The Previous Rebbe stated that all that is necessary to do is to “polish the buttons” — and even that service has been accomplished — and we need do no more than “stand together prepared” to greet Moshiach.
In particular, this is true in the present year, a year when “I will show wonders,” a year in which will be fulfilled the prophecy “As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders.” We have seen wonders of the nature that indicate — as mentioned in the Yalkut Shimoni — that this is “the year when the King Moshiach will be revealed” and that it is “the hour when the King Moshiach comes… and announces to the Jewish people, ‘Humble ones. The time for your redemption has come.’ ”
We are standing at the threshold of the Era of Moshiach, at the threshold of the beginning of the Redemption, and in the immediate future, it will be brought to its completion. In such a year, there is the potential, not only for the Three Weeks to be seen as a preparation for the Redemption, but for the Redemption to actual come, even on the present Shabbos, and thus transform the Three Weeks into a positive period.
In this context, a greater emphasis has to be put on the custom of studying the laws of the structure of the Beis HaMikdash in these Three Weeks. As G‑d told the prophet Yechezkel, through this study, it is considered as if we have been involved in the actual construction of the Beis HaMikdash.
Also, the approach to studying these laws must be different than the approach in previous years. The emphasis must be on, not on mourning over the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash, but rather, on the desire and the yearning for the Third Beis HaMikdash of which it is said, “The glory of this later house will surpass the glory of the previous house.”
Thus the subject must be approached as a present reality. It is not that in the distant future these laws will be relevant, but rather that at any moment the Third Beis HaMikdash which is already built in the heavens will descend and be revealed on earth.
In this context, the study of these laws — as the study of the subjects ofMoshiach and the Redemption — should not be looked at as merely a means to hasten the coming of this future era. Rather, it is the beginning of the efforts to live with the concept of Moshiach, to “live with the times,” with the Era ofMoshiach. When these concepts are perceived intellectually, they will affect our feelings, and ultimately our deeds and our actions. Our conduct will be appropriate to the present era, a time when we are at the threshold of Moshiach’s coming.
Although our Sages declared, “Moshiach will come when our attention is diverted,” this is no contradiction to the emphasis on studying the subjects ofMoshiach and Redemption. A diversion of attention can also be interpreted as referring to a step above our ordinary conscious processes. After one has deepened his awareness of Moshiach to the extent that he appreciates that we are standing on the threshold of Moshiach, that we have completed all the service necessary for his coming, and at any moment, he will come, one can step beyond one’s ordinary thinking process and consider the Redemption in a new light.
These words are meant as a directive for action. Despite the outcry that has been made in the last months, and despite the wonders that we have seen in the present year which indicate that this is “the year when the King Moshiach will be revealed,” there is a difficulty in having this concept permeate people’s consciousness, that they should be aware that we are actually on the threshold of the Redemption, and that they should begin living with the concepts ofMoshiach and the Redemption.
Although this is a year when “I will show you wonders,” and wonders have taken place, they have not been shown to us in a complete manner. On the contrary, it has been necessary to explain and elaborate on the fact that we have seen wonders. When G‑d Himself will show the Jews the wonders in a completely manifest way, there will be no need to explain that we are on the threshold of the Redemption. But until that time, it is difficult for these concepts to make a thorough and effective impression on our thought processes.
How can this be changed? By studying about the concepts of Moshiach and Redemption. The power of the Torah, which is G‑d’s wisdom and His will, transcends the world and has the potential to change man’s character. Thus, even though someone feels on the outside when it comes to the Redemption, through studying about these matters, they can begin to live with the idea of Moshiach’s coming, and sense that he is coming in the immediate future.