Anticipating the Redemption and Yearning for Moshiach
דף מקורות מאת Mordechai Lewis
Rav Wasserman writes in a letter sent from his hometown of Baranovitch, Lithuania, dated Thursday, Parshas Chukas:
“… Moshiach will come בהסח הדעת, when we aren’t thinking about him. Just as when the Jews were redeemed from Egypt, it says, ‘They did not heed Moshe because of shortness of breath and hard work,’ before Mashiach’s arrival, too, people will be so dulled by pain and suffering that they will be incapable of accepting words of comfort and consolation…”
From Rav Wasserman’s words, Rabbi Yechezkel Levenstein’s statement doesn’t sound farfetched:
“When it comes to the arrival of Moshiach and the resurrection of the dead, we are quiet, as if we are embarrassed to speak about them, as if we have given up them altogether…”
Before we begin discussing Moshiach in depth, let me quote to you the words of Rabbi Eliyahu Lopian:
“While in London I heard from the holy Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman, quoting the Chofetz Chaim, that Chazal say the War of Gog and Magog will be threefold. After the First World War, the Chofetz Chayim said that it was the first battle of Gog and Magog and that in about 25 years there would be a second world war, which would make the first one seem insignificant. Then there would be the third war…”
True, to the Chofetz Chayim’s prediction, WWII began in 1939, exactly 25 years later! How did his prediction materialize so accurately? The Gemara states, “The tzaddik decrees and Hashem fulfills.”
Nevertheless, does there really need to be a third world war? It depends on us.
As the Gemara says, “There are three things that have the ability annul harsh decrees. They are: tefillah, teshuvah and tzedakah.” Furthermore, one should involve himself in Torah, doing acts of kindness and eating three meals on the Shabbos.
What is Geulah?
The Gemara states a metaphor: “The ultimate Redemption will be like the morning star, which sheds very little light as it begins to emerge, but then burst forth and can be seen in its full and luminous glory.” As Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein explains: “The Geulah is not a moment. Rather, it’s a process.” Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai says, “The redemption is not to happen all at once, but rather a little at a time.”
Similarly, the Malbim says, “A long time before the redemption a few men of the Diaspora will gather and settle in Yerushalayim. After many years of settlement there, the birth pangs of the redemption will come to them and then the general ingathering of the exiles begin.”
How many people does it take to bring the Final Redemption?
Hashem Himself answers this question:
“I searched for someone who would stand before Me and daven on behalf of Klal Yisroel, that I should not destroy them, but I did not find anyone, so therefore I will pour out My wrath against them and consume them with the flame of My fury.”
One person could have saved all of Klal Yisroel - one person could have prevented the churban. If even one person would have stood up and prayed on behalf of Klal Yisroel.
Hashem would have rescinded His decree. This is a message of Hashem which is repeated by another one of His prophets as well:
“Go in the streets of Yerushalayim… and seek in its plazas if you will find a just man if there is one who dispenses Justice and seeks emunah if you find even a lone man like this then I will forgive the whole city.”
If there would have been even one person in all of Yerushalayim who was just, Hashem would have forgiven the entire city. 
Mesillas Yesharim states the following:
Now, if a person should say, “Who am I? What is my importance that I should pray about the end of the exile of Israel and about the rebuilding of Yerushalayim, etc.? Will my prayer cause the exiles to be ingathered and the redemption to sprout forth?” The Gemara responds to a person with such a mindset: Man was created as an individual: so that each person should say to himself, “For my sake, the world was created.”
The Gemara is teaching us that was worthwhile for Hashem to create the world for the sake of a single person! Thus, each individual is of inestimable importance and his prayers may indeed have a powerful impact. Moreover, in any case, it is a source of satisfaction to [Hashem], blessed be He, that His children request and pray for this. Even if their requests are not fulfilled because the appropriate time for the Redemption has not yet arrived or for whatever other reason, they have, regardless, done their [part] by praying for it and the Holy One, blessed be He, rejoices over this concern of theirs for His honor.
