23

I've talked to various Chabad Rabbis, and I can say for certain that at least 1 definitely believes that the Rebbe could be Moshiach.

In trying to prove this, he cites Rambam's Mishneh Torah (Melachim Umilchamos, chapter 11, halachah 4):

ד: וְאִם יַעֲמֹד מֶלֶךְ מִבֵּית דָּוִד הוֹגֶה בַּתּוֹרָה וְעוֹסֵק בְּמִצְוֹת כְּדָוִד אָבִיו. כְּפִי תּוֹרָה שֶׁבִּכְתָב וְשֶׁבְּעַל פֶּה. וְיָכֹף כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵילֵךְ בָּהּ וּלְחַזֵּק בִּדְקָהּ. וְיִלָּחֵם מִלְחֲמוֹת ה'. הֲרֵי זֶה בְּחֶזְקַת שֶׁהוּא מָשִׁיחַ. אִם עָשָׂה וְהִצְלִיחַ וּבָנָה מִקְדָּשׁ בִּמְקוֹמוֹ וְקִבֵּץ נִדְחֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הֲרֵי זֶה מָשִׁיחַ בְּוַדַּאי. וִיתַקֵּן אֶת הָעוֹלָם כֻּלּוֹ לַעֲבֹד אֶת ה' בְּיַחַד שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר כִּי אָז אֶהְפֹּךְ אֶל עַמִּים שָׂפָה בְרוּרָה לִקְרֹא כֻלָּם בְּשֵׁם ה' וּלְעָבְדוֹ שְׁכֶם אֶחָד: ‏

"If a king will arise from the House of David who diligently contemplates the Torah and observes its mitzvot as prescribed by the Written Law and the Oral Law as David, his ancestor, will compel all of Israel to walk in (the way of the Torah) and rectify the breaches in its observance, and fight the wars of God, we may, with assurance, consider him Mashiach.

If he succeeds in the above, builds the Temple in its place, and gathers the dispersed of Israel, he is definitely the Mashiach."

The Rabbi I spoke with asserts that the Rebbe definitely fit into the first category mentioned by the Rambam, the "assumed Mashiach", as he was very well versed in the entire Torah, and encouraged many to properly observe Judaism. In this point I find no discrepancy with what the Rabbi is saying. It's this next point which I'm having trouble with.

This Rabbi also goes on to say that the Rebbe fits into the category of the definite Mashiach, as outlined by the Rambam. "He builds the Temple in its place" -- this refers to 770 ("in its place" need not refer to Jerusalem, but rather to "the Mashiach"'s place, explains the Rabbi). "He gathers the dispersed of Israel" -- this refers to when the Rebbe exported a large number of Jews from the Soviet Union into the land of Israel. The Rabbi explained this all to me.

Why I'm having with this is the Rambam's next clause:

ט: ואם לא הצליח עד כה, או נהרג--בידוע שאינו זה שהבטיחה עליו תורה, והרי הוא ככל מלכי בית דויד השלמים הכשרים שמתו. ולא העמידו הקדוש ברוך הוא אלא לנסות בו רבים, שנאמר "ווּמִן הַמַּשְׂכִּילִים יִכָּשְׁלוּ לִצְרוֹף בָּהֶם וּלְבָרֵר וְלַלְבֵּן עַד עֵת קֵץ כִּי עוֹד לַמּוֹעֵד" (ראה דניאל יא,לה).‏

"If he did not succeed to this degree or was killed, he surely is not the redeemer promised by the Torah. Rather, he should be considered as all the other proper and complete kings of the Davidic dynasty who died."

The Rebbe is no longer alive. This appears to contradict what the Rambam stated just above. However, the Rabbi explains to me that Rambam only specifies "...or was killed," whereas the Rebbe died of natural means (actually, he never directly said that the Rebbe died). Furthermore, Rambam then says he is to "...be considered as all the other proper and complete kings... WHO DIED". To be, this seems to clearly imply that the Rambam isn't simply referring to the Mashiach as someone who wasn't killed, but to someone who hasn't yet died.

All this is one way to look at the Rambam's words, but to me it seems very clear that the Rambam is referring to someone who actually builds the third Beis Hamikdash in Jerusalem, gathers the people of Israel from all over the Earth, and to someone who is actually alive!

How can this belief that the Rebbe is / has the potential to be Mashiach at all be properly justified, considering the clear words of the Rambam? (No offense intended, I just want to know).

EDIT

All of your answers are great, but the best is the one I heard from my real-life Rabbi, "Let moshiach come and we'll find out!"

15
  • 3
    @DannySchoemann Yes, it was. I found a more complete link.
    – Scimonster
    May 20 '15 at 8:11
  • 2
    Interestingly I was just reading Gershom Scholems book Sabbetai Sevi and when describing the response of the believers upon hearing of the death of their Messiah was to quote almost all of the same proofs that lubavitchers do to prove that he was not really dead/transposed/coming back/etc. Very scary May 20 '15 at 13:38
  • 2
    Cont. He was referring to messianic fantasies simmering in a hasidic circle in Israel, the adherents of that group had fomented a political feud along hasidic-mithnagdic lines - and my father felt that the eventual publication of these chapters would help the general hasidic public shake off the messianics should their fantasy get out of hand. As it turned out, my father's concerns were well founded: a large segment of that hasidic cult did declare its leader to be the Messiah.
    – user6591
    May 20 '15 at 13:55
  • 4
    There are several inconsistencies in the messianic reading. He interprets מִקְדָּשׁ as broadly as possible, yet interprets שמתו as narrowly as possible. He interprets כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל as... actually he pretends the word כל doesn't exist!
    – Ephraim
    May 20 '15 at 17:11
  • 3
    I want to note that this site seeks to present Judaism's views. The vast majority of Judaism rejects his messianic status. Thus one would expect / hope that his messianic status would not be generally consistent with traditional sources. The fact that a minority claim his messianic status is indicative that there are arguments to made, although weak, to support it. It is therefore somewhat difficult for readers to then answer the question. The majority of readers hold that indeed readings used to support his messianism are misreadings.
    – mevaqesh
    May 29 '15 at 16:54

12 Answers 12

29

I'm going to answer this question indirectly. I have had discussions with several Lubavitchers who have come up with some compelling (to them) reasoning how the Rebbe זצ"ל can be Moshiach, which leads inexorably to the conclusion that he must be Moshiach. I'm not going to attempt to express the arguments here, even though you have asked for them, because I personally am unconvinced by them (to say the least) and will therefore not be able to make a good case to answer your question directly.

But I will make the point that when the Rebbe was on his death bed, there was not a single Lubavitcher (that I know of) who brought any of these rationales to explain that even if the Rebbe would die, he would still be the Moshiach. As one meshichist said to me at the time, "Just as it is clear to me that the sun will rise tomorrow, so it is clear to me that the Rebbe will not die - and you will see he is Moshiach!"

In other words, all these arguments "proving" that Moshiach could be someone who has already died were all formulated only after they became necessary. They are all post-rationalizations. To my mind, this in itself makes the arguments specious; it has all the markings of a massive case of cognitive dissonance, where the pain involved in admitting that they were wrong was so great that the meshichistim had to come up with some kind of explanation that allowed them to hang on to their previously held beliefs. To be clear: cognitive dissonance is not a mental disorder; it's something that affects every single human being on the planet. So it shouldn't be surprising that normal, healthy people should react in this way to an occurrence that seems to challenge a deeply held belief.

To summarize my answer: you asked, "How can this belief... be properly justified" - and my answer is: There is no limit to the acrobatics that the intellect can perform when driven by cognitive dissonance.

4
  • 1
    @ShaulBehr That no one at the time the Rebbe was”laying on his death bed” was discussing if he died is no proof at all. The appropriate, traditional Jewish response when someone is seriously ill is to pray fervently to G-d, who is the “Healer of everything”, to heal that person completely & to trust completely that G-d will hear, accept and answer that prayer without delay and in a way of open & revealed good both physically & spiritually. Nov 22 '18 at 16:26
  • @YaacovDeane "That no one at the time the Rebbe was”laying on his death bed” was discussing if he died is no proof at all." That was not his proof. His proof was that every single chasid would have insisted at that point that the meshiach will certainly not be someone who died. They would have insisted - the same as every other Torah Jew - that such a view is contrary to Judaism. And they would have believed it.
    – MichoelR
    Jul 20 at 3:04
  • @MichoelR For those Chassidim of the Rebbe who were familiar with the Rebbe’s letter from 5704, prior to his receiving the yoke of the Nasiyut from his father-in-law, explaining the meaning of Rambam’s Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings, 11:4, they knew that the Rebbe stated the correct understanding of that section is that Moshiach ben Yosef and Moshiach ben David at the conclusion of the period called the Heels of Moshiach will in fact be the same individual. The Rebbe held that according to Rambam, all that is mentioned in connection with ben Yosef, including death,will be fulfilled by ben David. Jul 20 at 4:43
  • My full impression of the time was that every chasid I knew, completely expected the Rebbe to get better. "The Rebbe is gezunt!" That is also my impression of every chasid I've ever talked to since: They had no such expectation at the time, and they were flipping out at the funeral. This whole line of thought was constructed afterwards, once their expectations were dashed. Pardon, but I don't think you're being honest with yourself.
    – MichoelR
    Jul 20 at 12:45
17

See Gil Students tremendous treatment entitled "Can The Rebbe Be Moshiach?"

In Chapter Five called What Counter-proofs can be Brought? Rabbi Student brings the arguments that many meshichist lubavitchers use to argue that the Lubavitcher rebbe was/is/will be Moshiach. From the beginning of the chapter:

There are two types of proofs that are brought for the claim that a dead person can be Moshiach. The first type is passages from primary sources and the second is commentary on these sources. The former tries to demonstrate that Chazal considered it possible, or maybe even likely, that a resurrected figure can serve as Moshiach. The latter attempts to show that regardless of what we think the primary source actually says, there were commentators who may have thought differently. This distinction is important because it highlights that the value in a commentary’s statement rests totally on the weight of who the commentator is and not on what text the author is explaining. For example, if a relatively unknown twentieth century rabbi wrote a commentary on the Talmud Yerushalmi in which he says that Moshiach can come from the dead, we can only conclude from this that this obscure modern commentator thought the idea was possible. We cannot deduce any more than that. This clarity in the relative value of proofs is crucial in making a final evaluation of the evidence.

The texts that are generally brought revolve around statements that either Daniel, King David, or Moshe will be the future Moshiach. Since these righteous men are deceased we can infer that there is nothing in Judaism that contradicts the idea that Moshiach can come from the dead. Since, as we proved in the previous chapter, Moshiach cannot come from the dead, the burden is on us to explain these apparently explicit statements to the contrary. As we shall see, this has already been done by those much greater than we.

in chapter four he discusses the Rambam quoted by the OP:

He initiated an unparalleled tshuvah movement that brought many, many Jews back to observance. He fought the spiritual battles of G-d against assimilation and secularism by sending out mitzvah tanks and armies of youths. Thus, these people conclude, he is at least bechezkas Moshiach. Some will even claim that he accomplished 4 and 5. He built a monumental holy place – 770 – in his place and helped bring about the mass immigration of Russian Jews to Israel. Thus, these people argue, the Rebbe is not only bechezkas Moshiach, he is vadai Moshiach.

Yet, there are problems with this theory. First of all, none of these tasks are done. The Rebbe did not fully succeed in any of these. There is still monumental ignorance and lack of observance among Jews throughout the world and Israel is still under siege by terrorists and Arab armies. The Temple Mount remains under Arab control and the majority of Jews still reside outside of Israel. The Rebbe's accomplishments were glorious and awe-inspiring. However, they were not sufficient to fit the Rambam's criteria for Moshiach. In fact, the Rebbe has not fulfilled any of the criteria for being Moshiach except being a Torah scholar and religious man. Let us look at the criteria again:

  1. Compel all of Israel to walk in the way of Torah
  2. Repair the breaches in observance
  3. Fight the wars of G-d

Furthermore, it is a basic rule of learning that the Rambam was very precise with his language. As many will argue regarding the difference between “to die” and “to be killed”, we must read each of the Rambam’s words with great care. The Rambam writes that in order to be bechezkas Moshiach one must be a king from the house of David. Only by a wild stretch of the imagination – and a careless reading of the Rambam – can the Rebbe be considered to have been a king. Contrast this with Bar Kochba for whom there is archaeological evidence that he ruled as a king and was punctilious in his observance of mitzvos. The Rambam also says that one who is bechezkas Moshiach will fight the wars of G-d. In which battle did the Rebbe fight in the army? In fact, the Rebbe wrote in Likkutei Sichos vol. 16 pp. 304-305 n. 49 that the Rambam’s language here of “fight the wars of G-d” means literal wars including the destruction of Amalek.

It is not merely a figure of speech. But the Rebbe did not fight a war and did not destroy Amalek. The Rambam's definition of a failed Moshiach is quoted above from halachah 5. Note that the Rambam says “did not succeed… or was killed” so someone's not succeeding in completing the messianic task is sufficient to disqualify him from being Moshiach. But how can the Rambam list not accomplishing these five items as rendering someone definitely not Moshiach? Maybe he will be resurrected and finish these tasks? Or maybe he will complete them in his trips to this world from under the Seat of Glory? No one can ever fall into this category if the Moshiach can come back from the dead and finish his messianic tasks. We must say that, according to the Rambam, Moshiach cannot come back from the dead to complete the criteria. Otherwise, half of this halachah is impossible. We would never be able to declare someone who is bechezkas Moshiach as being definitely not the promised Moshiach for not succeeding. If we allow for the possibility that someone can come back to this world and finish these tasks, then we have nullified the Rambam's words in this halacha. Rather, when someone who is bechezkas Moshiach dies we unfortunately discover for certain that he is not Moshiach.

