Chabad Rabbi Yoseph Zaltzman hopes a billboard campaign that brings the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s message to the Greater Toronto Area will “hasten the coming of Mashiach.”
Since December, 75 billboards have been posted around the city featuring an image of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson, along with a message that says, “Let’s welcome Moshiach with ONE additional act of Goodness and Kindness.”
“You see, there are a lot of changes in the world. All these changes are moving toward what we will very soon see, the revelation of Mashiach,” said Rabbi Zaltzman, the leader of the Jewish Russian Community Centre, who is behind the campaign.
“We are all waiting for the world to be redeemed from all the tzuris that we see all over the world around us, including Israel. So that is part of this campaign. It’s awareness, and it’s demanding that we do acts of kindness. It’s part of a worldwide campaign.”
Rabbi Zaltzman explained that Rabbi Zushe Silberstein, a Chabad rabbi in Montreal who has been putting up similar billboards in Montreal for years, suggested that he do so as well.
‘Be nicer to your friends. It’s a reminder that it’s the light that will fight the darkness of terrorism, the darkness that we see in the world’
“He’s the one that approached me and said he had a good deal for Toronto,” Rabbi Zaltzman said. “He said a company offered him a good price to put up billboards in Toronto. So I got involved. I found a few people to participate. A few businesspeople took billboards for their businesses as well.”
In addition to the 75 billboards that depict the Rebbe, Rabbi Zaltzman said there are hundreds of other billboards put up by local businesses, with this message at the bottom: “We want Moshiach now.”
He said there are about 20 people who took part in this campaign. Although he wouldn’t specify how much it cost, he said he got “an unbelievable price.”
The billboards of the Rebbe also point to a website, www.moshiach.com, which provides articles about the Mashiach by senior Chabad rabbis, including New York rabbis Yoel Kahan and Naftali Silberberg, as well as the late Rabbi Immanuel Schochet, who resided in Toronto.
There is also a frequently asked questions section that provides answers by Chabad rabbis to questions such as, “Can’t we survive without Moshiach? Can we get a scaled-down version of Moshiach? Why do mitzvot if Moshiach’s coming is imminent?”
Rabbi Zaltzman said the Rebbe’s message is not exclusive to the Jewish community.
“It’s about acts of goodness and kindness. Be nicer to your friends. It’s a reminder that it’s the light that will fight the darkness of terrorism, the darkness that we see in the world, the intolerance… There is a lot of darkness in the world,” he said.
“Any human being, doing acts of goodness and kindness – it’s a very practical thing that we have the choice to do every single day… Go out of your way and do something good that brings brightness and hastens the coming of Moshiach.
“We are in the last generation of exile and soon to be the first generation of redemption.”