Kahane, Moshiach, Isolation & Trump

The murder of Rav Meir Kahane and of Binyamin Kahane and his wife Talya, role of Moshiach Ben Yosef, UN resolutions against Trump – Fitting it all together, in the perspective of the Jewish Idea.

Kahanes Assassinations – Moshiach –  U.N. resolutions against Trump and Israel

by Yekutiel
The time has come to follow in Jacob, Joseph and Binyamin’s footsteps – ISRAEL TO STAND ALONE
Benjamin standing alone?

In this week’s parsha, VaYegash there is a fascinating dialogue or actually more of a monologue, with Yehuda beseeching Joseph to allow him to leave Binyamin at home with his father Jacob and not to risk bringing him down to Egypt. Yehudah pleads with Joseph, “…his (Binyamin’s) brother (Joseph) died and he was left alone to his father and mother, (only remaining child). It is a difficult to understand the choice of words, (“Vayevateer hu Levado “)“left alone to his father and mother”. Why does the Torah not simply say he is like an only child? Moreover, what is the point – so what if he is the only child left to Jacob from Rachel? Furthermore, Benjamin was surrounded by many loving siblings and stepbrothers from his father, and the words – “left alone” hardly reflects, the true picture. Left alone? That sounds so lonely. And judging by the fight his brothers are leading on his behalf, there can be no choice of words that are further from the truth.

I think that in order to understand the hidden meaning behind the seemingly strange choice of words: “left alone to his father and mother” we need to review another place in the chumash where a similar phrase and choice of words is used. In parshat VaYishlach, the Torah describes Jacob’s status the moment before his battle with the angel of Esav, “and Jacob was left alone”. There, too, it is difficult to understand the description of Jacob being left alone. Could it be that Jacob, who divided the camps into two huge camps, was walking around alone, with no guards, escorts, disciples or children?

Isolation-standing alone and salavation

A popular song about the Jacob-Esav ultimate-fight episode could shed more light and help explain the phrase and its hidden meaning. “G-d is lofty alone, on that day, and Jacob was left alone “. The song combines two verses, one – a prophesy from Isaiah that refers to the final Day of Redemption when G-d will judge the nations alone and save the Jewish people, and the other  verse: from VaYishlach, referring to Jacob’s fight with Esav’s angel. The song and the identical words connect G-d’s behavior to the behavior of Jacob. Yaakov, the man who symbolizes whole truth, shows that he can stand alone and defeat Esav. Yaakov is referred to as “Tam” complete or whole. This is an attribute that we do not see in reference to Abraham and in Yitzhak. Yaakov enlists in the ultimate and eternal battle against evil. Issac and Abraham, each, in their own way attempted to reconcile with the existence of evil in this world. Yaakov the ultimate and complete man of truth could not tolerate any compromise on truth or with evil in this world. Abraham  – father’s Yitzhak and Yishmael. Yitzhak –  fathers Yaakov and Esav. Yakov represents the whole and unadulterated filtered truth, and from Yaakov is born the children of Israel and the chosen nation of Israel.

Thus, when the Torah states that Yaakov was left alone, in means much more than the physical loneliness that may or may not have existed, but rather a state of mind, and a willingness to stand alone, with complete faith in G-d; to represent G-d’s truth and to struggle against the rest of the world, if need be. It is this test of faith that Yaakov passed when he fought the angel of Esav, emerging victorious and graduating him to the new name of Yisrael. It is in the merit of faith and standing alone, without allies, that brings the Jew his salvation and delivery. When we rely on man, super-powers and allies and defy the Torah, then we are left to our own designs and to the mercy of the gentiles. However, when we are prepared to stand alone, with faith in G-d, we are protected by G-d and at His mercy.
Standing alone, with your truth, with no others around who share your truth, may sound lonely but in reality this catapults man to be embraced by G-d. Faith brings redemption, Isolation brings salvation.

This was the special gene that Jacob possessed and that he and Rachel passed on to Joseph and Benyamin. The other brothers ostracized and betrayed Joseph, who was a lone-wolf.

