27 ADAR: ‘HE BEARSOUR ILLNESS’
The suffering of all Jews is the suffering ofMoshiach. And not only in matters that forMoshiach they are considered suffering butmatters of concern to simple Jews, theirsuffering. For there are indeed such peoplewho have no connection to spirituality, andtheir only concerns are things that are seen,physically. There must be solidarity with themas well, in their particular state and condition.
Translated by Boruch Merkur
“HE BEARS OUR ILLNESS...AND HE IS CRUSHED BYOUR TRANSGRESSIONS”
Regarding Moshiach itis said that he possesses the virtue described in the verse,“He bears our illness and hesuffers our pain…he is defiled by our iniquities, crushed byour transgressions” (Yeshayahu53:4-5). Moshiach stands withthe Jewish people, using allthe resources at his commandin order to help them, as theyare, in their present state.Thus it says, “he is defiled by our iniquities, crushed byour transgressions,” for he istogether with the Jewish people,helping them in their [lowly]condition. He helps them, forexample, by devoting his facultyof speech to teaching the Jewishpeople words of Torah, spanning both its revealed and esotericdimensions.
WHY WAS THE REBBESILENCED FROM ON HIGH?
This quality was likewiseapparent in the Rebbe Rayatz, whose yahrtzait we areobserving. Indeed, the RebbeRayatz was once asked: Rebbe,even if there are complaints [OnHigh] against the Rebbe and they want to mete out punishment, why is it necessary for thepunishment to affect the Rebbe’sfaculty of speech in particular?[That is, in his later years,the Rebbe Rayatz suffered adebilitating speech impediment.]Throughout the Rebbe’s life,he used his ability to speak forthe dissemination of Judaism, amission the Rebbe pursued withself-sacrifice, with his money and with his spirit. Indeed, the Rebbehas succeeded in this manner,fashioning a dwelling place forG-d in this world. Why then doesthe punishment have to strike afaculty that was utterly devotedto G-d?But this affliction the RebbeRayatz suffered constitutesthe concept of “He bears ourillness.”
HE DRESSES NO MORETHAN A SINGLE WOUNDAT A TIME
The example cited in theGemara regarding Moshiachis that “he sits among theimpoverished and suffersillness...applying one bandageand untying another,” meaningthat he dresses no more than asingle wound at a time, in orderthat when the Jewish peoplerepent and “they are immediatelyredeemed,” Moshiach will beready to come that very instant, without any delay, even a singleextra moment.But at first glance, it isdifficult to fathom how Moshiachcan be described as beingafflicted with wounds?The answer is, “I am withhim in suffering.” The sufferingof all Jews is the suffering of Moshiach. And not only inmatters that for Moshiach theyare considered suffering butmatters of concern to simple
21 Adar Rishon 5771