Volume 12 Number 99
                       Produced: Fri May  6  0:38:27 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Anticipating Moshiach
         [Rabbi Benzion Milecki]
Awaiting Moshiach
         [Yacov Barber]
Discovery Codes as Concecptualized by Rabbi Karlinsky
         [Sam Juni]


From: <barbery@...> (Rabbi Benzion Milecki)
Date: Sun, May 01 14:33:48 1994
Subject: Anticipating Moshiach

In response to Gedalya Berger:
What did the Chafetz Chaim and Rabbi Yitzchak Ze'ev Soleveitchik have in

Both were famous rabbis of the Lithuanian Yeshiva world. The Chafetz Chaim,
who needs no introduction, was one of the giants of pre-War European Jewry.
Rabbi Yitzchak Ze'ev was a descendent of Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin and
forebear of the famous Soleveitchik family. Certainly neither could even
remotely be accused of being a Chassid. 

What else did they have in common?

Both spoke of the need to anticipate Moshiach's coming every single moment
of one's life.

Rabbi Yitzchak Ze'ev explained that when we say in Ani Ma'amin, "I await
his coming every day", what we mean is not merely "every" day, but "all"
the day - every moment of every day! 

When out-of-town visitors would come to the Chafetz Chaim, he would ask
them if Moshiach was discussed in their city. "Even a blind person," he
used to say, "can see that we are at the threshold of the Messianic Era."
He constantly kept a suitcase packed with special Shabbat clothes -  ready
to greet Moshiach. 
Nor were they the exception. Rabbi Yechezkel Levenstein, mashgiach of the
famed Ponevitch Yeshiva, would say that one should wait for Moshiach the
way the Jews waited for the Exodus, "loins girded, shoes tied, staff in
hand" ready to move out at any moment.

The famous Sefardic scholar, Rabbi Chaim Yosef David Azoulay (known as the
Chida), went even further. He explained that it was this constant
anticipation of Moshiach's arrival that would actually bring it about.
In the fifteenth blessing of the Amida, which we pray thrice daily, we
read: "Speedily cause the offspring of David, Thy servant, to flourish, and
let his horn be exalted through Your salvation, because we await Your
salvation all the day."

What is meant by "because we await your salvation all the day"? After all
if we are deserving we shall be redeemed even without awaiting salvation,
and if we are not deserving what good can come from awaiting salvation?
However, explains the Chida, this is precisely the point. Even if we are
bereft of any other merit, awaiting and hoping for G-d's salvation does
indeed make us worthy of redemption! 

The above sources emphasise the need to not only believe in Moshiach, but
to hope for and anticipate his coming every single moment. In his
definitive work on Moshiach, Otzrot Acharit Hayamim, Rabbi Yehoshua Chiyun
of Bnei Brak discusses a person who says that he can't believe that
Moshiach will come now, only at some time in the future. Quoting
Maimonides, Rabbi Chiyun explains that such a person is on a par with
someone who doesn't believe in Moshiach altogether  because, "the constant
anticipation of Moshiach's coming is an inseparable part of the belief in
his coming".

Some justify their lack of anticipation of Moshiach's coming on the fact
that, in their opinion, the world isn't ready, or that Elijah hasn't yet
come. When this was put to Rabbi Yitzchak Ze'ev, he replied, "The law is
that one must anticipate Moshiach's coming every moment of every day. As to
your question, when Moshiach comes he'll answer it together with the myriad
of other questions which he will haves to answer."

So why is it that many otherwise religious Jews are embarrassed to believe,
let alone discuss and promote, a concept which lies at the very foundation
of our faith? 

As in so many other areas it would appear that the answer to this is quite
simple. Ignorance. 

It is therefore a holy obligation to acquaint oneself properly and
thoroughly with this all-important principle of faith.     

Rabbi Benzion Milecki
South Head & District Synagogue
15 Oceanveiw Ave., Dover Heights. 2030. NSW.


From: <barbery@...> (Yacov Barber)
Date: Sat, Apr 30 22:19:38 1994
Subject: Awaiting Moshiach

Gedalya Berger writes,
>If I understand you correctly, you are saying that the correct
>interpretation is that we are always supposed to expect moshiach to
>arrive today.  First of all, I don't really understand the proof from
>the language; "achakeh lo bechol yom sheyavo" is just a poetic syntax
>for "bechol yom achakeh lo sheyavo," and in any case I don't see why one
>syntax inplies your reading more than the other.

