The Future From HaShem’s Perspective

By Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David (Greg Killian)

 


The Judgment 1

Judging the living and the dead. 3

We are here to accomplish deeds. 3

Our Redemption. 4

The Triennial Torah Reading Cycle. 17

 

I am interested in writing a narrative which describes what we can know about the future that HaShem has planned for His world and for His people. The premise for this perspective is based on a pasuk from Kohelet:

 

Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) 1:9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

 

Based on the above pasuk, we can infer that the state of man in the day that he was created, is the state that HaShem had planned for man, for all time. Thus we can understand that whatever we were in Gan Eden, the Garden of Eden, is what we will be in the Olam HaBa, the world to come.

 

I have heard wise men who describe the Olam HaBa and Gehenna. They say that in the Olam HaBa you get to sit and study Torah all day and you never have to stop to eat or sleep. They say that in gehenna, that you have to sit and study Torah all day and that you never get to stop to eat or sleep. It is all a matter of perspective. If you have learned to love HaShem and to sit in His presence, then the Olam HaBa will be a paradise. If, on the other hand, you have spurned HaShem and His presence, then this same environment will become Gehenna, a place of great torment.

 

In keeping with the idea that the Olam HaBa is a garden, our Sages have indicated that there is an orchard in Gan Eden. This orchard is called by it’s Hebrew name: Pardes. Pardes, an orchard, is also an acronym for Peshat, Remez, Drash, and Sod. These are the four levels of Torah study. Peshat is the simple meaning. Remez is the level of hints and types. Drash is the level of parables, and the Sod is the secret level. In describing Gan Eden as a Pardes, our Sages have taught us that the Olam HaBa is a place of Torah study. It is a place where we will bask in the presence of HaShem.

 

We can begin to understand this concept of Pardes by reviewing what Adam was commanded Gan Eden:

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 2:15 And HaShem God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

 

The word “dress” comes from the same Hebrew root as Avodah, which we translate as service or worship. The word “keep” comes from a Hebrew root which means “to guard”. It is the same root which is applied to Shabbat.

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 5:12 Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as HaShem thy God hath commanded thee.

 

Thus as we guarded Shabbat, we will also guard the garden.

 

The Judgment

 

After we die, there will be a judgment. In this court, there will be all the components we find in an earthly court. In fact, the earthly court is modeled after the heavenly court.

 

In the heavenly court you will be the defendant. As a defendant, you will stand at the end of your life with all of your sins and all of your mitzvot, your good deeds. Your sins will be weighed against your mitzvot to see if, in the end, you accomplished the mission that HaShem gave you. Additionally, HaShem will also take into account corrections, the troubles you experience in this world, that you have already experienced because of your transgressions. These corrections typically take the form of misfortunes and infirmities.

 

The defense attorney will be a malak, an angel, who looks and acts like you did when you defended others in this world. In effect, you will also be the defense attorney.

 

The prosecuting attorney will be a malak who looks and acts like you did when you prosecuted others in this world. In effect, you will also be the prosecuting attorney.

 

The judge will be a malak who looks and acts like you did when you judged others in this world. In effect, you will also be the judge.

 

In the heavenly court you will be confronted with who you really are. There will be no doubt in your mind that the proceeding were entirely fair and just, because they will be conducted exactly as you would have conducted them. The only difference is that their effects will be on you instead of on someone else.

 

If you stand in the judgment of the heavenly court, you are already in an unfavorable position. In other words, if you could avoid being arrested and charged with a crime, then your chances of escaping an unfavorable judgment are much better then if you have already been arrested and taken to court.

 

Obviously if you have committed a sin, there is an expectation that you will be arrested and taken to the court for judgment. The question is: How does one avoid arrest and trial if he has in fact committed a transgression?

 

HaShem has a provision in his court system for a transgressor to avoid being arrested and standing in the judgment. That provision is called teshuva, repentance. Teshuva is the ability that HaShem has given a person to change who he really is. If one performs teshuva properly, then one has actually changed who he is. Thus when the malak with the arrest warrant is sent to arrest you; he will be unable to find you because you no longer exist. The one who committed the sin has been transformed into one who would never have committed that sin. This is the power of Teshuva.

 

Bear in mind that Teshuva is a two way street, as is everything in HaShem’s world. If one can repent for a misdeed, then one can also repent for a mitzva, a good deed. For example, if after performing some meritorious act like giving food to a hungry man, you find out that the food was exchanged for strong drink, and you regret giving the food, then you will also wipe out that mitzva by transforming yourself into one who would never have given the food. Thus this mitzva would be removed from your slate in the judgment. One must be very careful to repent only for misdeeds, never for mitzvot, good deeds.

 

One should keep this courtroom scene in his mind as he goes about his life in this world. When he is called upon to defend others, he should put his heart and soul into the defense in exactly the same way as he would if he were the one accused of the crime. This means that we should do everything we can to expose the mitigating factors that lead others into sin. We do not want to defend sin, but rather we want to defend good people who occasionally sin. We must constantly be on the lookout for the good that comes from others.

 

We should also be careful how we judge others. No matter how bad the circumstances may appear, we need to construct, in our minds, a scenario that accounts for all the actions, in a favorable way. This is contrary to human nature. Usually, we seek to convict others rather than acquit them. If we keep in mind that we will one day be in the heavenly court, then we can begin to realize how important it is to judge others as favorably as we possibly can. Thus when we stand in the heavenly court, we will be judged fairly.

 

Finally, we should keep the courtroom scene firmly in the forefront of our minds when we prosecute others in this world. Whenever we find ourselves accusing others of a sin, we should bear in mind that the enthusiasm with which we accuse others, will be used against us in the heavenly court. We should accuse only when there is no other way to correct an injustice. Our accusations should be factual and should seek to also mention any mitigating factors. Our accusation should lack enthusiasm, as we trully should not want others to prosecuted fro their sins. In short, we should accuse others in the same way that we would want ourselves to be accused.

 

Judging the living and the dead.

