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‘I have done whatever I can – from now on, you do whatever you can…’

After what seemed to be a regular weekday Maariv on the eve of Friday, 28 Nissan, 5751 (1991), the Rebbe began to deliver what appeared to be a regular sicha promising in format and style to resemble many hundreds of previous sichos. The Rebbe opened by relating the theme of geula to the distinctive spiritual potential of that year, month and week, and so on.

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After a short time, however, everything changed. The intricate scholarly discussion came to an end, and in tones of intense clarity the Rebbe turned to the community of chassidim assembled that night at “770,” addressing them directly, and most unusually, in the second person. Unmistakably, it was a cry from the heart.

The Rebbe’s words were highly charged: “What more can I do to motivate the entire Jewish people to clamor and cry out, and thus actually bring about the coming of Moshiach? All that has been done until now has been to no avail. For we are still in exile….

“All that I can possibly do is to give the matter over to you. Now, do everything you can to bring Moshiach, here and now, immediately…. I have done whatever I can: from now on, you must do whatever you can….”

The Rebbe continued:

“Because of the unique stress on the geula in this time, an astonishing question arises: How is it possible that despite all these factors, Moshiach has not yet come? This is beyond all possible comprehension.

“It is also beyond comprehension that when ten (and many times ten) Jews gather together at a time that is appropriate for the geula to come, they do not raise a clamor great enough to cause Moshiach to come immediately. They are, heaven forbid, able to accept the possibility that Moshiach will not arrive tonight, and even that he will not arrive tomorrow, or on the day after tomorrow, heaven forbid.

“Even when people cry out Ad mosai? (“Until when will we remain in exile?”), they do so only because they were told to. If they had sincere intent and earnest desire, and cried out in truth, Moshiach would surely have come already.

“What more can I to do to motivate the entire Jewish people to clamor and cry out, and thus actually bring about the coming of Moshiach? All that has been done until now has been to no avail. For we are still in golus; moreover, we are in an inner golus in regard to our own service of G-d.

“All that I can possibly do is to give the matter over to you. Now, do everything you can to bring Moshiach, here and now, immediately. Act with all the energy and power of the lights of Tohu, but have your deeds balanced with the stability of the keilim of Tikkun.

“May it be G-d’s will that ultimately ten Jews will be found who are stubborn enough to resolve to secure G-d’s consent to actually bring about the true and ultimate Redemption, here and now immediately. Their stubborn resolve will surely evoke G-d’s favor, as reflected by the interpretation of the verse, “for [i.e., because] they are a stiff-necked people; [in the positive sense] You will pardon our sins and wrongdoings and make us Your possession.

“As a further effort on my part to encourage and hasten the coming of the redemption, I will distribute money to each one of you with the intent that you give it to tzedakah, for “Tzedakah is great since it brings the redemption near.

“I have done whatever I can; from now on, you do whatever you can. May it be G-d’s will that there will be one, two, or three among you who will appreciate what needs to be done and how it needs to be done, and may you actually be successful and bring about the true and complete redemption. May this take place immediately, in a spirit of happiness and with gladness of heart.”

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Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman is director of the Lubavitch Youth Organization. He can be reached at Lubavitchyouth@gmail.com.