The role of Moshiach Ben Yosef – VS the role of Yehuda and Moshiach Ben David

Now, we can better understand the dialogue/monologue between Yehuda and Joseph in this week’s parsha. Yehuda was not merely stating an irrelevant fact that Binyamin was left alone to his biological mother and father, now that Joseph was perceived to be gone. Yehuda was saying that if something happens to Benjamin, this will cause sure death to Jacob as well, and then who will be left to transfer that genetic spiritual trait of obsession to truth and willingness to stand alone and take on the world? And as Isaiah prophesizes, the final day-of-judgment and redemption will come when G-d stands alone without allies. G-d can only stand alone when there are Jews of faith who stand alone, without fear and with no allies to rely on or to be dependent upon. It is only through such a scenario that it can be revealed to all, that G-d is the only one! It is only then when the redemption and miracles will be attributed to G-d alone and not to allies and super-powers.
Essentially, Yehuda is explaining that risking Binyamin means risking the final redemption of the Jewish people and risking the day when G-d can be recognized as the lone savior of the Jewish people. This is equivalent to killing Moshiach ben Yosef, the Messiah who is supposed to stand tall and provoke the nations. Some say that Moshiach Ben Yosef is killed and then, Moshiach Ben Dovid from the tribe of Yehuda completes the final stages of redemption. Here, in this fascinating discourse we see Yehuda pleading with Joseph not to kill Moshiach ben Yosef. As Rav Meir Kahane HY”D brings down in Ohr HaRayon, in the name of the Gr”a and others who explain that someone fulfills the potential role of Moshiach Ben Yosef in every generation, but does not have to die. That is exactly what Yehuda is trying to arrange with Yosef, as he pleads not to risk Binyamin and Yaakov. It is said that every generation has a potential Moshiach Ben Yosef, who is betrayed and not recognized by his brothers, or who is revealed and who hastens the redemption. Moshiach Ben Yosef is said to feel the pain of the desecration to G-d’s name personified through Jewish weakness and suffering of the Jews in Exile. His battle is a “lonely battle” of truth as he stands alone against the detractors of truth who rule in this world until the final day of judgement. Then comes the role of Yehuda and Moshiach Ben Yehuda and the spiritual redemption.

The death of Moshiach Ben Yosef could be avoided

If enough Jews join the battle having faith in G-d, then the death of Moshiach Ben Yosef can be avoided. Redemption through needless pain and suffering can be averted. It is when Joseph no longer stands alone, in the sense that his brothers join him with a true love of Israel, and with complete faith that Binyamin and Moshiach Ben Yosef can be saved. In the end, it is necessary for the Jewish people to show uncompromising faith in G-d, without fear of the gentiles, for the redemption to be completed. The final show-down can be triggered by a lone Moshiach Ben Yosef who is betrayed by his brothers and killed or by a significant movement of Jews, who embrace the way of Jacob, Jospeh and Binyamin with faith and with the courage of their convictions, who defeat the modern-day angels of Esav, and sanctify G-d’s name.

The nation of Israel shows it’s faith by acts of faith in defiance of international opinion, dictates and resolutions. It is acts of faith such as expulsion of our enemies, annexing territories and preparing to build the Beit HaMikdash that show our faith in Hashem, and that show that we believe that He is stronger than the nations. Such brazen acts of faith hasten the redemption, as our sages teach us that it is faith that brought about the redemption from Egypt and that will bring the final redemption. This is the message of Moshiach Ben Yosef in every generation. Rejection of this message and this path of action by the brothers of the potential Moshiachs in every generation, results in prolonging the exile with all of its needless suffering. The ultimate question: will Jacob and Binyamin stand alone and will the nation of Israel take the lead and embrace the path of faith to risk standing alone against the entire world or will they continue to cower before the nations with delusions and illusions that they can buy the love of the gentiles through appeasing the nations?

Addition after U.N. resolution against Trump Jewish Jerusalem recognition:

Trumps recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city – questions we should ask:

Most affiliated Jews and Zionists are still too busy falling over themselves with joy over Trumps recognition concerning Jewish Jerusalem that they lack the ability to assess the situation from a Jewish perspective. We neglect to ask the relevant questions. Does America stepping up its alliance and support for Israel, bring the redemption of Israel closer? When Jews feel that they can rely upon America to save us, does that strengthen our faith and dependency on the G-d of Israel? If in the end, we will need to show that we are prepared to stand alone, how does this impact that? Is Trump still preparing a “peace-deal” that would try and force Israel to surrender the Har HaBayit and to make additional painful land concessions? After his recent recognition of Jerusalem, will it be easier for him to sell his deal to the Israeli public?

