The following is my translation of Rav Shmuel Eliyahu's essay in the Kol Tzofayich newsletter for Beha'alotecha 5772. Many things that he says have been mentioned on my blog before and in the words of Rav Fish, but it's nice to have it in one place. Plus, there are many things that I have not seen before. I will try to translate this to the best of my ability.
The obligation to contemplate the Redemption
The Hafetz Hayim wrote
that whoever does not contemplate the process of the Redemption is similar to a man who received the Torah from Sinai but did not learn it:
Any spiritual matter - its value cannot be recognized and its taste cannot be felt - except to one who contemplates it. For example, knowledge of Torah for those who learn and those who busy themselves with it. Exactly like this will be the coming of Mashiah which is the revelation of the Shechina in the entire world, and whoever does not contemplate the coming of Mashiah will not feel it at all.
Similarly wrote Rav Elchanan Wasserman HY"D (Kovetz Ma'amarim Ve'Igrot, vol. 1, p. 329):
One must openly publicize to all that we are currently in the period of Ikveta Dimshiha - this matter is clear as the sun. And I am making that which has entered my mind known for many days because it is very fitting to gather from the holy writings and words of Raza"l all the writings and essays that deal with our period and to explain the meanings of the matters... to show how the matters have been fulfilled and are being fulfilled right before our eyes.
And really, this contemplation gives great power toward service of Hashem, for prayer, and for love of Hashem Yitbarach.
Our teacher and rabbi Abba [YY - Rav Mordechai Eliyahu] ZTVK"L would say about Ribbi Yitzhak Alfieh ZTVK"L that he was one of the 36 hidden Tzaddikim. In the year 5688, Rav Alfieh wrote an extremely wonderful essay that is called by the name "Sod HaGeula". In it, he reveals a hidden secret about the date of the Redemption. Ribbi Yitzhak Alfieh ZTVK"L begins his words with the words (Kuntras Hayehieli 96
I saw it necessary to inform when Hashem will grace the remnant of the nation of His pasture, Israel whom He chose for Himself for His inheritance, and will sanctify His name in public, to serve Him as one portion and the impure spirit, He will remove from the land, and His kingdom will be revealed and seen - may His name be blessed. And the LORD shall be King over all the earth; in that day shall the LORD be One, and His name one. For Hashem is G-d in the heavens above and on the earth below - there is no other
And we will bring quotes from his words soon.
Secrets of Hashem are to those who fear Him - from the six days of Creation
The foundation of his words are brought in the gemara in Mesechet Sanhedrin (97a)
. The gemara says there:
Just as the Shemita year causes the land to lay fallow one year ever seven years, similarly, the world lays fallow 1000 years out of 7000 years, as it says "and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day." And it says "A Psalm, a Song. For the sabbath day." - the day that is all Sabbath. And it says "For a thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past". It was learned in the house of Eliyahu: the world has 6000 years - 2000 of nothingness, 2000 of Torah, and 2000 of the days of Mashiah, but in our numerous sins, whatever has already passed has already passed.
Today, we are currently in the year 5772, which is after the middle of the sixth day. The implication of this date is great and its source is in the words of the Rishonim, this Zohar, and the holy Ar"i.
Such wrote the Ramban (Bereishit 2:3)
that the six days of Creation is a lesson for all the days of the world:
Behold, in the first 2 days, the world was all water and nothing was completed. They hint to the first 2000 years, wherein no one called in Hashem's name, and such is what Haza"l said: 2000 years of nothingness. ... On the sixth day in the morning, animals were created, as it says "Let the earth bring forth the living creature after its kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after its kind." Afterwards, man was created in G-d's image. This is the sixth millennium because in the beginning, the animals - i.e. the kingdoms that don't know Hashem - will rule, and then, the Redeemer will come. He is Mashiah Ben David, who was made in the image of G-d.
The Ramban lived close to the beginning of sixth millennium. In his days were the Crusader campaigns and expulsion of Jews. He saw with the rise of Christianity and its expulsions - the creation of animals of prey who were created before the creation of man. He thought
"that in the beginning of the sixth millennium, an awesome and very powerful ruling kingdom will be renewed - and will be closer to the truth than the earlier ones." And this is Christianity which was closer to Judaism, but still murderous idolatry remained.