 

On Rosh HaShanna, we read in the machzor, the prayer book for the festival, that HaShem will judge the living and the dead, on Rosh HaShanna. HaShem will judge the living and the dead every year on Rosh HaShanna.

 

1 Tsefet (Peter) 4:5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.

 

Zohar Chadash, fol. 19, 1 "In the first day of the new year the holy blessed God sits that he may judge the world; and all men, without exception, give an account of themselves; and the books of the living and the dead are opened."

 

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

 

It is easy to understand how the living will be judged. Their deeds of the previous year will stand before them in the judgment. The judgment of the dead is a little more difficult to understand. How can the dead be judged every year? What is the point of rehashing the same things that were hashed out last year?

 

The judgment of the living and the dead follows the same pattern.

 

The living are judged not only for the deeds that they have performed in the last year, but they are also judged for the good deeds that others performed because of their actions. For example, a parent who teaches his children to love HaShem and to keep His commands, will receive reward every time that child performs the deeds that his parents taught him. In the same way, a man will receive reward for the deeds of his talmidim, his students, when they do the deeds that their teacher taught them. Those who wrote books that influenced others to perform mitzvot will also be judged every year on Rosh HaShanna.

 

The wicked are judged in exactly the save way. The wickedness that they put into the world will be judged every year on Rosh HaShanna. If they taught their children to perform deeds of wickedness, then they will receive a part of the punishment for the sins that were committed by those children, during the year. If those children tought their children the deeds they learned from their father, then those sins will also have a punishment that will be earned on Rorah HaShanna.

 

If the living are judged every year on Rosh HaShanna in this way, then we can begin to understand how the dead can be judged every year. Whatever good or evil they put into the world by their words or deeds, will be judged on Rosh HaShanna. So, even though they themselves are no longer doing deeds in this world, their descendants, talmidim, friends, acquaintances, and every one they have touched, have been doing the deeds that we put into the world. These are the deeds that bring judgment to the dead, every year.

 

We must, therefore, be very carefull about what we put into the world. Our mistakes and transgression can be amplified and reverbrate down through time, and the corresponding punishments can be incurred year by year.

 

Correspondingly, we must do everything in our power to put righteousness into the world. Because these deeds will also reverbrate through time and accumulate merit for us in the Olam HaBa.

 

We are here to accomplish deeds.

 

As we contemplate what deeds to put into the world; we are constantly confronted with deeds that involve both that which is commanded and that which is forbidden.

 

For example: We are commanded to put tzitzith, fringes, on all of our four cornered garments. Aditionally, we are forbidden from mixing wool and linen in the same garment. Now suppose that we have an opprotunity to put wool tzitzith on a linen garment. This involves doing the mtzva and also committing the transgression of mixing linen and wool. The question is: Do we commit the sin in order to do the mitzva?

 

Our Sages have answered with a resounding YES! Our Sages have taught that we were put into this world to accomplish the deeds that HaShem prepared for us:

 

Ephesian 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Mashiach Yeshua unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

 

We are here to “do”. Therefore, our Sages have taught us that, with certain exceptions, we are to perform the mitzva of tzitzith even though it involves the sin of mixing linen and wool. We are here to accomplish a mission. There are occasions when there is collateral damage. This is to be expected and should not deter us from accomplishing our mission. It is our mission to accomplish the deeds that HaShem has prepared for us.

 

Our Redemption

 

Our Sages have taught us that the Exodus from Egypt is the prototype for the final Redemption, when Mashiach, Messiah, will come, and slavery and suffering will be banished forever from the face of the earth. This suggests that if we wish to understand our future redemption, that we should study, intently, the redemption from Egypt in the days of Moses.

 

Our redemption from Egypt, in the days of Moses, is commemorated on the night of Pesach, Passover, when we celebrate the Seder[1] by reciting the Haggada[2]. The observance of the Seder is a carefully choreographed, re-experiencing of the redemption from Egypt. All of the minute details, far from being meaningless ritual, are carefully planned to teach us about the future redemption by causing us to experience the redemption from Egypt.

 

The Order of the Seder

 

Kaddesh

Sanctify the day with the recitation of Kiddush.

 We drink the first cup.

U’rechatz

Wash! hands before eating karpas.

Karpas

Eat a vegetable dipped in salt water.

Yachatz

Break the middle Matza.

Maggid

Narrate the story of the Exodus.

 We drink the second cup.

Rachtzah

Wash hands prior to the meal.

Motzi

Recite the blessing, Who brings forth, over Matza as a food.

Matza

Recite the blessing over Matza.

Maror

Blessing for the bitter herbs.

Korech

Eat the sandwich of Matza and bitter herbs.

Shulchan Orech

The table is prepared with the festive meal.

Tzafun

Eat the afikomen which has been hidden all during the seder..

Barech

Recite the Blessings after the meal.

 We drink the third cup.

Hallel

Recite the Hallel Tehillim (Psalms) of praise.

 We drink the fourth cup.

Nirtzah

Pray that God would accept our observance and speedily send Mashiach (Messiah).

 

Our Sages explain that the structure of the seder is carefully laid out to teach us about the past and the future redemption. From the beginning of the Haggada till the meal teaches us the about the Exodus from Egypt. From the meal forward, in the Haggada, continues with a teaching of the final Messianic redemption at the time of the Mashiach.

 

Since the Pesach Haggada is the story of our redemption, it makes sense that we examine the structure of the Seder. I have heard it said that in the commentary literature, there has been more written on the Haggada than any other book! The truth is that the Haggada was designed to be fascinating, and it does not disappoint. The basic premise of the Haggadah is the telling of the Exodus from Egypt. Thus, we have in the Haggadah a ritual which is not really prayer, it is an object lesson in history , both past, present, and and future, The goal of the Haggada is to praise HaShem for redeeming us in the past, present, and future. The Pesach Seder is not just a display of “something Jewish”; it is a Biblical rehearsal.