When Israel can no longer attribute victories to America or any other ally is when the redemption will come

Rabbi Charlap held that Moshiach will come after Israel sends away its allies such as America. This was similar to the opinion of Rabbi Kahane who quoted the Gaon of Vilna on this. Thus it is important to remember that despite the recent euphoria, Israel will be saved with or without Trump and the nine states that supported America’s recognition of Jerusalem in the United Nations. In fact, Moshiach will come specifically when Israel will not be able to attribute victory to anyone other than G-d. G-d will determine how this plays itself out and whether this leads to more or less isolation of Israel. Israel’s fate and the pace of the unveiling of that fate will be determined by its own actions or lack of actions to the extent that those actions betray its faith or lack of faith in G-d. Trump can make America great again indeed if he truly stands behind Israel. Israel will become great again when it is prepared to stand alone!

Two Funerals: Rabin and Kahane

The fact that the Yohrzeit dates for Yitchak Rabin and Rabbi Kahane are so close (the non-Hebrew date is the same) is no coincidence. The sages also compare two funerals, one of a righteous leader, and one of a wicked leader. The following was written by Binyamin Zev Kahane for the third Yohrzeit of Rabbi Kahane:

“and they shall look towards me, regarding those whom the nations have thrust through. And they shall mourn for him (that is slain) as one mourns for an only son, and shall be in bitterness over him, as one that is in bitterness for a firstborn. ON THAT DAY THERE SHALL BE A GREAT MOURNING IN JERUSALEM, LIKE THE MOURNING OF HADADRIMMON IN THE VALLEY OF MEDGIDON.(Zechariah, 12)

Rashi: “Our rabbis interpreted this to be on Meshiach Ben Yosef who was killed”

Targum Yonatan: “At that period of time the mourning over the loss of Jerusalem will match the mourning over the murders of the King of Israel Ahab son of Omri who was killed by Adarimon the son of Tavrimon, and the King of Judah Yoshiya son of Amon who was killed by Pharoh in the valley of Megidon.”

The funeral of Rabbi Kahane, HY”D, left a deep impression on its participants. According to estimates, between 100,000 – 200,000 people walked from the Shmuel HaNavi neighborhood to the cemetery Har HaMinuchot. (This does not include the 30,000 – 50,000 people who escorted the coffin in the US before it was flown to Israel). It is also important to point out the heterogeneous mix of the participants, from all levels and circles of Israeli society: religious (all kinds), secular, Sephardi and Ashkenazy. Everyone escorted the coffin, crying over the great leader who fell – the leader who the people didn’t merit to give the power or support to so that he be able to save them.

Many prestigious rabbis, including the great “Mikubal” Rabbi Getz (RavHaKotel), ZT”L, called Rabbi Kahane Meshiach Ben Yosef who was killed, bringing the above-mentioned verse from Zacharia as proof, which according to chazal speaks of the great funeral of Meshiach Ben Yosef.

And behold, a year ago exactly, (according to the non-Jewish calendar), five years after the death of Rabbi Kahane, the Prime Minister Rabin was murdered. The media fanned the flames in creating a nationwide atmosphere ofmourning, presenting it as the funeral of funerals. Indeed, more realistic estimates spoke about 30,000 to 40,000 who passed his coffin (or tried to). In any case, more important than the numbers was the impression that these funerals left people with. This is what reminded many of the above “Targum Yonatan”, comparing the funeral of Meshiach Ben Yosef to two of the biggest funerals of the past – the funeral of the righteous King Yoshiya who created a Torah society for his kingdom, and the funeral of the wicked King Ahab who caused the Jewish people to sin.

It is as if the verse hints to two huge funerals that will occur close to the time of redemption – one of a righteous person who symbolizes Meshiach Ben Yosef, and one of a wicked person who symbolizes the opposite – that is, someone who fights against the cause of Meshiach Ben Yosef.

The struggle between “the students of Yoshiya” and the “students of Ahab” is in full swing. And most of the people, despite the constant incitement and brainwashing, are still on the side of Yoshiya, as witnessed by their massive spontaneous participation six years ago to honor the memory of a leader who really felt the pain of the people, and went out to his brothers to see their suffering – and tried to save them. May his memory and actions protect us, Amen.

Excerpts From the Hagadda of the Jewish Idea

Introduction to the Haggadah of the Jewish Idea
The purpose of the Haggadah of the Jewish Idea is not to add yet another Haggadah to the collection of Haggadot already available to the public. It’s purpose is rather to present the concepts of the authentic Jewish Idea in general, and in particular the concept of faith in G-d, on this holy night of the year: the Seder night, which was ordained as the night which would define the faith of the Jew. There is no task more important today than that of rectifying those most fundamental Jewish concepts, including – indeed, in particular – among b’nei Torah, Torah scholars. For indeed, on one hand the long exile has caused us to forget the very soul of Judaism and the Jewish idea; and on the other hand, foreign cultures have penetrated deep, including into the halls of Torah, and have emasculated our ideology. So widespread have these phenomena become, that few today are capable of differentiating between hametz and matza, between Jewish ideas and foreign ideas.