The responsa of the Hatam Sofer (vol. 6, Likutim - Siman 61
) [YY - see this post
] wrote about this Ramban that his main calculation is correct, but "from his great strength and desire for the coming of Mashiah, he brought his calculation closer to be close to his time." This is because the Ramban calculated the beginning of the sixth millennium as the beginning of the sixth day, but really, the day follows the night, as it says
"And there was evening and there was morning." It comes out that the first 500 years of the sixth millennium have the aspect of the night of the sixth day of Creation, and only afterwards were the animals created. If so, everything the Ramban said was correct, but it starts after the year 550 in the sixth millennium.
The calculation that the Ramban and the Hatam Sofer are revealing to us is found in the holy Zohar and in the words of the Ariza"l and many of the Gedolim of Israel bring it down - among them, the holy Or Hahayim, the Gr"a, and more. And it is extremely important, as we will see soon.
The Aliya of Rav Yosef Karo and the Ari - After midnight of the sixth millennium
If we look at the sixth millennium as one long day, close to the beginning, we find that the Rambam and the Ramban made Aliya as individuals to the Land of Israel. After them, one can see the Golden Age of Tzefat with Maran Ribbi Yosef Karo, who was born in the year 5248 and died in the year 5335, and also the Ariza"l. These years fit will for the period of midnight of the sixth day and afterward.
Their actions were the beginning of the awakening for Redemption through a complete community. Ribbi Shelomo Alkabetz ZYA"A, the author of the Lecha Dodi hymn, told the story of the Tikkun Leil Shavuot that changed the life of Ribbi Yosef Karo, and in its wake, it appears, also our lives. Following that, the Shulhan Aruch was written to unify Israel. Ribbi Yosef Karo merited to have a kind of prophecy or Ru'ah Hakodesh. There, it was told to him to make Aliya to the Land of Israel. "For he already said (Shir Hashirim 2:12
) 'the time of singing is come' and not all times are equal." This was the time for the redemption of Israel.
At that event, it was said to him that since the time of the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash, there was never a revelation of the Shechina such as this. "And he said: Behold, Did ever a people hear the voice of God speaking
like you? ask thy father, and he will declare unto thee, thine elders, and they will tell thee
if for many hundreds of years, they heard or saw something like this. And you have merited."
Ribbi Shelomo Alkabetz wrote the testimony about this in a letter that was sent to various communities on condition that they will walk in their footsteps. The holy Shela"h brings down the content of the letter in his book "Shenei Luhot Haberit". He himself made Aliya to the Land of Israel in the wake of that amazing letter of Ribbi Shelomo Alkabetz ZYA"A.
In the generation of Ribbi Yosef Karo, the following made Aliya with him: the holy Alshich, the Ramak, the Mabit, Ribbi Shelomo Halevi Alkabetz, and afterwards also the Ar"i and his students. Together, they established a community in the Land of Israel - the first since the destruction of the second Beit Hamikdash. After many years, the Shela"h made Aliya from Europe to the Land of Israel. After him, complete communities of Hasidim and students of the Gr"a, the holy Or Hahayim and his students, Ribbi Hayim Abulafia and his community made Aliya. Together, they established the four hold cities: Tzefat, Teveria, Yerushalayim, and Hevron - the only four cities in the Land of Israel where Jewish communities lived in those days.
From the inner meanings of the Torah to the inner meanings of the Redemption
In parallel to the Aliya of Ribbi Yosef Karo, his rabbis, peers, and students to the Land of Israel, also the holy Ar"i made Aliya from Egypt to Tzefat and joined the community of Rabbi Yosef Karo. The Hid"a brings down in the name of the Ariza"l that from the year 5330, the Ariza"l started to reveal the secrets of the Torah, and this revelation was the beginning of the Geula of Be'itah, as the inner meanings of the Redemption is a revelation of the inner meanings of the Torah, which started in this year, and all other processes are a completion of what was started there (Kikar La'aden on Avot deRibbi Natan, ch. 21, p. 245
. And in the book Nehora deYosef in essay 84, it is brought down that from the year of Ribbi Shimon bar Yohai's passing in 3959 until the birth of the Ariza"l in the year 5294 was an interval of 1335 years. And it is hinted to in the Keitz of Daniel
"Happy is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thou thy way till the end be; and thou shalt rest, and shalt stand up to thy lot, at the end of the days." And we also find in the Sha'ar Hapesukim by the Ariza"l in Iyov a calcuation of 1335 years that concludes in the year 5335. "Happy is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. You should know that the Keitz of the Redemption that is hinted to here in Daniel is in the year 5335.")
