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(ח) וְעָ֥שׂוּ לִ֖י מִקְדָּ֑שׁ וְשָׁכַנְתִּ֖י בְּתוֹכָֽם׃
(8) And let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them.
בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁאָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְמשֶׁה עֲשֵׂה לִי מִשְׁכָּן, הִתְחִיל מַתְמִיהַּ וְאוֹמֵר כְּבוֹדוֹ שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מָלֵא עֶלְיוֹנִים וְתַחְתּוֹנִים וְהוּא אוֹמֵר עֲשֵׂה לִי מִשְׁכָּן, וְעוֹד הָיָה מִסְתַּכֵּל וְרָאָה שֶׁשְּׁלֹמֹה עוֹמֵד וּבוֹנֶה בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ שֶׁהוּא גָּדוֹל מִן הַמִּשְׁכָּן, וְאָמַר לִפְנֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא (מלכים א ח, כז): כִּי הַאֻמְנָם יֵשֵׁב אֱלֹקִים עַל הָאָרֶץ, אָמַר משֶׁה וּמַה בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ שֶׁהוּא יוֹתֵר וְיוֹתֵר מִן הַמִּשְׁכָּן שְׁלֹמֹה אוֹמֵר כֵּן, מִשְׁכָּן עַל אַחַת כַּמָּה וְכַמָּה, לְכָךְ אָמַר משֶׁה (תהלים צא, א): ישֵׁב בְּסֵתֶר עֶלְיוֹן, אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה בַּר רַבִּי סִימוֹן יוֹשֵׁב בְּסֵתֶר הוּא עֶלְיוֹן עַל כָּל בְּרִיּוֹתָיו, מַהוּ (תהלים צא, צ): בְּצֵל שַׁדַּי, בְּצֵל אֵל, בְּצֵל רַחוּם, בְּצֵל חַנּוּן, אֵין כְּתִיב כָּאן, אֶלָּא בְּצֵל שַׁדַּי, בְּצֵל שֶׁעָשָׂה בְּצַלְאֵל, לְכָךְ נֶאֱמַר: בְּצֵל שַׁדַּי יִתְלוֹנָן, אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לֹא כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאַתָּה סָבוּר כָּךְ אֲנִי סָבוּר, אֶלָּא כ' קֶרֶשׁ בַּצָּפוֹן וְכ' בַּדָּרוֹם וְח' בַּמַעֲרָב, וְלֹא עוֹד אֶלָּא שֶׁאֵרֵד וַאֲצַמְצֵם שְׁכִינָתִי בְּתוֹךְ אַמָּה עַל אַמָּה.
At the moment when the Holy One said to Moshe ‘make me a Tabernacle’ he was dumbfounded and said ‘the glory of the Holy One fills the upper worlds and the lower, and He said to make Him a Tabernacle?’ Further, he gazed into the future and saw that Shlomo would arise and build the Holy Temple which would be greater than the Tabernacle, and he said before the Holy One “But will God indeed dwell on the earth?” (Melachim I 8:27) Moshe reasoned: if in reference to the Holy Temple, which is so much larger than the Tabernacle, Shlomo said this - then when it comes to the Tabernacle all the more so. Therefore Moshe said “He who dwells in the hidden place of the Most High…” (Tehillim 91:1) R’ Yehudah bar R’ Simon said: The One who dwells in the hidden place is above all His creations. What does the continuation “…in the shadow of the Almighty,” mean? In the shadow of Gd (b’tzel el). It is not written as ‘in the shadow of the Merciful’ or ‘in the shadow of the Gracious,’ but rather ‘in the shadow of the Almighty.’ In the shadow which Betzalel made, that is why it says ‘in the shadow of the Almighty’. The Holy One replied to Moshe ‘I do not see things the same way as you do. Rather it says twenty in the north, twenty in the south and eight in the west. Furthermore, I will I will come down and contract my Presence within a space of one cubit by one cubit.’
