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Friday
Jun212019

Moshiach Must Win (Also) the Popular Vote - Understanding Kabolas HaMalchus

By Tsyrl Turen •

The 22nd of Shvat  the passing of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, wife of the Rebbe, marked the beginning of a new era cosmically. Now the world is ready for Moshiach. Having reached this final stage in the redemption process, we began hearing “state secrets”, innovations, to guide us through this fateful difficult period.

On the 2nd of Nissan, less than 6 weeks after the 22nd of Shevat, the Rebbe discussed the expression of Yechi Hamelech, the traditional statement of acceptance and coronation of the Davidic king, explaining that it both gives life to the king and causes the resurrection. Our action impacts the king and gives him his ability to rule.

Then in 1991, for three weeks in a row, the Rebbe clarified our role in this critical time, what we must do to bring Moshiach now.

On Shabbos Parshas Vayera the Rebbe stated that all the work to bring Moshiach is done, we are standing ready to accept Moshiach, now we have not only the existence of Moshiach but also the revelation of Moshiach. We need only accept him in actuality. He is here, he is revealed, and we must accept him, thats the remaining work.

The following week, on Shabbos Parshas Chayei Sara, the Rebbe disclosed more details. We are on the threshold of Redemption. Moshiach has already fulfilled the criterion established by the Rambam of successfully fighting G-ds wars. All missions have been accomplished. The only thing left is to accept Moshiach in actuality. This will enable him to fulfill his mission and take us out of exile. Everyone must infuse all he does with acceptance of Moshiach. We must explain the concepts of Redemption so everyone can accept him.

Then the following Shabbos, Parshas Toldos, the Rebbe explained even further, based on the mishna, “‘all the days of your lifeto bring to the days of Moshiach.” When King Moshiach is  revealed, this brings to the days of Moshiach, as his existence contains within it all details of the days of Moshiach. Metaphorically, the Rebbe compares this to the air of Moshiach versus the light of Moshiach. Air of Moshiach symbolizes his existence while light of Moshiach represents his activities. Through acknowledging Moshiachs identity, Moshiachs activities will be revealed to all. The primary way to bring Moshiach is to reveal his existence as all the details of the days of Moshiach will come as a result of the revelation of his existence.

The Rebbe is establishing that we have an obligation to accept Moshiach in order for him to bring the Redemption. Let us explore the traditional sources on this subject.

Appointing an Already Appointed King

Sefer Hachinuch questions the commandment of appointing a king. A commandment necessitates something people do. But G-d already chose Dovid and his descendants forever; the commandment was fulfilled. Sefer Hachinuch clarifies that the command is a mandate for us to establish the sovereignty of the descendent of Dovid. (Sefer Hachinuch Mitzvas Minuy Melech 497)

The prophet Hoshea promises that the redemption will come when all the people will gather and accept upon themselves one head, appointing a leader from the house of Dovid. (Hoshea 2,2)

The Malbim explains that the revelation of Moshiach will occur when the Jewish people accept upon themselves as king the Davidic leader of the generation of redemption. (Malbim Amus 9,11)

The Rebbe already alluded to this in 1991, Shabbos Parshas Mishpatim. The appointment of the Moshiach already was, all that is needed is the complete bonding between the king and the people. That was in 1991, 28 years ago!

But why is the process of revelation in this fashion, and not directly from G-d?

Dovids sovereignty is within every fitting male descendent. When Moshiach will emerge, his kingship is already intact; it is Dovids kingship that has continued and is expressing itself through him. Dovids appointment is embedded in every one of his descendants.

Seemingly, we are appointing the king who was already appointed some 3000 years ago.

Dovid’s Long Journey to the Monarchy

If we look into Dovids journey to the monarchy, we will understand. We will actually see the same process.

Dovid was anointed by the prophet Shmuel, through G-ds direct command. The Rambam rules that from the moment of his anointment Dovid merited the crown of sovereignty, but he didnt immediately become king. Even after the passing of the then king Shaul, Dovid still did not become the king. He needed an additional anointment by the people, first the people of the tribe of Yehuda, where he initially led only his tribe, and then seven years later by the elders of the entire nation, to become ruler of the Jewish people.

The people acknowledged Dovid after the chief general of Shaul, Avner, pledged allegiance to Dovid and committed to go to the people and bring them to accept Dovid as king. We see in the verses of Shmuel the discussion of Avner with Dovid concerning this plan, Dovids agreement and Avners fulfillment of his self-appointed mission. (Shmuel II chap 3)

Dovid, anointed by the prophet from the direct word of G-d, needs a campaign manager and an election platform.