 

The night of Pesach is called "A night of guardings," when the House of Israel is guarded from their enemies. “A night of guardings” also implies that the night of Pesach is ‘guarded’, set aside for all time, as the night of the final redemption. In other words, every year, Pesach night, because it contains the power of the redemption from Egypt, has the ability to bring forth actual redemption from the potential.

 

The seder, {say'-dur} from the Hebrew word for “order”, is the festival meal eaten on the first two nights of Pesach, the Biblical celebration of the Exodus from Egypt. The main Seder meal does not begin until the story of the Exodus has been retold, and, more important, re-experienced by the celebrants. This recreation of the circumstances of bondage, together with the details of the deliverance, form the heart and spirit of the seder and of the Pesach festival itself. “In every generation let each man look on himself as if he came forth personally from Egypt. We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, "Had not HaShem taken us out from Egypt we would still have remained slaves.”

 

Each of us must see the deliverance from bondage

as something that happened to US.

 

This lesson is emphasized by the three principal symbols of the Seder, concerning which our Sages said that unless the Jew explains their significance he has not observed the Seder fittingly: Pesach, Matza, and Maror. Using these symbols in their chronological order and in accordance with their Haggada explanation we may say: HaShem’s people can avoid Maror (bitterness of life) only through Pesach (HaShem's special care "passing over" and saving their homes even in the midst of the greatest plague), and Matza, then the very catastrophe and the enemies of HaShem’s people will work for their benefit, driving them in great haste out of Mitzrayim (Egypt), the place of perversion and darkness, and placing them under the beam of light and holiness.

 

For HaShem’s people, Egypt represents more than just a place on the map. Egypt is a state of mind. The Hebrew name for Egypt is Mitzrayim, which is related to the word Maytzorim, meaning boundaries and limitations. For HaShem’s people, to "escape from Egypt" means to overcome those natural limitations that impede the realization of our fullest potential.

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:3 “That thou mayest remember the day of thy going forth from Egypt, all the days of thy life.”

 

“‘The days of thy life’ refer to this world only,

but ‘all the days of thy life’ include the time of Messiah.”[3]

 

The Torah gives us a clue that helps us to see that our future redemption is related to our past redemption:

 

Micah 7:12-17 In that day people will come to you from Assyria and the cities of Egypt, even from Egypt to the Euphrates and from sea to sea and from mountain to mountain. The earth will become desolate because of its inhabitants, as the result of their deeds. Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance, which lives by itself in a forest, in fertile pasturelands. Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in days long ago. "As in the days of your Exodus from Egypt, I will show [the people] wonders." Nations will see and be ashamed, deprived of all their power. They will lay their hands on their mouths and their ears will become deaf. They will lick dust like a snake, like creatures that crawl on the ground. They will come trembling out of their dens; they will turn in fear to HaShem our God and will be afraid of you.

 

We would have expected this verse to read, "…I will show you wonders" and "As in the days when he went out of Egypt…."

 

In this case, the verse would read, "As in the days when he [i.e., Moses, or the generation of the exodus] went out of Egypt, I will show you [the Mashiach, or the generation of the final redemption] wonders."

 

The verse is instead written the way it is to indicate that you [i.e., the final generation] yourself went out of Egypt, and that you yourself are that generation which HaShem will now show new wonders.

 

Thus the future redemption will be characterized by miracles that transcend the natural order. In fact, the future redemption will be just like the redemption from Egypt in the days of Moses!

 

The Midrash also relates Micah 7:15 to the future redemption and its relationship to the redemption from Egypt:

 

Midrash Rabbah - Shemot (Exodus) XV:11 Another explanation of THIS MONTH SHALL BE UNTO YOU. It is written: Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord (Ps. XXXIII, 12). When God chose His world,[4] He appointed New Moons [i.e. months] and years therein, and when He chose Ya’aqov and his sons, He appointed for them a New Moon of redemption in which Israel were redeemed from Egypt and in which they are destined to be redeemed again, as it says: As in the days of thy coming forth out of the land of Egypt[5] will I show unto him marvelous things (Micah VII, 15).

 

The Torah tells us that the final Redemption will be very much like our first redemption from Egypt, but will be accompanied by even more wonders and miracles. It follows that if the entry and settlement of the land of Israel was supposed to be accomplished in a supernatural manner the first time, how much more so will it be miraculous in our own times, with the Messianic Redemption!

 

What happened on the Exodus night, that will not repeat itself in the final redemption? Two things will not happen again, says the Prophet Isaiah 52.

 

1. In the final redemption they will go out without hurry.

2. They, and their Messiah, will not be so liked by their former masters.

 

The Egyptian redemption and the final redemption in the days of Mashiach are given expression in the Seder through several devices. We see it in the division of the four cups of wine, we see it in the division of the Hallel, and we see it in the division of the Seder itself.

 

The Seder itself is divided by the meal. The Haggada speaks of our redemption from Egypt before the meal, and it speaks of the final messianic redemption from the meal onward. The four cups of wine and the Hallel follow this division.

 

The fourth part of the seder is a portion known as Yachatz. In this part, at the beginning of the seder, we divide the middle matza into two unequal pieces. The larger part is wrapped in a white cloth and hidden away. It will form the afikomen.

 

There are actually seven different mitzvot that we perform at the Seder.

 

Two are from the Torah:

 

1. Telling the Exodus story

2. Eating Matza

 

The other mitzvot are Rabbinical:

 

3. Eating Maror (bitter herbs)

4. Eating the Afikomen (an extra piece of Matza for dessert as a reminder of the Pesach offering)

5. Saying Hallel (Psalms 113-118)

6. Drinking the Four Cups of wine

7. Demonstrating acts of freedom and aristocracy -- e.g. sitting with a pillow cushion and leaning as we eat and drink, and beginning the meal "with a dip."

 

Notice that the ONLY mitzva which has both a Torah and a Rabbinical basis is eating matza. Notice that the two mitzvot of eating matza at the Seder will be from the same piece – the middle piece of matza! What we see is that the middle matza broken at Yachatz, forms the redemption which is divided into two parts. The lesser part represents the redemption in the days of Moshe, and the greater part begins the Messianic redemption. Thus we have one matza and therefore one redemption. This matza, this redemption, is divided into two phases.

