The Messiah Coming In a Generation That is Completely Liable [For Extinction] – The Vilna Gaon Explains on What Point Are They Liable

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The Messiah Coming In a Generation That is Completely Liable [For Extinction] – The Vilna Gaon Explains on What Point Are They Liable

Undue Flattery to Agripas and Those Similar to Him

    It is stated in tractate Sotah at the end of chapter 7 that at the time when King Agripas was reading the verse, “You may not appoint a foreigner”, etc. [Deuteronomy 17:15] tears dripped from his eyes because he was not from the seed of Israel. They said to him, “you are our brother”. Now at the same time Israel became liable to extinction because they unduly flattered Agripas. For even though they didn’t have the ability to protest, nevertheless, they should have been silent and not  strengthen him in this way [by saying you are legitimate, you are our brother]. And this is the punishment of one who gives undue flattery in the matter of a transgression because he is afraid of the other person and is not concerned about the fear of the Holy One Blessed be He [until here is the translated quote of the Mishna Brura chapter 156].

The Vilna Gaon Predicted That The Generation In Which The Son Of David Arrives In Will Be Entirely Liable Based On A Sin Similar To The “Agripas Sin”

   Rabbi Yochanan stated, if you see a generation continually getting smaller, wait for him, for it was stated, “And the afflicted {alt translated, poor} people you shall save”, etc. [II Samuel 22:28]. Rabbi Yochanan stated, if you see a generation that many troubles come upon it [the generation] as a narrow river, wait for him, for it was stated, For he will come as a narrow river a spirit of G-d is miraculous within it [Yishayahu/Isaiah 59:19]. And in the adjacent verse, “Now a redeemer shall come to Zion”. Furthermore, Rabbi Yochanan stated, the son of David only comes in a generation that is entirely meritorious or entirely liable. In a generation that is entirely meritorious, for it is written, “And your nation, all of them are righteous forever they shall inherit the land” [Isaiah 60:21]. In a generation that is entirely liable, for it is written, “And he saw that there was no man and he was astonished for there was no intercessor” [Yishayahu 59:16]. And it is written, “For my sake I will do it” [Yishayahu 48:11]. [Rabbi Yochanan’s words are quoted from tractate Sanhedrin page 98].
The Vilna Gaon explained in his commentary to Esther 1:5 , derech haremez, over what issue will the generation be entirely liable and here are his words:
And the matter is that in the footsteps of the Messiah, audacity will be come great [end of tractate Sotah] and the youths shall strongly  embarrass the elders and the elders shall rise before the youths. Now this is their intention of what was said [tractate Hagiga, page 14] “18 curses did Yishayahu {Isaiah} curse them with, but his mind was not appeased” etc. Now this is hard to accept. For did it enter your mind that Yishayahu was a hater of Israel? Rather every hardship that befalls Israel in the exile brings closer the deliverance, as it is stated, “a payment that is entirely of hardship”. Therefore all the curses are for their benefit; but even so, his mind was not appeased until he said, “the youth shall behave with arrogance towards the elder” [Yishayahu 3:5], for then definitely the messiah comes, for in the footsteps of the messiah audacity will become great. And the matter of this audacity is that they establish a judge and a leader who is not fit. And they said [tractate Sanhedrin page 7] “All who establish a judge who is not fit, it as though they have planted a wooden Asheira idol”, etc. Furthermore in the Yerushalmi they are called gods of silver and gods of gold [see there the words of Maharsha]. Now therefore the youths embarrass the elders. However that the elders stand before the youths, who forced them to do this? Rather the audacity has become overwhelming and it is even present in the elders and in all of them, also in the great men of the generation. And they said, [tractate Sotah page 41] “At the time that they gave undue flattery to Agripas, the enemies of Israel [a euphemism to avoid saying a negative statement] became liable to extinction. And therefore Israel  became liable specifically in that generation.

Why Am I Raising this issue now?

In an attempt to gain popularity several religious Israeli politicians have made statements that on face value appears to be an endorsement of society breaking Torah law. No one is forcing them to make these statements. In my humble opinion they are repeating the Agripas sin.

My hope is that if we strongly act to correct the Agripas sin, this will move the redemption of Israel forward.

New Addition: 3 Times a Day We Pray, Restore Our Judges As At First, Nevertheless There Are Religious Politicians in Israel Who Have Recently Made Statements That They Have No Aspirations to Have The State of Israel Run By Torah Law (Halacha)

These statements by the politicians made without overt coercion from the secular leadership to make such statements is an example of the Agripas sin. The politicians could have remained silent as the Mishna Brura ruled (chapter 156).
This post is written by Shlomo Moshe Scheinman

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