I am not frightening anyone with predictions of an immediate coming of the Mashiach. Everyone knows we want this to happen so that we finally live a peaceful loving existence. And with all the strife and hatred in the world, we need divine assistance to get to this point.
What is not agree is when it will happen. Are we living in these times?
The time appointed by G-d for the Messianic redemption is a closely guarded secret. (according to our Oral Torah the Talmud (Pesachim 54b; Midrash Tehilim 9:2. See Zohar Chadash, Bereishit, 8a.)
Nonetheless, we are offered many hints to recognize its proximity: when certain conditions come about, await the imminent coming of Mashiach
Most of these conditions are quite disturbing, clearly displaying a situation of the very “bottom of the pit.” (We know from the natural world- that the darkest moments of the night are immediately before daybreak
One major source describes the world-condition in those days as follows: increase in insolence and impudence; oppressing inflation; unbridled irresponsibility on the part of authorities; centers of learning will turn into bawdy houses; wars; many destitute begging, with none to pity them; wisdom shall be putrid; the pious shall be despised; truth will be abandoned; the young will insult the old; family-breakup with mutual recriminations; impudent leadership, and what concerns us today a Major Plague troubling society ( Sotah 49b)
Other sources add lack of scholars; the succession of troubles and evil decrees; famines; mutual denunciations; epidemics of terrible diseases; poverty and scarcity; cursing and blaspheming; international confrontations nations provoking and fighting each other. (Sanhedrin 97a; Shir Rabba 2:29.)
In short, it will be a time of suffering that will make it look as if G-d were asleep. These are the birth-pangs of Mashiach, bearable only in anticipation of the bliss that follows them.
“When you see a generation ever dwindling, hope for him… when you see a generation overwhelmed by many troubles as by a river, await him.
“When you see nations fighting each other, look toward the feet of Mashiach.”
Little wonder that some sages expressed apprehensions about those days in terms of, “Let [Mashiach] come, but let me not see him.(Sanhedrin 98b)
”The prevailing attitude, however, is to await his coming in spite of all, even if thereafter we shall merit no more than sitting “in the shadow of his donkey’s dung!”
The troubles and agony of chevlei Mashiach (birth-pangs of Mashiach), however, are not unavoidable:
“What is a man to do to be spared the pangs of Mashiach? Let him engage in Torah and acts of loving-kindness!”
Moreover, there are also good and happy signs indicating the imminent coming of Mashiach: a good measure of prosperity a renewal of Torah-study; and opening of the “gates of wisdom above and the wellsprings of wisdom below,” evidenced also by scientific and technological discoveries and advances; a manifestation and propagation of the mystical teachings of the Torah; and also “In the time that Mashiach will awaken, many signs and miracles will occur in the world.”
On the verse dealing with the date of the Final Redemption: “I am G-d; at its time I will expedite it.” (Isaiah 60:22), the Talmud (Sanhedrin 98a) says: There are two possibilities how Israel’s Final Redemption and the world rule by an exalted personality who will be the anointed [= Mashiach] king from King David’s descendants, will occur.
One time will be a fixed date which is the final date set by G-d, without any connection to Israel’s spiritual state. When this time arrives, the Redemption process will fully take place. There is another possible date which is earlier than the final set date and depends on us. If we arrive at a situation where all of us will live according to the Torah, immediately we will be worthy of the Redemption and it will happen immediately!
These are the words of the Talmud:
“I am G-d; at its time I will expedite it.”
“If they merit — I will expedite it (I will make it happen early.)
)If they don’t merit — it will be in its time.” (It will occur at the fixed time set for it)
So among the various conditions, are the fact that the majority of the Jewish People have to keep two Public Shabbat concurrently. With the closing of the airport and all public transportation on Shabbat by forced Government order, we are about to have our two public Shabbat’s kept for the first time since the founding of the State of Israel 71 years ago.
Can we know when Moshiach is coming? Is there a fixed date for his arrival?
We, therefore, find that the date of “I will expedite it” is determined by us. And what is the date of “its time”?
The Talmud says::
The world will exist for 6000 years.”
In other words, the world was set to exist in its present state for 6,000 years. It should be noted that we are now in the 5780th year since Creation.
It is astonishing to see the parallelism between these Bible prophecies and their historic fulfillment. It is clear that we are in the time which matches our time period and the final years of “the world’s 6,000 years of existence”)
The omens that our sages received in the Oral Tradition concerning the characteristics of the pre-Redemption generation which were written down in the Talmud over 1,500 years ago, are being fulfilled before our eyes at an astonishing pace. Here are their words (Sanhedrin 97a):
Rabbi Abba said, there is no more clear sign of the oncoming End of Days than this, as it says: “And you, mountains of Israel, produce your branches and bear your fruit for My people Israel, because they are about to come.” (Eze. 36:8)
This means that when the Land of Israel will lavishly give forth its fruits, this is a sign that the End of Days is near. There can be no more conspicuous sign than this.
Remember that these words were written when the Land of Israel was completely desolate. So have faith. If we keep the two public Sabbaths, and says this is the time our worries are over.
Love Yehuda Lave
So one has to be creative and fluid in dealing with the current situation, like this Doctor was:
A Creative Diagnosis
Abe goes to the doctor’s office to collect his wife Sara’s test results. The receptionist tells him, “I’m sorry but there’s been a bit of a mix-up. When we sent your wife’s samples to the lap, they got mixed up with the samples from another Mrs. Cohen and we don’t know which one is your wife’s. The bottom line is that the situation is either bad or not so bad.”
“What do you mean?” asks Abe.
“Well,” says the receptionist, “one Mrs. Cohen has tested positive for Alzheimer’s disease and the other for gingivitis. We can’t tell which is which.”
“That’s terrible,” says Abe. “Can you do the test again?”
“Normally, yes. But your health insurance policy won’t pay for these expensive tests more than once.”
“Well what should I do?” asks Abe.
The receptionist replies, “The doctor recommends that you drop your wife off in the middle of town. If she finds her way home, don’t borrow her toothbrush.”