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Weekly Chizuk

Parashas Shmos

Prepare for Moshiach

(Excerpt from a shiur by Rav Moshe Wolfson.) There are many predictions going around about the coming of the Moshiach. However, we must know that nobody knows when Moshiach will come. There are many calculations in the holy seforim about certain years. But that only indicates a year that is auspicious for the Moshiach to come. It is a time when in Shomayim they make a decision whether or not to send out the Moshiach. But it can be spoiled. As has happened many times before. The Chasam Sofer is quoted in his writings as saying that the generation before him was a generation of knowledge. It had many tzaddikim and gedolim: Rav Yonason Eybeshitz, Rav Yaakov Emden, the Pnei Yehoshua, the Nodah Beyehudah, etc. There were so many great Torah personalities in that generation and it was all set for the Moshiach to come. Then the machlokes between Rav Yaakov Emden and Rav Yonason Eybeschitz broke out. Their machlokes was l'shem shomayim. But the talmidim jumped on the band wagon of machlokes. It sunk to loshon ho-ra and the dishonoring of talmidei chachomim. Each side disgraced the gedolim of the other side. And that, the Chasam Sofer wrote, pushed away Moshiach. (Hashem should help that we do not go through such a matter. Unfortunately, we do have machlokes and it is very apt to spoil our chances of having the Moshiach come.)

We are experiencing the "Ikvese d'Mashicha" the footsteps of the Moshiach. The Moshiach will come very soon. Many tzaddikim have already said this. The Chofetz Chaim said that we are so close that we can already see the light at the end of the tunnel. His talmid Rav Elchonon Wasserman wrote a little pamphlet called "Ikvese d'Mashicha". We are in the period called the "footsteps" of the Moshiach.

The Final War

Adapted from Sha'al Avicha Vayagedcha by Rav Sholom Schwadron, v. II p. 67 and other sources.

Rav Yechezkel Levenstein, zt"l, the mashgiach of Ponevezh, used to give a vaad to the avreichim of his kolel. Once he related that he heard from the Rosh Yeshiva Rav Aharon Kotler, zt"l, that he had a tradition from the Chofetz Chaim. It was during the "Great War" (World War I) and many people came to the Chofetz Chaim to ask if this was Milchemas Gog and Magog. The holy Chofetz Chaim answered, no. After this war there will be some years of quiet, and then another great war (World War II) which will make the first war look like a child's game. (Remember, he said this during WW I.)

Afterwards would be another break, and then a third war, which would make the second war look like a game!

This was like an atom bomb. Fear and panic gripped the avreichim. Reb Sholom had the nerve to ask the mashgiach, "Rebbe, please forgive me for asking, but why do we have to hear such disturbing things? We should daven that now, after the Second World War the harsh decree should be abolished and should not happen!"

The mashgiach became enflamed like a pillar of fire. "You didn't understand anything I said or the intentions of the Chofetz Chaim in relating this! The Chofetz Chaim mainly meant that there would be a darkness of emunah. The darkness in emunah that occurred during World War I was like a game compared to the darkness in emunah during WW II. But when we get to WW III everything that came before would look like a child's game, and we are now in the midst of this war! In the events of hester panim during these wars they shoot some bullets. But that isn't the real battle.

So what should we do? The mashgiach answered, that a real ben Torah has nothing to worry about. What is a real ben Torah? Someone who is totally separated from the goyim. We find that in Mitzrayim a Jew and a Mitzri could drink from the same cup and the Mitzri drank blood while the Jew drank water. The plagues of war have no power over someone separated from the goyim.

Because of this, the mashgiach gave a special mussar shmuez. How can a ben Torah ask such questions? A ben Torah who is totally separated from the goyim is 100% guaranteed that he will be spared. There's no room for any questions, no worry, no doubts. "And I have separated you from the nations to be mine." But if not, then you are handed over to the enemies (Yalkut Shimoni 626). If we have nothing in common with the goyim, then we are in Hakadosh Baruch Hu's possession. The goyim have no control over us at all. You're on a different planet!

Rav Chatzkel continued: I have a tradition from Rav Yehoshua Leib Diskin, zt"l, that in the final war before the coming of the moshiach, all ehrlicher yidden will be saved. What is an ehrlicher yid? Separate from the goyim. He doesn't have to be a great tzaddik, a "lamed vav-niker". All he has to do is to have nothing to do with the habits of the nations. He has nothing to do with their culture, with their newspapers, their music, their books. He is divorced from them. Then Hakadosh Baruch Hu says, "You are mine!" He is in a different sphere and the goyim have no influence over him.

How did the Yidden become enslaved in Egypt? Chazal tell us that Pharaoh took a brick and went out to work. Out of respect for the king Klal Yisroel went out with him and started working, even though there was absolutely no coercion. This was a terrible downfall which led to their enslavement. The basic premise of the holy Avos was to be different than the goyim. We say in havdala, "Who separates between Yisroel and the nations." This was the avodah of the Avos, to have absolutely no connection to evil, nothing to do with the 70 nations. Why are you joining them when they go out to work? What do you have to do with them? The king Pharaoh is still a goy. He just happens to have a crown on his head. What's the rush?" But they didn't listen and with that they became enslaved to Pharaoh.

The tribe of Levy, however, didn't join Pharaoh, they didn't follow this goy. Therefore Pharaoh had no control over them. The other 11 tribes were under Egyptian control, a terrible and cruel slavery. But this never touched the tribe of Levy! That is what we see from Chazal: as much as we were separate from the goyim, as much as we didn't copy them, they had no power over us.

Wishing everyone a Gut Shabbos!

________________________________________
Rabbi Eliezer Parkoff
4 Panim Meirot, Jerusalem 94423 Israel
Tel: 732-858-1257
Rabbi Parkoff is author of "Chizuk!" and "Trust Me!" (Feldheim Publishers), and "Mission Possible!" (Israel Book Shop Lakewood).
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