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The End Is Close

I thank my precious friend R' Ephraim Abba Gervis for sending me this special email. The truth is, that the story of the Holy Martyrs Rav Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg in India caused me a great deal of anguish. Especially hearing about the cries of little Moishe "Eeeema Eeeema". I REALLY hope that the end is near and the complete geulah is upon us. No, I am not a Lubavitcher but I wish I had their level of devotion and commitment and I join them in their cry "WE WANT MOSHIACH NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

In 5742/1982, Parshas Lech Lecha, the Klausenburger Rebbe, Rav Yekusiel Yehuda Halberstam zt"l gave a Chumash shiur about the times of ikvisa deMeshicha, the times before Moshiach. The Rebbe's remarks gained publicity more recently following the Mumbai attacks because he mentions, in the course of his statements, a Yid living in India who is going to die and millions of people there will learn what a Jew is.

Below is a translation of excerpts of the Rebbe's drasha:

Zochreuinu lechaim melech chofetz bachaim vechosveinu besefer hachaim lemaancha Elokim chayim. Why do we ask for life? For Your sake, Hashem! Yidden need life so that they can tell the world's people that there is a G-d in Heaven. When you have one Jew living among thousands of others, even a hundred thousand, all of them will find out that there is One G-d.

This in itself is a tremendous benefit. This way, a Jew is mekadesh sheim Shomayim berabim, as it is written, "Lo heglah Hakadosh Boruch Hu es Yisroel bein ha'umos elah kedei sheyitosfu aleihem geirim" – the Jewish people had to go to golus so that there would be many geirim. Hashem wanted the whole world to know that there was one People who didn't believe in avodah zara. The Gemara states that this is the tremendous tachlis, the goal of golus.

There could be one Yid living in all of India. He may be the only one there, but hundreds of people know about him. They talk about him, they discuss his situation. Is he alive? Was he killed?

The more time that passes without Moshiach, the more they talk about the Yid. People are so involved in politics and in gashmiyus today that they don't realize what this means. Millions of people who never knew that Yidden existed are now talking about Yidden. For example, in the early years in America, did they know anything about Yidden? Or in far-off India, under the harei choshech, what did they know about Yidden? Today, however, I doubt that a single person exists who does not know of the Yidden. Some of them bless us, some of them curse us, but they all know about us.
They have to know Yidden, so when Moshiach will come, they can say, "Hashem Elokei Yisroel Melech umalchuso bakol mashala…" Where there are no Yidden, they wouldn't know who Hashem is.

That is why Hashem has had to leave us in golus for so long, until the whole world, miktzeh ha'olam ve'ad ketzeihu, will recognize that, so when Moshiach will suddenly appear and we will all cry out, "Shema Yisroel Hashem Elokeinu," the nations will respond, "Hashem Echad!"

We say this in Akdamus: When people will ask why you let yourself be killed for G-d, the Yidden will explain it to them, and everyone will realize that this was in fact the Yid's tachlis.

And that tachlis will be realized one day. Every day that goes by is one day closer. Somewhere they may be isolated people, a thousand or fifteen hundred in number, who don't know about the Yidden. They, too, must learn about us. It may take a year, it may take more, but in heaven there is no rush, as time is not important up there.
Im yiyeh nidchacha biktzei haShomayim, we should know that misham yekabetzcha Hashem Elokecha umisham yikochecha. There must be Yidden in Honolulu, at the North Pole, at the South Pole….then the tachlis of the golus will be completed and the geulah sheleimah will take place…

I think that we are all hurt and saddened by what happened in India.

But isn't it presumptuous to emphatically proclaim "we WANT moshiach now"?

We can pray for moshiach. We can hope for him. We can even hope that day is today or tomorrow, assuming that we would still like to do so despite the utter fright of the Tannaim and Amoraim.

But to declare to and of G-d that we want him? Not only that but right now?! Who are we to utter such things? Who cares what we, fledgling litte beings in the giant cosmos, want?

Maybe G-d, in his infinite wisdom, is ignoring what has become a slogan, chant, song, jingle, mantra because He realizes that we "want" isn't always what is best for us.

Obviously if Moshiach hasn't come it is best for us. But we are still CHAYAV to want him. [One of numerous sources - Rambam Melachim 11/1].

And what is the difference between "wanting" him [which you negate] and "hoping" for him [which you advocate or at the very least allow for].

Peace and Brotherhood

The term "want" when used by Lubavitch in the slogan "we want moshiach now" is said in a demanding manner. If you have ever attending Lubavitch camp or a Lubavitch rally this would be self-evident.

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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