16 July 2010

Rav Kessin: "Just Before Mashiach"

On Tuesday night, I had the distinct privilege of hearing Rabbi Mendel Kessin in Jerusalem. The title of his lecture was The True Meaning of Churban and Galus and How it Affects Us. It was a two-hour lecture chock full of goodies, so it will take me some time to sort it all out, but I didn’t want to wait any longer to tell you one very important part.

Into the second hour, he began to talk about 2010. And he brought up the incident in Imanuel.

“Imanuel was a mind-boggling event. …It was incredible.”

He began to give some background.

Imanuel was established about 25 years ago. They felt that they needed a prestigious rabbi to entice others to come to live there, so they asked a very important rav, Rabbi Yehoshua Moshe Aharonson, who had just retired from being Chief Rabbi of Petach Tiqva. He agreed and came to live among them. They had a dinner to celebrate the founding of the yishuv and he was the main speaker. Now, I’ll stop here for a moment and let you read what I found about Rabbi Aharonson.

Rav Yehoshua Moshe Aharonson of Petach Tikva (1910-1993). Born in Warsaw, he was was named rabbi of Sanok in 1937. In the winter of early 1940, he was appointed to the Beis Din of Warsaw. In March 1942, he was deported to the Konin labor camp, near Chelmno. The Konin camp was liquidated in the summer of 1943. Rabbi Aharonson was taken to Hohensalza, and afterwards to Auschwitz 3 (Buna). In 1945 he was transferred from Auschwitz to Buchenwald and then taken on a death march to Theresienstadt, where he was liberated. He subsequently moved to Eretz Israel, where he served as a rabbi in Petach Tikva and Emmanuel. His writings were collected in the book Alei Merorot.

Back to the story.

“He gets up and gives a speech that is mind-boggling. …He said something that shocked the whole audience. Here’s what he said and keep in mind this is twenty-five years ago, in 1985.”

According to Rabbi Kessin, someone who was present at the dinner recorded Rav Aharonson's words. The Rav explained how the last Jews to live in the Shomron were exiled with the ten tribes because of the sin of idolatry. And from then (2500 years ago) until now (1985), it never had another permanent settlement. He told the audience that some of those who were resettling the area were the neshamas of those who had been exiled and had returned to make a tikun.

"So what's the tikun? He says like this. There'll come a time that an enormous Kidush Hashem will come out of Imanuel. Enormous! And he's saying this in 1985. And that would be the tikun for the avoda zarah. Now, they're all sitting and listening to him and they're saying what in the world is he talking about? Imanuel? A dwarf? It's a little village. What kind of Kidush Hashem is he talking about because you need a MASSIVE Kidush Hashem to mae a tikun for the ten tribes.... And this is going to happen right before Mashiach! This is what he says and no one understood what he was talking about."

Rabbi Kessin then went on to explain in great detail why he believes that the recent battle between the Chareidi parents in Imanuel and the Israeli High Court was the "enormous Kidush Hashem" referred to by Rav Aharonson.

B'kitzur, the Court, acting against all reason and their own self-interests, pushed the issue as far as they did, knowing that it never was a matter of discrimination and they basicaly demanded that the Chareidim bow down to the court and obey it even if it contradicted Torah Law and the instructions of the rabbis.

The Chareidi parents said over and over again publicly that they would only obey Hashem and His Torah. They went to prison accompanied by 150,000 supporters made up of every group of Jews. Rabbi Kessin said, "And they did it b'simcha!" He said that it was an amazing display of achdut and acceptance of the Divine Will and a tremendous Kidush Hashem. And that it could be enough of a zechut for Am Yisrael to finally cancel thItalice gezeirah of Tisha b'Av, especially since we have entered the Minchah period of the Creation Calendar.

"Bein ha'arba'im...yehiye ohr."

Shabbat shalom.