The writings and teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe cover and enlighten the entire spectrum of Torah-scholarship: T’nach (Biblical writings) and Talmud, Halachah, Kabbalah, Chassidut, Jewish Thought and Philosophy, Responsa and Commentaries. The more than 200 volumes of his already published works demonstrate a phenomenal familiarity with literally all and any subjects relating to Torah, Judaism and Jews, from the earliest sources to the most recent tracts and treatises. The breadth and scope of the Rebbe’s universal knowledge is matched by his evident grasp of the depth of all subject-matters, regardless of their complexity. His unfailing memory is legendary. No less astounding than the Rebbe’s encyclopedic erudition is his contribution of original insights and novel approaches, opening doors to everyone’s better and deeper understanding.

One notable feature of all the Rebbe’s teachings is that they are never left on a purely academic plane. He found practical implications and applications for everything. His discourses and writings, therefore, are not only scholarly, informing and enlightening, but also inspirational. His Torah is a Torat Chayim-a Torah of Life, infusing life and spirit, encouraging and motivating its listeners and students to apply its lessons in their daily lives, to improve themselves and their environment.

In this context there is a constant and all-pervasive theme, especially in his teachings throughout his leadership as Lubavitcher Rebbe. It is the theme of Moshiach and the Final Redemption. The Rebbe was fired by an unceasing and all-encompassing anticipation of the Messianic redemption, the ultimate destiny for humankind and the ultimate purpose for G‑d’s creation. All his efforts, work and achievements, which impacted upon all Jews in every corner of the globe, appear to be geared to prepare and ready the world toward that goal.

Moshiach, for the Rebbe, was not a dream, a fantasy or placebo, but a concrete reality. His expectation and anticipation of the imminent coming of Moshiach was not the mere acceptance of a religious obligation, an act of faith mandated by Halachah that may be affirmed mentally and articulated orally, yet remains an abstract concept that is best left in the realm of the inscrutable mysteries of the Providential scheme. To the Rebbe it was visibly real and alive, and his greatest pain and disillusionment was that it had not happened yet. His frequent outcry of “Ad matay-Until when? How much longer?” springing forth from the very core of his heart and soul would move even the most indifferent among those who heard it.

The theme of Moshiach and redemption was especially predominant in all of the Rebbe’s talks during the last three or four years before a terrible stroke stilled his powerful voice. During that period he urged everyone to do all they can to hasten the redemption. He proclaimed that the time for redemption is near, drawing attention to the fulfillment in our times of the signs predicted by our tradition to point to an imminent coming of Moshiach. He urged, begged and pleaded that everyone do all in his or her power to hasten this event by means of self-improvement, by intensified study of Torah and observance of mitzvot, by strengthening love, harmony and universal brotherhood among ourselves and, last but not least, by making the world aware that “the time of redemption is near.”

A major component of this “Moshiach-campaign,” to ready the world for its long-awaited destiny, is the Rebbe’s instruction “to study the themes of Moshiach and Redemption, and to live with Moshiach.”

A thorough and intensive study of the Torah-teachings about Moshiach in the T’nach (Biblical writings), Talmud, Midrashim, Halachic works (like MaimonidesMishneh Torah), Chassidism and other texts, makes us fully aware of the meaning, implications and practical reality of Moshiach and redemption. It will then no longer be merely an abstract concept but a tangible reality. This will of itself awaken and intensify the Halachically mandated longing and anticipation for the Messianic redemption, 1 and motivate us to contribute our own share to its realization by our prayers and actions. Our sages teach us that this longing, hoping, awaiting-and, yes, demanding of G‑d that He send Moshiach!-serve as a catalyst for its realization. 2

Studying the principle of Moshiach, and appreciating the blissful era he will inaugurate, will certainly motivate and help us to “live with Moshiach.”

“Living with Moshiach” means to behave already now in that mode of lifestyle that will be the norm in the Messianic era. In the words of Maimonides: “In that era there will be neither famine nor warfare, neither envy nor strife. The one preoccupation of the entire world will be solely to know G‑d!”

The realization of the redemption is within our reach, certainly now when “The time of redemption is near.” Thus, we must now adopt that lifestyle as if Moshiach is here already. This is accomplished by ridding ourselves of envy and strife and by devoting ourselves to the spiritual values and pursuits which are the essence of our human reality. As we actualize this human potential, we also actualize the Messianic potential inherent in G‑d’s creation.

This quantitatively small book is written and published in context of the above. It is a compilation of weekly pamphlets that appeared over the past few years, related to the current Torah-reading and festivals. In each, a verse or theme of the Torah-reading or festival is developed with a particular focus on its relevance to various concepts of Moshiach and the Messianic redemption. These “Moshiach Insights” (the original title of the pamphlets) thus offer a constant opportunity to “Study the themes of Moshiach and to live with Moshiach.”

The teachings and insights offered here are epitomes. They are abridged excerpts or points, culled from the Rebbe’s teachings. The selections, abstractions and renditions of these passages are loose adaptations presented in free translation. Many are eclectic, joining related segments from different sources in the Rebbe’s works, sometimes with elaborating additions (and a few explanatory footnotes) by this author. Every effort was made to remain faithful to the original thoughts, but I alone am responsible for the present rendition.

It is our fervent wish and prayer that this book will succeed in its aim to further a living awareness of Moshiach and thus contribute to the speedy realization of the Messianic redemption.

May all of us merit to witness and experience all this speedily, in our very own days!

J. Immanuel Schochet

11th of Nissan 5759

Toronto, Ont.