically. We have also included footnotes and sources. (Notes whose content is particularly relevant to "The Announcement of the Redemption" appear in a larger typeface.)

It cannot be overemphasized that the subjects in this book are treated at greater length in the talks themselves. Although, we have only quoted from talks edited by the Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach Shlita himself, this book does not include every "aspect of Redemption and Moshiach" in the (edited) talks of the Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach from this period. Indeed, the talks are replete with the subject, so much so that one may apply to the talks (sichos) of this period the description (to paraphrase the RaMBaM Laws of Kings, chapter 11) that "all of them are filled with this subject." Rather we have included exclusively those sections and expressions concerning our times. Similarly, we have selected from the practical directives only those with a specific connection to our current period. (Thus, we did not include instructions relevant to a particular time of the year, for example, learning Pirkei Avos during the summer, etc.)

We should mention, therefore, that many of these selections contain words and subjects that are a continuation of a lengthier discussion. In order to understand them properly, the reader needs to study the text of the entire talk.

* * *

We will conclude with the words of the Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach, at the public gathering of Shabbos Parshas Chayei Sarah, 5751. (This was recorded at the time by one of the participants, released in unedited form. See below sections 5 and 70.)

"Currently, there is a "flood" and an undesirable turmoil in the world - as evidenced by the fact that the "kingdoms incite each other," "and they themselves don't know what they want" . . . searching for advice and advisors etc. how to conduct themselves in the current situation."

In regard to the Jewish people, however, the situation is such that the "flood" in the world is not a cause for turmoil and confusion. Most emphatically, the opposite is the case: This "flood" presents a very positive and desirable situation for the Jewish people, because, "all that I have done I have done only for your sake. For what reason are you afraid? Do not fear. The time of your Redemption has arrived." Also, "Melech HaMoshiach stands (already) on the roof of the Beis HaMikdash [Holy Temple] and announces to the Jewish people, Humble ones, the time of your Redemption has arrived." As is well-known, a roof does not become sanctified. Therefore, this [Moshiach's standing on the roof] is analogous to being in a land outside of Israel, which is also not sanctified (at least, not like the land of Israel).

And therefore the announcement comes (as proclaimed also in earlier gatherings) that "the time of your redemption has arrived, imminently, immediately and at once, actually in absolute reality..."

We pray that the Holy One, Blessed be He, will have mercy on his people Israel and will send a complete and speedy recovery to the Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach Shlita, in all his holy limbs and veins; G-d should grant him length of days, good and pleasant years and eternal life; he should see great pleasure from his shluchim [emissaries], his students, his chassidim and all of Klal Yisroel; he should lead all of us with health, abundance and pleasure.

And as he has proclaimed to us, that "the time of your Redemption has arrived," so may he announce to us swiftly in our days, that the Redemption is actually here; may he lead us, standing erect, to our land, where we will learn Torah from the mouth of our righteous Moshiach, who will teach Torah to the entire people together; may we behold the king in his splendor with our eyes as his kingship is revealed to all, immediately and at once, for Sovereignty belongs to G-d. Amen, thus may it be His will.

Vaad L'hafotzas Sichos

Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av 5753,
Brooklyn, NY

Foreword to the English Edition

The Book BESURAS HAGEULAH - The Announcement of the Redemption is a collection of excerpts of the talks of the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach. These excerpts, which contain the Rebbe's pronouncements that "The time for your Redemption has arrived" and that "Behold Moshiach is coming," represent some of the most riveting statements made over the last few years (5750-5752), and have been edited by the Rebbe personally, with the special request that they be publicized throughout the world.

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It is well known that Moshiach assured the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Chassidism, that the Redemption would come when the Baal Shem Tov's wellsprings were disseminated outwards - to the farthest corners of the earth. It has been the task of the Baal Shem Tov's students, successors and disciples to undertake the task of spreading the wellsprings. The Lubavitcher Rebbeim have always been at the forefront of this effort, starting with the Alter Rebbe and continuing through each generation to our own. Indeed, in our own times we have seen an unprecedented outpouring of Chassidic teaching, which is literally transmitted to the ends of the earth.