 

The final Messianic redemption begins with the eating of the afikomen! Keep in mind that the afikomen represents the Pesach sacrifice, The Lamb. The afikomen is the last food that we eat at the seder and its taste is the last taste. The Afikomen, since it represents the Paschal sacrifice, is forbidden to all non-Jews. To partake of the Afikomen one must be a member of the covenant!

 

The duality of the Seder is underscored by the arrangement of the four cups of wine. The Halacha defines when these cups are to be consumed.

 

One of the four cups clearly speaks to the Egyptian redemption, and is consumed before the meal. The second cup clearly speaks about the final redemption in Messianic times, and is consumed after the meal. The Sages have decreed that we drink four cups of wine on the Seder night as a testimony to our redemption and freedom:

 

Tehillim (Psalm) 116:13 ‘I will lift up the cup of salvations and call upon the name of HaShem.

 

Midrash Rabbah - Genesis LXXXVIII:5 On what grounds did the Sages institute the four cups of Passover? R. Huna said in R. Banayah's name: [They instituted them] in allusion to the four expressions of redemption which occur in connection with Egypt: I will bring you out... and I will deliver you... and I will redeem you... and I will take you (Ex. VI, 6 f.). R. Samuel b. Nahman said: In allusion to the four cups mentioned in our text: AND PHARAOH'S CUP WAS IN MY HAND; AND I TOOK THE GRAPES, AND PRESSED THEM INTO PHARAOH'S CUP, AND I GAVE THE CUP INTO PHARAOH'S HAND... AND THOU SHALT GIVE PHARAOH'S CUP INTO HIS HAND (XL, II, 13). R. Levi said: In allusion to the four empires. R. Joshua b. Levi said: In allusion to the four cups of fury which the Holy One, blessed be He, will make the nations of the world to drink, as it says, For thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, unto me: Take this cup of the wine of fury, etc. (Jer. XXV, 15); Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord's hand (ib. LI, 7); For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup (Ps. LXXV, 9); And burning wind shall be the portion of their cup (ib. XI, 6). Corresponding to these the Holy One, blessed be He, will give Israel to drink four cups of salvation in the Messianic future, as it says, O Lord, the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup, Thou maintainest my lot (ib. XVI, 5); Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou hast anointed my head with oil; my cup runneth over (ib. XXIII, 5); I will lift up the cup of salvations, and call upon the name of the Lord (ib. CXVI, 13): it does not say ‘The cup of salvation,’ but ’The cup of salvations’--one in the days of the Messianic future and one in the days of Gog and Magog.

 

The requirement for four cups is based on the passage in the Torah, which describes the four stages of our deliverance from Egypt:

 

Shemot (Exodus) 6:6-7 "Therefore, say to the Israelites: 'I am HaShem, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am HaShem your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.

 

The following chart shows these four cups and their relationship to Shemot (Exodus) 6:6-7:

 


 

Sanctification

“I am HaShem and I will separate you from Egyptian bondage,

 

 

Deliverance

I will deliver you (through plagues),

 

 

Redemption

I will redeem you with an outstretched arm,

 

 

Completion

I will take you as My own people and

I will be your God.”

 

 

The cup of Deliverance, the first cup, clearly speaks to our redemption from Egypt, while the cup of redemption, the third cup, clearly speaks to the Messianic redemption.

 

Some of our Sages have suggested that the four cups allude to the four exiles that the Children of Israel would have to endure: The Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Greek, and finally the Roman exile. This scheme also suggests that the completion of the final exile is yet in front of us.

 

Midrash Rabbah - Exodus XV:6 THIS MONTH SHALL BE UNTO YOU (XII, 2). Another interpretation: It is written: Who is she that looketh forth as the dawn? (S.S. VI, 10). Four eulogies of Israel are mentioned here, corresponding with the four exiles, throughout which Israel did not deny God. How do we know that this was so in the Babylonian exile? Because it is said: ' Who is she that looketh forth as the dawn?’ Nebuchadnezzar used to worship the sun, as it says: How art thou fallen from heaven, O day-star, son of the morning (Isa. XIV,12), but Daniel used to rise early and pray unto the Omnipresent, for it says: Now his windows were open in his upper chamber toward Jerusalem (Dan. VI, 11), evening, morning, and noon. Why did he get up early and pray? So that God should have compassion on Israel. Concerning him does Solomon say: He that early [E.V. ’diligently’] seeketh good seeketh favour (Prov. XI, 27). For this reason was God with them in the time of their trouble, as it is said: I love them that love me (ib. VIII, 17).6 And so we find that when Daniel was cast into the lions’ den, he was not harmed, for it says: My God hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not hurt me (Dan. VI, 23). Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were cast into the fiery furnace but were not harmed, for it says: Nor was the hair of their head singed... nor had the smell of fire passed on them (ib. III, 27).7 Instead of which they gave light to the world, like the dawn which gives light to the world; therefore does it say: ’ that looketh forth as the dawn.’ Moreover, they made idol-worshippers recognize God and praise Him; for when Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah emerged from the furnace, Nebuchadnezzar said: Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, the servants of the God on High (ib28). So, too, Darius, when Daniel fell into the lions’ den, said: Let men tremble and fear the God of Daniel; for He is the living God (ib. VI, 27). Hence does it say:’ Who is she that looketh forth as the dawn?’

