Rabbi Mendel Kessin: The Inner Meaning of the 2020 American Elections

The rabbi describes what he does as “connecting the dots” in transmitting an understanding of current events in light of foundational, hashkofic ideas.  You see a larger landscape after all. But the picture is bigger still. The landscapes from all directions recently traversed can yet be connected. That is what the rabbi had done here. He has consolidated ideas from half a dozen previous lectures given from the time the shift in the world began and the messianic process accelerated, “at least on some level…in terms of precursors,” particularly in terms of Trump’s unprecedented accomplishments which “further the mazal—fortunes of the Jewish people.”

First is a brief review of a foundational idea the rabbi has emphasized for years, the distinction between the tov she’b’Esav—good aspects of Esav and the ra she’b’Esavevil aspect of Esav, a distinction alluded to in the prophecy given to his mother, Rivka, when she is  told, “rav ya’avod tzair”—the elder will serve the younger (his younger twin brother, Ya’akov). “It is a prophecy and, therefore, must be fulfilled.” Trump is fulfilling it as the foremost figure in the world representing Edom, the nation Esav spawned and which became Western Civilization. Trump is the messiah of Edom.

Trump has four jobs in the “messianic program”:

  • assist the Jews in restoring the Land of Israel to the Jewish people which he’s done in moving the embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing the Golan Heights, etc.
  • defend the Jewish people i.e. against Iran, the U.N., terrorist leaders who’ve been assassinated, etc.
  • make America “great”: A strong and forthright America attracts those who seek its favor compelling their benevolence, at least, and beneficence, at best, toward Israel. Since Trump is “in Israel’s court,” these nations will need to “court Israel.”
  • remove the defilement of America i.e. appointing over 300 young, conservative judges and three conservative Supreme Court Judges

So how is it possible that Trump doesn’t seem to have won?  What would be the logic of G-d’s wanting to uphold the evil of Esav?  What are the possibilities? To answer these questions, the rabbi first reviews fundamental principles.

Two Basic Actions of the Tikkun—actions incumbent upon Jews to rectify the flaws in Creation: Magnification of Flow of Divine Energy, Removing “Blockages”

In creating the physical universe, G-d doesn’t want this olam ha’shofel— lower world to remain physical. He intends there to be several stages. Due to primordial Adam’s sin, the physical world became toxic with satanic impurity which is the Jews’ job to remove. This zoamah is responsible for death, disease, decomposition, entropy. G-d wills that the Jews render the universe devoid of this denigrating impurity, the “satanic control…projection of tumah—defilement responsible for many physical laws.” Such removal renders the world physical but without “satanic involvement. That is the messianic era.” Beyond the messianic era—which ends in Gregorian year 2240 (Hebrew calendar year: 6000)–Creation becomes spiritual rather than physical. This existence is referred to as olam ha’ba, the Future World.

How is this done?

The Jew must “magnify the shefa—the flow of Divine energies of the sephiros.” As explained in previous lectures, the sephiros are Divine emanations, energies that ultimately create physical realities.  When such flow is magnified, greater spiritual energy can be realized in Creation. Such growth is called “hispashtus l’kedusha.”

The second way is to remove the “blockages” to this flow. Such blockages cause the  transmission of shefa to be diverted to satanic endeavors leaving less for the sustenance of goodness.

For the messiah to come, all blockages have to have been removed and the holiness that’s been diverted to the side of evil must be restored to the side of good. The restoration of the energy, coupled with the augmented flow, will enable the messianic era to commence. “This is what concerns G-d.” The Jews accomplish these tasks through their observance of mitzvot—commandments, or, failing that, repenting or suffering. These principles hold for all human beings, but primarily for Jews.

The systems G-d employs to enable rectification to be accomplished are: midas ha’din—interactions governing judgement and midas ha’rachamim—interactions governing mercy.  These are two “character traits” of G-d, so to speak.