Exiles from Spain
The principal founders of the new center were Spanish exiles , but they were soon joined by enthusiasts from other communities , until Safed became a kind of miniature distillation of the whole Jewish Diaspora . ... The doctrines developed in the schools of Safed apparently embodied some fundamental and universal Jewish quality that transcended all local variations , some kind of quintessential historical experience of Jewry in exile , for otherwise they would hardly have succeeded in opening up a new dimension to the traditional universe of Jewish religiosity..
The contribution of the kabbalah to the religious revival that followed upon the expulsion from Spain can be adequately appreciated only by paying attention to its novel attitude toward the messianic tradition. ... the author of the Zohar had invested the old concept of the “ exile of the Shekhinah , ” based on the Talmudic saying that wherever Israel is exiled, the Shekhinah goes with it.
Kabbalism triumphed because it provided a valid answer to the great problems of the time . To a generation for which the facts of exile and the precariousness of existence in it had become a most pressing and cruel problem , kabbalism could give an answer unparalleled in breadth and in depth of vision . The kabbalistic answer illuminated the significance of exile and redemption and accounted for the unique historical situation of Israel within the wider , in fact cosmic , context of creation itself.
But the decisive innovation , that which held the secret of the Lurianic appeal to the age , was the transposition of the central concepts of exile and redemption from the historical to a cosmic and even divine plane . The eschatological vision of redemption from oppression by the gentiles widened in scope to include not only the whole of creation but even the divine realm . Exile and redemption are the two poles of the axis around which the Lurianic system revolves ; viewed in a dimension of depth , they now stand out as numinous symbols of a spiritual reality of which historical exile and redemption are merely the concrete expression ... the basic notions.. which contain , in nuce , as it were , the whole of Lurianic kabbalah . These are the notions of “ retraction , ” the “ breaking of the vessels , ” “ restoration ” (or tiqqun) , and the “ raising of the sparks . ”
Shabatai Tzi, Gershom Scholem
There is ruthlessness toward Himself , for He exiled Himself from boundless infinity to a more concentrated infinity.
There is a profound inward Galut , not the Galut of one of the creatures but of God Himself , who limited Himself and thereby made place for the universe
The Messianic Idea In Judaism, GS
(ה) [ה] "השוכן אתם בתוך טומאתם" – אף על פי שהם טמאים שכינה ביניהם.
(5) 5) "who dwells with them in the midst of their tumah": Even though they are tamei, the Shechinah dwells among them.
הה"ד ויבא אל הגוים וגו' . ובתנחומא מדריש מה דכתיב ויבא כי גם השכינה הלכה עמהם בגלות.
Similarly when it says: "But when they came to those nations, they caused My holy name to be profaned" (Ezikiel 36: 20) In the Midrash Tanchuma it asks why it says "when they came" it is because the Divine presence went also with them into Exile.
(א) השוכן אתם בתוך טומאתם. אף על פי שהם טמאים שכינה ביניהם....
וכן דרשו רבותינו ז"ל (בראשית כז) וירח את ריח בגדיו, אפילו ריח בוגדיו. ודרשו עוד (תהלים סח) עלית למרום וגו' ואף סוררים לשכן יה אלקים, אפילו יש בתוכם סוררים ופושעים שכינה ביניהם. ודרשו עוד (מלאכי ב) כי שנא שלח אמר ה' אלקי ישראל, בכל ספר מלאכי הזכיר צבאות, וכאן אלקי ישראל, אלא אף על פי ששנואים אתם ונשלחתם אלקיכם אני, ולכך הזכיר אלקי ישראל. ובמדרש השוכן אתם בתוך טומאתם, אף על פי שישראל בגלות והם לא טהורים בגלותם, שכינה שורה עמהם.
(1) השכן אתם בתוך טומאתם, “that dwells with them amidst their contamination.” Even though the Jewish people are contaminated the Shechinah is amongst them (Sifra Acharey 4, 5). ...
