Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Erev Rav - The Evil And Corrupt Of The Holy Nation

Rabbi Yehoshua Zitron - this is Part 6 in his Moshiach series
Previous lectures can be found at Torah Anytime

-Who is the erev rav
-The history of erev rav  [the magicians from Egypt]
-The corrupt people
-The people who cause others to sin

''Before the arrival of the Moshiach there are going to be many rabbis who are from the Erev Rav'' [Divrei Chaim]


Anonymous said...

In fact, some of the most frightening words come from the Divrei Chaim, who says:
"Before the arrival of Moshiach, most of the rabbis will be from the Erev Rav,
because Israel in themselves are holy, but the Erev Rav only work for their own
benefit... wanting to rule over the public... One should only join with those who truly serve G-d and sacrifice themselves to Him, but not in order to receive any benefit." (Divrei Chaim, Parashas Vayakhel, 'Omissions')

The Vilna Gaon said, "Before the arrival of Moshiach, most of the rabbis will be from the Erev Rav... our main service and battle is to break and to remove the strength of the Erev Rav, the k'lipah of Armelius the Evil, from Israel; the Erev Rav is our greatest enemy, the one who separates the two moshiachs. The k'lipah of the Erev Rav works only through deception and roundabout ways. Therefore, the war against the Erev Rav is the most difficult and bitterest of all. We must strengthen ourselves for this war, and anyone who does not participate in the battle against the Erev Rav becomes, de facto, a partner with the k'lipah of the Erev Rav, and was better off not being born in the first place. (Kol HaTor, Chapter 2, Section 2, Letter 'bais')

Divre Simcha by Rabbi Simcha Ysachar Ber Chalberstam, zt"l) "...even if we see in them (The Erev Rav) good things like Torah and tradition and good manners and in particular they make peace with everybody and peace is the foundation of everything,...we must reject all these people even when they have good aspects in their behavior because then will be time of clarification and selection and this will be the trial and choice in those days."

...most of the Rabbanim are from the Erev Rav, and one has to fight against them with a strong war. And due to our many sins, not only that we do not fight against them but many people have a good connection with them,... If you find yourself saying of someone, "How can a Jew do (or say) something like this?" they are very likely not Jews, but 'Erev Rav.'

They [the 'erev rav'] desire to become a Rabbi in order to be proud of this and not to do it Leshem shamaim (For Hashem's sake) and the desire to rule over the Tzaddikim with the full force of his ego that everyone should be subservient to him under his rule, and this person that wants to rule is an empty pit full of serpents and scorpions and the person who is led by him and acknowledges him is actually serving idols.(Zohar Chai, Shemot 86)

The Holy Rabbi Chayim Vital zt"l warns us about the category of rabbis whose main purpose is honor and to make a name for themselves.

...and the actions of these Rabbis resemble those of the generation of the Dispersion, those who built the Tower of Babel, with its top reaching the heavens, and the main motivation for their actions is what is written there in the Torah: "Let us make a name for ourselves" as it is written in the Zohar (Bereshit 25b).... on the verse : "These are the generations of the Heavens and earth" that there are five types of Erev Rav and the third type is called Giborim (powerful ones) and on them it is written: "These are the Giborim of old, men of name" and they belong to the side of those about whom it is written: "Let us build for ourselves a city and a tower"....


Miriam said...

I wonder how we can relate this to the idea that the erev rav are the bad personality traits in all of us and hopefully, through the war with moshiach, the bad traits will go and we'll be left with beautiful and good Jewish neshamot. We have a mitzvah to destroy Amalek so when we find out who they are exactly (he says they are part of the erev rav), I suppose they will be destroyed but other Jews we hope will be saved and just do teshuva at the last moment.

I know we can't blindly trust rabbis now and that is really hard but it does make us turn to Hashem directly instead so it has a benefit. I have started to turn away from a few rabbis that seem in it for their own gain and are not seeking truth. So much is being revealed now and we need to have our eyes and ears open.

