Sunday, June 26, 2005

"The Great Redemption" (Intro.)

"The Great Redemption" by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto

-- A Discourse on The End of the Exile and the Beginning of the Great Redemption

Translated by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

I'm beginning a new series now, please G-d, and offering a translation of Ramchal's lesser-known "Ma'amar HaGeulah" (A Discourse on The Redemption). The translation will be left uncommented upon (probably), though I might offer a series of explanations after the whole series. Here's an introduction for the meanwhile.

A Preliminary Overview:

The Great Redemption (The "Geulah") will start to unfurl at a slow, steady pace as the great Luminaries ("M'orot") begin the awesome process of adjustment and repair. The end will be the perfection of the Jewish Nation along with the rectification of the entire world. But a lot will happen before that. And it's "Ma'amar HaGeulah" that details what will go on both within the Luminaries themselves and in the course of the great unfurling.

The work itself is divided into four parts: First is an explanation of the nature and consequences of the exile ("Galut") we're now in; second, an overview of the "P'kidah" and "Z'chirah" stages; third, the rectification of the Shechina and both Moshichim (plural of Moshiach, or "Messiah"); and fourth, an explication of certain recondite themes like "tumah", the "husks" and the "other side", as well as the "union of HaKodesh Boruch Hu and His Shechina", the coming of the Moshiach, the unfurling of wisdom and the supernal light that's been sequestered away, and our eventual eternal D'vekut onto G-d.


Four tragic things characterize the galut (aside from our being in exile). The light that the Luminaries emit is hidden away, thusby emboldening the powers of impurity; other nations rule over us with a vengeance; the Shechina dwells among the impurities; and we suffer all sorts of trials and tribulations.


This is the first stage in the geulah. The term "p'kidah" itself implies a visitation or a special dispensation of Divine favor, as in "G-d *visited* Sarah as He said (He would); ... did what He said (He would) for Sarah, and Sarah conceived" (Genesis 21:1-2).

At this stage the earliest damage done by the exile -- The hiding of the supernal light and the subsequent emboldening of the powers of impurity -- will be repaired to a great degree though not entirely. And the Shechina will emerge out of the dust. But those things will only come about on a level we wouldn't actually experience (i.e., on a soul level), and only for a short time at that.

The Moshiach's spirit will start to come to life then, too, and he'll begin to blossom. Finally, our people will be inspired to return to G-d's service. Then the z'chirah stage will begin.


The term z'chirah implies dwelling upon something and remembering it, as in "And G-d remembered Rachel, ... listened to her, and opened her womb" (Genesis 30:22).

It's in the z'chirah stage that outward and apparent changes will come about, and that all four forms of harm done in galut will be amended. Moshiach Ben Yoseph and Moshiach Ben David will have both appeared and lead the Jewish Nation to Israel, all of our troubles will cease, and the Holy Temple ("Beit Hamikdash") will be rebuilt.

The great and ultimate truth that G-d is indeed the Sovereign King of the universe will become manifest, and that will bring on the goodness and peace we've always wanted as well as the destruction of evil, and the great universal rectification.

The Rectified World:

The "Great Gate" will be reopened in the end, and holiness will reign. We'll understand that harm and wrongdoing was never meant to be permanent, and joy will fill the world.

(c) 2005 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman(

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AT LONG LAST! Rabbi Feldman's translation of "The Gates of Repentance" has been reissued at *at a discount*! You can order it right now by logging onto (or by going to and searching for it). Rabbi Yaakov Feldman has translated and commented upon "The Gates of Repentance", "The Path of the Just", and "The Duties of the Heart" (Jason Aronson Publishers). And his new work on Maimonides' "The Eight Chapters" will soon be available from Judaica Press.
His works are available in bookstores and in various locations on the Web.
Rabbi Feldman also offers two free e-mail classes on entitled "Spiritual Excellence" and "Ramchal".