Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Chofetz Chaim, WWIII, Moshiach and Redemption

                                                                                       בס"ד
from Yosef Stern:

Rabbi Eliyahu Lopian wrote:1

“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.2 After the First World War, the Chofetz Chaim 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 Chaim’s prediction, WWII began in 1939, exactly 25 years after the start of WW1!

How did his prediction materialize so accurately? The Gemara3 states, “The Tzadik decrees and Hashem fulfills.” In addition, Dovid HaMelech says, “He will do the will of those who fear Him.”4

Elsewhere, we find, “From the day that the Beis HaMikdash was destroyed, the power of prophecy was taken from the prophets and given to sages.5

When will the Third War take place? Rabbi Alon Anava[6] states, “The Vilna Gaon says that before the revelation of Moshiach, our nation will have to go through 72 years of unbelievable suffering.[7] This period is called ‘Chevlei Moshiach’ - the birth pangs of Moshiach.”

What unbelievable suffering did our nation undergo? Approximately 47 years ago, Steipler Gaon said on Purim 5730 the following:

“We are very close to the coming of Moshiach since we underwent most of the ‘birth pangs’ of Moshiach[8] during World War II with its dreadful suffering...”[9]

What year did the World War II end? 1945. If you add 72 years to the end of the war - 1945 - it comes out to the year 2017, this year 5777!

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 Three will be before the revelation of the Moshiach. Others say that Moshiach will first reveal himself and then there will be World War Three.[10]

Regardless of which happens first, how can one be spared from World War Three?

If a person wants to be saved from the birth-pangs of Moshiach, he should involve himself in Torah and acts of kindness.[11]

The Zohar says, “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 first.”[12]

We know that “The events of the forefathers are signs for [what would happen to] their children.”[13] How long was the Babylonian exile? It was seventy years and then we were redeemed. As the Novi says, “After seventy years for Babylonia have been completed I will attend to you…”[14] [15]

Amazingly, the numerical value of שבעים שנה seventy years, is 777 which is this year 5777. In other words, this year I (i.e. Hashem) will attend to you by bringing the redemption!

Didn’t the Rambam[16] forbid attempts to figure an exact date for the arrival of Moshiach? Yes. However, the Ramban[17] says that the prohibition of the Gemara[18] only applied to earlier generations; now that we are on the eve of redemption, there is no prohibition.

On Tuesday (3/14/17), a person named Asher was learning in a certain yeshiva, when an autistic person came over to him and told him passionately, “Moshiach is coming, Moshiach is coming!” After this person left, most of us would be thinking to ourselves, “He must be very troubled.”

Yet, if the Gemara[19] says, “Nowadays, the power of prophecy was given to deranged people…”[20] This means Moshiach’s revelation will take place very soon! Nevertheless, it will happen unexpectedly. As theGemara[21] says, “Moshiach appears[22] when not expected.”

Now, how do we merit to SEE the redemption? Rabbi Yechezkel Levenstein says, “Those who are yearning for the redemption will merit seeing it.[23]

What about those who don’t yearn for the redemption? Rabbeinu Tzidkiyahu[24] 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 redemption[25] died during the three days of darkness and did not merit to leave Egypt.”[26] [27] Similarly, the upcoming redemption will be the same way![28]

Secondly is emunah (faith). For Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai said, “…When Hashem decides to bring the Geulah, He will look down on the world and see if there is a Tzadik 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.[29]

How does one accomplish both of these tasks? Learn Days Are Coming by Rabbi Moshe Silberstein.[30]What is the seifer about? 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 HaChinuch[31] says, “A person is fashioned by his deeds.”

Conversely, the Rambam[32] says, “Anyone who does not believe in Moshiach[33] or does not anticipate his revelation – as we said earlier – denies [the pronouncements] of the prophets; even worse than that, he rejects the Torah and Moshe our Teacher.

Rav Shimon Schwab said in the name of the Chofetz Chaim, “…A person who yearns to experience Hashem’s revelation upon Moshiach’s arrival will experience incredible sweetness. On the other hand, if a person doesn’t invest any thought into the events surrounding the coming Moshiach, Moshiach might come and the salvation might take place, but the person will never know that it happened.’”[34]

The Gemara says, “In the month of Nissan, they were redeemed from Egypt. In the month of Nissan, they are destined to be redeemed once more.”[35]

In the month of Nissan, we have the Yom Tov of Pesach. The Gemara remarks that on the festival of matzos we are commanded to ascend to the Beis HaMikdosh in Yerushalayim…[36]

Our normal response:

“We are in exile and don’t have a Beis HaMikdosh to ascend to. Therefore, we are exempt from this mitzvah.”[37]

Wrong!

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 or screams even louder until his parents come and attend to his needs.

