Gr"a on Redemption notes VI

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 Chadash 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.’ (*)

(*) Tikkunei Zohar 74:2 Tikkunei Zohar Chadash 3:4. That which we find in the Gemara (Berachos 34) that all the prophets only prophesied about the days of Moshiach… and this is in contradistinction to the statement of Shmuel, who says that the only difference between the current dimension and the future dimension is our subjugation to the nations of the world. Both of these statements are the words of the Living God (the Gra’s explanation of aggados, Berachos, ibid). For there are two periods of Moshiach. The first is the days of Moshiach ben Yosef, which is dependent on merit, as the Gemara says (Sanhedrin 98), “If they merit, I will hasten it.” If we would have merited, it could have started at the beginning of the fifth millenium, in the year 4000 (240 CE), as the Gemara says (Avodah Zara 7A), “Two thousand years of Moshiach [which follow two thousand of chaos and two thousand of Torah.” If this occurs [that we merit the period of Moshiach ben Yosef], then we will experience a period of time where the only difference between our current state and that state is the subjugation of the nations [lit. the current world]. (In this scenario, however, Esav will not fall at his hands. Later, in the sixth millennium, when the final time arrives, Esav would come with Gog and Magog to fight Hashem and his Moshiach, and they will all fall by the hand of Moshiach ben Dovid. Gra’s explanation of Sava D’bei Asuna in the Ma’amar of מישרא דסכיני.) When Moshiach ben Dovid comes, the verse will be fulfilled that says, “Death will be swallowed up forever…” and all of the other prophecies of the prophets. This is referred to as ‘the future time.’ (The length of the days of Moshiach ben Dovid is like the measure of עטרת ביסוד.) Sifra D’tzniusa 16:3. The wise one will be able to deduce an understanding of the the wondrous end from this (see there 54:3).

With this we can understand the gemara (Berachos 12) that says as follows. Ben Zoma said to the sages, ‘Do we mention the exodus from Egypt in the times of Moshiach?’ To this they responded, ‘It is not that the exodus will be uprooted from its significance, but rather, the [miracles of the] release of the Jewish people from their subservience to the nations will be the main [praise of God], and the [miracles of the] exodus will become secondary.’ We find this in the verse, ‘Don’t recall the original ones, and don’t think about those of earlier times.’ ‘Don’t recall the original ones’ refers to our subservience in exile. ‘Don’t think about those of earlier times’ refers to the exodus. ‘I am doing something new now, which will currently sprout’ – Rav Yosef learned that this is referring to the miracles of the war of Gog and Magog [which will overshadow the previous two]. It is analogous to a man who was walking along the road and encountered a wolf, and was subsequently saved from it. As he continued on his journey, he was praising his good fortune at being saved from the wolf when he suddenly encountered a lion. He was then saved from the lion, and started to speak about how great it was that he had been saved from it. Then he encountered a snake and was saved from it as well. He forgot about the first two [animals he was saved from] and began to speak about his encounter with the snake. So too the people of Israel, the later difficulties cause the earlier ones to be forgotten. There are a number of things we can see here if we look at the matter closely. One is that we see that a proof is being brought to the fact that we will no longer mention the exodus from Egypt (and also that the release from subjugation will also not be mentioned). Additionally, when he was saved in the encounter with the lion, he did not forget the story with the wolf. When he encountered the snake, however, he forgot both of the first two encounters. Clearly the explanation is as we said earlier. The redemption will be in two stages, the first is the release from the subservience of the current world; and afterwards will be the war of Gog and Magog. This is why it says, ‘He forgot his first two encounters,’ and it explains why a proof is brought, since the original miracles will not be mentioned at all after Gog and Magog. From this we can deduce that there will be a period that they will indeed both be mentioned (**) (The Gra’s explanation of the Agados, Berachos ibid).

(**) There are a number of extremely interesting implications from this piece. First is that the Gemara implies that there must be a period of time when we will be mentioning the miracles of the exodus, as well as the miracles of the fact that we have our own sovereignty. This period of time is the time of Moshiach ben Yosef. One could speculate that either we are currently in that time, or that we are experiencing a shadow of that time which will solidify in the (hopefully near) future. In any event, the miracles of the final redemption of Moshiach ben Dovid will be so great that all of the previous miracles will be forgotten from our collective consciousness. It is also interesting that the final encounter is referred to as an encounter with the snake. This clearly hints to the job of Moshiach ben Dovid, which was originally the job of Adam Harishon, to battle the forces of Evil in their external form, which is represented by the snake. This is the final battle of Gog and Magog, which the Gra seems to clearly be saying here is fought by Moshiach ben Dovid.

The Gemara says (Rosh Hashana 11),
“R’ Eliezer says that the future redemption will occur in Tishrei, [R’ Yehoshua says the redemption will occur in Nissan.” Similarly, it says (Sanhedrin 111), “Reish Lakish said that all that will remain [at the end of days] will be one from a city, two from a family. R’ Yochanan said that one individual in the city will be the merit for the entire city to be saved, two people in a family will be the merit for the entire family.” Both of these opinions are the words of the Living God. At the beginning, the remembrance (פקידה) [i.e. the first stage of the redemption] will occur in Tishrei. If they will merit a redemption of ‘hastening,’ then the redemption will be completed and they will go out with wealth. If, Heaven forbid, they do not merit, and the redemption occurs ‘in its time,’ if the redemption would occur in Tishrei than all that would remain, Heaven forbid, would be an individual from a city and two from a family. This is because of the destructive force of judgment that is ascendent in Tishrei. For this reason, Moshiach ben Yosef would have to die, and in this scenario, there would only be a completion of the first stage of the redemption (the פקידה), as we had in the days of Koresh (Cyrus) in the times of the second Temple. In this scenario, Moshiach would be revealed and subsequently hidden until Nissan. At that time they will experience traumatic birth pangs. This is similar to the sequence of events of the exodus, when Moshe was hidden from the Jewish people for six months [after he had already arrived and announced the arrival of the time of redemption] (as we find in the Medrash Rabba on Shemos ch. 5). This is what we find in the verse that says, “Let the load be intensified on the people…” The verse speaks of this when it says (Yechezkel 26), “[I swear] that with a mighty hand… and an outpouring of anger I will rule over you.” Afterwards they will be redeemed in Nissan with abundant mercy (Tikkunei Zohar 75:1, 87:2, Tikkunei Zohar Chadash 27:2, 36:3-4 37:2, Raya Mehemna 21:2 22). Then the Moshiachs will accept all of the trials upon themselves and serve to protect them [the people of Israel], because the attribute of mercy is ascendent in Nissan. Moshe will protect the city of Jerusalem, and the two Moshiachs will protect the people of Israel who are family. This is what it means that ‘one from a family will serve as a merit for the whole city…’ When they leave in Nissan, which is the attribute of kindness, they leave in poverty, because a pauper requires kindness to be done with him, and all his livelihood is from the kindness of others (Tikkunei Zohar 61:2, if the right and left are together…).


  1. Ari Goldwag on January 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    I think we are dealing with multiple possible scenarios. If you read this piece carefully, I think he strongly implies that.

  2. Anonymous on January 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    this is very contradictiry to the gra in kol hator and the ramchals writings , and that rabbi you posted commentery on the 12 minor neviim . All say mby wins gog umagog with mbd help , armilius is also vanquished according to these later rabbinic sources . Armilius is unclear as to wheather mby has to die at his hands there seem to be several scenerios . Then theres the chassiduc vort its all ruchnius gog umagog , at least many chasidim believe that .

Leave a Comment