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All of us are worried about the present situation in Ukraine, in Russia and in that entire region. The basic question here is: There must be a message that Almighty G-d is sending to each one of us…. What is it?

The Medrash teaches (Bereishis Rabbah 42:4; Lekach Tov on Lech L’cha 14:1), “If you see governments bickering with one another, anticipate the coming of Moshiach.” (See a similar teaching in Yalkut Shimoni, Yeshayah, remez 499.)


The Medrash is telling us something very clearly. If you see a phenomenon where governments are bickering with one another, you should know it’s not just because those two governments can’t get along. That’s how it looks on the surface.

But it’s much deeper than this. Its message to us is, “Wait for the coming of Moshiach.”

The Rebbe mentioned this Medrash at the farbrengen of Yud Tes Kislev 5744 (1983), almost 40 years ago. At that time, there was a conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Rebbe said that we shouldn’t look at the details of the conflict – what the United States said, what Russia said, what the commentators are saying. Look for the message. And the message is clear: “If you see countries bickering with one another, wait for the coming of Moshiach.”

War is never a positive thing. Even if it is between two individuals it’s not good, as each person knows all too well, and especially if it’s between countries, however small they may be, because war brings bloodshed and misery.

This is especially so when the war is between two powerful nations, and if it’s between two superpowers, the danger is even greater. Still, in those cases, it’s a war between two nations in one region.

If we compare that to the situation today, we see that now there is a completely different dimension of war. Now they are not just talking about a war between two nations. Now they are talking about total war, about atom bombs and nuclear power, rachmonoh litzlan, they’re not talking about World War I or World War II… I don’t even want to finish the sentence. They are talking about something that could involve every single human being in the world.

This is why the message here is very clear and it is important for every one of us to get the message clearly. Yes, we are distracted. Why did he do it? What did he think and what does he want to accomplish? This commentator said this and another commentator said that, etcetera, etcetera. Between all of this, we may lose focus on the central theme.

The central theme is very clear: “Tzapei l’raglov shel Moshiach – wait for the coming of Moshiach.” We are talking about the entire world and about weapons of destruction with atomic power that can reach every single human being in the world.

We cannot lose focus on the central theme, that this is a sign of Moshiach’s coming. What that means for us is that we should prepare ourselves and our surroundings for that great day, the one we have been awaiting for thousands of years, the coming of Moshiach – now in our days, imminently.


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Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman is director of the Lubavitch Youth Organization. He can be reached at [email protected].