Chapter 30

All the signs mentioned by our sages concerning the generation of "the heels of Moshiach" indicate that our generation is the last generation of exile and consequently the first generation of Redemption. This realization has been greatly increased through the enhancement of efforts to disseminate the Torah, Judaism and the wellsprings of Torah to the most remote reaches of the world, extending even to this "lower hemisphere," i.e. the Western Hemisphere, (as a result of the liberation of the 12th and 13th of Tammuz) over the course of the last 50 years

Consider this: If at the beginning of this epoch, my sainted father-in-law, the leader of our generation, issued a proclamation that "Teshuvah now, Redemption now!" and testified that we have already completed all of our Divine service, and all that remains for us to do is to "polish the buttons" and "All of you, stand ready to greet our righteous Moshiach." How much more so, at the end of this epoch, there is absolutely no shred of doubt that the time of Redemption has arrived. To borrow a Talmudic expression: "All of the deadlines have passed."[1] Even Teshuvah (which the Talmud there states is a prerequisite for Redemption ("Redemption depends solely on Teshuvah")) has already been fully realized.

'Within our generation itself, there is an added innovation this year:

Besides that we find ourselves in literal proximity to the true and complete Redemption, in this year of "It shall be a year of miracles I shall show him," when the prediction of "As in the days you have departed from Egypt, I shall show him wonders,"[2] will be realized. And we have, in fact, witnessed "wonders" that testify that this is "the year that the King Moshiach shall be revealed," and the "time when the King Moshiach will come... and announce to Israel, 'Humble ones, the time for your Redemption has arrived.'"[3] Further, these wonders and the announcement that "Behold, he (the King Moshiach) is coming,"[4] allowing for the translation that "he has already come," mean that we already stand on the threshold of the beginning of the Messianic Era as well as on the threshold of the beginning of the Redemption, the continuation and culmination of which shall occur imminently.

Since we are standing on the threshold of Redemption which will arrive imminently, it follows that the study of the Laws of building the Temple this year must be of an entirely different order. First and foremost, this study must be permeated with the certain awareness and full recognition that this study is not merely an "academic exercise," but it is relevant for practical use for the very next moment. For indeed, the "Future Sanctuary that we are anticipating has already been built and is fully developed (above and will thus imminently) be revealed and arrive from Heaven"[5] instantaneously!

The attitude towards the study of these laws should be analogous to what was discussed in the recent past,[6] that the special increase in the study of the teachings of Torah concerning Redemption and Moshiach should not simply serve as a catalyst to hasten the coming of Moshiach and the Redemption. Rather this study should enable us to live with and thrive on matters of Moshiach and Redemption. We should "live with the time" of the Messianic Era. This can be attained when one's intellect is filled with the comprehension of the Torah concepts of Moshiach and Redemption. This intellectual awareness then extends to and permeates one's emotions, and then translates into thought, speech and action consistent with this very auspicious period of time when we stand on the threshold of Redemption and we are able to point with our finger "Behold he (he King Moshiach) has come."

One might suggest an additional rationale for the need and the virtue of studying the Torah's teachings concerning Moshiach, Redemption and the building of the third Temple; as an entrance into the Messianic Era:

Although our Sages[7] have declared that Moshiach will come "when we are distracted from his coming," this does not contradict, G-d forbid, the need for thought and reflection of the most powerful order[8] on matters of Moshiach and Redemption. This means primarily thought and reflection that we are now standing at the very entrance of the Messianic Era, that "Behold he is coming," since all the deadlines have since passed, teshuvah has been done and all of the different aspects of our Divine service have been completed in accordance with the details mentioned above. The resolution of this apparent contradiction is that the term for distraction, "Hesech HaDa'as" (literally "removing one's knowledge") actually means "transcending one's knowledge."[9] This implies that after one has allowed this matter of Moshiach to permeate one's intellect (by applying one's thought and constant reflection, etc.) one then reaches the level where this then transcends one's knowledge.

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. For Torah - which is G-d's wisdom, and thus transcends the natural order of the universe - has the capacity to alter the nature of man.[10] Even when one's emotions are still outside the parameters of Redemption - G-d forbid - (because he has not yet emerged from his internal exile), he can nevertheless learn the Torah's teachings concerning Redemption, and thereby be one elevated to the state of Redemption. One then begins to thrive on matters of Redemption, borne of the knowledge, awareness and feeling that "Behold he is coming."

(From the talk of Shabbos Parshas Balak, 17
(numerically equivalent to "tov-good") Tammuz, 5751)


1. Sanhedrin 97b.

2. Michah 7:15.

3. Yalkut Shimoni, Yeshayahu 499.

4. Shir HaShirim 2:8 and Shir HaShirim Rabbah on this verse.

5. Rashi and Tosphos commentaries to Sukkah, 41, end side a and in other sources.

6. Above, p. 49 and in other places.

7. Sanhedrin 97a.

8. Da'as, the type of knowledge where "one binds his mind with an extremely powerful and strong bond; firmly attaching one's thought." - Tanya, end of ch. 3.

9. Tanya, Igeres HaKodesh (105b).

10. See the comments of our sages on the verse "Lo'keil gomer oh'lye" (Talmud Yerushlami, Kesubos, 1:2. See there for cross references. Cited in Halacha by the Shach (and Shulchan Aruch of the Alter Rebbe), Yoreh Deah, sec. 189:13(23)).

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