Sunday, April 12, 2009

King Chezkiyahu's Messianic Bitachon

...We celebrate the Festive Meal of Mashiach while we are still in exile, thereby demonstrating that Jews do not acknowledge the exile. This very fact in itself is effective in "burning down the walls of exile" (to cite the idiom of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe [Rayatz]) - very, very soon, when Mashiach will be revealed and will "lead us upright to our land."
* * *
...In order to make it easier for people to appreciate this line of thinking, we may note that - like all subjects in the inner, mystical plane of the Torah - this subject, too, is alluded to in the revealed plane of the Torah.
On the eighth day of Pesach, the Reading from the Prophets is the passage that opens with the words, "[Sancheriv exerted himself] to be standing at Nov while it was yet day...." Why on that day? - "Because the downfall of Sancheriv took place on the eve of the first day of Pesach." Now, since the downfall happened on the first day, the above-quoted explanation for the choice of this passage for the eighth day comes as a surprise.
The solution to this seeming anomaly lies in the fact that this passage speaks of the victory of King Chizkiyahu, whom G-d sought to establish as Mashiach - and it is on the Last Day of Pesach that "the radiance of Mashiach is openly revealed."

Moreover, many of the predictions promised in this Haftarah were not fulfilled during the victory of Chizkiyahu; they will be fulfilled with the arrival of our Righteous Mashiach. For example, "The wolf shall dwell with the lamb...." (According to Rambam, too, this prophecy relates to the Days of Mashiach, though in keeping with his approach he understands it as a parable alluding to the presently warring nations.) Another example of a prophecy that will be fulfilled only in the Messianic era concerns the Ingathering of the Exiles: "And it shall come to pass in that day that G-d will [...] recover the remnant of His people that shall remain from Assyria and from Egypt... and from the islands of the sea..., [and He will assemble the dispersed of Israel, and gather together the scattered of Judah from the four corners of the earth]." Since this Haftarah, much of which will be fulfilled when Mashiach comes, is read on the Last Day of Pesach, it is self-evident that "the radiance of Mashiach is openly revealed" on that day.

Accordingly, it is possible to explain the above concept even when speaking to a person who contends that not every individual can experience this radiance. One can explain to him that it illumines him, too. After all, in his shul, too, this Haftarah was read, complete with its introductory and concluding blessings to which everyone responded Amen. And since this Haftarah speaks of the Coming of Mashiach and related subjects, he, too, should experience this theme. He, too, is lit up by the above radiance, so that he, too, will be able to trust in G-d, utterly and absolutely, and without any trace of a doubt. Even though according to the laws of nature there is nothing to warrant such a trust, he trusts in G-d that He will fulfill His promise supernaturally.

One's trust ought to resemble that of Chizkiyahu. His trust was so complete that he said to the Holy One, blessed be He: "I do not have the strength to kill nor to pursue nor [even] to sing [Your] praises. Instead, I shall sleep in my bed - and You will act." This he said even though the armies of Sancheriv had besieged Jerusalem on all sides, and had promised Chizkiyahu peace if he would surrender under certain specified conditions. Moreover, Shevna [the Scribe] and his party, who constituted the majority of the Sanhedrin, held that according to the Torah, the Jews should submit to this offer of peace and follow the laws of nature.

Yet despite all this, Chizkiyahu acted according to the Word of G-d that the Prophet Yeshayahu relayed to him: "Thus says G-d, 'Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the King of Assyria have blasphemed Me..., for I shall cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.' "Once the beleaguered King Chizkiyahu heard these words, he placed his trust so completely in the Hands of G-d that he lay down in bed and, unlike a worried man who cannot fall asleep, his trust allowed him a sweet and tranquil slumber. And as he slept, G-d fought his battle, as it is written: "And it came to pass that night that the angel of G-d went out and smote in the Assyrian camp...."

In the same way, every individual should be certain about the Coming of Mashiach with an absolute and unwavering trust, so that "I shall await his coming every day." He trusts that Mashiach is coming the very next day, even though he finds no support for this trust in the rational arguments of nature.

A trust such as this has the power - in itself - to accelerate the Coming of Mashiach in the immediate future.
Sicha of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Acharon shel Pesach 5732, Likutei Sichos 7:274

Labels: ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home