We also have an opinion in Sanhedrin 37 according to which the words וירח את ריח בגדיו, “he inhaled the fragrance of his clothing” (Genesis 27,23) are understood as וירח את ריח בוגדיו, “he inhaled the fragrance of those who betray Him,” i.e. even though the person concerned is contaminated, seeing that they are Jews God does not totally reject them. Another allegorical approach along these lines is found in Shemot Rabbah 33,2 where the word עלית למרום שבית שבי (Psalms 68,19) are understood to mean that even if there were unfit Jews amongst the people this did not stop the Shechinah from being amongst them. The Midrash understands the words as a rebuttal to the Gentiles who believe that because Jews have served idols at one time they are forever cut off from G’d’s grace.
Another comment by the Midrash (Bereshit Rabbah 18,8) on the words of Maleachi 2,16: “for I detest divorce- said the Lord God of Israel,” points to the fact that the prophet Malachi when mentioning God always uses the expression אלוקי צבאות, and only in this instance does he refer to G’d as אלוקי ישראל, “the God of Israel.” The author of the Midrash sees a clear message in this that the prophet wanted to reassure the people that G’d’s presence does not abandon the Jewish people even when they are sinful.
זה אלי, ... וחכמים אומ' אלונו עד שאבוא עמו לבית מקדשו. משל למלך שהלך בנו למדינת הים ויצא אחריו ועמד עליו הלך למדינה אחרת ויצא אחריו ועמד עליו כך ישראל כשירדו למצרים ירדה שכינה עמהם שנ' אנכי ארד עמך מצרימה (בראשית מו), עלו עלת שכינה עמהם שנ' ואנכי אעלך גם עלה וגו' (שם), ירדו לים שכינה עמהם שנ' ויסע מלאך האלקים ההולך לפני מחנה ישראל (שמות יד), יצאו למדבר שכינה עמהם שנ' וה' הולך לפניהם יומם (שם יג) עד שאבוא עמו לבית מקדשו וכה"א כמעט שעברתי מהם וגו' (שיר השירים ג׳:ד׳): אלי, עמי נהג במדת רחמים ועם אבותי נהג במדת הדין ומנין שאין אלי אלא מדת רחמים שנא' אלי אלי למה עזבתני (תהלים כב) ואומר אל נא רפא נא לה (במדבר יב) ואו' אל ה' ויאר לנו (תהלים קיח): אלקי אבי וארוממנהו, אני מלכה בת מלכים אהובה בת אהובים קדושה בת קדושים טהורה בת טהורים. משל לאדם שהלך לקדש אשה פעמים בוש בה פעמים בוש במשפחתה פעמים בוש בקרובותיה אבל אני איני כן אלא מלכה בת מלכים וגו': אלקי אבי וארוממנהו, ר' שמעון בן אלעזר אומר כשישראל עושין רצונו של מקום אז מתגדל שמו בעולם שנ' ויהי כשמוע כל מלכי האמורי וגו' (יהושע ה) וכן אמרה רחב לשלוחי יהושע כי שמענו את אשר הוביש ה' ואומר ונשמע וימס לבבנו ולא קמה עוד רוח באיש מפניכם כי ה' הוא האלקים בשמים ממעל (שם ב) ובזמן שאינן עושין רצונו כביכול שמו מתחלל בעולם שנ' ויבא אל הגוים אשר באו שם ויחללו את שם קדשי [באמור להם עם ה' אלה ומארצו יצאו ואחמול על שם קדשי אשר חללוהו בית ישראל וכת' לכן אמור לבית ישראל כה אמר ה' אלקים לא למענכם אני עושה בית ישראל] ואומר וקדשתי את שמי הגדול המחולל בגוים (יחזקאל לו). אלקי אבי וארוממנהו, אמרה כנסת ישראל לפני הקב"ה רבונו של עולם לא על נסים שעשית עמי בלבד אני אומר לפניך שיר וזמרה אלא על נסים שעשית עמי ועם אבותי ועושה עמי בכל דור ודור אלקי אבי וארוממנהו.