Regarding the Geulah, Rabbi Pinchas Winston cites Rabbi Yechezkel Levenstein, who states the following:
“The exodus from Egypt liberated only one out of five Jews — and some say one out of every 50 – because all those who were bound to Egypt and did not want to depart died in the three days of darkness and were not privileged to leave. That is, only those who desired redemption with all their hearts were redeemed.”
However, what most people do not know is what Rabbi Levenstein adds:
“The Final Redemption, likewise, depends upon our yearning.”
As we say every morning, “By the End of Days He will send our Messiah, to redeem those longing for His final salvation.”
Secondly is emunah, faith. This entails keeping Shabbos. Why? Because Shabbos is the basis of faith. If our nation will keep just two Shabbosos properly, Moshiach will come immediately. However, the Yerushalmi says that our nation only needs to keep Shabbos. Rav Chaim Kanievsky said that we hold like the Yerushalmi.
Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai a frightening statement:
“…When Hashem decides to bring the Geulah He will look down on the world and see if there is a tzaddik who is worthy of bringing the redemption. Hashem will see that there is no one who has sufficient merit for this, and He will need to bring great tribulations on the Jewish people, in order that the Geulah should take place. At the same time, happy is this generation, for someone who passes the tests of this trying period with strong emunah will merit to see the light of Hashem.”
How does one accomplish both tasks?
The Chofetz Chayim says, “If we were truly yearning for the final Redemption and waiting each day for its arrival, then we would be preparing ourselves by learning the relevant halachos, for there are many halachos to be learned and they cannot all be covered in a short time… For if it would be revealed that in a short time the final Redemption would arrive, then certainly millions of Jews would quickly learn the halachos to the Beis HaMikdosh, since at that time all of these halachos will be applicable, not only for kohanim but for all Jews, for instance, the halachos regarding eating karbonos and visiting the Mikdash… Therefore, if we are truly waiting and yearning for the final Redemption… we too should arouse ourselves and learn these halachos with all our strength.”
Is there any sefer that exists nowadays which has relevant halachos regarding the Beis HaMikdosh?
Yes! It’s called Days Are Coming by Rabbi Moshe Silberstein.
What is the sefer about? It’s an In-Depth Analysis of the Practical Halachos Relevant to Visiting the Bais HaMikdash. By studying this sefer, one is imbuing himself with faith that Hashem will redeem us. Secondly, a person should designate some type of article of clothing – i.e. suit, shirt, hat, belt or shoes etc., that he/ she has designated to wear when Moshiach reveals himself. As the Sefer HaChinuch says, “A person is fashioned by his deeds.” Therefore, saying the 12th Principle of the Ani Ma’amins every day or learning Seider Kodshim isn’t enough.
Conversely, the Rambam says, “Anyone who does not anticipate Moshiach’s revelation denies [the pronouncements] of the prophets; even worse than that, he rejects the Torah and Moshe our Teacher.”
What’s the purpose of the redemption?
That G-d’s Name should be sanctified…  As the Rambam says, “Moshiach will correct the entire world to worship G-d together, as it says, ‘For then I [G-d] will turn to the peoples a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Hashem, to serve Him with one consent.’”
What’s the main emphasis of הָשִׁיבָה שׁוֹפְטֵינוּ כְּבָרִאשׁוֹנָה, restore our judges as we had formerly? וּמְלֹךְ עָלֵינוּ אַתָּה ה' לְבַדְּךָ, rule over us – You, Hashem, alone. The whole world should know of His existence!
Why in Ma’ariv do we ask our Creator, “gather us from among the nations…”? In order that, “… All the nations that You have made will come and bow down before You, O L-rd, and they will give glory to Your Name.”
Sometimes, a person needs to ask themselves, “Am I in this world to sanctify G-d’s Name or my own name?” The Novi give us the proper mindset: “You are My servant, Yisrael, through whom I am glorified!”
Can one return to G-d after Moshiach reveals himself?
The Ramban says that teshuvah is no longer a possibility.
Where will he reveal himself from?
Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai says, “He shall reveal himself in the land of Galilee because in this part of the Holy Land the desolation (Babylonian exile) first began, therefore he will manifest himself there first…”
Is he superhuman?
The Jewish Messiah is truly human in origin, He is born of ordinary human parents and is of flesh and blood like all mortals.
