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Tuesday
Nov152016

THE FINAL TRIBULATION

How can we say that Moshiach has already been revealed if the world remains as it is? In truth, the revelation of Moshiach does not mean that the Redemption has begun. The advent of Moshiach and the Redemption itself are in fact two separate – though closely related – stages. After being revealed initially, Moshiach will be concealed for a short time and then be revealed again to lead us to the Redemption. * Chapter Fourteen of Rabbi Shloma Majeski’s Likkutei Mekoros. (Underlined text is the compiler’s emphasis)

Translated by Boruch Merkur

Another interpretation: “Domeh dodi ltzviMy beloved resembles a gazelle”: Kneses Yisroel says to the Alm-ghty: You say to us, “Deiyu, deiyu [an exclamation of love and longing, playing on the worddodi”]. You [G-d] are first to sigh in yearning to us.”

“My beloved resembles a gazelle”: Just as a deer appears, withdraws and takes cover [in the forest], appears, withdraws and takes cover, so too [Moshe Rabbeinu] the first redeemer of the Jewish people appears and is concealed and then reappears.

How long does he [i.e., the first redeemer] remain hidden from them? Rebbi Tanchuma said: Three months.

[Proof that Moshe and Aharon were first not readily visible to the Jewish people is] as it is written (Shmos 5:20). “They [a delegation of Jews ––Rashi] met Moshe and Aharon.” [That is, from “met” we infer that the meeting was uncommon or by chance. Prior to that meeting, Moshe and Aharon had not been available to the Jewish public, who lived in the Goshen region. Moshe had been in Midyan, and Aharon – being preeminent and having connections with the king – was in Mitzrayim, Pharaoh’s royal city. Thus it states in Shmos Rabba: Moshe came from Midyan and Aharon came from Mitzrayim, for they had not approached the Jewish people until then. ––Eitz Yosef. See Anaf Yosef to explain how this verse alludes to thirty days.]

Yehudi son of Rabbi said: [His concealment was] intermittent [i.e., Moshe was concealed from them on several occasions, meaning several times or instances ––Eitz Yosef].

[Just as the first redeemer appears and disappears in this manner] so does the final redeemer [Moshiach] reveal himself to the Jewish people and then conceals himself from them [in order to confuse Gog and his military forces ––Eitz Yosef in the name of Rabbeinu Bechayei; alternatively, it is to test the faith of the Jewish people – see below].

How long is Moshiach concealed from them? Forty-five days, as it is written, “From the time the daily sacrifice was removed and the silent abomination placed is one thousand, two hundred, and ninety” (Daniel 12:11), and as it is written, “Fortunate is he who waits and reaches days of one thousand, three hundred, and thirty-five” (Daniel 12:12) [the difference between the two counts being forty-five days].

What takes place during this time? Rebbi Yochanan ben K’tzarta said in the name of Rebbi Yona: These forty-five days when he is concealed from them, the Jewish people pluck meluchim [a kind of herb], as it is written: “(Because of want and because of hunger, they sat in solitude; they would flee to desolation, to the darkness of waste and desolation.) They pluck salt-wort on shrubs, and the roots of juniper bushes were their fare” (Iyov 30: (3 and) 4). [That is, during the time Moshiach is concealed, the Jewish people flee to the desert, where they will “pluck salt-wort on shrubs [in hunger]” ––commentary of Rabbi Zev Wolf Einhorn of Horodna.]

And where does Moshiach take them? [That is, when the redeemer reveals himself to the Jewish people, he shall take them towards the desert [as the Midrash goes on to say]. He will, however, then disappear from them in order to test their faith. The believers will remain there and subsist off “the roots of juniper bushes,” for there will be no other food, whereas those who reject Moshiach will embrace the Gentiles and turn away from him. Thereafter, Moshiach will reveal himself to the Jewish people a second time and bring down mahn for those who believe in him. –Yaffe Kol] One Sage says that he takes them to Midbar Yehuda and another says to Midbar Sichon V’Og. The one who said Midbar Yehuda derives this from the verse, “I will still cause you to dwell in tents as in the days of your festival” (Hosheia 12:10). And the one who said Midbar Sichon V’Og derives it from, “Behold I seduce her in the wilderness and I have spoken unto her heart, and I have given to her its vineyard” (Ibid 2:16-17).

Whoever believes in Moshiach, and follows him, and awaits him shall live. But whoever does not believe in him and instead goes to the gentile nations, will ultimately be put to death by them.

Rebbi Yitzchok bar Maryon said: At the end of the forty-five days, he will reveal himself to the Jewish people and bring down mahn for them. Indeed, there is nothing new under the sun. [Just as it was in their exodus from Egypt, so it will be now. There is nothing new to be surprised about ––Yaffe Kol.]

(From Midrash Rabba Shir HaShirim on verse 2:9)

 

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