Two years ago, the Gerrer Rebbe said that Mashiah would come within 2 years.
A commenter named Mike commented here:
It is now 2007 and no Moshiach. ANYONE who tries to guess when Moshiach will return is playing a loosing game. Such greats even as the Rambam and many more illustrious sages have also been mistaken. Look what this issue did to Chabad. Please turn your thoughts and efforts to something else. When Moshiach comes we will know it. Until then, well, we won't.
Mike's feelings are common. We've been burned before.
Was the Gerrer Rebbe incorrect here? Bimhilat Kevodo, I have to unfortunately say - yes. Some may explain his words to be referring to some spiritual realm - and that may have or may not have occurred - but the physical act of Mashiah coming did not occur, and we have not experienced what was predicted in the time that it was predicted. May it occur soon.
That being said, we are so much closer than any of the sages of the past, and that is agreed to by all present-day sages. This is why I cling to these statements. When I go to Shamayim, I will be asked "Tsipita Lishu'a?", and these predictions - when given by a recognized rabbinic authority - are one way of expecting Ge'ula. If the predictions don't pan out, I don't give up hope. I still believe in his arrival every day.
And so, I will not turn my thoughts and efforts to something else, as Mike suggests. I will continue posting on the subject as I see fit.
I will now make an XGH-like warning:
If, by reading this blog, your Emuna in Mashiah is diminished due to failed predictions or for any other reason, then do not read this blog.
לתקן באתי ולא לקלקל
As for me, I will believe nonetheless.