Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Awakening from Below

אתערותא דלתתא

The above phrase (pronounced roughly "it'aruta di'l'tata) is a concept important to the Keitz Meguleh. The basic idea is that we put in our efforts below on Earth, and then Heavenly Assistance is added on. We show desire to have the Land of Israel, and Hashem helps us make it happen. We show the desire for the Beit HaMikdash, and we move towards it being built. I'd like to put that into a drash for this week's Parshah, Shoftim.

We learn from Chazal that we were commanded to do Three Mitzvot when we entered the Land of Israel:

  1. Appoint a King
  2. Destroy Amalek
  3. Build the Beit HaMikdash

I used numbers instead of bullets because this is taken to be the proper order for this to occur.

So what's the problem? I don't have Seder Olam Raba out in front of me, but Am Yisrael was in Eretz Yisrael more than 300 years before asking for a king. We see in Sefer Shmuel explicitly that Am Yisrael requested a king, and then and only then did the three mitzvot take on full force. We got a king, and the Mitzvah of Amalek, and finally the command to build the Beit HaMikdash.

Posting to this blog will be sparse for the next 2 weeks.

Shabbat Shalom

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Purpose Of It All

The following is a summary/translation of parts of Chapter 5, part 2, of Kol HaTor.

In the Haftarah for Shoftim we have some pesukim dealing with the Geulah.

כי עין בעין יראו בשוב ה' ציון. פצחו רננו יחדו חרבות ירושלים, כי נחם ה' עמו גאל ירושלם. חשף ה' את זרוע קדשו לעיני כל הגוים, וראו כל אפסי ארץ את ישועת אלקינו

  • כי עין בעין יראו בשוב ה' ציון
  • For eye to eye they will see Hashem’s return of Tzion
  • GR”A – i.e. Kibbutz Galuyot
  • פצחו רננו יחדו חרבות ירושלים
  • Be happy and joyful together, ruins of Yerushalayim
  • GR”A – i.e. the building of Yerushalayim

  • כי נחם ה' עמו גאל ירושלם
  • For Hashem has comforted His nation, redeemed Yerushalayim
  • GR”A – i.e. the Redemption of Truth (גאולת האמת), for Yerushalayim is called the City of Truth

  • חשף ה' את זרוע קדשו לעיני כל הגוים
  • Hashem has revealed His Holy Arm to the eyes of the nations
  • GR”A – i.e. Kiddush Hashem

  • וראו כל אפסי ארץ את ישועת אלקינו
  • And all the inhabitants of earth will see the Salvation of our G-d.
  • GR”A – this hints at the victory of Israel in the War of Gog and Magog which is after the First Redemption from the Servitude of the Nations.

We learn from here that a major preparation for our victory in the War of Gog and Magog is the Redemption of Truth for the same of (Sanctification of G-d’s Name (Kiddush Hashem). The GR”A also taught us that as Kibbutz Galuyot increases, the Other Side (S”A) increases in strength more than any time of the Galut. This can be understood, for with the end of the Footsteps of Moshiach (Ikveta DiMeshicha) comes the end of the forces of impurity. The forces of impurity know this, and therefore they come together with all their strength to prevent this from happening.

We are leaving the Galut of Edom. It says of Edom that “Esav hates Yaakov”. It also says in the Navi that “You will give truth to Yaakov”; Yaakov represents Truth and Esav hates Yaakov.

All forces of impurity (Tumah) get their energy from Kedushah, and as such we understand the struggle over Yerushalayim. It is not a coincidence that Yerushalayim is such a controversial subject, beyond logic. (Why is a child born in Hadassah Ein Kerem not allowed to have the country of Israel printed on an American passport? No one has claimed that the western side of Jerusalem belongs to the Arabs, afterall, right?)

The implications of what is written here should not be underestimated. The connection between the rise of negative forces and the advancement of Kibbutz Galuyot is very purposeful. This plays through to settling different parts of Eretz Yisrael as well. Please take these words to heart.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Mitzvot Dependent on the Land

As I have mentioned before, in order to remove the impure spirit from the Land of Israel, we must fulfill the Mitzvot that can only be done in the Land of Israel. For the average modern Jew living in Israel, this comes down to making sure that the produce being eaten is not Tevel, i.e. that all the different Terumot and Maaserot have been taken accordingly. We have another mitzvah fast approaching us, the mitzvah of Shmitah. It is brought down in the 10th chapter of the Yerushalmi Masechet Shvi'it that the mitzvot of Yovel and Shemitah are not d'Oraita at this time, but rather d'Rabbanan. The drash on the psukim brought in the Yerushalmi is that as long as Yovel is not d'Oraita, neither is Shmitah. Yovel is in full force only when all Jews are back in Israel. I will leave that last sentence without further detail, because it is a bit more complicated. The year that we keep Shmitah is an interesting topic, G-d willing I'll find the original sources and make a post out of that. In the past (and the way it will be in the future, G-d willing), the Sanhedrin would count the years of the Shmitah cycle and also the Yovel cycle. Now, however, we use a simple equation. 7 * n for n = 1 through 857 For those of you in Israel, now is the time, as we have about 6 weeks before the onset of Shmitah. Learn what you can, decide how you will keep the mitzvah. There are plenty of English and Hebrew sefarim out there to help us keep this important mitzvah. May it be Hashem's will that we shall soon have an established Sanhedrin to count the years of the Shmitah cycle and we will be able to keep Shmitah as Hashem has commanded us. Please note, since Tu B'av, it is already forbidden to plant any trees until after Rosh HaShanah 5769.

