Translated from a class given by Rabbi Ginsburgh on 22 Shvat 5777 (2017)
Q: Should we identify the Mashiach with a specific person? If so, does he have to be someone from this generation or can he be from the past?
A: In the Talmud, it is written that if Mashiach is from the living, he is so-and-so and if he is from the dead he is so-and-so. The example given of someone from the dead is Daniel and the example of someone from the living is Rebbe (Rabbi Yehudah Hanassi). The sages left this question open. If we try to find a Mashiach living now in this generation, we will have to work hard.
Q: Please explain more about courage. The common definition of courage is to feel fear regarding a certain action and to do it anyway. How can we access the fountain of courage within us?
A: Courage is the ability to emerge from all frameworks, to swim against the stream, and to think out of the box. Courage is to disagree with someone in the name of God’s truth. One of the reasons to learn Torah in depth is to attain courage. The Torah teaches the truth and the truth is generally not aligned with the current popular agenda. A person who speaks the truth needs courage. The essence of the power of Mashiach is that he speaks the truth. Mashiach is the leader, he speaks for the entire generation. The power of the speaker is that he speaks the truth even when it is not popular. This is a simple expression of the courage that we must get from the Torah. Courage is not only what we say, but the ability to lead people according to the truth of the Torah, even when that is not popular. The Lubavitcher Rebbe directed us to say unpopular things “in a manner that can be accepted.” We have to speak the truth in a manner that will enter the ears and minds of the listener.
Q: Who is the primordial snake with whom Mashiach has to do battle? Who is Amalek?
A: Just above we said that Mashiach dares to say things that are not popular. From this, we can understand that the politically correct is the enemy. Where is this expressed? In the media. The Primordial Snake controls the media today. If the snake will repent – he can repent – he will be the great light of humanity, as was supposed to happen with Adam. He still has the opportunity to repent today. We need courage to fight the snake. We also have to be ingenious. Kabbalah teaches that the root of wisdom is in the attribute of might of the crown. How will Mashiach accomplish this? In addition to diligence and hard work, he needs genius and creativity. Let us pray to God that He will give the Mashiach the qualities that he needs to defeat the Primordial Snake.
Q: How does the Mashiach make war? What weapons does he use?
A: In Isaiah 11:4 it says, “And with the breath of his mouth he will kill the wicked.” Moses said of himself that he had “uncircumcised lips.” Mashiach, however, will have very strong lips so that he will be able to kill the wicked with the breath of his lips. He kills the Primordial Snake with the breath of his lips. Rebbe Nachman of Breslov says that the Mashiach will not fire one bullet. He will triumph with the breath of his lips.