Friday, March 16, 2012

Calculating The Date of Mashiach's Coming

BS"D

Making calculations is perfectly acceptable according to many great rabbis of the past, and many did exactly that. For example, according to the Abarbanel, it is only forbidden to make the calculation based upon astrology; however, it is permissible to calculate a date based upon Tanach (Ma’ayeni HaYeshuah 1:2). The Ramban held that the prohibition of the Talmud only applied to earlier generations; now that we are on the eve of redemption, there is no prohibition (Sefer HaGeulah, Ma’amar 4).

The Malbim concurs, and provides the following analogy to explain his opinion: The situation is like that of a father and son traveling a long distance. As they start out, the son begins to ask when they will arrive, and of course the father does not answer. However, as they near the town, the son asks the same question, and this time the father readily answers that it is only a short while before they reach their destination. So too it is with us: now that the time is clearly approaching, we cannot help but notice and interpret the signs all around us that tell of the impending geulah ... As the time of the keitz grows nearer, the doubts will become smaller, and at the keitz, all doubts will be removed ... As the time grows closer, the uncertainty recedes in the wake of the increasingly “abounding wisdom” (Introduction to Daniel). The Maggid of Dubno used a similar analogy as well.

The Zohar even states that it is not God’s will to reveal the arrival date of the Moshiach, but when the date draws near, even children will be able to make the calculation (Bereishis 118a). According to the Vilna Gaon, there seems to be little problem making the calculation from his commentary, but one who does must promise not to reveal his finding to another: “And from here [what I have just written] you can calculate the time of the Final Redemption if, God forbid, we do not merit [to bring it earlier]; however, I have imposed an oath, in the name of the God of Israel, on the reader of this that he should not reveal it.” (Biur HaGra, Sifra D’Tzniuta, Chapter Five)

Rav Shalom Yehuda Gross

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Darkness Always Precedes The Light



The night enters and the new day begins. Hashem in His mercy is ready to bestow upon us another day with all its new blessings and wonders. However, in order to receive the light of this new day, we first have to go through the darkness of the night.

"And there was evening and there was morning, one day (Beresheet ch.1)"
We learn from this verse that according to Jewish tradition, the day begins after the setting of the sun and not in the morning at the sunrise.

What is the significance of the day beginning at night?

We can learn from this a very simple yet profound lesson. Often times in life we find ourselves stuck in the darkness feeling hopeless and seeing no way out of our difficult and challenging situations. Know that this is exactly the darkness that precedes the light. Remember what we learned from the story of the Megilla, that no matter how bad or hopeless things may seem, they can all turn around in the blink of an eye.

Keep this thought with you at all times and remember that Hashem has never and will never abandon you. Just be patient and await His salvation and never give up hope or stop praying.

May we all have the strength to hold on in the darkness and merit seeing the light of our redemption soon, Amen.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Geula Depends on the Learning of the Zohar


It is known to all that the sefer HaZohar of the G-dly Tanna Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai, may his merit protect us, breaks through thousands and tens of thousands of worlds, passes through the Serafim, Ofanim, Chashmalim and Chayot Hakodesh, all the way up to the Holy One Blessed Be He, Who delights with it, builds new worlds with it and has mercy on our world because of it.

See what the Gaon HaChida writes about the Zohar:
The learning of the Zohar is exalted above any other study, even if one does not understand a word he is saying.

The "Kisse Melech" says:
The simple reading of the Zohar alone builds new upper worlds.

Eliyahu Hanavi of Blessed memory said this to Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai:
When this sefer of the Zohar is revealed to the world in the final generation, the Jews will be redeemed from their exile.

Moshe Rabenu said this to Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai:
The brilliant ones (those who learn the Zohar) will shine like the radiance of the Heavens and with this book of yours, the sefer HaZohar, they will not need to experience any difficulties. (That is to say, they will not have to endure the birth pains of the Mashiach) And in the future, when Yisrael will taste from the Tree of Life, which is this sefer HaZohar, they will be redeemed from their exile with mercy.

