Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Has the Time for the Redemption Arrived?

From Harav Ginsburgh’s address to the Derech Chaim Movement Conference, 6th Tishrei 5775:


Has the Time for the Redemption Arrived?

By:
Published: November 10th, 2014




Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, dean of the Yitzhar Yeshivah
Photo Credit: Yitzhar Yeshivah
Can We Calculate the Date of the Final Redemption? The question of when Mashiach will come is one that has accompanied the Jewish People throughout its history, especially during times of exile, war and anti-Semitism. Is there any calculation we can do to help us discover when all this will come to a happy end and Mashiach will finally arrive? In the Bible itself we already find hints to the elusiveness of the date of the final redemption. The sages relate that before his passing, Jacob prophetically saw the date of the final redemption and wanted to reveal it to his sons, saying, “Gather around and I will tell you what will happen to you at the end of days,”[1] however, as soon as he said that, the end was concealed from him and he was not able to reveal it.[2]
Of all Biblical figures, Daniel is the one who stands out the most in his wish to know “the secret end”[3] but, the answer he receives is in the form of a cryptic riddle and he says, “These things are closed and sealed until the time of the end of days.”[4] The sages even warned against trying to calculate the date of the redemption with the sharp statement, “Those who calculate ‘ends’ should breathe their last breath!”[5]

Nonetheless, many great sages throughout Jewish history have occupied themselves with this “dangerous” occupation. An example of a sage who was opposed to such calculations is Maimonides who explains in his writings why it is not necessary to calculate the date of the final redemption, and might even be detrimental to do so, because it encourages false messiahs and may result in dismal disappointment. Nonetheless, in that very same treatise Maimonides offers his own calculation of the date of the final redemption, as if he just couldn’t help himself… From the opposite perspective, knowledge of when the redemption will arrive can be encouraging and strengthen our faith and our anticipation of better times, and can motivate us to make a proactive effort to help it happen more quickly.
Many such predictions of the date of the final Redemption have already been and gone, and we have arrived at the 5775th year since the world’s creation and Mashiach has not yet come. But, if we do things right, this year could be a very auspicious one. It might even be the year of the final redemption!
Generally speaking, there are a number of Kabbalistic and Chassidic writings that claim that there are verses in Exodus that allude to the date of the final redemption. However, particularly remarkable for us this year, is the tradition that Rebbe Shneur Zalman of Liadi (over two centuries ago) said that this verse alludes to this year, 5775.
The verse states, “And out of the one thousand seven hundred and five and seventy [shekels], he made hooks for the pillars; and he covered their tops and banded them.”[6] How does this verse relate to the date of the final redemption?
The way this allusion is deciphered is as follows: the number that appears in the verse, 1775, relates to the millennium that followed the destruction of the Second Temple (which took place in the fourth millennium, in year 3828). The Zohar states clearly that this millennium—years 4000 to 5000—is one thousand years in which the Jewish People is “in the dust.”[7] Adding another 775 years to this calculation, we reach this year, 775 years into the sixth millennium, 5775.
From our position at this stage in time, it becomes clear retroactively how the irregular order of the numbers in the verse are perfectly aligned with our history: first comes “The one thousand”—the first millennium of exile (4000-5000); then “and seven hundred,” another seven centuries until the year 5700 (1939-1940) in which the terrible holocaust began; “and five”—alluding to the five years of the holocaust (5700-5705), which was a time when God concealed His providence for the Jewish People; “and seventy”—these are the seven decades since the holocaust to our present day (5775), which with God’s help should be the year of redemption. All that is left to say is “Amen! May it be God’s will.”
The truth can be said that it is not our custom to occupy ourselves with calculating possible dates for redemption, because we are commanded to “Be sincere with Havayah, your God,” as Rashi interprets, “Walk with Him in sincerity and anticipate Him and do not research the future.”[8] Nonetheless, since such a clear allusion has come our way, we can certainly relate to this allusion to discover what it means to us, and what we can learn from it. In order to do so, we need to look at the original context of the above mentioned verse.
In the verses that precede this verse, Moses gives his account of what he did with the contributions that were donated for building the Tabernacle. Each of the Jewish People gave a coin that weighed one half of a shekel (a Biblical measure of weight), and all the silver that was collected was used in the construction of the Tabernacle. The half shekels of 600,000 people totaled one hundred talents (each talent weighed 3000 shekels) from which the silver sockets for the pillars of the Tabernacle were molded. But, the exact census of Jewish People was 603,550, so there remained another 3550 half shekels, i.e., 1775 shekels, from which Moses made the silver hooks at the top of the pillars and coated the tops of the pillars and their bands, as mentioned in the verse. What is the inner meaning of this?

