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Redemption – Past and Future

By Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David (Greg Killian)

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I. Introduction. 1

II.  The structure of the Seder 3

III.  The Matza. 8

IV.  The Four Cups. 9

V.  Hallel 11

VI.  Scriptural Allusions. 15

VII.  Next Year in Jerusalem.. 19

VIII.  Midrashic Connections. 19

IX. Succoth and Chanukah. 19

X.  If Not Now, When?. 21

XI.  Timing. 24

XII.  The Sixth Day. 29

XIII.   The Secret Password. 48

XIV.  Resurrection. 51

XV.  Zoharic Connections. 51

XVI.  The First and Last Redeemer 52

XVII.  Keitz. 53

XVIII. The Morning Shema and Geula. 54

XVIX.  Conclusion. 57

 

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I. Introduction

 

In this study I would like to examine our future redemption and the events surrounding our future redemption.

 

The first use of the Hebrew word for “redeem” is spoken by Ya’aqov as he blesses Ephraim and Menashe in:

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 48:16 The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.

 

Our first redemption began with HaShem’s promise:

 

Shemot (Exodus) 6:2-8 God also said to Moshe, “I am HaShem. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Ya’aqov as God Almighty, but by my name HaShem I did not make myself known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they lived as aliens. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant. “Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am HaShem, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am HaShem your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Ya’aqov. I will give it to you as a possession. I am HaShem.’”

 

So, our first redemption began in Egypt in the days of Moshe.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 12:22 “You shall take a myrtle-branch and dip it in blood

 

Rabbi Yosef Hayim of Baghdad, the Ben Ish Hai, writes that the prerequisite for redemption was that Benei Israel repent at least for those transgressions which they violated intentionally. This repentance had to have been complete, with purity of thought, speech, and action. That is why they were bidden to take this myrtle-branch and dip it in blood. “Ezov” (myrtle branch) and “dam” (blood) have a combined numerical value of “mezid” (intentional transgression).

 

According to Kaballah, history is not linear, but follows a path that resembles a U-turn. That is, the light of HaShem that emanated out to create all that exists throughout history, at some point, reaches a ‘bottom point’ (which we seem very close to) and then turns around, returning back in the direction from which it originally flows. Thus, at the beginning of Jewish history, we were in Egypt for 210 years, after which we wandered in the desert for forty years. At the end of history, there will be forty years of ingathering of exiles to Eretz Israel, followed by 210 years of resurrecting the dead in preparation for the World-to-Come.

 

Strong’s defines the word redeem as:

 

Shemot (Exodus) 6:6 Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I [am] HaShem, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments:

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1350 ga’al, gaw-al’; a prim. root, to redeem (according to the Oriental law of kinship), i.e. to be the next of kin (and as such to buy back a relative’s property, marry his widow, etc.):-X in any wise, X at all, avenger, deliver, (do, perform the part of near, next) kinsfolk (-man), purchase, ransom, redeem (-er), revenger.

 

The Hebrew word Mitzrayim (Egypt) derives from the word meytzarim – which means restrictions or restraints. Mitzrayim, therefore, refers not only to a particular land but also to a condition of both physical and spiritual confinement. Keep this in mind as we compare the redemption from Mitzrayim to the final redemption in the days of Mashiach.

 

The Midrash speaks of this redemption:

 

Midrash Rabbah - Bereshit (Genesis) XLIV:19 AND ALSO THAT NATION, WHOM THEY SHALL SERVE, etc. (XV, 14). R. Helbo said: Instead of, ‘And that nation, Scripture writes AND ALSO THAT NATION WHOM THEY SHALL SERVE: this indicates, also they [Abraham’s descendants,] also Egypt and the four kingdoms which will subjugate thee.[1] WILL I JUDGE (DAN). R. Eleazar said in R. Jose’s name: The Holy One, blessed be He, promised our forefather that He would redeem his children with these two letters[2]; but if they repented, He would redeem them with seventy-two letters. R. Judan said: In the passage, [Or hath God assayed] to go and take Him a nation from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, and by wonders, and by roar, and by a mighty hand, and by an outstretched arm, and by great terrors (Deut. IV, 34), You will find seventy-two letters; and should you object that there are seventy-five, deduct the second ‘nation,’ which is not to be counted.[3] R. Abin said: He redeemed them by His name, the Name of the Holy One, blessed be He, consisting of seventy-two letters.[4]

 

Midrash Rabbah - Bereshit (Genesis) LXXXVIII:5 AND THE CHIEF BUTLER TOLD HIS DREAM... BEHOLD, A VINE WAS BEFORE ME (XL, 9): this alludes to Israel, as it says, Thou didst pluck up a vine out of Egypt (Ps. LXXX, 9). AND IN THE VINE WERE THREE BRANCHES-Moshe, Aaron, and Miriam. ITS BLOSSOM SHOT FORTH-the redemption of Israel had blossomed AND THE CLUSTERS THEREOF BROUGHT FORTH RIPE GRAPES: immediately the vine budded, it blossomed, and immediately the grapes blossomed, its clusters became ripe. AND PHARAOHS CUP WAS IN MY HAND. On what grounds did the Sages institute the four cups of Passover?[5] R. Huna said in R. Banayah’s name: [They instituted them] in allusion to the four expressions of redemption which occur in connection with Egypt: I will bring you out... and I will deliver you... and I will redeem you... and I will take you (Ex. VI, 6 f.). R. Samuel b. Nahman said: In allusion to the four cups mentioned in our text: AND PHARAOH’S CUP WAS IN MY HAND; AND I TOOK THE GRAPES, AND PRESSED THEM INTO PHARAOH’S CUP, AND I GAVE THE CUP INTO PHARAOH’S HAND... AND THOU SHALT GIVE PHARAOH’S CUP INTO HIS HAND (XL, II, 13). R. Levi said: In allusion to the four empires.[6] R. Joshua b. Levi said: In allusion to the four cups of fury which the Holy One, blessed be He, will make the nations of the world to drink, as it says, For thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, unto me: Take this cup of the wine of fury, etc. (Jer. XXV, 15); Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord’s hand (ib. LI, 7); For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup (Ps. LXXV, 9); And burning wind shall be the portion of their cup (ib. XI, 6). Corresponding to these the Holy One, blessed be He, will give Israel to drink four cups of salvation in the Messianic future, as it says, O Lord, the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup, Thou maintainest my lot (ib. XVI, 5); Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou hast anointed my head with oil; my cup runneth over (ib. XXIII, 5); I will lift up the cup of salvations,[7] and call upon the name of the Lord (ib. CXVI, 13): it does not say ‘The cup of salvation,’ but ‘The cup of salvations’--one in the days of the Messianic future and one in the days of Gog and Magog.

 

Midrash Rabbah - Shemot (Exodus) I:5 NOW THESE ARE THE NAMES OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL. These are mentioned here on account of the pending redemption of Israel. Reuben-as it is said: I have surely seen the affliction of my people (Ex. III, 7). Simeon-because it says: And God heard their groaning (ib.II, 24). Levi-because God associated himself with them in their trouble from the midst of the thorn bush, to fulfill that which is said: I will be with him in trouble (Ps. XCI, 15). Judah-because they praised God. Issachar -because God gave them as the reward of their servitude the spoil of Egypt and of the sea, to fulfill that which is said: And afterward shall they come out with great substance (Gen.XV, 14). Zebulon-because God caused His Shechinah to dwell in their midst, as it is said: And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them (Ex. XXV, 8). Moreover, the word ‘Zebulon’ refers to the Sanctuary, for it is said: I have surely built Thee a house of habitation (zebul), a place for Thee to dwell in for ever (I Kings VIII, 13). Benjamin-because it is said: Thy right hand (yemineka), O Lord, glorious in power (Ex. XV, 6). Dan- because it says: And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge (dan); and afterward shall they come out with great substance (Gen.XV, 14). Naphtali-because of the Torah and commandments which the Lord had given them, of which it is written: Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb-nofeth (Ps. XIX, 11). Gad-because of the manna with which God fed them and which was Like coriander (gad) seed (Ex. XVI, 31).[8] Asher-because all those who heard of their redemption and greatness praised them, as it is written: And all nations shall call you happy (ishru); for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of Hosts (Mal. IIIX, 12). Yosef-for God will one day again redeem Israel from the wicked dominion as he redeemed them from Egypt, as it says[9]: And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord will set His hand again (yosif) the second time (Isa. XI, 11).

 

II.  The structure of the Seder

 

The Exodus from Egypt is the prototype for the final redemption, when Mashiach will come, and slavery and suffering will be banished forever from the face of the earth.

 

Passover is the time when each Jew embarks on a personal journey from slavery to freedom. In order to guide us in our quest, our Sages carefully wrote a book outlining fifteen steps to freedom. It’s called the Haggada. Our Sages tell us that Passover occurs on the 15th of Nisan to teach us that just as the moon waxes for fifteen days, so too our growth must be in fifteen gradual steps. Think of these as fifteen pieces of the Passover puzzle. Assemble them all and you’ve got freedom!  These fifteen steps to freedom are chanted during the opening of the seder. These fifteen steps were chosen because they rhyme and are easily remembered. We would do well to memorize them:


 

The Order of the Seder

 

Kaddesh

Sanctify the day with the recitation of Kiddush.

    We drink the first cup.

U’rechatz

Wash! hands before eating karpas.

Karpas

Eat a vegetable dipped in salt water.

Yachatz

Break the middle matzah.

Maggid

Narrate the story of the Exodus.

    We drink the second cup.

Rachtzah

Wash hands prior to the meal.

Motzi

Recite the blessing, Who brings forth, over matzah as a food.

Matzah

Recite the blessing over matzah.

Maror

Blessing  for the bitter herbs.

Korech

Eat the sandwich of matzah and bitter herbs.

Shulchan Orech

The table is prepared with the festive meal.

Tzafun

Eat the afikomen which has been hidden all during the seder..

Barech

Recite the Blessings after the meal.

   We drink the third cup.

Hallel

Recite the Hallel Psalms of praise.

   We drink the fourth cup.

Nirtzah

Pray that God would accept our observance and speedily send Mashiach (Messiah).

 


Why, our Hakhamim ask, does the verse say, “As in the days when you left Egypt“,[10] when in fact the Exodus took place on one day? Among the explanations given is that all of the days until the ultimate redemption are “the days of your Exodus from Egypt.”

 

The Exodus from Egypt was not an end in itself, but the beginning of a sequence intended to be completed with the coming of Mashiach.

 

Until Mashiach‘s coming, we are still in the middle of “the days of your Exodus,” for the process has not been consummated. Each of us as individuals, as a people, and the world as a whole, still lacks redemption.

 

Passover is “the season of our freedom,” in the present tense.

 

Not only does it recall the beginnings of a redemption of the past, it brings us closer to the ultimate redemption.

 

Our redemption from Egypt, in the days of Moshe, is commemorated on Passover night when we celebrate the Seder[11] by reciting the Haggada[12]. The observance of the Seder is a carefully choreographed, re-experiencing of the redemption from Egypt. All of the minute details, far from being meaningless ritual, are carefully planned to teach us about the future redemption by causing us to experience the redemption from Egypt.

 

The Netziv explains the structure of the seder: The section of Hallel before the meal refer to the Exodus from Egypt. Then the meal itself, with it’s royal atmosphere, is actually a continuation of Hallel. And finally after the meal, Hallel continues with chapters referring to the “final Messianic redemption” at the time of the Mashiach. 

 

Recall that each of the festivals is a rehearsal: A rehearsal is practice for the real thing. Let’s look at the Torah to demonstrate this:

 

Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:2Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of HaShem, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.

 

Notice that these are HaShem‘s appointments which those who sit in the seat of Moses are to proclaim. HaShem‘s people proclaim these appointed rehearsals based on the new moon.

 

The Hebrew word “miqra” is translated above as “sacred assemblies”. This means that Vayikra (Leviticus) 23 will be talking about HaShem‘s appointed rehearsal times. Let’s see what Strong’s has to say about “miqra”:

 

4744 miqra’, mik-raw’; from 7121; something called out, i.e. a public meeting (the act, the persons, or the place); also a rehearsal:-assembly, calling, convocation, reading.

 

In Shemot (Exodus) 12:16. The Hebrew word “mikraw” translated “sacred assembly“ is a meeting for the purpose of rehearsing. This rehearsal has been done for the past 3300 years, and will continue even after Mashiach returns!

 

Shemot (Exodus) 12:14-17 “This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to HaShem--a lasting ordinance. For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel. On the first day hold a sacred assembly, and another one on the seventh day. Do no work at all on these days, except to prepare food for everyone to eat--that is all you may do. “Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.

 

Since the Passover Haggada is the story of our redemption, it makes sense that we start with an examination of the structure of the Seder. I have heard it said that in the commentary literature, there has been more written on the Haggada than any other book! The truth is that the Haggada was designed to be fascinating, and it does not disappoint. The basic premise of the Haggada is the telling of the Exodus from Egypt. Thus, we have in the Haggada a ritual which is not really prayer, it is an object lesson in Jewish history, or is it?!? The second goal of the Haggada is to praise HaShem for redeeming us in the past, present and future. This paper will focus mainly on how the Haggada achieves this second goal. This Seder is not just a display of “something Jewish“; it is a Biblical REHEARSAL.

 

The night of Passover is called “A night of guardings,” when the House of Israel is guarded from their enemies. “A night of guardings” also implies that the night of Passover is ‘guarded’, set aside for all time, as the night of the final redemption. In other words, every year, the night of Passover, because it contains the power of the redemption from Egypt, has the ability to bring forth actual redemption from the potential.

 

The seder, from the Hebrew word for “order”, is the festival meal eaten on the first two nights of Passover, the HaShem‘s celebration of the Exodus from Egypt. The main Seder meal does not begin until the story of the Exodus has been retold, and, more important, re-experienced by the celebrants. This recreation of the circumstances of bondage, together with the details of the deliverance, form the heart and spirit of the seder and of the Passover festival itself. “In every generation let each man look on himself as if he came forth personally from Egypt. WE WERE SLAVES TO PHARAOH IN EGYPT- “Had not GOD taken us out from Egypt we would still have remained slaves.”

 

Each of us must see the deliverance from bondage

as something that happened to US.

 

This lesson is emphasized by the three principal symbols of the Seder, concerning which our Sages said that unless the Jew explains their significance he has not observed the Seder fittingly: Pesach, Matza, and Maror. Using these symbols in their chronological order and in accordance with their Haggada explanation we may say: HaShem’s people can avoid Maror (bitterness of life) only through Pesach (G-d’s special care “passing over” and saving their homes even in the midst of the greatest plague), and Matza, then the very catastrophe and the enemies of HaShem‘s people will work for their benefit, driving them in great haste out of “Mitzrayim”, the place of perversion and darkness, and placing them under the beam of light and holiness.

 

Liberation from Mitzrayim

 

For HaShem‘s people, “Egypt” represents more than just a place on the map. Egypt is a state of mind. The Hebrew name for Egypt is Mitzrayim, which is related to the word Maytzorim, meaning boundaries and limitations. For HaShem‘s people, to “escape from Egypt“ means to overcome those natural limitations that impede the realization of our fullest potential.

 

Why do we celebrate Passover? Because it is written: “This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to HaShem, a lasting ordinance.[13]

 

The Passover Seder (order of events) used 2000 years ago was recorded for us in the Mishna, with Scriptural reasons for each point. Jewish people around the world use the same Seder, to this day.

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:3 “That thou mayest remember the day of thy going forth from Egypt, all the days of thy life.”

 

“‘The days of thy life’ refer to this world only,

but ‘all the days of thy life’ include the time of Messiah.”[14]

 

The Torah gives us a clue that helps us to see that our future redemption is related to our past redemption:

 

Micah 7:12-17 In that day people will come to you from Assyria and the cities of Egypt, even from Egypt to the Euphrates and from sea to sea and from mountain to mountain. The earth will become desolate because of its inhabitants, as the result of their deeds. Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance, which lives by itself in a forest, in fertile pasturelands. Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in days long ago. “As in the days of your Exodus from Egypt, I will show [the people] wonders.” Nations will see and be ashamed, deprived of all their power. They will lay their hands on their mouths and their ears will become deaf. They will lick dust like a snake, like creatures that crawl on the ground. They will come trembling out of their dens; they will turn in fear to HaShem our God and will be afraid of you.

 

We would have expected this verse to read, “…I will show you wonders” and “As in the days when he went out of Egypt….”

 

In this case, the verse would read, “As in the days when he [i.e., Moses, or the generation of the exodus] went out of Egypt, I will show you [the Mashiach, or the generation of the final redemption] wonders.”

 

The verse is instead written the way it is to indicate that you [i.e., the final generation] yourself went out of Egypt, and that you yourself are that generation which HaShem will now show new wonders.

 

Thus the future redemption will be characterized by miracles that transcend the natural order. The Targum Yonatan ben Uziel contains a very definite description of each plague, where it is in Tenach and how it will happen. In fact, the future redemption will be just like the redemption from Egypt in the days of Moshe!

 

Pesikta De-Rab Kahana 7:11 R. Levi said in the name of R. Hama bar R. Hanina: With the very means by which He punished the former He will punish the latter. As He punished Egypt with blood, so, too, He will punish Edom-[Rome], for it is written I WILL SHOW WONDERS IN THE HEAVENS AND IN THE EARTH, BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND PILLARS OF SMOKE [OVER EDOM](Joel 3:3). As Egypt, frogs; so, too, Edom: THE SOUND OF AN UPROAR FROM THE CITY [OF ROME], AN UPROAR BECAUSE OF THE TEMPLE [WHICH ROME DESTROYED], AN UPROAR OF THE L-RD WHO RENDERETH RECOMPENSE TO HIS ENEMIES (Yeshayahu [Isaiah] 66: 6). As Egypt, gnats; so, too, Edom with gnats: THE STREAMS [OF BOZRAH] SHALL BE TURNED INTO PITCH, AND THE DUST THEREOF INTO BRIMSTONE, AND THE LAND THEREOF SHALL BECOME BURNING PITCH (Yeshayahu [Isaiah] 34:9); SMITE THE DUST OF THE EARTH, THAT IT MAY BECOME GNATS (Shemos [Exodus] 8:12). As Egypt, all kinds of wild beasts; so, too, Edom: THE PELICAN AND THE BITTERN SHALL POSSESS IT, etc. (Yeshayahu [Isaiah] 34:11). As Egypt, pestilence; so, too, Edom: I WILL PLEAD AGAINST [GOG] WITH PESTILENCE AND WITH BLOOD (Yechezkel [Ezekiel] 38:22). As Egypt, boils; so, too, Edom: THIS SHALL BE THE PLAGUE WHEREWITH THE L-RD WILL SMITE ALL THE PEOPLES THAT HAVE WARRED AGAINST JERUSALEM: THEIR FLESH SHALL CONSUME AWAY WHILE THEY STAND UPON THEIR FEET (Zecharyah (Zechariah) 14:12). As Egypt, hail; so, too, EDOM: I WILL CAUSE TO RAIN UPON [GOG] . . . AN OVERFLOWING SHOWER AND GREAT HAILSTONES (Yechezkel [Ezekiel] 38:22) . As Egypt, locusts; so, too, Edom: AND THOU, SON OF MAN, THUS SAITH THE L-RD G-D: SPEAK UNTO THE BIRDS OF EVERY SORT . . . THE FLESH OF THE MIGHTY SHALL YE EAT . . . BLOOD SHALL YE DRINK . . . YE SHALL EAT FAT TILL YE BE FULL, AND DRINK BLOOD TILL YE BE DRUNKEN (Yechezkel [Ezekiel] 39:17-19). As Egypt, darkness; so, too, Edom with darkness: HE SHALL STRETCH OVER [EDOM] THE LINE OF [DARK] CHAOS AND THE PLUMMET OF EMPTINESS (Yeshayahu [Isaiah] 34:11). As with Egypt He took each of the chiefest among them and slew them, so, too, with Edom: A GREAT SLAUGHTER IN THE LAND OF EDOM, AMONG THEM TO COME DOWN SHALL BE THE REMIM (Yeshayahu [Isaiah] 34:6-7), that is, as R. Meir expounded it-among those to come down shall be the Romans, [pre-eminent among all the peoples of Edom].

 

To drive this point home, it is worth noting that Moshe’s song, in Shemot (Exodus) 15:1-19, is rendered in the text as present tense, but the Hebrew has this in the future tense:

 

Shemot (Exodus) 15:1 Then Moses and the children of Israel sang (will sing) this song to the Lord, and they spoke, saying, I will sing to the Lord, for very exalted is He; a horse and its rider He cast into the sea.

