Robin Diamond
Robin Diamond

Why is There Darkness Before the End? Rabbi Mendel Kessin

Introduction:

Sunday, June 13, 2021, Netanyahu was voted out of office after 12 years. Bennett and Lapid are now at the helm. The sensational nature of this development is miraculous.  Reviewing the miracles:

  • Bennett could not even pass the threshold in the penultimate election. Now, in a sense, he’s been resurrected. It should be noted that, in the last election, he came up about six seats short from what polls predicted and which would still have made his count ineligible to comprise a number sufficient to give Likud the 61 seats it needed for Netanyahu to prevail. And despite it all, he became prime minister.
  • Lapid, together with all the other left-leaning parties, acquiesced to Bennett becoming prime minister, Bennett a kippah-wearing observant Jew. As per the rabbi’s last lecture, these entities have long been designated by the rabbi as Eirev RavMixed Multitude, Jewish leaders and/or authority figures who intend for Judaism to be a culture rather than a covenant and that Israel be regarded a nation like any other.

The rabbi here picks up where he left off in his last lecture: to further elucidate upon Netanyahu’s ouster, Bennett’s ascension, and those signs that the Eirev Rav is being gradually dismantled with the simultaneity of both Israel’s and America’s “descent into Darkness.”

There is a simultaneous decree upon America and Israel. What does this mean in terms of where we are holding in the messianic process? There has to be Darkness before the Redemption. Evil dominates–lack of good, lack of wisdom. Truth is disregarded or ignored.

Sources for the Condition of Darkness at the End:

First source: In Genesis, we are told that G-d created the Heavens and the Earth, that the Earth was unformed and void, and Darkness was upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of G-d hovered over the waters. So, G-d’s spirit is in the midst of the Darkness. This condition is followed by the Light. In the Bal ha’Turim’s commentary on this portion, the question is posed, what is this spirit that hovers? The answer is derived from equating, numerically, the value of the Hebrew letters that comprise the phrase “the spirit that hovered” and the sentence, “This is the spirit of the messiah.” The congruence of the gematria, therefore, shows that the soul of the messiah hovers in the midst of the Darkness over the face of the deep. Then G-d says, “Let there be Light.”

Second source: In the admonitions that G-d gives in various parts of the Torah, it refers to the sufferings that will be experienced and, eventually, pass.

Third source: Rav Yochanan says, “Let the Redemption come but I don’t want to see it,” knowing, as he did, that the immediate precursor would be a world devoid of spirituality and truth. This is echoed in other portions too numerous to go into here: Talmud, end of Sota and Sanhedrin speak of “black times.”

Why does there have to be Darkness?

All the reasons are to satisfy the requirements for accomplishing tikkun–rectification.

If the mashiach comes as a result of our merit, then Darkness would not be the precursor. But, if Jews are sinning, then a distance grows between the fallen state and the rectified state. That distance translates as “the books are not balanced” because justice has not yet been satisfied.  The latter was the case in Egypt where the Jews were practically irredeemable. Moses had to be sent to avoid their plummeting into that lowest level, below the met-tet—the 49th level of defilement. The rescue from Egypt required additional suffering to bring atonement, to “balance the books.” Therefore, Moses’s request of Pharoah for exodus resulted in an increase in suffering—gathering their own straw to make bricks. Despite a messiah having come, their plight worsened considerably. But that suffering removed the Satan’s claim against them.

The Satan’s power is ever-enhanced by the sins of the Jews. Despite their suffering, they exercise their free will to sin which deflects kedusha—holiness that should be funneled to them to, instead, go to the Satan. This empowers him in the form of augmenting the zoama—that which causes entropy, decay. Hence, the Darkness is expressed as both moral turpitude and ever-growing sinful behavior. Remarkably, the result of this surge is a decline in free-will. In such a decrepit environment, a person’s judgement and choices are hindered, distorted, and this reduces his culpability. This diminishes the amount of power the Satan can glean from sin. So, the Darkness is both a symptom and indicator of the environment plus, ironically, a means to constrain the power of the Satan. Less freedom to choose means the Satan harvests less sustenance and their suffering mitigates the Satan’s argument against them.

This explains why there is such lack of spirituality, Torah knowledge now. If the Jews, generally, are not doing the tikkun—rectification, who is?–the Orthodox. They have free will because they know what a mitzvah–commandment is and what an aveira-transgression is. When they do a mitzvah, they are advancing the tikkun.

Another component of balancing the scales is the merit of the Eirev Rav. Despite their intention to destroy orthodoxy, to transform Judaism from a covenant with G-d into a culture, they still have zechut—merit. If the Eirev Rav, (or Gentiles), in their leadership or authoritative roles, contribute to Torah learning, despite other efforts to subdue religiousity, they have merit. The Eirev Rav-dominated governments of the past have allotted monies to Torah institutions, upheld the status quo to some extent in order to buy the cooperation of the orthodox parties to sit in the various coalitions without which the government could not coalesce or remain stable. If they have merit, how can they be gotten rid of?—the rabbi asks. Their merits protect them. The Darkness, enveloping everyone, lessens their merit so their power to dominate dissipates.

