Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Exile and Redemption

Source: Extracted from "Letters of Fire" by Rabbi Matityahu Glazerson [Feldheim Publ]

The Gemara tells us that the sprouting of Mashiach will occur in a lowly and fallen generation, a generation that finds itself in a situation of spiritual decay. [Sanhedrin 95,96]

This "rot" רקב will precede the "morning" בקר of redemption.  From the midst of a decadent, "rotten" generation the sprout of the seed of David will come forth.  This resembles the decay of the outer portions of a seed in the earth, enabling the inner germ to sprout and rise.

The Satan, who is identical with the primeval snake, will reveal its negative power in all its force and scope before the coming of Mashiach.  However, Mashiach will destroy the snake.  According to the Kabbalah, this is shown by the fact that the words נחשׁ (nachash - snake) and משׁיח (Mashiach) have the same numerical value: 358.

For every negative force in the universe, G-d created an equal positive force.  The counterbalancing force to the snake (358) is the Mashiach (358).  One might note that the word Mashiach משׁיח is spelled with the same letters as ישׂמח - "yismach" - "he will rejoice". 

The redemption depends upon the unveiling of all the evil in the world.  This can be explained in accordance with the Kabbalistic teaching that the forces of evil trap people in their net by mixing a little truth into their misleading ways............  this teaches us that the small amount of truth that is joined with evil gives it its power of existence; this deceptive coloration is what entraps people.  In time to come, the Holy One, Blessed is He, will reveal the hidden secrets of evil and show its true content.  The following verse in Ovadyah, referring to the downfall of Edom, alludes to the deceptive guise of truth in which evil clothes itself: "How Esav will be investigated, his hidden things revealed!"

The dispersion of the Jewish people in the diaspora will come to an end with the redemption.  When we add an א to the word גולה (golah - "diaspora") it becomes גאולה (geulah - "redemption").  The brother of the Maharal, in his work Sefer Ha-Chayim, explains that the  א, whose numerical value is "one" (אחד- echad) symbolizes the unity (אחדות - achdut) of the Jewish people, which is an essential ingredient in transforming the diaspora (גולה) into redemption (גאולה).

Before the redemption, the forces of evil will reach their end, as it is written: "I shall cut off the horns of the wicked; the horns of the righteous will be exalted." [Tehillim 75:11]. The word קרן (keren) can mean both "horn" and "corner".  Benei Yissaschar states that this latter meaning is also intended by our verse, which would then read: "I shall cut off the corners of the wicked" [Benei Yissaschar 101a].  The word for "the wicked" is רשׁעים (resha'im); the "corners" of this word are ר and ם.  When these "corners" are "cut off", what remains are the letters of ישׁע  (yesha - "salvation"). The "corners" of the word צדיק (tzaddik) are the letters צ and ק.  Together they spell קץ (keitz - "end").  The remaining letters are די (dai - "enough"), which in reverse order spell יד (yad - "hand").  Thus, when the "corners" of the righteous are exalted, the world will merit to see the End (קץ) of Days, when the Creator of the world will say "Enough (די)!" to Israel's exile.  Then the hand (יד) of Divine providence over the entire Creation will be revealed to all.

The letters רם (ram - "exalted") have the numerical value of 240, which equals that of עמלק (Amalek), indicating the arrogant pride of that wicked nation. Amalek is the root of evil, strengthening the destructive powers among the nations by blocking the eyes of Divine providence from seeing the world.  Cutting off and removing this רם from the world will bring rescue and redemption.  When evil is removed from the world and Mashiach comes, the redeemed people "will find rejoicing and happiness; sadness and sighing will flee" [Yeshayahu 35:10].  This happiness which will arrive with the coming of the Redeemer is expressed in the word משׁיח "Mashiach", whose letters spell  ישׂמח   "he shall rejoice".


smb said...

240 is also safek, doubt which amaklek brings

great post, may the geula come soon and hopefully peacefully

Leah said...

Yasher koach! Very nice post. Question for you. I forgot, dowe know exactly which nationis Amalek or is it all Arabs-except Persia?(Iran)

mselbit said...