21st Century #8: “The Light of Redemption Throughout History”

Given: August 6, 2016



To bring us up to date: The Zohar says that the ohr mashiach will be felt in the Gregorian calendar year of 1240, which is equivalent to the Hebrew year 5000. Those dates are, as I mentioned, equivalent to the sixth day on the Creation Calendar, the eve of Shabbat, the beginning of the preparation for the Sabbath. So, it makes a lot of sense for that time to be propitious for the ohr to come into Creation.

As we learned, the way Jews take the ohr rishon out of the klippa, out of its “prison,” is through toil and self-sacrifice to learn Torah. That means that, by the year 5000, that would have been accomplished. In other words, the Messianic Light was, by then, beginning to rise from its klippa, from its concealment and, obviously, that is historic. It sounds nice, but how do we see this in history? Where do we see this in the actual historical record? The truth is that we do, very much so, and this tells us a lot of very important ideas about what history is all about.


Power of the Messianic Light

Shefa

You can think of the Messianic Light as a magnifying glass. If you take a magnifying glass and put it over something, you are able to see the object with much greater depth, enlarging the tiny details that one might overlook in terms of what's really going on down there. The Messianic Light is called a “shefa,” a force that enables you to see any kind of wisdom in terms of its ultimate cause, its incredible internal structure. It enables you to understand this reality down to its bottom-most level where the cause lies, where its reality is.

Keep in mind that when this ohr rishon comes down, it is not merely intended for Jews. The Creation has a concealed internal structure, whether of the spiritual universes that Kabbalah talks about or whether of the physical phenomena that science talks about. It is all the handiwork of G-d. Once it begins to emerge, it is a revelation of wisdom, as we shall see. For anyone who studies science, it’s the equivalent of mankind's attempt to understand the underpinnings of all human knowledge.

I’ll give you an example of the internal structure, of the framework. If, for instance, you are studying biology, the study of different life forms, and you were to train the magnifying glass of the shefa (the enormous force of the ohr rishon) upon the studied material, you would immediately become aware of the ultimate cause of life. How is that? Well, you get down into molecular biology, DNA, and so on. You begin to see what's going on at the most intricate, basic level. You see the structure of biophysical reality.


Levels of Reality

We can describe five levels of reality in terms of the physical world. There's what's called the macro,” the large structure of the universe. There’s the micro” which is obviously something you need a microscope to look at -- that is, the detailed view of the universe. Then there is the nano level. The “nano-universe” is the universe viewed from the perspective that is slightly larger than atoms, a view of one-billionth of a meter. Science today is all about that nano level, the manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supra-molecular scale. The big revolution in science is all about nano-technology; what they can do with that is awesome. The scientists manipulate chemicals and whatever else at that level. Below the nano-level is theatomiclevel, because a nano doesn't look at anything smaller than a molecule. At the atomic level, one has the ability to view, to understand, and to manipulate atoms. The fifth and final level is called the subatomic,” where you are now into subatomic particles, electrons, neutrons, protons, quarks, etc.

The ohr rishon enables a person to understand the various levels of physical existence, their relatedness, their intricacy, and their structure. If you’re into biology, you see down to the genetic level, the DNA of life. If you’re into physics, you understand the entire world of atoms, subatomic particles, energy, forms of energy, fields of energy, and so on. If you’re into astronomy, you’re able to look out, billions and billions of light-years away, which is what astronomers are now capable of doing. It appears that astronomers have the ability to look into the universe up to twelve billion light-years away! Indeed, their accumulated knowledge implies that the observable universe is 13.7 billion light-years old.

Of course, the knowledge of distance is also the knowledge of time because it takes a light wave 106,000 miles a second, or 300,000 meters per second, to traverse space. The light of a star, for example, takes many years to reach Earth. There could be a star that is one hundred light-years away. The amount of time it takes light to travel one year is a unit of measure. One light-year is six trillion miles. So, if you are looking at a star which is one hundred light-years away, that's 100x6 trillion. In other words, we don't even know if that star still exists because that light left the star a long time ago. The farther the object, the further back in time is the object you are observing.

My main point is that the concept of the shefa, the flow of the ohr rishon, is the ability to observe and study, within any discipline, any physical phenomenon down to its most basic level. It is the totality of knowledge, almost. That started in 1240, approximately. Before then, there was a limited vision of the internal structure of the Creation.


The Histories, The in the Jewish and Secular Worlds

Scientific Method

Aristotle dominated science for 2000 years. He was what's called an “armchair scientist” in the sense that he relied on logic to explain what happens in the world. But in 1240, Roger Bacon launched the scientific method; he broke away from Aristotle. It is as though he proclaimed: enough of this sitting business! We have to experiment! And yes, Roger Bacon and his approach emerged that very year that the ohr rishon began to descend, initiating the ability of man to perceive internal structures, the inner reality of existence.

That was an incredible advance. Aristotle held the world in his grip until then. That's why the world never really moved much since Aristotle for the ensuing 2000 years. Bacon’s contribution insisted that, if you want to know anything, you can't just think about it and contemplate it; you need to experiment, and that's when the world of science really took off. And Bacon lived in the year 1240. Is this by accident? That's the scientific world or, if you want, the secular world.


