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    Re: “Disaster Averted?”

    In Erol Ruzehaji’s article, ‘Disaster Averted? Chabad Cancels Documentary After Pressure from MSA,’ he says the goal of the event was ‘to inform the campus community about biblical prophecies of Armageddon, and that students here on campus should foster a friendly environment for the Messiah to come.’ While this, indeed, was the goal of the event, Mr. Ruzehaji was not very successful in covering the exact connection between Biblical prophecies of Armageddon and fostering a friendly environment for the Messiah to come.

    Instead, his article contained a number of contradictions. On the one hand, he erroneously quoted me as saying that, ‘the Messiah will only come to the world when it is in a state of peace.’ And then he went on to misquote me again as saying that ‘the destruction of Israel will come with the rise of Iran.’ In this respect, Erol Ruzehaji’s article was a bit confusing, and thus, I would like to clarify:

    The Moshiach does not ‘have to come’ in any particular way. In fact, given the various contradictory prophecies in the Bible, we see that there are a number of scenarios which could be signs of his coming. Specifically, all the scenarios of the Moshiach’s coming could be divided into two. Either the Moshiach will come at a time of complete destruction (hence the prophecies of Armageddon), or the Moshiach could come at a time of world peace and collective Messianic expectation.

    The goal of the Chabad Student Club’s event was to show that although the current ‘War of Terrorism’ looked like the signs of Armageddon, it was in our power effect that another scenario for Moshiach’s coming will play itself out, specifically by ‘fostering a friendly environment’ filled with acts of goodness and kindness for one’s fellow.

    Indeed, both sides of the ‘War on Terror’ show signs of an expected Armageddon. Where the Radical Jihadists are fueled by a violent Messianic fervor to make G-d the sole ruler of the world, by taking up arms and subduing the infidel, the Christian Right similarly sees fighting such Radical Jihadists as a their own sign of the Apocalypse.

    According to Hebrew University Islamic Studies Professor Moshe Sharon and Serge Trifkovic, author of The Sword of the Prophet, this is the reason why Iran has embarked on an Islamic Revolution that supports world-wide terrorism and they now seek a nuclear weapons program.

    In a similar vein, with regards to the Christian Right, Televangelist Pastor John Hagee has written a book, Jerusalem Countdown, in which he argues that a confrontation with Iran is a necessary precondition for Armageddon and the coming of the Messiah.

    Although the Moshiach could definitely come through death and destruction, the Moshiach could also very well sprout from a world filled with good and kindness. And this was, in fact, the goal of the Chabad Student Club’s presentation, for this is the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s message to the world.

    For although the Biblically-promised Moshiach could come amidst awe-inspiring miracles, wonders, and even chaos, a miraculous coming of Moshiach could also be prefaced by a gradual process of increasing world goodness. It would be then, during such a process, that the spirituality of Moshiach be revealed into the world via the revelation of a person’s soul. Since, by definition, the soul is a piece of spirituality, it is a piece of G-d. As such, it includes all aspects of G-dly revelation, including the revelation of Moshiach.

    This aspect of the soul is called the ‘Spark of Moshiach,’ in a person. And there, in the soul’s ‘Spark of Moshiach,’ there exists the eternal peace and tranquility of the Messianic Age. For there, in the ‘Spark of Moshiach,’ there is no war nor hunger, no jealousy nor conflict. For all that exists in the ‘Spark of Moshiach’ is the spiritual peacefulness of being one with G-d.

    Accordingly, as the Lubavitcher Rebbe explained, this is something that can be experienced by each and every one of us, if only one would embark on a path of spiritual growth that would connect them to their soul’s ‘Spark of Moshaich.’ And thus, by igniting a world-wide revelation of the ‘Spark of Moshiach,’ Moshiach could very well come through mass acts of goodness and kindness instead of through the destruction of Armageddon.

    Rabbi Adam Lubavitch Youth Organization (Chabad) Interfaith Center, 266 Student Union

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