Shabbat Parashat Chukat | 5769
Ein Ayah: Universal Improvement at the Time of Mashiach, The Motivation for the War of Gog and Magog
(based on Ein Ayah, Berachot 1:171)
Gemara: Ben Zoma said to the Chachamim: Will the exodus from Egypt be mentioned in the days of Mashiach? [Doesn’t the pasuk say that people will talk about being saved from their various places of dispersion and not from Egypt?] Rather, [the end of] enslavement to the kingdoms will be the main thing, and the exodus from Egypt will be secondary.
Ein Ayah: With the exodus from Egypt, Israel merited their freedom. This is a matter of their own shleimut (completeness). However, the universal shleimut of the human race will be completed in the days of Mashiach. This will occur specifically by means of the dispersion that preceded the coming of Mashiach, which enabled Bnei Yisrael to publicize Hashem’s Name in the world. However, with the dispersion, the knowledge of Hashem was not completed nor, for that matter, could it have been completed unless the status of Israel would be elevated.
Since the broad human shleimut will come by means of Israel at the time of Mashiach, when we will really be elevated to a kingdom of priests, the matter of our extrication from the enslavement of the kingdoms will be the main point. In relation to that, the individual national shleimut of our nation will be qualitatively less significant. In fact, we will not have to concentrate on the national shleimut, which we will already have reached at that time. Rather the main practical efforts will be in regard to the goal of perfecting things on a universal basis. Since this universal improvement will be possible only through Israel’s acts of Torah and mitzvot, the main focus of those mitzvot will be for the needs of humankind as a whole. Only on a secondary level will there be a desire to raise the national shleimut that emanated from the exodus from Egypt because our own shleimut will be achieved mainly by means of Hashem’s light upon us.
The Motivation for the War of Gog and Magog
(based on Ein Ayah, Berachot 1:173)
Gemara: It says (Yeshaya 43:18-19): “Do not mention the first things”- this is enslavement of the exiles; “and the previous matters do not contemplate”- this is the exodus from Egypt. “I am doing something new, it is now growing”- this is the wars of Gog and Magog. Rav Yosef cited: this is a parable of one who went along the way and came across a wolf and was saved from it … a lion … a snake and was saved from it. He forgot about the earlier events and told about the snake.
Ein Ayah: It seems that all of the nations’ opposition to Israel was for selfish purposes, whether it be to become enriched by destroying Israel or because of their stinginess lest we get something that they might have gotten, or so that their strength not be weakened when our spiritual strength grows. However, the war of Gog and Magog will be just for the desire to hurt and destroy, as a pasuk in Yechezkel (39:2) hints. They will not have any interests about which we cause them problems, and we will be living in our land, seeking peace with all of our neighbors. Only the desire to destroy and the jealousy toward Israel will bring it about. In that way, they are compared to the snake, who bites without benefit, unlike the lion and wolf, who kill one in order to eat. This type of attack is very dangerous. However specifically from there will flourish the true salvation of Israel to glorify, and the Divine Name will be sanctified through Israel.
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