Rebbe Chaim Vital writes in a letter:
Behold, the learning of Zohar arouses mercy and the spirit of the Mashiach, and it reveals and builds the Beit Hamikdash and allows Israel to dwell securely, and one who studies it will certainly not suffer any of the birth pains of the Mashiach. Therefore, we the rabbis and chachamim of the holy city of Jerusalem as well as it's Battei Dinim have aroused ourselves to establish learning of the Zohar both in Israel and in Chutz LaAretz in order to complete 1000 siyumim of the Zohar.
Therefore, we are calling out to you, our brothers, rabbis and chachamim, merchants, workers and baalei batim, strengthen yourselves to take part in this with us. The weak one must say I am strong. Know that it is your Father in Heaven who purifies you and every word of the Zohar that is read builds thousands and tens of thousands of worlds in the Heavens


We all know the dangerous situation that we are currently in (both physically and spiritually), and no one knows what each new day will bring.
Who is not afraid of a nuclear bomb from Iran?
Moshe Rabbenu, Eliyahu Hanavi and Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai may peace be upon them, have all said that with the sefer HaZohar we will be redeemed from our exile with mercy. Only those who read the Zohar will enter into the 'Noach's Ark' of our generation which is the Holy Zohar.

For more Zohar resources go to www.theholy-zohar.blogspot.com
For Zohar resources in English go to www.TheZoharInEnglish.com

Rebbe Shimon's Promise
"In the future, when Am Yisrael will merit to taste from the Tree of Life which is this book of the Zohar, they will be redeemed from their exile with mercy" (Zohar parashat Nasso).


Therefore, the best advice to sweeten the birth pains before the coming of the Moshiach is to read the holy Zohar. It is fitting to be read by men, women and children and it has the ability to purify the body and soul as well as cancel any harsh decrees that may be upon Am Yisrael even if one does not understand a word they are reading.

Rebbe Shimon is fitting to be relied upon in a time of great need.

What's Cooking in The Pot?


Once at his Shabbat table, the Choze of Lublin was sitting with his eyes closed for a long time. His guests anxiously watched as he was groaning and grunting with great intensity. Then the Rebbe opened his eyes and this is what he said.

The holy Baal Shem Tov's soul was once elevated to the upper worlds. When he came back down this is what he told those sitting around him, "Know, that I saw in the Heavens a group of angels building a very large and wide pot. I then asked one of the angels, 'What is this great big pot that you are building?' The angel then lifted me up over the ledge of the pot and asked me to tell him what I saw inside. When I looked in, I saw that the pot was full of arms and legs.

Then the angel said to me, 'Know, that close to the time of the coming of the Mashiach, there will reincarnate into the world souls from the generation of the Tower of Bavel (people who do not believe in G-d and rebel against G-d) as well as souls from the generation of the Flood of Noach (people who have great immodesty, women who go with their arms and legs revealed). It is for them that I am building this great big pot through which to take them down into Gehenom. Specifically it is also to be used for cooking those arms and legs of theirs that they immodestly revealed.

The Choze of Lublin then concluded and said, " The Baal Shem Tov saw this all in a vision, but we are seeing this happen in actuality. We are actually beginning to see those immoral and rebellious souls coming into this world." He then concluded by saying, "Hashem have mercy on us and of all of Israel, that we should be able to withstand the great tests that are now coming into the world"

( "Otzar Hasippurim" Rav Tzvi Moskowitz Vol. 4-12)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Holiness, Zohar and The Final Redemption

BS"D

Those who were dancing were considered crazy in the eyes of those who could not hear the music.

If the eye does not see it, than the heart can not desire it.

We all want happiness, but as long as we are busy chasing after physical desires and pleasures, we will never be able to get what we want. The eye is never satisfied with what it sees. We all know that there is no lasting satisfaction when it comes to physical desires. A gambler never feels satisfied with his wins, he always wants more. A woman never feels satisfied after a day of shopping, there is always another store to visit or a new season of fashion to come.

