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He Needed A Sign: An Askmoses Story

  

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Rabbi Eliezer G: Welcome to the Rabbi's one on one chat room, how can I help you today?

SoulOnFire: Is it true that before Moshiach comes, 4/5 of the Jews are going to die?

Rabbi Eliezer G: no this is not true

Rabbi Eliezer G: this happened before the liberation from Egypt but this will not be the case when moshaich comes

Rabbi Eliezer G: We learn this from the hagaddah

Rabbi Eliezer G: we tell the wicked son that if he were there he would not have been liberated

Rabbi Eliezer G: we deduce that only if he had been there in Egypt before G-d gave us the Torah and made us responsible for each other and bound us into a single unit would it be possible that he might not be liberated

Rabbi Eliezer G: but once the Torah was given, we are assured that in the future liberation - moshaich - "lo yidach mimenu nidach", no one will be left behind

SoulOnFire: I heard this from a rabbi who quoted the Zohar

SoulOnFire: he said there would be 15 days of darkness

SoulOnFire: and during those 15 days, 4/5 of the Jews would die and those who remain alive will be burying the dead

Rabbi Eliezer G: the Lubavitcher Rebbe has said, and the former rebbe before him, that whatever suffering the Jewish people had to endure before the coming of moshiach (for which reason the sages of the Talmud were glad not to live in the generation preceding moshiach), has already been experienced in the holicaust, may there never be such a tzoro [Ed. calamity] again

SoulOnFire: I see

SoulOnFire: so are we talking about different opinions within Judaism?

Rabbi Eliezer G: as far as I know we are talking about a fact

Rabbi Eliezer G: the zohar speaks in riddles and one must be a great kabalist to claim a full understanding that would be based on fact

Rabbi Eliezer G: If the Lubavitcher Rebbe said that we have no worries about mass death then I have no worries

SoulOnFire: well, the rabbi I mentioned was not a lubavicher

Rabbi Eliezer G: I am not disparaging anyone

Rabbi Eliezer G: But the Lubavitcher Rebbe can certainly be said to be a master in the concealed dimension of Torah

SoulOnFire: I know...

SoulOnFire: I'm just wondering whether it's just a different way of looking at things

Rabbi Eliezer G: if he proclaimed that there is nothing to fear then I am comfortable with it and you may too

SoulOnFire: I see

Rabbi Eliezer G: The rebbe was very serious about this too

SoulOnFire: I know, because what I heard was quite unsettling

Rabbi Eliezer G: any time a rabbi would suggest that there might be punishment coming to Am Yisroel [the Jewish People] on account of our sins the rebbe would stand up and deny it loudly and emphatically

Rabbi Eliezer G: he would say that the only one who can foretell a punishment is Hashem

Rabbi Eliezer G: and through him a prophet

SoulOnFire: that's comforting

Rabbi Eliezer G: otherwise, no one can claim to know of a negaitve thing to happen to Jews

Rabbi Eliezer G: because Hashem loves his children

Rabbi Eliezer G: and even when he forcasts punishment in the torah we dont know precisely what form this might take, or precisely what kind of Teshuvah is sufficient to mitigate such punishment

SoulOnFire: I see

Rabbi Eliezer G: we also dont know whether this punishment forcasted in Torah already happened during the Churban Habayis [destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem]

Rabbi Eliezer G: as such we have no right or standing on which to proclaim that a punishment is due the children that Hashem loves

Rabbi Eliezer G: especially when each child in this generation is a sapling saved from the fires of the holocaust

SoulOnFire: I understand

Rabbi Eliezer G: every child is precious and beloved to Hashem

Rabbi Eliezer G: this was the Rebbe's strongly held view

Rabbi Eliezer G: he would say that Hashem is not vengeful but always seeks ways to be merciful

SoulOnFire: I see

All names, places, and identifying information have been changed or deleted in order to protect the privacy of the questioners. In order to preserve authenticity, the chat sessions have been posted with a minimum of editing. Please excuse typographical errors, missing punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes which naturally occur in the course of informal chat sessions.

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Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Moshiach
The Messiah. Moshiach is the person who will usher in an era of peace and tranquility for all of humanity when there will be no jealousy or hate, wars or famine. This is a fundamental Jewish belief.
Teshuvah
Repentance. Or, more literally, "return" to G-d. Teshuvah involves regretting the past and making a firm resolution not to repeat the offense.
Talmud
Usually referring to the Babylonian edition, it is a compilation of Rabbinic law, commentary and analysis compiled over a 600 year period (200 BCE - 427 CE). Talmudic verse serves as the bedrock of all classic and modern-day Torah-Jewish literature.
Chabad
Chabad, an acronym for Wisdom, Knowledge, and Understanding, is the name of a Chassidic Group founded in the 1770s. Two of the most fundamental teachings of Chabad are the intellectual pursuit of understanding the divine and the willingness to help every Jew who has a spiritual or material need.
Zohar
The most basic work of Jewish mysticism. Authored by Rabbi Shimeon bar Yochai in the 2nd century.
Halachically
According to Jewish law.
Rebbe
A Chassidic master. A saintly person who inspires followers to increase their spiritual awareness.
Lubavitcher
One who follows the teachings of the Chassidic group which was formerly based in the Belarus village of Lubavitch. Today, the movement is based in Brooklyn, New York with branches worldwide. The Lubavitch movement is also widely known as "Chabad."
Rishonim
"The First Ones." The Torah scholars who lived from about the eleventh through the fifteenth-sixteenth centuries.
Moses
[Hebrew pronunciation: Moshe] Greatest prophet to ever live. Led the Jews out of Egyptian bondage amidst awesome miracles; brought down the Tablets from Mount Sinai; and transmitted to us word-for-word the Torah he heard from G-d's mouth. Died in the year 1272 BCE.
Hashem
"The Name." Out of respect, we do not explicitly mention G-d's name, unless in the course of prayer. Instead, "Hashem" is substituted.
Midrash
(Pl. Midrashim). Non-legal material of anecdotal or allegorical nature, designed either to clarify historical material, or to teach a moral point. The Midrashim were compiled by the sages who authored the Mishna and Talmud (200 BCE-500 CE).
Lubavitcher Rebbe
Rabbi Menachem M. Schneersohn, spiritual leader of the worldwide Chabad movement.
Jerusalem
Established by King David to be the eternal capital of Israel. Both Temples were built there, and the third Temple will be situated there when the Messiah comes.
Temple
1. Usually a reference to the Holy Temple which was/will be situated in Jerusalem. 1st Temple was built in 825 BCE and was destroyed in 423 BCE. The 2nd Temple was built in 350 BCE and was destroyed in 70 CE. The 3rd Temple will be built by the Messiah. 2. A synagogue.
Shema
The most fundamental Jewish prayer, recited twice daily. This prayer, of Biblical origin, professes the belief in G-d's absolute unity.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.
Siddurim
[Plural form of Siddur] Prayer books.