Photo Credit: Doron Horowitz/Flash90
Sunflowers in the spring in Israel.
Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet

People often argue that if they weren’t worthy of Mashiach in earlier generations then we are far less worthy today.

The argument is flawed on numerous counts. The pasuk says, “In its time I will hasten it.” Chazal explain that Mashiach can come at one of two intervals. Either at a designated time which is fixed regardless of our stature. Or, if we are worthy, then G-d can hasten his coming.


Insofar as the “fixed time” is concerned, we are invariably closer with every passing day than we will have been the day before.

In regard to “I will hasten it,” it can be argued that we are more worthy today than ever before. For several reasons:

First, “one thing in distress is worth a thousand at ease.” That means that inasmuch perhaps they were loftier and holier in earlier generations, everything spiritual we do today is of infinitely greater value.

To put on tefillin or light Shabbos candles in the shtetl is one thing. But to do so after all the persecutions endured through the ages, up until and including the ineffable events of the Holocaust, is something altogether different.

The image of soldiers putting on tefillin or celebrating Kabbalas Shabbos in Gaza was unquestionably as delightful before the Almighty as any tzaddik studying in the confines of his beis hamedrash in Poland, 500 years ago.

Second, even if one was to insist that our actions today are of lesser value, the fact is that evil dissipates while good is accumulative and eternal. By definition, if the Judaism observed by earlier generations was worth five dollars and the same today is worth only five cents, one now has five dollars and five cents in the bank. The merits, therefore, add up to herald the coming of Mashiach.

Finally, if one is stubborn enough to still maintain that we are not worthy of Mashiach, then I say this: The exiled state we are in is a punishment in response to our misdeeds, as foretold by several Neviim: “Because of our sins we were exiled from our land.”

If a punishment isn’t working, especially after two thousand years, then logic dictates that it is futile and might as well be terminated, as there is no objective.

Either way, G-d is, as it were, in a catch 22, and should finally bring about our redemption, in keeping with the edict: “In the month of Nisan we were redeemed and in the month of Nisan we will yet again be redeemed.” May we merit that redemption speedily.

– Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet is a popular Lubavitch lecturer and rabbi of London’s Mill Hill Synagogue.

* * * * *


Rabbi Zev Leff

Pesach is not only the time to remember our initial redemption from Egypt, but it is also “the time of redemption” that will pave the way for our future redemption, which is the culmination of that initial redemption.

The factors that contributed to our being worthy of being redeemed included maintaining our Jewish identity by not changing our names (our Jewish essence and middos), our dress (tznius – modesty), and our manner of speech (refined and holy). Additionally, our teshuva and our yearning to receive the Torah, to learn it and observe it. Adding to these on the night of redemption the mitzvah of bris milah – our holy connection to Hashem and Korban Pesach – our unity as a nation under our one G-d, and our readiness to sacrifice for living a Torah life. All these contributed to bring about the geulah and will be among the factors that will make us worthy of the future geulah – soon in our days.

Rabbi Zev Leff is rav of Moshav Matisyahu and a popular lecturer and educator.

* * * * *


Every Jew must consider how he can best contribute to the Jewish people and merit Hashem’s help. Our greatest challenge is peace amongst ourselves. Our biggest challenge is how we can work together as Jews even as we have differing Torah hashkafot. When we fight among ourselves, we place ourselves in the greatest danger as happened both in Mitzrayim and the days of Mordechai and Esther.

– Rabbi Chaim Jachter is a prominent rabbi who serves as the rabbi at Congregation Shaarei Orah, the Sephardic Congregation of Teaneck, and is a popular Torah teacher at the Torah Academy of Bergen County. He also serves as a dayan on the Beth Din of Elizabeth and has acquired an international reputation of excellence in the area of Get administration. He has authored sixteen books on issues ranging from contemporary halacha, Tanach, Aggada, and Jewish thought – all available on Amazon.

* * * * *


Rabbi Steven Pruzansky

The challenge is that there are no short cuts or magic tricks that will bring the geulah. If we study the words of the prophets, especially Yirmiyahu, we perceive their relevance to our day. His era was plagued by false prophets who promised “peace, peace,” as long as Jews followed them rather than G-d and His Torah. They too offered segulot to the people, often couched in idol worship (which should be understood as the prevailing values of the time), insincere offerings in the Beit HaMikdash that they were told would mask their moral corruption and promiscuity, and constant reassurance of their righteousness – despite the fact that they rejected the Torah. It was so bizarre that after the Churban, a group blamed Yirmiyahu, and attributed the Churban to their failure to worship their idols more fervently (Yirmiyahu 44)!

We hasten the geulah by becoming better Jews, as Hashem intended for us. As Micha (6:8) taught, “To act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with Hashem.” Returning to Hashem means reminding ourselves constantly of our divinely-ordained mission – not to be the wealthiest, funniest, or brightest nation, but rather a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Shemot 19:6), and to be “the light to the nations” (Yeshayahu 49:6).