Avner even stated that just like G-d promised Dovid, so I will do to him. Metzudos explains, just like G-d promised to make him king over all the Jews, so I will help Dovid with this issue of the sovereignty. (Metzudos Dovid Shmuel II 3,9)

G-d promised. He needs Avners help to fulfill?

Yes, because the people needed to accept him. Dovid didnt become king through Divine wonders. Only through Avners efforts did the people decide they wanted Dovid to be their king. Then the elders, representing all the Jews, said, “behold we are your bones and your flesh,” expressing how much the people desired him to be their king. (Shmuel II 5,1)

The reasoning behind this seeming incongruous disparity, that G-ds words and the prophets anointment didnt cause the kingship, but Avners popular campaign did, is based on a principal of our Sages, “there is no king without a people.” A king only exists by virtue of people believing in him as such. (Pirkei D’Rebbi Eliezer chap 1; Rabbeinu Bechayei Vayeshev 38,30)

Dovid was anointed three times, by the prophet Shmuel, by the tribe of Yehuda and by the elders of the Jewish people. According to Jewish law it is forbidden to anoint a king with the special anointing oil who has already been so anointed. Here it was permissible because the first two times didnt make him king as he didnt have the popular acceptance of the people. He only became king with the peoples coronation. Solomon also had two anointments because the first time was exclusively with the people of Jerusalem. To be king he needed the entire Jewish people, and that is what happened by the second anointment. In both of these cases, the peoples acceptance is creating a legal situation that did not exist previously.

This entire example with Dovid is powerful and relevant, but even more so when we recognize how Moshiach and Dovid are so intertwined. All aspects of Dovid are a microcosm of King Moshiach. This is the reason the Rambam, in writing the laws of Moshiach, quotes verses containing two phrases. In each, the first phrase refers to Dovid and the second to Moshiach. By Dovid in a small way, by Moshiach in a complete fashion. Dovids inability to rule until the peoples acceptance of him, despite being chosen by G-d, is a powerful message to us about our need to accept Moshiach now, to enable him to redeem the Jewish people and the entire world.

Moshiach already has the “crown of sovereignty” which Dovid received through his anointment by the prophet Shmuel, he also has the appointment to kingship which was given to Dovid when he was further anointed by the Jewish people, but in order to reveal the sovereignty of Moshiach in actuality he needs the acceptance of his rulership by the people of that generation.

Dovid was appointed by the people, so too his successors need to have the peoples acceptance of their reign.

Long Live the Seven-Year-Old King

Historically, we see that this is a necessary component. Creating a critical juncture in the line of the Davidic kings, Queen Asalya tried to wipe out every descendant of Dovid, to destroy his line and become the sole ruler of the Jews without any fear of competition. She almost achieved her diabolical desire, but there was one child, a year-old baby, Yoash, that was hidden from her murderers. Asalyas brother in law, the high priest Yehoyada, smuggled Yoash and his nursemaid into the temple, and for six years Yoash was hidden with his nursemaid in the attic area of the Holy of Holies. When Yoash was a seven-year-old child, Yehoyada made a covenant with the high officers that they would do whatever they could to restore Yoashs rule, and then they all declared together,Yechi Hamelech,”Long live the king.” Why was this necessary? Yehoyada knew that they needed to do an action that expressed their nullification to Yoashs rule. Though this seven-year-old child was innately king as the heir of Dovids line, and he is referred to in the verses as “king” because he was the king before anyone even knew of his existence, but for his kingship to be actualized, he needed the peoples nullification to him. Yechi Hamelech was the traditional expression of the peoples nullification to the kings rule. Therefore, Yehoyada and the officers proclaimed this to seven-year-old Yoash, to actualize his rulership by their formal acceptance of it. (Kings II chap 11)

Similarly, with Solomon, Dovid declared that Solomon would be his successor. Then Dovid said that the people should proclaimLong live the kingto Solomon. (Kings I 1,34) This act of acceptance of his reign by the people made Solomon the king in actuality. Dovids statement was not enough.

We see that Dovids successors need acceptance by the people, even though they are innately king by virtue of Dovids rule. In the commandment of the appointment of the king there are two dimensions. The first is the appointment the first time of G-ds king, as happened to Dovid when the elders of the Jews accepted him as king over the Jewish people. The second aspect is the future generations acceptance of the sovereignty of Dovids descendants.