 

This same song will be sung at the future redemption, as we can see in Sefer Revelation:

 

Revelation 15:3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

 

Thus we have again, a connection between the redemption in the days of Moshe and the Messianic redemtion, as we will sing THIS song on both occasions.

 

The Midrash also relates Micah 7:15 to the future redemption and its relationship to the redemption from Egypt:

 

Midrash Rabbah - Shemot (Exodus) XV:11 Another explanation of THIS MONTH SHALL BE UNTO YOU. It is written: Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord (Ps. XXXIII, 12). When God chose His world,[15] He appointed New Moons [i.e. months] and years therein, and when He chose Ya’aqov and his sons, He appointed for them a New Moon of redemption in which Israel were redeemed from Egypt and in which they are destined to be redeemed again, as it says: As in the days of thy coming forth out of the land of Egypt[16] will I show unto him marvelous things.[17]

 

The Torah tells us that the final redemption will be very much like our first redemption from Egypt, but will be accompanied by even more wonders and miracles. It follows that if the entry and settlement of the land of Israel was supposed to be accomplished in a supernatural manner the first time, how much more so will it be miraculous in our own times, with the Messianic redemption!

 

What happened on the Exodus night, that will not repeat itself in the final redemption? Two things will not happen again, says the Prophet Isaiah 52.

1. In the final redemption they will go out without hurry.

2. They, and their Mashiach, will not be so liked by their former masters.

 

The Egyptian redemption and the final redemption in the days of Mashiach are given expression in the Seder through several devices. We see it in the division of the four cups of wine, we see it in the division of the Hallel, and we see it in the division of the Seder itself.

 

The Seder itself is divided by the meal. The Haggada speaks of our redemption from Egypt before the meal, and it speaks of the final messianic redemption from the meal onward. The four cups of wine and the Hallel follow this division.

 

III.  The Matza

 

The fourth part of the seder is a portion known as Yachatz. In this part, at the beginning of the seder, we divide the middle matza into two unequal pieces. The larger part is wrapped in a white cloth and hidden away. It will form the afikomen.

 

There are actually seven different mitzvot that we perform at the Seder.

 

Two are from the Torah:

1.  Telling the Exodus story

2.  Eating Matza

 

The other mitzvot are Rabbinical:

 

3.  Eating Maror (bitter herbs)

4.  Eating the Afikomen (an extra piece of Matza for dessert as a reminder of the Passover offering)

5.  Saying Hallel (Tehillim (Psalms) of praise)

6.  Drinking the Four Cups of wine

7.  Demonstrating acts of freedom and aristocracy, e.g. sitting with a pillow cushion and leaning as we eat and drink, and beginning the meal “with a dip.”

 

Notice that the ONLY mitzva which has both a Torah and a Rabbinical basis is eating matza. Notice that the two mitzvot of eating matza at the Seder will be from the same piece – the middle piece of matza! What we see is that the middle matza broken at Yachatz, forms the redemption which is divided into two parts. The lesser part represents the redemption in the days of Moshe, and the greater part begins the Messianic redemption. Thus we have one matza and therefore one redemption. This matza, this redemption, is divided into two phases.

 

The final Messianic redemption begins with the eating of the afikomen! Keep in mind that the afikomen represents the Pesach sacrifice, The Lamb. The afikomen is the last food that we eat at the seder and its taste is the last taste. The Afikomen, since it represents the Paschal sacrifice, is forbidden to all non-Jews. To partake of the Afikomen one MUST be a member of the covenant!

 

In the following sections, we shall explore the duality of our redemption as expressed in the features of the Seder.

 

IV.  The Four Cups

 

The duality of the Seder is underscored by the arrangement of the four cups of wine. The Halacha defines when these cups are to be consumed.

 

One of the four cups clearly speaks to the Egyptian redemption, and is consumed before the meal. The second cup clearly speaks about the final redemption in Messianic times, and is consumed after the meal. The Sages have decreed that we drink four cups of wine on the Seder night as a testimony to our redemption and freedom:

 

Tehillim (Psalm) 116:13  ‘I will lift up the cup of salvations and call upon the name of HaShem.

 

Midrash Rabbah - Genesis LXXXVIII:5 On what grounds did the Sages institute the four cups of Passover? R. Huna said in R. Banayah’s name: [They instituted them] in allusion to the four expressions of redemption which occur in connection with Egypt: I will bring you out... and I will deliver you... and I will redeem you... and I will take you (Ex. VI, 6 f.). R. Samuel b. Nahman said: In allusion to the four cups mentioned in our text: AND PHARAOH’S CUP WAS IN MY HAND; AND I TOOK THE GRAPES, AND PRESSED THEM INTO PHARAOH’S CUP, AND I GAVE THE CUP INTO PHARAOH’S HAND... AND THOU SHALT GIVE PHARAOH’S CUP INTO HIS HAND (XL, II, 13). R. Levi said: In allusion to the four empires. R. Joshua b. Levi said: In allusion to the four cups of fury which the Holy One, blessed be He, will make the nations of the world to drink, as it says, For thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, unto me: Take this cup of the wine of fury, etc. (Jer. XXV, 15); Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord’s hand (ib. LI, 7); For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup (Ps. LXXV, 9); And burning wind shall be the portion of their cup (ib. XI, 6). Corresponding to these the Holy One, blessed be He, will give Israel to drink four cups of salvation in the Messianic future, as it says, O Lord, the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup, Thou maintainest my lot (ib. XVI, 5); Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou hast anointed my head with oil; my cup runneth over (ib. XXIII, 5); I will lift up the cup of salvations, and call upon the name of the Lord (ib. CXVI, 13): it does not say ‘The cup of salvation,’ but ‘The cup of salvations’--one in the days of the Messianic future and one in the days of Gog and Magog.

 

The requirement for four cups is based on the passage in the Torah, which describes the four stages of our deliverance from Egypt:

 

Shemot (Exodus) 6:6-7 “Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am HaShem, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am HaShem your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.

 

The following chart shows these four cups and their relationship to Shemot (Exodus) 6:6-7:

 


 

Sanctification

“I am HaShem and I will separate you from Egyptian bondage,

 

 

Deliverance

I will deliver you (through plagues),

 

 

Redemption

I will redeem you with an outstretched arm,

 

 

Completion

I will take you as My own people and

I will be your God.”

 

 

The cup of Deliverance, the first cup, clearly speaks to our redemption from Egypt, while the cup of redemption, the third cup, clearly speaks to the Messianic redemption.

 

Some of our Sages have suggested that the four cups allude to the four exiles that the Children of Israel would have to endure: The Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Greek, and finally the Roman exile. This scheme also suggests that the completion of the final exile is yet in front of us.

 

Midrash Rabbah - Exodus XV:6  THIS MONTH SHALL BE UNTO YOU (XII, 2). Another interpretation: It is written: Who is she that looketh forth as the dawn? (S.S. VI, 10). Four eulogies of Israel are mentioned here, corresponding with the four exiles, throughout which Israel did not deny God. How do we know that this was so in the Babylonian exile? Because it is said: ‘ Who is she that looketh forth as the dawn?’ Nebuchadnezzar used to worship the sun, as it says: How art thou fallen from heaven, O day-star, son of the morning (Isa. XIV,12), but Daniel used to rise early and pray unto the Omnipresent, for it says: Now his windows were open in his upper chamber toward Jerusalem  (Dan. VI, 11), evening, morning, and noon. Why did he get up early and pray? So that God should have compassion on Israel. Concerning him does Solomon say: He that early [E.V. ‘diligently’] seeketh good seeketh favour  (Prov. XI, 27). For this reason was God with them in the time of their trouble, as it is said: I love them that love me (ib. VIII, 17).6 And so we find that when Daniel was cast into the lions’ den, he was not harmed, for it says: My God hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not hurt me  (Dan. VI, 23). Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were cast into the fiery furnace but were not harmed, for it says: Nor was the hair of their head singed... nor had the smell of fire passed on them (ib. III, 27).7 Instead of which they gave light to the world, like the dawn which gives light to the world; therefore does it say: ‘ that looketh forth as the dawn.’ Moreover, they made idol-worshippers recognize God and praise Him; for when Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah emerged from the furnace, Nebuchadnezzar said: Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, the servants of the God on High (ib28). So, too, Darius, when Daniel fell into the lions’ den, said: Let men tremble and fear the God of Daniel; for He is the living God (ib. VI, 27). Hence does it say:’ Who is she that looketh forth as the dawn?’

 

‘Fair as the moon‘ (S.S. loc. cit.)--during the Median [i.e. Persian] captivity. You find that if the moon does not appear in the sky at night, the world is so dark that a man cannot walk about even within the city, but as soon as the moon appears in the sky, all rejoice and walk about. So it was in the days of Achashverosh who decreed that Israel should be destroyed, slain, and made to perish; but Esther came and brought light to Israel, for it says: The Jews had light and gladness, and joy and honour (Est. VIII, 16). ‘ Fair as the moon ‘refers, therefore, to the Median captivity. Should you inquire why Esther is compared to the moon, the answer is that just as the moon renews itself every thirty days, so did Esther say: But I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days (ib. IV, 11). ‘Fair as the moon‘ refers, therefore, to the Median captivity. ‘Clear as the sun‘ (S.S. Ioc. cit.) refers to the Greek kingdom. Alexander the son of Helios was his name, and the Sun is called a hero, as it is said, He rejoiceth as a strong man to run his course (Ps. XIX, 6). During the summer cycle all flee from it [the sun], for who can endure its scorching rays, as it says: And there is nothing hid from the heat thereof (ib. 7)? Thus it was with the Greek kingdom; all were afraid of it. But Mattathias the priest and his sons stood firm in their faith in God, with the result that the Greek legions fled from before them1 and were all slain. Hence God said unto them: Beat your ploughshares into swords, and your pruning-hooks into spears; let the weak say: I am strong (Joel IV, 10), the verse: So perish all Thine enemies, O Lord; but they that love Him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might  (Judg. v, 31) corroborating the words, ‘clear as the sun.

 

They were terrible as an army with banners (S.S. VI, 10) in Edom; and why is she [Israel] called ‘terrible ‘? Because she was placed in a kingdom which inspired awe; for it says: And behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly  (Dan. VII, 7).

 

The Shulchan Arukh explicitly says that it is possible to add more cups[18]. The one exception is that it is forbidden to add cups of wine between the third and fourth cups.[19] The Maharal explains that this halacha is connected to the four stages of redemption. It is possible to “interrupt” between the first three stages. But it is forbidden to interrupt between the third and fourth stages. The national independence of the Jewish people, “I will redeem you”, has meaning only in context of our identity as HaShem’s nation as the recipients of His Torah: “And I will take you to me as a nation, and I will be to you as G-d” -when we accept the Torah.[20]

 

The four expressions of the Egyptian Passover have their counterparts in the Messianic redemption:

 

Yechezekel (Ezekiel) 34:13-14 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel.

 

The pouring of the cup of Elijah immediately follows the third cup, the cup of Redemption. We then open the door to search for that great prophet. This intimate connection of the Cup of redemption with the prophet Elijah, suggests that the Messianic redemption is associated with the third cup, because of what was spoken through the prophet:

 

Malachi 4:4-6 “Remember the law of my servant Moshe, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel. “See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of HaShem comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.”

 

V.  Hallel

 

Tehillim (Psalms) 113-118 are known as Hallel. Just before we recite the Hallel, we raise and hold the second cup. We introduce the Hallel with the following prayer:

 

1

Therefore it is our duty to thank,

2

praise,

3

pay tribute,

4

glorify,

5

exalt,

6

honor,

7

bless,

8

extol,

9

and acclaim Him Who performed all these miracles for our fathers and for us. He brought us forth from slavery to freedom, from grief to joy, from mourning to festivity, from darkness to great light, and from servitude to redemption.

10

Let us, therefore, recite a new song before Him! Halleluiah!

 

These ten expressions of praise allude to the ten plagues and also to the fact that this redemption is not the final redemption. The numberten“ alludes to Messiah. Whenever we see the number ten, we should see Messiah.

 

We say the Hallel at Passover. There are many who believe that the Hallel was composed particularly for Passover. Hallel takes three forms. They are:

 

1)     The complete Hallel, which is recited on Festivals;

2)     The shortened Hallel, which is recited on the New Moon and the Intermediate Days of Passover; and

3)     The special Passover Hallel, which is recited at the Seder, as part of the Haggada. To appreciate the differences, look at the chart below:


 

COMPLETE HALLEL

PASSOVER HALLEL

 

 

Opening Hallel Blessing

 

Tehillim (Psalm) 113

Tehillim (Psalm) 113

Tehillim (Psalm) 114

Tehillim (Psalm) 114

 

Beracha: “Redeems Israel”

 

Blessing on Wine (2nd of 4 cups)

 

Washing Hands with Blessing

 

HaMotzi/Matza/Maror

 

Hillel’s Sandwich/The Meal

 

Afikomen

 

Blessing after Meal

 

Blessing on Wine (3rd cup)

 

Pour out Your wrath (plus Tehillim (Psalms))

Tehillim (Psalm) 115:1-11

Tehillim (Psalm) 115:1-11

Tehillim (Psalm) 115:12-18

Tehillim (Psalm) 115:12-18

Tehillim (Psalm) 116:1-11

Tehillim (Psalm) 116:1-11

Tehillim (Psalm) 116:12-19

Tehillim (Psalm) 116:12-19

Tehillim (Psalm) 117

Tehillim (Psalm) 117

Tehillim (Psalm) 118:1-4

Tehillim (Psalm) 118:1-4

Tehillim (Psalm) 118:5-20

Tehillim (Psalm) 118:5-20

Tehillim (Psalm) 118:21-24

Tehillim (Psalm) 118:21-24

Tehillim (Psalm) 118:25

Tehillim (Psalm) 118:25

Tehillim (Psalm) 118:26-end

Tehillim (Psalm) 118:26-end

 

Closing Blessing paragraph...

 

If we look very closely, we will see that Tehillim (Psalms) 113 and 114, which constitute the opening verses of all three versions of Hallel, are here recited WELL BEFORE the body of Hallel, i.e. before eating Matza, Maror and the Meal. If you look at the “Order of the Seder“ which is found in the very beginning of the Haggada before Kiddush, you will notice something interesting. We read:

 


The Order of the Seder

 

Kaddesh

Sanctify the day with the recitation of Kiddush.

 We drink the first cup.

U’rechatz

Wash! hands before eating karpas.

Karpas

Eat a vegetable dipped in salt water.

Yachatz

Break the middle Matza.

Maggid

Narrate the story of the Exodus.

 We drink the second cup.

Rachtzah

Wash hands prior to the meal.

Motzi

Recite the blessing, Who brings forth, over Matza as a food.

Matza

Recite the blessing over Matza.

Maror

Blessing for the bitter herbs.

Korech

Eat the sandwich of Matza and bitter herbs.

Shulchan Orech

The table is prepared with the festive meal.

Tzafun

Eat the afikomen which has been hidden all during the seder..

Barech

Recite the Blessings after the meal.

 We drink the third cup.

Hallel

Recite the Hallel Tehillim (Psalms) of praise.

 We drink the fourth cup.

Nirtzah

Pray that God would accept our observance and speedily send Mashiach (Messiah).

 

In other words, according to prescribed Seder order, Hallel comes after the meal. If so, placing Tehillim (Psalms) 113 and 114 BEFORE the meal effectively separates it from the rest of Hallel! What is more, on Passover evening, the opening blessing, which acknowledges that we are commanded to recite Hallel, is omitted entirely. This further indicates that on Passover night, Tehillim (Psalms) 113 and 114, which are usually preceded by the blessing, are not part of Hallel. Thus, the Passover Seder departs significantly from the basic structure of Hallel.

 

The correct time for Hallel is daytime. Passover marks the only time in the Biblical year that Hallel is recited at night. The time of redemption, which Passover celebrates, was during the day. Therefore, reciting Hallel at night at best anticipates the next day and the redemption we commemorate.

 

But how do we explain the fact that the portion of Hallel recited after the meal ends with the official, concluding blessing? How do we explain the fact that in the Order of the Seder, the Hallel is listed as a requirement? Both of these are indications that Hallel, as a unit, is appropriately recited on the night of Passover.

 

The Hallel before the meal reminds us of our redemption from Egypt in the days of Moshe.

 

Tehillim (Psalm) 113 Halleluiah! Praise, you servants of HaShem praise the name of HaShem. Blessed be the name of HaShem from now and forever. From the rising of the sun to its setting, HaShem‘s name is praised. Raised above all nations is HaShem, above the heavens is His glory. Who is like HaShem, our God, Who is enthroned on high, yet deigns to look upon the heaven and the earth? He raises the destitute from the dust, from the trash heaps He lifts the needy, to seat them with nobles, with nobles of His people. He transforms the barren wife into glad mother of children. Halleluiah!

 

Tehillim (Psalm) 114 When Israel went forth from Egypt, Ya’aqov’s household from a people of alien tongue, Judah became His sanctuary, Israel His dominion. The Sea saw and fled; the Jordan turned backward. The mountains skipped like rams, and the hills like young lambs. What ails you, O Sea, that you flee? O Jordan, that you turn backwards? O mountains, that you skip like rams? O hills, like young lambs? Before the Master, tremble, O earth, before the presence of the God of Ya’aqov, Who turns the rock into a pond of water, the flint into a flowing fountain.

 

The Hallel after the meal, tells of our final redemption in the days of Messiah! In fact, the whole of the seder follows this pattern: The part before the meal reminds us of our redemption from Egypt in the days of Moshe, and from the meal onward, tells of the final redemption in the days of Messiah.

 

Tehillim (Psalm) 115 Not to us, O HaShem, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. Why do the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. But their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; They have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell; They have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but they cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them. O house of Israel, trust in HaShem--he is their help and shield. O house of Aaron, trust in HaShem--he is their help and shield. You who fear him, trust in HaShem--he is their help and shield. HaShem remembers us and will bless us: He will bless the house of Israel, he will bless the house of Aaron, He will bless those who fear HaShem--small and great alike. May HaShem make you increase, both you and your children. May you be blessed by HaShem, the Maker of heaven and earth. The highest heavens belong to HaShem, but the earth he has given to man. It is not the dead who praise HaShem, those who go down to silence; It is we who extol HaShem, both now and forevermore. Praise HaShem.

 

Tehillim (Psalm) 116 I love HaShem, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of HaShem: “O HaShem, save me!” HaShem is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. HaShem protects the simple hearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for HaShem has been good to you. For you, O HaShem, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, That I may walk before HaShem in the land of the living. I believed; therefore I said, “I am greatly afflicted.” And in my dismay I said, “All men are liars.” How can I repay HaShem for all his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of HaShem. I will fulfill my vows to HaShem in the presence of all his people. Precious in the sight of HaShem is the death of his saints. O HaShem, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant; you have freed me from my chains. I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of HaShem. I will fulfill my vows to HaShem in the presence of all his people, In the courts of the house of HaShem--in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise HaShem.

 

Tehillim (Psalm) 117 Praise HaShem, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of HaShem endures forever. Praise HaShem.

 

Tehillim (Psalm) 118 Give thanks to HaShem, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let Israel say: “His love endures forever.” Let the house of Aaron say: “His love endures forever.” Let those who fear HaShem say: “His love endures forever.” In my anguish I cried to HaShem, and he answered by setting me free. HaShem is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? HaShem is with me; he is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies. It is better to take refuge in HaShem than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in HaShem than to trust in princes. All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of HaShem I cut them off. They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of HaShem I cut them off. They swarmed around me like bees, but they died out as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of HaShem I cut them off. I was pushed back and about to fall, but HaShem helped me. HaShem is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: “HaShem’s right hand has done mighty things! I will not die but live, and will proclaim what HaShem has done. HaShem has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death. Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to HaShem. This is the gate of HaShem through which the righteous may enter. I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation. The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; HaShem has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day HaShem has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. O HaShem, save us; O HaShem, grant us success. Blessed is he who comes in the name of HaShem. From the house of HaShem we bless you. HaShem is God, and he has made his light shine upon us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar. You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you. Give thanks to HaShem, for he is good; his love endures forever.

 

Tehillim (Psalms) 113 and 114 are recited while holding the second cup. This intimately connects these Tehillim (Psalms) with this second cup. This establishes another connection between the symbols which speak to the Egyptian redemption.