 

‘Fair as the moon’,[6] during the Median [i.e. Persian] captivity. You find that if the moon does not appear in the sky at night, the world is so dark that a man cannot walk about even within the city, but as soon as the moon appears in the sky, all rejoice and walk about. So it was in the days of Achashverosh who decreed that Israel should be destroyed, slain, and made to perish; but Esther came and brought light to Israel, for it says: The Jews had light and gladness, and joy and honour (Est. VIII, 16). ’ Fair as the moon ‘refers, therefore, to the Median captivity. Should you inquire why Esther is compared to the moon, the answer is that just as the moon renews itself every thirty days, so did Esther say: But I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days (ib. IV, 11). ‘Fair as the moon’ refers, therefore, to the Median captivity. ’Clear as the sun’ (S.S. Ioc. cit.) refers to the Greek kingdom. Alexander the son of Helios was his name, and the Sun is called a hero, as it is said, He rejoiceth as a strong man to run his course (Ps. XIX, 6). During the summer cycle all flee from it [the sun], for who can endure its scorching rays, as it says: And there is nothing hid from the heat thereof (ib. 7)? Thus it was with the Greek kingdom; all were afraid of it. But Mattathias the priest and his sons stood firm in their faith in God, with the result that the Greek legions fled from before them1 and were all slain. Hence God said unto them: Beat your ploughshares into swords, and your pruning-hooks into spears; let the weak say: I am strong (Joel IV, 10), the verse: So perish all Thine enemies, O Lord; but they that love Him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might (Judg. v, 31) corroborating the words, ‘clear as the sun.

 

They were terrible as an army with banners (S.S. VI, 10) in Edom; and why is she [Israel] called ’terrible ‘? Because she was placed in a kingdom which inspired awe; for it says: And behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly (Dan. VII, 7).

 

The Shulchan Arukh explicitly says that it is possible to add more cups[7]. The one exception is that it is forbidden to add cups of wine between the third and fourth cups.[8] The Maharal explains that this halacha is connected to the four stages of redemption. It is possible to “interrupt” between the first three stages. But it is forbidden to interrupt between the third and fourth stages. The national independence of the Jewish people, “I will redeem you”, has meaning only in context of our identity as HaShem’s nation as the recipients of His Torah: “And I will take you to me as a nation, and I will be to you as G-d” -when we accept the Torah.[9] 

 

The four expressions of the Egyptian Passover have their counterparts in the Messianic redemption:

 

Yechezekel (Ezekiel) 34:13-14 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel.

 

The pouring of the cup of Elijah immediately follows the third cup, the cup of Redemption. We then open the door to search for that great prophet. This intimate connection of the Cup of redemption with the prophet Elijah, suggests that the Messianic redemption is associated with the third cup, because of what was spoken through the prophet:

 

Malachi 4:4-6 "Remember the law of my servant Moshe, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel. "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of HaShem comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse."

 

The Hallel, Psalms 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and 118, before the meal reminds us of our redemption from Egypt in the days of Moses.

 

Tehillim (Psalm) 113 Halleluiah! Praise, you servants of HaShem praise the name of HaShem. Blessed be the name of HaShem from now and forever. From the rising of the sun to its setting, HaShem’s name is praised. Raised above all nations is HaShem, above the heavens is His glory. Who is like HaShem, our God, Who is enthroned on high, yet deigns to look upon the heaven and the earth? He raises the destitute from the dust, from the trash heaps He lifts the needy, to seat them with nobles, with nobles of His people. He transforms the barren wife into glad mother of children. Halleluiah!

 

Tehillim (Psalm) 114 When Israel went forth from Egypt, Ya’aqov’s household from a people of alien tongue, Judah became His sanctuary, Israel His dominion. The Sea saw and fled; the Jordan turned backward. The mountains skipped like rams, and the hills like young lambs. What ails you, O Sea, that you flee? O Jordan, that you turn backwards? O mountains, that you skip like rams? O hills, like young lambs? Before the Master, tremble, O earth, before the presence of the God of Ya’aqov, Who turns the rock into a pond of water, the flint into a flowing fountain.

 

The Hallel after the meal, tells of our final redemption in the days of Messiah! In fact, the whole of the seder follows this pattern: The part before the meal reminds us of our redemption from Egypt in the days of Moshe, and from the meal onward, tells of the final redemption in the days of Messiah.

 

Tehillim (Psalm) 115 Not to us, O HaShem, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. Why do the nations say, "Where is their God?" Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. But their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; They have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell; They have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but they cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them. O house of Israel, trust in HaShem--he is their help and shield. O house of Aaron, trust in HaShem--he is their help and shield. You who fear him, trust in HaShem--he is their help and shield. HaShem remembers us and will bless us: He will bless the house of Israel, he will bless the house of Aaron, He will bless those who fear HaShem--small and great alike. May HaShem make you increase, both you and your children. May you be blessed by HaShem, the Maker of heaven and earth. The highest heavens belong to HaShem, but the earth he has given to man. It is not the dead who praise HaShem, those who go down to silence; It is we who extol HaShem, both now and forevermore. Praise HaShem.

 

Tehillim (Psalm) 116 I love HaShem, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of HaShem: "O HaShem, save me!" HaShem is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. HaShem protects the simple hearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for HaShem has been good to you. For you, O HaShem, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, That I may walk before HaShem in the land of the living. I believed; therefore I said, "I am greatly afflicted." And in my dismay I said, "All men are liars." How can I repay HaShem for all his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of HaShem. I will fulfill my vows to HaShem in the presence of all his people. Precious in the sight of HaShem is the death of his saints. O HaShem, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant; you have freed me from my chains. I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of HaShem. I will fulfill my vows to HaShem in the presence of all his people, In the courts of the house of HaShem--in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise HaShem.

 

Tehillim (Psalm) 117 Praise HaShem, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of HaShem endures forever. Praise HaShem.

 

Tehillim (Psalm) 118 Give thanks to HaShem, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let Israel say: "His love endures forever." Let the house of Aaron say: "His love endures forever." Let those who fear HaShem say: "His love endures forever." In my anguish I cried to HaShem, and he answered by setting me free. HaShem is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? HaShem is with me; he is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies. It is better to take refuge in HaShem than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in HaShem than to trust in princes. All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of HaShem I cut them off. They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of HaShem I cut them off. They swarmed around me like bees, but they died out as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of HaShem I cut them off. I was pushed back and about to fall, but HaShem helped me. HaShem is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: "HaShem’s right hand has done mighty things! I will not die but live, and will proclaim what HaShem has done. HaShem has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death. Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to HaShem. This is the gate of HaShem through which the righteous may enter. I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation. The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; HaShem has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day HaShem has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. O HaShem, save us; O HaShem, grant us success. Blessed is he who comes in the name of HaShem. From the house of HaShem we bless you. HaShem is God, and he has made his light shine upon us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar. You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you. Give thanks to HaShem, for he is good; his love endures forever.