Justice concerns itself with two questions: to what extent has this holy energy been enabled to flow, and to what extent have the blockages been removed? G-d’s behavior toward Jews (and mankind in general) depends on these criteria as they suggest the extent to which the process is proceeding.

To assist mankind, G-d employs midas ha’rachamim which withholds judgement, suspends or delays it, in the hope that repentance will be forthcoming to overturn the blockage.

Who is assigned to institute these systems?  G-d created an angel, the Satan. His job is to uphold and execute justice.  The Satan has three “jobs”:

He tempts you to sin. He involves you in a test to which, if you do not succumb, you have not blocked the flow of Divine energy and will have “brought it down.” If you do succumb, Satan acts in his capacity as, as his name says, “the adversary” who prosecutes you in the Heavenly Court. If found guilty, his third role as malach ha’maves—Angel of Death, is to carry out the judgement though the verdict may not necessarily result in the actual cessation of life.  He’s like the “sheriff.” The Satan’s enterprise is good, surprisingly, because he is doing the Will of G-d to enable each human being to earn exactly what he deserves, his right to the Future World.

The progression of history is the progression of divergent prerogatives: G-d wishes to move history in a particular direction, one that mankind, and particularly the Jews, don’t deserve.  This too falls under the heading of “justice.” The satanic prosecutor in the Heavenly Tribunal declares, “But they don’t deserve this! Look what they’ve caused, what they’ve blocked!” This system that G-d Himself devised, would be too exacting without its coordinate system of mercy wherein judgement is temporarily mitigated,  but which also has its temporal limitation. With only strict justice, “the world cannot survive.”

The other procedure G-d uses to bring Creation to its intended conclusion is to conceal from the satanic prosecutor the obvious benefit to be conferred. The Satan, the rabbi points out, is not omniscient; “He doesn’t know everything.” Furthermore, the Satan’s task to ensure justice must be stymied to some extent because of the G-d’s “time-table” which includes conferring a benefit in the present because G-d knows the Jews will have earned it. This too falls under the heading of chesed–compassion, G-d’s awesome kindness to the Jews. But Divine benevolence aside, the Jews, in the end, “must earn everything they get” which means their task on behalf of all mankind must adhere to the attribute of justice.

Historically, some examples of the way G-d “concealed” his ultimate aims from the Satan are many. For example, In ancient Egypt, Pharoah decreed that all Jewish males must be killed because he was told that a Jewish leader would arise and overthrow his sovereignty.  Just then, Moses is born, the “greatest candidate for the messiah,” and the Satan is so busy prosecuting the death of every Jewish male (“every death requires a prosecution”), while G-d “slips down” a messiah.

Another way G-d conceals His motives lies in the fact that many “messianic possibilities” have their root, or basis, in defilement, immorality. We know that an ancestor of King David, the messianic forerunner, was Ruth. She was born centuries after the destruction of Sodom when Lot, Abraham’s nephew, engaged in an incestuous relationship with his own daughters. Even David’s rightful stature as king and messianic forerunner was not recognized due to erroneous assumptions about his being the product of a forbidden union, a stigma kept secret by his family. It wasn’t until the prophet, Samuel, identified him that his true destiny was revealed.

There is a third “incredible strategy” G-d uses: bribery. Angels, devoid of self-interest, are immune to bribery, so G-d imbued the Satan with this characteristic to distract and fool him. Ultimately, he must be destroyed. Before the Adamic sin, it would have been enough to defy or ignore the snake, as G-d commanded. But afterward, man’s Future World cannot be earned without the Satan’s utter annihilation.

How to annihilate the Satan?  When Adam sinned, that which sustains everything in existence, kedusha—holiness, that Divine flow, no longer went only to a unified Creation intended for ever greater spiritual grandeur. Post-sin, it divided itself between mankind and Satan. One side or the other was the recipient of Divine flow based on every decision mankind, and later the Jew, would make. But strict adherence to the the demands of justice would ensure failure of the intended outcome. So, bribery, concealment, and G-d’s loving-kindness was embedded to prevents failure.  A surprising, if not shocking, truth to this system post-sin, is that every Jew is connected to the Satan. Every decision a Jew makes either empowers evil or removes a blockage to retrieve holiness via repentance and/or suffering.