 It is a great irony to say that the (current) government’s intention to remove the support that previous governments have shown to orthodox constituents is a good thing. The withdrawal of such support will diminish their merits and make them easier to “dislodge.” They have no idea that they are committing suicide. They are removing their “protective shield.”

Because the Torah diminishes, is stifled, is under-supported, everyone must exert misiras nefesh—self-sacrifice to learn Torah, to proliferate Torah. Such effort increases merit and the possibility for the mashiach to come. What determines the amount of merit, the reward, is the struggle, the self-sacrifice. Why? The entire purpose of a mitzvah is to testify to the truth of “ein od milvado”—besides G-d there is nothing. Every mitzvah so testifies. How? It is a battle of wills—yours vs. G-d’s. The performance of a mitzvah demonstates that G-d’s Will has primacy. Therefore, if you want to intensify that concept, the greater the struggle you have in performing the mitzvah, the greater your testimony is because your struggle in denying your own will is greater.

The world’s envelopment in Darkness means that the struggle is greater and so the potential reward, the merit is greater. Truth is concealed and yet one still struggles to do a mitzvah, to have emuna—faith, bitachon—trust in G-d? In an environment where most have abandoned G-d, the one who prevails has great merit. The reward is so great, it can “fill up the amount of tikkun left (to do).”

Why does the Satan use the Eirev Rav to enhance the Darkness? 

One contribution of the Eirev Rav to this Darkness is their neglect or refusal to ensure authentic Jewish education in public schools. One and half million Israel kids have been taught Judaism as developed by the Reform Movement. The Hartman Institute curriculum was prepared by an Education Ministry committee, headed by Prof. Ron Margolin, whose stance on the matter is clear from his remarks upon the launching of the program: “The type of graduate that we would like to see from our educational system is one who feels belonging, identification, and responsibility to his Jewish-Israeli culture and legacy — not from a closed-off position, but from an approach of pluralism, openness and critical thinking, and with loyalty to democratic, humanistic, universal values.” When kids were asked to complete the sentence beginning “Shema Yisroel…,” most could not.

Now, at the End, most of the Satan’s energy has been depleted and returned to the side of good, to the Jews.  The Satan, therefore, goes to the Jews to energize himself.  Logically he goes to the Eirev Rav, those Jews most prone to sin and to have institutionalized it.

Kabbalistically, the shefa—flow of energy of the sefirot—Divine emanations diminishes as the Darkness grows. This annuls the existence of angels. They’re “out of a job.” They need a geula–Redemption to resume their tasks.

What Galus—Exile Does

The concept of galus—exile, and its stages, begins with domination and persecution within a specific country or region. Then, comes the exile. But the exile is always accompanied by the shechina–Divine presence. Galus is not just geopolitical. The Jews are denied a life dominated by spirituality, freedom of observance. Even more profound is that, with the Divine Presence among them, the Satan can partake of its holy sparks as well. The shechina itself is in exile and can be drained of its holiness in order to satisfy justice.

Historically, we see this when the first Beit ha’Mikdash—Holy Temple was destroyed. The Divine Presence was exiled.  The Satan was able to yoneg—nourish off this.  The result of this doesn’t make him holier. On the contrary, it exacerbates the exile itself.  2500 years ago, several major religions were founded: Buddism, Taoism, Confucianism. At this time, Rome became a republic in 25BCE and was destined to become a great nation, spread Christianity, and ultimately, destroy the Second Temple when the Jews engaged in sinas chinam—baseless hatred. The Satan, nourishing off the Divine Presence, took the image of G-d from the Jews and gave it to the goyim. Their religions are really usurpations of Judaism. This is, of course, idolatry. This is another manifestation of the Divine Presence going into exile, into the klippah–Satan’s dominion. The culmination of this process was, of course, the global domination of Christianity which is “Judaism on its head.”

The Jews say, “We have the Torah.”

They say, “No, we have the Torah.”

We say, “We have the messiah.”

They say, “No, we have the messiah.”

We say that we are the nation of Israel while they maintain, as per “replacement theology,” that they are the House of Israel.  Christianity is Judaism with a “pagan veneer.”

We look at the current configuration of the government and call it terrible. And, in a way, it is. But the logical principles explained here proves that it is all about enabling the Jews to survive, the tikkun to be completed, and the mashiach to be revealed.

The rabbi briefly reviews the Darkness as it is manifest in America: anti-Semitism, corruption in all branches of government, a “tornado, a storm” against Judeo-Christian values—Torah values. We are “on the last legs” and the evil dominates, lowering the Window until there is only a “tiny slit of light (from the Divine emanations)  before the Window shuts, Creation is nearly annihilated,  and the “Gates of Heaven open up and the entire universe is infused with an awesome Light.  We are at that point.”

