Beit Midrash

  • Family and Society
  • Redemption - Geula
To dedicate this lesson

The Torah study is dedicated to the full recovery of

Asher Ishaayahu Ben Rivka

"Master of Wars, Who Causes Salvation to Sprout"

God runs the universe, and everything that He does is for the best. He is the "Master of Wars" and war must therefore have a constructive purpose in the world.


Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed

Our beloved mentor, Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook, zt"l, in his seminal work, "Orot," devotes a number of chapters to the issue of war. In these chapters, Rabbi Kook sheds new light on the meaning of war.
Usually we view war as a dreadful phenomenon - bloodshed, bereavement, estrangement, and unbearable pain and suffering. As a result of war, many people suffer for years afterward.

Rabbi Kook, though, teaches us that it is possible to look at war from another, very different angle. True, war has its difficult side, but it possesses another side as well. In the words of Rabbi Kook, "When there is a great war in the world, the power of the Messiah awakens. The time of the songbird has come, the weeding away of tyrants. The evil ones are obliterated from the world, the world becomes more perfected." The words of the Rabbi are based on those of the Sages in the Midrash, where they teach that "Where one finds kingdoms engaged in strife with one another, look for the coming of the Messiah" (Midrash Rabbah Bereshit 42:7).

The foundation of such an outlook lies in the faithful recognition that God is running the universe, and that everything that He does is for the best. He is the "Master of Wars" and war must therefore have a constructive purpose in the world. The true objective of war is to effect a positive rebirth. The shock and crises which war brings can be viewed as a kind of "destruction for the sake of construction," or a "tearing in order to stitch." For, God's true desire is to mend, bring goodness, and perfect His creation.
Thus, in our prayers, we refer to God as "Master of wars, who sows kindness, makes salvations flourish." Via wars, and in their very midst, God "makes salvations flourish, creates cures... and renews daily, perpetually, the work of creation. May You shine a new light on Zion, and may we all speedily merit its light."

Therefore, at present, with the rising tension in the Persian Gulf and the ongoing war here in Eretz Yisrael - a war whose purpose it is to establish our lawful claim to the Land - added expectation of the Messiah's coming is inevitable.
The Sages long ago enlightened us regarding indications of the Redemption's onset in order to provide us with the proper insight and understanding when viewing such events. For, without such insight one is liable to lose faith, Heaven forbid. In addition, these indications are intended to cause us to ready ourselves on a practical level for the coming redemption, to awaken us to prepare vessels capable of receiving this "new light" that God will shine on Zion. This new light will be a mighty light and we must adjust ourselves to this future greatness in advance. It is likely that one who does not prepared in advance will find it too late afterward and will not be capable of rectifying the situation. Preparing vessels means admirable character traits: oneness, joy, humility, kind deeds, Torah study, and charity. "Great is charity for it brings the Redemption, and great is repentance, for it brings redemption."

In this regard, it is written, "Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before days arrive when you shall say I have no pleasure in them." These days, according to the Sages, are the days of the Messiah, in which there is neither privilege nor liability. In other words, in the Messianic era it will no longer be possible to rectify and to derive merit as it is at present. When the Redemption comes, a person will no longer be able to claim that he did not realize that it was so close in coming, for the Sages have already taught that one must anticipate the coming of the Messiah.
Prayer translations were taken from the Complete ArtScroll Siddur.
"Orot" translations were taken from "War and Peace" by Rabbi David Samson and Tzvi Fishman.

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