 

Tehillim (Psalms) 113 and 114 are recited while holding the second cup. This intimately connects these Tehillim (Psalms) with this second cup. This establishes another connection between the symbols which speak to the Egyptian redemption.

 

HaShem makes it clear that our redemption from Egypt is reenacted and rehearsed every year, in order to prepare us for the future and final redemption in the days of Messiah. As we do what is required, while saying the proper words, at the proper time, and in the proper way we will be ready for that final redemption.

 

The Haggada that we use on the night of the Passover Seder should be our sourcebook for the understanding of our redemptions, both the Egyptian redemption and the final or Messianic redemption.

 

We rehearse so that we may be prepared for the event that HaShem will use to usher in the final redemption.

 

Now I would like to examine other scriptures which have the imagery of the redemption from Egypt in an obviously future context.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 14:30 – 15:1 Thus HaShem saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. And Israel saw that great work which HaShem did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared HaShem, and believed HaShem, and his servant Moshe. Then sang Moshe and the children of Israel this song unto HaShem, and spake, saying, I will sing unto HaShem, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

 

The Zohar goes on to inform us that “sang” is in the future tense, and is literally “will sing”:

 

Zohar, Shemot, Section 2, Page 54a Said R. Isaac: ‘At the moment when the Holy One slew the great chieftain of the Egyptians, and Moshe and the children of Israel saw him, they began to sing.’ THEN SANG MOSHE AND THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL THIS SONG UNTO THE LORD. Said R. Abba: I have examined all the songs which Israel sang unto the Holy One, and I find that all of them began with “then” (az) (Cf Jos. x, 12; I Kings VIII, 12; Num. XXI, I7.) The reason for this is that all the wonders, and all the mighty deeds which were done to Israel when the light of the Holy Ancient One shone in His crowns, are engraved in the letters Aleph and Zain[Tr. note: Aleph symbolizes the first Sephirah, and Zain the seventh (after the first three), and when the light of the Crown-the first Sephirah-illumines the seventh, namely Malchut-Kingdom, the power of God is manifested.]. Then there is song, the song of all sides. “Yashir” (lit. will sing): the tense suggests that this song fitted that occasion and will also fit the future Redemption, when it will again be sung by Israel. The expression “Moshe and Israel” proves that the righteous of the past ages, although they have entered into the highest regions and are united with the “Bundle of life”, will all rise again in bodily form and behold the signs and mighty works which the Holy One shall show to Israel, and sing this hymn.’

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 19:19-25 In that day there will be an altar to HaShem in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to HaShem at its border. It will be a sign and witness to HaShem Almighty in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to HaShem because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and he will rescue them. So HaShem will make himself known to the Egyptians, and in that day they will acknowledge HaShem. They will worship with sacrifices and grain offerings; they will make vows to HaShem and keep them. HaShem will strike Egypt with a plague; he will strike them and heal them. They will turn to HaShem, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them. In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth. HaShem Almighty will bless them, saying, "Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance."

 

Yechezekel (Ezekiel) 20:32-38 "'You say, "We want to be like the nations, like the peoples of the world, who serve wood and stone." But what you have in mind will never happen. As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign HaShem, I will rule over you with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath. I will bring you from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered--with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath. I will bring you into the desert of the nations and there, face to face, I will execute judgment upon you. As I judged your fathers in the desert of the land of Egypt, so I will judge you, declares the Sovereign HaShem. I will take note of you as you pass under my rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. I will purge you of those who revolt and rebel against me. Although I will bring them out of the land where they are living, yet they will not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am HaShem.

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 10:20-26 In that day the remnant of Israel, the survivors of the house of Ya’aqov, will no longer rely on him who struck them down but will truly rely on HaShem, the Holy One of Israel. A remnant will return, a remnant of Ya’aqov will return to the Mighty God. Though your people, O Israel, be like the sand by the sea, only a remnant will return. Destruction has been decreed, overwhelming and righteous. The Lord, HaShem Almighty, will carry out the destruction decreed upon the whole land. Therefore, this is what the Lord, HaShem Almighty, says: "O my people who live in Zion, do not be afraid of the Assyrians, who beat you with a rod and lift up a club against you, as Egypt did. Very soon my anger against you will end and my wrath will be directed to their destruction." HaShem Almighty will lash them with a whip, as when he struck down Midian at the rock of Oreb; and he will raise his staff over the waters, as he did in Egypt.

 

Notice the words “a second time” in the following passage:

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 11:10-12 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious. In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the sea. He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth.

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 27:12-13 In that day HaShem will thresh from the flowing Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt, and you, O Israelites, will be gathered up one by one. And in that day a great trumpet will sound. Those who were perishing in Assyria and those who were exiled in Egypt will come and worship HaShem on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.

 

Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 30:8-11 "'In that day,' declares HaShem Almighty, 'I will break the yoke off their necks and will tear off their bonds; no longer will foreigners enslave them. Instead, they will serve HaShem their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them. "'So do not fear, O Ya’aqov my servant; do not be dismayed, O Israel,' declares HaShem. 'I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile. Ya’aqov will again have peace and security, and no one will make him afraid. I am with you and will save you,' declares HaShem. 'Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.'

 

Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 50:30-34 Therefore, her young men will fall in the streets; all her soldiers will be silenced in that day," declares HaShem. "See, I am against you, O arrogant one," declares the Lord, HaShem Almighty, "for your day has come, the time for you to be punished. The arrogant one will stumble and fall and no one will help her up; I will kindle a fire in her towns that will consume all who are around her." This is what HaShem Almighty says: "The people of Israel are oppressed, and the people of Judah as well. All their captors hold them fast, refusing to let them go. Yet their Redeemer is strong; HaShem Almighty is his name. He will vigorously defend their cause so that he may bring rest to their land, but unrest to those who live in Babylon.