It seems totally illogical that something as fundemental as the 13
principles of faith, Rambam would prefer writing in a particular style
simply because of a "poetic syntax". The Rambam wrote this principal in
this manner to impress upon us that 'achakei', we must anxiously wait,
'lo' for Moshiach, 'bchol yom sheyovo' every single day for his arrival.
That this is Rambam's approach is seen clearly in Rambam's introduction
to perek chelek. Were he writes Vehu lehamin ulemes sheyovo, V'LO
YACHSHOV SHEYISACHER. v'eim yismameya chake lo, v'lo yosim lo zman....
That we are obligated to believe in the coming of Moshiach and NOT TO
THINK THAT HE WILL BE DELAYED (i.e. he is coming right now> And if chas
vsholom he didn't come this second, 'anxiously wait' mabye he will come
in the next second.  Rambam writes this as halocho in perek 11 of hil.
Malochim hal 1 "If one doesn't believe in his coming, Oi mi sheino
mechake lebioso. one doesn't anxiously wait his arrival. (now to
anxiously wait for someone as the Chofetz Chaim explains , is to wait
every second for his arrival.} One can say that how anxious you are is a
litmus test to how much you believe.  As I mentioned in my previous
post,this is how the Gri"z understands this principle. AND IT IS
CONCLUSION.  Likewise the Mabit in his sefer Beis elokim (shar hayosodos
ch. 50) writes that the emunah in Moshiach is that one shouldn't think
that there will be any delay in his arrival.(i.e. he is coming now) In
Mas. Tannis 17. there is an opinion that a cohen can't drink wine even
today, why? Perhaps the Beis Hamikdosh will be re built and this cohen
will be drunk. according to Hal. there is a number of ways that a person
can leave the status of being considerd drunk. one of them is to walk a
'mil' which according to the mosty stringent opinion is 24 minutes . So
we see that it is possible acc. to the Gem. to have MoshiAch arrive and
the third Beis Hamikdosh in 23 min. and 59 sec.  Harav Yechezkel
Levinshtein zatzal writes that just as we see by yetzias Mitzrayim
(exodus from Egypt) that that they had their sticks in their hands..
ready to leave, so must we be ready and prepared to leave golus

>Why should I expect moshiach to come when 90% of the
>Jews in the world do not believe in Torah and mitzvot and a significant
>percentage do not believe in God altogether?  I find it very difficult
>to believe that the Rambam would consider someone who believes that
>moshiach will arrive tomorrow a kofer be`ikar (heretic, rejecter of a
>basic tenet of faith).

In the sefer Toras Zev p.181 it is written, that part of my believing in
the coming of Moshiach is, that even though I look at the world and the
world doesn't seem ready,and some of the statements of the prophets and
chazal have not been fulfilled, I still must beleive that he is coming NOW.
In the sefer Otzros Achris hayomim it is written (what is obvious from
Rambam's hal.) that if you don't beleive Moshiach is coming now you are a
G. Berger then asks that from the ne'viim it seems that either we are all
perfect or all wicked.
This actually is a statement of R. Yochanon Sanhedrin 98a. Ein ben dovid bo
elo b'dor sh'kulo zachai oi kulo chaiv. Moshiach will only come in a
generation that is righteous or wicked. Now this statement is difficult
since Zecharya writes that Tumah (evil) will only be removed AFTER
Moshiachs arrival, on the other hand can we imagine a world that is Kulo
chayav, that there will not be any Tzadikim left in the world. The Mahrsho
explains: That Kulo zakai means if Yidden do Tshuvah on there own and kulo
chaiv is when Hashem has to place decrees upon them to do tshuvah.
To conclude the Griz was once asked how can Moshiach come today we know
that Eliyahu Hanovi has to announce his arrival 3 days before he comes ?
The Griz answered " When Moshiach arrives he will answer this question as
well." On another occasion he answered the Hal. is like it is written in
the siddur
                                  Yacov Barber
South Caulfield Hebrew Congregation
Phone: +613 576 9225
Fax: +613 528 5980


From: Sam Juni <JUNI@...>
Date: Fri, 29 Apr 1994 12:48:42 -0400
Subject: Discovery Codes as Concecptualized by Rabbi Karlinsky