I see it like this - if Hashem spared destroying the erev rav time and time again, then in the end of time, His purpose is to keep us together (achdut) but to get rid of the bad traits and not the people. He resent the souls again and again to live in different generations in order for us to try to get our bad traits more refined. At the end, whatever evil is left will be destroyed and Hashem wants all of the Jewish souls, including the erev rav, to enjoy olam haba on some level. Those who live during moshiach's reign will have to be worthy but the time before is a purifying process which, even if some die, will enable them to be part of techiat hameitim and thus olam haba. We are quick to judge and say let them be destroyed as they always have caused us much trouble but Hashem, the true judge, only wants them refined and worthy once again as being part of the Jewish people.

I sort of have to combine every shiur I've heard or read about the erev rav and moshiach to have this make sense to me as sometimes one harsh way of looking at it is really not the way Hashem sees it as He is full of mercy and chessed as well as divine judgement in a way that we can't realize is good and just. We can't possible understand it all but we try to have love for the good parts of people and wish for the bad parts to be removed. The trick is how to avoid the pitfalls caused by them in this generation. We must turn to Hashem with requests for help and clarity and work on our own middot and the erev rav traits we have inside us.

Mia Sherwood Landau said...

When we have been taught to respect authority of human beings, such as parents, elders, teachers, doctors and rabbis, it's easy to overlook our own intuition and wisdom. I often struggle to balance the guidance I'm given directly from Hashem with the obligation to show respect to human beings. I know G-d is not a person, but sometimes I have to picture myself standing before Him and being asked about a particular choice, and watching myself squirm as I answer. If I placed human opinions and desires over my best understanding of G-d's expectations of me, well, that's the dividing line. I made a person more important than G-d. For many of us, this happens many times a day. I am not in charge of which rabbis are or are not genuine. I am only in charge of whether or not I am genuinely the person G-d has made me to be now.

mg said...

To Miriam,

Yasher koach. I couldn't of stated it better.

Anonymous said...

Since Amalek is part of the Erev Rav, and we have a mitzvah to destroy their memory, that conflicts with Miriam's idea that Hashem will turn these Amalekim into good people and give them a portion in Olam HAba. Erev RAv in general is not part of the pure Jewish PEople and will never be, and they will be destroyed in the end of days, physically and spiritually, as they do not inherit with the pure JEwish souls a portion in Olam Haba. Only righteous gentiles, the Noahides get a portion in Olam Haba.

Anonymous said...

Must definitely agree with Anonymous @1:53 am who disagrees with Miriam. The Erev Rav do not have Jewish neshamot. They are mixed in with our people. The Jewish people might sin by not knowing better and following them and being, many times, their useful idiots and, therefore, can do teshuvah. These erev rav cannot do teshuva nor can the Amaleikim do teshuvah. It is pure nonsense to believe otherwise. We are only human and have bad traits as well as good ones like all peoples, but that has nothing to do with being part of the Erev Rav. I think the Rabbi in this video explains it well and the other commenters also.

Miriam said...

I stated that Amelek would be destroyed but I am not sure if all of the other categories of erev rav will as there is no mitzvah to utterly destroy them. The Sha'arei Leshem wrote that the 974 Generations, who are also the erev rav souls will be rectified in the future. The Aitz Chaim says Moshe rabeinu was so intent on saving/rectifying them because they were actually sparks from him. The Ar"i Hakadosh and Rav Kook both wrote that the erev rav have the potential to repent. So it seems there are lots of contradictory beliefs or they all are true and we shall soon see how that can be understood when moshiach comes and reveals who is who and what is what. For now, we work on the bad traits in ourselves and worry less about everyone else being a potential erev rav which sounds like it can become a witch hunt rather than a way to look for the good in everyone.

What I can't wrap my head around is this - we have a responsibility to stand up against the erev rav (fight a war against them) but I don't know how we can exactly go about that without deciding for ourselves who these evil people are. We are told they are the leaders in our generation and ones who have positions of power. We obviously have to look for these bad traits that define them in order to identify them in our generation but with that looking we then see a little bit of those ugly traits in all of us who try to be good, simple Jews. We then start questioning all of our friends, relatives, teachers and rabbis and it takes us away from loving each other. So, there we are - back to trying to improve our own bad character flaws as that has to come first. All this going around in circles gives me quite a headache and I do hope we can have a simple answer to this issue immediately.