See the first link above for more on this topic.

4
  • 1
    Unfortunately I cannot +1 this as this proves why they are wrong, the OP was looking for an argument to prove them right.
    – user6591
    May 20 '15 at 14:03
  • 1
    @user6591 Actually I will +1 this, because he does bring the arguments used by the meshichistim. In the same breath he quotes the counter-argument, but that's beside the point... :)
    – Shaul Behr
    May 20 '15 at 17:00
  • מן הלאו אתה שומע הן May 20 '15 at 17:00
  • "Wars of the Lord". Watch here:youtube.com/watch?v=fsADqkXyALk. At 1:30, the Rebbe uses the phrase to refer to real wars.
    – Ephraim
    May 29 '15 at 4:41
4

Just for redundancy's sake, I'm included here a citation from מדרש רבה on ויחי that clearly shows that a messianic candidate is disqualified by death:

ויפול רוכבו אחור יחזרו דברים לאחוריהם לפי שהיה יעקב אבינו רואה אותו וסבור בו שהוא מלך המשיח כיון שראה אותו שמת אמר אף זה מת לישועתך קויתי ה

See Menachem Kasher's תורה שלימה for parallel midrashim.

3
  • Please translate
    – anon
    May 29 '15 at 4:51
  • 3
    The words of the Midrash are: "Since Yaakov saw that he would die"- That's "die" and not "killed". Yaakov proclaimed לישועתך because he saw Shimshon "die"- how he died is irrelevant. (In any case, Shimshon wasn't killed- he committed suicide.)
    – Ephraim
    Jun 2 '15 at 16:37
  • מת is generic at best. It can mean הרג or not. It depends on the context of usage. In the context of the Midrash Rabbah, Yaacov Avinu is referring to what is described in Shoftim. Shimshon precipitated his own demise. That is more specifically called נהרג. Whether it is "suicide", as you say, is a whole other discussion. Suicide is prohibited. Shimshon prayed to HaShem to allow him this final battle with the Palestinians. HaShem granted his request. It doesn't suggest a violation of the prohibited act of suicide. Jun 4 '15 at 15:54
3

See Bereishis Rabboh 98 where Yaakov Ovinu thought that Shimshon would be Moshiach.When he saw that he died, he said: "This one also died (i.e. and therefore can't be Moshiach)? Liyeshuoscho Kivisi HaShem"

1

As one meshichister told a friend of mine, The Rambam explicitly says 'if he is killed'. Dying comfortably of old age or sickness doesn't fit the bill.

Disclaimer: the views posted are not the views of the poster.

20
  • 1
    Doesn't the OP already mention this pseudo-diyuk?
    – Double AA
    May 20 '15 at 13:24
  • 1
    If we are allowing for resurrections to come finish the job, then why does killed vs died of old age matter? Can killed people not be resurrected?
    – Double AA
    May 20 '15 at 13:25
  • 1
    @YaacovDeane Does Rambam even believe in Mashiach ben Yosef?
    – mevaqesh
    Aug 1 '16 at 19:34
  • 1
    @YaacovDeane he writes והכופרים בביאת הגואל the particular article indicates that there is only one Messiah. And he lists it separately from a kofer baTorah.|| In halakha 17 he writes that there are 3 categories of denial of the Torah. denial of the Written Law, Oral Law, and claim of abrogation. One can debate whether the Messiah is included in the Written or Oral laws, but that says nothing about Mashiach ben Yossef || I guess that Rav Saadya Gaon z"l is a kofer according to you.
    – mevaqesh
    Aug 1 '16 at 23:40
  • 1
    @YaacovDeane Interestingly, you yourself claim over here: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/4454/… that Mashiach ben Yosef is the same person* as Mashiach ben David according to Rambam. So essentially, besides for the Mashiach ben David that Rambam tells us about, there is not another mashiach...
    – mevaqesh
    Aug 1 '16 at 23:42
1

As far as I understand the subject, the Rebbe did not teach the idea that he would be considered to have fulfilled the halachic status of "Moshiach with certainty" (מָשִׁיחַ בְּוַדַּאי) even up to this day. According to the Rebbe's teachings, this cannot occur until after the resurrection of the seven Shepherds and the eight Annointed Individuals.

The idea that he met the criteria to be considered "presumed to be Moshiach" as outlined by Rambam in the Mishnah Torah, Hilchot Melachim, chapter 11 is in keeping with the Rebbe's teaching.

This concept of the halachic status of Presumed to be Moshiach as it applies to the Rebbe is built upon the halacha sefer, Yechi HaMelech which carries the approbation of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein among many others. This didn’t even begin to gain ground until 1984. The Rebbe first acknowledged the book’s existence in 1992 as printed in his approbation to the 2nd edition. It is also worth noting that the Rebbe discouraged pushing this view in places that were not receptive to it.

The Rebbe did not teach that halacha (Jewish law, like is found in the Mishnah Torah of Rambam) was to be understood in any way other than according to its plain meaning. And with that said, the second half of Halacha 4 in Hilchot Melachim, chapter 11, meaning building the Mikdash in its place (on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem) has not be fulfilled yet.

For those Lubavitchers who mistakenly claim that the halacha you cite in your question:

וּבָנָה מִקְדָּשׁ בִּמְקוֹמוֹ

means 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, New York because it is possible to read "בִּמְקוֹמוֹ" as in his place (the place where Moshiach happens to be located at any given time), they are in disagreement with the principle of following the plain meaning as taught by the Rebbe concerning this halacha. (For details of this see Kuntress Davar Malchut: Chiddushim u'Biurim b'Hilchot Melachim, Chapters 11-12, published 2 Iyar, 5751)

The word “מקדש” is masculine and in the context of the sentence (meaning requirements that pertain to acquiring the status of Moshiach with certainty), “מקומו” means it’s place (the place of the Mikdash) in Jerusalem, not his place (meaning wherever Moshiach is found).

It is worth noting that the Rebbe does differentiate and state that following the plain meaning of Rambam regarding acquiring the halachic status of Presumed to be Moshiach, those laws can pertain to his place, meaning his geographic location. He mentions this specifically in the context of fighting G-d's wars in order to acquire the status of Presumed to be Moshiach.

Regarding the status of Moshiach with certainty the text states, “Moshiach will build the Mikdash in its place” and after that gather in the exiles, etc.

The plain meaning is that Moshiach will, after he is presumed to be Moshiach according to halacha build the third Temple in its place, and only after that will the Jewish exiles outside of Israel be gathered into Israel and Jerusalem.

But historically, the Jews of the Soviet Union were leaving under Prime Minister Gorbachev in the early to mid 1980s. The placing of the foundation stone (Even HaPinah) by the Rebbe was in late August of 1988 (which is not in keeping with the Rebbe's explicit teaching that Moshiach's participation in the actual construction would be the final act which completes the construction, not the first). And the lifting of all emigration restrictions was in 1989.

In fact, the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 long after the Jewish emigration from there was in full swing .

And everything associated with the Gulf War and how 770 Eastern Parkway was equated with the Mikdash, like is mentioned and cited explicitly by the Rebbe quoting the Yalkut Shimoni on Isaiah took place in 1991 and 1992.

This means that the chronological order is wrong for the status of Moshiach with certainty according to the plain meaning. What happened historically is not the clear fulfillment of the halachic requirements for anyone, including the Rebbe, to be Moshiach with certainty.

So how is all this to be understood according to the teachings of the Rebbe, who appears to be presumed to be Moshiach ?

The Rebbe did teach, like all the Rebbe's before him, that everything which exists in the physical, has its precursor and source in the spiritual.

This is nothing unique to Lubavitch. It is a consistent principle in Torah throughout the ages.

In the Torah of Moshe Rabbeinu to parshat Bereshit and the commentaries there, this is the reason behind the basic repetition in Bereshit about the story of creation, the first time with G-d’s name, Elokim and the second time with HaShem Elokim. The beginning is the spiritual precursor and the second is the literal, physical expression according to the plain meaning.

In the case of the building of the Temple in its place, meaning on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem by Moshiach, the spiritual precursor to its literal, plain fulfillment was the laying of the cornerstone to 770 by the Rebbe himself. There is an interesting and relevant discourse connected to this idea found in Sefer Karnayim by Rabbi Aharon of Kardina and the commentary Dan Yadin of Rabbi Shimshon of Ostropolia, Discourse 14 and also in Sefer Kehillat Yaacov by Rabbi Yaacov Tzvi Yolles, ערך מצפ״ץ.

The source for this concept was explained in the Rebbe's kuntress entitled, "Mikdash Mi'at Zeh Beit Rabbeinu she'ba'Bavel" from 20 Marcheshvan in the year 5752. But it is not the plain fulfillment of the law mentioned above.

In a similar fashion, the ingathering of the exiles mentioned in halacha has a spiritual precursor.

This is why the ingathering of the exiles appears before the return of the (nascent) Sanhedrin, the rebuilding of Jerusalem including the third Temple, and the full reestablishment of the monarchy of David through the "sprouting" of Tzemach David in the Amida prayer (meaning the Shemonah Esreh).

The order that appears in the Amidah is not identical to the order in halacha as found by Rambam in the Mishnah Torah. And those differences are discussed extensively in Kabbalistic writings and in Chassidic teachings, in particular within Chabad Chassidut.

This spiritual ingathering is supposed to be the ingathering and final tikkun, or "elevation of the Sparks of Holiness" from all of the mitzvot done by everyone from the beginning of creation until the completion of the process called "birrur HaNetzutzot".

This process is also described in other places as the reason for going into exile. The Jewish people went into this exile in order to gather these sparks.

But this principle and this language is nothing new. It is the same language and teaching we have in regard to the first exile of Egypt and the first redemption with Moshe Rabbeinu. When the Jewish people left Egypt, it was empty like the bottom of the ocean. The sparks had been collected and taken out from there.

This is also the teaching of the Alter Rebbe as found in letter 130 of volume 1 of Igrot Kodesh of Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber, the 5th Rebbe. The Alter Rebbe is explaining there the view of the Ari z"l as found in Eitz Chayim.

But this is also not unique. It is also the teaching referred to by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato as found in section 2 of Derech HaShem, Hashgacha HaIshit (Divine Supervision of Human Beings), section 8 which says:

ואולם סידר האדון ב״ה שהשלימים וחשובים יוכלו לתקן בעד אחרים וכמ״ש ותפגע בהם מדה״ד תחת פגעה בכלל העולם ואמנם כיון שהם בעצמם שלימים וראוים לטוב שהם מתיסרין רק בעבור האחרים ודאי שתתפיס מדה״ד במועט בהם כמרובה בחוטאים עצמם ולא עוד אלא שעי״ז זכותם נוסף וכחם מתחזק וכ״ש יכולים לתקן את אשר עיותו האחרים והיינו כי לא די שיתקנו למה שבבני דורם אלא גם לענין כל מה שנתקלקל העולם מאז נהיו בו חטאים ועד עתה ובודאי שאלה יהיו אח״כ בקיבוץ השלימים ראשי הראשונים והיותר קרובים אליו ית״ש.

The mechanism for this final elevation of the sparks of Holiness is accomplished by the Moshiach dieing and his soul ascending. These sparks ascend through their attachment to the soul of Moshiach.

The Rebbe discussed this concept in many contexts over many years.

One of them was in his Chassidic discourse entitled, "Zeh Yitnu mi'Chatzit HaShekel" in the year 5748, parshat Mishpatim. There he said that the leader of this generation, the last generation of exile and the first of redemption, would descend to death in order to remove death from the world.

But the most significant idea from this teaching was that the Rebbe associated this spiritual concept as a prerequisite for the literal, plain fulfillment of the mitzvah to rebuild the 3rd Temple.

This is in keeping with the principle taught by Rabbi Moshe Cordovero as found in Biurei HaMekubbalim b'Niglah on Tehillim 90:17, which quotes Sefer Gerushin 91 at the end.

There it states that the 3rd Temple is required to be perfect not only in regard to itself, meaning in regard to its physical structure, but also in regard to those who build it. If those who build it are not perfect both spiritually and physically, the 3rd Temple would not be perfect.

The Rebbe says that to resolve the two (seemingly conflicting) views between Rashi and Rambam as to whether the 3rd Temple is built by G-d (meaning the third Temple descends from Heaven built by the hands of G-d) or by Moshiach (meaning that Moshiach will build the third Temple in a material, physical way, according to nature and in keeping with the plain sense of the halachic requirement), Moshiach will hang the doors to the third Temple, which according to halacha is considered completing the action of its construction which was started by G-d.

But as he points out, this still leaves the problem that by Moshiach doing the actual building while not in a state of spiritual and physical perfection, removes the perfect and eternal aspects from the third Temple like when it is built directly by G-d. The Temple is the product of the one who makes it.

