Thursday, June 30, 2005

Open wound in good journalism.

By the grace of G-d
Shalom uBrocha!
Debra Nussbaum Cohen quoted me in her new article "Lubavitch’s Open Wound At 770"
While she did interview me over the phone few weeks ago:
"Rabbi Ariel Sokolovsky was among the men arrested Nov. 3. The Boston resident is an ardent messianist who visits 770 several times a year.

“I describe the rebbe as alive,” Rabbi Sokolovsky said in an interview. “The body of moshiach does not die, even if it appears to be so. A tzaddik [righteous person] can materialize himself in the world if he needs to. “Concealment does not mean that the rebbe has an invisible body,” he said. “It has to do with people’s readiness to see it. It’s people’s perception.”

Rabbi Sokolovsky said he has met people who have seen the rebbe in person since he died. "

It is just 1 quote from a half hour interview and a number of email exchanges. It doesn't convey the full meaning of my explanation to her about my understanding of the eternal life of Moshiach or the meaning of the statement that the body of Moshiach doesn't die.

If you have any questions about this please contact me for clarification.

With respect and blessing.
Ariel Sokolovsky
Long Live our Master our Teacher and our Rebbe King Moshiach Forever and Ever!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Lubavitcher Rebbe on: A Referendum


From the writings of The Lubavitcher Rebbe

The wording of the question, when they go to make a referendum on giving away territory!

“I suspect those who wish to solve the dispute on the retreat by making a referendum, because inherent danger lies in the very wording which will be offered. If they will come and ask the nation: “Are you prepared to give up land in return for peace?” - this would constitute a deliberate misleading of the voters, because by posing the question in this deceitful form, they are already slipping in half the response which they wish to elicit; as if to suggest that giving away land will bring peace.

If they are going for such a referendum, this should be only on condition that they will set out the wording in a form such as follows:
Is it worth while to place a life-threatening danger into every single home in Eretz Israel, to bring on the threat of war, with Israel left remaining without oil, without borders, without defense, with the enemy close to our major population centers, in return for the signature of Sadat (at the time this was said - translator), at a time when Egypt to this day has already betrayed their signature four times; and it is clear that Sadat will not live much longer and will not rule over Egypt for ever; and it is clear that he has no control over the Arabs in Yehuda and Shomron, and that the Arabs of Yehuda and Shomron announce publicly that their intention is to annihilate and kill all people who dwell in Zion. And it is clear that even were one group to agree to peace, other groups will not be in agreement – so the question is – given this situation, is it worth while to return lands in return for a piece of paper which obligates nobody?”

(From a private interview with Mr Shmuel Katz)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Stone vandalism an old tradition in Chabad:-)

By the grace of G-d
Shalom uBrocha!
(See the end of this story to see what I mean:-)
It Once Happened
Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai (known by his acronym, Rashbi), was one the Jewish people's greatest Sages. He was a student of Rabbi Akiva and lived at the height of the Roman persecutions. Even among the greatest of our people, he was widely recognized as exceptional in piety and holiness. It was said of him that every woman should pray that her son emulate him, and that so exceptional was he, that his merit alone sufficed to protect his entire generation.
When it was decreed by the Romans that Rabbi Shimon be put to death for his anti-government remarks, he went into hiding together with his son, Elazar. They concealed themselves in a cave for twelve years, spending all their time learning Torah. When, at long last, the death sentence expired and they emerged from the cave, they had risen to such heights of holiness and divine comprehension that they saw the world in a different light from average person. Although Rabbi Shimon was great before his concealment, when he emerged from the cave he was greater by far. Before his stay in the cave he could respond to every question of his father-in-law Rabbi Pinchas ben Yair with twelve answers; when the twelve years of study had concluded, he could supply twenty-four answers.

Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai composed many volumes of Torah commentary, but he is probably best known for the Zohar, which is the basic work of Kabala. In accordance with Rabbi Shimon's wishes, the anniversary of his death (yarzeit), which is on the thirty-third day of the Omer, is marked by great celebrations, particularly at the site of his tomb in Meron in Northern Israel, where huge crowds gather from every part of the world.

It is somewhat unusual to celebrate on a yarzeit. One possible source for this ancient custom at Rashbi's tomb is based upon the fact that the Roman death sentence against Rabbi Shimon was annulled through a miracle. Since those killed by the Romans were denied burial, the celebration is marked at his tomb, indicating that Rabbi Shimon died a natural death.