Participant: When Israel was created as a country with Herzl, Begin, etc. they were the Eirev Rav too….You would think it was the same then.

Rabbi: But you have to consider that there are other requirements.  When Israel was beginning to be founded, just prior to the turn of 20thth century, the development of America as Edom hadn’t matured.  Also, the Eirev Rav did halt a totally destructive path since ben Gurion did work out a status quo condition with religious constituents. Even though they did secularize some, their zeal to destroy religiosity was not nearly what it is now.

Participant:  What happens when the Window closes, and the Gates open?

Rabbi:  We will see a Light, see the Divine Presence, in a way it has never been seen before, a staggering Light, truth, and holiness. G-d is revealed and it will never be dark again and the Jews will reign supreme through the end of the messianic era in the year 6000 and the universe begins to transform toward the Future World.  It is like someone who has been in prison and, suddenly, the cell door opens and he emerges into the daylight.  The galus will be over and the Divine Presence will be illuminated. We can’t imagine the majesty of that moment. There are pasukim–verses and the RaMChal speaks of this. In one of the Davidic psalms, David writes that for all the suffering we’ve endured, give us its equal in holiness.

Participant: What happens if they succeed in passing these laws that are an abomination and G-d takes it out on everybody?

Rabbi:  He won’t take it out on everybody. The Hareidim will suffer but they won’t be the ones who will take the worst of it. They will find a way around it. The ones who will really take the brunt of it will be the average Israelis. Do they really want a secularized state? The Hareidim will retreat but it won’t harm them as it will the Israeli public. It will destroy the character of the state. But will G-d allow that? We don’t know.  G-d has a limit.

Participant: How will we know when the Gate opens. What is the indicator?

Rabbi:  We’ll know internally because our neshamot—Divine souls rejoin G-d. How can we not feel that?  Like G-d says, “I will circumcise your heart,” meaning He will remove the klippah–the husk, the foreskin, of your neshama—Divine soul (which desensitizes us and disallows access to a higher consciousness).  You won’t believe what hit you! When G-d appears, He will remove the zoama in all its manifestations: impediments to higher consciousness, sickness, death, depression, griefit’s all gone, never to return.  Mashiach ben David destroys the Satan either by killing him or by transforming him into a benign angel.

Yes, Mashiach ben Yosef is crowned having gotten the yechida—Adamic root soul and the shechina will go through him to reach, to give, the yechida to everyone.

The removal of the zoama will be in stages like in Egypt: the pekida—messianic code language for G-d’s remembrance of His people by Moses, then the retracing of the klippa, then the makos—plagues one after the other (the revelation of the Divine Emanations), and then the incredible revelation at krias Yam Suf– splitting of the Reed Sea.  Then came the 49 days, each of which had its own revelations, followed by the giving of the Torah—totally incomprehensible.  What is in store for us is beyond comprehension. The difference won’t be quantitative, but qualitative. Like Rashi tells us: the heavens opened up and He showed them that He is the One of the entire universe.

Can you try to explain to a blind person what color is? He’s never experienced it so there is no frame of reference. But if he were suddenly able to see, it’s a shocking revelation. We are all blind. When our eyes are opened, we will be stunned by the exposure to the color.

Participant: Will there be a gilui—revelation for everyone on the same level?

Rabbi:  There will be for everyone, a standard. But depending on what a person did, what he strove to achieve, what deeds he did for the sake of Heaven, there will be variances.  But even that minimal amount, that standard, will be equivalent to the blind man’s experience of seeing color for the first time—staggering.  Same in olam ha’ba—Future World. What happens then is a giant leap beyond even the messianic era.

Participant: There is a gilui we will experience when Mashiach ben Yosef is revealed and yet another after t’chiat ha’meitim—resurrection of the dead?

Rabbi:  There are two fundamentally different revelations. The first, when Mashiach ben Yosef comes, is more akin to experience in this world, this reality. The one that occurs after resurrection, after the zoamo is gone, we cannot imagine it. It was experienced, to a partial extent, by the hand-maid who had prophetic vision after the 7th day when one-seventh of the zoama had been removed right before the Torah was given. That is what made her experience more profound than that of the prophet, Yechezkel. It is also what killed everyone and required that they all be resurrected.

Participant: We are waiting for the Window to close?

Rabbi: We are waiting for the Window to almost close because, were it to close, all of existence would cease.

Participants: Then we automatically feel it?

Rabbi:  Yes, you will not be the same person. Ben Yosef will be here before the Gate opens. He is part of the “team” to make sure to fight the evil so the Window doesn’t totally close. Then the Gate opens during the second stage, the zechira—the code word for “remembrance,” the latter stage,

Participants: What is the next step?

Rabbi: Mashiach ben Yosef arrives to prepare us–and that is still with the zoama–because G-d will not bring ben David while we’re still “in the dark.”  Every Jew returns.  As it is written: “Even though you are at the farthest reaches of Heaven, from there, I will gather you and bring you to Me.” That is Mashiach ben Yosef.

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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