The physical body of those who build the 3rd Temple (if they have a body) must be perfect. And as the Rebbe explains at great length in the Chassidic discourse, "L'havin Inyan Techiyat HaMetim" found in Sefer HaMa'amarim Meluket, vol. 3, pg. 321, this condition is only possible when G-d resurrects the human being. Such a resurrected human being then becomes The sprout of My field, the work of My hands for praise. (See Isaiah 60:21), like Adam HaRishon before the sin.

But this idea that Moshiach, after he has attained the halachic status of Presumed to be Moshiach, must be resurrected is really no surprise because as the Rebbe points out from Sukkah 52b quoting Zechariah 2:3 which says:

ויראני ה' ארבעה חרשים מאן נינהו ארבעה חרשים אמר רב חנא בר ביזנא אמר רבי שמעון חסידא משיח בן דוד ומשיח בן יוסף ואליהו וכהן צדק

and Micah 5:4 which says:

והיה זה שלום אשור כי יבא בארצנו וכי ידרוך בארמנותינו והקמנו עליו שבעה רועים ושמנה נסיכי אדם מאן נינהו שבעה רועים דוד באמצע אדם שת ומתושלח מימינו אברהם יעקב ומשה בשמאלו ומאן נינהו שמנה נסיכי אדם ישי ושאול ושמואל עמוס וצפניה צדקיה ומשיח ואליהו:

and Yoma 5a and numerous other sources, we know that at the very least, the 7 Shepherds and 8 annointed individuals are to be resurrected at the beginning of the days of Moshiach because they are needed in order to build the 3rd Temple. Among those named as being amongst the first 15 to be resurrected are Eliyahu the prophet, Moshe Rabbeinu and Moshiach ben David.

And in that context, it is no surprise that the Rebbe said explicitly in the Chassidic discourse, "Gadol Yiyeh Kevod HaBayit" from the year 5722 as found on page 343 in Sefer HaMa'amarim Miluket, volume 4, that, "this is among the reasons that the first activity of Moshiach after he will be 'presumed to be Moshiach' (a halachic status that must be understood according to its plain meaning) is building the Beit HaMikdash. Because this is the root of all the concepts that follow afterward."

And this follows the precise wording and order in the halacha brought by Rambam concerning acquiring the status of Moshiach with certainty according to its plain meaning.

Regarding your question about what difference it makes between being murdered or simply dieing as it relates to the halacha, it is the distinction made by the Rambam.

As explained in the non-censored versions of the Mishnah Torah, this law excludes Jesus from consideration as the Messiah because he refrained from fighting G-d's wars in his place and was also killed. That is to distinguish him from Bar Kochba, who did fight G-d's wars in his place but was unsuccessful ultimately in his wars and was killed in battle.

The concern of some over Rambam's pasak was because tradition taught that there was the possibility that Moshiach ben Yosef would be murdered.

But as we know from the Vilna Gaon, as recorded in Kol HaTor, Chapter 1:6:1, pg.24 in the 1994 Edition, due to all the prayers over the ages, that decree was overturned. And so, that detail of the halacha stands.

In this context it is worth pointing out that the Rebbe wrote in a letter in 5704, as recorded in a kuntress called Torato Shel Moshiach related to this idea, that the view of Rambam as found in Mishnah Torah appears to be that Moshiach ben Yosef and Moshiach ben David are one and the same individual.

And this seems to be one of the messages from the Haftorah to parshat VaYigash found in Yechezkel 37:15-17, which says:

וַיְהִ֥י דְבַר־יְהוָ֖ה אֵלַ֥י לֵאמֹֽר׃ טז וְאַתָּ֣ה בֶן־אָדָ֗ם קַח־לְךָ֙ עֵ֣ץ אֶחָ֔ד וּכְתֹ֤ב עָלָיו֙ לִֽיהוּדָ֔ה וְלִבְנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל חברו [חֲבֵרָ֑יו] וּלְקַח֙ עֵ֣ץ אֶחָ֔ד וּכְת֣וֹב עָלָ֗יו לְיוֹסֵף֙ עֵ֣ץ אֶפְרַ֔יִם וְכָל־בֵּ֥ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל חברו [חֲבֵרָֽיו׃] יז וְקָרַ֨ב אֹתָ֜ם אֶחָ֧ד אֶל־אֶחָ֛ד לְךָ֖ לְעֵ֣ץ אֶחָ֑ד וְהָי֥וּ לַאֲחָדִ֖ים בְּיָדֶֽךָ׃

And even with that aside, it is worth noting that, in fact, there was an attempt to assassinate the Rebbe on the bridge crossing from Manhattan into Prospect Park, Brooklyn by Rashid Baz in 1994, the actual year of the Rebbe’s passing. This corresponds to the nullified decree that Moshiach ben Yosef would be murdered.

7
  • 3
    "it is the distinction made by the Rambam" This is false.
    – Double AA
    May 28 '15 at 2:45
  • 1
    I'm not sure what you are referring to about it being Rambam's distinction only and being "false". Please see Daniel 11:14, 34-35 and comments from Malbim, Radak and others. And if you are implying in Halacha, there are not a lot of sources to point to for other views. Although Aruch HaShulchan HaAtid, in spite of quoting Rambam almost verbatim, drops this detail entirely. May 28 '15 at 4:00
  • 2
    I'm just saying Rambam makes no such distinction. The position of all of traditional judaism, rambam included, is that someone's death is proof they are not mashiach. (I have no idea what your pointing to in Daniyel or in Malbim there. I don't have Radak's commentary available but I feel quite confident it will be similarly unenlightening.)
    – Double AA
    May 28 '15 at 4:17
  • 1
    And concerning the subject of kingship, all male descendants from the house of David are considered eligible to that inheritance. The question about whether the Rebbe fought G-d's wars in a literal sense is public record. There are numerous interviews which can be watched with past Israeli commanders and Generals who plainly acknowledge having received support and advice, including strategy and tactics from the Rebbe in every conflict that Israel was engaged in. And that is not to ignore the spiritual support even before conflicts broke out, like the tefillin campaign and other activities. May 29 '15 at 23:05
  • 4
    @YaacovDeane It can't contradict the Talmud as it is the position of traditional Judaism, or which the Talmud is a prime contributor.
    – Double AA
    Feb 23 '16 at 3:37
0

A Proofless answer:

The Rebbe is dead and can no longer effect the Messianic age. But YOU can. So he appointed agents (shalichim) to appoint other agents, to appoint you do do Mitzvos and learn Torah so someone can be the Moshiach on his behalf.

3
  • This doesn't seem to really answer the question.
    – Alex
    Nov 21 '18 at 5:15
  • 1
    Just like when your agent buys an item, YOU are buying the item, when your agent effects the Messianic Era, YOU are the Messiah! Nov 21 '18 at 5:20
  • Then perhaps clarify in you answer that you are arguing that the Rebbe is the Messiah.
    – Alex
    Nov 21 '18 at 5:22
0

Here is one of a few ways. This is the general favorite of the Anti-Messianics (those who believe to themselves that the rebbe will be moshiach but who hate publicity on the matter):

The rambams psak in Laws of Kings 11:4 is stating moshiach has to be alive, but the next question is what the background learning for this psak is. It’s brought in achronim (yfei mareh and the Etz Yosef) that when shas and midrashim talk about “if he’s from the living...if he’s from the dead” it’s predicated on a doubt chazal had of when techiyas hameisim is. Thus “if he’s from the dead” means if the resurrection of the dead comes before moshiachs coming such that people are getting up anyways so one of them may become moshiach then it’s so and so. But if techiyas hameisim comes after the coming of moshiach and moshiach will need to be one of the living because nobody dead came back in time to become moshiach then it is so and so. Thus, since we rule that the world will continue as before during the days of moshiach and that the resurrection is later, moshiach must be from the living. This however, is if the redemption comes in its time (Beitah). But if we merit that moshiach should come with clouds of heaven, the lubavitcher rebbe explains that the resurrection will immediately occur and all the miracles of the future era will happen immediately. This being the case, the mechanism for a resurrected messiah is in place. To give one example, the son of the Ruzhiner said after his passing that his father will still be moshiach because the Ruzhiner had told him that the resurrection has been moved to the same day as the coming of moshiach. In fact, the reading of the Gemara in sanhedrin 98b according to whats brought in the sdei chemed is that if we merit then daniel will be moshiach from the dead. This all said, the Rambam isn’t even discussing a case of a divine miraculous redemption, but only of a natural one in its time without merit. This reading of the Rambam(that Laws of kings is only talking about a case of no merit but that a case of merit is not included) is brought by the Rebbe and is also agreed to by R Chaim Kanievsky in the book אחרית הימים in a footnote.

Summary: According to this way of learning, the rambams psak din cannot be used as a counter proof as the psak din is trying only to speak about a nonmeritorious redemption. in addition to this, the underlying reasoning for the psak din wouldnt apply. The door then seems wide open for its possibility so long as we merit and according to the Lubavitcher rebbe we have merited that a miraculous redemption take place.

2
  • So, what you are saying is that in order for the Rebbe to be Moshiach it is exactly not according to the quoted Rambam.
    – Mordechai
    Feb 20 at 23:14
  • According to this interpretation of the rambams halachic reasoning(there are other formulations as well), the rambam by its nature is limited to speaking only about lo zachu beitah. However, in zachu achishena the psak is inapplicable. it is an overreach to apply it.
    – Eliyahu770
    Feb 20 at 23:36
0

PART III – Chay vKayom

This concept of everlasting life is explained in Kol HaTor (and analyzed The Secret Doctrine of the Gaon of Vilna, Vols. I & II, by Joel Baskt)xxxiii:

“Yosef is still alive. Our forefathers and many of the Prophets of G-d, kings of Israel, and many of the Tannaim and Amoraim, many of the great men of Israel and the men of deeds in every generation were in the line of Mashiach ben Yosef. The first one was our forefather Abraham, as revealed in the words, “whereby will I know that I will inherit it?” As known, wherever the term inheritance’ is used in connection with Eretz Israel, it is in the line of Mashiach ben Yosef. This is hinted at in the word “I will inherit” which in gematria equals Mashiach ben Yosef [566]. Our forefather Abraham started the beginning of the first Redemption, that is the redemption of the holiness from below, which is the land of the Land of Israel [Eretz Israel]. Our forefather Isaac was in the line of the Mashiach ben Yosef from the time he was bound as a sacrifice. His name even hints at " end of life. Our forefather Jacob was in the line of Mashiach ben Yosef from the time he fought the Angel of Esau, after which it says, “Jacob came to Shalem.” Shalem, to Succoth. Judah was in the same line, from the time he saved Yosef; Yosef, from the time of his first dream; Moshe Rebbeinu, from the time he took along the bones of Yosef. Joshua son of Nun was the first who fought in the battle of the L-rd against Amalek. Both Saul and David fought in the war of the L-rd. And it is known that every war of the L-rd is considered to be in the line of Mashiach ben Yosef, etc., etc. During recent generations, the Holy Ari and his special student, the holy and pure R. Chaim Vital, and the Holy Rabbi, author of Or Hachaim were also in the line of Mashiach ben Yosef as is known. And in the last generation, it was the Gaon, our Rabbi, Rabbi Eliyahu, light of Mashiach ben Yosef whose light goes before us, and whose light increases until the day will be established. A few of his students, who fulfilled his commandment regarding the vision of Zion to accept and be inspired with his spirit and his great light, are also in the line of Mashiach ben Yosef.”

“His [David HaMelech’s] life came only from the ten sefirot […] of Atzilut (the highest spiritual world), but regarding Mashiach it says, ‘You granted it to him’xxxiv which means from Atzmut, the infinite.”xxxv And “relative to Atzmut, life and death are equal.”xxxvi From this, we can see that he will transcend death.

According to the Gaon, Rabbi Eliyahu of Vilna, below are the seven major principles connected with the approach called the footsteps of the Mashiach, which is based on the sentence, “on each stone were seven eyes [apertures]”xxxvii:

  1. “Yosef is still alive.” The basic approach of the Gaon is encapsulated in the principle “Yosef is still alive, ” meaning that the Mashiach ben Yosef is still alive and will live, because, as it is written, every aspect of the beginning of the Redemption is dependent on him. Thus the decree regarding his murder by Armilus the Wicked will be canceled. It will be canceled by extending the period of the exile, by afflictions that the Mashiach ben Yosef will suffer and diseases he will bear, and also by deeds that he will accomplish with great devotion, such as gathering in exiles, which is his mission. What will also help are Messianic pangs and afflictions connected with Eretz Israel, and our regular, daily prayers for the life and success of Mashiach ben Yosef. […]xxxviii

He will have “length of days forever,”xxxix like Moshe Rabbeinu who “did not die13,”xl Avraham14, Yaakov15 did not die16, “lo meit,”xli but is mamash still alive,xlii some say Serach17, and “David Melech Yisrael Chai v’kayam.”xliii “From the moment he was anointed as King of Yisrael in Chevron until the end of all generations he continues to live – and continues to live as the King of Yisrael!”xliv As well, the Rebbe Rayatz,xlv who was wounded18 and bruised19.xlvi

PART IV - Hidden & Revealed

The mechanism for this final elevation of the sparks of Holiness is accomplished by Moshiach dying and his soul ascending. These sparks ascend through their attachment to the soul of Moshiach.xlvii

The Ramchal explains (based on “and Benayahu was a ben ish chai [kri: chayil]”xlviii) that ben means “associated with”xlix because he was known for this particular quality of being a man of valor, but the ketiv indicates that he was spiritually alive and dynamic (a rav p’alim).l This was from the strong yichudim he accomplished [like the yichudim20 mentioned in the letter of the Baal Shem Tov]. And therefore, he was able to smite the lion in the snowstorm.li

“Mashiach will remain alive in his body together with the essence of his soul – down here just as it is above literally. By Moshe Rabbeinu ‘there was no difference at all between his body and his soul […] and this will hold true of Mashiach in a much higher way. Therefore […] he will not need to ascend above.”lii

While for a normal person their Nefesh-Ruach-Neshamah ascends, only a tzadik’s ruach and neshamah ascend while the nefesh stays in the body. They are not called, but rather “sleeping in the dust.” However, when it says that “Yaakov did not die,” this means that all three parts – the NaRaN together with all the faculties of the soul – remain in the body. This distinguished Yaakov from all other tzadikim.liv In fact, Nasi is an acronym for Nitzutzo Shel Yaakov Avinu (a spark of the soul of Yaakov Avinu).

