Appendix: Bringing Mashiach
(There is no way that a treatment of the Chassidic conception
of joy could be complete without referring to this classic sichah
delivered by the Lubavitcher Rebbe in 1988. In its original form,
the sichah discusses concepts related to the date on which it
was delivered, the fourteenth of the month of Elul: the dates
of the weddings of the Previous Rebbe and the Rebbe Rashab to
which it shares proximity; the significance of the years 5748
and 5749 (1988 and 1989); and others. We have omitted those portions,
focusing on the dimensions of the sichah which are general in
The concept of simchah shares a connection to the Future Redemption.
For it is in the Era of the Redemption that we will experience
the consummate level of simchah. At that time, all undesirable
influences will be negated as reflected in the verse,1 “And
G-d will wipe away tears from every face.” Indeed, all the
negative influences will be transformed into good.2
This will greatly increase the simchah we will experience, enabling
it to reach consummate perfection. Therefore the returnees to
Eretz Yisrael are described3 as being “crowned with eternal
joy.” The relation between the concepts of simchah and Redemption
is alluded to by the fact that the roots of the words simchah
(????) and Mashiach (????)4 share the same three letters ???.
To explain the connection between the two: Simchah breaks through
(poretzes in Hebrew) all barriers.5 This is also the nature of
Mashiach, who is a descendant of Peretz,6 and is referred to as
haporetz, “ the one who breaks through,” as it is
written,7 “The one who breaks through will ascend before
them.” For Mashiach will break through all barriers and
On the verse,8 “Zion — there are none who seek her
out,” our Sages9 comment, “This indicates that one
should seek her out,” implying that we must demand the Redemption.
Similarly, we must seek out joy, including the ultimate joy, the
joy of the Redemption. We must demand that G-d grant us the consummate
joy of the Era of the Redemption.
I, therefore, offer the following suggestion and request: that
we increase our rejoicing with the intent of actually bringing
Mashiach and the true and ultimate Redemption.
Throughout the years of exile, the Jewish people have longed
for the Redemption and prayed for it earnestly every day. Surely
this applies to the tzaddikim, and the nesi’im of the Jewish
people who had an overwhelmingly powerful desire for Mashiach.
Indeed, as related in the annals of our national history, some10
actually sacrificed their lives to force Mashiach to come earlier
(although there is a specific warning against doing so).11
Nevertheless, these earlier activities cannot be compared to
the storm for the coming of the Redemption aroused by the Previous
Rebbe with his cry (printed12 more than forty years ago): L’alter
leteshuvah, l’alter legeulah , “Immediately to teshuvah
; immediately to Redemption.”13 And his intent with the
word “immediately” was simple: at once, straight-away.
Moreover, this is not considered as forcing the Redemption to
come before its time. For the time of the Redemption has arrived.
As the Previous Rebbe stated many times: all the service necessary
has been completed; all that is necessary is to polish the buttons,14
and to await Mashiach’s coming.
To explain in a more specific manner: For several generations
prior to the Previous Rebbe, special efforts were made to bring
about Mashiach’s coming, including — and with a special
emphasis on — the revelation of the teachings of Chassidus
by the Baal Shem Tov. For in reply to the Baal Shem Tov’s
question, “When are you coming?” Mashiach answered,
“When the wellsprings of your teachings spread outward.”15
Afterwards, these teachings were expanded and developed through
the teachings of Chabad which enabled them to be understood and
grasped within the context of our intellectual powers.16 To cite
the analogy offered by the Alter Rebbe:17 the precious stone in
the king’s crown has been crushed and mixed with water so
that it can be poured into the mouth of the king’s son to
save his life.
From generation to generation, the Rebbeim have continued and
expanded the efforts to spread the wellsprings of Chassidus outward.
