June 22, 2017
By Devorah Fastag
Chazal tell us that this world exists for 6,000 years. The first 2,000 years are called “tohu” – emptiness, because the Torah had not yet been given.
The next 2,000 years are called the period of Torah. This begins with the period of the Avos (Avraham was born in 1948 from creation) and includes Matan Torah which took place in 2448, and the period of the mishkan and both Batei Mikdash.
The next 2,000 years are called the period of Moshiach. Since Moshiach did not come in that period, how can this be so?
Chazal were telling us about a plan Hashem had for his world. Had we been worthy, Moshiach would have come at the end of the second Temple period, or shortly afterwards, and would have lasted for 2,000 years. The beginning would have been the era of Moshiach ben Yosef, which could have lasted a long time, until the coming of the full redemption, with Moshiach ben David, who would have begun a miraculous era, with techias hameisim, and the return of the world to the level of Gan Eden before the sin of Etz HaDa’as. That is why Chazal say, “There is no difference between the days of Moshiach and this world except for being subject to foreign powers”. They were referring to the earlier stage, the period of Moshiach ben Yosef, before the miraculous stage of Moshiach ben David.
However, we did not merit this. There is a rule that when a potential comes into this world and is not used it does not simply disappear or lie dormant. Something even worse happens; the potential is taken over by the forces of evil. And so the potential power of Moshiach that existed in this period was taken over by tum’a. Instead of the world getting the period of Moshiach ben Yosef, this became instead the period of a false Moshiach – Yeshua haNotsri.
For the Jews, this was a terrible disaster. The imposter taught many false things, saying that one no longer needed to keep most of the practical mitzvos, and claiming that Hashem had rejected the Jews and chosen him to lead the goyim who were now the “new Israel”. He claimed this because the goyim accepted him and the Jews didn’t. And although he was terrible for the Jews, the Rambam says, he did actually help the goyim rise to a higher level, because through him the goyim stopped worshipping their many pagan idols and learned many of the concepts of Judaism. But again, for the Jews he was a disaster, as we know from history.