THE DEMAND OF THE REBBE “MAHARASH” FROM HIS FATHER THE REBBE THE “TZEMACH TZEDEK”
The Rebbe the “Tzemach Tzedek” was asked by his youngest son (who later became his successor) the Rebbe R. Shmuel: “What happened to the “Kaytz” of the Alter Rebbe, that the Geulah will come in this year”?! [The year 5608 was a year designated as a “Kaytz” (a set date for Moshiach’s coming].
The “Tzemach Tzedek” responded: “What do you want? Has not the “Likkutei Torah” been published in this year, and that is a revelation of Moshiach!” To that the Rebbe Maharash responded: “The Jewish people need Moshiach in this physical world, literally, plain and simple”!
This has to be understood, for did not the Rebbe Maharash know the significance of the “Likkutei Torah” being printed? And did the “Tzemach Tzedek” not know that the Jewish people need Moshiach literally? The “Tzemach Tzedek” was then the “Nassi”, the “Rosh b’nai Yisrael” (head of the Jewish people), while the Rebbe Maharash (who later succeeded his father the “Tzemach Tzedek”) was not yet the Rebbe, and he was the intermediary between the “head” (the Nassi hador) and all the chassidim and people of the generation. As the Nassi and “devoted shepherd” of his people, the “Tzemach Tzedek” knew very well that Moshiach is needed and wanted literally, however he wanted to elicit this from the mouth of Rebbe Maharash, that he should verbally demand, in the name of the entire generation, that “we want Moshiach literally”!
The fact that we were told this episode, from amongst the many other conversations in Torah and Avoda which were exchanged between the “Tzemach Tzedek” and the Rebbe Maharash, means that there is a lesson we must learn from this discussion: We must express and announce that we want and need Moshiach literally and simply in our physical realm. And this demand has to come “from below”, not from a Rebbe but from ordinary people. Those that need a source in Halacha for this — there is a clear Halachic ruling: A Jew is commanded to pray every day... to ask Hashem for his needs. (Rambam beg. of Hilchos Tefilla).
It can be asked: Does not G-d know everything, including what a person needs, why should one need to ask for his needs? However, there are things which have to be initiated “from below”, and it must be requested verbally, and not only a verbal request from a Rebbe, but from ordinary people.
(Sichos of Sh”P Pinchas, and Vo’eschanan 5745)