Zohar

At that time, what was going on in the Jewish world? Just around then, the “Zohar” was “discovered” by Moshe De Leon in 1290 -1292, soon after the year 1240. The Zohar is the classic part of the main Kabbalistic text that describes many universes and is the study of the cause of physical reality, the reality of G-d, basically. It describes and explains the spiritual forces that are concealed within the universe. With these developments arising in the world, both in the Jewish sphere and in the secular sphere, you suddenly have the ability to look into this extraordinary wisdom; you are exposed to a completely different and comprehensive level of understanding.

In Hebrew, this essential wisdom is known as “chochmah.” When you look at anything in chochmah, there are two aspects to it. First, there is the subject matter, the substantive aspect. What is the material we are talking about? Called the “chomer “–content, the material aspect is one component alongside “tzurah”--form. So, chochmah is both the material and the form; it is the subject matter and its structure, the ability to organize and to connect the dots of all the ideas that you know. This is critical to appreciate when you get around to applying the third ingredient---methodology---to the study of whatever aspect of reality you are examining. Beginning to recognize the relationship among ideas is, essentially, the method of “analysis.”

I once told you that the human mind does two things: it analyzes, meaning it breaks down a subject, and it synthesizes, meaning it puts together singular aspects of the subject. Both aspects are the operation of the mind, how the mind achieves, how it reaches understanding. The only thing the human mind has to know about anything can be summed up in a couple simple questions, namely: what is it and how is it connected, related to everything else? The answer is a definition, a statement that describes the true nature of something. The definition of something is a categorical description of an entity’s attributes and the synthesis of those attributes. In essence, the scientific method began to undertake these intellectual operations.


In the world of Torah, the chomer, the substantive content, was the Kabbalah, because that's what the Zohar is; it is the revelation that Judaism is based on a much deeper understanding of the Creation than meets the eye. You see the spiritual forces that G-d uses to create and to manage everything. However, there was something else going on beyond the chomer that had to do with the tzurah---form and, specifically, how it related to Torah.

Around the year 1240, there began a revolution in the tzurah of Torah. That is to say, there developed a novel way to approach the study of this ancient and holy text thanks to the writings of the well-known medieval Sephardic Jewish philosopher and halachist (codifier of Jewish law) who became one of the most prolific and influential Torah scholars of the Middle Ages, namely, Moses Maimonides (acronym: RaMbaM [1135-1204] ).

One of the major works written by the RaMbaM was called “Mishnah Torah” and it was a revolutionary piece of work. The Rambam composed a concise presentation and review of the Oral Law brought down in the Talmud. While the Talmud discusses the intricacies of Jewish law as it affects all aspects of (Jewish) life and ritual, the Mishnah Torah brings down the answers to all the issues that might arise. Maimonides determined directly from the Talmud, with its numerous opinions and diverse views, the final ruling on Jewish law on any given matter. The intriguing, and somewhat inexplicable, aspect of the work was that Maimonides did not indicate the specific question(s) to which he was referring or the methodology that he employed to arrive at his answers---the “definitions” of the law.

What the Rambam did was more than give answers: He organized the answers into a completely different way of looking at the subject matter. He changed the format of the Talmud because the Talmud, in many ways, is fragmented. Maimonides’ approach reflected the following notion: He might have said to himself: I'm going to change the tzurah; I am going to change the entire view or format of the Talmud into a magnificent (new) structure. It was something that had never been done.


True, Rabbi Yitzchak Alfasi* (known as the "Ryf") had taken the first major step in codifying the laws of the Talmud. He had worked on the legal passages and authoritative opinions of the Talmud, deleting the intricate discussion of the Talmudic rabbis and all non-legal material, organizing them in, more or less, the same order and form, quoting them in the very words as they were presented in the Talmud and, where necessary, indicating the law. This was, indeed, a monumental achievement in determining the final, definitive Jewish law. Rabbi Alfasi’s method of codification, however, followed the seemingly haphazard arrangement of the Talmud, which is not a topical system whereby all laws of the same subject are grouped under the same heading. As the years passed, there was, indeed, a pressing need for a more systematically arranged, clear-cut, practical code.

At this time, it was the crowning accomplishment of Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon to present the first comprehensive, all encompassing, topically arranged code of Jewish law, distinguished by its matchless clarity and lucidity.


A need is a need, but why did the Rambam do that? Rather, under what Divine inspirational force was he operating? And the answer is the ohr rishon! The same year that the ohr rishon “comes down,” you have, both in secular science and in Judaism, its manifestations, and some measure of the Torah comes out of the klippa. It begins to emerge or escape from that force that restrained it, that held it back from revealing the true revelation of reality. Was this an accident? I think not. Moreover, as we progress in time, once the Messianic Light begins to emerge, it emerges; it is on its way. It represents an incredible development in our understanding of the form and content of reality.


Moving Along in the Secular World…

The year 1240 is equivalent to Thursday night at 6pm. Further and further into night, right before dawn Friday, and you have new ideas in the secular world that also radically changed the whole idea of Messianic Light.