The unusual custom of burning costly items at his gravesite has been practiced over the centuries. The holy Rabbi Chaim ben Attar (known as the Or Hachaim) observed this custom when he went to Meron on Lag B'Omer. When he reached the tomb he declared, "How can such a lowly creature as I enter into this place of fire that issues forth with tongues of flame?" He is said to have burned a number of expensive items of clothing in honor of Rashbi. (Some say that the value of the clothing was then donated to charity as a holy offering in honor of the tzadik.)

The antiquity and continuity of these customs are evidenced by records in the diary of a traveler dating from 1522, "...On the fifteenth of Iyar a great caravan was formed in Meron; more than one thousand souls were there, for many came from Damascus with their wives and children, and most of the community of Safed, and the whole community of Levukim, which is a village near the cave where Rashbi and his son were hidden... and there we passed two days and two nights [coinciding with Lag B'Omer] celebrating and rejoicing."

In a later account by Rav Asher Zelig Margolies (1941) the pilgrimage to the tomb of Rashbi was described in detail: "It is impossible to describe the greatness of the day of joy and exultation with trembling which takes place in Meron on Lag B'Omer-one can actually see that it is a day of simcha for the upper worlds and the is actually a simcha like that of the world-to-come. Some who are there sing out and rejoice, exult and delight in dances of holiness, with the joy of singing 'Bar Yochai' and other holy songs; others stand wrapped in sacred emotions, pouring out their souls in unceasing streams of tears near the holy burial sites of Rashbi and his son Rabbi Elazer...Here and there, groups are seen with children, dancing and clapping, holding the little ones on their shoulders and giving the [three-year old boys] their first hair-cuts. Distributing wine and cakes, calling out l'chaim and exchanging blessings - and the crowds dub these little children 'the bridegrooms of Rashbi...' "

In times gone by it was customary in many places in Europe for people to visit cemeteries on Lag B'Omer led by members of the local burial society who would check the condition of all the graves, noting which needed repairs. After the survey of the graveyard was completed, the townsfolk enjoyed some boiled eggs, cakes and liquor.

The town of Homil, which was famous as the home of the tzadik Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac (a Chasid of Rabbi Dov Ber of Lubavitch), was a place which honored this custom. In Homil, only when the tables were arranged and piled with food would a carriage would be sent for the Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac, who would first visit the cemetery and after deliver some words of Torah.

One year on Lag B'Omer, Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac passed through the cemetery and paused to read a certain tombstone. For several moments he stood deep in thought. Then he turned to one of the officials of the burial society and said, "In the Heavenly Court, they are demanding an accounting of all the marvelous things which are written about the deceased on this stone!" Then he added, "Go at once and bring me an ax!"

When the man returned with the ax, Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac ordered him to demolish the inscription on the stone. When the writing was no longer legible the rabbi returned to the waiting townspeople with the explanation: "I was delayed because I was doing a favor for a fellow Jew."

In the description bellow on COL they call bochurim vandals I bet they would have called Rav Yitzhok Homiller a vandal too...

With respect and blessing
Ariel Sokolovsky

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Setlements are good for Israel’s Security

By the grace of G-d

Erev Yom Kippur 1983

At the beginning of today’s daily shiur it speaks about the blessing of Moses to the tribe of Dan, Naftali, and Asher, after which there appears the verse “Iron and copper shall be your locks”, which, as Rashi comments, this speaks for all of Israel.
The essence of the matter: Hereby does the Torah emphasis: Iron and copper shall be your locks, - that the strong ones of all Israel must live on the border cities, and lock the borders that the enemy not enter, as if the land were closed with locks and bars of iron and copper.

It is understood and clear that it is G-d himself who guards Israel, Behold he does not slumber or sleep, nonthe less it is G-d’s Will that it is imperative that all natural preventive action must be taken.

And this is the halachic ruling – one goes out to war against them fully armed even on Shabbat. From here is evidently clear a fortiori - not to give land of Eretz Israel to the Nations – on the contrary not allow the enemy to make entry!

From the talks of The Lubavitcher Rebbe King Moshiach Shlit"a

Why are you placing terrorists into prison? Kill them!!!

