B"H 13 Elul 5770
I found the notes that I made of Rabbi Kessin's shiur in December 2008 with some of the same concepts that I tried to give over from his most recent shiur in August 2010. With your indulgence, I'd like to try to recap them according to the way I recorded it then, since it seems to me to be a lot clearer.
In addition, I found that he spoke about Iran going nuclear and what that would mean for us. I'd forgotten all about it. I know that will be of interest to you as well. Here it is all in context. Enjoy!
(According to my notes)
The long and short of the Divine Plan, according to the Ramchal, is as follows:
G-d created everything in order to do good. Creation is the recipient of His goodness.
What is the greatest good of all? ---eternal infinite bliss. This is a state in which we can experience G-d Himself. In Hebrew it's called devekut, from the same root as devek (glue). It's being attached to G-d.
The big question was---will He give it to us for free or should we have to earn it? Even though we must earn it, He helps us out enormously.
G-d created a state of existence where we can’t see Him; a state where the revelation of G-d is absent. The task of the Jew is to fix the world by revealing G-d. How do we do it? ---mitzvot. A mitzvah is not an end in itself, it is a device for fixing creation. If we don’t do mitzvoth, there is a second device which accomplishes the same thing. That’s teshuva, which is a testimony that G-d is Supreme. If that doesn’t get it done, there is a third device and that is suffering. Suffering=exile. Suffering is not for retribution, but for tikun.
The job of Mashiach is to reveal G-d after the Jews make the tikun.
10 forces (sefirot) emanate from G-d and they create reality (physical AND spiritual). A mitzvah brings down ohr (Divine light) from the sefirot—the more mitzvot, the more ohr (life force).
What we have accumulated over our entire history through mitzvoth, teshuva and suffering is released when Mashiach comes and it changes reality. Olam Haba is just Olam Hazeh changed into a different reality (Example: Like the difference between a fetal existence in the womb as compared to the emergence into the wider world. Something we cannot even begin to imagine.)
G-d created the Satan and in the beginning he was attached to G-d and derived his sustenance directly from Him. His job was to tempt Adam and Chava. If they had passed their test, he would have had no further reason to exist. When Adam and Chava listened to his words, they justified his continued existence and so he became detached from G-d and re-attached to man and his offspring. (Like having his cable cut and spliced and plugged into Adam.)
Our job is to kill him. He competes with us for the ohr. A mitzvah directs the ohr to us while a sin directs it to the Satan. The more he gets us to sin, the stronger he gets with the ohr. The only way to get it back, once he has it, is either through teshuva or suffering. ( This is the secret of galut-exile.)
We want the ohr so we can change reality. At the end of days, the Satan starts dying (we’ve already taken 98% of the ohr). He is desperate to get it back. When we were at the 49th level of tumah in Mitzrayim, we made the tikun through suffering. It’s the same today.
How the Satan fights at the end:
1. The big bluff (compared to a military general blowing his last bit of ammunition all at once.) This equates to the Shoah. He used up a lot of his accumulated ohr in order to pull this off. He hoped it would cause us to be so discouraged that we would give up the fight.
2. Wakes up the “peace doves” who advocate giving up and giving in. (The Peace Process)
These are from the Erev Rav. They are the LEADERS of Conservative, Reform, Jewish organizations outside of Israel and the government leaders in Israel.
3. He needs an ally to replenish him. (This is where he holds today.)
This is where the Arabs come in. They have an independent supply of ohr which comes to them as a result of Avraham’s blessing for Yishmael. (They are the second greatest nation on earth (1) Yisra-el, (2) Yishma-el.)
The problem for the Satan with the Arabs as an ally is their fear.
After 1967, they were afraid of the Jews, but then with Oslo, when Jews were being slaughtered everywhere and the only response was to force Israel to give more. Arabs lost their fear of the Jews.
They were afraid of the Israeli government until Gush Katif --- each step til now is meant to embolden the Arabs against the Jews. After this, the Arabs no longer feared the government of Israel, but they were still afraid of the IDF. Now Hashem has to destroy the deterrence capability of the IDF.
The 2nd Lebanon War---3 failures were leading the government (Dan Chalutz, Amir Peretz and Ehud Olmert). 5000 Hizbollah caused 1 million Israelis to flee the Galil. The IDF is impotent.
So the Arabs are not afraid of the Jews, or the government, or the IDF. There is only one thing left that they fear—Israel’s nuclear capability. So Hashem has to counter that with Iran. Once Iran has nukes, the Arabs will no longer fear Israeli nukes.
Achmadinejad believes he will usher in the reign of the Islamic Mashiach by going to war with the world, but he will instead usher in the Jewish Mashiach because of the zechut (merit) Iran has from it’s days as Persia when it enabled the building of the 2nd Beit Hamikdash. They will also enable the building of the 3rd.
Hashem diverted Bush to make war on Iraq so that he would not be able, when the time came, to also go to war against Iran.
One puzzle piece left. The Arabs are still afraid of America. The answer to this is Obama---an outright miracle. Obama election is a miracle beyond belief and is intended to remove the Arab’s fear of America.
An “eved” (a slave) and an “isha” (a woman) are pasul from malchut (not fit to rule), but now Obama and Hilary will be the reigning kings of Edom.
Tikun through mitzvoth brings the redemption by open miracles, but tikun through suffering brings it b’derech teva (in a seemingly natural way).
Three things the world couldn’t believe when they saw it:
1. Fall of Communism (1989)
2. Fall of the WTC (2001)
3. The third thing will be when all the Arabs simply vanish from Eretz Yisrael overnight. Like in 1948, they will just get up and flee. It will happen as soon as the tikun is complete, when we have finally taken all the ohr, and only Hashem will know when that is.