It is important to understand, in the context of our discussion, that Sir Francis Bacon’s scientific method (see above) introduced, inter alia, the notion of “induction,” the ability to see a fragment and to make generalizations based on that fragment culminating in a total picture. Add to that the experiment based on empirical data in order to test a hypothesis. A hypothesis is nothing more than a calculated explanation of a phenomenon that is observable. Let's assume you do the experiment and you have the explanation. The hypothesis is something you think about even before you get into the experiment. If the outcome(s) works consistently, they become the basis of a theory. If it the outcomes are replicable and consistent, they are founded in a law. This is what’s known as the “certainty of knowledge.”


But what Bacon discussed in this context was that a hypothesis is really a function of induction. In other words, you assume an explanation of a particular phenomenon, but by induction you go from the particular to the general. We anticipate that the phenomenon will operate in terms of the experiment(s) that were just conducted. Therefore, what you can do is design new experiments and hope that they will be consistent with the ones that you just did. That's induction.


But the ohr rishon is not just information and it's not the method of discovering information; tzurah is the method of discovery. Note: I’m stressing that the methods of analysis and synthesis that are used to find the information are almost as important as the information itself. The methodologies enable the making of new discoveries again and again. Without the method you can go home. If you have the method, a way to do it, you can apply that method to anything, and that's what Francis Bacon did.


The Kabbalah

In this period, beyond the contribution of Maimonides (the rationalist), you also have probably one of the greatest revolutions in the propagation of the esoteric knowledge in Kabbalah. This was due to the influence of the holy Ari (the “Lion”), Rabbi Isaac ben Solomon Luria Ashkenazi (1534 –1572), the foremost rabbi and Jewish mystic of the Middle Ages. This prolific sage explained the texts of the book of the Zohar that, as we have come to learn, is incredibly cryptic. However, not everything in the Zohar is strictly Kabbalah because the book is really more in the nature of a midrash---homiletical treatise, largely associated with the teachings of the great mystic and sage, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.


The Kabbalah of the Zohar is largely expressed in codes that employ metaphors though you rarely know to what the metaphors actually refer. Moreover, what is really challenging is that you cannot really extend the metaphors. So along comes the Ari and he extended the metaphors, opening up the Kabbalah. That's a major advance in the Ohr Rishon’s influence, and it was not an accident.


It was a reconstruction, a restructuring of the entire knowledge of the Torah; it had never happened before. And after Maimonides’ opus magnum, a stream of commentaries on this work followed. In addition, there were numerous commentaries on the Mishna and the Gemara that comprised the Talmud. So, both the material content and the form are emerging. Remember that the ohr rishon acts upon three components: (1) the chomer (the material content, the topic itself), (2) the tzurah (the form it takes – the entirety of its structure and systems) and (3) the method to use in order to achieve an overall perspective of the studied material.


The Year 1740: Effect of the Divine Light

It is the Gregorian year 1740, the equivalent to 5500, equivalent to the dawn of the Shabbat, ErevShabbos at 06:00 a.m. More light descends on both science and Torah. It is important to appreciate that science is G-d's work, just as much as Torah, except that there is no command to the Jews to study science; that’s left to the goyim, the other nations. Jews, however, were specifically commanded to study Torah. There is a reason why Torah is infinitely greater than science. Torah is not just chochma, a repository of knowledge or wisdom. Torah is a trigger. That means, on a spiritual level, when a Jew performs a mitzvah---commandment, he or she releases Divine light which contributes to the perfection of the world, changing the universe back into its original, holy form and thus “allowing” G-d to reveal Himself. Science does not do that. Science is the study of chochma.


In the secular world, a new celebrity appears, namely, Sir Isaac Newton. Newton changed science with his Principium Mathematica, his universal law of gravitation and his three laws of motion. He is considered the father of modern science however he was also a very religious man. In fact, most people don't know that Newton wrote more about religion than he did about science. Here’s an incredible fact; Newton studied the Talmud and was influenced by its writings. I think he even wrote books on Torah. There’s an article I read about a box that was discovered filled with his documents, but whose contents nobody wanted to reveal. Why?---because these documents were all about Torah.


In the realm of Torah, who lived at the same time as Newton? The RaMCHaL (an acronym), Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, the prominent Italian Jewish rabbi, kabbalist and philosopher who was introduced in our earlier discussions and upon whose writings much of my classes are based. The RaMCHaL was alive when Newton was alive, though I doubt they ever saw each other. He not only organized Kabbalah, but also clarified the codes of the Kabbalah (to which we referred above) in his book “Derech Hashem”--- the Way of G-d. He thus opened up the analogue to the Kabbalah, that is, the interpretation of the code of the metaphors of Kabbalah of the Ari (see above). This work of the RaMCHaL was, and still is, one of the main contributions to the overall study of Jewish philosophy.


The RaMCHaL wrote Kabbalah, the content.” Derech Hashem” is the analogue of this chomer in the nature of a curriculum: It is about what a Jew devoted to the service of G-d is supposed to study, not how. That is to say that if a person really wants to serve G-d, what chochmah or body of knowledge should he study? He writes that one should acquire knowledge of G-d, knowledge of the commandments---religious duties---and that one should study the Talmud in its entirety, and only then study Kabbalah for the rest of one’s days, because that greatest aspect of Torah brings about the largest amount of Divine energy.