 

The number ten (10) is associated with Mashiach. With ten expressions of Hallel (praise), messiah King David concluded Tehillim (Tehillim (Psalms)) which speak of redemption that will be wrought by Mashiach:

 

Tehillim (Psalm) 150:1-6

 

   1. Praise HaShem. Praise God in his sanctuary;

   2. Praise him in his mighty heavens.

   3. Praise him for his acts of power;

   4. Praise him for his surpassing greatness.

   5. Praise him with the sounding of the shofar,

   6. Praise him with the harp and lyre,

   7. Praise him with tambourine and dancing,

   8. Praise him with the strings and flute,

   9. Praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise

      Him with resounding cymbals.

  10.Let everything that has breath praise HaShem.

       Praise HaShem.

 

In Tehillim (Psalm) 150, notice that the first five praises relate to things of God (infinite), while the second set of five are related to the things of men (finite).

 

VI.  Scriptural Allusions

 

Now I would like to examine other scriptures which have the imagery of the redemption from Egypt in an obviously future context.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 14:30 – 15:1 Thus HaShem saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. And Israel saw that great work which HaShem did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared HaShem, and believed HaShem, and his servant Moshe. Then sang (will sing) Moshe and the children of Israel this song unto HaShem, and spake, saying, I will sing unto HaShem, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

 

The Zohar goes on to inform us that “sang” is in the future tense, and is literally “will sing”:

 

Zohar, Shemot, Section 2, Page 54a Said R. Isaac: ‘At the moment when the Holy One slew the great chieftain of the Egyptians, and Moshe and the children of Israel saw him, they began to sing.’ THEN SANG MOSHE AND THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL THIS SONG UNTO THE LORD. Said R. Abba: I have examined all the songs which Israel sang unto the Holy One, and I find that all of them began with “then” (az) (Cf Jos. x, 12; I Kings VIII, 12; Num. XXI, I7.) The reason for this is that all the wonders, and all the mighty deeds which were done to Israel when the light of the Holy Ancient One shone in His crowns, are engraved in the letters Aleph and Zain[Tr. note: Aleph symbolizes the first Sephirah, and Zain the seventh (after the first three), and when the light of the Crown-the first Sephirah-illumines the seventh, namely Malchut-Kingdom, the power of God is manifested.]. Then there is song, the song of all sides. “Yashir” (lit. will sing): the tense suggests that this song fitted that occasion and will also fit the future Redemption, when it will again be sung by Israel. The expression “Moshe and Israel” proves that the righteous of the past ages, although they have entered into the highest regions and are united with the “Bundle of life”, will all rise again in bodily form and behold the signs and mighty works which the Holy One shall show to Israel, and sing this hymn.’

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 19:19-25 In that day there will be an altar to HaShem in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to HaShem at its border. It will be a sign and witness to HaShem Almighty in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to HaShem because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and he will rescue them. So HaShem will make himself known to the Egyptians, and in that day they will acknowledge HaShem. They will worship with sacrifices and grain offerings; they will make vows to HaShem and keep them. HaShem will strike Egypt with a plague; he will strike them and heal them. They will turn to HaShem, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them. In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth. HaShem Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.”

 

Yechezekel (Ezekiel) 20:32-38 “‘You say, “We want to be like the nations, like the peoples of the world, who serve wood and stone.” But what you have in mind will never happen. As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign HaShem, I will rule over you with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath. I will bring you from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered--with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath. I will bring you into the desert of the nations and there, face to face, I will execute judgment upon you. As I judged your fathers in the desert of the land of Egypt, so I will judge you, declares the Sovereign HaShem. I will take note of you as you pass under my rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. I will purge you of those who revolt and rebel against me. Although I will bring them out of the land where they are living, yet they will not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am HaShem.

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 10:20-26 In that day the remnant of Israel, the survivors of the house of Ya’aqov, will no longer rely on him who struck them down but will truly rely on HaShem, the Holy One of Israel. A remnant will return, a remnant of Ya’aqov will return to the Mighty God. Though your people, O Israel, be like the sand by the sea, only a remnant will return. Destruction has been decreed, overwhelming and righteous. The Lord, HaShem Almighty, will carry out the destruction decreed upon the whole land. Therefore, this is what the Lord, HaShem Almighty, says: “O my people who live in Zion, do not be afraid of the Assyrians, who beat you with a rod and lift up a club against you, as Egypt did. Very soon my anger against you will end and my wrath will be directed to their destruction.” HaShem Almighty will lash them with a whip, as when he struck down Midian at the rock of Oreb; and he will raise his staff over the waters, as he did in Egypt.

 

Notice the words “a second time“ in the following passage:

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 11:10-12 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious. In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the sea. He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth.

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 27:12-13 In that day HaShem will thresh from the flowing Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt, and you, O Israelites, will be gathered up one by one. And in that day a great trumpet will sound. Those who were perishing in Assyria and those who were exiled in Egypt will come and worship HaShem on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.

 

Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 30:8-11 “‘In that day,’ declares HaShem Almighty, ‘I will break the yoke off their necks and will tear off their bonds; no longer will foreigners enslave them. Instead, they will serve HaShem their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them. “‘So do not fear, O Ya’aqov my servant; do not be dismayed, O Israel,’ declares HaShem. ‘I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile. Ya’aqov will again have peace and security, and no one will make him afraid. I am with you and will save you,’ declares HaShem. ‘Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.’

 

Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 50:30-34 Therefore, her young men will fall in the streets; all her soldiers will be silenced in that day,” declares HaShem. “See, I am against you, O arrogant one,” declares the Lord, HaShem Almighty, “for your day has come, the time for you to be punished. The arrogant one will stumble and fall and no one will help her up; I will kindle a fire in her towns that will consume all who are around her.” This is what HaShem Almighty says: “The people of Israel are oppressed, and the people of Judah as well. All their captors hold them fast, refusing to let them go. Yet their Redeemer is strong; HaShem Almighty is his name. He will vigorously defend their cause so that he may bring rest to their land, but unrest to those who live in Babylon.

 

Zechariah 2:7-11 “Come, O Zion! Escape, you who live in the Daughter of Babylon!” For this is what HaShem Almighty says: “After he has honored me and has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye-- I will surely raise my hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them. Then you will know that HaShem Almighty has sent me. “Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,” declares HaShem. “Many nations will be joined with HaShem in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that HaShem Almighty has sent me to you.

 

The Mosaic covenant and the “newcovenant are both linked to the Egyptian and final redemptions:

 

Bereans (Hebrews) 8:7-13 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said: “The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord. This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” By calling this covenantnew,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.

 

In this last passage, notice what the Prophet says will be the differences between the Egyptian redemption and the Messianic redemption:

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 52:1-15 Awake, awake, O Zion, clothe yourself with strength. Put on your garments of splendor, O Jerusalem, the holy city. The uncircumcised and defiled will not enter you again. Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, O Jerusalem. Free yourself from the chains on your neck, O captive Daughter of Zion. For this is what HaShem says: “You were sold for nothing, and without money you will be redeemed.” For this is what the Sovereign HaShem says: “At first my people went down to Egypt to live; lately, Assyria has oppressed them. “And now what do I have here?” declares HaShem. “For my people have been taken away for nothing, and those who rule them mock,” declares HaShem. “And all day long my name is constantly blasphemed. Therefore my people will know my name; therefore in that day they will know that it is I who foretold it. Yes, it is I.” How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy. When HaShem returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes. Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem, for HaShem has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. HaShem will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God. Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Come out from it and be pure, you who carry the vessels of HaShem. But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for HaShem will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard. See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as there were many who were appalled at him--his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness--So will he sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.

 

Two things will not happen again, says the Prophet Yeshayahu (Isaiah) (Ch 52):

 

1. In the final redemption they will go out without hurry.

 

2.  They, and their Mashiach, will not be so liked by their former masters.

 

In fact, says the Prophet, the Messiah will be despised, even down trotted, by the Nations. Israel, too, will have the same fortune.[21] These very words of Yeshayahu (Isaiah), unfortunately, gave birth to the new religion that spread all over the world.

 

As we approach the end of history, the beginning of Jewish history becomes even more relevant. This is the time of the final redemption!

 

Sanhedrin 111a It was taught in a brisa: Rebi Simai said, “It says, ‘I will take you to Me for a people’ (Shemot 6:7), and it is also said, ‘I will bring you in [unto the land…]’ (Ibid.). Thus, their leaving Egypt is compared to their entry into the land: just as at their entry into the land there were only two out of six-hundred thousand (i.e., Yehoshua and Caleiv), likewise at the time of their leaving Egypt there were only two out of six-hundred thousand.” Rava said, “It will likewise in Yemot HaMashiach, for it is said, ‘…she will dwell there as in the days of her youth, and as on the day of her ascent from the land of Egypt’.”[22]

 

Thus, we learn, there is a historical connection between the first redemption of the Jewish people and the last one, because in truth, they are one and the same thing. Or, perhaps more accurately, two sides of the same coin. Or better yet, two halves of the same whole, for the last redemption picks up where the first one left off and completes it, finally, at long last.

 

So let us remember and be aware – There is no hurry. Even if we live at the beginning of redemption, who knows how long it will take for him to reveal himself in full? But if we are not careful in our interpretations, a new religion may spring up, G-d Forbid, and bring distortion to the world.

 

VII.  Next Year in Jerusalem

 

Nirtzah (The promise that HaShem will accept our service) this is the shortest and most poignant expression of Passover evening. In three simple words, “L’Shana Habaah B’Yerushalayim“ (Next year in Jerusalem), we give vent to our desire, will, impatience and frustration for deliverance from our current galut, exile. At this juncture, one should want Mashiach so bad he/she can taste it--instead of the Matza and wine we just ingested. This is why many continue the evening by singing traditional standards such as “Ha Gadya” and “Adir Hu.”

 

VIII.  Midrashic Connections

 

Midrash Rabbah – Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs) II:23  MY BELOVED (DODI) IS LIKE A GAZELLE. R. Isaac said: The Community of Israel said before the Holy One, blessed be He: ‘Sovereign of the Universe, Thou sayest to us, My love, My love! (Dew, dew); Thou givest us the love greeting first.[23] MY BELOVED IS LIKE A GAZELLE: just as a gazelle leaps from mountain to mountain and from valley to valley, from tree to tree and from thicket to thicket and from fence to fence, so the Holy One, blessed be He, leapt from Egypt to the Red Sea and from the Red Sea to Sinai, and from Sinai He leaps to the future redemption. In Egypt they saw Him, as it says,  For I will go through the land of Egypt  (Ex. XII, 12). At the Red Sea they saw him, as it says,  And Israel saw the great hand--E.V. ‘work, (ib. XIV, 31); also, this is my God,[24] and I will glorify Him (ib. XV, 2). At Sinai they saw Him, as it is written, The Lord spoke with you face to face in the mount  (Deut. V, 4), and it is also written, The Lord cometh from Sinai (ib. XXXIII, 2).[25] OR A YOUNG HART. R. Jose b Hanina said: This means, like young deer. BEHOLD HE STANDETH BEHIND OUR WALL: behind our wall of Sinai, as it says,  For on the third day the Lord will come down (Ex. XIX, 11). HE LOOKETH IN THROUGH THE WINDOWS: as it says,  And the Lord came down upon mount Sinai, to the top of the mount (ib. 20). HE PEERETH (MEZIZ) THROUGH THE LATTICE: as it says,  And God spoke all these words (ib. XX, 1).[26] MY BELOVED SPOKE AND SAID UNTO ME. What did He say to me? I am the Lord thy God.

 

IX. Succoth and Chanukah

 

What is the connection between Succoth, Chanukah, Yaakov and the coming redemption?

 

From a spiritual perspective Chanukah is eight days and we kindle eight candles because it has a connection with the Ohr Haganuz - hidden light - which will be revealed in its full glory in the days of Mashiach and just as the number eight transcends the limits of creation which is associated with the seven days of the week and the seven orbital planets, so too, Mashiach is above seder hishtalshelut - chain of creation.

 

Just as Chanukah is celebrated for eight days, likewise, Succoth is celebrated eight days. And there is actually a connection between the two.

 

The three festivals, Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot correspond to the three patriarchs, Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov.[27] In addition the first and second Beit HaMikdash, which were destroyed, and the third Beit HaMikdash, which we will have in the Messianic era and which will be perpetual, correspond to the three patriarchs. They all rendered a description of the site where the Beit HaMikdash stood. The description identified with Avraham is that it was a mountain, as the Torah[28] records, “on the mountain HaShem is seen”. The description found in connection with Yitzchak is that it was a field, as stated, “Yitzchak went out to pray in the field”.[29] Yaakov called it a house, as it is stated “He named that place” ‘the House of HaShem’.[30]

 

Avraham’s “mountain” represents the first Beit Hamikdash. HaShem watched over it like a guard strategically stationed on top of a mountain. This protection, however, was not permanent and it was ultimately destroyed. The “field” of Yitzchak (which is an empty place) signifies the second Beit HaMikdash, which in contrast to the first was lacking in Divine Presence.[31] The “house” of Yaakov symbolizes the third Beit HaMikdash, which will enjoy Divine Presence and protection that is permanent and complete like a house.[32]

 

This indicates that the concepts of ultimate redemption, Mashiach, and the third Beit HaMikdash have a special connection with the patriarch Yaakov, to whom Succoth corresponds, and to Chanukah (which is associated with Succoth).

 

* * *

 

Jewish life in exile is transitory and uncertain. Living outdoors in a booth, exposed to the elements and with little in the way of physical protection, the Jew realizes that he must turn his gaze heavenward to seek security. Yet, while the Sukkah symbolizes Jewish exile, it can also represent Jewish redemption. During the week of Succoth, in the Grace after Meals, a special prayer is added which says: "May the Compassionate One erect for us David's fallen booth ["Sukkat David" in Heb.]." What exactly is this "Sukkat David"? The term itself is taken from the Book of), where HaShem says:

 

Amos 9:11 On that day, I will raise up the fallen booth of David ["Sukkat David"], and I will close up their breaches and I will raise up its ruins, and build it up as in the days of yore.

 

The Talmud in Tractate Sanhedrin[33] understands the phrase "Sukkat David" as referring to the Davidic monarchy, which will be restored when the Messiah comes.

 

Sanhedrin 97a R. Nahman said to R. Isaac: ‘Have you heard when Bar Nafle[34] will come?’ ‘Who is Bar Nafle?’ he asked. ‘Messiah,’ he answered, ‘Do you call Messiah Bar Nafle?’ — ‘Even so,’ he rejoined, ‘as it is written, in that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David ha-nofeleth [that is fallen].’[35] He replied, ‘Thus hath R. Johanan said: in the generation when the son of David [i.e., Messiah] will come, scholars will be few in number, and as for the rest, their eyes will fail through sorrow and grief. Multitudes of trouble and evil decrees will be promulgated anew, each new evil coming with haste before the other has ended.’

 

Thus, even when the Jew is living in his Sukkah of Exile, he is thinking ahead to a time when the Sukkah will come to mean something far greater and more permanent - the Final Redemption.

 

* * *

 

The subject of the haftorah[36] of Shabbat chol HaMoed Succoth is the war of Gog and Magog that will precede the final redemption. Its connection to the holiday of Succoth is that according to tradition the war will take place during the month of Tishri, the month when the holiday of Succoth falls. In addition, this war is identical to the one described in the fourteenth chapter of Zachariah, the haftorah read on the first day of Succoth, which concludes by saying that the Gentile survivors of this war will be required to go to Jerusalem every year on the holiday of Succoth to pay homage to HaShem.

 

The prophet describes Gog’s war against Israel and HaShem’s furious response. HaShem will send an earthquake, pestilence, great floods and hailstones and fire—utterly destroying Gog’s armies.

 

“And I will reveal Myself in My greatness and in My holiness and will be recognized in the eyes of many nations, and they will know that I am HaShem. . . . I will make known My Holy Name in the midst of My people Israel, and I will no longer cause My Holy Name to be profaned, and the nations will know that I, HaShem, am holy in Israel.”

 

The haftorah concludes by saying that the weaponry of the defeated armies of Gog will provide fuel for fire for seven years! The Jews “shall carry no wood from the fields nor cut down any from the forests, for they shall make fires from the weapons.”

 

* * *

 

Pesach[37] represents our geula, redemption, as a nation. We need(ed) time to move from our initial redemption until we could handle the receiving of the Torah at Shavuot. But then Shavuot became a kind of Atzeret, a stopping, that is an end or a way station in this process of geulah. 

 

On Succoth, by contrast, it matters little what we eat but it is all important where we eat. We sit in the Sukkah and are surrounded by the mitzvah. We are pushing outwards now. 

 

The Torah in Parshat Pinchas tells us of the karban mussaf, the additional offering, which was brought on Succoth and Shemini Atzeret. Part of the offering was oxen. The first day thirteen were brought and then each day one less so that by the seventh day there were altogether seventy oxen brought. But then on Shemini Atzeret it drops down to one

 

Chazal tell us that the oxen offering which diminishes each day corresponds to the seventy nations which in the future will also diminish. Some people mistakenly think this means that the other nations besides Israel will die out. Not so.

 

The idea is that ultimately that which separates nations will die out. We will come together as a single 'nation' recognizing the single Creator. That singleness is symbolized by the single ox brought on Shemini Atzeret. Here we don't need to go through the seven week cycle we had between Pesach and Shavuot, we go directly into the final redemption when we no longer need the sukkah or the matza, we just come to a unity of humanity with the Divine. 

 

* * *

 

The ceremonies of Succoth clearly indicate the theme of redemption. The festival of Pesach reminds us of Creation, it is the festival of Israel's national creation, celebrated in the season of re-birth (Spring). Shavuot commemorates the Revelation of HaShem at Sinai. We celebrate with all-night study to prepare for the giving of the Torah. Succoth, however, looks ahead toward the Final Redemption. In processional hoshanot we call upon HaShem to “please save” (hoshana). The sukkah is a miniature model of Gan Eden, the once and future paradise, into which we invite our esteemed ancestors to dine with us (ushpizin), as we will dine with them in the World to Come. We gather the Four Species and wave them together - a symbol of the people of Israel joined together as one united entity, and once more hinting to future times.

 

Another allusion to the connection between Succoth and the Messianic Era can be found in the Haftarah (additional Torah reading) for Succoth which describes the prophecy of the War of Gog and Magog: Zechariah 14:1-21. The prophecy of the War of Gog and Magog describes the cataclysmic battles that will result in the Final Redemption and Messianic Era.

 

X.  If Not Now, When?

 

What month will bring our redemption?

 

Rosh Hashanah 11a  It has been taught: R. Eliezer says: In Tishri the world was created; in Tishri the Patriarchs[38] were born; in Tishri the Patriarchs died; on Passover Isaac was born; on New Year Sarah, Rachel and Hannah were visited;[39] on New Year Yosef went forth from prison; on New Year the bondage of our ancestors in Egypt ceased;[40] in Nisan they were redeemed and in Nisan they will be redeemed in the time to come. R. Joshua says: In Nisan the world was created; in Nisan the Patriarchs were born; in Nisan the Patriarchs died; on Passover Isaac was born; on New Year Sarah, Rachel and Hannah were visited; on New Year Yosef  went forth from prison; on New Year the bondage of our ancestors ceased in Egypt; and in Nisan they will be redeemed in time to come.

 

Our sages teach that just as the first redemption was in Nisan so will the final redemption be in Nisan. This is the opinion of Rabbi Yehoshua.

 

Rabbi Eliezer, however, taught that although the initial redemption was in Nisan, the final redemption will be in Tishrei.

 

Both of these opinions are correct. When Moshe first came to Pharaoh, his words only served to anger Pharaoh and to cause him to make the servitude all the harsher, refusing to give the Israelites straw for their bricks. Moshe then returned to his father-in-law Yitro in Midian and remained there six months. He then returned to Egypt and began to bring the Ten Plagues on the Egyptians.

 

There is a tradition that the Ten Plagues lasted a full year during which time the Israelites were free from their harsh tasks. From all this, we see that when Moshe appeared before Pharaoh the first time, it was Tishri. Since he then spent six months in Midian, the Ten Plagues began in Nisan.

 

This is the significance of Rabbi Eliezer’s teaching. He maintains that in the final redemption the redeemer will also appear in Tishri. This will be the beginning of the redemption. The redeemer will then disappear, only to reveal himself again in Nisan. This will be the time of the complete redemption.