The number 600,000 symbolizes the wholeness of the Jewish People and therefore was emphasized at the Exodus, at the Giving of the Torah, and at the entry into the Holy Land, which took place while this was the total of the census. From a Kabbalistic perspective, this number reflects the soul roots of the Jewish People throughout history, and even though today there are millions of Jews around the world, thank God, and may there be ever more, nonetheless the basic number remains 600,000 soul-roots, which divide into branches and sub-branches. Jewish souls have a close connection with the Torah, as the Zohar states, “Israel are connected to the Torah and the Torah is connected to God.” Just as there are 600,000 Jewish souls, so too “There are 600,000 letters in the Torah” (יש ששים ריבוא אותיות לתורה), a fact that itself alludes to the connection with the Jewish People, since the initial letters of the Hebrew phrase spell out the name “Israel” (ישראל). So, every Jew has their own letter in the Torah (and this is where Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, drew the inspiration for the wonderful idea of writing a Torah scroll for the entire Jewish People, in which every Jew can buy their own letter.)

But, what about the remainder? Those 3550 remaining souls who we don’t usually pay much attention to? There is an amazing Midrash[9] which relates that when Moses gave his account of how he had made use of all the donations, when he reached this remainder, he couldn’t remember how he had made use of it! Moses was so worried that the skeptics would think that he had desecrated their heartfelt donations by using the silver for his own use, God-forbid, that he was miraculously reminded of how he had used them. 

Moses gave the Torah to the People of Israel and as such he saw in the Torah the letter associated with each Jewish soul, but why did these Jews slip his mind? Rabbi Moshe Sofer (author of the Chatam Sofer, a great teacher of Jewish law) said that those 3550 “surplus” souls don’t have a corresponding letter in the Torah scroll! Can this mean that there are some Jews who have no connection to the Torah and are so distanced from the Torah, that there is no hope for them, God forbid? Although it might seem to be this way from a superficial perspective, contemplating those souls more carefully we discover that when even Moses could not remember how they were connected to the Torah, it was God Himself who reminded Moses where their contribution to the Tabernacle was located. This means that these special souls have a direct connection to God that bypasses the connection with the Torah and can suddenly be revealed in them when God Himself gives them a personal reminder of their Divine soul-root.
When we connect this idea with the fact that the verse that alludes to these souls also alludes to the date of the final redemption, it becomes clear that the secret of the redemption is hidden in those very same Jewish souls!
True, our regular relationship with God flows via the Torah and the commandments, and someone who does not keep the Torah detaches themselves from this veritable lifeline to God—however there is another innate, hidden relationship that manifests in the direct connection between these Jewish souls and God. This unique channel of communication operates even when it bypasses the official relationship via the Torah (this is because the highest and most innate source of Jewish souls is higher than the source of the Torah). This is the relationship that is revealed by Jewish individuals who are suddenly “turned on” to Judaism at some later stage in their lives to become full-fledged ba’alei teshuvah (returnees to God and His Torah). Their souls are “reignited,” as it were, from the point of their most profound connection to God. Once the connection has been reestablished, the individual can begin to nurture their relationship to God via the Torah (a relationship that it is forbidden to abandon!)
The power of these ba’alei teshuvah is that which will arouse and inspire us all and transform us all into ba’alei teshuvah on the public scale and: “The Torah has already promised us that the Jewish People will eventually do teshuvah at the end of their exile and immediately be redeemed.”
This means that this year—5775—is an excellent opportunity for us to bring the redemption. The fact that a calculation of the final date of redemption exists for this year should arouse us to make every deed we do count. In practice, it is our task to take a proactive stance, doing all we can to reach out and “turn on” as many Jews as we can to return to their soul root and, moreover, we need to achieve teshuvah not only on the personal level but also on the public level, in a way that will allow for the Jewish People to conduct a Jewish life in their own land. This is the type of teshuvah that will bring the redemption closer.
So, when will Mashiach come? The calculations allude to this year, with God’s help.
However, Mashiach himself has already answered the enigma more precisely, “Today, if you listen to His word.”[10]
Footnotes:Redemption
  1. Genesis 49:1.
  2. Ibid, Rashi ad loc.
  3. Daniel 12:6.
  4. Ibid vs. 9.
  5. See Sanhedrin 97a.
  6. Exodus 38:28.
  7. See Zohar I 116b.
  8. Deuteronomy 18:13; Rashi ad loc.
  9. Shemot Rabah 51:5;
  10. Tanchuma Pekudei, 7.
(Original links are here or here.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Secret of Jericho

