by Rabbi Nati at Mystical Paths
I was asked recently, "Reb Nati, where are we holding?" The time has past to merely speak about where we are, for all the signs show us we are in Chevlei Moshiach (the birth pangs of the redemption). A time that the greatest of our sages said 'they longed for but did not want to see' (Gemora).
So this post will not be about where we are historically or to time stamp us on where we are holding on the geula scale. It will focus on the second question "If we are there, then what do we do?" I'll come back to this, but first to respond to a question the day, "why do have to suffer the tragic events that we have of recent heard, OY OY TaTi Ad Moshai!” Or to put it another way, why do the righteous suffer?
We think we can understand why sinners suffer or must undergo suffering. However, we know that the righteous also suffer (as the current news tells, BD"E), sometimes even more than sinners. This demands clarification. And our sages have explained it in two ways.
- The Jewish people are all joined together into a complete entity known KLAL ISRAEL (maharal, in Nesiv Hatchacha, perek 2). Therefore, sometimes the righteous may suffer in order to expiate atonement on behalf of the Dor (generation) or even for past generations. Hashem repays them in the World to Come with untold reward for having made the Tikun (spiritual repair) not only for the individual but for the entire world (Daas Tevunos 166). We can see an example of this with terrible events like the recent loss of the holy soul Leibby Kletzky of blessed memory. (And may Hashem comfort his parents among the mourners of Israel and Zion.)
- Kabbalists tell us that a person who did not complete his purpose in this world must return again, in a reincarnation, to correct that which was lacking in his previous life. And according to most, in this generation all the souls have all been here before. Thus a person’s goal is to correct or to complete all that has not been repaired (Michtav Me'Eliyahu, chelek 4, daf 120). This is accomplished either through self improvement in the areas where he was not successful in his previous life or through suffering.
All of this is to put heavenly soul accounts in order. The Arizal of blessed memory tells that the period of IKVESA DEMASHICHA (the birthpangs of the geulah), which we are clearly in by all accounts at this time will be a time of unprecedented spiritual cleansing of all neshamos (souls) as everything must be purified and refined from all the generations from Adom HaRishon until now. (Shomer Emunim, also in Likutei Torah parsha Ki Seitzei).
The Chofetz Chaim told us that when Moshiach comes the world will be in a state of completeness. Therefore there is a need beforehand to settle all the old accounts of all spiritual blemishes. The remaining debts of previous generations (those that remain after the Holocaust and those created since) are being laid on this generation.
We must rectify all these outstanding accounts prior to Moshiach's coming. These recitifications will provide a tikkun for all actions of all previous generations (Ramchal, Daas tevunos, 1:42).
Many of these tragic events have centered around our beloved Jewish children. For example the Cantonists decrees of Czar  Nicholas in 1827. The purpose of these events during this time is to spiritually cleanse and repair all the blemishes from the previous generations.
There are 3 ways to achieve the soul corrections:
1. by being righteous and not sinning. (Daas Teunous 40)
2. by doing TeShuvah.
3. by accepting Yissurim. (painful events)
Every Jew has the responsibility to atone for the failings of KLAL ISRAEL, and being that we are almost all reincarnations of earlier generations each one of us has a PERSONAL OBLIGATION to prefect all aspects in which he failed to succeed in his previous lifetimes.
Perhaps this gives some glimmer of understanding to the horrific events of the recent past, for they are all part of the CHEVLEI MOSHIACH process. A person should not fear, nor give up hope, when he undergoes Yissurim. We must remember that everything that Hashem does is for our ultimate good.
Sometimes we are directed into a situation in which we can effect a tikun not only for ourselves but for the entire Klal. During these day of avoda just prior to Moshiach we must appreciate that Hashem the ultimate Repairer knows exactly what will fix what and which are the appropriate events to help us survive.
According to Rebbeinu Yona (Shaarei Teshuvah, Shaar 4, ot 12), One of the charater traits of the Tzaddikim in their abillity to to pay off their debts and still sing praise to Ha Kodosh Baruch HU!
May it be Hashem's will that we merit to be purified by doing teshuvah and good deeds so that we will avoid the remaining Chevlei Moshiach and merit a complete and speedy geulah.
Until then, here's a special site built to strengthen emunah after this horrible event.