 

Regarding this, it is written, “As in the days when you left Egypt, I will show wondrous things.” (Micah 7:15) The redemption from Egypt took place on two days, first when Moshe initially appeared before Pharaoh and second, when he led the Israelites out of Egypt. The final redemption will also be like this.

 

In Nisan, Messiah redeemed us with outstretched arms. In Tishri, the final redemption will be wrought:

 

Rosh Hashanah 11b  On New Year the bondage of our ancestors ceased in Egypt’. It is written in one place, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians,[41] and it is written in another place, I removed his shoulder from the burden.[42] ‘In Nisan they were delivered’, as Scripture recounts. ‘In Tishri they will be delivered in time to come’. This is learnt from the two occurrences of the word ‘horn‘. It is written in one place, Blow the horn on the new moon,[43] and it is written in another place, In that day a great horn shall be blown.[44] ‘R. Joshua says, In Nisan they were delivered, in Nisan they will be delivered in the time to come’. Whence do we know this? — Scripture calls [the Passover] ‘a night of watchings’,[45] [which means], a night, which has been continuously watched for from the six days of the creation. What says the other to this? — [He says it means], a night which is under constant protection against evil spirits.[46]

 

Yom Teruah, also called Rosh Hashanah, begins on the first day of the seventh month. This is the day that our final redemption will begin.

 

Our redemption did not occur in limbo, without a mental change. Just before the redemption, the scripture says:

 

Shemot (Exodus) 12:21-28 Then Moshe summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning. When HaShem goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down. “Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. When you enter the land that HaShem will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ Then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to HaShem, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’” Then the people bowed down and worshiped. Then the Children of Israel went and did {so;} just as HaShem had commanded Moshe and Aaron, so they did.

 

 “And the Children of Israel went and did AS HaShem has commanded Moshe and Aaron, so did they do”,[47] Say our sages: Here they repented from their idols completely. Teshuva,[48] hence, had brought redemption.

 

And that is not incidental, says Rabbi Eliezer. repentance should always precede redemption. One cannot come without the other. And when do we repent? – On Rosh Hashana. Therefore: “In Nisan was their first redemption, but in Tishri will the final redemption be”.

 

On the other hand, the fact that HaShem split the time shows that He controls the time that He knows when the right time has arrived. Says Rabbi Yehoshua: The redemption will come not by repentance but when the time is ripe”. In Nisan they have been redeemed, and in Nisan they will be redeemed again. There is an exact analogy between the two ‘redemptions’. Both are time- dependent.

 

What hour will bring our redemption? Well, our redemption from Egypt took place at midnight:

 

Shemot (Exodus) 12:29-33 At midnight HaShem struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well. Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead. During the night Pharaoh summoned Moshe and Aaron and said, “Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship HaShem as you have requested. Take your flocks and herds, as you have said, and go. And also bless me.” The Egyptians urged the people to hurry and leave the country. “For otherwise,” they said, “we will all die!”

 

Now our Sages have said that the night speaks of an exile. So midnight suggests the middle of a long exile.

 

Bamidbar – In The Wilderness

 

The Torah teaches us that in the days when Moshe led us out of Mitzrayim, HaShem did not take us on a direct path to the Promised Land:

 

Shemot (Exodus) 13:17 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not [through] the way of the land of the Philistines, although that [was] near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt:

 

Thus we see that we traveled through the wilderness in order to reach The Promised Land.

 

What makes this interesting is that the Jews who fled Europe during the shoah,[49] generally fled to America. Now America, at this time, did not have the great Yeshivot that were common in Eastern Europe. All of the Sages of the Jewish people were, in general, in Europe. America was called, by many Jews, “The Wilderness” because it lacked Torah Sages and Torah institutions.

 

As I see it, HaShem sent His Sages to the American wilderness to plant Torah, on their way to The Promised Land.

 

* * *

 

Yalkut Shimoni[50]: In the year that Mashiach will be revealed, nations will challenge one another. The King of Paras will challenge an Arab king... and the entire world will panic and will be stricken with consternation.... Israel will also panic and will be confounded. [G-d] will tell them: “My children, have no fear. Whatever I have done, I have done only for your sake. Why are you afraid? Have no fear; the time for your redemption has arrived!” Mashiach will stand on the roof of the Beit HaMikdash and proclaim, “Humble ones: The time for your redemption has arrived!”

 

XI.  Timing

 

Now, I would like to look at the timing for the Messianic redemption. It seems fascinating that we have so much information related to the timing, yet very few spell it out. I would like to present the material without trying to say that the redemption will occur on such and such and date in such and such a year. My goal is merely to examine the evidence and let every man draw his own conclusion.

 

The redemption of Israel will take place at the end of the sixth millennium just as the fall of Adam took place at the end of the sixth day.

 

It is well known that the days of creation have an exact correlation with the millenniums of man’s time in this world:

 

Tehillim (Psalms) 90:4 For a thousand years in thy sight [are but] as yesterday when it is past, and [as] a watch in the night.

 

2 Tsefet (Peter) 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

 

The Vilna Gaon echoed this understanding:

 

Know that each day of creation alludes to a thousand years of our existence, and every little detail that occurred on these days will have its corresponding event happen at the proportionate time during its millennium.[51]

 

Thus the days line up with the millenniums thusly:

 

First Day         First Millennium

Second Day     Second Millennium

Third Day       Third Millennium

Fourth Day      Fourth Millennium

Fifth Day        Fifth Millennium

Sixth Day        Sixth Millennium

Seventh Day   Seventh Millennium

 

According to Bereshit, the following events occurred in the corresponding day:

 

One Day

Light was created.

A Second Day

The waters above were separated from the waters below.

A Third Day

Dry land and plants were created.

A Fourth Day

The sun, moon, and stars were created.

A Fifth Day

Birds and fish were created.

The Sixth Day

Animals and man were created.

The Seventh Day

HaShem rested.

 

This suggests that if we knew what was happening during each hour of each day, then we would know what to expect during our lifetimes. Unfortunately, we have no record of what happened during the first five days of creation. We do, however, have a record of what happened during each hour of the sixth day. We find this record in the Midrash:

 

Midrash Rabbah - Leviticus XXIX:1 IN THE SEVENTH MONTH, IN THE FIRST DAY OF THE MONTH SHALL BE A SOLEMN REST (XXIII, 24).[52] This bears on what is written in Scripture: For ever, O Lord, Thy word standeth fast in heaven (Ps. CXIX, 89).[53] It was taught in the name of R. Eliezer: The world was created on the twenty-fifth of Elul. The view of Rab agrees with the teaching of R. Eliezer. For we have learned in the Shofar Benediction[54] composed by Rab: ‘ This day, on which was the beginning of work, is a memorial of the first day, for it is a statute for Israel, a decree of the God of Ya’aqov. Thereon also sentence is pronounced upon countries, which of them is destined to the sword and which to peace, which to famine and which to plenty; and each separate creature is visited thereon, and recorded for life or for death.’ Thus you are left to conclude[55] that on New Year’s Day, in the first hour the idea of creating man entered His mind, in the second He took counsel with the Ministering Angels, in the third He assembled Adam’s dust, in the fourth He kneaded it, in the fifth He shaped him, in the sixth He made him into a lifeless body, in the seventh He breathed a soul into him, in the eighth He brought him into the Garden of Eden, in the ninth he was commanded [against eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge], in the tenth he transgressed, in the eleventh he was judged, in the twelfth he was pardoned. ‘This,’ said the Holy One, blessed be He, to Adam, ‘will be a sign to your children. As you stood in judgment before Me this day and came out with a free pardon, so will your children in the future stand in judgment before Me on this day and will come out from My presence with a free pardon.’ When will that be? IN THE SEVENTH MONTH, IN THE FIRST DAY OF THE MONTH.

 

Now we need to put these hours into the perspective of a millennium. We find that a “day” to HaShem is as a thousand years. This leads to the following calculation which reveals how many years is equal to an “hour”:

 

1000 / 12[56] = 83.333333333

 

So 83.333 years is equivalent to an hour.[57]

 

We know that 5772 began in the seventh month of the Gregorian year 2011. This means that we are in the sixth millennium. The following chart spells out the ‘hours’ of the sixth millennium, as they correllate with the Midrash and the Talmud.

 


The Sixth Day

 

YEARS

MIDRASH

Midrash Rabbah - Leviticus XXIX:1 

TALMUD

Sanhedrin 38b

5000 - 5083 years

(1240 CE – 1323 CE)

In the first hour the idea of creating man entered His mind

 

In the first hour, his [Adam’s] dust was gathered.

5084 - 5167 years

(1324 CE – 1407 CE)

In the second He took counsel with the Ministering Angels

In the second, it was kneaded into a shapeless mass.

5168 - 5250 years

(1408 CE – 1490 CE)

In the third He assembled Adam‘s dust

In the third, his limbs were shaped

5251 - 5333 years

(1491 CE – 1573 CE)

In the fourth He kneaded it

In the fourth, a soul was infused into him.

5334 - 5417 years

(1574 CE – 1657 CE)

In the fifth He shaped him

In the fifth, he arose and stood on his feet.

5418 - 5500 years

(1658 CE – 1740 CE)

In the sixth He made him into a lifeless body

In the sixth, he gave [the animals] their names.

5501 - 5583 years

(1741 CE – 1823 CE)

In the seventh He breathed a soul into him

In the seventh, Eve became his mate.

5584 - 5667 years

(1824 CE – 1907 CE)

In the eighth He brought him into the Garden of Eden

In the eighth, they ascended to bed as two and descended as four.

5668 - 5750 years

(1908 CE – 1990 CE)

In the ninth he was commanded [against eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge]

In the ninth, he was commanded not to eat of the tree.

5751 - 5833 years

(1991 CE – 2073 CE)

In the tenth he transgressed

In the tenth, he sinned.

5834 - 5917 years

(2074 CE – 2157 CE)

In the eleventh he was judged

In the eleventh, he was tried.

5918 – 6000 years

(2158 CE – 2240 CE)

In the twelfth he was pardoned

And in the twelfth he was expelled [from Eden] and departed.

 


The following is based on Rabbi Winston’s essay on redemption:

 

The Bnei Israel were in Mitzrayim, Egypt, for 210 years, according to Chazal. This can be derived as follows:

 

Jacob stands before Pharaoh at 130 years old. If we add Isaac’s age of 60 when Jacob was born, 190 years passed from the 400 years scheduled from Isaac‘s birth, leaving 210 years in Egypt.

 

Yocheved, a daughter of Levi, was 130 years of age when Moshe was born. She was the one recorded in Tanach as born ‘between the walls’. Moshe was 80 when HaShem delivered B’nei Yisrael from Mitzrayim.[58] {210 = 130 + 80}

 

The Zohar,[59] says that Techiyat HaMeitim[60], “The Resurrection of the Dead,” will begin no later that 210 years (corresponding to the number of years we were enslaved in Mitzrayim) before the year 6000, which is 5790. The “Leshem Shevo v’Achlamah[61] seems to accept this date as being the final and real one. We are now in the year 5772, which is 228 years before the year 6000. This means that Techiyat HaMeitim will occur within the next twenty-six years, according to this understanding.

 

Techiyat HaMeitim must occur before September 28, 2030 (Tishri 1, 5791).

 

The Zohar[62] also states that this future period will begin after forty years of Kibbutz Galiot, or, “Ingathering of Exiles.” This term refers to the return of the exiles from the Diaspora to Eretz Israel. Thus, according to this calculation, Kibbutz Galiot would have begun in the year 5750, or, 1990, just about the same time that Russia “mysteriously” collapsed and allowed its Jewish “citizens” to finally emigrate after so many decades of trying.

 

Kibbutz Galiot must begin before September 20, 1990 (Tishri 1, 5751).

 

According to the Leshem, based upon the Zohar and tradition, Yemot HaMashiach, the Messianic Era, must happen in advance of Techiyat HaMeitim, specifically sometime within the forty years of Kibbutz Galiot.[63] As of this writing, that would mean that Mashiach must come and complete his work, the preparation of mankind and the world for Resurrection of the Dead, over the next 27 years.

 

Yemot HaMashiach must occur before September 28, 2030 (Tishri 1, 5791).

 

On Wednesday, November 26, 2003, Professor Eliyahu Rips gave a presentation at the Israel Center sponsored by the Root & Branch Association.  After showing the numerous ways one could mine repetitive information from the Torah Codes on one subject (using the Twin Towers attack as his example), he went off on a bit of a tangent, talking about how the Hebrew date in the Midrash of 5790 (2030) came up in the array that was formed when he typed the phrase Mhayei haMetim oh,nv hhjn (rising of the dead).  This was in connection with showing how even the Midrash was reflected in the Torah Code,  confirming what the Vilna Gaon had said about the Torah, that everything in the whole universe was somehow alluded to in Torah.


This was the only time that this phrase Mhayei haMetim appeared encoded in the Torah.  The Big Question is:  Why?

 

The prophet Yechezkel wrote:

 

Yechezkel (Ezekiel) 38:18-20 “It shall come to pass on that day, on the day that Gog shall come against the Land of Israel,” says the Lord, God, “My fury shall rise up ... And in My jealousy, in the fire of My anger, I have spoke-surely on that day there will be a great shaking in Eretz Israel. The fish of the sea and the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field, and all the creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the people who are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at My Presence; the mountains shall be destroyed, the steep places shall fall, and every wall will fall to the ground.”

 

Other prophets, such as Zechariah (12-14), Yirmiyahu (30), Daniel (11-12), Yoel (4), speak of this war. There is an allusion to the war of Gog u’Magog in Tehillim, Psalms, as well. War is the beginning of redemption, as we learn in the Gemara:

 

Megilah 17b What was their reason for mentioning redemption in the seventh blessing?[64] Raba replied: Because they [Israel] are destined to be redeemed in the seventh year [of the coming of the Messiah],[65] therefore the mention of redemption was placed in the seventh blessing. But a Master has said, ‘In the sixth year will be thunderings, in the seventh wars, at the end of the seventh the son of David will come’? — War is also the beginning of redemption.

 

However, according to tradition, historically, there are meant to be THREE such major conflicts:

 

Behold, after the arrival of Mashiach the nations will be instigated to a great war against Israel, as it says in the Zohar HaKodesh[66] ... This is the War of Gog and Magog mentioned in Yechezkel in chapters 38 and 39. In Midrash Tehillim (118:9), it says: Three times in the future, Gog and Magog will come against Israel and ascend to Jerusalem; he will anger the nations to go up to Jerusalem ...[67] Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman, quoting the Chofetz Chaim, said that Chazal say the war of Gog and Magog will be threefold ...”[68]

 

According to the Septuagint, Gog is Agag (The name of the kings of Amalek – see Devarim 25:17-18).

 

Zohar 1:119a ... The Children of Yishmael will go up at that time (End-of-Days) with the nations of the world against Jerusalem ... .

 

The body of Yishmael with the soul of Amalek. If B’nei Yishmael are not yet Magog, then they must not be too far away from being so.

 

According to Rabbi Moshe Shapiro, shlita (Jerusalem), an authority in both revealed and concealed matters of Torah, there is a tradition that Yishmael will be the final extension of Galut Edom, the Roman Exile, and that it will be with his descendants that the final generation of Jews before the redemption will have to contend. This is also supported by the following Midrash:

 

Israel will say to the king of the Arabs, “Take silver and gold and leave the Temple.” The king of the Arabs will say, “You have nothing to do with this Temple. However, if you want, choose a sacrifice as you did in the past, and we will also offer a sacrifice, and, with the one whose sacrifice is accepted, we will all become one people.” The Jewish people will offer theirs, but it will not be accepted because the Satan will lay charges against them before The Holy One, Blessed is He. B’nei Keder will offer theirs, and it will be accepted ... At that time, the Arabs will say to Israel, “Come and belief in our faith,” but Israel will answer, “We will kill or be killed, but we will not deny our Belief!” At that time, swords will be drawn, bows will be strung and arrows will be sent, and many will fall ...[69]

 

According to the Brisker Rav, the Rambam is alluding to an important insight regarding the mitzvah to destroy the memory of Amalek. He says that, even though a person or people have not genetically descended from the Biblical tribe of Amalek, still, they can have the halachic status as being “Amaleki” by the way they behave towards the Jewish people.

 

* * *

 

The Rambam tells us that the resumption of prophecy will be a harbinger of the coming of the Messiah.[70]

 

* * *

 

The events which occurred in the Persian Gulf - are among the signs of the Redemption, based on the saying of our sages that when “nations provoke one another . . .,”[71] it portends the coming of Mashiach. More specifically, our sages in the Midrash present the following scenario as an indication of the arrival of the Era of Redemption: “The king of Persia (obviously referring to the entire geographic area comprising Iraq) will provoke the Arabian king . . . and all the nations of the world will be in turmoil and terror, . . . and (G-d) says to them (Israel) . . . “Do not fear, the time for your Redemption has arrived.”[72] The Midrash continues and concludes: “When the King Mashiach comes, he will stand on the roof of the Beit HaMikdash [Holy Temple] and proclaim to Israel: “Humble ones, the time for your Redemption has arrived.”

 

Ironically, in recent days the (seventy) nations of the world gathered, in a way reminiscent of “The nations are in an uproar and the peoples mutter,”[73] in order to accuse Israel: “You are thieves for having conquered the land of Israel,” They refer not just to Gaza or Samaria, but also (and primarily) to Judea which includes Jerusalem, the capital of the Land of Israel, “The city where David encamped.”[74] This accusation comes at a time when everyone knows the refutation, as clearly enunciated by Rashi at the very beginning of his commentary to the Torah: “All of the earth is G-d’s, He is the one who created it and gave it to whomever was just in His eyes . . . He gave it to us.”

 

(And, incredibly, this cacophony of nations accusing Israel includes even those who have traditionally endeavored to further the cause of righteousness and justice in the world, as seen by their reaction to the events of the Persian Gulf; there, they based their behavior on righteousness and justice, (that is, to prevent a state of theft of one individual from another, of country from country, etc.). However, in this matter, they too have conducted themselves improperly towards the Children of Israel.)

 

One might suggest the following explanation for this paradoxical phenomenon (i.e., that such an undesirable situation could have occurred in this era of open miracles):

 

In the Divinely ordained system for this world, concealment and darkness precede the revelation of light. Thus, we should not be dismayed by the “Nations raising an uproar and the peoples muttering,” since it is - as the verse concludes - “In vain.” As the Midrash comments: “All of their uproar is . . . in vain,”[75] because “the One who dwells in Heaven will laugh, G-d will mock them.”[76] Therefore, the Jewish people stand firm in all matters relating to the integrity of the Land of Israel (particularly Jerusalem), knowing that “All of the earth is G-d’s, He created it . . . and gave it to us.”

 

Moreover, the phenomenon of “the nation raising an uproar and the peoples muttering” is, in and of itself, one of the signs of redemption, as Rashi observes that: “Our sages interpreted the entire verse of the “nations raising an uproar . . .” as a reference to the King Mashiach.”

 

(From the talk of Shabbos Breishis (Isru Chag of Shmini Atzeres and Simchas Torah), 5751 [October 13, 1990])

 

XII.  The Sixth Day

 

The story of Creation, in Rabbinic thought, stands as prototype that all history will follow:

 

Tehillim (Psalms) 90:4 For a thousand years in thy sight [are but] as yesterday when it is past, and [as] a watch in the night.

 

2 Tzefet (Peter) 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

 

Every day of creation prophetically foretells the thousand year period which corresponds to that day. Adam, the apex of creation, appeared on the scene on the sixth day. And the Zohar makes clear that it is in the sixth thousand year cycle - that is to say from the year 5000 forward - that Mashiach’s coming will of necessity have to take place:

 

Soncino Zohar, Bereshit, Section 1, Page 118a R. Simeon continued: ‘The Holy One, blessed be He, does not desire that so much should be revealed to the world, but when the days of the Messiah will be near at hand, even children will discover the secrets of wisdom and thereby be able to calculate the millennium; at that time it will be revealed to all, as it is written, “For then will I turn to the peoples a pure language, etc.” (Zeph. III, 9), the term az (then) referring to the time when the community of Israel will be raised from the dust and the Holy One will make her stand upright; then “will I turn to the peoples a pure language, that they may all call upon the Lord, to serve him with one consent” (Ibid.).’