 

Zechariah 2:7-11 "Come, O Zion! Escape, you who live in the Daughter of Babylon!" For this is what HaShem Almighty says: "After he has honored me and has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye-- I will surely raise my hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them. Then you will know that HaShem Almighty has sent me. "Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you," declares HaShem. "Many nations will be joined with HaShem in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that HaShem Almighty has sent me to you.

 

The Mosaic covenant and the “newcovenant are both linked to the Egyptian and final redemptions:

 

Bereans (Hebrews) 8:7-13 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said: "The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord. This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.

 

In this last passage, notice what the Prophet says will be the differences between the Egyptian redemption and the Messianic redemption:

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 52:1-xx Awake, awake, O Zion, clothe yourself with strength. Put on your garments of splendor, O Jerusalem, the holy city. The uncircumcised and defiled will not enter you again. Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, O Jerusalem. Free yourself from the chains on your neck, O captive Daughter of Zion. For this is what HaShem says: "You were sold for nothing, and without money you will be redeemed." For this is what the Sovereign HaShem says: "At first my people went down to Egypt to live; lately, Assyria has oppressed them. "And now what do I have here?" declares HaShem. "For my people have been taken away for nothing, and those who rule them mock," declares HaShem. "And all day long my name is constantly blasphemed. Therefore my people will know my name; therefore in that day they will know that it is I who foretold it. Yes, it is I." How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!" Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy. When HaShem returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes. Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem, for HaShem has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. HaShem will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God. Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Come out from it and be pure, you who carry the vessels of HaShem. But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for HaShem will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard. See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as there were many who were appalled at him--his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness--So will he sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.

 

Two things will not happen again, says the Prophet Yeshayahu (Isaiah) (Ch 52):

 

1. In the final redemption they will go out without hurry.

 

2. They, and their Messiah, will not be so liked by their former masters.

 

In fact, says the Prophet, the Mashiach will be despised, even down trotted, by the Nations. Israel, too, will have the same fortune[10].

 

So let us remember and be aware – There is no hurry. Even if we live at the beginning of redemption, who knows how long it will take for him to reveal himself in full?

 

Our sages teach that just as the first redemption was in Nisan so will the final redemption be in Nisan. This is the opinion of Rabbi Yehoshua.

 

Rabbi Eliezer, however, taught that although the initial redemption was in Nissan, the final redemption will be in Tishrei.

 

Both of these opinions are correct. When Moshe first came to Pharaoh, his words only served to anger Pharaoh and to cause him to make the servitude all the harsher, refusing to give the Israelites straw for their bricks. Moshe then returned to his father-in-law Yitro in Midian and remained there six months. He then returned to Egypt and began to bring the Ten Plagues on the Egyptians.

 

There is a tradition that the Ten Plagues lasted a full year during which time the Israelites were free from their harsh tasks. From all this, we see that when Moshe appeared before Pharaoh the first time, it was Tishrei. Since he then spent six months in Midian, the Ten Plagues began in Nissan.

 

This is the significance of Rabbi Eliezer's teaching. He maintains that in the final redemption the redeemer will also appear in Tishrei. This will be the beginning of the redemption. The redeemer will then disappear, only to reveal himself again in Nisan. This will be the time of the complete redemption.

 

Regarding this, it is written:

 

Micah 7:15 As in the days when you left Egypt, I will show wondrous things.

 

The redemption from Egypt took place on two days, first when Moshe initially appeared before Pharaoh and second, when he led the Israelites out of Egypt. The final redemption will also be like this.

 

What month will bring our redemption?

 

Rosh Hashanah 11a It has been taught: R. Eliezer says: In Tishri the world was created; in Tishri the Patriarchs[11] were born; in Tishri the Patriarchs died; on Passover Isaac was born; on New Year Sarah, Rachel and Hannah were visited;[12] on New Year Yosef went forth from prison; on New Year the bondage of our ancestors in Egypt ceased;[13] in Nisan they were redeemed and in Nisan they will be redeemed in the time to come. R. Joshua says: In Nisan the world was created; in Nisan the Patriarchs were born; in Nisan the Patriarchs died; on Passover Isaac was born; on New Year Sarah, Rachel and Hannah were visited; on New Year Yosef went forth from prison; on New Year the bondage of our ancestors ceased in Egypt; and in Nisan they will be redeemed in time to come.

 

In Nisan, Mashiach redeemed us with outstretched arms. In Tishri, the final redemption will be wrought:

 

Rosh Hashanah 11b On New Year the bondage of our ancestors ceased in Egypt’. It is written in one place, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians,[14] and it is written in another place, I removed his shoulder from the burden.[15] ‘In Nisan they were delivered’, as Scripture recounts. ‘In Tishri they will be delivered in time to come’. This is learnt from the two occurrences of the word ‘horn’. It is written in one place, Blow the horn on the new moon,[16] and it is written in another place, In that day a great horn shall be blown.[17] ‘R. Joshua says, In Nisan they were delivered, in Nisan they will be delivered in the time to come’. Whence do we know this? — Scripture calls [the Passover] ‘a night of watchings’,[18] [which means], a night, which has been continuously watched for from the six days of the creation. What says the other to this? — [He says it means], a night which is under constant protection against evil spirits.[19]

 

Yom Teruah, also called Rosh Hashanah, begins on the first day of the seventh month. This is the day that our final redemption will begin.

 

Our Redemption did not occur in limbo, without a mental change. Just before the redemption, the scripture says:

 

Shemot (Exodus) 12:21-28 Then Moshe summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning. When HaShem goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down. "Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. When you enter the land that HaShem will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. And when your children ask you, 'What does this ceremony mean to you?' Then tell them, 'It is the Passover sacrifice to HaShem, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.'" Then the people bowed down and worshiped. Then the Children of Israel went and did {so;} just as HaShem had commanded Moshe and Aaron, so they did.