This frees the soul21 from the limitation of the body so that he is able to accomplish more for his followers,lv like Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.lvi “The Alter Rebbe’s quintessential inner love for Jew […] was planted in the Rebbe’s who succeeded him. Such a deep-seated and quintessential love is everlasting, throughout all generations until the coming of Mashiach, when it will be granted to us, at the time of the Resurrection of the Dead, to gaze directly upon the living and luminous countenances of the Rebbe’s.”lvii

This is all part of the chayim nitzchi'im – everlasting life – of the future era, which is attained in our generation without any interruption [of death] in between.lviii

Based on Shir HaShirim 2:9, the Midrash explains that the Mashiach will be revealed, concealed,liv then revealed again like a deer/gazelle/roe.lx The concealed is referred to as “ben David” and the revealed phase “David” as in Yeshayahu 40:5. Like it says in Yeshayahu 30:20, “your teacher shall no longer be concealed from you and your eyes shall see your teacher.” Based on Zohar, Shmot 8b, and Shaar HaGilgulim, the man destined to be Mashiach will be naturally born in this world, then the soul of Mashiach in the heavenly Gan Eden, b’frat the Bird’s Nest22,lxi located in the Great Rome,lxii will descend upon him so he realizes he is Mashiach, then he is concealed, ascending to heaven,lxiii and only afterwards revealed to the full extent.lxiv

“Once Messiah is arrayed by the righteous in the Garden of Eden, he will enter that place called Bird’s Nest, as previously, and see the image of the destruction of the Temple and the many righteous who were killed there. Then he takes from there ten garments, called ‘garments of zeal,’ and hides himself there for forty days, totally unrevealed.lxv

“At the end of forty days23 a single voice arouses, and from the supernal Throne the Bird’s Nest is summoned along with King Messiah hidden within.lxvi Then he is raised above, and when the blessed Holy One sees King Messiah dressed in garments of vengeance, girded with his weapons, He takes him and kisses him on the head.

“Then 390 firmaments tremble.lxvii The blessed Holy One summons one of the firmaments that had been treasured away since the six days of Creation, and from one palace in that firmament He takes out a crown, engraved with holy names. With that crown the blessed Holy One was adornedlxviii when Israel crossed the sea, to take revenge on all of Pharaoh’s chariots and horsemen, and with it He crowns King Messiah."lxix

Click here to see Part V

11 - At the end of the wars of Gog and Magog, the Mashiach shall come forth from prison with nothing except for his staff and his sack. Then the Mashiach will wrap himself in prayer and gird himself as a hero before G-D. The Mashiach will say before Him: “Master of the Universe, remember on my behalf the suffering and grief and darkness and obscurity into which I was cast. My eyes have beheld no light and my ears have heard great reviling, and my heart broke with pain and grief. You know that I have not acted for my own glory, nor for the glory of my father’s house, but for Your glory have I acted, and for Your children who dwell in sorrow among the peoples of the world.” Then the Mashiach will say to the children of Israel: “Go and assemble all your brethren from all the nations.” And they will go and assemble all Israel and bring them to stand before the Mashiach, as it is said in Isa. 66:20). Heichalot Rabbati 6.

12 - For many generations the Mashiach has sat captive, chained with golden chains before the Throne of Glory. Elijah has tried to release him many times, but he has never succeeded. So, Elijah descends to earth and explains that in order to break the chains of the Mashiach, he needs a magic saw whose teeth are the deeds of Israel. Every deed adds a tooth to this saw, but every sin takes one away. When there are twice as many good deeds as there are sins, then the saw can be used. That is why it is said that the Mashiach will not come until we bring him. IFA, no. 6928, collected in Yisrael by Uri Resler from his uncle of Rumania.

13 - “Even though the Torah uses the term ‘death,’ it may have various meanings: If one does not merit, it is death in the literal sense, but if one merit, it will be concealment in the higher worlds like Eliyahu.” Mikdash Melech. Just as Eliyahu comes back, Moshe too came back physically to redeem the Jews but was stopped by Hashem. Pesikta d’Eicha Rabbati explaining Tehillim 137:1. Other tzadikim have returned like Rabbi Yechiel. Shem HaGedolim by the Chida, “Ma’arechet Gedolim,” 11b, reproduced in Likutei Mekorot by Rabbi Shloma Majesky (2nd ed.), 1:48. Moses never died, instead he is in exile with the Shekhinah, and G-D has given him the task of taking the people of Israel and the Shekhinah out of exile. Just as Moses led the children of Israel out of slavery and to the Promised Land, so too will he lead them out of exile. Meanwhile, G-D has cast a deep sleep upon Moses, and he will sleep until the time comes for the exile of the Jewish people to come to an end. See also “The Princess and the Slave” in Elijah’s Violin, pp. 36-43.

14 - There are those who insist that Abraham never died, and that he continues to wander the world. It is curious that the angels dealt with Moshe’s death, as Kohanim could not. Michael spread Moshe’s bed, Gavriel spread a precious white linen cloth under his head, and Zagzael placed one under his feet. The Book of Our Heritage, Vol. 2, Adar 7, by Rabbi Kitov. There are many reports of those who have seen him. One story tells of a mysterious Tenth Man.

For many years only a few Jews were permitted by the Muslim authorities to live in Hebron, where the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Yaakov and their wives are buried. Once there were so few that on the eve of Yom Kippur, only nine Jews had gathered in the House of Prayer in the city of Hebron, and there was no one else they could call on to complete the minyan. The sun was setting, but they could not begin Kol Nidrei.

Just then there was a knock on the door, and when the gabbai answered it, he found an old Jew standing there, a stranger with a long white beard, wearing a white robe, carrying a white tallit. The gabbai gladly invited him in and asked to know his name. The old man said it was Abraham. Then, since the tenth man had arrived, they began the prayers, and the old man joined in with them.

The old man remained there with them, praying all night and the next day, until Yom Kippur had come to an end. Never before had they prayed for so long without stopping, but somehow not one of them felt fired, nor did hunger pangs trouble them. All were aware that the power of the Divine Presence filled the House of Prayer.

When the Day of Atonement had ended, the old man took his leave, but he left his tallit behind. The gabbai hurried after him to return it, but he was nowhere to be found.

That night the gabbai had a dream in which the old man returned to him and revealed that he was actually the patriarch Abraham. So too did he reveal that he had left the tallit behind for him and that it was sacred. For if he wore it when he prayed, he would be permitted a vision of the Divine Presence. The gabbai told the others his dream, and they were filled with wonder to learn the true identity of the old man.

The gabbai put on the tallit of Abraham when he prayed that day. And during the silent prayer, when he closed his eyes for an instant, he saw a vision of the Divine Presence glowing in the dark. Afterward, whenever he closed his eyes, the vision would return, as if it were imprinted there.

As for the tallit, it is said that Abraham returned to the gabbai in a dream shortly before he died and told him to request that he be buried in it. This was done, and no sooner did they cover his body with that prayer shawl than his soul found itself in Paradise, inside the synagogue of Abraham the patriarch. There he was made gabbai in that heavenly House of Prayer, where he serves the patriarch Abraham to this day, still wrapped in that sacred tallit. Sefer ha-Ma’asiyot 95-96; Collected fr. Rabbi Yosef Landa by Howard Schwartz; the Old Broadway synagogue as Rabbi Kret, ztz”l explains.

15 - Everyone thought that Yaakov had died. He had given his sons his final blessings, and it appeared that his soul had taken leave of this world. In fact, he was embalmed and buried. But even though it appeared that he had died, Yaakov was actually alive. Nor did he die after that. Indeed, Yaakov never died.

It is said that some of those at Yaakov’s funeral saw his eyes open once or twice, but they thought their own eyes had deceived them. Indeed, Yaakov was present during the Exodus from Egypt, and he witnessed the crossing of the Red Sea and the drowning of Pharaoh’s soldiers who chased after them. That is the meaning of the verse Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the shore of the sea (Exod. 14:30).

Likewise, Yaakov witnessed the giving of the Torah, the ascent of Elijah, and Daniel’s encounter with Bel. So too did he see the Temple built, destroyed, and rebuilt.

Still others say that G-D’s promise to Yaakov, I will deliver you from far away; your folk from their land of captivity (Jer. 30:10), meant that Yaakov lives on in his seed, especially in those who make their home in the Holy Land. After all, Yaakov was also Israel, and as long as the children of Israel still exist, Yaakov will never die. Bereishit Rabbah 56:10, 69:17; Sifre on Devarim 352; B. Ta’anit 5b; Rashi on Gen. 50:1; B. Sota 13b; Likutei Moharan 1:47.

16 - Does this mean that he does not get to enjoy Gan Eden? As Professor Silman explains, cit. Yalkut Shimoni, Bereishit, § 115, that “Gan Eden entered with him” when Yaakov entered the tent of his father, the air of Gan Eden surrounds the body of the Jew (sc., the upper Gan Eden [in Beriya], not the lower one here on earth [in Yetzira] where Adam was placed). See Tanya, p. 147a [Igeret HaKodesh, epistle 27b]. In fact, he may be higher during Techiyat HaMeitim. Sefer HaMa’amarim Melukat 3:33-38.

17 - How long did Serah live? Some say she lived until the days of the Temple, while others say she lived even longer than that. One account has it that she met her death in the ninth century in a fire in a synagogue in Isfahan. And when that synagogue was rebuilt it was named the Synagogue of Serah bat Asher, and the Jews of Persia made pilgrimages to that synagogue, the holiest Jewish site in the land.

Others say that Serah bat Asher never died. She was taken to the heavenly Garden of Eden while she was still alive, because she had announced to Yaakov that Joseph was alive. There Serah has a palace of her own, where she teaches Torah to the righteous women. And they know that every word she says is true, because she was a witness to all the miracles that took place in those mighty days. Targum Pseudo-Yonathan on Bereishit 46:17; Sefer ha-Yashar 110a; B. Sota 13a; Alpha Beta de-Ben Sira 28a; Derekh Eretz Zuta 1; Zohar 3:167a-b.

18 - “However the Master, blessed be He, arranged that the perfect and important ones could repair [matters] for the sake of others, as we have written; and that the trait of justice would strike them instead of striking the whole world. Nevertheless, since they themselves are perfect and are only being afflicted for the sake of others, it is certain that the trait of justice will be satisfied with a little from them in the place of much from the sinners themselves. Moreover, through this, their merit increases and their power is strengthened. And all the more so are they able to ‘repair that which others have twisted.’ So not only will they repair what is from the people of their generation, but will also [do so] for all that the world has been corrupted – from when there were [first] sins upon it, up until now. And they will certainly afterwards be the heads of the leaders in the group of the perfected, and the closest ones to Him, may He be blessed.” Derech HaShem, Hashgacha HaIshit, § 8, end.

19 - While Mashiach ben David will be stricken with sores, Sanhedrin 98a, Rabbi Stewart Weiss explains that this is probably due to others slandering him. Cf., Ketubot 112b. While in some generations the (oft-sole) candidate is usually obvious, the in-between generations must be of such a low stature that the Mashiach of that generation is described as being a poor beggar, Sippure Ya’akov by Sofer, pp. 35-36, as was Shlomo HaMelech, Ma’aseh biShlomo haMelech, publ. in Bet HaMidrash 2:86-87, or worse, a metzora. See Sefer Sippurim Noraim by Kadaner, pp. 9a-b, 10b. In “The Messianic Power to Cure” by Rabbi Ginsburgh, he explains based on the teachings of Rabbi Abulafia that the six permutations of tzara’at must be rectified and that we all have a piece of evil (including the tzaddik who has the finest trace amount – tzadik ra) from being frustrated at the inability to fulfil the Messianic potential. It would then seem proportional, that the more the generation curses their misfortunes, the more it affects the Mashiach. See Living with Moshiach: Tazri’a-Metzora by Rabbi J. Immanuel Schochet. “The tzaddik facilitates the flow of blessing. A tzaddik who wants to benefit people must cleave to them in order to bring about the good that they need. Any person who wants to benefit another cannot do so fully unless they are connected in total unity. A tzaddik must therefore connect to all the people of Yisrael in order to benefit them. Yet how can the tzaddik do this with a sinner (heaven forbid)? Even a sinner needs the divine flow and vitality, but how can the tzaddik connect completely to the sinner? This is why the Talmud speaks in praise of ‘a sin for [G-D’s] sake.’ For the tzaddik also sins, albeit in G-d’s service, and through this creates the possibility of a connection with the sinner and can help him as well.” Noam Elimelech, ¶ Naso, 377, transl. by Arthur Green, et al.