 

Soncino Zohar, Bereshit, Section 1, Page 119a R. Simeon discoursed on the verse: And I will remember my covenant with Ya’aqov, etc. (Lev. XXVI, 42). ‘The name Ya’aqov’, he said, ‘is here written in full, with the letter va. For what reason? In the first place as an allusion to the grade of Wisdom, the realm where Ya’aqov dwells. But the chief reason is because the passage speaks of the exile of Israel, intimating that the redemption of Israel will come about through the mystic force of the letter vav, namely, in the sixth millennium, and, more precisely, after six seconds and a half a time. When the sixtieth year shall have passed over the threshold of the sixth millennium, the God of heaven will visit the daughter of Ya’aqov with a preliminary remembrance (p’qidah). Another six and a half years will then elapse, and there will be a full remembrance of her; then another six years, making together seventy-two years and a half. In the year sixty-six the Messiah will appear in the land of Galilee. A star in the east will swallow seven stars in the north, and a flame of black fire will hang in the heaven for sixty days, and there shall be wars towards the north in which two kings shall perish. Then all the nations shall combine together against the daughter of Ya’aqov in order to drive her from the world. It is of that time that it is written: “And it is a time of trouble unto Ya’aqov, but out of it he shall be saved“ (Jer. XXX, 7). At that time all the souls in Guph will have been used up, and will need to be re-created. As a mnemonic of this we may use the verse: “All the souls of the house of Ya’aqov that came into Egypt... all the souls were threescore and six“ (Gen. XLVI, 26). In the year seventy-three all the kings of the world will assemble in the great city of Rome, and the Holy One will shower on them fire and hail and meteoric stones until they are all destroyed, with the exception of those who will not yet have arrived there. These will commence anew to make other wars. From that time the Messiah will begin to declare himself, and round him there will be gathered many nations and many hosts from the uttermost ends of the earth. And all the children of Israel will assemble in their various places until the completion of the century. The Vav will then join the He, and then “they shall bring all your brethren out of all the nations for an offering unto the Lord” (Is. LXVI, 20). The children of Ishmael will at the same time rouse all the peoples of the world to come up to war against Jerusalem, as it is written, “For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle, etc.” (Zech. XIV, 2), also, “The kings of the earth stand up, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed“ (Ps. II, 2); and further, “He that sitteth in heaven laugheth, the Lord hath them in derision” (Ibid. II, 4). Then the lesser Vav will rouse itself to unite (with the He) and renew the souls that had become old, so as to rejuvenate the world, as it is written, “May the glory of the Lord endure for ever, let the Lord rejoice in his works” (Ps. CIV, 31). The first part of this verse signifies that God’s glory will attach itself to the world, and the latter half that He will cause souls to descend into the world and make them into new beings, so as to join the world into one. Happy are those who will be left alive at the end of the sixth millennium to enter on the Sabbath. For that is the day set apart by the Holy One on which to effect the union of souls and to cull new souls to join those that are still on earth, as it is written, “And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written unto life in Jerusalem“ (Is. IV, 3).’

 

Can one be more specific? The Talmud, and as we shall see later- the Midrash, both detail the events of the sixth day:

 

Sanhedrin 38b R. Johanan b. Hanina said: The day consisted of twelve hours. In the first hour, his [Adam’s] dust was gathered; in the second, it was kneaded into a shapeless mass. In the third, his limbs were shaped; in the fourth, a soul was infused into him; in the fifth, he arose and stood on his feet; in the sixth, he gave [the animals] their names; in the seventh, Eve became his mate; in the eighth, they ascended to bed as two and descended as four; in the ninth, he was commanded not to eat of the tree, in the tenth, he sinned; in the eleventh, he was tried, and in the twelfth he was expelled [from Eden] and departed, for it is written, Man abideth not in honour.

 

Here it is made clear that it was in the ninth hour that Adam ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The exact time in the sixth millennium when the world would have the opportunity to eat from their own “Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil”, the internet.

 

The next reference provides the Midrashic details behind the events of the sixth day. These events are also reflected in the chart we saw earlier:

 

Midrash Rabbah - Leviticus XXIX:1  IN THE SEVENTH MONTH, IN THE FIRST DAY OF THE MONTH SHALL BE A SOLEMN REST (XXIII, 24).[77] This bears on what is written in Scripture: For ever, O Lord, Thy word standeth fast in heaven (Ps. CXIX, 89).[78] It was taught in the name of R. Eliezer: The world was created on the twenty-fifth of Elul. The view of Rab agrees with the teaching of R. Eliezer. For we have learned in the Shofar Benediction[79] composed by Rab: ‘ This day, on which was the beginning of work, is a memorial of the first day, for it is a statute for Israel, a decree of the God of Ya’aqov. Thereon also sentence is pronounced upon countries, which of them is destined to the sword and which to peace, which to famine and which to plenty; and each separate creature is visited thereon, and recorded for life or for death.’ Thus you are left to conclude[80] that on New Year’s Day, in the first hour the idea of creating man entered His mind, in the second He took counsel with the Ministering Angels, in the third He assembled Adam’s dust, in the fourth He kneaded it, in the fifth He shaped him, in the sixth He made him into a lifeless body, in the seventh He breathed a soul into him, in the eighth He brought him into the Garden of Eden, in the ninth he was commanded [against eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge], in the tenth he transgressed, in the eleventh he was judged, in the twelfth he was pardoned. ‘This,’ said the Holy One, blessed be He, to Adam, ‘will be a sign to your children. As you stood in judgment before Me this day and came out with a free pardon, so will your children in the future stand in judgment before Me on this day and will come out from My presence with a free pardon.’ When will that be? IN THE SEVENTH MONTH, IN THE FIRST DAY OF THE MONTH.

 

Finally, the Pesiqta de Rab Kahana indicates the following:

 

Pisqa 23:1, 3. [Since the New Year is the sixth day following the creation of the world, which took place on the twenty-fifth of Elul], you find that on the first of Tishri [the New Year] the first man was created [because he was created on the sixth day of creation].

 

In the first hour [the thought of creating him] entered [God’s mind], in the second God consulted the ministering angels, in the third he collected dust, in the fourth, he kneaded it, in the fifth he wove together the parts, in the sixth he stood him on his feet as an unformed mass, in the seventh, he blew into it the breath of life, in the eighth, he put him into the Garden of Eden, in the ninth God gave him a commandment, in the tenth Adam violated His commandment, in the eleventh he was judged, in the twelfth God gave him a pardon.

 

Said to him the Holy One, blessed be He, “Adam, lo, you serve as omen for your children. Just as you came to judgment before Me and I gave you a pardon, so your children will come before Me in judgment, and I will give them a pardon.”

 

The above chart suggests that we, in 2002 CE, are living in the tenth hour. This is the hour when Adam ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

 

In 1990 the internet became a commercial reality and was opened up to the public. This has been the greatest opportunity in the history of man to acquire the knowledge of good and the knowledge of evil.

 

The Parashiyot of Devarim

 

“We heard from our teacher HaRav Chaim from Volozhin that the Gra (Vilna Gaon) said that the book ‘Mishnah Torah’ (Devarim) alludes in each Parshah to what will happen in each one hundred years of the sixth millenniumten parashiyot corresponding to ten periods of one hundred years (Nitzavim and Vayailech are considered one Parshah). Rav Chaim asked him, ‘Where are we hinted to in Parashat Ki Tetze (which corresponds to the 100-year period—5500-5600/1740-1840 CE—we are in)?’ He answered him that his [the Gra’s] name was hinted to in the words ‘ehven shlaimah, (Devarim 25:15) ...”.[81]

 

The Vilna Gaon notes that though there are technically 11 Parshiyot in this book, the Parshiyot of Nitzavim and Vayeilech are often combined, and hence, are considered a total of 10 Parshiyot - the Parsha of this eighth century of the sixth millenium (5701-5800) is the combined Parshiyot of Nitzavim-Vayeilech.  And noting that there are a total of 70 verses from Nitzavim-Vayeilech,

 

dividing 70 by 100 yields 0.7; and hence,

 

multiplying 73 (as per last year 5773) by 0.7,

 

which yields 51.1, and 74,

 

as per this current year 5774, by 0.7, which yields 51.8,

 

we can see that this Hebrew year 5774 clearly corresponds to the 52nd verse from the beginning of Parshat Nitzavim that is found in Parshat Vayeilech, which is:

 

Devarim (Deutronomy) 31:12 Gather the people, the men, women, children, and your convert that is found at your gates, in order that they should listen, learn and fear HaShem your G-d, and observe to do all the words of this Torah.  

 

This is the very verse that is the source of the 612nd mitzva of the Torah, next to the last mitzva of the Torah, which was for the Jews to gather at the Temple once every seven years on the Succoth holiday following the Shemita (Sabbatical year), and hear portions of Deutronomy, THIS VERY BOOK THAT IS THE SUBJECT OF DISCUSSION HERE, being read from the king.  

 

This is the mitzva that is known as Hakhel (gather), for the entire Jewish people, even the women and children who were normally exempt from being at the Temple during the holidays, were obligated to be at this event, being compared to Matan Torah (Giving of the Torah).  Moreover, the Hebrew number of this mitzva - 612, consisting of the letters Tav-Reish-Yud-Beit, has the same letters as the word Brit (covenant) which is used both in referring to the Torah, and even more commonly used, for the mitzva of Brit Mila, which is the second to the first mitzva of the Torah.

 


 

Here are the parashiyot of Devarim(Deuteronomy):

 

Year

Parasha

Verses

Haftarah

5000 - 5100 (1240 CE - 1340 CE)

Devarim

1:1 – 3:22

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 1:1-27

5100 - 5200 (1340 CE - 1440 CE)

Va’etchanan

3:23 – 7:11

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 40:1-26

5200 - 5530 (1440 CE - 1540 CE)

Ekev

7:12 – 11:25

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 49:14 – 51:3

5300 - 5400 (1540 CE - 1640 CE)

Re’eh

11:26 – 16:17

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 54:11 – 55:5

5400 - 5500 (1640 CE - 1740 CE)

Shoftim

16:18 – 21:9

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 51:12 – 52:12

5500 - 5600 (1740 CE -1840 CE)

Ki Tetze

21:10 – 25:19

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 54:1-10

5600 - 5700 (1840 CE -1940 CE)

Ki Tavo

26:1 – 29:8

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 60:1-22

5700 - 5800 (1940 CE - 2040 CE)

Nitzavim-Vayelech

29:9 – 30:20 & 31:1-30

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 61:10 – 63:9

5800 - 5900 (2040 CE - 2140 CE)

Ha’azinu

32:1-52

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 55:6 – 56:8

5900 - 6000 (2140 CE - 2240 CE)

V’zot Haberacha

33:1 – 34:12

Yehoshua (Joshua) 1:1-18

(Yehoshua 1:1-9 - Sefard)

 

Now that we understand the broad overview, lets examine the details of Devarim 29:9 – 31:30, the combining of two parashiyot: Nitzavim and Vayelech. Lets start by understanding the names given to these parashiyot.

 

Netzavim is the Hebrew word for “standing“. It is in the plural.

Vayelech is the Hebrew word for “And went”. Its Hebrew root, yalak, means to “walk

 

From the Hebron massacre in 1929 till war of independence in 1948 = 19 years

 

From the war of independence in 1948 till the six day war in 1967 = 19 years

 

From the six day war in 1967 till the raid on Entebbe in 1976 = 19 years

 

From the war in Lebanon in 1982 till the Oslo war in 2001 = 19 years

.

 


Netzavim

 

5700 - 5710

 

The ghetto of Uman, Russia, was liquidated by the Nazis on September 22, 1941 (Tishri 1, 5702).

 

Experimental executions, by gassing, begin at Auschwitz on September 23, 1941 (Tishri 2, 5702).

 

Initiation of Arab League boycott:  December 1945 (Tevet 4, 5706)

 

Irgun fighters bomb King David Hotel: July 22, 1946 (Tammuz 27, 5706)

 

Britain gives U.N. responsibility for Palestine: February 14, 1947 (Shevat 24, 5707)

 

U.N. partition plan approved (Resolution 181): November 29, 1947 (Kislev 16, 5708)

 

State of Israel:   The republic of Israel was proclaimed on May 15, 1948 (May 15, 1948 corresponds to: Saturday, Iyar 6, 5708).

 

IDF Formed:  On May 26 1948 (Iyar 17, 5708), the Provisional Government of Israel decided to transform the Haganah into the regular army of the State, to be called “Zeva Haganah Le-Yisrael” - The Israel Defense Forces.

 

Large scale fighting was resumed between Israel and Egypt on October 14, 1948 (Tishri 11, 5709).

 

Beersheba, Ya’aqov’s hometown, was occupied by Israeli forces on October 21, 1948, his yahrtzeit. (Tishri 18, 5709)

 

Operation “Ten Plagues was opened by Israel against the Egyptian army, October 18, 1948. (Tishri 15, 5709)

 

The first census taken by the government of Israel on November 8, 1948, listed 712,000 Jews and 68,000 Arabs. (Cheshvan 6, 5709)

 

1948 – 1951 Mass Aliyah:  All in all, 684,201 immigrants -- more than the entire Jewish population when independence was declared -- came between May 14, 1948 and the end of 1951 (5708 – 5711).

 

Israel’s first national election, David Ben-Gurion elected Prime Minister: January 25, 1949 (Tevet 24, 5709)

 

Operation “Magic Carpet” begins:  November 8, 1949 (Cheshvan 16, 5710)  This date marks the beginning of Operation Magic Carpet which brought 40,000 Jews from Yemen to Israel.

 

Devarim 29:9 Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do.

 

Devarim 29:10 Ye stand this day all of you before HaShem your God; your captains of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, [with] all the men of Israel,

 

Devarim 29:11 Your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that [is] in thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water:

 

Devarim 29:12 That thou shouldest enter into covenant with HaShem thy God, and into his oath, which HaShem thy God maketh with thee this day:

 

Devarim 29:13 That he may establish thee to day for a people unto himself, and [that] he may be unto thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Ya’aqov.

 

Devarim 29:14 Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath;

 

Devarim 29:15 But with [him] that standeth here with us this day before HaShem our God, and also with [him] that [is] not here with us this day:

 

Devarim 29:16 (For ye know how we have dwelt in the land of Egypt; and how we came through the nations which ye passed by;

 

Devarim 29:17 And ye have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which [were] among them:)

 

Devarim 29:18 Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from HaShem our God, to go [and] serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;

 

Devarim 29:19 And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst:

 

Devarim 29:20 HaShem will not spare him, but then the anger of HaShem and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and HaShem shall blot out his name from under heaven.

 

Devarim 29:21 And HaShem shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the law:

 

Devarim 29:22 So that the generation to come of your children that shall rise up after you, and the stranger that shall come from a far land, shall say, when they see the plagues of that land, and the sicknesses which HaShem hath laid upon it;

 

Devarim 29:23 [And that] the whole land thereof [is] brimstone, and salt, [and] burning, [that] it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which HaShem overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath:

 

Devarim 29:24 Even all nations shall say, Wherefore hath HaShem done thus unto this land? what [meaneth] the heat of this great anger?

 

Devarim 29:25 Then men shall say, Because they have forsaken the covenant of HaShem God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them forth out of the land of Egypt:

 

Devarim 29:26 For they went and served other gods, and worshipped them, gods whom they knew not, and [whom] he had not given unto them:

 

Devarim 29:27 And the anger of HaShem was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book:

 

Devarim 29:28 And HaShem rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as [it is] this day.

 

Devarim 29:29 The secret [things belong] unto HaShem our God: but those [things which are] revealed [belong] unto us and to our children for ever, that [we] may do all the words of this law.

 

Devarim 30:1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call [them] to mind among all the nations, whither HaShem thy God hath driven thee,

 

Devarim 30:2 And shalt return unto HaShem thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;

 

Devarim 30:3 That then HaShem thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither HaShem thy God hath scattered thee.

 

Devarim 30:4 If [any] of thine be driven out unto the outmost [parts] of heaven, from thence will HaShem thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:

 

Devarim 30:5 And HaShem thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.

 

Devarim 30:6 And HaShem thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love HaShem thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

 

Devarim 30:7 And HaShem thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.

 

Devarim 30:8 And thou shalt return and obey the voice of HaShem, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.

 

Devarim 30:9 And HaShem thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for HaShem will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers:

 

Devarim 30:10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of HaShem thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, [and] if thou turn unto HaShem thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.

3.125

5710 - 5720

 

Operation “Magic Carpet” Ends:  transfers the entire Jewish community of Yemen, to Israel on September 24, 1950. (Tishri 13, 5711)

 

Operation Ali Baba begins: Brings 113,000 Iraqi Jews to Israel: May 1950 (Sivan 9, 5710)

 

Jordan‘s King Abdullah is assassinated:  July 20, 1951 (Tammuz 16, 5711) at Jerusalem.

 

Jordan and Israel accept UN truce proposals:  January 24, 1956 (Shevat 11, 5716).

 

Cease-fire between Israel and Jordan:  that takes effect April 29, 1956 (Iyar 18, 5716).

 

Cease-fires with Lebanon and Syria:  take effect May 1, 1956 (Iyar 20, 5716).

 

Suez Crisis:  The war began on October  29, 1956 (Cheshvan 24, 5717).

 

Devarim 30:11 ¶ For this commandment which I command thee this day, it [is] not hidden from thee, neither [is] it far off.

 

Devarim 30:12 It [is] not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?

 

Devarim 30:13 Neither [is] it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?

 

Devarim 30:14 But the word [is] very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.

 

5720 - 5730

 

Egyptian mobilization in the Sinai/Closure of the Tiran Straits: May 15­22, 1967 (Iyar 5-12, 5727)

 

Six-Day War:  Hostilities began on June 5, 1967 (Iyar 26, 5727).

 

Jerusalem captured by Israel:  On June 7, 1967 (Iyar 28, 5727), the Old City of Jerusalem was taken by a Paratroop unit in hand-to-hand fighting to avoid any damage to the holy places. By the evening, the whole of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) were in Israel’s hands.

 

Golan heights captured:  The Israeli Defense Forces attacked the Syrian army on June 9. By June 10, Israeli forces had captured the Golan heights and the danger of Syrian shelling had been removed from the Israel villages.

 

Six-Day War:  By June 11, 1967  the fighting was halted and a ceasefire declared.

 

Establishment of Jewish settlement in Hebron: April 4, 1968 (Nisan 6, 5728)

 

Arafat becomes PLO Chairman: February 1, 1969 (Shevat 13, 5729)

 

Egypt’s President Nasser accepts a U.S. peace formula for the Middle East July 24, 1970 (Tammuz 20, 5730).  Jordan announces her acceptance 2 days later, Syria makes a show of rejecting the formula, Israel announces her acceptance July 31, 1970

 

Devarim 30:15 ¶ See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;

 

Devarim 30:16 In that I command thee this day to love HaShem thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and HaShem thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

 

Devarim 30:17 But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;

 

Devarim 30:18 I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, [and that] ye shall not prolong [your] days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.

 

Devarim 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

 

Devarim 30:20 That thou mayest love HaShem thy God, [and] that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he [is] thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which HaShem swore unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Ya’aqov, to give them.

 

Vayelech

 

5730 - 5740

 

War of Attrition: August 7, 1970 (Av 5, 5730)

 

Massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at Munich Olympics: September 5, 1972 (Elul 26, 5732)

September 17, 1978: Camp David Accords signed

 

Yom Kippur War (6-24):   On October 6, 1973 (Tishri 10, 5734), Egypt and Syria, frustrated by Israel’s refusal to give up Arab territory taken during the Six-Day War of 1967, joined to launch a surprise attack on Israeli occupation forces. A cease-fire arranged by the United Nations took effect on the Syrian front on October 22 and in Egypt two days later.

 

Jordan enters the Yom Kippur war on October 13, 1973. (Tishri 17, 5734).

 

The crossing of Israeli forces to the western side of the Suez Canal on October 16, 1973 (Tishri 20, 5734), marked a turning point in the Yom Kippur War.

 

A cease-fire resolution was passed by the UN to halt the Yom Kippur War. Israel and Egypt accepted on October 22, 1973. (Tishri 26, 5734).

 

Fighting resumed in the Yom Kippur War on October 23, 1973. (Tishri 27, 5734).

 

Israeli forces reached the city of Suez on October 26, 1973  (Tishri 30, 5734), and trapped the Egyptian 3rd army on the eastern side of the Suez. (Tishri 30, 5734)

 

Israel Withdraws from the Suez canal:  March 5, 1974 (Adar 11, 5734).

 

Disengagement agreement: Between Egypt and Israel. May 31, 1974 (Sivan 10, 5734).