But the RaMCHaL also emphasized the method---one of the three integral aspects of the ohr rishon---for how do you discover ideas, analyze and synthesize those ideas, unless methodology teaches you how to think? Clearly, the rabbi was part of the transmission process of the ohr rishon. The rabbi actually wrote three volumes all about method. One is the “Introduction to Derech Hashem” (a section distinct from the actual book) which is the real method of the RaMCHaL (contrary to what most people think). The second book he wrote was “The Book of Logic,” which is about how to think in detail. The third book instructs how to learn Talmud and a treatment of a subject called Anthology.” For a more indepth listing of the RaMCHaL’s works, see: https://torah.org/learning/ramchal-classes-special2/


Thinking back to previous classes, ask yourself what is the one (Hebrew) word which best describes the ohr rishon?---Yes, it is tiferesbeauty. G-d doesn't want you to walk away with a bunch of fragments in your mind, right? What He wants is that we know everything in terms of how it connects to everything else, because unity is a synthesis of all information and knowledge, and unity always has a structure or system. That's what “unity” means, and that's what G-d wants. Remember what we have discussed, namely, that the ohr rishon, when it is in the klippa, is held back by the force of tumah---impurity and, thus, manifests itself as fragmentation. Clearly, once you release the rhr Rishon, the enlightenment becomes unfragmented. And, following the RaMCHaL, the method that enables one to see tiferes is his “Derech ha’Yichud “– Way of Unity (in thinking). One must have a method of logical thinking that informs and supports the material study.


So, to conclude, The ohr rishon in science is Newton. Ohr rishon in Torah is the Kabbalah and all the hashkafa (the study of G-d’s plan for the world as seen the through the teachings of Torah and Kabbalah) of RaMCHaL. They lived at the same time. And let me stress that, from the perspective of hashkafa, there is no such thing as science without the ohr rishon. Some think of science as the wisdom of the Creation. But no! Science, from this perspective, is the ohr rishon that is given to gentiles which, in turn, manifests itself in science because that is what they want to study. The contribution of science, in this context, is that it puts the magnifying glass on that body of wisdom, while Judaism, with its Torah, Kabbalah and hashkafah, transforms the (seemingly) disordered material and fragmented ideas into beautiful unified concepts.


Surge of Ohr Rishon as Flood.


The next surge is Friday sunrise. That would be 1840, which is a very interesting year. You may recall from our very first classes that the Zohar adduces that the great Flood that destroyed the world (as described in the Torah) occurred in the 600th year of the life of Noah and “the windows of heaven were opened.” The great abyss also opened and water poured forth. What is this “water”?


The RaMCHaL explains that the “water” was really the ohr rishon. Noah was the tenth generation after Adam ha’Rishonprimordial man. G-d wanted, within those ten generations, that mankind rectify the damage that was done to the ten sefirot, those Divine emanations, that interface with our material world. Rather than the rains of the Flood, the ohr rishon should have better poured forth, so to speak, flooding the planet with messianic Light. Instead, due to rampant sinning, the water was transformed from its spiritual analogue, ohr. What should have been a tremendous “flood” of chochmah became, instead, a death-dealing device, a deluge of water. It is written in the Zohar that something of this order of power will happen again in the 600th year of the 6th millennium, which is 5600, which is the English year 1840.


This time, however, it was not to be a destructive flood of water; on the contrary, the event would mark an incredible explosion of knowledge and wisdom. That is the ohr rishon again. Notably, the Maggid of Kozhnitz observed that if the Jews were deserving, they would be the recipients of this messianic Light to be followed by an explosion of enhanced knowledge of Torah wisdom. If they are not deserving, as we have come to understand, the ohr descends upon the secular world in the form of the secular wisdom of science.

The Industrial Revolution happened in and around the year 1840 and technology changed the world introducing machinery, factories, and so many strides in the advance of science. In the 20th-Century series of lectures, I discussed Michael Faraday and Maxwell and the revolutionary understandings of electromagnetism and energy that they fostered, as well as Einstein’s contributions to quantum physics and Henri Becquerel’s discovery of radioactivity in 1895. Yes, the world has changed radically since 1840. That's the “flood” of chochma .

What did the Jews receive at this time through this later flood of wisdom? My theory is this: What the Jews received was a different, if not novel, way of studying Torah---a new analytical way of thinking. They benefited, as before, from a change in the tzurah, the form and not so much the chomer, the content. And what was that tzurah? I tend to think it was Reb Chaim “Brisker’s” revolution of the Jewish world. We are talking about the distinguished Rabbi Chaim (Halevi) Soloveitchik (1853 –1918), the erudite Talmudic scholar credited as the founder of the popular Brisker approach to Talmudic study within Judaism. It is a method of highly exacting and analytical talmudic study that focuses on precise definitions and categorizations of Jewish law as commanded in the Torah, with particular emphasis on the legal writings of Maimonides. It was a new way of thinking, an analytical method akin to the “scientific method.”