In the words of the Chofetz Chaim:[38] “One must demand the redemption, just as with the wages of a hired worker.[39] Failure to do so shows that this matter is clearly not that urgent to us!”[40]

So too, we must COMPLAIN to Hashem that we WANT to fulfill the mitzvah of ascending to the BEIS HAMIKDOSH!!!

For without a Beis HaMikdosh there continues to be chaos in the world. As the Gemara[41] says, “From the day that the Beis HaMikdosh was destroyed, there has been no day without its curse.”

We said earlier that our nation was redeemed from Egypt.

How did our redemption from Egypt take place?

Rabbeinu Bachayei says that 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, there Tefillos were accepted and they were redeemed![42]

The Medrash[43] states, “Just like the first redemption from Egypt was caused through crying out to Hashem, so too, our upcoming redemption will happen in the same fashion.”

Why do we want the redemption? The Vilna Gaon[44] says that the purpose of the redemption is the sanctification of G-d’s Name…[45] [46]

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!
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[1] Leiv Eliyahu, Shemos, page 172 ‘וכעת בעיקבתא דמשיחא’.

[2] see Zohar to Shemos 7b, Vayeira 119a, Toldos 139 and Sha’arei Leshem, page 491.

[3] Kesubos 103b.

[4] Tehillim 145:19.

[5] Bava Basra 12a.

[6] Are You Ready, page 42 (http://bit.ly/2dZVXUy)

[7] Based on five different places in the Zohar (Pinchas 219, 249, Acharei 68, Pikudei 245 and Mishpatim 119).

[8] Rav Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler says, “The purpose of the troubles of Chevlei Moshiach is to inspire us to strengthen ourselves to prepare ourselves for the imminent coming of the Moshiach, for he shall come suddenly before we can turn to deep contemplation, and we will find ourselves distracted. And he who will not be ready then for his coming will not be able to be part of his revelations” (Redemption Unfolding by Alexander Aryeh Mandelbaum, page 142).

[9] Redemption Unfolding by Alexander Aryeh Mandelbaum, page 83.

[10] Otzros Acharis HaYamim, chapter 5, Milchemes Gog U’Magog (http://bit.ly/2nM19w7)

[11] 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 Sotah 14a.

[12] Volume II, Shemos 7b, 8b, 220a and Otzar Midrashim, 466.

[13] Meshech Chochmah, Lech Lecha “לקבר בשיבה טובה”.

[14] Yirmiyahu 29:10.

[15] The posuk (Bereishis 45:19) says, “Take for yourselves from the land of Egypt עגלות, wagons, for your small children and for your wives; transport your father and come. This posuk is talking about the ten tribes that descended into the Egyptian exile. That was the beginning of exile. The word עגלות, wagons, is an abbreviation of ע' גלות, seventy years of exile (excerpted from סימני הגאולה - שבעים שנה פורים תשע"ז http://bit.ly/2mkENld).

We have this notion that our present exile will never end. The Chofetz Chaim says differently:

“Each of our exiles has had a pre-determined duration based upon how much suffering the Jewish People would have to endure to be forgiven for its sins. The first exile, for example was set at the outset to end after four hundred years (see Bereishis 15:13). Our second exile - was set to end after seventy years, as it was written, ‘Seventy years’ are decreed concerning your people and your holy city (Daniel 9:24). Clearly, it was determined at the outset by Divine decree that our current exile would span years, as it is written, For the Children of Israel will remain for many days without a king and without an officer (Hoshea 3:4) [Chofetz Chaim on the Torah, volume 2, page 84].

[16] see Mishnah Torah, Hilchos Malachim 12:5 and Rambam on Mishnah Sanhedrin 10:1 (http://bit.ly/2nECAoa)

[17] Sefer HaGeulah, Ma’amer 4 (http://bit.ly/2mOihk2)

[18] see Sanhedrin 97b.

[19] Bava Basra 12b.

[20] In addition, the Zohar says, “When the days of the Messiah approach, even children will be able to discover secrets of wisdom and through them be able to calculate the end of time, then it will be revealed to all” (volume 1, Vayeira 118a ‘כד אתון לגבי’). However, the specific hour of Moshiach’s ‘coming’ does not appear to be known to anyone, even to Moshiach himself (Zohar volume 2, page 9a).

[21] Sanhedrin 97a.

[22] I.e. reveals himself.

[23] Seifer Ohr Yechezkel, Ma’amer Emunas HaGeulah.

[24] see Shivlei HaLeket HaSholeim, Seider Taanis, page 260, chapter 274 (http://bit.ly/2nbXhVz)

[25] I.e. yearn for it.

[26] see Shemos Rabbah 14:3.

[27] In fact, Rashi says that eighty percent of Jews did not leave Egypt with Moshe (Shemos 13:18 “וחמשים”).

