Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Menachem Av: Not mourning, but yearning

We are standing at the threshold of the Era of Mashiach, at the threshold of the beginning of the Redemption, and in the immediate future, it will be brought to its completion. In such a year, there is the potential, not only for the Three Weeks to be seen as a preparation for the Redemption, but for the Redemption to actual come, even on the present Shabbos, and thus transform the Three Weeks into a positive period.

In this context, a greater emphasis has to be put on the custom of studying the laws of the structure of the Beis HaMikdash in these Three Weeks. As G-d told the prophet Yechezkel, through this study, it is considered as if we have been involved in the actual construction of the Beis HaMikdash.

Also, the approach to studying these laws must be different than the approach in previous years. The emphasis must be on, not on mourning over the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash, but rather, on the desire and the yearning for the Third Beis HaMikdash of which it is said, "The glory of this later house will surpass the glory of the previous house."
Thus the subject must be approached as a present reality. It is not that in the distant future these laws will be relevant, but rather that at any moment the Third Beis HaMikdash which is already built in the heavens will descend and be revealed on earth.

In this context, the study of these laws -- as the study of the subjects of Mashiach and the Redemption -- should not be looked at as merely a means to hasten the coming of this future era. Rather, it is the beginning of the efforts to live with the concept of Mashiach, to "live with the times," with the Era of Mashiach. When these concepts are perceived intellectually, they will affect our feelings, and ultimately our deeds and our actions. Our conduct will be appropriate to the present era, a time when we are at the threshold of Mashiach's coming.

Although our Sages declared, "Mashiach will come when our attention is diverted," this is no contradiction to the emphasis on studying the subjects of Mashiach and Redemption. A diversion of attention can also be interpreted as referring to a step above our ordinary conscious processes. After one has deepened his awareness of Mashiach to the extent that he appreciates that we are standing on the threshold of Mashiach, that we have completed all the service necessary for his coming, and at any moment, he will come, one can step beyond one's ordinary thinking process and consider the Redemption in a new light.

Sicha of the Rebbe, Shabbos Parshas Balak, 17th Day of Tammuz, 5751



Anonymous shira@israel said...

every time predictions about Moshiah changes, do you count it as if there are 6 books and 6 thousands of years before Moshiah should come?

Mon Sep 06, 05:13:00 AM EDT  

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