Geulah, Moshiach, War III and Tefillah
What is the difference between Geulah and Moshiach?
[this was submitted in a comment and worthy to appear separately. any errors are mine in transcribing]
[this was submitted in a comment and worthy to appear separately. any errors are mine in transcribing]
Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein explains, “The Geulah is not a moment. Rather, it’s a process.” As the Zohar1 states, “The redemption is not to happen all at once, but rather a little at a time.”
Which will come first: Moshiach or World War Three?
It’s a matter of dispute. There are those who say that the war of World War III will be before the revelation of the Moshiach. Others say that Moshiach will first reveal himself and then there will be World War III.2
Regardless of which happens first, how can one be spared fromWorld War III?
If a person wants to be saved from the birth-pangs of Moshiach, he should involve himself in Torah and acts of kindness.3
How do we merit to SEE the redemption?
Rabbi Yechezkel Levenstein says, “Those who are yearning for the redemption will merit seeing it.4
What about those who don’t yearn for the redemption?
Rabbeinu Tzidkiyahu 5 states, “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 redemption6 died during the three days of darkness and did not merit to leave Egypt.”7-8
Similarly, the Final Redemption depends upon our yearning!9 As we say every morning, “By the end of Days He will send our Messiah, to redeem those longing for His final salvation.”10
Secondly is emunah(faith). Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai said, “...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.”11
How does one accomplish both tasks?
Learn Days Are Coming by Rabbi Moshe Silberstein.12
What is the seiferabout? It’s an In-Depth Analysis of the Practical Halachos Relevant to Visiting the Bais HaMikdash. By studying this seifer, 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 HaChinuch13 says, “A person is fashioned by his deeds.” Conversely, the Rambam14 says, “Anyone who does not believe inMoshiach15oranticipate his revelation–as we said earlier–denies [the pronouncements] of the prophets; even worse than that, he rejects the Torah and Moshe our Teacher.”
Why do we want the redemption?
The Vilna Gaon16 says that the purpose of the redemption is the sanctification of G-d’s Name…17 18
What is the purpose of Moshiach?
The Rambam19 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.’”20 Yet, the Gemara states, “Moshiach appears21when not expected.”22 However, once Moshiach reveals himself, the Ramban23 says "that teshuvah24 is no longer a possibility.”
Where Moshiach reveal himself from?
Then the Mashiach will arise from the Garden of Eden, from that place which is called “TheBird’sNest”. He will arise in the land of Galilee25 and on that day the whole world shall be shaken and all the children of men shall seek refuge in Caves and rocky places. Concerning that time, it is written: “And they shall go into the holes of the rocks and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the L-rd and for the glory of his majesty, when He arises to shake terribly the earth.”26
“The glory of his majesty” refers to the Moshiach 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 first27 and from there begin to war against the world….At that time, the Holy One shall show forth his power before all the nations of the earth, and the Messiah shall be manifested throughout the whole universe, and all the kings will unite to fight against him, and even in Israel there will be found some wicked ones who shall join them in the fight against the Messiah. Then there will be darkness over all the world, and for fifteen days shall it continue, and many in Israel shall perish in that darkness.28 Concerning this darkness, it is written: “Behold, darkness covers the earth and grossdarkness the peoples.” 29
Approximately 762 years ago, there lived a man who wrote a commentaryto the Torah known as Rabbeinu Bachayei. He writes the following:30 “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.”
Every morning we say, “He responds to His people at the time they cry out to Him.”“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.”31
The same was with our Matriarchs. Why were they barren?
Because Hashem desired their tefillos.32
If tefillah has such tremendous power, then why don’t we utilize it properly? The answer is found in the Gemara:33 “There are things that stand in heights of the universe,but which people treat lightly.” An exampleof this is tefillah which rises up to Heaven.34 A few pages later, the Gemara35 says that tefillah is one of the four activities which require strengthening. Rashi36 explains,“A person should strengthen himself in this constantlywith all his energy.”As Dovid HaMelech37 states, “Hope to Hashem, strengthen yourself and He will give you courage and hope to Hashem.” This means that one must constantly strengthen himself during prayer to insure proper concentration.38 Is it just tefillah?
