Guest post by Rabbi David Katz
In the book Sor M'rah V'assah Tov [Turn from Evil and do Good] which is a commentary to the Hakdama [introduction] of the Arizal's Eitz Chayim, we find a geulah-dik answer to one of modern Judaism's biggest questions: what makes the Arizal's kabbalah so special? The answer which is given in most Torah circles is that the Arizal had the merit to bring down an entirely new revelation of kabbalah, but such claims are practically unprecedented in Jewish history.
Which begs the question even more - from what merit was the Arizal acting from?
The answer to this question is found in the book Sor M'reh V'asser Tov which had basis not only in the understanding of the Arizal but is consistent with the Vilna Gaon in Sifra D'Tzniusa - ''not WHO was the Arizal but rather WHEN was the Arizal''.
The Arizal came at an auspicious time when we view Jewish history according to 6000 years of creation. From this paradigm we can view with a clear lens who the Ramban was in terms of the Arizal and who were the Besht and the Gra also, in terms of the Arizal. Not only these mekubalim but from the Zohar onwards revelation of kabbalah is synonymous with the sixth and final day of creation.
The basis for this belief is uniform amongst the mekubalim, again from the Zohar onwards, in their grasp of the meaning of the prophecies laid down by Daniel in Sefer Daniel. When we look at the Arizal specifically we see that the Ramban closed the 5th day of creation and the revelation of kabbalah turned from the kabbalah of tohu, and the Arizal then spawned a new kabbalah of the 6th day of creation in his relevation of tikkun corresponding to Atzilus.
From then on we find the unfolding of the sixth day right on target with the year 1739 as predicted by Daniel which is the revelation of the four great rivers of kabbalah: The Ramchal, the Baal Shem Tov, the Vilna Gaon and the Rashash. This is hinted to in Daniel when it says ''time times and a half'' which is learned to be 2 x 2000s, 1 x 1000 and a 500, which is 5500 in total on the Jewish clock, which is 6am on the paradigm clock which is the year 1739. This paradigm was predicted in the Zohar when it speaks of the wellsprings being opened from Shamayim into the Aretz and we see that the physical realm fulfilled this prediction as well with the advent of the industrial revolution.
Again Daniel prophecised this when he said ''until the completion of the fragmentation of the hand of the Jewish people''. And as we in orthodox Judaism are currently are still living out the revelation of 1739, as Torah Judaism is today a reflection of the four great rivers in some shape or form.
Ultimately these predictions all go back to the Zohar.
If we are asking the question on the Arizal, we should really be asking from where did the Zohar draw its revelation and why did the Arizal insist on basing his kabbalah from the Zohar.
Now that we've come full circle back to the Arizal and we look at where he was located in Jewish time, we find that the days of creation are none other than a living map of Atzilus, and until the Arizal we had been living the pre-creation worlds all the way into the world of tohu while the Arizal was destined to be the revelation of the transition into the world of tikkun, ie partzufim.
This unfolding of the world of Atzilus, while being paralleled by mekubalim from the time of the Zohar, has continued all the way through our current status in the sixth day of creation. Today we should not be surprised as we find ourselves standing just after mincha gedola in the much antitipated years of 72 and 73.
The Vilna Gaon in Sifra d'Tzniusa made it known that the redemption kabalistically would be in the years of 72 and 73 as the kabalistic expression of the world of Atzilus going through yet another transition - this time from Tikkun to that of Geula.
Upon this completion the Vilna Gaon revealed the messianic level of revelation was what he calls the Malchus of Yesod which is none other than 5772-73.
The Arizal also hinted at this time when he made it known at the end of his kabalistic works that there would be a time when the levels of mah  and ban  would equal 97 and would unite into a new madreiga which he termed Sag . Sag is the feminine aspect which could be a hint to the great Shabbos, being that the Arizal brought down the world of tikkun which is the rectification of the breaking of the vessels which are alluded to as the eight kings of Edom, that all ruled and died. But the last king did not die and he is identified by his wife Mehitavel. What makes her interesting in the Arizal's kabbalah is that she is the anticipated level of 97 as her gematria is 97. Thus in closing the Arizal transitioned the world from tohu to tikkun he detailed the kabalistic path that would ultimately lead to the redemption.
It is our hope and desire that we extend the mission of the Arizal who was an aspect of MBY along with the reiteration of such by the Gr''a and Besht and others, that as we enter the final stage of the last 2000 years corresponding to Moshiach [both in the phsyical and spiritual realms] that we should be able to begin to identify the kabalistic reality that we are submerged in and recognise with clarity and bitachon that we are in fact entering the messianic era that is in perfect alignment and has been validated by the mekubalim and the Zohar until the present date.
May we merit revelation after revelation that will remove the slumber from our eyes and the veil of creation so that we may be able to partake in the messianic era with kavana and emunah that this is exactly where we stand today.