20 - This is the transcendent unification of all aspects of Creation through the synthesis of spiritual deeds and deep meditation of the Divine Order of existence through holy Names which represent the different aspects of Creation. Every yichud is through the nefesh of Benayahu ben Yehoyada. Shaar Ruach HaKodesh 15a.

21 - Rabbi Eliezar says the days of the Mashiach are forty years, et seq., Sanhedrin 99a, so it seems that the majority of Rabbi’s agree that there is a time limit. This possibly due to the fact that the ikur is Torah and Mitzvot in order to advance closer to G-D.

22 - The Ba'al Shem Tov was once praying with his Hasidim. That day he prayed with great concentration, not only word by word, but letter by letter, so that the others finished long before he did. At first, they waited for him, but before long they lost patience, and one by one they left.

Later the Ba'al Shem Tov came to them and said: "While I was praying, I ascended the ladder of your prayers all the way into Paradise. As I ascended, I heard a song of indescribable beauty. At last, I reached the palace of the Mashiach, in the highest heavens, known as the Bird's Nest. The Mashiach was standing by his window, peering out at a tree of great beauty. I followed his gaze and saw that his eyes were fixed on a golden dove, whose nest was in the top branches of that tree. That is when I realized that the song pervading all of Paradise was coming from that golden dove. And I understood that the Mashiach could not bear to be without that dove and its song for as much as a moment. Then it occurred to me that if I could capture the dove, and bring it back to this world, the Mashiach would be sure to follow.

"So, I ascended higher, until I was within arm's reach of the golden dove. But just as I reached for it, the ladder of prayers collapsed." Midrash Ribesh Tov; Or ha-Hokhmah, Parashat Beha'alotekha. There is probably a sheychut with Shlomo HaMelech speaking the language of birds (sichat hatziparim). It seems, then, that he was involuntarily detained both Above and below.

23 - Perhaps referring to the Resurrection of forty years.


xxxiii - 1:32.

xxxiv - Fr. Tehillim 21:5; see Sukkah 52a; see also Tanna dvei Eliyahu Rabbah 18:10.

xxxv - Ma’amorei Admur HaEmtzai, Devarim 1:214-15; see Sefer HaSichot 5752, 6-7.

xxxvi - Sefer HaMa’amarim 5670, 100.

xxxvii - Zach. 3:9.

xxxviii - Kol HaTor 1:8-9.

xxxix - Tehillim 21:5.

xl - Sotah 13b; but see Devarim 34:5.

xli - Rashi on Bereishit 49:33; Taanit 5b.

xlii - Ohr HaChayim to Bereishit 50:1.

xliii - Rosh Hashanah 25a.

xliv - Sichah of 7 MarCheshvan, 5746, in Hitvaˋaduyot 5745, 1:525.

xlv - Sefer Hasichot 5752, 2:242.

xlvi - All these are well documented in Likutei Dibburim. See also Midrash Rut 5 on Yeshayahu 51; see also Sippurei Maˋasiyot (1973 ed.), pp. 276-77 (where Rabbi Nachman of Tcherin explains the descent of the Mashiach into the klipot); Pesikta Rabbati 162a (“[…] they will bring iron beams and put them on his neck until his body bends and he cries and weeps […]”) & ch. 36 (“[…] and you sat in darkness and blackness and your eyes saw no light, and your skin cleft to your bones, and your bones dried out and was like wood, and your eyes grew dim from fasting, and your strength became like a potshard.”).

xlvii - “Zeh Yitnu mi’Chatzit HaShekel” in the year 5748, parshat Mishpatim.

xlviii - II Shmuel 23:20.

xlix - Radak in Mahari Kera on Sefer Shmuel, Rashi in Divrei HaYamin.

l - See Brachot 18a-b.

li - I Divrei HaYamin 11:22.

lii - Ma’amorei Admur HaEmtzai, “Derushei Chasunah,” 1:131, 155.

liii - See Likutei Sichot 26:7.

liv - Alschich, quot. briefly in Likutei Sichot 4:1261; see also Ramban, Bachya, Radak to 49:33.

lv - Tanya, Igeret HaKodesh, ch. 27.

lvi - Sefer HaMa’amarim Melukat 5:272-73.

lvii - Likutei Dibburim.

lviii - Sefer HaSichot 5751, 496.

lix - Accord Zohar 2:7b.

lx - Midrash Shir HaShirim Rabbah 2:22; Bamidbar Rabbah 11:2; Pesikta diRabbi Kahana (Mandelbaum ed.), pp. 91-92; see Chatam Sofer and Bachya at end of Parshat Shemot; see also Likutei Sichot 9:38.

lxi - Accord Zohar 2:8a-9a (From the beginning the Mashiach was hidden in a heavenly palace known as the Bird's Nest. That is a secret place containing a thousand halls of yearning, where none may enter except for the Mashiach. It is there that the Mashiach waits for the sign to be given that his time has come at last.

The palace is known as the Bird's Nest because of the wonderful bird of the Mashiach, which has its nest in a tree near his palace.

On New Moons and holy days and Shabbat’s, the Mashiach enters those halls of longing, lifts up his voice, and weeps. Then the Garden of Eden trembles and the firmament shakes until his voice ascends all the way to G-D's throne. And when G-D hears his voice, G-D beckons the enchanted bird, and it flies from the Garden of Eden and enters its nest and begins to sing.

Now the song of that bird is indescribably beautiful; no one has ever heard a music so sublime. Three times the bird repeats its song, and then the bird and the Mashiach ascend on high, to the very Throne of Glory. There G-D swears to them that He will destroy the wicked kingdom of Rome and will give His children all the blessings that are destined for them. After that the bird returns to its nest and the Mashiach returns to his palace, and once again he remains hidden there, waiting.); cf., Shivchei HaBesht, pp. 64-65, story no. 42 (Mashiach once came to the Ba'al Shem Tov and said: "I make my home in a heavenly palace known as the Bird's Nest. Except for me, no one has ever entered there. If only you were to travel there and open that gate, redemption would surely come to Israel. I do not know whether or not you will succeed in opening the gate, but I heard G-D's voice saying to me, 'What can I do for you, since I must fulfill your wish.'"); SGE; Zohar 2:7b-9a, 3:196b.

lxii - “This is Great Rome, in which I am kept captive in prison until my end comes.” Sefer Zerubbabel, publ. in Bet HaMidrash 2:54-55. Perhaps this is the explanation for a Midrash fragment (Marmarstein ed.) which states: “The tenth sign [of the signs of Mashiach]: G-D will liberate Menachem ben Amiel, Mashiach ben David, from the jailhouse […] and make him ride on the cloud. REJ 52 (1906), p. 184, transl. by Raphael Patai. There is an interesting Yemeni tradition regarding Mashiach coming out of the jail house with staff and bag. See Midrashei Geula by Rabbi Yehudah ibn Shmuel, pp. 326-27, trans. by Raphael Patai.

lxiii - See Yeshuot Meshicho by Abarbanel, p. 104.

lxiv - Cf., Pesikta Rabbati 37, quot. in Yalkut Shimoni 499 on Yeshayahu 60.

lxv - On garments of zeal or vengeance, see Isaiah 59:17; Pesiqta de-Rav Kahana 22:5; Shir ha-Shirim Rabbah on 4:10; Pirqei Mashiaḥ, in Beit ha-Midrash, 3:70–71; Moses de León, Seder Gan Eden, 132.

lxvi - As far as how long he will be concealed, see Rut Rabbah 5:6; Iyov 30:4; cf., Bamidbar Rabbah 11:2. See Zohar, Shemot, 9b, for an extensive count of the stages that lead up to the End of Days.

lxvii - Although this is the gimatriyya of שמים (shamayim), “heavens,” the Baal HaSulam explains that the Masach that is mitigated in Bina is called “firmament.” Since it extends from Bina, it contains four discernments HB TM, Chochmah, Binah, Tiferet, Malchut, in each of which are 100 Sefirot. However, since Malchut lacks them, there are only 390 firmaments in them, and ten firmaments in Malchut were hidden since the six days of creation, meaning since the time when the correction of Tzimtzum Bet [second restriction] was established. Yet another example of four. See Derekh Erets Rabbah 2:31; Zohar 1:4a; 2:195b; 3:173a; ZḤ 53b; Solomon ibn Adret, She’elot u-Tshuvot 1:538.

lxviii - See Zohar 2:132a. Cf. Midrash Avkir, 45 (quot. in Yalqut Shim’oni, Exodus 241).

lxix - Zohar, parashat Shemot.

0

PART V – Yosef & David

In any event, the two Mashiach’s will spiritually join as one.lxx And Eliyahu and Moshe will join as one.lxxi The four become two and the two are unified in the One.

The Ramchal, as explained by Rabbi Nissim, states that the development of Mashiach ben Yosef will be the Mashiach ben Ephrayimlxxii who will draw in the two tribes previously associated with Yehudah, and the other ten will be drawn in by Mashiach ben David.lxxiii Following this, they will be unifiedlxxiv by symbolically inscribing their names onto a single piece of wood. Then, all the jealously between the Jews of Yosef and the Jews of David25 will depart and all the anti-Semites will be cut off.lxxv

The Rebbe mentioned26 that his soul merged27 with his father’s.lxxvi As Rabbi Schochet writes, on the particular day that marks the end of the galut, when Mashiach will redeem Israel, the unique pre-existing soul of Mashiach ‘stored’ in Gan Eden from aforetime will descend and be bestowedlxxvii upon that tzadik28.lxxviii Until then, he will not know he’s Mashiach and will even deny such.lxxix And certainly his brothers will not recognize him.lxxx This is why, following teshuvah, one should demand Mashiach!lxxxi

It is not enough that just yearn and pine for Moshiach. True, “everything is (bound up) with kivuy (hoping; awaiting).”lxxxii The real merit lies in the kivuy. The daily Amidah29 contains the request30, “Speedily cause the offspring of Your servant David to flourish and enhance his power through Your salvation, for we hope for Your salvation all the day…” The last phrase, “for we hope…,” seems strange: what kind of reasoning is that? If we justly deserve the redemption, we shall merit it even without that hope; if we do not deserve it, of what avail will that hope be? The meaning, however, is clear:

“Speedily cause the offspring of Your servant David to flourish…;” and if it should be said that we lack merit, cause it to flourish anyway “because we hope for your salvation…,” that is, because we have the kivuy (hope). By virtue of that kivuy we deserve that You redeem uslxxxiii

Thus, kivuy hastens Geula!lxxxiv

“Israel shall not be redeemed until they will confess and demand the Kingdom of Heaven,lxxxv the Kingdom of the House of David, and the Bet Hamikdash!31lxxxvi

Rabbi Schochet: We pray for the redemption several times every day. Even so, requesting by itself is not enough. One must demand the redemption, just as with the wages of a hired worker: the law stipulates that if the worker does not demand his wages, there is no obligation to give it to him on the very day that he completes his work.lxxxvii So, too, we must demand32 our redemption. Failure to do so shows that this matter is clearly not that urgent to us!lxxxviii Ad mosai?

There a few adjurations. Rebbe Nachman’s Song of Redemption,lxxxix N-Na-Nach-Nachman Meuman, brings the Geula whilst Rebbe Menachem’s declaration Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu v’Rabbeinu Melech haMoshiach Lˋolam Voˋed reveals the mashiach.xc

If passively hoping merits Geula and a fortiori demanding hastens the Redemption, then a multo fortiori is being an active participant stirring the mayin nukvin to elicit an isarusa dele’eila!

Geula is the culmination of the combined efforts of every generation of Am Yisroel since Matan Torah.

Then the nations will, then bow down to him who is the lion’s whelp,xci who is not afraid33 of anything.xcii This is the Mashiachxciii and when a certain country rebels, he sends first locusts then the angel of death34. After that, they bow.xciv


25 - Currently, unfortunately, there is a rift within Chabad resulting in two factions, as with a few other Chassidic groups and even between the orthodox and the holiday-Jews. There is a historical allusion to this globally and a prophecy. Because of Shlomo’s failure to stop his wives’ idolatry, he was foretold that after his death ten of the Jewish tribes will break of from his kingdom and form a country of their own. One of the greatest sages of the time, Yeroveam ben Nevat was anointed by Achia Hashiloni to become the king of Israel after Shlomo’s death. Yeroveam had to run away in a similar way Dovid became fugitive when he was anointed during lifetime of king Shaul. Once Shlomo passed away, Yeroveam came back knowing that he will succeed in becoming a king. Everything went as predicted by the prophet. The ten tribes rejected the rule of Shlomo’s son Rechaveam because they felt they were paying exuberant taxes to Shlomo’s house. Yeroveam became the king over the Northern tribes. The prophet (Melachim 2:12:26-33) now describes that Yeroveam was afraid that if the people of kingdom will continue coming to Yerushalayim three times a year, he will lose his power. His very first action was therefore to build two new temples in his kingdom and institute apparent idol worship! However, most commentators agree that the golden calves made by Yeroveam were not meant to actually be worshiped. Kuzari 4:13; Meshech Chochma Shemos 32:19; Abarbanel, Melachim 1:12:28. See also Radak and Metzudos on Melachim 1:12:30 that at a later time some people started to actually “worship” the golden calves of Yeroveam. Malbim claims that Yeroveam told the righteous that the calves are only symbolic, while the wicked were permitted to worship them. They were rather symbolic just as we find two lions in many synagogues today. There were some Rabbi’s that were against putting lions in synagogues, but this custom still exists in many shuls and even some Chasidic ones (see a detailed discussion in “Minhag Yisroel Torah”, 90:4). Even when these lions are not just pictures but are three-dimensional, this may be permitted (as opposed to statues of people, see Yore Deah 144:4). The reason the lions are chosen is because most of us come from Yehudah who is likened to a lion Similarly, Yeroveam chose the image of bull that symbolizes his tribe – Yosef. Since Yosef actually consists of two different tribes – Menashe and Ephraim, two temples were built.

