Dreaming of Moshiach

Monday, April 23, 2007

Light of Moshiach Ben Yosef

Through our actions and our prayers we help Moshiach Ben Yosef, and by acting with all our strength when the awakening comes from below, we will achieve the unity of the Moshiachs: Moshiach Ben Yosef and Moshiach Ben Dovid, who are “the tree of Yosef” and “the tree of Yehudah” (Yechezkel 37:1): at first they will be in your hands individually, and afterwards “they will be united in My hand.” The unity of both are the foundation for the unity of The Holy One, Blessed be He, and the Shechinah, and thus the completion of the Redemption.

Vilna HaGaon, zs'l, Kol Ha Tor. " 'Yosef recognized his brothers but they did not recognize him'. This is one of Yosef HaTzaddik's, zs'l, attributes. Not just in his generation, but in every generation, Mashiach ben Yosef recognizes his brothers and they do not recognize him. It is an act of Satan which conceals Mashiach ben Yosef's attributes, such that the Jews unfortunately do not recognize his footsteps, and in fact scoff at them...

Is it even necessary to expound upon our alienation from "Yosef" today? The Gra (Vilna HaGaon, zs'l) comes and teaches us that it is this very estrangement, ridicule and opposition to Mashiach ben Yosef and his role - the role of reviving the land, ingathering of the exiles, the conquest of the land and the war against the "erev rav".

Not only is there estrangement from Yosef, but a conspiring against him, as it is written on Yosef HaTzaddik, zs'l: "And they conspired against him to slay him". Yosef's brothers, zs'l, see Yosef HaTzaddik and his dreams as a threat to them. "What?! You are going to lead the process of redemption? You, the youngest amongst us?" They decide that he constitutes a danger and must be killed. Ode Yosef Chai! Who more than we can testify to the estrangement and mistreatment of those who attempt to bring the complete redemption.

Yet, just as Rashi explains that Yosef "recognized" his brothers, behaving brotherly towards them; so, too, does Mashiach ben Yosef and his followers, those who carry on the task of bringing the redemption to the Jewish People - so, too, are they willing to endure personal suffering for Israel's salvation, all out of a burning Ahavat Yisrael. The Gra teaches us that only against a few, the erev rav, must we fight a war to the bitter end.

"The erev rav is our greatest enemy... The war against the erev rav is the hardest and most bitter, and we must gird ourselves with our last strength towards this end. Whoever does not actively take part in the war against the erev rav automatically becomes a partner to its impurity, and whoever he is, he is better off not having been born."

But the masses that still do not recognize Yosef, attaching little or no importance to his activities (partly due to the erev rav and its propaganda) - we must "recognize" them. In the words of the Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh, zs'l, (who, by the way, was alluded to by the Gra as a spark of Mashiach ben Yosef), on our verse: "He looked at them as one looks at brothers, and he behaved brotherly towards them"!

The story of Yosef HaTzaddik is the story of Moshiach Ben Yosef, and what he has to be to do his job at any particular point in history, but specifically at the end of it. The brothers were made to be jealous and to hate their brother, for this is part of what Moshiach Ben Yosef will have to endure in his role as Savior #1. They were made to misunderstand his intentions and abilities, because this will be true of Moshiach Ben Yosef, whoever it will be, at the End-of-Days.

Likewise, like Yosef HaTzaddik, Moshiach Ben Yosef will be "sold" by his own, and like Yosef HaTzaddik, ultimately this will not benefit those who sell him, but will only benefit Moshiach Ben Yosef. It will put him in a better position to lead the nation as he is destined to do. It will also put him in a position to sanctify the Name of G-d while so many of his brothers continue to profane the Name of G-d. Indeed, the prophet Yechezkel warned that G-d will be "forced" to bring the Final Redemption just to end the profanation of His Name. Moshiach Ben Yosef will do that.

And, the most remarkable thing will be, that Moshiach Ben Yosef will become what needs to be, just like Yosef HaTzaddik before, in the last place you'd expect him to be able to do so - in Egypt, or rather, Mitzrayim.

In Yosef HaTzaddik's time, they were one and same thing, but in the generation of Moshiach Ben Yosef they are not. Mitzrayim will be another nation, or perhaps even several nations, that live by the same rules that the Mitzrayim of Yosef HaTzaddik's time lived by.

And, from amidst the counter - Torah philosophy, and perhaps for reasons known only to G-d, Moshiach Ben Yosef will not only strive in such a society, but thrive in it. From amidst the darkness, he will be the light that will grow ever stronger in intensity until it conquers all impurity, paving the way for Moshiach Ben Dovid to provide the final stability to Creation.

Like G-d Himself, Who shone light onto the chaos that preceded Creation to order it into a beautiful and elegant universe, Moshiach Ben Yosef will be that light at the End-of-Days, once again leading the path to the paradise it is destined to become.

The true answer as to why Moshiach ben Yosef must die in the process of heralding in the redemption, says the Vilna Gaon (Kol Hatur), is that- he does NOT have to die, and it really depends upon us. In fact, says the Gaon, we are supposed to pray that Moshiach ben Yosef does not die in the process. If so, then what does it depend upon?

It depends upon how willing and able we are to receive the light that Moshiach ben Yosef is destined to draw down to earth in advance of the Final Redemption - a period which, for all we know, has already begun.

The "mother" (in this case Moshiach ben Yosef and the situation that brings him) need not die giving birth to Moshiach ben Yosef, like Rachel Imenu, a'h, did at the age of the thirty-six in Ya'akov Avinu's, zs'l, thirty-sixth year away from home.

In other words, the "death" of Moshiach ben Yosef may only be a way of describing the destruction that can take place in advance of the Final Redemption, the War of Gog and Magog.

"If they merit it I will hasten it; if they do not merit it, then in its time (Sanhedrin 98a), Rabbeinu told us that in the end the simple understanding must remain, which is that even in its time I will hasten it. When? When “the smallest will increase a thousandfold, and the youngest will be a large nation” (Yeshayahu 60:22). The smallest and youngest is a reference to Moshiach Ben Yosef.

Let's pray that we will merit it in time to warrant Heaven sparing "Moshiach ben Yosef" - whoever Moshiach ben Yosef is, and whenever Moshiach ben Yosef comes, may it be speedily in our time, Amen!

Tefilla (prayer) to prevent the death of Moshiach Ben Yosef ספר תפילות לרמח"ל תפילה לז
בעלות מלך המשיח לדרגת קן ציפור יעלו עמו כל תקוני ישראל
אל אחד יחיד ומיוחד
הרי מלך המשיח ממתין לקן ציפור להתעלות שם
שבו כי יקרא קן צפור לפניך
ומיד לא תיקח האם על הבנים
שהרי בשעה שיעלה שם - יעלה עמו כח כל התקונים
שתיקנו ישראל בגלות שנאמר בהם הזרעים בדימעה
ומיד שיגיע לשם מיד תהיה השכינה שורה על כולם - על כל אחד כפי עבודתו.
באותו הזמן והאם רבצת על האפרוחים ותוקף הכל על אותם הבנים.
לא תיקח האם על הבנים ודאי.
שהם אותם שמשתדלים ליחד יחוד שלך באמת.
שנאמר בהם קרוב השם לכל קוראיו לכל אשר יקראוהו באמת
גלה אמתך למיחלים לך - גם כל קויך לא יבושו לדעת שבאמת בטחו.
ולא יכזב מצד שקר של ס"מ הרשע וגם נצח ישראל לא ישקר.
לישועתך קויתי השם.




והיה השם למלך על כל הארץ, ביום ההוא יהיה השם אחד - ושמו אחד ישתבח שמו לעד לנצח נצחים בכל העולמות Blessed is His name for eternity in all worlds אין עוד מלבדו