Surely, part of the process of the "spreading the wellsprings" includes making the teachings available to all Jews, in whatever language they understand. While facility in Hebrew and Yiddish enables one to understand not only the content, but the original style of a sicha or maamar, nevertheless the very act of translating helps fulfill the directive to "spread the wellsprings."

Since the publication of "Besuras HaGeulo" - The Announcement of the Redemption - there has been a tremendous demand for a translation into English. We are pleased to present this translation to the English-speaking public. The importance of these selections will be obvious immediately.

The mere existence of such a book - a translation of Chassidic thought into the vernacular of the day, is evidence that indeed the wellsprings have spread forth. And since the topic of this book concerns the very Redemption itself - the coming of Moshiach promised to the Baal Shem Tov - it seems appropriate to ask - that we should see, literally, the fulfillment of the Rebbe's prophecy, of "L'alter L'geulo" - The Immediate Redemption!" immediately, and "behold, here comes Moshiach."

It should be noted that, as in all translations, there is the possibility of inadvertent errors. These are of course solely the responsibility of the translators and editors, Rabbi Yisroel Heschel Greenberg and Dovid Yisroel Ber Kaufmann, Ph.D.

* * *

It is our fervent wish that we will imminently merit the immediate and complete Redemption, at which time we will hear the Torah Chadashah, the new dimensions of Torah from the mouth of Moshiach. Amen.

Va'ad L'hafotzas Sichos

18th of Elul, 5758
300 Years from Ba'al Shem Tov's Birth
Brooklyn, NY

Translators' Introduction

As long as there has been a Jewish people. the hope for the coming of Moshiach and the Age of Redemption has been first and foremost in the minds and hearts of all the Jewish people.

With the passage of time, this hope has not waned, nor have repeated persecutions beaten it out of the Jewish mind and heart. On the contrary, the extreme length of this present dark Exile has only served to intensify the longing and anticipation for the coming of the King and Redeemer, Moshiach.

During the last century in particular, our Sages from diverse schools and varied backgrounds have all declared that we are now going through the very last stages of Golus - Exile. They have identified this period as that which the Sages of the Talmud referred to as Ikvasa d'Meshicha, or the "Heels of Moshiach," stating that the onset of the Redemption cannot be far off.

The most powerful of all these pronouncements was made some fifty years ago by the Previous Rebbe of Lubavitch, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson, who announced, "'L'Alter l'Teshuvah, L'Alter l'Geulah! - Teshuvah Now, Redemption Now!"

The Previous Rebbe further stated that the cumulative good accomplished by the Jewish people throughout thousands of years had brought the world to the verge of Redemption. Everything was ready. Everything was prepared. He compared the situation to that of a soldier in uniform preparing for review. The only thing left to be done was to polish the buttons. Only a bare minimum of effort remained to prepare the world for the announcement, "The time for your Redemption has arrived."

Near the end of the year 5750 (1990) the Rebbe actually made the announcement, prophetically declaring that "The time for your Redemption has arrived." In that year designated as "The Year of Miracles," the Rebbe made it unmistakably clear that the announcement was a prophecy, and asked that this prophecy be disseminated through the entire world.

The Rebbe later expanded on this statement on numerous occasions, explaining that "the process of polishing the buttons had also been completed." That is, the process of refining the world, referred to in Kabbalah and Chassidus as "Birur HaNitzotzos," refinement of the sparks, had been completed, and the world was now ready for Redemption.

Now that, after centuries of longing, the Jewish people finally heard the words, the question arose, what were we supposed to do? Were we to simply await the unfolding of events or take an active role in the process of Redemption?

On the eve of the 28th of Nissan, 5751, the Rebbe removed all doubt about the role we would have to play. In perhaps the most startling words he ever uttered, the Rebbe said that he had done all that he could do to bring Moshiach. Now he was handing the responsibility over to us to make it a reality.

