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August 1, 2015 / 16 Av, 5775
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Mashiach, Mashiach, Mashiach, Da Da Da Da DaDa

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When the Zionists began to show initiative and take matters into their own hands to bring the exile to an end, the proponents of this passive “we can’t do anything” school of thought, rose up in protest. We were to wait in exile, they claimed, until the Mashiach brought us to Israel. Any attempt on our part was trafe!

Interestingly, the Rambam himself, in his famous, “Letter of Teman,” writes:

“Those who seduce themselves and say that they will stay in their places until the king, Mashiach, comes to the lands of the West, and only then will they depart and go forth to Jerusalem – I don’t know how the decree of destruction will be stayed from them. Rather, they are transgressors, and they cause others to sin. For there is no set time for the coming of Mashiach on which to depend, saying that he is close or far. The obligation of the commandments is not dependent on the coming of the Mashiach.. Rather, we are to busy ourselves with Torah and precepts, and to strive to fulfill everything we can…. However, if a man will stay in a place where he sees the Torah is waning, and where the Jewish People will be lost with the passage of time, and where he cannot stand by his faith, and say, ‘I will stay here until Mashiach comes and survive where I am’ – this is nothing but an evil heart, a great loss, and a sickness of reasoning and spirit. This is my opinion, and Hashem knows the truth.”

Which Jewish community in the Diaspora hasn’t faced the potential danger which the Rambam describes in his letter, that with the passage of time, both Judaism and Jewish life were endangered and often wiped out? Where are the once great religious centers of Russia, Eastern Europe, North Africa, or Spain? Today, throughout America (though the faithful of Brooklyn, Lakewood, Monsey, Boca Raton, and Palm Springs claim that it could never happen to them), many once-prominent Jewish neighborhoods are now slums. Buildings which housed synagogues have been converted into churches. Assimilation in America is more than sixty percent. In spite of a few, isolated, Torah communities, Judaism in America is taking a beating. In contrast to this, the baal-tshuva movement in Israel is constantly growing, and assimilation hardly exists.

Today, thank God, the Master of the World has given us a Jewish State in Israel. He has given us a flourishing society and a powerful army to defend ourselves from our enemies. We have Jerusalem back in our sovereignty, and Israel has greatest concentration of Torah learning and Talmidei Chochamim in the world. The miraculous rebirth of the desert land, the amazing advancements in all fields of endeavor, and the equally amazing ingathering of Jews from around the globe, are all the fulfillment of ancient prophecies come true. All of these incredible developments which we can see with our eyes, and which we have helped bring to pass under the guidance and blessing of God, are all aspects of Mashiach and our promised Redemption. These are thing which are happening now! The Master of the Heaven and the Earth hasn’t waited for the arrival of Mashiach. He has brought all this about through wars, and international treaties, and the bravery and self-sacrifice of the Zionist pioneers, religious and non-religious alike. All of this is a part of Mashiach.

The Rambam states:

“In the future, the Mashiach will arise and bring back the Kingdom of David, restoring it to its original sovereignty” (Laws of Kings and Their Wars, 11:1).

Rabbi Kook would emphasize that the Mashiach’s premier assignment was to restore Jewish sovereignty over Eretz Yisrael. And yet, in our time, Jewish sovereignty has already been restored over large portions of Eretz Yisrael. The Rambam writes that Mashich will do this. How are we to understand this seeming contradiction?

Rabbi Kook explained:

“The Jerusalem Talmud teaches that the Redemption comes about, “Little by little, like the dawning of the day” (Berachot 1:1). The Redemption unfolds in gradual stages. As major step in the process is the establishment of Jewish sovereignty of Eretz Yisrael. Until our time, it was not clear how this would occur. Now, thank God, it is crystallizing and progressing before our eyes. The days of Mashiach encompass a great number of stages, as our Sages reveal in the expression, ‘Two thousand years of Mashiach’ (Sanhedrin 97A and B). This is also implied in the expression which we say toward the end of the Shacharit prayer, ‘The years of Mashiach.’ The ingathering of the exiles, and the restoration of Jewish sovereignty over Eretz Yisrael – Medinat Yisrael – are clear steps in the process and revelations of Mashiach. The revelation of the exile’s end began to appear with the settlement of the early moshavim, as our Sages teach, ‘There is nothing more revealing of the end of the exile than this, as the Prophet says, ‘But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My People Israel, for they will soon be coming’ (Ezekiel, 36:8). Rashi explains, ‘When Eretz Yisrael gives forth her fruits in abundance, the end of the exile is near, and there is no surer sign of the end of the exile than this’ (Sanhedrin 98A). This is clearly happening today. We see the blessing on the Land and on her fruits – grapes, bananas, oranges – each day we hear of greater agricultural success. Just yesterday, the Land was a desert, and today we export fruits to all the world! This is a quiet miracle of the days of Mashiach. We have to accustom ourselves to see this as the work of Hashem. Likewise, with the great immigration of our People and the restoration of Jewish sovereignty over our Land – these are all aspects of Mashiach orchestrated by the Master of the World, the Causes of Causes. The restoration unfolds every day. The Master of the Universe is not idle, God forbid. Today, we are in the middle of the road, in spite of all the complications which will all be worked out over time. Medinat Yisrael is the statehood of the days of Mashiach, which begins with revealed events and concludes with hidden matters like the revival of the dead. There is no contradiction between these two facets of our Redemption, the revealed and the secret. For we are dealing with our unique Divine Nation, with the Statehood of Am Yisrael, a normal State which must weather the all sorts of trials, and with this, a State where prophets will once again roam. The Redemption doesn’t only evolve through obvious miracles. We also experience the quiet miracles of a desert land yielding bushels and bushels of fruit, of cities built on sand dunes and swamps, and of a Nation reborn in the ancient Land. All of this is a part of Mashiach. And it is happening now.”

About the Author: Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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6 Responses to “Mashiach, Mashiach, Mashiach, Da Da Da Da DaDa”

  1. Emet Sheva says:

    Boo-ya! You got it Rabbi Tzvi ;D Shabbat Shalom L'Kulam!

  2. I like this song so much , well i prefer vehi sheamda by yaakov shwekey or rachem or Tehilim 130. Shabbat Shalom Shula

  3. Emet Sheva says:

    Shabbat Shalom Yasna dear!

  4. Joshua Sierk says:

    more from this wise guy.

  5. Joshua Sierk says:

    more wisdom from this wise guy.
    shabbat shalom!

  6. Jesus is the most misunderstood person whoever lived on earth. Jews
    and Christians agree on one thing about Jesus that Jesus claimed he is.
    the messiah. But the most astonishing truth about Jesus is that Jesus.
    didn't claim he is the messiah. Not only that Jesus told the Jews that.
    they should not believe any individual who claim he is the messiah. He
    told the Jews no individual would come as the messiah, who or what.
    would come is the kingdom of god.

    Jesus told the Jews to always remain as Jews facing all the.
    persecutions awaiting them and prepared to accept the Kingdom since it.
    is not known when it will come. The contemporary Jews expected Jesus.
    is their messiah but were disappointed that He didn't overthrow the.
    Romans and declare himself King, like the Messiah was supposed to do.
    So theyr ejected Jesus saying he is a failed messiah and failed to understand.
    his message.

    On the other hand, some the Jews found their messiah in Jesus and.
    they interpreted words of Jesus and Bible in such a way to make others also.
    to believe Jesus is the messiah and son of God.

    The Jews who say Jesus is the failed messiah and the Jews later became Christians.
    who believe and preach Jesus is the Christ and son of God both went wrong in.
    understanding the message of Jesus.

    The word messiah has no such meaning as “Savior“. Messiah simply means.
    “anointed one”. But when the Jews started to give a meaning “savior”.
    for the word messiah there they started to give wrong interpretation.
    of Bible words. Yahweh is the only savior of Israel and there is no.
    other savior for Israel according to Bible.

    Jewish belief in a messiah in the sense “savior king” lies in the.
    promise God gave to David. In fact the promise God gave to David is.
    conditional one. And sons of David many times failed to fulfill that.
    condition. so God is not bound to keep his promise. But Jews
    inadvertently believe that the promise God gave to David is an.
    unconditional one and that belief led the Jews to believe God is bound.
    to provide them a super king “Messiah” from the sons of David. This
    wrong interpretation of Bible words and belief in a Christ culminated.
    in Christian religion.

Comments are closed.

Tzvi Fishman, author of the Jewish Press blog Felafel on Rye and author of more than a dozen books.
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