R. Mendel Kessin: Rescue of the Jews Before Redemption

In this remarkable shiur, the rabbi consolidates ideas from recent lectures making the powerful case for the trajectory of history moving evermore rapidly toward global Redemption. The focus returns to that of hanhagas ha’yichud–the behavior of the Absolute One, that particular aspect of G-d’s conduct which translates into what the rabbi terms “rescue.” We are at that stage of the messianic process.

The current state of the world feels like a type of “roller coaster—sometimes good, sometimes bad—and there is a tremendous amount of disheartening news.” The rabbi makes clear that his motive in further explicating on the subject is to offer “chizuk—strength” to withstand the roller coaster ride.

As the rabbi has maintained for years, the time would come when nations who wish to “curry favor with America” would normalize relations with Israel. The deal with UAE and Bahrain, to date, with others to follow, demonstrates the validity of this theory. Furthermore, and more deeply, this deal brokered by Trump is a powerful indicator that the teshuva–repentance of Ishmael is underway. Becoming allies with Israel is both unprecedented politically and eschatologically. Ishmael’s repentance means he is now doing “what he was originally supposed to do.” The Chyda (Chaim Yosef David Azulai) in his work “Bnei David,” points out that Ishmael had twelve tribes paralleling the twelve of Jacob, demonstrating that Ishmael too was to have been a formidable force in the tikkun—rectification process.

This development points undeniably to our being “at the End.” This includes the end of the klippah of Ishmael,his desire to destroy the Jewish people. That Trump is facilitating this, he who is the tov she’b’Esav—the good aspect of Esav,” aligns with the rabbi’s take on this hashkofa he’s held since 2015. “Brokering the alliance between the Arabs and the Jewish people is Trump’s job.” As the good part of Esav, he is prophesied to eventually assist his younger brother, Jacob (the Jewish nation). We’ve been watching the prophecy coming true via Trump assisting the Jews to complete the Rectification. “Who would suspect,” the rabbi exclaims, “that he (Trump) would be involved so pivotally in this endeavor….actually fostering a tremendous peace agreement,” one which will result in many other nations “lining up” to do likewise. These alliances will further weaken or destroy Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the corrupt Palestinian Authority, “leaving them all out in the cold.” To sum it up, “Ishmael is coming home to help the Jewish people.”

As Jews, a nation believing that the Torah is Divine and whose laws are immutable and eternal, we should recognize that the honor being paid to Ruth Bader Ginsburg in memorialization of her career is contrary to Torah. By Torah’s standard, she was a “very bad person.” Her positions on abortion–which is murder—same-sex marriage, and her liberality generally, constitutes a position anathema to Torah. She supported the very sins for which G-d destroyed the world by Flood.

What’s the difference between the “The Left” and the “Radical Left?” the rabbi asks. The “Left” advocates prikas ohl–freedom from the yoke of G-d, His precepts and ethics which, even when man-made, are rational for man to uphold to preserve life and civilization. “Radical Left is worse,” the rabbi says. Not only do they want to act unrestrained by G-d’s benchmarks, they want to replace G-d and control others. So, as Jews, we cannot abide by what Antifa, Ginsburg or liberals advocate. The rabbi speculates that Ginzburg died to enable a conservative judge to support Trump and save the nation from heterodoxy.

To break it down, there are “five phases” to the messianic process (all beginning with the letter “R”) upon which the rabbi will elaborate:

1- Rescue: G-d “rescues” the Jewish people and mankind from not being worthy of Redemption. Though the Jews will be the main recipients of the Redemption, the entire world will benefit tremendously. Both must be worthy.
2- Rehabilitation: As discussed in previous lectures, rehab is required to elevate the spiritual level of Jews, to prepare them for the blinding light of messianic revelation. As G-d says, though we may be outcasts, even were we at the “ends of Heaven, He will “gather us unto Himself” by going “into the exile” to prepare us.
3- Redemption: All of a sudden, the Jews are recognized as “supreme” the “nation of G-d” accomplished through the efforts of the Josephic Messiah. He is the “bridge” between this evil, physical world in which G-d is almost wholly concealed, and the messianic era when transformation occurs and the messianic Light is revealed. Mashiach ben Yosef has several jobs: to retrieve the remaining exiles, rebuild the final Holy Temple, and teach us about the spiritual nature of reality.
4- Royalty/Restoration: This is the era of the Davidic Messiah, the kingship of the Mashiach ben David. He rules in G-d’s name over an Edenic reality, our world as it was before the sin of primordial Adam, a world without a satan–an evil inclination–and, therefore, without free will because righteousness is blatant and evident making choice unnecessary. Consequently, man is no longer tested. It is a complete integration between the physical and spiritual prior to the Future World which is wholly spiritual. Both messiahs will co-exist by this stage as we know from G-d’s statement, “v’hayu l’echad b’yadi—and they will be as one in My Hand.”
5- Reward: The final and eternal Future World.

