How to Actually Bring Moshiach
MyLife Essay Contest 2018
What, on earth, are we doing? And how, on earth, do we do it?
Man’s search for meaning has never been a simple one. With society’s definition of success bombarding us from every angle, it often gets confusing. We are constantly on the lookout for the perfect relationships, degrees and jobs that will give us the purpose we are craving.
But for a Jew,(1) it’s different. A Jew’s purpose is laid out for him clearly: “And this is the whole purpose of man and the purpose for which He and all the worlds were created: so that G-d should have a dwelling place here below in this world.”(2) From the moment a Jew is born, he has a mission to turn this world into a home for G-d by revealing G-dliness and light, eventually making the home G-d wants a reality, bringing about the Messianic Era, Moshiach. A utopian time of peace and goodness in which G-d will be revealed everywhere!
But, seriously, how can I accomplish such a magnificent feat? I mean, for thousands of years, the Jewish people have worked tirelessly, giving up their lives for the sake of it. The greatest of the great have dedicated their entire lives to make it happen and yet, they all have failed. And if they were not able to accomplish it, how could I? How could it be that I could actually change the world? And the real question, if I can’t accomplish the purpose of my entire existence, then what am I doing here anyway?(3)
Chassidus empowers us, helping us understand what Geulah is really all about and how we actually can make it a reality. Through understanding the concept of “Tzimtzum Shelo Kipshuto,” and some of the most revolutionary sichos of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, we will learn that we are a whole lot more powerful than we think we are, and that through changing our perception, we can affect the reality. We will discover that the purpose of the world really is in our hands, or perhaps, in our perception.
When it comes to existence, there is definitely more than meets the eye. Physicality, vegetation, an entire animal kingdom and a human race filled with complexities and wonders, all part of a reality much deeper than they naturally appear.
When God decided He wanted to create a world, it wasn’t so simple. In order for G-d to create a colorful existence whose inhabitants would be able to feel independent enough to make the choice to find Him, He had to make a tzimtzum, a contraction of Himself. The Arizal tells us that G-d created a space void of Himself and within that space He was able to emanate, create, form, and ultimately build a color filled and independent existence.
Or so it seems. For generations, this is what the mystics taught, but the Alter Rebbe introduced us to a deeper dimension within the Arizal’s words. The Alter Rebbe taught us that the “tzimtzum” that Hashem made is not literal-“Timtzum Shelo Kipshuto.”(4) It is impossible that God could ever be removed from Creation, for all is Him. There truly is no place void of Him. The Tzimtzum simply took away the revelation. The “space” that G-d created was to conceal from the created beings the G-dly energy constantly existing them, enabling them to exist as tangible entities, instead of being nullified within their source. The tzimtzum caused not a change in G-d, but in the expression of Him.
The truth is that G-d’s most transcendent Self is eternally embedded in every single aspect of creation. Not as an addition to it, but as the entire life force animating its existence. Everything is surging with Divine energy. There is just a lack of revelation.
And in truth, revelation is created by your sensitivity towards something.
If you walk into a room and all the lights are off, you might have no idea that anything else in the room exists. It could be full of people and objects, but if it’s dark, you will simply not know they are there. You will still be sure that you exist, because darkness cannot conceal you from yourself, but in pitch darkness, that’s pretty much all you’ll be aware of, so that’s all that will exist to you.
Turn on the light. Suddenly you’ll be introduced to a whole world of stuff that you didn’t see before. But turning on the light did not change
the reality. It simply allowed you to have an awareness of the objective truth that existed the whole time. With the light, came your awareness of the real reality.
Tzimtzum is like darkness, causing us to be unaware of the true reality. But in truth, there is nothing not G-dly about this moment except for your perception of it.
The Moshiach Mission
We can now understand the truth of what Geulah is.
Geulah is simply the removal of the tzimtzum. It is the awareness that the tzimtzum was never literal to begin with. Moshiach is when all the lights will be on, revealing the objective reality that G-d is, was, and always will be present, even in the spaces His light doesn’t shine.(5)
So yes, bringing Moshiach is in your power! In fact, it is specifically your power that is able to reach it because it is your awareness of the true reality of G-d’s unity in your mind and your heart(6) that accomplishes the goal of Dira Betachtonim, of Moshiach. It is through you becoming aware of the inherent truth of existence that the world becomes revealed with G-dliness. Your recognition that Divinity is present reveals the Divinity.
It’s happened before.
Let’s go back 3330 years. After 210 years in Egypt, the Jewish nation had just escaped from the clutches of Pharaoh and were now following G-d’s orders, walking towards the ultimate freedom of receiving the Torah at Har Sinai. But after only three days of journeying, the Jews were stopped. Before them stood a giant ocean, waves bellowing. Behind them, they heard the menacing sound of an army of the strongest men and horses, quickly approaching. And on all sides, infinite desert. The Egyptians were just moments away and the Jews were terrified. What should they do? The nation split into four groups, each with their own opinion; to die, to fight, to surrender, or perhaps all there is to do is pray.
And then arose a man, unlike any other amongst them. The nation watched as Nachshon ben Aminadav approached the raging ocean, head held high. They all stood watching with bated breath, as he entered the waters. Toes, knees, hips, chest, the water was up to his chin, and then, the people witnessed the waters that just moments before were threatening to drown him, split, forming two walls on both sides of him.
And G-d was revealed in the most miraculous moment humanity has ever experienced.
How did Nachshon do it?