So then how do we get happiness and satisfaction that lasts? The answer is, we need to change our way of looking at things - literally. That is, we need to stop looking at things. The more we look at things in this physical world, the more we will desire them, and the less happy we will be. If we close our physical eyes, than we will understand and develop a way to see things with our spiritual eyes - this is the start of true happiness.

This is the Jewish concept of modesty in marriage. You see, the less we inappropriately look look at our wives in a physical way, the more we will be able to desire them in a spiritual way. Therefore if you really want your marriage to last and be special, you need to learn to see your wife in a spiritual way, this can only happen if you are able to weaken and lessen your physical desire for women. I know this sounds crazy, let me explain. You see, if you see your wife physically, then she is just one of billions. However, if you learn to see her spiritually, then she is the only one for you. As the Zohar describes how Adam felt when he 'saw' Chava, "All other women were like monkeys to him."

Have you ever tried to read braille? I have, I cant even notice a difference to the touch. So how is it that a blind person can read a whole book just by running his finger over those dots? The answer is, since one of his senses has been removed, the others get stronger and more sensitive. In the same way, if we weaken and lessen our intake of the physical world, than we will automatically increase our sensitivity and perception of the spiritual world. Chazal tell us that most of the desire for the physical world comes in through our eyes. Therefore, if we guard what our physical eyes see, then we will allow room for the development of our spiritual eyes. This will lead to happiness and holiness.

The end of the evil and falsehood in the world is coming soon. We all know that there is a war coming and we all can feel that something big is getting ready to happen. Our prophets and holy books tell us that holiness is the most precious asset to have when the final showdown happens. The survivors will walk on the path of holiness says the prophet Yeshaya (Isaiah). The secret is out, you do not need to store gold or food to make it through to the end, you need holiness. There is no faking holiness, those who try to fake it are in for a big surprise. Only prayer and a genuine effort to remove all the impurities and falsehood from yourselves will work.
 
With that being said, there is one more thing we all can do to help give us the will and desire for holiness, and that is to read the Zohar.
As Rav Arush wrote in a letter a few weeks ago, "The reading of the Zohar will give a person the will and desire to make teshuva and purify himself to guard the holy brit"

The Chafetz Chaim would always encourage the study of Zohar and he said that without the study of the secrets of the Torah, it is as if we are groping around in the dark. He would also learn the Zohar on the parasha every single Shabbat and he would tell others to do the same, even unmarried men (Meir Einei Yisrael, vol 3 pg 556).






The Chazon Ish said that there is no greater mussar sefer than the Zohar (Ma'ase Ish, vol 3 pg 98).









The Vilna Gaon writes in his sefer Even Sheleima, ch 11, "The geula will only come in the merit of Torah study, but it is primarily dependent on the study of Kabbalah"
As the holy Zohar tells us, one who studies the Zohar will be spared any suffering when the Mashiach arrives, "For in the future, Yisrael will taste of the Tree of Life, which is the book of the Zohar, and will thus experience the final redemption through mercy."
In the Tikkunei Zohar, end of the 6th tikkun it says, "From this book of yours, elevated people will be sustained, until this book is revealed to those below in the last generation in the end of days. And because of it, you shall proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants" And the Vilna Gaon wrote in his commentary, "They will be redeemed in the merit of studying the Zohar."

To find out more about Zohar learning and for free Zohar downloads (with Lashon Kodesh translation) go to
http://www.theholy-zohar.blogspot.com/ or email theholyzohar@gmail.com

Yehoshua Goldstein

Rebbe Shimon's Promise

"In the future, when Am Yisrael will merit to taste from the Tree of Life which is this book of the Zohar, they will be redeemed from their exile in mercy" (Zohar parashat Nasso).

Therefore, the best advice to sweeten the birth pains before the coming of the Moshiach is to read the holy Zohar. It is fitting to be read by men, women and children and it has the ability to purify the body and soul as well as cancel any harsh decrees that may be upon Am Yisrael even if one does not understand a word they are reading.

Rebbe Shimon is fitting to be relied upon in a time of great need.