From the Writings of the Gaon of Vilna
The Divine Mandate of Mashiach ben Yosef (MbY)
by OvadYah Avrahami
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Identifier #1, A – The mission of the great Gaon (who claims the Divine Mandate for being ‘the Light of Mashiach ben Yosef’), with regard to the final generation, is as follows: “All the steps, all the rules and details concerning the period from the beginning of the Redemption until its conclusion, which include the ingathering of exiles and settlement of the Holy Land–all these are the assignment of the exiles and settlement of the Holy Land–all these are the assignment of the first Mashiach, Mashiach ben Yosef.” (Kol Hator, ch. 1, par.1).
Identifier #1, B – “According to the Gaon, all the work involved in gathering in the exiles, building Jerusalem and broadening the settlement of the land of Israel so that the Shechina will return to it, all the principles of the work and all the major and minor details are connected to the mission and role of the first Mashiach, Mashiach ben Yosef. Mashiach ben Yosef is the miraculous power who will assist every act done when the awakening starts.” (Kol Hator, ch.1, 2).
Identifier #1, C – ”According to the Gaon, the ingathering of exiles at the beginning of the Redemption will proceed by means of deliverance and ransom, as is written, ‘then the ransomed of the Lord will return, and come to Zion with glad song’ [Isa. 35:10]. All this will be accomplished y Mashiach ben Yosef:” (Kol Hator, ch.1, 3).
Identifier #1, D – “All the deeds concerned with ingathering exiles in the Land of Israel in general, and in Jerusalem in particular, every general and private act, everywhere of everyone together or separately–all these depend on the existence and success of Mashiach ben Yosef. The existence and success of Mashiach ben Yosef depend on the awakening from below, on the fulfilment of the things and acts that are given and concealed in the 156 qualities, appellations and aspects of Mashiach ben Yosef as explained above and below.” (in the book). (Kol Hator, last par. ch.1)
Identifier #1, E – “[Jer. 31:9] “Efraim is my firstborn”; [Jer: 31:5] “Mount Efraim, ” [Jer. 31:17] “Efraim wanders”; (Jer. 31:20) “Efraim is my favorite son” – all these are basic aspects of Mashiach ben Yosef that appear in the same chapter. Efraim is called God’s firstborn, because he is the first Mashiach through whom the ingathering of the exiles will occur, which means the exodus from exile.” (Kol Hator, ch. 2, 1).
Identifier #1, F – “the revealed End” – Sanhedrin 98; Megilla 17) on the verse (Ez. 36:8) “Rashi, in his commentary on this verse, writes that the revealed end will make the end of the Redemption come closer, and this is the task of the first Mashiach, for anything that prepares for the Redemption is part of the task of Mashiach ben Yosef and is called the ’revealed’ end, after the ’revealed’ God.” (Kol Hator, ch. 2, aspect 132).
Identifier #1, G – “Repair of the world in the Malchut (Kingdom) of the Almighty” — Wherever repair is mentioned, it is part of the mission of Mashiach ben Yosef. This is the ultimate purpose of all the work connected with the beginning of the footsteps of the Mashiach, whose main gaols are as follows: to gather in the exiles, rebuild Jerusalem, remove the impure spirit from Eretz Israel, redeem Truth, sanctify the name of God, and repair the world in the Malchut of the Almighty, as is written: “with their own eyes they will see when God returns to Zion” (Isa. 52:8).” (Kol Hator, ch. 2, aspect 156).
Identifier #1, H – “God has exposed His holy Arm before all the nations” (Isa. 52:10), refers to sanctifying the name of God. “All ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God” (Isa. 52:10), refers to repairing the world in the Malchut of the Almighty. All of these are the mission of the mashiach of the beginning, the first Mashiach, Mashiach ben Yosef, who comes at the time of the awakening from below, and will find completion when Mashiach ben David comes, speedily in our day, Amen.” (Kol Hator, ch. 2, aspect 156).