The truth is that the splitting of the sea wasn’t a miracle as much as the natural consequence of Nachshon’s actions.(7)
The ocean was the epitome of darkness; physical waves screaming “I can stop you from reaching G-d!” But Nachshon, knowing the truth of “Tzimtzum Shelo Kipshuto”, was sensitive to the truth of reality. He saw that the ocean could not be a blockage because the ocean was simply Divine manifestation, and G-d can not stand in the way of G-d. So he looked it in the face and said “Ocean, there is no way you can get in the way of me and my Divine mission because you are no less than a manifestation of the Divine.” He jumped right in, proving his complete conviction, and the ocean had no choice but to split.
The Revelation was not the reward for his awareness, it was the direct result.
One person, sensitive to the truth of reality, caused all the waters of the world to split.
One person caused every Jew to point their finger, proclaiming, “This is my G-d.”
One person brought about Divine revelation for all of existence.
One person, brought Moshiach.
And so can you.
The Rebbe tells us that each of us have the ability and the responsibility to be a Nachshon – to defy the status quo of the world and dare to perceive the reality beyond our natural perception. We have this power because as Jews, we have a soul that is so one with G-d that it sees reality the same way G-d does.(8) A soul that knows that Body and soul, challenge and victory, are all G-dly expression. A soul so full of light that it doesn’t even see the darkness. You have the power to use its light and see past the illusion of the tzimtzum. You have the power to bring Moshiach.
So, How do I do it?
If Geulah is the time when we will all see beyond the tzimtzum, when we will be aware of the Godly reality within each thing, each person and each moment, then you can bring Moshiach by doing just that. Through you switching your perspective to a Moshiach mentality, you can make Moshiach a reality.
A Moshiach mentality is one that sees the world through the lens of “Tzimtzum Shelo Kipshuto”, viewing physical existence as conduits of Divine energy and G-dly potential.
And just like we saw with Nachshon, it is through living with the Moshiach mentality directing your lifestyle and actions(9) that you create the channel through which Moshiach can be revealed in the whole world.
How to create a Moshiach Mentality:
Creating a Moshiach mentality is a personal journey that will be different for each person. So take some time and think about it. Meditate on the truth that G-d is present and pulsing in every detail of your life and that you have the power to become sensitive to that truth. Here are some ideas on how to create that sensitivity:(10)
- Learn Chassidus
Chassidus gives us the awareness that G-d is truly present and one with each one of us at every moment. It allows you to find real joy in the daily grind of life, by showing you how you are constantly united with G-d Himself!(11)
More like, communicate. Really talk to G-d. Take the time to remove yourself from the daily reality pretending to be all that reality is and just focus on Him. Put your phone down, use an english siddur. Let your davening be the impetus for your sensitivity to G-d throughout the rest of your day.
The daily mitzvos give you the opportunity to become sensitive to G-dliness in every single moment of your day, from tying your shoes, to when you’re having dinner with your family. Use them as an opportunity by being conscious of the connection you are creating every time you do one.
- Acts of goodness and kindness
Try focusing on “how could I help her?” instead of “what do I need now”? In that moment of sensitivity, you are becoming aware of the G-dliness in the other person.
It’s time that we stop waiting for a grand revelation and instead start creating a revolution, fighting hard, with all we have, to be all that we are! To face the world, just like Nachson faced the sea; not as an obstacle but as the path to our victory.
It’s time to start living with the Moshiach mentality, day by day,(12) minute by minute, in whatever place we find ourselves. Utilizing the G-dly potential that each moment holds, making this moment a Moshiach moment by being aware of the G-d within it. And remember, at any moment, you could be the Nachshon that splits the sea for the entire world.(13)
So, you’re wondering what you’re doing upon this earth? You are being light.
1 Non-Jews have their purpose laid out clearly as well. But the purpose of creating a Dira Betachtonim, of becoming aware of the true Unity of God, is something only a Jew can accomplish. For only a Jew has a literal piece of God inside of him which gives him the ability to attain this perspective. (For more on the 7 laws for Gentiles visit: 7for70.com)
2 Tanya, Likutei Amarim, Chapter 37
3 In truth, this is one of the biggest contemporary issues
of our time. The Lubavitcher Rebbe told us that our generation is standing in the last few moments of exile, that Moshiach is waiting at the door, and that we have to be the ones to make it happen. It’s about time we figured out how to do it.
4 Tanya, Sha’ar HaYichud Vehaemuna, chapter 4
5 We can see this idea by taking a look at the letters of the Hebrew words for Exile and Redemption. Gola (exile) is just one letter short of Geula (Redemption). That one small alef, representing God, not as a distant and transcendent God, but immanent in the here and now. Because that’s what Geula is. Its when all the lights will be on and creation will be aware of the true reality, that, “Hey, there is a Creator here. And He’s present in every single thing.” All is God, there is nothing else. -The Lubavicher Rebbe
6 Tanya, Likutei Amarim, chapter 33
7 Likutei Sichos, Chelek Alef, Yud Shvat
8 Maamar, Veaata Tetzave, the Lubavicher Rebbe
9 Nachshon had the Moshiach mentality, knowing that the ocean was no less than Godly energy, causing him to take the action of walking into the water, resulting in world wide Divine revelation.
10 I am humbled to even begin to try to write an essay about such a tremendous issue, let alone try to give practical tips on how to make it happen. But the rebbe told us on the 28th of Nisan, 1951, “All it will take is one, two or three people to think of an idea on how to bring moshiach; to think of a way to make themselves and the people around them sensitive to the reality of God’s Presence. So feel compelled to try.
11 Tanya, Likutei Amarim, Chapter 33
12 Dvar Malchus, Parshas Pinchas, 1951
13 The Rambam says that the world is held in balance, and any one deed, word or even thought