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Pause! We have been bombarded with tragedy after tragedy, calamity after calamity, mi sheamar l’olamo dai yomar l’tzarosenu dai. We haven’t had enough time to contemplate each tzara that has befallen our people in the past few weeks, before the next one came. We need to hit the pause button and try to understand what is going on, by looking at the greater picture.

The bracha of Al Hatzadikkim in Shemoneh Esrei ends with the words “mishan u’mivtach l’tzadikkim.” What is the meaning of the word mishan? Literally, it means something that one can lean or rely on, but what does it mean in this context? Hashem is the mainstay (Artscroll translation) of the tzadikim?

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In the Siddur HaGra, the Vilna Gaon explains that before Hashem sends a yeshua He sends a mishan, enabling us to strengthen our bitachon. The Gaon explains that with regard to the yeshua from Haman in the Purim story, Hashem first showed Klal Yisroel a mishan by parading Mordechai around in the streets. This was done in order to send Klal Yisrael a message that Hashem was with them and that they should strengthen their emunah and bitachon in Hashem and be mekabel the Torah. The Vilna Gaon continues and says that this will occur before the final redemption as well. Hashem will send a mishan to strengthen our bitachon in Him before the final redemption.

Why does Hashem do this? Why is this necessary?

Rav Yeruchem Levovitz, The Mirrer Mashgiach, in Da’as Chachma U’Mussar vol. 3 siman 1 cites a Midrash that details preparations that the Tanaim performed for the coming of the geula. He then continues to explain that in the beginning of Parshas Va’eira, Hashem tells Moshe that he did not appear to the Avos with the middah of the name of Havaya (yud kay…); rather, only with the middah of the name of Kel Shakai. Rashi explains that the difference between these two middos is that Kel Shakai represents promising without fulfilling those promises, while Havaya represents the middah of fulfilling promises. Why does Hashem have a middah of promising deliberately without fulfilling His words?

Rav Yeruchem explains that this is in order to strengthen and develop one’s bitachon. Hashem promises and does not immediately fulfill them. Only once a person has bitachon is he deserving of the fulfillment of the promises. It was in the zechus of the bitachon of the Avos that we merited leaving Metzrayim. Hashem did not want to be mekayem his promises to the Avos right away in order to build their emunah and bitachon.

Rav Yeruchem quotes a Seforno which explicitly delivers this concept. In Shemos (6:9), the Torah tells us that Moshe returned to Bnei Yisrael and told them that Hashem was going to redeem them. Yet, the pasuk says that they did not listen to Moshe “mekotzer ruach ume’avodah kashah.” The Seforno explains that Bnei Yisrael lacked bitachon at this point, and as a result they personally were not zocheh to enter Eretz Yisrael; only their children did.

Hashem’s boundless kindness, which knows no limits, wants us to be zocheh to the yeshuos that we desperately need. Therefore, He sends a mishan to build our bitachon, enabling us to be zocheh to the fulfillment of His promises.

Hashem has been sending us sign after sign that the ketz is fast approaching and that the zman geula has arrived! We are very close to the end of this long and difficult galus.

The Seforno mentioned above states that we must contemplate and realize that Hashem is sending us these signs in order to come to the bitachon in Hashem which will enable us to be zocheh to the geula. The Vilna Gaon says that Hashem will also send a mishan to strengthen our bitachon, so that we can be zocheh to the geula. Perhaps it is this that we are lacking in order to bring the geula. As the expression goes, “there are no atheists in a fox hole.” I assume the same is true in the bomb shelters. I assume the same is true in our once secure communities, where barbarians have now begun to wreak havoc. When we are being attacked in our local communities, where are we safe? Who can we rely on? Our elected officials? Certainly not! We have no one else but to strengthen our Emunah and bitachon in Hashem, our compassionate father in heaven who can save us in an instant!

This is what Hashem wants from us in order to bring the geula. If we would be consider the kindness that Hashem has performed for our generation, and in all the signs of the geula that He has given us, we would develop the necessary emunah and bitachon needed for the yeshua. Through this we will become truly b’simcha and be zocheh to the geula sheleimah b’karov! Amen.

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Rabbi Fuchs learned in Yeshivas Toras Moshe, where he became a close talmid of Rav Michel Shurkin, shlit”a. While he was there he received semicha from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, shlit”a. He then learned in Mirrer Yeshiva in Brooklyn, and became a close talmid of Rav Shmuel Berenbaum, zt”l. Rabbi Fuchs received semicha from the Mirrer Yeshiva as well. After Rav Shmuel’s petira Rabbi Fuchs learned in Bais Hatalmud Kollel for six years. He is currently a Shoel Umaishiv in Yeshivas Beis Meir in Lakewood, and a Torah editor and weekly columnist at The Jewish Press.