What is involved in this rescue? To answer this question, here is an abbreviated review of G-d’s system of conduct/actions:
1- Hanhagas ha’Kium: G-d creates a universe as a “stage” a “backdrop” wherein mankind and, later, the Jews, specifically, can be tested, judged and accomplish the rectification.
2- Hanhagas ha’Mishpat: G-d judges the decisions and acts of man according to the system of justice He created and abides by. Note: the “reward” is greater opportunities to perform righteous acts qualifying a person for ever greater reward in the Future World.
3- Hanhagas ha’Yichud: This is the “rescue plan.” It is a “contingency plan” wherein the Jewish people are “guaranteed” to accomplish the rectification thereby assuring them infinite bliss in an eternal existence in the Future World.

Hanhagas ha’yichud are G-d’s orchestration of events that “defy understanding and are mysterious,” those that have bothered philosophers for millennia. When the righteous suffer and evildoers prosper, we can be sure we are in this mode. The actions of justice don’t guarantee that a person will be rescued for existence in the Future World. These “actions of the Absolute One dispense with judgement.”

The rabbi reminds us of the brutal death of Rabbi Akiva, the conspicuous injustice of it. Even the angels were incredulous as to how such a bitter death could come to a such a paragon of righteousness, the person responsible for the transmission of the Oral Torah. In answer to their consternation, G-d says He cannot reveal why R. Akiva’s death need be so horrendous. Were G-d to reveal the underlying purpose for actions characterized as “actions of the Absolute One,” it would benefit the satan enabling him to attempt to prosecute thereby preventing G-d’s plan from advancing. For that reason, no one can fully know the “underlying rationale” of such circumstances.

A requirement of Redemption is that the demands of justice be satisfied. That is one of the reasons why the process “goes so slow.” G-d has to satisfy the kitrugim—heavenly prosecutions constantly being conducted. To satisfy justice, there must be atonement and merit. So, G-d brings about events for which atonement and worthiness can be realized.

These principles of earning merit and suffering for atonement are part of the Egypt experience. Moses’s prophetic vision at the Burning Bush “designates him to be the messianic candidate.” He proves that he is the “agent of G-d” but, despite that, Pharoah orders the gathering of straw, a decree intensifying the suffering. This brought atonement to the Israelites who, at that time, were on a dangerously low spiritual level, having been inculcated by the sins of Egyptian society. They were to have been in Egypt for 400 years but were released after 210. Magnifying the physical suffering was mental despair of having a messiah in their midst but whose presence made matters worse. This despair compelled them to have bitachon—trust that, despite all appearing to the contrary, G-d was rescuing them. This trust made them meritorious.

The recompense for the nation’s trust is repeated on the shore of the Reed Sea when, having been rescued, they find themselves in imminent danger of being slaughtered by the Egyptian army. Apparently, more atonement and merit was needed. The pachad maves—fear of death which resulted (and which is a death equivalent, as the rabbi has pointed out), afforded additional suffering and, thereby, atonement. And when Nachshon ben Aminadav entered the sea before the waters parted, the nation was fortified by his demonstration that G-d did not bring them to the brink of Redemption to perish.

So, hanhagas ha’yichud requires atonement be paid and merit be earned to ensure a “rescue operation” can take place. Today, such bitachon can be expressed as “sticking to the mitvas—commandments” as best we can.

The polls show Biden leading, crime and corruption rampant, rioting, media fostering a “psychotic” hatred of Trump, despotism, anarchy, fires ablaze across the northwestern U.S., destruction of livelihood, all making it seem that G-d has abandoned His world. As in Egypt, this distress fosters atonement and not just for Jews. Gentiles too look in horror upon what appears to be the disintegration of civilization. In clinging to the belief that G-d is in control, by “sticking with him,” we all merit rescue.

Covid has enabled Biden to “hide in his basement,” obscuring the fact that his cognitive degeneration continues to debilitate him. This doesn’t minimize anxiety that America is on the brink of destruction, even though the rabbi maintains such destruction is not possible. The destruction of America would mean the destruction of the world because it is only America that holds Iran, China, and other evil actors at bay. What is at stake? To borrow from the words of Abraham Lincoln, “We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth.”

The rabbi returns to the matter of the “Window and the Gate.” At the End of Time, during chevlei ha’mashiach—birthpangs of messiah, the world is like a woman in labor just before the baby emerges. It is like a darkened room with a blacked-out window which affords only a “nanometer slit” of light between the bottom of the window and its sill before it shuts completely. Were that Window to shut completely, all existence would end. But that Window does not shut until the Gate of Redemption opens. This is the Darkness that occurs, as in Egypt, at the very End. “This is it; this is what we’re looking at, the Darkness of the Window closing!” the rabbi says.

If we want to imagine the war of Gog from the land of Magog, that ultimate war against Jerusalem, we can now say it’s a war not only against the Jews but also against their great ally, the tov she’b’Esav—the good of Esav, prophesied to aid and abet the Jews. It too is a target of Gog. We are witnessing something in America that we’ve never witnessed before. The efforts to destroy Trump and his America are “psychotic.” There are two causes, one political, one eschatological: the “swamp” establishment, the evil part of Esav which regards Trump as an “existential threat,” wants to wrest power from Trump in order to do away with Constitutional law and civilized values. This parallels the war between Gog and the Josephic messiah but is not limited to the Jews and Mashiach ben Yosef; it is a war against any entity or person that would help the Jews complete the rectification!

