Let him who is convinced that his views are true and right express them . . . at every opportunity . . . without considering how much support or how much opposition he will encounter. Only falsehood is in need of many supporters in order to win the day; falsehood must have the authority of numbers to make up for what it lacks in justification. Truth, by contrast, will always prevail, even if it takes time. Noble, courageous and pure, expressed with all the fiery zeal and conviction and with all clarity of sure awareness, stated again and again at every opportunity, truth will ultimately gain respect and admiration even of those who do not accept it. The only truth that can be lost beyond recall is that truth whose adherents no longer have the courage to speak up candidly on its behalf. Truth has never gone down in defeat as the result of opposition, it has done so only when its friends are too weak to defend it. - R' S.R. Hirsch

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Light of the Messiah II

R' Isaac taught: In the year in which the King Messiah reveals Himself, all the kings of the nations of the earth will be at strife with one another.  All the nations of the world will be agitated and frightened, they will fall upon their faces, and they will be seized with pangs like the pangs of a woman in labor.  And Israel, agitated and frightened will say:

Where shall we go, where shall we come?  G-d will reply: My children be not afraid . . . the time of your redemption is come.  This latter redemption will not be like your previous redemption, for following your previous redemption, you suffered anguish and enslavement by the kingdoms; as for this redemption - following this one, you will have no anguish or enslavement. 

Our Masters taught: When the King Messiah appears, he will come stand on the roof of the Temple and will make a proclamation to Israel, saying: Meek ones, the day of your redemption is come.  And if you do not believe me, behold my light which rises upon you, as it is written: Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the L-rd is risen upon you.

Then the Holy One, blessed be He, will brighten the light of the Messiah and of Israel, while all of the nations of the earth will be in darkness - in gross darkness - and they shall walk, all of them, by the light of the Messiah and of Israel, as it is written: And nations shall walk at Your light, and kings at the brightness of Your rising (Isa. 60:3).  And all of them shall come and fall upon their faces before the Messiah.

[The foregoing commentary is derived from meditation upon the verse For with you is the fountain of life: in Your light do we see light. Pesikta Rabbati 36:2]

"And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; for you will go before the face of the L-rd to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins,  through the tender mercy of our G-d, With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." (Luke 1:76-79)

"L-rd, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel."  (Luke 2:29-32)

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.  There was a man sent from G-d, whose name was Yochanan.  This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.  He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.  That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.  (John 1:4-9)

Then Y'shua spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life . . .  I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness."  (John 8:12; 12:46)

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