‘Living with Moshiach’: What Does That Even Mean?

The mission and imperative of our times is well known “to live with the days of Moshiach!” But what does that even mean? We’re currently in a terrible and frightening golus! Isn’t it a paradox to “live with Moshiach” while still in golus? Article by Rabbi Nochum Shtroks.

By Rabbi Nochum Shtroks

The mission and imperative of our times is well known: “to live with the days of Moshiach!”

But what does that even mean? We’re currently in golus, a terrible and frightening one! What does it mean to “live with the days of Moshiach” while we’re still in golus!

Chabad demands pnimiyus, internalization, rationally considering each aspect of avoda with the measuring rod of truth. Simply exciting ourselves emotionally isn’t our way. So, what does it mean to “live with the days of Moshiach” when it doesn’t seem to correspond to reality? 

The Rambam provides a clear definition of the days of Moshiach. Namely, that all the signs of geulah must be fulfilled, including the building of the Beis Hamikdash and kibutz galuyos, the ingathering of the exiles. As far as we know, these signs have unfortunately not yet occurred. How then can we “live with the days of Moshiach”?

The answer is that, indeed, if we speak of living with the days of Moshiach that will occur in the future, it is impossible. The future geulah will only come from above. By our own efforts, it is impossible to accomplish any stage of the geulah, even the beginning of the redemption (aschalta d’geulah). 

What it means to live with Moshiach today is to live with the element of Moshiach that already exists in the world. In fact, it was available to us since Matan Torah.

We know that, “Hashem looked into the Torah and thereby created the world.” The entire world, with the entire future of existence until the end of days, is included within the Torah. Therefore, as the Rambam writes in Hilchos Teshuva, the redemption will only come as a result of our fulfilling mitzvos. This is because the entire world, with all its future events, is included within the Torah.  Through properly fulfilling the commandments now, we can already live with the days of Moshiach.

But then, you ask, why is this avoda specific to our times? This is something that existed in all previous generations!

The answer is: From the perspective of Torah, there is indeed no distinction between our generation and previous ones. However, the distinction lies within us. 

Previously, the connection to this geulah which exists within Torah, was unique to outstanding tzadikim – Rashbi, the Arizal, the Baal Shem Tov, and so on.

The novelty today is that every single Jew, regardless of their situation, can find their own way of connecting to this geulah which is in Torah – and to bring it into action through fulfilling mitzvos, and thereby to bring the actual geulah.

We are Chassidim. We know that, “When will Moshiach come? When the wellsprings spread outward.” Let us examine this idea according to the teachings of Chassidus. 

The Chabad approach revealed Elokus within a person’s intellect: Chochma, Bina, Daas. When a Chabad Chassid would daven properly according to the Chabad approach of avodas Hashem, he would sense the sweet taste of Elokus during davening. Afterwards, when he encountered situations of the outside world, despite all the disturbances preventing him from fulfilling mitzvos, even at the most difficult times, he would nonetheless see how all matters of the world function by means of a G-dly power.

However, today, one need not be on the level of that Chabad Chossid to recognize the G-dly influence on the reality of existence. Any person, by simply paying attention and discerning what is transpiring before him in today’s world – even in his personal life – can see the effect of Torah and mitzvos in today’s reality.

In our times, by properly following Torah and applying natural efforts, we can influence even a non-Jew to assist in fulfilling mitzvos. We can even influence non-Jews in regard to their seven commandments. Therefore, it is not the state of the world that prevents us from revealing the geulah. On the contrary, it is our lack of recognition that the world doesn’t stand in our way that prevents the revelation of the geulah.

At present, there is no obstruction preventing a Jew from drawing down bracha into his life through fulfilling Torah properly. Likewise, there is no obstruction preventing him from influencing others around him to fulfill mitzvos, even non-Jews.

What is lacking is only the recognition that this “geulah” already exists within the Torah – from time immemorial, and to bring this geulah – through properly fulfilling whatever mitzvos possible in our times – into each of our personal lives. Similarly, to influence others around us, to the point that we will thereby reveal – all of us together – the actual manifestation of the complete geulah.

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