And in the book Leshem Shevo Ve'ahlama to the great Kabbalist Ribbi Shelomo Elyashiv ZYA"A (Igulim Vayosher Anaf 8 Ot 7
), he explained that from the generation of the Ariza"l and on, in the inner parts of the worlds, began the blooming of the light of rectification of the days of Mashiah, and it gets closer every day, but only in the inner parts of the worlds. Therefore, even though the outer parts on the surface is currently very bad and each day is more accursed than the previous one, nevertheless, the inner parts are continuously being rectified, and down here, novelties of Torah in its most hidden secrets are constantly being revealed (see all this in the words of Rav Yekutiel Fish in his composition on the time of the Redemption. It can be retrieved via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The last generation for exile, the first generation for Redemption
The year 5500 - sunrise of the sixth millennium
Every 41[.6666] years that pass in the sixth millennium correspond to an hour in the sixth day. The Or Hahayim (Bemidbar 26:19)
writes about the year 5500 that it is the end of the night of the sixth day and the beginning of sixth day. "And we hope that it is the end of our exile and all the listed promises will be fulfilled and the sparks of the revelation of the Redemption will start at the beginning of the coming 500 years for peace." This is similarly brought down in the Or Hahayim on Vayikra 6:2
. It is similarly brought down in the book "Kol Hator"
which is attributed to the Gr"a [YY - or his student] on the verse (Tehilim 102:19
) "This shall be written for the generation to come" - that from the year 5500 until the year 5750, it has the name "Last generation" and afterwards is called the "Generation of the Redemption". (And see what the Lubavitcher Rebbe ZYA"A said many times that the period of his life is the last generation of the exile and the first generation of Redemption.)
This is what pushed - in the year 5500 - the holy Or Hahayim, who made Aliya to the Land of Israel in the year 5501. Also the Ramha"l made Aliya and died in the year 5507 in the Land of Israel. In that period, Ribbi Hayim Abulafia made Aliya to the Land and established the Jewish settlement in Teveria.
In this period, the Baal Shem Tov and the Gr"a lived and acted. Each one of them acted in his own path to awaken the light of Redemption. The Baal Shem Tov did so through the revelation, explanation, and distribution of the words of the Ariza"l in the Torah of Hasidut for [as the Zohar writes about itself] "with this, they will go out of the exile with mercy". In one of the greatest revelations he had, it was said [to him] that "when your springs overflow outside", the King Mashiah will be revealed. Both of them [the Baal Shem Tov and the Gr"a] tried to make Aliya to the Land of Israel, but were unsuccessful. The students of the Baal Shem Tov made Aliya with real self-sacrifice to the four holy cities, and they were the basis of all the settlement that came after it in the Land of Israel with the students of the Gr"a.
In the book Kol Hator, it is brought down that in the year 5500 began the spirit of G-d, the spirit of Mashiah, to visit the Ruah Hakodesh of the great genius Ribbi Eliyah, who is known by his nickname - the Gr"a. After he was unsuccessful to make Aliya to the Land of Israel, he sent his students Ribbi Menachm Mendel of Shklov, Ribbi Sa'adia of Shklov, and Ribbi Yisrael of Shklov in 3 separate waves of Aliya, and they were the basis of the Old Yishuv in the Land of Israel.
Ikveta Dimshiha - the wellsprings of wisdom opened in 5600 - the second hour of the sixth day
The holy Zohar (Vayera 117a
And in the sixth century of the sixth millennium, the gates of wisdom above and the wellsprings of wisdom below will open, and the world will be rectified in the seventh - like a man who prepares on Friday when the sun starts to set to go into Shabbat, and the sign is "In the six hundredth year of Noah's life ... all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened". And Kenesset Yisrael will rise from the dust and HKB"H will remember it.
This is brought down in the book "Aderet Eliyahu" by the Gr"a (Ha'azinu with the commentary of the Be'er Yitzhak [YY - I couldn't find the source. Perhaps here
?]) on the words of the Zohar that the period of Ikveta Dimshiha starts at the year 5600.
