This would explain why Rav Yechezkel Levenstein says that when it comes to the arrival of Mashiach and the resurrection of the dead, we are quiet as if we are embarrassed to speak about them as if we have given up them altogether. Before we begin discussing Mashiach in-depth, let me quote to you the words of Rabbi Eliyahu Lopian:
“While in London I heard from the holy Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman, quoting the Chofeitz Chayim, that our Sages say that the War of Gog and Magog will be threefold. After the First World War, the Chofetz Chayim said that it was the first battle of Gog and Magog and that in about 25 years there would be a second world war, which would make the first one seem insignificant. Then there would be the third war” [Leiv Eliyahu by Rabbi Eliyahu Lopian, Shemos, (page 197) אני שמעתי בלונדון מפי הקדוש ר' אלחנן וסרמן זצ"ל, שאמר בשם החפץ חיים זצוק"ל, שחז"ל אומרים שמלחמת גוג ומגוג יהיה שלש פעמים. ואז היה אחרי המלחמה העולמית הראשונה, ואמר החפץ חיים שהמלחמה הזאת - היתה מלחמת גוג ומגוג הראשונה, ובעוד עשרים וחמש שנה בערך - תהיה עוד מלחמה עולמית שניה, שהמלחמה הראשונה תהיה כאפס נגדה, ואח"כ תהיה מלחמת גוג ומגוג שלישית - עת צרה היא ליעקב, אבל ממנה יושע. See also Rav Schwab on Chumash by Rabbi Myer Schwab, pages 240 – 241 (Israel Bookshop Publications)]
There’s a dispute whether World War III will be before the revelation of the Mashiach or after [see Otzrot Acharit HaYamim (Hebrew), http://bit.ly/2zqNFjv (link to view the seifer online) or When Moshiach Comes: Halachic & Aggadic Perspectives (English) by Yehudah Chayoun, part 1, chapter 5, The Battle of Gog and Magog. See also The Future: Guide to Messiah by Rabbi Lawrence Hajioff, Preparing For Redemption by Rabbi Pinchas Winston and Hold On: Surviving Days Before Moshiach by Roy S Neuberger.
True, to the Chofeitz Chayim’s prediction, World War II began in 1939, exactly 25 years later!
Does there need to be a third world war? It depends on us.
The Hebrew word for return, תְּשׁוּבָה, is derived from תָשׁוּב אֶל-יקוק, [You shall] return to Hashem” [(Devarim 30:10) see also The Wisdom In The Hebrew Alphabet by Rabbi Michael L. Munk, page 87]. In other words, returning to the path G-d set for us when we were born, the path that our souls recognize as home-bound, the path of goodness of becoming a better person, a different person, not a perfect person (The Power of Teshuvah by Rabbi Heshey Kleinman, pages 61-62)
Furthermore, one should involve himself in Torah, doing acts of kindness and eating three meals on the Shabbos.
קץ האחרון לא תלוי בתשובה אלא בחסד
Even Shleimah, chapter 11, paragraph 13
the last exile is not dependent on returning to G-d but [doing] kindness
The Chofeitz Chayim states:
“All the many troubles that have fallen upon us, from which we have still not been saved, are because we don’t scream and increase our prayers in response to them. If we had prayed properly, we would not have returned empty-handed… several times daily he must pour out his requests in solitude, in his house, from the depths of his heart… if each person would contemplate in solitude his own plight... then he would pour out his heart like water to Hashem. Such a prayer would emerge with very deep intent with a broken heart and with great humility. Such a prayer will certainly not go unanswered…!” (see Redemption Unfolding by Alexander Aryeh Mandelbaum, page 82)
When an infant wants his parents to give him attention, he cries. If they don’t hear him or choose to ignore him, he cries, screams even louder or throws a tantrum, until his parents come and attend to his needs.
