Written by Rabbi Pesach Scheiner, Shliach of Boulder, Colorado
We are all reeling and shaken from the general Coronavirus situation and the many deaths and sickness it has brought in its wake. The truth is that we are living in very difficult times in many respects, and we sometimes feel that we do not have the Kochos to continue. But our Rabbeim have taught us that especially in such times we must continue “Yeser Se’ais U’veyeser Oz.”
As Chassidim of the Rebbe, we know that numerous times the Rebbe attributed these types of tragedies to the lack of Ahavas Yisroel between Chassidim. Indeed, there is a big Hisorerus amongst Chassidim to fix up this Inyan in Lubavitch. A few days ago, there was an Achdus Farbrengen that many participated in, and some of the highly respected Mashpiim and Shluchim in Lubavitch spoke about Ahavas Yisroel.
One of the speakers was Rabbi Zalmen Liberow, who said that the answer to the Ahavas Yisroel dilemma is that Chassidim should rally together with a renewed Chayus in Inyanai Geula U’mashiach. The host of the Farbrengen didn’t quite understand the connection between Moshiach and Ahavas Yisroel. I personally believe that they are very interconnected. Let me explain.
We are all familiar that in the last Sicha to the Shluchim, the Rebbe said that the Avodah of Shlichus today is “Lekabel Pnei Mashiach Tzidkeinu.” The Rebbe made it clear that he is not talking about some minor addition to our shlichus, but as is clearly stated in the Sicha, “that this [emphasis on Moshiach] has to permeate all the other aspects of Shlichus and it is the gate through which all the other aspects of Shlichus are brought about.”
The Rebbe didn’t just give us the mission; the Rebbe gave us the tools to fulfill the mission. Throughout nun-aleph and nun-beis, the Rebbe said Sichos that were of a completely different style than Sichos in the previous years. In these Sichos, he explained the general concept of Moshiach and showed us how we are living in the times of Moshiach. Most important of all, is that these Sichos are very intense and lift us to a level in which we actually start to feel Moshiachdik.
Besides for these Sichos, anyone who was in 770 in that time could feel the tremendous Kuch the Rebbe had in Moshiach. Like the Rebbe himself told Rabbi Neiman, “people say that I am crazy about Moshiach.”
So, getting back to the question, what is the connection between Moshiach and Ahavas Yisroel?
I once heard a Medresh that the bird came complaining to Hashem, “why did you create me as such a weak animal, that I can be preyed upon?”. Hashem answered “Narisha Faygel, I gave you wings so that when an animal comes to get you, you can just fly above it.”
I strongly believe that if we would live up to the Rebbe’s expectations of us regarding Moshiach, the Rebbe’s Shlichus would become the wings with which Chassidim would be able to lift themselves over the great Nisayon of Machlokes. Chassidus teaches us that Machlokes is rooted in Yeshus, which is antithetical to the Inyan of Moshiach.
Just a final note, as a community we must also take the practical steps to create Shalom which I believe starts off as a grass root effort in which each person takes care of his own personal differences with others. May Hashem help us that we should finally succeed to eradicate this spiritual plague which is surely holding back the Geulah Shelamos.