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Shabbat Parashat Acharei Mot Kedoshim 5778

Ein Ayah: The Continuation of Contrast

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 6:46)

Gemara: [Last time we saw the opinion that the sword will not be considered of value in the times of Mashiach because there will not even be a potential for conflict.] This opinion argues on Shmuel who said: There is no difference between our times and the times of Mashiach except for the subjugation of Israel by the kingdoms, as the pasuk says: “For the destitute will not cease to exist in the midst of the land” (Devarim 15:11).


Ein Ayah: It is worthwhile to look at the world not with an individualistic outlook but with a broad, communal perspective. Then we can perceive all of life as one interconnected entity that has many connected parts. The ebb and flow of life passes between them specifically because of the force of contrast that exists between each part of the whole.

The power of the communal is when it picks out from among the myriad differences the unifying element, which makes all of the lives of people in the world one unit. This turns all the contrasts into positive things and extracts from them the power of life. In this way, we will never find completeness when something is standing separately on its own in a way that negates contrast. Breaking the force of contrast diminishes the foundation of life itself.

   Now let us look at the difference between the era in which the world is desolate and evil rules and the era in which there is light and goodness. The goodness will come when the power of contrast will exist in potential – to invigorate the foundation of life – and will not come into practice in a way that it will bring destruction. The ability to attack without justice will cease, and the subjugation of Israel from the abuses of the nations will be stopped. All of the advantages that Israel is fit to receive based on their lot in the world will come to them in their entirety. This includes receiving control of its Land, its kingdom, and all of its liberty. This covers both the realm of all of its physical and of its spiritual acquisitions. Israel will be free to influence themselves and the world and their honor will “fly as a flag” in the appropriate manner. All of this will happen [according to this opinion] while, by necessity, the force of contrast will still exist in potential form.

The state of poverty must exist in the world to a degree that allows people to connect to each other through compassion and love. However, it is best that the situation shall not be so dire that the people will not be capable of helping those in need. That is the reason that “the destitute will not cease to exist in the midst of the land.” Israel and, indeed, the world will, in the future, not experience a situation of unusual poverty, which is to be viewed as a punishment, but just enough that one will be able to be compassionate and give to another. Therefore, poverty will be felt more in potential than in practice.

Similarly all the contrasts between nations, which allow for different specialties in mundane matters and matters of the spirit, will also exist. Therefore, there will still be weapons serving as adornments, to bolster the possibility of safe contrast, so that it not be out of control. Nations and kingdoms will exist, but there will not be subjugation. There will not be an imposition of pain, and stress due to leaving the confines of morality will not exist. The world will be renewed for the better, even as the basic foundation of the world will remain the same. It as Shmuel states: “There is no difference between our times and the times of Mashiach except for the subjugation of Israel by the kingdoms.”

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