19 January 2012

Where are we now in the geulah process?

24 Tevet 5772

This week's Torah Tidbits features the following excerpted article:

The Exodus – Road Map of the Final RedemptionGuest article by Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher - Dean of Students, Diaspora Yeshiva

...The prophet Micha said (7:15), "As in the days of your leaving Egypt, I shall show them marvelous things." His words imply that the Exodus is the precedent for the final Redemption, as the Midrash expounds: "Just as in Egypt, I shall redeem you in the future from subjugation to Edom and shall perform miracles for you, as it says, 'As in the days of your leaving Egypt, I shall display miracles' (Tanchuma, Toldot 17)."


Indeed, gradual, phased redemption is found already in Egypt, as in the four redemption expressions with which G-d addresses Moshe: "Therefore tell the Israelites that I am the L-rd. I will (1) remove you from the suffering of Egypt, and I will (2) save you from your enslavement. I will (3) redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great punishments, and I will (4) take you to Me as a people. I will be for you a G-d" (Sh'mot 6:6-7).

This refers to four stages of redemption. The first stage constituted a lightening of their hardship, although they continued to be slaves to Par'o. The second stage constituted the total cessation of their enslavement (with the plague of hail, during which Par'o began to admire Israel - Netziv). Even so, Israel were not yet free, but under the control of the Egyptian regime. With the plague of the Firtborns came the third stage, in which Israel were redeemed totally, with an outstretched arm and with great punishments, and they left slavery for freedom. Yet they were still mired in the forty-nine levels of impurity like idol worshipers. Finally came the fourth stage, in which they were taken to be Hashem's people, and Hashem became their G-d.

I quoted this so as to introduce the concept of "phased redemption." I would just add another part to the first phase that I think is hidden at the beginning and I'll explain why.

Because, before things started getting better, it first got a lot worse when Paro issued the decree that we had to gather our own straw to make the bricks. This would correspond to the words "...tell the Israelites that I am the L-rd" in the same way that "I am the L-rd your G-d..." is the first of the aseret hadribrot.

And according to Rabbi Fish in Sod Hachashmal, this part of the first phase would correspond to the Shoah, where things got a whole lot worse before it would get better...

The Zohar (Mishpatim 119B and Acharey 68A) says the Moshiach's birth pangs are like a woman who lowers her head between her knees. It seems that the seventy years of Moshiach's birth pangs began in 5701, between the sefiroth of Netzach and Hod, which are the sod (secret representing) the two legs. Rosh Hashanah of Year 5701 is when her cries of the Moshiach's birth pangs began.

...If Moshiach's birth pangs lasted 70 years, and the birth itself another 2 years, it comes out that the end of 5772 is the coming of Moshiach. As all know, the main agony of the Holocaust and their final solution began in 5701. I heard the name of Rabbi Tzvi Meir Zilberberg shlit"a in the name of Reb Elchonon Wasserman of blessed memory, that the Moshiach's birth pangs began in 5701. The Steipler Gaon also said that during the Holocaust we went through most of the suffering of the pangs of Moshiach. The "Ra'ved" said in sefer "Imrei Bina" that during the year of 5701 and the following four years will be a great disaster for all of Israel .


Then, "(1) remove you from the suffering of Egypt" would correspond to renewed Jewish rule in the Land of Israel starting in 5708 (1948), although we were still sort of "slaves" to the nations since it was they who gave us permission to come back to the Land of Israel.

Phase (2) is described as "the total cessation of their enslavement (with the plague of hail, during which Par'o began to admire Israel - Netziv). Even so, Israel were not yet free, but under the control of the Egyptian regime."

I'm speculating that this phase began in 5727 (1967) when the whole world stood in admiration after the Six Days War and all of the Holy Land was returned to our possession. All of the nations stood by while we were attacked by all of the neighboring countries and we came out victorious with G-d's help. But, to this day they dictate "peace" terms to us.

Phase (3) is described as being redeemed "with an outstretched arm and with great punishments."

I'm speculating that this phase began in 5765 with the Asian tsunami that took more than a quarter of a million lives. From there, we had the expulsion of Gush Katif, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, the earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, New Zealand and Japan, right along through the many disasters of 5771 - earthquakes, floods, volcanoes, hurricanes, typhoons, tsunamis and nuclear meltdowns. Not to mention revolutions and economic collapse!

If so, then the turning point to Phase (4) will probably occur after World War 3 (in 5772/5773) with the immediate emergence of Mashiach Tzidkeinu - "in which they were taken to be Hashem's people, and Hashem became their G-d."

So lift up your heads and hearts. Give praise and thanks to Hashem. Our servitude is almost finished. The debt is almost paid. Redemption is on the horizon!