By the grace of G-d

From the words of the Rebbe to Mr. Zvi Caspi, originally recorded in the Kfar Chabad magazine vol. 635

You are mistaken with your policy of capturing terrorists and putting them into prison. These terrorists are coming to murder. We have a ruling; “One who comes to kill you, take pre-emptive action – kill him!”Then the Rebbe added his vision:
You will pay dearly by putting them into prison, because in the future you will be beset with assorted demands to strike a ‘deal’ to free them as part of an exchange agreement.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Moshiach in Arabic

Friday, June 10, 2005

Moshiach on the Six-Day war

Gathering at the Western Wall to express thanks and gratitude. From left to right: Rabbi Yisrael Ariel (in combat helmet), the Nazarite - HaRav David Cohen, and HaRav Tzvi Yehuda Kook. (from Temple Institute web site)

By the grace of G-d
The Rebbe King Moshiach Shlit"a (May He live forever and ever!) on the Six-Day War

The following is a transcript of the Rebbe’s remarks given in a private meeting on Av 5, 5727 (August 12, 1967), shortly after the Six-Day War, as recalled by Rabbi Chaim Gutnick of Melbourne, Australia, and published (in Hebrew) in Kfar Chabad Magazine, issue no. 806:

...Three times in our generation, G-d has granted us an opportunity for the beginning of the Redemption. But these opportunities were missed, and it is the Jewish leadership which is to blame.

The first opportunity was in 1948. You know that I have a particular enthusiasm for Rashi’s commentary on the Torah. Well, Rashi says regarding the waters of the Flood that, at first, G-d brought down “rains of blessing”[6] upon them and waited to see if they would repent; only after they failed to do so did this turn into the very opposite of “rains of blessing,” G-d forbid.[7]

In 1948, G-d sent “rains of blessing.” This was a time when even the Russians supported the Jewish people against the British, who had attempted to annihilate the nation of Israel. This was a time of opportunity. But the Jewish leaders stood by and debated whether or not to make mention of G-d’s name in the “Declaration of Establishment.”[8] Thus the Redemption was put off by fifty years.

The second opportunity was the Sinai Champaign [of 1956]. If the Jewish people would have believed that their salvation would come from G-d rather than from French MIGs and British warplanes, all would have been different.

But never has there been an opportunity such as this one. This was a war won by Torah and mitzvot. There can be no doubt of this. A Jew in Moscow recited Psalms, and a Jew in Buffalo, New York, put on tefillin, and this helped the Jews defeat their enemies in the Land of Israel.

If the Jewish leaders would have utilized the opportunity to rouse the people to the observance of Torah and mitzvot, our situation today would be entirely different. Think about it: a young man in Israel was summoned, handed an Uzi, and told: “Leave your wife and children at home and go to El-Arish to fight.” In every war there are draft-dodgers; here, no Jew, not even one for whom the word “Jew” is nothing more than an appellation, refused to fight. It was a time when the entire people of Israel were in a state of “We shall do and we shall hear.”[9] When this young man fought at El-Arish, his Torah and mitzvot fought for him. The Shechinah (Divine Presence) came down into the trenches to assist the soldier fighting on the borders of the Land of Israel.

If the Jewish leaders would have told that soldier to utilize the reserves of faith and courage that were revealed in him during the war toward a commitment to Torah and mitzvot, with the same “We shall do and we shall hear,” he, and the entire Jewish nation, would have responded, and everything would have been different. But again the leaders were silent, and the great opportunity was lost. They were too timid to tell the Jew the truth: that this is the time for a return to Torah.

The very first chapter of the first section of the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law) begins not with Maimonides’ “Thirteen Principles of Faith,” but with the Rama’s ruling that “One should not be intimidated by mockers.” Why? Because when one does not fulfill this rule, one is prevented from fulfilling the entire Shulchan Aruch. Perhaps I speak too sharply, but the Jewish leadership is bankrupt. They avoid me because they know that I will demand of them to speak the truth. Their timidness to speak the truth, contrary to the rule, “One should not be intimidated by mockers,” is holding back the Redemption.

Jews must be told to keep Torah and mitzvot. I initiated the tefillin campaign—this is only the beginning. My hope is that through the mitzvah of tefillin, the Jewish people will be brought closer to other mitzvot—to keep kosher and Shabbat, and ultimately the entire Torah. My aim is that millions of additional hands should become tefillin-wearing hands.

The Jewish people will respond when spoken to about Torah and mitzvot. Not only teenagers—also forty-year-olds, people advanced and established in their lives, are ready to hear the truth, if only their leaders will speak it to them.

We still have not lost the opportunity. It’s still not too late. Now it is August.[10] If we will do our job, if the sheluchim[11] will do their job and tell the world the truth, we can bring the Redemption..

Adapted from the teachings of the Rebbe King Moshiach Shlit"a (May He live forever and ever!)by Yanki Tauber


[1]. See Torah Ohr, Vayigash, 44d-45b; Sefer HaMaamarim Melukat, vol. III, p. 321 and sources cited there; et al.

[2]. I.e. witnesses that she was alone with the man with whom her husband suspects she is being unfaithful to him (the laws of sotah do not apply in the case that there are witnesses to her act of betrayal itself).

[3]. Tur and Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim, 673:3; commentaries, ibid.

[4]. See The Transparent Body, The Week in Review, vol. IX, no. 12.

[5]. Tanya, ch. 4. Cf. Isaiah 55:1; Talmud, Taanit 7a and Bava Kama 17a.

[6]. I.e., beneficial rainfall.

[7]. Rashi on Genesis 7:12.

[8]. The Israeli “declaration of independence,” adopted on May 14, 1948. Most of the 37 signatories opposed any mention of G-d in the document. In the end, they compromised by including an oblique reference to “the rock of Israel” in its last paragraph.

[9]. Cf. Exodus 24:7.

[10]. I.e., only two months after the war.

[11]. “Emissaries”—the men and women dispatched by the Rebbe King Moshiach Shlit"a (May He live forever and ever!)to Jewish communities in every part of the globe to encourage the observance of Torah.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Greatness of Moshiach

A Day In The Life Of Melech HaMoshiach
By Prof. Shimon Silman, RYAL Institute and Touro College

“The world was created only for Moshiach.”[1] (Talmud)

Rosh HaShana is the day of the coronation of G-d as our king. Rav Saadia Gaon says that it is for this reason that we blow the shofar on Rosh HaShana, because it was the custom at the coronations of kings. Many times throughout the prayers of Rosh HaShana we pray for Moshiach who will bring the kingdom of G-d to its full revelation and glory.

In this paper we provide a glimpse into who and what Moshiach is. It would certainly be impossible to describe the full greatness of Moshiach. The Midrash[2] says that Moshiach will be greater than both Avrohom Avinu and Moshe Rabbeinu. . We would first have to have a full understanding of the greatness of Avrohom and Moshe before we could start to understand the greatness of Moshiach!

As another illustration of the unprecedented greatness of Moshiach, consider the following prophecy of Zechariah (14, 4) about Moshiach: “On that day his feet will stand on the Mountain of Olives.” In addition to its literal meaning, this is an allegory for the wisdom of Moshiach. Oil represents deep wisdom. Olives, the source of oil, represent an even greater wisdom. Olives on top of a mountain represent a greater wisdom yet. On this mountain of wisdom stand the feet of Moshiach, the wisdom of the head being that much greater.[3]

It is our intention then to present some of the fundamental characteristics of Moshiach so that the reader can formulate an image of Moshiach.

* * *

The peace and perfection of the Era of Moshiach is the climax of creation. We find this goal stated at the outset, right at the beginning of the Torah. The second verse of Bereishis says, “The spirit of G-d hovered above the waters,” on which the Midrash[4] comments, “This is the spirit of Melech HaMoshiach.”

Throughout the Torah – and especially in the books of the prophets – there are countless prophecies about the Era of Moshiach, some explicit and some allegorical. Explanation of and elaboration on these prophecies as well as further information is found in the Talmud, Midrash, Zohar, and books on Kabbala, Chassidus, and halacha throughout the generations.

Rambam, the great Jewish philosopher and codifier of Jewish law, concludes his major work on Jewish law, Mishneh Torah, with two chapters discussing the laws of Moshiach, i.e., the basic definitions of Moshiach himself and the Messianic Era. Elsewhere, in his famous list of the “13 Principles of Jewish Faith,” the belief in the coming of Moshiach and the belief in the revival of the dead are the 12th and 13th on the list.

We begin with a prophecy of Yeshayahu which describes first Moshiach himself and then what the world will be like in the Era of Moshiach. This will be followed by selections from the last two chapters of Mishneh Torah which follow the same pattern – first describing Melech HaMoshiach (Ch. 11), then the Era of Moshiach (Ch. 12).[5] Finally, we will draw on these sources as well as selections from the Talmud, Midrash, Kabbala, and Chassidus to sketch certain prominent characteristics of Moshiach.

Yeshayahu Ch. 11
And a staff shall come forth from the stump of Yishai and a branch shall sprout from his roots.

And the spirit of G-d will rest upon him, a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of counsel and power, a spirit of knowledge and fear of G-d.

And he will judge [with ease] as with his sense of smell because of his fear of G-d; neither with the sight of his eyes shall he judge, nor with the hearing of his ears shall he prove.

And he will judge the poor with justice and he will admonish with fairness the humble of the earth; and he will strike [the evil ones of] the earth with the rod of his mouth and with the speech of his lips he will put the wicked to death.

And righteousness shall be the belt of his waist and faith the belt of his loins.

And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb and the leopard shall lie with the young goat; and a calf and a lion and a fat ox shall lie down together and a small child shall lead them.

And the cow and even the bear shall graze, together their children will lie down; and the lion as the cattle will eat straw.

And the nursing child will amuse himself over the hole of a poisonous snake; and into the hole of a venomous snake shall a weaned child stretch his hand.

They shall do no evil nor shall they destroy throughout My holy mountain, for the land will be filled with the knowledge of G-d as the waters cover the ocean bed.

And the one who comes forth from the root of Yishai [Moshiach] who will stand on that day shall be for the nations as a banner carrier – the nations shall seek him; and his peace shall be an honor.

And it shall be on that day that G-d will continue to apply His hand a second time to acquire the rest of his people who will remain from Assyria and from Egypt and from Pasros and from Cush and from Elam and from Shinar and from Hamas and from the islands of the sea.

And He shall raise a banner to the nations to gather the exiles of Israel; and the dispersed of Judah He shall gather from the four corners of the earth.

And the envy of Ephraim will depart and the oppressors of Judah will no longer be; Ephraim will not envy Judah and Judah will not oppress Ephraim.

And [Judah and Ephraim] shall swoop down upon the Philistines on the west side [of the land of Israel], together they shall plunder the people of the East; upon Edom and Moav they will stretch forth their hand and the children of Amon will obey them.

And G-d will cut off the gulf of the sea of Egypt and He shall wave His hand on the river with the strength of His spirit; and He shall beat it into seven streams and He shall cause [the exiles] to walk with their shoes [on the dry land].

And there shall be a road from Assyria for the rest of his people who will remain, just as there was for Israel on the day they went up from the land of Egypt.[6]

Rambam – Hilchos Melachim U’Melech HaMoshiach
Melech HaMoshiach will arise and restore the ancient dynasty of King David to its original sovereignty. He will build the Beis HaMikdash and gather the dispersed of Israel [to the Land of Israel]. In his time all the laws of the Torah will be restored as they were in days of old: We will bring sacrifices and observe the Sabbatical and Jubilee years in accordance with all the mitzvos stated in the Torah.

Anyone who doesn’t believe in him or does not await his coming denies not only the prophets but also the Torah and Moshe Rabbeinu since the Torah itself gives testimony regarding Moshiach. It says, “G-d will return your exiles and will have mercy on you and gather you in…. even if your exiles are at the end of the heavens…and G-d will bring you [to the Land of Israel].” These explicit words of the Torah contain within them all the things that all the prophets said on the matter.

Also in the parsha of Balaam there is a prophecy about the two Moshiachs – the first Moshiach which was King David who saved the Jews from their enemies, and the later Moshiach who arises from David’s descendants who saves the Jews from the hands of the sons of Esau. In that prophecy it says, “I see him but not now” – this refers to David; “I see him but it is not close” – this refers to Melech HaMoshiach. “A star will shoot forth from Yaakov” – this is David; “And a staff will rise from Israel” – this is Melech HaMoshiach….

Also, regarding the cities of refuge the Torah says, “If G-d will expand your borders you will add on three more cities.” This has not yet happened. But G-d doesn’t give an instruction for nothing. [Thus it will happen in the future – in the time of Moshiach.]

We do not, however, have to bring proofs from the prophets [about Moshiach] since all their books are filled with this matter.

Do not think that Melech HaMoshiach is required to perform signs or wonders, bring new things into the world or revive the dead or similar things….

If a king will arise from the House of David who teaches Torah and is occupied in the mitzvos like David his ancestor in accordance with both the Written Torah and the Oral Torah, compels all the Jews to follow the Torah and to strengthen it where it has been broken, and who fights the battles of G-d, he has the assumed status of being Moshiach. If he succeeds further and is victorious over the nations around him, builds the Beis HaMikdash in its place and gathers the dispersed of Israel – then he is Moshiach with a certainty and he will direct the entire world to serve G-d together.

Do not think that in the time of Moshiach anything of the way of the world will be cancelled or that there will be innovations in the order of nature. But rather the world will follow its natural order…. Some chachomim say that before Moshiach comes, Eliyahu HaNavi will come. [But] regarding all these matters and similar matters no one knows how they will be until they happen….[The main thing is] to await it and to believe in the matter in general as we explained above.

