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Other than the Seven Noahide Laws, can a non-Jew observe mitzvahs?
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What can we do to bring Moshiach?

by Rabbi Shlomo Chein

  

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I think this question would be best asked to Moshiach himself.

And it was. (At least twice).  

The Talmud1 relates: Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi once met Moshiach at the gates of Rome and asked him when he would come. Moshiach responded, Today! That day passed and Moshiach did not come. The Rabbi was disappointed and complained to Elijah, "Moshiach lied to me; he said he would come today, and he didn't". Elijah explained "Moshiach was [quoting a verse2] saying, 'Today, if you hearken to My voice'".

The secret is out: hearkening to His voice, increasing our fulfillment of G-d's commandments, can bring Moshiach today.

The Talmud enumerates specific Mitzvahs that are especially effective in hastening the arrival of Moshiach: giving charity3, studying Torah4, and doing Teshuvah5.

According to the Talmud6 the destruction of Jerusalem was caused by baseless hate; thus following the axiom "remove the cause and you will have eliminated the effect", motiveless love of our fellow can cure the ailment of exile with the remedy of redemption.

The Baal Shem Tov wrote in a letter7 that he once asked Moshiach the same question, and Moshiach answered "when your wellsprings will be disseminated outward". The Baal Shem Tov's wellsprings were his Chassidic teachings.

Rabbi Yosef I. Schneerson writes8 "From this reply it is apparent that the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov -- the revelation of the Divine Intellect which the Baal Shem Tov and his disciples and their disciples bequeathed us -- are very closely connected with the coming of Moshiach. ... Moshiach is quintessential light itself, and the teachings of Chassidus are the vessel for this great light."

The Lubavitcher Rebbe often said "Moshiach is already on his way, and we need merely hasten his arrival with wanton acts of goodness and kindness".

After all, Maimonidies writes9 "a person should always view... the world as a balanced scale... his one good deed can tip the scale in favor of good, and bring about global redemption and salvation." 

Footnotes

  • 1. Talmud tractate Sanhedrin 98a
  • 2. Psalms 95:7
  • 3. Talmud tractate Bava Basra 10a
  • 4. Talmud tractate Sanhedrin 99b
  • 5. Talmud tractate Sanhedrin 97b
  • 6. Talmud tractate Gittin 55b
  • 7. Printed in Keter Shem Tov (Kehot, 1981) p.3
  • 8. Likkutei Dibburim (English translation), Vol. II, pp. 269 and 273
  • 9. Maimonidies Laws of Teshuvah 3:8

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RELATED CATEGORIES

Philosophy » Messiah

Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Moshiach
The Messiah. Moshiach is the person who will usher in an era of peace and tranquility for all of humanity when there will be no jealousy or hate, wars or famine. This is a fundamental Jewish belief.
Teshuvah
Repentance. Or, more literally, "return" to G-d. Teshuvah involves regretting the past and making a firm resolution not to repeat the offense.
Talmud
Usually referring to the Babylonian edition, it is a compilation of Rabbinic law, commentary and analysis compiled over a 600 year period (200 BCE - 427 CE). Talmudic verse serves as the bedrock of all classic and modern-day Torah-Jewish literature.
Chassidic
(Pl.: Chassidim; Adj.: Chassidic) A follower of the teachings of Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760), the founder of "Chassidut." Chassidut emphasizes serving G-d with sincerity and joy, and the importance of connecting to a Rebbe (saintly mentor).
Rebbe
A Chassidic master. A saintly person who inspires followers to increase their spiritual awareness.
Lubavitcher
One who follows the teachings of the Chassidic group which was formerly based in the Belarus village of Lubavitch. Today, the movement is based in Brooklyn, New York with branches worldwide. The Lubavitch movement is also widely known as "Chabad."
Baal Shem Tov
Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760), Polish mystic and founder of the Chassidic movement.
Jerusalem
Established by King David to be the eternal capital of Israel. Both Temples were built there, and the third Temple will be situated there when the Messiah comes.
Elijah
A legendary prophet who lived in the 8th century BCE, and saved the Jewish religion from being corrupted by the pagan worship of Baal. He never died, he was taken to heaven alive. According to Jewish tradition, he visits every circumcision and every Passover Seder table.
Levi
1. Name of Patriarch Jacob's third son. 2. A Levite -- a Jew who is a patrilineal descendant of Levi. Levites had special duties in the Holy Temple, and are still accorded special respect.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.