If that’s the case, then why “don’t” we cry to G-d? Both children and adults, want to think of themselves as macho. Even if they’re undergoing mental anguish, they’d rather bottle themselves up, then express their emotions to others or even our Creator! They believe crying is showing a sign of weakness or maybe that’s what America has brainwashed us to think. In the words Rav Shimon Schwab zt”l: “Most of us are – and forgive my expression - emotionally constipated.” See Rav Schwab on Chumash by Rabbi Myer J. Schwab, pages 47 – 48 (Israel Bookshop Publications)]
כל כתבי חפץ חיים השלם, שיחות החפץ חיים, דף עב, מספר יד
אנו צריכים לבקש על הגאולה. כמו שפעולת שכר שכיר ביומו, אם אינו תובע אין החיוב לתת כמו כן אנו צריכים לתבוע את הגאולה.
Kol Kisvei Chofeitz Chayim HaSholeim, Sichos Chofeitz Chayim, page 72, #14
Even though we pray for the redemption several times every day, requesting by itself is not enough. One must demand the redemption, just as with the wages of a hired worker (Mishnah Bava Metzia 9:12 and Meseches Bava Metzia 111a). Failure to do so shows that this matter is not that urgent to us!
When should a person pray for these three things? Perhaps when reciting וְתֶחֱזֶינָה עֵינֵינוּ בְּשׁוּבְךָ לְצִיּון בְּרַחֲמִים in shemonah esrei; before they say בָּרוּךְ, they should have in mind these three things* or verbalize it in their own words [this is just my opinion].
They weren’t interested in making G-d’s will like their will – to leave Egypt.
Rashi explains that the number of Jews who left Egypt at the time was but a tiny fraction 1/300,000 - of the original Jewish population in Egypt. The rest perished during the plague of darkness when the Egyptians would not be able to witness the downfall of the sinners of our nation (ArtScroll Sanhedrin 111a, note 23). The same will be in the Messianic Era (see note 27). Only 1/300,000 of the Jews will remain at that time (ArtScroll Sanhedrin 111a, note 24).
Approximately 130 years ago, Rabbeinu Tzidkiyah zt”l wrote in the name of his brother R’ Binyamin zt”l, ואפילו אם יהיה בעקב הגאולה והרי הוא נכתב בכת הרשעים שאינן מאמינים ואינן ראויין לגאולה כמו שמצינו במצרים שכל אותן שלא האמינו בגאולה מתו בשלשה ימי אפילת, even if a person will be alive when the redemption arrives, one will be written in the group of the wicked who do not believe and are not fit for the redemption, as we find by [the redemption from] Egypt that all those who did not believe in the redemption (i.e. yearn for it) died during the three days of darkness and did not merit to leave Egypt” [Shebolei HaLeket HaSholeim, chapter 274]
Why? One reason is that they didn’t fulfill the prerequisite of what we say every day in davening:
Not only didn’t they look forward to G-d’s salvation; on the contrary, they had the brazenness like Amaleik and attempted to fight Mashiach! The second merit is through faith. This entails keeping Shabbos. Why? Because Shabbos is the basis of faith.
Rav Chaim Kanievsky said that we hold like the Yerushalmi.
How does one yearn for the Final Redemption on a practical level?
The Chofeitz Chayim (Torah Ohr, chapter 12) says:
“If we were truly yearning for the Final Redemption and waiting each day for its arrival, then we would be preparing ourselves by learning the relevant halachos, for there are many halachos to be learned and they cannot all be covered in a short time… For if it would be revealed that in a short time the final Redemption would arrive, then certainly millions of Jews would quickly learn the halachos to the Beis HaMikdash, since at that time all of these halachos will be applicable, not only for kohanim but for all Jews, for instance, the halachos regarding eating karbonos and visiting the Mikdash… Therefore, if we are truly waiting and yearning for the Final Redemption… we too should arouse ourselves and learn these halachos with all our strength.”
If Noach didn’t believe that the Flood would come, then we certainly need ask ourselves, “Do I really believe that the Final Redemption will come or is it just a ‘concept’ that is in the subconscious part of my mind?”