How would one describe him?
He is a leader of the Jews, strong in wisdom, power and spirit.
In addition, he will bring eternal peace, love, prosperity and moral perfection to the entire world. A feat which no world leader has been able to accomplish!
Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman zt”l, wrote in a letter: “Several times I heard from the holy Chofetz Chayim, that we can learn about the end of our exile from what happened at the end of our exile in Egypt…”
How? The posuk says, “It happened during those many days, that the king of Egypt died and the Children of Israel groaned because of the work and they cried out. Their cry for help from the oppression rose up to G-d.”
Rabbeinu Bachayei writes the following:
“Even though the time of the redemption had arrived, they weren’t worthy of being redeemed. However, once they all cried out in unison from the work that they were undergoing, their tefillos were accepted… This is to teach you that the tefillah of a person is only complete when one cries out from the pain and stress that are contained within one’s heart. This type of tefillah is more accepted by Hashem then mere lip service.”
He continues, “It is possible to say that this parsha is a hint to our future redemption which depends on returning to G-d and prayer. For we find that in Egypt they were redeemed because they returned to G-d and prayed to G-d who responds in time of distress and their prayers were accepted; then the Redeemer came to them immediately.”
Who was that? Moshe. As the Novi says, “It will be a sign and a witness to Hashem in the land of Egypt, that when they cry out to Him because of oppressors, He will send them a savior and a leader who will deliver them.” In fact, R’ Berachia said in the name of R’ Yitzchak that the last redeemer will be just as the first.
Believe it or not (and I’m not referring to Ripley), Rabbeinu Bachayei’s “possibility” is an actuality! What do I mean? The Gemara states that our nation was redeemed from Egypt due to distress, crying out and returning to G-d.
The Chofetz Chayim states: “All the many troubles that have fallen upon us, from which we have still not been saved, are because we don’t scream and increase our prayers in response to them. If we had prayed (properly), we would not have returned empty-handed. And it is not enough that (one) prays the Shemoneh Esrei prayer three times each day; several times daily he must pour out his requests in solitude, in his house, from the depths of his heart. The three regular prayers are so routine that one does not really concentrate during them – which is not the case if each person would contemplate in solitude his own plight... then he would pour out his heart like water to Hashem. Such a prayer would emerge with very deep intent with a broken heart and with great humility. Such a prayer will certainly not go unanswered…!”
Every morning we say, “He responds to His people at the time they cry out to Him.”
The Medrash states, “When Israel went out of Egypt, they looked back and saw the Egyptians chasing after them… When Israel saw, they were surrounded on all sides – the sea in front of them blocking their path, their enemy chasing after them, and wild animals on both sides in the desert – they lifted their eyes up to their Father in Heaven, and cried out to the Holy One Blessed be He, as it is written: ‘…and Bnei Yisroel cried out to Hashem.’ Why did Hashem do this to them? Because Hashem yearned for their tefillos.”
Rav Yitzchak said, “The salvation of Israel depends only on crying... as it is written: ‘...with crying, they will come and with lamentations, I will lead them.’”
When an infant wants his parents to give him attention, he cries. If they don’t hear him or choose to ignore him, he cries, screams even louder or throws a tantrum, until his parents come and attend to his needs.
The Chofeitz Chayim says the following:
“Even though we pray for the redemption several times every day, requesting by itself is not enough. One must demand the redemption, just as with the wages of a hired worker. Failure to do so shows that this matter is clearly not that urgent to us!”
With Hashem’s help, may we all merit, very soon, to witness the revelation of Moshiach Tzidkeinu, who will make our Creator’s Name Great Again!
Dedicated in memory of Rav Yisrael Meir ben R’ Aryeh Zev HaKohein, Menachem Mendel ben Levi Yitzchak, Elchonon Bunem ben Naftali Beinish, Dovid Tzvi ben Yosef Yochanan, Kayla Rus bas Bunim Tuvia and Chana Tziporah bas HaRav Nochum Yehuda HaKohein.
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 Excerpted from Rav Schwab on Chumash by Rabbi Myer J. Schwab, page 231.
 Shemos 6:9.
