Sunday, August 27, 2017

Anticipating the Redemption and Yearning for Moshiach

Source Sheet by Mordechai Lewis

Rabbi Yechezkel Levenstein, the famed Mashgiach of the Mir Yeshiva and Ponovez Yeshiva, said the following:

“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…”[1]

Before we begin discussing Moshiach, let me quote to you the words of Rabbi Eliyahu Lopian:[2]

“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…”[3]

True, to the Chofetz Chayim’s prediction, WWII began in 1939, exactly 25 years after the start of WW1! How did his prediction materialize so accurately? The Gemara[4] 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[5] says, “There are three things that have the ability annul harsh decrees. They are: tefillah, teshuvah[6] and tzedakah.” Furthermore, one should involve himself in Torah,[7] doing acts of kindness[8] and eating three meals on the Shabbos.[9]

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.”[10] As Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein explains: “The Geulah is not a moment. Rather, it’s a process.” Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai[11] 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 begins.”[12]

How many people does it take to bring the Final Redemption?

Hashem Himself answers this question:[13]

“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.”[14]

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.”[15]

If there would have been even one person in all of Yerushalayim who was just, Hashem would have forgiven the entire city.[16] [17]

Mesillas Yesharim[18] 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[19] 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.[20] 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[21] 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.[22] 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.”[23]

As we say every morning, “By the End of Days He will send our Messiah, to redeem those longing for His final salvation.”[24]

Secondly is emunah (faith).[25] As Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai[26] says, “…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.”

How does one accomplish both tasks?

The Chofetz Chayim[27] 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…[28] 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 of 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.”[29]

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.[30]

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[31] 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[32] 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…[33] [34] As the Rambam[35] 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[36] do we ask our Creator, “gather us from among the nations…”[37]? 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 himself, “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, Yisroel, through whom I am glorified!”[38]

Can one do Teshuvah[39] after he reveals[40] himself?

The Ramban[41] says that Teshuvah is no longer a possibility.

From where will he reveal himself?

Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai[42] 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.[43]

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.[44] 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…”[45]

Rabbeinu Bachayei writes the following:[46]

“Even though the time of the redemption had arrived, they weren’t worthy of being redeemed. However, once they all cried out in unison[47] 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.”

The Medrash[48] 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.”

The Chofetz Chayim[49] 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[50] – 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…!”[51]

Every morning we say, “He responds to His people at the time they cry out to Him.”

The Medrash[52] 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[53] 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 Chofetz Chayim says:[54] “One must demand the redemption, just as with the wages of a hired worker.[55] 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!

This article is dedicated in memory of ישראל מאיר בן ר' ארי' זאב הכהן זצוקללה"ה אלחנן בונים בן נפתלי בייניש הי"ד and מנחם מענדל בן רבי לוי יצחק זצ"ל.

You can also view this article at

[1] See Geulah BeRachamim by Rabbi Pinchas Winston, page 59.

[2] ‘וכעת בעיקבתא דמשיחא’ 172 לב אליהו, שמות, דף. See also Rav Schwab on Chumash by Rabbi Myer Schwab, pages 240 – 241 (Israel Bookshop Publications).

[3] There’s a dispute whether World War III will be before the revelation of the Moshiach or after (seeאוצרות אחרית הימים, פרק ה', מלחמת גוג ומגוג).

[4] כתובות דף ק"ג, עמוד ב' ותהלים קמ"ד:י"ט.

[5] ירושלמי, תענית דף ח', עמוד ב' וסנהדרין צ"ז, עמוד ב'.

[6] ראה ילקוט שמעוני, תהלים ק"ו:תתס"ה "פעמים" ונדחי ישראל חלק ב', פרק ל"ד "והנה"

[7] זוהר חלק ג', דף ע"ר,עמוד א'.

[8] סנהדרין דף צ"ח, עמוד ב'; נפש החיים ד':י"ז; ברכות דף ה', עמוד א'; תהלים י"ח:נ"א; סוטה דף י"ד, עמוד א'.

[9] see ArtScroll Shabbos 118a, footnotes 15 and 17.

[10] ירושלמי, ברכות דף ד', עמוד ב' "אמר רבי חייא רבה לר' שמעון בן חלפתא בי רבי כך היא גאולתן של ישראל בתחילה קימאה קימאה".

[11] זוהר חלק א', דף ק"ע, עמוד א'.

[12] We Are Not Alone by Adi Cohen, pages 207.

[13] see Days Are Coming by Rabbi Moshe Silberstein, page 80.

[14] מצודת דוד ליחזקאל כ"כ:ל' – ל"א "ואבקש מהם".

[15] מצודת דוד לירמיה ה':א' "ואסלח לה" ו"שוטטו".

[16] 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)

[17] 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).

[18] Excerpted from ArtScroll Mesillas Yesharim, pages 403 – 408 (chapter 19 “ועל זה אמרו”).

[19] סנהדרין דף ל"ז, עמוד א'.

[20] Rav Tzadok HaKohein of Lublin writes, “Just as one must believe in Hashem, so too, one must believe in himself. Hashem wants us to BELIEVE in our strengths, capabilities, ability to overcome evil and achieve greatness” (Tzidkas HaTzadik #154).

[21] Geulah BeRachamim by Rabbi Pinchas Winston, page 21.

[22] ראה רש"י לשמות י':כ"ב "ויהי חשך אפלה וגומר שלשת ימים וגומר".

