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Additional questions about the redemption process & Aliya


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Kislev 18, 5782
The Nation of Israel is already deep into the first 2 stages and should be preparing that Sanhedrin (there are in fact already movements to revive the Sanhedrin, most recently, the growing "Shelom Yerushalayim" movement). ---so is the Sanhedrin going to be revived naturally or miraculously? when? On the other hand, if you personally have yet to make aliya, youre a little behind and should still be concentrating on the previous stages. -----is it still possible for us to collectively upgrade to the miraculous timeline, or are you saying that from now on everyone in exile has to physically take an airplane to move to Israel? 2. The Talmud in Sanhedrin 98a teaches that there are 2 tracks possible for redemption: a miraculous track if (!) all of the Jews are religious- where Eliyahu and the Mashiach will supernaturally gather the exiles; or a slower natural track which uses natural means like airplanes, the Israeli army, agricultural technology, etc. which is clearly the track we are presently on, over the last century. The quicker we improve, the faster the track will be. -------can we still receive miracles though even though we are on the natural track? or later on can we? what about individually? When is Eliyahu HaNavi coming? An essential part of that personal and national improvement is to join the National revival and place your lot with your people by returning to the Holy Land which is entirely holy and also adds an enormous number of additional mitzvot every single day. I strongly suggest choosing to be part of this process and partake of the pleasure (and challenges) of Ymot HaMashiach, and truly dont understand any religious Jew who prayed for this period, but chooses not to participate when it finally comes! ----whats going to happen to all the Torah Observant jews in exile who have not yet physically moved to Israel? Can they still enter into Olam Haba? Can they still be part of Mashiah Ben David like for instance when he arrives will he bring them all in? Each Jew has free will and can choose to participate or not, but the way to guarantee that you and your descendants will take part, is simply by being part of the process and making Aliya to Israel. ------what if someone doesnt make Aliyah physically yet. Can they still participate later on when it becomes very obvious that Mashiah Ben David arrived (once he arrives) etc? 3. Accordingly, the only ones who are surely involved in the geula are those who choose not to wait for the super-natural track or the later stages. By that time, you might not be around or your children may assimilate or also choose, not to participate. ------when you say might not be around, what prompts you to say that like for instance what is going to happen in the US? why would anyone choose not to participate later on? 4. Regarding the really lost souls, we (and they!) dont know who will return or not, for they also have free-will. All we can do is our best to keep them astride as part of Am Yisrael, and together with ourselves, try to get all the rest of our brothers to return to: Torah, the People and the Land Israel to be part of this historic period. You never know what will "turn them on"! ----but this is really awful! what if they are sparks of our own soul?
1. Just as in the previous stages which have already come true through natural means, the revival of the Sanhedrin apparently will, as well. In any event, with or without any connection to the ge'ula process, we are always obligated to revive the Sanhedrin through natural means as 1 of the 613 mitzvot. The Rambam explains that even though that Semicha ("Sanhedrin Ordination") has not been continuous, Am Yisrael can and should revive it by the Jews in Israel agreeing on 1 halachic authority, that is accepted by all. Today, for example, Rav Osher Weiss is accepted by all. He then would in turn give Semicha to another 70 authorities. This will be when we get to work and do this mitzva, and probably will be connected to some necessity, e.g. like needing to make a drastic halachic decision about what to do with some 200,000 olim from the former USSR who are not halachically Jewish, but are living among us. 2. Just as regarding the Sanhedrin, the mitzva to get on a plane and make Aliya is important with or without the ge'ula process. Just that historically, it didn't succeed for 1900 years, and only has recently worked when the time is actually ripe for ge'ula. In addition, unfortunately the prospect of all Jews in the world suddenly doing teshuva doesn't seem very practical (I wish it were otherwise…), so we should at least hasten the natural track as much as possible, especially when it's clear that it's the track we are already on. Why "fight" God when we can work with and cooperate with Him?! It's also logical and also worthwhile, because that's what's working. 