The Baal Shem Tov, or Besht —  the founder of Chasidism — 
met the soul of the Messiah during an ascent to heaven. 
The Besht asked him, "When will the Master come?" 
The Messiah answered, "When your wellsprings break forth to the outside!" 
(from a letter written by the Besht to his brother-in-law about one of his soul ascents) 

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Vashti is Shekhinah

The Izhbitzer rebbe, Mordechai Lainer, on Vashti the queen:

When the Men of the Great Assembly saw that Achashverosh (Ahasuerus) commanded Vashti to come to him naked, they understood that God wanted to bestow upon Israel the true revelation, without any garments, as it is to be in the future, when God reveals God's light without any garments whatsoever.

The Baal Shem Tov, z"l, said concerning ‘naked’, "And [Vashti] did not appear, for this state of ‘naked’ had not yet come." That is, God gave Israel Torah and commandments, which are garments, through which they may reach to God's essence, blessed be. For in this world, it is not within human power to reach God's essence other than by means of material garments.
from Mei Hashiloach 1, Likutim Megillah v'hakarov

One thing I find so unusual about this text is that Vashti, who is not Jewish, symbolizes the redeemed state of the Shekhinah in the future. Of course Esther, who goes through months and months of preparation for her robing, is the Shekhinah in garments, who remains hidden, nistar, from the naked eye and in exile from the Holy One.


Design in progress © Rabbi David Mevorach Seidenberg 2006