Friday, December 10, 2004

Shabbat Shalom, Chag Samayach: The Vision of Redemption by Rabbi Pinchas Frankel

This was written 5 years ago, and quotes from something written almost 15 years ago. Imagine how much more true it is today. How far we've come in 15 years. How much closer we are to the completion of the Geula! And they think G-d will allow man to uproot established settlements? Fools! Harav Y. A. HaLevi Herzog OB"M tell us this is impossible - the redemption is one way!

So what are you waiting for? Come on Home and be part of it!

The Vision of Redemption - Rabbi Pinchas Frankel (5760):

The Vision of Redemption

The following is a translation from the publication "Shabbat B'Shabbato," published in "Eretz Yisrael, by the Institute for Jewish Heritage and HaPoel HaMizrachi" of Israel, in 5751 (1990). It would probably be a good idea, to say the least, for all of us to bear in mind the faithful perspective we learn from Chanukah and its heroes, the Chashmonaim, of the eternity and continuity of our People.

The Miracle of Chanukah is a Symbol for All Generations

In the beginning of "Parshat Miketz," thin and emaciated cows swallow fat and corpulent cows. This dream, which terrified the Pharaoh, ties the Parshah of the Week to the Miracle of Chanukah, in which the few and the weak overcame the great and the mighty. Without physical strength, a few individuals overcame a Great Empire and reminded all future generations of the super-natural strength hidden within the history of the People of Israel.

The Holiday of Chanukah symbolizes, then, our super-natural ability to survive, above and beyond the General Laws of History. This Symbol enlightens us in all generations, but seven-fold does it stand out in our generation:

First of all, because it was our generation which merited to return to the Land of Israel, in which the Miracle of Chanukah occurred...

Second of all, because our generation is the first to live in a time of the Rise of Israel, as it renews itself, with its eyes raised in trust and prayer, for the building of the Third Temple, which will stand forever.

And third, exactly as in the generation of the Chashmonaim, the Sovereignty of Israel has been restored, except that then it was only for two hundred years; but for us, the existence of a government which constantly renews itself and becomes more holy (it is hoped that the governments of Israel, with all their weaknesses, somehow qualify in the "eyes of Hashem" for that description - trans.), will continue till the Complete Redemption, Soon and in Our Days, Amen."

The Beginning of Redemption - Not Only in Theory

It is told that at some point in the midst of the Second World War, the late Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Y. A. HaLevi Herzog, May his righteousness be blessed, was in the United States. At that time, a powerful German force drew very close to the border of Eretz Yisrael touching North Africa - a distance of only one hundred kilometers (3-4 hours at the speed of the tanks used then) from the Jewish Settlement. Rav Herzog planned then for an immediate return to the Land of Israel, and those who escorted him attempted to persuade him to remain in the United States until the "anger had passed."

The Rav said to them "The Torah foresaw Destruction of only two Temples... but the Third Temple is promised to us such that it will not be destroyed! Now, when the Third Temple is beginning to be rebuilt, there is no reason to fear that the Jewish Settlement will be destroyed, G-d Forbid! I have finished my mission here, and now I am returning to the land of Israel."

In this Spirit of "Bitachon" (Trust in the Almighty), Rav Herzog returned to the Land, and the German Army, as is well known, was stopped and defeated at the Battle of Al Alamein.

We were taught a great lesson by the Rabbi at that time: From the moment that the Redemption of Israel was begun and the path to the Building of the Third Temple was started, the direction of travel is one-way - towards the Complete Redemption! The speed of progress towards the redemption of Israel is dependent, from both the physical and spiritual aspects (which are, as we know, inter-related), upon us (in accordance with the interpretation by the Sages "If they merit it, I will bring it quickly!")

The Turning Point

The transition from Exile to Redemption was hard and sharp! But from the moment past the turning point, a new stage in the history of the people was begun, a stage where the visions of the Prophets of Israel ...begin to assume reality. In our time, there is special meaning in this hope, encouragement and comfort:

"Any weapon fashioned against you will not succeed!" (Yeshayahu 54:17)

"It was for just one moment that I left you, and with great mercy will I gather you in." (Yeshayahu 54:6)


It is just ten years since these words were written, and it is somewhat hard to imagine today speaking with such optimism, such certainty, that the "Atchalta DeGeula," the "Beginning of the Redemption," has been achieved. Yet one feels in one's gut that it has been achieved. Even though it is hard to see beyond the one cruse of holy oil in a sea of contamination, we must remember, as did Matityahu and his family, that "Yeshuat Hashem K'heref Ayin," the "Salvation of the L-rd is as swift as the blink of an eye." And it will come for us if, though it is "late in the game" of Jewish and World History, we devote ourselves to becoming worthy of Him.

- Rabbi Pinchas Frankel
Rabbi Frankel is an Educational Coordinator at the OU


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