In recent weeks, the Rebbe Shlita has been reminding us that the task of bringing Mashiach must be shared. Instead of simply passing on the re­sponsibility to his Rebbe, anyone who is in earnest about the urgency of this task should regard himself as an active partner in it.

This message brings to mind a striking chassidic story in the course of which the Baal Shem Tov tells a parable.

“A man with unusually keen vision once caught sight of an exquisite bird at the tip of a tall tree. Though he very much wanted to reach up there and catch it, he had no ladder. What did he do? He stood a couple of his friends on top of each others’ shoulders, with himself uppermost, reached out, and caught the bird. The men underneath him, though they had helped him catch it, knew nothing of its surpassing beauty — but without them he could not have reached it.

“Now,” explained the Baal Shem Tov to some of his chas­sidim who had taken the liberty of leaving the beis midrash while he was still deep in his inspired meditations, “it so hap­pens that when I say Shemoneh Esreh all manner of hidden things are revealed to me. At this time, my consuming desire is to ascend to the level which the Zohar calls ‘the palace of the bird’s nest’ — the palace in the World Above which is the abode of the Mashiach. But I cannot aspire to such a lofty height un­less I first stand you, my disciples, on each others’ shoulders. The entire feat is thus accomplished thanks to yourselves, when you are with me in my beis midrash, even though you may not be aware of it....”

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As was said above, the Rebbe Shlita has been reminding us in recent weeks that the task of bring Mashiach must be shared. Accordingly, instead of simply passing on the responsi­bility to his Rebbe, anyone who is in earnest about the urgency of this task should regard himself as an active partner in it.

I Believe

I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Mashiach. Even if he delays, I will wait1 every day2 for him to come.3

Our desire for Mashiach’s coming should not be casual. On the contrary, the possibility that Mashiach will not arrive on this very day, heaven forbid, should be totally unthinkable. Were we to cry out Ad masai! (“Until when will we remain in exile!”), with sincere intent and earnest desire, Mashiach would surely come.

Yearning for Mashiach Needs Fit Expression:
An Increase in Torah and in Mitzvos

The sincerity of this intent, however, must be reflected in the performance of activities to hasten Mashiach’s coming for, as our Sages teach,4 “Action is what matters.” Every man, woman, and child has an individual responsibility to work to bring about Mashiach’s coming. No one else can shoulder this burden for him: his own efforts and energy are needed. Each of us must prepare for the coming of Mashiach by increasing his study of the Torah and enhancing his performance of its commandments behiddur, in a beautiful and conscientious manner.

Why is it that these are the activities which will hasten Mashiach’s coming? — Because they are intrinsically parallel to the manner in which Mashiach will relate to the Jewish people.

To explain: The manner in which G‑d rewards the Jewish people follows the principle of “measure for measure.”5 Thus our efforts to prepare for and draw down a particular revelation must reflect the nature of that revelation itself. Mashiach will serve as both a king6 and as a teacher,7 simultaneously.8 Therefore, to hasten his coming, our activities should anticipate each of these two functions.

A King Relates by Giving Commands

In contrast to a relationship between a teacher and student, between two friends, or other types of associations, a king relates to his subjects by issuing commands. By nature, a king is utterly superior to his subjects. Thus chassidic thought explains9 that King Saul’s great height — “He stood among the people, and he was taller than the entire nation from his shoulders up”10 — reflected spiritual qualities that also far surpassed those of the people at large. Ideally, the same concept applies in regard to other monarchs.

Because of this gap, a king cannot communicate his thoughts and his feelings to his people. How does he relate to them? — By issuing commands and thus specifying activities for them to perform on his behalf. To prepare ourselves for the development of such a relationship with Mashiach, the ultimate king, we must enhance our observance of the mitzvos, the commandments we have been given by G‑d. Of particular importance is the mitzvah of tzedakah, because tzedakah brings the redemption near.”11

Teaching Establishes an Inner Bond

Although obeying a king’s commands establishes a relationship between himself and his subjects, this bond is incomplete, for the inner dimensions of his personality remain beyond the reach of his subjects’ appreciation. To communicate these inner dimensions of his being, Mashiach will simultaneously serve as a teacher and, in this manner, establish such an inner bond.

Our Sages state that “Whoever teaches another person Torah is considered as if he had brought him into the world.”12 When a father brings a child into the world, he invests within him the very essence of his being. Similarly, a teacher has the capacity to share his essence with his students. When he invests himself in the subject matter he is conveying, and a student concentrates on its grasp, the nature of the student’s being is transformed. As he studies, the inner bond established with his teacher shapes his thinking processes, causing them to resemble those of the teacher.

Similarly, by teaching the entire Jewish people, Mashiach will establish such an inner bond with them all. This will uncover the essential spark of Mashiach that every Jew possesses within his soul.13

What We Should Study

To relate to this aspect of Mashiach and hasten its revelation, we must increase our study of the Torah, in particular devoting our energies to the study of pnimiyus haTorah, the mystical dimensions of the Torah as they are revealed in the teachings of Chassidus. It is related that the Baal Shem Tov once had a vision of Mashiach and asked him, “When are you coming?” Mashiach replied, “When the wellsprings of your teachings spread outward.”14 Spreading these teachings, both within our own personalities and to others, thus brings the coming of Mashiach closer.

More specifically, our study should center on the subject of Mashiach himself and on the future redemption, and in particular, as these topics are developed in the maamarim and the Likkutei Sichos of the Nasi of our generation. These and other works are provided with subject indexes, which make the relevant sources easily accessible.

This study should be communal in nature, preferably in groups of ten, for “over every group of ten, the Divine Presence rests.”15 Furthermore, communal study contributes an element of happiness. Even a person who is used to studying in depth, and therefore prefers the peace and quiet of individual study, should complement his own studies by participating in these communal sessions.

Everyone should appreciate the need to participate in these efforts and see these guidelines as directed to him individually. Simultaneously, we should not interpret this as a private matter alone, but must endeavor to spread this message to every Jew. The responsibility to hasten Mashiach’s coming is incumbent upon each member of our people.

The nature of the present year, the year when “I will show you wonders,” creates a climate that is conducive to the success of these efforts. We have already seen great Divine miracles and will surely see more miracles in the future.16 May these miracles include the ultimate miracles that will accompany the future redemption, when, “As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders.”17