by Akiva at Mystical Paths
I'm going to open a can of worms, crack the proverbial pandora's box. For those with strong opinions on the topic I'm about to write, please pause, take a deep breath, and try to focus on my final point rather than going into defensive mode on your position. Thank you.
Prior to the final mitzvah campaign of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, mitzvas Moshiach, educating the Jewish, and even non-Jewish, world about Moshiach and the Geulah, Moshiach wasn't an active topic in the Jewish world. Yes, the references were there in davening, and in the Haftorah's, but there weren't shiurim about it, there weren't books about it, it just wasn't in the forefront.
The tzaddikim will tell you the Rebbe came within a hair's breath of bringing the Geulah. The power of those days was astounding, and Geulah on the path of chesed was within reach. The words of the Rebbe were literally nevua (prophecy), which were literally fulfilled.
But it didn't quite happen. We stepped, nay ran, to the edge of the doorway, but didn't quite make it through. And the longer we wait, the closer the darkness creeps up.
For the Rebbe himself told us, he did all he could do, now the task passed to us. And we've been standing still ever since.
But we're taught, there is no standing still regarding holiness. Either you're heading upward, or (by standing still) slipping downward (G-d forbid). Why? Because the Yeter Hara doesn't sit idle, even if we do, or rather especially if we do. It works to diffuse the holiness, to drain it away, to twist it around.
Moshiach. What does that word evoke? It used to evoke a time of redemption, of peace, of when G-dliness would fill the world as water fills the oceans. But what does it evoke NOW???
Within the orthodox Jewish world, it evokes a branch of Lubavitch chassidim that may have stepped outside the bounds of halacha (Jewish law), and definitely outside the traditional bounds of hashkafa (belief model), regarding the Rebbe and his status as Moshiach.
Now the point of this article is not to argue whether that position is correct or not, permitted or not, prophetic or not. It's to point out the success of the Yetzer. We literally can't discuss Moshiach much anymore within the orthodox world, because the first thing that comes to mind whenever it's discussed is The Argument about Chabad.
Yetzer - 1, Orthodox World - 0
Oy va voy lanu. In response to Rabbi Nati's recent effort, I wrote this introduction to his Geulah Petition. When he started used it, everyone in the frum world turned away because it was "too Lubavitch", aka the untouchables. He was forced to drop it. Here it is:
As the Geulah was, so the Geulah will be. We learn from our holy Torah that Moshe came to the Elders, and the Elders agreed he was the redeemer and informed the people that the time of the geulah had come.
Our holy seforim also teach that during the final geulah, the people will come to the Elders, and tell them that it is time for the Elders to declare the time of the Geulah.
Throughout the generations of this terrible golus, many a time has arisen where an Elder has attempted to declare time of the Geulah. Yet, to our great regret, all of these attempts have been unsuccessful. Most recently, the Lubavitcher Rebbe attempted to declare the time of the Geulah. Yet, in the end he was forced to declare "if only 10 men truly desired the geulah" and "I have done all I can do, now it is up to you."
We, a minyan of ten men of the Jewish people together with hundreds and thousands of committed members of the am kedusha, the holy people, therefore petition you, the Elders, the princes of Torah of our generation, in the name of the holy Torah, by the prophecies of the holy nevi'im, in the name of the holy seforim, by the words of our holy tzaddikim, to declare b'emunah shelaymah, with complete belief in the coming of Moshiach tzidkaynu, b'achdus and with respect for every gadol Torah who represents one of the 72 facets of the holy Torah among the Jewish people, to declare that the time of the geulah has arrived.
(and this is where you fill your name in on Rabbi Nati's petition, the first 3 signers were...)
Eliezer Raphael ben Yaakov m'Breslev
Nataniel Levi ben Yitzchok m'Breslev
Akiva ben Avraham m'Lubavitch
(along with currently ~3,000 others)
In response to the request of the holy Jewish people, in accordance with the Torah of Hashem and the holy writings, I declare in this world Zman Geluaschem. And as the Beis Din declares b'Aretz, so may the Beis Din declare b'Shamayim. And may Hashem fulfill the will of the holy tzaddikim and gadley Torah.
HaRav HaGadol .........
This effort is going forward. But no longer do we mention Moshiach, for he has a bad name. Instead, we simply say we are petitioning for the Geulah. And frankly, I think we're much poorer because the Yetzer has successfully blackened the name Moshiach.
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BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא