The first division of suffering was placed on the generations of the seven holy shepherds: Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov Avinu, Moshe Rabenu, Aaron HaKohen, Yosef HaTzaddik, and Melech Dovid, zs'l.
The second division of suffering was placed on the remaining generations, excluding our generation.
The third division of suffering was placed on our generation, the last generation.
The first 2 sufferings was a gradual process but the last suffering, the third, is the hardest and harshest. Whether it's an illness, unnatural death in a family, livlihood, divorce, finding a spouse, having children, etc. Every Jew, regardless where, when, what, who, why, is suffering!
This is the reason Chazal wrote in Gemara that if a person is not suffering in the generation of the End of Days, know that this person is not a Jew!!! If someone tells you he is not suffering, he is not the son/daughter of Avraham Avinu, zs'l.
Why is this very harsh decree occurring specifically in our generation, all at once and so numerous? The suffering is a necessity required before the arrival of Moshiach Tzidkenu. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, zs'l, explains it further in the Zohar HaKadosh, as follows:
When Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, zs'l, (Rashbi) was hiding in the cave, he wrote the Zohar HaKadosh in Ruach HaKodesh (Divine Spirit). Thru Ruach HaKodesh, he saw that in the last generation will be in a large fire and he cried for us and said, ווי לון מאן דגרמי דיוזיל ליה Oy to the people who will live in the last generation. Rashbi saw that our generation will transgress the Torah and commit adultery, lust, promiscuity, stealing, heresy, secularism, etc. He cried because he saw that we will need to go thru so many tests and suffering.
But why so much suffering in our generation? Why does the Yetzer Hara (evil inclination) have so powerful in this generation, more than in all past generations?
It is because HKB'H is so merciful and so generous!
The Zohar HaKadosh explains: Every soul comes into this world only for the reason to correct past lives for sins committed. HKB'H saw throughout all generations that many souls were unable to correct themselves and remained unworthy to enter Gan Eden. Even though they were reincarnated as humans, animals, inanimates, plants, food, etc., and also placed in Gehenom or Kaf Hakela. Yet, they were still unable to correct their souls.
Even after so many reincarnations, these souls were unsuccessful in their tikun and were placed in Heichal HaNeshamot (hall of souls).
The Zohar HaKadosh continues and says that HKB'H revealed Himself to the souls placed in Heichal HaNeshamot and the neshamot cried to HaShem, "Merciful Heavenly Father, help us correct ourselves, we want to succeed in cleansing our souls, we reincarnated as humans, plants, animals, we went thru Gehenom, Shaol Tachtit, Kaf Hakela... But we still have not properly corrected our souls...".
When Merciful HKB'H heard this, He said, "I'll place you all in one generation, a generation that will have much confusion, tests, suffering, and hardships, a generation where the truth will be absent, a generation where one will be easily trapped by the evil inclination. There will be many opportunities to get trapped into terrible sins; everything will be available to you in split seconds. It will be a generation that will feel exhausted from trying to do Teshuva, the evil inclination will be very powerful and adultery, lust, temptations, promiscuity, stealing, heresy, secularism, etc. will be everywhere."
"BUT, despite all these hardships, all neshamot that will succeed to pass these difficult tests and continue to have Emunah, will be tremendeously rewarded and will merit to live in the Geula."
This is the reason the holy Rashbi also said "אשרי מי שיהיה בדור הזה, Overjoyed is the person who live in that generation."
Although it's difficult to comprehend, it's important to know: ALL PEOPLE IN THIS GENERATION: YOU, ME, HIM, HER, THEM, ARE FROM HEICHAL HANESHAMOT!!!
To further understand this concept, Chazal teach us that all neshamot were placed inside Adam HaRishon, zs'l. Because Adam HaRishon sinned and ate from the forbidden fruit, we (people) have been correcting this tikun ever since.
The process of the tikun of Adam HaRishon's sin started from the top, with the head of Adam HaRishon. One must understand that Adam HaRishon was not the average height; his height reached Heaven.
Our Forefathers and mothers, Moshe Rabenu, Aharon HaKohen, a'h, corrected the head of Adam HaRishon. The next generation, Anshei Knesset Hagdola and prophets, went a little downwards and corrected the neck of Adam HaRishon. The next generation, the Tana'im and Emorim, corrected the chest, etc.
This is the reason why our generation is called עקבתא דמשיחה the heel of Moshiach. Our generation is the heel of Adam HaRishon and we need to correct the heel of Adam HaRishon.
The heel is the foundation of the body, it gives the body the balance to be able to stand. Without heels, the body cannot function properly. A heel also symbolizes humbleness.
Chazal says that a Mitzvah observed in the generation of עקבתא דמשיחה is equal to 1,000 Mitzvot observed in past generations. Chazal also adds that even a Mitzvah observed in our generation for the sake of receiving rewards (not leshem shamayim) is also considered equal to 1,000 Mitzvot because each Mitzvah observed corrects the heel.
In the days of Moshiach, HKB'H will place a a crown on His head and this crown is filled with diamonds. Chazal teach us that in the generation of עקבתא דמשיחה, the diamonds from HaShem's crown will be thrown in the streets of the lower world. Chazal explains that this means that in the last generation of עקבתא דמשיחה, learning Torah will be very easily accessible and plentiful.
As anyone can see, everyone can now learn Torah no matter where they are in the world. Torah learning is available even from one's bedroom thru the Internet; plenty of seminars are being offered, Torah classes, listening to Torah thru dvd's, cd's, etc. Also, Yeshivot offer food and bed and payment for men to sit and learn Torah; this was unheard of in previous generations.
Chazal says that these are the diamonds of HaShem's crown and by observing Mitzvot and learning Torah, it gathers the diamonds from the streets and placed on HaShem's crown. But not only that, the name of the people who gather the diamonds from the streets are engraved on the diamonds in HaShem's crown.
Everyone can merit collecting the diamonds for HaShem's crown but unfortunately, very few are. When HaShem's Moshiach will be revealed, the whole world will see HaShem's crown and those that did not participate collecting the diamonds for HaShem's crown, will deeply regret it...
HKB'H wants us to have Emunah in Him - this is the biggest test. HaShem is not expecting us to be like Rashbi or Sara Imenu, a'h. HaShem wants us to observe the Mitzvot, pass the tests, and most important - have Emunah. HaShem does not want us to be confused and led by people who proudly say, "I have Emunah in my heart" - This is not a demonstration of Emunah!
Our generation is the LAST opportunity for correcting the soul. Those that do not correct their soul now, will go thru so much suffering and regret...
HaShem, thru Prophet Zecharia, zs'l, (Zechariah Chapter 13;9), says to us:
וְהֵבֵאתִי אֶת-הַשְּׁלִשִׁית, בָּאֵשׁ, וּצְרַפְתִּים כִּצְרֹף אֶת-הַכֶּסֶף, וּבְחַנְתִּים כִּבְחֹן אֶת-הַזָּהָב; הוּא יִקְרָא בִשְׁמִי, וַאֲנִי אֶעֱנֶה אֹתוֹ--אָמַרְתִּי עַמִּי הוּא, וְהוּא יֹאמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהָי.
And I will bring the third division through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on My name, and I will answer them; I will say: 'It is My people', and they shall say: Hashem is my God.'
How can we be so sure that we are the last generation, generation of עקבתא דמשיחה, the generation that Moshiach must come? There are so many signs that were given by Tzaddikim and prophets and we can all see them occuring right in front of our eyes. No one can deny this; it's undeniable.
1. The suffering;
2. Chazal in Masechet Sota wrote what will happen in the days preceding the Geulah:
חוצפא יסגא, והיוקר יאמיר, הגפן תתן פריה, והיין ביוקר. מלכות תיהפך למינות – ואין תוכחת. בית ועד יהיה לזנות, והגליל ייחרב, והגולן יישום, ואנשי הגבול יסובבו מעיר לעיר, ולא יחוננו, וחכמת סופרים תסרח, ויראי חטא יימאסו, והאמת תהיה נעדרת. נערים פני זקנים ילבינו. זקנים יעמדו בפני קטנים. בן מנוול אב, בת קמה באמה, כלה בחמותה. אויבי איש אנשי ביתו. פני הדור כפני הכלב... הבן אינו מתבייש מאביו... !
Chutzpa will multiply
Costliness will increase
Grapevine will produce its grapes
And the wine will be expensive
The kingdom (government) will become heresy - and rebuke is lacking
The house of council (govenment) will become prostitution
And the Galilee will be destroyed
and Golan will be empty
And people of the borders will wander from city to city and won’t settle down
And the wisdom of scribes will putrefy
And those who fear sin will become repulsive
And the truth will be absent
Youths will insult the faces of elders
Elders will stand for the sake of youths
Son will deride father
Daughter will rise up against her mother,
Daughter-in-law against mother-in-law
A man’s enemies will be members of his household
The face of the generation will be like the face of the dog
Sons not embarrassed in front of fathers
All these never came about in past generations!!!!!
3. אמר רבי יצחק: שנה שמלך המשיח נגלה בו, כל מלכי האומות מתגרים זה בזה, מלך פרס מתגרה במלך ערבי. וכל אומות העולם מתרעשים ומתבהלים ונופלים על פניהם. ויאחזו אותם צירים כצירי יולדה, "
Rabbi Yitchak, zs'l, said: 'The year that Melech HaMoshiach will be revealed, all the nations of the world will be provoking each other. The King of Persia will provoke the King of Arabia, and the King of Arabia will go to Edom to take counsel, but the King of Persia will in turn, destroy the entire world. The nations of the world will be outraged and panicked. They will fall on their faces, and will experience pains like birth pangs.
Gemara says that at the End of Days, the king of Iran will destroy the whole world. We know that Persia is Iran. Iran's president Ahmadinejad keeps threatening to destroy the great satan (America) and the small satan (State of Israel) but yet the whole world is keeping silent and allowing him to build nuclear weapons. Why is no one is stopping him?. Sure there are threats of sanctions on Ahmadinejad but nothing has materialized as of yet. But does one really think sanctions placed on Ahmadinejad is a threat to him? Ahmadinejad keeps threatening to blow the world and everyone keeps silent.
The Torah tells us that this is the war of Gog uMagog. How will Ahmadinejad destroy the world? Who is Gog? Prophet Ezekiel, zs'l, prophecy in chapter 38:
בֶּן-אָדָם, שִׂים פָּנֶיךָ אֶל-גּוֹג אֶרֶץ הַמָּגוֹג--נְשִׂיא, רֹאשׁ מֶשֶׁךְ וְתֻבָל; וְהִנָּבֵא, עָלָיו
'Son of man, set thy face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,
וְאָמַרְתָּ, כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה: הִנְנִי אֵלֶיךָ, גּוֹג--נְשִׂיא, רֹאשׁ מֶשֶׁךְ וְתֻבָל.
and say: Thus saith HaShem: Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal;
וְשׁוֹבַבְתִּיךָ, וְנָתַתִּי חַחִים בִּלְחָיֶיךָ; וְהוֹצֵאתִי אוֹתְךָ וְאֶת-כָּל-חֵילֶךָ סוּסִים וּפָרָשִׁים, לְבֻשֵׁי מִכְלוֹל כֻּלָּם--קָהָל רָב צִנָּה וּמָגֵן, תֹּפְשֵׂי חֲרָבוֹת כֻּלָּם.
and I will turn thee about, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed most gorgeously, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them handling swords:
וְשׁוֹבַבְתִּיךָ - "I will play with you". What is the meaning that HaShem says to President Gog "I will play with you"? HaShem, thru prophet Ezekiel, says that He'll direct Gog to fight Yerushalayim and Am Israel even though Gog will not even know why he is fighting for Yerushalayim.
יִשְׂרָאֵל--נְאֻם, אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה: תַּעֲלֶה חֲמָתִי, בְּאַפִּי.
And it shall come to pass in that day, when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that My fury shall arise up in My nostrils.
יט וּבְקִנְאָתִי בְאֵשׁ-עֶבְרָתִי, דִּבַּרְתִּי: אִם-לֹא בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא, יִהְיֶה רַעַשׁ גָּדוֹל, עַל, אַדְמַת יִשְׂרָאֵל.
For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath have I spoken: Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;
כ וְרָעֲשׁוּ מִפָּנַי דְּגֵי הַיָּם וְעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וְחַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה, וְכָל-הָרֶמֶשׂ הָרֹמֵשׂ עַל-הָאֲדָמָה, וְכֹל הָאָדָם, אֲשֶׁר עַל-פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה; וְנֶהֶרְסוּ הֶהָרִים, וְנָפְלוּ הַמַּדְרֵגוֹת, וְכָל-חוֹמָה, לָאָרֶץ תִּפּוֹל.
so that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that creep upon the ground, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at My presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.
כא וְקָרָאתִי עָלָיו לְכָל-הָרַי חֶרֶב, נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה: חֶרֶב אִישׁ, בְּאָחִיו תִּהְיֶה.
And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, says HaShem; every man's sword shall be against his brother.
כב וְנִשְׁפַּטְתִּי אִתּוֹ, בְּדֶבֶר וּבְדָם; וְגֶשֶׁם שׁוֹטֵף וְאַבְנֵי אֶלְגָּבִישׁ אֵשׁ וְגָפְרִית, אַמְטִיר עָלָיו וְעַל-אֲגַפָּיו, וְעַל-עַמִּים רַבִּים, אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ.
And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will cause to rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many peoples that are with him, an overflowing shower, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.
וְהִתְגַּדִּלְתִּי, וְהִתְקַדִּשְׁתִּי, וְנוֹדַעְתִּי, לְעֵינֵי גּוֹיִם רַבִּים; וְיָדְעוּ, כִּי-אֲנִי יְהוָה.
Thus will I magnify Myself, and sanctify Myself, and I will make Myself known in the eyes of many nations; and they shall know that I am HaShem.
The Torah teaches us that everything written in the Torah is to teach us what will be. When Am Israel were redeemed from Egypt, 80% of the Jews prefered the gods of the Egyptians and therefore, died during the plague of darkness which lasted 3 days.
The root of the word מצרים (Egypt) is מיצר which means inclination. This is what happened to the 80% of the Jews whom did not merit to be redeemed because they surrendered to the evil inclination. Only 20% of the Jews remained loyal to HKB'H with complete Emunah, despite all the suffering they endured.
Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, zs'l, wrote in the Zohar HaKadosh that during the plague of darkness in Egypt 80% died within 3 days. At the End of Days, there will be 15 days of complete darkness and during these 15 days, all Jews that did not observe the Torah and its Mitzvot, including people that don't have Emunah, will die.
The Torah says that Gog uMagog is a necessity required for Moshiach to be revealed. HaShem will bring all the nations of the world to Yerushalayim and HaShem will revenge them for making Am Israel suffer for 2,000 years. All wicked kings, queens, ceasars, tzars, leaders, presidents, etc. of past generations that caused Am Israel suffering are reincarnated in this generation. They might look physically different but their soul did not change. Many Gedolei Hador recognize Iran's president Ahmadinejad as the reincarnation of Haman of Persia (yimach shemo).
HaShem will examine every Jew; who cries over the destruction of the Bet HaMikdash? Who observes Mitzvot? Who really has Emunah? Who occupies himself with Torah? Who gives charity?
How does HaShem examine and judge each person if they have authentic Emunah? One of the biggest tests that HaShem gives our generation is thru the nerves. Yes, nerves. For example: this person did so and so - did it cause you to get nervous or feel irritated? This person said about you so and so - did it cause you to get angry or feel restless? Your child did this and that - did it cause you to feel jumpy or get nervous? This is the test.
Prepare yourself before the end. Each person that wants to be redeemed from his private מצרים (Egypt), the מיצר inclination, must depart from all materialistics and fantasies. Those that refuse to depart from their 'fantasies', it says that they will depart from the world before Gog uMagog and during Gog uMagog.
A person must always be on guard to constantly strengthen one's Emunah because the world is very contaminated and it's very easy to fall but much harder to rise. Therefore, speak to HaShem daily and ask Him to help you overcome all the tests.
But even if you failed, don't despair. Do Teshuva because HaShem will give you another opportunity and will help you to overcome it, if your Teshuva and Emunah is sincere.
HaShem told us thru Chazal that there will be 2 types of Geula; either Achishena or Be'ita (In its time or I will hasten it):
Achishena - If Am Israel merit with teshuva and good deeds, in the aspect of refining the good from the bad in its completion, until they have extracted all of the sparks that had fallen into the husks (kelipot) – the redemption will come before its time mentioned in Sefer Daniel (12,9).
