What follows is Chapter Eleven of the Gra’s sefer Even Shelemah. It was annotated by Rabbi Shmuel Maltzin. I plan, be’H to follow up this post with the notes of R’ Maltzin on each piece, which are extremely interesting, as well as some of my own thoughts.
Chapter 11 – In the concepts of the Erev Rav and the birthpangs of Moshiach, and the concepts of the future redemption, may it be speedily in our days.
1. The four concepts of the redemption will be in the four points on the calendar that the world is judged (Rosh Hashana 16). This is reference to Pesach, when there will be a redemption from the subjugation [of the nations of the world]; The final judgment of the enemies of Hashem will be on Rosh Hashana; On Shavuos (Atzeres), Moshe Rabbenu A”H will accomplish the ingathering of the exiles; On Succos, the Beis Hamikdash will be rebuilt.
2. In the beginning, the ten tribes will be redeemed, and afterwards, the tribe of Yehuda [will follow]. Afterwards will be the generation of the wilderness (Shir Hashirim 6:4).
3. This Redemption will only occur through the learning of Torah. The main Redemption is dependent on the learning of Kabbalah.
4. In the merit of distancing from those who are involved in the teachings of spiritual philosophy, in study and nature, in the future they [who have distanced themselves] will merit to bask in the light of Hashem (Yeshaya 2:6).
5. The redemption is referred to as the morning, as the verse says, “The morning has come, and also night.” It is also referred to as a birth, as the verse says, “For Tzion has… also given birth…” Just like the greatest darkness is immediately before the day, and the pregnant woman has the greatest pain just before the birth, so too, before the redemption, the exile will be heavier than the entire length of the exile.
6. Just as the wheat has three different types of byproducts, the chaff, the straw and the husk of the kernel, so too the Jewish people are analogous to wheat, as the verse says [in reference to the Jewish people] (Yirmiyah 1), “The first of His wheat.” Thus, there are three types of chaff, which are Yishmael, Esav, and the Erev Rav. Corresponding to Avraham and Yitzchak, from whom came Yishmael and Esav, two Moshiach’s will come, Moshiach ben Yosef and Moshiach ben Dovid (Tikkunei Zohar Chadash 36:1, and they correspond to the positive and negative commandments). These [two Moshiachs] will purify the Jewish people from the chaff and straw, and they [Yishmael] will be like the chaff, which is blown away by the wind; and the house of Esav will be like straw. But the purification will not be complete until the Erev Rav is removed, which corresponds to the husk of the kernel, which is extremely attached to the wheat itself [i.e. the Jewish people]. This is the byproduct that corresponds to Yakov (and they correspond to recalcitrance in Torah learning and removing the yoke of Heaven) (Tikkunei Zohar 53:1). They are extremely attached to the people of Israel, and the people of Israel learn from their ways. They are the extremely wealthy individuals, exulting in pride (about whom the Gemara says (Sanhedrin 98) that [Moshiach] ben Dovid will not come until the prideful ones of Israel have been finished, etc.). Just like the husk can not be removed from the flour until the wheat is ground finely, so too, it is only possible to remove the Erev Rav through the difficulties of the exile.
7. Since the generations get weaker and weaker, and the Erev Rav increases in strength, it was necessary for the wise men of each generation to make decrees and new fences in order to compensate for the destruction being wrought by the Erev Rav (Tikkunei Zohar 34:1). See the Gemara in Eruvin 6, “A great valley was found…” (And see earlier in note 8 on chapter 1…)
8. There are five types of Erev Rav in the people of Israel. 1) Those who are constantly involved in disputes and speaking negative speech. 2) Those consumed by desire. 3) The fakers who put on a show of righteousness, but are rotten inside. 4) Those who chase after honor, to make a name for themselves. 5) Those who run after wealth. The worst of them all are those involved in disputes, and they are called ‘Amalekites.’ [Moshiach] ben Dovid can not come until they are erased from the earth (Devarim 1:1). All disputes that are not for the sake of heaven are from the Erev Rav who quickly pass judgment and attempt to take the crown, as the verse says, “And we will make for ourselves a name, etc.” (Tikkunei Zohar 46:2).
9. In every generation, another attribute is ascendant (of the attributes of Hakadosh Baruch Hu, who guides His world through them), through which nature changes, as well as all the actions of the generation, including its customs, and its leaders – everything is according to this attribute, and depends on their choices for Good or Evil (see earlier in chapter 1). And corresponding to this is the way Hashem deals with them. All of this is included in the Torah (This is what we find that Hashem showed Adam, as well as Avraham, all the generations. This means that he understood it all from the Torah (Tikkunei Zohar 49:1,2,3 Sifra Ditzniusa 14:4). Similarly, in every generation there are ‘times of ending’ according to the concept of Teshuva and merits that are specifically for that generation. The ‘final end,’ however, is not dependent on teshuva, but rather on chessed (kindness), as the verse says (Yeshaya 48), “For My sake, for My sake will I do.” And it is also dependent on the merit of the forefathers. This is what it says, “And He remembers the kindnesses of the forefathers, and brings a redeemer to the sons of their sons for His name’s sake.” This was the only End that was revealed to the forefathers. This is what it says, “To My heart I revealed.” This is reference to the forefathers and Moshe, who were referred to as ‘My heart.’
10. All the concepts of the month of Tishrei are hints to the future. For the judgment is on Rosh Hashana, and afterwards, the forgiveness for sin is on Yom Kippur. Followed by Succos, the eighth day and their joy. So too in the future, the great day of judgment will occur, followed by that which it says, “I will sprinkle upon you pure waters and purify you, etc” (Yechezkel 36), and “I will forgive whatever is left” (Yirmiyah 50). Afterwards, on Succos, will be the seven Chuppos, as is known, as the verse says (Yishaya 4), “And a Succah will be for shade from the day, etc.” ‘The time of our rejoicing, etc,” and strangers will stand and shepherd your sheep (ibid 61). Afterwards, the Eighth day, which will be the end of those who deny the True God, and the people of Israel will rejoice alone. “It will be a day of completion (atzeres) for you,” and they will eat the three Shabbos meals. This is reference to the meals of the animals on the mountains of a thousand, the meal of the Leviathan, and the wine that was kept, etc. (Sifra Ditzni’usa 54:4 55:1, Tikkunei Zohar 49:2)
11. The meal of the Leviathan is reference to the knowledge that will expand in the world, which is the great joy to which nothing can compare. Moshe Rabbenu is also called the Leviathan (Sifra Ditzni’usa 18:3), and about this the verse says, “That You created to play with it,” and it is the plaything of Hakadosh Baruch Hu with the righteous, with which He renews the Torah, etc, as the verse says, “And they saw Elokim, and they ate and drank.” Seeing means understanding. This is the light that was hidden for the Righteous (Tikkunei Zohar 42:3 44:1 Sifra Ditzniusa 19:2). The inner secrets of the Torah will be revealed, just as the simple understanding of the Torah is now. Therefore there will be freedom from any accusers, like the verse says (Yeshaya 11), “They will do no evil, nor cause destruction… For the land is full of the knowledge of Hashem…” (Tikkunei Zohar 43:2). The ‘wine that was kept’ is also reference to the secrets of the Torah which will be revealed by Moshe (Tikkunei Zohar 74:2), and about that time it says, “Hashem’s honor will be for
ever, Hashem will rejoice in His creations.” May it be speedily in our days, so may it be His will.