 Rabbi Yechezkel Levenstein cited in Geulah BeRachamim by Rabbi Pinchas Winston, page 78 (in physical book).
 Leiv Eliyahu, Shemos, (page 172) “וכעת בעיקבתא דמשיחא”. See also Rav Schwab on Chumash by Rabbi Myer Schwab, pages 240 – 241 (Israel Bookshop Publications).
 There’s a dispute whether World War III will be before the revelation of the Moshiach or after (אוצרות אחרית הימים, פרק ה', מלחמת גוג ומגוג and When Moshiach Comes: Halachic & Aggadic Perspectives by Yehudah Chayoun, part 1, chapter 5, The Battle of Gog and Magog.
 Kesubos 103b and Tehillim 145:19.
 Sanhedrin 97b, Yerushalmi, Ta’anis 8b “שלשה דברים מבטלין את הגזירה קשה ואלו הן תפלה וצדקה ותשובה” and Bereishis Rabbah 44:12 “רַבִּי יוּדָן בְּשֵׁם רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר אָמַר שְׁלשָׁה דְבָרִים מְבַטְּלִים גְּזֵרוֹת רָעוֹת, וְאֵלּוּ הֵם, תְּפִלָּה וּצְדָקָה וּתְשׁוּבָה”.
 see Yalkut Shimoni, Tehillim 106:865 “פעמים” and Nidchei Yisrael volume 2, chapter 34 “והנה”.
 Zohar volume 3, page 270a.
 Sanhedrin 98b, Nefesh HaChayim 4:17, Berachos 5a, Tehillim 18:51, Sotah 14a.
 see ArtScroll Shabbos 118a, footnotes 15 and 17.
 Yerushalmi, Berachos 4b “אמר רבי חייא רבה לר' שמעון בן חלפתא בי רבי כך היא גאולתן של ישראל בתחילה קימאה קימאה”.
 Zohar volume 1, page 170a.
 We Are Not Alone by Adi Cohen, pages 207.
 see Days Are Coming by Rabbi Moshe Silberstein, page 80.
 Metzudas Dovid on Yechezkeil 22:30 – 31 “ואבקש מהם”.
 Metzudas Dovid on Yirmiyahu 5:1 “ואסלח לה” and “שוטטו”.
 After the Jews left Egypt, the Egyptians pursued them until they came upon the Red Sea, at which point they were unable to continue. G-d told Moshe: “Speak to the Children of Israel and let them journey forth! (Shemos 14:15) They need do nothing but go forward and the sea will not stand in their way. This was sufficient for those whose trust in G-d ran deep. Consequently, the tribes vied with each other as to who would be the first to go into the water and thereby increase the honor of Heaven (ArtScroll Sotah 37a, note 60. See also Maharsha, Chiddushei Aggados to Sotah 37a “קפץ שבטו של בנימין וירד לים כו'”).
Yet, Nachshon ben Aminadav, the prince of the tribe of Yehudah, leaped forward and descended into the sea first… Why? He still ruled with G-d, i.e. he had faith in the Holy One, Blessed is He…” (Sotah 37a) In the end, the sea split because he – one person, one lone individual – took action, thereby sanctifying G-d’s Name! (see Bamidbar Rabbah 13:4)
 There’s a poster which has a picture of Uncle Sam pointing his finger at you, saying, “I want YOU for U.S. army.” Similarly, our Creator says to each and every one of us, “I want YOU to have a part in hastening the redemption.” As Rabbi Pinchas of Koretz said, “Every person may change the course of history; it is in the power of every individual to shorten the exile” (Four Hasidic Masters and Their Struggle Against Melancholy by Elie Wiesel, page 19).
If you think Rabbi Pinchas of Koretz is exaggerating, here are the words of the Rambam:
“A person should view his life all year long as if his merits [for his mitzvos] and his guilt [for his sins] are exactly balanced, and that a single mitzvah could tilt the scales in his favor. Likewise, he should view the entire world as if it is exactly balanced in this way and that his mitzvah could tilt the entire world toward favorable judgment” (Mishnah Torah, Hilchos Teshuvah 3:4 and Kiddushin 40b).
 Excerpted from ArtScroll Mesillas Yesharim, pages 403 – 408 (chapter 19 “ועל זה אמרו”).
