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Our sages, who foresaw that this last diaspora, called "Edom", would endure nearly two millennia, also foresaw that, as it winds down to its terminating stage, Torah will have become enfeebled among a majority of Jews, and this would therefore bring back the age-old national Jewish scourge - the FALSE PROPHETS. These false prophets would then lead Torah-empty Jews through all 49 degrees of impurity, unfortunately.
The end-stage period would then necessarily have to be a horribly bitter one. It would spell outright danger wherein multitudes of Jews will undergo waves of spiritual suicide, even conversion, G-d forbid.
Accordingly, the sages decided to foretell the signs that will usher in and constitute the Messianic era's birth pangs - in order to save at least a remnant of those being swept away; And also so that some Jews, here and there, will be able to console their distressed brethren by disclosing to them these very signs, just as this periodical has been doing for a year and a half now. We've been telling you we are in the eve of the Messianic era; That we've been foretold the tragedies that will unfold; And that we can attenuate these problems, or entirely prevent them from occurring - by tearing you away from the modern false prophets, so you return to the warm fold of Torah, back to the ways our forefathers practised.
Our sages knew saving the entire Jewish nation would be very difficult because the false prophets will not loosen their grip. On the contrary, they will exert their strongest, spiritual pogrom ever against the Jewish nation, until the very last moment when, as our sages tell us, they themselves will finally perish during physical pogroms against the Jews.
The sages took as their task to rescue the innocent victims of the false prophets, those who might even question or doubt one of two things; Either the false prophets, or, the Torah and its true prophets. It was for the benefit of these 50-50 Jews or 50-50 believers for whom the sages foretold us the many signs by which to recognize the eve of the Redemptive Era.
The many signs serve each person as however he will understand them. In truth, however, all the signs really boil down to but a single sign - for they all point to this one point, that "And against all the gods of Egypt will I avenge myself, for I am G-d" (Ex. 12, 12). And why so? In order to finally and totally discredit the false prophets, so the Jewish masses strip away their allegiance to them and from the various idols of Egypt the false prophets would have them worship.
The modern idols our false prophets energetically promoted, and succeeded in convincing a huge Jewish populace to follow them, are well known: Political Freedom, Economic Certainty, and Godless Zionism. These are the 3 primary false idols. These extend to other such "isms", like Bolshevism, Bundism, Yiddishism, and dozens others.
The signs of the Era of Redemption our sages depict start out as follows: "The son of David will not come until …" such and such happens. These signs portend the utter destruction of the above 3 "isms", for which the false prophets should be dishonored.
Our sages tell us that after the known, bloody wars, the entire world will be ruled by the kingdom of Edom, the one Ovadiah the Prophet refers to as "You are greatly despised" (Ov. 1, 2). This means many nations will be ruled over by unabashed tyrants and oppressors who will put an end to all hope for Political Freedom, Economic Certainty or whatever other culture!
"Moshiach will not come," our sages say, "until the following signs will manifest":
1) "All cheap dominion will disappear" from Jewish notion. This means to say, until all new systems of rule most Jews place their hope in, will reveal themselves as being cheap and worthless, as was evident with Bolshevism in Russia, and other such unavailing systems. 2) "Mankind will lose hope in any redemptive process." Note the exact words of the sages; They did not say, "Until the Jews", but rather all "mankind" will lose their faith in any redemptive process. 3) "All judges or police (protectors of Jews) pass into oblivion." 4) "All conceit passes from among Jews", because all will become poor and enslaved.
The 4 above signs indicate that the false prophecy of Political Freedom will be shattered. Not only Jews but the other nations too will be robbed of freedom. No longer will hope be held out for redemption, or for returning to previous times.
"Moshiach will not come," continue our sages, "until ...":
5) "The last penny of savings will disappear." 6) "When they seek a sliver of herring for an invalid but can't find one". We can thus imagine what smidgen of better foods healthy people will be able to find, who command less mercy than sick people.
From the latter 2 signs we easily note how the idol of Economic Certainty will also be shattered. And our sages offer several more signs that will convince everyone that the idol of Culture will also lie in a shambles.
They say, "Moshiach will not come until,"
7) "All governments in the world are under the control of G-d-deniers." 8) "The number of students will diminish." 9) "Every event will have several interpretations". This implies strong censorship; When nobody knows the truth, and everyone has a different version of what happened. 10) "All souls will leave their bodies", which could mean all mankind will be obsessed with hunger, when their only concern will be to to hold on to dear life, where, like animals, no thought is given to nourish the soul with spirituality.