"This is my G d and I will extol Him": ... And the sages say (on "ve'anvehu"): "I shall accompany Him ("alavenhu") until I come with Him to His Temple. An analogy: A king's son goes abroad — he goes after him and attends upon him. He goes to a different city — he goes after him and attends upon him. Thus with Israel. When they went down to Egypt, the Shechinah was with them, viz. (Genesis 46:4) "I shall go down with you to Egypt." When they went up, the Shechinah went up with them, viz. (Ibid.) "and I shall also bring you up." When they went down to the sea, the Shechinah was with them, viz. (Exodus 14:19) "And the angel of G d, who went before the camp of Israel, etc." When they went out to the desert, the Shechinah was with them, viz. (Ibid. 13:21) "And the Lord went before them by day, etc." — until they brought Him with them to His holy Temple, viz. (Song of Songs 3: "I had almost passed them (Moses and Aaron) by, when I found Him whom my soul loved. I held onto Him and did not let go of Him until I had brought Him to the house of my mother and the chamber of my conception." "my God" (Keli): With me He manifested the attribute of mercy, and with my fathers, the attribute of justice. And whence is it derived that "keli" connotes the attribute of mercy? From (Psalms 22:2) "Keli, Keli, why have You forsaken me?" and (Numbers 12:13) "Kel, I pray You, heal her, I pray You," and (Psalms 118:27) "The Lord is 'Kel,' and He has lighted (the way) for us." And whence is it derived that "Elokim" (as in [Exodus, Ibid] "the G d ['Elokei'] of my father") connotes justice? From (Devarim 1:17) "For the judgment is to 'Elokim.'" "the God of my father, and I will exalt Him": I am a queen, the daughter of kings; a beloved one, the daughter of beloved ones; a holy one, the daughter of holy ones; a pure one, the daughter of pure ones. An analogy: A man goes to betroth a woman. Sometimes he is embarrassed in her; sometimes, in her kin. But I am not so, but a queen, the daughter of kings, etc. R. Shimon b. Elazar says: When Israel do the will of the L rd, His name is exalted in the world, as it is written (Joshua 5:1) "And it was, when all the kings of the Emori heard, etc." And thus did Rachav say to Joshuah's emissaries, (Ibid. 2:10) "for we heard how the Lord dried up, etc.", and (Ibid. 17) "and we heard and our hearts melted, and no man's spirit endured within him before you. For the Lord, He is G d in the heavens above, etc." And when they do not do His will, His name, as it were, is demeaned in the world, viz. (Ezekiel 36:20) "And they came to the nations … and they profaned My holy name when it was said of them: These are the peoples of the Lord, and from His land did they go forth …" and (Ibid. 23) "And I shall sanctify My great name which has been profaned among the nations, etc." "the G d of my father, and I will exalt Him": The congregation of Israel said before the Holy One Blessed be He: Lord of the world, it is not for the miracles that You performed with Me that I chant song before You, but for the miracles that You performed with my fathers and with me in all of the generations — thus: "This is my G d and I will extol Him; the G d of my father, and I will exalt Him."
(ג) ... פִּתְחִי לִי אֲחֹתִי רַעְיָתִי, עַד מָתַי אֶהְיֶה מִתְהַלֵּךְ בְּלֹא בַּיִת, (שיר השירים ה, ב): שֶׁרֹאשִׁי נִמְלָא טָל, אֶלָּא עֲשׂוּ לִי מִקְדָּשׁ שֶׁלֹא אֶהְיֶה בַּחוּץ.
(3) ..."Open up for me, my sister, my friend" (Song of Songs 5:2). For how long must I travel without a home? "My head is drenched in dew", rather, make Me a Mikdash so that I need not be on outside.
Emanation to Tzimzum
The process of creation , as seen by the early kabbalists unfolds in progressive stages of a gradually coarsening , that is , materializing , “ light . ” It is essentially a one - way process , from God to the world and man.