 

Israel signed the Sinai disengagement pact with Egypt on October 10, 1975 (Cheshvan 5, 5736).

 

The Entebbe Raid:  June 27, 1976 (Sivan 29, 5736)

 

Israel signs an accord with Egypt:  October 10, 1976 (Tishri 16, 5737). Agreeing to withdraw from 1,900 square miles of Sinai territory.

 

Egyptian President Anwar Sadat visits Jerusalem: November 19, 1977 (Kislev 9, 5738)

 

Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty:  signed on March  26, 1979 (Adar 27, 5739)

 

Devarim 31:1 And Moshe went and spake these words unto all Israel.

 

Devarim 31:2 And he said unto them, I [am] an hundred and twenty years old this day; I can no more go out and come in: also HaShem hath said unto me, Thou shalt not go over this Jordan.

 

Devarim 31:3 HaShem thy God, he will go over before thee, [and] he will destroy these nations from before thee, and thou shalt possess them: [and] Joshua, he shall go over before thee, as HaShem hath said.

 

Devarim 31:4 And HaShem shall do unto them as he did to Sihon and to Og, kings of the Amorites, and unto the land of them, whom he destroyed.

 

Devarim 31:5 And HaShem shall give them up before your face, that ye may do unto them according unto all the commandments which I have commanded you.

 

Devarim 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for HaShem thy God, he [it is] that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

 

5740 - 5750

 

Cease-fire is negotiated:  July 24, 1981 (Tammuz 22, 5741). Israeli and PLO forces clash through June and July with several weeks of heavy fighting, shellfire falls on Israeli settlements, and Israeli jets strike targets in Beirut and southern Lebanon.

 

Israel invades Lebanon:   June 6, 1982 (Sivan 15, 5742). Israel launched a massive attack to destroy all military bases of the P.L.O. in Southern Lebanon and to free Israel northern towns and villages from constant fire.

 

Israel attacks Iraq’s Osiraq nuclear reactor:  June 7, 1981 (Sivan 5, 5741).

 

Assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat:  October 6, 1981 (Tishri 8, 5742)

 

Final Israeli withdrawal from Sinai: April 25, 1982 (Iyar 2, 5742)

 

Operation Peace for the Galilee:  June 6, 1982 (Sivan 15, 5742)

 

PLO evacuation of Lebanon:  August 21, 1982 (Elul 2, 5742)

 

Attack on Sabra and Shatila by Christian Phalangists: September 16-17, 1982 (Elul 28-29, 5742)

 

Begin resignation:  September 15, 1983 (Tishri 8, 5744)

 

Bombing of U.S. Marines in Beirut: October 23, 1983 (Cheshvan 16, 5744)

 

Formation of Israeli National Unity Government:  September 14, 1984 (Elul 17, 5744)

 

Operation Moshe airlifts 7,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel:  November 1984 (Cheshvan 19, 5745)

 

Withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon:  June 10, 1985 (Sivan 21, 5745)

 

Hijacking of Achille Lauro:  October 7, 1986 (Tishri 4, 5747)

 

Start of Intifadah:  December 8, 1987 (Kislev 17, 5748)

 

 

Devarim 31:7 ¶ And Moshe called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which HaShem hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.

 

Devarim 31:8 And HaShem, he [it is] that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

 

5750 - 5760

 

Between 1990-1996 (5751 – 5757), over 600,000 Jews left the CIS for Israel.

 

Violence at the Temple:  October 8, 1990 (Tishri 19, 5751), around the al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem

 

Persian Gulf War begins:  January 17, 1991 (Shevat 2, 5751) with Scud missile attacks on Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Persian Gulf War ends:   February 28, 1991 (Thu, Adar 14, 5751) PURIM!!! No one is directly killed in Israel though hit by 39 scuds.

 

Operation Solomon airlifts 14,400 Ethiopian Jews to Israel: May 24, 1991 (Sivan 11, 5751)

 

Madrid Peace Conference: October 30, 1991 (Cheshvan 22, 5752)

 

Israel repeals ban on contacts with PLO: January 19, 1993 (Tevet 26, 5753)

 

Israel-PLO Letter of Mutual Recognition exchanged: September 9, 1993 (Elul 23, 5753)

 

Peace with PLO:  September 13, 1993 (Elul 27, 5753),  an agreement for limited Palestinian self-ruled in Gaza and in the West Bank, beginning with the city of Jericho.

 

Peace with Jordan:  September 14, 1993 (Elul 28, 5753), Israel and Jordan signed a framework accord intended to pave the way for a future peace treaty. 

 

Hebron killings:  February 25, 1994 (Adar 14, 5754) -- Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein sprays gunfire on kneeling Arab worshippers in a mosque in Hebron in the West Bank, killing 29 before survivors beat him to death.

 

Agreement on the Gaza Strip and Jericho:  May 4, 1994 (Iyar 23, 5754)

 

Israeli withdrawal from Jericho:  May 13, 1994 (Sivan 3, 5754)

 

Israeli withdrawal from Gaza: May 18, 1994 (Sivan 8, 5754)

 

Rabin, Peres and Arafat awarded Nobel Peace Prize: October 14, 1994 (Cheshvan 9, 5755)

 

Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty:  October 26, 1994 (Cheshvan 21, 5755)

 

Suicide bombs:  April 9, 1995 (Nisan 9, 5755) -- Palestinian suicide bombings kill eight Jews in two attacks near Jewish settlements in Gaza Strip.

 

Signing of “Oslo II” agreement: September 28, 1995 (Tishri 4, 5756)

 

Rabin Assassinated:  November 4, 1995 (Cheshvan 11, 5756) -- Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin assassinate.

 

Lebanese Strike:  April 11, 1996 (Nisan 22, 5756) -- Israel launches a 16-day air and artillery campaign against guerrillas in southern Lebanon. 165 people are killed, including 91 Lebanese refugees at a U.N. base hit by Israeli shells.

 

New Prime Minister:  May 31, 1996 (Sivan 13, 5756) -- Benjamin Netanyahu is declared Israel’s prime minister after a narrow victory over Shimon Peres, a staunch advocate of peace agreements with Palestinians and Israel’s Arab neighbors.

 

Hasmonean Tunnel opened:  September 24-27, 1996 (Tishri 11-12, 5757)  -- Protests and clashes break out in the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem after Israel opens a tunnel near a Muslim holy site. More than 70 people are killed.

 

Hebron given away:  January 14, 1997 Shevat 6, 5757 (Shevat 6, 5757)  -- Israelis and Palestinians sign an accord for Israeli troops to withdraw from the disputed city of Hebron and other parts of the West Bank. The long-delayed agreement comes after mediation by Jordan‘s King Hussein.

 

School girls killed:  March 13, 1997 (Adar II 4, 5757)  -- A Jordanian soldier opens fire on Israeli school girls visiting a border observation post, killing seven. King Hussein later apologizes to the victims’ families.

 

Har Homa Building:  March 17, 1997 (Adar II 8, 5757)  -- Israel begins construction of a new Jewish housing development in  East Jerusalem. Yasser Arafat condemns the project as an affront to peace.

 

Suicide Bomber:  March 21, 1997 (Adar II 12, 5757) -- A suicide bomber blows himself up in a crowded Tel Aviv outdoor cafe, killing three Israeli women and wounding dozens during the annual Purim celebration.

 

Arabs freeze relations with Israel:  March 30, 1997  (Adar II 21, 5757)-- Arab League nations approve a resolution to freeze relations with Israel, a move intended as a protest against the Jewish nation‘s settlement polices.

 

Israel-Palestinian Wye Memorandum: October 23, 1998 (Cheshvan 3, 5759)

 

Sharm el-Sheik Agreement: September 5, 1999 (Elul 24, 5759)

 

Devarim 31:9 ¶ And Moshe wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant of HaShem, and unto all the elders of Israel.

 

Devarim 31:10 And Moshe commanded them, saying, At the end of [every] seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles,

 

Devarim 31:11 When all Israel is come to appear before HaShem thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing.

 

Devarim 31:12 Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that [is] within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear HaShem your God, and observe to do all the words of this law:

 

Devarim 31:13 And [that] their children, which have not known [any thing], may hear, and learn to fear HaShem your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.

 

5760 - 5770

 

Israel unilaterally withdraws from Lebanon:  May 24, 2000 (Iyar 19, 5760)

 

Camp David Summit:  July 11-25, 2000 (Tammuz 8-22, 5760)

 

PLO Intifadah begins:  On September 28, 2000  (Thu, Elul 28, 5760), Ariel Sharon visited the Temple mount. This was used as a pretext by the PLO to begin the Intifadah.

 

Yosef’s Tomb ransacked by rioting Palestinians: October 7, 2000 (Tishri 8, 5761)

 

2 Israeli Soldiers lynched by Palestinian mob in Ramallah: October 12, 2000 (Tishri 13, 5761)

 

Sharm el-Sheikh Summit: October 16-17, 2000 (Tishri 17-18, 5761)

 

Egypt recalls Ambassador to Israel: November 21, 2000 (Cheshvan 23, 5761)

 

Mitchell Report published: May 20, 2001 (Iyar 27, 5761)

 

Devarim 31:14 ¶ And HaShem said unto Moshe, Behold, thy days approach that thou must die: call Joshua, and present yourselves in the tabernacle of the congregation, that I may give him a charge. And Moshe and Joshua went, and presented themselves in the tabernacle of the congregation.

 

Devarim 31:15 And HaShem appeared in the tabernacle in a pillar of a cloud: and the pillar of the cloud stood over the door of the tabernacle.

 

5770 - 5780

 

Devarim 31:16 ¶ And HaShem said unto Moshe, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go [to be] among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.

 

Devarim 31:17 Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God [is] not among us?

 

Devarim 31:18 And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods.

 

Devarim 31:19 Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel.

 

Devarim 31:20 For when I shall have brought them into the land which I swore unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant.

 

Devarim 31:21 And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed: for I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I swore.

 

5780 - 5790

 

Devarim 31:22 ¶ Moshe therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel.

 

Devarim 31:23 And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I swore unto them: and I will be with thee.

 

5790 - 5800

 

Devarim 31:24 And it came to pass, when Moshe had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished,

 

Devarim 31:25 That Moshe commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of HaShem, saying,

 

Devarim 31:26 Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of HaShem your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.

 

Devarim 31:27 For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against HaShem; and how much more after my death?

 

Devarim 31:28 Gather unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them.

 

Devarim 31:29 For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt [yourselves], and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of HaShem, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.

 

Devarim 31:30 And Moshe spake in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song, until they were ended.

 

Torah Parashiyot

 

Just as the parashiyot in Sefer Devarim mirror the Sixth Millennium, so, too, do the pasukim, the verses, of the entire Torah echo history since the beginning of man’s existence. Each pasuk alludes to the events of the corresponding Hebrew year.

 

Bereshit 1:1 corresponds to the first year of creation, for example. We are now in the year 5763 (2003) from creation. This corresponds with the 5763rd pasuk in the Torah:

 

The year 5763 (September 7, 2002 till September 27, 2003) is alluded to by this pasuk:

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 32:11 As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:

 

Consider that the President of the United States, represented by an eagle in our verse, is acting as the world‘s only superpower to police the world and defend against perceived terrors. Truly this verse seems to speak to this awesome year.

 

To help us understand this relationship. consider the following verses and the years that they correspond to:

 

5760 (September 11, 1999 till September 30, 2000) 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 32:8 When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.

 

5761 September 30, 2000 till September 18, 2001)  

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 32:9 For HaShem’s portion [is] his people; Jacob [is] the lot of his inheritance.

 

5762 (September 18, 2001 till September 7, 2002) 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 32:10 He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.

 

5763 (September 7, 2002 till September 27, 2003) 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 32:11 As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:

 

5764 (September 27, 2003 till September 16, 2004) 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 32:12 [So] HaShem alone did lead him, and [there was] no strange god with him.

 

5765 (September 16, 2004 till October 4, 2005) 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 32:13 He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock;

 

There are 5,845 pasukim, verses, in the entire Torah (Bereshit, Shemot, Vayikra, Bamidbar, and Devarim).

 

 

* * *

 

Lets examine some of the timing of the Egyptian redemption so that we can get some idea of the timing of the final redemption:


 

Avraham leaves Ur till Yitzhak

430 – 400 = 30 years

Shemot 12:40-41

Yitzhak to beginning of the exile

400 - 210 = 190 years

Bereshit 15:13

Yosef (remez of Mashiach) lives in Israel as a youth.

17 years

Bereshit 37:2

Yosef (remez of Mashiach ben Yosef) in Egypt before becoming king. Yosef became king at age 30.

30 years – 17 years = 22 years

Bereshit 41:46

Yosef (remez of Mashiach ben David) as king before being revealed to Israel.

7 years of plenty + 2 years of famine = 9 years

 

Yosef (Mashiach ben David) invisible to his family.

22 years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Length of “easy” exile.

 

Length of severe exile.

Yosef dies at age 120. Severe exile begins.

 

Length of exile in Egypt

(Length of time it took to birth all the Congregation of Israel)

210 – 130 = 80 years

 

210 – (120-40) = 130 years

 

 

210 years

 

Exodus till the spies

Nisan 15 - Av 9 = 75 days

 

Spies till Entering the land

(Ingathering of Israel to the land)

40 years

Bamidbar 33

 


EVENT

BEGINNING YEAR

REMEZ

REFERENCE

7th Millennium

6000 (2040 CE)

Shabbat

 

Resurrection of the dead

6000 – 210 = 5790 (2030 CE)

Egyptian exile during which the family of Ya’aqov became the nation of Israel.

The Zohar (Midrash Ne’elam, Toldot 140a), says that Techiyat HaMeitim, “Resurrection of the Dead,” will begin no later that 210 years before the year 6000 from creation, or by the year 5790 (2030 CE). The resurrection of the dead, according to this pasuk, will take 210 years.

Mashiach as king before it is known to Israel

5790 – 9 = 5781 (2021 CE)

Yosef becomes king over all of Egypt.

Micah 7:15 Indicates that the events of the Exodus are the pattern for the future exodus.

Travails of the Mashiach.

 

The ingathering of Israel.

5790 – 40 = 5750 (1990 CE)

This corresponds to the plagues and the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness.

The Zohar states that this 210 year period will only begin after 40 years of the “Ingathering of the Exiles“ from the Diaspora to the Land of Israel (Midrash Ne’elam, Toldot 139b). According to this calculation this forty year period began in the year 5750, or 1990. This corresponds to the time that the Jews wandered in the wilderness in the days of Moshe.

Current date

5768 (2008 CE)

 

 

 



Shabbath 118a R. Simeon b. Pazzi said in the name of R. Joshua b. Levi in Bar Kappara’s name: He who observes [the practice of] three meals on the Sabbath is saved from three evils: the travails of the Messiah, the retribution of Gehinnom, and the wars of Gog and Magog. ‘The travails of the Messiah‘: ‘day’ is written here; whilst there it is written, Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. The retribution of Gehinnom’: ‘day’ is written here; whilst there it is written, That day is a day of wrath. ‘The wars of Gog and Magog’: ‘day’ is written here; whilst there it is written, in that day when Gog shall come.

 

“The travails of Mashiach“ was understood by the Rabbis to picture forty years of great distress.

 

* * *

 

Sanhedrin 111a For I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family. Resh Lakish said: This is meant literally. Said R. Johanan unto him: Their Master is not pleased that you say so of them. But [say thus:] ‘one of a city‘ [means that his virtues] shall benefit an entire city; and ‘two of a family’ will benefit the entire family. R. Kahana sat before Rab and stated: This is meant literally. Rab said to him: Their Master is not pleased that you say so of them. But [say thus:] ‘one of a city‘ — shall benefit an entire city, and ‘two of a family’ — will benefit the entire family. He [Rab] then observed him dress his hair [instead of paying attention to his studies] and come and sit before Rab. Said he to him, And it shall not be found in the land of the living. He exclaimed, ‘You curse me!’ He replied, ‘I but cite a verse, [which teaches,] The Torah shall not be found in one who attends to his own wants whilst studying it.’ It has been taught: R. Simai said: It says, And I will take you to me for a people,’ and it is also said, And I will bring you in [unto the land etc.]. Their exodus from Egypt is thus likened to their entry into the [promised] land: just as at their entry into the [promised] land there were but two out of six hundred thousand, so at their exodus from Egypt there were but two out of six hundred thousand. Raba said: It shall be even so in the days of the Messiah, for it is said, And she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the days when she came up out of the land of Egypt.

 

* * *

 

The following excerpt was written by Rabbi Pinchas Winston. I have interjected some of the cited passages for reference.

 

What makes all of this so compelling, and therefore even more frightening, is the historical context in which we find ourselves at present: the beginning of Year 5762 from creation, the eighth year of a Shmita (Sabbatical) cycle. The significance of this is apparent from the Talmud:

 

Sanhedrin 97a The rabbis taught: In the seven-year cycle during which Mashiach will come, in the first year, the verse, “I caused it to rain on one city, but, on another city, I did not cause it to rain” (Amos 4:7) will be fulfilled. In the second year, there will be slight famine (Rashi: a slight famine so that no place will be completely satisfied). In the third year, the famine will be great, and men, women, children, pious people, and men of good deeds will die; Torah will be forgotten by those who learned it. In the fourth year, some will be satiated while others are not, but, in the fifth year there will be plenty and people will eat, drink, and be joyous, and Torah will return to those who learned it. In the sixth year, there will be voices (Rashi: talk of Mashiach‘s arrival). In the seventh year, there will be war. In the eighth year (Motzi Sh’vi’is), Ben David (Mashiach) will come. 

 

In the Talmud, Rabbi Yosef asks the obvious question: There have been many Shmita cycles and yet Mashiach has not arrived. To this, the great Abaye answered: “True, but were there voices in the sixth year and war in the seventh?”[82][2]

 

During the most recent Shmita cycle apparently there was.

 

The sixth year of the present cycle was the year 5760 from creation, during which the Western year changed to 2000, the year of the Y2KMillennium Bug.” It was also the year of tremendous natural disasters that saw tens of thousands killed in a very short period of time.

 

“Coincidentally,” the Hebrew version of Y2Kyud-bet-kuf—spells the word “Yabok,” the name of the river that symbolizes the Jewish people’s break from the ways of Esav.[83] Furthermore, according to the Arizal, it is also the gematria of the Names of God that correspond to the three levels of soul—Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshama, and therefore, spiritual completion.[84]

 

However, what made Y2K such a source of concern for the believing Jew was two ominous predictions from centuries ago regarding the year of Y2K:

 

“240 years before the Seventh Millennium, the Lower Waters will rise up and cover the entire world, and only Israel will remain, which will float on the surface of the water like Noach’s ark. They will approach the Garden of Eden, the place from which the Four Rivers emanate...”[85]

 

The amount [of undrawn water] necessary for a mikveh [to be kosher] is [a volume equal to the displacement of] 5,760 eggs. The secret regarding this is that, at the end of the year 5760 from creation, the verse, “I [God] will remove the impure spirit from the land” (Zechariah 13:2) will be fulfilled, as well as the verse, “I will give peace in the land, and you will lie down, and no one will make you tremble; and I will remove the evil beasts from the land...” (Vayikra 26:6); that is, the forces of spiritual impurity, as is mentioned in the Zohar.[86]

 

For centuries, these predictions were probably incomprehensible. Then came along Y2K, a problem that could simultaneously “flood” the world with chaos. Perhaps, many thought, it was to this that the great rabbis were alluding, whether they knew it at the time or not.

 

That was the sixth year of the Shmita cycle, and in the end, Mashiach did not come, though we did spend over $64 billion trying to fix Y2K and much of the year discussing it.

 

But then again, Mashiach wasn’t supposed to arrive. The Talmud we quoted earlier says that “In the sixth year there will be voices.” We were only supposed to “talk” about Mashiach‘s arrival. Between the predictions, Y2K, and all the natural disasters of that year, we did just that.

 

Then came Rosh Hashanah 5761, the seventh year of the Shmita cycle, the actual Shmita year. While we prayed for bountiful rain to halt the severe water shortage in Israel, all that rained down on us was a barrage of Palestinian stones from the Temple Mount. For the first time since 1967, Jews were not permitted to pray on Rosh Hashanah at the Western Wall. Unbeknownst to us and the world at the time, the new Intifadah had just begun, right on cue. As the Talmud says:

 

“In the seventh year, there will be war.”

