"A star shall shoot forth from Jacob," this is how the prophecy of Balaam in this weeks Torah reading speaks about the coming of Mashiach. For Mashiachs coming will introduce new light into our existence, brightening our horizons.

Other sources in our Torah heritage explain that the star to which the verse refers is an analogy for every individual Jew.

Every person is a source of positive energy, radiating light.

The Chassidic tradition fuses the two sources together, explaining that every person is a star, because every person contains a spark of Mashiach within his soul.

Our spiritual personalities possess manifold dimensions. For, just like an onion has folds, there are different dimensions of our being. At the core of them all lies our spark of Mashiach.

There is an element of ourselves that maintains the material wellbeing of our bodies and is concerned with eating, sleeping, and other physical activities. And we have feelings and centers of thought. These too are multifaceted, for our personal spiritual cosmos is at least as variated as the human personality.

The source for these different frames of reference is G‑d, as Maimonides writes: "Out of the truth of His Being came into being all forms of existence."

There is, however, in our souls - and in all existence - an element that reflects "the truth of His Being" itself, that is at one with G‑d. This is our personal star.

And this is our spark of Mashiach. For the coming of Mashiach will initiate an era when the G‑dliness which is at the core of every being will come to the surface.

This will not nullify the existence of any entity; instead it will allow every entity to redefine itself, and allow its true spiritual nature to surface.

PENETRATING TO THE CORE

Before Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the founder of the Chabad movement, passed away, he looked up at the ceiling and asked his grandson: "What do you see?"

"I see a beam," his grandson replied. "And I," said the grandfather, "see the word of G‑d... that animates that beam and grants it ongoing existence."

He didnt cease to see the beam. But he did see "the word of G‑d."

When Mashiach comes, "The glory of G‑d will be revealed, and all flesh will see that the mouth of G‑d has spoken." We will all see the G‑dly energy that permeates our world. We are not necessarily speaking about miracles. What we mean is that just as we recognize our homes and our neighbors, we will recognize the G‑dly life-force that pervades all existence.

MAKING THE FUTURE PRESENT

This is not a story of the future. We are not talking about something that doesnt exist now and will happen sometime when. We are talking about the truth of who we really are and what the world really is. The star, the spark of Mashiach, is what our lives are about.

Everything that G‑d created, even the most insignificant creature, somehow helps complete the truth of G‑d. This is fact.

Nature is good; it is G‑dly and serves only a G‑dly purpose. This is reality. No Jew can and no Jew will separate himself from G‑d thats simply who we really are.

And when we recognize these facts and apply them in our lives, we will be able to experience a foretaste of the Era of the Redemption.

The environment of material wellbeing and spiritual fulfillment that will characterize that future era is accessible today. All we have to do is open our eyes and look at the world with the proper perspective.

As each person applies these truths in his life, he will - like a star - radiate light. This will point the way for others. Its natural.

After meeting such a person, everyone would like to live that way themselves. From one, there will come two and then four in an exponential progression. And when this happens, the Era of the Redemption will be an actual reality.

From In Touch, From the Core of Our Torah Heritage