The scholars and the prophets desired the Era of Moshiach…only so that they would be free to pursue the study of the Torah and its wisdom without anyone oppressing or distracting them so that they will merit the “World to Come”….At that time there will be no famine or war, no jealousy or rivalry since there will be abundant good and all the delicacies will be as plentiful as the dust of the earth. The only occupation of the entire world will be to know G-d. Thus, the Jewish people will be great scholars and will know the hidden secrets and will attain knowledge of the Creator to the full capacity of man as the prophet says, “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of G-d as the waters cover the ocean bed.”[7]

While Rambam writes that Moshiach is not required to perform wonders, this is only a halachic requirement, i.e., the halachic definition of Moshiach does not require him to perform wonders but as we will see later from many sources Moshiach will in fact have a miraculous nature. Rambam is only stating the minimum halachic requirements of Moshiach. Similarly, his statement that the world will maintain its natural order applies only to the initial period of Moshiach’s coming, described as the First Era. Later on, however, in the Second Era, the order of nature will certainly change as the revival of the dead will occur – a very great change in the order of nature indeed.[8] The belief in the coming of Moshiach and the belief in the revival of the dead are the 12th and 13th principles of faith on Rambam’s famous list of the Thirteen Principles of Faith. Similar to Rambam’s statement here that one who does not believe in Moshiach denies the whole Torah, is his statement elsewhere that one who does not believe in the revival of the dead has not part in Judaism.[9]

“The innovation of Moshiach is that through him the two concepts of ‘above’ and ‘below’ will be united.”[10]

We will use this concept of the union of opposites as the framework for our presentation of the characteristics of Moshiach stated in the works of the Talmud, Kabbala, and Chassidus.

Majesty and Modesty

Regarding Moshiach, the prophet Yeshayahu says,[11] “Behold, my servant shall have great wisdom. He will be elevated, exalted and of very high stature.” In various sources this high exaltation is explained to mean that Moshiach will be greater than Adam, Avrohom Avinu and even Moshe Rabbeinu.[12]

Melech HaMoshiach will be exalted, greater and more honored and more glorious than all kings who preceded him.[13] His reign will extend over the entire world and will last forever.[14] His wisdom will surpass that of Shlomo HaMelech and he will be a prophet of the caliber of Moshe.[15] He will reveal the deepest level of the Torah – both its halachic content and its mystical secrets. [16] What we know of the wisdom of the Torah now is nothing compared to what he will reveal.[17]

At the same time he will be of the greatest humility concerned with the common man,[18] bringing this new wisdom and knowledge down to the level where anyone can understand it. He will show that the sincere faith of the simple Jew, who is totally dedicated to Judaism, is greater even than the deep understanding of the scholars.[19]

The Midrash tells a story about Moshe from the time that he was a shepherd. One of the sheep ran away from the flock and Moshe left the entire flock to care for this sheep and bring it back to the flock. This trait qualified him to be the leader of the Jewish people as he would be concerned about every individual Jew.[20] Similarly Moshiach will cherish every single Jew – even one who has run away from the flock.[21]

These two extremes of majesty and modesty are symbolized by two prophecies, one which says that Moshiach will appear on a cloud and one which says that he will appear as a poor man riding on a donkey.[22]

Wisdom and Prophecy
The chacham – man of wisdom – and the prophet are two distinct personalities with different characteristics and abilities. Each has an advantage over the other. Moshiach will attain the highest levels of perfection in both of these areas. As Isaiah says in the prophecy quoted above, “And the spirit of G-d will rest upon him, [ i.e. prophecy ] a spirit of wisdom and understanding…a spirit of knowledge.” Rambam writes,[23] Moshiach will be a chacham greater than Shlomo HaMelech, who was called “the wisest of all men,” and will attain a level of prophecy close to that of Moshe Rabbeinu of whom the Torah says, “There arose none like Moshe who knew G-d face to face.” There is a Midrash that goes even further and indicates that Moshiach will be a greater prophet than Moshe.[24]

In fact, there is a close connection between these two characteristics of being greater than Shlomo HaMelech and similar to Moshe, as we see from the continuation of Rambam’s statement: “…therefore he will teach Torah to all Jews.” This refers to a deep level of the Torah which will be revealed by Moshiach. Now we know that the Torah has great depth. The greatest rabbis and scholars – starting with Moshe Rabbeinu himself – have been studying it, analyzing it and delving into its depths for thousands of years. But the Torah being the wisdom of G-d has infinite depth so even the deepest analysis by the greatest Rabbis for the longest time cannot reveal its full depth. Thus, Moshiach will reveal in it a new dimension previously unattainable. So new will this revelation be that the prophet Yeshayahu calls it “Torah chadasha” – a new Torah. Shlomo HaMelech refers to it at the beginning of Song of Songs and symbolizes it with a kiss from G-d.

