Sunday, May 5, 2013

To Go Home or Stay Put Outside of Israel

The Talmud determines that the Shechinah does not rest outside of the Land (Mo’ed Kattan 25a) – Similarly, it is clear and true that the spirit of purity from above is unable to descend upon us in Chutz LaAretz (Harav Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal zt’l)

The author of Ya’arot Devash writes that all the hardships that befall Israel are due to improper leaders. Ya’arot Devash, vol.1, on the blessing “Return Our Judges”.
The prophet Chaggai cries out: And now, thus says the Lord of Hosts, “Consider your ways (RASHI: meaning, your business). You have sown much, but bring in little; you eat without being satiated….; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and whoever earns wages earns for a bag with a hole. (RASHI: Any profit you make perishes, just like one who places money in a pocket with a hole.” (Chaggai 1:5-7) THE MIDRASH INDICATES that this entire verse refers to those who refuse to ascend to Eretz Yisrael! Midrash Tanchuma, Tetzaveh 13)

The holy R. Eliyahu of Greiditz (whom the author of Nefesh Chayah calls, “the holy rabbi who resembles an angle of the Lord of Hosts,) states… “Furthermore, human intellect dictates that we initiate the process of redeeming the Land, and then HaShem will complete it. One must understand the great importance of this matter, for the evil forces (kelipah) gain strength even among the most righteous individuals in order to nullify this good. The reason there are tzaddikim who oppose this is because the kelipah has become strong within them. It entices them to nullify this great matter for which the Holy One Blessed be He, constantly longs. He longs for us to yearn to return to our forefather’s’ inheritance, for every Jew has an obligation to strive to return to our Holy Land……

Tractate Niddah 70b Tefillia without action – One without the other is insufficient. Prayers must be accompanied by action.
Hidden Motives: Just as the spies had hidden motives the same holds true in our times, even among rabbis, rebbes, and Chassidim. This one has a good rabbinical position; this one is an established Admor, and this one has a profitable business or factory, or a prestigious job which provides great satisfaction. They are afraid that their status will decline if they go to Eretz Yisrael (The author of Sefer HaBrit (Vol. 1, 9:16) writes in a similar vein as he bemoans the lengthiness of our exile.) – page 50 EIM HABANIM SEMEICHAH

RAMBAM’S statement “Israel will only be redeemed through repentance, and the Torah has already promised that Israel will repent at the end of their exile and immediately be redeemed. (Hilchot Teshuva 7:5)

The Rambam …. Before Mashiach comes, HaShem will direct the hearts of Israel and bestow upon them a spirit of purity, and they will ordain the elders…(Commentary to the Mishnah, Sanhedrin 1:3) – [Chatam Sofer states this will occur in Eretz Yisrael; that Rambam implies that the people of Israel will gather together IN Eretz Yisrael (without the Beit HaMikdash) even before Moshiach comes. Mashiach will then inevitably arrive, since the Jews will have already repented. (Derashot Catam Sofer, Sermon of the 27th Elul, 5580 (1820)]
The Yerushalmi which quotes R. Acha as saying, “The Beit HaMikdash will be rebuilt before the reestablishment of the Davidic Dynasty” (Ma’aser Sheini 5:2 [21b].
The Bavli concurs. The Talmud comments on the order of the Shemoneh Esrei (which was authored by the Men of the Great Assembly): “Once Jerusalem is rebuilt, David will arrive, as it says, Afterward, the Children of Israel will return and seek out the Lord their God and David their King. (Megillah 17b-18a).
The holy Zohar says, “When the Congregation of Israel returns to its place, the Holy King will return to His place, to Zion (2:55b) (THUS, FIRST the Congregation of Israel must return to its place, and only then the Holy King will return to Zion.)
RASHI on Hoshea (3:5) cites the following: R. Shimon ben Menassiya said: “The Jewish people will not be shown a good sign until they once again request the kingdom of the House of David, and the rebuilding of the Beit HaMikdash. It is thus written, Afterwards, the Children of Israel will return and seek out the Lord their God and David their king…(Hoshea 3:5)
The rebuilding of the Beit HaMikdash will occur (with God’s help) when we assemble in Eretz Yisrael, as explained in Megillah (17b-18a). Afterwards, Mashiach, who represent the kingdom of the House of David, will arrive
The Radak wries: Salvation is solely in the hands of HaShem, and He brings it about through mortals, as He did with Cyrus during the Babylonian exile. In the future, as well, HaShem will bring Isael’s redemption through gentile kings, by inspiriting them to set the Jews free (Radak, Theillim 146:3)
In Sa’adya Gaon’s work, Emunot VeDe’ot. He writes that the Beit HaMikdash will first be built with the permission of the kings of Edom. This will serve as a preparation for the heavenly Beit HaMikdash (Emunot VeDe’ot 8:5)
The Abarbanel concurs: It is possible that the redemption will occur when the kings decide that the Holy Land should return to the people of Israel. He who desires to go up to Eretz Yisrael will do so, like the Jews did after the Babylonian exile. Afterwards, when the Holy City of Jerusalem is rebuilt, all the Jews will ascend together. Abarbanel, Tehillim 147:2.