Mechanisms in place can elevate the level of a Jew’s soul. He can do so two ways; He can mend his emotive constitution; And he can correct the way he thinks, speaks and acts.

Thought, speech and action are entirely under a person’s control! On the other hand, changing one’s emotional instincts takes inordinate efforts and cannot be relied upon.

This is why G-d did not command Moses to spy on the Land of Israel. Moses sent spies on his own accord. Only before Joshua would  take the Jews into the Holy Land, only then did G-d command that he send spies, and - only that they spy on the city of Jericho - not the entire country. Jericho was the key to unlocking Israel!

Why only Jericho and not the entire country?

Spying out Jewish territory implies, as every commandment in Torah is eternal, always inspecting one's resilience to follow Hashem's dictates. The Jew's soul is his personal Holy Land. Spying out the entire Jewish land means spying out one’s personality, temperments and behavior, to see if they operate in sync with divine demands. Conquering the land of the Cana’anites means to overhaul the entire terrain, both emotive and behavioral. But the conquest of Jericho, which reflects only the behavioral component, can certainly be relied on.

This is why G-d commanded that only Jericho be spied out, be investigated to see if one’s own “Jericho” subserves G-d’s wishes. Jericho, which in Hebrew comes from the word “odor”, relates to smell in that just as smell affects us but leaves no imprint, so too thought, speech and action do not reside within us.

That is to say, these 3 behaviors do NOT belong to the person. They come from an outside source directed for our use - but they do NOT belong to us as being part of our being, as do our emotive facets. To be sure - we need them also to exist, but they are not a fixture of our constitution; They are replaceable as such with other "ropes" also at our behest.  We here have choice under full control. We can climb these ropes to draw ourselves higher. There are also other ropes, also of higher source, only these, were they to be used, can take the Jewish soul to lower than original depth.

For lack of a better illustration, think of the car. The car will not function unless gas “from the outside” is fed into it. Similarly, our “car souls” need to feed on thought, speech and action that we draw in, as the lung needs oxygen, from another divine source, to function.

These 3 behaviors interface with the soul to give the soul existence. Because they derive from a loftier source that the soul itself, they can raise the level of the soul to guarantee it attains a higher perch from which to experience future revelations of divinity in the world-to-come. Why else was the soul sent down here into the nethermost of all worlds - if not to improve its lot?

We spoke earlier of sources of divinity, how one is higher than the other (see here). (By the way, this conceptual construct of higher and lower is the spiritual analogue of the physical 3D world of space, because spiritually there is no “space”, only the “higher and lower” paradigm from which the physical phenomenon itself derives.)

This is why, in fact, a person can better himself. He has full control of his Jericho - his thoughts, speech and actions. Like a circus acrobat who swings from rope to rope to reach a higher landing, so too the soul, by grabbing on to the right 3 “garments” of the soul, can lift himself higher from where he initially stood. We speak here of the Divine Soul.

Of course, the corollary of this configuration is that the person can also climb steeply downwards. For just as he can choose to deflect bad thoughts and change bad speech and behavior in favor of good ones, so too, by choosing the 3 garments purveyed by the Bovine Soul, his Divine Soul can be dragged to a level far lower from where it originated.
(adapted from ma'amorim of the Rebbe MH"M)

Open Your Eyes

If we’ve crossed into the Era of Redemption, as the Rebbe announced in 1991, we’re told by the prophet Michah that G-d will show us the most awesome miracles. We’ll SEE these with our very eyes, he says, “אראנו נפלאות”.

