The Beginning of Redemption

A little on the inyan of Aschalta D’Geulah. This is from some general notes I’ve taken on this inyan, written quite some time ago.

Sanhedrin 97b “אמר רב כל קיצין” All ends do not come about except through tshuva and maasim toivim. Rashi brings that this refers to the tshuva of the Klal, not individuals. If all Klal Yisroel makes tshiva, then Moshiach comes, but if not he doesn’t. This is a proof that Moshiach is not here and has not come, as the majority of halachic Jews don’t even keep Shabbos, let alone keep the rest of the Torah.

Same page, “ואמר שמואל”
It will be enough when Hashem mourns like an ovel, meaning according to Rashi if we don’t make tshuva, we’ll still be redeemed due to the sorrow of Hashem over his people. This form of redemption is a redemption more of mercy and pity than a redemption of righteousness, as Rashi says it’s due to the great tzar of Golus rather than due to our merits.

The following memra states in the name of Rebbi Eliezer, that if Yisroel makes tshuva we are redeemed, if not then we are not redeemed. Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi argues that if we don’t make tshiva, then Hashem sets hard gezeiros on us, like wicked kings such as Haman who make things very difficult for us in order that we should make tshuva and then be redeemed.

Addendum: When things are hard for us, we can’t go to the worldly authorities. The only thing that can be done is to strengthen ourselves in learning Torah, doing mitzvos, and giving tzedokoh. We know that Hashem always accepts our tshuva, especially tshuva shel ahava, this is the highest form of tshuva. While things are difficult, when the מלאכי חבלה (angels of wrath) are given permission to do what they want, it’s incredibly important to be careful about all prohibitions in the Torah so as not to give them any extra foothold in how they can harm us.

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