Monday, May 23, 2005

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The Time before Moshiach

Last time Rabbi Lazer Brody was on the (streaming) radio, I spoke with him about what's going on in Israel, how do we understand what's happening with the government (and by extension, the power-elites in Israel)? He responded by pointing me to this... (thanks to A Simple Jew for help in locating it):

The Rebbe (Rabbi Nachman of Breslev) said, "Great atheism is coming to the world."

Many times he told us that the world's many sins are resulting in great disbelief. Happy is he who is strong in his faith.

The Rebbe said that the fact that he is predicting this will not prevent this G-dlessness and confusion from increasing.

Thousands of years ago, Daniel (the biblical prophet) and others predicted that this would happen in the days before the Messiah (Moshiach, the righteous redeemer). They said (Daniel 12:10), "Many will purify themselves and be refined, and make themselves shining white. The wicked will be evil, and only the wise shall under­stand."

It has already been predicted that there will be great temptations before the Messiah's coming, where "many will purify themselves and be refined, and make themselves shining white" in faith. Fortunate indeed is one who resists these temptations and remains firm in his belief. He will be worthy of all the good promised to us by the prophets and sages of old.

Knowing full well that this has already been pre­dicted, it would seem ridiculous for one to succumb to any temptation to abandon his beliefs. It would seem obvious that every Jew would have enough intelligence to remain firm. But still it is a great trial. Many will fall away, and for this reason it is written that "the wicked will be evil."

The Rebbe said, "Still, I am revealing this for the sake of the few faithful who will remain strong in their belief. They will certainly have great conflicts. But when they see that this has already been predicted, it will give them additional strength and encouragement."

(Sichos HaRan, 35)

The Rebbe also said, "There will come a time when a simple religious man will be as rare and unique as the Baal Shem Tov."

(Sichos HaRan, 36)

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