Since Redemption is a process and not an event, the degree of revelation we’ll SEE over time shall increase - until Redemption reaches full blossom.

But now, rather early into this era, miracles must be seen not so much with the naked eye but with our mind’s eye.

This most probably is why the Rebbe urged us to “open your eyes” - your mind’s eye.

So, what do we see? We see that Israel once again rose from the ashes, exists, thrives, and stands strong. Moreover, we see how genuine Torah spirit remains the bulwark against the breakdown of social values promoted by secular or "Westernized" elements.

That people speak of this or that that the Prime Minister said or did, or how X and Y reacted to what Z did, may seem like meaningful political chatter, but, if truth be told, all it really does is hinder the pace of revelations, for only Torah and Mitzvot have significant impact on our lives and on the world. Were we able to shut our eyes to political drama and stuff our ears to this inherently futile diversion, we’d much sooner sense the amazing transformation that now chugs along at snail’s pace.

Alas we are but made of human fabric and it’s hard to overhaul our psyches. And this and nothing else is why it seems foolish to expect Moshiach’s full revelation to happen overnight.

The miracles that we will see will come as Nature itself transforms and raises the level of our consciousness to new heights of perception. We’ll see details with better resolution. We’ll see divinity as it is invested in everything around us.

But until then all we can do is look for the signs of Geulah introspectively.

Is that so hard? Not if that’s what the Rebbe wants us to do. He doesn’t expect us to thread elephants into keyholes.

Well then, what do you see now? Do you not see how all of those siding against Israel, like crap in water, are floating to the top? Do you not see how an eddy of murder, torture, mutilation and insanity creates a powerful vaccuum that is sucking all these evil elements into their abysmal annihilation? What’s more, do you not see that Israel, let alone the individual experiences of normal mortality counts, may as well simply folds its arms across her chest and watch how all her enemies that surround her are being flushed down that sewage trap?

Do you not see how every war Israel ever fought abounded in miracles? Do you not see, for example, how Hizbullah, much much more powerful than Hamas, sitting on Israel’s border, is also being sucked away and into the black hole?

The worriers may continue to worry and bite their nails, but those of us that believe in the holy Rebbe’s words, while we do not trivialize the worriers’ worries, for individual sacrifices still mask the final and true redemption, find relief is SEEING and WATCHING how the Era of Ultimate Redemption is forging its way - to make this universe the utopia it was created for in the first place.

Redemptionists Chasing Their Tails

See how they paint their blogs “Redemptionist”. See how they desperately jump on clues when Moshiach will show up. See the breadth of scholarship they apply.

These people cannot get it through their skulls that seeking signs is futile because Moshiach will likely not show up in a bang. The Rambam says the world shall function “ordinarily” in Moshiach’s time (initial period).

Another reason signs never work is because humans are creatures of habit. The passage of time programs people to bide their time, to keep doing what they’re doing. Unless Moshiach parachutes in from outer space they’ll keep chasing their tails looking for that year during which he’ll pop in.

Well hear this sign-seekers: You’ll continue your hungry searching - all while it’s right there in front of you - under your noses! Moshiach already made his appearance! The Moses of the generation has already announced to the Jews the time of their ultimate redemption has begun! He also prophesied "הנה זה משיח בא"!

So for just what aspect of Moshiach are they so hungry in search of? Do they seek the end date of this gradual unfolding of the Redemption period? Are they after the retroactive start date?

Need signs? Then look at the halachic signs of how to identify Moshiach. Now here you have plenty - nay, ALL - signs that the Rebbe qualifies as Moshiach!

They need seek no more. They need to set aside the ego, set aside the smarts, and pour over the Rebbe’s teachings, especially since he invoked the midrash's prophecy, "The time of your Redemption has arrived, humble ones!"

Sunday, October 19, 2014

King Moshiach in Limbo

Even a pessimistic “Redemptionist”, he who rejects a qualified Moshiach candidate, understands we will not know anyhow for certain, until the war with Amalek is waged and the 3rd Temple is built, who Moshiach really is; Only then can we identify him with certitude. That’s according to Rambam.