Given this new post-sin adjustment, Satan’s role is not simply concerned with justice being meted out. He must now concern himself with his own survival. Now, so near the end, he is consumed with his survival, prone to distraction, being misled, and accepting bribes. This enables G-d to carry on with “His program.”

What ensures the Satan’s continuance of getting that Divine flow? — getting Jews to sin. That accomplished, he is yoneg—nourished. He is prone to m’vater—forego the strict regimen to his prosecutorial task in favor of his survival.

Examples of this Divine strategy in practice are:

The prospect of the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 was, by Satan’s insistence, an event the Jews didn’t deserve.  This truth was offset by G-d’s compromise that, in establishing the state, it will be founded by atheists (Herzl) and governed by secular Zionism, by people and policies that would encourage Jews to sin. The Satan says, “Wow! What an opportunity! You can do it.”

Another example is Kabballah, the “introduction to the messianic light, a description of the messianic process….the metaphysical aspect of the physical universe.” Again, the Satan interdicts and objects. The compromise?  G-d offers authentic Kabballah be usurped by third-rate New Age dogma. It would be popularized by ignorant practitioners in Hollywood. It would be promoted by Madonna. Such degradation, the Satan rightfully expects, will alienate observant Jews.

Another example is the initiation of “global connectivity” for the purpose of educating, promoting and preparing mankind for the messianic era, doing it al pi teva—by natural means, rather than supernatural means. The technological revolution G-d permitted to be “discovered.” But the discovery was contravened by the Satan. How to get around it?  G-d proposes to Satan saying,  “I’ll give it to your guys first.” In other words, the internet will be dominated, prior to messiah’s appearance, by corrupting influences: pornography, fake news, shopping, fetishes and “absurdities” of all types. The Satan again, being able to get mankind to sin, believes he’ll prevail.

The last example is happening now, when G-d’s desire to advance the messianic process by fulfilling the prophecy given to Rivka, the mother of Jacob and Esav. It is time to advance the repentance of Esav, the tov she’b’Esav, so that his latent good aspect will, true to prophecy, emerge and serve the needs of his brother Jacob, the Jewish people.  Of course, the Satan will object because so many Jews have assimilated and no longer do G-d’s will. So what compromise, what bribe, does G-d entice the Satan with to ensure his cooperation?

There is a Gemara in Sanhedrin, exemplifying what many sages have said: “Let the messiah come but I don’t want to see it.” Why? They know that when that time comes, it will be preceded by me’at ohr—diminishment of Light (spirituality) and tigbores ha’ra—proliferation of evil. Such an environment is abhorrent to a righteous individual. Here, the rabbi reminds us of a concept he has discussed at length previously, the idea of a figurative Window (looking out upon the current reality) closing just as the Gate of Redemption opens. That blackened Window comes down to the extent that only a narrow slit of light can be seen in what otherwise is total debilitating Darkness reminiscent of the penultimate plague in ancient Egypt.

Why such Darkness? There are several explanations, the first being that Satan’s arguments have merit. So, in order for justice to be satisfied, suffering must be meted out.

The second idea is that evil, due to Free Will, “has a right” to indulge itself to a point. As scripture tells us regarding the ancient Canaanites and Amorites, “their iniquity is not yet full.” That prevented Abraham from inheriting the promised land at that time. But evil has “its measure” after which it is destroyed.

The last idea has the potent ability to explain current events. The quote says, “Let the messiah come….” which tells us that the messiah himself aggravates the Darkness. The rabbi returns to this powerful idea exemplified by Moses who, upon declaring himself a messiah and demanding that Pharoah release his captive slaves, their suffering, initially, worsens. They are ordered not only to make the bricks but to gather the straw with which to make them. Their slavery intensifies.