Friday, August 3, 2007

B'itah Achishenah

One of the more famous verses in Tanach regarding the Geulah is the last verse of chapter 60 in Yeshayahu: הקטן יהיה לאלף והצעיר לגוי עצום, אני ה' בעתה אחישנה The smallest one will be for a thousand and the young lad for a mighty nation, I am Hashem, in its time I will hasten it. The Gemara in Masechet Sanhedrin says: If they merit it, "I will hasten it"; if they don't merit it, "in its time". This division complements what I've written before. If we do sufficient Teshuvah we will be redeemed, and if not, it will still happen but only at its appointed time. It is pointed out in Kol HaTor, however, that is not the plain meaning of the verse. The second half of the verse has no conditions. In its time it will be hastened. This is a biblical promise that we will not have to wait until the very end, the year 6000. Kol HaTor further explains that the verse itself tells us what to do. When will the second half of the verse happen? After the first part of the verse happens. The smallest one will be a thousand? That means that we will reach the last level of one short of 1000, which is 999 in the level of Yesod. And the young lad will be a mighty nation? The young lad refers to Ephraim, a hint at Moshiach ben Yosef. When Moshiach ben Yosef will get us to the level that we are a mighty nation, this will have occurred. What is a mighty nation? In Egypt, we are described with this same word for mighty, and there we had 600,000 Jews. So once 600,000 Jews reach Israel, this will have been fulfilled.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Glossary of Terms

I will be editing this post as needed to add explain new phrases. Please post any requests for additions to the comments of this post. Organized by alphabetically by Hebrew spelling.

  • Achishenah - Literally "I will hasten it", refers to a word in Yeshayahu 60:22 - The small one will be for a thousand, and the lad will be a mighty nation, I am Hashem, in its time I will hasten it.
  • B'Itah - Literally "In its time", refers to a word in Yeshayahu 60:22 - The small one will be for a thousand, and the lad will be a mighty nation, I am Hashem, in its time I will hasten it.
  • Birkat HaChamah - The Jewish Solar Calendar according to Shmuel has 365.25 years (Eiruvin 56a), and according to tradition, the Sun was created Tuesday night, at the first moment of the beginning of the Fourth Day (Pirkei D'Rebbi Eliezer). If you do the math, it returns to this point in the week once in 28 years (Pirkei D'Rebbi Eliezer and Brachot 59b). Every 28 years, the morning after this occurance, we recite a blessing "Blessed is the One that Did the act of Creation". Next date is 14th of Nissan 5769 (April 8th, 2009)
  • Doresh L'Tzion - Part of a 3 book set called Torat HaGeulah. Contains Mosad HaYesod and Chazon Tzion, which are about the history of the Old Ashkenazi Yishuv, as well as this book, which is mainly drashot from the Old Yishuv. The drashot are by descendents of Rav Hillel, author of the material that became Kol HaTor.
  • Geulah - The Redemption of the nation of Israel
  • GR"A - The Gaon Rabbi Eliyahu, a.k.a. the Vilna Gaon
  • Maamar HaGeulah - Written by the Ramchal, explains the spiritual side of of the process of Galus and Geulah.
  • Keitz - A term meaning the End, usually in the context of leading in to a new beginning. In our context, this is referring to the appointed time of the Geulah
  • Keitz Mechuseh - Refers to the absolute latest time for Geulah, which is hidden, and a constant. It is a deadline built in to creation. The "proof" that this fixed time exists comes from the book of Daniel.
  • Keitz Meguleh - Keitz Meguleh translates to "Revealed End", referring to the process that unfolds before our eyes, and influenced by our actions. The supporting verse of this process is in the book of Yehezkel.
  • Kol HaTor - A book published in the 20th century by a few different sources. Controversy surrounds this book, since it relates "nationalist" ideas to the Vilna Gaon. The 1994 edition brings sources throughout Kabbalistic works of the Vilna Gaon, shedding much more light on the books authenticity. It is attributed to Rav Hillel from Shklov, one of the students of the GR"A. The expression Kol HaTor (Voice of the Turtledove) comes from Shir HaShirim 2:12.
  • Klipah - Literally a husk, or a shell. Simply put, the term Klipah refers to negative spiritual forces.
  • Ramcha"l - Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato
  • HaTekufah HaGedolah - A sefer written by Rav Menachem Kasher on Geulah by natural means. As he was completing this sefer, shortly after the Six Day War, the manuscript of Kol HaTor basically "fell" in to his lap, and he published it with minor edits (namely, he removed Sha'ar Be'er Sheva on the GR"A's relationship to science).

The Levels of Moshiach ben Yosef

In Kol HaTor, we are taught that there are essential three levels of Moshiach ben Yosef (See Kol HaTor chapter 1, siman kaf).

  1. The Upper Moshiach ben Yosef - This is the M"T (The highest angel in the heavenly sphere), they are in the upper war against Armilus (in particular in the war of Gog and Magog)
  2. The Lower Moshiach ben Yosef - This is one Jew in every generation that merits by his actions to work for the salvation of Israel, actions of salvation and raising the banner of Torah with personal sacrifice, until he reaches the level of 999 in Yesod (another conversation in itself)
  3. All Beit Yisrael - Any Jew who in his actions takes up a part of the tasks of Moshiach ben Yosef (which are the tasks of the Keitz Meguleh listed before), big or small, according to the particular soul.

I would add that that for the second level, of the individual in every generation, there is a sub-level. This is the final Moshiach ben Yosef. This is the Moshiach that will be revealed in the year 66 mentioned in the Zohar. This is the Moshiach that will not die.