 

The war the Talmud predicted may have begun, but we would be the last to know and accept it. It would take the failure of the Camp David talks, gruesome lynchings in Ramallah, the political resurrection of Ariel Sharon, and more tragic terror attacks before we could admit that war with the Arabs is far more imminent than peace.

 

The seventh year has now come to a close, and we have crossed the threshold to the other side, the eighth year. Eight is the number which always alludes to miracles and the supernatural—particularly Brit Milah and God’s covenant with Avraham. We recall the words of the Talmud:

 

“In the eighth year of the Shmita cycle, Ben David will come.”

 

XIII.   The Secret Password

 

The First Redeemer – Moshe

The Last Redeemer – Mashiach ben David

 

The biggest problem, as I see it, is: How do we identify the redeemer (Mashiach ben David)? What is it that will allow us to distinguish him from a false Mashiach. Without a sure way of identifying the redeemer, we are liable to ignore as a crackpot, anyone who claims to be Mashiach.

 

Fortunately, HaShem already planned for this. If we remember that the future redemption is just like the redemption from Egypt,[87] then if we can see how the first redeemer (Moshe) was identified, then we should know how to identify Mashiach ben David.

 

To begin to understand this method of identification, remember that the exodus from Egypt is intrinsically related to Avraham and to the covenant between the parts:

 

Bereshit (Genesis 15:13-14 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land [that is] not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.

 

The Sages tell us that Ya’aqov gave his sons a secret password that would clearly, and unambiguously, identify the redeemer. When Yosef told the Israelite elders that the time for their redemption was near, he gave them this same sign by which they would recognize their redeemer. The code word that Yosef gave to tell the Israelite elders was: פקדתי פקד (pakod pakadti).

 

We find the word פקד, pakod, translated in many different ways in the Torah. Here are a few examples.

 

Remembered.

Appointed.

Count.

Missing.

 

The ambiguous meaning of pakod suggests that HaShem is telling us more than one message. One of the messages suggested by our Hakhamim is that the redeemer would be able to count the exact appointed time for the redemption.

 

Lets see where this code word sep, pakod,  was given and how it relates to other Torah passages.

 

HaShem tells this code word to Moshe in:

 

Shemot (Exodus) 3:16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, HaShem God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Ya’aqov, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you (pakod pakadti), and  [seen] that which is done to you in Egypt:

 

This was to be a sure sign that Moshe was the true redeemer. The elders had a tradition from Yosef, who received it from Ya’aqov, that the first person who would come and say in HaShem‘s name, “pakod pakadti”, would be the true redeemer who would set the people free:[88]

 

Rav Yitzchak of Volozhin suggests that the sign was especially designed to prove beyond doubt that Moshe was a Divine emissary:

 

Midrash Rabbah - Exodus III:8  AND I HAVE SAID: I WILL BRING YOU UP (III, 17) -’Tell them that I will do what I promised to Ya’aqov their father.’ What did He promise him? ‘And I will also surely bring thee up again’ (Gen. XLVI, 4). And so Ya’aqov promised his sons: But God will be with you, and bring you back into the land of your fathers (Gen. XLVIII, 21). Straightway, AND THEY SHALL HEARKEN TO THY VOICE (Ex. III, 18). Why? Because of this tradition of deliverance which they possessed, that any redeemer that came and used twice the expression of pakad (to visit) was known to be a true deliverer.

 

The sign involved more than the mere mention of the two words “Pakod Pakadti”, it entailed the performance of a miracle in association with those words.

 

The tradition also contained a guarantee that no one would use this sign falsely. Yosef passed this secret on to his brothers. One of his brothers, Asher, told this secret to his daughter Serach. We see the hint to this in:

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 50:24-25 And Yosef said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Ya’aqov. And Yosef took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.

 

Yosef linked the future redeemer with the oath to carry his bones when they are redeemed. Note this well because the Children of Israel will be in severe bondage when their redeemer appears. The last thing on their minds will be some long dead and buried bones.

 

The Torah tells us that Moshe had a speech impediment:

 

Shemot (Exodus) 4:10 And Moshe said unto HaShem, O my Lord, I [am] not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I [am] slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

 

Yet, the Midrash[89] tells us, when Moshe relayed to others the words of HaShem his speech was miraculously perfect and unslurred; “the Shechinah (divine spirit) spoke from Moshe’s throat” during his prophecies.[90] The clear pronunciation of the words “Pakod Pakadti” was the surest sign that Moshe was truly sent by HaShem!

 

When Moshe wondered to HaShem why he wasn’t cured of his slurred speech when he was charged with bringing His word to the people,[91] HaShem replied to him:

 

Shemot (Exodus) 4:11 Who gave a person a mouth and who can make a person dumb or deaf, able to see or blind? Is it not I, HaShem?.

 

Moshe’s defect served a very important purpose. Without it, he could not have proven through the clear enunciation of the words “Pakod Pakadti” that he was indeed the long-awaited redeemer.[92]

 

When HaShem‘s ambassador presented his “credentials”, the Children of Israel accepted them:

 

Shemot (Exodus) 4:31 And the people believed: and when they heard that HaShem had visited (pakad) the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.

 

Moshe himself is the one to fulfill Yosef’s wishes: And Moshe took Yosef‘s bones with him, because he had repeatedly adjured the Children of Israel, saying

 

Shemot (Exodus) 13:19 And Moshe took the bones of Yosef with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit (pakad) you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.

 

Moshe is the one to carry out the oath, says R. Ovadiah ben Yaakov Sforno, because Moshe is the leader of the generation to which falls the fulfillment of the oath, “and the obligation of the generation is placed on its leader.” Since Moshe was the redeemer who was identified with the words given by Yosef, so Moshe would be the one to remember the oath that went with the secret password.

 

Zechariah also uttered these words, concerning The Redeemer, when his tongue was loosened:

 

Luqas (Luke) 1:67-79 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed [be] the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy [promised] to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he swore to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and [in] the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

 

Here again, HaShem has linked Avraham and the covenant between the parts, with the final redemption.

 

Finally, Yechezkel uses pakad again concerning the final redemption, making clear that this key word is bound up with the final redemption:

 

Yechezkel (Ezekiel) 38:8 After many days thou shalt be visited (pakad): in the latter years thou shalt come into the land [that is] brought back from the sword,  [and is] gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.

 

Incidentally, I believe that the final Redeemer, Mashiach ben David, will also have the staff of Moshe in his hand.

 

Rabbi Pinchas Winston made an extremely interesting observation: “Who knows, maybe this is really the meaning of “Mashiach ben Yosef.” Maybe the Mashiach who is a “son” of Yosef is just the redeemer who ends the process that Yosef himself started millennia ago.”

 

Mashiach ben David is said to have the soul of Moshe. This provides another reason for linking these two redeemers together!

 

Midrash Rabbah - Numbers XI:2 Another exposition of the text, ‘ My beloved is like a gazelle ‘: Israel, explained R. Isaac, said to the Holy One, blessed be He: ‘ Sovereign of the Universe! Thou hast told us that Thou wilt come to us first.’ ‘ My beloved is like a gazelle ‘; as the gazelle appears and then disappears, so the first redeemer appeared and then disappeared. R. Berekiah in the name of R. Levi said: Like the first redeemer so will the final redeemer be. The first redeemer was Moses, who appeared to them and then disappeared. For how long did he disappear from their sight? R. Tanhuma said: Three months; accordingly it is written, And they met Moses and Aaron, etc. (ib. V, 20). The final redeemer will also appear to them and then disappear. How long will he remain hidden from them? R. Tanhuma in the name of R. Hama, son of R. Hoshaya, said: Forty-five days. Thus it is written, And from the time that the continual burnt-offering shall be taken away, and the detestable thing that causeth appalment set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days (Dan. XII, 11), and it is written, Happy is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days  (ib. 12). How much does the difference amount to? Forty-five days. For he will disappear from their sight and will then again appear to them. Whither will he take them? Some say to the wilderness of Judah, and some say to the wilderness of Sihon and Og. Whosoever believes in him and follows him is content to eat the roots of the broom and salt-wort. Hence it is written, They pluck salt-wort with worm-wood; and the roots of the broom are their food (Job XXX, 4). On the other hand, he who does not follow him goes and makes peace with the nations of the world and these will ultimately slay him.

 

It seems that if the redemption from Egypt and the final redemption are like each other, then we should consider that we have a way to positively identify The Redeemer.

 

pakod pakadti

Pakod Polarity

 

XIV.  Resurrection

 

The period of resurrection for the entire generation will be long, though tzadik who have died previously will resurrect immediately at the beginning of the period, forty years after the ingathering of the exiles. This is what it says in the Midrash: There will be many resurrections, and the period of time will continue, according to Rebi Yehudah from forty years after Kibbutz Galiot, at which time the first resurrection will occur, and continue until the last resurrection, a period of 210 years. Rebi Yitzchak says: 214 years.[93]

 

The Resurrection of the Dead was destined to begin in the year 5790, or the Western year 2030, according to The Leshem, basing himself on the Holy Zohar.[94]

 

XV.  Zoharic Connections

 

 Soncino Zohar, Shemot, Section 2, Page 10a  ‘A mystery of mysteries has been revealed to them that are wise of heart. The He of the second Temple is in exile with her twelve tribes and their hosts. Twelve tribes form a great number, and because the mystery of the He is in them, the exile lasts during this whole number. Ten tribes are a thousand years, two tribes are two hundred years. At the conclusion of the twelve tribes (twelve hundred years) there will be darkness over Israel, until the Vav shall arise at the time of sixty-six years after the “twelve tribes“, that is after twelve hundred years of exile. And after the conclusion of the sixty-six years of the night- darkness, the words “And I shall remember my covenant with Jacob“ (Lev. XXVI, 42) will begin to come to pass. From then the Holy One, blessed be He, shall begin to do signs and wonders, as we have described. But over Israel those tribulations will come. After that King Messiah shall fight against the whole world, aided by the Right Hand of the Holy One. At the end of another sixty-six years the letters in the Holy Name shall be seen perfectly engraved above and below in manner due. After a further one hundred and thirty-two years He will begin “to take hold of the ends of the earth and shake off the wicked“. The Holy Land will be purified, and the Holy One will raise the dead there and they shall rise in their hosts in the land of Galilee. At the end of a further hundred and forty-four years the remaining dead of Israel in other lands shall be raised, so that after altogether four hundred and eight years the world shall be re-inhabited and the evil principle (the “other side”) driven out of it. Then the lower He (Shekinah) shall be filled from the upper spring (the highest Sephirot), and be crowned and radiate in perfection until the Sabbath of the Lord arrives to gather souls in the joy of holiness throughout this whole seventh millennium. Then the holy spirits of the people of Israel at the fullness of time will be invested with new, holy bodies, and be called “Saints”: “And it shall come to pass that he that is left in Zion and that remaineth in Jerusalem shall be called holy” (Isa. III, 4). These are the veiled mysteries.’ [Tr. note: The above calculation of the Messianic era rests on the supposition that of the seven millenniums of the present eon, the seventh is to be considered as the Cosmic Sabbath, the sixth as the time of the Messiah, the fifth as the last (Edomitic or Roman) exile. The beginning of this exile is, according to the Zohar, 3828 years after Creation, hence with those 1200 years of exile the fifth millennium is completed. Sixty-six years later i.e. 5066 years after Creation (1306 C.E.), the signs of Redemption begin. 198 years later, i.e. 5264 after Creation (1504 C.E.), follows the “first resurrection“, the second 144 years later, i.e. 1648 C.E. In the year 2240 the apocalyptic Sabbath begins. Cf. also Zohar, Gen. II6b, Deut. 249a.] THERE AROSE UP A NEW KING. Said R. Jose: The Holy One creates each day new angels to be His emissaries to the world, as it is written, “He maketh his angels winds” (spirits) (Ps. CIV. 4). It does not say “He made”, but “He maketh”, because He makes them daily. At that time He appointed one to represent Egypt: “a new king”, i.e. a new supernal representative; “who knew not Joseph“, because Egypt’s angel emanated from the sphere of Separation: since of the four “heads” into which the river that went out of Eden parted (Gen. II, 10), the first was the stream of Egypt (the Nile above, corresponding to the Nile below); and therefore “he knew not Joseph“, who represents the sphere where is the abode of Unity, and which is called “Righteous”.’

 

* * *

 

Soncino Zohar, Shemot, Section 2, Page 220a  Said R. Simeon: ‘At the time when the dead will be awakened and be in readiness for the resurrection in the Holy Land, legions upon legions will arise on the soil of Galilee, as it is there that the Messiah is destined to reveal himself. For that is the portion of Joseph, and it was the first part of the Holy Land to be destroyed, and it was thence that the exile of Israel and their dispersion among the nations began, as Scripture says, “but they are not grieved for the hurt of Joseph“ (Amos VI, 6). Thus there they will rise up first, for the reason that it is the portion of him who was put in an ark, as it says, “and he was put in an ark in Egypt”(Gen. L, 26), and subsequently was buried in the Holy Land, as it says “And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem

 

XVI.  The First and Last Redeemer

 

Zohar 1:253a, Sha’ar HaPesukim, Vayechi; Torah Or, beginning of Mishpatim.

 

Midrash Rabbah - Numbers XI:2 ‘My beloved is like a gazelle ‘: Israel, explained R. Isaac, said to the Holy One, blessed be He: ‘ Sovereign of the Universe! Thou hast told us that Thou wilt come to us first.’ ‘ My beloved is like a gazelle’; as the gazelle appears and then disappears, so the first redeemer appeared and then disappeared. R. Berekiah in the name of R. Levi said: Like the first redeemer so will the final redeemer be. The first redeemer was Moses, who appeared to them and then disappeared. For how long did he disappear from their sight? R. Tanhuma said: Three months; accordingly it is written, And they met Moses and Aaron, etc. (ib. V, 20).2 The final redeemer will also appear to them and then disappear. How long will he remain hidden from them? R. Tanhuma in the name of R. Hama, son of R. Hoshaya, said: Forty-five days. Thus it is written, And from the time that the continual burnt-offering shall be taken away, and the detestable thing that causeth appalment set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days (Dan. XII, 11), and it is written, Happy is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days  (ib. 12). How much does the difference amount to? Forty-five days. For he will disappear from their sight and will then again appear to them. Whither will he take them? Some say to the wilderness of Judah, and some say to the wilderness of Sihon and Og.

 

The Chatam Sofer, as well, describes Moshe, the first redeemer, and then compares him to the final redeemer, “And when the time comes, HaShem will reveal Himself to him, and the spirit of Mashiach, which has been hidden in the higher worlds until his coming, will light upon him.”

 

Shilo: vkha = 300 + 10 + 30 + 5 = 345.

Moshe: van = 40 + 300 + 5 = 345.

 

Furthermore, our sages stated that whatever pertains to the first redeemer [i.e., Moses] pertains to the final redeemer [i.e., the Mashiach] and that the generation that passes [away] is [the same] as the generation that is to come [i.e., be resurrected].[95]

 

XVII.  Keitz

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 41:1 It happened at the end (mikeitz) of two years to the day…

 

So begins the parshah speaking of Yosef‘s freedom, as history begins to accelerate in order to propel Yosef from the depths of enslavement to the height of empowerment. However, the word “keitz” is a special word, often denoting the historic arrival at a certain pre-destined time by which something is meant to happen, specifically with respect to redemption.

 

For example, the Talmud uses this term with respect to the Final Redemption:

 

Sanhedrin 97b Rav said, “All the dates of redemption (hakeitzin) have already passed, and now it depends upon repentance and good deeds”.

 

Thus, when the Torah employs the term keitz, it is not merely informing us that twelve years have passed since Yosef was first thrown into prison, and he just “happened” to earn his release at that time. Rather, Yosef HaTzaddik earned his release from jail then, because history reached a moment in time, a moment that was pre-designated long before Yosef was even born, with the ultimate redemption in mind.

 

Call them spiritual milestones, it is the keitzin that dictate the “beat” of history at any given point in time. Thus, Yosef did not find release from prison because of Pharaoh’s dreams, but rather, Pharaoh was made to dream as he did because Yosef was meant to be released precisely at that time. Thus, the Arizal taught:

 

Sha’ar HaGilgulim, Chapter 31 However, Yosef did not merit this until the night of the “end of two years”,[96] when it was decreed that he should leave jail; that day he rose to greatness. Therefore, it is what is written, “(He appointed it as a testimony to Yosef) when He went out over the land of Egypt, when I heard a language unknown to me”.[97] That night, Gavriel came and taught him seventy languages.[98]

 

How many keitzin are there throughout history? The Vilna Gaon speaks about 1,000 of them to be exact:

 

Kol HaTor, Chapter 4:3 The beginning of anything large or small that can be performed during the Period of Moshiach is through the “me’yudim” - designated “emissaries” - Heaven-sent messengers at the beginning of the redemption. They initiate the “ye’udim” - specific “events“ - and the two of them together result in the “moadim” - the “appointed times” - the end-times[99] of the levels of the footsteps which are initiated from Below, in order to achieve the number 999 in [the sefirah of] Yesod.

 

Nine hundred and ninety-nine (999)? What happened to 1,000? The GR”A explains:

 

Kol HaTor, Chapter 5:1 Every rectification must reach the final level of initiation from Below, which is 1000 less one, that is, 999 of [the sefirah] Yesod. This is the largest number of Moshiach ben Yosef, based upon the verse, “the smallest will be for a thousand”.[100]

 

In other words, the Gaon is teaching, Moshiach ben Yosef is both a process and a leader. The sefirah that corresponds to Yosef HaTzaddik, and therefore his descendant, Moshiach ben Yosef, is the sixth sefirah, Yesod, which is also the cosmic DNA for the Sixth Millennium in which we are living. There have been many keitzin throughout Jewish history, but there are 1,000 in the Sixth Millennium alone, 999 of which we can achieve from Below, the last of which is completed by Heaven (through Moshiach himself) to finalize the redemption.

 

Exactly what all these “ends” are, the Gaon does not explain, at least not here. And, though it may not be clear exactly what each of these levels represent, the Vilna Gaon does warn that as we approach the final and 999th level, the Sitra Achra, the Opposing Angel, will be at his strongest, and for two reasons. First, knowing that his end is imminent with the coming of the Final Redemption,[101] he will need to fight for survival like never before; and second, for the added strength of the yetzer hara, because free will, the overall purpose of creation, demands a balanced choice. Therefore, as clarity of truth increases, so must the temptation to reject it increase as well. The trick, and source of one‘s spiritual survival will be knowing whether or not our rejection of information is rooted in our yetzer tov, or our yetzer hara, something that is a lot easier to do on paper than in practice.

 

Can we recognize when we have reached a new “keitz” along the path to number 999, and more importantly, do we know how many we have left to achieve to reach the final one? Not very likely. After all, did Yosef, his father, or his brothers, realize back then how each of their actions Below triggered something Above, bringing about a new result along the path to Yosef‘s redemption and promotion? It doesn’t seem so.

 

As the Talmud says, the Final Redemption will mirror the exodus from Egypt.[102] Thus, it can be assumed, that when the Redeemer finally appears and is a vehicle for the same Light of Redemption that Moshe Rabbeinu reflected, there will be a great and dramatic change in the Jewish people, and all the years of assimilation will give way to masses of Jews repenting, ready to return to Eretz Yisroel, with the Holy Sparks that we had been exiled to redeem, way back when.

 

However, there is only one thing to remember: Only ONE-FIFTH of the Jewish people left Egypt.[103] This was because, in spite of the seven plagues that had already revealed HaShem‘s intention to redeem the Jewish people, four-fifths of the population had little, if any, desire at all to leave Egypt:

 

The exodus from Egypt liberated only one out of five Jews, and some say one out of every fifty, 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. The Final Redemption, likewise, depends upon our yearning.[104]

 

Negative prophecies don’t have to come true. However, only we, by making the correct free-will choices, can invalidate them.

 

XVIII. The Morning Shema and Geula

 

The Haggadah notes that all of the sages gathered in Bnei Brak. They gathered without their families and without their talmidim. This is extremely odd for a seder.

 

Where were their families? Where were their talmidim? To understand this we will need to understand what they were trying to accomplish at this seder. To do that, we will need to understand a bit about the seder itself.

 

As is well known, the first redemption was a portent for the final Redemption. This means that in order to understand the fundamentals of the final Redemption – which is predicated on faith, self-sacrifice and Kiddush HaShemthe fundamentals of the first redemption must be learned thoroughly. Therefore, studying the first redemption, and studying the final Redemption, are one and the same thing!