There is an even deeper significance in this. In the vision of the Merkava (the “Chariot” of Hashem) certain types of angels are described as having four faces. The face on the right is that of a lion, and the one on the left is that of the bull. Indeed, the North is associated with the left side of Hanhaga and therefore it was appropriate image for the Northern tribes. Yehudah was in the South and this is why the image of a lion is appropriate to it. The reason this image was chosen in the desert is since the Divine Rule over deserted areas is also associated with the left side (see Ramban, Shemos 32:1). Gold was the appropriate material used since this is the metal associated with Gevurah (see for instance Tikuney Zohar 106b; Arizal, Shaar Hapesukim, Vayeshev).

Nevertheless, The Northern Kingdom never recovered from the transgressions of Yeroveam. In the end the ten tribes were exiled by Assyria and we still do not know where their descendants are. According to many opinions we will again be reunited with the ten tribes in the end of days. Sanhedrin, 110b. There again will be two leaders, two Moshiach’s: one from Yehudah and one from Ephraim. But this time Moshiach ben Yosef will accept the Moshiach rule of Moshiach ben Yehuda. See also GR”A on Sifra Detzniusa – Perek 1. And there will be only one king who will rule over our nation (Yehezkel 37:22)!

26 - I heard a vort from Reb Friend, of whom I forgot, that the title HaYom Yom alludes to something similar. There are two yud’s for Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak, the two mem’s for Rebbe Menachem Mendel, the vav connected them, and the hei I do not recall (something about a common idea, as is the leit motif of the book).

27 - In another discourse the Rebbe delivered in 1992, the Rebbe discusses the term “Miyad-immediately” that is used in our requests for Moshiach’s coming, that it should be immediate. The Rebbe explains that the word Miyad is an acronym for the last three stages in the process of Moshiach: The daled of Miyad stands for Dov, the first name of the Previous Rebbe’s father, known as the Rebbe Rashab the fifth generation of Chabad leadership. The Yud stands for, Yosef Yitzchak, the names of the Previous Rebbe and the Mem of Miyad stands for Moshiach, whose name is Menachem! Here the Rebbe makes it very clear that the process of Moshiach in recent times has gone through three stages and the final one is Moshiach, whose name is Menachem!

28 - There are two thrones in heaven, one belonging to G-D and the other to King David, for King David was not only crowned on earth, but he was also crowned in heaven. The coronation took place in a great House of Study in the seventh heaven, where a fiery throne awaited him. Groups of angels wove garments of salvation and made crowns of life, fixing precious stones and pearls in them, and anointing them with all kinds of spices and delight. All of these were destined for David, King of Israel. Every kind of angel came forth, as well as all of the heavenly creatures. So too were all of the heavenly treasuries present, along with the clouds of glory, the stars, and all the constellations. Suddenly all of them trembled and cried out, “The heavens declare the glory of G-D” (Ps. 19:1) and lo! King David stood before his throne, facing the throne of G-D, with all the kings of the House of David before him, and all the kings of Israel behind him. Then G-D took His crown and put it on David’s head.

King David’s heavenly crown had the sun, moon, and the twelve constellations fixed on it, its radiance radiating from one end of the world to the other. When the crown was placed on his head. King David began to recite Tehillim of unimaginable beauty that had never been heard before. All the angels and heavenly creatures joined in, along with the firmaments, so that the song echoed everywhere, “G-D is one and His name is one.”

Then a loud voice came forth from Eden, crying, “The Lord shall reign forever and ever!” and King David ascended to the heavenly Temple, where a throne of fire was set for him forty parasangs in height. And when David came and sat down upon his throne, which was opposite the throne of his Creator, he uttered songs and prayers such as had not been heard since the creation of the world. Sanhedrin 38a; Heichalot Rabbati 6; Midrashei Geulah; Masekhet Atzilut (Warsaw, 1876) 54a-b; Siddur Reb Amram Gaon (Warsaw, 1865), publ by N. N. Coronel, 12b-13a; Sefer Eliyahu in Beit ha-Midrash 3:68-78; Likutei Moharan 1:8.

29 - By virtue of their actions alone, the Jewish People did not completely merit Redemption even though the appointed time of Redemption from Egypt had arrived. It was only due to their great plea that they cried because of their bondage that they were redeemed. For when G-d heard the lamentations of the children of Israel, he remembered the covenant he had made with their forefathers. Therefore he sent Moses, his prophet to release Israel from their severe Exile.

Menoras Hamaor 4:Passover:83 – R. Yitzchak Avuhav Hasefardi.

30 - The Redemption will occur in a generation whose only merit is their yearning for Moshiach. It will not matter that the Jews may be on a more inferior spiritual level than prior generations, and are compared to an aravah, a willow, which has neither taste nor fragrance. Sfat Emes, Sukkos 5648

31 - “Ask for G‑d” refers to the restoration of the Kingdom of Heaven; “David their king” the restoration of the Kingdom of the House of David, through Mashiach; “fear before G‑d… His goodness” the restoration of the Bet Hamikdash. For Israel will not see the redemption until they shall return and ask for these! Midrash Shemuel , ch. 13, cit. by Rashi and Redak on Hosea 3:4-5.

32 - It should not suffice to request but instead, we should demand the Redemption … Several times a day, we request in our prayers the redemption. Nevertheless requests alone do not suffice. One must demand the Redemption in the same manner that an employee asks for his salary. Jewish law states that unless an employee demands his wages, there is no obligation upon the employer to pay on the same day. We too must demand the Redemption, for if we do not insist, we then render it as an unimportant issue. Chofetz Chaim, Explanations of the Prayer Book, § 168.

33 - Just as fear is the tachlis of life, Kohelet 12:13, unholy is the undoing. Nobody wants to leave their creature comforts and they are stuck in their stetl life. The Chafetz Chaim was left consternate after Hashem confronted Sarah Imeinu lying about not laughing. Bereshit 18:12-15. He wrote that Hashem helped him realize the true answer to this question: it hints to what will happen before and after the Geulah. When Torah scholars announce that the Geulah is at hand, many people will laugh and not believe. But after the Geulah comes, Hashem will come to each of them and ask, “Why did you laugh?” These people will be afraid and try to deny it. They will say, “I really believed the Geulah was coming. I didn’t laugh” But Hashem will not accept this, and tell each one of them, “No, you laughed!” Chafetz Chaim, Iggarot U’Maamarim 20, Kislev 5690. And by this they will just judged in the Yom ha-Din.

34 - This provides not only a timeline for the destruction of Death, but also the time frame for those who still deny his nesius.


lxx - Malbim on Yechezkel 37:19; Zohar, Vayigash, 206a. The Ramchal too comments on Yeshayahu 37:17, as explained in Ma’amar HaGeulah, ch. 64. The son of David only acts upon the “word” of the son of Ephraim, and the son of Ephraim acts upon the “will” of the son of David.

lxxi - Devarim Rabbah 3:17. lxxii - Cf., Midrash Shir HaShirim 2.

lxxiii - See Yeshayahu 11:13.

lxxiv - Op. cit. at 37:17.

lxxv - See Yeshayahu 11:13 and Rashi there; Midrash Tanchuma, VaYigash, 4; Midrash Breishit Rabati, p. 147; Midrash Agadat Breishit 63; cf., Bereishit Rabba 70:15; and Torah Shelemah on Bereishit 29:16, n. 49.

lxxvi - Sichat Purim 5711; Miketz 5713; Sefer HaSichot 5750, p. 255; Sichot Kodesh 5752, p. 318.

lxxvii - R. Mosheh Sofer summarizes this principle in his Responsa Chatam Sofer VI:98. See also Chatam Sofer al Hatorah, ed. Stern, vol. II: p. 18a, on Exodus 4:26, and n. 9 there.

lxxviii - Accord Rabbi Chaim’s Arba Me’os Shekel Kesef, p. 78b; see Ovadiah of Bartenura, Com. On Ruth; see also Pri Tzaddik, Devarim 13; cf., Igeret Teyman, ch. 4: “With respect to his arising, he will not be known beforehand until it is declared to him… a man, unknown prior to his manifestation, shall rise, and the signs and wonders that will come about through him will be the proof for the authenticity of his claim and pedigree…”

Note that this concept of the ‘bestowal and infusion’ of Mashiach’s soul unto a living tzadik (related to the Kabbalistic concepts of gilgul and ibbur reincarnation and ‘impregnation’) explains the identification of Mashiach with King David himself (see Yeshu’ot Meshicho, Iyun Harishon, ch. 5: hakdamah 6; and see also R. Ya’akov Emden’s com. On the hymns of Hoshana Rabba, end, s.v., hu David atzmo). Likewise, it explains the identification of Mashiach with Moses, when he is called “the first redeemer and the last redeemer” (see Shemot Rabba 2:4, and Devarim Rabba 9:9); and as noted in Zohar I:25b and 253a that the numerical equivalent of Mosheh is the same as that of Shiloh (the term in Bereishit 49:10 denoting Mashiach): the soul of Mashiach is the “soul-of-the-soul” of Moses, so that in effect Moses will be the final redeemer (and there is no problem with the seeming discrepancy of Mashiach being a descendant of David of the tribe of Judah while Moses is a descendent of the tribe of Levi). See R. Chaim Vital’s Likutei Torah, and Sha’ar Hapesukim, on Bereishit 49:10. Note also Or Hachayim on Bereishit 49:11!

lxxix - Chasam Sofer, Responsa, vol. 6, ch. 98.

lxxx - Kol HaTor 2:39.

lxxxi - Beis Yosef (Ohr HaChaim 180).

lxxxii - See Targum Yehonatan, and Bereishit Rabba 98:14, on this verse. Yeshayahu 56:1. Shemot Rabba 30:24.

lxxxiii - Tzemach David, quot. In Midbar Kedemot, s.v. kivuy (kof: ¶. 16). In this context note also Tossafot Harosh on Bereishit 15:6: “He believed in G‑d, and He accounted it to him as tzedakah,” i.e., the Holy One, blessed be He, accounted to Abraham the faith he had in Him as tzedakah (lit. meritorious righteousness). This shows that the prophet’s words that “Zion shall be redeemed by justice and her repatriates by tzedakah” (Yeshayahu 1:27)… and many other such verses, do not refer only to one’s personal or monetary tzedakah (charity). The complete faith of Israel believing all the promises given unto them through the prophets is also referred to as tzedakah. It is worthy in the eyes of G‑d, and (by virtue thereof) in His great compassion He will bring upon us that which He promised us. Cf., Mechilta , Beshalach, Vayehi: end of ch. 6; Eliyahu Rabba, ch. 25; and Maharal, Netzach Yisrael, ch. 26.

lxxxiv - Sanhedrin 97b (quot. Yeshayahu 30:18); See Yalkut Shimoni, Eichah. Similarly, “Even if the Jews] have nothing but hope, they deserve redemption” (ibid, Tehillim 737); In this light, Chida explains the prayer “Speedily send the offspring of Your servant David…because we hope for Your salvation all day.” We request that G-D send Moshiach even if we seemingly have no merits. Why? “We hope for Your salvation” as a reward for our hope alone, we deserve to be redeemed (Midbar Kedeimos, erech “Kivuy”). Likewise, Sefer HaKuzari states: “You will arise land] have mercy upon Zion, for it is time to favor her, for the time has come” [Tehillim 102:14]. For you [Jews] always .. take pleasure in her stones and favor her dust” [ibid.]. Yerushalayim will be rebuilt when the Jewish people desires it to the maximum, taking pleasure in and favoring her stones and dust. (maamar 5, ch. 27).

lxxxv - Yalkut Shimoni, Lamentations Par. 997 (A generation which searches for my sovereignty will be redeemed immediately).

lxxxvi - Bet Yossef on Tur-Orach Chayim ch. 188 (fr. Midrash Shemuel, ch. 13, as quot. By Shibalei Haleket, sect. 157).

R. Shimon bar Yochai taught a parable of a man who punished his son. The son did not know why he was being punished, but thereafter his father said to him: “Now go and do that which I had ordered you many days ago and you ignored me.”