In essence, this Brisker manner of the study of the finer points of Jewish law is an analytical method that recognizes, for instance, that many ideas and phenomena appear one way but that, actually, have many categorical conceptions and distinctions that alter how we can regard them. A point of Jewish law itself can have many distinctions and, thereby, answer many halachic questions. The rabbis employing this methodology break down any given idea into many, many different conceptual distinctions, categories or attributes that result in many questions being answered. The method corresponds to the ability to be sensitive to distinctions. That's Brisker and it’s really science. The student thus looks at a phenomenon and formulates: What exactly is it? What attributes has it? What are the properties of a given halacha? For instance: What is a table? What are its properties? Okay, it has substance, weight, shape, and function; it has many different properties. Thus, Brisk looks at the many different properties for any given halacha---religious ruling and is able to generate an enormous number of understandings as a result. The problem with Brisker method of study, however, is that it limits itself to analysis based on the examination of fragments, looking into many, many different separate aspects, without ever synthesizing the parts into a beautiful picture. That is because the methodology is only partially informed by the ohr rishon.


Acceleration of Messianic Events

Today, it's astounding what's going on. The next period after 1890 and 1910 is 1990. It is midday; the sun will soon set, never to rise again. That's incredible! Jews (and others) will begin to think of Erev Shabbos, the time immediately preceding the commencement of the Shabbat. We are now in that (messianic) period and this has enormous results.

Look, for example, at September 1989, Rosh Ha’Shanah, the Jewish New Year. It was the time of day known as “chatzos” ---midday, 12 o'clock noon on Friday. “Bingo!” as they say; the whole world turned topsy-turvy with an acceleration of messianic events.

The Berlin Wall collapsed and the Soviet Union collapsed a year later. Then the World Trade Center was brought down. It’s astounding. Civilization has changed radically. It’s Friday midday and the amount and intensity of ohr rishon coming down is formidable, being so close to Shabbat.


Everyday, recent scientific information becomes outdated, certainly, much more so now than it has in the past. Where are the frontiers of information accessible? --- journal articles. A journal article reveals information that's deemed “cutting edge.” In fact, everyday, 7500 articles are published around the world in science, in chochmah. At that rate, the sum total of human knowledge doubles every 5.6 years. The rate was much slower in the 1980's.

Imagine looking at the contents of the Library of Congress and then, again, half a decade later. There's a building standing there and, five and a half years later, there's another building there, millions and millions of volumes in the Library of Congress and much of it is quite dated. I've been saying this since 1990. Just think; today, 2016, nine out of every ten scientists who ever lived, live today. They live today because most of civilization’s innovations are recent. Put that way, there wasn't much of a difference between someone who lived in 1840 C.E. and a guy who lived in 1840 B.C.E. We might spot different clothing and a different lifestyle, but if you compare a guy who lived in1840 to a guy who lives in 2016; forget about it! There is no way to compare them. If you ever took a guy who lived in 1840 and brought him into today's time, he'd have a heart attack. He could never assimilate what's going on. What you see is the acceleration of human knowledge. This vast acceleration and proliferation of information never happened before in all of human history.


Why?


As we get closer to the Shabbat, closer to the mashiach, the ohr rishon comes down in greater intensity and this is what you're looking at, the intensity of the ohr rishon manifest in secular knowledge, in science, in everything. That's why you have this concept of the “doubling of knowledge.” This makes the most marked difference between somebody who lived in 1840 and somebody who lives now. You walk into a tech or electronic store today and return the next year to discover half the items are different, more advanced. You don't know what half the items are, the different electronic gadgets. The learning curve on each of these things is remarkable, beyond belief. You remember the old cassettes---what do you call them---“8-tracks”? Remember the reel-to-reel tape recorders? You don't even have CDs anymore; it's all flash drives. You can't keep up, and that's just in electronics.

In medicine, there’s the MRI and they put cameras into your body that go through your system and stem cell therapeutics that regenerate tissue. We seem to live in a world of science fiction in which reality appears like what science fiction conjured a decade, or more, ago. It's astounding you know; but what is this? It's the ohr rishon coming down in unbelievable intensity because we are right next to the messianic era.


Past Chatzot, Now

Right now in 2016, we are already beyond chatzot. It is 6.5 hours past sunrise. We are at approximately 12:39 p.m., so close to mashiach. Where do you see this? There's a verse in “Prophets” (Zechariah 14:7): “At the time of evening there will be light.” That's the messianic Light. When does this “evening” start? It started at 12:30 p.m. on the Creation Clock.

Why has this been happening since 1240? G-d prepares the world for this ohr. And interestingly, He’s preparing the gentiles first: From Aristotle until 1240, the growth of knowledge has increased in dimensions of arithmetic progression. From 1240 until Newton, however, it’s no longer arithmetic but geometric. It's not 5+5; it is 5x5. Then from Newton on, and certainly in our time, this growth has been exponential. That’s 55. The ohr is coming down faster and faster with greater intensity. But the main concept you have to take away with you is that G-d has to prepare the world for an onslaught of chochmah that is simply beyond current comprehension.