Rivka said...

The BESHT taught that the whole world is a mirror.

For as long as we ourselves are acting 'like Erev Rav'

- i.e. in a promiscuous way, for example,
- or by making trouble between Jews and taking people away from really believing in Hashem's hashgacha (that says that EVERYTHING is coming from Hashem, ultimately, so we don't have to get so paranoid about the 'Erev Rav'), - or by pursuing our own wish to be honored and 'right' at any price,
- or by being obsessed with making money and not paying charity etc
- or siding with the enemies of God and the Jewish people

- all clear Erev Rav traits, as set out by the Vilna Gaon and the RASHBI - then we have NO IDEA who could be permanently unfixable Erev Rav and who really isn't.

A permanently unfixable Erev Rav can't change. But so many people make so much teshuva on their death beds, for example, that we can never know about.

So who are we to judge someone else as a 'permanently unfixable Erev Rav'?

The more we work on eradicating the Erev Rav traits in our own souls, the less God will have to 'mirror' them to us from our environment.

That's why the people so obsessed with the harsh view of the Erev Rav are, ironically, so often the ones that really need to do the most work on their own 'Erev Rav' type middot.

Devorah said...

that makes a lot of sense Rivka.

Anonymous said...

Let's understand it like this:

The Jews who love HaShem and who always look to reveal His holiness are NOT the Erev Rav.

The Jews who love Torah and who realize how crucial it is to learn and abide by are NOT the Erev Rav.

The Jews who explain why its crucial for other Jews to return to Torah are NOT the Erev Rav.

The Jews who always place Torah and Judaism above any secular code are NOT the Erev Rav.

The Jews who do all of this without demanding or receiving anything in this world are NOT the Erev Rav (their portions will come in the next world).

Even if these Jews are not perfect, even if they sin and have sinned, even if they may follow secular ideologies to some extent, even if they may do things fellow Jews consider "odd", they are still Jews. But regardless, we should never call anyone the Erev Rav without legitimate evidence.

Rivka said...

Anonymous, it would really help everyone to have authentic Jewish sources for statements.

According to the RASHBI and the Vilna Gaon, there are five categories of Erev Rav, and they also do things like:

> bully other people (make themselves leaders by force)
> act promiscuously
> get obsessed with 'making a name for themselves'
> cause an awful lot of trouble and machloket between Jews by speaking badly of their fellow Jews and judging them very harshly in a public forum (this category is usually referred to as the 'Amalek' category, and Rebbe Nachman taught that all other categories of the Erev Rav CAN be rectified, except this one...)

the Gemara also states that a lack of compassion shows that someone's 'feet didn't stand at Sinai' - i.e. that they are rooted in the Erev Rav, somehow.

Someone could do all of the things you list - and still lack compassion for their fellow Jew, speak harshly about them, and stir up lots of trouble between different Jews and different groups of Jews - which is the quintessential 'Erev Rav / Amalek' trait.

the whole subject cannot be boiled down to oversimplistic, black and white formulas.

Again, it comes down to what God wants from US.

We can certainly surmise that He wants US to avoid acting like Erev Rav, and to stay away from people who will encourage us to think and act like 'Erev Rav'.

Beyond that, there is really nothing more useful to say.

Lastly, what is the source for saying 'the Erev Rav can't be fixed'? Apart from Rebbe Nachman's comment about the lashon hara speaking / machloket -stirring variety of 'Erev Rav', I've never seen any other source say this.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you, it's not black and white, and the Erev Rav are those who behave like outright narcissists who bully and degrade other Jews while demanding credit. That's why I tried to make the point that authentic Jews follow mitzvot for HaShem and their fellow Jews alone, regardless as to whether or not they receive any material or status benefits in this world.

The other factor in the discussion of the Erev Rav in which I've never gotten a clear answer is, are these people "genetically" Jews who just lack a Jewish neshama, or are they "genetically" Gentiles who mingled in with the Jews? If the latter were the case, how would it apply to very righteous Jews who are in the same family lineage as those who meet the criteria for the Erev Rave?