15 Сивана 5784 г., шестой день недели, гл. Баалотха

22nd of Shvat 1988: the beginning of a new historical period

By the grace of the Almighty in 1988, an unpredictable great historical change began to take place in the USSR, known to us as the era of “Glasnost” and “Perestroika”.

30.12.2022 532 (0)
22nd of Shvat 1988: the beginning of a new historical period

Tens of thousands of nuclear bombs and missiles have been made by world powers over the decades. This arsenal was built by them to enable launching a response nuclear counterattack, even if there could be a sudden nuclear offensive. At the peak of the Cold War, the world powers possessed about 77,000 nuclear weapons.

By the grace of the Almighty in 1988, an unpredictable great historical change began to take place in the USSR, known to us as the era of “Glasnost” and “Perestroika” (the Rebbe had already foretold all this in 1985). This process led to the fall of communism and the end of the Cold War, which threatened world peace.

It is also notable that the main process of change in the USSR began after 22 Shvat (the day of the death of the Lubavitcher Rebbe SHLITA King Moshiach’s wife). This day, according to the Rebbe himself, marked the beginning of a new (third) era in his leadership of the Lubavitcher movement and world Jewry, which automatically had an impact on the entire world. It was at this time (May 26, 1988) that the most important law of the “Perestroika” era was passed — the law on cooperatives. It allowed citizens for the first time to own businesses in the spheres of services, industry, production, foreign trade, etc., which created a major change in the USSR, because before this law was introduced all factories, malls, stores and even all apartments and residential buildings were entirely in the hands of the communist regime.

This was the beginning of a series of laws and changes in the country that paved the way for fundamental transformations in the country and its communist regime, directly facilitating the collapse of the USSR that immediately followed.

This collapse led to the end of the Cold War and a dramatic reduction in the threat of World War III. The end of the Cold War changed the whole world. The fall of the “Iron Curtain” allowed millions of Jews (many of whom repatriated to Israel) to leave the country and resulted in a regime change for the benefit of hundreds of millions of people. The collapse of the Soviet Union also brought peace and unity to the world (which until then had been divided into two parts and constantly exposed to the danger of nuclear war).

The end of the “Warsaw Pact”

Also at this point, another process of great importance began: the dissolution of the “Warsaw Pact”. This alliance, signed in the city of Warsaw, the capital of Poland, was actually a military alliance between many Eastern European countries and the USSR, which was intended to combine the power of all these countries to fight against NATO and the United States in case of “World War III.” The Eastern European countries that made up this alliance acted together and in coordination against the Western countries and for years had been preparing to unleash a nuclear war against them.

The massive strikes and demonstrations that took place in Poland in 1988 (a few weeks after 22 Shvat) strengthened the political movement of “solidarity” and in the 1989 elections this movement defeated the Communist Party, winning 99 out of 100 seats in Parliament! Thus, for the first time in decades, a state in Eastern Europe had power free from the control of the Communist Party!

The revolutionary changes in the government of Poland resulted in its withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact, which was followed by all the other countries of Eastern Europe. The Warsaw Pact was completely abolished and the threat to world peace reduced even further.

At the same time, on the 30th of Shvat 1988, waves of demonstrations began in Armenia, which quickly turned into huge protest waves, reaching a million protesters in a week — a quarter of all Armenian citizens!

These mass protests, followed by strikes, also formed the first wave of demonstrations in Eastern Europe, which eventually caused the collapse of the Communist governments.

In addition, on the 25th of Shvat 1988, protests began in the Nagorno-Karbakh region, leading to its separation from the USSR and a further chain reaction towards the separation of all the Eastern European countries from the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence.

From 1989 to 1991, the amazing process of global change continued, with waves of protests and strikes that crushed all communist governments in Eastern Europe — in Albania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Bulgaria.

In the month of Cheshwan 1990, the Berlin Wall, which had divided West Germany from East Germany for decades, was destroyed by the Soviet Union, and then these countries were reunited under a democratic government.

In 1990-1991, the Soviet Union also began to disintegrate more rapidly as its economy decayed and all of its member states announced their separation from it and independence. At the end of 1991, the collapse of this empire, which threatened the entire world, was declared.

As it was mentioned, all of these changes began immediately after the 22nd of Shvat 1988, which the Rebbe described as “the last stage of the world’s preparation for Redemption started from that moment.” The Rebbe also explained that on that day there was a full unification of aspect “10” with aspect “11,” when the “lower world” becomes the “dwelling place” for the Essence of the Almighty.

It can be said that this reflects not only in the events mentioned above (the collapse of the Soviet Union, the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and all communist regimes, immigration into Israel, etc.), but also in their form. After all, all these events were the result of changes in the activities of the people themselves (“the lower”), the ordinary inhabitants of Eastern European countries and the Soviet Union, who decided to take their destiny into their own hands and stand against the repressive regimes (which in some cases chose to be inactive in this processes and quickly dissolved, which also expresses the purification of the “lower” and the fact that they, for their part, are ready for Redemption).

The process of reducing nuclear weapons arsenals

As a result of all this, the “Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty” was signed in July 1991 to reduce their capacity to about 6,000 active nuclear warheads each (instead of the roughly 77,000 warheads they had together!)

The Friday night before Shabbat “Mishpatim” in 1992 was a global event when all the major powers met at the UN (in New York City) and announced their intention to reduce nuclear weapons production and redirect resources to welfare and the economy.

Disarmament continues to this day — several years ago a “NEW START” agreement was signed, under which Russia and the U.S. will reduce their force to 1,550 active nuclear warheads.

The Rebbe explained that the very reason for disarmament was the action of Moshiach himself, who works for the nations of the world to change their ways for the better. The Rebbe also added that the reason the meeting was held in New York City (and not in the capital) had to do with the fact that it is the Rebbe’s own city! In addition, the Rebbe connected the fact of the disarmament to the famous ruling by hundreds of rabbis that the Rebbe himself is our righteous Moshiach!

One of the goals of the Redemption is that the nations of the world that have clashed with each other “shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, nor shall they learn war any more.” (Yeshayahu 2:4), so the disarmament of nuclear weapons, which continues to this day, is another clear sign that we are very close to the Redemption.

It should be noted that there are currently no countries in the world that are engaged in comprehensive warfare (only threats and border disputes, limited conflicts, etc.), the Global desire is to resolve disputes without turning to war, and totalitarian regimes continue to collapse all over the world.

By adding to the Torah study and Mitzvos, and by thanking the Almighty for the miracles that are happening to us, we will speed up with confidence and joy the coming of Redemption and the revelation of the Lubavitcher Rebbe SHLITA King Moshiach!

Translated by D. Bilyayev From Начало нового исторического периода Comments: 0

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