The ohr has been coming down gradually, preparing the world for this incredible ideal. In the 60’s, suddenly, the world had a certain idea called the “New Age,” with its “Age of Aquarius” and its interest in crystals, chanting, and meditation. There emerged spiritual themes in Hollywood, in movie-making, that were messianic in nature. When the messiah does arrive, a guy can say, “Oh I remember that movie!” For example, in the movie Star Wars there's a concept of “The Force” and that “Force” can be either positive or negative. Doesn’t that sounds somewhat like the Judaic concepts of kedusha---purity, and tumah---impurity, one force that can be either pure or impure? That is really a kabbalistic concept! Indeed, movies today are replete with messianic themes such as “good versus evil” in which evil tries to destroy the whole world until, all of a sudden, the hero emerges and saves it. That's messianic. That's redemptive.


Before someone questions this relationship between Hollywood and messianic times, consider this: Think of how many people can now refer to all these kabbalistic concepts thanks to Hollywood. Why Hollywood? Hollywood movies have global reach. You don't realize everything that G-dis doing. Just think of it this way; G-d is using secular entertainment to promote kabbalistic, messianic ideas.


That’s what it means when, in the “Book of Job,” it’s written: “Who is he that can take out taharah---purity from tumah---impurity?” The tumah is all the stuff many Hollywood movies are depicting. The taharah aspect is people’s ingestion of kabbalistic ideas about redemption, a messiah, evil versus good, and the End of Time. People can begin to anticipate a time when there will be an end, that there will be ohr. It sounds like a fantasy-action-thriller movie. It is as if, quite suddenly, G-d informs the Satan: it's time for the ohr rishon to come down.


Oh! But the Satan could say: s’cuse me, but they're not worthy of this.


So, G-d says, ostensibly: you’re right, but it's got to come down because this is the timetable. Jews are suffering, toiling, sacrificing. It's got to happen now, but I don't want to deny you your prosecutions, the justice. I'll tell you what I'll do; I’ll permit the tumah to take hold of the Zohar and the Kabbalah first. That means that the Hollywood stars will get into this stuff, into the tumah of the Zohar and the Kabbalah. That way, they’ll get the distorted version of holy ideas.


Satan responds: okay, as long as it goes to my guys first, because what I'm hoping is that the religious Jews will be so disgusted by what's happening with the Kabbalah, reject it, and then they’ll not even bother studying it. The Satan is placated. Remember, G-d created the Satan to do what? ---defend justice.

That's in keeping with the concept of tumah. When tumah takes over kedusha, it rips it to shreds. But at least many now know about Kabbalah. All of a sudden everybody knows the Zohar because they heard it on TV or they’ve read an article about Zohar. Ultimately, when the tumah is removed, they will have had a bedrock exposure to hashkafah, of kabbalistic concepts. That’s what will remain. That's really the secret of that question that asks: who takes out taharah from the tumah. That's the concept of the “red heifer,” the totally red cow mentioned in the Torah, the ashes of which purify the erring individual but which, in turn, causes the one who sprinkles the ashes to become impure.



Preparations


When you contemplate the mood of the sixties and the introduction of Kabbalah into the secular (and religious) world, you see the beginning of the preparations of spiritual enlightenment. Were you to go into any bookstore and find the “New Age” section, you’ll find Kabbalistic literature. Half a century ago, this was unheard of. Check it out! Go to Barnes and Noble. Ask anybody where are books to learn Kabbalah. They’ll refer to a list of stuff: Kabbalah, Kabbalah for the layman, “Kabbalah for Dummies.” I hate to use the word “hot,” but Kabbalah is “hot.” We don't even realize how many gentiles are looking into this stuff because Kabbalah is spiritual and they want to have some of it. It’s interesting, but they have no idea that they are promoting spirituality and religiosity. The problem is the tumah. However, that's how you appease the Satan so that he won't prosecute: Kabbalah can come down. It’s a very important concept.


In the Jewish world, the same phenomena of enlightenment have to happen. Indeed, certain very interesting things are happening. First, the Torah is emerging from the klippa. For instance, we are currently witnessing a revolution in the way talmudic literature is being written. Let’s take ArtScroll Publishing as an example. What I'm about to say is an incredible advertisement for ArtScroll because, for the first time in history, the Talmud is being fully explained---fully. It’s even explained in English; it is no longer a “foreign language.”

Second, all the unstated thinking that underlies the complex discussions in the Talmud---for, after all, the Talmud is essentially a notebook---is now inserted. It’s a full and comprehensive composition. All the background information that is generally not available is now provided for the student! Also, many notes and commentaries are there. Today a typical Jewish student can reach great heights in the spheres of intellectual attainment, halachic jurisprudence, and religious insight by delving into the contemporary Judaic literature that revolves around talmudic studies. The legwork is all there; it’s all explained, regurgitated, and digested for you. People think this availability of knowledge is just so modern. In reality the abounding and increasing dissemination of Jewish wisdom is far more than just a modern development.