The Chofeitz Chayim says:
קשה לי על כלל ישראל למה לא נראית שום הכנה אצלינו, הלא אנו רואים שנתקיימו הסימנים, ואם כן יש לכל אחד לירא לעצמו ולהיות אצלו על כל פנים ספק שמא יבוא משיח בזמנינו, ואיזה פנים יהיה לו אם לא יהיה מוכן ומזומן מקודם ליום בואו
Seifer U’Va L’Tzion Go’el by Yosef Rubenstein, sha’ar 1, chapter 1, page 120
It is difficult for me why in Klal Yisroel we don’t see any preparations, notwithstanding that we see that the signs are being fulfilled. If so, each individual should be fearing for himself and at least consider the possibility that Mashiach will come in our times. How would it look if we weren’t ready and prepared beforehand for the day of Mashiach’s arrival?”
כמה אנשים תמהים על אריכת הגלות בעת שאנו רואים שכמעט כל הסימנים שנאמרו בגמרא שצריכים להיות לפני ביאת המשיח נתקיימו כולם, ועדיין לא נראה שום התעוררות לביאתו ועקבותיו לא נודעו. והשבתי להם שהסיבה לכך היא כיון שעדיין אין אנו מוכנים בידיעת הלכות המקדש והקרבנות!
Seifer U’Va L’Tzion Go’el by Yosef Rubenstein, sha’ar 1, chapter 3, page 128
Many people wonder about the length of the exile at a time when we see that nearly all the signs mentioned in the Gemara for before Mashiach’s coming have been fulfilled, yet there is no arousal of his coming and no more trees of his footsteps. I answered them that the reason for this is that we are still unprepared in the knowledge of the laws of the mikdash and the karbonos!”
Is there any sefer that exists nowadays which has relevant halachos regarding the Beis HaMikdash? Yes! It’s called Days Are Coming by Rabbi Moshe Silberstein.
What is the sefer about? It’s an In-Depth Analysis of the Practical Halachos Relevant to Visiting the Bais HaMikdash. By studying this sefer, one is imbuing himself with faith that G-d will redeem us. The Chofeitz Chayim had a special morning coat that he planned to wear to greet Mashiach and from time to time he put it on and sit in anticipation (The Chafetz Chaim volume 2 by Rabbi Moses M. Yoshor, pages 621 – 622).
Therefore, a person should designate some type of article of clothing – i.e. suit, shirt, hat, belt or shoes, etc., that he/ she has designated to wear when Mashiach reveals himself.
You’ll tell me, “But I’m not the Chofeitz Chayim.” That’s true. Here’s the following story:
On Wednesday, Mrs. Leah Rubashkin got a call that her husband summoned to the warden’s office. She got into the car and headed off to Otisville. She arrived with a change of clothing for her husband, but the guard said no, he couldn’t change on the premises – one last display of power on the part of the warden’s office. I wondered how she’d had the presence of mind to grab a change of clothing after having received the most exhilarating phone call of her life.”
I didn’t,” Mrs. Rubashkin answered. “I’ve been driving around with that change of clothing in my car for the last eight years” [See Never Shackled by Yisroel Besser - Mishpacha, Issue 691 (December 27, 2017, page 64)]. Mrs. Leah Rubashkin is the opposite of someone who speaks one way with their mouth and another with their heart (see Pesachim 113b).
How many people does it take to bring the Final Redemption?
Hashem Himself answers this question (see Days Are Coming by Rabbi Moshe Silberstein, page 80):
“I searched for someone who would stand before Me and daven on behalf of Klal Yisroel, that I should not destroy them, but I did not find anyone, so therefore I will pour out My wrath against them and consume them with the flame of My fury.”
One person could have saved all of Klal Yisroel - one person could have prevented the churban. If even one person would have stood up and prayed on behalf of Klal Yisroel.
G-d would have rescinded His decree. This is a message of G-d which is repeated by another one of His prophets as well:
“Go in the streets of Yerushalayim… and seek in its plazas if you will find a just man if there is one who dispenses Justice and seeks emunah if you find even a lone man like this then I will forgive the whole city.”