To be able to accomplish this task, Moshiach needs two qualities. Firstly, he needs to have the highest level of prophecy – similar to Moshe – to be able to receive this revelation from G-d, just as Moshe received the original revelation of the Torah from G-d at Mt. Sinai. But that is not yet enough. To be able to teach this new dimension of Torah to all Jews he must be able to bring it down to their level. To do this one would have to have the wisdom of Shlomo HaMelech – literally. The greatness of the wisdom of Shlomo consisted of his ability to take the greatest abstract concepts and by giving one example after another to bring it down one level after another until even the common man could understand it. Moshiach, who will reveal a wisdom greater than Shlomo’s, must, therefore, have this ability to a greater degree than even Shlomo.[25]

There is another aspect of Shlomo HaMelech’s wisdom which is also essential to the wisdom of Moshiach. The prevalence of peace in the time of Shlomo (for which he was named, as the prophet said, “His name will be Shlomo, and I shall bring shalom – peace – and tranquility to Israel in his days”[26]) was a sample of the peace that will prevail in the time of Moshiach. The power of his monarchy was due to the power of his wisdom by which all the nations were awed. It was a great light which dispelled the darkness of war and brought about unity just as Yeshayahu says in the Messianic prophecy quoted above, “They will not cause destruction…because the earth will be filled with the knowledge of G-d.”[27]

Regarding wisdom, Shlomo HaMelech says, “I saw that there is an advantage to wisdom over nonsense similar to the advantage of light over darkness.” The Zohar asks a powerful question on this: “Does it take Shlomo HaMelech, the wisest of all men, to see that wisdom is better than nonsense and light is better than darkness? Doesn’t everybody know this?” The Zohar and Chassidus explain that “wisdom” and “nonsense” here actually refer to two types of wisdom, one which is termed “light” and the other which is called darkness. The light derives directly from the Torah – the search from above – while the darkness is the view of reality resulting from the groping search from below, the attempt to understand the world in its own terms, for example, scientific research. The difference between these two types of wisdom is so great that the latter is called “nonsense” relative to the former. The point that Shlomo was making was that when the sciences are used to explain a matter in Torah – for example, when astronomy and mathematics are used to explain the laws of the new moon – this scientific knowledge ceases to be secular. It becomes part of Torah. The darkness is transformed into light, a greater light than that derived directly from the Torah. This is the “advantage” that Shlomo is talking about. The light resulting from transformed darkness has an advantage over the light derived directly from the Torah.

The greatness of Shlomo’s wisdom was due in part to his having transformed the sciences. This transformation of “nonsense” into wisdom is a major part of the refinement of the physical world that prepares it for and actually brings about the highest revelations in the Torah to be revealed by Moshiach. It is a process which actually began with Yosef, who was the master over ancient Egypt and its wisdom, reached a very high level with Shlomo HaMelech, and will be completed by Moshiach himself.[28]

Natural and Miraculous
Moshiach is a human being with human parents whose ancestry goes back to King David. Yet his soul is from the loftiest heights, from the essence of G-d Himself. “Moshiach, as a messenger of G-d, combines two extremes. On the one hand he is a being in and for himself, a soul in a physical body. But at the same time, being a messenger of Adam HaElyon (G-dliness), he is literally like Him.”[29] The essence of Moshiach is the same as the essence of G-d.

This essential fact about the life of Moshiach is connected with another essential fact – that he lives forever, an uninterrupted everlasting life. This fact is stated in the Talmud based on the verse in Psalms, “Life he [Moshiach] asked from You and You granted it to him, length of days forever,” and is discussed extensively in the writings of Kabbala and Chassidus. The Mitteler Rebbe in his explanation of this, compares Moshiach to other tzaddikim. He says that all other tzaddikim require some refinement of their bodies and, therefore, there has to be some sort of “passing away.” Even Eliyahu HaNavi whose body ascended to the Heavens and became like an angel, required a transformation of his body from its physical condition on earth to its totally spiritual state in Heaven. Moshiach, however, is on a much higher level. “No change or refinement takes place in his body at all. He will have a physical body similar to the bodies of all Jews of that time” and will eat, drink, wear clothes, and sit on a chair, but “Moshiach will remain alive in his body together with the essence of his soul – down here just as it is above, literally. Concerning Moshe Rabbeinu “there was no difference at all between his body and his soul...and this will hold true of Moshiach in a much higher way. Therefore...he will not need to ascend Above.”[30] There is, however, a period of concealment between the time he attains the “assumed status of Moshiach” and when he attains the status of “Moshiach with a certainty.”[31]