      Rabbi Karlinsky (4/22/94) presents a series of specific arguments
regarding the Discovery Codes and their implications. The focus of this
posting is the permises regarding prophecy and the supernatural in these
arguments, specifically as they relate to a general Jewish Orthodox
Welanschauung re the relation of G-d and man in the context of physical
      An orientative introduction is in order. The vantage point of the
position I am arguing is strictly allied with that of logical positivism.
It is in that vein that the Rambam has often been champoined by contempo-
scientists committed to Jewish orthodoxy, especially as he brings
a negation of the supernatural to his allegiance to science which comple-
ments his analytic technique in Halacha.
     To go out on a sociological limb, I propose that the affinity which
the Brisker approach in Talmudical analysis (which entails operational
definitions of heretofore mystical constructs in Halacha) has for the
Rambam, also hinges on the his positivist approach to Hallacha.
     The stance toward the supernatural which I posited earlier (4/18/94)
maintains that G-d will not interfere with nature in a
manner which defies physical law toward the end of mileading us (e.g.,
in a test of faith). This does not exlude the possibility of other
testing. The rationale for such a position is that the supernatural is
somehow G-d's domain and that data from the supernatural are pure, per-
fect, and represent true and reliable messages from G-d.
      Let me make it clear that I do not present this orientation as
being founded on logic or theology. There is no valid argument as to why
G-d should not manipulate physics toward "testing" ends, just as he
clearly manipulates other aspects of our world. Furthermore (reductioni-
stically), the manipulation of any aspects can be ultimately analyzed
as a manipulation of the laws of nature (from a deterministic perspec-
tive, at least at the unobservable level) though not at a level which
is apparent to the casual observer. (This may be related to "Nais Nistar
vs. Nais Niglah" -- blatant vs. disguised miracles.)
     I am aware of two approaches to challenge this position. First is
a body of Jewish Literature which gives credence (and even power) to
negative supernatural forces. Second, is the challenge to simplistic
causal interpretation of physical law engendered by the probablistic/
uncertainty advents in modern physics. (Bohr would have a harder time
accepting this position than Einstein would). Nontheless, the position
can be defended rationally.
      Thus, one can argue that the notion of G-d sending us a false
prophet (Devarim 13: 1-4) entails G-d allowing a charlatan to attempt
to misguide us; it does not imply that G-d actually speaks to this
person; nor is this fellow given powers to perform supernatural
      So long as I am throwing into the argument everythin but the kit-
chen sink, I should elaborate my previous citation of Sanhedrin 90a,
pertaining to the question of following a prophet who produces a miracle
is support of an edict opposed to Torah. The view expressed there (which
may well be subject to a difference of opinion) is in the form of an
exclamation (equivalent to "Perish the thought!") rejecting the possi-
bility that G-d empower allow a false prophet to affect a miracle in
support of his attempt to convince Jews to engage in idol worship.
A reasonable reading of the Talmud seems to be that this rejection is
not bound to the specifics of idolatry, but rather is a philosophical
rejection of the paradoxical possibility of G-d engaging the supernatural
to counter his Torah directives.
     Let me conclude by portraying a disturbing spectre I envision if we
accept the alternate position -- namely, that evil and duplicitous forces
are supernaturally empowered. How can one ever trust observed facts? Why
not attribute the "hardest" of perceptual events or even the boldest of
"true" miracles to deceptions or misleading "tests"? (E.g., How does one
diffeentiate, a priori, Matan Torah from a massive "magical" chrade?) The
way I see it, adopting the alternate position would pull the rug from any
rational emprically-based orientation in the quest for truth. All that
would remain are the intuitive and emotional bases for belief. I'm not
sure how functional those would be to support religious tenets in today's
zeitgeist. Short of the (not unreasonable) rejoinder that the current
zeitgeis is indeed incompatible with true religiosity, I see no compa-
tibility between the more open system of natural/supernatural phenomena
and the modern scientifically-oriented socialization of knowledge.
      P.S. Several related issues:
  A) Rena Whiteson (4/26/94) points to the oxymoron of "G-d sending a
false prophet", since falsehood implies that he had not been sent. My
argument in fact combines two elements: first, that one posits that G-d
might send a false message just to mislead us; second, that prophecy
contradicting Torah is declared as false "prima facia". I'll be happy
to elaborate, if anyone cares or has the patience for it.
was not understood by some readers. (I seem to be good at that.) Let me
reword it: A prophecy may feature an edict, a prediction, and a sign of
validation (e.g., a miracle). Rabbi Karlinsky argued (4/22/94) that false
prophets may be sent by G-d as a "test". My question speculated on just
how this would relate to the three prophetic elements. Specifically,
does it make sense (more truthfully, does it sit well with us) that G-d
will actually contact a prophet and send a message to Jews to abolish
a mitzvah just to "test the audience"? (In Rabbi Karlinsky's musings
about the Codes, I read (read into?) one of his approaches that he may
G-d will do this, I asked, will we then punish the prophet for deliver-
ing what is in essence an accurate message?
      C) I was wondering why Lubavitch, which seems so involved with
connecting contemporary events and their dates of ocurrence to symbols
from the weekly Parsha, was not overtly involved with the Discovery
Codes as well. I was fortunate to bump into a Lubavitch scholar (Rabbi
Biggs) two days ago and discussed this with him. The response he gave me
was that it was incongruous that "people should be convinced that G-d
exists just because the computer says so." Religious convition, he went
on, must come from a higher plane, despite the possible validity of
other modes of investigation. Generally, I found his orientation fairly
not connecting to the higher plane, then what? Is there a distrust of the
cynicism about logical inconsistencies in the Discovery approach coming
from the very propagators of the material.) Moreover, the computer is
no simulation or conceptual inovations here. To say that the approach is
deficient because the computer is used boils down to a deprecation of
the use of facts and data in being convinced of G-d's existence.


End of Volume 12 Issue 99