 

 “And the Children of Israel went and did AS HaShem has commanded Moshe and Aaron, so did they do” (12, 28) – Say our sages: Here they repented from their idols completely. Teshuva, hence, had brought redemption.

 

And that is not incidental, says Rabbi Eliezer. Repentance should always precede Redemption. One cannot come without the other. And when do we repent? On Rosh Hashana. Therefore: “In Nisan was their first redemption, but in Tishri will the final redemption be”.

 

On the other hand, the fact that HaShem split the time shows that He controls the time that He knows when the right time has arrived. Says Rabbi Yehoshua: The redemption will come not by repentance but when the time is ripe”. In Nisan they have been redeemed, and in Nisan they will be redeemed again. There is an exact analogy between the two ‘redemptions’. Both are time- dependent.

 

What hour will bring our redemption? Well, our redemption from Egypt took place at midnight:

 

Shemot (Exodus) 12:29-33 At midnight HaShem struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well. Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead. During the night Pharaoh summoned Moshe and Aaron and said, "Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship HaShem as you have requested. Take your flocks and herds, as you have said, and go. And also bless me." The Egyptians urged the people to hurry and leave the country. "For otherwise," they said, "we will all die!"

 

Now our Sages have said that the night speaks of an exile. So midnight suggests the middle of a long exile.

 

Bamidbar – In The Wilderness

 

The Torah teaches us that in the days when Moshe led us out of Mitzrayim, HaShem did not take us on a direct path to the Promised Land:

 

Shemot (Exodus) 13:17 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not [through] the way of the land of the Philistines, although that [was] near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt:

 

Thus we see that we traveled through the wilderness in order to reach The Promised Land.

 

What makes this interesting is that the Jews who fled Europe during the shoah, generally fled to America. Now America, at this time, did not have the great Yeshivot that were common in Eastern Europe. All of the Sages of the Jewish people were, in general, in Europe. America was called, by many Jews, “The Wilderness” because it lacked Torah Sages and Torah institutions.

 

As I see it, HaShem sent His Sages to the American wilderness to plant Torah, on their way to The Promised Land.

 

Now, I would like to look at the timing for the Messianic redemption. It seems fascinating that we have so much information related to the timing, yet very few spell it out. I would like to present the material without trying to say that the redemption will occur on such and such and date in such and such a year. My goal is merely to examine the evidence and let every man draw his own conclusion.

 

The Redemption of Israel will take place at the end of the sixth millennium just as the fall of Adam took place at the end of the sixth day.

 

It is well known that the days of creation have an exact correlation with the millenniums of man’s time in this world:

 

Tehillim (Psalms) 90:4 For a thousand years in thy sight [are but] as yesterday when it is past, and [as] a watch in the night.

 

2 Tsefet (Peter) 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

 

The Vilna Gaon echoed this understanding:

 

Know that each day of creation alludes to a thousand years of our existence, and every little detail that occurred on these days will have its corresponding event happen at the proportionate time during its millennium.[20]

 

The Triennial Torah Reading Cycle

 

The triennial cycle presages the events of a particular Shabbat. The Triennial cycle was designed to walk us through the vents of the seven year shmita cycle twice. The first time through we see how things are / will be in actuality. The second time through, we see how events are in conceptulization. The conception of events often looks very different from the “birth” of an event, in the same way the the conception of a child seems to differ from it’s birth. Never the less, the two events go hand in hand and both work together to bring about something new in the world.

 

* * *

 

Shabbath 118a R. Simeon b. Pazzi said in the name of R. Joshua b. Levi in Bar Kappara's name: He who observes [the practice of] three meals on the Sabbath is saved from three evils: the travails of the Messiah, the retribution of Gehinnom, and the wars of Gog and Magog. ‘The travails of the Messiah’: ‘day’ is written here; whilst there it is written, Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. The retribution of Gehinnom’: ‘day’ is written here; whilst there it is written, That day is a day of wrath. ‘The wars of Gog and Magog’: ‘day’ is written here; whilst there it is written, in that day when Gog shall come.

 

“The travails of Messiah” was understood by the Rabbis to picture forty years of great distress.

 

* * *

 

The magicians in Egypt appear five times in Torah. Each time they wield natural and spiritual energies to produce the miraculous. This is how it will be in the end of days when the scientists of that day wield their powers to scoff at the power of the prophets.

 

* * *

 

The great Kabbalist Rabbi Isaac Luria writes that the last generation before the coming of Mashiach is the reincarnation of the generation of the Exodus.

 

* * *

 

This study was written by

Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

(Greg Killian).

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Rabbi Dr. Greg Killian

4544 Highline Drive SE

Olympia, WA 98501

 

Internet address: gkilli@aol.com

Web page: http://www.betemunah.org/

 

(360) 918-2905

 

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[1] The word "seder" comes from the same Hebrew root as does Siddur - prayer book. This root means "order." Thus the Passover table ritual is named for the practice of performing all of its many parts in a particular order.

[2] Haggada is a Hebrew word which means “telling”, and is the “script” which we follow on Passover night.

[3] Midrash Rabbah - Numbers VIII:9

[4] V. Gen. R. IX, 2.

[5] Which is interpreted: in the same month.

[6] S.S. loc. cit.

[7] SA OC 473:3

[8] SA OC 479

[9] Based on Gevurot HaShem chapter 60

[10] Ralbag, there

[11] Abraham and Ya’aqov.

[12] I.e., remembered on high.

[13] Six months be-. fore the redemption.

[14] Ex. VI, 6.

[15] Ps. LXXXI, 7 in reference to Yosef.

[16] Ibid. 4.

[17]  Isa. XXVII, 13.

[18] Ex. XII, 42.

[19]  I.e., on this night they are not allowed to roam as on other nights.

[20] Biur HaGra, Safra D’Tzniusa, Chapter Five