As we get closer to redemption, the challenges and tribulations will increase. We must render ourselves worthy – worthier – of this exalted era by leaving the exile, embracing our destiny in the land of Israel, honing our observance of all the mitzvot, increasing and refining our talmud Torah, deepening our connection with all of Klal Yisrael, and living with a constant awareness of Hashem. That is the essence of teshuva – and in the Torah, spiritual teshuva is always linked to physical teshuva, the return to Israel. What better time to start than Pesach?

– Rav Steven Pruzansky is Israel Region Vice-President for the Coalition for Jewish Values and author of “Road to Redemption”- all about Pesach (Kodesh Press).

* * * * *


Rabbi Yosef Blau

The question assumes that there is a specific human response that will help bring the ultimate geulah and that it is connected to the current war against Hamas. I disagree with both assumptions. Without prophecy, we have no clear idea of a specific act by the Jewish people that will hasten the final redemption. Uniting a fragmented Jewish people is always appropriate.

Viewing the current war from a messianic perspective is dangerous. Fighting a war that has critical political as well as military components requires applying the best expert political and military judgment. Interpreting the terrorist attack as a component of the geulah process substitutes a mistaken notion that we know G-d’s plans for rational decisions.

It is a time for internal reflection on what having a Jewish state means from a religious perspective and how it should project fundamental Jewish values.

— Rabbi Yosef Blau is mashgiach ruchani at YU’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.

* * * * *


Rabbi Marc D. Angel

At the Seder, we eat the “Hillel Sandwich,” korach, which includes both matzah and maror. Rabbi Benzion Uziel, late Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel, pointed out that matzah – eaten as the Israelites left Egypt – symbolizes freedom. Maror – bitter herb – symbolizes the bitterness of slavery. We combine these two symbols to remind us that freedom and slavery are intertwined. Even when we are enslaved, we have our inner freedom. Even when we are free, we have to worry about falling back into slavery.

Until Mashiach arrives, we simply don’t have full redemption. We are always experiencing a mixture of matzah and maror, freedom and suffering. Sometimes things are better and sometimes worse…but we are constantly engaged in personal and national struggle.

We are currently living in very challenging times for Israel and the Jewish people. We all feel the taste of maror, the bitterness of war, death, antisemitism, ugly anti-Israel hatred. But we also have the taste of matzah – freedom. The State of Israel is strong, vibrant, and courageous. The Jewish people worldwide are standing up for our rights and for the honor of Israel. We are literally eating “korach,” matzah and maror together, simultaneously.

It has been noted that the redemption from Egypt is attributed entirely to the Almighty. The Israelites themselves were relatively passive in the process of gaining their freedom. But the ultimate redemption will require us to participate actively. While Hashem will be the guarantor of our geulah, we will need to assume personal responsibility.

Along with our prayers, we each must stand with Am Yisrael in every way possible. We need action – communal, political, financial etc. – in support of Medinat Yisrael. We need to stand up against antisemites and anti-Zionists with fortitude…and we must prevail.

Rav Nachman of Bratslav wisely taught: The whole world is a narrow bridge (precarious); but the essential thing is not to be afraid, not to be afraid at all.

– Rabbi Marc D. Angel, Director, Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals

* * * * *


No one can predict the ways of Almighty G-d. These events that are occurring in Israel today and the hate that is being exhibited throughout the world are hard to comprehend. Anyone with any moral compass can see the truth in the Israeli cause. Yet the world spreads lies and rallies against us.

Two things, however, can certainly help to bring the ultimate geulah.

The first is unity of all Jews. Our history is filled with stories of infighting, even civil wars – brother against brother. Even today as we are fighting for our very existence, there are those who just can’t keep their hurtful views to themselves and can’t focus on the greater good of our people – even in influential circles. They have this burning desire to get ahead, even if it means stepping on someone, even if it means placing our brave soldiers in danger because of their rhetoric.

The second aspect that I believe will influence G-d to finally bring the even in influential circles is love and respect one person for the next, a respect for different views, a realization that we are all brothers and sisters together fighting for our very existence. We need not agree all the time, but in our disagreements, we must display our love and respect for each other.

G-d cherishes our people when we exhibit unity, love and respect for each other. The lack of it has caused death and destruction in our history. With it we can bring in the ultimate geulah.

Have a wonderful Pesach.

– Rabbi Mordechai Weiss lives in Efrat, Israel, and previously served as an elementary and high school principal in New Jersey and Connecticut. He was also the founder and rav of Young Israel of Margate, N.J. His email is [email protected].

* * * * *


Given the precarious situation facing Israel, with threats from Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as the ongoing challenges, such as the captivity of hostages and the loss of IDF soldiers, geulah is on the minds of many of us. We are now in the time of Pesach during which we were redeemed, in the month of Nissan, and the chachamim tell us (Masechet Rosh Hashanah 11a – opinion of Rabbi Yehoshua): In Nissan we were redeemed, and in Nissan in the future we will be redeemed. The story of Pesach and our development into a nation can serve as a model for how we can help bring about the ultimate geulah.

