From HaGaon Rav Yaakov Sasson Shlit”a, The Head of Halacha Yomit
(translated by our dear friend Rav Daniel Levy Shlit”a, Leeds UK)
Understanding When Am Yisrael Will be Redeemed and Through What Merits
It states in Megillat Esther, “And in every province, and in every city, every place where the king’s word and his decree reached, the Jews had gladness and joy” (8:17). Our chachamim explained that wherever it states in the Megillah “HaMelech” - “the King”, it indicates the King of the World, namely Hashem. Likewise in this passuk, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef ztvk”l explained that the phrase, “every place where the king’s word…reached”, is in reference to the King of the Word, reaching through Torah-study and study of mussar (ethics). Through this confidence in Hashem that He will accept their repentance and that Haman the Wicked’s decree be annulled, Am Yisrael made a feast and rejoiced, confident that “and it was turned about: The Jews prevailed over their adversaries” (ibid. 9:1). “…and no man could stand before them” (ibid. 9:2), meaning that not even one Jew was killed during those days, and that is a great miracle.
“…and these days of Purim should never cease among the Jews, nor shall their remembrance perish from their descendants” (ibid. 9:28), that in all the generations our fathers remembered the Jews, for we are called sons of Hashem and He constantly desires to accept Am Yisrael’s repentance and hears their prayers, especially when Am Yisrael are united. And likewise in our times we can be trusting in Hashem that he will deliver Am Yisrael from all troubles and we are destined with Hashem’s help to soon witness a complete redemption.
This idea is hinted to in this week’s Parashah, “Hashem spoke to Moshe, telling him to relate the following instructions to Aaron and his descendants: This is the law of the burnt offering. The burnt offering shall remain on the altar’s hearth all night until morning, so that the altar’s fires can be ignited with it” (Vayikra 6:1-2). The straightforward meaning is that the Torah came to teach us that the burning of the fats and limbs that came from the sacrifices may be burnt all night until morning.
However, Rabbeinu Rav Chaim ben Attar z”l (1696-1743) in his work the Orach Chaim writes that Hashem hints here to the last exile in which we are currently, to comfort us from the anguish of our souls (see Bereishit 5:29). Because in truth every thinking person who likely despair from the redemption G-d-for-bid. Which exile is ours like? The first exile when Am Yisrael were exiled to Egypt was 400 years. The second exile, which was in Babylon after the destruction of the Bet HaMikdash, was 70 years. And today we are almost 2,000 years and still not yet redeemed! And how much has been endured by the generations from the nations of the world against us. One generation after another they murdered and afflicted them and many times Am Yisrael were free to be murdered, broken, and taken captive. Therefore, Hashem came seeing until the end of all the generations and said to us in these pessukim:
“This is the law of the burnt offering”, meaning the “burnt offering” which has nothing higher than it, the highest offering “the burnt offering”. And what is indeed the choicest offering? About which it states, “Who is this ascending from the wilderness?” (Shir HaShirim 3:6), this is Am Yisrael which is currently “on the hearth”, meaning that Am Yisrael are Bnei Torah, that study Torah and observe it laws. The Torah is compared to fire as it states, “Behold, My word is like fire - the word of Hashem - …” (Yirmiyahu 23:29), therefore it states, “on the hearth”.
The meaning of “on the altar”, is the suffering that Am Yisrael endures during exile. Just as the altar atones for Am Yisrael, likewise exile atones for Am Yisrael. Therefore we learnt two points about am Yisrael, the first that they are Bnei Torah and the second that they endure during exile suffering, which atones for their sins, they are like the altar which atones for sins.
Hashem inform us that through these two things our exceptional elevation will be due to the merit of these praises, which have never before been expressed as such. The Torah explains until when this exile will be.
The answer is: “all night until morning”. The exile is compared to night as our chachamim explained in many places that the night is indicative of the dark exile. Am Yisrael will be in exile “until morning”. When will morning arrive? Our chachamim explain that every “one day” of Hashem is a thousand years [see Tehillim 90:4 and Sanhedrin 97b]. If so, 500 years is the night and 500 years is the day. It was decreed that Am Yisrael will remain in exile for a day, as the passuk states, “May Hashem answer you on the day of distress” (Tehillim 20:2). If so, after Am Yisrael are exiled, they will be required to remain there until 1,000 years of the world have passed and then when “morning” arrives they will be redeemed.
Am Yisrael entered exile during the 4th millennium since Creation of the world (so for sure they won’t have been redeemed then during that millennium), so when will the redemption be? During the first 500 years of each millennium they won’t be redeemed because it is indicative of night-time but rather in the second 500 years of the millennium, which are called “morning” Am Yisrael will be redeemed. But we may further ask, that if the redemption will be in the second 500 years of the millennium, will that be during the 5th or 6th millennium? Hashem revealed this to His servants the prophets and said, “Be their strong arm [every] morning (literally mornings)” (Yeshayahu 33:2) meaning that there are two mornings in exile and therefore during the first millennium of exile, Am Yisrael won’t be redeemed, but rather in the second millennium.
If so, from 5,500 years since Creation, which are 500 years into the second millennium of the exile, morning has already arrived and Am Yisrael’s redemption is ready to arrive. Literally in the time we are now living in.
The Torah concludes, “so that the altar’s fires can be ignited with it”, to teach us that that the morning light, when Am Yisrael’s time for redemption will arrive then fire will emit from Hashem and consume the wicked who afflicted Am Yisrael in their exile. The Orach Chaim adds that these words are particularly aimed at the nations, which tormented Am Yisrael in unique ways, about whom it states, “so that the altar’s fires can be ignited with it”, a continuous fire will punish them for all that they did to Am Yisrael during their harsh years.
May we merit to witness the coming of our righteous Mashiach with a complete redemption. In Nissan they were redeemed and in Nissan they are destined to be redeemed [Rosh Hashanah 10b]. Good news, salvations and comfortsץ
Shabbat Shalom Umevorach.