 Sanhedrin 37a.
 Rav Tzadok HaKohein of Lublin writes, “Just as one must believe in Hashem, so too, one must believe in himself” (Tzidkas HaTzadik #154). Meaning, Hashem wants us to believe in our strengths, capabilities, ability to overcome evil and achieve greatness.
 Geulah BeRachamim by Rabbi Pinchas Winston, page 21.
 see Rashi to Shemos 10:22 “ויהי חשך אפלה וגומר שלשת ימים וגומר”.
 Approximately 130 years ago, Rabbeinu Tzidkiyah zt”l wrote in the name of his brother R’ Binyamin zt”l, the following: “Even if a person will be alive when the redemption arrives, one will be written in the group of the wicked who do not believe and are not fit for the redemption, as we find by [the redemption from] Egypt that all those who did not believe in the redemption (i.e. yearn for it) died during the three days of darkness and did not merit to leave Egypt” (see Shemos Rabbah 14:3) [“יש מן היחידים שנוהגין שלא לאכול... ר' בנימין זצ"ל” שבלי הלקט השלם, סדר תענית, פרק רע"ד].
Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai says that once Moshiach is manifested throughout the whole universe all the kings will unite to fight against him and even in our nation there will be found some wicked ones who shall join them in the fight against Moshiach. Then there will be darkness over all the world for fifteen days and many of our people shall perish in that darkness* [excerpted from Soncino Zohar, Shemos, page 7b (Judaica Press)].
*Which R’ Binyamin spoke about above.
 Birchas HaShachar “ישלח לקץ...”.
 Seifer HaChinuch, mitzvah #32; Rashi on Chullin 5a “אלא לאו הכי קאמר”.
 Shabbos 118b.
 Ta’anis 3b and Shemos Rabbah 25:12.
 Zohar volume 2, Shemos, page 7b “רִבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן זָקַף יְדוֹי וּבָכָה”.
 Torah Ohr, chapter 12.
 The posuk says, “Noach… went into the ark because of the waters of the Flood” (Bereishis 7:7). Rashi explains, “Noach, too, was one of those with little faith; he believed, yet he did not believe fully that the Flood would come…”
If Noach didn’t believe that the Flood would come, then we certainly need ask ourselves, “Do I really believe that the final Redemption will come or is it just a ‘concept’ that is in the subconscious part of my mind?”
 It’s imperative to adopt a mitzvah that society generally ignores (Chayei Adam 68:20).
 See also Geulah BeRachamim by Rabbi Pinchas Winston.
 Shemos, mitzvah #16 “משרשי המצוה”.
 Rambam Mishneh: Laws of Kings and Laws of Idol Worship by Avraham Yaakov Finkel z”l, page 54.
 See note 16 for the concept. In addition, see also Kol HaTor by Rabbi Hillel Rivlin of Shklov, chapter 1, page 53 #2; chapter 4, pages 75 – 76 and Meir Einei Yisrael volume 1, page 236.
 Around 125 years ago, a man named Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler said the following:
“Through the destruction of the kingdom of Edom (i.e. America), the kingdom of Heaven arises and is revealed… When HaKadosh Baruch Hu brings the world to a point where the foundations of civilization collapse – peace of mind will be disturbed, individual life will be filled with worry, fear, and suffering* and the whole world will be under threat of ruin and destruction – then it will become clear to all that man’s arrogance and pride in his supposed progress and conquest of nature have led him only to perdition; then comes the emptiness, the spiritual void, of life dedicated to worldly gain… and then the light of Mashiach will be revealed, ‘and deliverers shall ascend Mount Zion to judge the mountain of Eisav,’ and all shall see the downfall and destruction of the Kingdom of Edom. As our Sages taught: ‘Mashiach sits at the gate of Rome’ (Sanhedrin 98a). As Maharal explains (Netzach Yisrael, chapter 28), this refers to the end of Edom’s period of domination. Only when men come to see the futility and emptiness of a life dedicated to This World, will they be enabled to rise to a spiritual outlook… and the light of Mashiach will be revealed” (Michtav M’Eliyahu volume 3, Golus v’Geulah, pages 204 – 205 ‘ירידתה של מלכות אדום’).
