The Mission Beckons

Thursday, 6 February, 2020 - 11:54 am

When the Lubavitcher Rebbe assumed leadership of the Chabad community, most of its members were refugees from the infernos of Hitler and Stalin. This relatively small group gathered in Brooklyn to hear their new, forty-eight year old Rebbe lay out a vision for the future. And hear a vision they did.

Here's my takeaway of what the Rebbe told them:

We all yearn and strive for connection with an Infinite G-d, an unfathomable Divine Reality. At the same time, we live in a world that seems shallow, unreasonable and replete with moral challenges.

And that’s exactly the point.

G-d’s deepest core-desire is fulfilled when we, in our simple human lives, make cosmic choices; G-d's most profound presence is drawn into our reality when we rise above our own egocentric impulses, and transcend the bombardment of external distractions, to do the right thing.
But it’s not just about doing the right thing, it’s about making a commitment to a purposeful life.
A Genuine, deep-seated commitment.
In my mind, it’s the type of total engagement that shows itself when a loved one is in dire need. There’s no space for a cost-benefit analysis, because we need to respond unconditionally and emphatically. We spring into action – sometimes super-rationally – to honor the deep relationship we share.
In the case of a commitment to a purposeful life, we’re making a super-rational commitment to Higher Living through our relationship with the Divine, and, in so doing, acquiring an antidote for our irrational and counter-productive behaviors. We are overriding the irrational with the super-rational by bringing G-d’s Essence into our lives.
And that’s the end-game of all creation. All of spirituality, the angels and the metaphysical cosmos, are simply means to an end: Our daily struggle to live a purposeful life in this otherwise-seemingly shallow and chaotic world.

That’s been the challenge of history, to bring Divine Essence into a seamless presence in our world and merit the coming of Moshiach.
It can sound grandiose to think that we’ll accomplish a goal that has eluded previous generations. But we’re standing on the shoulders of giants. Our strength lies in the foundation they have established and our challenge lies in taking advantage of the opportunity they have granted us and completing what they’ve begun. It’s our mission, to actualize the objective of the generations before us.

This week marks 70 years of the Rebbe’s leadership, and the Rebbe’s voice still speaks to us. 

He’s telling us that the mission can’t wait. 

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