In 1991 the Rebbe shook the Jewish populace at its core. He said, in effect, that Jews today, in order to bring on the Redemption, “need accept” him (e.g. see here or here).

With their return to the Holy Land, Jews now have a commandment to “choose for themselves a king”. I think the Lubavitcher Rebbe alluded to this very opportunity. Now that we've repossessed the Land of Israel, we become obliged to appoint a king.

However, even if a Jewish king can meet all requirements for being Moshiach, (as per Rambam), including the right pedigree, he does not nor can he behave as king of the Jews - unless Jews first designate him. If no Jewish king preceded him recently, then the people must launch this initiative.

Observant Jews know Chabad (“Lubavitchers”) considers the Rebbe as Moshiach, but the Jewish world at large, observant Jews not affiliated with Chabad, must also proactively participate. They too must recognize and acknowledge the Rebbe, as do Chabad chassidim, otherwise the pace of Redemption shall chug along.

Three commandments pertain to Jews in their land of Israel. The first is to nominate a king. The next two (war with Amalek and 3rd Temple Construction) must follow from the first; Nominating the king is a prerequisite to the other two.

This is what the Rebbe probably meant when he came out with his clarion call in 1991 to his thousands of emissaries, that the last step to take is to “accept him”. In fact, said he, without this step he “cannot” proceed. Moshiach’s mission cannot proceed unless sanctioned by the Jewish people. They must get together on this to move things forward.

Without acquiescing on this issue, even hypothetically, or by letting irrelevancies prevail, Jews hinder the process of Redemption; Moshiach needs Jews to accept his sovereignty!

Some Jews think all they need do is passively wait; They feel no need to contribute. But that’s because they do not yet appreciate the immense potential of their Jewish soul. They don't have time to think outside their box of conveniences.

Alas, most Jews so preoccupy themselves with Politics or Business every day - as if that really determines their Jewish future - for it will be Jewish when all is said and done. As if Jewish spirituality is insignificant ether. Meanwhile, that Jew does not yet “live Moshiach”.

Every single Jew is vital component and every Jew owns the obligation to participate in his King’s nomination.

Yes, there are plenty of Jews (observant with or without a kippah, with or without a beard) who still get thrills like when seated in a new auto, but the observant Messianic-thinking Jew regards this adolescent pleasure empty of adult priorities. The ultimate, he or she knows, is nothing less than Moshiach times; And everything else annoyingly distracts from the significant pleasure of remarkable revelations due when the Era of Redemption is in open bloom.

Eventually, I’m afraid, if not enough Jews embark on the bandwagon of the Rebbe as Moshiach, if critical mass is threatened by indifference, Hashem might tighten the screws to lurch apathetic Jews out of their exile slumber.

All this is NOT to say the Redemption is NOT in progress. On the contrary - we are well into this period that Rambam describes as “the world seeming to operate as usual”.

Sometimes the topic is, say, “Ebola”, another day it might be “ISIS”, or yet another day it might be “the stock market”, that preoccupies the casual, unaware Jew, but that the Redemption is past threshold and that he can accelerate its ultimate agenda (by preoccupying himself with Chassidus, Moshiach and Torah) - he still does not realize. He simply underrates or is ignorant of his own Jewish soul’s SPIRITUAL potential to reconfigure the fabric of this PHYSICAL world.

He does not know his own spirit’s strength. Who’d have thought an atom, 99.9% of which is empty space, could have produced the atom bomb?

The Rebbe first broke the news of the Redemption phenomenon. If we carefully squint to see clearly among the “usual” happenings, we can, in fact, see Redemption unfolding before our very eyes (e.g., here), only the process is in slow gear. Only the popular support of Jews can speed the Redemption’s ultimate revelations to come fast forward.

If only all Jews would, now, cherish the mitzvah to pick a king to rush us into the said utopia.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Ido the Prophet's Mistake

Ido the prophet (Kings 1:13) died an unusual death. G-d told him to avoid food and water in Beit El (a region of idolatry, where he prophesied to King Yerovom). He fell victim to an old man, a false prophet, who caught up with Ido traveling home, inviting Ido to dine with him. The old man duped Ido to believe he too was a prophet and that he now received a prophecy to tell Ido he can dine before taking his long return trip home.