The design to bring mashiach–messiah is presented to the Satan as yet another situation that enables him to survive, albeit temporarily. That evanescent situation is one the Satan cannot see past, obsessed as he must be with his own survival. The coming of the messiah is the intention and the bribe, both. This is why the messiah brings evil, initially, brings a slackening in faith, trust, hope.

This great leap in the messianic process has been ushered in by Trump, that good aspect of Esav. But, with his presidency comes  conflict, opposition, heightened corruption and sheker—lies. And, of course, the Satan is fine with this.

It should be noted that Trump, according to the rabbi, made a mistake. His threat to “drain the swamp,” which helped him get elected and advance an awakening to the corruption of the Democratic Party, also increased the impetus of his opponents to destroy him. Jewish law, halacha, teaches that, in dealing with an enemy, one must never corner him so that he has absolutely no escape. To do so prompts desperation and energizes him. “Adrenaline will kick in.” Let him think he can escape and oppose you but he will not have the resolve of one whose destruction is imminent and inescapable. This halacha “explains the psychotic fear” of Trump’s opponents.

The success that Trump must be granted as per his role in the messianic process would be, G-d assures Satan, palliated by the perception of his personality as being “unpresidential” and, fundamentally, “flawed.” Despite his excellent performance bolstering the economy by alleviating long-standing injustices upon American workers and small-business owners due to over-regulation and other injurious policies, many cannot see beyond those personality traits. Such prejudice is unwarranted but is part of the bribe.

The other component of the bribe is the pandemic. It destroys, to a great extent, Trump’s achievements to greatly improve the economy and augment the strata of Americans who benefit from it. It also droves his opponent, Biden, “into the basement” where he can escape the scrutiny of his crimes and obscure, to some extent, his mental and general insufficiencies which disqualify him. Furthermore, it enables Biden to blame Trump for the pandemic. Satan believes this is the best chance to destroy Trump and ensure his own survival.

G-d’s campaign, however, from the Satan’s point of view, is a campaign doomed to fail. The prospect of an agenda furthering homosexual rights, continuing infanticide through abortion (even to the point of killing babies at birth), sustaining a culture immersed in materialism and petty pursuits will sway the Satan into allowing Trump to be elected. Eventually, the Satan surmises, erroneously, that the good of Esav will be doomed.

What does G-d gain?  The fraud perpetrated by Trump’s enemies, whether it be a false dossier, impeachment, or election, and the pandemic, though compromising Trump’s effectiveness, also act as a kapporah—atonement and enables evil to fulfill its measure. Most important, however, are those political acts Trump does that fulfill G-d’s objective to help the Jews reclaim the Land.  

 The timing of vaccines being available just now, at the time that Biden is purported to be the winner of the election (though the media haven’t the power to “anoint” the president) suggests that the pandemic is no longer necessary to hamper Trump.

There are three possibilities which the rabbi proposes for the future,  not as a prophet, but in light of the hashkofa he presents:

The first, which he deigns the most likely, is that Trump will “pull off” a miracle and prevail as president for another four years, continuing the repentance of Esav and acting as Edom’s messiah.

The second prospect that isn’t utterly destructive to America and the world is if the Senate has a Republican majority to mitigate the damage the Democrats would be able to incur. This could still be considered an act of rachmanus—compassion by G-d even though the suffering would continue, contributing to atonement G-d deems necessary.

The third prospect, one the rabbi deems unlikely, would be success for the Democrats, both to fill the Senate and win the presidency. This would considerably speed up the time in which the iniquity of evil would meet its measure and suffering to bring atonement. It could be that G-d has judged the U.S. as deserving of the death penalty due is normalization and legalization of homosexuality and other sexual perversions, and infanticide.  This would indicate that the proverbial Window is not as low to its sill as we suppose. But even if this were to happen, there is a “trade-off.”  Something else messianic will be “pushed through” because it will be “justified.”

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.
Comments