Rav Ofer Erez shlit”a with sound advice about how to survive the tests befalling us in our generation that are only getting tougher each day.
These are his holy words:
“In our generations, which are called the ‘heels of Mashiach’ [the last generations before the coming of Mashiach], Our Sages, the Tannaim, and Amoraim, said explicitly, ‘[Mashiach] should come and I don’t want [to be there] to see him’ (Sanhedria 98b) — Mashiach will come and I don’t want to be in the tests of those generations. Our Sages saw with Divine inspiration what kinds of harsh tests there were going to be in our generation, such as there never were before.
“On the one hand, the Gemara says that the least of the Tannaim could revive the dead; on the other hand, the Tanna says, ‘No problem, I’m prepared to revive the dead; but to be in this generation, I’m not prepared’ — ‘[Mashiach] should come and I don’t want [to be there] to see him’, because of the enormous fear that the Tannaim had of the tests of this generation.
“There is an overwhelming strengthening of difficulty during the days of the ‘heels of Mashiach’ — an overwhelming amount of tests, which according to our Sages and the Tzaddikim over the generations, our generation is more difficult than all other generations. We don’t realize this, but this is what we are told. Never before was there a generation with such difficulties. Therefore, we cannot stand up against these tests alone.
“The war in this world is too hard. We can’t make it through this war. So the strongest way which Hashem revealed to us to contend with this war, especially in our generation, is binding ourselves to the Tzaddikim.
The strongest way to contend with this war is binding ourselves to the Tzaddikim
“Also, in earlier generations, there was always this point of binding oneself to the Tzaddikim, but never in such a revealed [way], to the extent, and with such necessity, as it is in our generation. Because a person can’t stand up today alone in the war against the yetzer hara [evil inclination].
“I heard Rav Berland say: ‘A person also doesn’t know what the day will bring’ — meaning, that every day we wake up, we say this in our prayer, ‘[Hashem] renews every day, always, the work of creation.’ And the [more] clear meaning of this — Every day, in the morning, we receive a piece of paper that’s written on it which yetzer hara we’re going to have on this day. And a person doesn’t know which piece of paper he’s going to receive tomorrow morning. And every time new tests arouse themselves [against him], and a person doesn’t know what the day will bring. Therefore, fortunate is he who fears [Heaven] always, because a person doesn’t know what kind of yetzer hara he’ll receive in the morning.
“This subject of the ‘heels of Mashiach’ is very difficult and powerful. The Baal Shem Tov began to reveal this in the world, and all his talmidim went on this path, especially Rebbe Nachman. They revealed the most fundamental and necessary point — ‘Binding oneself to the Tzaddikim’…what power we receive through this.
“Therefore, Rebbe Nachman says that through the Torah and binding oneself to the Tzaddikim we receive the power to reveal the good in the days of evil.”
See the video of Rav Ofer Erez’s shiur below (in Hebrew):