Similarly, at the core of the necessity for this Haggadah stands the fact that many Jews sit at the Seder table in order to fulfill the mitzvah of the night, to recount the Exodus from Egypt, but find themselves entirely dependent upon “vortim” which have only the slightest of connections with the message of Pesach, or indeed the teachings of Judaism in general. I hope that this Haggadah will serve to aid all who are interested in expounding on the Exodus on the Seder night. “And all those who labor in it greatly are praiseworthy.”

This Haggadah was written according to the principles which I learned from my father and teacher of blessed memory, may G-d avenge his blood. Having said that, I have cited as primary sources his various books (in particular The Jewish Idea and the series of commentaries on the Bible, Perush Hamacabee) only when I quoted from them directly, or when I set forth an idea according to a specific source in his writings; however, I have not cited my father’s works when I concatenated several different sources, nor when I expounded upon a general trend of thought which appears in his writings… Having said that, it is important to emphasize that almost the entire commentary is based upon his words, and of course upon the principles of his teachings. And I hope that my work will cause no one to stumble.

During the months of work writing this commentary, I was “honored” to be harassed by the authorities, especially when they chose precisely this time to carry out an intensive interrogation against me; I was accused of the “crime” of writing various commentaries on the Torah – “incitement” by their definition. Indeed, even this very work was saved from falling into their clutches by the grace of G-d; I was but a step away from being forcibly prevented from publishing this commentary in time for Pesach of this year 5757 (1997). However, it was precisely this fact which ultimately gave me the added strength and impetus necessary to complete this work, to publish this Haggadah, and to spread the authentic Jewish Idea among the Jewish People – in spite of those who desire to delegitimize and to ban the truth, and to prevent us from speaking that truth.

In closing, I hereby thank all those who helped me in this work: David Cohen, one of the outstanding Torah scholars in the Yeshiva of the Jewish Idea in Kfar Tapuach, who toiled unstintingly in preparing the practical and halachic sources for the Seder night so that every detail be written accurately; he neither slumbered nor slept until he prepared a complete addendum (which is at the end of this Haggadah), which gives in a concentrated form the sources for all of the halachot throughout the Haggadah, as well as additional halachot and glosses. I also thank two other members of our Yeshiva – Uri Amit for donating his time to check the entire commentary and to provide his enlightening comments; also of course to the artist Avinadav Vitkin who was good enough to place his unique talent at our disposal. I also thank the anonymous benefactor who placed at my disposal his personal computer for the specific purpose of compiling this work, after the Israeli police saw it fit to confiscate my own computer from my house during the preparation of this Haggadah.

I conclude with the prayer that all those who study and learn this work will be enriched, and will be brought closer to the clear and straightforward concepts of Judaism in general and of Pesach in particular. I also pray that it will encourage them to study and to relate to the authentic concepts of Judaism throughout the year.

Binyamin Zev Kahane

Adar II, 5757 (March ’97)

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“Why Is This Night Different?..”

If he has a son, the son asks. In contrast to Hanukah and Purim where we are commanded to “publicize the miracle” (and include everyone), on Pesach, the publicizing of the miracle starts first of all with the children. And this is for the reason we mentioned (in the introduction) – that here the goal of the publicizing of the miracle is that the father, at the first available moment, will pass down the principles of faith in the G-d of Israel and the exodus of Egypt to the small son, so as to continue the unbreakable chain. And how tremendous is the fact that the Emunah of Yisrael, despite it’s depth, is simple enough in its basis, that it can be conveyed from father to small boy, by means of a simple story appropriate for a child. This is the significance of the questions which appear here. And it is incumbent upon us to arouse each child, according to his ability, to ask more and more questions. Because the idea is better internalized if he asks and gets an answer, than if he just gets the answer (without asking). And from here one can learn that even if there are no children, the adult should provoke questions for himself and others, in order to sharpen the understanding.