“Even so, all the thousands that perished in battle in the days of David, perished only because they did not demand that the Bet Hamikdash be built. This presents an a fortiori argument:

“If this happened to those in whose midst there had not been a Bet Hamikdash, which, therefore, was not destroyed in their days, yet they were punished for not demanding it, how much more so then with regards to ourselves in whose days the Bet Hamikdash is destroyed and we do not mourn it and do not seek mercy for it!” Midrash Tehilim 17:4; Midrash Shemuel, ch. 31; cit. by Redak on II-Samuel 24:25, see there; and in Halachic context in Roke’ach, Hilchot Tefilah, sect. 322. See also Responsa Chatam Sofer VI: no. 86.

lxxxvii - Baba Metzia 9:12 (111a).

lxxxviii - Sichot Chafetz Chaim, par. 14; quot. In Chafetz Chaim al Siddur Hatefilah, par. 168 (p. 80).Note in this context that Yerushalmi, Ta’anit 1:1 enumerates as one of the five things by virtue of which Israel shall be redeemed, “tzevachah an outcry of prayer” for the redemption (cf., the version in Midrash Tehilim 106:9).

As for Ketuvot 111a and Shir Rabba 2:7 (cf., Tanchuma, ed. Buber, Devarim:4, note 13) that G‑d adjured Israel not to press for a hastening of the ketz (cf., Rashi on Ketuvot 111a, “through excessive prayer”): (a) Note Responsa Avnei Nezer, Yoreh De’ah, no. 454, par. 40ff., that this does not fall into Halachic purview of practical implications. (b) The adjuration to Israel was counterbalanced by another one to the nations of the world not to make the yoke of exile too heavy on Israel “for by making their yoke too heavy on Israel they would cause the end to come before its time!” (Shir Rabba, ibid.) As the nations clearly violated the oath addressed to them, therefore, Israel is freed from its own. (Cf., Maharal, Netzach Yisrael, ch. 24; and see Kovetz Torah shebe’al Peh, vol. XIII, Yerushalayim 1971, pp. 144-5.)

Moreover, (c) Berayta deR. Yishmael in Pirkei Heichalot (cit. in R. Chaim Vital’s intro. To Eitz Chayim) states in cmt. On Daniel 7:25 that these adjurations were in effect for 1000 years only, and no more! (Cf. Zohar II:17a; and also ibid., I:116b). Cf., Chida, Midbar Kedemot, s.v. gimel:25, and Devash Lefi, s.v. yod:11 (which seems per Rabbi Schochet to be based on R. Chaim Vital’s Sha’ar Hapesukim, Daniel 12); and see also Petach Einayim on Sanhedrin 98a.

On the issue of Messianic activism, see also Darkei Chayim Veshalom (Munkatsh), pp. 143ff. and 213ff.

lxxxix - Likutey Moharan II, #8.

xc - Likkutei Sichot, Tzav (5748), p. 347.

xci - Bereishit 49:9.

xcii - Amos 3:8.

xciii - Based on Bamidbar 23:24; see Midrash Lekach Tov (Buber ed.), 1:235.

xciv - Yalkut haMakhiri (Berlin, 1892) ad Yeshayahu 11:4, p. 86.

-1

Rabbi Hillel of Sklov, a student of the Gaon of Vilna, wrote Kol Hator based on the Gaon's teachings. This answer is based more on the title of the question than its content.

The Gaon considered King Cyrus, the two Hebrew midwives in Egypt, and others are considered to be on a divine mission, a mission of Moshiach ben Yosef.

I can't explain it very well, but what I heard is that the Moshiach ben Yosef fixes what's broken, and the Moshiach ben David polishes what is already whole.

The ben Yosef gets his, or her, hands dirty in fighting etc., and the ben David is more like Shlomo haMelekh, i. e. ruling without really fighting.

I think that different people have different amounts of the ben David or the ben Yosef quality. I also think its clear that the final Rebbe of the Lubavitch dynasty doesn't match the description given by the Rambam and the prophets of Israel for the Messianic era. Shabbetai Tzvi and J**** of Nazareth also didn't match these requirements, but the Lubavitcher Rebbe achieved more than either of those failed messiahs (obviously).

If the Hebrew calendar corresponds to 6 days of creation, the year 1990 C. E. corresponds to high noon on Erev Shabbat.

In Talmud Bavli Sanhedrin 97b, it is said that for two thousand years there was tohu, two thousand years the Torah flourished, and (footnote: Messiah will come) in the next two thousand years. So we can expect the Messianic era some time between 240 and 2240 C. E., well after the Bar Kochba revolt failed.

To quote Kol Hator,

  1. [c] [Isa. 60:22] “in its time, I will hasten it.” Our Sages interpreted this principle to mean that, if they [the People of Israel] merit it, I will hasten it [the Redemption]; if not, I will bring it in its own time (Sanhedrin 98a).

I think there were opportunities that were missed.

Again in Kol Hator,

The basic approach of the Gaon is encapsulated in the principle “Yosef is still alive, ” meaning that the Mashiach ben Yosef is still alive and will live, because, as it is written, every aspect of the beginning of the Redemption is dependent on him. Thus the decree regarding his murder by Armilus the Wicked will be canceled. It will be canceled by extending the period of the exile, by afflictions that the Mashiach ben Yosef will suffer and diseases he will bear, and also by deeds that he will accomplish with great devotion, such as gathering in exiles, which is his mission. What will also help are messianic pangs and afflictions connected with Eretz Israel, and our regular, daily prayers for the life and success of Mashiach ben Yosef. Those who occupy themselves with gathering in the exiles, lighten the afflictions of Mashiach ben Yosef during the period called “the footsteps of the Mashiach.” The decree regarding the death of Mashiach ben Yosef will be nullified by subdivision into small parts, as in the parable recounted in the Midrash. There is a parable of a king who became angry with his son and swore to throw a big stone at him. Afterwards, he regretted what he had said, and had compassion on him. In order to fulfill his vow nevertheless, he broke up the big stone into many small ones and threw all these small stones at his son one by one. Thus the son was not killed, yet he suffered from the small stones. These are the pangs of the Mashiach: the suffering will come gradually, together with the 999 footsteps of the Mashiach, in such a way that the decree is divided into 999 small parts.

https://web.archive.org/web/20130528151557/http://www.yedidnefesh.com/kaballah/kol-hator/index.htm

I'm comfortable with believing that the Lubavitcher Rebbe was one of those 999 parts.

Apologies if this doesn't make sense, is off-topic, or is offensive.

12
  • It's a nice d'var torah, and nothing about it was offensive, but it kind of sidesteps the question. The question is not whether the Rebbe Z"L was part of a process leading up to Moshiach; it's a question of whether he was/is the Moshiach, and how it's possible to reconcile that with the apparent disqualification for the job inherent in being dead.
    – Shaul Behr
    May 20 '15 at 11:35
  • I would say that my answer is/should be that the Rebbe was not the Moshiach ben David, but that the fact that he died puts him more in the ben Yosef category.
    – user4651
    May 20 '15 at 11:55
  • OK, as I said, it's a nice d'var Torah, but it is off topic.
    – Shaul Behr
    May 20 '15 at 12:23
  • And for those who like quoting the Vilna Gaon teaching as brought by Rabbi Hillel of Shklov, how do you incorporate it with what the Gaon teaches in regard to the concept of the Nachash HaKadmoni. The Gaon emphasizes that the Nachash starts from a single tail, splits into two bodies and then both heads return to bite the single tail and become one again. The Gaon explains in many places that this is what the concept of Moshiach ben Yosef and Moshiach ben David is about. Details can be found in his commentary to Tikkunei Zohar Chadash, Sifra d'Tzniutah and L'Shem Shevo v'Achlamah. Jun 1 '15 at 19:01
  • 1
    @Dude How can someone be from two tribes at once?
    – Double AA
    Jun 24 '16 at 4:38
-1

PART I – History & Tradition

There is a moshel about the Karliner Rebbe. Rebbe Shlomo Karliner died al kiddush Hashem. There are a few stories about his death. The following is an account from Lithuanian Hasidism: During the war between Russian and Poland, the Russian commander gave his troops permission to do as they pleased with the Jew of Ludmir for two hours. (NB: Rebbe Shlomo had fled to Ludmir because of persecution of misnagdim in Karlin) This was on the Shabbat eve, when almost all of the Jews of the town had taken refuge in the synagogue in which Rebbe Shelomo of Karlin was in the habit of praying. Rebbe Shelomo was standing by the table and saying the kiddush with his usual intense devotion. Just then, a lame Cossak passed by the synagogue and aimed a rifle at Rebbe Shelomo. R Shelomo’s small grandson, who standing next to him, saw what was happening and tugged at R Shelomo’s robe to rouse him from his trance. At that same moment the Cossak fired at him and wounded him. Rebbe Shelomo said that if his grandson had not roused him from his trance of devotion, the Cossak would not have had the power to harm him. The hasidim wanted to take R Shelomo out of the synagogue, but he refused to move until he had finished sanctifying the Shabbat. When he had finished his prayer, they laid him on a bed, and while they were dressing his wound, he asked for the Zohar to be brought to him. The volume remained open in front of him till his soul departed. It is also added that Cossak was really Armilus, who according to the Medrash is to kill Moshiach ben Yosef. It is said that Rebbe Shelomo was Moshiach ben Yosef in his dor.1

It is possible that Armilus ben Belial, as mentioned by Saadia Gaon,i in the final battle of Mashiach ben Yossef against Edom per Rabbi Schochet,ii will kill Mashiach ben Yosef2 (who’s role is of political and military nature)iii at this time.iv While Armilus may be Gog,v because this war is a donnybrook between two kings, authorities have differentiated betwixt them.vi

Armilus (the tenth king3)vii is described as being the product of a sexual union between the Adversary and stone statute in Rome.viii Just as the goyishne name Ester relates to Asherah, Ishtar, Astarte, Ashtoret, Easter, eventually culminating in the pagan idol Aphrodite/Venus, this is obviously the getchka personifying sex. More than that, this is the raison d’étre of Ami-raka, as has been in vogue for all time. It started with a woman and it ends with a woman: “They say that there is in Rome a beautiful a stone of marble, and it has the shape of a beautiful girl. She was created in the six days of the Beginning. And worthless people from the nations of the world come and lie with her, and she becomes pregnant, and at the end of nine months she bursts open, and a male child emerges, in the shape of a man whose height is twelve cubits and whose breadth is two cubits. His eyes are red and crooked, the hair of his head is red like gold [also like Edom], and the steps of his feet are green [ = he is accustomed to jealously?], and he has two skulls [he is Janus-faced?]. They call him Armilus.”ix

He will rule for 40 days and his hand will be heavier than 40 s’in.x He will set and rule in Imus (Arab. For Emmaus), the home of his father.xi This was identified as present day Imwas by Edward Robinson, but also previous by Josephus Flavius. Judas Maccabeus was victorious here against the Selucids. This was also the home of Rabbi Akiva (one of four who entered Paradise, but the only one who ascended on high, passed through the palaces of heaven, and descended in peace)xii before a bunch of idolaters moved in. During the Jewish revolt, which the then-Mashiach died, the Romans stationed a legion here.

PART II – Halacha & Minhag

Even if the Mashiach appears to die, nonetheless, this is like a duck swimming on top of a lake. All we see if the surface, where the duck glides majestically, and everything seems to be following naturally in the ways of the world. But under the surface, the duck’s legs are moving furiously every which way. We do not always see what goes on behind the scenes. Speaking of that, the Rambam deleted several paragraphs (following the Venice 1574 ed.) after 11:4, ¶2, that discounted any Mashiach that died. While silence is tantamount to confession,xiii this appears more like an outright reversal of opinion.

Besides Rambam’s Hilchot Melachim u’Melech HaMashiach, chs. 11-12 (citing four rai’ah’s including the fourfold promise in Devarim 30:3-5; prophets; a four-part prophecy of Bilamxiv contrasting the first iteration of Mashiachxv with the final Mashiach; & from the additional cities that will be added), Yeshayahu 11 provides the bulk of the criteria. After the first Era, whether he is from the living or from the dead,xvi if he satisfies the first four prongs, he will qualify for the chezkat Mashiach and, presumably after the second Era, if he fulfills the latter four prongs he can be adjudged [prob. By Eliyahu] as Moshiach vadai.

In any case, there is always a candidate for Mashiach. “In every generation there is one righteous man [Mashiach HaDor]4 who merits to be the Messiah… and when the time comes, G-d will reveal Himself to him and send him.”xvii The avodah of the Nosi Hador, who is the Moshiach she’be’dor,xviii is to uplift Yidden from their personal golus, empower them to imbue every aspect of life with the spirit of Moshiach, thereby ushering in the era of yemos haMoshiach!xix

It could be that this final Mashiach is among those Resurrected (prob. Among the seven Shepherds and the eight Anointed Individuals)xx.xxi Abarbanel in Yeshuot Meshicho (cit. Derech Eretz Zuta 1) shows that Mashiach was taken to Gan Eden alive – Hashem prepares the cure before the afflictionxxii – and will be brought back later. And if we are meritorious, he will be resurrected in a miraculous manner.xxiii

This cyclical concept is probably based on the pasuk in Daniel 9:24-26 where the Temple will be destroyed after 490 years (= 70 years of exile + 420 years of the Temple)xxiv after Prince Cyrusxxv gives the okay to rebuild. But then the one’s that destroyed the Temple (i.e, the Romans),xxvi after they form a pact for a week (= 7 years) and subsequently do an about-face and suspend the Temple sacrifices after half this “week,”xxvii these Romansxxviii will be destroyed and lie dormant until the war of Gog uMagog5. However, in the process the Moshiach ben Yosef (sc., Bar Kochba6 ,xxix F/K/A Kozbi 7)8 will die following Mashiach ben David9 being whiskedxxx away to Gan Eden10.xxxi At the end of the wars, Mashiach will emerge from imprisonment via our good deeds. However, there will be ten heavenly voices and instructions preceding this.xxxii

Click here to see Parts III & IV


1 - There is a similar account in Shama Shlomo, p.24, but says he was in the middle of davening, with his head in the aron hakodesh. It also says he refused medical treatment on Shabbos and died about a week later.