Ido, upon taking to his trail again, encountered a lion that killed him.

Why this story in Tanach? What is its lesson? It teaches that a prophet’s mission cannot be changed by anyone other than he who delivered the prophecy to him in the first place! If Hashem dispatched him, only Hashem could now alter his mission.

The Rebbe of Lubavitch prophesied we have embarked upon the Era of Redemption. That means - for collective Jewry - they are on the road to complete redemption out of exile. It may not appear that way with the giant facade of exile still looming behind our backs, but if we “open our eyes”, we will see Redemption's manifestation unfolding as we breathe. We can begin to recognize the contours and scale of the entire transformation as we behold presently how Good and Evil become clearly demarcated for the whole world to see, and for each person in turn to pick the side he chooses, as the world turns into its new mode of existence. This Jewish New Year of 5775 draws down with it new lights with which to "see" the grand miracles that abound in this new era.

The Rebbe, besides being leader of the generation, is, as Moses was, a prophet. We have a monkey-wrench thrown into the fray (since the 3rd of Tammuz, 5754) that seems to obfuscate Natural and Supernatural aspects as to how they relate to Moshiach himself. But as long as people continue to learn about and understand Messianic issues, even if they deny the Lubavitcher reasoning, they are on the right path. (As the word “Moshiach” itself (משיח) suggests, which also spells out the words “from discourse”, (מִ  שִׂיחַ)).

No prophet can now deny the Rebbe’s mission (one he dreamed of since his childhood and) one he clearly asserted in the early 90’s. The Rebbe, as we Lubavitchers recognize, is King Moshiach. We base this presumption not on hunches but rather on the Rebbe’s own verbal pronouncements.

As the situation now deems, he cannot rule unless enough Jews acknowledge his sovereignty. A Jewish King requires the Jewish nation have a say in the theocratic initiative. May it be the will of Hashem that enough Jews awake from their diaspora slumber to commit to this fantastic turn of history, so we can already dance with Moshiach, bring Jerusalem alive with cheer and watch as Evil dissipates from physical existence and the 3rd Beit Hamikdash is built, when G-d and Jews will once regain universal prominence and nobility.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Good Tidings on Your 10-Day "Return Trip" for 5775

You start off the new Jewish year with a 10-day “return trip”, cleaning out your head for the first 10 days of the year; A laundry job on the mind. And what are we if not our minds?

In lieu of fireworks and martinis to greet the new year, we Jews recalibrate our spiritual gauges, recharge our transcendent mindset that will guide us all year long; For the first 10 days of the year we resolve to stay close to Hashem and His Torah whenever we can.

This is why from Tishrei 1 through 10 we recite King David’s Psalm 130, “A Song of Heights”. By invoking this prayer, we call out, and thereby draw down, by force of personal contemplation, from an inner depth that reaches and touches another profundity, the supernal wish, for which He reciprocates with disproportionate revelation.


Wishing every Jew a fabulously redemptive New Jewish Year!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The 1st of a 10-Day Trip - Rosh Hashana

The first day of every Jewish new year is a time for the Jewish soul to reflect inwardly. In fact, it is the first of ten consecutive days the Jew devotes to reestablish his bond with Hashem.

To start the year off right, to recharge the soul with divine inspiration to last an entire year, the priority that beckons is to perfuse oneself with a renewed commitment to Hashem. Yom Kippur caps off this 10-day period of “returning to Hashem” (תשובה).

What can תשובה accomplish? In the merit of diving into a new order of magnitude of commitment; Jolting one’s old composure in favor of a new divine insight that deserves attention; For a turnabout of one’s personality - A new dawn projects upon us, such as we never expected. Suddenly an even higher magnitude of insight shines in from Above, so intense as to render the hitherto trivial in comparison.

The legacy promised to our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob makes for a beautiful mosaic and the pieces to the puzzle, as the now more keen Jew will assess, are fitting nicely into place. Soon we will be dancing in the streets of Jerusalem with Moshiach clapping us on!