*The posuk says, “You will [literally] go insane from the sight of your eyes that you will see (Devarim 28:34), amongst the nations you will not be tranquil, there will be no rest for the sole of your foot; there Hashem will give a trembling heart, longing of eyes and suffering of soul” (Ibid. 28:65).
I think all of us experience these pesukim in our lives.
 Mishnah Torah, Hilchos Malachim 11:7.
 In the paragraph of ברוך ה' לעולם.
 see Tehillim 106:47 and Yechezkeil 20:34.
 see Tehillim 106:47 and Yechezkeil 20:34.
 Yeshayah 49:3.
 The Hebrew word for return, תְּשׁוּבָה, is derived from תָשׁוּב אֶל-ה', [You shall] return to G-d” (Devarim 30:10).
 see Yalkut Shimoni, Yeshayah 60:499 “שנה שמלך המשיח נגלה”.
 Devarim 30:11 “ומל ה' אלקיך את לבבך”.
 Zohar volume 2, Shemos 7b “מִפְּנֵי פַּחַד ה'”.
 see Aryeh Kaplan Anthology Volume I, The Real Messiah, pages 274 – 276 and Rav Schwab on Prayer, pages 495-497.
 Redemption Unfolding by Alexander Aryeh Mandelbaum, page 78. See also Sefer Meir Einei Yisroel volume 2 by Yisrael Meir HaKohein, page 460).
 Shemos 2:23.
 The Jewish people will not be redeemed until they become a single group – i.e. united (מדרש תנחומא, פרשת נצבים א'. ראה גם תנא דבי אליהו רבה, פרק כ"ד). Watch Stand Together.
 Shemos 2:23 “... ותעל שועתם אל האלקים מן העבודה”
 Ibid. 2:23 “ואפשר”.
 see Shemos 4:19-20.
 Yeshayah 19:20.
 Koheles Rabbah 1:9 “כַּגּוֹאֵל רִאשׁוֹן כָּךְ גּוֹאֵל אַחֲרוֹן”.
 Yerushalmi, Ta’anis 3a “מתוך חמשה דברים נגאלו ישראל ממצרים מתוך הקץ מתוך צרה מתוך צווחה מתוך זכות אבות מתוך תשובה”.
 see Redemption Unfolding by Alexander Aryeh Mandelbaum, page 82.
 The Gemara (Yerushalmi, Berachos 5:5) says that prayer with the proper intention will surely be answered and the Yearos Devash (drush 4) adds that it will generate other mitzvos and success in one’s endeavors in Torah and business.
 One who prays with tears* and supplication, even if he lacks merit and good deeds, will be answered (Sefer Chassidim 136).
*From the day that the Beis HaMikdosh was destroyed, the ‘gates of tefillah’ was closed. However, the ‘gates of tears’ were never closed” (Bava Metzia 59a). In addition, crying out in prayer is beneficial for a person because it has the effect (i.e. power) to reverse a decree (see Rosh Hashanah 16a–b).
If that’s the case, why “don’t” we cry to Hashem? Because we are emotionally constipated (see Rav Schwab on Chumash by Rabbi Myer Schwab, pages 47 – 48).
 Shemos Rabbah 21:5. See also Bereishis Rabbah 45:4 and Yevamos 64a.
 Zohar volume 2, Shemos, page 12b “אָמַר רִבִּי יְהוּדָה, לְזִמְנָא”.
 Mishnah Bava Metzia 9:12 and Meseches Bava Metzia 111a.
 כל כתבי חפץ חיים השלם, שיחות החפץ חיים, דף ע"ב, מספר יד "אנו צריכים לבקש על הגאולה. כמו שפעולת שכר שכיר ביומו, אם אינו תובע אין החיוב לתת כמו כן אנו צריכים לתבוע את הגאולה".
R’ Shimon ben Menassia teaches that the redemption will not come until the Jewish people pray for the return of the three things it had rejected in the days of Yeravam: the rule of G-d, the kingship of Dovid and the rebuilding of the Beis HaMikdosh (Yalkut Shimoni, Shmuel I 8:106).