On this night we add another link to the chain of our tradition, conveying the concrete basis of the faith through all the generations, because in such a way can the new generation ITSELF see things properly, despite the fact that “officially”, thousands of years have passed since the event took place. And, behold, he did not see it with his own eyes. But the passing down of the message from generation to generation in such a concrete and precise fashion makes it EXACTLY AS IF HE SAW IT. Just as no one doubts historical events which took place two hundred years ago, since everything is known and passed onward by humanity, so, too can the events of over 3,000 years not be doubted, because the people passed it down in the same way, each one to his children. And this is the difference between Hanukah, Purim, and Passover. For only on Passover was each one commanded to see himself as if he left Egypt, since this fact is the basis of our faith, and without it, our faith would not have survived in such a precise manner after so many thousands of years, hundreds of generations, and countless tragedies and exiles. In such a way, the child is not only connected to his father, but also to the father of his fathers who lived hundreds of years ago and thousands of years ago, each one being a special pipeline for this message which is intended PERSONALLY FOR HIM! On this night, the Jewish child will also receive upon himself his responsibility for the next generations, to continue the chain and the pipeline, and he will understand that if he does not connect himself to the Jewish People, there is no reason for his existence.

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Continue reading “Excerpts From the Hagadda of the Jewish Idea”

Vayigash: Who Recognizes Yosef?

In Parashat Vayigash the drama and tension between Yosef and his brothers reaches its climax. And then Yosef blows everything wide open, revealing himself to his startled brothers: “I am Yosef”. Afterwards, the brothers rush off to their father to break the news: “Ode Yosef Chai”, Yosef is still alive.

In order to gain a deeper understanding of the parasha’s dealing with Yosef, we must pay attention to the fact that what lies at the center of this three parasha drama between Yosef and his brothers is the fact that on one side stands Yosef who knows that his brothers stand before him, while on the other side are the brothers who do not know that they stand before Yosef. This is summed up in the verse in Parashat Mikez: “And Yosef recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him.”

What is Meant by “Recognize”

According to the simple understanding, the commentators explain that the brothers did not recognize Yosef because at the time they sold him, he was young and without a beard, and now he had a beard. On the other hand, Yosef recognized his brothers because at the time he was sold, they already had beards.

Rashi digs deeper, explaining that the difference between the two sides was not merely recognition of external appearances. When Yosef encountered his brothers on the fateful day in Shchem, they did not “recognize” him; that is, they did not act brotherly towards him and sold him to the Ishmaelites. But when the brothers were at Yosef’s mercy, he “recognized” them; he acted brotherly towards them and did not take revenge for all the pain that they caused him.

In these days, after Yosef’s tomb has been sold to the Ishmaelites, we must focus on this point, and to shed light on the present situation where Yosef once again is not recognized.

Mashiach Ben Yosef and His Role

In the Torah, when speaking of the redemption, Mashiach ben Yosef and the concept of “Od Yosef Chai,” play a central role. According to tradition, before Mashiach ben David’s arrival, Mashiach ben Yosef will fight God’s wars in the age of redemption preceding Mashiach ben David. The Atchalta DeGeula, the stage before the conclusion of redemption when all surviving nations accept Heaven’s yoke, is the period of Mashiach ben Yosef. The Gra (the Gaon R. Eliayahu of Vilna), in his work Kol HaTor, calls Mashiach ben Yosef the “Mashiach De’Atchalta”, the “Inaugural Messiah”. The Gra explains that Mashiach ben David and Mashiach ben Yosef live and endure in every single generation, functioning in their role…” Mashiach ben Yosef is involved in the whole physical side of the redemption, the actual return to Zion, and the fighting of God’s wars, while the role of Mashiach ben David is to complete the spiritual redemption. If the Jews do not merit the redemption in a particular generation, the roles of the Messiahs are passed down to someone else in the next generation.

Estranged From and Conspired Against

We will now return to the central verse we mentioned, bringing the words of the Gra in Kol Ha Tor. ” ‘Yosef recognized his brothers but they did not recognize him’. This is one of Yosef’s 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…If not for this, our troubles would already be over. If Israel ‘recognized Yosef’, Mashiach ben Yosef’s footsteps comprising the ingathering of the exiles, etc., we would already be completely redeemed”. (Ch.2, Part 1:39)

Is it even necessary to expound upon our alienation from “Yosef” today? And now the Gra 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” – this is the reason why the complete redemption is being delayed!

Not only is there estrangement from Yosef, but a conspiring against him, as it is written on Yosef: “And they conspired against him to slay him”. Yosef’s brothers see Yosef 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…Hence, 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.. (Ch.2, part 2:2)

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 HaChaiim, (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”!

