Friday, July 08, 2005

Moshe Never Died

By the grace oif G-d
Moshe Never Died

Some people are puzzled by the fact that many Chassidim refer and relate to the Rebbe solely in the present tense. It appears to be a denial of the unfortunate reality of the past ten years; a refusal to accept the painful truth.

It is actually not a new phenomenon in Judaism that our righteous ones are considered alive even after their passing. In general, we do not use the term "death" to refer to any righteous person. Instead, we say "histalkut," meaning departure. Tzadikim do not die in the sense of leaving the world completely. Rather, as our sages say, they remain connected to their followers and students, and continue to protect them after their passing, in a sense even more than in their lifetimes. R. Schneur Zalmen of Liadi explains in Igeret Hakodesh that the lives of the righteous are more spiritual than physical; thus, when tzadikim pass on, they are released from physical boundaries and limitations, and are able to effect greater wonders than they ever could while they were alive.

Our sages say that Jacob our father did not die. Some understand this as referring to his children - when his descendents live with his teachings and inspiration, they keep him alive. The statement "David, King of Israel is alive forever" is part of Jewish liturgy and is a popular folk song. Thus, believing that our righteous ones live on forever is hardly a new trend.

However, in our generation this concept has been taken to a radically new level. Many Chassidim do not speak of the Rebbe using any term of departure or passing, and refer to him in the present tense.

Before attempting to analyze and explain this behavior, it is important to make note of one thing: We are not talking about a play on words, or of an attempt to escape reality. Chassidim are fully aware of the events that transpired on Gimmel Tamuz over ten years ago. However, over the course of our long history, Judaism has taught us that reality is not what our eyes see, but what the Torah teaches. The Torah is above the world and in fact brings the world into existence. Thus, it is impossible for the reality of the world to contradict the reality of Torah.

Every generation has a leader like Moses, who is like the "head" of the generation and grants energy to the entire nation, and is the Moshiach in his time. Our sages say, "Moses never died," since his soul is invested in the body of the Jewish leader of the generation. The Rebbe stated that our generation is the final generation of exile and the first of redemption, and that there will be no concept of "histalkut" or parting. Rather, the Rebbe will lead us directly to redemption.

True, it is very difficult for us to carry on in a situation where the Rebbe's presence is concealed from our eyes. However, the Rebbe gave us his promise that he is with us forever. We, as the Rebbe's emissaries and spiritual descendents, live constantly with his blessings and inspiration, and will continue to carry out his holy mission, until the final and complete revelation of Moshiach.
http://chabad.info/files/hageula/en/46_Chukat.pdf

1 comment:

dave said...

So I guess those who said that the Rebbe would lead us to Mashiach (wait, I thought the Rebbe was Moshiach? whatever.)were wrong.

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