Under a reign of avowed G-d-deniers who will abolish education for the masses, except for a privileged segment, entire populations will slave for the state, eking out enough only to survive. With a press akin to that of Nazi Minister of Propaganda Goebbels, the idol of Culture will obviously be smashed, just like its two other "idol friends", Political Freedom and Economic Certainty.
All these 10 signs of impending redemption our sages show us actually constitute one sole general sign regarding G-d's claim, "And against all the gods of Egypt will I avenge myself", where these signs merely indicate the many ways one can be poked in the eye, in that generation.
The Jewish people are witnessing miracles in Israel. The missiles fired at us have the power to level buildings, yet miracles are taking place and we were spared from mass destruction. Even the most secular newspapers report that there is no way to explain these events according to natural law. While the word "miracle" has been liberally splashed around by the media, neither the secular nor the religious press grasped the vital message of the hour. The situation arouses an urgent and critical obligation for each Jew to ask himself: "Why is Hashem performing these miracles for us? How should I be conducting myself in these extraordinary times? If we do not deal with these questions immediately, this current security crisis could – Chas Veshalom – escalate into the most dangerous period in Jewish history. Hashem performs miracles for the Jewish people so that we will become more aware of His Presence in our lives. In recent days, He has made perfectly clear that He alone wields power in the world and that no missile can harm so much as a hair on the head of a Jew without His consent. Every rocket has an address that He predetermines, though the terrorists may believe that they can aim at a particular target. Miracles are Hashem's alarm bells, "a red alert" that we must wake up and become truly conscious of Hashem's hashgachah in our daily lives. If we ignore these messages and conclude that miracles are just a natural part of living in Israel, the tables w could – Chas Veshalom – quickly turn. We could – Chas Veshalom – in fact be handed over to natural law, and the missiles inexplicably could – Chas Veshalom – begin to hit their targets with greater frequency. And that means that the lives of our fellow Jews – our brothers and sisters living in Israel – could – Chas Veshalom – be in mortal danger. We must learn this lesson from the story of the meraglim (spies). When they returned from Eretz Yisrael they claimed this land was a place where miracles were apparent on a daily basis, and therefore an extremely high spiritual level would be demanded of those who dwelled there. There was no way that Klal Yisrael as a nation could maintain such a level, and therefore the spies, who were all Gedolei Yisrael, ruled that the people should not enter the land. The opinion of the meraglim was brought before the Sanhedrin, and they concurred with their ruling. It may seem, on the surface, that their reasoning was sound, and logic dictated that it was unwise to enter Eretz Yisrael. Yet we see from the grave punishment incurred by that generation that they could not have been further from the truth. What was the mistake in their reasoning? The answer is simple. If Hashem told us to enter Eretz Yisrael, He obviously knew that we would ascend to the spiritual level necessary for a nation that sees miracles on a daily basis. For this reason, the claim of the meraglim was heresy, and we suffer from its bitter consequences to this very day. In more recent times, Rav Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg once told Rav Sternbuch about a meeting of secular non-Jewish and Jewish professors to discuss the authorship of the Torah. Their conclusion was that while the Torah was far too complex to be man-made, they were not ready to attribute it to a Divine source that they knew nothing about. Like the meraglim, they perceived the significance of the Divine influence, but refused to follow through by accepting the full import of this conclusion. During the current military operation, we are facing the very same challenge. Hashem is sending us a message that we must make real changes in our lives and raise our level of consciousness of His Presence, to the point where we are worthy of such supernatural treatment. If we rise to the occasion and raise our level of emunah as a result of these miracles, then we will pass the nisayon (test), and it is very likely that Moshiach will arrive shortly. Chazal offer us practical advice in this area, and write that reciting a hundred brachos every day and saying Amen yehei Shmei Rabba has the power to annul decrees. Reciting Tehillim is important, but we need to make sure that our tefilah is also said with the proper kavanah. Everyone should take upon themselves to do something small to raise their level of emunah. We must consider ourselves warned by the lessons of our history: If Hashem shows us miracles and we do not respond by strengthening our emunah, His mercy could – Chas Veshalom – turn to fury and we are handed over to the forces of natural law. We dare not speak about what this could could – Chas Veshalom– lead to, but we all understand the ruthless nature and implacable hatred of the enemy we face. Now is the time, while Hasehm continues to shower His miracles upon us, to recognize His hand in our lives on a national and individual level, to turn to Him in tefilah and teshuvah, and eagerly watch the redemption unfold before our eyes.