The souls of all generations, say our sages, comprise a single body. The towering minds of history are its head, the passionate souls its heart, the great achievers its arms—each with its distinct function and role, each complementing and fulfilling the human mission in creation.
Our generation is referred to as the “feet of Moshiach.” This reflects the paradox of our lives: On the one hand, we are the lowliest of all generations, devoid of the understanding, the spiritual sensitivity and the great deeds of our illustrious forbearers. On the other hand, we are the final and culminating generation of history, upon which all else stands and moves; we live in a time when the footsteps of the approaching redeemer already reverberate through a world on the threshold of perfection.
Said Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok of Lubavitch: “Master of the Universe! A hat that is a size too small is uncomfortable, but tolerable. But a pinching shoe is pure torture. Perhaps earlier generations were better equipped to endure the pressures of history; but we, the lowly feet, can no longer suffer the pain. Please, go easy on us…”