And really, it's amazing to see how all the great inventions of the world began from the year 5600: the industrial uses of coal and oil, electricity and all the technology that depends on it, the paving of roads and the invention of cars, motors and airplanes - all this started around the year 5600. All this development which is called the "Industrial Revolution" brought the world out of its ignorance and changed its life. All of it is a preparation for the days of Mashiah, which as is known, will change the face of all of humanity and not just the nation of Israel.
The year of the beginning of the Holocaust - animals of prey were created - The year 5700
Around the year 5700 was the terrible Holocaust. In the book "Toldot Yaakov Yosef" Parshat Ki Tisa
, it appears that the year 5701 is a year of the Keitz. Similarly, it is brought down in the book Sha'arei Rahamim (Siman 377) by the Gaon Rav Hayim Sha'ul Dwek ZT"L, who was one of the great Kabbalists in the previous generation. Something similar to this is brought down also in the book "Beit Lehem Yehuda" (on Saba deMishpatim) by the Gaon Rav Yehuda Fataya ZT"L.
It is similarly brought down in the name of the Rosh Yeshiva of Mir the Gaon Rav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel ZT"L in the introduction of the book Tomer Devorah that was printed in Shanghai in the year 5705 - that in the year 5700, when the Holocaust broke out, the period of a Be'itah Redemption began. Similar to this is brought down in the name of the Klausenberger Rebbe ZT"L (Betzila deMehemnuta - Tzanz - Emor, 5770), and he writes that the reason for this matter is because really the Redemption should have started in the year 5600, and already in the year 5575 during the Napoleanic Wars, the preparation for the coming of Mashiah should have started. And he wrote on this that:
This matter is as clear as the sun to me, and I am not saying this as a speculation - rather from my knowledge - that this is really true: that then was an auspicious time to be the time of "the remembering", but the time of "the remembering" was delayed another 100 years until the time of 5700.
He also wrote:
I found an old book which is a commentary on Daniel which was authored by Ribbi Yosef ibn Yihya, among those expelled from Spain, and his father was the author of "Shalshelet Hakabala". He writes there in the explanation of the calculation that is hinted to in the verse "And he said unto me: 'Unto two thousand and three hundred evenings and mornings; then shall the sanctuary be victorious,'" that at approximately the end of 5700 years since Creation - maybe a little earlier and maybe a little later - our Keitz will come with Hashem's help. I already pointed out at the time to the Munkatcher Rebbe ZTVK"L that this is unusual to write a Keitz for a date so many years away from his time. This is because generally, all those who calculated Kitzim would normally calculate the Keitz in a way that it will be close to their time and their generation, as we see in Rashi's commentary on Daniel. Behold, this was an extremely clear prediction, so what forced him to write "maybe a little later"? It can only be that Hashem's spirit spoke within him and put the words on his tongue - that it was clear to him that the coming of Mashiah would not come before the year 5700, but only afterwards.
First, Hashem will return and afterwards, He will gather
In connection with this, we need to bring the amazing words of the Gaon Rav Yehonatan Eibeshitz ZT"L in his book "Tiferet Yehonatan" (Parshat Nitzavim)
[see also this post
] that in Ikveta Dimshiha, the Shechina will return to the Land of Israel before the people of Israel, and he derives this out of the verse
"and will return and gather thee" - that first Hashem will return and then He will gather. And because of this, there will not be anyone to protect the Jews in the Diaspora, and troubles will come upon them - Hashem should have mercy - which is why because of them, Haza"l said "Let Mashiah come, but let me not see it".
And here are his words:
"And will return and gather thee from all the peoples" - this is the matter of the birthpangs of Mashiah which will occur close to the Redemption so much so that many wise men of Israel said "Let Mashiah come, but let me not see it." And the reason is because the Shechina is with us in exile - a mother over her children - to guard us, but at the time of the Redemption, the Shechina will not return with us at one time. Rather, the Shechina will return earlier to the Land of Israel and afterwards, we will return there. If so, while we are in exile and Hashem is not among us, there will be harsh troubles because there is no One to protect. And this is the statement of the verse, "And will return" because first, Hashem will return to the Land of Israel, and afterwards, "and gather thee", but it will not be at the same time.
And really, we see in the Land of Israel amazing miracles that cannot be believed, but at the same time, we see as if the Divine Providence has been removed from the Nation of Israel who dwells in the exile. Once, it was during the terrible Holocaust, and afterwards, with the terrible assimilation that consumes the Jewish people who dwell in the exile.