5775 - ... Other Sources

?  אמרי בינה - of the Mittler Rebbe


(In reference to previous post: Rumor re: 5775)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Inside the 4 Cubits of the Rebbe ...

Dr. Ira Weiss
This is simply fascinating! The longer he talks, the more you want to hear:

See here!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

SMS Message


------ SMS Text ------

Tanya: The world only exists because G-d keeps His light in it.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Fighting the Wars of Hashem

The Rebbe told us
(ש"פ חיי שרה תשנ"ב),
“The one job left to do is to disseminate to the world that King Moshiach already is operating in the world theater!” Already operating - in 1991!

One of Moshiach's jobs is to fight the wars of Hashem. But see how interesting - he's doing just that - single-handedly! Why on his own? Because he wants to show that, while other nations rely - “these on their chariots and those on their steeds” - we need only rely on Hashem.

Jews need not worry any more! They have the anonymous warrior waging chessmate against the enemies.

Everyone knows the proverb that "Moshiach's arrival shall come in breach of expectation". Nobody can predict Moshiach’s modus operandi for revelation because, we know, it will come unexpectedly (בהיסח הדעת).

The “unexpected”, however, cannot remain forever concealed. In the course of present time the unexpected must happen. Elazar Kenig, the Chabad rabbi in Nazareth Elite, concurs with the Rebbe's assertion, that "King Moshiach already is operating in the world theater!

He says: “It would be foolhardy to believe Israel can overcome her security problems as other nations rely, 'these on their chariots and those on their steeds' ‪‬(אלא ברכב ואלא בסוסים).  After all, the enemies of the Holy People, were each soldier merely spit into Israel, could drown Israel, so massive are their numbers."

He reminds us, “During the Persian Gulf War, the Rebbe invoked the Midrash, ‘It is the year in which King Moshiach reveals himself’, and he said, invoking the same Yalkut Shimoni, ‘Jews, have no fear! All that I do - is for your sake.’ Note the words ‘I do’ - that Moshiach is he who actively operates solely here! He started that war! He provoked Saddam Hussein into action. Then he prevented Israel’s participation in the war! Israel was prevented from presuming a consequence of ‘my power and my arm’s might’."

This is Moshiach’s own battle.

By the way, during the Persian Gulf War, amid the turmoil, with Kuwait invaded and overrun, the many enemies of Israel could well have swallowed up little Israel, G-d forbid, had they joined the fight. But the Rebbe handles the plot well.

Rabbi Kenig adds, “King Moshiach defeated the Communist Soviet Union", and this we'll not pursue here, for so many stories abound of the Rebbe's prophecies regarding Soviet Russia. But what more evidence do you need of this when we see Putin so often talking with a Chabad Rabbi and taking his advice as well? Russia is today very Jewish-friendly. Another important pawn as the Rebbe morphs the Diaspora into the Geulah!

Sunday, August 03, 2014

This Ongoing War of Good vs Evil

Soldier reciting שבת Kiddush
As we live concurrently with the Chumash weekly portion of Torah, where this week covers the portion of Vo'eschanan, we cannot forget the last verse (3:22) in the previous portion, Devarim, that left us off with:
"Do not fear them! 
For Hashem, your G-d - it is He Who fights for you!"
לא תיראום כי ה' אלהיכם הוא הנלחם לכם

Hashem, we know, transmits by proxy messengers on Earth to do His bidding, be the messenger an angel, a person, or a set of circumstances. Now, because the bidding is for war, and the period is Redemption, the messenger is a general. With the enemy frightfully close and venomous, the fight must be waged taken to the foe. (Although this general is hard at work, to most Jews he remains anonymous. As for his identity, we'll leave that for another time.)

The more prevalent perspective is a diaspora-conceived one. Here too, in its theatre of play, you have a "leader", where, say Bibi, runs the show.

Simultaneously two worlds function, each on its own level, where one's operation does not interfere with the other's. In fact, the higher world's orchestration also steers the lower world's circumstances unsuspectingly.

Vo'eschanan begins with Moshe telling us he wanted very much to take the Jews into the Era of Ultimate Redemption (for had Moshe stepped into the Holy Land, the  Era of Redemption would have immediately blossomed).  Moshe begged G-d for this favor, to be the redeemer of the redeemed.

