In the Sicha of Eikev 5751 (shabbas mevarchim Elul), the Rebbe spoke about our obligation to constantly think of what we can do to bring Moshiach. While there may be those that get discouraged by the very apparent delay in the arrival of Moshiach, the Rebbe teaches us that they delay just means that we must continue coming with ideas of expanding the frontiers of Hafatzas Hamayanos – spreading the wellsprings of Chassidus.
At the Farbrengen the Rebbe said that as he was thinking about the above “Iz aingefalen a svara – A thought came into my head” of what must be done to expand our reach and help bring Moshiach: To translate the Tanya in Braille! This way even people which are blind and cannot read, have access to Tanya.
As I was learning this Sicha this week, “”Iz mir aingefalen a svara – A thought came into my head” that there is something much deeper being said over here. For at first glance, what is the huge celebration of bringing chassidus to the blind, as what percentage of people that need to learn chassidus are blind?
Yet – in addition to the simple fact of translating the Tanya to braille – the truth is that the Rebbe is also telling us something deeper. During the years of 5751-5752, the Rebbe often used the expression that we all must “open our eyes” and see Moshiach. So in essence, we are all “blind” by the false perception of Galus. When we look at the world, we see darkness, evil and chaos. The Rebbe – seeing the world through the true eyes of Moshiach – sees a world preparing for the ultimate revelation of G-dliness, the era of Yemos HaMoshiach.
A very practical analogy to bring out the above point: Most of us know what a “hidden picture sheet” is; a sheet of paper that seems to have random dots and shapes on it, yet if you look deeper – or from a different angle – a hidden picture comes into view. You no longer see the dots, rather the very clear image which is hidden behind the dots. You can see many people looking at the dots on the paper and one person saying “open your eyes” and see picture behind the dot.
The same in true in regards to us. We look at the world and see a bunch of – seemingly – random and non-connected events taking place. We are puzzled and worried about the direction that the world is heading. The Rebbe sees the true picture, which is behind all these dots, the picture of Geula. The Rebbe really wants us to see what he sees and therefore demands from us to “open our eyes” and see it.
But the Yetzer hara comes and says, that we cannot open our eyes, because we are “blind” from galus. It is too late as we have been in Galus for too long. The Rebbe identifies with this and tells us the good news on shabbas Eikev 5751 “The Tanya has been printed in Braille, and now even the blind can see”. The Rebbe is telling us that in these sichos of 5751-52 he is giving us the tools for us, even if we feel that we are blind, we can still “read the Tanya” i.e. get involved in Geula.
What is the “Tanya in Braille” for those which are “blind from Galus”? The Rebbe (Balak 5751 says clear): “The solution to this dilemma is Torah study concerning Moshiach and Redemption. For Torah – which is G-d’s wisdom, and thus transcends the natural order of the universe – has the capacity to alter the nature of man. Even when one’s emotions are still outside the parameters of Redemption – G-d forbid – (because he has not yet emerged from his internal exile), he can nevertheless learn the Torah’s teachings concerning Redemption, and thereby be one elevated to the state of Redemption. One then begins to thrive on matters of Redemption, borne of the knowledge, awareness and feeling that “Behold he is coming.”