Unity: We became a nation in chodesh Nissan, through our first mitzvah of the sanctification of the new moon. Together as a people, we were instructed regarding Korban Pesach. As one people, we took the lamb, guarded it for 4 days, and sacrificed it. We did this as an entire nation, together, unified by action. Despite differences in opinion or approach, it is crucial for the Jewish people to continue to stand together, both within Israel and in the diaspora. This unity should transcend political, religious, or cultural divides, emphasizing the common bond of being part of the Jewish nation. By fostering unity, the community can amplify its collective strength and resilience in the face of external threats.

Identity: The celebration of Pesach serves as a reminder of the Jewish identity and heritage. It’s a time to reflect on the journey from slavery to freedom, from oppression to redemption. By reaffirming our unique identity as a people chosen by G-d, we as Jews can strengthen our resolve and sense of purpose. This identity should be grounded in our Jewish values, adherence to Torah, and commitment to mitzvot. On Leil HaSeder, during which we sit with our families and we educate our children, we must be proud of who we are, and internalize how we became a nation – in order to receive the Torah.

Sacrifice: Just as the IDF soldiers make immense sacrifices for the defense of Israel, every member of the Jewish community should be willing to make sacrifices for the greater good of Am Yisrael. Sacrifice can take various forms, such as dedicating time, resources, or efforts towards supporting the community, advocating for its welfare, or contributing to charitable causes. This collective sacrifice demonstrates solidarity and solidarity with those directly affected by conflict or hardship.

In essence, the path towards ultimate redemption, towards geulah, requires a concerted effort to uphold unity, affirm identity, and embrace sacrifice within the Jewish community. By embodying these principles, individuals can contribute to the resilience and strength of the Jewish people in the face of adversity, ultimately paving the way towards a brighter future for Israel.

– Rabbi Nathan Dweck is the mashigah ruchani and Judaic studies teacher at Barkai Yeshivah’s Middle School in Brooklyn, N.Y. He serves as the high school minyan rabbi and Torah programming director at Congregation Beth Torah. He is also the executive director of Tebah Educational Services.

* * * * *


Each person is a world unto himself. The Mishna (in Sanhedrin 37a) states: “Therefore man was created singularly [as opposed to the animals and all other creation] in order that each may say, ‘For me the world was created.’” But then the same Mishna states, “Therefore …man was created singularly in order that no one be able to say may father is greater than yours [as we are all the progeny of the same father – Adam].”

Basically, our sages are teaching us that on the one hand we are each unique creations of Hashem; yet we are to constantly remember that our fellow has the same uniqueness in creation as well.

The Rambam (Hilchot Teshuva 3:1, based upon Kiddushin 40b) writes: “Each and every human being has his merits and has his transgressions. He whose merits outweigh his transgressions is [one who is] righteous. And one whose transgressions outweigh his merits is [one who is] wicked.

“Similarly, a nation: if the merits of its inhabitants outweigh their transgressions that nation is [considered to be] righteous. But if their transgressions outweigh their merits that nation is [considered to be] wicked. And similarly, the same applies as to the entire world.

“Thus the possibility arises that even one person might be the one who tips the scales in favor of righteousness.”

Thus each of us in our unique way is not only endowed with endless possibility but bear the responsibility to learn Torah, live Torah, pray and beseech our Creator for the ultimate geulah.

I remember a conversation I had many years ago with my uncle Rav Sholom Klass, zt”l. He reminisced about his early years when he was struggling and he found the solution to dealing with his problems and as you are reading these pages you are aware of his success. His solution? Reciting Tehillim, King David’s divinely inspired words. Now what is so special about Tehillim? Rabbi Klass answered: Tehillim in Hebrew is tav, heh, lamed, yud, mem. This might be considered the same as tav, lamed, yud, mem which spells out projectiles; only Tehillim are projectiles with Hashem – thus projectiles are our secret weapon

Indeed, now many of us are doing just that – reciting Tehillim. Additionally, if we have more kavana, concentration in our tefillah, especially when we utter the words Ga’al Yisrael – Blessed are You Hashem Who has redeemed Israel; and when we utter the words Go’el Yisrael – Blessed are You Hashem the Redeemer of Israel. All this will go a long way in finding favor with Hashem as He finally delivers us from the darkness of our long exile to the brilliance of the world to come. Please G-d, may it be Your will!

– Rabbi Yaakov Klass is chairman of the Presidium of the Rabbinical Alliance of America; rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn; and Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at [email protected] and [email protected].


Previous articleBiden’s Politicization Of Criminal Prosecutions
Next articleEli Beer And The Heroic History Of United Hatzalah