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Searching for Moshiach in the Darkness (in Sodom)
[Hashem says] “I found the Messiah my servant, where did I find him? In Sodom!” (Talmud Sanhedrin 109b)
From a class in Likutei Halachot Hashkamat Haboker 1:6-1:8
By: Rabbi Yissachar Berg
The Zohar says Moshe is Moshiach, he is the Redeemer. He was with the Jewish people in slavery, in the most impure and dark place in the entire Egypt. He grew up in the house of Pharaoh. And this is the aspect of the small point of good which is imprisoned and concealed within many, many layers of darkness and evil. We see it also by Yosef, that was in the dungeon of Egypt and that’s what paved the way to the redemption of the Jewish people. That’s the aspect of the good point being hidden within all the bad and all the evil and we see. That is also the aspect of Queen Esther. We are now coming up to the holiday of Purim. Queen Esther was sent to the house of Achashverosh. She was sent to marry Achashverosh, who was the biggest idol worshiper, he was the epitome of evil in the world. She was sent to marry him, to be with him in his house, to be stuck in his palace, the most impure place in the world. By means of that we were able to have the redemption and the story of Purim when we were redeemed again and brought back to the land of Israel to build the second temple.
And the third redemption going to be brought about through the Moshiach, the final Redeemer. He will also be imprisoned and enclosed within the epitome of evil. And the final evil is the evil of the erev rav, which is was what Rebbe Natan here is explaining – complete chaos. The erev rav are a mixed multitude, they are a mixture of good and evil, they are not a nation of their own, they exist among us, and there is no clear definition of who they are. And in all the previous exiles we had a clear enemy. But in the final exile, especially the last days before the final redemption, our enemy is a tricky one because we can’t really give him a clear definition. He’s what’s called the erev rav, the mixed multitude, because they have a mixture of good and evil. On the one hand, they seem Jewish, they were born Jewish. On the other hand, they’re the strongest klipah since the creation of the world. The Zohar says that since Moshe was the one who saved the erev rav by bringing them out of Egypt, he will need to suffer in the hands of the erev rav, when he comes back as the final redeemer, by being imprisoned in their prison before the redemption. And the Zohar says that the redemption cannot come until the erev rav who are in the aspect of Amalek, who persecute the tzaddikim get wiped out from the world. So, the Messiah must go and imprison himself within this darkest klipah called the erev rav, which is the source of and the epitome of evil in the world. He must go and sit in prison under their power, in order to essentially nullify their power to bring about the redemption. For the light and goodness to be revealed specifically from those dark places, then automatically he shines light on everything else that surrounds him and on the entire world.
That’s why Rebbe Nachman and Rebbe Natan emphasis so much the idea of seeking out the Tzaddik of the generation. The Tzaddik of the generation is hidden, where are you going to find him? You’re going to find him within the darkness, he’s hidden within the darkness, he’s in prison within the darkness. And that’s the job of the Tzaddik. To go into those dark places, in order to shine light on the entire world, because from there he will be able to fix the source of darkness, and the source of evil.
This aspect of finding the good point, of always searching for the good points within everything even within the greatest darkness, and the epitome of evil. This also is an aspect of looking for the Tzaddik of the generation. That Tzaddik of the generation is hidden within the darkness. And a person doesn’t see the his a Tzaddik, just like a person doesn’t see that their good point is really good. But Rebbe Natan says you need to really seek it out, to really search for it and really try, and beg and ask Hashem to reveal to him the Tzaddik, to reveal to him the good point within everything. And when that good point is found, it is revealed, and when someone connects to it and taps into it, then all of a sudden they see the goodness starts to spread within all of creation, and that’s how redemption comes about. Rebbe Nachman says that redemption comes about through connecting to the Tzaddik of the generation. If the Jewish people in Egypt wouldn’t have connected themselves to Moshe, but would have said “he grew up in the house of Pharaoh, why should we go after him?” Then they wouldn’t have been redeemed, but since they had emunah, and they believed in Moshe, “vayahaminu bashem u’bimoshe avdo,” they believed in Hashem and in his servant Moshm, only through that were they able to be redeemed and see all the miracles of the splitting of the sea, the 10 plagues, and receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai. But if they wouldn’t have searched through the darkness, which is signified by the plague of darkness when they were commanded to search out the diamonds and jewelry in the homes of the Egyptians. That is to search the little good points within the epitome of darkness, to search for the tzaddik, the redeemer. If they wouldn’t have done that and sought out Moshe and followed him faithfully they wouldn’t have been redeemed. And in fact 4/5th of the Jews who didn’t believe in Moshe died in the plague of darkness. Moshe which is the spark of good hidden within the epitome of darkness, he’s the one that’s revealing all the goodness, the treasures within Egypt, he’s the one putting an end to the darkness, he’s the one that’s putting an end to all the evil, by shining the small sparks of light from deep within it.
So the main thing is to search for the tzaddik of the generation, to search for the good within the darkness, because we’re in the darkest of generations, every generations gets darker and darker and darker, more and more evil. Sometimes we see and hear things that we can’t even believe that we’re living in such times, how could there be such evil? We often find it hard to believe some of the things that we hear. But the main thing is not to be discouraged by the evil, the main thing is to focus only on the good don’t even look at the evil, don’t pay attention to it, as if it doesn’t exist. Look for the good, search for the tzaddik and focus on the tzaddik, don’t even focus on what they’re saying and what they’re doing around him and all the evil that he surrounds himself with, focus on the point of good itself and nothing else. Through that you will be able to give life, to give speech, to give expression to the Tzaddik, and it will be able to spread the light of Moshiach, of the redemption, to the entire world.
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