These days are critical ones. The war that broke out this past Rosh Hashana centered on Shchem and Kever Yosef during the first few days. Afterwards, Yosef’s tomb was abandoned and sold to the Ishamaelites like discarded baggage. Our answer must be the opposite: We must cling on to all those tasks of Mashiach ben Yosef – the conquering of the land and the war against the goyim and the erev rav. We needn’t worry about being popular or palatable in the eyes of those who are not willing to recognize Yosef. By so doing, those who are willing to recognize Yosef will see and understand that “Ode Yosef Chai”.

Vayigash: Mashiach Ben Yosef – Some Basic Concepts

For most people, the concept of “Mashiach” relates to “Mashiach Ben David”. In contrast, while most people may have heard of “Mashiach Ben Yosef”, they know little about his role and importance. There is probably no more appropriate time than during the Torah portions dealing with Yosef to delve into the concept of Mashiach Ben Yosef. Indeed, it is interesting to note that Yosef is the central figure in four Torah portions (VaYeshev through VaYichi), which is more than any of the three forefathers, and certainly more than his “counterpart” Yehuda, the father of David’s kingdom. There is a reason for this.

In this short article, we will touch upon the concept of “Mashiach BenYosef” basing ourselves upon the Gaon from Vilna (GR”A) in his book “Kol HaTor”, and on the writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane, HY”D, in his book “Ohr HaRaayon”. First of all, it must be known that in each generation, there is a person who has the potential to be Mashiach Ben Yosef. This creates free choice for every generation to bring Mashiach, and when the Almighty decides to, He actualizes this potential and unleashes the role of Mashiach (on one or both of them) in a particular generation.

Mashiach Ben Yosef is the one who starts the redemption. He is the central figure in the process preceding the final and complete redemption in which a king from David’s house is eventually anointed – and this is “Mashiach Ben David”. Mashiach Ben Yosef fights the wars of Hashem against the gentile enemies of Israel, and since it is he who STARTS the redemption, he is also called “Mashiach HaAtchalta” – the Mashiach who begins the redemption. He is responsible for the physical, material redemption which precedes the spiritual one. The physical redemption is the ingathering of the exiles, the conquering of the Land of Israel and wars against the gentile (and for this reason he is also coined by many midrashim as the “Mashuach Milchama” – the anointed for war). In contrast, Mashiach Ben David is responsible for the spiritual side of the redemption which comes afterwards.

It is well-known that Mashiach Ben Yosef is killed. But actually, this does not have to happen. For if the redemption comes the way of “Achishena” (swiftly and with glory) – that is, the Jewish People do “tsheuva” – then Mashiach Ben Yosef triumphs in battle. On the other hand, if the redemption comes “BiEta” (slowly, at it’s fixed time) – then one of the results of such a scenario is that he falls in the midst of a difficult and bitter battle, where great suffering and needless tragedy take place.

One of the things that is emphasized about Mashiach Ben Yosef is something that is said about Yosef himself: “And Yosef recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him”. While the potential Mashiach Ben Yosef of every generation brings the people the truth and presents before them the conditions for the redemption, the people deny and disrespect him. But because of his “Ahavat Yisroel”, he is willing to suffer. It is the people’s refusal to recognize the truth which brings upon them the needless wars and tragedies. For if the Jewish People had only accepted and understood Mashiach Ben Yosef’s message, he would bring the redemption swiftly, in the way of “Achishena”, with glory and without needless suffering.

But in the scenario of “BiEta”, only a handful understand, identify, and go with Mashiach Ben Yosef. And while the people continue to deny him, he continues his mission in any case, provoking the goyim and sanctifying the Name of G-d, and eventually falling, as stated above. It must be pointed out here that the major obstacle for Mashiach Ben Yosef is not the gentiles, but rather the destroyers from within. They are called the “Erev Rav” (mixed multitude). According to the Gaon from Vilna, the major battle of Mashiach Ben Yosef is against the “Erev Rav”, who prevents the Holy People from recognizing the truth which would bring the redemption swiftly, “HaGiulat Achishena”.

In conclusion, it must be remembered that what is written here is a general overview of the redemption process. But how things will actually turn out – depends only on us, just as it depends on us concerning whether or not Mashiach Ben Yosef will be killed. This is a heavy responsibility – to recognize the truth and to understand the conditions for redemption, despite the fact that the “Erev Rav” is trying to destroy and ban it. May G-d give us the strength to hold our own and fulfill the mitzvot of Kiddush Hashem, so that we may bring the redemption swiftly. Amen.

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