Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Time of the Redemption: Hidden or Revealed

"The hidden things belong to the Lord, our God, but the revealed things apply to us and to our children forever: that we must fulfill all the words of this Torah." [Nitzavim 29:28]

[Written by Rabbi Yisrael Bronstein]

In Maseches Sanhedrin[98a], R'Yehoshua ben Levi poses a question regarding a verse dealing with the eventual redemption of the Jewish people. The verse sates, Ï am Hashem, in its time I will hasten it" [Yeshayahu 60:22]

Asks R'Yehoshua ben Levi: If the redemption will ultimately occur "in its time", then how can Hashem promise the Jewish people "I will hasten it"?

The answer, says the Gemara, is as follows: If the Jewish people will carry out the will of Hashem, then the redemption will, in fact, be hastened.  But if not, then the redemption will occur at its assigned time.

Chazal's words, said the Kesav Sofer [R'Avraham Shmuel Binyamin Sofer, son of the Chasam Sofer] are alluded to in the above mentioned verse: "The hidden are for Hashem, our G-d" - if the Jewish people will not perform the will of Hashem, then the redemption will come at a fixed date, one that is ultimately hidden from us and known only to Hashem.  However, "the revealed are our and our children's [responsibility]" - if the Jews choose to follow the will of Hashem, then the redemption will arrive immediately.

The time of the redemption, therefore, can be revealed and known to the Jewish people, for it is something that can be determined by their actions.

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