If there would have been even one person in all of Yerushalayim who was just, Hashem would have forgiven the entire city [(see Days Are Coming by Rabbi Moshe Silberstein, page 80). See ArtScroll Sotah 37a, note 60 and Bamidbar Rabbah 13:4].
There’s a poster which has a picture of Uncle Sam pointing his finger at you, saying, “I want YOU for U.S. army.”
Similarly, our Creator says to each and every one of us, “I want YOU to have a part in hastening the redemption.” As Rabbi Pinchas of Koretz said, “Every person may change the course of history; it is in the power of every individual to shorten the exile” (Four Hasidic Masters and Their Struggle Against Melancholy by Elie Wiesel, page 19). If you think Rabbi Pinchas of Koretz is exaggerating, here are the words of the Rambam:
See also Ben Torah by Rabbi Aaron Lopiansky, pages 23-26 and The Inside Story: The Boy Who Asked Trump to Pardon Rubashkin: A Riveting Tale of What One Person Can Accomplish and The Story of the Boy Who Asked Trump to Pardon Rubashkin, As Related by Rabbi Y. Hisiger which exemplifies Rav Tzadok’s statement]
Why should I yearn for Mashiach?
Rav Chaim Kanievsky emphasizes, “The primary reason why we should anticipate Mashiach’s coming is so that G-d’s Name and glory will be widespread and recognized throughout the world - as we said on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, “All shall come to serve You... they shall bless Your glorious Name... and shall accept the yoke of Your Kingship upon themselves” (Rav Chaim Kanievsky on the Three Weeks by Rabbi Avraham Yeshayahu Shteinman, page 225). Mashiach will correct the entire world to worship G-d together, as it says, “For then I [G-d] will turn to the peoples a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Hashem, to serve Him with one consent.”
The Chofeitz Chayim was once quoted as saying, “Why do we wait for Mashiach? Because we need a livelihood, a cure for a disease, someone in our family needs a shidduch? No! Hashem knows our innermost thoughts, and He says to us, ‘I can send you those things without sending you Mashiach!’ Instead, each one of us must cry for the lack of כבוד שמים, honor of Heaven and for the ‘pain’ of the Divine Presence which is in exile (see Tikkunei Zohar, page 37a) and then Mashiach will surely come” [see Sefer Mekadshei Shemecha HameKutzor by Rabbi Shraga Freedman, page 85 ד"ה ציפייה לגאולה בשביל כבוד שמים for the original text].
[see also Kol HaTor by Rabbi Hillel Rivlin of Shklov, chapter 1, page 53 #2; chapter 4, pages 75 – 76. In addition, see What to Expect from the Transition Phase of the Messianic Era, The Final Showdown and Michtav M’Eliyahu volume 3, Golus v’Geulah, pages 204 – 205 ד"ה ירידתה של מלכות אדום].
This curse will be removed from upon mankind. We will still have to put in some effort to succeed.
The good news is that our life won’t be one big rush of getting up early to daven, going home afterward to eat breakfast and then zooming off to work. We will have more time to amass in learning Torah, as our livelihood will not be a means to an end anymore.
What this means in the 21st century, is that on Motzei Shabbos these people will clean your dishes. On Sunday and throughout the week, they’ll be doing your laundry or other errands that you need to be done. Besides the prophet prophesying this, why on earth would strangers or gentiles have a remote interest in taking care of all of our needs?
The Radak says that at the dawn of redemption, all the nations will realize that we indeed are the cornerstone of the world – they understand who we are and what we represent. This is not slavery like in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. They desire to serve us as we would desire to serve a Talmid Chacham if we would be offered the opportunity.
By following these guidelines may we merit to be among the “Exile Survivors” that witness Mashiach’s revelation - who will erect for us the Beis HaMikdash and lead us straight to our Land, very soon!
Dedicated in memory of: Rav Yisrael Meir ben R’ Aryeh Zev HaKohein, Menachem Mendel ben Levi Yitzchak, Elchonon Bunem ben Naftali Beinish Hy”d, Yisroel ben Yeshayah and Elisheva Basyah bas Yechiel Ephraim.