3. There clearly are (!) natural miracles happening, like the miraculous victories in the War of Independence, the 6 Day War, and the Yom Kippur War, which any believing Jew believes that it's God who is "pulling the strings". Similarly, the collapse of the world power called the USSR, enabling 1,200,000 Jews to come home is clearly a Godly miracle. God decides when and how to intervene, and the same is regarding when He will send Eliyahu HaNavi and Mashiach. In the meantime, we must do what we can, from our end, as our sages teach that in the future, "A Heavenly Voice will declare: Whoever cooperated with God (in the process of national redemption) should come and collect his reward!" (Vayikra Rabba 27, 2). 4. Only God can judge, for only He knows who sincerely wanted to make aliya but really couldn't, as opposed to the majority who just look for excuses but the truth is they simply don't want to or don't have the guts to fulfill the mitzva of aliya which is "equated with the rest of the mitzvot combined" (Sifre, Dvarim 12). If 7 million Jews (including 70% of the orthodox Jews in the world) already live here, that means that for almost everyone it really is "doable", and everyone must be honest, for you can't fool yourself nor God. 5. The Jewish Agency has reported that there soon will be new additional waves of aliya, most particularly from France and South America. The longer you wait for Mashiach, the more difficult it will be, for jobs and housing in Israel are constantly filling up. Do yourself a favor and think in practical terms, rather than naively dreaming of that super-natural Mashiach about which we were taught in kindergarten (for which you probably will end up waiting a long time…). This is serious business and only you, not your kindergarten teacher, are held responsible, and only you can decide whether you wish to participate and cooperate with God in this historic chapter of Jewish history. Maybe Mashiach ben David will bring the rest of the "late-comers" who didn't have the guts to come, but maybe not, and maybe not in your life-time… Every day, year and decade that Jews wait outside of Israel, more and more of their children are assimilating. It's better to take the "sure bet" and thank God, and appreciate and participate in the present Ge'ula, and move your family-tree to Israel= our final destination, that way you and your family are clearly "covered" and involved. 6. Of course nobody knows what will happen in America, just like nobody guessed what would happen in Germany, Poland, the USSR, Ethiopia, Iraq, Iran, Yemen etc. The common denominator is that each exile was brought to Israel through their different respective situations. But it's clear that it was much more comfortable, on all accounts, for those who chose to come on their own volition before being forced, by "coming to Zion in happiness" (Yishayahu 51, 11) and out of religious and national ideals, rather than those who had to be "shlepped" back to Israel "against their will" (see Rashi, Dvarim 30, 3) . In addition, the quiet Holocaust of assimilation is found, to some extent, in every single family that stays in America, and that also (unfortunately) will probably have ramifications in your family, as well (that much I can say regarding "what will happen in America", for it has already happened with my cousins and is constantly happening in most Jewish families there). BTW, many of those orthodox Jews who choose to cling to their comfortable homes and jobs in America now, may very well do so "later on" even after the Mashiach himself arrives, for if their priorities are materialistic rather than Jewish, that's their free-will. As the Rambam writes, don’t expect any super-natural changes even after the Mashiach comes (hil. M'lachim, 11, 3). If they're "disappointed" in how the redemption is taking place until now, there's a good chance that this will continue… The Netziv castigates those who are disappointed with the Zionist movement, that we should learn from what Hashem told Moshe: "Don't tell Me how to run My Geula!" (Shivat Tzion, p. 17). 7. Yes, it is truly tragic how the souls that have chosen to be lost in the past or future, will be missing. Perhaps they will be reincarnated and be given another chance, but perhaps not… We are not prophets and can only deal with the situation as we see it (which is plenty to keep us busy), and cannot contemplate or dream what will or will not be, and surely can't rely on our kindergarten teachers' childish prediction of ge'ula! First take care of you and your own family by making aliya and strengthening their connection to Torah, which is largely within your control, before worrying about things which are beyond your control, "Why do you try [traveling on] the roads of God?! Just do that which you are obligated to do" and that's what should pre-occupy us (Berachot 10a).
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