For the kabbalists of Safed things were not quite so simple and straightforward. Even before Luria the theory of emanation had become much more complicated . On every level and at every stage of emanation we find not only the “ straight , ” “ direct light ” of the primary ray of emanation , but also its reverse , the “ reflected light ,”
Luria added paradox to dialectic when he formulated his doctrine of ṣimṣum , or “ retraction ” or “ withdrawal.” According to this doctrine , the first act of the Creator was not His revelation of Himself to something outside . Far from being a procession outward , or a “ going out , ” of His hidden self , the first step was , rather , a withdrawal or retreat. God withdrew “ from Himself into Himself , ” and by this act , abandoning a region within Himself to emptiness, He made room for the worlds to be. In relation to the infinite En-Sof this space was no more than an infinitesimal point , but in relation to creation it was the whole of cosmic space.
The kabbalists did not explicitly say that the act of ṣimṣum was a divine type and prefiguration of the exile , though the analogy seems obvious . God , instead of revealing Himself , “ banishes ” and withdraws Himself into the hidden seclusion of His essence . Yet it is surely no accident that the doctrine of ṣimṣum , the first inklings of which appeared among the kabbalists of Gerona in the thirteenth century , struck root and blossomed only at a later period , when the problem of exile had become central to religious consciousness...
The breaking of the vessels was thus an event that took place within the Deity itself . Its repercussions are manifest in every single detail of Lurianic cosmology . But for the breaking of the vessels , everything would have occupied its rightful and appointed place . Now everything is out of joint.
That which should have occupied its appointed and appropriate place has moved somewhere else . However , this situation of not being where one ought to be , namely , of being removed from one’s rightful place , is what is meant by the term “ exile . ” In fact , since the breaking of the vessels , exile is the fundamental and exclusive — albeit hidden — mode of all existence . In Lurianism the historical notion of exile had become a cosmic symbol.
Only by their breaking could the divine configurations [ parṣufim ] be perfected.. Tiqqun , meaning “ mending , ” “ restoration , ” or “ reintegration , ” is the process by which the ideal order is restored , but the lights of the divine emanation are incapable of bringing it about by themselves. God in His wisdom allotted this task to man , who thus has to play a major part in the great drama of restitution and tiqqun.
Exile , therefore , had its reason , and this reason was rooted in the nature of creation . There is something startlingly novel about this kabbalistic explanation which regarded exile not merely as a test of our faith or punishment for our sins , but first and foremost as a mission.
Daughter rises up against mother,
Daughter-in-law against mother-in-law—
A man’s own household
Are his enemies.
דְּאָמַר רֵישׁ לָקִישׁ דּוֹר שֶׁבֶּן דָּוִד בָּא בֵּית הַוַּעַד יִהְיֶה לִזְנוּת, וְהַגָּלִיל יֶחֱרָב, וְהַגַּבְלָן יִשּׁוֹם, וְאַנְשֵׁי הַגָּלִיל יְסַבְּבוּ מֵעִיר לְעִיר וְלֹא יֵחָנְנוּ, וְחָכְמַת הַסּוֹפְרִים תִּסְרַח, וְיִרְאֵי חֵטְא וְאַנְשֵׁי חֶסֶד נֶאֱסָפִים, וְהָאֱמֶת נֶעְדֶּרֶת, וּפְנֵי הַדּוֹר כִּפְנֵי הַכֶּלֶב....