He was turned down. Jews would have to wait over 3 millennia for Redemption to finally happen. In our present generation (and we are lucky therefore to be part of it), a Moses of our generation is fighting the Jews' battles. He's doing it on his own. He operates behind the scenes, by himself. Unlike the first Moses, this chief has been granted the privilege to be the redeemer of the redeemed.

Single-handedly he beat back Iraq's 39 Scud missiles during the Persian Gulf War.  He needs no helpers. Nay, he does not want any help. He certainly doesn't want to leave the impression that brains and strength won the day; He wants only that Divine Providence be credited for the victories.

These days we see a wider plan of action coming into play, one that has the world tuned in again, this time with even more diverse appeal and with the most menacing scenarios.

This war has the whole world focused in! No matter what hell breaks loose elsewhere, all eyes remain riveted on that small piece of property hugging the Eastern Mediterranean. Nothing can steal the spotlight from this show called "What's Going On in Israel?"

This war has got to be the final one, the last duel of Good versus Evil.

Iran may become another flashpoint, or some other foe, but focus on Israel will always capture universal appeal, will always remain center stage from now on - for one simple reason: Moshiach touches the lives of everyone, so everyone will have to know of him! Divine Providence will see to that. Everyone is almost forced to tune in or weigh in!

Moshe's overwhelming desire to enter Eretz Yisrael pivoted on his wish to see Jerusalem and the Place of the Holy Temple (Rashi 3:25).

Watch therefore, in our present day, in our present ongoing war, how Jerusalem and Temple Mount issues will be revved up, for Moshiach too, the Moses of our generation, has his eyes set on these two holy entities, which belong to the Jews only.

The war of Hamas is the ultimate fight against Jewish existence. Moshe reminds us in our Torah portion, therefore, who we Jews are and what privileges we have:
"You are a people bonded with Hashem, your G-d, as you are alive today!" (4:4)
ואתם הדבקים בה' אלהיכם חיים כלכם היום

The Jews (and their supporters) will therefore triumph in ultimate victory.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Tisha B'Av - From Condolences to Cheers

Nearly 2,000 years ago the Romans destroyed the 2nd Temple in Jerusalem. Banished from their beloved Land of Israel, Jews were scattered across the globe.

Was this punishment? Yes, superficially, but no, when you look at the destruction of the Temple as a phase in the rebuilding of the 3rd temple. Without the Second Temple's demolition, the Third Temple would be unattainable.

Holiness, should it suffer a decline, suffers the decline for the purpose of achieving thereafter an even higher than original state of holiness. As a prerequisite for this higher level of holiness, the descent is a necessary component, as sure as a seed must first decompose in the earth before it "recovers" and creates a tree.

The first two Temples were built by human hands. The third Holy Temple will be built by God, leaving about 1% of the job for man to finish.

To merit this ultimate, eternal Temple, Jews had to undergo exile for nearly two millennia, which forced upon them a refinement that only an exile, a long one at that, could accomplish. Exile to the Jew has been the smelting process from which he can be extracted in his refined state.

Tisha B'Av for Jews is a day of mourning for on this calendar day both Temples were destroyed (and other Jewish tragedies). But chassidus of the last several generations has given impetus to think positively of the whole mess, to reveal that despite the travails, an ulterior purpose, a good one, is being served.

And therefore Tisha B'Av is also the day the supernal light impregnating this darkness took conception. For on the day of the 2nd Temple's destruction, a higher cause was also put into motion; On that day, Midrash Eichah tells us, Moshiach was born.

(A question arises for those who believe the Rebbe of Lubavitch is Moshiach, for the Rebbe's birth date is different from Tisha B'Av; Here's a resolution of that riddle: link)

This brightest of stars, we began seeing glimmers of its shine breaking through the fog of a turbulent world, at least for those whose eyes are keenly focused to the teachings of our sages and Rebbeim.

This bright floodlight will soon bathe the earth, will raise the earth orders of magnitude in spirituality, will reward people with this new insight, will sweep away evil and will bring the utopia meant for in the first place - may it happen very soon, in our own days.

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