Monday, July 9, 2012

Praying for Moshiach ben Yosef

Guest post from Rabbi David Katz

As the End of Days are approaching, the birthpangs of Moshiach become more and more potent. Each opportunity that we are presented with makes it more viable that it could transition to the Geula Shleima [complete Redemption]. The impediment is the gezeirah [decree] that Moshiach ben Yosef has to die.  Thus when we get close to the Messianic transition the margin of life and death becomes very faint; and for this reason the Vilna Gaon has promised us in Kol HaTor that Moshiach ben Yosef in fact WILL live as embedded in the words of Yaakov Avinu ''Od Yosef Chai''.

The Gaon has given us the tools to make that dream possible for every God-fearing Jew.  One major part of the formula is to have in mind in the Shemonei Esrei [3 times a day] that within the words ''Kisei David'' one should intently focus his mind upon the concept that Moshiach ben Yosef should not die at the hands of the wicked leader of the Erev Rav - Armilus.

The result of such Kavanah would be the prophetic doctrine of Jacob ''Od Yosef Chai'' - Yosef still lives.  The Vilna Gaon ends the idea by saying that Moshiach ben Yosef will and must live as the entire Geula depends upon him and it is contingent upon his life and which time the Geula would transfer into the domain of Moshiach ben David and creation would be on a collision course with the Geula Shelaima [complete redemption].

To put this into practice: When saying the Amidah, at the words "kisei David" [*the throne of David]  have the kavanah [thought/intention] that Moshiach ben Yosef will not die at the hands of Armilus [source Arizal and Vilna Gaon]

Return in mercy to Jerusalem Your city and dwell therein as You have promised; speedily establish therein *the throne of David Your servant, and rebuild it, soon in our days, as an everlasting edifice. Blessed are You L-rd, who rebuilds Jerusalem. Speedily cause the scion of David Your servant to flourish, and increase his power by Your salvation, for we hope for Your salvation all day. Blessed are You L-rd, who causes the power of salvation to flourish.


  1. Thanks for posting. I hope to recite the words with more kavanah from now on.

  2. Yep, Bibi, the gilgul of Shaul HaMelekh, needs help. He obviously will not survive without someone who can spit into Edom's (the Western World's) face and win. Before Mashiach ben Ephraim lives, let's have him show up in Eretz Yisrael first.

  3. B"H

    The reason Moshiach ben Yosef must live (and that the geula is dependent on him) is that Moshiach ben Yosef represents the material, physical reality, while Moshiach ben Dovid corresponds to the miraculous dimensions, as Dovid comes from Leah - Binah.

    Yosef was capable of maintain the True Godly Unity even in the realms of the kelipot of Mitzraym (America) - and hence he was capable of saying "Ani Yosef" - I am Yosef. Dovid could not feel himself, he represents the Sefira of Malchut which does not feel itself. Similarly, the Rebbe could never say "I am Moshiach" - because he was in complete nullification and could not say "I am"...

    This is the advantage of a Baal Teshuva, over even the greatest Tzadik Gamur, and even Moshe Rabeinu himself. It is therefore Yehoshua, son of Efraim son of Yosef (Efraim being a baal teshuva) who practically lead the Jewish nation into the land of Israel.

    Similarly, as my holy grandfather the Gra writes, Moshiach ben Yosef will conquer Israel, ingather the exiles, and build the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. This is redemption "beita" and Moshiach is impoverished, riding slowly on a donkey. As Moshiach wins the wars of Hashem and conquers (with the help of our prayers, Torah study, and keeping of Mitzvot with great hidur), he is revealed in great wealth, as Yosef did in Mitzraym, transforming the Nations and the World as a dwelling place for Hashem through the Jewish Nation in the Land of Israel.

    At any time in this process, Moshiach ben Dovid can (and will) be revealed miraculously, "rising from the Dead" (as several sources say), along with the Tzadikim and Holy Sages, ushering in the geulah haamitit vehashleima in a manner of "achishena".

    This is the true meaning of "beita achishena".

    The reason for this process is the need to fuse the spiritual and material (sourced in Sovev Kol Almin and Memale Kol Almin), thesis and antithesis to reveal Atzmus Ein Sof. As Rabbeinu Chaim Vital writes on the Zohar's Idra Zuta (288-B) "when Atik is revealed, He is revealed with Three Crowns - He is Found, Hidden, and Revealed..."