[23] 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”* [שבלי הלקט השלם, סדר תענית, דף 260, פרק 274 "יש מן..." (*see שמות רבה י"ד:ג')].

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* [זוהר חלק ב', שמות דף ז', עמוד ב' (Judaica Press)].

*Which R’ Binyamin spoke about above.

[24] Birchas HaShachar “ישלח לקץ...”.

[25] This entails keeping Shabbos.

Why? Because Shabbos is the basis of faith (ספר החינוך, מצוה ל"ב ורש"י על חולין דף ה', עמוד א' "אלא לאו הכי קאמר"). If Israel will keep just two Shabbasos properly, Moshiach will come immediately (שבת דף קי"ח, עמוד ב'). However, the Yerushalmi says that if Israel will keep just one Shabbos (תענית דף ג', עמוד ב' ושמות רבה כ"ה:י"ב). Rav Chaim Kanievsky said that we hold like the Yerushalmi.

[26] זוהר חלק ב', שמות דף ז', עמוד ב' "רִבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן זָקַף יְדוֹי וּבָכָה".

[27] Torah Ohr, chapter 12.

[28] 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?”

[29] It is imperative to adopt a mitzvah that society generally ignores (Chayei Adam 68:20).

[30] See also Geulah BeRachamim by Rabbi Pinchas Winston.

[31] פרשת בא, מצוה ט"ז "משרשי המצוה".

[32] Rambam Mishneh: Laws of Kings and Laws of Idol Worship by Avraham Yaakov Finkel z”l, page 54.

[33] ראה הערה 16. ראה גם הגר"א, קול התור, פרק א', דף נ"ג, מספר ב' ופרק ד', דפים ע"ה – ע"ו; וספר מאיר עיני ישראל, חלק א', דף רל"ו.

[34] 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…’” (מכתב מאליהו חלק ג', גלות וגאולה, דפים ר"ד – ר"ה "ירידתה של מלכות אדום")

*The posuk says, “You will [literally] go insane from the sight of your eyes that you will see (דברים כ"ח: ל"ד), 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” שם כ"ח:ס"ה)).

I think all of us experience these pesukim in our lives.

[35] משנה תורה, הלכות מלכים, פרק י"א, הלכה ז'.

[36] In the paragraph of ברוך ה' לעולם.

[37] תהלים ק"ו:מ"ז. ראה גם יחזקאל כ':ל"ד.

[38] ישעי-ה מ"ט:ג'.

[39] The word תְּשׁוּבָה is derived from the posuk, תָשׁוּב אֶל-ה', [You shall] return to G-d” (דברים ל':י').

[40] ראה ילקוט שמעוני על נ"ך, ישעי-ה ס:תצ"ט "שנה שמלך המשיח נגלה".

[41] דברים ל': י"א "ומל ה' אלקיך את לבבך".

[42] זוהר חלק ב', שמות דף ז', עמוד ב' "מִפְּנֵי פַּחַד ה'".

[43] see The Real Messiah? by Aryeh Kaplan zt”l, pages 274 – 276 and Rav Schwab on Prayer, pages 495-497.

[44] Ibid.

[45] Redemption Unfolding by Alexander Aryeh Mandelbaum, page 78. See also Sefer Meir Einei Yisroel volume 2 by Yisrael Meir HaKohein, page 460).

[46] ראה רבנו בחי-י על התורה, שמות ב':כ"ג "ויהי בימים הרבים ההם" וישעי-ה י"ט:כ'.

[47] 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.

[48] קהלת רבה א':ט' וירושלמי, תענית דף ג', עמוד א'.

[49] see Redemption Unfolding by Alexander Aryeh Mandelbaum, page 82.

[50] 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.

[51] 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” (בבא מציעא דף נ"ט, עמוד א'). In addition, crying out in prayer is beneficial for a person because it has the effect (i.e. power) to reverse a decree (see ראש השנה דף ט"ז, דפים א' – ב').

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).

[52] שמות רבה כ"א: ה'. ראה גם בראשית רבה מ"ה: ד' ויבמות דף ס"ד, עמוד א'.

[53] זוהר חלק ב', דף י"ב, עמוד ב' "אָמַר רִבִּי יְהוּדָה, לְזִמְנָא"

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

[55] משנה בבא מציעא ט':י"ב ומסכת בבא מציעא דף קי"א, עמוד א'.

An urgent request for assistance.  One of our dear readers is about to make Aliyah with her family.  They are all set, but have a need for additional funds, since they have not been able to sell their house in time.  I have been saying for years how we can come closer to Hashem by helping others.  This is a beautiful opportunity to come closer to Hashem by doing such a act of kindness for a very, very special Jewish family.  Go to this webpage and help; Hashem will pay you back in kindness tenfold:

The Chesed Fund


  1. The Chafetz Chaim said WW3 will be 72 years after WW2, right?

    1. What I remember hearing was that the Chafetz Chaim said that WW3 would be a spiritual war. I believe the present situation of Edom, Yaakov and Yishmael satisfies the spiritual conflict well.

      I also believe that Gog Bush's Oslo Accord was the start of the third battle of Gog and Magog, which the Chafetz Chaim referred to as WW3.

      I think it was someone else who talked about the 72 years, which sounds like 2017. If it were to occur, it would be a war outside of Israel, which is not really a Gog and Magog scenario. Also many Rabbis say it would be a very short war, about 12 minutes long, which is why I believe an EMP attack on US of Magog might be the possibility.