What’s the Gemara really trying to tell us?
Anything that’s a spiritual matter, people tend to throw to the side. About 178 years ago, a man named the Chofeitz Chayim said, “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 tefillosin response to them. If we had prayedproperly, we would not have returned empty-handed... several times daily he must pour out his requests in solitude, in his house, from the depths of his heart... 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…’"39
Rav Yitzchak40 said, “The salvation of Israel depends only on crying... as it is written: ‘...with crying, they will comeand with lamentations, I will lead them.’” Likewise, the Medrash41 states, “Just like the first redemption from Egypt was caused through crying out toHashem,so too, our upcoming redemption will happen in the same fashion.” 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:42 “One must demandthe redemption, just as with the wages of a hired worker.43Failure 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 GreatAgain!
1Volume 1, page170a.
2 Otzros Acharis HaYamim, chapter 5, Milchemes Gog U’Magog (http://bit.ly/2nM19w7)
3 Sanhedrin 98b and Nefesh HaChayim 4:17 by Rabbi Avraham Finkel zt”l, page 160. See also Berachos 5a, regarding Torah and acts of kindness. In addition, see Tehillim 18:51 and Sotah14a.
4 Seifer Ohr Yechezkel, Ma’amer Emunas HaGeulah.
5 see Shivlei HaLeket HaSholeim, Seider Taanis,page 260, chapter 274(http://bit.ly/2nbXhVz)
6 I.e. yearn for it.
7 see Shemos Rabbah 14:3.
8 In fact, Rashi says that eighty percent of Jews did not leave Egypt with Moshe (Shemos13:18 “וחמשים”
9 See note 30.
10 Birchas HaShachar “ישלח לקץ…”.
11 Volume 2, Shemos 7a “רבי שמעון זקף”.
13 Parshas Bo, Mitzvah#16.
14 Mishnah Torah by AvrahamYaakov Finkel z”l, Lawsof Kings, page 54.
15 Christians believe in yeishu to be the awaited Messiah and that he’s G-d. We know that to believe in another god or human being borders on idol worship (see The RealMessiah? by Aryeh Kaplan zt”l, page266). When the Rambam says that one must ‘believe in Messiah’ it sounds like he’s equating our Messiah to G-d, ח"ו?! Aryeh Kaplan zt”l, explains, “He is a leader of the Jews, strong in wisdom, power and spirit. It is he who willbring complete redemption to the Jewish people, both spiritually and physically. Along with this, he will bring eternal peace, love, prosperity and moral perfection to the entire world. The Jewish Messiah is truly human in origin, He is born of ordinary human parents and is of flesh and blood likeall mortals” (see The Real Messiah? by Aryeh Kaplan zt”l, pages 274–276 and Rav Schwab on Prayer, pages 495-497). Note: Christians believe yeishuto be the ‘Son of G-d’. Again, they’ve corrupted the text of our Torah. For the Torah states, “You are sons of the living G-d” (Devarim14:1).
16 Vilna Gaon, Kol HaTor, chapter 4:1-3.
17 see also Mesillas Yesharim, chapter 19 “והנה החסיד כזה”; ArtScroll Mesillas Yesharim, pages 403-408 and Sefer Meir Einei Yisroel volume 1 byYisrael Meir HaKohein, page 236.
18 Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman zt”l, wrote in a letter: ‘Several times I heard from the holy Chofetz Chaim, that we can learn about the end of our exile from what happened at the end of our exile in Egypt...’(Redemption Unfolding by Alexander Aryeh Mandelbaum, page 78. See also Sefer Meir Einei Yisroelvolume 2 by Yisrael Meir HaKohein, page 460).
