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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How Low We Were 200 Years Ago

The Hatam Sofer said almost exactly 200 years ago (ח' תמוז תקס"ט) on the verse in Tehillim מָגִנֵּנוּ רְאֵה אֱלֹהִים וְהַבֵּט פְּנֵי מְשִׁיחֶךָ that when Hashem sees how low the shield (i.e., the leader of the Jewish people) is, that the leader that everyone looks up to is on such a low level (the Hatam Sofer, in his great humility, referred to himself here) that it cannot get any lower, then והבט פני משיחך - Hashem will see that we have no other choice and He will have to send Mashiah.

The Satmar Rebbe notes (p. 187) that if this is how the Hatam Sofer viewed the situation then, how much more so in his day (he was speaking about 1967) that the generation is כולו חייב, and we have no other choice but Mashiah to come. (I'm not endorsing the Satmar Rebbe's entire approach to the Six Day War - I'm just paraphrasing his words here.)

And if such was true in 1967, what can we say about the leaders of today? As great as some of our leaders are, they do not compare to the leaders of the past. Hashem, how much lower can we get? I hope we've finally reached bottom.


At Wed Jul 15, 09:10:00 AM 2009, Blogger joshwaxman said...

but he said "that it cannot get any lower." isn't is strange to take that and deduce from there how much lower we have gotten?

every generation looks at their generation as so much worse than the previous. perhaps their is some truth to it, or perhaps there is a sociological trend of perception.


At Wed Jul 15, 09:36:00 AM 2009, Blogger yaak said...

There is definitely truth to it. The perception of each generation is "I cannot imagine it getting any lower than it is today". And yet, it has. Hopefully, for the last time.

At Wed Jul 15, 11:54:00 AM 2009, Anonymous Moshe Meir said...

I agree with YAAK. It says in the tochacha in Devarim that in the morning we will wish that it was yesterday, and in the evening we will wish that it was the previous morning (because things would get progressively worse).

May we get redeemed immediately!


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