Why is America on the brink of destruction? As the rabbi has explained before, the U.S. is under the shadow of a death sentence, a chayav misa due to its normalization and legalization of sexual deviation, the abominable behavior referred to in the Torah. America has become the “agent” of perversion based on legalization of same-sex marriage of which Justices Kennedy and Ginzburg were instrumental. Sexual perversion threatens procreation, hence a disturbance in the natural order, the continuity of human life. “G-d will not tolerate” America being a Sodom/Gemorrah even though G-d has long protected America from utter destruction due to its history of benevolence globally and, particularly, toward the Jews, supporting Torah study and being a haven enabling them to flourish. So, G-d provided a miraculous election of Trump to defiantly counter an evil that had reached its zenith.

As the rabbi always says, “The only vote that counts is G-d’s.” Like the two miracles in Egypt, the plagues and the splitting of the Reed Sea, Trump won in 2016 despite poll predictions, lack of political experience, and the “political heavyweights” he vied against. Again, Trump will prevail despite numerous efforts of a vast network of conspirators to destroy him.

Indicators that Trump will win as a precursor to Redemption:
1- G-d protects Trump. Not only does he survive politically, but he survives mentally having been given the energy to counter despair.
2- Trump is the good aspect of Esav prophesied to repent and support his brother at the End of Time. His mother, while pregnant, is told “Rav ya’avod tzair—the elder will serve the younger.” A positive prophecy is eternal.
3- The Arabs are befriending Israel indicative of the repentance of Ishmael. This can only happen at the End.
4- The job of the good aspect of Esav is not yet complete.
5- The Arab nations are failed states and are crumbling. Why would that be true were there not a process of transformation going on?
6- At the End, justice must prevail. The Democrats and their network of corrupt minions cannot prevail.
7- The situation for the Jews both in Israel and America is rife with anguish, economic hardship, internal conflict and, in Israel, governmental paralysis. The “quasi government” of The Eirev Rav, those Jews in positions of leadership who lead the Jews away from Torah, must end or the Jews cannot do teshuva—repentance.

Trump’s character traits which “turn off many people” are not relevant. Why does G-d choose a man perceived as “disgraceful,” or “not presidential”? Before G-d was about to “elect” Trump to be the repentant Esav, the satan appears as he always does when a giant leap forward in the messianic process is at hand. The satan says, “Wait a minute! With all due respect, You can’t do this! The Jews don’t deserve Redemption!” G-d then employs the strategy “shochad l’satan” or “bribe the satan.” G-d cannot dismiss the satan’s argument because the demands of justice cannot be dismissed. According to the system G-d created, the satan is His prosecutorial agent and his argument cannot be dispensed with. So, G-d offers a compromise.

“I will elect Trump to help Israel,” says G-d to the satan, but convinces him that Trump will have a “barrier.” People will scorn his personality and “rebel and defy him.” His character traits will prompt distrust, dislike, even disgust.

The satan responds, “No problem. If you do that, then I’m ok with it.” Even though Trump will help the Jewish people– the satan surmises–his personality will render him largely ineffective.

The outcome is that we should acknowledge a man who is probably the greatest president in U.S. history in terms of what he’s accomplished under unprecedented duress and almost insurmountable obstacles. “Anyone else would have faltered and collapsed,” says the rabbi. Instead, we see astounding competence.

One other stunning example of “shochad l’satan” is in 1898 when G-d tells the satan and the Heavenly Tribunal that the time has come for the land of Israel to be returned to the Jews. The satan, characteristically, and true to his calling, objects because the Jews don’t deserve it. So, again, G-d bribes the satan with the terms that those “in charge” will be the “Eirev Rav, Herzl–an atheist–the secular Zionists. They will dominate the Jewish people.”

The satan responds, “What an opportunity! Maybe I can get these guys to destroy the religion of the Jewish people.”
The satan is placated according to the rules of justice G-d Himself abides by.

The rabbi ends by expressing his hope that he has effectively explained how G-d’s actions are systematized which enables us to understand the underlying cause of the current distress and take comfort that it cannot continue for long. Even in Egypt, the dire condition of the Israelites had a deadline. The rabbi has long held that “rehabilitation” must precede the coming of he who is “the most dangerous man on Earth,” whose extraordinary holiness will overwhelm those who are not unprepared.

All these indicators taken into consideration cannot be more potent than G-d’s promise, “From THERE—the exile—I will gather them to Myself.” The word “yikabetzcha” means that the gathering, the rehab, begins in the exile itself. “The take-away,” says the rabbi, is “don’t despair. It’s going to be incredible!”

About the Author
Robin is a retired Language Arts high school teacher who taught in the Los Angeles Unified District for 25 years. After retiring in 2010, she hurriedly made aliyah in 2011.
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