2 - But not before starting the process for the Ingathering (such as building a Yeshivah in Eretz Yisrael) and rebuilding the Temple. See Pirkei Heichalot Rabbati, ch. 39; Sefer Zerubavel; Midrash Agadat Mashiach (most of which is quot. In Lekach Tov, Balak, on Bamidbar 24;17ff). It appears from Nistarot Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, publ. in Bet HaMidrash 3:80, that Mashiach ben Yosef will sprout up, bring the Jews up to Yerushalayim, rebuild the Temple, and offer the sacrifices. And a fire will come from heaven and consume the offerings. If they have not acquired merits, Mashiach ben Efrayim will come, but if so Mashiach ben David will come. Then the Jews will be exiled for 45 days, as mentioned in many other places like Midrash Lekach Tov (Vilna, 1880), pp. 258-59, to be tested and purified, and Mashiach ben Efrayim will die there. Hashem will reveal Mashiach ben David, but they will not believe him forcing him to retire and hide from them. Afterwards, Hashem will reveal Himself to them in His Glory, the Mashiach (ben Amiel – Sefer Zerubavel (Wertheimer ed.), publ. in Batei Midrashot 2:502) will sprout up and he will blow, Yeshayahu 11:4 (see Targum ad loc.), upon that wicked Armilus (in his face – Sefer Zerubavel (Wertheimer ed.), publ. in Batei Midrashot 2:502), from the valley of Shittim, and slay him. He will be buried east of the Kinneret, meriting burial because he is a descendent of Yefes who covered his father. Rashi and Radak; Targum on Yechezkel 38:11. Following this, fire will descend from heaven and devour Yerushalayim down to 3 cubits. And He will evict the foreigner, the uncircumcised, and the impure from her midst. Concludingly, the Divine Temple will descend from Zvul.

3 - Which are gilgulim of those kings who persecuted the Jews and destroyed the Temple. Zohar, “Bereishis” 58. Cf. Vilna Gaon, Aderes Eliyahu, 5th ed., “Balak.”

4 - According to Chaim Hezekiah Medini, not only is there such a figure in each generation, but this figure was sometimes explicitly identified as such. “They assumed who he [Moshiach] may be… Rabbi Judah the prince… in his generation they said and knew that it was he who was worthy… and [he goes through a few other generations and then adds] based on this the disciples of the Arizal wrote that in his time it was him. All this is simple and straightforward.” Peat Hasadeh § 1, rule 70. As such, we should be taking an active interest in nominating our candidate and moving forward with geula. “I have done all I can do, now I give it over to you to do all that you can do to bring Moshiach in actuality.” Rebbe on 28 Nissan, 5751.

5 - Near the time of redemption, a great and boundless war will break out in heaven, and there will be a corresponding war on earth. Eternal beings and mortal beings will battle one another. Destructive angels will attack the Jews and seek to destroy and eradicate them. Evil will expand its dominion and strive to intensify the exile. It will be a time of great confusion, and some will be tempted to abandon their faith. But the people of Israel must persevere and hold fast to their faith. Only then will the time of redemption be fulfilled and there will be peace and tranquility, rest and calm. Brit Menuchah, 21b.

6 - His downfall is causally related to Rabbi Akiva and his students. See “The Mystery of Lag B’Omer” – Puzzling questions surround the holiday of Lag B’Omer, the 33rd day of counting the Omer by Rabbi Pinchas Stolper.

7 - Some other former candidates include: Shet, Bereishit Rabbah 23, Chanoch, Moshe, Shimshon, Bereishis Rabboh 98, David, and Menachem ben Amiel during the days of David, Bamidbar Rabbah 13, uncensored Pirkei deRabbi Eliezer, § 19 (e.g., HUC Ms. 75 fol. 25b), Sefer Zerubbabel, publ. in Bet HaMidrash by Adolph Jellinek 2:55, as mentioned when Zerubbabel questioned Metatron in a Yemeni ms., no. 890, Add. 3381, Cambridge Univ. Library, trans. By Raphael Patai in The Mashiach Texts, King Chizkiyahu, Sanhedrin 98b, Zerubbabel, Midrash Tanchuma (Buber ed.) 1:139, Zacharya, Midrash Tanchuma Toldot, who was Hadrach – the man who led people to repentance, Midrash Shir HaShirim 7, AriZal, Rabbi Chayim Vital, Shivhe Rabbi Chayim Vital, pp. 2b-3a, the Gr”a’s great-grandfather R’ Eliyahu HaChasid, Kol HaTor 2:108, Stoliner Rebbe, Mintz, Legends, p. 201, Rebbe Nachman, and the last two Chabad Rebbe’im.

8 - Rabbi Akiva only considered Bar Kochba to be Mashiach ben Yosef. Yeshuos Meshicho, vol. 2, ch. 4.

9 - Mashiach was created when the Temple in Yerushalayim was destroyed. At that time G-D commanded Elijah the Prophet to bring scales to him. On one side of the scales Elijah would place the captive Mashiach, along with the souls of the dead, and Elijah would fill the other scales with tears, torture, and the souls of the Tzaddikim. And when this had been done, G-D announced that the face of the Mashiach would be seen when the scales were balanced. IFA, no. 6929, collected in Yisrael by Uri Resler from his uncle of Rumania.

10 - Noting that the Cave of Machpeleh is the entrance to Gan Eden, it is interesting that the first place Mashiach will go is this cave. Pesikta diRabbi Kahana (Mendelbaum ed.), p. 464. Since Machpeleh is the nexus point of power, it makes sense that Avraham would want to buy the cave. Gen. R. 598:8; Mid. The. 92:6.


i - Emunot Vede’ot VIII:ch. 5-6; see also the com. On Shir Hashirim attrib. to R. Saadiah Gaon, publ. in Chamesh Megilot im Perushim Atikim (Miginzei Teyman), ed. Y. Kapach, on Song 7:12-14 (p. 115; and also in Midreshei Ge’ulah, p. 131f.; as noted already by the editors, this passage is most probably based on Sefer Zerubavel); comp. in “Three Commentaries on Shir HaShirim,” trans in When Moshiach Comes, pt. 2, Ch. 2; see also Beit ha-Midrash 1:56, 2:51, 3:141.

ii - Mashiach in Jewish Law by J. Immanuel Schochet, app’x II; see the Messianic Midrashim Zerubavel; Agadat Mashiach; Vayosha etc. (Spec. references are offered in R. Margolius, Malachei Elyon, pt. II, s.v. Armilas.) Note that the final battle of Mashiach ben Yossef is said to be against Armilus, ruler of Edom. See the Messianic Midrashim Zerubavel; Agadat Mashiach; Vayosha etc. (Spec. references are offered in R. Margolius, Malachei Elyon, pt. II, s.v. Armilas).

iii - See Sukkah 52a, based on Zecharya 12:12.

iv - The Holy AriZal says our kavanah during the Throne of David benediction for the Amidah, should be that Mashiach ben Ephrayim should not die by Armilus. Sefer Toldot HaAri by Benayahu, pp. 199, 258. For the prayer, see Kol HaTor 1:33-34.

v - See Chevlei Moshiach and Ramak on Zohar, “Bereishis” 119; see also coms. On Yeshayahu 11:4.

vi - Midrash VaYosha (cit. in Shomer Emunim and Darchei Emunah, Maamer HaGeulah).

vii - A careful reading of Yechezkel 38:2-3, 5-6, & 9, will confirm this, and king overall – Sefer Zerubavel (Wertheimer ed.), publ. in Batei Midrashot 2:502.

viii - Midrash Aseret HaShvatim, publ. in Otzar Midrashim, 466.

ix - Tefillat of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, publ. in Bet HaMidrash 4:124-26 [q.v. at length]; see also Midrash Aseret ha-Shvatim in Otzar Midrashim, 466; Pirkei Heichalot Rabbati, trans in When Moshiach Comes, pt. 2, Ch. 2; Otot ha-Mashiah in Beit ha-Midrash 2:58-63; Midrash Heichalot, trans in When Moshiach Comes, pt. 2, Ch. 2.

x - Midrash Aseret HaShvatim.

xi - Sefer Zerubavel (Wertheimer ed.), publ. in Batei Midrashot 2:502; Midrash frag. By Mamorstein, publ. in the Revue des Études Juives (“REJ”) 52 (1906), p. 183.

xii - Chagiga 14b-15a; see Tosefta Chagiga 23; Bereishit Rabbah 2:4; Vayikra Rabbah 16:4; Shir ha-Shirim Rabbah 1:10; Yerushalmi Chagiga 77a-b; see also Heichalot Zutartei,8 ##338-39, 246-48,8 from Ms. Munich 22,8 ##344-48,8 from Ms. New York; Geniza frag. (TS 21/95); Magen Avot 58b; cf., IFA no. 13901, told by Ya`akov Alfasi of Morocco (Azimur) (about four Rabbi’s who merited to go to heaven during Sukkot). xiii - Yevamot 87b.

xiv - Bamidbar, chs. 23-24. See the various Midrashim interpreting Bilam’s prophecies; Rambam’s Igeret Teyman, ch. 3; and Mashmi’a Yeshu’ah, s.v. Mevasser Harishon.

xv - See Targum Onkelos ad Bamidbar 24:17-18.

xvi - Sanhedrin 98b; see Pnei Moshe on Brachot 2:4.

xvii - Responsa Chatam Sofer VI:98.

xviii - Accord Kovetz – ‘Nasi Hador.’

xix - Sefer Hasichos 5752, p. 245.

xx - See Micah 5:4; Sukkah 52b (quot. Zechariah 2:3); Yoma 5a.

xxi - N.B., both Rashi’s and the comment of Ben Yehoyada on Sanhedrin 98b; see Midrash Eichah Rabbah 1:51 (and Yfei Anaf loc. Cit.); see also the handwritten gloss added by the Rebbe to the printed draft of a sichah delivered on Shabbat Parshat Tazria-Metzora, 6 Iyar, 5751, fn. 45, as reproduced in Kuntreis Tzadik LaMelech, Vol. VI, p. 210; Shaarei Geulah, Vol. ii, p. 57, fn.6; “Everlasting Life” by Rabbi N. Davidson, in Beis Moshiach, No. 49, p. 34.

xxii - Rashbam on Bava Batra 91a; Michtav MeEliyahu II, p. 128 (based on the Yalkut Shemoni).

xxiii - Sdei Chemed by Rabbi Chizkiya Medini, Pe’as HaSadeh, Maarechet Alef, fn. 70; see Or HaChayim, Parshat Balak, on Bamidbar 24:17; see also Zohar I, 203b; Arba Meiot Shekel Kessef by Rabbi Chayim Vital, p. 68; Shaar HaGilgulim, ch. 13; Meorei Tzion, ch. 97; Biurei Zohar by the Alter Rebbe, p. 106b; Biurei Zohar by the Tzemach Tzedek and idem, Yahel Or, on Tehillim 82; Or HaChamah on Zohar 1, 7b & 212a; see also the closing phrase of Basi LeGani 5711 (transl. in Eng.), p. 103.

xxiv - Seder Olam.

xxv - Cf., Megillah 12a.

xxvi - Rashi.

xxvii - See Gittin 56a.

xxviii - See Ramban, Sefer Hageula, pt. 3, identifying these people.

xxix - Yerushalmi Ta`anit 68d, Bavli Shabbat 93b, see Hil. Melachim 11:3; and cf., Yeshu’ot Meshicho, Iyun Harishon: ch.4.

xxx - For how he was snatched away from his mother, as well as his name, see Yerushalmi Brachos 82:4; Eichah Rabbasi 1:16; see also Midrash Zuta, Eichah; Bereishis Rabbasi. For a deep explanation, see R. Chaim Vital, Arba Me’os Shekel Kesef, p.78b, where he quotes R. Avraham Azulai in Ohr HaChamak 2, p. 7b. Also see the Chasam Sofer, Responsa, vol. 6, ch. 98, p. 5, s.v., “Hareini Nair,” and his com. On Shemos, p. 18; and pt. I of When Moshiach Comes, chs. 7 and 15.

xxxi - See Chasam Sofer, Responsum, vol 6, ch 8.

xxxii - See Midrash Lekach Tov, Pesikta Zutrasa, Balak, trans in When Moshiach Comes, pt. 2, Ch. 2.

4
  • Besides being written in fascinating English (did you write this yourself?), this answer doesn't mention Chabad or its last Rebbe at all. How does this answer the question?
    – magicker72
    May 28 at 18:07
  • Sorry, I haven't finished writing it. I was up til 530 am last night compiling it from notes in yeshiva, the doros library in Manhattan, farbrengens, and my own personal library.
    – Kfir
    May 28 at 18:13
  • You can put up to 30000 characters in your posts, so there's no need to split this. In any case, if you haven't gotten to your point after three very long posts, this may not be the right place for your answer. Consider condensing.
    – magicker72
    May 28 at 19:13
  • Oh OK, thanks, I will combine the two!
    – Kfir
    May 28 at 19:15

You must log in to answer this question.