אָמַר רַבִּי נְהוֹרָאי דּוֹר שֶׁבֶּן דָּוִד בָּא, הַנְּעָרִים יַלְבִּינוּ לַזְּקֵנִים, וְיַעַמְדוּ הַזְּקֵנִים בִּפְנֵי הַנְּעָרִים, (מיכה ז, ו): בַּת קָמָה בְאִמָּהּ כַּלָּה בַּחֲמֹתָהּ, אֹיְבֵי אִישׁ אַנְשֵׁי בֵיתוֹ, וּבֵן אֵינוֹ מִתְבַּיֵּשׁ מֵאָבִיו. רַבִּי נְחֶמְיָה אוֹמֵר קֹדֶם יְמוֹת הַמָּשִׁיחַ עֲנִיּוּת יִרְבֶּה, וְיֹקֶר הוֹוֶה, וְהַגֶּפֶן תִּתֵּן פִּרְיָהּ, וְהַיַּיִן יַסְרִיחַ, וְהַמַּלְכוּת כֻּלָּהּ תֵּהָפֵךְ לְמִינוּת וְאֵין תּוֹכֵחוֹת.
as Reish Lakish said: In the generation in which the son of David will come, the assembly hall of the Sages will be for prostitution, the Galilee will be destroyed, the Gavlan will be desolate, and the residents of the Galilee will circulate from city to city and will receive no sympathy. The wisdom of scholars will be [considered] putrid, those who fear sin and the people of kindness will be gathered, truth will be lacking, and the face of the generation will be like the face of a dog. ...
Rabbi Nehorai said: In the generation in which the son of David will come, youths will humiliate elders and elders will stand before youths, “a daughter rises against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the members of his household” (Micah 7:6), and a son will not be ashamed before his father. Rabbi Neḥemya says: Prior to the messianic era, poverty will proliferate, prices will be high, the vine will produce its fruit but the wine will spoil, and the entire monarchy will be transformed to heresy, but there will be no rebuke.
(ז) עֹשֶׂ֤ה מִשְׁפָּ֨ט ׀ לָעֲשׁוּקִ֗ים נֹתֵ֣ן לֶ֭חֶם לָרְעֵבִ֑ים ה' מַתִּ֥יר אֲסוּרִֽים׃
(7) who secures justice for those who are wronged,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets prisoners free;
רַבִּי פִּנְחָס וְרַבִּי לֵוִי וְרַבִּי יוֹחָנָן בְּשֵׁם רַבִּי מְנַחֵם דְּגַלְיָא, לֶעָתִיד לָבוֹא כָּל הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת בְּטֵלִין וְקָרְבַּן תּוֹדָה אֵינוֹ בָּטֵל, כָּל הַתְּפִלּוֹת בְּטֵלוֹת, הַהוֹדָאָה אֵינָהּ בְּטֵלָה
Rabbi Pinchas, Rabbi Levi and Rabbi Yochanan [said] in the name of Rabbi Menachem from Gallia: In the time to come, all sacrifices will be annulled - but the sacrifice of thanksgiving will not be annulled. All prayers will be annulled, but the prayer of gratitude will not be annulled.
שכל המועדים עתידים בטלים, וימי הפורים אינם בטלים לעולם, שנאמר (אסתר ט כח): "וימי הפורים האלה לא יעברו מתוך היהודים". אמר רבי אלעזר: אף יום הכיפורים אינו בטל לעולם, שנאמר (ויקרא טז לד): "והיתה זאת לכם לחוקת עולם לכפר על בני ישראל מכל חטאתם אחת בשנה".
all of the holidays are to be nullified in the future but the days of Purim will not be nullified, as it is stated (Esther 9:28), 'And these days of Purim will not be rescinded from the Jews.'" Rabbi Elazar said, "Also Yom Kippur will forever not be nullified, as it is stated, 'And it will be to you for an everlasting statute to atone for the Children of Israel from all of their sins once a year.'"
Jewish Messianism is in its origins and by its nature — this cannot be sufficiently emphasized — a theory of catastrophe.
The apocalyptists have always cherished a pessimistic view of the world . Their optimism , their hope , is not directed to what history will bring forth , but to that which will arise in its ruin , free at last and undisguised.
that there are deeds which , as it were , help to bring about the redemption , somewhat like a midwife at a birth. ... This catastrophic character of the redemption , which is essential to the apocalyptic conception , is pictured in all of these texts and traditions in glaring images . It finds manifold expression : in world wars and revolutions , in epidemics , famine , and economic catastrophe ; but to an equal degree in apostasy and the desecration of God’s name , in forgetting of the Torah and the upsetting of all moral order to the point of dissolving the laws of nature.
the anarchic element is also joined by the antinomian potentialities which are latent in Messianic utopianism.
