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Where Will You Be When Mashiach Comes?

By Tzvi Fishman
4/3/2008, 12:00 AM

The esteemed Torah scholar, Rav Nachman Kahana, gave us permission to post this piece from a Torah article he wrote last week. The passion of his brother, the holy Rav Meir Kahane, may Hashem avenge his murder a million times over, echoes in his words:  

Our Rabbis have taught that when the Mashiach will appear, he will stand on the roof of the Bet Hamikdash and announce to the nation, "Righteous ones. The time for your salvation has arrived. And if you do not believe, look at the light which has shined upon you... upon you alone and not upon the other nations of the world."

The same skepticism and refusal to believe that HaShem really loves His nation Israel and that redemption has begun, as the Midrash describes, is now very much upon us.

The U.S. Vice President visited Israel last week (which the majority of religious Jews from the USA have never done), and made the following public pronouncement, "The establishment of the State of Israel from out of the ashes of the Holocaust is one of the great miracles of history."

Mr. Cheney knows what he is saying even more than we do, because he is privy to the machinations and intentions of our many enemies who would destroy the Medinah but cannot.

The great heartache of our times is that millions of gentiles are aware of what HaShem’s own chosen people are blind to. Thousands of gentiles pass by the square in front of my home in the Old City every day in awe of their merit to be in the Holy Land, when the majority of Jews in the USA have never stepped foot on the holy soil.

The Medinah is the first sign of the redemption of our people. Only a fool can imagine that HaShem will send the Mashiach to a desert land empty of Jews. The Medinah with all its seeming faults is performing what it was set about to do - to bring willing sons and daughters back to Eretz Yisrael.

While we build the "roof of the Bet Hamikdash" for the Mashiach to appear from, many leaders of galut Jewry convince poor, well-meaning Jewish souls not to come home. Had the rabbis ordered our people to return in the wake of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which declared Eretz Yisrael on both sides of the Jordan River as the "national home" of the Jewish people, Churchill would not have written in his memoirs in the 1920s: "On the porch of the King David Hotel, with my pencil, I established the Hashamite Kingdom of Jordan."

Had the Jews of Europe come back, they would not have gone to heaven through the chimneys of Hitler’s extermination camps. Had the Jews returned en mass after the Six Day War in 1967, there would be today no Palestine Authority in Shomron and Yehuda or Hamas in Aza.

In any event, the Mashiach will come, and he will ask every Jew one simple question: "Where were you when I came?"

My family and friends will all answer: "We were in Eretz Yisrael," but there will be many other answers such as: "Teaneck," or "Williamsburg," or "Crown Heights" and "Square Town," and the long list of recommended places that I saw on the OU website for young Jewish couples to live.

I am quite certain that the Mashiach is an understanding person. He will appreciate the stressful situation our people are going through in the galut and the difficulties they encounter in having to uproot themselves from their familiar surroundings to come to a country on the edge of the desert surrounded by fierce enemies. But at the same time, the Mashiach will also be a very practical leader; and in his capacity of bringing Torah to the entire world, I would not be surprised if he would institute a very practical solution for his problem: that all the Jews who will be in the galut upon his arrival will have to remain in the galut where they will be the Mashiach’s emissaries to teach the goyim their seven Noachide laws. And while they will be busy in Africa and in the jungles of South America and the city jungles of NY and Chicago, we in Eretz Yisrael will be putting the final touches on the roof of the Bet Hamikdash.

Shabbat Shalom
Nachman Kahana

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