These efforts reached their zenith in the time of the Previous
Rebbe18 who spread these teachings outward in an incomparable
manner, reaching out to each and every locale throughout the world,
extending the wellsprings of Chassidus to the furthest possible
peripheries. Similarly, his efforts included the translation of
Chassidic texts (including deeper concepts in Chassidus) into
foreign languages.19 He did not remain content with a translation
into Yiddish, the language spoken by most of the Jews of his age
(and the language in which the Baal Shem Tov and the Rebbeim which
followed him would deliver Chassidic teachings), and spread these
teachings into the seventy secular languages as well.20
Nevertheless, in these earlier generations (and even in the beginning
of the Previous Rebbe’s time) the fundamental emphasis was
on spreading the wellsprings of Chassidus outward and not (as
intensely) on the goal of this process — bringing Mashiach.
It was known that the object of these endeavors was to bring Mashiach
, and from time to time (e.g., during the farbrengens of Yud Tes
[the 19th of] Kislev and the like) this was spoken about, but
this purpose was not the focus of attention.
After the Previous Rebbe issued the call, “Immediately
to teshuvah, immediately to Redemption” and continuing to
the present day, by contrast, the emphasis has been placed on
actually bringing Mashiach to the extent that every phase of our
efforts in our Divine service (including the endeavors to spread
the wellsprings of Chassidus) must be permeated with the intent
to bring Mashiach. For this is the mission of our generation:
to actually bring the Redemption.
Many decades have past since the time of the Previous Rebbe’s
announcement, “Immediately to teshuvah, immediately to Redemption,”
and the storm of activities initiated to bring Mashiach. Nevertheless,
Mashiach has not yet come.
There is no explanation for this. Our Sages stated,21 “All
the appointed times for Mashiach’s coming have already passed.”
Although they continued, “and the matter is dependent on
teshuvah alone,” surely we have already turned to G-d in
teshuvah. Indeed, through a single thought of teshuvah, a person
becomes transformed into a perfect tzaddik.22 And unquestionably,
there is not a single Jew who has not had several thoughts of
What is there left to do? Tehillim, the Psalms of David, the
[first] anointed king, we have said in abundance. Farbrengens
have been held on numerous occasions. In spreading the wellsprings
outward — for seven generations since the Baal Shem Tov
— endeavors have been made, and they have enjoyed prodigious
success. One might say that even greater efforts could be undertaken,
so that these activities will be performed — to borrow a
phrase from the liturgy23 — “in accord with the commandments
of Your will.” But that is possible only as stated in that
same prayer “there,” in the Beis HaMikdash.
G-d only makes demands on an individual according to the potential
he possesses.24 And if indeed, G-d wants us to fulfill this service
in a perfect way, let Him create the environment that will enable
us to do so by bringing the Redemption. Afterwards, the Divine
service of the Jews will surely be “in accord with the commandments
of Your will,” in consummate perfection.
And so, it is natural to ask: what can we do to bring Mashiach
that has not already been done?
In reply, it is possible to suggest, as above, that the Divine
service necessary is the expression of joy for the sake of bringing
Simchah breaks through barriers, including the barriers of exile.
Moreover, simchah has a unique potential to bring about the Redemption.
As explained in the series of discourses entitled Samach Tisamach
,25 although the phrase26 “the day of the rejoicing of His
heart” is interpreted as a reference to the building of
the Beis HaMikdash ,27 during the First and Second Batei HaMikdash,
G-d’s happiness was not complete. It is only in the Beis
HaMikdash to be built in the Era of the Redemption that there
will be perfect happiness. “Then the happiness will reflect
the essence of the Ein Sof.”
The maamar continues to explain that this essential joy can be
aroused by the simchah experienced in connection with a mitzvah.
Indeed, the simchah reaches higher than the mitzvah itself, precipitating
the expression of the essential joy of the Era of the Redemption.
In the previous generations, people surely experienced simchah
in connection with their observance of mitzvos. For the experience
of this simchah is a fundamental element of Divine service as
it is written,28 “Serve G-d with happiness.” Nevertheless,
in previous generations, the emphasis was on the service of G-d,
and that service was infused with happiness. The suggestion to
use simchah as a catalyst to bring Mashiach, by contrast, puts
the emphasis on the simchah itself, simchah in its pure and consummate
(Needless to say, for a Jew, even this pure expression of happiness
must be connected with his Divine service in the Torah and its
mitzvos, as it is written,29 “The precepts of G-d are just,
bringing joy to the heart.” Nevertheless, the emphasis is
on the simchah itself, not on the factors which bring it about.