 

Thus we understand that the seder is the perfect time to reflect on our past and future redemptions.

 

Rabbi Akiva wanted bring the shechina back to Jerusalem. He understood that there was a koach, a strength, to bring the geula (redemption) at Pesach. This was a summit meeting of the gedolei hador,[105] in one room - all night long, to bring the geula. This was an exercize in bringing the geula.

 

The talmidim announced that it was time to say the morning shema.[106] The day has begun. They accomplished the ending of the Hadrian decrees, this was the ‘dawn’ of the day - the beginning of the geula. The galut is receeding and the light of geula is getting brighter and brighter.

 

They were trying to understand HaShem geula plan as outlined in the haggada. We do not have a midrash or even a mechilta which tells us what they talked about. This is because they were speaking about the things of sod and this is why the talmidim were not allowed to be there. This is why we do not know what they said.

 

The Haggadah notes that all of the sages gathered in Bnei Brak. Why is their location significant? Furthermore, why did they gather in Bnei Brak, rather than Yavneh, the center of Jewish life in that generation?

 

Bnei Brak was Rabbi Akiva’s residence; the Talmud[107] says, “Follow Rabbi Akiva’s court to Bnei Brak.” Yet, why did the sages specifically gather at Rabbi Akiva’s residence? To address this question, we need to examine an additional source, from the Tosefta:[108] Once, Rabban Gamliel and the sages were reclining in the house of Boethus, son of Zonin, in Lod, and they were involved in the laws of Pesach all night until the rooster’s crowing. They opened the window, collected themselves and went to the study hall.

 

Rabban Gamliel was the Nasi,[109] during the generation of Rabbi Akiva and the sages mentioned in the Haggadah. It appears that he did not participate in the seder that they organized. Rather, he held his own seder, with other sages. The two sedarim extended through the night, but with entirely different content.

 

the account of the seder in Bnei Brak is also a historical anecdote from some work of midrash or work of aggadah regarding the discussions and counsel of the great sages of Israel when they gathered in the center of nationalist zeal, Bnei Brak, the residence of Rabbi Akiva, to speak of the exodus from Egypt, the time of our freedom, and also to express ideas and arrange counsel in the matter of the movement for freedom which then enveloped the nation… All of them responded to Rabbi Akiva’s call, and each came from his place to celebrate the holiday of freedom in Bnei Brak and to take counsel together in one secret seder, without the participation of their students, regarding the appropriate and necessary role of the sages of Israel in the zealous movement which waved the flag of rebellion against Rome.

* * *

 

It is told of Rabbi Eliezer, and Rabbi Yeboshua, and Rabbi Elazar the son of Azarya, and Rabbi Tarfon, who were reclining at the Seder service in B’nei Brak, and had spent the whole night long telling the Story of the Exodus from Egypt, until their pupils came and said to them: Our masters, it is time to recite the morning Shema!

 

Here the Haggada hints at the dichotomy between the Story of the Exodus from Egypt, and the recitation of the Shema of Shaharit. The onset of the time boundary, of Keriyat Shema is the absolute end and cutoff of the mitzva of Sippur Yetziyat Mitzrayim,[110] The Keriyat Shema comments as Sippur Yetziyat Mitzrayim closes. Why this mutual exclusiveness?

 

Consider further: The Rambam states:[111]

 

It is a positive biblical commandment to tell all about the miracles and wonders that were performed for our forefathers in Egypt on the night preceding the fifteenth day of Nissan, as it is said, “Remember this day upon which you left Egypt”, just as it is said, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy”.

 

The Rambam equates the mitzva of Sippur Yetziyat Mitzrayim with the mitzva of Kiddush on Shabbat. Why? What philosophical rationale exists for this derivation?

 

Finally, the Netziv has stated that the concept of “sweet savor”, found as an element of all other sacrifices, does not exist for the Korban Pesach. Why is this so?

 

To resolve all of the above problems, we may compare Sippur Yetziyat Mitzrayim and Keriyat Shema of Shaharit, which do not co-exist in time. The differences may be seen to He in the fact that Sippur Yetziyat Mitzrayim is a mitzva of the night, while Keriyat Shema of Shaharit is a mitzva of the day.

 

Night and day are not merely two alternating periods of time, but represent two phenominological frames of reference and two realms of human perception. The Sippur Yetziyat Mitzrayim is equated by the Rambam with the Kiddush of Shabbat. As is well-known, Kiddush on Erev Shabbat is a testimony of our belief in God as creator of the world. The Sippur Yetziyat Mitzrayim is apparently also a testimony, namely of our faith in the Almighty as our historical redeemer, as our redeemer. And of course, Keriyat Shema of Shaharit is an act of testimony, of our belief in the basic tenets of Judaism, beginning with the Oneness of HaShem. Sippur Yetziyat Mizrayim is our testimony of night. Keriyat Shema of Shaharit is our testimony by day. What is the essence of these absolute statements?

 

They are accepting HaShem‘s Kingdom, at nighttime and by day. Indeed, night represents the challenge and test of travail and stress, whereas day represents the challenge of influence, wealth and power.

 

Throughout history and in our daily experiences, we face continuously these dual tests.

 

The nisiyonot of pogroms and persecutions, of poverty and suffering is represented by night, by Sippur Yetziyat Mitzrayim. We must overcome this test of our commitment and steadfastness. Indeed, the symbol of night is the very essence of the Egyptian experience—of agony and travail which ultimately led to a redemption. On the other hand, we have been faced during our long history, and ever more so today, with the demands placed upon us by the glorious world of human achievement, in the glitter of Madison Avenue and in an environment of material affluence. Our response to this test of wealth and strength, is the Keriyat Shema of Shaharit, the accepting HaShem‘s Kingdom. Indeed, at Pesach, one cannot but remember the haunting chazal:

 

At the time of crossing the Reed Sea, the ministering angels wished to sing HaShem‘s praises. Said the Holy One, Blessed be He, “My creations are drowning in the sea, and you will sing praises?”

 

The Exodus from Egypt—even the moment of redemption — is not free of stain and blemish. It is tarnished by the absolute punishment wrought upon the oppressive Egyptians. For after all, their failure to willingly release the Jews resulted in mass death and punishment. The redemption from Egypt was one of injustice, of cataclysmic, inexorable justice, freeing the oppressed and crushing the oppressor. Even the angeis, created to sing praise, had to be silent at this awesome, terrifying moment. Thus, this redemption, symbolized by the starkness and blackness of nighttime is not a a sweet, pleasant fragrance as are the other sacrifices.

 

Pesach is a redemption by struggle—of suffering both for the oppressor and for the redeemed, as represented by the vision of “My creations are drowning in the sea”.

 

With this notion, we can understand a remarkable ordinance in the Rambam vis-a-vis the burnt sacrifice. The Rambam states that before burning the sacrifice on the mizbeach the kohen should remove the sciatic nerve, which is forbidden to be eaten and cannot be part of the ritual offering. Nevertheless, in the roasting of the Paschal Lamb, the Rambam states that the roasting proceeds even with the gid hanasheh still within the lamb. Why this difference?

 

The gid hanasheh represents the travail and pain of Yaakov in his struggle with the archangel of Esav. Thus, herein is represented the problem of evil in the world and Yaakov‘s struggle with it. Righteous Yaakov is confronted by the endemic, rile forces of worldly evil and suffers from them:

 

Yaakov was left alone and an (evil archangel) wrestled with him until the morning, and when he saw that he (the archangel) could not overcome him, he dislocated his (Yaakov‘s) thigh as he wrestled with him.

 

Yaakov‘s lonely struggle at night was the fight against evil, illustrating the bitter paradox of the co-existence of good with evil and of their eternal struggle.

 

The gid hanasheh is left in the roasting of the Korban Pesach according to the Rambam (though opposed by the Rabad) since Pesach, as well, is the very symbol of good and evil and their struggle for supremacy.

 

Now we understand more deeply the Maimonidian link of Kiddush to the Haggada. Even though silent awe fills the universe and even the angels are silent when heavenly justice is wrought at the Reed Sea, when Good triumphs over Evil, Israel DOES sing! Even though we suffer through misery and pain, we Jews do rise above the inexplicable to praise HaShem for everything He has wrought; for our ultimate redemption and salvation on Pesach night.

 

This paradoxical experience is at the heart of Sippur Yetziyat Mitzrayim. At dawn, though, begins a different experience and testimony, the acceptance of HaShem‘s Kingdom of Keryat Shema of Shaharit. “Hear O Israel, HaShem our God, HaShem is One.” This oneness refers to the eschatological vision of the Messianic Era (viz. Rashi’s interpretation in Chumash). At that future time, at the moment of ultimate redemption, no more paradoxes will exist to blemish and tarnish our song. All of nature, from fish to fowl, from plant to angel, will join Israel as Goodness and only Goodness will exist.

 

During the service of Rosh haShana, we come across two phrases, seemingly contradictory: “You shall destroy all wickedness as smoke”, and “All inhabitants of the earth shall recognize (Thee).” How are these two prayers reconcilable? Rav haGaon Yosef Dov haLevi Soloveitchik, Shlita, responded to this question, that there are two visions of redemption. The visions are exemplified by Yeshayahu: 

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 9:4 For Thou hast broken the yoke of his burden and the staff of his shoulder and the rod of his oppressor as in the day of Midyan. For every boot stamped with fierceness and every cloak rolled in blood shall be for burning for fuel of the fire.

 

This is the redemption of Justice and of the destruction of evil, as symbolized by the night redemption of Yetziyat Mitzrayim. But there is also the eschatological vision of Yishayahu:

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 11:9 And the world shall be filled with the knowledge of HaShem as the waters cover the sea.

 

This is the redemption of pure Goodness engulfing the earth.

 

These two notions of redemption are represented by the Sippur Yetziyat Mitzrayim and the Keriyat Shema of Shaharit. This is the transition from the night of Sippur Yetziyat Mitzrayim to the morning of Shaharit—from the imperfect redemption of Egypt to the perfect redemption of the future Geula (redemption) when HaShem‘s name will be perfectly One throughout the world.

 

XVIX.  Conclusion

 

HaShem makes it clear that our redemption from Egypt is reenacted and rehearsed every year, in order to prepare us for the future and final redemption in the days of Mashiach. As we do what is required, while saying the proper words, at the proper time, and in the proper way we will be ready for that final redemption.

 

The Haggada that we use on the night of the Passover Seder should be our sourcebook for the understanding of our redemptions, both the Egyptian redemption and the final or Messianic redemption.

 

We rehearse so that we may be prepared for the event that HaShem will use to usher in the final redemption.

 

* * *

 

Why did they (the Men of the Great Assembly) make the seventh blessing (in the Amidah) the one about redemption? Rava said: Because in the future they will be redeemed in the seventh year. But did the master not say: Voices in the sixth year, war in the seventh year, and Motzi Sh’vi’it the Son of David will come?[112] He answered: War is the beginning of redemption.[113]

 

* * *

 

The magicians in Egypt appear five times in Torah. Each time they wield natural and spiritual energies to produce the miraculous. This is how it will be in the end of days when the scientists of that day wield their powers to scoff at the power of the prophets.

 

* * *

 

* * *

 

The great Kabbalist Rabbi Isaac Luria writes that the last generation before the coming of Mashiach is the reincarnation of the generation of the Exodus.

 

* * *

 

Insights on the Geulah (Redemption)

from the Weekly Torah Portion

 

Adapted from the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson

 

Abraham‘s purchase of the field with the Cave of Machpelah represents the beginning of the general redemption of all Jews.

 

The commentary Pa’ane’ach Raza explains that with the 400 silver shekels that Abraham paid (Chaye Sarah 23:16), he purchased one square cubit of the Land of Israel for every one of the 600,000 root-souls of Israel.

 

For by the estimation of “the seed of a homer of barley at fifty silver shekels” (Vayikra 27:16), 400 silver shekels redeem exactly 600,000 square cubits.[114]

 

* * *

 

letter f, Chof, represents the physical limitations of the human eye, the addition of the letter Heh affords a vision that goes beyond it. This is why the number twenty-five is not only the day upon which Chanukah actually falls, but it represents the light itself, the light of creation and the light of the soul.


06. Hence, what God really asked Adam after he sinned in the Garden of Eden, a place that was kulo chayn - completely chayn, was about this. In Gan Eden, the physical world was transient, able to change its form at the will of man. It was just the opposite of what the world is today, where the physical world is veil for HaShem, not a vehicle to reveal His Reality.


07. Thus, after Adam sinned, HaShem called out to him, “Aiyekah?” spelled: Aleph-Yud-Chof-Heh, and it is translated as, “Where are you?” However, a deeper, if not more accurate translation is, “Aiyeh Chof-Heh?” - where is twenty-five? “Where is the light of your soul?” HaShem asked Adam, who had transformed his skin from that of light to that of skin. Is it merely a coincidence that the twenty-fifth word of the Torah is the word “light“?

 

* * *

 

 


This study was written by

Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

(Greg Killian).

Comments may be submitted to:

 

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[1] Further, he appears to translate: And also the nation which will put thee to service.

[2] Viz. is is (dan) will judge).

[3] In the Hebrew, that passage contains seventy-two letters.

[4] The longest form of God’s name, of which there were several.

[5] Which are drunk at the ceremonial meal (Seder) on the first two nights of Passover.

[6] Who subjected Israel, viz. Babylon, Media, Greece, and Rome.

[7] So lit., plural.

[8] Coriander is a plant with aromatic fruit used for flavoring.

[9] The entire chapter is Messianic. The aim of this section has been to point out that the reason why all the twelve tribes are mentioned by name, though the name of each had been stated in Bereshit (Genesis), is because each name, by a play on the words and an implied meaning, suggested the love God had shown for them by some act of salvation. The names in the first place were given to the twelve sons of Ya’aqov with meanings similar to those mentioned here; v. Gen. 29:32, 30:24.

[10] Micah 7:15

[11] The word “seder” comes from the same Hebrew root as does Siddur - prayer book. This root means “order.” Thus the Passover table ritual is named for the practice of performing all of its many parts in a particular order.

[12] Haggada is a Hebrew word which means “telling”, and is the “script” which we follow on Passover night.

[13] Shemot (Exodus) 12:14

[14] Midrash Rabbah - Numbers VIII:9

[15] V. Gen. R. IX, 2.

[16] Which is interpreted: in the same month.

[17] Micah 7:15

[18] SA OC 473:3

[19] SA OC 479

[20] Based on Gevurot HaShem chapter 60

[21] Ralbag, there

[22] Hoshea 2:17

[23] Dew is an exclamation of affection. Jast.: Thou art sighing for us first, instead of our aspiring for Thee.

[24] This- implies that they pointed to the Divine Presence; v. infra, II. 14, 3; Ex. R. XXIII, 15.

[25] Sc. to the revelation of the future.

[26] R. Jose simply gives the Aramaic equivalent of the text.

[27] see Tur, Orach Chaim 417

[28] Bereshit (Genesis) 22:14

[29] Ibid. 24:14

[30] Ibid. 28:19

[31] Yoma 21b

[32] see Pesachim 88a, and Maharsha

[33] 96b-97a

[34] [Lit., ‘son of the fallen.’ Bar Nafle is generally assumed to represent the Greek **, the ‘son of the clouds;’ cf. Dan. VII, 13, there came with the clouds of heaven one like a son of man, which R. Nahman gave a Hebrew connotation.]

[35] Amos 9:11.

[36] Ezekiel 38:18-39:16

[37] Passover

[38] Abraham and Ya’aqov.

[39] I.e., remembered on high.

[40] Six months be-. fore the redemption.

[41] Ex. VI, 6.

[42] Ps. LXXXI, 7 in reference to Yosef.

[43] Ibid. 4.

[44]  Isa. XXVII, 13.

[45] Ex. XII, 42.

[46]  I.e., on this night they are not allowed to roam as on other nights.

[47] Shemot (Exodus) 12:21-28

[48] Teshuva = repentance.

[49] The shoah is another name for the Holocaust in Germany where six million Jews died.

[50] Vol. II, 499, interpreting Yeshayahu 60:1

[51] Biur HaGra, Safra D’Tzniusa, Chapter Five

[52] New Year’s Day; the day on which HaShem sits in judgment upon the world. The exposition that follows is intended to explain why the first day of the year was chosen as the day of judgment.

[53] The bearing is not clear. In Pes. R. XL, 2 this verse is expounded as showing that mercy governs God’s attitude in His judgment of man and that this was so in the case of Adam who was judged on the first day of the year.

[54] I.e. in the second of the special passages inserted in the Additional Service on New Year’s Day. This second benediction is now known as Zikronoth, remembrance.

[55] The conclusion is only that Adam was created on New Year’s Day, the first of Tishri, this being the sixth day from the twenty-fifth of Elul.

[56] Since God only created during daytime hours, the Kabbalists disregard the nighttime hours with respect to this calculation (Dayah 2:301b).

[57] Pirkei d’Rebi Eliezer

[58] Mitzrayim = Egypt

[59] Midrash Ne’elam, Toldot 140a

[60] “Techiyat HaMetim” - (f.); Revival or resurrection of the dead; one of the fundamental beliefs of the Jewish Religion, and the last of the RAMBAM’s list of thirteen such beliefs

[61] Drushei Olam HaTohu, Part 2, Drush 4, Section 12:9

[62] Midrash Ne’elam, Toldot 139b

[63] Drushei Olam HaTohu, Part 2, Drush 4, Section 12:10

[64] Concluding, ‘Blessed art thou, O Lord, who redeemest Israel’.

[65] V. Sanh. 97a.

[66] Shemot 7b

[67] Drushei Olam HaTohu, Part 2, Drush 4, Section 12:10

[68] Lev Eliyahu, Shemot, p.172

[69] Sefer Eliyahu, Pirkei Mashiach, p. 236

[70] Iggeret Teiman (next to last paragraph).

[71] Bereishit Rabbah, 42:4. Midrash Lekach Tov, Lech Lecha, 14:1.

[72] Yalkut Shimoni, Yeshayahu, remez 499.

[73] Tehillim, 2:1.

[74] Yeshayahu, 29:1.

[75] Midrash Tehillim and Yalkut Shimoni loc cit.

[76] Ibid, 4.

[77] New Year’s Day; the day on which God sits in judgment upon the world. The exposition that follows is intended to explain why the first day of the year was chosen as the day of judgment.

[78] The bearing is not clear. In Pes. R. XL, 2 this verse is expounded as showing that mercy governs God’s attitude in His judgment of man and that this was so in the case of Adam who was judged on the first day of the year.

[79] I.e. in the second of the special passages inserted in the Additional Service on New Year’s Day. This second benediction is now known as Zikronoth, remembrance.

[80] The conclusion is only that Adam was created on New Year’s Day, the first of Tishri, this being the sixth day from the twenty-fifth of Elul.

[81] Sefer HaEmunah v’HaHashgochah

 

[83] Bereshit 32:23

[84] Sha’ar HaGilgulim, p. 51

[85] Rokayach, Gali Razya; 12th century

[86] Avraham Azulai, Chesed L’Avraham, Nahar 59, B’Sod Mikveh, p. 88

[87] Micah 7:15

[88] Targum Yonatan to Bereshit 50:24; cited by Rashi Shemot 3:18

[89] Shemot Rabba 3:20

[90] see Zohar Pinchas p. 232, Shemot 19:19 with Rashi

[91] A question dealt with by Ramban 4:10; Drashot Haran, Drush 3

[92] Peh Kakosh, Shemot 4:11

[93] Sha’arei Leshem, page 489

[94] Midrash Ne’elam 140a

[95] Kohelet Rabba 1:4, Bamidbar Rabbah 11:3; Kohelet Rabbah 1:9.

[96] Bereshit 41:1

[97] Tehillim (Psalms) 81:6

[98] Sotah 36b

[99] hakeitzim

[100] Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 60:22

[101] Succah 52a

[102] Sanhedrin 111a

[103] Rashi, Shemot (Exodus) 13:18

[104] Ohr Yechezkel, Emunas HaGeulah, p. 288

[105] The Great Ones of the generation.

[106] ‘Geula’ is the blessing after Kriyat Shema which speaks of redemption.

[107] Sanhedrin 32b

[108] Tosefta, Pesachim 10

[109] The President of the rabbinic court

[110] Telling the Story of the Exodus from Egypt.

[111] Mishne Torah

[112] Sanhedrin 97a

[113] Megillah 17b

[114] See Eruvin 23b for the precise calculation.