[28] See note 23.

[29] Volume 2, Shemos 7a “רבי שמעון זקף”.

[30] http://bit.ly/2nYNqRX

[31] Parshas Bo, Mitzvah #16.

[32] Mishnah Torah by Avraham Yaakov Finkel z”l, Laws of Kings, page 54.

[33] Xtians 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 Real Messiah? By Aryeh Kaplan zt”l, page 266). 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 will bring 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 like all mortals” (see The Real Messiah? By Aryeh Kaplan zt”l, pages 274 – 276 and Rav Schwab on Prayer, pages 495-497).

Note: Xtians believe yeishu to 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” (Devarim 14:1).

[34] see Maayan Bais Hasho’eiva, page 175, ‘כשזכיתי להיות’; Rav Schwab on Chumash, page 262 and Sefer Bais Hasho’eiva: A Collection of Material on Messianic Times, page 152 (http://bit.ly/2nGzb8n)

[35] Rosh Hashanah 11b.

[36] Chagigah 7a.

[37] see Avodah Zarah 54a.

[38] Sichos Chofetz Chaim, paragraph 14; quoted in Chofetz Chaim al Siddur HaTefillah, paragraph 168 (page 80).

[39] see Bava Metzia 9:12 (111a).

[40] see also Chofetz Chaim, Kuntrus Likutei Amarim, chapter 10.

[41] Sotah 48a.

[42] see Rabbeinu Bachayei al HaTorah, Shemos 2:23 “ויהי בימים הרבים ההם”. See also Yeshayah 19:20.

[43] Koheles Rabbah 1:9. See also Zohar volume 2, page 12b.

[44] Vilna Gaon, Kol HaTor, chapter 4:1-3.

[45] see also Mesillas Yesharim, chapter 19 “והנה החסיד כזה”; ArtScroll Mesillas Yesharim, pages 403-408 and Sefer Meir Einei Yisroel volume 1 by Yisrael Meir HaKohein, page 236.

[46] Roy Neuberger says, “There is a tendency to believe that the world is going to continue as it has, with enough sense of normalcy to lull us into forgetting that we are in exile and hoping that this state of affairs will continue into the distant future. We need to consult our Torah Sages to bring us back to reality. Please give your attention to the words of Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler zt”l:

‘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, page 205).

*see http://bit.ly/1ryCZXx

**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 verses in our lives.

5 comments:

  1. Shavua Tov, to all..

    Thank you Rav for publishing this, it makes a lot of sense, and its an eye opener for all Jews and Gentiles, and whoever.

    Hashem bless you and yours, and all who come here.

    Amen.

    s.c.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sometimes I think my fear was put there artificially by Hashem just so that Moshiach will catch me by surprise. I was expecting him so strongly in 5776. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. DEAR RAV. Menachem Robinson, Based on a quote and statement above, which I
    repost below,

    "Didn’t the Rambam[16] forbid attempts to figure an exact date for the arrival of Moshiach? Yes. However, the Ramban[17] says that the prohibition of the Gemara[18] only applied to earlier generations; now that we are on the eve of redemption, there is no prohibition."

    IF there is no prohibition based on RAMBAM, Then would you be able to share with us, who you think the MASHIACH is in Isreal.?, and the fact the MASHIACH will be revealed from(as quoted above),

    The Zohar says, “Moshiach shall reveal himself in the land of Galilee"

    RAV. Menachem Robinson, because of your efforts,insight and hard work, and Mitzvah's, you have brought the reality of Mashiach even closer to the hearts and souls of a great many around the world, and a great many are improving
    themsleves., due to your efforts,...In regards to my above question, can you now
    shares some insights as to who you might think Mashiach is.,or would it be permissible to share it per individual in an e-mail., based on RAMBAM.? or you can just say,"Now is not the time,but soon", Dear RAV, can you blame me for trying:)?

    DOVID B.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is much more complicated than simply being close. The RAMBAM and RAMBAN only talk about date, not name. The only reason for a discussion of "possible" date is to encourage increased Teshuvah, not to just satisfy curiosity. Also, the Rabbis say that is should be worded as "in my opinion."

      I heard from a Rabbi years ago two thoughts. If one knows for sure and reveals the Moshiach, he will be Niftar instantly. If one knows for sure and reveals the date, Hashem will change the date. Saying the name is Lashon Harah since it makes everyone look at that individual differently, good or bad. And even worse, if the name of the wrong person is revealed, the Lashon Harah is even worse. You can't talk about people and put labels on people.

      Also, Eliyahu Hanavi is the one to tell us the exact date. We don't change Hashem's agenda just out of curiosity. But, as I said, if the time frame is close, we are required to help people come closer to Hashem and step up all the things we should do in preparation. That is Ahavas Yisroel.

      Delete