I will hasten it – Am Israel will go out from the exile in a manner of good will and of leaping, and they will immediately ascend to the highest levels.
Be'ita - If Am Israel does not merit with good deeds, rather they add on to their sins an additional nurturing to the kelipot (evil husks of creation) – the redemption will be delayed until the time of the mentioned end (which is hidden and concealed, and was not known throughout all of the worlds).
In its time – the ascent will be level-by-level, not in a manner of jumping, and only after a long time they will ascend and reach the highest levels.
As we get closer to the end, it is very clear that Moshiach will come Be'ita. Chazal teach us that if a person eats 3 Shabbat meals (Friday night, Shabbat morning, and Shabbat afternoon, after Mincha) will be saved from Gog uMagog.
Those that refuse to accept to do teshuva, HaShem says to them thru Prophet Yechezkel (Ezekiel Chapter 39):
יב וּקְבָרוּם בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל, לְמַעַן טַהֵר אֶת-הָאָרֶץ, שִׁבְעָה, חֳדָשִׁים.
12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying them, that they may cleanse the land.
יג וְקָבְרוּ כָּל-עַם הָאָרֶץ, וְהָיָה לָהֶם לְשֵׁם--יוֹם, הִכָּבְדִי, נְאֻם, אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה.
13 Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them, and it shall be to them a renown; in the day that I shall be glorified, saith HaShem.
It will take 7 months to purify the land of Israel from all the Goyim and wicked Jews that refused to recognize HaShem's Glory.
There is no doubt that we are the generation that Moshiach will come. Who will choose to do Teshuva and greet Moshiach Tzidkenu? It's not easy to do Teshuva but it will be so much harder if one doesn't do Teshuva. You must make a tremendeous effort and ask HKB'H for help. HaShem wants YOU to make an honest effort. Break your will, dress modestly, observe family purity, cover hair (including men, Kipa), keep Kosher, observe the holy Shabbat, give charity, stop slandering others, etc.
Millions of Jews during the Holocaust were burned to death, HI'D. Why? Because they rebelled against HKB'H. They did not break their will for HaShem and this was the result.
Don't fantasize that you will be saved if you don't make a real effort.
HaShem will help you, IF you make an effort, as it says, "כי תצא למלחמה על איביך". If you failed because the evil inclination trapped you, don't feel discouraged, as it says, "שבע יפול צדיק, וקם A Tzaddik falls and gets up." Ask HaShem for forgiveness and beg HKB'H to give you strength to help you raise yourself again. HaShem will help you...
Midrash in Pesikta Rabbati 36:
אמר רבי יצחק:שנה שמלך המשיח נגלה בו, כל מלכי האומות מתגרים זה בזה.מלך פרס מתגרה במלך הערבי, והולך מלך הערבי לאדום ליטול עצה מהם.וחוזר מלך פרס ומחריב את כל העולם .וכל אומות העולם מתרעשים ומתבהלים ונופלים על פניהם. ויאחזו אותם צירים כצירי יולדה
וישראל מתרעשים ומתבהלים ואומרים: להיכן נבוא ונלך? להיכן נבוא ונלך? ואומר להם : בניי, אל תתיראו! כל מה שעשיתי, לא עשיתי, אלא בשבילכם! מפני מה אתם מתיראים? אל תיראו, הגיע ימי גאולתכם!
Rabbi Yitzhak said: The year that King Mashiah will be revealed, all the kings of the nations will provoke each other. The king of Paras (Iran) will provoke an Arab king and the Arab king will go to Edom to take advice from them. Then, the King of Paras will go ahead and destroy the whole world. And all the nations of the world will tremble and be panicky and will fall on their faces. And pains like birth pangs will take hold of them.
And Israel will tremble and be panicky and will say "Where will we come and go? Where will we come and go?"And He will say to them (Hakadosh Baruch Hu will answer Israel the following):
"My children, do not be afraid! Whatever I made, I only made for your benefit! Why are you afraid? Do not be afraid! The days of your redemption has arrived!"
אין עוד מלבדו
The above was transcribed and translated from http://www.radio-idan.co.il/idan/gog.mp3 from the website http://www.radio-idan.co.il/idan/