Don’t Pray for the Mashiach Before Reading This

Our trials and tribulations are more than we can bear. BUT, there is a right way and a wrong way to pray for Mashiach. Rabbi Arush explains how to bring Mashiach safely so that all Jews will merit their tikkun and a merciful redemption. A MUST read!

6 min

Rabbi Shalom Arush

Posted on 06.06.24

Translated from Rabbi Arush’s feature article in the weekly Chut shel Chessed newsletter. The articles focus on his main message: “Loving others as yourself” and emuna.


The Tzaddik Has the Right to Veto 

The righteous rav, Rabbi Yehuda Ze’ev Leibowitz, who passed away more than a decade ago, was the leader of a group of tzaddikim nistarim (hidden tzaddikim). During the Gulf War, when Saddam Hussein, may his memory be blotted from the earth, threatened Israel with missiles with unconventional warheads, there was great fear in Israel. 


The hidden tzaddikim decided that they want to bring the Geula (final redemption), but they knew that they need Rabbi Yehuda Zeev to agree to this. So, they waited for an opportunity when they were all gathered together and brought up the subject. 


Rabbi Yehuda Zeev was upset. He turned to his assistant and began to ask him about every one of the tzaddikim present: “Tell me, did Rabbi X through the Holocaust?” The assistant replied, “No, he did not go through the Holocaust.” And he asked again, “and did Rabbi Y go through the Holocaust?” and the assistant said again that he hadn’t.  


Rabbi Yehuda Zeev went through all the hidden tzaddikim who were present there, and asked about each one of them, by name, whether he had been in the Holocaust, and the answer for all of them was no.  


In the end, he cried out; “They didn’t go through the Holocaust, and they want to bring Mashiach?! Don’t they understand that bringing the Mashiach before his time will bring on another Holocaust? Do they have any idea of the meaning of another Holocaust?! I don’t agree! I went through the terrible Holocaust, and I know what it is, and I won’t let it happen!” 


This story explains why the message from Heaven is not to force things and not to bring the Geula before its proper time. It is brought in the Gemara already that the Holy One, Blessed be He, makes the Jewish People vow that if they try to bring  Mashiach before it is time, the results will be very bad; also, it is brought in the Gemara that Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi tried to hasten the Geula according to Eliyahu Hanavi’s advice, and his attempt was sabotaged by the Heavens, and Eliyahu Hanavi was punished with thirty strikes of fire. 


The mekubalim (kabbalists) of Tzfat tell of a great mekubal who lost his mind because he tried to hasten the coming of Mashiach with some practical Kabbala, and about a group of the Rashash’s disciples who tried to hasten the Mashiach, and then, too, there was Heavenly condemnation for this act.  


With Our Children and Our Aged 

From these stories and from many others we learn that Hashem is very particular about not bringing the Geula before the proper time. We will now bring another story that explains this from a different angle.


The Chozeh (“seer”) of Lublin was the greatest Chassidic rebbe in Poland. He had tens of thousands of chassidim, among them many great talmidei chachamim and well-known rabbis.  


One time, when there was a big gathering around the Chozeh, he said publicly: 

“I can bring the Mashiach now already, and I am not doing this, because then there will remain far-flung, lost souls among the Jews who will not get their tikkun (rectification) and will not experience the Geula.” 

One of the great rabbis who were there was scandalized, and said to the Chozeh: “Rabbeinu, do all of the Jewish people have to suffer so much, just for far-flung, lost souls?” 

This incident happened long before the terrible Holocaust. Today, when we know how many disasters have befallen the Jews since then, we can well feel the cry: Did we go through all this just for the sake of a few lost souls? 

The Chozeh replied: “Who told you that you are not one of those lost souls?…” 

And if that is what was said to that great Torah scholar, then certainly no one among us has any chance of knowing whether he is ready for the coming of Mashiach, or that, chalila, that coming will harm his eternal tikkun, and he will remain behind, chalila


And not only that the coming of Mashiach will be harmful to you, but also maybe you are the one who is delaying the Geula, as Rabbi Nachman says, “Because perhaps in his first gilgul he was the cause of the destruction of the Beit Mikdash, and even if not, perhaps he is delaying the building of the Beit Mikdash now, and that is considered as if he caused the destruction.” [Likutei Moharan II 67:5] And, therefore, he writes in a different place: “This is the rule: Every person should make sure that he is not causing the delay of the Mashiach.” [Likutei Moharan 79:1]


Prayer With Three Conditions 

From these stories we see that there are a few problems in praying for the Mashiach before the right time: 

The first problem is that you yourself don’t know if you are ready for the coming of the Mashiach, or whether you are the one delaying it.