And this service of simchah should have as its goal — bringing
One might ask: Why in the previous generations — especially
after the Previous Rebbe’s declaration “Immediately
to Redemption” — was there not an emphasis on bringing
Mashiach through simchah ? Everything possible to bring Mashiach
was done. To refer to the analogy cited previously, the precious
jewel in the king’s crown was pulverized so that it could
be poured into the mouth of the king’s son — indeed,
the precious stone was spread into seventy languages so that even
a gentile could grasp it — and yet, there was no effort
to bring Mashiach through simchah.
The resolution to this question is obvious. When the entire Jewish
people — and the Shechinah — are found in the darkness
of exile, the pain of exile prevents a pure and consummate expression
Nevertheless, this should not hold us back from efforts in this
direction, for ultimately, we must bring about the Redemption.
And therefore the service of pure and consummate simchah is necessary.
Moreover, the hardships of the exile should not create an impediment,
for since this service is necessary to bring the Redemption, the
potential is granted to experience such pure and consummate simchah.
This is within the grasp of every individual. By meditating on
the imminence of Mashiach’s coming and the knowledge that
at that time, perfect simchah will spread throughout the entire
world, it is possible to experience a microcosm of this simchah
Indeed, the lengthy explanation of this concept is not in place,
deed is what is most important. Announcements must be made about
the importance of increasing simchah with the intent of bringing
Mashiach. And if anyone questions the effectiveness of this proposal,
let him put it to the test and he will see its effectiveness.
And this simchah will surely lead to the ultimate simchah , the
rejoicing of the Redemption, when “then our mouths will
be filled with joy.”30
See Sichos Simchas Torah, 5689.[Publisher’s note: The Rebbe
delivered this sichah in 5748 (1988). Subsequently, from the summer
of 5751 (1991) onward, he was wont to say, “the buttons are
already polished,” i.e., this final stage of Divine service
has also been completed.
15. See the renowned letter of the Baal Shem Tov printed at the
beginning of Kesser Shem Tov.
16. To refer to the analogy of a wellspring: a spring often flows
in droplets, although these drops have great power, as reflected
in the law (Hilchos Mikvaos 9:8) that a drop of water from a spring,
regardless of its size, is able to restore an object to a state
of ritual purity. Nevertheless, through the teachings of Chabad,
these wellsprings have been expanded and broadened.
17. HaTamim, Vol. II, p. 49.
18. The connection between the Previous Rebbe and the spreading
of the wellsprings of Chassidus is reflected in the establishment
of the Lubavitcher Yeshivah, Yeshivas Tomchei Temimim, during the
week of his wedding celebration. At that time, the Rebbe Rashab
said, “By starting this yeshivah … I am kindling the
lights which the Baal Shem Tov and the subsequent Rebbeim bequeathed
to us, to fulfill the promise of spreading the wellsprings outward,
to hasten the coming of the Mashiach” (Sefer HaMaamarim 5702,
19. Although the translation of Chassidus into secular tongues reflects
a descent from the original, the Previous Rebbe encouraged this
step to amplify the efforts to spread the teachings of Chassidus
outward and thus hasten the coming of Mashiach.
20. In this manner, not only Jews, but also gentiles have the potential
to comprehend these spiritual concepts. Indeed, we can actually
see this in the present day.
21. Sanhedrin 97b.
22. Kiddushin 49b (according to the text cited by the Or Zerua).
23. Musaf liturgy, Siddur Tehillat HaShem , p. 195.
24. C.f. Midrash Tanchuma, Naso, sec. 11.
25. Sefer HaMaamarim 5657, pgs. 233, 252.
26. Shir HaShirim 3:11.
27. See the conclusion of the tractate of Taanis.
28. Tehillim 100:2. See the explanation of this verse in the Zohar,
Vol. III, p. 56a. See also the conclusion of Hilchos Lulav in the
29. Tehillim 19:9.
30. Ibid. 126:2.