Let us go deeper in our appreciation of this subject: We have indicated that the Torah is emerging from the klippa. One way of understanding the notion of the Torah being immersed in the klippa in the first place is to realize that the Torah is written in a form that is actually very difficult to access. We have already noted that the Mishnah­---the first major written redaction of the Jewish Oral Law and traditions known as the "Oral Torah"---is also difficult to fathom because it is not sequenced: For instance, there are topics introduced in one place and yet the topic that should logically ensue in the legal discussion may be next treated five chapters later. And because of its brevity, the Mishnah is missing much (needed) information. This is the way Torah has been presented over the generations but, with our emerging understanding of the nature of the klippa, we understand that this apparent sense of disorganization has been characteristic of the chomer, the “content” of Jewish, religious literature, when it was embedded in the traditional tzurah or “form” of the klippa.

But the Torah is now rising out of the klippa due to Artscroll and similar publishers. The Mishnah, and its derivative work, the Gemara, has, in many ways, become “another” book. One corollary of the emerging enlightenment that has infused the study of Jewish sacred texts is the proliferation of the project known as “Daf Yomi” whereby tens of thousands of Jews around the globe study daily, in study groups, prescribed pages of the Talmud. This amazing and probably unprecedented phenomenon is unheard of among any other peoples or religions in the world. It is like---what is this? None of this could ever have happened, none of these publishing events could ever have happened, were the Torah still in the klippa. In the old days, a limited number of Talmudic students studied the magnum opus in its regular, brief form. Today, the Talmud is presented in several languages on a “silver platter.” Intellectual labor is still required but, basically, the material is readily available for study. Had the Talmud been written in such a clear manner years earlier, believe me, we would have a different Jewish people. We would have less argumentation and doubt because everything would have been right there. Now, I can just envisage a publisher like ArtScroll advertising as follows: “Come and experience the ohr rishon even before mashiach arrives!”

It's not only in the field of Talmud that this proliferation of Jewish knowledge has occurred. Did you ever go into a Hebrew bookstore, looking for Judaica? The first thing that hits you is all the English stuff; that's the first thing, right?---the translations, elucidations, and collections. It's astounding what's in English; this never happened before. This is the proliferation of chochmah. G-d now wants everybody not only to know Torah, but the tzurah which has changed its form and made Torah more accessible to anyone who wants to learn. Today you have the whole of the talmudic literature on tape, on CD, online. You can learn the entire body of Talmud by just plugging in earphones. Every Jew today could potentially be a “talmid chacham” ---one well versed in Jewish law, a Torah scholar. This is not happening in reality for reasons that we'll talk about later.


Daf Yomi: Toil Without Acquisition, As Required


There is something else happening which is interesting. Why is there now a concept of the daily study of the Talmud, the Daf Yomi (lit: ‘The Daily Page’)? Did anybody ever wonder? What about the tradition of our sages going back many centuries? They never talked about such a rigorous daily study. What happened? I repeat: This concept of Daf Yomi can only really be understood according to propositions relating to the advent of the messianic era. Now, with all this having been said, there is still a remaining problem: Before mashiach comes, there has to be tremendous Darkness.


Yes, today the Torah is being taken out of the klippa, out of its tumah. But the paradox is that if there is to be Darkness before the mashiach, then nobody (among the Jews) is studying Torah because Darkness translates here as “ignorance.” So, if nobody is learning, that means there's no reward. If there's no reward, how does the ohr rishon get out of the klippa?


Enter Daf Yomi. Let me explain: Every day the students in this worldwide project review two sides of a page of the Talmud within a brief stretch of time. Wonderful! But there is so much material studied that, in essence, the students barely absorb the mass of material. In fact, and in practice, anyone who participates in this daily dose of Talmud study hardly remembers anything at all! In fact, Daf Yomi is the only way a guy can say, “I forgot the whole body of the Talmud!”


Now, I am about to tell you a very strange thing: The establishment of Daf Yomi actually had nothing to do with education! Then why is it being lauded among observant Jews as a method of saving the Jews from themselves, as it were? Everyone in the orthodox Jewish world is promoting Daf Yomi, even though it takes no less than seven and half years to plow through the thousands of pages of the Talmud and nobody remembers anything. They asked a guy, “What do you remember of the past seven and a half years of the Daf?”


And the guy responds, “I don't remember much. But maybe the second time around I'll remember more.'” Well, that's another seven and a half years. I mean, is this education?


So, amazingly, the purpose of Daf Yomi isn't to teach Jews Torah. It's real purpose is in triggering Jews to rise very early in the morning to form these study groups, to display their eagerness to participate in the study of Torah and to express what is called “messiras nefesh”---

self-sacrifice, that is, in this case, rising to the challenge of meeting high goals and ambitions above one’s natural strength. If an individual is committed to such a project, of going to a daily class of Talmud study, he has to think about the content of that daily study page every day. The reward emanates from the effort, not from the study per se, because the study is largely unproductive.