In addition to the comparison to Moshe Rabbeinu, there is also a comparison to King David. While King David also lives an everlasting life, his life comes only from the world of Atzilus, whereas the life of Moshiach comes from the essence of G-d Himself.[32] Furthermore, the souls of both Moshe Rabbeinu and King David will “enter into” the soul of Moshiach.[33]

This concept of a soul entering into another soul or one soul containing another soul, is a deep topic in Kabbala. But one of the most important facts about Moshiach is that his soul is a neshama klalis, a general soul that contains all the souls of all Jews. This means that the soul of every Jew is a part of Moshiach and thus there is a part of Moshiach in every Jew. This fact has wide ranging practical implications. Since the soul of every Jew corresponds to a unique part of the soul of Moshiach, each Jew has a unique role to play in preparing the world for Moshiach.[34]

The life of Moshiach is certainly a supernatural life. As the Maharal of Prague writes, “Moshiach will be...beyond nature and the way of the world.”[35] The Midrash says that G-d conceived of Moshiach even before He created the world because Moshiach is higher than the order of creation.[36] Yet at the same time, as we emphasized above, he lives within nature and the physical world. Because he contains these two opposites within himself, he will eventually bring the entire world to a new world order which will be characterized by the full revelation of G-d’s infinite essence within the finite physical world,[37] a world order in which the natural and the miraculous combine and function simultaneously – “As in the days of your exodus from Egypt, I will show you wonders.”[38]


[1] Sanhedrin 98a

2 Midrash Tanchuma, Toldos 14

[3] Likkutei Sichos vol. 1, p.103

[4] Bereishis Rabba 2, 4

[5] In this connection it is interesting to note the following anecdote in which the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach himself followed the same pattern: When he was presented with a painting of himself – Melech HaMoshiach – by the Chassidic artist Michel, he said, “And now, Michel, I would like you to make a painting of what the world will be like in the time of Moshiach.”

[6] Isaiah Ch. 11, translated by the author of this paper based on Metzudas Dovid and Metzudas Tzion with reference also to the translations of Rabbi Nissan Mangel (Kehot Publications) and the Judaica Press.

[7] Hilchos Melachim U’Melech HaMoshiach Ch. 11 – 12, free translation by the author.

[8] Dvar Malchus on Hilchos Melachim, Sicha no. 3

[9] Rambam’s commentary to the first Mishneh in Sanhedrin, Perek Chelek.

[10] Seifer HaMaamarim Meluket vol. 2, p.297

[11] Isaiah 52, 13

[12] Midrash Tanchuma, Toldos 14

[13] Likkutei Sichos vol. 6, p. 254

[14] BaMidbar Rabba 13, 14

[15] Rambam – Hilchos Teshuva 9, 2

[16] Seifer HaSichos 5751, p. 566

[17] Koheles Rabbah 11, 8

[18] HaYom Yom p. 75

[19] HaYom Yom p. 9, p. 56

[20] Sh’mos Rabbah 2, 2

[21] Sicha of Acharon Shel Pesach 5743. Hisvaaduyos 5743, vol. 3, p. 1314

[22] Seifer HaSichos 5749, p. 109

[23] Rambam – Hilchos Teshuva 9, 2

[24] See Seifer HaSichos 5751, p. 789

[25] See Seifer HaSichos 5751, pp. 566-582

[26] Divrei HaYamim I, 22, 9

[27] See Seifer HaSichos 5751, pp. 527-529

[28] Seifer HaMaamarim Meluket vol. 3, pp. 58-60. Maamarei Admur HaEmtza’i, Dvarim vol. 1, p. 9-10

[29] Seifer HaSichos 5752, pp. 107

[30] Maamarei Admur HaEmtza’i, Drushei Chasuna, pp. 131, 155

[31] BaMidbar Rabbah 11, 2. Likkutei Sichos vol. 9, p. 381

[32] Maamarei Admur HaEmtza’i, Dvarim vol. 1, p. 214-215

[33] Likkutei Sichos, vol. 35, p. 206, footnote 6

[34] Likkutei Sichos vol. 20, p. 522; Seifer HaSichos 5751, p. 590

[35] Quoted in Shaarei Geula, vol. 2, p. 69, note 29

[36] Bereishis Rabba 1, 4; Or HaTorah, Mikeitz, p. 2202

[37] Seifer HaMaamarim Meluket vol. 3, pp. 297-298

[38] Micha 7, 15. See Seifer HaMaamarim Meluket vol. 4, pp 225-234

Long Live our Master our Teacher and our Rebbe King Moshiach Forever and Ever!
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