Friday, November 14, 2008

Gog and Magog: War of Emunah

The war of Gog and Magog is an internal war within each and every one of us against that which denies the reality of Divine Providence. The war manifests itself when we are challenged to follow what the Torah tells us to do in a situation when such a course of action appears "guaranteed to fail" in the eyes of worldly logic.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe explains here that the way to acheive victory in this war of Gog and Magog is through learning and internalizing the teachings of Chassidus (the inner dimension of Torah) to such a degree that worldly logic ceases to be the basis for a persons view on what will bring success, and instead his perspective is informed by the insights and "assumptions" of G-dly Wisdom.

In this way--by learning and internalizing the teachings of Chassidus--we will merit the promise of the Zohar, to be redeemed from exile mercifully. (YN)

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...thus at the end of exile there is a strenghtening of the klipa of Apikorsus, which is the idea of the war of Gog and Magog...entirely denying the reality of G-dliness... (Kesser Shem Tov Hosafos 400)

"I strike, but I heal, and no one can rescue from My Hand." (Devarim 32:39)

It is known the explanation of the Rebbe Maharash (l'chatchila arriber(1)) that "I strike, but I heal" is connected with the revelation of Pnimiyus Hatorah (the inner dimension of Torah) by the Rashbi. Because by all the other Tannaim(2), even those that learned Pnimiyus Hatorah, their learning was in a way that there is mechitza (divider) between Nigleh d'Torah (the revealed aspect of Torah) and Pnimiyus Hatorah. But regarding Rashbi his learning was in a way where the division ceased to exist, "I strike, but I heal", that a union was made between Pnimiyus Hatorah and Nigleh d'Torah, and how much more so after it has become "a mitzvah to reveal this wisdom"(3), and more than this, a mitzvah to spread the wellsprings outward, in accordance with the instruction (together with the giving of the ability) of my father-in-law the (Previous) Rebbe Nosi Doreinu(4).

And through this we merit to the true and complete Geulah -- "with this book of yours the book of the Zohar...[Yisroel] will be redeemed from exile mercifully."(5)

And this is also related to the end of the verse "and no one can rescue from My Hand", as explained in Targum Yonason ben Uziel that this refers to the war of Gog and Magog, etc. -- because by learning Pnimiyus Hatorah in a manner of "If they were wise, they would understand this" (Devarim 32:29), and drawn down to the da'as (internalized knowledge) until "this is their end" (ibid), and in a way of "I strike, but I heal", then "and no one can rescue from My Hand" comes to be, as stated, the war of Gog and Magog, until the point of victory, etc.

1. The Rebbe Maharash's familiar saying: "the world says, that one comes to an obstacle, the first thing to do is try to go around it, and only then to go over it, but I say, go over it from the beginning (lechatchila arriber)!"
2. Great sages of the Mishnaic era.
3. Stated by the Arizal, brought down in Tanya, Igeres Hakodesh, Epistle 26.
4. "Leader of our generation".
5. Zohar III:124b, Raya Mehemna, brought in Tanya, Igeres Hakodesh there.

Sicha of the Lubavitcher Rebbe 6 Tishrei 5747

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