It was prophesied that there would be seventy years between the first and second batei Mikdash. Nobody knew when the count started, so there was confusion as to when the second Beish Hamikdash was to be built.
This was the root of the party of Achashverosh, and how he thought he could take out and use the vessels from the temple. He thought the seventy years had ended and that Hashem had forsaken His people.
But there is a deep secret here, which I spoke about at length in the 12th Moshiach podcast. That secret is that he was right. And so were those who counted seventy years and came up with an earlier date. And so were those who came up with a later date.
Because all the seventy year counts represented a starting and finishing point where something was conceived, a process began, and where that something was born, the process was completed.
Sometimes the process yields another process.
Sometimes the process yields a challenge that brings about the final stages of a process that began a short time after the first process.
We can not know when the end will be.
We can not say Moshiach will come or reveal himself or hide himself or anything in Av of 5772. Or 5769. Or 5776. Or 5778. Or 5750. Or 5770. Or any date.
We don’t know the end.
We can’t know the end.
Because the end is not determined yet.
Reality is fluid because everything depends on our free will.
And at the same time, there are processes that began seventy years ago, and seventy years before that.
I mentioned that each day of Succos is exactly seventy days before each day Chanukah. This would seem to indicate that each day of Chanukah is the culmination of each day of Succos. And ‘zos chanukah’ is the culmination of Shmini Atzeres. So what? That is for each of us to answer.
What is the significance of the fact that we are seventy years after the Final Solution?
What is the significance of the fact that 2018 will be seventy years after the Jewish people stood up as a nation in Israel?
What is the significance of the fact that 2037 will be seventy years after Jerusalem was reunited?
If Moshiach comes in Av, will these questions matter?
If he doesn’t, chas v’shalom, will anyone stop reading Moshiach blogs?
I still maintain that we do a lot more for bringing Moshiach when we live our lives and try our best to do Hashem’s will. He’s the One doing everything, anyway. He doesn’t need us meddling in His affairs. Does it really get us anywhere? Does it make us better people? Do we suddenly believe we are so brilliant because we might have figured something out? Are we humbled when things don’t work out the way someone predicted? Do we continue to guess and guess?
Is it any wonder that Chazal say תיפח רוחם של מחשבי הקץ – the spirit of those who predict the end becomes engorged?