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A Redeeming Factor

Friday, 1 March, 2019 - 11:16 am

Dear Friend,

Hope it's been a spectacular week.

A basic  tenet of Jewish faith is the belief in a Messiah (Moshiach). And although it's as fundamental as Kosher and Shabbat, it seems that many get uneasy when the topic comes up. Perhaps the word Messiah conjures images of a  subway pseudo-prophet preaching about beliefs foreign to our own. In the original Fiddler On The Roof, the producers pulled a beautiful Sheldon Harnick score called 'When The Messiah Comes' from the show. Apparently, even for fantastical Broadway standards, this one felt like a push too far.

So, what is the Moshiach?

Maimonides defines it as both a noun and verb: an individual of specific lineage and possessing of exceptional spiritual character, and also, a specific event, leading to a new era.  The Moshiach era is initiated when Almighty G-d gives the 'green light' to the one worthy of that title in a given generation. The Moshiach era ushers in a time when all nations bury the hatchet and disease and suffering is no more.

The Rebbe noted that while the world is undoubtedly imperfect, the collapse of the Soviet Union, which had for so long repressed Jewish expression and quite suddenly and peacefully transformed to play host to one of the greatest Jewish Renaissances ever, is a small foretaste of a global  transformation. This macro metamorphosis, from a world of limitations and struggle to an era of collective peace and good, is how the prophets describe the era of Moshiach.

Redemption is macro but it's also micro:  Rebbe Menachem Nochum Twersky of Chernobyl (1730-1787) teaches that every individual has an inner Moshiach, a powerful potential for positive transformation of themselves and their personal space, impacting those around them with peace and good, as in the era of Moshiach. 

A guiding light at Chabad at Beekman-Sutton is to cultivate this awareness: Each of us possesses within us the incredible power to make this world a better place. This power within is realized and uncovered through Torah education. We are proud to offer a spectacular Shabbat morning Torah class as well as a one-of-a-kind text based weekly women's class, Raizy and I look forward to greeting you. 

As the week comes to an end, I bless you with a Shabbat Shalom, ; "Shalom" in the true and lasting sense, with the realization of our personal and collective dreams-come-true .

Rabbi Shmuel A. Metzger

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