11 December 2009

Shabbat Shalom, Hanukah Sameah!


Jerusalem, Israel
HaRav Yehuda Kreuser SHLIT"A, Rosh Yeshiva

25 Kislev 5770/11-12 December 2009


"These are the generations of Jacob, Joseph was seventeen years old and was feeding the flock with his brothers."

Why was Joseph singled out from all the other brothers, so that the Torah lists him as the "generations" of Jacob? To teach us that everything that happened to Jacob happened to Joseph. The GRA in "Kol Hatur" goes further and writes that everything that took place in the life of Joseph will also happen to "Zion" - the Jewish people in the Land of Israel. In fact, it was the GRA who some 250 years ago compiled all the sources and expanded on the unknown topic -which is still unclear to most people - of the existence of two Messiahs, the long awaited Messiah Ben David and his counterpart, Messiah Ben Joseph. What, then, are the attributes of this Messiah and how does he play into the unfolding history of the return of the Jewish people to their Land in our days?

First, it will only be to Joseph and his offspring that wicked Esau, Rome and their descendants - the West - will fall. We find that when Jacob saw all the chiefs of Edom rising, he became frightened. G-d told him: "Do not fear, for I will give them all over to the descendants of Joseph". So when Joseph was born, Jacob said to Lavan: "Send me away that I may go to my own place and to my country." What did Jacob see that made him want to return to the Land of Israel, now that Joseph was born? Jacob realized that now that Joseph was born, he had the means to combat his brother Esau, and so it was time to pack it up and head home to Israel. This is what the prophet Obadiah told us: "The House of Jacob shall be fire and the House of Joseph flame, and the House of Esau stubble, and they shall kindle them and devour them and there shall be none remaining from the house of Esau, for the L-rd has spoken."

Another important aspect of Messiah Ben Joseph is that he is hidden from us and works for the benefit of the Jewish people and unbeknownst to them. As the Torah tells us, that "Joseph recognized his brothers but they did not recognize him." The GRA writes that this is the work of the "Satan", for if we were able to recognize the work of Messiah Ben Joseph, all of our troubles would be over.

The GRA continues and writes "that every aspect of the rebuilding and reclaiming of the Land of Israel, including the planting in all of its details and the settling of the Land, is the mission of Messiah Ben Joseph. For Messiah Ben Joseph is from earth -meaning, he works for the physical rebuilding of the Land of Israel and Messiah Ben David is from heaven - who works for the spiritual benefit of the Jewish people. They live in every generation!"

Crucial to understanding the work of Messiah Ben Joseph is the fact that Hashem is bringing the Redemption, and returning the Jewish people in our day to their Land in a totally natural way. Through our hands and the hands of the nations of the world, through the UN, wars that are fought and won, roads and houses are built, destroyed and rebuilt, all done with hard labor, sweat and many tears, and all done naturally with Hashem's help - but not with open miracles, for this is the way of Messiah Ben . Unfortunately, many religious Jews still lack the concept of Messiah Ben Joseph, for he is the "hidden Messiah", they sit in the exiles of the world, not taking part in the Redemption process, waiting for some sign or someone to knock on their door inviting them to come home, they wait and wait and wait.

The path of Messiah Ben Joseph is not an easy path, but this is the only way. The GRA writes that every good and every step in this process of Redemption that comes, comes only though hardships. The main thing is to understand this and know that this is the only way to move ahead - though hardships, but not to despair of them, for this is the path.

With love of Israel,
Levi Chazen

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