Identifier #1, I – “The revelation of the hints in the Torah progresses along with the progression of the footsteps of the Mashiach in our Holy Land, until all the hints in the Torah will be revealed during the last generation. This is taught by our righteous Mashiach, because the Torah will come forth from Zion [Isa. 2:3], meaning that hidden things and secrets will be revealed.” (Kol Hator, ch.3, 12).
Identifier #1, J – “During the period of the footsteps of the Mashiach, the revelations will begin little by little, like the beginning of the Redemption which is compared to the dawn according to our Sages, with the characteristic of gathering in the exiles and eradicating the impure spirit from the land by settling the land and setting up people of Truth. For the goal of the Redemption in general is the redemption of Truth and sanctification of God as explained in previous chapters.” (Kol Hator, ch.3, 12).
Identifier #1, K – “Then the prophet calls out: ‘burst out, sing joyfully together, O ruins of Jerusalem’ [Isa. 52:9], which apparently refers to the rebuilding of Jerusalem and ridding it of the odor of impurity. The joy is because ‘the Lord has comforted His People; He has redeemed Jerusalem’ [Isa. 52:9]. These words relate to the redemption of truth, for Jerusalem is called the City of Truth. This statement is followed by: ‘God has uncovered His holy arm before the eyes of all the nations’ [Isa. 52:10], which refers to sanctification of God. The verse alludes to Israel’s victory in the War of Gog and Magog, through Mashiach ben Yosef who, according to the Gaon, will appear following the first redemption from the oppression of the kingdoms, with the great force revealed in the words that God is truth and His seal is truth. Then “all ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God” [Isa. 52:10], which is a reference to the revelation of our righteous Mashiach, Mashiach ben David.” (Kol Hator, ch 4,par. 4).
Identifier #1, L – “All the work involved in gathering in the exiles is in preparation of setting up and “maintaining people of truth, ” in order to reach the level of redemption of the truth and sanctifying God and repairing the world in the Malchut of the Almighty that is the goal of the complete Redemption. For without the existence of people of truth, there is no hope, God forbid, for all the work involved in the beginning of the Redemption.” (Kol Hator, ch 5,, B).
Identifier #1, M – Further Mandatory achievements for MbY. “Unity.” This refers to the unification of the Holy One blessed be He and the Shechina …, because when the two pieces of wood, the wood of Yosef and the wood of Judah, are combined into “one in My hand, ”that is, in the hand of God, then truth is redeemed …, i.e., the Redemption is completed. The plain meaning is that unity refers to unification with the Holy One, Blessed be He. After rising all the previous six levels, it is possible to attain the level of the unification of the Holy One Blessed be He with the Shechina, and the return of the Shechina to Zion and the completion of the Redemption, may it happen speedily, Amen.” (Kol Hator, ch 5, Repair 7).
Identifier #1, N – “The term ‘during the footsteps of the Mashiach,’ which is used by our Sages, should be interpreted literally: during the time of the footsteps of the Mashiach and at its high point, i.e., at the height of the activities at the beginning of the Redemption — primarily the ingathering of the exiles, rebuilding Jerusalem, redemption of Truth and sanctification of God’s name, as noted above–during this time the Sitra Achra will become more powerful in attempting to disturb and precipitate failure by uprooting the truth and preventing sanctification of God. This is what is meant by “who taunted the footsteps of Your Mashiach [Ps. 89:52]” (Kol Hator, c. 5, pg. 92).
Identifier #1, O -“The purpose of gathering in the exiles is to wage God’s war against Amalek, which was the main mission of Joshua, in line with Mashiach ben Yosef. The war against Amalek includes every aspect, against all the enemies of Israel, including Armilus, the prince of the mixed multitude. It is also intended to remove the spirit of impurity from the Land, and to bring ” Knesset Israel and Shechina from below, from the earth.” (Kol Hator, pg. 8, 2nd par.).
The alert reader would have noticed in the above quotes several other identifiers of “MbY” – away from a specific individual Personage as Christianity and Judaism holds. After studying various identifications of MbY, we will then contemplate on Who, what, and where the real MbY is – a concept totally different from what Christianity and Judaism have proclaimed.