I know that it seems strange. Nevertheless, in the generation before mashiach, when there's incredible Darkness, the rewardcannot be derived from the learning of Torah itself, but it can come through the self-sacrifice, the effort associated with Torah study.Yes, this somewhat lack of educational value explains why the concept never emerged in earlier times. You want to know something? Jews should study Torah! But at this time, before mashiach, the value will not be in knowing the material studied, for there is now “darkness on the face of the deep,” that condition of things before the mashiach. Therefore, Daf Yomi is a critical mechanism that allows people to be able to struggle in Torah and yet not really know Torah.





Incredibly Close to Mashiach


All the signs are there. All of this shows you that we are incredibly close to the mashiach; just look at the signs!

1- We have Eretz Yisrael: It is the first time a nation returned to its land and reclaimed it 2000 years later.

2- Hebrew is now spoken. Whoever heard of a language dead for 2000 years being brought back to life?

3- The return of the exiles to the land powerfully indicates that the klippa of the nations of the world cannot hold them anymore.

4- Chochma has translated into the proliferation of knowledge and its increased accessibility through the internet---global connectivity. Of course, the Satan takes it over and tries to destroy lives through the internet. But we can now anticipate and understand the real, underlying purpose of the internet. Soon, everybody will be able to sit down and watch the mashiach make a presentation in real time, even in the middle of a desert! Yes, according to our understanding, that is what the internet is really for. All of this sounds funny, if not weird, but that's what it's for, lessons for seven billion people!

5- Israel is becoming an economic power: There's more entrepreneurship in Israel than in all of the European countries combined. Israel has become an economic and innovation powerhouse. That's the rise of Israel that sets the stage for the Jews returning to Eretz Yisrael.



The Last Klippah: The Eirev Rav


When they go, then you know it's over. As we have noted, the Eirev Rav is, basically, the government of Israel in concert with secular anti-religious elements who try to destroy authentic Judaism. Yeah, the government works with the religious (political) parties because they need their votes in the cabinet, but it’s all a charade. When Lapid was in the government, all the coalition parties, including the Likud, ganged up against the orthodox Jewish political elements. But when they need the orthodox parties, they suddenly become “sincere” devotees of religion. It’s nonsense! But that's the concept of an Eirev Rav, to destroy the supremacy of Torah Judaism and to reduce Jewish identity to cultural icons.


So, within this scenario, how will klal Yisrael be rehabilitated quickly enough to accept the mashiach?

When Haman (of the Purim saga) came out with his decree, it looked really bad. But you should know that it doesn't make a difference how it looks. It's up to G-d and what He wants to do and, as I told you, either he's going to purify Esav or not. That is what it's all about in two weeks (when elections occur). He’ll either purify Esav or destroy America via Hillary. In a broader sense, it's not Hilary: it's Edom, Esav, America, which is on the line. But you should know that if she gets in, it's over for America. Why?


First of all, as we have observed: Hillary is a crook, a criminal. It's criminal what she did. Her foundation is a scam. She's incompetent. She's a liar. She's a disaster; she has all the five major “virtues” of Clinton. But her “virtues” alone are not how she'll destroy America; there is another way that she’ll destroy America. You know how? I'll tell you.


One of the most dangerous institutions in America is the Supreme Court. There are two positions available right now. The court is balanced between leftist, radical judges and right-wing conservatives, four and four. Scalia died and he was a staunch conservative. If Hillary were to appoint one leftist radical or two, it's over for America because the Supreme Court with a leftist agenda will destroy America’s morality and ethics.

From my perspective, you don't realize that the courts already have made America “liable to the death penalty” because they interpreted the Constitution in favor of homosexuality, the same-sex marriage agenda, and so on. You know that G-d destroyed the world because of this. To remind you: The Flood, as I discussed, and the concept of retribution against New Orleans for its Southern Decadence Day, show us that America is playing with fire. I don't care what you have against Trump; at least Trump is not going to appoint liberals and radicals to the Supreme Court.


It’s up to G-d and what He wants. If He wants to destroy America, Hillary is the one. If He wants to purify America, which I believe He does---and I'll tell you why in the next class---it’s Trump. It doesn't make any difference how bad it looks because, in one fell swoop, G-d can change it. All that’s needed is a new revelation of Hillary’s emails or for Wikileaks to pounce on her or, G-d-forbid, that one hundred people in America to die in one terrorist attack. America would wake up and say: excuse me. She's not going to protect America; he is. I don't care who he is or what he is. I'd rather live and have him than drop dead and have her. It doesn't take much to sway Americans. They are very foolish, naïve. The American people are fickle, incredibly fickle, so tall G-d has to do is just unleash any of this at the right moment.


What I say is: don't worry about this election. Trump or Hillary isn't the subject matter. What G-d wants to do to Edom is the subject matter. Will he purify Edom to help Israel survive the onslaught of Ishmael? I gave a whole class on that, right? I shall talk about why America is critical to save Israel. If G-d destroys Edom, it's over with. Then something else will have to happen for Israel to stand up against Iran.


Actually, I think I see the way that Trump gets in and saves America. I've figured it out. I have a proof from the Torah. It is possible to save America and I've found the biblical answer how to do it and it is astounding! When you look at the parallels it's incredible. This is more powerful than any of Trump’s advertisements that he’s tweeting. Stay tuned!