Monday, September 08, 2008

Complete Joy: the possibility exists at present...

Our Sages stated, "It is forbidden for a person to experience complete joy in this world, because 'then (in the Era of the Redemption) our mouths will be filled with laughter.' " Nevertheless, since the Previous Rebbe stated L'Alter l'Teshuvah, l'Alter l'Geulah ("Immediately to Teshuvah, immediately to Redemption") and declared that Mashiach's coming is an imminent reality, there is the possibility for complete joy at present.

Indeed, the Previous Rebbe was the Mashiach of our generation and revealed himself in a complete manner. And therefore, he demanded that his Chassidim's conduct be characterized by joy at all times. Although he himself suffered imprisonment and was under a death sentence (which was later commuted to exile), he continued to emphasize the importance of happiness. And he conveyed that quality to all of the members of his generation, and in particular, to the men, women, and children, in shul here today. From them, this quality can be spread to all the members of the generation.

Since "the Nasi is the entire generation," the qualities possessed by the Previous Rebbe are drawn down to all the members of the generation. Thus, we have the potential to demand that G-d reveal, in a generous manner, all the positive qualities associated with both these names.

Furthermore, a Nasi, is also identified with kingship and a king is, as the Rambam writes, "the heart of the entire Jewish people," and leads them in all their concerns. The existence of the entire nation is dependent on him, including every aspect of their being. Therefore, he takes responsibility for their financial concerns as well. Surely, we see this approach in the conduct of the Previous Rebbe as reflected in the thirty years of his Nesi'us.

The above is particularly true since ours is the generation of the Redemption, when G-d will "again stretch forth His hand... to the remnant of His people... in the islands of the sea." This refers to America, the land in which we are located at present, the lower half of the world, and Australia, "the lower half" within "the lower half of the world." Furthermore, in our generation the Jews manifest a host of positive virtues, including qualities associated with each of the letters of the Alef-Beis.

In reflection of these positive virtues, each Jew recites the prayer of the High Priest on Yom Kippur in which all the blessings connected with the year are mentioned in the order of the Alef-Beis. [The Rebbe Shlita proceeded to mention each of these blessings beginning with "a year of light, a year of blessing" until "a year of prosperity."] There will be abundant prosperity, every person having all his needs fulfilled. Although there are those who might argue that some of the material benefits enjoyed by people today are luxuries, this is not the case. A Jew is entitled to live in prosperity, and indeed, to enjoy an unbounded degree of prosperity. And with a healthy body, he will have a healthy soul and fuse the two into a single unified entity.

Sicha of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, night of 11 Elul, 5751

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