Rashi comments on the counting of the Levi’im: “The Holy One Blessed be He said to Moshe, “You do your part and I will do Mine.” RASHI, Bemidbar 3:16 This is a fundamental principle IN ALL MATTERS; we must first do our share and then the Holy One Blessed be He will do His.
The Chaver in Sefer HaKuzari states (Kuzari 2:24):…. Divine Providence only appears to a person in proportion to his preparedness for it. If he prepares a little, he will receive a little, if a lot, a lot. If we would be prepared to willingly and wholeheartedly draw near to the G-d of our forefathers, He would save us as He saved our ancestors from Egypt (But since this is not the case), our utterances of “Who restores His presence to Zion” and Bow down at His holy mountain are like the chirping of the birds, for we say these things without proper intent.
Chazal assert that the 2nd redemption should have been everlasting but sin prevented it (Sanhedrin 98b) The Maharsha explains that the sin was that the Jews did not all return to Eretz Yisrael (Maharsha, Yoma 9b, s.v. ke’chomah)

AN UNCLEAN BIRD WILL SIGNAL REDEMPTION – To understand this, the Talmud discusses the unclean/unkosher birds: Racham (VaYikra 11:18) is the sherakrak bird. R. Yochanan said, Why is it calle drachma? Because when the racham comes, mercy (rachamim) comes into the world” (Rashi explains that mercy refers to rain). R. Bibi bar Abaye said, “This only occurs when it perches on something and makes a sherakrak sound” (Rashi explains, “When it chirps, it sounds as if it is saying, ‘sherakrak’”). And, we have a tradition that if it sits on the ground and whistles, Mashiach will come, as it says, I will whistle to them and gather them (Zecharyah 10:8). (Chullin 63a) –
Rashi, on this verse in Zecharyah, explains, “I will whistle to them like one who whistles to those who have lost their way as a signal for them to come towards him. And I will gather them at the time of the future redemption.

What do you say about this, my son?.....why would HaShem bring the tidings of this most awaited event through the likes of an unkosher bird? Why unkosher? Would it not have been more appropriate to do so through kosher birds? – through meritorious and pure individuals? Iyov 11:7 Can you fathom the searching of God? THESE PIONEERS, these nonreligious sinners (God forbid), are God’s messengers! They are in fact the harbingers of redemption. Our holy mentor, the Noam Elimelech calls the sinners of Israel “unclean birds,” and he explains, based on Kabbalah, that they are the unclean birds mentioned in the Torah (Noam Elimelech, VaYikra, p.54 col. 4 (Mossad HaRav Kook, vold.2, p. 291) Therefore IT IS CLEAR that the Sages of the Talmud revealed to us that unclean birds, meaning the sinners of Israel, will bring the sign of redemption.

The Admor of Vizhnitz, the honorable and holy R. Yisrael ztvk’l, who lived in Gorssvardine, did NOT wish to join in the ostracism of the Zionists. He felt that God purposely wanted them to rebuild the Land, because the ruffians (biryonim) destroyed our Land and the Second Temple (See Gittin 56a) Therefore, they must rectify their wrongdoing and rebuild our Land now.  Pg 207 Eim Habanim Semeichah

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Monday, March 4, 2013

The Final Tikkun

per email from R. Yaakov Nathan Here is the original text as I have it:

The generation of the desert, the Dor Hamidbar, was on a very high level. They were a "dor de'ah", a generation of knowledge, on the level of Bina. Yet they committed the sin of the Golden Calf (parshas Ki Sisa). This sin was a direct result of their own intellectualization, their miscalculation of when Moshe should have come back from his spiritual elevation on Mount Sinai. (The verse says "boshesh Moshe" and Rashi from the Gemara explains that it means "ba shesh" - that they calculated that Moshe should have been back by the 6th hour of the day.) 

It was their own intellect which brought them into trouble--they wavered in their trust of Moshe and over-intellectualized the situation. The midrash states that the Soton showed them Moshe lying on his deathbed, which opened them up to consider the reasoning that Moshe should have already come down. The Ohr Hachayim explains that what they saw was "with the eye of the intellect"--they didn't hallucinate, but rather they misinterpreted the reality.

Amidst this confusion comes the Erev Rav, the Egyptian magicians who left Egypt with the children of Israel, demanding a new leader to replace Moshe -- since they saw that the Jews were wavering, open to the suggestion that Moshe was delayed andcould not descend from the spiritual heights he had ascended to. This is the cause of the Golden Calf (see the Ramban--it was a replacement for Moshe, not Hashem).

When Moshe ascended the mountain, the Arizal states that he received 1,000 lights. This is the level of Moshiach. Moshe had been elevated to Moshiach on the mountain, but the people did not withstand the test; their faith in Moshe wavered, allowing the Erev Rav to bring about the sin of the Golden Calf. This caused Hashem to say to Moshe "Go, descend" (32:7), says Rashi: "Descend from your greatness", descend from the level of Moshiach.

The Arizal writes that the final generation is a reincarnation of the Dor Hamidbar. The Lubavitcher Rebbe said explicitly that this applies to us - we are literally the souls of the generation of the desert.

In Rambam's "13 Ikkarim" he writes that it we believe in the coming of Moshiach "even if he delays". Why does the Rambam feel the need to mention a delay here? What's the connection between Moshiach and a delay? The first redeemer (Moshe) is the last redeemer (Moshiach) and perhaps our situation now - waiting in the confusion - is the tikkun for the situation the first time around? The Rambam explains in Hilchos Tshuva that "Tshuva is completed when an opportunity to commit one's original transgression again arises but one doesn't and repents instead." We are the generation of the midbar--we are rectifying our sin by waiting for Moshiach. 

Despite what the eye of the intellect might think, our obligation is to trust in Moshe Rabbeinu, not to seek a replacement leader. Not to let the Erev Rav within us entice us to find a "new leader" of the Jewish nation, to make a new Golden Calf (G-d forbid). Moshe Rabbeinu doesn't need to be replaced, the leader of the generation - and we all know who is the leader of the generation - is playing his role and we are playing our role in the final tikkun. Hold on strong with emunah that goes beyond the intellect and "even though he delays, we wait for him every day".
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