Many battles have been fought to bring the world to a state of redemption. Many tears have been offered in prayer. Much blood has been shed in martyrdom. Innumerable Mitzvos and acts of goodness were committed. Huge sums of charity were distributed. Much Torah has been studied. Many leading rabbis, tzaddikim, and famous kabbalists, giants of the spirit, have poured their energies into the efforts to bring redemption to an embattled world.
Yet inexplicably the redemption has failed to materialize. As of today the exile remains stubbornly intractable and unresolved.
Never before in the history of mankind has so much effort been extended with so few results! Ad Mossai, “how much longer do we have to wait?” has become the battle cry of our generation. Did our ancestors fail? Did they truly accomplish nothing!? Only if we find the exile to be unbearable, intolerable and unacceptable -- even for only another moment, can we consider them to have been successful!
Consequently, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson of blessed memory, has launched a grassroots uprising and populist insurrection against the exile. He has proposed that each and very Jew consider it his or her personal responsibility to bring about the redemption.
Instead of relying on the rabbis and saints to bring Moashiach we all must roll up our sleeves and do our share. As Maimonides (Laws of Teshuvah 3:4) states: “One should always view the good and evil in himself and this world as if in perfect balance. Should he perform one mitzvah he will tip the scales in favor of the good and bring salvation and deliverance to himself and the entire world.”
What generals could not accomplish yesterday, children are able to accomplish today. Just as hundreds of years of science and the accumulation of breathtaking breakthroughs by giants such as Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, has brought us the computer revolution and the information age, in which even children have access to incredible powers which were unavailable to those very giants on whose shoulders they stand, so too the accumulated effort of all the giants of Jewish history has brought us to a stage where every individual could make a tremendous and obvious contribution.
Over the last few years the Lubavitcher Rebbe has urgently implored, that each and every Jew participate as an equal partner in the effort to combat darkness with light, hatred with love, suspicion with faith, and ignorance with education. He has encouraged each and every one of us to make a personal difference by doing one more Mitzvah, and by sharing a positive and meaningful Jewish experience with a friend.
He has inspired the Jewish philanthropic community to make it their number one priority to lavishly support and finance those programs that will make these positive and meaningful Jewish experiences available and accessible to all Jews, regardless of their affiliation.
United, we will succeed in bringing to fruition, the hopes and yearnings of millions of our ancestors and their labor of love over thousands of years, as we triumphantly cross the threshhold into the complete and final redemption, may it be Now!
The author is the Director, Chabad Upper East Side of Manhattan. He can be reached at: email@example.com