The Identifying Signs of Moshiach are a Signal For Us to Accept Him

Most significantly we see this with Moshiach himself. Since the completion of his kingship is through the people accepting his authority, Rabbi Akiva proclaimed that Bar Kochva is the King Moshiach. (Talmud Yerushalmi Taanis chap 4, halacha 5) He realized Bar Kochva fulfilled the criteria for Moshiach; his proclamation impacted the process of revelation. Based on this, when we identify a leader from the line of Dovid who has all the attributes of Moshiach, we should acknowledge him as such. As the nation identifies the Davidic king and accepts his authority, this is the beginning of his revelation from a legal perspective. Thus, the Rambam describes for us the criteria by which we can identify Moshiach. Criteria are only needed before the official reign. Then we need them to determine the man who is the Moshiach, to fulfil our commandment of appointing the king. When we identify the person who fulfills all the criteria, we know the time has come for us to accept his sovereignty.

In the Yalkut Shimoni it explains that exile began with the rejection of the Davidic reign, and this will be rectified by the restoration of the Davidic reign at the beginning of the redemption. (Yalkut Shimoni II Remez 106) When the nation identifies, reveals and requests the revelation of Moshiach, fulfilling the prophecy of Hoshea, “and they will seek … Dovid their king,” this is the beginning that allows the ultimate revelation with the redemption. (Hoshea 3,5)

Concerning this verse of Hoshea, “and they will seek the Almighty their G-d and Dovid their king,” the Metzudos explains, they will seek the King Moshiach who comes from the seed of Dovid, and from him they will seek their request that he should rule them. The people will seek Moshiach and ask him to rule them. This is critical to the process of the revelation of Moshiach!

The Kabbalah of Accepting Moshiach

Beyond the legal ramifications, the historical aspect and the prophecies that express this process, the concept of the Jewish people accepting Moshiach to enable him to rule is an expression of a deep Kabbalistic truth. “There is no king without a people.” We enable G-ds sovereignty over the world by our coronation of Him. Our sages say, “G-d requests, say before me the verses of malchios, sovereignty, to coronate Me upon you.” (Rosh Hashana 16,1) Kabbalistically, as explained by Rav Chaim Vital in the Prei Eitz Chayim in the name of the Arizal, the dimension of Malchus, sovereignty, has nothing of its own, constructing it is only through the acceptance of its authority by creations. On the eve of Rosh Hashana, G-ds desire for creation retreats. Then, with the blasts of the shofar and prayers on Rosh Hashana expressing our self-nullification to Him and His reign, G-d once again accepts our coronation and rules this world.

The kingship of this world is like the kingship of Heaven.” (Brachos 58,1 ) Therefore we see this pattern by the kingdoms of Dovid and Moshiach. Both in the Talmud Sanhedrin and in the Zohar, Dovid and Moshiach are referred to asbar nafli,” miscarriage, in a fallen state. Establishing the kingdom of Moshiach from its fallen state occurs when the Jewish people accept his sovereignty, causing his rule to be revealed. (Sanhedrin 96,2; Zohar I 55,1)

Kings on this world reflect G-ds kingship. The Tzemach Tzedek, in a foundational discourse entitledThe Commandment of Appointing a Kingexplores the need for a king. Since we dont have the ability to be completely nullified to G-d, we need to connect to the person who is truly nullified. At the same time this selfless person needs to be fitting as king over the people, nullified to G-d and ruling with G-ds power over the people and connecting them to G-d. This is a human we can relate to, who is completely fused with G-d and can help us come closer. We need a human king as for us G-d is an abstract reality. When we accept this human as G-ds representative, we can nullify ourselves to him and through him connect to G-d Himself.

The human king is a representative of G-ds sovereignty. Since G-ds system is that we need to arouse His will to reign, the same is with the human king. For him as well, “There is no king without a people.” Therefore, our acceptance of the kings sovereignty is as critical for his kingship as is our acceptance of G-ds reign every Rosh Hashana.

Additionally, Moshiach is one of the fivecomprehensive soulsof all times, as explained by the Ramaz to the Zohar. (Ramaz on Zohar III 260,2) There are five levels of soul, and there is one person who is the absolute embodiment of each level. Dovidnefesh, Eliyahuruach, Mosheneshama, Adamchaya and the highest human embodying the highest aspect of soul, Moshiachyechida. Every Jew has in the core of each level of soul a spark of the comprehensive soul of that level. So, each of us has at the core of our yechida, our highest level of soul, a spark of the soul of Moshiach. (Meor Einayim end Parshas Pinchas) When a Jew accepts the sovereignty of Moshiach, nullifies and connects to him, he is gifting Moshiach with the power of his spark. Through this process, Moshiach is receiving his life as Moshiach and the ability to reveal the absoluteness of his sovereignty.

From all of the sources, we have seen one unifying message: we empower Moshiach. G-d has placed the key to redemption in our hands; He trusts us to use it. Let’s not disappoint Him. For the sake of every human on this planet, for the sake of every soul waiting above, for the sake of G-d longing for this world to be His home, accept Moshiach now.

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