Roy Neuberger says the following: “What this seems to teach us is that the end of our own contemporary Exile will replicate events in Biblical Egypt. In other words, Hashem will desire once again to give us the Torah, but we may once again be submerged in a powerful foreign culture. That means that Hashem may once again have to do what He did then, namely, destroy that culture so that there is nothing left for His Children to cling to which will prevent us from embracing His Torah ‘with all our heart and all our souls and all our resources.’This may mean that the entire world and culture and society in which almost all Jews live today, whether it is the Western World or the Islamic World, may be destroyed so that we are forced to detach ourselves from it, the way our ancestors were forcibly detached fromEgypt.”
Around 125 years ago, a man named Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler zt”l said the following:
The destruction of Edom [at the end of our last exile-i.e. America] will only come through the destruction of this world [as we know it]. The Holy One will cause the very foundations of life on earth to collapse. Tranquility will be disrupted, personal lives will be filled with worry, fear and suffering* and the entire world will cower in dread of destruction and devastation...Only then will the light of the Messiah be revealed ... ‘and the saviors shall go up to Mount Tzion to judge the mountain of Esau…’” (Michtav Me’Eliyahu volume 3, Galus 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 (Devarim28:34),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 pesukimin our lives.
19 Hilchos Malachim, chapter11.
20 Tzefanyah 3:9.
21 I.e. reveals himself.
22 Sanhedrin 97a.
23 Devarim 30:10 “וזהו מה שאמרו”.
24 Most people translate teshuvah to mean this fancy word called repentance. In simplified English, what does the word teshuvah mean? The word is derived from the posuk,-“[You shall] return to G-d” (Devarim 30:10).
25 Zohar volume1, page119a and volume 2, page 7b.
26 Yeshayah 2:19.
27 Zohar volume II, Shemos 8b,220a and Otzar Midrashim, 466.
28 Ibid. Shemos 7b, source:http://bit.ly/1T0QUPm
29 Yeshayah 60:2
30 see Rabbeinu Bachayei al HaTorah, Shemos 2:23 “ויהי בימים הרבים ההם”. See also Yeshayah19:20.
31 Shemos Rabbah 21:5.
32 Bereishis Rabbah 45:4 and Yevamos 64a.
33 Berachos 6b.
34 Ibid., Rashi “עולםשלברומושעומדיםדברים”.
35 Berachos 32b.
צריכין חזוק”.37 Tehillim 27:14.
38 ArtScroll Berachos 32b, note 19.
39 see Redemption Unfolding by Alexander Aryeh Mandelbaum, page 82
40 Zohar volume 2, page 12b
לְזִמְנָא ,אָמַר רִבִי יְהוּדָה.41 Koheles Rabbah 1:9.
42 Sichos Chafetz Chaim, paragraph 14; quoted in Chafetz Chaim al Siddur HaTefillah, paragraph 168 (page 80).
43 see Bava Metzia 9:12 (111a).
44 see Rabbeinu Bachayei al HaTorah, Shemos 2:23 “ויהי בימים הרבים ההם”. See also Yeshayah 19:20.
45 Shemos Rabbah 21:5.
46 Bereishis Rabbah 45:4 and Yevamos 64a.
47 Berachos 6b.
48 Ibid., Rashi
עולם שלברו מושעומדים דברים .49 Berachos 32b.
50 Ibid. “צריכין חזוק”
51 Tehillim 27:14.
52 ArtScroll Berachos 32b, note 19.
53 see Redemption Unfolding by Alexander Aryeh Mandelbaum, page 82.
54 Zohar volume 2, page 12b
לְזִמְנָא ,אָמַר רִבִי יְהוּדָה”.55 Koheles Rabbah 1:9.
56 Sichos Chafetz Chaim, paragraph 14; quoted in Chafetz Chaim al Siddur HaTefillah, paragraph 168 (page 80).
57 see Bava Metzia 9:12 (111a)