ROSH HASHANA (by Binyamin Zev Kahane)

Our sages teach that there are two distinct ways in which the final
redemption can occur: Either it will be a "hurried" (Achishena) redemption
which comes with majestic glory and free of pain and tragedy, or it will be
"in it's time" (Bi-Eta). "In it's time" means that the redemption will come
despite our unworthiness, accompanied by terrible destruction and holocaust
as the deserved punishment that precedes the final glory and salvation. G-d
stretches the process out, one painful step after another. This suffering is
known as the "birth pangs of Moshiach".

End of Final Grace Period

These painful steps are actually periods of grace which G-d, in His abundant
mercy grants us, in the hope that we will heed His warnings and do
"Tsheuva". They are warnings intended to awaken us to repentance, so that we
may prevent the final stage of "redemption in it's time", in which we will
experience unprecedented suffering and holocausts. However, there are a
limit to these grace periods. Our teacher, Rabbi Meir Kahane, H"yd,
constantly warned in his speeches, classes and books, that we are extremely
close to the final hour, after which there will be no more grace periods. In
such a scenario, G-d will pour forth His wrath, and only afterwards will He
bring the redemption. Only a few will remain to see it, and according to our
rabbinical sources, the remnant will include only the righteous.

Who Will Be Written in the Book?

This is what the prophet Isiah says (6:13): "And if one tenth remain in it,
then that shall again be consumed... the holy seed will be the vitality of
the land". Rashi explains this passage: "And that remnant G-d shall cleanse
one step after another, and it shall be barren until there will remain only
the totally righteous, who will return to G-d with all their hearts." (also
see Ketuvot 112). 

More words of the prophet (4:3-4):  "And it shall come to pass that he that
is left in Zion, and he that remains in Jerusalem, shall be called holy
(Rashi - they will all be righteous), every one in Jerusalem that is written
to life (Radak: it will be decreed upon them to live because of their
uprightness and good deeds): when the Lord has washed away the filth of the
daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Yerushalayim from its
midst by the spirit of judgment (Rashi - through suffering) and the spirit
of burning (Rashi - to burn them out from this world)

On the verse 26:20 in Isiah, Radak comments: "This is talking about the war
of Gog and Magog, in which troubles will befall Israel for a short
time...the righteous will cloak themselves with good deeds and complete
repentance, because for a moment there will be fury and then it will pass -
and the righteous will be saved, as it says - all that are there will be
written in a book"

And in Daniel's awesome vision (12:1): "And at that time shall Mikhail stand
up, the great chief angel, who stands for the children of thy people: and
there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was seen since there was a
nation till that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered,
every one who shall be found written in this book." The Ibn Ezra comments:
"They will only be salvaged because of the great heavenly prince Mikhail.
Therefore, only those written in the book will be saved - and they are the
righteous." Rav Sadia Gaon explains it the same way.

Total "Tsheuva"

Only those who sincerely believe in G-d will be saved. Only those who
understand the obligation to stand up to the test of faith and trust in G-d
during difficult times when external and internal enemies are poised against
us will be salvaged. While Shabbat, Kosher food, and the laws of family
purity are great mitzvot in which one can attain eternal life, they are
simply not enough. Without genuine trust in G-d, then all these mitzvot have
no real meaning. When G-d's Name is being desecrated daily and we persist in
perpetuating national Hillul Hashem by our refusal to fulfill mitzvot which
may anger the nations, fulfillment of private mitzvot will not suffice.  By
not performing "difficult" mitzvot which express real faith in  G-d, we
remain mere practitioners of sterile ritual.

Who really believes in G-d? Who really says, "Some trust in chariots, and
some in horses; but we will make mention of the Name of the Lord our G-d",
and means it? Does he really believe that the Syrian tanks, the Iraqi
missiles, and most importantly, America's money are not the least bit
relevant in light of our obligation to fulfill G-d's "national"
commandments?  This is the true "tsheuva"; this is "the return will all
their hearts" which Rashi spoke of. 

Let us not smooth things over, but rather take these words very seriously.
We are speaking about facts which our prophets and sages warned about if we
do not do complete "tsheuva". Just as all their previous words have come
true to this day, there is no reason to believe that the rest of their words
are mere "doomsday fairy tales".

A  Plea to Individuals

No one amongst us really knows the precise accountings of G-d and how much
of an extension He will grant us before the final stage of the redemption.
But one thing is clear: We know  the tragedy the nation is facing, as they
follow their wicked leaders whose motto is "eat and drink, for tomorrow we
die". And so it is our obligation to at least turn to individuals who want
to save themselves. Perhaps by pleading to individuals, whom by nature want
to save themselves and their loved ones, we can find hearts open to our
words. Perhaps this reawakening, with G-d's help, will effect the general

Our sages made an additional comment on the passage, "And if one tenth
remain in it, then that shall again be consumed.": "G-d said to Isiah...I
have created for them ten days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur so that
they would repent completely during these days." Incredible! Instead of
punishing us blow after blow until "she is consumed", G-d gives us a ten day
grace period to repent and salvage ourselves from these horrors. It is our
last chance to bring in the redemption with splendor and majesty. Today, if
we will listen to His voice.

Weekly Parsha by Binyamin Zev Kahane
Translated by Lenny Goldberg