Although bringing the Redemption is a cumulative effort, with the collective good deeds of all the generations combining to bring about the final product, it is our generation that will deliver the final blow and make it actually happen.

In spiritual terms, our generation is likened to a dwarf perched upon the shoulders of a giant—and can therefore reach higher than his taller counterpart. We may not be as great as our ancestors, but we stand on their shoulders, and can therefore reach higher and farther.

We may not be as great as our ancestors, but we can reach higher and fartherAnd the one who brings a project to actual fruition gets primary credit. This is certainly a thought that can motivate us to do that extra mitzvah—the one that will usher in the Redemption.

Our nation has yearned and waited for the Redemption since the moment the Temple was destroyed nearly 2,000 years ago. The anticipation, however, reached a fevered pitch in recent years, following the Rebbe's announcement that the Era of Redemption is upon us, and we must only increase in acts of goodness and kindness in order to be worthy to greet our redeemer.

The Rebbe pointed to various global phenomena which are clear indicators that the process of Redemption has indeed started:

The end of the Cold War and the fall of the atheist "Evil Empire," the mass immigration of Soviet Jews to the land of their fathers, and the Free World's ongoing trend to galvanize resources to aid countries in need.

The technology explosion that has made readily available information, communication, advanced medical care and other amenities hitherto unknown to the masses, is also a clear indicator that we are approaching the time when "there will be no war or strife because all delicacies will be commonplace like dust," and the "earth will be filled with knowledge of G‑d like water covers the seabed." (For more on this, see Technology of the Redemption.)

It wasn't a prediction of something that would happen in the future; it's happening as we speakThis wasn't a prediction of something that would happen in the (near) future; it's happening as we speak. The Rebbe notified us that our nation's collective mission in exile – known in kabbalistic terminology as avodat habirurim, the disencumbering of the hidden divine sparks – has been completed. All that remains now is to "open our eyes and behold the redemption," and to "prepare ourselves and the world to greet Moshiach"!

Incredibly, the Rebbe declared – based on Maimonides' statement: "Without a doubt, the reemergence of prophecy is a prelude to [the coming of] Moshiach" – that the fact of Moshiach's imminent arrival is a prophecy, and as such is not conditional.

What does this require of us?

The Rebbe asked that we prepare ourselves for Moshiach by beginning to "live with Moshiach," living a life that is dominated by the values that will characterize the Messianic Era. One way this is accomplished is through studying about the Messianic Era. Studying about it makes it a reality in our lives, and allows us to live a life of redemption even in these last moments before we witness the complete and true redemption.