Little by Little

In the month of Nissan we were redeemed and in the month of Nissan we will be redeemed (Rosh Hashana 11A).

The topic of redemption keeps coming up over and over again through the month of Nissan and specifically on the night of the Seder. Truth be told, it’s not only around Pesach when we are supposed to reflect on redemption but it’s also one of the major tenets of our religion.  The last two of the Rambam’s 13 Principles of Faith are I believe by complete faith in the coming of the Messiah and I believe by complete faith that there will be a resurrection of the dead.

I once heard in the name of the Chofetz Chaim that the last Principle of Faith regarding Techiyas Hamaisim is the most important one. Because the belief in the final redemption incorporates and includes every single other one. We need to strengthen our Emunah in the final redemption and Hashem’s love for the Jewish nation.

Rav Hillel Shaklover, quotes his Rebbe the Vilna Goan in Sefer Kol Hator as saying that the initial stages of the redemption will occur through a natural process and through seemingly non-miraculous means.  In other words, it will occur little by little and the final Geulah will take place in stages as a process. This what happened with the story of Yosef HaTzaddik. First, he was sold into slavery, then gradually through event after event that transpired he rose to second in command. The Vilna Gaon again explains that this is how the initial stages of the final redemption will take place. Slowly but surely, Jews will start to come back to Eretz Yisrael, resettle its land and build up the ancient ruins of old. This process is synonymous with the light of Mashiach Ben Yosef.

The Vilna Goan goes on to compare the initial stages of the final redemption with the story of Purim that took place over a long period of time and unfolded little by little over the course of many years.  Purim was in a sense a “non-miraculous” miracle.

This is what Yermiyah Hanavi said וְלָקַחְתִּ֨י אֶתְכֶ֜ם אֶחָ֣ד מֵעִ֗יר וּשְׁנַ֙יִם֙ מִמִּשְׁפָּחָ֔ה וְהֵבֵאתִ֥י אֶתְכֶ֖ם צִיּֽוֹן I will take you one from a city and two from a family and bring you back to Tzion (Yirmiya 3:14). In other words, there is going to be a slow drip of people from the Jewish nation who are going to return one by one back to Eretz Yisrael. This is none other than the hand of God bringing back His lost sheep from exile.

On one hand, if one were to look around the world they may see devastation and destruction. As world events take their course, the daily grind of everyday life weighs on people heavily. On the other hand, we need to have deep and strong Emunah to see with eyes of the Tzaddikim the wondrous events of the process of redemption taking place in front of our very own eyes.

We are living in truly amazing times. There are literally hundreds of prophesies throughout Tanach and in specific Nevi’im Achronim regarding the times of Mashiach and the process of the final redemption. The point is to strengthen our conviction and faith in Hashem. We need to know that no matter what things may seem or look like, Hashem is right there orchestrating everything that takes place on a macro and micro level.

וְשַׁבְתִּי֮ אֶת־שְׁב֣וּת עַמִּ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵל֒ וּבָנ֞וּ עָרִ֤ים נְשַׁמּוֹת֙ וְיָשָׁ֔בוּ וְנָטְע֣וּ כְרָמִ֔ים וְשָׁת֖וּ אֶת־יֵינָ֑ם וְעָשׂ֣וּ גַנּ֔וֹת וְאָכְל֖וּ אֶת־פְּרִיהֶֽ “I will then redeem the captive of My people Israel. They will rebuild the destroyed cities and inhabit them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine. They will cultivate gardens and eat their fruits”(Amos 9:14).

This prophesy and others require very little imagination to understand what this is referring too. The astounding thing is this prophecy and other similar ones were delivered over 2,000 years ago! While the prophets were giving harsh rebuke to the nation by exhorting them to do Teshuvah and warning them of impending destruction. Simultaneously, they were predicting world events thousands of years in advance to give comfort to the nation to not lose hope or faith in Hashem, His Torah and His people.

Rav Nosson of Breslov asserts that the process of redemption is like the process of making bread.  At each stage the grain needs to go through a purification process until it ready to be baked. And only afterwards when it’s completely perfected, purified and prepared can the bread be eaten. So too one needs to go through many hardships, suffering and toil in the service of God. Step by step, little by little, a person gets more purified and perfected in the service of God. Reb Nosson highlights that especially nowadays when we are so close to the end Galus, the negative forces have risen even stronger for us to work on them. Because when the completion of the final redemption will occur, there will be no other exile afterwards because we will all be perfected.

            Therefore, one must strengthen themselves with whatever they can in order to not give up and hold strong.  To have deep resolve and Emunah in God that He is coming for His nation and has never stopped loving us no matter how bad things may seem. (Lekutey Halachos, Botseyus H’Pas, Halachah 5).

Let us merit what Jews throughout our long exile have sang for and what we will sing for at end of Seder every year: “this year in a Yerushalayim that is completely rebuilt”, with the revelation of Mashiach ben Dovid. When God’s redeemed will return. They will come to Zion in song, crowned with eternal joy. They will have joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing will disappear (Yeshaya 35:10).