Shortly afterwards, the Rebbe explained what he wanted us to do: Our primary task was to learn and teach about Moshiach, to live with the idea of Moshiach, and as a result to make essential changes in our way of looking at life. We should further publicize the prophecy that Redemption was imminent, so that everyone would actively prepare to greet Moshiach.

"Do everything you can do to bring Moshiach here and now," the Rebbe said. The result was an unprecedented amount of literature about the subject of Moshiach and Geulah (Redemption). But to fully appreciate the significance of the time in which we live and the seriousness with which this new reality must be confronted, we must familiarize ourselves with all that the Rebbe has said and written on the subject of Moshiach and Redemption, especially during the last few years.

The sheer volume of these teachings, not to mention the close-knit nature of the Rebbe's thought, makes this a difficult task. Therefore it was felt necessary to publish a selection of some of his most important and innovative statements made during the years 5750-5752. These declarations the Rebbe edited personally, with the special request that they be publicized throughout the world.

This project, undertaken with the Rebbe's consent and blessing, resulted in the publication of the book, Besuras HaGeulah - The Announcement of Redemption.

It was originally published with the Hebrew and Yiddish untranslated. Subsequently the Yiddish was translated into Hebrew and a new edition published with the Hebrew translations. A partial English translation has also been published in a series of pamphlets.

Indeed, since the year 5752, many of the talks and public discourses of the Rebbe have been translated into English (and other languages). Undoubtedly, the rate of translation has increased exponentially over the last decade. These translations range from complete transcriptions to anthologies on particular topics. There are even many works that are not direct translations, but are rather presentations of the Rebbe's ideas in other formats. These include language appropriate for children as well as short essay for those unitiated in Chassidic or Talmudic thought.

The translation of this book, Besuras HaGeulah - The Announcement of Redemption - differs from its predecessors in two ways. (Needless to say, any errors are the responsibility of the translators and editors, Yisroel Heschel Greenberg and Dovid Yisroel Ber Kaufmann.) First, since it consists wholly of short excerpts on a single topic, it presents a unique challenge, without the advantage a collection of maxims or aphorisms would have. While each entry stands on its own, nevertheless the context in which it occurred is missing. Often an entry will be related not only to a series of observations, or be part of a lengthier argument, but it will also relate, directly or indirectly, to events occurring in the world at the time. We have decided not to include such references, even as footnotes, except when absolutely necessary and only when the entry would be incomprehensible otherwise. We felt it best in this case to remain as faithful to the original publication as possible. Given the nature of the Rebbe's remarks, the wisest course seemed to present them unadorned, either in method of translation or commentary.

In this we have departed somewhat from the accepted procedure of translators (as mentioned by Maimonides), namely, to translate idiomatically. While every effort has been made to render a clear translation, free of awkward phrasing, the nature of speech in general, and the Rebbe's speech in particular, raised a number of difficulties. Add to that the extraordinary nature of what is said here, and it seemed best to translate as literally as possible, while still insuring the entries made sense to an English-speaking audience.

Second, these excerpts come from a short period of time, the years 5750-5752. While not an issue for the translator, per se, it does require a sensitivity to the wondrous and cataclysmic events of that period. Since the translation of Besuras HaGeulah was begun, the world experienced Gimmel Tammuz, when we could no longer see the Rebbe with our physical eyes. Although we still feel his presence, in some ways even more, nevertheless, we all want to see the Rebbe before our physical eyes, which will occur with the coming of Redemption. To achieve this, the Rebbe told us on 28 Nissan what must be done: we must strengthen our attachment to him, by learning his Torah (teachings) and following his directives. Of all the Rebbe's diverse instructions to us, his call to inform the world of the imminence of Redemption occupied the most important place in his talks of the years 5750-5752. Certainly we should continue to fulfill that directive and disseminate the Rebbe's message.

It is our hope that the reader will gain a renewed appreciation for the extraordinary - the prophetic - insight of the Rebbe, that this appreciation will lead to a greater awareness of and effort towards fulfilling the prophecy of the Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach, that the final Redemption is imminent. Amen.
Yisroel Heschel Greenberg Yisroel Ber Kaufman, Ph.D.

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