The second problem is, that even if you yourself are ready, there is great egotism involved. You have, so to speak, your own interests in mind, ignoring the welfare of your brethren.

The third, that this might mean great troubles, as Rabbi Yehuda Ze’ev said.  


And so, we must make sure that our wishes and the prayers we say for the coming of Mashiach will be correct and exact, as we will explain: 

First of all, you want Mashiach? Start with yourself! 


Sometimes the prayer for the coming of Mashiach is instead of working on yourself. A person doesn’t want to improve himself, and he thinks that the Mashiach will do the work for him… 


That is why the task and our main prayer should be that we should be able to fix ourselves and fulfill our mission and destiny in this world. Or at least begin a process of self-improvement, spending at least an hour a day in personal work and hitbodedut so that we will be able to say that we have done the minimum needed to not prevent the coming of Mashiach, and rectifying ourselves so that we will be ready for his coming. We shouldn’t think that the Mashiach will come and do the work and rectification for us, because if the Mashiach will come to do the work for us, it will be too late for us already. 


And even when we are already praying for the coming of Mashiach, we should ask that it should be only with total mercy, and not with troubles and dinim (severe Divine judgment), and also to request a Mashiach who will bring Geula and tikkun and salvation for every Jew and Jewess wherever they are, with no exceptions, and that no Jew will chalila be left out at the time of the Geula


Bringing Mashiach by Legwork 

And this is true not only for speech, but also for actions! 


Someone who truly wants Mashiach, meaning that he wants all Jewish souls to merit the Mashiach in mercy and not only that he will get his own private Mashiach, and anyone who wants the Mashiach to come with great, immense mercy and without troubles and holocausts – how should he express it in deeds? What is the central and main thing he should do? 


Dissemination of Judaism and more dissemination! 


You should invest all your efforts in disseminating and in contributing towards disseminating, in kiruv, in providing merits for many people, teaching more and more Jews to go the way of tefilla and hitbodedut and to do teshuva every day, and to imbue Jews with complete and straight emuna (faith) and Torah to the best of your ability. 


Because when you do that, you are really hastening the coming of Mashiach; first of all, you are preventing the delay of Mashiach as a result of sins; and secondly, you are saving many souls that from now on won’t be lost, and when there will be no more lost souls, the Geula will be able to come. 


If you understand that the Mashiach is to come to rectify the entire nation of Israel, you are not permitted to sit and do nothing, to take care of yourself and just wait for Mashiach; rather, you must be a loyal warrior in his army – join the Mashiach’s top unit, be the spearhead that goes before Mashiach and prepares the ground for his coming. And that is dissemination! 


Also, by disseminating Judaism, you are preventing many of the travails of the Mashiach, because the entire goal of troubles and suffering is to awaken people and bring them closer, and that is the same goal of dissemination. So it comes out that those who disseminate Judaism are physically protecting the Jewish People from troubles and suffering, because only when there is dissemination and giving the many the ability to gain merits – then the tzaddikim can come and claim to Hashem yitbarach that He shouldn’t awaken the Jews by trials and dinim – rather, awaken them through classes and books and booklets.  


When you live like that – rectifying yourself and going out to the Jewish people, you are proving in your actual actions and not just in speech that you well understand what Mashiach is and what Geula is, and you are not only praying for Mashiach, but you are an active participant in the revelation of Mashiach and in the Mashiach’s mission, which is tikkun ha’olam and disseminating emuna


This article is the first one, and it explains in depth how one should pray for Mashiach; next week, G-d willing, we will explain things from another angle, a very important one – that it is forbidden to pray for Mashiach before one has internalized him. To be continued, G-d willing… 

Tell us what you think!

1. Yehudit


Rabbi Arush has been teaching since the tragedy at Meron on Lag B’Omer (2022) that along with dissemination we must pray daily for am Yisrael that we ALL do teshuva – no exceptions. This also fits in with Harav’s point of working to bring the geulah for everyone.

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