TMIIJ (The Messianic Idea In Judaism)
Messianic legend indulges in uninhibited fantasies about the catastrophic aspects of redemption .
There is no continuity between the present and the messianic era ; the latter is not the fruit of previous developments , let alone of a gradual evolution.
Far from being the result of historical process , redemption arises on the ruins of history , which collapses amid the “ birth pangs ” of the messianic age . The bitter experience of many generations that had tasted the heavy yoke of alien rule , oppression , and humiliation was not likely to mitigate the violence of this type of eschatology , whose roots go back to the apocalyptic literature of the period of the Second Temple . It has been one of the strangest errors of the modern Wissenschaft des Judentums to deny the continuity of Jewish apocalypticism . ... The endeavors of leading scholars to dissociate apocalyptic from rabbinic Judaism and to associate it exclusively with Christianity have contributed much to the modern falsification of Jewish history and to the concealment of some of its most dynamic forces , both constructive and destructive.
"Jewish and European Enlightenment subjected the Messianic idea to an ever advancing secularization Messianism became tied up with the idea of the eternal progress and infinite task of humanity perfecting itself." TMIIJ, GS
The process of tiqqun , though essentially constructive , is thus not without destructive aspects.. The cosmic redemption of the raising of the sparks merges with the national redemption..
The final stages of tiqqun are thus the hardest of all , and it is in connection with them that the Lurianic writings have preserved many of the catastrophic traits of apocalyptic Haggadah. the kabbalists ’ battle for hastening the “ end . ”
מתיר אסורים. מהו מתיר אסורים. יש אומרים כל הבהמה שנטמאת בעולם הזה מטהר אותה הקב"ה לעתיד לבוא. וכן הוא אומר (קהלת א ט) מה שהיה הוא שיהיה ומה שנעשה. טהורים היו מקודם לבני נח. וכן הוא אומר להן (בראשית ט ג) כירק עשב נתתי לכם את כל. מה ירק עשב נתתי לכל אף החיה והבהמה לכל מתחלה. ולמה אסר אותה לראות מי שמקבל דבריו ומי אינו מקבל. ולעתיד לבוא הוא מתיר את כל מה שאסר. ויש אומרים אינו מתירן לעתיד לבוא שכן הוא אומר (ישעיה סו יז) אוכלי בשר החזיר וגו'. ומה אם למי שהיה אוכלת הוא מכרית ומאביד הבהמה לא כל שכן. ומהו מתיר אסורים אין איסור גדול מן הנדה שהאשה רואה דם ואסרה הקב"ה לבעלה. ולעתיד לבוא הוא מתירה. (זכריה יג ב) וגם את הנביאים ואת רוח הטומאה אעביר מן הארץ. ואין טומאה אלא נדה שנאמר (ויקרא יח יט) ואל אשה בנדת טומאתה. ויש אומרים אף תשמיש המטה היא אסורה לעתיד לבוא. תדע לך שכן הוא שביום שנגלה הקב"ה על סיני ליתן התורה לישראל אסר תשמיש המטה שלשה ימים. שנאמר (שמות יט יא) היו נכונים וגו'. ומה כשנגלה עליהם יום א' אסרן מתשמיש המטה שלשת ימים. לעתיד לבוא שהשכינה ביניהם אינם אסורין. ומהו מתיר אסורים אסורי מות ואסורי שאול:
Though still remaining in the purely speculative exegetical and literary realm , a remark concerning Psalm 146 : 7 goes much further . It decisively removes the words “ The Lord releases the prisoners ” from the previous undialectical interpretation according to which the tradition will be completely fulfilled in the Messianic age and , in most descriptions of it , shine forth with undiminished radiance . The Hebrew words of the Psalm lend themselves as well to a more daring but still faithful translation as : “ The Lord dissolves the commandments ” or “ The Lord allows the forbidden ” ( mattir isurim instead of mattir asurim ) . “ What does this mean ? Some say: ‘All animals which were forbidden [to be eaten] in this world God will one day again allow, as was the case until the time of Noah. And why, in fact, has He forbidden them? In order to see who would accept His words and who would not. In the time to come, however, He will allow everything which He has forbidden.’ ”
Scholem, Gershom. The Messianic Idea in Judaism (p. 55). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Conflict with Rabbinic Judaism (and traditional ethics)
As long as the messianic hope existed in the abstract , real for the imagination only , the gap between traditional law and “ messianic law ” was relatively easy to bridge ... But whenever messianic hopes assumed actuality, the tension with regard to rabbinic tradition became manifest. .... Messianic movements would often produce individuals with sufficient charismatic authority to challenge the established authority of rabbinic Judaism.
