15 January 2016

"...prediction for the End-of-Days, and its comparison of the Final Redemption..."

Rabbi Pinchas Winston Shlit"a on Parshas Bo

We may all be in for a big surprise, according to the Zohar (large case) and the Mitok Midvash (small case):

DAY WILL COME before the arrival of Moshiach THAT WILL BE for the Jewish people AS IT WAS AT THE LEAVING OF EGYPT, REGARDING WHICH IT SAYS, “AND YOSEF DIED, ALL HIS BROTHERS AND THAT GENERATION” (Shemos 1:6).

This means that the knowledge and grasp of Torah will end, and their lives will become embittered just as the exile overpowered them after the death of Yosef. There will be “poverty” of Torah in the final generation, and financial poverty which deny them the strength to properly be involved in Torah. 

With respect to this it says, THERE WON’T BE DEATH IN THE FINAL GENERATION EXCEPT FOR POVERTY, BECAUSE A POOR PERSON IS CONSIDERED DEAD (Nedarim 64b), TO FULFILL THROUGH THEM, “AND I WILL LEAVE OVER IN YOUR MIDST A HUMBLE AND POOR PEOPLE, AND THEY SHALL TAKE SHELTER IN THE NAME OF GOD” (Tzephania 3:12), AND TO FULFILL THROUGH THEM, “YOU DELIVER THE HUMBLE PEOPLE” (II Shmuel 22:28). (Zohar, BeHa’alosecha, Ray’a Mehemna 153a)

There is no question that the financial situation has worsened over the last 10 years. Everyone points it out, especially the “Givers.” Between the greed-fueled stock market crashes and the greed-fueled scandals, money is just not flowing in the Jewish world as it once did. It has affected everyone, even the honest people, and the Zohar addresses this as well:

THE WEALTHY WHO REMAIN among the Jewish people WILL FULFILL the words of the verse, “YOU ARE LAX, JUST LAX” (Shemos 5:17). They are LAX IN TORAH learning themselves AND LAX IN DOING charitable GOOD FOR THOSE WHO COULD LEARN TORAH, AND THE MEN OF VALOR, that is, the Torah scholars WHO ARE CIRCULATING from necessity FROM CITY TO CITY AND DO NOT RECEIVE FAVOR or mercy. (Zohar, BeHa’alosecha, Ray’a Mehemna 153a)

The Zohar, interestingly enough, does not stop here with its prediction for the End-of-Days, and its comparison of the Final Redemption to the first one. It even anticipates the reason for the withholding of funds, and it will not be as people say:

THEY ARE LAX, the wealthy people claim, BECAUSE OF THE WEIGHT OF TAXES, and that this is the reason why they cannot support Torah scholars. IF YOU SAY that the reason is because THEY ARE BURDENED BY THE WEIGHT OF THE TAX, AND THAT this is why THEY DO NOT DO GOOD, it is not true. They are simply lax and the opposite is the case. Not sufficiently helping Torah scholars causes taxes to become burdensome, which in turn prevents them from being generous with Torah scholars. Regarding them it says, “LET THE LABOR FALL HEAVY UPON THE MEN AND LET THEM WORK AT IT” (Shemos 5:9), that is, let there be HEAVY TAXES UPON THEM. Thus, though at first they willingly refused to help
Parashas Bo 5776!3

Torah scholars in the end they be forced not to support them. Thus it further says, “AND LET THEM NOT SPEAK ABOUT FALSE MATTERS” (Shemos 5:9) that is, by increasing taxes and making it very difficult to support Torah scholars THEY WILL actually NOT BE SPEAKING FALSELY since it will be as they say. (Zohar, BeHa’alosecha, Ray’a Mehemna 153a).

The verses quoted by the Zohar are of course talking about the situation for the Jewish people in Egypt at the end of the oppression, which was very different from the situation as it exists today. Without the Zohar, one would never have thought to interpret them in such a way as to apply them to the final exile and redemption, and certainly not in the manner that the Zohar has explained them. This is even though there are strong comparisons made between the leaving of Egypt and the Final Redemption.

The Zohar says that we invite crisis when we do not follow in His ways, so whatever follows is to right the wrong. Therefore, it is now as good a time as ever to become an expert in concepts such as trust and faith in God.

People will mock such ideas, they usually do. Nevertheless, at this point, it is the only real preparation for what happens at the end of an exile. Maybe this is what the Talmud means when it compares the Final Redemption to the first one, also in terms of how many people will survive. The midrash says that it was position and money that kept four-fifths of the Jews in Egypt when the time to leave came. They all perished in the Plague of Darkness as a result. According to the Talmud, the situation will be likewise in the Messianic Era as well (Sanhedrin 111a).

They too mocked.


EMUNAH and BITACHON

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