The view that kabbalists were beyond apocalyptic catastrophe is eloquent testimony to a sense of superiority that undoubtedly acted as a powerful factor in the propagation of kabbalistic doctrines .
The specific objects of his indignation are the wealthy leaders of the community , the proud elders who exploit their position of power. even when it concerns the Law of the Torah ; and the rabbis and judges are not strong enough to make the Law of the Torah prevail … because the earth is filled with violence . ”
The Identity of the Messiah and Messianic era less important than the process...
The most surprising feature of this system , with its characteristic eschatological tension , is the feebleness of its image of the messiah. ...in this process the messiah himself plays a pale and insignificant role . Except for the highly developed and firmly established tradition of the messiah , perhaps the kabbalists would have dispensed with him altogether.
Shabatai Tzvi, GS
It is therefore not surprising that little importance is given to the human personality of the Messiah in Lurianic literature , for the Kabbalists had no special need of a personal Messiah .
The Messianic Idea In Judaism, GS
The Challenge of (anti-Messianic) Zionism
the price demanded by Messianism , the price which the Jewish people has had to pay out of its own substance for this idea which it handed over to the world . The magnitude of the Messianic idea corresponds to the endless powerlessness in Jewish history during all the centuries of exile , when it was unprepared to come forward onto the plane of world history . There’s something preliminary , something provisional about Jewish history ; hence its inability to give of itself entirely . For the Messianic idea is not only consolation and hope . Every attempt to realize it tears open the abysses which lead each of its manifestations ad absurdum . There is something grand about living in hope , but at the same time there is something profoundly unreal about it . It diminishes the singular worth of the individual , and he can never fulfill himself , because the incompleteness of his endeavors eliminates precisely what constitutes its highest value . Thus in Judaism the Messianic idea has compelled a life lived in deferment , in which nothing can be done definitively , nothing can be irrevocably accomplished . One may say , perhaps , the Messianic idea is the real anti - existentialist idea . Precisely understood , there is nothing concrete which can be accomplished by the unredeemed . This makes for the greatness of Messianism , but also for its constitutional weakness . Jewish so - called Existenz possesses a tension that never finds true release ; it never burns itself out . And when in our history it does discharge , then it is foolishly decried ( or , one might say , unmasked ) as “ pseudo - Messianism . ” The blazing landscape of redemption ( as if it were a point of focus ) has concentrated in itself the historical outlook of Judaism.
Little wonder that overtones of Messianism have accompanied the modern Jewish readiness for irrevocable action in the concrete realm , when it set out on the utopian return to Zion . It is a readiness which no longer allows itself to be fed on hopes . Born out of the horror and destruction that was Jewish history in our generation , it is bound to history itself and not to meta - history ; it has not given itself up totally to Messianism . Whether or not Jewish history will be able to endure this entry into the concrete realm without perishing in the crisis of the Messianic claim which has virtually been conjured up — that is the question which out of his great and dangerous past the Jew of this age poses to his present and to his future .
The Messianic Idea In Judaism, Gershom Scholem